Dreams and Recollections

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Renegade Proxy, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. #1 Renegade Proxy, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2014
  2. Regrets

    When the soldier returned home, he was but a ghost of the man who had left for war those many months ago. Victory had been theirs, the enemy crushed and routed, assuring that never again in his life would they rise again. Yet though the war had been won and he now found himself in the arms of his family the man, for what else was he beneath the colors of his country, could feel nothing but regret. All around were celebrations, jubilation of life and love as haggard men limped home with their families, but in his eyes the soldier saw only loss.

    "Who are we," his thoughts pleaded to the sleeping stars. "To celebrate so much death?"

    Indeed, there was only death, the rider upon his pale steed taking his surplus of tolls. The soldier could but mourn for those around him waiting with tired and anxious faces for the ghosts of the men who had left them behind. Even then it did not stop, for his mind turned further to their enemies. His hands, those warmed and callous things that even now held the woman he loved had spilt the life's blood of his fellow man.

    What now was he to them.
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  3. Memories

    Memories are funny things; they can lay dormant for many years, asleep in the depths of one's heart only to be awakened by the most simple of occurrences. This is so because the strongest memories are never forgotten, they remain engraved upon the stonework of the soul forevermore.

    Walking through the old town it was only a matter of time before memories surfaced. There was the town square, smaller now than it had seemed in my youth, where I and the other children had spent many a day playing stickball in the spring, throwing snow in the winter. Even now I can feel its chill, hear the crack of discarded broom handles as the ball was struck.

    Good memories all, though always overshadowed. For all those cherished moments there existed an equal amount of pain, those horrid memories that still bring tears to my eyes, inciting the feel of long-healed bruises upon my flesh. Slowly my feet wander those familiar paths as if by instinct, bringing into view the hulking wreck of the ancient house. A hunched and fire-scorched giant, homage to the past buried away and agony that lingers still.

    I pass down the front walk, its stones long overgrown by grass and weeds until all that remains are hidden edges, choked but still reaching from their emerald bonds to trip the unwary walker. Catching upon such a stone, whether by chance or careful planning my erstwhile stumble brings to sight the oddest of items. From the weather-stained and overgrown remains I recognize the wagon, a relic of my youth and gift during a lull in the black, left here after the fire that consumed both my childhood home and the horror that lurked within.

    Strangely, I smile at the sight of such antiquated innocence on the threshold of that ashy derelict. Through it all this object had survived while all the rest was swallowed in the self-made inferno of his anger. With a last glance at the remnants of both wagon and house, peace finally settles. The spectre of my father, of the abuse I bore from him, that he bore from his father at last settling to the scarred earth beneath my feet.

    Memories can never be forgotten, they can be buried and relived a thousand times. Yet when peace finally comes they are no longer tolerated as a necessary evil. They become a part of one's spirit, taking the place meant for them from the very beginning.
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  4. Decisions

    Shathir knew that there was water in the bottle, but did the benefits it could bestow outweigh the risk of contamination? Weeks had passed since the flood swept through the Sector 3 slums, bringing with it a moist wave of putrid waste and desiccated remains. Yet through it all the worst had been the plague, the fungal sickness that ate through what remained of the population. Floods could be handled, pollution and garbage tolerated as a mainstay of life, but this was far beyond the understanding of even the most educated residents. It was the flood that had spread the mutagen, sweeping through the already soiled streets to every single corner of the Sector. This was all that was known.

    At first there had been panic, a rush to blockade the coming ruin. After that it was a scramble to reach the various safe zones, put aside in times of crisis for what meager shelter they provided. In this way the plague had dispersed, the virus carried by fleeing masses into safe places, festering within hosts until such time that it emerged to wreak havoc upon the unknowing victims' mates. So the peasants ran from a tangible threat, not realizing that they carried the real killer with them, growing in their very cells.

    The process was a slow one, never the same beyond initial symptoms. These ranged from high fever, delirium and then as it progressed, paralysis and coma. It was during that last phase, when the body lay dormant that the fungus was allowed to gestate, mutating surrounding cells and structures into nothing less than alien configurations. Then, after minutes or days the corpse reanimated, bursting forth to attack in mindless animosity anyone that remained near. An inhuman affliction, the only cure death by or followed by burning.

    As a result of their ungodly creation the things were nearly impervious to molestation, whether by hand weapons or shot, continuing in unholy animation until collapse from damage or decomposition took them.

    All of this passed through Shathir's mind, the line the same though its manner was more succinct. Drinking from the bottle was a choice between deaths, and at least if he became infected there was a chance that he could end himself before his mind and soul were overtaken by the alien growth. So, without further pause he drank deeply before tossing the bottle upon the soggy pile of refuse gathered from surrounding detritus, paddle pushing against congealed waste as he continued on.
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  5. Initial Testing

    "Do you feel any lighter?"

    He flexed his arms, testing range of movement. A soft hum accompanied every little shift. The ablative plating was snug, but it felt no heavier than his skin.

    "Faster, maybe. Too minimal to say."

    "Sensors are calibrated."

    He nodded, the figures around moving carefully away. To him they appeared to tread through liquid, each movement flowing into the next. Closing his eyes against the sight, he waited until they were gone before opening them. Focusing on his hands, he lifted them, slowly closed his fingers into fists. He jabbed, a quick forward thrust of movement. The force nearly pulled him off his feet. Training took hold and he relaxed, falling into a roll that quickly returned him upright. A moment passed as he caught his breath.

    "No muscles torn."

    "...it's as if the muscles perceived his intentions."

    A murmur passed in from beyond the chamber where they watched.

    "Proceed with the exercise."

    He hesitated, the figures waiting expectantly beyond metal and glass. Releasing his breath he exploded into a flurry of martial motion. Increasingly complex, he ceased at the Ninth Cadence, drawing air deeply.

    "Movements barely register on visuals."

    "Internal systems are stable."

    Even as he listened their voices had begun to bleed together. He barely registered what they said.

    "Begin live fire procedure."

    Realization came in a wash of heat. The mechanism's environmental systems compensated, keeping the sensation at his periphery. Armor plates kept it from burning flesh. Motion sensors indicated a target behind as four others approached from all points. The first swung its staff, a shimmering displacement of atmosphere marking the passage of a burst of raw heat that combusted on contact, the flames skimming over his body. Reaching out, he took hold of the staff, pulling back as he stepped aside. The attacker was sent flying into the opposite wall where it stuck in a foot-deep dent. Retaining the staff, he punctured the second's chest, crushing the third's with a backhand swing. The fourth was immolated by raw heat, body visibly sagging as metal blended with flesh and was reduced to slag. Regarding the weapon, he discarded the device carelessly as he approached the attacker still standing. Unhindered by its efforts, he methodically tore it apart.

    Sensing the figures beyond glass and metal he stopped. They still moved as if suspended in liquid. It made sense. He didn't even feel the impact as his fist hit the glass.

    A web of cracks spread through the pane with its second strike. On the third, it began to give. Before the fourth he was engulfed by a wall of fire. The mechanism attempted to compensate but the effect filled the chamber. When his armor gave, internal systems quickly failed.

    As the flames subsided his corpse was left standing, fist raised. A statue of fused metal.