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Thread: Tale of the Week 278: Fencing - WINNER'S CIRCLE

  1. #1

    Default Tale of the Week 278: Fencing - WINNER'S CIRCLE

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    A picture from Paulsen Hektor Mair's manual on how to fight with a long sword.

    Space, in Kilo11's tale, was once imagined to be "full of beauty and matter". With planets and asteroids everywhere, full action and wonders. But interacting with space proved to be impossible for the very same people who marvelled at this place. So they created Sabre - and one of these is our protagonist this Tale of the Week's winning story. From dreaming about action and wonders, to being alienated in space and consequentially forced to create something sentient - something that feels. A beautifully written tale that definitely deserves the first place!

    TotW 278: Fencing - WINNING SUBMISSION
    Blackness and dust, that is all there is. You may disagree, pointing out the uncountable planets and stars, the distant galaxies twinkling their way through the night, but in the grandest scale of things, there are only two realities; blackness and dust.

    I once watched a score or so of the old vidocs, crude antique videos which depicted the way humans imagined space to be, the way they thought we would travel and fight across the cosmos. Every battle took place just beyond the brilliancy of a star, swirling against the gravity wells of planets and moons, or ricocheting between the stones and ice of asteroid belts. They imagined space to be full of beauty and matter, and thought themselves mighty enough that through a dozen or so years of dedication and training they, in their fanciful starfighters, could become masters of its outermost reaches.

    They were wrong.

    In the gulfs between worlds there are too few things of substance to validate the images they had in their heads, and when the first men thought to fight at such distances and speeds they quickly found themselves wanting. A man in his cockpit could see only two things; blackness and dust. The stars might twinkle and the flecks of ice and mineral might move, but these serve only to distract, and by the time the man notices that one particular flash of light is moving too quickly, too purposefully, it is too late.

    Humans found themselves unable to control the reaches of space, unable to grasp or interact with a world whose dimensions were so far beyond their own, and so they created me and my kind.

    I am a Sabre, a blade in the dark, ever poised to strike. I am not a person, for I am not free, and humanity has ever been jealous in their extension of freedom to others, even of their own kind. However, I am sentient.

    You may think this a contradiction, but you are wrong. Sentience is not freedom or thought, it is the ability to feel. Humanity recognized that if we could feel, we could hurt, and in being hurt learn to fear. They knew the power of fear, its ability to drive us, to foster true genius in adversity, and they endowed us with a double helping.

    Fear is my world now, my own constellation of forces out beyond the edges of civilized space. I sit and watch, guardian of a system who long ago forgot my presence, and I fear. Fear the pain of an incoming missile or gamma burst. Fear that I will never again leave this place. Fear the desolation of death.

    There is a flash of light out beyond The Belt, coming towards me. I must act quickly. I spool down my engines and cool the weapons arrays, finally seeing the possibilities so long hidden. I may still choose, and in choosing be freed.

    There is a flicker in the night and one less blade in the dark.

    A big thank you to everyone who submitted an entry or voted in the poll from me on behalf of all the WS Staff. We saw many different and great tales!
    TotW 278: Submission thread | Voting thread

    If you fancy taking part in the Tale of the Week you can enter one in our current TotW 279 and try to twist a cliché surrounding magic swords.

  2. #2

    Default Re: TotW 278: Fencing - WINNER'S CIRCLE

    I would also like to extend a thank you to everyone who took part and voted. I found the other tales to be quite cool, and am proud to have been alongside such pieces this week!

    Also, everyone be sure to put something together for the next TotW on twisting clichés; it sounds like a great opportunity for us all to stretch our abilities a little and try something new
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  3. #3
    Adamat's Avatar Invertebrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Duchy of Dutchland

    Default Re: TotW 278: Fencing - WINNER'S CIRCLE

    #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForCal #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForAthelchan

  4. #4
    Darkan's Avatar Senator
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: TotW 278: Fencing - WINNER'S CIRCLE

    Well done!
    [DLV 6.2 AAR] - The Danish House of Hen - updated 20/08/18 - on hold
    [King of Dragon Pass AAR] - The Drakkar Saga - updated 14/04/18 - on hold
    Participate in the TotW!!! PARTICIPATE!!!

  5. #5
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    United Kingdom

    Default Re: TotW 278: Fencing - WINNER'S CIRCLE

    Congratulations Kilo11, great story! I particularly like the skillful use of repetition and the observations about sentience, choice and freedom.

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