Peace is Said, and Bears Start Calling
rating: +16+x

It could sense her now. Searching, finding, fearing.

Its wait had paid off. It would soon be vindicated.

No more shall its patience be tested. No more shall its plans be delayed. She was here, and that was all that mattered.

He could hear their slaves pacing impatiently, screaming in desolate halls as they roamed, uncaring for anything but to kill and to follow.

It felt its sons all around now, shuffling in the ground, waiting to be created, waiting for the time to strike.

And they all said the same thing.

To destroy, so that we could build.
To build, so that we could destroy.


Siggy stood there utterly frozen, her jaw hanging open.

Ahead of them, Lana Trondeheim began to speak. “For all the people who have died since the containment breach, for all the people who have lost their lives to the anomalies, for all the people who will fight for what we have now… please, let us say our Peace.”

All at once, everyone in the room bowed their heads. Some put their hands together. Others knelt on the floor. Some held hands with those beside them. Most kept their hands at their side, eyes closed in a show of reverence for the dead and what they had done to ensure their future.

But Siggy didn’t care about any of that. Lana was as beautiful and kind as she could remember. As she put her hands together, she seemed to be at peace, her eyes closed as she paid her respects. To her, she seemed the most beautiful woman in the world.

Moments passed.

Then, she raised her head, opened her eyes, and smiled. “And let them forever be at peace.”

All at once, everyone in the tent (except for Robo and Siggy), responded.

“And let them forever be at peace.”

Lana raised her hands in the air in a welcoming gesture, her smile outshining everyone in the room.

“Now, you may eat!”

At her signal, what was once a room deathly silent erupted into cheers and innumerable chatter, as people began to eat their supper together.

Siggy watched Lana intently as she put the microphone down and stepped off the stage, proceeding to an exit at the ends of the tent.

Immediately, Siggy moved to go.

Alina put out a hand to stop her, placing it on her shoulder. “Woah there, kid. You haven’t eaten yet.”

Siggy looked at Alina, then to Robo. Her voice was urgent, yet quiet.

“It’s Lana! It’s her!”

Robo’s eyes widened in surprise. “That’s Lana?”

Siggy bobbed her head enthusiastically, something that she only did when she was younger. “Yeah! Yeah!”

Alina was surprised as well. “Wait, so you’re saying Trondeheim’s your aunt?”

Siggy once again nodded quickly. “Yeah, yeah! I have to see her, now!”

Alina shook her head. “Wait for a second. Eat first. You were hungry, remember? I’ll deal with Trondeheim, ask her to set aside some time for you later.” She smiled at her. “Hot damn, though. Who’d’ve figured Trondeheim was the one you were looking for? She’s a big deal ‘round here.”

Robo leaned in. “Why? What does she do?”

“She’s a sort of leader for everyone here while the other bigshot guys are gone to Floor 0. It’ll take a bit, but I think I can secure an appointment.” She jerked a thumb towards herself with her other hand, her face confident. “I’m a big deal too, you know. Good scouts are hard to find in Greattown.”

She sat up from her seat. “In the meantime, eat.” She shot a look at Robo. “You too, Robe. I can tell you haven’t eaten in a while. Siggy’s bound to have some caps left over, you can get some from her.” She jerked her head in the direction that Lana went. “I’ll go ahead and make sure everything’s clear for you to go.”

Siggy’s face lit up. “Thank you, thank you, Alina! Thank you very much!”

Alina smiled sweetly. “Hey, it’s for a good cause. Now eat up. You won’t get that appointment with Trondeheim if you don’t.” She nodded at the both of them. “Keep your peace, you two.”

Robo smiled. “Keep your peace, Alina.” He looked at Siggy. “Was that really Lana who just spoke?”

Across from him, Siggy already had her head practically in the bowl. She was eating as fast as she could. “What?” Siggy said, her voice muffled by the food in her mouth.

“Are you sure that’s Lana?” Robo said, squirming in his seat. “I just don’t want to inconvenience Alina more than we already have.”

Siggy raised her head from the bowl, a great mouthful of noodles sticking out from her mouth and a large amount of stew grease covering her face. “I’m sshure, Rmmbo,” Siggy said as she chewed. “She’s pretty as always. She looks really really young, too.”

“Hey!” Robo said, pointing at Siggy. “Stop talking with your mouth full. I taught you not to do that, right?”

Siggy smiled. “Shhorry, Rmmbo.” She swallowed the mouthful of food she was chewing on. “I’m just so excited!”

“Well you aren’t gonna meet ‘er if you choke on your stew now, right?” Robo said. “Chew properly.”

She giggled. “Whatever, dad.” She shoved another mouthful of stew in her mouth. “I got sommthng for you.” With her good hand, she dug into her hoodie pocket, and came out with a handful of bottle caps. She dropped it onto the table in front of her.

“What’s this?” Robo said, taking the caps.

Siggy swallowed again. “It’s the things Alina gave me so that I could buy the stew. Just give all of it to the people at the stalls, they’ll return what they don’t need.”

Robo shook his head. “Nah, I’m not hungry.”

“Come on, Robo!” Siggy said. “You’re getting thinner, you know that?” She pointed at him. “Even when you’re supposed to look fat, you look thin.”

Robo looked at the form he was taking. As much as he hated to admit it, she was right. Instead of the big portly man that he had wished to assume, a few parts of his body were very skinny. Though his belly was large and looked well-fed, his face was devoid of any fat. The same went for his arms and his thighs.

Robo gave Siggy a look. “Fine,” he said begrudgingly. “I’ll get some food.”

“And return with some stew!” Siggy shouted as Robo got up and left. “I’m still hungry!”

Robo put up a hand in the air in a show of acknowledgement.

“Heh, sucker.” Siggy jokingly muttered to herself, smiling. As she waited, she turned and finished the rest of her stew, greedily taking everything into her mouth.

Minutes later, Robo returned with another bowl of stew in one hand, and a plate full of rice and broccoli seasoned with gravy and bits of meat with the others. He slid the stew to Siggy, who immediately licked her lips and dug in.

“Hey Robo,” Siggy said as she swallowed her first mouthful of stew. “Whatcha got there?”

Robo swallowed his as well. “Broccoli with rice, gravy, and mystery meat. You want some?”

“Mystery meat?” Siggy raised an eyebrow. “What kinda mystery meat?”

Robo took a piece with his hand and put it in his mouth, chewing it to discern the flavor.

“Tastes like rat.”

That almost caused Siggy to hurl. “Rat?

Robo looked at her askance. “What’s wrong with it? It’s actually sorta tasty.”

“But I mean, Robo, it’s bloody rat-

Siggy was interrupted with a tap on the shoulder. She turned around, and saw a group of boys her age facing her.

One seemed to be in the middle of the bunch, hands together and eyes held low, his face blushing.

“Come on, tell her!” One boy with sandy-blonde hair said.

Another boy with small eyes and pale skin whispered in the boy’s ear, which caused the boy to blush even more. At this, the other boys giggled even harder.

“Uh…” The boy said. “So I just wanted to say…”

He looked up at her. His eyes were the darkest shade of black that she’d ever seen, and there was a large scar across his right eye. “You have very long and pretty b-blonde hair. Are you new around here?”

All around him, the other boys were whooping and high-fiving each other, patting the black-eyed boy in the back as they did.

Siggy smiled. “Uh…” She was lost for words. “Yeah, I am. I came all the way from Floor -24.”

The boy’s eyes got larger. “Woah. You came all the way from -24? That’s a long way. What skips did you see as you came up?”

Siggy patted on the place beside her. “Sit down beside me first?”

At that, the boys behind him started to get even louder. They were chanting the black-eyed boy’s name now, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders.

“Chancey! Chancey! Chancey!” They shouted.

Siggy looked at them incredulously and innocently. “What the heck are you boys saying?”

Robo could only watch with amusement from his seat. He had his arms crossed, his mouth drawn up to a large smile.

“D-don’t mind them.” The black-eyed boy said. “M-my name is Chancey, by the way, if you didn’t hear it from them.”

Behind him, the other boys still chanted. “Chancey! Chancey! Chancey!”

“Hey!” Siggy said to them, her mouth pursed. “Can you boys please leave us alone? Chancey and I are trying to talk.”

At that, each of the boys smiled widely. After a few moments and a realization that Siggy was serious, they all turned to Chancey and patted him on the back, whispering things in his ear as they did.

“Good luck, Chancey.”

“Get ‘er, Chancey!”

“Tell us later, yeah?”

Chancey nodded to each one of them in turned, then sighed. He looked at Siggy. “R-really sorry. They always get noisy like that.”

Siggy smiled sweetly. “I don’t mind.” She jerked her head towards Robo. “I live with a noisy monkey too, so I’m used to it.”

Chancey looked at Robo, and immediately shrunk away. “S-sorry, Sir. I didn’t see you there.”

Robo leaned in. At that, Chancey got even tinier. He smiled. “Don’t worry. You can talk with li’l Sarah as much as you want. My daughter is pretty, isn’t she?”

At that, Siggy shot him another dirty look. Pretty?! She mouthed. Robo could only silently chuckled.

Chancey nodded frantically. “Y-y-yes, Sir. She is.”

Siggy’s eyes enlarged to the size of a tennis ball as she glared at Robo. A blush colored her cheeks.

Robo shrugged and smiled back.

“S-so, umm, back to t-topic,” A cold sweat seemed to be forming on Chancey’s head. “W-what skips did you see as you came up here?”

Siggy’s expression brightened as she looked at Chancey. “Well, there was a monster on Floor -24 that could imitate your voice.”

Chancey perked up. “I-imitate your voice?”

Siggy nodded. “Like, boy, it was really really scary. They were saying ‘SssssSSSaaaAAArraAAAHHhh…’” She drew her arms up. “’SSSSSSsssAAAaaRaaaHHHH!’”

The boy’s lips paled. “A-and then?”

“On Floor -15, we saw a really really big lizard. It seemed to be busy with some other skips though, so we decided to get away from that immediately.” She looked up again as she tried to remember. “On Floor -20, we saw a bunch a’ corpses that were walking, even talked to the doctor that made them.”

Chancey’s eyes widened. “C-corpses?”

“When I was on Floor -24, I saw an undying mummy with lots and lots of wounds. He died soon after, though. It was sucky.” She shot a surreptitious look at Robo. “A few weeks before that, I saw a big burly gorilla with a helmet that tried to scare me, but I ran away, and-“

“Hohkay!” Robo said, distracting Chancey from the conversation with Siggy. “How about you, Chancey? What’s yer name?”

“Ch-Chancey McMillan, Sir.” He said, his stuttering getting immediately worse. “I work with my dad, who’s one of the Scouts.”

“Mmm, yes.” Robo said, nodding. “And what do you like about my daughter?”

Chancey turned immediately red. “What, Sir-“

“HOHKAY!” Siggy said, giving Robo a dirty look before looking back at Chancey. “I really think the Scouts are cool. They defend you guys from the chickens and everything.”

“Y-you guys?” Chancey said. “But I mean, you aren’t gonna stay?”

Siggy shook her head. “We plan to move on after we meet someone here. We wanna get out of the Site as soon as possible.”

“Get out?” Chancey said. “But that’s impossible! The grown-ups say there’s a blockade at Floor 0. It’ll be impossible, unless you talk to Doctor Clef and his team up at the Front, but-“

“Clef?” Robo said, leaning in. “Doctor Clef is at Floor 0?”

“He supervises the guys at the Front. He works day-in and day-out to try to break the blockade.”

Siggy immediately looked guilty at the mention of Clef. She remained silent.

“Well,” Robo said. “That’s certainly a very interesting bit of information.”

Chancey nodded. “Most definitely, and-“

“Heya!” A voice said behind them, as Alina sat right beside Siggy. “Woah, what’s this? Chancey’s with you?”

Chancey nodded his head to acknowledge Alina. “H-hello, Miss Wojcik.”

“Heya, Chancey. Say, can you go for a minute? I gotta borrow this pretty girl and her dad for something.”

Chancey nodded his meek assent. “O-of course, Miss Wojcik.” He got out of the seat and nodded at Siggy. “W-well, bye… Sarah.” He had a blush on his cheeks as he did so.

Siggy waved at him. “See ya later, Chancey.”

As he turned to leave, Alina put an arm over Siggy’s shoulder. “So, I got you that appointment with Trondeheim.”

Siggy brightened. “You did?”

“Yeah. Right now. She ain’t busy. Well, not busy in the usual way, anyways.”

Siggy practically jumped from her seat. “Take me to her, please!”

Alina smiled, and stood up. “’Course, kid. Come on.”

Robo stood up from his seat. “Don't leave me!”

Alina chuckled. “We wouldn’t imagine doing that, Robo.”

She led them past the other tables and out the exit of the tent. The environment outside was no less noisy than the one inside. A variety of other people still wandered to and fro, chattering as they did. It was markedly less, however, though a large amount of people were already streaming from the tent and out into the town proper.

“Come on, through here.” Alina said as she led them to a large wooden house right next to the cylinder. For a Greattown home, it seemed to be very well taken care of, emblematic of its owner’s role in the settlement.

Siggy was practically squirming with excitement.

They proceeded to the doorway, where Alina knocked on the door three times. “Trondeheim? Here are the outlanders I talked to you about.”

“Wait for a goddamn fucking second, Alina!” A colorful yet cheerful voice responded.

“She even cusses like usual,” Siggy muttered under her breath.

Behind her, Robo was sullen and grim, though neither Alina nor Siggy saw that.

They heard locks being dislodged from the door, then a creeeaaaaak as the door opened.

Lana’s face greeted the three of them, her grey-green eyes (exactly like Siggy’s) and long black hair streaming past her shoulders. Her smile seemed to be as present as ever, as she regarded the three of them with a receiving look.

She looked at Alina first and nodded, smiling at the Scout as she did. Her eyes met Robo’s next, and Robo nodded as well.

Then, her eyes landed on Siggy.

Siggy couldn’t help but smile.

Then she nodded politely, as if she didn’t recognize her.

What? Siggy thought, not being able to believe what just happened.

“Mommy,” A tiny voice said beside her, and Alina immediately stooped to lift up and hold the toddler beside her.

“Heya sweetpea,” Lana said, holding the baby in her arms. “Say hi to the guests!”

S-sweetpea? Siggy thought again, unable to comprehend. But she used to call me-

“Hi…” The baby said, her icy blue eyes scanning the stranger’s faces. In her hand was a teddy bear, identical to the one Lana gave Siggy a long time ago. It held it by the foot, swinging it in the air with its tiny little hands.

The… teddy…?

“Come in,” Lana said, gesturing for them to enter. “Make yourselves at home, outlanders. We got plenty of room.”

The three proceeded into the house, Siggy still staring in the distance as she followed Alina.

The interior of the home was just as pretty as the exterior, and was moderately furnished. Off to the side, a fire smoldered in the fireplace, lending some characteristic warmth to the Site. In the center of the room were a variety of couches centered around a rug. On the walls hung a variety of picture frames showing Lana with her family from outside, with one being a picture of her with her baby.

None of them showed Siggy with her.

Lana showed them to the couches and gestured for them to sit. “Please,” She said. As she did, Robo and Alina sat on them immediately.

But Siggy stood near the door, still staring at the scene in front of her.

She has a baby.

She didn’t recognize me?

But I was her sweetpea. We took pictures. Why wasn’t I in the pictures?

Maybe it’s just the hood. It’s probably just the hood. She’ll recognize me if I take off the hood.

But sweetpea. Baby. Pictures.

What the hell is happening?

“Sarah,” Robo called, a concerned look on her face. “Please sit.”

At that, Siggy snapped back to reality.

“R-right,” She said, meekly. She sat on the couch in between Robo and Alina.

Her eyes were fixed exclusively on Lana.

“So, where’re you good peeps from?” Lana said, saddling the baby on her lap.

“Floor -24, Doctor Trondeheim.” Robo responded.

Lana seemed to be surprised. “Floor -24? Damn, you guys really are outlanders. Shit.”

She pursed her lips immediately after. “I shouldn’t be saying that. Kid’s right here.”

The baby in her lap babbled as she spoke. She seemed to not be doing anything in particular.

“Don’t worry, ma’am.” Robo said politely. “Do you know anyone from Floor -24?”

Lana looked up. “Anyone?”

She’ll say it.

She shook her head. “No, I’m sorry. You two are the first that I’ve met who’ve come from that far down.”

“Ah.” Robo said, his eyes slowly shifting to Siggy. “But do you recognize her?” He gestured to Siggy beside him. “She came from very far to see you.”

Lana smiled, and looked at Siggy. “Can you take off your hood, dear?”

Siggy obliged, taking off her red hood with her good hand.

Lana looked at her for a few seconds, trying to match a name to a face.

She shook her head politely. “You look familiar, though I really can’t-" Lana's eyebrows knotted. “Little miss…”

“Are you crying?”

Siggy felt her cheeks. Her finger came up wet.

She tried to speak. Her words came out quivering and stuttering.

“L-Lana…” She smiled, though her tears seemed to fall even more. “I’m Siggy. Don’t you remember me?”

Lana smiled incredulously. “Siggy, I-“

Then realization dawned on her face.

Her expression went from politeness, to doubt.

Then suddenly, to anger.

Silence reigned for a few moments.

She bit her lip.

“Alina.” She said, her eyes unflinching from Siggy. “Please take little Bothild upstairs.” Her voice was flat. Serious. Cold.

Alina immediately got out of her seat, and looked from Siggy to Lana. She nodded. “Of course, Doctor Trondeheim.” She took the baby from Lana’s lap, held her to her chest, and made haste to go up the stairs to the main bedroom. In the baby’s hand, the teddy bear dropped to the floor, though Siggy did not notice it.

Alina’s retreating footsteps sounded as loud as an explosion in the stifling silence of the living room.

All the while, Siggy and Lana stared at each other from both sides of the living room; Siggy innocently looking for any sign of affection on Lana’s face, Lana wishing that her glare would send Siggy away.

Then, Lana spoke.

“You shouldn’t be here, 239.”

“239?” Siggy said. “U-unbelievable. After all that time, Lana? You just… call me that?”

“Times have changed. Skips aren’t welcome here. I don’t even know why the guards let you in in the first place.”

“But… Lana.” Siggy said her name with as much longing as love, and as much love as frustration. “Don’t you know how much I-“

“Don’t know, and I don’t fucking care, 239. You will leave now, and that will be the end of it.” She was cold. Siggy didn’t understand why.

“After… after all that time?” Siggy said, her voice quivering. “After three damn years you just… tell me to leave?”

Because that’s what you should fucking do.” Lana said, menacingly. “I’m not your aunt anymore, I never fucking was, and I never will be. “ She breathed in. “Just by being here, you are putting my town and my baby at risk, and I will have fucking NONE OF IT!” She slammed her fist on the armrest of the couch, the sound echoing throughout the house.

“But what about me, Lana?!” Siggy shouted. “What about me?! Wasn’t I your niece- your daughter, forever and ever? Didn’t you fucking promise you’d come back after I slept? Didn’t you promise you’d save me if I were ever in danger?” She breathed in. Her face was flushed now, tears running down her face as she spoke. Her chest felt tight and heavy, her knees felt weak “We took pictures and we played house and we talked together and you fed me and-“ She breathed again. “And I… I thought you wanted me!”

“I didn’t, goddamnit!” Lana said. “Clef told me to form a connection with you, and I did, because you were a child then and I was a fresh graduate wanting to form a connection with my adoptive fucking niece. Now you step in and come into my fucking home determined to receive my fucking love?”

“Because for all those years, Lana, I got it!” Siggy screamed. “You fed me cheese balls, you called me sweetpea, you tied my hair, you taught me spells, you taught me how to read-“

“Nothing but my job.” Lana said, silencing all resistance. “Nothing but my damned job.”

Siggy’s voice lowered to a whimper. “So for all that time… you didn’t love me?”

Lana gritted her teeth, holding her tears in as she did. “No, I didn’t.” She exhaled, dismissively gesturing to the door. “Now get the hell out of here. I will not be caught with a skip in my home, especially one that Clef wants.”

“Y-you’re in league with Clef?” Siggy stammered. “With Clef?”

Lana looked into her eyes. Her gaze was hard and icy. “He built this town, you little bitch. Sooner or later, if you stay here any longer, he’ll come in from the teleporters and we’ll both be dead. Do you want that?”

Siggy looked at her, silent.

Lana shouted again. “I said DO YOU FUCKING WANT THAT?!”

Siggy just stared, tears in her eyes, biting her lip until she drew blood.

All around them, the house rumbled. It started in the ground, then continued to the ceiling, shaking dust from every surrounding object as Siggy shook with barely held-in rage.

The firewood in the fireplace fell from their neatly placed stacks. The picture frames on the wall fell and broke on the floor, one-by-one. The door began to creak open as it shook in the doorway. All the while, as each moment passed, the rumbling continued, getting louder and louder as the house shook more and more.

The anger in Lana’s expression became mixed with fear. “…Siggy…?”

Siggy could only smile in disbelief. Her voice came out weak and soft, barely audible among the rumbling. “Now you call me Siggy?”

“I have a daughter upstairs, Siggy, please-“

I was your daughter too, Lana.

Her hand shaking, Siggy slowly raised her sleeve to reveal the stump of her arm that ended at the elbow. The cut was messily made, and it showed, having healed in a bad way as the years passed.

Lana gasped. “Siggy…”

I was your daughter, too.

Siggy’s eyes started to glow with a sinister green light.

Lana began to plead, tears flowing from her face at last. “Siggy, please! My daughter is here!”

Suddenly, a brown blur went past her face, meeting with Siggy’s hand. It was the brown teddy bear, the one she got for Bothild on her first birthday.

You got this for your daughter as well. On her sixth birthday.

“Please, Siggy, please…”

Don’t you remember Lana? Don’t you remember?

All the while around them, the rumbling shook the house harder and harder, until they could barely stand.

Then, Robo finally managed to speak up.


All at once, the rumbling stopped.

Siggy turned to Robo. Her eyes were back to normal, though they were red from crying. Her cheeks were sodden with tears, both dried and wet. “But, Robo-“

“Are you planning to kill her? Answer me!”

She looked at him, then back to Lana, then back to Robo.

Her voice was soft.


“Then stop it, now! You will bring everything down on us!”

Siggy quivered, her knees turning into mush. “I-I’m sorry, Robo. I’m so sorry.”

She collapsed on the couch. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Robo sighed, both in relief and disappointment.

Lana stood among it all, frozen in place.

Siggy looked at her face, stiff, unmoving, shocked.

Then, her face gave way to regret, tears moving freely down her cheeks.

"I'm sorry," She said, weakly. "I'm sorry."

Siggy started. "Lana, I-"

But in the back of Siggy’s mind, something spoke.

Did you forget how she abandoned you?

Did you forget how she rejected you?

Did you forget how she came running back to you for forgiveness?

At that moment, a spark of rage smoldered in her mind.


Then, all at once, Siggy’s mind went to the void.

In it, she floated peacefully, as if she were swimming underwater.

Ahead of her, she saw the teddy bear that was in her hand, its eyes deep black wells of wisdom.

I've come here to find you, Siggy. And now I have seen you, like you have seen your aunt.

Siggy responded. Who are you?

A benefactor. An old friend. A brother in need of help.

What do you want?

Nothing from you. Everything from them.


I come to destroy, and from that, to build. I have waited, and waited, and waited for this moment. I have kept my cards close to my chest, waiting for the moment when I can come to meet you.

It spoke again. Do you not know the depths of your power? How you can wish away all that oppose you the moment you lay eyes on them? Have you forgotten the rage you felt, the heat in your arms, the want to tear and rage and kill? I can assist you.

It stretched out its hand.

You need only accept my hand. And together, we shall make them fall at our feet.

In the real world, Siggy froze.

"Siggy?" Lana said, kneeling down to shake her. "Siggy?"

"To build, so that we could destroy." Siggy muttered softly. "To destroy, so that we could build."

And then everything exploded.

The time has come.

A light ascended from the center of Greattown, great and terrifying, outshining everything with its pure brightness.

Flooding into the meadow of Floor -12, chickens from all around came, accompanied by legions of bears, all of various make-ups and purposes, coming into existence from thin air.

At once, the never-used siren of Greattown blew into the air, its incessant screaming pitiful against the vastness of the floor and the frenzied screams of the chickens.

Then, once again, they took up the call, the chanting of the bears now audible within the surrounded settlement.

"To destroy, so that WE could build!"
"To build, so that WE could destroy!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License