Discussion in 'Worldbuilding' started by DonMegel, May 5, 2008.
Its being worked on
Moans of dark angles torturing the souls of the damned echoed throughout the cool dark corridors of the derelict vessel. Eerily they played their tune, wooing the vanquished audience with the songs of death. Occasionally, wearied by the relentless tune, a piece of debris would break loose and with a muffled crash add its own melody to the chorus around it. Outside, hurricane force winds hurled walls of sand against the scorched hull in sheets, the sheer density of the onslaught keeping the blistering sun at bay. It was this assault, countless minuscule stones flung against various metals and surfaces, that created the orchestra of hell for whom no one lived to hear; none save the visitor deep within the vessels bowels.
True enough, the ravaged mountain of steel had born its share of visitors over the decades since its descent from the heavens, but as migrated birds all had moved along to less musical refuges. He was different. Always he would return, always would he seek out the song of the fallen that could found no where else. It called him, it sang his song. Here alone could the otherworldly groans of silent fury sooth his restless soul. Here alone could his eyes close without splitting open an hour later amidst a cold sweat and a scream of anguish. Here he had peace. Here he was home.
Softly he slept within the gentle sway of a makeshift hammock strung between a ruptured power conduit and exposed bulkhead. Scattered about the small room, what in another life time had been a utility room, were what few artifacts he could claim as his own and onto which few eyes had fallen. Little bits of equipment, tools of their owner unholy trade, sat in various stages of disarray; some being cleaned, others repaired, all meticulously placed within an orderly mass of confusion. As is often the case with men who despise their chosen profession, or in this case what that profession had become, organization was system known only to them and, although unruly to outsiders, bore remarkable purpose and functionality to its orchestrate.
Mingled within this symphony of ordered chaos lived various objects that held special meaning and placement, although no one would be able to tell. A small black case of metals, the majority of its velvet worn off and its brass fittings tarnished with age, sat atop a dusty pile of books whose topics ranged from philosophy to epic tragedy to romance. Elsewhere, carefully wrapped in a cloth but otherwise neglected, dwelt the “Sovereign’s Eagle,” Jekotia’s highest honor awarded for valor in the face of overwhelming opposition. He cared little for it, they had all received one that night during the ceremony, but respected what it stood for and treated as such.
Towards one corner hung a faded grey double breasted tunic lined with brass buttons and a high black collar, its crimson interior escaping from an open flap. The rest of the dress uniform had been too degraded to salvage but it the tunic that bore the most significance; its thick backing proclaiming its importance with numerous patches and stitch work. In its new life as an antique the tunic had also acquired donations of blood and dirt from countless recipients of its owner’s deeds.
On the opposite side the disfigured room, within arms reach of the tattered hammock, laid a worn lever action shotgun that was old when he was a boy. In fact he really couldn’t tell how long the simple weapon had been ending lives; only that it had been his mentor’s and his before him. In terms of efficiency it had been out stripped decades prior but nothing could match its nearly indestructible construction, ease of use and, especially, its lethality as not only a scatter gun but in hand to hand combat; a 6 inch blade mounted under the muzzle proclaiming this.
The most important of these treasured mementoes of a life lost was a beaten brown leather journal, its pages filled with moments decades old. He had begun the work on his first day of officer candidates school with the intent of leaving it to his oldest son, a dream shattered under the weight of Brenodi steel. Words scribbled atop moving tanks, from within flying transports, sometimes even in the thick of battle itself; the imminent threat of death encouraging the young soldier to pen a last note to loved ones. Six decades later he still penned tales onto the yellowing paper, often of adventures from his past life, but now with the desperation of man stranded atop a sinking ship; certain death rushing up to meet him from the inky depths and yet franticly clinging to anything left of the vanishing world of air and sunlight. He wrote not the intent of the work being read but with the sole purpose of surviving the present and reliving the past, a past that seemed so much clearer, noble and just, as the past often does. For him, however, it was all that was left.
-- Baker Charley, June 3rd-- (sixty two years ago)
I’ve had harder marches over rougher terrain but honestly I couldn’t tell you when. We must have moved over twenty miles all together only to end up right back where we started. Immediately, with only five minutes to get some water, we were handed a tactical scenario and given five more minutes to come up with the best means of accomplishing the objective. Once time was called we were rushed to the live fire range where we had to weave and dodge through explosions and gun fire. One man actually got hit and had to be rushed away. His name was McPherson I think, we didn’t speak that much. The guys said that happens sometimes, helps to weed out those who don’t know how to keep their heads down. I’m really starting to see where the officers get such a caviler, humorous outlook on death. It’s engrained here. People don’t die they get “nailed” or “86-ed” or “sent home.” We regularly find our selves volunteering to do needlessly dangerous things, not like draftees “volunteer” to go into the service but an actual desire to risk life and limb for nothing more than a good cheer from your mates.
I know my unit has only been in training for a couple weeks but there is already talk about where we will go and who our commanders might be. Of course we won’t all be in the same units, there must be a couple thousand men in our training class alone, but at least some of us will be in the same deployment, maybe even in the same squad. Still its hard to think that not all of us will be together; leaving these men who have grown to be more than friends, almost more than family.
Anyway, at the end of the live fire course we arrived at the firing range for 100, 250 and 500 yard qualifications. After the previous seven hours of physical torture I swear I could barely see or breathe but still scored satisfactory, almost all of us did but have no idea how. They tell us it’s becoming instinct, that we just “know” how to hit the target. I think the guys running the targets just feel bad for us and record hits when there are none.
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