Post by váli forrester 🌲d7a [tom] on Apr 28, 2023 0:21:47 GMT -5
[Circa: Late in The Dark Days]
Humanity is a fickle creation.
Blood sworn teeth and burned ruins of what once was Panem; the glorious country beyond the scope of any other home. Built upon the comfortability of men and women creating a world better than the last. A fickle lesson to learn when blood spills in front of his boot; blood red and filled with the terror he's never quite felt before. Too young to see the warfront of humanity; bleeding wounds too large that he's unable to feel the same way as before. The carefree child of a man who wanted to be nothing more than a developer, a designer, and a coder for the good of Panem gone in a flash. Only gears, oil, and determination remain. Lessons to be learned. Lessons to be taught. Grimacing through blood against his boots as he steps forward, eyes focused on the task all young men in war are given.
Obey orders and come back a hero. Smile in the face of death and keep marching on. His battalion isn't meant to be in this sector of Panem. The districts having planted explosives along the ridge between Six and Seven; lingering effects of destruction as his ears still ring from the massive explosion. War teaches boys to forget all that's once been; create a new safety between the hidden meat of the brain and pray a bullet doesn't strafe too far eyesight. It's burned through his skin, blood dripping from a graze on his thigh, dirt stuck in his brow as he feels the fading sun beginning to climb down his back. Radio at his shoulder, voice clinging with the debris of ruin in his chest. Deep voice filled with the pain and burn of shrapnel that's missed his vital organs entirely.
"Hello, do you copy? Corporal Vandergrift of the Rescue Squadron 882. Requesting Rescue in Sector 6 point 73. Operation Rescue 442 was a trap! I repeat, Operation Rescue 442 was a trap."
Only static reaches his ears; burned into the echoing sound of rubble and debris around him. Bodies left behind of his unit. The others were unlucky. Rebel forces having ended the rescue operation by surprise. A grimace of pain as he continues moving through the sporadic forests on the edges of District Six. Knowing the woods would provide both a new risk and a protective cover. There's no telling when he'll find rescue. The best option was to remain hidden from Rebel Forces. Anger blossoming through his fingertips as he lets go of the radio's static only to hold tightly to the weapon between his palms.
Moving with the ease of a trained soldier, he moves for an hour. Eyes scanning the various groves of tree lines. Voices in the distance of foe most likely. There's a tracker somewhere in his skin; or that's what Panem's told him. Gruff and quiet, he stumbles through the silence of the ever growing night. Eyes reaching out to the shrapnel bits of hovercrafts and other machinery that's laying in ruin at the center of burned away patches of war. Ripping metal gears and machinery long since searched through, he finds bits and pieces. Parts to create something unusual in most of basic soldiers' heads. A true change that's always been apart of him.
Machinery is the reason he lives still. His mind working over the schematics in his head too fast for any ordinary man to understand, but Link Vandergrift had been building robots in his bedroom since he was three years old. A family built on a known legacy of scientists and creators; the world was their oyster. Meant to have gone to the Capitol University in search of his own robotics and computer science degrees, but instead a war claims boys away from their home. Drafted for the cause of protecting the good in the world. Panem's the provider for all that is good. Protection from the elements of the rest of the world. Panem's the only place where safety can be kept.
Hands slotting together pieces as he slides the rescue torch he's given with only a certain small amount of time to do the work. The woods grow quieter as he swears there's eyes lurking behind the trees. Link's eyes focused on his work as a small mechanical creature built out of ingenuity and the basic functions of a protector that he'd built when he'd been just a boy in his room playing with circuit boards. Only this mechanic spider is made from the pristine wreckage of a hovercraft; laid to waste in the center of one of the large woods of Seven. The spider's function is simple: Protect.
As consciousness faded in the hull of the hovercraft, he slinks against one of the once metallic seats which has been bent into a strange shape, but too much blood loss is causing his vision to swirl as he looks to the metallic spider. It's one red eyes glows across the way, staring at opening to the downed hovercraft they're in. The last thing he notices before his eyes begin to shift close are the claws of a monster; sharp and dripping with blood. Black eyes staring at him as the spider shifts forward, a loud crunch echoes in his ears as the world fades away and easy unconsciousness comes forth.
[Circa: The 1st Games]
War is never easy. The bloodshed and the wounds' he's had to patch up with his own hands. A savior to many, a monster to others. Left to handle the scars along his body, pieces of history written into his skin with light fading scars of the time before the calm. The capitol's repairs are slow moving, his old childhood home no longer standing in the neighborhood he'd grown up. Running through streets with nothing more than a ball and a bat to hit it with to the other neighborhood kids. So many lives changed in one complete action made by those who were animals, lashing out on the good people who gave them their happy lives and happy families.
It's a burden to stand in the streets where he once knew his old friends who played baseball in the lot down the way, his mother and father smiling from their porch with a glass of the coldest lemonade in the world, but now, he's alone. Rubble surrounding all sides of him, the lot filled with shrapnel from an exploding bomb. No survivors. No escaping war. The bunkers were meant to protect them, but he knew how his father was. Death wasn't something Vandergrifts feared. His own brothers hadn't. They'd given more for their country than he could ever have. All of their funerals having been put off until the surrender of the districts.
Standing on the concrete sidewalks, ripped asunder from heavy fire, he can still remember walking to the store down the street with his oldest brother Ram. A gruff guy who wanted to be more than just his strength. Days spent remembering the way his brother had worked so hard with machinery and computers, until his brother had gotten into the Capitol University. Becoming the first to make it to college after their father's own admission. Only, his brother would be called to war. Sent to the frontlines where he'd send letters to Link and his other brother, Chip, only the letters stopped coming. The notice of death had reached him before anyone else. A squadron had gone in to try and get some headway on one of the routes the rebels used, only it'd been a suicide mission. Rumors spread throughout and Link had heard from someone else before the capitol reached him.
The funeral was a somber one and the last time he'd seen his parents and Chip. Dressed in their uniforms and formal wear, his parents and his brother had tried to pretend things were normal, but Link had always been able to tell when things were going wrong. Looking through the rubble of his childhood home, he can see the broken and destroyed photos of his life before the war. An image of Chip's first day at university lays in ruin as he remembers the day Chip's notice of death came to them. A year before the end, when he'd been lost on a rescue mission, Chip had been caught in the crossfire of fixing some hovercraft when a rebel bomb had gone off in his hangar.
There's a bitterness to that funeral heavy in his mind. The way his mother held him close and whispered that she couldn't lose another son. Not again. While she never had, she lost her husband only months before the end. A last strike on the Capitol and the bomb that took away their home. An explosion of shrapnel in one last attack, leaving behind the broken Vandergrift family on his own shoulders. His mother having been the only other survivor besides him, but coming back here to the neighborhood with all of his memories, he can feel the way his hands tighten in anger, the pain of losing all that was once good. No more time for Capitol University, he's a soldier now. A mechanic by all means.