[Tani's Scrapbook] Lost in the Woods

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Tani's Scrapbook] Lost in the Woods

Postby Tani on April 25th, 2014, 11:55 am

The Shattered Ground

It was funny, how death could change your perspective. Trenchman Justin Carper picked his way through the bodies with numb hands, barely hearing the screams of the sergeants - and they were screams, any trace of the order or clarity of training routed by simple, animalistic fear - as they urged the battered remnants of their units to flee. He recognised a handful of the retreating soldiers as his own unit, once-flamboyant blue uniforms stained brown with the grime of conflict. They were leaving him here. Abandoning him among the dead and wounded.

The fact bothered him less then he felt it should have.

The attack had been complete in its brutality. Strange warsails, angular and knifelike, hunched over their gasbags like a man atop a bicycle, had slipped from the clouds like leviathans of old, keeping pace with their transport with appalling ease. Just like that, the supposed advantage of their heavier-then-air machines vanished in the muzzle flash of cannons. The radar had offered no warning, the radio no consolation, as ship and crew merged in a flash of hydrogen that lit the smog-choked sky like a dying star.

Her escorts had not been so fortunate. Spared the wrath of the field guns that ferried their charge to the next world, the sputtering fighters and smaller troopsails travelling in her wake had scattered like rats beneath an owl's gaze. For all the good it had done them. The warsails had turned with effortless grace, swatting ships from the sky with each flash of their guns. It was the raggedy handfuls of survivors that had weathered the crash of their craft that now peeled away from him, vanishing into the early morning fog, leaving their wounded comrades to the mud and crows.

All except Carper. Hands that felt like they belonged to someone else finally closed around a rifle - his rifle now - buried in the mud at his feet. He slid the bolt back, wiping away a patina of grime, and slotted in a magazine from the leather pouch at his belt. That was better. A soldier should never be without his weapon. Even a woefully ineffective one.

He stepped over a corpse at his feet as field gun shells burst above him, matched with the lighter beat of a fighter's machine guns. Carter turned his eyes skyward, but saw nothing more then a flash in the dirty haze that had replaced the sky in this sullen, forgotten corner of the realm. The ground beneath his boots was a similar shade of brown, the retreating mist and bloodstained uniforms offering the only flashes of colour visible in a sea of meaningless brown.

The horror would have shocked him once. It already had, the bodies of friend and foe alike lurking just behind his closed eyelids. The waking world held far less terror for him now then the realm of dreams, and the strange numb sensation eking through his limbs was the only hint of a disgust that would once have paralysed him. Death was strange like that.

He turned back to the bodies and began his prayers. Above him, another dying troopship lit the sky.

I was struggling to put anything Mizahar-related together coherently, so figured I'd sit down and write whatever came to mind. The above is the result. Make of that what you will.

Thanks to Arundel for the awesome post template!
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Law of the Jungle.
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