As I’m planning my first art piece of the new year, I decided to go back through my old unpublished or finished writings. Last year, I did a character flashback series in which I recreated original characters of my old ideas, and Bethesda Ellet was one of them. I created her first in 2014 and then again in 2017.
When I first thought of her, I was in middle school and wished to write a story about me and my friends as supersoldiers. Hence, I developed Bethesda. She is a character that I enjoy drawing because of her luscious hair and strong, confident attitude.
She was a leader of a team of eight. The story was set in a dystopian future. This is as far as I got with the development of this story. I should revisit it in the near future. I do plan, however, to change her name. I’m thinking Saphira; her last name is up for grabs at the moment. I enjoy drawing this character a lot and may one day give her a proper debut.
Anyway, attached to this post is a sample of what she used to be, a chapter written in the point of view of Bethesda from 2014. I made some grammatical changes but I kept most of the writing as is. Read it for yourselves and leave a comment if you’d wish to tell me what you think? 🙂
(Warning, it is a little long and there is some profanity. Bethesda and her teammates have sharp tongues.)
“I have a visual,” says Fergus as he focuses his eye down his scope. “I have a clear shot. Do I take it?”
“Affirmative cadet,” says a static voice in my ear. “Take the shot.”
I look through my computerized binoculars into the crowd of people below. It was early in the afternoon, so there were tons of people in the lunch hour rush of sector 4. The downtown was particularly busy, as the strip of restaurants had people pouring in and out of them. Seconds pass, but I don’t hear a shot.
“Fergus?” I asks as my binoculars as it searches the many faces and security files for our target in the crowd. I keep my eyes searching. “What’s the problem?”
“He stepped into a cluster of people,” says Fergus. “I can’t shoot him—.”
“Are you deaf, cadet Collins?” says a static voice in my ear again. “Take the shot.”
“He’s in the blind, sir,” responds Fergus as my binoculars catch our criminal. His name was Harvey Grayson, a middle-aged man with dark hair. He stands amongst the crowd of moving people, dressed in his electrician’s uniform and ball cap.
“The hell are you waiting for?! Take the goddamn shot cadet!” yells the static voice in my ear.
I keep my eyes through the binoculars as Fergus hesitates. There wasn’t a clear shot, but Fergus was a sharpshooter, he could make it. But…then again, these are real people, not holograms. I suck in my breath as suddenly there is a gap between people—“BANG!” I hear the shot go off, its sound erupting to my left. Fergus sucks his teeth, the bullet hits, but not the spot we needed. The bullet grazes his shoulder and the crowd scatters. The targets must have moved, seconds after the shot was fired. Lucky bastard.
“Damn, I missed!” hisses Fergus as the target runs. I act quickly, taking a few steps back before running off the side of the rooftop.
“I’m going after him!” I yell as air wraps around me while I plummet to the layered ground below. “Send back up now! Shiro! Duke! I need you guys. Kai, be ready with the securitrons—deploy!”
“Firing,” says a computerized voice at my hips. From my belt, grappling hooks spew forward to about two hundred feet in front of me, and into the nearest building. When it is secure, it tightens and jerks me forward. My body bends back as the ropes reel me in. As I swing down towards the ground, I see the target push past a group of people and heads for the metro station.
“Retract!” I say, about two-stories in the air. “Retract now!”
The hooks release the building and fly back into my sides. I fall, roll onto the ground and onto my feet. I run as soon as I am upside; I shove and move as quickly as possible through the sidewalks. The technological metropolitan city was leveled with sidewalks and buildings stacked on top of each other; people were everywhere, each person absorbed in their own worlds. Society today relies on one ideal, everyone for his or herself—well, usually that is the case. People like my friends and I, don’t believe in that nonsense.
“Beth, where is he heading?” asks a boy’s voice in my ear, it’s Duke.
“Heading south, down toward 15th street,” I answer as I shove through a crowd of moving people. They look away from their worlds long enough to look at me and scowl. “Kai,” I say as our target comes into my view. “I could use those robots—.”
“They’re approaching now,” she responds quickly. I look ahead and see fourteen patrolling police-bots zoom into position forming a wall to block his path. Like all the C4 models, they were about five foot tall, elongated egg-shaped robots with twig-like metal arms and wheels for feet. They were equipped with guns, that hung at their sides and where painted black and red with video screens for faces and sirens on their heads as hats.
“HALT,” says the robots in unison as the word halt and a hand appears on their screens. Their sirens blare and people are aware and scatter. The man doesn’t stop, instead, he burrows through them. The robots fall, and I jump over them and continue the chase.
“Reprogram them and make them follow me,” I say to Kai as I gain on him, only a few steps behind him. He sees me, and stops then turns and punches at me. I duck and go for stomach jab, it hits, but he doesn’t keel over; instead, he swings again, I dodge. We do this until he draws a weapon, a metal pipe. Appropriate. I follow suit and draw my weapon.
I draw my hand, the rod extending quickly into a curved blade; the six-foot-long mechanical scythe with energy and neuron response. I take it and slice his pipe in half. Shock rises into his face as he throws it away and runs again. I don’t hesitate to chase, sheathing my weapon back in its holster on my back. I catch up to him, take two big steps and then tackle him. We roll, and he punches and knees at me. This time, my guard is down and he gets a solid punch in the gut before throwing me off. I roll onto my feet just in time to see him grab a civilian and throw her towards the sidewalk edge. A flash of blue blanket flies from her arms and suddenly I hear a baby cry.
“My baby!” she screams as she catches herself before flying over the edge. I scramble off the side and fall down the levels of the city and after the child. Her sobs trail behind me as I plummet.
“Projectile at forty degrees,” I shout. “Deploy!”
“Firing,” says the computerized voice as the hooks shoot out from my hips. The baby flails and screams as it falls. I hear a sharp “zing!” and then a “thwack!” before I am swung through the air, through the traffic of moving transporting vehicles, grabbing the child mid swing before they pull me towards its attachment point. The baby squirms in my arms as I am pulled up the side of a building. Attached to the building with my harness holding the both of us, I breathe relief and look down at the child. He looked no older than one year old, with pudgy flushed cheeks and wet dark eyes.
“Shhh,” I said to the child as I comforted him. “Calm down, it’s okay. I’ll take you to your mommy.”
“What the hell happened Betesuda-san?” says Shiro in my ear.
“Don’t worry. I am alright.” I answer him as I swing down towards the sidewalk with the child clutched against my chest. “Civilian. Our target is still on the move, heading southeast.”
“I’m right behind him with Cynthia cutting around the block to intercept him!” says Duke in a huffy voice in my ear as I land. The mother to the child runs up to me.
“Thomas! My baby,” she says as she takes him from my arms and hugs him. I watch for a second, wondering what it would be like to be hugged by a mom, before I turn and leave.
“Where is he heading,” I asks Duke as I prepare to run—.
“Wait miss!” says the woman. I turn and look at her. When she sees me in my armor, she pauses. “Um, thank you,” she says after a moment. “Thank you so much for saving my son.”
“No problem ma’am. Just doing my job,” I reply to her. She stares up and down my uniform.
“You’re from that Academy, right?” she asks. I nod. “Revolutionary Academy? I hear it’s a good school. I plan to send my boy there. So how do you like? What grade are you?”
“Junior Class grade three,” I answer. She looks at me with a confused smile, so I simplify. “Like all schools in Arc city, meaning Revolution, Origin, and Gen-Tech, from ages ten—which is normal admittance age into the school’s programs, to your twenty-one, you undergo a series of studies and military training, mentally and physically. Well, each year—freshman, sophomore, junior and senior must do three years of each grade. Mandatory. I’m in my third year of the “junior” training. By this ranking, I’m equivalent to a private in the military.”
“So cool,” she says. I smile before a nasty voice pops in my ear.
“BETHESDA! EARTH TO BETHESDA!” shouts Duke in my ear that my eardrums ring.
“The hell Duke!” I yell as I yank the earbud from my ear. I yell at it. “Are you trying to make me deaf?!”
After a pause, I stick it back in my ear to hear him say. “Well, my bad. You weren’t listening to me. He’s heading towards West Street.”
“But that’s a blackout zone,” I say as I take off running. I only pause to look back at the woman and wave, before running again. “We are not allowed to go into a blackout zone.”
“Tell him that!” Duke says. I sprint and push through people. Mean and harsh looks come my way as I and securitrons zoom like lightning flashes in dark.
“Projectile at one hundred twenty degrees,” I say. “Deploy upper and lowers!”
“Firing primary,” says a computerized voice as a pair of grappling hooks shoot from my waist and beneath my armpits. The clamp and tug me forward, over the areal traffic on the street and flying into the air. As I flip and free fall, I swing around countless buildings until I see Fergus and Shiro scaling across lower rooftops with arms thrown back, weapons sheathed and bodies lowered into the wind. I’m about twenty feet above them as I swing down.
“Retract” I say, and the hooks let go of whatever they could grab making me fall towards the ground. I hit it hard, rolling almost over the side of one of the flats, but manage to keep myself from going off the edge.
“Bethesda, hurry! He’s ninety seconds from your position,” says Kai in my ear.
I pull my aching bones from the ground and run again, my lungs full of air and eyes dry from the wind. I charge, sprinting past Shiro and Fergus and onto the heels of our target. As adrenaline pumps within me, the world begins to flash as I tackle the man into empty air. I hadn’t realized what I was doing until we began to freefall. My friends were screaming my name and darkness lay beneath me. The target punches himself free and he plummets while screaming. I can’t die here.
“Projectile one hundred eighty degrees!” I shout over the wrapping air around me. “Deploy!”
“Voice-unrecognition. Please try again—pleas—plezzzzzzzzzzzzz,” says the voice before I hear a beep, signaling that it won’t work. It was out of satellite range.
“Beth—,” cries voices in my ear as I fall and fall into darkness.
I awake to blurry shadows and a flash of light on my face making me cower. A body laid only feet away, but a shadow loomed over it, a person. It was so dark down here. I knew it was the Dark zone. Dark Zones are city generators that malfunction and are shut down, hence creating this an area in the lower levels of the technological city a pitch black chasm. There are five in Arch City, one in sector 7, sector 5, sector 2 and the capital, beneath the academy. Here in sector 4, this Dark Zone is known as Dread Drop. Technology is instantly disabled here.
I try and stand, but the man looming over the body comes over to me and stamps down on my head, pushing me into the ground. “Military Bitch!” he says as something wet touches my hand, likely spit. “You may have won this time, but the Dark Lord shall rise!”
Seconds later, his weight lifts from me and he gets up and runs off. I hear footsteps fading away as I slip back into unconsciousness….
“BETHESDA!” screams a male voice in my ear. I jolt up, slamming my head into the person over me. It HURTS LIKE HELL. I fall back and cradle my head, suddenly feeling the stiffness of aching pain inflicted by the fall. I open my eyes to see Duke, his eyes shut and holding his brown-haired head. Daylight floods in and I suddenly realize that I am above ground again and surrounded by my comrades.
“Bethesda, are you okay? What happened?” asks Shiro as his face appears at my left. His soft dark eyes look into me with concern, as do the others as I look around. My friends, Valora, Duke, Kai, and Shiro encircled me with worried looks on their faces.
I sit up slowly, feeling the ache of the ground beneath me.
“You okay?” asked Kai as she holds out a water bottle to me. I take it and nod.
“Yeah, just a little light-headed,” I answer as I quickly take a sip of water, before gulping down as much as possible until it was a quarter full. “Grayson is dead.”
“Well we figured that one,” says Valora with a grin. She yanks a strand of her short blonde hair from her face. “Did you see anything down there?”
I try to think but my head aches. I shook my head and say, “I’m not sure. I thought I saw a man looting the body, but I can’t really say for sure—.”
“His name was likely Jacob Hong,” says a new voice in our conversation. I look over my shoulder to see a tall, elegant faced man, with angular features, short blonde hair, and bright blue eyes. From the looks of his black suit and dress shirt, he was from one of the government ministries. I look at him up and down and he stares down at me. “He’s an anarchist who is with the NRR, under the man named Alexander J. Darrion.”
“Who the hell are you?” I say before realizing that I might be talking to someone who is above me. Oh well, might as well continue. “This is Academy business. Back off civilian.”
“Agent James Crown, from the Ministry of Enforcement,” says the man with a smirk. “Compared to you Black beauty, I have full right to be here. You and your team can skedaddle back to your Academy because we got it from here.”
My eye twitches on impulse. “Excuse me—.”
“What are you going to do with this case, Agent Crown?” says Kai in order to keep me from speaking. “Both subjects are either dead or have escaped.”
“That is none of your concern,” says Agent Crown. “Now scram before I have you all Court Marshaled for disrespecting a superior.”
“Who died and put you in charge?” I say to him.
“Besesuda-san…” I hear Shiro say quietly. “Wait…”
“You are not in charge of us, nor do you have the authority to tell us what to do or how we do it,” I say as I march up to his face. His eyes widen as I stare him the eye. “I’m in charge here, I have direct orders from the highest of law enforcement, above your pay grade. Now, back off civilian.”
“I see,” says the man as he looks at his watch. “So this is Revolution Academy’s finest. But you better watch your mouth, I have right from the Ministry of Enforcement as the local police to be here. So bold leader, what do have to say to this warrant from your superior?” He flashes a piece of white in front of me and I feel my temper rising. I snatch it from him and rip it in two.
“Screw you,” I say and he grins.
“When, where and how hard?” he asks. My arms move without me thinking and I punch him in the face, followed by my knee to his groin and then lifting me leg and side kicking him into the ground.
“That hard,” I spit as I look over him to his two officers standing nearby. The warrant was a fake, who the hell is this punk? “You two,” I call over to them. They look at me with frightened looks. “Roll this good for nothing to a hospital.”
“Yes ma’am,” they say back to me.
“Kai, contact the Ministry of Enforcement and tell them to keep their dogs out of official business. They don’t have qualifications to be here.”
“Whatever,” shrugs Kai with a smile.
“Let’s go,” I say.
“Bethesda, where are we going?” asks Duke as he crosses his arms over his chest.
“Into the Dark Zone,” I say with an evil smile. “Get the Collins brothers down here. We have work to finish. “