Romance in Rouge [BF17]

BrikWars fiction in long-prose form. Trigger warning: Walls of text

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Romance in Rouge [BF17]

Postby Insert_blank » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:21 am

Romance in Rouge
The Canon Conclusion to GrimDarkgers

Episode 49:

    The events of the previous episode had left the team reeling. With the deaths of GrimDark Green, White and Black, the team was crippled and emotionally cracked. The aerial bombardment produced a low rumble, like thunderclaps under distant clouds of granite, could be heard from GrimDark HQ
Godmin Scratch's flagship was descending on the capital.
     In the past twelve hours the GrimDarkgers and NobleBrightgers had sat in their hideout discussing solutions. With half the team dead and the main combiner mecha out of commission, options were severely limited.
    “I wish Red were here,” Ruby had sighed, finally.
    Gary Stu Gold scoffed at her. “Don't be naive. He died, and you lived. It may hurt to hear this from me, but your brother wasn't the hero you made him out to be. You were the one who took up leadership and kept he whole team together until now. But if you keep acting like a defeatist don't be surprised when Scratch swoops down here and destroys us all.”
    The smack of a gloved hand striking hard against Gary’s face shattered the cutting calm
Gary spit bloody spittle out of the side of his mouth. Barry stood red faced, fists balled, and teeth clenched
    “Well the kid has a backbone after all. Sorry for making fun of your girlfriend, Blue.”
    . Mary Sue Silver stepped between the two.
    “Boys, this is hardly the time. Let's just take a break OK?” She pushed her brother out of the room.
    Hours later, Ruby sat alone in her room. Her large red comforter was wrapped around her slim form like the doubts plaguing her thoughts. The absence of light created a darkness in which she could hardly see her own hands before her, a darkness where haunting flashes of the day before danced around her eyes. Blood and steel. Gunshots and the screams of the dying.
    Sage, William, and Bart continued to push their attack. However, Moa and her two underlings fought off the combined strengths of all the rangers. Ruby watched in horror as Sage was cut down by one of the trio, Moa’s sword burying its blade into Sage’s shoulder. Dark red blood squirted out of his torso as the curvaceous warrior cut into his heart, killing him instantly.  
    Bart ran towards the Kitsune warrior masked in red, scythe raised high and preparing to strike. She ducked low and thrust directly into his chest with his blade. He died, teeth gritted and still screaming bloody murder. The red and black mixed into a brown slurry as he fell.
    Unlike his teammates, William was the cool and calculated one. He was one who always weighed his options before striking. Now, after watching is friend die in front of him he knew he was no match for the trio of beautiful warriors. However, that didn't stop him from sending magical blasts from his staff towards them as NobleBright Gold assaulted the shortest of the three.
    The blade pierced his chest from behind. He coughed up a mouthful of blood as his now lifeless body slumped to the ground. Moa stood above him gloating. “So much for the legendary GrimDarkgers,” she had said.
    The scent of blood still stuck to the insides of her nose. The death of her friends had hit her harder than her brother in some ways. The iron scent of their blood still stuck to the insides of Ruby’s nose, their bloodied corpses burned into her memory. The death of her friends had smashed Ruby’s spirit. While Red had been a hero to her, Bart, Sage, and William were her friends.
    Ruby stood up on shaky, half asleep legs and she stumbled towards the shower room. The hot water felt good against her tired flesh. Behind her a knock came came upon the door, and a muffled voice called out to her.
    “Not now,” She thought, “Just let me be. Let the world forget about GrimDark Rouge for a few more minutes. I can't be the hero they need right now.” The knocking continued for a while and then ceased. Meanwhile the cascades of hot water continued to wash over Ruby. She swallowed mouthfuls of water and spit them out, trying to clean the taste of defeat from her mouth.
    A strange sound made Ruby turn around and face the entry to her shower. Barry stood there with a strange look on his face.
    “Ruby... I...”
    “Get out!” She shouted, instinctively grabbing a towel to cover her naked skin. Instead of backing away, Barry took a step forward.
    “Ruby,” he breathed.
    Suddenly her naked back was against the wall of the shower and he as standing over her, water pouring down his face, soaking his clothes. He stared at her.
    “Please,” she whispered.
    “Ruby...”
    She pushed back against the wall. The now wet towel clung to her curves. Hot water streamed down from the shower head, bathing the two warriors in a steamy embrace. His hand stretched out slowly, deliberately towards her. As if brought out of a trance, Ruby jumped up and pushed Barry out of the shower. He tripped and fell over the lip.
    His eyes were wide like a puppy that had been kicked one too many times came upon the door, and a muffled voice called out to her.. “You bitch!” He rushed towards her again. His open hand struck her face hard, knocking her to the ground.
“I've done everything for you! I've fought for you! And how do you repay me?” He grabbed the towel out from under her.
    Naked and vulnerable, Ruby shouted in vain for help.
    “Shut up!” Barry shouted. “Why are you doing this to me? I was nice to you! I protected you!”
    Ruby kicked out with both feet. Hands and feet flailed, striking each other and opening old wounds. Blood and water mixed and swirled down the drain as the two fought.
    Finally, he stopped at looked down at his hands. His knuckles were bruised and bloody. He licked some blood from the corner of his mouth, a cut reopened by a well-aimed kick. His eyes were still wide, but empty now.
    “I'm sorry... I...” He stumbled back, once more tripping over the lid of the shower. He turned and ran out, sealing the door behind him. Ruby sat on the shower floor, the hot water running open sores and stinging cuts. It was a long time before she picked herself up again.

***
    Klaxons blared. Gary and Mary were already hunched over a monitor when Ruby entered the room. “What's going on?” She asked.
    “The mother ship has landed.” Gary said. “And the full might of the Far-ums has finally been brought to bear on us.” The three warriors stared at each other in awed silence. How could they, a rag-tag group of fighters, defeat an entire army?
    Barry entered the room. Ruby looked away from him, not daring to look him in the eyes. Gold and Silver quickly brought him up to date on the situation. He turned towards Ruby, as if to ask her what to do before he remembered and fell silent, looking away.
    Despite Gold's brash behavior and rudeness towards the GrimDarkgers, he had come to value Ruby's opinion as they fought together. He had only known Red for a few days before he died and for him Ruby had basically been his counterpart on the team since he had been working with them. Seeing her as she was now was more than he could bear.

    “Look Ruby, we need to get our heads in the game. This is the final battle and we're already three steps behind. Scratch has outwitted us at every turn. We need our leader. We need GrimDark Rouge.”
    Ruby looked at Mary. She brushed a lock of black hair out of her eyes and smiled. The Silver warrior had always been close with her, as the only female warriors on the team. Now Mary gazed into her eyes with the quiet determination that had made her such a formidable foe.
    She looked to Gary. He was loud, arrogant, and rude but beneath his harsh exterior was a heart of gold that shone through. It may have taken time for them to understand each other but at last they found they worked well together. He was a demon on the battlefield, taking out mooks and monsters with the same breezy confidence Red had possessed.
    And finally, there was Barry. Sweet gentle Barry who was so excited about the latest invention. Barry who-- but she couldn't think about that now. It was too late.
     Then she looked to herself. The leader who had taken the reins from her brother, tragically cut down. The one who had remained upbeat and helped to encourage the others when they were feeling down. The one who was always first to pick herself back up after taking an attack. The Ruby she wanted deep in her heart to one day be. In short, she looked at the most heroic version of herself she could imagine. What would that Ruby do now?
    “Barry.” He looked up at her. “Analyze the ship for any signs of weakness. Mary why don't you do a check on our weapons and remaining mecha. What do we still have left that we can use? I'm relying on your intuition. And Gary, how many of those mooks do you think you can take out? I'm counting about 1000.”
    They all smiled. “Yes Ma'am!” they shouted in unison.
***

    Barry had found the weakness and Mary found the weapon they could use to exploit it. As usual, the team pulled through and that left Ruby feeling hope for the first time in the past 24 hours. We can do this. We can save everyone.
    In the hours leading up to their final operation, Ruby had ordered the team to rest up for the trials ahead. Godmin Scratch, Vice-Admiral Moa of the Kitsune Trio, and a thousand mooks stood between them and victory. Now that the plan was in place, Ruby felt a sense of calm. Despite all that had happened, the glimmer of hope bubbled to the top and banished the cobwebs of darkness.
    She walked toward the hanger to do a final check on their remaining equipment, an old habit that died hard. The soft clank of her footsteps on the metal always reminded her of the confident stride of the team as they marched towards battle on mission after mission.
    He was there in the hallway, waiting for her. “Look...” he began.
    “No. Stop. Barry, I'm sorry I can't be the woman you want me to be and I'm sorry that I don't feel the way you do. But right now, we need to focus on the mission at hand. After all of this is over we can talk about it, but not until this is all over.”
    He nodded and fell in step behind her. Gary and Mary were waiting for them in the hanger.
    “Well guys this is it. The last hurrah,” Gary drawled out. Confidence and control oozed from him. The man practically bleed swagger.
    “This is it, we really have a chance to end it all here!” Mary was innocent and sweet and her intuition and understanding how different objects could interact with each other bordered on genius level.
    For the final team Ruby looked her team over. She jumped atop a crate and cleared her throat. “This is it. Our final battle. To get here, we've all lost a lot and not one of us has come out of this battle unmarred.  But I couldn't imagine any better team than us, and if we don't do it here and now,  Brikcearth is doomed. So for the final time, I'm asking you to risk it all to defeat our enemies. GrimDarkgers, sortie!”



Episode 50: After the break...

    The team successfully infiltrated into the maintenance hatch, NobleBright Gold and GimDarkBlue moved to intercept the mooks while GrimDark Rouge and NoleBright Silver proceeded to the engine room with the bomb in hand. The dimly lit hallways echoed with their footsteps.
    “Ruby, do you think this will really work?”Mary looked at her with wide eyes.
    “Of course it will. If we destroy their ship most of the mooks will be destroyed and Scratch will be cut off from his resources.
    They rounded the corner and arrived in the engine room. The hum of the spinning turbines assaulted their ears while the hot steam hit them like a wall. Wires snaked around the floor and the scent of oil pervaded the large, open room. The two women entered the room prepared to set the bomb. However standing before the was Moa, leader of the Kitsune Trio and a large group of mooks.
    “We were wondering when you'd arrive, GrimDarkgers.” She said. “Our sensors picked you up when you opened the hatch. Did you think us so foolish as to not set alarms at our vital areas?” The slim woman in the white fox spirit mask laughed. Even from behind the mask, Ruby could tell the woman had a smug look on her face from the tone of her voice.
    Mary drew out her rapier and stood in front of Ruby. “I'll fight her, you take are of the mooks and plant the bomb.” With that, Mary flashed into action. Her thin blade pierced Moa's sleeve as the two danced into action.
    Ruby drew her sword as well and began fighting the mooks. After felling one with her blade she pulled out her blaster and shot another two between the eyes. Burning circuitry let off black, noxious fumes, adding to the melange of smells.
    The two women seems to have gained the upper hand. Most of the mooks lay broken and destroyed while Moa was quickly retreating from Mary's blade. However all action ceased suddenly as a voice called out from behind the combatants: “Excellent work, Moa. You held them off remarkably well.”
    The owner of the voice was none other that Godmin Scratch. He stood behind Ruby, hands folded behind his back and chest puffed out proudly.
    “I'm afraid to say that this time I have out-maneuvered you this time, GrimDarkgers.”
    “Where is my brother?” Mary demanded.
    Scratch motioned down the corridor, “He'll be along shortly. We just finished incapacitating him and Blue. You can't imagine how thrilled I was to see you all walk right into our trap. I must admit I hid the hatch rather well, I was worried if you could find it or not. But then again you are a most worthy foe, Ruby Radcliff, AKA GrimDark Rouge.”
    Ruby's eyes widened in surprise. “It was a simple deduction, really. You were originally an ADU soldier and your brother was assed as KIA after GrimDark Red died. Immediately after that a new female GrimDarkger showed up. Also your name has the word red in it! You're clearly GrimDark Rouge.”
    As Scratch talked Gary and Barry were brought into the room and thrown in a heap on the floor. They were bruised and beaten. Gary looked up at Ruby, “Sorry. They were too much for us.”
    Scratch walked forward barehanded. “Come, GrimDark Rouge. It is time for the final battle. You versus me. A duel to decide the fat of BrikEarth.”
    Ruby charged forward with her sword raised and gun blazing. Scratch caught her sword in his hand and pulled the blade down, shifting Ruby's balance and sending her tumbling down. One hand shot out and punched her hard in the gut, knocking the air out of her. He picked her up by her scarf and threw Ruby against the wall.
    Ruby watched dazed as Mary swept her rapier towards Scratch. The tall Globe-headed man swept a palm out and knocked the blade away. He kicked out at the silver warrior and the rapier flew from her hand. Ruby tried to gain her breath back as she debated what to do against this foe. Her hands curled around the bomb hat she had dropped earlier in the action. On the wall she noticed a sharp looking piece of metal sticking out at a dangerous angle.
    Ruby stood up with the bomb in her hands and moved around the room, positioning herself near the rusted piece of metal sticking out of the wall.
    “Hey, Scratch!” she shouted. Before the man could react she activated the bomb and set the timer for three minutes. Scratch barreled towards her , palms outstretched. Instead of moving to the side or stepping back Ruby grabbed at Scratch and enclosed him in a hug. He was caught off guard by the sudden action and was unprepared for her next move.
    Ruby sunk herself into the sharp metal. Sharp, hot pain exploded into her torso and yet with a strength unknown to her until this moment Ruby managed to further impale herself onto the twisted metal. As she buried herself into the wall she pulled Scratch along with her. He felt a pressure in his abdomen and struggled against her, still unclear on what she was doing. However Ruby's grip became iron and her embrace was like steel bands across his back. The metal pierced into him and he cried out.
    “Stop! You fool! You'll kill both of us! Would you really sacrifice yourself to stop me?”
    Ruby let out a laugh, dark red blood dripping out of her mouth. “I have nothing to live for. You killed my brother and murdered my friends. The only thing I have left is revenge. I'm going to kill you and I'm going to destroy your ship. Only then will I allow myself to die. And when I'm gone, the world will be safe and I will be with my brother again. So you see, Scratch, you misjudged me.”
    The Globe-headed villain let out a chuckle as the metal bar exited his body from his back. “Yes, I suppose I did. Is this where my ambition ends after all? You were truly a worthy adversary, Ruby.”
    From behind a silver slice flashed through the center of Scratch's head. The globe split in half, revealing a face underneath. Behind the two stood Mary Sue, rapier in hand once more.
    “Ruby!” she cried out.
    “Mary it's OK. Take the boys and get out of here. The bomb will go off soon and Scratch is dead. I'm going to be with my brother now.”
    “I can still save you,” the young woman shouted, unwilling to give up on her friend.
    “Mary you're a good person. Maybe if we had chosen the NobleBrightgers to protect BrikEarth at first there wouldn't have had to be so much bloodshed. Maybe the path we chose was wrong from the start. It took me meeting you to learn that, Mary. And I think now it's better that the sinners like me disappear along with the invaders. You can live in the world we saved, but I have no place here.”
    Tears rolled down Mary face but she nodded once, in perfect understanding with Ruby. Without another word she turned and picked the two boys up, one on each shoulder. She walked out of the engine room towards the maintenance hatch they came in from.
    Ruby watched her go. The pain was numb now. In fact she barely felt anything. It was as if with the final defeat of her enemies all the pain in er body vanished without a trace. She recalled Barry and what he had done to er. She recalled her brother and the heroic ideal she had implanted in her. She recalled the NobleBrightgers, two heroes she had come to deeply respect. And finally she looked down at the body of Scratch. His real face was young, handsome and innocent, in stark contrast to his overbearing, arrogant personality. He had said she was a worthy foe. She wasn't sure if that was true but at least she was sure that she had fought her best to save everyone. And maybe that was enough.
    Blood poured out of her wound and she felt weak and dizzy. There was a black ring slowly closing around her vision. Goodbye. She said to herself, although she thought it was out loud. She heard her friend calling out to her and she faded away. William, Bart and Sage were waiting for her. And behind them stood Red. He was smiling. You did good, sis. He said. She cried a single tear and died.

***
    Outside the world went on as it always had. The sun rose above the treeline. People woke up and put on their morning coffee. Parents roused children from their beds, still sleepy themselves. The sounds of a world alive were briefly interrupted by an explosion in the far distance. Few people noticed, but it was better that way.
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Re: Romance in Rouge [BF17]

Postby Insert_blank » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:22 am

Big shout out to my copy editor, Vami. This one is for you buddy. Hashtag sadbois forever.
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Re: Romance in Rouge [BF17]

Postby Scratch » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:42 pm

Concept and Theme -- 9
Form -- 8
Voice -- 8
Style -- 19
The only unflawed system is Lego System.
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All you have to do is flatten his head.

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Re: Romance in Rouge [BF17]

Postby mgb519 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:49 am

Concept and Theme: 7 Nice to see the way you played the trick name into being meaningful. However, Ruby struck me as a side character before and Red struck me as the protagonist. And the problem with that isn't that you switched protagonists, mind. It's that it leaves me feeling emotionally distanced from the whole thing. Grimdark falls apart when you have darkness-induced audience apathy, and that's what's getting me here. But I'll be lenient because the general plot works, and I have a soft spot for mood whiplash.
Form: 7 - Good general flow, with derailments not withstanding. The shower scene pulls me out of the story, for example, and adds nothing of value to the story (the tension is there for maybe 2 paragraphs and then she says "we'll deal with this later." Then she dies. Problem solved, good for Barry, bad for story.) You can't introduce character drama/subplots like this, then promptly discard them - then you're wasting my time, and I will feel cheated.
Voice: 9 - Your profession isn't for show, clearly. Strong character personality, and solid imagery abound. Nothing really blew me away here, but it's all good and there's a lot of it, so it's good it didn't go stale.
Style: 19 - Well as a whole I don't really care for the story you've told but I do like the way you've told it, relating to most of the positive things above and how they fit together into a coherent picture here. Heck, even some of the shortcomings.
Total: 42
Last edited by mgb519 on Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Romance in Rouge [BF17]

Postby Bookwyrm » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:00 pm

Concept and Theme -- I honestly couldn’t tell how much of this is ironic and how much is sincere. Just the way I like my fanfic. 10/10.
Form -- 7/10
Voice -- 8/10
Style -- 17/20

Presentation -- 8/10
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