So, this was an old piece I wrote for an role playing game I was constructing that sort of fell to the wayside, but I've always liked it. Looking back, it needs some editing, but I wanted to see what you all thought about it. Here it is, unfortunately unedited from my word processor ;>.> I hoope that doesn't bother too many people. I just didn't want to fuss with putting in all the italics on names and such >.<
Adrin 'Knight' Del looked down at the city from his eighth story condo, wearing nothing but a pair of slacks, a glass of fine brandy in one hand, which at the moment he was sipping from casually, entranced by the lights that flickered below him. It reminded him of the Fairy Light's he'd often seen as a little boy in his home village. The people there called them Aibu Reshmenaivi Imitri: Moon-Goddess Flowers, and every year, they would travel to Siviltri Lake to give gifts to them. Of course, in school they had learned that they weren't really Reshmenaivi's flowers, but a species of firefly that had been instilled with the essence of Mana, making them glow so brightly, but Adrin had still wanted to believe in the old legends; How the Silver Lady had descended and given them as gifts to the Haihiriti- the people of Khaijit after naming them the Promised Ones... He shook that thought away, coming out of his reverie. It was rare for the man to sink so deeply into memories of his homeland: most of them had been destroyed during the experiments, and yet the Fairy Lights had remained, burned within his mind. Perhaps they served as a reminder of what he once was, and what he had lost. Del smiled faintly to himself, and then took another sip from the glass in his hand, giving a dreamy sigh at the robust flavor. Aged Smith Creek, traditional: nothing went down smoother, especially when it was on someone else's tab, he thought almost idly to himself. One of the perks of being an external contractor for the police department was that they didn't ask you questions when items went missing from the scene of a crime, and Del had nabbed the bottle from the old doffer he had been tasked with eliminating before beating a hasty retreat just as the real officers arrived. Normally, it wasn't in Del's nature to steal from the recently deceased, even when he was the one who had committed the killing; he believed that it was morally reprehensible, behavior fit for vultures. But... at the same time, he couldn't resist the call of a brandy as fine as this, and Grahamin already owed him some serious back pay, so the man had taken the bottle as a finder's fee of sorts.
At last, tired of looking out the window, the man slowly padded away, the ice inside his glass clinking together, filling his ears with its soft tinkling noise as he moved across the room towards his couch. He sat down on it and grabbed the nearby remote to his large-screen TV and quickly turned it on, taking another small sip as he waited for the screen to wake up. At that moment, the man realized something: this was truly it. This was the life he had been so desperately seeking. It wasn't a normal life (for the denizens of Grey Tower there was no such thing as normal), but it was stable... for now. He had arrived in Grey Tower ten years ago, washed up on the side of the river, half-dead from an injury that would have killed most other men. That most likely should have been the end for him, but he was saved by a man by the name of Grahamin, who nursed him back to health. For a long time, he felt directionless, that his life was without purpose, but slowly, that had started to change for him. Del was a careful observer and a cautious, methodical man, and for many years he watched Grey Tower. He watched the petty thugs and murderers who terrorized the average citizens and ruled the poorer parts of the city, watched greedy, fat businessmen turn a blind eye to the terrifying gang wars that were waged almost nightly, because it didn't directly involve them... He watched as the city sank further and further into its own depraved little nightmare. He watched, and he thought, and he pondered, and then he thought some more. He thought about King, the man he had admired most in all the world, the man he had thought he'd be willing to die for. Rune was wrong about him: King had been a very good man. A kind, gentle soul who had only one wish: to change the world, make it a fairer place. But he had been misguided, foolish perhaps even. He had believed that the answer did not lay within himself, but some unborn progeny between him and the Queen, Rune. That perfect being was to be the messiah; he or she would have lead all of humanity... no, all the world to paradise, to a nirvana-like existence. Del thought, and then he thought some more, and upon that that careful, perhaps overly-ponderous observational method did he find his answer. King's Solution didn't lie with some external force; there was no need for a semi-omnipotent being to teach all of existence right from wrong. Therefore, he would take matters into his own hands. Through Grahamin, the man who had saved him, and who was the head of internal security within Grey Tower he joined the ranks of the External Contractors: men and women who worked above the law. They were mercenaries, soldiers in a war against anarchy, and they only answered to one man. And so, with his answer and his newfound sense of responsibility, Adrin Del took to the streets and dealt justice to those who deserved it. Five years later, he was still hard at work making Grey Tower a safe place for people to live as one of the last living EC's, and he was happy doing that job. Grey Tower was still insane, but at least things had calmed down slightly, for the time being.
Adrin 'Knight' Del turned off the TV an hour later and rose, stretching his arms above his head. He glanced at the clock on the wall, realizing that it was rather late and that he perhaps should go to bed. The man finished the very last bit of his brandy then set the glass on his coffee table (he could deal with it in the morning), then started to turn down the lights in his apartment. Then, he went to the glass door he had been gazing out only a little while ago and started to slide the curtain in place. He paused though, hesitating a moment as he once more looked down at the brightly lit city. There were no Fairy Lights, no Goddess flowers to believe in; no false reality he could escape to, just the cold, hard reality of the brutal world he lived in, engraved in the florescent and neon fury far below him. For a moment, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, believing he could almost smell the earthy scent of the little clay shack he had been born in, mixed with the rich, spicy taste of his mother's homemade Rakmata, that he could hear her harsh voice as she sang to herself over her stove, could feel the warm oppressive heat of the desert sun on his skin. And then, he opened his eyes and smiled.