Saturday, 2 January 2010
06:14:28 AM (GMT)
This isn't written in Naono's perspective. Shocking, no?
It’s also taken weeks of procrastination to finish this.
It ended up being in Shikuro's perspective a bit, because his thoughts are important.
This was hard to write, because most of the dialog is done by one person.
I had to make that one person seem evil to the reader, but like some sort of savior
to the other characters.
I was thinking "What do you go through to become one of the bad guys soldiers?".
Few would dispute the claim that Shikuro Yuki was one of the most powerful men
in the world. It is a fact that he can control more raw power than any other man in
recorded history, that he cannot get sick or die of old age, that the strongest
dragon in the realm is loyal to him alone, and that he is in a position from which he
could conceivably succeed in ruling the world.
World domination- an incredible feat for a man who was once merely the owner of a
large (though lucrative) company. The key to his success is in large part due to his
astounding prowess at sorcery, but is truly made possible by the utter lack of
disloyalty among all who serve him.
This too is done partially through magic. But that alone cannot account for his
impressive army obeying the most suicidal orders without a second thought. How did he
First off, Shikuro made it a point to do the preliminary training of all troops
It was a job he would entrust to no one else. As soon as there were seventy five new
recruits in uniform, he would drop what he was doing to make an appearance. Not that
just showing up causes them to pledge fealty to him. Shikuro training program goes
In a section of forest, cleared down to the dirt, a group of very young men in
fresh, ill fitting uniforms stood in what they hoped was "At attention.". None of the
boys were over seventeen, and few had been at Shikuros camp for even a full day.
Rather, they'd been recruited from their villages, gotten led to the camp, and were
now waiting for their new Master.
Shikuro didn't pace, for he didn't need to unless he was trying to intimidate
them. Rather, he stood a little ways back from them and surveyed them for a moment.
"I wonder if any of you know what you're getting into," he said, almost sadly.
"Some of you are young enough to be called children, and you’re in a war now,"
"Did you know that all military leaders automatically factor in around twenty deaths
in every battle, because when the time comes some can't kill another man?"
No one responded. It obviously wasn't a question, so much as a concerned leader
"I'll have you know that I don't intend to calculate an extra twenty of your lives in
every battle. So raise your hand now, who among you is hesitant about slaughtering
Slowly, a hand began to raise. In a fluid motion, Shikuro drew a gun from NYC
and shot the boy dead.
"And that, gentlemen, is the value of human life."
A short child standing next to the body saluted and asked "Permission to take
him to the doctor, Sir?"
In response, Shikuro looked surprised and alarmed. He pointed to the boy saying
"Are you mad?". This was a crucial step in training- learning that
Shikuro's spells could be anything.
"Why would you tell me that you plan to desert my army?" The boys eyes
widened as if he were realizing he had misspoken and he shook his head, but his
frenzied behavior revealed guilt- and madness.
The child tugged helplessly on his uniform as he stumbled back from some unseen
horror, until his voice broke forth in a terrible shriek, and he dropped to the
ground, eyes crossed uncomprehendingly at the dust before him. The whole thing took
less than a minute.
"And that is the value of a human soul. Any questions?"
In an astounding display of bravery and stupidity a teen said "Well I don't reckon
you hurt their souls. Just their bodies an' minds." "Yeah," agreed a timid youth a
person or two down the line. Shikuro turned to face him.
"You think there's a difference between the mind and soul?" "We both do." the
first boy announced. Shikuro noted his loyalty.
"Well! A wise man once said 'Differences of faith bode ill for the army,' so we'd
best clear this up now. You two, step forward, please." Many of the assembled
recruits tensed, realizing how true the rumors of his power were.
"Right, a bit farther away from the group... Right in front... There." Shikuro said,
positioning them in plain sight of the remaining trainees.
"Now then, what are your names?" Shikuro inquired politely. The first boy
identified himself as Kanto Jays, but the second muttered "It's Coby, sir." "And your
surname?" "It's just Coby, sir."
"That won't do! Who's you're father?" Shikuro prodded shamelessly, seeing an
exploitable opportunity. "I dunno, sir," Coby said flatly.
"Coby No-ones-son. Doesn't roll off the tongue- but enough chit chat. Private
Jays and Private Noonesson, what do you think the distinction between mind and
soul is?" Prompted Shikuro. Coby shrugged, and Kanto spoke for both of them; for
despite his thick accent it was actually Private Jays who was more educated.
"I s'ppose it's that the mind is where your thoughts are, but your soul is
your feelings, Sir." It is interesting to note that the aforementioned accent is just
a more distinct version of the Hispanic-like inflection that everyone in that area
"Ah! I like that answer." Shikuro exclaimed excitedly. The trainees boggled,
and the two teens in front grew a bit hopeful that nothing particularly wretched
would befall them. To be safe, Coby ventured a shy, "You do, sir?"
"Yes, yes, because in my time spent on the 'Earth', as the natives call it, I
learned about the Scientific Method. I can create an observable, recreate-able
experiment to test your theory that souls and minds are different right now. It's
splendid how well this worked out!"
Pvt. Jays and Coby's uneasiness returned.
"Unfortunately, I'm afraid my experiment will have to involve magic. My hypothesis is
that I can apply the same sort of spell I used on that lads thoughts onto
feelings without the effectiveness diminishing."
"And the reason I think that is because, in truth, Coby and Kanto are
passionately in love."
Shikuro's spell created feelings that weren't really love, but no one but the
Magician himself knew that. All poor Coby knew was that Kanto seemed like the
kindest, bravest guy ever, and Kanto was suddenly very occupied with how poor little
Coby who didn't even have a father risked his life being standing up to Shikuro and
All the other trainees knew was that Kanto and Coby were looking at each other
in a way straight men just don't look at each other without magic.
"Well gentlemen! I think the results are fairly obvious- but I'll just check to
be sure I've really created love." Meanwhile Shikuro thought, Such wonderfully
feeble minds this group has!
"Now Kanto, how do you feel about Coby?" "Sir, I reckon I love 'im," the
bewitched Kanto said, his eyes still on Coby. "And Coby, how much does Kanto mean to
you?" "We're soulmates, sir." "What a touching choice of words! But I'm afraid Pvt.
Jays here will have to die if you two can't prove it," Shikuro informed them in a sad
"But sir, no! You never said that. Why should he have to die?" pleaded Coby,
"I'm afraid he undermined my authority- I haven't much choice," Shikuro said, donning
a pained expression.
"Yet how could I live with myself if I didn't give you two a chance? Alright
Coby, I'll give you one try to show that you two are deeply connected, if you choose
to risk it. But Coby, if this doesn’t work, the effects will make you suffer for
your whole life. Is Kanto worth it?”
“Oh, yes sir!” Coby assured him, making Kanto frantic with magically induced
worry for him.
All the other trainees did their best not to wince at what they were watching,
because they could tell Kanto and Coby had never met from the different accents, and
they could guess that Kanto and Coby would never be able to join them in battle from
what happened to the others.
And indeed, Shikuro did plan to punish them for doubting him, and make a
spectacle of it. Boys who had grown up in devoutly religious families would walk away
thinking if it weren’t for Shikuro, they’d be dumb enough to believe in souls.
The fate of Kanto and Coby would assure complete unity in the squad.
“Kanto, I’m sorry but there’s not much you can do in this situation. Just
trust Coby’s ability to know your soul, no matter what.”
“Yessir.” Kanto said stiffly.
“So the way this works is, I’m going to make Coby blind, and he
will have to point to where Kanto is, without seeing him, and without knowing how far
what direction Kanto walked in. As his "soulmate" Coby should be able to sense
Kanto was just wondering if he was supposed to actually walk somewhere even though
Shikuro told him he wouldn’t be doing anything, and thinking that Coby was smart
enough to listen for footsteps, when Coby point at thin and announced, “Kanto,
you’re right here, I feel it!”
“Point made. And I think that our experiment is over, because even Coby
can see pvt. Jays never moved.” Shikuro said, walking over to where Coby
Coby blinked in shock, and spun around to where Kanto was, his expression
Oh, poor Coby! I hope he don’t blame hisself too much. I wish I didn’t speak
out to Shikuro. I mean Shikuro-maji seems like he don’t wanna kill me or nuthin’
but wants the other kids to learn to respect authority, and my poor Coby might spend
his life blind now, Shikuro said he’d suffer and I’m so stupid it was just a
spell, I was never in love at all!
“I decided that it wasn’t very fair of me to lift a spell off pvt.
Noonesson, and then not do the same with pvt. Jays, so Kanto has just realized that
he isn’t in love with Coby.” Shikuro said to the group at large. Coby looked
about ready to cry.
“Kanto, you came from a religious household, didn’t you? You proved great
loyalty by sticking by what they taught you, and for speaking for both you and a
stranger who shared the same belief. But from now on, that loyalty needs the be to
this group here, and to me.”
Kanto nodded stiffly, acutely aware of how much he’d already shamed himself
in front of around seventy people he’d be seeing daily for years to come.
And now, Shikuro thought, I make sure that this will never be a
Shikuro leaned over to Kanto and said softly “And to make sure to keep an
eye out for poor Coby! He’s younger then you, remember. He’s also not very
bright, and still thinks he’s your soulmate.”
“Er, right sir. Of course, sir.” Kanto replied awkwardly.
“Feel free to go back in line now, pvt. Jays. You’re going to make a great
So pvt. Jays slipped back into his place, looking forward to attempting to live down
his whole ordeal, and to never doing anything he didn’t see his fellow soldiers
doing, or in any other way drawing attention to/ embarrassing himself ever again.
This desire, incidentally, was why he was going to be a great soldier.
Coby watched him go, relieved that he was alive, but utterly lost about how
Kanto could possibly not be in love. Coby was also aware, if dimly, that he
was now alone in front of the group with Shikuro.
“Private Noonesson.” Shikuro addressed the boy, who snapped to attention.
“I don’t think your beliefs will cause trouble at this point…” They
wouldn’t. Coby’s magically induced infatuation with Kanto was not so strong that
he couldn’t see that the use of the word “soulmate” in public would cause
“I do however think that the name Private No-ones-son is ludicrous,
and more than likely embarrassing. Would you like me to give you a family
name? A surname to pass on to your children?”
“Yes sir.” Coby beamed. “All right, wipe that look off your face,
you’re a soldier. Private… Private Coby Souls, that seems appropriate. Do you
approve, pvt. Souls?”
“Yesir.” “Right then, back to your place.” Shikuro said.
“Now, you lot are platoon forty five. Remember that number, because that number is
now your life. And when the time comes, that number may be your death, too. Consider
yourselves done with your preliminary training- the next few rounds won’t be
nearly as fun, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it myself. You’re
assigned to Commander Sabada, so I hope you all like marching, because I know he
does.” A large man, presumably Commander Sabada, was approaching from the camp.
“And as a side note- the enemy may use magic to toy with your emotions in
battle. That is a very cheap move, and one that is forbidden in combat, but then
again starting a war is forbidden too and they’ve done that. If that happens-“
Shikuro turned and cast gaze at them over his shoulder.
“At least try and remember if you’re straight.”
Kirti's Mind Theater what number am I on now, end. That was way too long! I did my
best to break it up, but that might just make it seem longer.