Monday, February 4, 2013

Blurbs: Young Liza

So I was thinking I wanted to do a sort of creative writing thing (which is surprisingly difficult when you have to assign yourself pictures), and then I came across this picture which reminded me of one of my characters from Aouthentica, Liza Vulken, though a bit younger.
Liza worked for the previous king when she was about Rienna's age (nineteen), and over the years (she's nearing forty now) she's become a very silent, withdrawn, strict person, like this. It's very rare to see her smile. But I imagine that when she was younger she was more innocent and easy-going, though not nearly as easy-going as Rienna is. It's kind of fascinating me right now, imagining her younger, so I'm gonna write a little blurb about her.

Liza closed her eyes and steadily counted to three. On three, she dropped to the floor as a wooden beam flashed out at the place where her head had been seconds before. She rolled over and drew her gun, firing at the red target three times and the blue one five times. Each shot went through the same hole in the exact center. Then she shot the steel plate that trigger the second phase of the exercise. 

She scrambled to her feet and the ground beneath her dropped down, taking her with it. She took the brief respite to switch mags, then she was on the second floor. 

There were four hallways on each side of her. A dummy popped out at the end of the hall in front of her and sped toward her on a track. Liza fired at it several times, but failed to hit the stop target, which was in the head, not the torso. 

She quickly corrected herself, but before she could get off another shot, something slammed into her from behind: The second dummy, which she had completely forgotten about. 

She found herself on the floor a few feet away, staring up at the ceiling and gasping for breath. A voice came through her headset.

"This is a recurring problem, Ms. Vulken, and it could affect your grade."

Liza pushed herself up and croaked, "I'm sorry, ma'am. I didn't realize the stop targets had been moved."

"You failed to scan your surroundings." Captain Nahtey said sternly. "That is always the first step. Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Not Orient, Act."

"I know the OODA loop sequence." Liza replied through gritted teeth, getting to her feet and holstering her gun. 

"Then follow it!" The captain snapped. "If I graduated you now you'd be a dead woman walking."

Liza knew enough not to say anything other than, "Yes, ma'am."

There was silence over the radio for a few moments, and she began to wonder if the phase had been reset. 

Then the captain said in a very formal tone, "There's someone here to see you, Ms. Vulken."

Liza closed her eyes and groaned inwardly. She knew who it was. And she could only hope he hadn't seen her mistake. 

"I'll be there in a moment." 


Liza stopped in front of the door to the training observation room and ran her fingers through her hair, hoping it wasn't too messed up. Then she took a deep breath and entered the room. It was rather gloomy, the only light coming from twenty or thirty television screens on the wall. She realized that they were all playing back various clips of her training exercises from her last year at Imea House. Captain Nahtey was sitting at her desk, silhouetted by the screens, and next to her was just the man Liza didn't want to see.

He turned and grinned at her. "That was quite a hit you took."

Liza didn't answer, trying not to glare at him.

Captain Nahtey turned and stood. "Ms. Vulken, this is Arron Vitez, personal assistant to the King."

"A pleasure, I'm sure." Liza said tightly, shaking his hand.

"Oh, the pleasure's all mine." He gave her an impudent, too-familiar wink.

Liza shook her head slightly to warn him off.

"I'm here to find another recruit for the king's personal task force." Arron said, gesturing to the screens. "Captain Nahtey was kind enough to help me review your training sessions, and I think you might be the one."

She met and held his gaze for a long minute, then said, "I don't want the position."

Arron just smiled.

"Ms. Vulken, this position would take you above and beyond anything we can teach here at Imea." The captain advised. "I highly recommend that you accept it."

"I don't want it." She repeated firmly. "Now, may I be dismissed?"

"No." Arron looked entirely too amused. "This isn't an option. You've been recruited."

Liza stared at him in disbelief, then let out a frustrated sigh. 

Arron looked to the captain. "If I might have a moment to speak with... Ms. Vulken?"

The captain nodded and stepped around them, letting in a flood of light as she went through the door. As soon as it shut again, Liza whirled on Arron.

"Why are you doing this to me?!"

He frowned and folded his arms across his chest. "The captain's right. Working for the king will take farther than anything Imea House has to offer. You should be glad you were chosen."

Liza clenched her fists. "Why was I chosen? I'm not the top of my class. I'm not even near the top."

Arron glanced down at the floor, then looked her in the eye. "We need people we can trust. And I trust you."

"Well, I don't trust you." She shot back.

He groaned. "You're still upset about the prank I played on you?"

"I nearly drowned!" Liza shouted. "Just because you were about to graduate and I was a freshman didn't mean you could use me like a lab rat!" 

"Alright, I made some miscalculations." He admitted. "But you survived."

"No thanks to you. Find someone else to be your recruit. I won't do it." 

"You don't have a choice." Arron pulled a card out of his pocket and gave it to her. "That's my I.D. It says I work directly for the king. That makes you my subordinate and as such, you're required to follow my orders."

Liza glowered at the card for a long moment. "I'll get to keep training?"

"You'll get better training." He promised.

She sighed heavily, then flicked the card back at him. "Fine. I still don't trust you though."

Arron leaned over and picked the card up. "You'll have to sooner or later." 

"Is that a threat?"

"No. It's a warning." He tucked his I.D. into his back pocket. "Look, Liza. I realize you consider me to be..."


"Yes, and maybe a little..."


"Okay, yeah, but I was thinking more..."

"Reckless? Thoughtless? Arrogant? Hotheaded?"

Arron raised an eyebrow. "Are you finished?"

"No, but I'll stop anyway."

"I realize you consider me to be your nemesis, but it looks like we're going to be working together quite a bit and unless we trust each other someone's going to get hurt." He offered his hand. "Truce?"

After a moment's thought, she nodded and took his hand. "Truce."

"Excellent." His roguish grin was back immediately, and he pulled out a small invitation, which he handed her. "You'll be expected in Aryeh tomorrow morning. General Talman Perdant will be visiting and the king's throwing another one of his dinner dance things. The times are on your invitation. You'll be presented and introduced to him there. See you then."

As he turned to go, she asked, "I'll be presented to the General?"

"No, the king." Arron frowned and said seriously, "You'll be directly under me, and I'm directly under him. In no way whatsoever will you be under the General's command." 

"I understand." She nodded again. 

"And one last thing. It's a formal ball, and you'll be going as my consort, so uh... see if you can't dress yourself up a little." 

Liza's cheeks flushed. "I'll see what I can do."

That's it for now. I might add some more later if I get some ideas.

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

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