Steel hero


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Kurt Von Wagner was tired. The evening had been long, the music loud, the women beautiful, but not to Kurt's tastes. It had been his own fault. He had dressed that evening in only his usual black boots, black pants, black shirt, black vest, sword at his side. No one would have mistaken him at being one of the evening's revelers. Tonight, he was supposed to have been out enjoying 'the evening'. It had been his own fault. He had volunteered to host the evening's party.

He entered his apartment, shedding his outer armor to the side table he had placed it on earlier, and turned to his kitchen to mix himself a drink. He was tired, he was thirsty, he was hungry, and he was lonely.

One of the several girls Kurt had danced with for the past hour was suddenly sitting on his couch. She was drinking, Kurt noted, and it was not because he had forced the girl to drink, even though her actions quickly demonstrated that she had been drinking until no will could remain in her head.

'You don't believe me,' Kurt realized, as her words filled his ears. 'I didn't want to drink. You can't force me to. I wanted to go home. I needed sleep. I needed to be alone. I don't like drinking. I will always hate drinking. I will always be against it. You can't force me to drink. You can't force me to do anything. You don't have that kind of right over me. You can't force me to be free. I don't want to be free. I have a right to be kept safe. I have a right to be protected. You can't force me to go home on a dark, empty street? You can't? Why not? You can make a women a slave to laws of the societies you think she should abide by. But, don't you understand? I didn't want to come here. I didn't want to drink. I didn't want to dance. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to go home. I don't want to drink. I don't want to be alone. I don't want to sleep. You can't make me sleep. You can make me drink. You can make me dance to your drum. But you can't make me be the man I want to be. You can't make me be myself. You can't force me to be free.'

Kurt tried to listen to the woman, honestly, to understand what she was saying, but it was just too difficult. He was to tired to listen. He was to tired to care. He was to hungry to care. He wanted to eat, to forget this evening, to forget this woman.

As he stepped into his kitchen, a chill ran up his spine, a chill that could mean only one thing, danger.

Kurt turned to the woman still sitting on his couch, standing in the kitchen now, and asked, 'What have you done?'

The women lifted the glass, placing it to her mouth, and finished the drink. 'I have done nothing. Yet. I have merely drunk all that you forced me to drink. I didn't want any to drink. I wanted to sleep. I told you that.'

'Yes,' Kurt acknowledged her thoughts, 'you did.'

'And, you didn't care.'

'No, I didn't. I didn't care.'

'You didn't care about the part about not wanting to drink and do you not care about the part about not wanting to be alone. These things that were not your responsibility. These things that were not your decision to make. You made that woman a slave to your laws, and you didn't care if she was forced to drink and sleep in your house? But, I, you I. I'm not a slave. I'm not a slave to anyone, nor am I a slave to anyone's rules. I make my own decisions, and I make my own laws. I make my own decisions and my own laws. I am me, and I am free. I am myself.'

'You're free,' Kurt attempted to point out, 'but you're free to do what you want to do. Free to drink. Free to be free. Free to be yourself. You're free to decide, but not to decide. You decide what you desire not to decide. You decide what you would choose to do. But, if you decide to do something, something you don't want to do, something you don't want to do, you are forced.'

'But, you can't force me to be free, to be free of alcohol, to be free of sleep, to be free of sleep.

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