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Hollow Again...

Submission type:

            ((First attempt at a glimps inside his head. Hope you enjoy. As always, don't be gentle.))           


            For hours he’d sat cross legged in the dirt and dust, staring at a weather-beaten tombstone, another headstone on either side. Years of wind and rain had made the names nearly unreadable. It’d take anyone that looked a decent guess to get them right.


Anyone except him.


Decades ago he’d placed two of the headstones himself, the third a handful of years later. He remembered the days vividly. It rained more back then. He’d worked in the mud and the rain, setting them to last for lifetimes. The first two belonged to Lillith and Maria Valin. His wife and daughter.


The third belonged to Terry Valin. It was his own.


Now the sun was beating down on him and the stones, darkening his already tanned skin further. He’d removed the bandoliers and vest before sitting down, laying his pistols on top of the tough leather. It felt insulting to wear tools of his trade when he sat in this place.


Tools of his trade… Shaking his head slightly, he smiled sadly at the tombstone, distant memories surfacing. Slowly, gently, he reached out and brushed his fingertips over the letters. The feeling was carved into his mind as surely as they were carved into the stone, but he felt them every time he was here.


“…Did I wrong you?...” Letting out a slow breath, he lowered his hand back to his knee.


“For years my world was nothing but war. So many lives taken, so many lives wasted… I never told you about them. About the work I did before we met. Maybe if I had you would have stayed away. Married someone else. Maybe you would have had another daughter with another man, and you would  have watched her grow up…”


“Maybe you would have been happier. Maybe your husband’s past wouldn’t have killed you.”


Sighing, he could still recall her face. The smile that had captured him. “…You gave me peace in a life of war, and it cost you your own life… And our daughter’s life…” Looking down, he opened the small wooden box in his lap, gazing at the flower inside it. “Was I making the same mistake…?”


“She’s not you. I know this. She doesn’t need protecting. She’s strong, tough, deadly. You have to be to survive in this world… I’m glad you never had to see it like this…” Moving his fingers to the flower, he brushed them against the stem and lifted them to his face, inhaling. Her scent still lingered from when she touched it, and her face flashed through his mind again.


“Maybe she was the smart one. She knows me well enough, the me in this life, to make her own decisions. Maybe leaving was best. She said she would come back for this, but who knows how long that will be. Maybe she won’t. Maybe she’ll live a better life, outside this chaos…”


“Decades… I’ve lost count how many… I stayed away. From everyone. Keep it cold, keep it clear, keep it simple. Live by the chip, stick to the jobs. Don’t get tangled up in causes or people… Then she crashed into me… She was just a kindred spirit at first. Kept her distance from others too. But she still watched out for some, especially Ardenn, the poor fool. I don’t know what drew me to her or her to me, but here we are… Or were…”


“Now she feels like a part of me as much as you were. As much as Maria. And now that part of me is missing, somewhere out in the wastes. I could track it down, but I don’t think she wants that. If she did, she would have just taken me with. Yet here I am, sitting with you again… Feeling hollow again…”


“Am I making a mistake?”


*Static cracks over his collar, the voice he longed for calling into his ear.* “Beroya?”




“I need you.”


Glancing at the headstone, he picked up his pistols, holstering them and putting the tools of his trade back on. “I’m on my way.”


Geistig's picture

(( G really needs to have Beroya show her his grave like he'd said that one day. Even if the statement was a little creepy. ))

Factionless and loving it.

(( I actually loved that comment he made just because it's so bloody creepy. Creepier part is that there's actually a body in that grave. ))

"You have the right to remain silent. Fortunately for you, I busted your damn jaw and took care of that..."

Patron Saint of Police Brutality and Anger Management Courses.

Geistig's picture

(( I did too hehe ))

Factionless and loving it.

Ardenn's picture

(( Damn, its been an interesting week, hasnt it? :D Nice writing. He needs more hugs. And possibly pie. ))

Current Status; Fully Operational, Slightly Cheesy


“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends”

Rykers's picture

((nice read, always interesting to see what's behind the eyes :D ))

marcusblade's picture

((And there I was thinking Bero was just another Traveler, merely working for chips. Tongue out Good read and an interesting insight into your character, too bad I can't use it IC. ))

"Whether or not it is a thing of fortune, Blade saved me. This was after a bout of torture, confirmation of a raider attack, and a threat to feed me to his very well respected friend and former Saint, Aiidenous." -Jericho Boyd.

Geistig's picture

(( He was until Geistig ruined him  >.<  ))

Factionless and loving it.

(( Actually he wasn't. IC, everyone will see him as a Traveler until they mention it to him. Then he corrects them. He claims no allegiance to any faction, and takes a stand as a pure mercenary, willing to work for anyone for a price. Just happens to be that Travelers get along with him best. ))

"You have the right to remain silent. Fortunately for you, I busted your damn jaw and took care of that..."

Patron Saint of Police Brutality and Anger Management Courses.

Geistig's picture

(( *facepalms* I keep forgetting. Which is wrong since I've heard Bero correcting people a few times now! ))

Factionless and loving it.

Damion Hellstorm's picture

((Well done Bero.))

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