Vendetta Agent

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					-------------Short Story?-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Maybe an agent is sent there to kill him, and this is all information gathered on Ludin. He learns some respect for these people and his adversary. Maybe he is stuck with a monk the whole time, and he teaches him things indirectly. The respect he gains is a first step in becoming a better person after all. He would basically be an antihero. He doesn’t actually gain insight, but learns respect for enemies. He makes accidents and learns about people. He ultimately fails, partially because of some new hesitation. Through his story, the side of the remaining Aristocracy supporters could be shown. He might get the help of some desert ruffians. These guys are part of a totally unrestrained group of Homeworlders who are taking the responsibility on themselves to keep Homeworld dominance. They do the most brutal things, acting more like a mafia than a government. The agent works with them mostly through a band of heavily armed thugs that ride around on creatures like horses. Perhaps at one point he sees these guys as going too far and kills them (He could do it. He’s like a secret agent.) He finally draws the line. He doesn’t totally turn in his story, but becomes more moderate. Maybe these guys do something totally unacceptable, like cannibalism (they don’t know they are the same species, but it’s pretty bad to do that to another intelligent creature). The agent believes in “becoming the enemy”, but he literally does (partially). How can a person sympathize with him? Don’t try to portray him as a bad guy. He is preserving the country. He’s a tough lawman, like Dirty Harry. He would be curious who the ships are, but it’s not his business. The thing is that he doesn’t totally change, but he learns things such as that all people are the same. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------He is known as a “vendetta agent”, a special officer used for extremely important matters, usually to assassinate seriously threatenening people and other high-level security things. He went to Barren a few times before, once to contribute to an assassination of a powerful person who wasn’t in league with Homeworld, and a few other times to help keep control of important places. He is completely committed to his duty, and is possibly the most skilled agent they have. In the unfolding emergency, he is sent on his first completely solo mission, to kill Ludin in revenge. He is given a ton of valuable metal coins, a bunch of equipment, and is sent to the planet to manage his mission himself. They don’t have the resources to give him more. When he is briefed, the principal warily tells him they don’t have the resources at the moment, but only after he begs why. They don’t even trust their elite men not to take advantage of their weaknesses. He arrives in the only significant center of Homeworld power, a large and walled off city that is itself somewhat chaotic. (he was simply told to hire any help he needs on the planet.) He has to move as quickly as possible, so he doesn’t spend more than a few days making arrangements. News is not complete and moves slowly and unclearly, so he isn’t sure if Ludin is definitely still in the reeducation center or if it is still functioning. Here, where his society is breaking down, he sees obvious evidence of faults. (They are nearly falling apart due to inadaptability, since few have any idea what to do; though they are almost all completely loyal, many are bad at following orders and seek their own individual agendas

(such as believing in themselves to be the leader); many are doing usually illegal things for gain; the city-state is very exploitive of the nearby populace, in fact they are the only thing supporting them; the leader exploits his people, but does not make it acceptable the way the Aristocrats do; the entire city is breaking down to more primitive ways, (arguably becoming more similar to the Barreners, as a scholar notes they are learning independence). The current representative leader assigns a group of his mounted raiders to escort and help him. These guys are officially soldiers, but they are more like thuggish mercenaries. They are mostly used to oppress and extort the population, as bandits working for the government. (The military system, after hundreds of years of tradition, has been changed to fit their needs better. The group leader leads nine men with nobody below them, yet answers directly to the leader. The agent sees this as bad, of course.) They go out on a train to the school, taking two weeks of almost non-stop continuous travel. In one event, they are attacked by Barrener bandits while they were moving. The raiders fight them from the train. Some manage to get on the train, but the agent singlehandedly kills and forces them off. There is also a time when they pass through a town that has independently run by Barreners. They have removed a length of track, and offer to rebuild it for a price. The raiders and other soldiers on the train bully the populace and force them to rebuild it. It would actually be faster if the Homeworlders on the train did it, but they want the townspeople to do it. Here the agent and the others take a rest. He disguises himself here, and tests his skills in blending in. A scholar monk follows him around, until he catches him in a corner. The scholar offers to help as a guide and translator of the many languages they might encounter in exchange for being allowed to travel with them in order to gain more knowledge. (The scholar is so old and weatherbeaten the agent isn’t sure if he’s a man or woman.) He agrees, though his companions protest and continue to disregard this decision. After the rails are fixed, the train heads out. They are let off miles away from the school, as the trains only run through major areas of populace, and they do this rarely, so the conductors make no dangerous detours. When he gets there, he finds it a miserable wreck. A leftover worker, the highest one left, has taken the rols of administrator. They go to him and he explains what happened. Orders became sporadic as the nation broke down, and they were forced to resort to very zealous discipline to keep students from leaving, but without the support they needed order broke down. Ludin left over a month ago with some friends, shortly after order broke down. He calls him a menace, which slyly pretended to learn what he was taught and then completely abandoned them. Some people tried to put themselves in positions of power, but without the order, he claims, the school couldn’t support life, and so the place is mostly abandoned except for a few stalwart loyalists who are defending the place until the government can send help. He hoped they were the reinforcements, and even though they cannot stay he asks them to bully the nearby settlements to keep them from attacking (in actuality, nobody reasonable wants it as everything valuable is gone and it is not desirable as a settlement). The agent wants to leave immediately and catch Ludin, but the officer withholds additional details about Ludin until the agent agrees to do work for him. This is seen as a sort of blasphemy against the sacred rules, since he is obstructing justice. The guy argues that he has no protection and the survival of this outpost depends on him and the bandits. This bending of the rules is hard for him to accept, but he does eventually, and this is one of the first times in his life that he has accepted a justification for bending the rules, though he does it with difficulty. The monk watches everything

stoically. The agent and the raiders go out soon after to raid nearby settlements. They ride to a settlement built around the aqueduct outlet of the center, a few miles away. They want to attack the biggest one first, while they are fresh. The residents can see them coming from far off, and it a settlement of a few thousand, consisting of a number of former students. Those with weapons put up a fair fight, but the superior weaponry of the raiders allows them to simply ride in circles and keep shooting until they simply can storm the place. They do the thing their military usually does, except with more fear tactics. They burn structures and kill randomly. The agent doesn’t join, but he certainly does nothing to stop or hinder them. They punish all the traitors conveniently found with prejudice and without any trial or ceremony. The bandits take the head of one, to bring to the administrator. About ten minutes after they arrive, they leave, moving for the next town. The people are already afraid when they see them riding toward and they make no act of fighting, but the raiders wreck havoc anyway. This time, the agent goes in first and asks some simple questions about his quarry, thanks them for their time, and explains that the bandits will destroy their settlement for the safety of the reeducation center. They do the same thing, taking a memento for the administrator to prove they were there and for him to display to any would-be attackers. They do the same to two more small settlements, and return to the administrator. He thanks them, and tells the agent everything he knows about Ludin. They stay a few hours to get some rest, and they leave for Ulyphya’s town. The trains won’t run their way, so they ride along the aqueducts. Settlements are built around the aqueducts, so they simply take what they want from these as they ride. {The scholar doesn’t like what they do, but tries not to get in conflict with them and to maintain his scholarly neutrality. His neutrality is a blessing an a bother. He only helps at times when it’s required based on the verbal agreement he made earlier, but he doesn’t do much to get in their way. At times he seems annoyingly aloof. Sometimes the agent makes mistakes that the monk could have prevented, and he just laughs quietly at these.} After a [week] or so, they make their way to Ulyphya’s town. Ironically, the train was going through there. The agent has them enter discreetly, and invents a cover story. They find a place to stay and shortly after that they split up and scout for Ludin. They gather that Ludin was friends with the recent leader’s eldest daughter, and that they ran off a [few days ago]. They find the government was quite ProHomeworld until power broke down and the leader was deposed. It has returned to it’s original government of an elective monarchy after [about 22 years] of puppet government. The place just finished new elections, and the first major action was segregation of Homeworlders and removal of their power. When the bandits commit cannibalism, as an excuse they argue the Barreners have few reservations about eating each other and that they eat intelligent beasts, so it’s no worse. He commits something illegal to his law and means to kill himself in punishment. For some reason he doesn’t, and it’s a sort of turning point. It isn’t sensible that he just keeps missing Ludin. Perhaps at first he simply is delayed because of difficulties adapting, and as he does he gets closer. While he adapts, however, his character is compromised. The compromises help him, but they weaken his resolve enough that he decides he has become an equal enemy of the state. When this resolved

man finally gets his chance, something in his mind prevents him from doing it. The antagonists (usual protagonists) have a lot of awareness of the world and such, so they get benefits such as being capable of cooperating with locals and such. The marauders falter without their direct support from the center, except for the agent (part of the reason he excuses himself for it is that they were slowing him down and almost got them killed). How often is a bad guy sensitive and smart enough to cooperate with the locals as equals? The Homeworld government should be after the monks, since their spread of knowledge and peace is in direct conflict with their agenda. The vendetta agent doesn't change completely. He doesn't turn around and see the folly of his ways. The major thing he gains is similar to those sort of qualities that an honorable warrior would have, particularly respect for enemies and broader understanding. He knows that he has been mislead by many, but he ends up taking on an attitude similar to that of many Barreners, "Well, that's life." Maybe he would escape it if he thought he could. He never leaves the planet, and becomes a successful leader in the last Homeworld fortress. He becomes more like an evil genius than a thug. Another character met could be the sort of soldier who has to do clearly insane things, similar to the troops in Vietnam. He has been there a while, long enough to learn they never meant for him to return. He has been made to do insane things, but he goes on because from what he sees there is no choice. He is often very afraid of his enemies, because they are fierce and dangerous. Should posses heroic qualities. Recently killed a man who had vowed never to kill. Was a sort of criminal who went against the law but didn’t actually do anything wrong. The vendetta agent should posses many of the qualities of modern heroes that I find foolish, as well as those classic hero qualities. The monk is actually the same one who taught Ulyphia and was like a father to her. He met with the guy by his own initiative, knowing that they would send somebody to kill these people he cared about so much. Found out about him by accessing the train office. The order is the most significant power anyway, besides Homeworld. They can obtain information easily. After watching information on the people on the ship who arrived, the records clearly pointed to the man as the agent. He asked train workers about his whereabouts, saying he was his hired guide. Homeworlders are very gullible. He managed to catch up with him in that one village, despite starting behind him.

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