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The Insurgency S2E12: Nothing Gold Can Stay (FB)
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Freebuild for The Insurgency (Galactic Imperium). This turned out to be very long, my longest yet I think. So sorry about that... Read it in chunks if you want lol. Maybe I should've made it two parts actually...
About this creation

Casting Facility
Northern Canada
June 3, 2098

The production of Imperial Casts was now well underway. The first facility had been built in Canada and more were planned. Inside, Xion Corsair was accompanied by Percival Thane and the Governor of Earth himself, Christopher Sterling. All were admiring their investment. They watched from a observation deck as the capsules containing the replicated humans moved around, undergoing various processes.

Xion had told them exactly what they needed to create his Casts and now he was overseeing their production. Prior to this he had only made them at a small scale in a messy laboratory. This sophisticated facility was something he had dreamed of.

Percival: "Most impressive, Mr. Corsair. You must be proud."
Xion: "Thank you, Director. I am."
Percival: "And what do you think, my friend?" he asked the Governor.
Christopher: "I listened to your advice, Percy. You seemed very keen this was an investment in our future so I trusted you. I suppose we will see the outcome but I pray it doesn't bite us back somehow. If you'll excuse me gentlemen, I must be on my way."

After the Governor left, Percival looked at Xion and frowned.

Percival: "The most powerful man in this System... And he's a blind fool."
Xion: "How so?"
Percival: "He has no clue what he's doing. He lacks a vision for the future."
Xion: "I get the feeling that you have... A vision."
Percival: "Oh certainly I do. As you said this is an empire, ready for expansion. Christopher doesn't know how to go about that. But I do."

Soateria Space

Several Aurelian cruisers had been positioned above the planet. All attempts to breach the blockade by the Imperium had so far failed. It was most embarrassing.

On the bridge of one of the cruisers, an Aurelian Captain by the name of Sato Malbus stood looking out of the view screen. In front of him were two helmsmen operating their consoles.

Malbus: "I wonder how many they'll send. This blockade is practically impenetrable. To get through they'll need a hundred pilots at least. Or maybe a thousand, they won't get in with less. They're gonna need an army of pilots," he said chuckling.

Helmsman: "Sir, I have a visual," he said suddenly.
Malbus : "Pilots?"
Helmsman: "Yes."
Malbus: "How many, two thousand?"
Helmsman: "Er, no."

Malbus: "A hundred?"
Helmsman: "Less."
Malbus: "What, fifty? Forty?"
Helmsman: "Two."
Malbus: "What?!"

Two Imperial CX-22 fighters zoomed towards the Aurelian blockade. They were piloted by none other than William Nantucket and Dino Modena.

Dino: "Captain Drayson said she was sending help, right?"
William: "I think she said maybe."
Dino: "Like a maybe-yes or a maybe-no?"

William: "It might've been a straight up no, actually."
Dino: "Were you not paying attention?!"
William: "I was paying attention. To that cadet..."

Dino: "Dude!"
William: "Oh, right, don't tell Claire I said that."
Dino: "So basically we're dead aren't we? Because this blockade is way bigger than I was expecting..."
William: "I don't know how you could think a planet wide blockade would be small."

Dino: "So what's the plan?"
William: "Plan? Well I guess just... Follow my lead."
Dino: "Great. Oh this'll be a fun battle. For all thirty seconds of it."

William laughed.

William: "Here we go!"

The Aurelian Captain stared bewildered as the two small fighters came closer to their cruisers.

Malbus: "Open fire! Decimate these fools!" the Aurelian shouted.

The ships began their barrage which the IIA agents skillfully maneuvered around.

William: "Hey this kind of reminds me of something I saw... I think it was from a movie."
Dino: "Which one?"
William: "Ah, I can't place it. I'll tell you when I remember."

Somehow the agents were still alive. Their tiny starfighters danced gracefully around the massive dreadnoughts. Their fighters' weapons did not do much damage to the cruisers but this wasn't over yet.

Malbus: "Did you hit them?" he asked one of his helmsmen.
Helmsman 1: "No, sir."
Malbus: "What do you mean 'no'? It's just two of them!"
Helmsman 1: "They're moving too fast, our turrets can't track them."
Malbus: "Well someone do something. I want them obliterated!"
Helmsman 2: "Sir, Captain Hask is deploying a fighter squadron to intercept."

William and Dino continued their aerobatics.

William: "I swear I've seen this before. It's on the tip of my tongue..."
Dino: "Well don't think too hard. Ooh I think I just hit something important."

Crewman 2: "Uh, never mind sir. Captain Hask's hangar has been depressurized. Everyone got sucked into space..."
Malbus: "God damn it!"

But of course this could not go on forever.

William: "Blast! I'm hit."
Dino: "You okay?"
William: "I think I lost something."
Dino: "What?"

William turned his neck to look out of the cockpit canopy.

William: "My entire starboard wing."
Dino: "That's bad."
William: "Yeah, not gonna be able to stay up here for much longer."
Dino: "But the blockade's still up."
William: "We'll have to take them down from the inside."

The two headed for Captain Malbus' hangar.

Inside, Dino made a smooth landing while William, with his damaged fighter, had a rougher time. As they exited their fighters, multiple Aurelian soldiers entered the hangar bay and aimed their guns at them.

Soldier: "Hands up, stay right where you are!"

Dino looked at William who smirked and nodded his head. Dino, using his fighter as cover, grabbed a rifle from the cockpit and began blasting the Aurelians. William on the other hand, decided to go on the offensive using the Sword of Finnivere. While his friend laid down covering fire, William cut through the enemies with ease. Soon enough, everyone in the hangar was incapacitated.

Dino: "So you're using that thing now?"
William: "I like how it feels. OH! I know what movie this is from!" he said excitedly.
Dino: "What?"
William: "... Never mind... It's... It's gone."
Dino: "Okay... So next move?"
William: "I say we fight our way to the bridge."

Malbus: "How are they still alive?!" yelled the captain as he stared at security camera footage, watching the two agents run through the corridors of his ship, cutting down his soldiers.
Crewman: "It's Nantucket and Modena, sir. The immortal heroes of the Imperium."
Malbus: "I don't care who they are! No one is that immortal."

William: "Oh my god, Dino, I think I'm immortal," said William as they jogged through the ship.
Dino: "You're not."
William: "No, seriously. I mean I survived Berlin, Tagro Lake, Archers' Pass, we're still alive here. I can't die."

Suddenly several troops swarmed through different entrances to the corridor and surrounded William and Dino.

Dino: "You might've spoken too soon there, buddy."
William: "I mean..."

Captain Malbus turned around when the agents, in handcuffs, were marched onto his bridge.

Malbus: "Well if it isn't the legends. Not so legendary now, are you?"
Dino: "I don't know, I think we're still kinda legendary."
William: "Thanks for bringing us to the bridge. Saved us a lot of time."
Malbus: "For what?"
William: "You'll see."

Malbus stared at William for a few seconds before pointing to his sword.

Malbus: "That's a little antiquated isn't it?"
William: "I'm giving it a try. You want to see it?"

Malbus pulled the sword out of William's scabbard and looked at it for a few moments until the burning started.

Malbus: "AGH!" he yelled dropping the blade.

Using the opportunity, William kicked one of the soldiers and grabbed his sword before it hit the ground. He used it to break his restraints and then Dino's. Dino then grabbed a gun from someone and started blasting while William held off the Captain.

Malbus, still in pain from holding the sword, used his other hand to pull out a pistol. He took a few shots at William but missed as it was not his dominant hand. William knocked the gun out of the Captain's hand and then delivered a heavy blow to his head using the hilt of the sword.

Once the bridge was clear, William and Dino went to the ship's main controls.

William: "Revenge of the Sith!" William suddenly exclaimed. "This is exactly like Revenge of the Sith!"
Dino: "Star Wars?"
William: "Yeah! Obviously I'm Hayden Christensen and then that makes you Ewan McGregor, albeit a slightly more Italian version."

The voice of Captain Hask from the other ship then began coming from a transmitter on the console.

Hask: "Captain Malbus, is everything alright? What's going on over there?"

Dino promptly shot the transmitter with his gun.

Dino: "Boring conversation anyway."
William: "Heheh," he laughed at the reference. "So are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Dino: "Fire up the impulse engines and ram the other ships?"
William: "We're on the same wavelength, man."
Dino: "But how do we survive in that plan?"

William: "There's an escape pod," he said pointing behind him. "We put the warp jump on a timer and hop in."
Dino: "Okay then. Do it."

William worked on the console to turn the ship around and then he activated the warp jump.

William: "Let's go!"

The two of them dashed to the escape pod and climbed inside.

Captain Hask on the bridge of his ship looked out of the view screen as Malbus' cruiser was changing direction.

Hask: "What the-"

Malbus' ship rammed into the other cruisers which ensued in a massive explosion. William and Dino just escaped in their pod which began falling to the surface of Soateria.

After it crashed, they got out and looked at the sky where they could see the exploding ships.

William was still smiling when his communicator rang.

Imperial Pilot: "Are you two still alive?"
William: "You better believe it. Thanks for all the help," he said sarcastically.
Pilot: "We told you not to go since the Anvil couldn't give support. But I guess it's a good thing you did. I'm hearing you took down most of the blockade."

Dino: "I thought we took down the whole thing?"
Pilot: "Don't be daft, no one's that good. Admiral Hartway's fleet's coming in to finish them off. And now they can get to the surface too. Good work, boys, you really helped us out."

Dino looked at William with a grin on his face.

Dino: "We better be getting fat raises for this."

Dino and William walked through the forest where their escape pod had landed. They hoped to find some civilization soon.

William: "I hope Claire and her squad are alright."
Dino: "Yeah pretty unlucky that Aurelia launched their invasion right when they got here."
William: "Last I spoke to her she said she made it to Talos Outpost."
Dino: "But you know we're gonna get in serious trouble for this right? We were supposed to go back to HQ after The Anvil."
William: "Well Percy's just gotta deal with it."

Dino shook his head while William smiled. Both continued towards the outpost.

William: "Look at this," said William pulling out a small box from a pocket. He opened it to reveal a wedding ring.
Dino: "Oh, wow. Is that for me?"
William: "Obviously."

Dino: "You're proposing to her?"
William: "She's the one, man."
Dino: "Now?"
William: "No not now. But soon, when the time's right."

Dino: "Well I'll be happy for you two."
William: "And maybe you'll be my best man at the wedding?"
Dino: "Oh absolutely."
William: "Great! But I guess first we need to rescue her."

William smiled. He had been thinking about this for a while now. He knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Claire. Hopefully it would all work out.

Soon the two of them arrived at Talos Outpost. The guards let them in with no problem. The Imperial base was small with maybe twenty or thirty soldiers and other personnel inside. William looked around at them and realized they all seemed... Bored. Which was surprising given an invasion was occurring.

One of the soldiers saw the two men and immediately walked over.

Maxwell: "Captain Nantucket," said the man seeming pleased. He had a British accent.
William: "Not a captain anymore, that's you, Max."
Maxwell: "Right, of course."
William: "Dino this is Captain Maxwell Turner. We fought in the Collective War."

Dino: "I'm always running into Will's old war buddies. Good to meet you."
Maxwell: "Likewise, sir. I take it you two are here for Miss McMadden? Ah, here she comes now," he said when he saw Claire approaching them.

William's eyes immediately lit up at the sight of his girlfriend and hopefully future wife. They both went in for a hug.

William: "I was worried about you," he said brushing her golden hair to the side and placing his hand on her cheek.
Claire: "I came here as soon as the invasion started. Captain Turner has been looking out for me. I think you two know each other."

William: "Yeah. Where are the others?"
Claire: "Dead," she said looking down.

She had come to the planet with three other agents as part of her mission.

Claire: "We got here about the same time Aurelia did. Some soldiers spotted us. I was the only one that got away."
William: "That's too bad. Are you alright?"
Claire: "I'm fine. Pretty bored, though. I've been stuck here for a week."

Maxwell: "We've all been stuck here. With Aurelia's blockade, no one has been able to get in or out except for them. But I hear it's down now and that we have the two of you to thank for that."

Claire looked at her friends surprised.

Claire: "Wait, you two took down the whole blockade by yourselves?"
William: "Yep," he replied smugly even though it was more like half of the blockade.
Claire: "Oh great. That'll be good for your ego."

Dino: "Are you guys fighting?" he asked Maxwell. "It looks like Aurelian troops are moving in everywhere. We were almost spotted by a squad on our way here."

Maxwell: "Unfortunately since the Imperium decreased its presence on Soateria, there were only a handful of outposts left here, most of which have been overrun. I didn't have enough men here to actually do something but now that Admiral Hartway's fleet has broken through, we'll be getting our much needed reinforcements."

William: "Well I wish you luck, Max. Take back this planet."
Maxwell: "Thank you, sir. We will."
William: "Now maybe you could spare us a ship? I think we'd like to get out of here."
Maxwell: "I'm sure we could but it's risky going out there. It's full on a war zone now."

Claire: "So we're still stuck?"
William: "Nah, we'll take our chances. I mean you've got me, the blockade runner. I'll get us up there."
Maxwell: "I see that confidence hasn't left you, sir."
William: "Never."

Suddenly William received a transmission. He pulled out his communicator and activated it. A hologram of Director Thane appeared.

Percival: "William. How are things on The Anvil?"

Captain Turner left the IIA agents to speak with their boss as he went to talk with some of his men.

William: "We delivered the files."
Percival: "Then you are on your way back?"
William: "Actually we might have taken a slight detour..."

Dino: "I was completely against this, by the way," Dino said leaning into Percival's view.
Percival: "What? Where are you?"
William: "Soateria?" he said sheepishly.

Percival: "You went into the middle of a battle? William, I must say I often find myself questioning your rationale."
Claire: "He did it to save me," said Claire also leaning in so Percival could see her.

Percival: "Agent McMadden. I was worried when I lost contact with you."
Claire: "I'm alright but the rest of my squad didn't make it."
Percival: "That is unfortunate. And the mission?"
Claire: "Couldn't do it. There's Aurelians everywhere."

William: "Wait what was the mission? You never told me."
Percival: "I sent Agent McMadden and her squad to Soateria because we heard rumors about a possible Qurium deposit that was found there."
Dino: "Qurium, that's what your sword is made of," Dino remembered.
William: "And what they need for the Orbital to work."

Percival: "Precisely. Hmm," Percival thought for a moment. "Perhaps it is good you two decided to disobey orders. You can help Agent McMadden finish her task. Recover the Qurium and bring it back to Earth."

After receiving their new orders, William ended the transmission.

Claire: "Ugh, I just wanted to go home."
William: "Soon. First we gotta do this."
Dino: "Where's the Qurium?"
Claire: "Theres a quarry in the city of Galar."
William: "Alright then, that's where we go."
Claire: "What about the Aurelians? This assignment is way harder with an invasion going on."
William: "We'll figure it out."

Maxwell: "Everything alright?" asked the Captain returning.
William: "Slight change of plans. Don't need that ship yet. We're going into Galar."
Maxwell: "Just the three of you? You might need some backup. I can come with you."

Claire: "Don't your men need you?"
Maxwell: "They can handle things. I think the three of you will need a guide. Someone that knows the planet."
William: "That makes sense. Okay, let's go."

The four of them left the safety outpost and ventured outside in a world under siege.

Dino: "So how far is it?" Dino asked as they walked through another area of forest.
Maxwell: "Not far, a couple miles. Galar is a small mining town. Can I ask what you're looking for there?"
Claire: "It's classified."

William: "Come on, we can trust Max."
Claire: "It's not about trust, it's the fact that not everyone is supposed to know."
Maxwell: "If it's classified information, I understand sir."
William: "Well if you're coming with us, you should know. We're after a Qurium deposit rumored to be here."

Maxwell: "Qurium? I'm not familiar with it."
William: "It's a very rare metal. The Imperium needs all that they can get for a project."
Maxwell: "I see. And what project would that be?"
Claire: "Again it's classified," she interjected.

Dino: "It's wrong if you ask me. Science has finally gone too far."
Maxwell: "Perhaps I shouldn't have asked."

The four continued their journey.

Dino: "So, um, I wasn't sure how to tell you guys this but... I'm thinking about leaving."
Claire: "Leaving what?"
Dino: "The IIA."

William suddenly stopped and turned around to look at his friend which brought the entire group to a halt.

William: "Are you serious?"
Claire: "Why Dino?"
Maxwell: "Sorry but we should keep moving. Before Galar becomes occupied."

Listening to the Captain's advice, the four of them continued walking.

Dino: "Don't you guys ever wonder about the missions we get? Whether they're right?"
William: "Do you not believe in the Imperium anymore?"
Dino: "No it's not that... I don't know... I mean I kinda get that some things are necessary to maintain order. But I don't know if I'm comfortable doing those things anymore."

Maxwell: "Can I say something, brother? In fields such as ours, sometimes we see things or experience things that make us question our loyalties. But then you see what the enemy is doing and you remember what the fight is all about."
Dino: "Maybe."

William: "It's up to you man but I'll miss you... It seems like I've lost a lot of friends already and I don't want to lose another one."

Before Dino could think of something to say to make his friend feel better, Captain Turner heard something in the distance. He quickly hushed the others and they all looked ahead at an approaching squad of Aurelian soldiers. The Captain made some hand gestures and they dashed behind some trees to avoid detection.

The Imperials waited in silence for the patrol to move past. No one dared to even breath. As soon as they were gone and it was safe, the four returned to the main path.

William: "I think we could've taken them."
Maxwell: "We're on a stealth mission, here. I'd thought as a spy you'd not want to attract attention."
Claire: "For a spy, Will's terrible at not attracting attention."
Maxwell: "Aye, I think his attitude is more "do it with style"."
William: "Exactly."

Very soon the four of them had arrived at the outskirts of a city.

Maxwell: "This is it, Galar. We made it," he said before taking a look at his communicator. "Unfortunately it looks like the Aurelians beat us to it."
Dino: "They're here?"
Maxwell: "Aye. I'm getting word they sent a battalion here. Residents were told to stay indoors but some are getting taken prisoner."

William: "That sucks. Where's the quarry?"
Maxwell: "On the other side of town."
Claire: "And there's a whole battalion standing in our way..."

Dino: "You know, I bet they're here for the Qurium too. Trying to get to it before we do."
William: "That's actually... Entirely possible..."
Maxwell: "So what's the move, sir?"
William: "We keep going, stay out of sight."

The group walked through the small town which seemed to be deserted. Either everyone had left or they had been captured. Fortunately they had yet to come across any Aurelians.

Dino: "So when we reach the mine, how are we supposed to take the Qurium out?"
William: "We'll figure it out."
Claire: "I feel like we've never completely thought out a plan before..."
William: "Well it's worked for us so far," he said grinning.

His smile quickly faded when they looked ahead at a large gathering of soldiers.

Aurelian: "Look, over there!"

William: "Uh... Never mind," he said as the enemy soldiers brought up their guns.

Meanwhile Maxwell was staring worriedly at his communicator.

Maxwell: "Bollocks. This town's been targeted for an air strike. Bomber squadron's on its way."
Dino: "When are they coming?"
Claire: "They're already here!" she said pointing up at the sky.

The Aurelians also looked up to see multiple Imperial CX-15 bombers fast approaching them. They quickly scattered away from the main street.

Maxwell: "Move!" shouted the Captain as the four of them ran for cover.

Dino and Claire were just barely able to avoid the blasts. William and Maxwell had chosen an unfortunate place to hide. The bombs caused a couple buildings to crumble around them. The two were trapped under walls of rubble.

Maxwell: "Are you alright?"
William: "Yeah," he said getting up and dusting himself off. "Where's Claire and Dino?"
Maxwell: "On other side."

The agents quickly ran to the fallen debris and realized there was too much for them to be able to move and save their friends.

Claire pulled out her communicator and called William.

Claire: "Will, are you okay?"
William: "We're fine. What about you guys?"
Dino: "Well we're not trapped under a couple feet of rubble."
Claire: "Can you get out?"

William looked behind him and saw Maxwell prying open a sewer grate on the ground.

William: "Yeah, looks like there's a sewer entrance. You guys wait there until we find a way to circle back."
Claire: "We could head to the mine."
William: "No, they could be waiting for you there. Wait for us. Keep her safe, Dino."

William ended the transmission and looked at Maxwell standing over the hole in the ground.

William: "That smells good," he groaned.

The Captain grinned before jumping down into the sewer tunnels.

The two splashed into the stream of dirty water. Maxwell activated the lights on his armor and William pulled out his own small flashlight.

William: "Which way, Captain?"

Maxwell pulled up a holographic map of the tunnels on his communicator.

Maxwell: "There should be an exit this way," he said walking forward.

Above ground Claire looked at her friend.

Claire: "We should go to the mine."
Dino: "William said to wait for them."
Claire: "Who knows how long it'll take them to get back. By then the Aurelians could've already taken all the Qurium."

Dino: "I don't know... I don't think it's good idea."
Claire: "When do we ever have good ideas, Dino? I'm going with or without you."

Claire already began walking in the direction of the quarry.

Dino: "Wait!" he said hesitantly following.

After a while of trudging through sewers, William and Maxwell finally reached an outlet. The Captain kicked out the large grate and both found themselves once again in a forest.

William: "Where are we?"
Maxwell: "Near the Ratha Forest, I reckon. It'll take a while for us to circle around to the quarry."

William remembered the Ratha Forest. It was where he had crash landed not too long ago and where he was told his prophecy.

As he recalled that particular adventure, his eyes moved towards a figure hiding in the trees. When he briefly glanced at Maxwell and then looked back, the figure was already gone.

William: "Did you see that?"
Maxwell: "What?"
William: "There was a guy there."
Maxwell: "An Aurelian?"
William: "No, a villager, I think..."

William realized he needed to put his current mission off to the side for a while. It was time to revisit those old "friends". Maxwell looked confused when he started walking deeper into the forest.

Maxwell: "Where are you going?"
William: "I need to do something."
Maxwell: "There's nothing in there, just a little village."
William: "I know."

Before he would lose him, Maxwell quickly ran behind William, still confused as to what he was doing.

When the two arrived at the Ratha village, they saw the village leader, Nula Bocca, already waiting for them.

Nula: "Greetings, old friend. We were expecting your return."

He threw a shifty glance at Maxwell. William wasn't quite sure what that was. It was as if Nula knew some dark truth about the soldier.

William: "This is Captain Turner."
Nula: "Welcome, friend."

The Captain nodded, feeling a little out of his comfort zone in this primitive village.

William: "I fulfilled the prophecy."
Maxwell: "Prophecy?"
William: "It's a long story."

Nula: "Yes it would seem so. Or merely you were meant to think you fulfilled it."
William: "Wait, you knew? How?"
Nula: "Perhaps you remember our Elders. They possessed the gift of foresight. Since your last visit, we have rediscovered their knowledge."
William: "You can see the future now? How does that work?"

Nula: "Come," said the villager leading the two to a particular hut.

Inside they saw a very old alien man sitting on the ground, putting various ingredients into a stone bowl. He threw in roots and vines and powders among other things and started mashing it all together. Then he lit a match and dropped it in. He began inhaling the smoke it produced.

Maxwell: "So drugs basically."
William: "Can I try?"
Nula: "Only the Sage is able to see."

William turned around to face the village leader. For a while now he was feeling somewhat lost. He was hoping the villagers could help him.

William: "Nula, when you told me that prophecy, I felt like I had some purpose. But now that that's done, I don't know what I'm doing. It all feels meaningless."

Nula stared at the ground with a solemn expression for some time. He wasn't sure if he should say what he wanted to. He made a gesture telling the two to follow him outside.

Nula: "Your story is coming to an end, William Nantucket. We have seen it."
William: "What? You've seen how I die?"
Nula: "An ending is not simply death. And death is not as simple as ceasing to live."
William: "Right, I forgot you do the riddle thing..."

Nula: "The arrival of a storm is imminent. Face the thunder. But beware the lightning."

Hearing the word lightning, William remembered something else he had heard. The Android on Iapra had spoken about that.

William: ""When lightning strikes twice"... I've heard that. Another prophecy?"
Nula: "But not one of ours. Words far older than us."
William: "It speaks of the Scourge. Is that what I have to do now, face the Scourge?"
Nula: "The Scourge will be your greatest challenge. But my friend... The path ahead is one of great pain and sorrow. And I am afraid you will be stepping onto it very soon."

William: "Can you for once just give some straight up answers? Enough riddles!"
Nula: "You seek answers for questions you have not asked. The questions will come soon enough."

William sighed. He had forgotten how frustrating his last visit had been and this was feeling like a repeat.

Maxwell: "Maybe we'd better be on our way now, brother?"

William looked at Nula again.

William: "You look sad, Nula."
Nula: "I fear for my people. Many stories are coming to an end. Even ours."
William: "Don't say that."
Nula: "Fate is outrun by no one."
William: "Well I wish you all luck. Be safe."
Nula: "May the gods light your path."

William and Maxwell left the village.

Maxwell: "Mind telling me what that was all about?"
William: "I wish I knew. But I kinda have a bad feeling about it all."

Meanwhile, Claire and Dino had reached the quarry in Galar. Claire looked through her binoculars at the surrounding area from their place of cover.

Dino: "Well?"
Claire: "We got here first but I see a bunch of Aurelians headed this way. Probably that battalion."
Dino: "How many?"
Claire: "Too many for us."

She then turned her attention elsewhere.

Claire: "This mine is an Imperial operation, right?"
Dino: "I think so. Why?"
Claire: "I see some CX starfighters at that depot. They should be armed."
Dino: "What are you thinking..."

Claire: "I'm thinking I'll borrow one to distract those soldiers while you find the Qurium."
Dino: "We should really wait for Will or some backup."
Claire: "There's no time, they're already here. This whole invasion was probably about that Qurium."

Dino knew this wasn't a good idea but they needed to take action. They couldn't wait for help. And the odds weren't much worse than normal. Just a few hours ago he and William alone had destroyed an entire blockade. He and Claire could do this.

Dino: "Alright."

Claire nodded, glad her friend agreed. They both got up and made their way down into the quarry.

The Aurelians looked with confusion at the fighter coming towards them.

Soldier 1: "Who the hell is that?"
Soldier 2: "Shoot 'em down!"

With the Aurelians engaged, Dino snuck into the mine's main entrance. However a feeling of uneasiness began coming over him. He wondered why the quarry had seemed so empty. If this was an Imperial operation, where were the miners?

As he ventured further inside, he began to see the bodies. Several miners lay dead on the ground seemingly peppered with bullets. Now Dino was very concerned. If the Aurelians were outside, who had killed these men?

Outside, the soldiers all scattered, trying to avoid the laser blasts from the fighter that hovered above them.

Claire: "Oh man, I should've been a pilot. This is too much fun," she chuckled.

Soldier: "What are you doing?! Blast her!"

The Aurelians all focused their fire on Claire's fighter but it was too agile and the armor was too strong even for their barrage. She flew over them and then came back around and resumed her fire. This carried on for some time.

Dino had reached a different part of the mine. He noticed the bodies on the ground looked different. They didn't have on uniforms but had been carrying weapons and other combat gear. He glanced up when he heard a gunshot and then a yell coming from a short distance away.

Standing next to a hoverlift loaded with several containers was a man he very munched recognized. It was Victor Vardos, the RIS double agent. When he turned and saw Dino, he looked surprised.

Victor: "Dino? It's been a while."

Dino quickly brought up his gun before Victor could.

Dino: "What are you doing here?"
Victor: "It seems we're all here for one thing. Fortunately these marauders already did the heavy lifting, loaded these containers full of the Qurium. Stuff's got an insane black market value. Think they're too dead to sell it though."

Dino: "Drop your gun."
Victor: "Now if you're here, Will shouldn't be too far behind," he spoke ignoring Dino's order.
Dino: "I said drop it!"
Victor: "Alright, alright."

Victor slowly bent down and put his pistol on the ground. Dino then began walking towards him, his gun still trained on the enemy agent.

The Aurelians had rethought their strategy of randomly shooting at Claire who was still picking them off. A heavy trooper ran forward holding a rocket launcher. He got on one knee, took aim, and fired a rocket. The missile got a critical hit on the starfighter which was no longer capable of remaining in the air.

Claire: "Not good," she said as her craft began spiraling out of control.

Back in the mine, Dino was just about to deal with Victor when he heard the explosion of Claire's starfighter in the distance.

Dino: "Crap, Claire!" he said turning around.

Victor used the opportunity to lunge at the distracted Dino and strike him hard across the face. When he hit the floor, Victor kicked the gun out of his hand and quickly went to the hoverlift. Grabbing his own gun, he kept it trained on Dino as he began walking out of the mine tunnel with the Qurium.

Victor: "Sorry, pal. Maybe you'll get the next one."

Dino thought about getting up and going after the RIS agent but at that moment he received a call from William.

William: "Hey, are you okay? Where are you guys?" asked William as he and Captain Turner walked through Galar.
Dino: "We went to the quarry."
William: "What?! Dino I told you to wait. Where's Claire?"
Dino: "I think she's in trouble. And Victor's here, he's getting away with the Qurium. You guys need to get here fast."
William: "God damn it, Dino. Make sure my girlfriend is alright."

William quickly put away the communicator.

William: "I told them not to go," he said to Maxwell as both began running to the quarry.

Claire's starfighter had crashed just outside of the mine. She pushed open the canopy and shakily climbed out. The Aurelians were now moving in to surround her.

Soldier: "It's over, surrender yourself!"

But she was far too stubborn for that. In a swift move she used her pistol to shoot a nearby soldier and grabbed his automatic rifle.

Claire: "Better dead than red!" Claire shouted before opening fire.

She took out quite a few before taking her first two bullets. She knew there was no getting out of this one but she hoped her efforts would help finish the mission. After the third bullet she faltered slightly but continued to shoot down the enemy soldiers. The fourth and fifth bullets caused her to drop the rifle and fall to her knees. Her time had come. At least it was a hero's death. She regretted not being able to see the man she loved one last time. She remembered his face before she closed her eyes and fell to the ground.

The Aurelians stood over her for a few moments before one of them spotted Victor leaving the mine.

Soldier 1: "Look sir, the Qurium!"
Soldier 2: "We've secured it. Alright everyone move out!"

With the RIS having done the job for them, the Aurelians began leaving the quarry. Whether they would leave the planet was up to the Imperial navy.

Dino finally exited the mine. He immediately headed for the wrecked starfighter but slowed his pace when he saw the body next to it. When he realized it was Claire, he cupped a hand over his mouth and stared in horror. He kneeled down next to her and moved his hand towards her face. But then he pulled it back. There was no need to check. The truth was clear.

He turned his head when he heard William and the Captain approaching. He stood up and quickly walked towards them.

William: "Where's that scumbag Victor?" he asked Dino. But then he saw the anguished look on his face and with worry asked, "What's wrong?"

Dino opened his mouth to try and answer but didn't know what to say. But he didn't have to say anything. William turned his attention behind Dino at the wreckage of a starfighter and the body of a woman beside it. His eyes glanced back and forth between her and Dino.

William: "No... No!" he yelled before sprinting towards Claire.

Captain Turner activated his communicator.

Maxwell: "I need a medic at the quarry right away!"

William fell on his knees beside Claire.

William: "No... No please no," was all he could say as he caressed her.

Tears rolled down his face. He had no thoughts about how the Ratha villagers had pretty much predicted this. All he could think about was that the only woman he had ever loved was gone. With her he had stopped feeling loneliness and had felt happiness. All the jokes they shared, the laughs they had, the adventures they'd been on were now memories that only William carried. Not memories they both shared. He had experienced much loss in his life. It was a long list of the dead. But this one was tearing his world apart. Because she had been his world.

William pulled out the wedding ring and looked at it. He felt terrible he never got the chance to ask her. She would've said yes. But now she would never say anything again. William slipped the ring onto her finger regardless.

William: "I'll get you back someday," he whispered.

Eventually Dino and Maxwell approached him.

Dino: "Will... I-"
William: "I told you not to go, Dino," said William without looking back.

The sadness was now turning into rage. And he needed someone to take it all out on. William stood up and looked at his best friend with a twisted look on his face.

William: "This is your fault!"
Maxwell: "William, I don't think-"
William: "Shut up, Max!"

Dino said nothing but just looked sadly at his friend. And he was beginning to think Claire's death was indeed on him.

Dino: "I... Should have stopped her."
William: "Damn right," he said through gritted teeth, his blood boiling.
Dino: "I'm so sorry, Will."

William collected himself. He'd rediscovered his hate for Aurelia. But now he was discovering a new hate towards his once best friend.

William: "I should have expected you to betray me like this. Everyone just keeps turning out to be a traitor. I guess you'll be the next one to join Aurelia."
Dino: "I wouldn't do that."
William: "Wouldn't you? Because I don't know what you are now. But you're sure as hell not Imperial."

William turned back to look at Claire. Dino then came behind him and put his hand on his shoulder. This somehow made William even more angry. He backed his elbow into Dino's nose. With almost no hesitation he clenched his fists and proceeded to repeatedly strike him. There was of course no defense from Dino. Captain Turner looked on, not knowing what to do. But it probably was best to stay out of William's way.

William then pushed Dino onto his knees, grabbed his sword and brought it up to his neck. Dino stared down the length of the blade and then looked at William. He had snapped and there was no telling if he would kill him or not.

William kept the blade at Dino's throat for some time before finally returning it to his sheath. He walked back towards Claire's body. After finding a tarp and wrapping her in it, he silently went towards the starfighter depot.

And so William left the battle of Soateria but not before unleashing his rage on multiple Aurelian starfighters as he left the atmosphere. He returned to his home planet of Earth to make a couple stops.


First he had to visit Claire's parents and inform them that their daughter had died. They were devastated.

Lake Como

Then he went to the villa on Lake Como that he had shared with Claire. It was waste now that he had decided to abandon it. Her dog, Tuna, welcomed him with a bark when he entered, unaware that his owner was gone.

William sat down in front of his bed and took Tuna into his lap.

William: "What am I gonna do now, Tunes?" he said sadly stroking him.


Yay even more stuff to read lol..... This was actually supposed to be the June GC but I didn't finish it in time. But yeah sorry it was so long. I don't think from here on anything will be anywhere close to this length. And yeah from here on everything is going to be very different... We are now departing from the original spy theme...

I have to say I regret not making Claire a stronger character. If I had more time to do more episodes, I would've developed all the characters more but with limited time, they're all kind of just tools to develop only William's character.


 I like it 
  August 13, 2018
Another textbook episode mate! Was not expecting Claire's death, that's for sure! Also nice to see Aurelia having a win for once with the Quirium, and I'm hyped for what's coming up for William next! Only thing I have to say is that I also feel the ending was a tad rushed, but I also get that you didn't want it to get too long. Overall, really well done, as always!
 I like it 
  August 1, 2018
Apologies for taking so long to read this! It's a good one though! Claire's death was a surprise. I felt that the ending was a little rushed, but apart from that, it was good! 6 points! --Blast--
 I like it 
  July 28, 2018
Ouch. That's gotta hurt. Nicely written, though. And yeah, she could have been developed a little more as a character, but she's still been around for a while, and meant a lot to William, so it... it still has a lot of impact. I like the story as a whole, and I envy your editing abilities, btw. ;) I'm not nearly that good.
 I like it 
  July 22, 2018
Yus clones, and no, not Claire! But I can't say I didn't see it comming. the foreshadowing in the ring was a big red flag for me. Great stuff, though odly enough, I expected something more, not sure what though...
 I like it 
  July 18, 2018
That one... that one really got me... great writing, and I can’t wait for more
By Captain Kenbo
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