| Pt. 1 |
Facilitator Wai Wazad stood looking out over the long expanse of the only remaining bridge into the City of Distad. He was an unusual member of the MVD, in that he was an unclassified personage. His background could be found on any public access DAIS, his current assignment was posted up with a number of others on the MVD’s GaliNet presence. His was the public face of the Combined Antarean Imperial Forces on this planet. He was very close to becoming the Imperial Controller for this planet. But the ULP’s forces had this tendency to grip on to every last bit of territory with enormous, and thus far futile, determination.
Without moving his head or body, Wazad’s eyes flicked around the ground in front of him. They stopped and he leaned down and casually plucked a box of cigarettes from the front pocket of the dead body immediately in front of him. Though the pale yellow box was dented, it was relatively unscathed. The same could not be said of its owner, a member of the League’s–Wazad had to use the tip of his shoe to brush away the ash that had settled on the uniform–17th local Militia.
The sun was setting and the human detritus formed when the AIA had cleared the bridgehead was still heavy in the air, making what would have been a fairly relaxing evening nearly as dark as night. Wazad didn’t see what the dead militia-man was leaning against until he pulled a matchbook from his pocket to light one of the low-quality military-issued cigarettes. In the light of the match, he could see that a singed and half-destroyed poster was tacked to the column. Wazad could just barely recognize the White Wing’s logo on the poster, with Lania Gallientus’s famous face nearly a burnt cinder beneath it. The militia-man’s body blocked the bottom of the poster, but just above it someone had used crude rezpaint to write Angels Fall First in large red letters.
Taking a long draw from the cigarette and looking around at the burnt and scattered bodies fading into the night, Wazad chuckled darkly and murmured “they most certainly do.” He stood there for a moment, silhouetted against the poster, slowly working the cigarette down to a cinder. He dropped it beneath the poster, letting it glow dully next to its original owner and walked forward. Ahead of him there was a boom that wasn’t thunder and a flash that wasn’t lightning. As night fell and a battle began to rage a few miles ahead of him, Wazad hummed tunelessly and strolled down the bridge, moving towards a storm of his own making.