Prime Respite (Part 1)

Chapter 1

Under the shades of the gleaming celestial bodies drifting amidst the sea of darkness, he watched from his vantage point as hundreds of men are heralded toward a camp complex. Arrays of domes made from timber gobbles up the weary men with their heads down and hands over them. Watching over those men are his forces, clad in their harness. Heartless Androids built specifically to become war machines. They push over those that lag behind, and pull collapsed men aside dragging them to a specific dome reserved for them. But why should that matter? Those men are cattle anyway.

At least that’s what he thought.

It is what they deserve. Those thralls, if not handled properly, could bring catastrophe to the civilization. The worshippers of divine powers, he works day and night to ensure no quarter is given for them.

Eventually, the last of the dome’s gate is shut.

“Everyone’s in.” A voice comes through his utilizer.

The man turns to his colonel who is standing to his right and nods. The colonel nods in return. He brings up his utilizer and calls out to his men.

“No temple shall be finished tonight.”

As soon as his words spread through the complex, all lightings are cut. The complex below turns into a sea of darkness. What remains is the glowing dots of the Androids’ harness, marking their presence to nearby friendlies. They begin to surround the domes, and pour them with a liquid. The weary men inside aren’t aware of this as they gave in to their drowsiness.

The Androids that pour the liquid then retreats as their larger counterpart strides in and take their place. The contraptions attached to their arms begin to whir. They raise their arms and aims them at the domes.

“Now.” The colonel word relays.

And within the next second, hell breaks loose.

The man, still in his vantage point, witness as the red rooster prances with grace and vigor.  Their radiant nature outshines the celestial bodies. Their eloquent gesture plays to the rhythm of the frantic and incoherent chorus of those trapped inside the domes. So vigor they are, that distant observer would mistook the dawn breaking.

His sight is fixed to the blazing field. The chorus, that sings great agony aloud, begins to inflect his lips’ edge upward.

A wonderful play, the man thought.

A relieving show, sufficient to soothe the cavities in his heart.


The orange light streaks through the curved glass enclosing halfway of the hall. One would struggle viewing the western mountains from the hall at this hour. They will have to squint against the dazzling light. Those who does could admire the view below and beyond, the complex and the terrains that enveloped it. Although the light brought discomfort vision wise, the warmth that comes with them balances out the cold atmosphere of the hall.

I lost count at the total hours I have spent standing here, gazing at this mesmerizing view. Although there are other observation points here in Creatio Genetrix with equally captivating scenery, none beats this one. I think. I always hustle my work every time I am given this hall, so that there’s time for this lovely pause.

“Lena!” I hear a voice from one end of the hall calling my name.

I turn to the approaching maid as soon as possible, for she is my senior. “Here, ma’am.”

“Dinner’s ready.”

Hearing that, I hastily reach for the cleaner and the sweeper. “Will be there.”

“Nu-uh.” The senior maid’s voice halts me. “Just go for it, I’ll take care of them.”

That’s very kind of her.

“Thank you, ma’am.” I say, dropping the cleaning equipment before holding my ankle-long skirt up and bending to the maid. I then hurry my way to the mess hall.

I’m lying if I say that I’m not starving. But it’s not my dinner. The call for the maids to have their meal is ‘Break time’, and it applies to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, depending on their shift. Whenever the mealtime is mentioned, the meal is none other for him in his chamber that perches atop this structure. The ruler of this great nation, who have uplifted the civilizations through technological might. The policy that he enforced pushes the citizens to the boundaries of human knowledge. All that for the outmost sophistication for the living.

But, to my capabilities, that purpose is still way beyond. At least they allow me to serve as a maid in this nation’s white house. At least, I am a section of the pillars upon which the nation’s pioneers stood. It’s a great privilege.

I storm the mess hall and skims the entire room, looking for a trolley prepped with meals on it. I stumble upon one of the maids stationed there at the moment.

“Where’s the dinner?” I ask her.

“You’re the one tasked with it?”

I nod.

“Over there.” The maid extends her arm to one side of the hall.

There I see a trolley being stormed with several maids holding food trays sealed by cloches.

“Here you go.” One of them says, handing the trolley to me as soon as I got there.

“Thank you.”

I begin to push the trolley into the elevator and heads for the topmost chamber. The elevator opens at a sizeable lounge, perhaps enough to cram fifty people inside it. There are cushion seatings in each corner with teak-framed table before them. Beside those seatings are cambodia and ferns that has symmetrical stature, perhaps a fruit of genetic engineering. A wool rug with curving fractal patterns covers the floor. In the center of it all is a fountain with the ArC insignia on the top. Hanging on the walls are tapestries, the most remarkable is the one that has the same insignia lying on top of two crossed shovels at the center of concentric circles. As far as my knowledge goes, it stands to represent this nation’s light which shall one day reach the edge of the solar system. The shovel though, I’m not sure. Perhaps it has something to do with laying a fine groundwork.

His office is just at the end of the hall opposing the elevator. There’s another hall perpendicular to that direction. To the left is his personal room, and to the right is his personal bathroom. It is perplexing how he doesn’t integrate the bath into his personal room, but I guess that is not my concern.

“Dinner.” I call out.

Not long after a maid opens the office door. She holds the trolley, her glance falls at me.

“I’ll take it from here. Wait outside.”

I share her glance and nod. There shouldn’t be any doubt. She’s the one directly serving him at the moment. She knows what she is doing. So, I let go of the trolley, which she then pulls inside before closing the office door. I step aside, my back to the wall beside the office door.

The Primus.

The most powerful man in the world. He who have created a haven that has nurtured me, allowing me to bloom in wealth. He must be a venerable one. The one who shed a radiance of discipline to his subjects. It has to be exhilarating to hear how he become such a person. Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear anywhere. And there’s not even a word that reached me. Hence, I am still adrift about the twist and turn of the man. Perhaps his work comes with thick layers of curtains between him and his citizens. Well, I could only wonder for now.

One thing that unsettles me however, is the fact that he is having dinner at barely sunset. Why?


A military officer bursts through the cramped room filled with combat gears and gadgets. There, a female Android is sitting on one of the chairs before an elongated table, her attention is fixed to her desktop.

“Pardon my late arrival, ma’am.” The officer says.

The female Android glances at him for a moment and present a grin. “Only one-minute past. Sit down, Warren.”

The officer marches toward her, the loud thudding of his footsteps fills the room. He reaches for a chair near the Android, his ornaments and decorations glitter under the only lighting in the room.

Once he sits down, the Android turns her chair in the officer’s direction.

“What did you find?”

“There’s a small region, far to the east near the equator.”

“What’s over there?”

“An ArC airship from their HQ is reported to head towards and depart from the region periodically. We believe they have a secret base over there which might hold details beneficial to defeat them.”

“You seem confident that it is a secret base.”

The officer tilts his head. “Well, the analysts do. I suggest we send a unit to spy on the area if we are to attempt an assault.”

The Android raises an eyebrow, her crimson eyes share the officer’s gaze. “Are you saying that this is an opportunity to…”

“Correct, ma’am.” The officer nods.

The Android sighs. “Very well.” She says, tapping on her utilizer. “Avantia, come over here dear.” She calls through.

“Yes, mother.” A serene voice crackle through, like a droplet of water on a solitary lake in the middle of a night. The cold response breezes through her utilizer, enough to cool the cramped room.


That one was a mistake. She was feigning an opening and I fell for it. Perhaps I could really score a hit if I am quick enough. The next thing I know, is that she goes for my stomach just when my katana is heading for the top of her head. A quick diagonal slash upward that flickers my shield red. The spar is over. The instructor maid and I unsheathe our blade and step backward. An applause follows our bow. I don’t think my performance is worthy of it. Nevertheless, it sparks me that I laid an excellent show.

The instructor approaches and points at things that require improving. I nod, thanking her for her inputs. She then retreats and dismiss the practice.

Every citizen of the Artificial Creationists is obliged to at least capable to operate a weapon. It is one of the requirements to acquire the citizenship. This allows them to protect themselves during hostile assault before reinforcement comes. Such mandatory practice also applies to the officials. They even have to excel at them. Our weapon of choice is the katana. In real combat, we would use a blade of similar design. The difference is that it could emit a lethal energy wave, sufficient to cut through humans and Androids in a swing.

But I doubt I would ever really use my combat gear. The front is far away from the ArC’s capital. And our enemies don’t seem to threaten this city anytime soon.

It’s almost three AM when I head out to the plaza. I see fellow maids stride away from and into Creatio Genetrix. There are not much people around, spotting them is like finding pine trees in a pine woods thanks to their uniform. A handful of vehicles occupy the hollow parking lot, perhaps belonging to the officials who decided to work overtime.

Unlike the other maid, the dormitory complex I live in is not within the complex of Creatio Genetrix. It lies on the outskirt of the capital, at least thirty-minutes transport and ten-minutes’ walk. The housing area is quite remote, so the transport wouldn’t reach it. I stride on one side of the paving. It’s a little bit dark since the lighting is reduced. But I need not to fear any unsavory intent pouncing on me. Ahead of me there’s an intersection. On one of the skirts stand two men clad in their combat gear. The military, the Proxies. Beside the police, the Primus also utilizes them to maintain security in towns and settlements alike. Their presence among the people suppresses the unsavory action probability to non-existential.

My dormitory complex is a two stories u-shaped building that houses as much as ten rooms, each is four by three meters wide, enough to hold a settler and their essential belongings, such as clothing, gadgets, and maybe books. I sigh as I come across a sink which has a pile of plates, presumably used ones. Oh, well.

This tiny addition for the day won’t hurt I guess. Indeed, this place has meals available for the inhabitants. It’s included in the fees and are served for lunch and dinner. It’s up to the inhabitants to be considerate with each other as the meals are placed on a sizeable table in the dining room. These plates must be a remainder of the dinner and apparently no one is willing to wash them.

Just as I rinse them with water, an adolescent man emerges from his room nearby. He yawns as he stretches his arm overhead. Then he tosses an empty bottle toward a bin across him. He misses, and the bottle fell on the floor, triggering a jarring noise that permeates the place.

My face frowns at this behavior.

“Excuse me mister,” I say turning to him. “That bottle won’t creep toward the bin by itself.”

“Shut up, miss.” He says, his face turning bitter. “Just because you’re cute doesn’t mean you could boss me around.”


“That’s not how an ArC citizen should behave.” Indeed, it is the behavior that clashes against the prime virtue of our leader, discipline.

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” And that’s the end of it. He just walks back to his room and shut the door, leaving me to handle the waste.

I proceed to my room after all the dish washing. As soon as I arrive, I pull out my headband and a pin that has been sticking on the base of my frill tie for the entire evening. The pin represents my rank amongst the maid of Creatio Genetrix, a maid corporal. I began my service two years ago. And I reached this rank just last month. They claimed to be indebted to my discipline during both of my shift, that they appreciate me with this fast promotion. Well if it meant a raise in my salary, I wouldn’t deny it.

I don’t think of changing after I pull out my tie and loosen the button on my collar. Maybe it’s really me, but my head just slams into the pillow. And my body sinks into the bed laid on the floor. I turn to gaze the ceiling, laying an arm against my forehead. Normally every maid is assigned to one shift, and there’s actually more to be done there than meets the eye. Only those who have completed the contract are allowed to double their shift. I did, since I wished to earn more.

Only two more years before I can afford to purchase a piece of soil and some seeds, which will deplete both my life savings so far and the amount I’d earn after those years.

I close my eyes with a smirk on my face, knowing how fast time does fly. I let out a deep breath.

“Just a bit more.”


Under the dark azure shade of the sky, I see monarchs trace a winding, twisting path. But they all agreed in a specific direction, forming a turbulent column that only trails above. Their wings gleam the colors of the embers as they flutter through the air. A fine contrast against the darkening sky. One could recline and appreciate the sight during the evening pause without a care in the world. Just as they don’t have any as they streak across the heavens. Until one of them stops midway and crash lands on my palm.

I then clench it to suppress the sudden heat, that of boiling waters, which is somehow caused by the fallen monarch. That’s when I realize the scorching atmosphere rising. I rise up to a vigor crowd of flames, trampling the houses all around in their excitement.

Black smokes creep here and there, hindering my view. There are just embers on timbers. I look around, only to be met by villagers running amok. Their screams are all that come to my ears. For some reason my whole body felt painful. As if a dense wooden pillar just fell upon me. I trudge through the mess, calling out to my parents.

“Lena!” Suddenly I make up a voice calling for me.

“Mom, dad!” They’re ahead of me, in the intersection of the village’s plaza. Mom is on the cobblestone path, seemingly powerless to stand. Dad is attending to her while reaching out for me.

I reach for them.

But as soon as I do, a twister of flame sweeps the street behind them. It gets closer, and before long they’re reduced to ashes that fly with the wind.

“No!” I cry, in a futile attempt to save them.

The twister keeps getting closer. It topples me to the ground and stops before me. Just as I thought I was about to be engulfed, it opens up to reveal a woman figure. She is decorated with ornaments only the royals could afford. A diadem lies atop her head. Her crimson eyes are gazing down on me. My whole body is throbbing. My breath shortens. And I think I’m getting some skin burn. There’s no way I could mount a resistance against her.

“Why are you doing this!? Why?” I lob the question to her.

But a cold stare is her only answer. She raises her right hand and snaps her finger.

The embers turn into swarms of monarchs, the same ones that I’ve just witnessed, storming in all directions. Some of them stream past me. Their columns coalesce high in the sky, before eventually diving in.

To me.

Then I snap out of it. Surrounding me are other maids in groups, chattering with each other. Looks like I just fell asleep. I came to sit at one corner of the maid lounge to ease my muscles. But it appears that my drowsiness is at it again. Fortunately, it’s break time so I won’t run into trouble anytime soon.

I take two eggs and a cup of coffee for this break session. This is one of our accommodations. The system would then reduce a value worth of our consumption during breaks. As soon as I finished wiping my mouth, my utilizer flickers, notifying an incoming transmission.


From: CG Maid Command

Invitation to see Maid Colonel Iva at the end of the break time.


Huh. The colonel wants to see me. What’s it going to be this time? A special task? A punishment I am unaware of? Or perhaps, another promotion? The buzzer rang and slaps those thoughts away just as soon as they begin to take root. The break time is over. It would be the duty of the maid stationed here to clean up the mess.

I trace my way back to the main hall and head for the elevator. The maid colonel’s office is just one story below the Primus’ chamber. The level has arrays of rooms separated by transparent glass. Each is packed with high ranking personnel, both officials and maids. Most of them have their sight fixed on their screens. Their fingers swiftly run across the keyboards. There’s at least one or two people hurdling in and out of the chambers carrying their tabs, a document viewer device. None bats an eye, even when they streak past me. It has always been like this here. Although the glass confine any sound, the rush still fills the serene hall.

The colonel’s aide let me in after my report.

“You were looking for me, colonel?” I said after I present a bow.

The maid colonel glances at me, her fingers are still laying on her keyboard.

“And another four, so you might want to sit down.” She turns her gaze back at her screen as soon as she says that.

“As you wish.” I respond before sitting on the couch before her.

Colonel Iva is a stiff woman in her thirties. She taps on the keyboards like there is no tomorrow. Rumors say that she has dedicated her service since she is ten. The longest serving maid in Creatio Genetrix. Another noticeable feature about her is the scar on her left cheek. It seems to be a product of internal bleeding. I wonder who have defiled this woman’s grace by inflicting that scar upon her?

Her room is silent, with just the hum of the air conditioner. It would be disrespectful should I say anything and interrupt her focus. If I wanted a conversation, she should be the one who incites it. Hence the wait feels like forever, as the colonel kept her attention to her screen. I am left here, with my sight periodically shifting from one direction to another in an attempt to keep boredom at bay.

As I let out a deep exhale, the colonel’s utilizer flickers. Following it is the voice of her aide, informing the arrival of a group of maids. They then enter the room not long after and ordered to sit beside me. There are four of them and I am surprised to see the pin on the bottom of their neck. They are all maid sergeants. One of them, is a maid color sergeant.

The colonel then clasps her hands and place it on the desk, her attention is shifting to us.

“First of all, congratulations that you are selected for this task.” She says.

From the corner of my eye, the four maids are sharing a glance. My sight remains to the colonel.

“The Primus is taking his leave. And that’s the drill.”

My nerve is building up as soon as the colonel said that. That statement of hers triggers a rapid development of my nerve.

“We have to care for him.” Says one of the maid sergeants.

“Correct. Basically, you’re about to do the same there with what you are doing here. Only you have to be more cautious as to not upset him.”

“Why not hand this task to maids of higher rank?” The other sergeant asks.

The colonel jerks her head. “In the light of improving the discipline and composure of junior maids, we tend to prioritize them for special task such as this. Besides, the privileges would serve you well too.”

            I dare myself to glance at the other maids, the one sitting next to me shares my glance.

            “You’ll be departing in forty-eight hours. There will be no orders for you until then. Prepare everything, combat gear included. More details will come later. And once again, at all cost, do not upset him.”

            “We’ll do our best ma’am.” The sergeant beside me responds.

“And for the person in charge…” The colonel sets her glance to her screen briefly. “Valeska Helena.”

My heart sank as soon as my name is on the line, followed by a blow to my gut. A sweat streak through my right cheek. I can feel the maids’ gaze on me, even though I don’t see it. Perhaps they’re as astonished as me.

“B-but,” I glance at the sergeants. “We have maid sergeants here. Why me?”

“Sir Microv’s order. Perhaps only heaven knows.” The colonel sighs. “There won’t be any change. That’s the decision. Dismissed.”

I raise a hand in an attempt of further complaints, but the sergeant beside me pat my left thigh and nod. I let out a deep breath and nod back. Not long after, we find ourselves bowing to the colonel before heading out of her room.

Just when I thought we’re about to part ways, the sergeant that was sitting beside me reaches out. She is the maid color sergeant.

“Congratulations.” She said calmly, before giving her hand. Her brown hair is straight and goes just slightly beyond her shoulder. There are two bundles on both sides that are brought up and tied on the back of her head. She also wears a glasses with an ebony frame.

“Uh, yeah sure.” I grab her hand while scratching my head.

“It’s Hana, Tanaka Hitohana. Pleased to take your command.” She nods, before presenting a smile that appears to be genuine and affectionate.

“Glad to hear it.” I reply.

Hana leers to the three maids behind her before looking back at me. “How about a session in the lounge?”

“Uh…” A tea time between us would be excellent indeed. But I don’t think I am willing to sacrifice a bit more of my accommodation for this tiny affair. Thus, the options are either I won’t get anything there or…

Hana grabs both of my shoulders. “On me.” She says, jerking her head.

I really am not sure about this. A senior, placed under my command, is treating me. But before I wrap my thought around it and decide…

“Come on. Time is fleeting.”

“Eh!” I grunt as Hana begins to pull me by my hand. The other three maids proceed ahead of us.

I guess an hour or two to get to know each other won’t hurt.

We pick a table surrounded by a continuous seating that has one of its side against the wall. It’s Hana who sits there. The rest of us sit opposing each other. Hana treats me a chocolate puff cake with a thin layer of cream crust on top, and a cup of hot mango tea. What a kind woman. My grateful conscience lead to a personal promise for something to honor this in the future.

I crumple in my seat. My hands lay on my thigh and my sight fixed down to my tea. My sight keeps looking around as my courage to speak is still dressing up.

“Gee, you’re not used around strangers, aren’t you?” The maid beside me exclaims. But before I can make up my mind to say anything, she gives her hand.

“Shabrina Agonskaya, Rina.” She says. “I’ll be right behind you.”

“Pleased to lead you.” I grab her hand.

Rina has a bob cut of shoulder length with bangs covering her forehead.

“My turn! My turn!” The maid opposing me barks out. “Hi, Lena. I am Erika El-Nabila.” She says with glee. Her eyes closed and her chest is puffed out as if that’s something to be proud about. I think her voice just vibrates across the vast lounge. Or maybe it’s just me who isn’t used to hearing loud voices. “Call me Eri, okay?” She continues, opening only her left eye and doing the gesture. Her hair is also of shoulder length but it is a bit wavy compared to Rina’s.

“Eri. Noted, no problem.” I respond, trying to keep up with her vibe in which I failed worse than I thought it would be. My awkward glee is what remains of me.

And that’s when the final maid, who is sitting beside Eri, gives out her name.

“Fiona Theodora, Theo.” She says, grinning at me before raising her right hand. “Pleased to meet you.” She nods.

It appears that she is not the one who talks a lot. Her hair is braided and lies in front of her left shoulder.

“Pleased to meet you too.” I nod back.

They all seem to be women in their twenties. That makes me the youngest one here. Seems like the only challenge would be overcoming my hesitance to command them around.

“By the way,” I say in an attempt to incite a topic. “You gals seem to have known each other for quite a while.”

They share a glance with each other. It’s Hana who speaks up first.

“Perhaps dating four years back. Eri and I were colleague in the ArCademy. We got assigned to different unit when we enlist for the maid service. It is when I meet Theo, we were both privates back then. Meanwhile Rina here is my drinking partner in this lounge.”


“Tea of course. They don’t make alcohol beverage here. Even if they do, I still desire to keep my face.”

It is relieving to hear that she is not the type that likes to go wild.

“Hey, hey Lena.” I turn to Eri as she calls out to me. “I hear you’re the only corporal with double shift.”

“Basically, the youngest corporal with the most work for her rank.” Rina chimes in.

“Yeah,” Eri says to Rina before turning to me again. “How do you manage that? Doesn’t that exhaust you? And threw away any time you have for, having fun?”

Those questions have me turning my sight away for a moment. Does it exhaust me? Definitely. And yes, I haven’t had any fun since I enlist to the maid service. Actually, I never had any ever since my settlement is sacked. My parents were the wealthiest folk there. They perished with their lands in a single evening. Since then, I never thought of anything but working to restore the wealth of my family, their name, their glory. Because I’ve promised myself then, I won’t rest until that goal is achieved. After that, who knows? I will decide that next once I had restored my family’s wealth.

But I can’t say that in front of strangers, even if they will assist me in the operation.

“You can say that I have a decent focus at my dream.”  It is only what I could think of. I never really thought of how could I keep up with the intense labor. It just happens.

Eri rests her elbows on the table and put her head on her hands. “Woah, that’s amazing!” She exclaims. Something is gleaming from her eyes. “I want to be focused too.” She then fixes her glance to Hana as soon as she said that.

“I don’t think that’s how it works.” Hana said, raising an eyebrow.

Rina sighs while Theo slightly covers her lips as she chuckles. It is when that question comes to me.

“Have anyone here ever came close to him before?” I ask. Since we’re going to care directly for the Primus, I might as well consider which one of these maids have encountered him.

Hana looks to the ceiling. “I think I haven’t.”

“I do.” That’s Theo who said that.

Everyone’s gaze turns at Theo.

“Where were you at that time?” I ask her.

Theo shakes her head. “I was ordered to clean his lounge. He was there at the time, sitting on the couch, his sight at the tapestry across.”

“How do you feel?”

She takes a deep breath before turning to me. “Well, what can I say? You will hear time ticks, along which you’ll keep praying that no mistake will take place. It’s like your life is on the line. And when you slip, there’s a whole ocean opening up to swallow you.” Theo says, putting her head on her right hand. “I wonder how will he persecute me should I slip that day. It must be a pleasure.”

Huh!? A pleasure in persecution? Something is not right with this girl.

Apart from that…

One’s sense of duty can really spikes when they are beside the person who created the duty. It is normal that one wishes to not fail when their chief is watching them directly. Part of me wishes that she is just overexaggerating. The Primus is just another chief that we respect and we wished not to disappoint. As long as we don’t think too much about it, whereas doing so would drive our focus away from the task, everything will be fine.

“Well, given the rumors around, his glare is still a thing to be terrified about even when he wishes no ill will to us.” Rina says.

“That should’ve been expected.” Hana responds. “That mask of his, no one really knows what he feels. Plus, he probably has plenty of internal enemies, that’s why he tends to glare at anyone he meets.”

“To make sure no one has the opportunity to stab him in the back.” Rina says.


“But why would he have internal enemies?” I ask. “He brought wealth to his domain, not to mention the flourishing scientific development that supports it.”

“Yeah, I know.” Hana says. “But you know how hostile he is toward every religious state, down to its individual citizen?”


Hana takes a deep breath. Her face is frowning in the process. As if hordes of murky clouds come to her shade.

“You weren’t paying attention, were you Lena?” Eri chimes. She leans closer and starts to whisper. “I heard this from someone, he once persecuted an entire religious community by gathering, before then burning them in their sleep.”

Huh!? I freeze. For a moment, I couldn’t believe what she said.

“Not to mention his expansionism. It’s probably the reason why we’re clashing with the Vindicators right now.” Eri continues

“I guess that’s what you get for being a hardcore scientist.” Rina says, chuckling slightly.

Only Theo who doesn’t speak that way about him. Her face is still away from us since she stopped talking, supported by her right arm. She grins as she is breathing with her mouth slightly open. I guess that’s owing to her seemingly bizarre imagination. It does seem like he can take everyone’s life anytime, anywhere, and anyhow he wanted. Nevertheless, he created a sanctuary where no beggars could be seen. The impoverished could sign up for a labor and have meals three times a day with their salary. They could even expand their properties a few years later.

As long as that is kept, nothing else matters right? As long as our proper service is kept, nothing will go wrong right? Right?

            I brought that thought home, where the colonel’s message just arrived as soon as I open the doorstep of my dormitory. I then open my window, letting in a stream of evening air that I barely appreciate since I am not used at arriving during these hours. Then I sit at my bed, opening my utilizer and connecting it to my tab so that I could view the details sent by the colonel.

It covers plenty aspects, from the team dossiers to the handling of the Primus’ private properties. The Primus’ leave venue is his mansion at a remote island southeast of the main continent. Of all the content written, what interest me first is his meal schedule. The interest stands upon the fact that he had his dinner before sunset.

And how my mouth gapes as soon as I see it.

The Primus eats whenever he feels like, so be prepared. And that’s it, there is no schedule.

“So that’s why.” I say in a manner that reveal how odd that sounds to me.

Just after the ‘schedule’ is his meal preference. The colonel lists all the dishes that had been presented to him the most throughout his reign. They all however, has one thing in common.

“No vegetables…”

Really? He never once consumed any vegetables?

Oh my.

I take a deep breath as I slam my head on the pillow. My gaze is straight to the ceiling. An evening breeze slips through the window, fluttering a bundle of my hair. The foliage outside rustles to their rhythm. There are no structures shambling under fire, no suffocating thick smokes, and no people scattering in panic in contrast to that evening. Only the hum of my room’s exhaust and the engines of one or two vehicles passing by. If only my parents and I made it here in the first place.


The Primus watches over us. As long as our gears spin, there is a delicate warmth under his spotlight. But who watch over him? Is anyone aware that he might catch a case of stomach or intestines failure? The cooks, his personal maid, and even the colonel doesn’t seem concerned. Most importantly, such routine is a blatant act of indiscipline. Other than the hilarious possibility of his demise due to organ malfunction, what will become of us if the people discover that fact? Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the national security and order would proceed as well as currently in his absence.

I feel the need to do something. The chance is right in front of me.

But do I possess the audacity to commit the ordeal? Especially at the risk of upsetting The Primus.

Since he held the string over us all, everything I’ve worked for will be at stake. And once he is upset, I’m done for.

Prime Respite

Membangun Kembali Peradaban : You Can(not) Advance

Entry Writchal 1
Tema: Alternate history, Kaderisasi, Soviet Union

Revolusi Oktober mengmbil alih Respublik Petuhk secara menyeluruh dan ini semua ialah salah buruh. Bagai badai pasir yang menerjang semenanjung Suez, buruh-buruh ini merampas segala harta benda yang tersisa di jalanan maupun di istana. Semuanya ludes ataupun hancur. Sebagai orang yang bukan lagi anggota partai buruh, ini merupakan kondisi yang dilematis bagiku.

“Hancoerkan segala matjam hal milik kapitalis rakoes”

“Jayalah internasionalisme”

Selama lima hari berturut-turut bahkan lebih bunyi internasionalisme dan sirene tidak berhenti digengungkan oleh kaum buruh. Kiranya banyak sekali orang yang tak tahan akan hal ini dan memutuskan untuk keluar rumah. Mereka pun mati.

“Memaki kaum kiri sama halnya dengan mati. Kalian akan mati sebagaimana pula dengan bigot kapitalisme”, mungkin seperti itu kata-kata dari mereka.

Sudah 7 hari diriku terkurung di bilik sempit, atap pendek, dipinggir selokan berbau anyir di bangsal milik PKI. Mungkin sejenak kita bisa memikirkan bahwa tempat ini lebih cocok menjadi kuburan daripada tempat tahanan politik, dan memang benar. Beberapa dari mereka mati bersimbah darah ataupun terpanggang di tempat ini.

“tok-tok…. Tok-tok…”

Suara ketukan pintu yang tidak membawa aura baik sama sekali terdengar dari triplek berukuran 1×2 meter di timur. Setiap ketukan yang terdengar bagaikan lonceng kematian yang berdengung terus menerus.

Tanpa pilihan lain Aku membukakan pintu tersebut.

“Iya ada ap-”


Cepat sekali, Aku tidak bisa melihat apapun selain tiga orang buruh yang memukulku dengan batang musket menuju uluh hati ku. Pukulan itu membuat seluruh tubuhku mati kecuali otak yang menjaga kesadaran ini.

Diriku yang tak berdaya dibopong, dimasukkan kedalam kantung plastik mayat yang kiranya akan dibuang. Mereka kemudian menutupnya tanpa tahu apa yang terjadi didalamnya. Kesakitan yang luar biasa ini membuatku tidak sadarkan diri.

“Selanjutnya 636”

Bunyi TOA membangunkanku dari ketidaksadaran. Diriku sudah dipindahkan ke Barak Konsentrasi. Aku tidak menduga hal ini bisa terjadi, seorang petinggi yang kini jatuh dan mati di tempat ini, lucu bukan?

“Hey-hey Sutejo”

Seorang wanita memanggil sambil menarik bajuku dari belakang.

“Iya ada apa?”

Aku menoleh kebelakang dan memandanginya. Aku ingat dia, aku tau siapa dia. Akari adik Ayumu nomor dua. Sekilas jikalau dilihat Ayumu dan Akari bagai kembar siam yang berhasil dipisahkan.

Berlainan dengan kakaknya, Aura genki-girl terpancar dari ujung kaki hingga ujung kepalanya. Perawakannya memang mirip seperti Ayumu, tapi sungguh jika kau mendengar kata yang pertama kali terucap dari mulutnya kau sudah yakin kedua orang ini berbeda.

Diriku sendiri tidak cukup berinteraksi banyak dengannya. Selain berbeda keyakinan pada saat dulu, Ia juga menjalin banyak koneksi dengan dunia barat, dikarenakan almamaternya, MIT. Oh iya? Kalian pernah mendengar perang sipil Amerika, ya benar dia ikut.

“Kenapa kau ada disini? Mana kakak?”

“Ayumu  tidak ada disini, Ibukota sudah kacau, Aku tidak bisa membawanya kesini”

“Masuk akal juga. Sekarang jawab pertanyaan pertamaku”

“Aku pensiun”

Jawabanku membuat rahangnya turun sepanjang 5 cm dan matanya melotot keheranan. Sebagai Tokoh yang berjasa “memerahkan” Jawa tengah, ini merupakan tindakan yang tidak masuk akal.

Namun, tindakan kaum buruh mencerminkan ketidakbenaran, dan mendorongku untuk melakukan hal ini. Ideologi ini tidak akan bertahan untuk waktu yang lama.

“Benarkah? Aku tidak pernah menyangkanya.” Sambil mengembalikkan posisi rahangnya.

“Semuanya bilang begitu, Keputusanku sudah bulat dan seperti kau lihat, berada disini bersama penentang lainnya”

“Lalu sekarang apa yang akan kau lakukan?”

“Entahlah, menunggu kematian mungkin lebih baik”

Jawaban dinginku untuk menghentikan percakapan ini aku nilai cukup. Dia tak akan lagi menanyaiku

“Bagaimana dengan Ayumu dan anakmu? Kau tidak kasihan dengannya?”

Jawaban itu menusuk, Sakit sekali. Aku tidak benar benar ingin mati, Aku hanya ingin menghentikan obrolan dengan hipokrit seperti dirinya.

“Kenapa diam? Fufu aku tahu kau masih mencintainya. Kau mau jalan keluar?”

Sejenak aku terkaget akan hal itu, aku menoleh ke arahnya dan dengan pandangan kegirangan. Dan seketika ATP dalam tubuh ini tersintesis secara semu.


“Benar, tapi dengan satu syarat”

“Jangan membuat syarat yang tidak bisa dilakukan oleh pria tua seperti ini”

“Tenang-tenang mudah saja. Dimana Ayumu?”

Aku tertegun, dan bertanya pada diri mengapa hal itu yang ia tanyakan. Walaupun secara fisik kedua kakak-beradik ini mirip, namun keduanya tidak dapat dipersatukan, ribut masalah ideologi sampai main fisik dan sumpah-sumpahan, menjadi hal yang pasti terjadi dikala mereka bertemu.

“Memangnya kenapa?” Ku jawab dengan tegas

“Apakah tidak boleh seorang adik menanyakan keberadaan kakaknya?”

Aku terdiam, bukankah dengan pertanyaan ini aku bisa bertemu dengan Ayumu secepatnya? Mengapa tidak ku jawab saja? Tidak, Akari tidak berniat sedikitpun untuk membantuku, memeras informasi dariku tujuannya. Keselamatan Ayumu ada di tanganku.

“Aku tidak tahu, dan jikalau tahu aku tidak akan memberi tahu”

Dengan semangat aku  menjawab hal tersebut. Aku pun berlari menuju pintu darurat yang berada di Timur Akari. Menggunakan badanku aku mendorong pintu tersebut sampai terbuka.


Peluru berkaliber 9mm menembus kepalaku tepat di pintu darurat. Dengan sisa usaha aku menoleh kebelakang dan melihat TT-33 berasap yang di kokang oleh Akari.

Aku tidak bisa berbuat lagi, Selamat tinggal Ayumu.

Prequel: contact: AyamLodeh #1722 (Discord)

Penulis: AyamLodeh

Cimon : The Beginning

Entry Writchal 1
Tema: Alternate history, Kaderisasi, Masjid Salman

Cimon : The Beginning


A flash of light woke me up from a long dream. As my feet touch the floor, I feel the floor is not stable at all. I spent my night sleeping in a hanging bed at the passenger cabin. Just as I feel the surface, I realise that I was traveling on a ship for over 10 days before. So, I think this morning I could see my destination from the deck on the horizon.

After I wore a sufficient outfit, I rushed toward the ship ‘s deck. And then, my view was captivated by the beautiful scene of Suryan, Capital City of Civilized Monarch,The Center of the world, or The Mandala. According to my master, a former legion, or the regular army of the Civilized Monarch, or Cimon for short, Suryan was the most advanced, Crowded, and prosperous metropolitan in the world. Although I was always hearing if this was only in the shadow of its former fame and prosperity, it was still the greatest city I’ve ever seen. Or, it was because I had never seen the city at all. Nevertheless, the appearance of Suryan made me so excited.

After years of training with my master, my master thinks I have grown enough to see the world with my own eyes,and start my own journey of course. My master told me that he had transferred all of his knowledge to me . And now it was time for me to enrich that knowledge with my own life experience. That one , to be said. And then I decided the city of Suryan would be the place for me to start my own journey.

However, the voyage itself was not as smooth as I thought. After leaving my master’s estate , I’m going to the nearest port city from there. To earn enough cash to fund both my voyage to Suryan and my daily livelihood, I was working at this port as a hard labour. It was not a big deal for me. Even if I was a girl, I was blessed by an extraordinary strength, both in form of physical strength and spiritual strength. And, it was a bizarre view to see a girl doing hard labour like it was such an easy task to her. She was not even shown any sight of fatigue after doing such heavy labours. And after the day of work, in the evening, I also shared some of my earnings to my fellows, and I was quickly made a favor from them. After a brief time, finally I had sufficient cash to fund my voyage. Before my departure, my fellow port’s hard labours surprisingly held a farewell party for me. It made me so touched.

During the voyage, the storm hit our ship. Even the storm had spared us, but it made even my seasick worse. I wasn’t even moved from my cab, until finally I had overcome my seasickness. And after the days of my voyage, decorated by my seasickness, I reached my destination. The City of Suryan was before my eyes, and my own journey would start from there.


I spent my daily life in Suryan peacefully, until I realised the dark side of Surya, and Cimon in general. Firstly, the taxation was absolutely inhuman. Taxation was even imposed on the hard laborers in the port like us. The taxation really took a tool from my fellows, and threw them even deeper in poverty. While the richman,

bureaucrat, clergy and even legions can bribe the tax collector to undermine their taxation. There is no law enforcement as many of the high-class dodged easily from the state’s law. When the weak had no power to do so. In short, the corruption of the CImon officials had reached a critical level.

Secondly, the discrimanition to non-citizen residents was so intense. They were not only being the treated as second-class people, they were also being exploited heavily, in terms of taxation and forced slavery. We , including myself, were the barbarian’s origin peoples, so of course we were second-class citizens in Suryan. The only reasons they were reluctant to do so, only was my physical appearance and power.

But, that day, for the first time, I felt so powerless. That was the day when I chased a certain thief. He wore a weird emerald scarff that covered his neck and shoulder. He was so agile, so even a veteran legion couldn’t caught him. Luckily, I had cornered him because I had blocked his escape passage. But when I fought him, I couldn’t fought him properly. Unconsciously, I was afraid to land a hit on him. He also was a good, experienced fighter. He read my moves, and took advantage of it. In the end of the fight, I was defeated by him. Then, he ran away.

Despite it not my first loss, the fact that I was hold myself in front of him made me so confused. Why I done that ? Why did I let him run away ? I wondered. As time flew by, my memory of him didn’t even faded. I couldn’t erased him from my mind. And everytime I thought about him, my heart beating faster. I didn’t knew why I became like this.


My curiosity about him made me look for more information about him. I even joined the legion for this purpose. Being the legion, the military backbone of the Cimon, wasn’t as easy as I thought. I was being indoctrinated to be loyal, only for the Civilized Monarch cause. But, as I knew the dark side of the Cimon, and the segregation of the human race on it, especially for my people, the Barbarians. So, this indoctrination did not raise my loyalty to the Civilized Monarch at all. Instead , it felt so disgusting for me.

My daily life at legion’s barrack, actually much better. My daily livelihood was guaranteed, and all I had to do was just doing soldier’s training. Sometimes, I was assigned to patroling or guarding taks. I also finally got the clue about the mysterious thief that made my heart slightly moved. He was also a former legion like my master. From the documents I had read, he was found in front of Saruman Temple, after being abandoned by his parents. Saruman Temple itself was a temple that was attached to the Cimon Legionaries Academy, in Highland. Highland itself had broken free from Cimon rule some decade before because of the ongoing turmoil that stirred up in the Civilized Monarch central power. Now, the Highlander had established an independent kingdom, The Salajar Kingdom.

He was adopted by Cimon officials and trained to be legion commanders. And for some reasons, after he graduated from the military academy, he joined the Salajar militaries instead of legions. And for some unknown reason, his scarf was similar to the scarf used by the old, centuries long Highlander’s insurgency

movement. They had fought against the Civilized Monarch authorities from the establishment of Sandarand Province in Highland, until the foundation of Salajar Kingdom. The Salajar Kingdom ruling dynasties also were descendants of Highlander Insurgency Movement leaders. So, this man has Highlander origins.

This fact made me wanted to Salajar to look for more information about that mysterious thief. But my duty as The Legions now didn’t permitted me to do that. So, maybe I would like to asked for resignation from The Legion. It may be difficult, but I would worked hard for it. Because, the whole reason why I joined The Legions was to looked for any information about that mysterious thief. But, reality sometimes didn’t worked as smoothly as I thought.


Suryan fell into chaos. Many places were under fire. Looting was done in every corner of the city. The situation was so dire, even the emperor and his family and the Cimon Government were evacuated from Suryan. I didn’t knew how it started. But, as The Legions, I must helped the Suryan’s civilians. With my raw powers, and of course the help from my fellow legionaries, we tried to put down the rioter, punished the looter, and protected the weak civilians like women and children. But that was not enough. The order in the City of Suryan was hard to be restored. We felt desperate. We felt so powerless to restored the order of the City. The City was too big, while our numbers were too small. That was because the bulk of the legion were diverted to guard the evacuation of the emperor, and his governmental courts.

“Fight with me, my brave legionaries! For the emperor! ” shout the legionaries commander.

Even though the situation was hopeless, my fellow legionaries were still on high morale. The commander was so skilled so he could kept the morale of his men high. An outstanding quality of the legion. This was the reason why the Civilized Monarch could once rule the world.


When we reached the armories, it was still intact. When chaos ensued throughout Suryan, one-by-one, the warships and the armories, along with the army’s barn were blown up or burned. The process was planned so well, and it was perfectly covered by the chaos that broke out as diversion . There is the mastermind behind the explosion , along with the chaos. So, along with some legionaries, set up a plan to trapped the mastermind, or someone who is behind this chaos. When it was my turn to patrol around the armouries, I heard the screams and explosion sounds coming from armories. I rushed back to armories and found out my comrade was entirely slaughtered by who I looked for recently. That was the mysterious thief, with his remarkable highland scarff, and his torso lamellar plate armour, stained in the blood of my comrade. When the armouries were trusted to us, they were blasted and burned to the ground.

What a magnificent scene ! WhiIe has complicated feeling about this. Happy, sad, angry and furious, sorrowful, depressed, also amazed at the same time. I couldn’t even expressed it in any words.

“What you have done! Why did you do this! Why must the innocent people suffer, only because of your action!” I shouted to him.


“Why do you keep silent! Please ! Give me the answer ! ! ”

“There is so much reason for me to do this.” He finally replied.

“Then just say it to me! NOW!” Shout me.

“I know…. what they had done to your people, the Highlander. They are also doing that to my people, the Barbarians. But that’s not the reason to make those innocent suffer, you know!” Said me in a high tone.

“Ahh… I can say, they aren’t purely innocent….You know, they must pay for their ignorance…” Said him lightly.

(Hand cracking noise)

“Yeah… I think our conversation was futile! So, Let’s our fists talk instead!” I said while furiously cracking my hands.

I swiftly shortened our distance, and made him fell under my punch range. I launched a barrage of punches on him. But, that wasn’t sufficient. He dodged all of my attacks. He instead managed to land some hits on me, with his throwing knives. I realised the direct approach just allowed him to score more hits on me, so I changed my approach. I attacked him with more indirect approach, like areal attack or using surrounding objects and environment as weapons.

But it backfired on me. He was really agile to catch up. And he could use the environment better to get advantage over me. I knew I was lost at our first engagement, but that was because I hadn’t prepared my heart before the fight. I suppressed my feelings for him, so I could fought him more properly this time. But, even though I had overcome my previous weakness, his battle prowess was still better than mine. He landed many hits on me with his throwing knives. However, i still managed to fight back, even after I was direly wounded.

My body was weakened. I barely managed to stand up and fought firmly, as before. My wound started to hold me back. I suspected he was planted something on his knives. Something that weakened my body.

“Hey, maybe this is the time for you to give up on me! I had planted deadly poison on my knives! Surender, and I will give you the antidote!” He said. “Cih….! You…… treat me……like…..some-one…..who……fear…. of….. death, huh? Fight …… me! Fairly,…….. fight…… me! I ….will …..give you…. the taste ….of my punch!” Replied me, weakly.

“What A stubborn girl! Ok, I will make you down!, surely this time” Replied him.

My consciousness faded away. I hardly couldn’t keep up my fighting stand. So, before I fell unconscious, I must landed a swift, and decisive blow to him. I only has one chance to do so.

I tried to lure him into the trap. I suffered another significant wound as result. But I finally could into the trap, without any prospect for dodging the attack.

“Taste this!!!” I shouted.

Everything was gone well, all according to my plan. When the victory was seen on the horizon, suddenly, everything became blank. My vision became dark. I didn’t realized, that i was fell unconscious before I managed to finish my finishing blow. I don’t knew anything happens after that.


Ah…. again i could cornered and defeated her. She was as tough as before. She even learned from her previous battle against me. She was a terrifying fighter indeed. If i didn’t realized her trap sooner, maybe she could defeated me this time.

“Surt! Are you okay ?” Said my teammate that was tasked to did another jobs. He also had finished his jobs.

“Yeah! I also captured these dangerous girls.” Replied me, while pointing to the girl.

“Good jobs, chief! That civilized bastard wouldn’t used this girl again after this.” Said my teammate.

“Of Course, she was too dangerous to became our enemies!” i replied.

Then I tied up and then picked up the girl and brought her to our headquarters. So, at least she will not be used again by the Cimon.


Penulis: Narusaka

Child of Winter

Entry Writchal 1
Tema: Alternate history, Kaderisasi, Soviet Union

Happiness lies in comfort of the unknown. Even I know that to an extent. People long for happiness. Even I, though undeserving, long for it.

Amidst this desolated, blanketed-white, cursed land I can hold these dear, small hand with a smile. Almost as if ignoring the sin I’ve committed all throughout my life. I abandoned my humanity in search of happiness. Then I turned my back against my own self to gain my happiness back.

My happiness lies here, beside me, in the form of another human.

“Mom, can I see the sunlight?”

“Hm? You can clearly see the daylight though.”

“Mhn. Not that. I read it in the books.”

My child inquired with her eyes upturned, brimming with curiosity.

“They said that the day was brighter than any bonfire. It is so bright that the shadows are not intermingled. The sunlight shines forever bright that you cannot see it with your own eyes, else you will be blind.”

She explained, not letting go of my hand. Her other hand spun around just to visualize how bright the sun can be. And how she wished to see it, by looking up at the eternally gray-tinted sky above us.

“I wonder if it will stop.”


A wry smile sprung on my face. I couldn’t bring myself to answer her question.

Happiness lies in comfort of the unknown. What she consider as happiness, might be different from mine. But her existence is still brimming with innocence, an infant susceptible to many wrong of the world.

To correct them—nay, to prevent them, I must give light to her the harms that lies within the ways of this world. God’s creation are imperfect such that they would consider themselves as one.

“How about I tell you a story?”

“Uhm? Aren’t we close to the bakery?”

“We can always take a detour.”


Ana pondered over a shorter route to bakery or a longer one with storytelling. Our strides are gradually shortening and we walked slower to let her choose.

“Let’s take a detour!”

“Sure, then.”

Without prying further towards her reasoning, we shifted our route on a forkroad, taking a long turnaround before reaching the bakery.

“Then, as promised, let me tell you a story.”


Ana tightened her grip on my hand., her smile anticipating whatever comes next out of my mouth. Our stride remained at a slow-pace, yet with each step I could feel her eagerness to listen.

“Once upon a time, there lived a witch. It is said that her power were a wish granted through a pact with the devil.

Grant thy power unto me, then thou shalt receive on my behest, vehement soul of pure damsels!

The devil agreed to her pact, only under one condition.

‘No mortal will ever be capable of withstanding the almighty authority I bear, and for you I grant one, and only one.’

Therefore the witch received her power in the form of a book, called The Grimoire. The book is said to contain every power imaginable, but there’s a catch. A single person may only use one power from the book, and the user must sacrifice a part of their body to obtain it.

One day, another girl happened to stumble upon The Grimoire, a porcelain-skinned girl with blond hair. She was an abandoned orphan during a crisis in the Kingdom of far, far north. 

Winter was not a fond memory for her. She was born and left to fend for herself during the harshest winter with barely any food. She lost her lover during a deadly blizzard in the winter. She had to move from place to place in search of fire to warm her frigid cold body.

One day, on the brink of death, the girl fell on top of a snow pile half her height.

Curse the winter,’ she said.

’Curse the cold and snow that left my life in anguish,’ she resented.

’If only I could erase winter forever,’ the girl wished genuinely from the depths of her heart while clutching The Grimoire. A trickle of blood drip down from her frozen extremities, tainting The Grimoire with a red color.

And then a faint, ephemeral whisper could be heard by her—Tell me, what will you offer in exchange of this power?

The girl, exhausting the remaining warmth left on her body, intently spoke with a muffled voice.

The only valuable part of myself, my hair.’

And thus the pact was made. Her gleaming blond hair turned into pale-white color, each strand becoming lifeless with its color sapped. Her previously wrinkled skin regained its energy as she cover herself in a blanket of pure white snow. Life returned into her eyes, a fiery rage more fearsome than the winter itself presiding in it.

She was the Winter Witch.

Filled with hatred and anguish, at her disposal was a force of nature beckoning human to stay still. The wind driving storm into blizzard. The cold driving rainfall into icefall. A force capable of sapping away all color in the bountiful land into a colorless, lifeless desert.

’I have had enough, and all of you will pay for it.’

The Winter Witch said, bearing resentment and ill-will. She trapped the whole Kingdom under an eternal winter, never again to see any sunlight nor spring of tomorrow dawn.”

I was…a bit overexcited along the way. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that in a truthful manner, though I tried my best so it would sound similar to a fairytale.

No matter how you put it, pouring your heart out towards a child, your own nonetheless, is a truly pathetic excuse of a parent.

“Mom…it hurts.”


“Your hand…”

“S-sorry, Ana! Are you okay?”


Ana shook her head slightly.

“Why don’t you tell me earlier?!”

“Because you look like you’re in pain, Mom.”

Was I, not holding back myself? Why must I feel like holding myself together? Have I…not forgiven myself?

This child, living only to never see the sunlight. Even though I promised myself to provide for her happiness. In the end, what I seek was the happiness of my own.

It’s the same.

Unchanging, all the same as I was back then.

“Why are you crying, Mom?”

How could I, after all. These hands have turned countless fire into ash—tainted in black soot, freezing to the touch. Unworthy of any warmth, yet I fear—I still fear that one day I will lose the warmth I always thought as my own.

Why…what did I do to deserve all this?

My legs gave in as I grieved.

My hands clench in fear.

This distant feeling is casting me away from standing up and reaching out to my child. It has been, always has been since the beginning. I was just fooling myself, basking in a grand illusion I selfishly created.

I dare not even raise my head. The words I’ve said, it carried more truth than comfort. What I did, what I have said, what I have done.

I thought I have left it all behind.

“It’s okay, Mom.”

Ana gave me a pat on my head.

“You know, it’s not the first time you look like you’re in pain. Mom often cries in her sleep.”

This comfort.

Ah. It’s as if…

“And whenever I gave you headpats, you always stop crying!”

The snow below pillowed the flowing tears down my cheek. A mixture of regret taken form in liquid emotion. Droplets of water, not ice. Such water is capable of rendering the snow weak—from frozen solid into lukewarm pool.

Like a child, I cried.

Almost, as if I have been pretending not to be all this time.

No, perhaps, I have always been pretending not to. Always looking away, bearing confidence in running away. And, worse of all, thinking that I am deserving of love.

How many years has it been? I had thrown my humanity long ago in search of happiness. I was too conceited, narrow-sighted, and childish back then—mistaking happiness as the suffering of others.

I did the irreversible. My hands incapable of restoring what was lost. I took my own self for granted, pretending to shoulder the misfortune of the world.


Ana hugged me. 

My child, her hands have grown long enough to embrace me. 

Time does not stand still, even in the face of immortality. My time, it began to move again alongside her existence.

“You know, I like your white hair. It’s beautiful like falling snow in the morning,”

“And that’s not all, I love it because I have the same white hair!”

“Even if all my friends mock me for it, I will never hate it.”

“Because it’s the color of the hair of the Mom that I love!”

I wonder if this rain will stop. I wonder if I could bear living with it. This hand…are they capable of returning this embrace?

Why not?’

All you have to do is forgive yourself.

A voice resonates within. What have I been waiting for? If I return this embrace, then I believe something within me will change. Resolution, acceptance, forgivance…I could not clearly define this resolve within my heart.

But if it’s for this child, then I’ll gladly do so.

“I’m sorry, Ana.”

Using the remaining strength left, I raised my hand and hugged Ana.

“I’m sorry…”

“…I’m truly sorry…”

Ana pats my back with a slight thud. A bit too strong for comfort, but you can clearly feel the intention all the same.

“It’s not that, right?”

It’s not?



How could I forget? If the cold persists, be grateful to the warmth. If the past remains, be grateful the future. If there’s no sunlight, be grateful to the snow.

I taught that to my child.

She taught me back in ways I never expect.

Ultimately, wasn’t I just teaching myself?

That this world is unbearably cruel to live in by yourself. So much, that it might distort your very own human. The longer you live in pain, the further you stray from decency. You have to figure out how to return yourself back to human once more.

And that could never be done without the help of others.

“Thank you, Ana.”

Happiness lies in the comfort of others. Even I, who believes I am undeserving of it, know at least that. People long for happiness in their own—but truthfully, happiness lies within each other.

Nobody really likes the winter. Especially up in the coldest north of Rus. Freezing cold requires a strong physique to withstand. Strong physique requires your mind to be rigid too. Living in the north is harsh, oppression of the strong begets cruelty to the weak.

I fear the winter will go on endlessly. It’s frightening to the point of heating up this cold and tired heart. A burning desire to ensure equality, just as those oppressors have taught us time and time again.

Therein, lies no happiness within this land in the winter. The weak remains still in the bottom pile of snow, their warmth sapped for the strong to live on. So when the weak obtain the means to overthrow the strong, what difference would that make?

Tell me, why do you still seek happiness when there is none?


Entry Writchal 1
Tema: Alternate history, Kaderisasi, Masjid Salman

Terik matahari di musim panas sangat menyebalkan. Ditambah suara bising instrumen tonggeret memenuhi isi kepalaku. Andai saja aku tinggal di daerah tropis, pasti aku tidak akan bertemu dengan musim menjengkelkan ini. Hmm rasanya jadi ingin makan es serut pak somad. Oke, aku putuskan untuk mampir ke Warung Pak Somad terlebih dahulu.

Fiuh. Akhirnya sampai juga. Aku langsung bergegas masuk.

“Cekring”, suara khas furin menyambut datangnya musim panas.

Saat memasuki warung, hawa sejuk seketika menyelimutiku, rasanya menemukan oasis di  luasnya padang pasir.




Buset dah gak di waro, kemana pergi Pak Somad? Dia pasti sedang ada di dalam, mana ada dia meninggalkan warungnya tanpa mengunci pintu. Aku masuk kedalam warung sambil mengucapkan “meser”. Nah bener kan, Pak Somad sedang rebahan di atas tatami sambil menonton liga inggris.

“Meser”, teriak ku.

“Buset dah, berisik amat, siapa sih, udah malem woi jangan teriak-teriak” Jawab Pak Somad.

“Mbuset, ini masih jam 12 siang pak, makanya jangan kebanyakan nganggur.”

Pak Somad mengambil kacamata, menatap jam dinding lalu jendela dan terakhir ke arah ku.

“Oh pantes si Coki” sambil menghela nafas, “mau ngapain kamu disini?”

“Jelas buat beli es serut dong, masa beli es krim pedelpop rainbou. Dibungkus ya pak.”

Pak Somad terdiam terlebih dahulu lalu berkata“Ah yasudah ayo kedepan”

Pak Somad mengeluarkan es dalam kulkas dan menaruhnya ke mesin es serut. Sambil menyerut es, Pak Somad bertanya “Betewe, gimana kaderisasi di 工業大学? Dah dimarah-marahin belom sama dosen jepang?”

“Biasalah dimarahin mah, udah makanan sehari-hari sama ibu. Jadi udah biasa”

Pak Somad terdiam kembali, lalu bertanya

“Eh, udah kamu, dah makan belom? Bapak punya ayam goreng sisa tadi malam…eh siang maksudnya.”

“Udah makan tadi di Masjid Salman, lagi ada acara bagi-bagi box makan siang.”

“Oalah, yaudah nanti bapak bungkusin buat nanti kalau laper ya”

“Waaa, terimakasih banyak pak, tau aja aku lagi ga ada duid hehe.”

Pak Somad menyiapkan es serut dan membungkus ayam goreng.

“Ini es serut sama ayam gorengnya. Gak usah bayar, bapak traktir.”

“Wadoo maaf merepotkan pak, terimakasih banyak Pak Somad” Kata ku sambil berdiri tegak menghormat menghadap Pak Somad.

“Udah jangan hormat-hormat, Bapak bukan matahari. Pergi sana.”

“Mbuset, kasar amat dah. Dadah Pak Somad”

“Oh ya, kalau ada apa-apa, kesini aja ya.”

“Siap pak”

Pak Somad melambaikan tangannya. Wah emang rejeki anak soleh, baru pulang solat jumat dikasih bingkisan dari Pak Somad. Lucky 100. Baru sepuluh langkah, Pak Somad berteriak.



Mbuset, tadi marah gara-gara aku teriak, sekarang di teriak juga. Tapi gapapa, yang penting aku dapet makanan gretong. 10 menit berlalu. Aku sampai kerumah.

Aku membuka pintu rumah dan mengucapkan salam.

“Aku pulang.”

“Oh, kamu dah pulang Coki. Itu kamu beli apa?”

“Tadi barusan mampir ke warung Pak Somad dulu. Pak Somad lagi baik, ngasih es serut terus dikasih ayam goreng gratis.”

“Oala. Oke sekarang kamu mandi terus belajar biar Jepang bangga padamu. Dan jangan grinding arknight mulu.”

“Siap bu.”

Aku langsung menuju ke kamar. Diatas meja bungkus obat berserakan. Oh ya aku harus minum obat. Aku pun langsung minum obat dengan es serut.

Kakiku lemas, aku pun terjatuh. Kepalu tiba-tiba pusing. Ada apa ini? Minum obat dengan es serut sebagai minuman bukan ide yang baik. Arghh.


Ah aku tersadar sesuatu. Aku bergegas ke dapur untuk menemui ibu.


Ah tidak ada disini,




Tidak ada yang menjawab.


Aku coba membuka gorden jendela.

Dan benar saja.

Hari sudah malam.


Sepertinya aku telat minum obat.

Besok aku harus minta maaf ke Pak Somad.

Andai saja aku tidak menghentikan golongan muda mendesak Pak Soekarno untuk memproklamasikan kemerdekaan. Mungkin keluarga aku akan lengkap.


Penulis: haitenzen

First Mission

Entry Writchal 1
Tema: Alternate history, Kaderisasi, Soviet Union

“Ah, ballistics? Yes, I remembered that in school, fascinating subject, things go up, things go down!”

“Actually…” Actually, he’s not wrong.

It was a bright noon on a warm January, just before the clock ticks to thirteen, I was walking under the heavy rasputitsa with my squadmate, Burgdorf. The enveloping petrichor of the still wet grass lingers in the air, albeit there was not a single indication that it had rained previously.

We were dispatched on a scouting mission deep inside hostile territory. Now, sending green rookies who are practically still on their orientation period on a dangerous scouting mission deep into enemy territory might sound unwise, and it is, but I’ve been assigned to several of this scouting missoin for over a week now, and nothing ever happened. So the hours of walking to and fro between our objectives are more often than not filled with menial conversation, this time, we are discusing physics.

“So yeah, that’s why when the enemy is so far away, you should try aiming just a tad bit higher, because of-“


“Yes, ballistics, and maybe a bit sideway, in case of heavy wind current.”

“I see, but didn’t the Germans used to have a pretty good weapon that could fire in a straight line? How do they do that?”

“The Germans? Ah, you must mean the 88…”

Even though I don’t really know the technical details of the 88, I gave my hypothesis on the weapon as best as I could to Burgdorf, and we ended up discussing about history instead. This level of carefreeness is, at first, just as shocking as the first day of harsh training when we were drafted into the army, but we humans have a tendency to adapt to our situation, the key word ‘adapt’ here could be quite… variative, in its connotation.

You see, I drowned myself in literary fiction, especially science fiction made by the likes of Lem, Asimov, Huxley, and Čapek to name a few. Burgdorf, meanwhile, was but a humble rural boy, born and raised in a collective farm, he spent most of his day tending to livestocks, feeding the cattle, cleaning manure, herding the sheeps, etc, etc. Amidst it all, he also like historical literature and is well versed when discussing said subject.

So we were never really the fighter type, and we quickly re-adapted ourselves with the level of carefreeness our mission has bestowed upon us.

The hours went by and we finally arrived at our objective, a seemingly uninteresting point in the map, and the sight we came across too is equally uninteresting, the weather is clear, so we, who were standing above an overlooking hills, saw that there was nothing but tall pine trees as far as the eye can see. No enemy in sights.

“Yep, as expected.” Burgdorff commented. “Our bombers must’ve done quite a number on them, eh?”

“Hm, maybe, some of them did flew over us several times before.” I said as I reached for a marker in my saddle bag, crossing the particular point that is our objective off the map and noting our discovery in the log.

“Well, that’s our mission done, lets rendezvous with our leader and head back.”

“Right, lets.”

We then proceed to head to our rendezvous point, as before, I converse quite a lot of time with Burgdorff to pass the time. Not merely because there was nothing else to do, I genuinely enjoyed talking with him. I never said it to him, but I was glad that he happened to be my squad mate.

Several minutes later, we met with the rest of the squad. There’s five of us in total including me and Burgdorf. Alenko, our squad leader, Smirnov, the medic, and Ayla, another girl in the squad besides me, and apparently, they both went to the same school before being drafted. How they three ended up in the same squad was beyond me, but they seemed pretty jubilant about it, so that’s a good thing, I guess.

“Good to see you back comrade!” Alenko said, patting me and Burgdorf in the shoulder with his two strong hands. “What did you see on your end?”

“Not much, no Pozhukhos[1] in sight, here’s our report.” I said, handing out my note and map to Alenko.

“I see, same on our end here.”

[1] Pozhuko (пожуко): Unofficial term coined by the soldier, short for Pozhevoe Ukho (пожевое ухо), meaning 'knife-eared'.

Our squad was tasked with reconnaissance mission on two objectives, deciding that we probably wont meet the pozhukos again this time, we agreed to split off in the middle of our trek towards the objective in order to complete our mission faster. A decision that was unanimously approved by the party.

“I wonder where the Pozhukos are, we’ve been looking for them for weeks.” Ayla said.

“Well, that’s another free ruble for our pocket.” Smirnov shrugs.

“Indeed! Good job either way, we did our duty, now let’s return to our base.” Alenko said, to which everybody nodded as a reply, and thus, we began our walk back to base.

The ground was wet and soggy most of the time, the squelching sound of mud accompanied us with the occasional crackling of dead leaves and branches throughout the journey. A common sight to be seen in our beloved Russia, it should be a familiar sight, if not for the rather… unorthodox fauna that could often now be seen everywhere, one of the glowing types.

A kind of dragonfly but with claws and luminescent tails could be seen buzzing around the forest, and yesterday, we spotted six-legged mammals that has the head of a moose but the body of a goat, that too has some sort of glowing fractal patterns that adorned its body. Some sort of rainbow coloured moss could also be seen growing on the bark of pine trees.

Ever since the event dubbed as ‘the great anomaly’, the face of our motherland has changed a great deal in just a single night. The world was never the same again, for the Earth that we were so familiar with to suddenly change into… whatever we found ourselves in. Where there was Germany, now there’s the nation of the pozhukos instead, the so called ‘Mandate of Alvenia’ where there was the Bering Sea, there’s now the ‘sea of desolation’ instead.  Our greatest scientists are absolutely baffled by the impossible phenomenon and still hasn’t found any definitive answer even to this day. Granted, it’s only been several months since the great anomaly happened, so there must be another more plausible, and scientific explanation.

And now, we somehow ended up at war with the Pozhukos. And that’s how I got drafted in, to fight for the motherland.

Though for all their claim and damnation on us, they haven’t done much to show for their words as our armies marched in their territory quite effortlessly. A quick war was on everyone’s mind, and the nation of the pozhukos would be seen as just yet another nation that would fall under the banner of our great ideology.

“Hey Mishka, where do you think the Pozhukos are?” Burgdorf said, dragging me back from my thoughts.

“I don’t know, dead and buried I hope.” I answered nonchalantly.

“Yes but, don’t you think it’s getting, uh… suspiciously easy?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like when the German first invaded us, they were very surprised on how easy it was at first, but you know how it ended.”

Burgdorf has got a point, reports from our men on the front didn’t give them too much credit, they said that the pozhukos are more akin to a middle-age kingdom, fighting with swords and bows. I’ve heard a lot of stories from our tankers recounting of their experience in the opening days of the wars, where they were met with arrows and how they made short work of them. Of course, they added a lot of mockery to go along with their tales.

But underestimating your enemy was never a good thing, both the French and the American lost the war in Vietnam fighting a numerically and technologically inferior enemy, and the narrative seemed to gradually fit ours. There’s just too much that we don’t know about our current situation.

The western power lost in Vietnam because the Vietcong didn’t actually stood alone, weapons from us and the Chinese streamed through their nation day by day clandestinely. Who’s to say the Pozhukos doesn’t have similar benefactors? Or that they do not have any ace in the hole at all? Some of our casualties so far, albeit minimum, includes some tanks, and even aircrafts, mig aircrafts! if the pozhukos are as backwards as we think, then how did they accomplish that? it’s been dismissed as merely technical or human error, but I digress.

There’s simply a lot that we don’t know about them.

“You remember our talk about the flak 88?” Burgdorf said.

“Uh, yes, some hours ago.”

“What if the Pozhukos has something similar to it? I mean, they knocked out an IS7!”

It was hard to dismiss that idea, I can’t help but to think of that. all the while our squad was drowning in complacency.

In front of us, Alenko and Ayla are walking side by side, holding hands. Apparently, they’re lovers, before being drafted. I was glad to see Ayla on my squad so that we have another girl, but upon finding out that the three of them came from the same school, I was afraid that I’d ended up being a third wheel instead, thank God for Burgdorf. The one that ended up being the third wheel is none other than Smirnov, who can be seen walking in silence just a bit behind the couple and in front of us, being unable to talk to either his lovey-dovey friends, or the strangers behind him. Though from what I’ve heard, Alenko is a pretty popular and well liked people around his circle of friends, so I guess Smirnov respected him too regardless.

I glanced to Burgdorf to see what he is up to now, not much, the tall farm boy has an affinity towards nature, it is understandable for him to find all the otherworldly flora and faunas to be quite fascinating, he was just sightseeing.

I poked at him with the tip of my SVT.

“Ow, what?”

What indeed.

I don’t know, I just felt a sudden urge to do that.

“Nothing, what do you think about Alenko and Ayla?” I said, gesturing my head towards the two lovebirds.

“Huh? Uhh, I don’t know, Alenko seems like a nice guy, no wonder Ayla is all over him.” He said, scratching his head. “Why do you ask?”

Why indeed.

I never found myself curious about somebody else, so asking Burgdorf’s opinion about Alenko and Ayla seemed out of character for me, I don’t know why, I couldn’t think of a better question to ask him…

“Uh, I don’t know, just… curious, I guess.” I answered, unable to think of anything else to say.


And so we continued to walk in silence.


Several minutes later, we stumbled upon something that bewildered us.

A thin but long gorge has formed out of nowhere on the route between our objectives and our base, seemingly splitting the earth below us in two. the ‘walls’ of the gorge, for a lack of better term, were cleaved surgically clean with no visible roughness whatsoever, moreover, it was deep, very deep. Stretching down to what seemingly looked like an endless abyss.

That thing was definitely not here the moment we left the previous day, it just came out of nowhere. Question arose from each of our tongue, no answer came. So naturally, we look up to our leader for orders.

Bozhemoi!, I don’t know, how am I supposed to deal with… with this?!” Alenko shouted, understandably frustrated.

“Do you think it’s the Pozhuko’s doing?” Burgdorf commented, his words somehow conjured a feeling of uneasiness in me.

“Maybe… let me radio HQ..”

“Good idea.”

Alenko unpacked his bag and retrieved a set of radio equipment, he pressed a button and the machine came to life with a buzzing sound, after tuning it to the proper frequency, he started talking into the microphone.

“Hello, this is dragonfly-7 to Base, are you there?”

Static, no answer.

“Dragonfly-7 to base, do you copy?”

The same sound. Alenko tried dialing in left and right, the cacophonic sound of the radio could be heard high and low, attenuating differently for each set of frequency. He kept trying, but every time he talked into the microphone, all he would receive in return is nothing but a meaningless garbled transmission.

He curses.

“So now what?” Smirnov asked.

“I think we’re on our own, at least for now, something seemed to be interfering with our radio. That or…”

He stopped there, hoping that someone would finish it for him, none did. We dare not to speak of the worst scenario, even though the thought filled our minds.

“Nevertheless, we’ll have to do on our own… let’s circle around this gorge, it can’t possible stretch all that far.” Alenko said, since none of u has any better ideas, we obliged.

And so we walked.

And we walked.

And we walked.

And we walked…

With no end in sight, the gorge still separates us from the other side.

“Alenko, I don’t think it’s working.” Smirnov complains.

“Say, don’t you feel like the trees, and everything seemed the same?” Ayla said

“I thought so too.”

“Damnit! What is this?”

Alenko stopped without saying anything, and we followed in suit. Frantically looking around, trying to find a solution.

“I have an idea, why don’t we try making our own log bridge from one of these pine trees, we can try chopping them off.” Burgdorf said.

“Hmm, I don’t see a better alternative than that, any objection?”

Everyone shook their head.

“Very well then, grab your axe and start chopping.”

And we did just that. three tall pine trees fell one after another, and we formed a sort of pontoon bridge with its logs fixed together with some ropes, it looks sturdy enough, but just in case, we agreed that only one person should be crossing the bridge at any single given time.

“So who’s gonna cross first?” Burgdorf asked.

“I am the leader, I should cross first.” Alenko said.

“Wait, why don’t we send Smirnov or Burgdorf first?” Ayla suggest, Burgdorf said nothing, but Smirnov flat out refused, and the two argued.

“You damn cyka, always nosing all over Alenko, I bet you’ll even do what the pozhukho said to get into Alenko’s pants.”

“Why you!- go to hell and die!”

Ah, so they never liked each other that much in the first place. Me and Burgdorf, being the outsider among those three, looked at each other and shrugged. Before the argument got too heated, Alenko walked between the two and stopped their argument.

“Enough! I am the leader, if I do not cross first, how am I to expect you to follow my lead?”

“Right.” Smirnov nodded with satisfaction.

“But, but Alenko-“

“It’s alright, Dushka, I’ll be fine, you trust me don’t you?”

“I… yes, okay.”

And so it was Alenko, our leader, that was sent to walk across the bridge first. For security measure, we attached him with a rope in case the bridge collapse so that we could retrieve him safely.

He stepped on the bridge, the long pine logs wobbled a little as he did, but after some small steps or so, he retracted his hands and started walking normally. The expression of trepidation that was in our faces turned to relief upon this sight, and then Alenko reached the other side safely.

He turned back to look at us whilst untying the rope attached to him.

“See? It wasn’t too hard.”

Just as he said that I caught a glimpse of an object moving across my peripheral vision at such speed that I don’t get to see what it was, what I do get to see is the sight of Alenko slumping down, a loud thud could be heard as his body fell to the ground.

There was no immediate reaction from everyone, including Alenko himself, but it’s not long before we heard him groaning in pain and rolled to his stomach, crawling. And of course, the first one to react would be…

I looked at Ayla as she raised both her to press on her head, her mouth already agape but no words came out for a good while as her mind is still processing what had just happened.

“Enemy sniper!” Burgdorf shouted.

“Alenko! No!” She finally screamed in a higher pitch than usual. The ground where Alenko stood was covered in tall grass, but from what we can see, somebody must’ve shot him in his right leg.

“Smirnov! Do something!” The panic-stricken Ayla turned to Smirnov, who just now were zoning out, still trying to figure out what to do.

Her action brought him back to his senses, well, partially.

“Huh? Uh…”

Smirnov groggily looked between Ayla and Alenko,

“W-what do you want me to do?”

Ayla grabbed Smirnov by his uniform and shook him hard, screaming.

“Alenko got shot! Help him. Help him!”

 Something seemed to click on Smirnov, and he immediately sets off to save his friend.

“Alenko, hang in there, I’m coming!”

And off he goes.

But… something doesn’t feel right.

Smirnov stepped on the log bridge, the feeling of uneasiness grew steadily bigger and bigger as he progresses through the bridge, and then I saw Burgdorf started moving.

My hands instinctively tried to reach out to him to stop him from going, but I was too late, he already tailed right behind Smirnov.

My anxiety grows larger, but just as I realized it, suddenly Alenko shouted at them.

“I-Idiots! what are you doing?! Stay awa-“

Amidst the panicking voice of Ayla and the sight of our leader in pain, we have forgotten the most crucial thing. The fact that whatever downed our leader is still there, watching us…

The same fast-moving projectile appeared again, I saw it relatively better this time around, it looked like a green flash, akin to a tracer round but quite bigger. And it just scored a hit on Smirnov, in the head, just as he crossed the log bridge. Burgdorf stopped whilst he was still in the middle of the bridge.

“Burgdorf! No! Come back here!” I screamed, praying, hoping for him to just come back here, but he didn’t… he turned the rifle back towards the direction of the and started firing at the sniper.

“Burgdorf!” I screamed again, this time, he seemed to notice me.

“It’s okay Mishka! I’m applying Ballistics, this next shot I’ll get him!”

“Get back! Stay away! Run! Leave me!” Alenko screamed, in a vain attempt to turn his squad mates away from him.

The bolts flew towards him before he had a chance to fire again, the next thing I saw was his limp body falling into the gorge. I couldn’t believe my eyes, countless thoughts all crashed at once in my mind, I had just lost my friend, I knew that, but at the time, I was unable to accept that as a reality as time seemed to have slowed down in that particular moment. Was this really happening? what was I supposed to do now? Had I gotten myself into this mess, or had I found myself in this mess? Everything was fine just moments ago, we were talking about ballistics, physics, the Germans. All the strength had suddenly just left my legs, and I fell on my knees. Feeling helpless.

I slowly glanced at Ayla, stunned, her face seemed frozen in time with the shocked expression as before. But suddenly she started moving her body, awkwardly attempting stood up despite her visibly shaking.

“Go…” She spoke.


“Save him…” She said again. “Save him!” she shouts.

When she said that, its not a lie to say that I was quite astonished. We were trapped in here with a sniper picking off on our number one by one, we have lost two men so far, both of which died in an attempt to save our wounded leader, her boyfriend, and now she’s standing besides me, asking me to do the same, after I watched a good friend of mine died, his body falling into the endless abyss, never to be seen again.

And she wanted me to do just that again, to save her boyfriend.

Suffice to say, I was quite astonished at her sheer audacity. I was in utter disbelief.

“W-what are you doing…” I said, managing to utter that few words seemed like an accomplishment now.

“We can do this, if we do this together, we can save him… go, stand up!” She said, grabbing me in my uniform tightly. “Stand up!” she shouts again as she started to shake me.

An ocean of feelings stirred up inside of me, vice among them are confusion, sadness, boiling anger, but the greatest of them all that drowned all the other feelings are fear.

I should be angry at how Ayla treated me, but at this time, I was too frozen with fear to give an appropriate response.

She was still shaking me, occasionally slapping my cheek as if to bring me back to my senses, but as she does that, I could see the other side of the gorge, I saw Smirnov’s headless body lay motionless amidst the tall grass, I saw Burgdorf’s rifle laying in the middle of the log bridge we made, but most importantly, I saw Alenko, still laying on the ground.

I could see him more clearly now, his legs are gone up to his upper knees, even if we managed to retrieve him back safely somehow, he still wouldn’t have made it out alive. I thought of that, but at that exact moment, even though our distance is quite far apart, I could tell that he’s looking at me in the eyes for a moment. Ayla’s incessant screaming had blended with the loud ringing in my head as I watched Alenko reach out for something on the ground just in front of him, a Tokarev pistol.

“No… what are you doing…” I said in whisper.

I then saw him lay on his back, and slowly moved his gun towards the back of her ears. He looked at me for one last time, her lips moved somewhat to say a word but I couldn’t hear what he said.

But if I had to guess, it would be ‘run.’

“Hey! Hey Mishka! I swear if you did not respond one more time, I will drag you out myse-“

Bang, a loud sound cuts off Ayla’s word.

She immediately turned back and let me go, I couldn’t exactly see her face, but there was no need for that. she let out a blood curdling scream calling out for Alenko’s name. I knew she’s about to do something reckless again, and somehow my body sprung to action, and I grabbed in the arm tightly just as she was about to run towards the bridge.

“What are you doing?! Let me go you bitch!”

Ayla was less than pleasurable to be around with after everything, but despite it all, I am not going to let another one of my squad mates dies, no, not today, I will not be left alone. I don’t want to be alone. Alenko voluntarily took his life in order to prevent us from going over there and saving him. So despite Ayla cursing me with all the foul words in the world, I will not let her die here.

She pushed me away and clenched her fist, swinging a hit towards me, I dodged and strikes her on the chin, knocking her out cold.

“Sorry, Ayla…”

I carried the unconscious Ayla on my arms and retreated back into the forest, leaving the tragic scene where three of my friends lost their lives behind me. I don’t know where all this strength came from, I was always the weakest during the drill, a frail girl, maybe the adrenaline rush, maybe the desperation, I don’t know. But I just keep running, and running, and running, and running…


“Have you heard the news? They killed Comrade Brezhnev!”

“The Pozhukos? Chert Vozniy! How do they do that?!”

“We’ve lost contact with an entire VDV battalion”

“I am sorry comrade officer, I can’t fix this, they’ve done something to the engine”

“They blew up a battleship!”

“Bozhemoi, how did it come down to this…”

I walked under the hazy sky overcast with thundering clouds, pressing my hands against my ears.

Soldiers talking among each other, shouts of orders, screams of pains, the roaring of engines, the cacophonic hustle and bustle of the base, something big seemed to be happening.

But I paid no heed to all these sounds, they are dwarfed by the deafening sound of ceaseless ringing on my ears, burrowing deep into my head and resulting in sleepless nights. So much so that it is hard to pay attention to where I was walking to. Soldiers bumped into me often, some curses, others ignored me, at one time it was so harsh that I fell on the ground.

It somehow made the ringing worse; sapping all the strength I had, I pressed harder and harder against my ears, yet the sound lingers.

It’s no use… it’s only gradually gotten worse each passing minutes.

Suddenly, a cold sensation came from my head, seemingly chilling me to my spine, and somehow, reducing the endless ringing. As I wondered what that was, dark dots starting to form on the ground, ticking one by one, I looked up to the sky and felt the cold touch of ticking water droplets on my face. Ah, it’s raining…

I stood up and continued walking, faring quite better than I had previously.

As I turned on an intersection, I spotted the figure of a woman, around my age, sitting down, hugging her knees, covered from the rain by the thin fabric of the tent behind her.


Ayla raised her head to look at me for a quick moment, before turning away shortly after.

“It’s you.”

I walked towards her. The rain got heavier, and the sound of thunder could be heard from a distance.

Ayla looked up to me, stricken with silence.

I maintained my stern look, looking as if I was passing down judgement upon her. 

The way she looked at me soften my face to a point of guilt for saying that to her. Sure, she might have caused the deaths of half of our squad, and it is true that in my mind that, before this, I blamed it all on her, but now, why am I feeling guilty? 

Objectively, she’s the one to blame for the death of Smirnov and Burgdorf, and to some extent, Alenko. But why am I feeling guilty?

I am not close with her, I don’t even like her, she’s always all over Alenko and never paid any attention to anyone else, but why am I feeling guilty?

I don’t understand.

As I tried to think harder, the ringing started to return. I frowned my brows and turned my back on her, walking away from the tent leaving her all alone amidst the rain.

I tread the base aimlessly, walking alone whilst bowing my head, pressing my hands yet again against it.  A cacophony of sound endlessly crashing in my head. Ringing ever so loudly.

Each laborious step little by little only made the sound louder, again.

“Get… out… of my… head…”

Yet again, I fell on my knees. The ringing was more severe this time, morphing into several other sound, all distorted beyond recognition.

The world started to spin, the ringing turned first into an unnaturally loud and unsynchronized sound of what seemed to be crickets, and then a reverberating, rumbling sound of… tank engines? And then… there were sirens, loud loud sirens.

I pressed even harder against my ears, grunting, screaming in agony.

“Get… out!”

Mishka? Mishka!”

And then… there’s the voice of someone calling out my name…?

“Mishka! What are you doing, get up!”

The ringing suddenly stopped, and I found Ayla shaking me.


“Mishka? You’re back! Good.”

“What… are you doing?” I asked, half aware of my surroundings.

“I should be asking you that question, don’t you hear the sirens? We are to evacuate this section of the base.” 


As she said that, clarity began to return to my clouded mind, and I could hear everything again without the ringing. Sirens are blaring all throughout the base, soldiers could be seen scurrying away, running ahead of us.

“Ayla… why are you here?”

I asked, half scared of what answer she would give me. After our exchange just mere minutes ago, I thought I’ve severed any possible hope for reconciliation with her. And yet here she is, helping me out…

She didn’t answer, and grabbed my hand instead, helping me stand up.

“Let’s go.”

She started walking and dragged me along with her. Quite harshly, but… she helped me.

I don’t understand.

Several other soldiers, many of them of much bigger stature than both us and Ayla ran, many of them without caring much about their surroundings. Often bumping against me and Ayla. But I could feel her hand grabbing mine tighter and tighter.

Is she trying not to lose me over the crowds?

A bump from a running soldier shoved me aside, but her hand kept holding onto me. At that moment when I turned my head left, I saw… something.

It was something big and metallic, a row of vehicle unlike any others. In my curiosity, I let go of Ayla’s grip on my hand, and walked towards the small alley that separates all the commotion between the rows of said vehicle. Ayla screamed for my name, but I ignored her.

And when I got close enough, I got full view of said vehicles.

It has a lot of round wheels and it carried something of what appear to be a large, elongated tube on its back. There are rows and rows of said vehicle, it bore the symbol of our motherland.

“No way… Are those…”

I watched in horror at the realization of what these vehicles are… and what they’re about to do. They might’ve just been the very reason of why command ordered an evacuation of this base.

“Mishka! Where are you going? What are you doing!”

Ayla said, finally catching up with me, she grabbed my hand again, but soon realized the sight of the rows of behemoth arranged just in front of us.

“What are those… trucks? I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

As she said that, the thing that those ‘trucks’ carried in its back started to move, angling up slowly to a perfectly vertical position.

“What are they doing?” Ayla said again.

It is clear to me what order high command gave. It just shocked me that it has come down to this.

Penulis: Von Grenadus
Artist: Von Grenadus

Writchal #1 – Geochronic Alteration

Bodies burning in flames. Hellish screams let out by poor souls laid bare on this wasteland. Have you not enough of these manslaughter? What horrible act of human to let us end up this way.

I thought, as I peered over to the gateway that says:
“Welcome to Bikini Bottom”

– Head of Story Division 2021/2022

Writchal #1 yang berlangsung selama 18 September hingga 16 Oktober 2021 berakhir dengan grand total sebanyak 6 submisi. Tema yang dipilih kali ini meliputi Alternate history, Kaderisasi, dan salah satu dari pilihan:

Bikini Bottom
Masjid Salman
Soviet Union
Sekre Genshiken

Bagaimana caranya kata-kata mengerikan ini bisa terpilih menjadi tema?
Well, I’ve been wondering that too.

Berikut adalah keenam submisi dari Writchal #1.

Nantikan Writchal #2!
Kali ini kita akan membenahi temanya supaya lebih aksesibel!

Niet Verwacht

Entry Writchal 1
Tema: Alternate history, Kaderisasi, Auschwitz

Niet Verwacht

 The sky’s red, the raging fire that has consumed the whole building is slowly being extinguished by the rain. The smell of gunpowder mixed with the strong stench of blood, it was a massacre. Nobody would expect that the army would annihilate the military base out of nowhere, not a single survivor can be seen, all have either died by the explosion, or be killed when the army checked the ruined base. Except one fortunate soul, he was fortunate enough to barely survive but still death lingers beside him. The army still managed to find him and he was about to be executed. 

“Hold him up, these traitors need to be punished. No mercy for the enemies!”

“May you rest in hell.” 

“Ready your guns!” 



A barrage of bullets can be seen coming toward me. Is this it? Is this how I’m going to die? As the bullet passed through I screamed. 


“Jesus! What the hell dude, what is wrong with you Fran!” 

“Screaming out of nowhere like that, you scared the sh*t out of me.” 

Huh? Why am I back here at the training ground? 

“PeKO pEKO PEkO… That’s what happens when you’re about to get promoted as a squad leader I tell ya, people tend to lose their mind and go crazy, especially those who’re going to be the leader, they always go nuts saying weird stuff. PeKO pEKo pEkO!!” said the old man. 

The old man continued to walk down the path while talking gibberish and mumbling. “Are you okay? You look as if you’ve been killed or something.” 

“Don’t mind the old man, he’s only speaking nonsense as soon as he arrives at the base. They said he got a trauma, that’s why he sounds crazy.”

“When are you going to stop treating him like a baby, he’s already an adult, he can take care of himself.” 

“Why do you care, is it wrong to care about what’s wrong with the people you care about?” 

What is happening here? Didn’t the army already destroy the base? Not only that, how am I still alive? I’m pretty sure I’ve been shot and died already. How come I’m still alive, not just me but every one was supposed to be dead already. How…? 

“Hey.. Heyyy… Are you O K? Earth to Fran… Are you alive?” 

“Maybe he got hit in the head or something. That’s why he looks like that old man, yo… maybe the old man right, Fran is losing it as soon as he gets word that he’s going to be promoted.” 

“Wait? Going to? What do you mean?” 

“Wha… See, I told you, he’s clearly crazy!” 

“What day is today!?” 

“It’s the 36th day of the empire calendar, it’s so unlike you to forget about stuff like this, especially when the graduation is next week. Are you sure you’re fine?” 

“But how come…” 


Is this a dream? Is this even real? But… if by chance things do go as they did last time, then maybe… 

“Hey, can you guys listen to what I’m about to say for a moment? Would you believe me if I said that this place is going to be gone by next week.” 

“Dude, I know you’re crazy, but I wasn’t expecting this kind of crazy talk.” 

Of Course they wouldn’t believe me, the only person that knows about the future is me, but what should I do… 

Day and night I tried to come up with a strategy to stop the army. 

“I don’t know if it’ll work but it’s better than nothing.” 

The day after the promotion ceremony, I executed my plan and started preparing to fend off the army. With no time to waste, I quickly set-up the trap and waited for them to arrive. I waited… and kept on waiting, but no one came. Not a single soldier could be seen.

“Strange… They were supposed to be here by now, did I remember wrong? This is the day that they did attack, there’s no mistaking it, so how come there is no one coming?” 

Seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours, it’s getting late and still no one is coming, I then head back to the camp. From the distance I can see smoke coming from where the camp is. 

“Wait, HOW! I’m pretty sure no one get through the only road that I’ve been keeping an eye on for the entire day.” 

When I arrived, I was in complete awe. The camp had been destroyed just like before, but something different… 

“Ah, captain you have arrived, we are just finishing up the last of ’em, maybe you would like to watch.” 


Penulis: AeTher