From the Story Arc: The Wayward Spiral

Previous Story in the Arc: Eminence by Sturmfront (Friday, July 22, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005)

Mandatory what? He gave the memo another look, then shook his head. Something inside him stirred, raging against shackles and the thought itself, bashing its head against a door that, while not barred anymore, was closed, and out of reach.

Preposterous. That was the one word that summed it up oh so nicely. An electro-magnetic pulse twice a week? Well, it would not ever hurt him. More likely, he might be immune to the effects. But that was not what irked him. Nothing about the notification should have, really. It was a logical security measure. It was more the implication that no-one was to be trusted as to the validity of actions or motives anymore.

Which was fine in as far as everybody else was concerned. But who would have a reason to doubt a man who had been diligently doing his duty and never given anyone cause to doubt his dedication or soundness of mind? People were untrustworthy, but he was not just anybody. He was Wolfgang Degenhardt, he was Sturmfront. His was a heritage of blood and iron. His genes that of a people even the Roman Empire could not conquer. A people that once enraged, it took half a world to stop.

Dangerous thoughts. Angry thoughts. But justified, he knew. With a simple keystroke, he deleted the memo. He would not succumb to this kind of treatment. If anybody cared to question his loyalty or dedication, they could do so. It was the right -if not the duty- of a superior officer, and the privilege of an ally. But until they had reasons to do so, they would reap no compliance from the German.

If she found him while he was out actually being productive as opposed to looking after some boo-boo on a child playing soldier, she could shower him in a dozen electromagnetic pulses. And if it was so important, that would be what she had to do.

Thinking better of it, he retrieved the memo from his computer's trash bin. Then he wrote a short answer. Honesty, he could afford.

MailTo: Official Belladonna Aura
Subject: Re: Mandatory requirement

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself." -- Your own Franklin D. Roosevelt said that. While I recognize the safety of your measure I shall briefly point out that such is detrimental to troop morale as it effectively suggests that no-one is to be trusted as to the validity of one's intentions anymore, unless properly defoliated. You are in essence going to breed a climate of paranoia amongst the many civilians on the force, since they have no clear idea what to be afraid of.

I myself am merely insulted. And as such I will not yield to these measures. I found it polite to inform you of such straight away, but that is the extent of my collaboration. I also simply do not have the time to stop my cleansing efforts twice a week. If you can at all manage to catch up with me, you will however be free to do as you please, provided the surroundings allow for it.

I could leave you with the obvious Nietzsche quote, but shall instead go for something less used and more contemporary. "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you." -- From the movie 8 Milimeter. I know you are not naive enough to miss the connotations of this quote or how it relates to what you are doing.


Maybe the message was too personable. Or at least too personal. But then, she did deserve as much. Exactly as much. Not more, not less. A click of the mouse sent the message off, and just as it went, the anger came back in him, as if it had only subsided long enough to let him compose this missive.

"Bah." Sturmfront exclaimed. "Only a fool would fight the wind."

'The Storm.'

'Yes. The Storm.'

'You did, though.'

'And I lost, did I not?'

'No. Not at all. But then it was never about winning or losing.'

Dumbfounded. Numb. Deaf and blind. Whatever the voice -in the sense of the Greek daimonos anyways- had said last had pushed another button inside. Put another piece of the puzzle into place. Only, he had no eyes to see now, and no fingers to feel for it with.

No, of course it was never about winning or losing. He knew that, had to know that. For a soldier, winning meant to survive the battle, and that was never guaranteed. But one could win the battle even though one lost one's life in it. In fact, the other thing inside him stirred and insisted that the only thing that counted in the end was the fight, not the outcome.

Laughter ran from his mouth heavily, echoing through the emptiness of his thoughts and feelings.

"Victrix causa Catoni placuit, sed victa diis."