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PostPosted: Wed Apr 4, '12, 1:46 am
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Just a Common Girl

After killing the hunter gang members, Anna's work as a Hunter seemed to be largely unaffected by the past events. The only difference was that the hunter didn't seem to be much interested in hunting biomonsters as she used to be in the past. However, despite being more interested in fighting criminals than animals, the opportunities for bringing justice to outlaws were very scarce, especially the way she wanted to do it. Her spotless record while on military and her impressive efficiency as a hunter left all the doors open for returning to the military, but she didn't want to. She wanted to act by herself, not following orders, not being constrained by the official justice system. She wanted to act according to her own beliefs of justice, and, by that time, her sense of justice was very, very far from what was acceptable by society standards.

The many months of isolation had a deep impact on her personality, though Anna didn't want to acknowledge it. She had become a very, very selfish person. While most of her actions were motivated by altruistic feelings, she had lost the touch with other people's thoughts and beliefs, so she ended acting according to what she thought to be the right thing, though, many times, it was not necessarily the right thing. Her usual harshness towards everybody who she considered stupid, her takes no prisoners approach were all out of tune with what society expected from her. Yet, she did not care about it or whatever else, given the things didn't upset her, didn't cause her pain, suffering or trauma.

While spending her time focused on herself, fighting biomonsters because she had nothing better to do, the Motavian government started losing the control of the situation. If the biomonster outbreak had previously caused some nuisance and some sparse deaths, now it was so widespread that it affected not only the safety of people who risked roaming outside the cities, but it was also having a negative impact in economy, reducing the trade and forcing people to abandon the small villages. Rogue bands started sacking and pillaging the small cities, forcing even more people to abandon their houses and leaving their things behind. Despite the calamities, the central government on Palma refused sending combat robots to fight the large groups of monsters and did almost nothing to help the fellow planet. It seemed to be a deliberate move by them. They were willingly letting Motavian cities become more and more isolated castles, like in a feudal society.

The consequence of this succession of events is that the Motavian government, powerless to deal with the monsters threat, abandoned the smaller cities to their fate. The small cities and the rural areas outside the automated production bio-domes where declared no-man lands and the government focused its resources on protecting the large cities, the production domes and the large computer facilities. Even the hunters stopped being rewarded for killing monsters outside those areas. Consequently, the abandoned cities saw the crime burst to unbearable levels; sacks, pillages, assaults, and robbery became part of everyday lives of its citizens. Those who had means for moving out abandoned the cities while they could; the others became hostages in the hands of the criminal groups. Most of the small villages collapsed, many disappearing.

As for the mid-sized cities, they had to relay in the extra-official protection of the hunters. With the new rules for rewarding the freelancer activity, most of the hunters saw their profits plummet. Although they didn't need the money for the basic expenses, many have acquired lifestyles which were not compatible to the amount of money the government would provide every citizen, so many turned into mercenaries, exploring those cities which lacked government protection. If hunters had turned into criminals before, it was because of the outlaw nature of the groups. However, mercenaries easily turn into criminals, and many villages became literally governed by hunters.

Anna was growing less and less interested with her job. She still hunted biomonsters, mostly for the thrill of the chase. Her presence on the central agency, though, was becoming rarer and rarer. Forced to move to Zema after the city outskirts were overrun with biomonsters, Anna now was enrolled in the government social programs and had no need to work to keep her low lifestyle, so she didn't even have the need to hunt for money anymore. It looked like her days as a hunter would be over soon, but Anna didn't want to be one of those parasites she loathed, so she kept on hunting, even for free. Sometimes she would pay a visit to the central agency to gather information about biomonster activity, but she hardly took any mission.

During one of her rare visits to the central agency, Anna noticed some hunters she had never seen before eyeing her suspiciously. She didn't care very much about the incident at that time because she was more concerned with the prospects of eliminating a group of monsters which had been seen roaming a small village that was not under government protection anymore. Anna really enjoyed doing that kind of charity work, hunting for free, and helping people without having to deal with them. These missions were so spiritually rewarding to the blonde hunter that became slightly less cold and shy, occasionally engaging into a brief conversation with some of the villagers. As the time passed, the traumatic memories started coming less frequently to her mind and she automatically lowered her guard.

This time, it was no exception. Anna left for the village at dawn and spent most of the day chasing and killing fast-breeding Armorants. The large ants were no big threat by themselves, but their rate of breeding could potentially make their number excessively dangerous to the people of the small village south of Oputa. Although tired and a bit bruised, Anna did not stop a couple of hours after the sunset. She knew that she had to kill a large percentage of the Armorant group to make sure their breeding rate would not make the population of ants in the village outskirts larger than when she started hunting them.

Having achieved her goal, Anna returned to the village and, after buying some supplies at the local store, opted to dine in a restaurant, in a rare socializing moment. The blonde guardian didn't look like the fierce and cold woman she was known to be; not only she had a smile on her face, but also she didn't dismiss harshly the young waiter, who, obviously impressed by her beauty, started flirting mildly with her. The waiter, a tall and thin young man, with brown hair and eyes and an elongated face was not particularly handsome, but he was naturally funny and had a decent conversation, enough to keep her interested for a long time. It has been a long time since the last time Anna was actually conscious of herself as an attractive woman, but, deep inside, she wanted to be attractive and interesting, like any other girl.

Although life has been very unkind with Anna, prompting her to mature much earlier than the average girl of her age, shaping her as a cold person, demanding a lot of self-control, wisdom and courage, part of Anna was still that eleven-year-old girl who dreamed with the handsome celebrities, cared a lot about fashion and other girly things. She was the same girl who survived the attack in her former home because she was locked in her room, angry about her father prohibition of going out after the sunset. For most of the time in the past six years, Anna forgot she was a girl, or tried to deny it. But she was still just a teenager, and, despite detesting it, she would act exactly like a common teenager when she lowered her guard.

Though she was not really interested in getting involved with the boy, and the only time in her life she seriously considered getting involved with any man was with Richard, Lizzie's brother, albeit for just a few hours before he was mercilessly murdered before her eyes, Anna enjoyed the waiter's company. When she announced she was ready to leave, she couldn't hold her laughter at the waiter's frustration. An inner laughter, obviously, because, surprisingly, she still was very sensitive about the others' feelings when she didn't want to be harsh on purpose. Not resisting his appeals, she promised she would return in the next evening if she had not already finished her job.

Anna walked back to the inn singing to herself. Could it be that her life was becoming normal again? Could it be possible to the tortured hunter to dream with a regular future? Her life had been an endless stream of tragedies, why couldn't she live a regular life? Why would God deny her all the happiness and pleasure? She believed the saying Happiness is not attainable in this world, but why couldn't she attain, at least, some peace? Like everybody else, she only wished to not suffer too much. To do what the other people do. To have some leisure moments. To have fun. To eventually marry and form a family. Why would God never let her be happy? If only that sudden monster outbreak suddenly stopped and Motavia could return to peace, she could try to quit that life, resume her studies, become a teacher or a scientist, and settle down. It was her deepest wish, to be a common girl again. But God never allowed her to be a common girl. And Anna went to bed begging her God to, unless He, in all his uncontestable wisdom, had greater plans for her that demanded all that suffering, take away from her that cup of poison and let her live a common life. Just like any other girl.
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