This is the story of me: Warren Venn. The adventures that I experienced were like none I had ever heard of before. However, it all started when I was young. My parents wanted me to be a Sentinel, the elite, state of the art! I dreamed only of adventure. This is the story of how I was cast away and the adventures that I experienced.
Part I: OutcastEdit
Chapter 1: The BeginningsEdit
"Hey Warren!" shouted Den. "Wait up!"
"What?" Warren replied.
"I dunno, I was just wonderin' what faction you're joining."
Warren sighed. He had no clue. "I dunno. What are you joining?"
"Venture," he replied. Envy crept into his plastic heart.
"Well," Warren said, "I gotta go."
"Oh," said Den. "Okay."
That night around the dinner table, Warren was asked what faction he would be joining. His dad had cut right in saying, "There's no question, you WILL be joining Sentinel. We've already signed you up to go to the Sentinel Faction Academy."
"But—" Warren started.
"No but's," his dad said, "Your brothers are now successful military commanders fighting the Maelstrom, as was I. Now tomorrow you will go to the sign-up at your primer school and check off Sentinel."
Warren sighed. He wished he could be in the Venture faction. That's where the fun is. No sitting in classes but learning navigation, scouting, and survival among scads of other things. Warren made up his mind. He would sign up in the Venture faction.
Chapter 2: Run AwayEdit
That day had not gone well; he had secretly signed up for the Venture faction.
"I didn't think of what I'd do after," thought Warren. He had avoided his father when he got home, but there was no escape from his piercing stare.
"So" he said, "I expect you will be going to the famed Sentinel Academy?"
"Well, sir," Warren said, "I…I…I signed up for Venture and will be going to the training grounds tomorrow evening."
Shock was plainly evident on his fathers face. It was quickly replaced by anger.
"Go up to your room and don't you ever come back down until you get your mind straight!" his father roared. Later that night Warren brooded over his quandary. What could he do other than run away? The Venture faction Training center was miles away.Their little village was practically oblivious to the outside world. He sighed. He would just have to figure it out on his own, better to get some extra practice in anyway. He gathered his precious belongings and sighed again. Food was going to be a problem; their little house was too noisy to steal any. He would just have to rough it. Warren slowly eased himself out the window. He gave one last look at his lifelong home then disappeared into the shadows.
Chapter 3: SurvivalEdit
Warren looked with awe at the huge city before him. This was nothing at all like his puny little village. He had not expected it to be of course but still it more than a little rattled him. In the center of the city stood Nexus Tower. Warren stared at it for a full five minutes before shaking himself and continuing onward. He managed to blend into the crowd, which he thought himself fortunate, until somebody accused him of stealing. That took awhile to convince the landlady that no he had not stolen her"precious" ring. It was probably only 25 coins. He thought. As he made his way through the city, searching for a Mythran to ask directions to the training grounds, he chanced upon a glittering piece of metal half in the ground. He put it in his pack and continued onward. By the time he was able to get directions for the Academy and training Buildings it was twilight. He had a few coins that could pay for a one-night stay. That night he could not sleep. The look of betrayal in his father's eyes haunted him. Tomorrow morning was the beginning of his training. He would not regret his decision for long.
Chapter 4: TrainingEdit
Warren woke up early that morning with enough time for him to wander his way to the Station and back. He ate a meager meal and set off at a slow walk. The only bright spot he thought was that his friend Den would be there .He hoped they would be able to see each other often. When he got there, hundreds of other hopeful trainees were already there. He scanned the crowd for someone he knew. He saw not one familiar face. He felt his shirt pulled. Standing right behind him was the cheerful face of his friend Den!
"Den! You're here!" his friend grinned.
"Yup! I was hoping you're dad would change his mind!"
"Well, he didn't exactly change his mind," Den raised his eyebrows.
"Then how did you get here?"
"ALRIGHT KIDS" roared their Faction Leader, Hael Storm. "WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A CERTAIN TYPE OF TRYOUTS! THESE TRYOUTS ARE FOR THOSE FUTURE RECRUITS THAT HAVE SKILL! THE ONES THAT DON'T…WELL, LET'S JUST SAY YOU ARE GONNA WANT TO JOIN THIS FACTION. ALRIGHT!!! I WANT AGE GROUPS SPLIT UP! WE'LL GET THE YOUNGER GUYS TESTED AND EITHER ACCEPTED OR CUT TODAY, LEAVING YOU OLDER ONES TO TRY-OUT TOMORROW! YOU WILL BE LED TO YOUR QUARTERS. BE AT THE FIELD 6:00 SHARP!!!" And with that Warren and all the other faction wannabes were led to their dormitory. The occasional bump reassured Warren that Den was there also.
"Okay, kids here's the dorm. Find your partner and prepare for the morrow. Food at 5:00! In the cafeteria. Good evening!"
Warren and Den walked into their dorm. They had a lot to ponder.
Chapter 5 : ThoughtsEdit
"Sooo…" said Den, "how did you get here if your dad didn't let you?"
"Well, I—I ran away," Warren said, shamefully.
"Whoa," said Den, "Cool". Admiration flashed on his face.
"No, not really," Warren said. "I let my dad down. I let my whole family down. I just hope I make the faction before my dad finds out." Den was silent.
"With the heightened Maelstrom attacks, I don't see how we won't make it," Den said.
"Yeah, you're probably right," Warren agreed. "The trouble is making the faction before my dad gets here. He know where I'm at, most likely."
Each boy mused over his thoughts for a time.
"I wonder what kind of missions we'll have to do," Den said. "Hopefully something important."
"More likely small unimportant ones, until we prove ourselves." Warren said.
"Bummer," Den mumbled. After dinner that night, the boys climbed into bed, after all, it wouldn't do to be half-asleep during one of the most important days of their life. Soon, Den's snores echoed throughout the dark, foreign room. Warren tossed and turned, unable to sleep, thinking about the trouble he was in.
Chapter 6: Try-outsEdit
Warren woke with a start. He had heard an odd noise, and was startled out of his sleep by it, before he realized it was the wake-up call. He hurried down to breakfast. Den was still asleep. It was always impossible for him to wake him up anyway, so he didn't bother this morning. After a meager breakfast, he headed towards the field, mentally steeling himself. Today would be a tough day indeed, but rewarding in the end, or so he hoped. What happened that day occurred in a blur, the memories blending together, sweat, exhaustion, despair, yes, even anger. He was pushed to the limit, and even beyond it. By the time he had made his way back to his dorm, he was so tired, he forgot about his friend, forgot about his father, forgot about everything. One urge, one overpowering urge, consumed him. He sunk into his bunk, and slept.
Chapter 7: The CutEdit
Warren awoke with a start. For a moment, he forgot where he was, but the memories raced into his mind.
"The tryouts" he muttered. He tried to get up, but was so sore he could scarcely move. He looked at the sun shining through his window. He estimated that it was nearly 11 o' clock in the morning. That's survival training for you, he thought. Sentinel training would have never taught me that. I'm glad I borrowed those books from Den's older brother. He dragged himself out of bed. Methodically, he grabbed his boots. He glanced at Den's bunk. He was fast asleep. He had pushed himself as hard as Warren did. Warren had to admit, Den was stronger than he was. He outclassed him at nearly every physical training drill. Warren turned to leave, shutting the door behind him as he exited the room. He was supposed to be at the cafeteria at lunch, where those who passed the tryouts would be announced. With a start, Warren gasped. His father had not appeared! He was as good as a Venture student! That is, assuming he was chosen. Lunch was served at 12 o'clock. It was quarter of already. Warren had been farther off from his estimation than he realized. He arrived just in time to receive his rations and find an empty table before Hael Storm's bellowing voice roared through his loudhailer.
"ALRIGHT! HERE ARE THOSE THAT HAVE MADE THE TRYOUTS. YOU ALL HAVE IMPRESSED US AT THE VENTURE FACTION HQ, AND WE'D LIKE TO THANK YOU ALL FOR COOPERATING WITH US. BECAUSE WE ARE SHORT ON TROOPS, MOST OF YOU WILL MAKE THE FACTION. THOSE OTHERS WILL AVE TO EITHER TRY AGAIN, OR GO TO ANOTHER FACTION. ARE YOU READY?!" Cheering erupted from the crowd. With a nod, Hael Storm began. A feeling elation overtook him when his name was called. He was a Venture! He couldn't believe the sense of elation he felt. He felt guilty and saddened that his family could not, and probably would not, share in his elation. He felt a slap on his back. Warren turned to see the smiling face of Den over him.
"Nice job, man! You didn't wake me up though."
"Sorry," Warren replied. "You were sleeping like a baby in there."
"Ha," said Den. "Have they called my name yet?"
"No, but your name comes after mine alphabetically," Warren replied. He heard Den's name roared into the room by Storm.
"There ya go!" Warren yelled. "We both made it! I look forward to training with you!" Den stood there staring into space.
"I—I can't believe it! I always had doubts, but, I MADE IT!!" His exclamation disguised over the non-stop bellow of Storm. An hour later, Warren and Den returned to their dorm.
"Man, what a great day!" sighed Den.
"I can't wait to begin training!" said Warren. They were scheduled to begin training in three days. Warren felt compelled to write his family a letter. Den questioned him about this. Warren explained, "They may have forgotten me, but I have not forgotten them." After many drafts, he produced a finished copy:
- Dear Family,
- I feel compelled to tell you, that I have journeyed to the Venture Faction Headquarters, in an attempt to join the faction. I have made the faction, and am now a venture trainee. Please do not be angry at me, though I know these words are in vain. All of my life, I have wanted to become what I soon will be. You always snubbed me, father, until I finally kept it a secret and never spoke of it again. I know I have offended you, and I wish to restore our relationship. Please swallow your anger and see this grand achievement in full light of the situation.
- Warren Ven
Chapter 8: Five Years LaterEdit
He stood on a platform. Toughened by intense training, and stiffened from hardship, stood 178 products of the Venture Training program. Warren stood, side-by-side with Den Zygram. He kept a steely expression, but on the inside, he was ecstatic. Five years of rigorous training had left him a foot taller, 20 pounds of muscle, and wiser than he had ever been. Finally, his hard work would be paid off. He would join the Venture Elite, commanding a small group of five men. He would mainly do recon missions, to fight the Maelstrom. He had never gotten word from his parents after he had written to them, but though it was for the best. He had graduated with honors, and was one of only 37 other trainees to be immediately promoted to sergeant. After the ceremony, Warren wondered back to his upgraded quarters, oddly sad. He realized it at once, his parents were not here to share in his exuberance. He contemplated his plight for the longest time and finally came to a gruesome conclusion. "They have forgotten me, or only remember me as the curse of my family. I have been cast away. I am no longer Warren Ven. My family now will have no meaning. I have become…nameless. How should I rename myself though? I will still keep my first name. The ‘Ven' part must go, though. I am no longer one of them." That is how Warren Ven came to be known as Warren Slipknot.
Chapter 9: One Year LaterEdit
Slipknot crawled through the rocks, occasionally peeking through the underbrush. His small squad of scouts had met up with a larger party of troops, and he volunteered to scout ahead. His mission was to destroy a small platoon of Stromlings, located just south of Nimbus Station. He had spotted some mechs, standing guard, and quickly counted them. He saw that they were only outnumbered by a single mech. The spiderlings would be more of a challenge though. There were only three, but Slipknot knew what ferocious opponents they were. He reported back to is superior back at camp. The officer that had joined Slipknot's party was a lieutenant, and so several ranks Slipknot's superior.
"Whoa there, I thought you were going to travel with us going east, not south."
"Our mission was to take out that platoon. We were never going east. In fact, at first, I thought you were reinforcements. I apologize for the confusion." Their parties separated. A few days later, Slipknot's men were heading back to Venture HQ for some much-needed rest. Slipknot had cunningly defeated the entire platoon. He had single-handedly smashed three of the mechs and two spiderlings himself. With his brilliant tactics, and brilliant battle plans, "Slip" as his men affectionately called him, rose quickly in rank, until he was a lieutenant, commanding 200 elite scouts. His friend Den was not far behind. They had gone on several missions together, and often challenged each other in tactics and combat. One day, Slip got word of the lieutenant he had crossed paths with. They had walked straight into a Stromling ambush, were overpowered, and, the whole legion, smashed. Slip shook his head. These were dangerous times.
Chapter 10: Nightmare - Five Years LaterEdit
Cold. Exhaustion. Worry. Despair. Such were the emotions and feelings Slip was feeling as he smashed Stromling after Stromling. His sword zipping through the air. He was a general now, and he had requested Den be under his command. They were as close as always. Slip had been sent to Avant Gardens to search for the last of the remaining citizens. It had been done in secret, and all were assembled on the launch pad, waiting for pickup from the evacuation jets. Then, it happened. Stromlings. Everywhere. Surrounded by red eyes, Slip had no choice but to place his men in a wide ring around the evacuees, in hopes to give them time to escape on the jets, the first of which had already appeared over the horizon. His men had followed his orders, and proceeded to sacrifice their very lives, for the citizens of the Universe. His men were war-torn, ravaged by combat, but loyal to the end. The Maelstrom had attacked, and, as expected, his highly outnumbered forces were beginning to slip. Several lines had already been broken through. As the last of the evacuees were herded onto the copters, Slip just hoped they would survive the encounter. He ordered the younger members of his forces to the remaining copters.
"Men, break off in groups of six or seven and save yourselves!" He had shouted at last, when only seventy or so of their men remained. Den ran over to Slip.
"Looks like it's just us to left to defend," Slip smiled grimly. "Things look pretty bleak. I stationed a small group of men helping the rest get into the jets. They'll wait for us, and hopefully aid us in escaping. For now, we fight." Slip raised his sword, and charged into the stromling ranks. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Den swinging his battle-axe, smashing any Stromling who dared venture near it. Slowly, the two veterans ere pushed together until they were back-to-back. They were surrounded.
Chapter 11: Den Zygram, K.I.A.Edit
Slip and Den tore their way through Maelstrom ranks until they were about 50 yards from the platform. A group of mechs hastened to engage them. Slip disabled one mechs control system with an uppercut of his sword, then disabled another by somersaulting to the left, and slitting the hydraulic gauge that served to move the mechs legs. It slowly toppled over. Slip watched with horror. The falling mech headed straight for Den. Den saw it coming. Too late he attempted to maneuver around it, but it struck him in the shoulder, and he was down, his axe trapped beneath the mech. The mech raised it's weapon, and fired. It all happened so fast, but to Slip it seemed hours. Too late he lunged at the mechs weapon. Too late Den tried to dodge. It struck him.
"NOOO!!!!" Slip screamed. Rage overtook him. He lunged at the mech. He disabled its control panel with a short overhead arc. Some Stromlings had already surrounded him. Where were his men? He parried a blow, but was sliced across the back of the knee, where his armor was scanty. He grabbed Den's hand, threw him over his shoulder, and hacked his way through line after line of stromlings. He had never fought like he fought that day. Pain was non-existent. Anger and rage controlled him, fueled him. With a running start, he jumped over the remaining stromlings and bolted for the launch pad. His remaining men surrounded him, and began fighting stromlings off. Slip knelt down, next to Den.
"I never thought it would end this way," said Slip.
"Of course…not" gasped Den. "We were always invincible."
"You can't go!" Slip nearly screamed. "You can't! What will become of me?!"
"Why, you will defeat the Darkitect. You must. I have no choice in whether I live or die, Slip," he gestured toward his hammer. Weeping, Warren folded Den's hands over it. And with a sigh, Den left the Universe, forever.
Chapter 12 : Remnants of a HeroEdit
"Men! Take Den back to the ship. I am staying here."
"What?!" Echoed many of his troops, many of them good friends. "You're insane! It's suicide!"
"YOU WILL DO WHAT I ASK! LEAVE HERE IMMEDIATELY!" roared Slip. His men reluctantly obeyed. Slip surveyed the horizon. He knew he was needed. As the last of Avant Gardens became corrupted. Slip realized, it WAS suicide, what he was doing. He was needed elsewhere. Taking down as many stromlings as possible until he was ruthlessly smashed, was honorable, yes, but not beneficial to anyone. He turned, and cape billowing in the air, he leaped. He grabbed hold of the copter's pontoon. He hoisted himself up, and silently entered. His men were surprised, pleasantly so. His captain welcomed him whole-heartedly, saying, "Glad you finally saw reason out there, Slip!" Slip wordlessly looked away. He stared at the stars in the vast universe, on his way back to Nexus Tower.
Slip closed the book. He had recounted all of the major details of his life in a crude book. He was a born scout and reconnaissance warrior, not an author. He mainly started writing the account for relaxation. He was given a day to recuperate, but rest was out of the question. Not while Den's death replayed itself repeatedly inside his head. Still, he thought the book was rather good. He turned; he had a conference with the faction leaders and their trusted associates. From the very beginning, Hael Storm had saw talent and had asked him to become his associate. Slip readily agreed. He approached the aging faction leaders, who were seated around a stone table.
"Good afternoon, Slipknot, my condolences for your loss," said Hael Storm, softly. Without a word, Slip sat down.
"We must discuss what battle strategy we are to take against the Maelstrom. Losing Avant Gardens was a crushing blow, and doubtless, the Darkitect knows this," said Duke Exeter, Sentinel Faction Leader. "It is obvious what we must do: we must stage an offensive, to take the Darkitect by surprise. He expects us to regroup, which, following past mistakes, would take quite a long time. I want you to send your Venture forces to stage an ambush," said Exeter, gesturing to Hael Storm. "Once given the signal, Sentinel forces will swoop down and come to Venture's aid." Motioning towards Vanda Darkflame and Doc Overbuild, he continued. "Your factions will flank the Maelstrom forces. This plan cannot fail, not even if the Darkitect himself assails us. We must begin our attack immediately. Ready your forces, we leave at dawn, when Maelstrom forces are at their weakest. Dismissed."
Chapter 13: Words of WisdomEdit
Slip and Hael walked slowly down the hall. Neither said a word for nearly ten minutes. Finally, Storm broke the silence.
"I lost a close friend earlier in my military career. She was, a magnificent warrior. She could strike at any moment; once she did, there was no hope of escape. Many a Maelstrom soldier dreaded her dagger."
"How did she die?" replied Slip. Pain flickered across Storm's face.
"We were on a recon mission, it wasn't supposed to be dangerous, just a few samples of virus that were recently developed by the Darkitect, for Paradox agents. We were the elite of all Venture forces. But, we were only two. The lab was supposed to be inhabited by a few guards; or so said earlier reconnaissance. The place was teeming with Maelstrom. We both triggered an alarm, and the next thing we knew, were dashing for our lives to get out of the lab. It didn't take much, an object that neither of us saw, to trip her up. I had already gone a short distance when I realized she wasn't by my side. She was surrounded. I tore into them, but to no avail. I clasped her hand, and yanked her out of the ensuing forces, and slung her over my shoulder. She was already dead by the time I broke free and escaped." Slip listened in silence. "I realized after several weeks of torturing myself over her death that I could easily go insane. I knew that would never do. She would never let that happen to me. I then resolved not to let myself berate myself over my misfortune. I still think of her with an aching heart, but I no longer let my emotions control me."
"You weren't directly responsible!" countered Slip. "I practically killed him myself! The mech that ultimately knocked him down was the one that I had just destroyed!"
"Slip, it was no more your fault then it was anyone else's. Let it go, we still have a war to win!" Hael looked at Slip with compassion, but is words did nothing to quell the ever-present, ever-growing rage that had built up over his friends death.
"I just need time to think. I will discuss ambush strategy with you momentarily." Storm dipped his head in the affirmative.