Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
         Chapter 9, part 3

    "What do I do?" he asked aloud. "What do I do?" His pulse was racing, and his breath became rapid.
    Footsteps on the cobblestones alerted him to the enemy's approach. He could hear other doors being opened systematically, each followed by a brief, whispered note.
    Hefting the massive blade, he stood in wait behind the door. It was poor choice of weapon for one reduced to natural strength, but a room shared with children rarely provided alternatives.
    The footsteps slowed and became softer, as those they came from approached more cautiously.
    Paragon strained to lift the sword as the door creaked open. He could see them through the crack between the door and the wall; three men carrying assault rifles of some sort, and moved like SWAT or military personnel.
    As they stood just behind the doorway, he heard a click and a beep-- the sound of a walkie talkie. He gently put the sword down in the corner, as quietly as possible, and tried to get a better look at them.
    "This is Delta One. I have a visual on the juniors," said a retribution trooper with dyed blue hair, "but there's no sign of Jack or Jill." The transmission ended with another click.
    "Roger that," came the slightly-distorted reply. "Keep looking. They can't be far."
    Another beep signaled the end of the communication.
    "Should we take the kids?" asked an other.
    "Our orders are to eliminate the sorceress-- that's it," replied the one who called himself Delta One.
    "Not to kill them," explained the other. "But, like, hostages. They'd make a hell of a bargaining chip, if it came to it."
    "I did not join Retribution to kidnap babies," Delta One said in a hushed growl. "I'm here to knock off bad guys. Now, let's check the room in case--"
    There was a beep, and a crackled voice came from their com unit.
    "This is Bravo Two," said a deep voice over the com, "we have a confirmed visual on Jill in the gallery. Requesting backup from all units." The transmission ended with a beep.
    "This is Delta One. We hear you, and are en route to your location."
    "This is Alpha Leader," said the leader's voice over the com. "Avoid contact until all units are present."
    "Roger that, Alpha Leader. Over and out."
    And with that, they turned and left.
    Once they were gone, Paragon went to his children.
    "Well, it looks like you're in the clear," he said as he gently picked them both up, "but you'd better hide anyways, just in case. Daddy has business to take care of."

    Checking to make sure the hall was clear, he went to the room across the hall. In the closet was a pile of blankets, from which me made a makeshift bed. He set the infants down gently and stepped back.
    "Stay quiet, please. And stay safe."
    They were as adorable as they were helpless, and he hated the idea of letting them out of his sight. But they weren't at immediate risk. Sycorax was.
chapter 9, part 4

chapter 9, part 2

chapter 1, part 1

SURELY nothing can go wrong here.


Also, I like the idea of characters having varying degrees of morality. Sure, Retribution is an antagonistic force here, but some are more bad than others. Some are totally cool with taking babies hostage, while others are only there because they think that assassinating "villains" will somehow fix society. They not nice guys by any means, but they have different personal reasons for doing what they're doing, and have different personal philosophical rules concerning what they are and are not willing to do to accomplish their goals.
I'm not justifying any of their actions AT ALL, but people are complex. Different people have different mind sets and think through different means. This is as true of lead protagonists as it is of unnamed extras.

Questions? Comments? Whatever? Your feedback is always appreciated!

and as always, Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
Add a Comment:
Rainbow-Acey Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
jeeze though, murder is still a bit much, even with all the other serious themes in this story. These guys seem like...good guys for hire, if you'll excuse the blanket word 'good'. So not particularly so 'good' at all.
Willdabeast-0305 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
The thing about Retribution is that they don't fit a moral binary. Their goal is to save the world by stopping the villains that the law can't reach. But they do that through assassination. Some times, a villain has to be dealt with in order to save lives. But other times-- arguably most of the time-- it's not the right course of action. In this story, they are clearly the antagonists. But there are probably other times in which Retribution were the heroes trying to stop a terrible evil. The blue-haired guy, for instance, seems like a pretty good guy (at least somewhat), but Alpha Leader is willing to beat an innocent man and use him as an unwilling weapon.
Rainbow-Acey Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I assumed Delta One was a lady >.> I don't know why when you wrote they were men.

well...still, it's a scarier theme than the previous :noes:
Willdabeast-0305 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Huh. Well, there is only once instance (I believe) where a masculine pronoun. I don't see why there wouldn't be female members of Retribution. I could just go back and edit that one bit... Or maybe not.
Fun fact: "Delta One" was originally going to have an Australian accent, but then I thought it'd seem kind of random.

I did hesitate to post this chapter, since it felt a bit out of place considering the generally light-hearted tone most of the rest of the story has. But 1) I needed to conclude it somehow or it'd never get finished and 2) it's probably okay if the story's climax is more intense than the rest of it. I mean, it is the ending. And you don't want to end weak, right? Maybe I could have come up with a better last chapter, but it is what it is. I can always write more about this world later (and I most definitely will, one day).
Rainbow-Acey Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
random Australian accents are the very best :dummy:
sometimes, you just gotta add a hint of the southern hemisphere's kangaroo infested continent into your work to make it better. I would. I plan to, eventually, when my schedule clears up and I can continue comic writing. I highly suggest it.

the re-announcing of the ending of the story is totally a bummer. :( I like having something to read here on dA, firstly, and then I prefer it if it's written by a friend. My other friend is already selling her work so she is not posting it on the intarwebz and I therefor can't read it.

no I do prefer that things are getting a bit crazy right now. I mean I am still reading it after all! So far none of it has been weak :o
Willdabeast-0305 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Random accents are pretty cool. After all, one of the main themes of Hero's Dilemma is diversity in characters, as if they were chosen at random from the general population-- that's why there are characters of various races and body types. And that would include different accents. But in this specific instance, I found that trying to give him an accent felt weird somehow. It just didn't work.

Don't worry! "Hero's Dilemma" is just the story of Paragon's life and his relationship with Sycorax. Once this story is done, I plan to write more in this universe, maybe even more about Paragon. But there are also other characters, groups, and events I want to write about, such as The Super Seven, Guardian Man, the Midnight Society, and more.
And aside from related stories, I'm still writing other stories, too. Don't worry, you're not going to run out of things to read just yet.
Add a Comment:

:iconwilldabeast-0305: More from Willdabeast-0305

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
August 24, 2016


1 (who?)