The year has passed, the war has not; Deirdre continues the journey to redeem her family.
About this creation
Hey, guys! This’ll be a long one so I hope you can spare me at least twenty minutes of your time; I have done my best to keep you thoroughly entertained the entire time. Though much of the focus will be on the story, itself, I did put a ton of effort into making the model and images look as visually appealing as possible. Of course, as is my tradition, I also included a downloadable .lxf file.
Below this paragraph is an expandable text interface; this will be used throughout the MOC to display illustrations and captions. (not applicable with Internet Explorer) The one below enables you to play the music which I composed for this story. It is best to set the volume low enough so as not to distract you from reading, otherwise, you may never finish.
+ Click Here + ------------------------- -------------------------
♫ Music player: "Deirdre’s Misgivings" ♫-------
The ninth day of the third month in the year of two-thousand and ninety-eight: Our protagonist, Deirdre, gives an account of her experiences in a training facility on the Imperial-occupied planet of Qoter.
A tranquil day it would have been without the bustle of the war preparations which were being carried-on throughout the facility; but alas, such is the nature of interstellar conflict. The training facility was full of lively characters during its hours of operation —many a young cadet moving to-and-fro between the buildings. Once every so often, I would take a detached moment to meet with their eyes, but they, being so naïve, would swiftly cast their glances away. I felt like I was looking into an empty cup —I live among soulless bodies; they have already relinquished their fates to death. So young and utterly helpless, Imperial soldiers fare much the same as Aurelians, or any others for that matter.
I was a sergeant among the Imperium commanding over four of these miserables. But it was my duty, and honor aswell, to model for my subordinates a suitable character fit for survival within a military setting; I was, afterall, eventually to lead them into battle against Aurelia. Their names were Ophelia, Světlana, Úrsula, and Zephyr —These I shall not soon forget, for these four dames are to me like sisters long lost. Ophelia and Úrsula in particular were a specialty to abide with. Úrsula, so young —much cannot be said elsewise of her; She was only a mere fifteen years of age, and I, myself, lamented to our superiors how a life as young as hers may have, through some chain of unfortunate occurrences, ever wound-up in such a situation as was now the case. Such a barbarous mishandling of life it was; pity it could happen, but there was plain-and-simply not a soul left to fight save for the forgotten and wretched of the world.
Ophelia, on the other hand, I had to approach with a whole other mindset; she was far different than any soldier I had ever had the chance of meeting, and it was a test to get used to having her nearby. She was older than me by three years, taller aswell; the girls rumoured that she had left a child at home, but she never spoke to me of one. She was married, that I knew —and of course she was— a graceful figure crowned with a head flowing with illustrious brown hair, who could let linger alone? Her demeanor was calm and motherly, but her assertiveness struck a jealous chord within me. An ambiance of safety and peace prevailed where ever she moved. Her stature radiated an unyielding beauty, and the most pleasant of spirits followed her and her high-pitched voice.
And on this certain one disconcerting day, I shared an interesting experience with her —One which I think is worth the effort for me to tell.
The sky that morning was —I remember— very fresh, but only in the sense that the temperature was cool and the light breeze relaxing; fresh not in the sense of spring nor nature for there was no greenery to be seen over all the planet Qoter. I really cared about the weather at that moment, perhaps more than I’ve ever before —it was afterall, to me, quite noteworthy— and despite the rising sun, the stars still shone through the purple haze of the lower-atmosphere. We had awoken some six-quarter hours ago when I rested aside Ophelia, the morning dawn just breaking, the nightlights of the facility still glimmering.
Image caption: Deirdre (left) and Ophelia (right) leisure atop the facility’s terrace.
“This day, Ophelia,” I inquired, “Does anything worry your mind?”
“Well, how’ve you been?” she answered me, “On such a morning as this, I would imagine that you’d find the means to organize your thoughts.”
We’d worried quite some time over our deployment —When ever would we fight? We stood-by watching, but never touching, the wrath of a godless war pass over us. The simple beauties which surrounded us we were unable to enjoy, for amongst the artistry of life worked the vilest of evil. In our idleness, we were frightened at heart.
“My thoughts our straight,” I replied her, “Although I would have wished to had gotten more sleep yesternight; my eyes lack of awakeness.”
“Oh, dear,” she sympathetically addressed me, “Where has time taken us? Between the two of us, what ought’ve been a comrade-in-arms relationship has become a sisterhood. Innit probable that we should’ve already seen combat, or else the high-command is messing with us? It’s been o’er a year, and I’m not crazy yet, am I?”
But I could not immediately comprehend her words as I was more keenly struck by her referring to me as “Dear.” Making a pun of my name, of the name of her captain no less.
I then gave way to a sigh of carelessness and simply stated “Many who have arrived later than us have, indeed, left before us.” But I was somewhat glad within my heart —that life continued in peace with us, that war was only a nightmare and not a reality to us.
Ophelia then seemed devoid of words. Save for the blink of an eye or the breath of the body, she lay as calm as grass, but her face expressed vividly a person active in thought. Another moment of peace it was. A long moment ensured, but was welcomed by the two of us. Not to say that quietly still moments like this were rare, but serenity is scarce in our fortune.
“So many others have gone on without us.” Her voice whispered through the air.
“Some even have returned, albeit via different fashions” I said, connecting my eyes with hers.
With only a slight humph, she elected to continue our moment at-peace. We were until this time two vastly separate souls without any valid reason to co-exist except that we needs must share our time and space during this period of our lives. But our present exchange of thoughts —of ideas, of feelings— was truly meant; our real beings at once openly expressed, unchecked by social deterrences. A sensation unlike I’ve ever before knew —in our world of defiled perfection, another like me who can see the incompleteness of things and wonder aghast at their simple mysteries— this was a relation closer than a brother, and one which has too long eluded me.
Then, seemingly out-of-the-nowhere, a gasp, interrupting my thoughts incomplete, Ophelia’s voice cut the tone of things. And asking aloud the unusual “Why is it cool out? This day, so awfully beautiful —Why?”
It was such an unexpected utterance, yet the pleasant weather truly did seem unsettling as it contrasted to a backdrop of war. But we couldn’t be so rude as to ask the stars why they shine over some, and not others; so, then we were left only to enjoy those mysteries of life.
And thus, another moment at-peace passed us by.
Gradually then faint hums in the distance could be heard, which soon became audible chatter. “Ah, see there,” I told Ophelia, “The girls come hither.” Making gracefully delicate steps we then saw our two sisters, Úrsula and Zephyr, stride down the stairway to fare us salutations.
Image caption: (left to right) Deirdre, Úrsula, Ophelia, and Zephyr meet and exchange greetings. Note the plastic plants used to artificially create a natural-looking aesthetic.
They then stood before me and declared “G’morning, Sergeant Stradè!” simultaneously, though slightly out of unison —and it was actually rather heart-warming to see how Úrsula shadowed Zephyr’s lead. Her innocence was so clearly felt by all, and it was not difficult to realize that she had only awakened three minutes ago likely at the insistence of Zephyr’s call.
“Ah, and a good morning it is,” I replied to them. I then eyed over my shoulder to see Světlana belatedly enter the scene, after which I continued, “Sleep seems not to be lacking in you pair this day, ‘ey?”
“No ma’am,” yelped Úrsula excitedly, “I feel like I could conquer the world today, and over again tomorrow.” At this, I noticed Zephyr let slip an ever-so-slightly conceitful scoff.
These nonchalant greetings, late as they came and as carelessly given as any, built within me a sense of belonging. To these four women I am connected. The future will regard us as one unit, and our accomplishments will be written in history forever under my name. Nothing on Earth prepared me to command a quartet of souls to war —no, it was all done here, the planet of Qoter, where we rallied, and where we will ultimately part. I was honoured this to be my lot in life, yet also nerve-wreaked.
Ophelia then voiced the question, “Girls, I say, why are you all here?”
And, of course, we all knew; but the specifics, understandably, eluded out consciences.
Zephyr mumbled slightly and cleared her vocals…
“Alright, cohorts of mine.” She began,
“I have a memory of my early childhood where I awakened in the early hours much the same as we do today. I was outside, for what ever the reason may have been, and I saw in the east a bright light in the sky.
And I said to myself ‘That is the planet Mercury,’ and I was so proud to have known it.
That was actually both the first and most defining memory of my life, and I tell everybody about it. I guess that is why —why our general has seen fit to make me his messenger to you all.”
Image caption: As Zephyr (right) speaks to the whole group, Ophelia (left) looks outward with prospect.
Her voice, raspy and low, carried a more somber tone than either of ours and her dull-coloured unkept hair gave forth to a dreary appearance.
“Oh, how I’ve awaited this day to arrive,” she continued, “The time of our deployment is nigh.”
And just as she was saying that, I paid careful attention to see her expression; but even with my eyes centered directly upon her face, I saw her make only a blink. In my peripherals I could clearly see the others’ energy, but Zephyr —she is emotionless.
“Each of us have been assigned a role based on our performances over the past two lunar cycles. Mrs. Ophelia Sinclair, you have been appointed as our primary marksmaiden.”
“Primary?!” Ophelia intrigued, full of an honourable pride, “You say that word without enthusiasm; I am thoroughly the best of this pretty hovel of ours!”
Zephyr just huffed and replied, “My hope is that your skills will save us many times over; and of that I am sure. —Ah, well, I got enough practice myself to satisfy.”
I was very much happy knowing that Ophelia would be the one to administer the finer weapons; she just seemed to be the best fit for the job. I have an image, almost a dream, of her adorned in glistening medals commemorating all of her heroic achievements throughout the war. Even though I truly cannot envision myself that way, my mind somehow conceived that she could do anything. It seemed as if someone had already written her story and read it out to me. I think we all envied Ophelia, even if just a little bit.
After a brief moment of self-reflection, Zephyr continued, “Ah, oh, Světlana,” she called, “You shall be our vanguard.” Oh! The vanguard, a terrible position for the soul to be.
“Now, I know,” she continued, “Being at the forefront of battle could perhaps be —nay, will be— a miserable struggle amid life and death. So, I want you to know that I will always give a damn about you, and that I will remain conscience of your position at all times.”
Zephyr was —the reader ought know— a seemingly self-centered type of a person; so, for her to have said something like this was peculiar and very much out-of-place. And while Světlana made no noticeable reaction, Zephyr seemed to be more concerned about her than Světlana was herself. But I would never be wholly able to understand what happened in that moment because Zephyr made such haste to continue.
“Pascual!” she cried. (that is Úrsula’s surname)
And Úrsula actually had the impudence to stand-up and say “Yes, ma’am?” She was immature, yes, but at this point, everyone was at rest without any necessity to be so formal.
But Zephyr did not immediately speak. She took a moment to stare at Úrsula and look her up-and-down before saying, “Darling… why, you seem to have something on your mind —what is it?”
“Oh?” Úrsula murmured, squirming, “Nothing, but I’m ever anxious so.”
“Aye,” replied Zephyr to her, “Yet, you should spare a moment and take pride in yourself. You are fully competent for your role here, I’m infact astonished —that you were designated to be our tactical engineer.”
“Yes, our baby girl —an engineer. Serve us well.”
“On my heart, I swear you all my best.”
Now, at this point, I wish to take aside the reader so that I may fully convey my feelings at this moment, that the reader may understand what a sad reality it is to accommodate a fifteen-year-old to war. It is a travesty of life, itself. What is a mother? Úrsula Pascual will never know. At such a young age, she should not even be considered for a role in war. Her very being here is a testament to the horrific appall of human violence. And oh, how so innocent she is!
Here am I separated from my own family by a chasm only overcome through the sacrifice of millions of souls to a vain cause. And there is she much the same. But in the depths of my mind, I know that I chose to be here. This is my war. Who is she to be here?
She was a wonderful person all said and done; yet, she did not belong —not here, not with me. When did the world turn upside-down? Misplaced persons have throughout all history fought the wars where they died unloved, unwanted, yet unashamed. Maybe you can tell me —why?
Image caption: The armies of the Galactic Imperium under Chi-Command are segregated by gender and nationality; this whole platoon consists of five European women. Světlana can be seen sitting quietly on the left.
Alas, such is the nature of interstellar conflict. Now, to continue my story… and it does continue.
Zephyr, our elegant orator, spoke still more. “We are all very well-trained,” she claimed, “And all our efforts shall be rewarded. We —you, me, us all— each possess a skill which many, many have sought to obtain: we can survive… any…confrontation. It is what has been instilled into us though our trainings. It is why we live, and living it will allow us.”
It was a risky claim, that is, to say that we were somehow blessed with a sort of plot-armor. I could not, no matter how hard I tried, believe that we were special; there were an unfathomable number of souls just like us who failed to accomplish anything at all, a number in the order of hundreds-of-millions, nay even yet a billion.
But, her words were nonetheless inspirational; Úrsula and Ophelia seemed to take them as the answer to all their questions.
“None of you ought to fear,” she continued “For we have a wonderful sergeant to lead us. This woman from Zarus —she commits her life to us, as ought ours to her.”
At that moment, everyone’s eyes were turned onto me; but I was not shy. I gazed back towards each and every one of them; and that feeling returned again, that sense of belonging. I may have accidently grinned just a little, but my emotions, thoughts, and facial expressions all disagreed with each other. I feel I gave off the wrong impression, but it didn’t matter for the moment; Zephyr was still to finish speaking.
“She shall also be our chief medical officer. So, besides caring for our livelihoods, she will care for our physical well-being aswell. I shall be our communicator, and will relay all messages through her.”
All roles assigned, we were now assembled as a unit —united as one— and I was our leader. As big of a responsibility as it may be, I believed in myself and also in my sisters.
A moment passed until I realised they all expected me to say something. So, I checked if my own feelings paralleled theirs’s. “Have we all an accord, here?” I asked.
Zephyr then walked-up to me and laid her left hand upon mine and said gently “You’ve one with me.”
Ophelia followed, but put both hands —her right below mine, and left above Zephyr’s— and said, “You’re one with me.”
Úrsula and Světlana aswell placed a hand each atop ours.
We were not just a grouping of strangers forced to fight, instead, we were a grouping of sisters. We vowed, then and there, to fight not for ourselves, but for eachother. What a beautiful moment it was; it was real and true to all of us. Our invisible bond was a reality. We then dispersed as the time of our daily routines commenced, carrying with us a new sense of solidarity and camaraderie.
I, however, took a moment to ponder upon all that which the day had brought; and I have written it all here so that the reader may ponder upon it with me, that I may find comfort in knowing my memories have meaning to others.
Image caption: Deirdre deliberates alone with her thoughts. Solitude is seldom felt by space-faring beings.
In my reflections, I found most unusual the fact being that I was to become a medical officer. Though it made some sense —I was very distressed at the idea that we may be hunted-down and killed— so, to be a field-medic seemed rational, I guess. This idea perpetuated itself in me, and made me visible shaken.
Then, I heard a voice from the heavens saying, “What is the matter, Deirdre?” But it was only the voice of Ophelia, who had lingered behind and sensed my distress. She did not call me by my title; she called me by my name, and that startled me. I supposed she was asking personally, so I answered honestly.
“I worry about us,” I said, “About you, about that child. Nobody survives a war through wit; what a foolish notion. Everybody is destined to die and only luck saves.”
“Well,” she replied, “Consider this: the woman who dies searching for wealth is scorned for as long as the memory of her lives. But the woman who dies for her friends is revered forever.”
“You are very correct, and that is assuredly true” I replied, and looking up into the hazy, starry sky, I awfully wondered how I could ever find myself as a medical officer in an Imperial army on a planet so far from earth in a war ever-so extensive. But that is who I now am.
And who are these? Who are those with whom I surround myself? They are my friends.
“Come,” I commanded Ophelia, my sister, “For the day is young, and the sun has not yet reached its full prominence.”
You’ve reached the end of today’s story, and I can entertain you for no longer now. So, I hope to have inspired you enough that you may reproduce your own creativity.
As much as I’d hate to say it, I think I’m an adult now; I have responsibilities, obligations, guilts, and of course, debts. So, my LEGO creations are always few-and-far-between, but I already have plans for the next six; we’ll see how that works out.
As always, I implore you to download and view the .lxf file.
I used an app on my phone called Music Maker JAM to compose the music. As for the YouTube video, I used the the normal iframe embed code but I cut the "http:" out of the src value. I had to use Internet Explorer to upload it because Chrome wouldn't let me.
Lovely! It's always good to see something new from you as it's clear that you put a lot of effort in. Apologies for the delay in getting around to reading it but I wanted to give myself enough time to read it properly. I really liked the design of the plant pods! A couple of questions, how did you embed the video link for the music? I didn't think MOCpages let you do that any more. Also, how did you compose the music if I might ask? It's something I've often thought about trying out.
Full 6 points!