Friday, February 3, 2012

#DearValentine challenge fic #1: A Reason to Fight

DISCLAIMER: This story is a character piece set in the Ashen Stars RPG universe, created by Robin D. Laws, and published by Pelgrane Press.

WARNING: Andrew, David (@keltic_dave) and Angela (@blissfulblues), do NOT read this, as it contains spoilers for the Ashen Stars campaign.

A Reason to Fight

The Eris-II rig was a clunky old rust bucket, but this was the perfect camouflage right now, hiding in the ruins of a building, reactor powered down to cut out EM emissions. The ground shook with the movement of the other two rigs, ganging up to put the declining star of the mech arena in his place.

Shin Ika breathed raggedly. He knew he could win this easily, if he let himself. If he gave in to the Bliss. But he didn’t want to do that. Didn’t want to risk another incident.

He looked to an old-fashioned photograph that he had stuck to his control board. In it, he stood next to a blonde girl. They looked happy, both barely ten in the photo. It had come the previous day, with a message on the back: ‘Glad to see you’re out of the freezer. We should meet up. I’ll be at the Masalt docks, on the planet Ashima. Palatine cluster. February 14th, at noon. See you there!’

Freezer. The word conjured memories. Cold. The rubbery smell of breathing through a ventilator. Eyes behind spacesuit visors staring at him through a frosty glass window. Those were his first memories. This girl. Who was she? Did she know who he was? Could she tell him what the Bliss was that frightened him so? He had to know. He had to meet her. But he needed creds to get there.

He had to fight. So he shut his eyes, and let the Bliss take over.

Shin’s manager Harl Torr grinned as he watched the Eris-II explode from the building through his headset/tether combo. He’d have to thank Petyr the next time he saw him. That phony photo was just the motivator his boy had needed to get back in the game.


  1. I love the sci-fi thread here - I feel awful for Shin though :( Great start!

  2. I'm really hoping that the next installment links - I'm gripped!

  3. Ooo, phony photo! How dastardly.

    Love the term 'Bliss' for what I interpret as a sort of berserker state. Great tension between the naturally talented combat genius who doesn't want to fight and the handlers who do want him to.