Welcome back to Muse Tuesday.
This week, I’m doing a little fanfiction.
If you haven’t heard of Warframe, it’s a sci-fi, free-to-play online shooter, the selling point of which is that you’re an insanely powerful space ninja–one of many known as “Tenno.” As such, you wear a selection of armors called Warframes that adhere to certain motifs and allow you unique abilities. All of which add up to you killing hordes and hordes of enemies.
I thought I’d take that . . . and try to do something incredibly serious with it. So, apologies if any of this is lost on you; the challenge here was definitely on explaining without over-explaining.
There was blood on the Tenno’s knees.
Not only a spot–a pool that he knelt in. A dark splash that glowed with sunlight. He’d watched it slowly roll toward him from the pile of dead Grineer meters away–had done nothing but blink as it reached him, kneeling there. Blink and listen to a chorus of birdsong and rushing water.
It all made the overgrown forests of Earth strangely empty for him, listening to a language he couldn’t understand, being touched by warm blood he couldn’t feel.
Another moment more and he would be done with this ritual of his. He’d lost count of the times he’d done it, but the exercise was always the same; he knelt near a group of Grineer he’d just killed and tried his best to feel something for them–before their blood reached him.
He hoped for anything. Regret. Sadness. Because they were still people.
Just cloned–so often that it’d driven them insane and ruined their genetics. Many of them were more machine now–men and women with complex prostheses, living in alloy shells.
Who terrorized the galaxy. Who killed without mercy.
The only reason the Tenno was planetside in the first place was to stop a Grineer plot to poison the forests of Earth, making it easier to terraform–a new planet of factories to process their weapons of war.
No. It’s impossible, he thought. I can’t feel sorry for them. They’re savages. Killers.
And as he thought it, the blood reached his feet.
Suddenly desperate, the Tenno closed his eyes, willing himself to try again. To try to be better than the things he’d just killed.
Angrily punching the ground when he still couldn’t feel anything.
He spun around and found another Tenno behind him–another lost child of space, this one in her Warframe: a birdlike Zephyr, her carbon composite feathers and metal skin regal in shades of white and gold.
“Are you . . . okay?” she asked, lowering her weapon, oddly tender as her clawed hand reached for him.
The Tenno closed his eyes, activating Transferrence, pulling himself back into his own Warframe–an Ash that he’d left standing on a Grineer structure a half mile away, just in case he needed to vanish.
Since he’d left, a new platoon of clones had arrived, cleaning up the mess he’d left behind. Already restarting the machines the Tenno had just shut down, repairing those he’d destroyed. They shouted at each other, angry only then. Careless when they pushed their dead into the river nearby.
The sword in Ash’s hand twitched.
Time to try again.
Thanks for reading.
A quick notice: I’m going to be at PAX this weekend, but my journey to get there starts tomorrow night. I’ll still be posting tomorrow, for sure, but whether or not I post Thursday and Friday depends on how much of a pain it’ll be to post from PAX.
Anyway, if you’re a regular, thanks again for the read. I’ve tried my best to make it easier to comment on my posts, so if you’d like to drop any criticism down below, please feel free. Writing this often is starting to make some of my writing habits stand out and I want to take care of those immediately.
If you’re new, my name is Louis Santiago, and I’m a fantasy writer based in the Bronx. My short story, “Aixa the Hexcaster,” was recently published in Mirror Dance Fantasy. However, I’m still very much learning about the writing process–still trying to figure it out. Part of that means posting on here every weekday, even though I make absolutely no money from it. So, if you like what you read here and feel up to getting an email every weekday–a new post from me delivered right to your inbox–then please hit the Follow button at the bottom of this page. Because, even though all I get from this site is emotional support, that support means the world to me.
Regardless, thank you for stopping by, and, as always, write well.