Battlefield 1

Charles Edwin Nutt was a distant relative of mine – my great-great-great uncle, I think, if my maths is correct – who served in the First World War.

The man I’m playing as in Battlefield 1, who’s name I’ve already forgotten, apparently used to be a chauffeur and is now a tank driver, and has decided to wage a one-man war on a small town in France after his squadmate has buggered off and the tank captain is trying to fix the tank or something.

There’s not a whole lot of information available on Charles Edwin Nutt, from what I can tell. We don’t know his side of the family – or at least, if we do, I’ve never met them – so there are no stories to tell or history to him. Just one note that we have detailing one story of his.

Tank man, for lack of a better name, is sneaking around a French town trying to find spark plugs for the tank. He needs to visit four locations to do so, because apparently the Germans have only managed to salvage one spark plug per tank they’ve scrapped. He finds a silenced pistol in a convenient crate in a barn and systematically shoots each and every enemy soldier in the head, remaining undetected the whole time.

Charles first joined the war as part of the Cheshire Regiment – somehow, he ended up with the 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, or Accrington Pals as they were informally known to try and draw in groups of friends who would all go to war together.

Tank man kills a German soldier by running directly at him and slamming a shovel in his chest. He has been at war for all of one day.

At the Battle of Lys, near Merris, an order went out for troops to retreat to a position near Merris Wood. The order didn’t reach the two left companies, who were behind enemy lines and faced being completely cut off. Charles, a private, volunteered to deliver the message alone.

Tank man has triggered an alarm and the entire town is awake and full of gunfire and shouting. He runs into the nearest barn and waits for his health to recover – he has been shot several times by now, but feels much better for having a little rest.

Charles Edwin Nutt ran three quarters of a mile into enemy territory, avoiding what is described as “considerable machine gun fire”, found both companies, and led them back to the right position under “heavy artillery and machine gun fire”.

Tank man grabs another gun off the ground and fires wildly, killing several German soldiers almost instantly. A soldier with a flamethrower appears – he is almost impervious to bullets, but tank man runs behind and unloads a clip into the gas tank. The flamethrower-wielding soldier screams as he catches fire and explodes.

For his service, Charles Edwin Nutt was awarded the Military Medal on May 4th 1918, six months before the war ended.

On May 17th, Charles was killed in action. If memory serves, he never physically received his medal.

Tank man has secured all his spark plugs. With the town awake and gunning for him, he jumps on a nearby horse and sprints past every soldier in sight. The horse cops a few bullets for him but seems unphased. The mission is a complete success.

My parents visited a military museum to see Charles’ Military Medal once, several years after we first found out about him. The museum curator happened to walk by as they were at the Accrington Pals section, and my mum pointed out Charles and said it was her great-great uncle. According to my dad, the curator stood with them for a time in total silence.

I don’t know if Tank Man is real. Most likely he is an amalgam of stories with some dramatic flair thrown in to make it more interesting to gamers.

I wonder, as I’m steering him and the horse through town, if Charles’ story would have made the cut for this game.

I doubt it.

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The Perfect Trial (Phoenix/Nick x Manfred von Karma slash fic)

Phoenix slicked back his hair one more time. He was nervous, as always. He had all the evidence he needed, the prosecution had a witness testimony with more holes than Swiss cheese, and Maya was by his side. Everything was going to be ok.

But he was still nervous.

Suddenly, the Steel Samurai theme song started playing out of nowhere. Phoenix looked around, shocked, before he realised that it was just his phone. He laughed to himself and looked down. It was a text from Edgeworth.

“I know you’re probably nervous, Wright, but you’ll be fine. I believe in you.”

Phoenix smiled to himself, but was shocked again when his phone buzzed another time. It was Edgeworth again.

“x”

Just one kiss. Phoenix could imagine Edgeworth sending his first message, before begrudgingly deciding he should be more romantic. He was probably sat at his desk in his office, cup of tea in hand, feeling pretty stupid. It made Phoenix smile harder.

He looked at his watch. He had ten minutes until the trial started. He felt much calmer now.

“Mr Wright!”

A bailiff was calling his name. He walked briskly over to Phoenix.

“Mr Wright, sir, I’ve been told to inform you that the trial has been pushed back by half an hour.”

“Wh-whaaat??” cried Phoenix, staggering backwards.

“Also,” continued the bailiff, “Prosecutor von Karma would like to see you in his chambers.”

Phoenix was about to cry out once more, but the bailiff took off purposefully, returning to his post by the door. Phoenix felt all his calm melt away and be replaced with fear. Von Karma? Chambers?? Delayed??? This didn’t sound good.

But what choice did he have? He grabbed his court record and headed off to find Von Karma. God knew what would be waiting for him.

*

Phoenix arrived outside von Karma’s door a few minutes later. He nervously slicked his hair back for good measure, and knocked loudly.

“Enter!” snapped a harsh voice from within.

Phoenix swallowed, then gently opened the door. Manfred von Karma was sat behind his desk, idly looking at papers, a glass in his hand. His eyes darted up over his papers, but his head didn’t move.

“Ah, Mr Phoenix Wright,” said von Karma. “Please, take a seat.”

Phoenix nervously walked towards von Karma’s desk, pulling a seat out from opposite the imposing man before him. The chair squeaked against the floor, causing Phoenix to wince, but von Karma’s eyes had returned to his papers. Phoenix sat down cautiously. Von Karma took a swig from his glass.

A few moments passed in absolute silence. Phoenix started to sweat slightly. What did he want?

Suddenly, von Karma finished his drink, and put his papers aside. He neatly placed everything back where he clearly felt they belonged, and turned to Phoenix, his arms folded in front of him.

“Now then, Mr Wright…” von Karma began. Phoenix swallowed again. He was starting to seriously panic.

“It’s come to my attention that you are… how can I put this politely… seeing? One of my children?”

Phoenix flinched. Von Karma’s children?? But he only had his daughter, Franziska, and she was in Germany!

“Ah, I can see you are confused,” said von Karma. “I am of course referring to Miles Edgeworth.”

EDGEWORTH?!

“B-but he’s not your son!!” cried Phoenix, sweating.

“So you don’t deny it then?” replied von Karma.

Phoenix bit his lip, and dropped his head. “N-no… I don’t.”

Von Karma snapped his fingers, and smiled wrily. Phoenix’s sweating got worse. What was von Karma’s deal??

“Good. I’d hate to see you try and pull one of your little… ‘turnabouts’ on that rumour.”

Von Karma stood up and began to walk around his desk.

“Miles Edgeworth may not be my blood relation, but I raised that boy to the man he is today. That makes me his father, and him my son. Do you follow so far?”

Phoenix nodded.

“Now, I have no issue with the two of you… frolicking together. What I do take issue with… is you, Mr Wright.”

Von Karma stopped in front his desk, and leaned against it, no more than a few inches from where Phoenix was sat, shivering in fear.

“You see, Mr Wright… I don’t know what kind of man you are.”

Von Karma looked down sharply at Phoenix, who visibly shook. Von Karma’s power was overwhelming.

“And I don’t know if you are… worthy of seeing my son.”

“OBJECTION!” Phoenix cried, standing up suddenly. “Miles and I are in love, and it doesn’t matter what you think!”

Phoenix suddenly clapped his hand around his mouth. LOVE??!? Did he really just say that?

But von Karma just looked at the ground and smiled his wretched smile. Phoenix couldn’t get a read on him still. Where was this going.

“That may be…” muttered von Karma, “but I’m afraid I need more… evidence.”

Von Karma’s hand snapped up from his side and grabbed Phoenix’s shoulder, who flinched in fear. But von Karma’s grip wasn’t very strong. It was… gentle, almost.

“Mr Wright… Phoenix…” said von Karma, “I… want to give you… a perfect trial.”

P-perfect… trial? Phoenix couldn’t make heads nor tails of it. He felt von Karma’s presence shift from harsh to almost warm… or as warm as a von Karma could be. Phoenix almost felt relaxed…

…and then von Karma’s lips were on his.

Phoenix staggered back, detaching himself from von Karma’s face. Von Karma just stood there, smiling that same smile. But it felt more gentle now, instead of shrewd. Phoenix was so confused.

“Wh-what are you doing??” cried Phoenix.

“I… apologise,” said von Karma, still smiling, “I may have been… a little too forward.”

Von Karma stepped towards Phoenix, who took a step back of his own.

“Come now, Mr Wright,” said von Karma, “we both know that you were enjoying that.”

His fingers snapped and pointed to Phoenix’s crotch, where a bulge was already beginning to grow.

“I only want to make sure that my son will be… satisfied.”

Phoenix swallowed again. It’s true. He was enjoying it. Von Karma’s overpowering presence was actually a huge turn-on, and his directness, while catching him off-guard, was something Phoenix liked in Edgeworth. He was beginning to see where the younger man had picked up his habits.

“So, Mr Wright,” said von Karma, softly, “shall we try this again?”

Phoenix stood rooted to the spot. He didn’t want to betray Edgeworth. But at the same time, if he didn’t do this now, would von Karma ever let the two of them be happy? He was too scared to say anything. All he could manage was a nod.

Von Karma’s smile grew, and he stepped forward once more, taking Phoenix’s head in his firm hand as he did so. He brought their mouths together, and this time Phoenix didn’t resist. He moved his hand around von Karma’s waist, pressing his mouth against the older man’s, feeling the other’s tongue enter his mouth. His bulge grew some more, pressing into von Karma’s leg, who reacted by kissing more harshly. His hand grew tighter on Phoenix’s head, keeping him locked in place. It felt… it felt really good.

Von Karma sharply pulled himself away, breathing heavily. He stepped back from Phoenix towards his desk, and leaned on it once more. He then started to unbutton his trousers while Phoenix watched, nervous and excited all at once.

“Now then, Mr Wright…” said von Karma, “let’s see how you handle this piece of evidence…”

Von Karma slid his trousers and underwear down, revealing a hard, throbbing dick. Phoenix was taken aback once more. It was… it was huge! So much bigger than Edgeworth’s. Phoenix thought he wouldn’t be able to handle it, but von Karma barked sharply at him, bringing him out of his stupor.

“Mr Wright!” called von Karma, “get over here post-haste!”

Phoenix fell to his knees in front of von Karma’s thing obediently, and immediately engulfed the huge member in his mouth. Von Karma groaned loudly, his hand immediately grasping Phoenix’s hair and holding it roughly. Phoenix gagged slightly as von Karma pushed his dick further into Phoenix’s mouth and held him there, clearly savouring the moment, before pushing Phoenix’s head away so he could breathe.

“Are you enjoying yourself, Mr Wright?” asked von Karma. Phoenix nodded.

“Good,” said von Karma. “Continue.”

Phoenix once more took von Karma’s dick into his mouth eagerly, feeling his shaft take up his whole mouth, and moved his head back and forth, taking more in with each motion. Von Karma banged his fist on his desk, groaning more and more, before he couldn’t resist and grabbed Phoenix’s hair again. He held Phoenix’s head in place and roughly fucked his mouth, moaning with each thrust. Phoenix let himself be taken control of, and was enjoying it so much that he decided to start tugging at his own member. Von Karma noticed and immediately stopped, pushing Phoenix to the ground.

“No!” cried von Karma, angrily. “You will do as I say, and nothing more!”

Phoenix nodded, and removed his hand from his own throbbing dick. Von Karma snapped his fingers again, and shook his head. He reached over his desk into his drawer, and pulled out a small black object. It took Phoenix a second to recognise that it was von Karma’s favourite tool… his taser.

“Bad boys like you must be punished by daddy,” said von Karma, harshly. “Do you understand?”

Phoenix nodded once again, tensing up. Von Karma flicked the taser on with a touch so subtle Phoenix barely noticed it. Von Karma knelt down next to Phoenix’s hard dick and gently touched it with the taser. It was on its lowest setting, but the pain was excruciating. Phoenix loved every moment of it.

Von Karma stood up again, and looked down at Phoenix’s quivering body.

“Stand up, Mr Wright,” he said.

“Y-yes… daddy,” replied Phoenix.

He stood up, his legs shaking, and felt von Karma’s hand on the back of his neck. Von Karma pushed Phoenix over his desk, sending the papers he had been reading earlier flying off into the corner of the room.

“Making a mess, are we, Mr Wright?” asked von Karma, sarcastically. “I do hope you understand the consequences.”

Von Karma pulled Phoenix’s trousers and underwear down to his knees, and thrust the taser straight onto Phoenix’s bare behind. He yelped in pain, his body shaking with electricity. Von Karma removed the taser from his body as sharply as it had been put there, and tossed it aside. Then he took his place behind Phoenix, and pinned his head down on the desk with one hand while guiding himself into Phoenix’s waiting ass with the other.

“Are you ready, Mr Wright?” asked von Karma. “You’re about to feel the level of perfection we von Karmas have dedicated our lives for.”

Phoenix could hardly speak, and once again nodded. Von Karma grinned wildly, and slammed his hard dick straight into Phoenix, who cried out in a mix of pain and pleasure. Von Karma retreated slightly, before slamming him again, and again. Von Karma’s groans drowned out Phoenix’s moans as he felt von Karma’s rock-hard thing drive into him over and over, unable to get himself off. Von Karma realised this, and slid his hand around Phoenix’s cock, pulling it out of his trousers and jerking it hard and fast.

Phoenix cried out in pure pleasure, grasping the desk with both hands, as von Karma pounded his prostate while roughly jerking off his cock. The two men writhed in pleasure, von Karma occasionally letting go of Phoenix’s head to slam his fist on the table, before returning it to the back of Phoenix’s neck. Sweat poured from both men’s bodies, until von Karma suddenly spoke.

“Now, Mr Wright, let me show you why a von Karma never loses!”

His grip tightened even harder on Phoenix’s dick, who couldn’t hold it in any longer, and came all over von Karma’s desk. Von Karma, enjoying the sight, came inside Phoenix’s ass simultaneously. His moans echoed throughout the room as all the tension fell out of his body, and his grip on Phoenix loosened almost immediately.

The two men stood for a moment, panting, trying to catch their breath. Von Karma straightened up suddenly, redressing himself, and returning to his usual calm demeanour within an instant. Phoenix had no such luck. He was still twitching from his orgasm, whilst panicking about the mess he had made.

“Mr Wright, please, compose yourself,” said von Karma, gently. “Do not worry about the mess. I will have… someone come and clean it up right away.”

Phoenix sheepishly redressed himself, feeling von Karma’s hot mess fall gently into his underwear. Sheesh. Would he even have time to change before the trial?

…wait. THE TRIAL!!

“W-we’re supposed to be in court!!” cried Phoenix, entering full panic mode. But von Karma just smiled, as he always did.

“Don’t worry, Mr Wright,” he said. “I have found us some… suitable replacements.”

This only made Phoenix worry more.

“Oh, and Mr Wright?”

Phoenix looked up, and found von Karma’s eyes staring him down.

“You were… satisfactory. You have my permission to see Edgeworth.”

Phoenix’s face lit up slightly. Then it fell again. Edgeworth. He’d betrayed him for what he thought was a good reason. But how could he tell Edgeworth about what had happened? Could he ever confess?

“Mr Wright.”

Phoenix snapped out of it once more to find von Karma stood by the door, holding it open.

“I thank you for coming by. Now, if you don’t mind…”

Phoenix froze, then nodded in understanding, and hurried out. He had to see what was going on at his trial.

*

Phoenix arrived at the court’s waiting room an hour later for his trial. He couldn’t believe it. What would he say to the judge? Did von Karma actually have replacements organised?

At that moment, the courtroom doors opened, and out stepped Edgeworth, looking perfectly composed as always. Phoenix gasped. Had… Edgeworth been his opposition all along?

“Ah, Wright,” said Edgeworth. “You missed quite a trial.”

Phoenix stood in front of Edgeworth, panting. His mind was catching up with his body. Why had Edgeworth come out from the defence’s side? And why was Maya with him?

“Oh, didn’t you hear, Nick?” said Maya. “Mr Edgeworth stepped in for you at the last minute! He was amazing out there! Maybe even better then you!”

Gee, thanks Maya, thought Phoenix, looking at Edgeworth. Edgeworth looked at him curiously, before shrugging and shaking his head.

“It was an open and shut case, Wright,” he said. “I don’t see why you were so worried. It was almost the perfect trial.”

Phoenix shuddered. He never wanted to think about a perfect trial ever again.

Sonic Mania

I am young, very young. Probably like 5 or 6. My sister and I are playing games together – one game really, we can’t decide on anything else, so we always break out Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and play the same four levels over and over. Emerald Hill Zone. Casino Night Zone. Special Stage. Mystic Cave Zone, I think. It’s all kind of hazy now, but the feeling is still there. Two players, sat in front of the TV, me usually winning because of too much time spent playing the game.

Eventually we will move the Mega Drive into my room and put a PlayStation in the lounge and everyone will have to put up with me playing the Rugrats licensed game. Both of them, in fact. But for now we are keeping it simple.

I am 24 years old, and I have a sudden urge to call my sister.

I am 18, I guess. Sonic 2 comes up on Xbox Live and it’s so cheap I’d be a fool not to buy it. I can’t get over the fact that it has save points now. I don’t have to beat it all in one go. I can just work my way through.

This never happens. Every attempt must be in one straight run, and every attempt sees me dying in Casino Zone because let’s face it, I’m just not good enough. After a couple of goes I put it down and never play it again.

I am 21. Someone asks if we can play Sonic 2. I say, sure.

I am 22. My niece is playing Primal Rage with me, but I long to show her the game of my childhood.

I am maybe 9, maybe 10. There is a crummy PC that my parents still use, and a disc with Sonic 3 & Knuckles on it somewhere in the study. I spend an afternoon installing it and loading it up. For some reason it opens in windowed mode, and everything moves at twice the speed it should. It runs fine in fullscreen.

Somehow the level select cheat code remains in my fingers and I’m jumping between zones, failing constantly. Tails dies again and again and again and again. There’s a fire shield.

I am 12, I think. Mum has taken me around several places she is mystery shopping, and in each one I find a GameCube stand and play Sonic Adventure 2. The last one we visit, we leave with a new GameCube and only one game – it will go down as one of my favourite games of all time.

Several years later I will remember Knuckles and regret that decision.

I am 24. My sister is a couple of hundred miles away now, and I probably won’t see her until Christmas. That’s OK, I think. It gives me time to get better at this.

I smack into a wall and run down a small incline. My thumbs instinctively begin a spin dash and I fire myself back up the wall and into harm’s way. Not for the first time.

Most things change enormously over time, but some will always stay the same.