Revolutionary Tendencies [610 BBT]

OOC Note: This is my first A1-0 rp, and I’ve never really done anything like this. Please keep that in mind


Softly. One must paint softly.
 Zalain sat before his canvas, making deliberate strokes. For as long as he could remember, he had wanted to be a painter. He looked down and realized that he held his father’s brush. He thought he had lost it, all those years ago. But wait, that hadn’t happened yet, had it?
Feel the wind blowing gently around you, soothing your skin and stinging your eyes.
 Zalain ignored the pain, focusing on the image at hand. But what was he painting? It was as though his hands knew a landscape that he could not remember. He tried focusing, but his left eye fought him. It stung so badly, and It hurt to focus in. He fought to push through the pain, to see how the strokes connected. And suddenly, they weren’t strokes, but dirt and grass, exploding upwards.
 Zalain felt a stab of panic. He needed to get away from that image, from the wild chaos.
 But the terrain was seeping from the canvas, spreading to the world, turning it violent as well. And his eye hurt so badly.
Run, run! Zalain, get out of there!
 But Zalain didn’t run. He composed himself and faced the picture unfurling around him

 Worker Avantos woke with a start. Gingerly, he touched the spot where his left eye once was, long ago. He had been reliving the same dream for weeks now. He had a vague notion of a war anniversary, but it now it was always so hard to tell. The years had dulled his senses, and the pheromones were a poor excuse for a language.
 He suddenly realized how silent it was, how message-less the air was. Looking around, he saw that the barracks were empty. He was late to work, and would surely pay the price for his transgression, But that meant nothing to him. They didn’t understand, not the farm master or his fellow workers. They were so young, and had not seen and lived the life that he had.
 Worker Avantos was old, so much older than he had any right to be. The young men radiated pity at his condition. All day while he worked, he could feel it, smell it, sense it. Unlike him, they had grown up with the pheromones. They had been born into an age where there was no language, no writing, not names, no respect. He despised them.
 And he pitied them.


 As Worker Avantos exited the barracks, he found himself once again irritated by the breeze. In a rare moment of intemperance, he released a cloud of pheromones. He felt them rush through his chitinous nostrils, sensed them after they exited like a puff of air. He clicked his fangs in annoyance and continued into the fields.
 Already he could sense the whisps of hyper pheromones in the air. Catching so many bits of conversation had once been disorienting, before he learned to filter it out. And, at the very least it wasn’t the pity scent they released whenever they caught sight of him. He never quite understood the Queen’s decision to abolish the language of their people. Their speech was so deliberate, with a rhythmic grace to each word. And now it was gone.
 The children who grew up with the pheromones weren’t the same either. Like Worker Avantos’s co-workers, they lacked the self control that comes with verbal communication. They had no concept of speaking, just communicating. As so that’s what they did, all day long. Some even died from the strain of having to produce so many of the pheromones each day.
 No, the pheromones were a poor excuse for a language indeed.

 He shrugged off the distracting thoughts and continued through the rows of crops. What was done was done, and he couldn’t change it any more than he could rid Avantos’s surface of produce. And if he couldn’t fix the sins of the past, he would live with them as best he could.
 And he would survive, no matter what.


 After several minutes of walking, Worker Avantos finally reached the headquarters that sat in the center of the farming quarter. The building sat on a hill and had no walls, only four poles and a ceiling. It would have made for a great view, if not for the crops stretching out far into the horizon. At least the smell of the plants was pleasant, and gave Woker Avantos’s nose something to process besides pheromones.
 Seated at a table in the center of the building, the Mandi farm master was waiting for him. Unlike Vanti, the Mandi had complete control over their pheromone release, and used it sparingly outside of their hives. Of course, the Mandi got right to the point, releasing a cloud of his messages. As Worker Avantos smelled the chemicals, their meaning was injected into his brain. Worker, Annoyance, Money, and Pain. Gauging by the flutter of the wings, Worker Avantos could tell it was a question. The whip, or the money?
 Worker Avantos chose the money. Scentlessly, he handed over a day’s wages, and left for his equipment. A day’s wages for a couple hours lost. It made him sick, but it wasn’t worth dying from some sort of infection after a public beating. It’s not like he could do anything with the money anyway. No store was going to sell to a male Vanti, and he had survived for far too long to seek a mate to leave it to.
 And in the end, he suspected that he secretly liked the work. The beautiful mix of colors, the herbal aromas, the hard work that silenced the painful memories. Today, as he cut the red crimsfruits, he thought back to his father and his breathtaking art.

 Zalain had been an child when they found it, too young to have developed into a male or female, and all that came with it. Worker Avantos couldn’t even remember where his father had hidden it, but he remembered that Zalain had been both amazed and frightened. The art was beautiful, but it had been made by their father. Men were’t supposed to paint. They were there to work, mate, and die. Zalain knew that if their mother found it, it would have all been destroyed. So, Zalain chose to hide it once again, knowing that its beauty was worth perserving, even if it was hidden for the rest of time.
 All that they took with them was a singular brush, a reminder of the great burden they carried. And Zalain hoped to be female so they could carry on their father’s legacy. Fate was cruel.

 Now Worker Avantos knelt in the fields, cutting crimsfruits from the bushes, having amounted to nothing but a war veteran and a worker. And as he went to cut another crimsfuit from the bush, he caught a whisper of a pheromone cloud. The knife slipped and cut his hand. He hardly noticed the pain.
 The pheromones were too dispersed to make out what the message was, but it put Worker Avantos on high alert. Something was happening.
 And it was going to happen soon.


 Worker Avantos tried to steady himself. He, a loyal worker of the Pact, could have nothing to fear. His bones were old and his scales creaked, but they were still put in service to the queen, as they always had. No, he truly had nothing to fear. He was too old to mate, and too insignificant to make an example of. Worker Avantos wondered who could possible be in such urgent distress, and found that he couldn’t even imagine him.
 Worker Avantos sighed and continued cutting down the fruit. He was a loyal worker, and it was a damn shame that’s all he was. It hurt to think of all the opportunities he had missed when Zalain finally matured. If Zalain had only matured into a female, Worker Avantos wouldn’t be kneeling in the dirt cutting produce for the people who shot out his eyes. If only, if only, if only… His life was a living “if only”. If only he had found a mate, he wouldn’t have to live with the un-ending pity. If only he had died in the war, it wouldn’t have hurt as much as witnessing the destruction of his culture. If only Zalain hadn’t been a male, Worker Avantos could have been an artist like his father.
 The knife slipped again, cutting is hand once more. Worker Avantos fell to the ground, sobbing.

 If only Zalain had been a female… his sister wouldn’t be Queen


 They had found him curled up in a ball, sobbing. Apparently some of them figured he’d only serve to impede their work, and so he’d been carried over to the medical tent and dumped into a bed. It was there that he sat, looking out at the sky.
 The Mandi was leaning against one of the tent posts. The gun in his hands broadcast his uncertainty far more then any pheromones could. Worker Avantos had been right; something big was happening, and it was happening now.
 A rifle sounded in the distance. The Mandi flinched.
 It suddenly occurred to Worker Avantos that the Mandi farm master wasn’t a veteran of the war; there wasn’t a Mandi alive who was. But why would Worker Avantos kill him? It would be pointless. The Mandi weren’t the enemies anymore, not since the war.
 It seemed to him that the only enemies he had were his own people.
Speak of the devil…
 There was a colonian dropship coming in, presumably from Avanti.
 The military, a random rifle discharge, literal terror in the air… what the hell was going on here? There was only one way to find out, and the farm master was in the way.
 Worker Avantos reached for his knife.

 The dropship had landed just a couple minutes before. The frequent cracks seemed to suggest they’d already engaged with the enemy.
 But who was the enemy?
 The answer lay before him, through that clearing, and inside the ship.
 He adjusted his grip on the rifle. Any mistakes made today were nothing compared to the sins made against him, against his father, the secret artist, and every other poor soul living under a broken system.

 Worker Avantos took a step into the clearing, into the ship, into his destiny



Looking Back: A Post-RP Review

Look, I’m not going to re-read my work or anything, but I have some general thoughts on what I did.

For the most part, I’m immensely proud of myself. I did it! I finished my rp, I finished a story that I actually kind of like! But I also feel like my work suffered from a couple of different factors.

First of all, my vision for Colonus changed greatly during this rp; that was the point. However, I feel like I ended up changing the story, partially for the best, into something I had no vision for. I expressed some details I wanted to, but others I never got the chance to reveal. I also think the long breaks between the posts helped to derail it a bit, and make the writing style feel less consistent.

I also ended up writing ppsts significantly shorter than I had originally planned, which cut the planned content amount in half.

I think this was a tremendous learning experience for me. The truth is, TSPRP is the only place where I can come up with details that make sense together, characters that I feel belong in the world , and stories that I don’t hate as soon as they’re done (well, the jury’s still out on that once :p)

I’d like to thank everyone who read this start to finish, and I look forward to seeing how my writing involves (and improves) in the future.