Author's Notes: The idea for this short story just came to me, and seeing as how I have to leave for class in ten minutes, I wanted to put up a little prologue. This is the song that gave me the inspiration(And I do say so in the Video Comments). The song itself, when listened to correctly and thought about during the actual story will come together...The song is called One Even Longer by Bunnymajs
Update: Okay I finished! So lemme explain a bit further on this. The TL;DR story behind the Trio is this: In HoE, I play as Roman and my buddy Brian plays as Nikolai. Sergei was just used for backstory but seeing as how my aspirations of being a novelist I decided to make a story of it. Im not going to pretty it up or anything coz I need to do some Homework for class tomorrow. Hell, I'd love to get some stuff out for the Kindle on Amazon soon about Roman and Nikolai if Pinnacle would let me. It's been a long time since I've written too, so...yeah.
If you like it, cool. If not, tell me why. Constructive criticism only, please!
During the last months of the war on Banshee in the Far Away System, three brothers born and raised in the heart of Russia were serving in the Psychic Legion. These brothers, whose names are Roman, Nikolai and Sergei Krakovski...
...Upon finally being able to serve together in the same Unit, Loki's Thunderbolts, the former two Krakovski wait on their brother Sergei on Tranquility with no knowledge of their youngest brother's last moments...
[center]The Last Moments of Sergei 'Iron Curtain' Krakovski
It was a routine search and destroy mission for Lance Corporal Sergei 'Iron Curtain' Krakovski and his rag-tag Syker Squad. The mission was simple, find the Rebel Sympathizers and Anouk encampment and take them out. It was also rumored that Tak'Nu, a powerful Skinny had been in the area. No one knew why. Each Syker in the hastily thrown together squad had come from other squads that were decimated and nearly extinct. As the standard procedure dictated, all these men and women were survivors of the Skinnies' attacks and most of these Sykers often just stuck together. Sergei, however, was not one to do so. Even though they were scouting ahead of one of General O.K Warfield's companies in some thick jungle brush, Sergei seemed more alive than ever.
"Hey Sergei," Jason Kazinsky, an American-Polish Syker who specialized in the field of Biokinesis began."Why ya so cheerful? Tiff catch you again last night?"
Both of the men heard a scoff a few yards behind them, forcing Sergei to let out a hearty laugh that only suited his size and stature. Six-Seven, well built and one of the most damn resiliant Syker's the Anouks had ever seen. Not only did the man have the body of adonis, but he could blast just as good as three Sykers put together.
"No, I took Curtis' advice and prayed that my brothers and I would get to work together under the command of the same unit. Loki's Thunderbolts." Sergei turned his head to the other Biokinetic Specialist, Eric Curtis, the temp squad's medic and emissary to God. Slowly, Sergei's hand began to pat at the pocket inside of his protective kevlar.
"I told you, Sergei...Ask and ye shall receive" Curtis' reply came with a smile.
"Wait a minute," Kazinsky interrupted Sergei before he could speak."You got them papers? Finally?" It was obvious that Kazinsky was disheartened to hear this but he was also happy to hear his brother's request had gotten approved. The two had grown close, as did any Syker on Banshee.
"Ha, yes! It only took two months but I have not seen Roman or Nicky in so long...I cannot wait to beat both of them up!" Sergei exclaimed before sighing with the contentfulness of a mother who held her new-born baby in her arms.. Out of the triplets, Sergei was the youngest but was often thought to be the eldest. "..And I told you Curtis, Dyedooshka always told us that God never did anything for us unless we exhausted all possibilities of achieving what we ask for."
"Yeah I'd say after three-hundred and fifty transfer requests, I'd ask God to get you to leave me the fudge alone too!" Arnold Smith, an African-American born Pyrokinetic chimed from the right. Sergei had always told Arnold the Pyro field suited his fiery, yet passionate soul.
Sergei opened his mouth to reply with a 'fudge you, Arnie' when the sound of gunfire echoed in the distance. Bullets tore through the thick jungle brush, catching the band of Sykers off guard. Four of the Eastern American-born fell to the ground, kicking and screaming. "Contact!" Sergei yelled, taking cover behind a thick tree. The bullets continued ravaging the Banshee vegetation while Curtis and a few of the others pulled the injured somewhere a little bit safer. Sergei, Kazinsky and Smith opened up with their TSARs, blind-firing at back at the hostiles.
"Colonel, this is Lance Corporal Sergei Krakovski, we're under fire from Rebel's, south-east of our position." Sergei called into his radio Turning to one of the Sykers nervously assisting Curtis with the injured, Sergei called out to get their coordinates and the possible location of their attackers.
"Uhh Corp, this don't make no fragging sense! That's where the Colonel should be if they were keeping on pace with us. Sides, Rebs don't have no firepower like that and they have some mean artillery with them!" Bobby Jackson, Psionics Specialist replied as loud as he could to be heard over the gunfire.
"We know there is a Skinny in this area. More than likely, the EXFOR troops have been taken over. Kazinsky, Smith, Harrison, Sato, Takahashi, Xin, Pulchik, Robertson and I will give covering fire. Curtis, Jackson and the rest of you start pulling out the injured! We need to get back and out range of artillery, move, NOW!" Sergei yelled, pressing his back against the thick tree trunk while he reloaded his TSAR. Every bullet that struck the tree protecting Sergei shook it. Barely peeking his head out to catch a glimpse of the corrupted soldiers firing at them, Sergei could see It in the distance. Tak'Nu stood there floating in the air like some kind of undominable titan and for a brief moment, Sergei caught the feeling they were looking at one another, eye to eye. Steadying his rifle and nodding to his squad-mates, Sergei, his brothers and his sisters released wave after wave of bullets and Brain Blasts to create cover for the retreating Sykers.
Roman had waken up earlier than normal today to greet Nikolai as he came to Tranquility. The fact that the three of them were to be in the same squad as one another was the best present he could ever ask for. Growing up, the triplettes has to endure a drunken, abusive father and a broken mother who became a drug addict after they were old enough to walk. The only people they loved and considered family were their Grandparents, who took care of them better than their mother and father could. The triplettes knew better than anyone else that family was the most important thing to them.
Today was even more so a special day because the few times letters and packages came from home, each brother received something special from their Grandmother and Grandfather. Photos and letters usually but the old timer had sent them something special this time around. A large, old silver flask that belonged to their Grandfather as well as a bottle of homemade Vodka. It wasn't bad stuff either and as nice as it was, it didn't compare to the flask. The letter that came with it described how the flask had been in their family for some time and that his failure of a son--the triplettes' father, was never to receive it, lest he pawn it for another bottle of booze.
Under most circumstances, up and coming Sykers had their mind wiped but Russia played things out just a bit differently. They knew especially in times like this that they could play upon the roll of the pride of the Russian people--They weren't at Banshee just to fight in a war, they were here to keep their homeland strong. This is how Roman, Nikolai and Sergei looked at it. The Government, if anything had saved them from an abusive home that wouldn't have helped them in any way. At least at The Academy, they could learn valuable skills for survival and always had a job, clothes, warm meals and a roof over their heads. They were also allowed to keep in contact with their Grandparents, who made them miss home but always kept their spirits high. Just like the Nazi's, the Anouks were another force that the Russian People would help to overcome for the greater good of the Mother Land.
Standing on the 'Arrivals' plateau, Roman grinned while holding the packages and letters they had missed while fighting on Banshee. When Nikolai stepped off, the brothers embraced one another, laughing and hollering. It was most certainly a joyous occassion for the two, yet Sergei was not here. Not one to be pessimistic, Roman knew that the shuttles to and from Banshee were always coming and going. The fact it also took a little while to get here just made him more eager.
"How was the trip?" Roman asked, guiding Nikolai to the nearest Rec Area.
"Eh, it was boring brother and I had to listen to some Star Swan tell me how much she loved my accent." The eldest of the trio replied with a shrug.
"Ha, she going to spend time with you here?"
"No, turns out she just wanted my Banshee stone...my guess anyways since I hear that is some Star Swan initation trial--trick some male of the Legion into giving him his stone. Luckily for me, a comrade from the Thunderbolts distracted her long enough for me to conceal it."
"That is bad news, Nikolai."
"You know those Thunderbolts...we're going to get tricked and pranked," Roman looked down and smirked."You already have."
Before Nikolai could respond, a female Syker approached the two of them. Her hand went down and she ripped a pair of panties hanging out of Nikolai's duffelbag. After being yelled at and slapped a few times, the woman stormed off. The whole time, Roman couldn't help but laugh at the misfortune his brother suffered at the hands from a soon-to-be comrade. As much as he enjoyed the playful and mischievous attitude of the Thunderbolts, Roman knew that soon enough Nikolai would be the one laughing at him. Together, the two walked towards the Recreational Area, sharing stories of close-calls on the planet beneath Tranquility, the friends made and of course as any brothers would share, the women they had been with. When they were finally situated at a table, Roman set the opened package down.
"What is that, brother?"
"Present from Dyedooshka. Special present indeed--but I have letters from Babooshka as well."
"Let me see!" Nikolai reached over to try and grab the package but felt the sting of Roman slapping his hand.
"What do I get?"
"Da, what do I get, Nikolai?"
"...I give you...slap across the face if you don't show me. I'll also be needing a hundred credits too!" Nikolai smirked.
"Fine fine... Just trying to get into habit of Thunderbolts. See for yourself." Roman crossed his arms and frowned.
Nikolai, as greedy as ever reached for the package and his fingers tore open the rest of the packaging like a hyena's teeth tore at carrion. When his eyes came to the rest upon the pristine bottle of Vodka and the engraved flask, the look on his face made Roman's frown turn into a smile. A piece of home to comfort the mind and soul, something they would enjoy even more with their reunion. Nikolai looked over the wooden container before glaring at Roman. He lifted open a compartment to reveal three stainless-steel shotglasses that had their names engraved on each individual glass. Reaching over, Nikolai slapped Roman on the top of his smooth, bald head.
"Idiot! So distracted by vodka that you did not check rest of package!" Nikolai didn't so much speak with scorn but more so to embarass his younger brother."I am eldest, so I get first drink, da?"
That was when Roman shot Nikolai back his own glare, letting the eldest of the trio feel Roman's crystal-blue eyes bore into him like a set of drills.
"No! We wait for Sergei! Dyedooshka even said never to drink from this bottle unless we all do so together."
"But brother..." Nikolai shot back in a whiney-tone, mocking Roman."I am merely trying to pick up habit of Thunderbolt!"
The reply from Nikolai forced Roman to break into laughter but didn't budge on his statement. Even though Nikolai was joking, he knew that if their Grandfather had given them instructions, they were to obey it. Not out of fear of his wrath but because of their respect for him. Picking his boot-covered feet up to rest on the table, Nikolai held a hand out and nodded to the missed letters. Roman handed them over before setting the small stack for Sergei on top of the wooden box.
"Now to enjoy letters from home, a nice hot shower and we wait for Sergei to get more fucked up than the American's sense of government!" Nikolai shouted in their native tongue before the two of them laughed just as loud.
Shortly after the fire-fight began, Sergei began to notice something was out of the ordinary. The EXFOR soldiers who had run out of ammunition did not reload--they just stood there, waiting for something. Mortar rounds rained from the sky, colliding with the grounds and wildlife around them. In the first wave, Xin and Smith had been hit by rebounding shrapnel and were dead on the spot. The Syker Squad were pulling back as best as they could, but it was hard to do so with hundreds of rounds blocking almost all escape routes. Sergei could see the fear and panic in the Squad members' eyes. They called out, 'Reloading!', 'I'm almost out!', 'Keep pulling back!'. It was hard enough dealing with the Skinnies with the EXFOR troops--but when they were all taken over, things just went from bad to worse.
After what seemed like they were being given the chance to fall back about ten yards, Sergei had dropped his TSAR, as it had been hit by a stray heavy-caliber round that broke the gun in two. Drawing out the Tokerov Roman had given to him for his birthday, Sergei made sure the weapon was ready to go before pulling down the handle. When he looked out to the open field the EXFOR forces were standing upon and firing at them from, Sergei noticed a group of Anouk infantry approaching. Any EXFOR member who hadn't depleted all the ammunition in his weapon were being cut down where they stood with no resistance. At this point, only the heaviest of gunners were still firing as well as the mortar operators. Even the thickest of trees were having chunks of their trunks blown off and in the process, four more Sykers were downed and out.
"Sergei," Kazinsky called out to him."We need to get the fudge out of he--" The man stopped speaking as his arms, legs and torso suddenly contorted, breaking. He was able to let out just one loud terrified scream before falling silent and dead to the ground. Smith had stopped in his tracks, standing in place like a zombie as several rounds burst through his armor and out of his body. The man shook like he was having a seizure but Sergei knew better once he saw the black ooze pouring from the African-American Syker's ears. The damned Skinny turned his brain to mush inside his own head...
Even when the bullets and mortar rounds stopped firing, Sergei knew what was going to happen next. All the EXFOR troops would be killed and the Anouk infantry would charge in and the fire fight between the EXFOR and the rag-tag Syker Squad? Merely a way for the Skinny to make them deplete their ammunition. If they weren't out of bullets by now, then the survivors were close to being so. Sergei looked down at the ground, the heaviest feelings of dread inflating his chest and heart. His body trembled and he knew that they weren't going to get out of here...None of them. Like his soldier-ancestors before them during World War II, Sergei wasn't going to go down without taking as many of these bastards as he could.
"Listen up! The Grapes are going to close in to try and finish us off but we won't let them complete their task! We will fight until they are all dead or we are! Remember, we are our planet's best of the best! If these bastards somehow ever get back to Earth, imagine what these Skinnies and Grapes will do to our families! fudge the Grapes, fudge every single one of them! Check your rounds, reload and get ready comrades!" Sergei screamed out, flaring Force field to protect himself. While he spoke, the remaining Sykers could hear the Anouk infantry charging in, screaming and snarling in a fanatical bloodlust that even the worst of humanity couldn't compete with...Not even O.K Warfield himself.
Harrison, Curtis, Sato, Robertson and Sergei began to retreat. The injured were either dead by now due to loss of blood, a stray round, shrapnel or there was no helping them at this point. Together, the five remaining Sykers looked at one another. Defiance burned in their eyes to try and hide the raging torrents of fear torturing the surviving five Sykers' minds. As the Anouks closed in Sergei looked out to see the hundred or so of them charging. It wouldn't have been that bad of a situation if it was just the Anouks...but with the Skinny Tak'Nu commanding them...If a Syker squad of twenty was lucky, they could take out a lone Skinny by themselves with losing half their numbers. It was when the Anouks were about a hundred yards or so away that Curtis slowly went to his knees, resting his Mossberg Automatic Shotgun gently on the over-grown grass. The Biokentic Medic slowly put his hands together.
"Brothers, pray with me before we head into battle...There is little time."
The remaining Sykers didn't think twice about it. Each one of them either took a knee or went down on both, listening to Curtis.
"Dear Lord," Curtis began."We humans are not the most perfect of beings. Yea, that is how we were designed. Only in Your Kingdom shall we become perfect, where we may reside in peace for all Eternity. Dear Lord, bind us brothers and sisters together with Your blessings, that we may fight with the strength of five-thousand instead of five. Give our fallen brothers and sisters eternal peace, for they were faithful to those who command us and they are forever faithful to You..."
Standing up, Sato raised his TSAR and began firing into the now closing in Anouks. Harrison and Robertson did the same with their own weapons. They were twenty yards away and closing, more than enough distance for things to start getting dangerous. Sergei knew that in a strategic point of view, they should have started firing at them long ago. The weapons of the four Sykers screamed at the Anouks in hatred, spitting out spiteful curses that would even make Curtis shudder. Sergei was the last to stand up and his machine-pistol began to join its brothers.
"Curtis! Get the fudge up and start doing something!" Harrison yelled as the rounds from his assault rifle screeched across the distance and into multiple Anouk bodies. The under-slung grenade launcher bellowed with furious 'BOOMF' before the flechette round smashed underneath the charging Anouk's feet, taking their legs out underneath them. As he tried to reload the launcher, an axe came flying across the jungle, hitting Harrison so hard he flew back ten feet. He fell to the ground, dead before landing.
Even as the tough-as-nails Anouks began to slowly dwindle in number, they had gotten within a very dangerous range for the Syker's. Sato had drawn his family heirloom, a Ghost Steel Katana and next to Robertson wielding a machete, they both kicked on Force field and engaged the enemy. Brain Blasts were fired from the three Sykers, but Curtis was still on his knees praying. Sergei turned back to look at Curtis as several Anouks made their way to them. Why is he still praying?! Sergei thought to himself, ducking under the arm of an Anouk who sought to punch his lights out before emptying the entire freshly-reloaded clip of the Tokarov magazine he hadn't gotten the chance to use into the Anouks' torso.
Curtis had slowly lowered his head, as if he were allowing the Anouks to behead him. Sergei, pushing the dead Anouk off of him, shouted out to Curtis as another Anouk came to down with his axe. The Medic's eyes flared open, emitting a brilliant purple light before he rolled forward, grabbing the Mossberg from the ground and quickly rising to his feet. The Medic's voice was loud, almost as if he was speaking into a microphone that was hooked up to every single tree around them.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." BOOM! The Mossberg went off, peppering the Anouk with such force that he was nearly blown in half. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Curtis' Mossberg went off three more times, destroying several more charging Anouk while his body began to shimmer and sparkle in the same light his eyes were emitting. He too, had cast Force field upon himself. On Banshee, not only were the Anouks a threat but other humans sometimes even Sykers as well. Force field was a must. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." The shotgun fired four more rounds in succession, obliterating an Anouk that was about to throw his axe at Sato. Curtis rarely ever used the shotgun in front of Sergei and he honestly thought it was just for intimidation. The fact that the shotgun itself, unlike most shotguns operated on a box-fed ammo system was surprising. For being so in tune with God, Curtis seemed to have understood it was time to disregard the robes of a pacifist. "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, where with ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God!"
Sato, Sergei and Curtis could hear the muffled sounds of Robertson screams as a trio of Anouks took him to the ground and began tearing him apart. In one last bit of rebellion, several Brain Blasts could be seen shooting from Robertson's forehead. The shotgun of Curtis was pointed at the Anouks and it began to spray its hate into them. From across the jungle, Sergei and Curtis could see a thick, pink beam sail into one of the remaining Anouks trying to kill Sato from behind. The beam burned through the Anouk like nothing and in turn, impale Sato and the Anouk in front of him. Standing there, Sato looked down at himself. A hole twice as wide as a dinner plate had been burnt into his chest, leaving his torso hanging together by threads in a twisted sense of humor. Curtis and Sergei and that no doubt the Skinny had fired this and more than likely used Telekinesis to keep Sato together long enough for him to realize what had happened. The Japanese Syker's upper half fell backwards while his lower half fell forward. The last Anouk was easily dispatched but ended up using all of Sergei's ammunition. Curtis looked to Sergei, the demeanor in his face was half-exhausted, half-thrilled.
"What do we do now?" Curtis panted out
"Tak'Nu is going to be here soon...Are you loaded?" Sergei asked, looking around for the Skinny. If Tak'Nu wanted them to be dead already, they would be...so why weren't they?
"N-no...Sergei..." Curtis had dropped the shotgun and his gloved hands went to his head, clutching the skin. His teeth began to grit and Sergei rushed over, grabbing Curtis by the arm."S-stop...It's..." The barrier around him faded away as Curtis' eyes came to life, as if he had an ephiphany."It's already too late for me, Sergei, my brother. Remember...To trust in The Lord, as I have...For only in the darkest of times, shall we recognize our salvation..."
Something tugged at Curtis, prying him away from Sergei's grasp. The Russian Syker's mind began cooking up terrible images of just what that horrible fragging Tak'Nu was going to do to his brother. Right above Sergei, Curtis began to ascend into the air, reaching well above the jungle canopy before a white beam of light shot forth from the sky, consuming Sergei. For Sergei, accepting death was surprisngly painless. He felt a warm tinge in his core and goosebumps blanketed his pale skin. All the tiredness, the fatigue and dread had all disappeared and all Sergei could see was white. For being dead, he never felt more alive...more powerful in a sense. That was when he began to feel the caress of serene thoughts in his mind, whispering him and hushing him and subdueing the panic that was rising.
The voices in his head came from hundreds of different people, all speaking of holy retribution against the monsters that had slain them. Closing his eyes, Sergei could see the faces of all those who were talking to him in his mind, of the Sykers he had been in former rag-tag squads, to the ones who had just died before him and even Sykers he didn't even know. The whiteness began to fade away and slowly, the surroundings Sergei had seen prior to the whiteness came back to him...yet his sight, his body and his mind were all at ease. Even as he saw the mighty Tak'Nu standing before him, arm stretched out as if trying to psychicly rip his body in half, Sergei did not tremble. Slowly, everything started to piece together for him. Sergei Krakovski, the Lance Corporal representing the country of Russia now represented all his fallen bretheren who met their demise at the minds of the Skinnies.
"...I understand now, Curtis..." Sergei spoke out loud before looking the Skinny right in the eyes.
"You, Tak'Nu, a creature of abhorrence and evils now stand before the might of The Psychic Legion. We will send you back to the firey pits of Hell from whence you came!" Sergei spoke, but with his voice came out all the voices of the Sykers in his mind. Holding his arms out, he began to use a power that he, a long with a few Sykokinetic friends helped create. Not just for himself, but Sergei wished to teach it to Roman, who specialized in such a field. From his forearms extended vibrating blades of energy. A lavish, green aura began to eminate from Sergei's body. The spirits and souls of all the fallen Sykers helping him in every way possible. He recognized the use of Mental Armor tacked onto his currently reinforced Force field. Multiple columbs of debree kicked up, forming the stationary tornadoes of Telekinetic Storm around them. Tak'Nu was not leaving here. As the Skinny began firing off a Brain Blast of his own, the beam exploded in it's face, causing the Skinny to growl loudly. Spurts of fire now began to emit all around both Sergei and Tak'Nu as flames licked and stung at one another.
It seemed that every time Tak'Nu tried to use a power of his own, one of the many spirits of The Fallen reacted to counter it. Go, Sergei, the Russian heard in his mind. Before it is too late, finish Tak'Nu off! We cannot contain your injuries for much longer, nor sustain ourselves in you Sergei blinked, frozen for a moment. Injuries? He thought. What injuries? He knew several rounds and shrapnel had bounced off his Force field but he wasn't injured. The voices inside of his mind urged Sergei forward in his own thoughts. Tak'Nu, realizing the Human's loss of words or actions closed the half a yard between them and his hands met Sergei's own head, squeezing as hard as he could. For being so physically incable of being strong, the damn Skinny had the strength of a 100 men behind his grasp and Sergei felt it. Raising his weaponized arms, the Russian Syker thrusted them forward, penatrating Tak'Nu's shrivelled torso. One arm ripped up, while the other down, severing the Skinny's torso diagnolly in half. Tak'Nu in response, hissed while firing ten Brain Blasts at Sergei's own mid-section, forcing the Syker to stumble backwards. Panting heavily, he raised his arms again and moved to rush forward to bring Tak'Nu down. The Skinny, still somehow standing raised it's mangled and deformed arms and his hands opened. The energy blades at his arms dispersed and suddenly, Sergei began to feel the fatigue, fear and pain all slip back.
His eyes opened wide at this realization and in turn, there was one last surge of inner-strength from not only Sergei, but his fallen comrades as well. The look on Tak'Nu's emotionless face finally broke way and for once, Sergei knew that the Skinnies could feel the same fear that they brought to the Legionnaries. Tak'Nu's hands went to his head and against his will, the Skinny's body began to rise a few feet into the ground. Right before exploding into chunks of demolished flesh, bone and body parts, the Skinny had let out an ear-piercing scream.
Tak'Nu was no more.
Falling to his knees, Sergei panted heavily as the images and voices in his mind began to disappear. Hundreds of 'thank you's echoed in his mind now as tears swelled in his eyes as he felt the pain surfacing greater than before. Blood began to seep from the areas he had felt bullets and shrapnel deflect from. With only a little bit of time to further understand the situation and what had happened, Sergei thanked Curtis. Reaching into his pocket, the Syker pulled out a picture of Roman, Nikolai and himself standing together moments after their graduation. Sergei clutched the picture in his hands before kissing it.
"...Do svidaniya , moi bratʹya..."
Sergei whispered with his last breath, closing his eyes. With all the carnage around him, Sergei was finally able to escape the nightmare that was the War on Banshee. The reports that were to follow indicated that a Skinny did indeed take control over the EXFOR forces, ambushing Sergei and his squad before wiping them out. Only amongst the ranks of the Psychic Legion did tears shed for their fallen brothers but the death of Sergei would shape the futures of both Nikolai and Roman Krakovski in ways they couldn't ever imagine.
...Three Days Later at Tranquility...
Nikolai and Roman sat in the Recreational Room on Tranquility, eagerly awaiting the return of their brother Sergei. They had set up directions for where Sergei needed to go to find them and in fact, had a little surprise party ready for when he arrived. Some of the Loki's Thunderbolts that had come in for some R&R asked if they could help--after all, it wasn't everyday they got to meet a trio of Russian Sykers, all brothers none the less. What was even more rare was that all three of them were going to be joining The Thunderbolts and that set the minds of the psychic jesters ablaze with just how to fudge with them and eventually, a prank was conconcted. A bucket filled with ice cold water was barely hung over the door to the room and the moment Sergei walked in, he was going to get sopping wet with the contents of the bucket. The Rec Room Nikolai and Roman had originally caught up in was going to be the same room that they would do so with Sergei. On the bar-counter, the metallic shotglasses with their names on them were filled to the brim with the Vodka their Dyedooshka had sent them. If they could have used their minds to speed up time, they would have.
When the door to the Rec Room opened, everyone thought it was Sergei. According to the shuttle's manifest and estimated time it would take for him to get here, it should have been him. Instead, it was an Officer from Loki's Thunderbolts. The room went silent and just like that, Nikolai and Roman looked at one another, never breaking contact from each other's eyes even as the Officer approached them with that dreadful envelope in his hands. The look on the Officer's face was that of sorrow and even though he knew this was the hardest thing to do, it had to be done.
"Nikolai and Roman Krakovski?"
There was no reply.
"There was...an incident on Banshee. Your brother Sergei was on a mission to take out a rebel camp when they were ambushed by a Skinny...Unfortunately, his life was taken as was the lives of the other nineteen Legionnaries he was with..."
"...What happened..." Roman managed to speak, already choking.
"The Skinny that ambushed them took control of the EXFOR forces they were with...Your time on Tranquility has been expanded and you two are going to need to seek the Thunderbolt's counselors while you're here." The Officer felt like he had already said too much as it was.
Nikolai, with tears streaming down his eyes turned his back to the Officer, grabbed his shot from the glass and downed it. It was at this time that the rest of the Loki's Thunderbolts slowly approached the brothers, each one of them forming to embrace Roman and Nikolai. The Officer set the envelope on the table and wrapped his arms around the rest of his Thunderbolts. Together, Nikolai, Roman and their new-found squadmates wept together for Sergei.
At Sergei's funeral, Roman, Nikolai and the Thunderbolts gave their respect to their fallen brother. Pictures of the the infamous Sergei 'Iron Curtain' Krakovski laced the walls of the Rec room on Tranquility and it was there that the two Russian brothers were given Sergei's personal belongings. Nikolai received the photo they found clutched in Sergei's hand and Roman received the Tokarov Machine Pistol he had given to his brother so long ago. After Sergei was sent back to Russia to be burried, Roman and Nikolai changed. Some say it was for better, others say it was for the worst. Nikolai never spoke anymore and if he did, he only spoke to Roman. Even then, he never spoke that much to him. Roman became vengeful of anything that did him wrong. It was said that after the Red River Campaign, almost all the Sykers lost the shreds of humanity that resided in them...
For Nikolai and Roman, it was gone on the day the three of them were suppose to reunite. They fought with such fervor and tenacity that they almost became legends on Banshee. Any Anouk, civillian or soldier were brutually butchered and lit on fire before they were allowed to die. Any Rebels the two encountered that got away met their death at the hands of hired Phantom Brigade members. "I wouldn't waste a fragging brain blast on those goddamn traitors", Roman used to say. On the day The Unity was to meet with Fate face to face, Nikolai and Roman swore their oaths not just to their allies on Banshee, but to Sergei. It was an oath that they would never forget their brother who had fought until the bitter end. The contents of their now special bottle of Vodka was never consumed unless Sergei's shotglass was filled as well. Anyone who touched it was given a single warning and weren't given a second one.
...Somehow, even though the two left their brother's shotglass alone and filled to the brim in many places, it came back to them, as if Sergei himself came back down to the ravaged Earth to return it...
Whether or not they had both dreamed it, Nikolai and Roman always knew that their heroic brother would always be with them, even in death.
"Brother Sergei is always with us," Roman always says.
Don't believe me? Ask for yourself, Brainer.[/center]
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