https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uw8mIcQJn8 background music
Rick Haukins sat alone at a small wooden table. Reflecting on the events the past few days. 12 soldiers in training had died during the corruption. (the term most soldier were now using to describe the strange phasing in of the beyond the past few days) 12 soldiers too many. He had only a few men and women left with the mettle to fight the tide that would surely come again. His hard eyes drifted to the lone bottle of brandy on the table accompanied only by the small crystalline glass next to it. twist, click, glug, splash, gulp, clink. Rick no longer cared about savoring the taste. with Enjoyment came memories. he only cared about the effects. The nobles were fighting again, the leadership bickering about who should be in control. glug, splash, gulp, clink. They were killing each other again. the people that his men lost their souls and minds protecting were killing each other again. Some had had the gual to ask him to help them to kill each other. His brow furrowed for a moment then hardened back to stone. He no longer had the passion to be angry. With anger came memories. How much time did they have? How many more times would they cut their loses in order to live a few more weeks. Glug, Splash, Gulp, Clink. He wiped the questions from his mind. With answers came memories. Tomorrow he would train another unit of the fallen saith. Glug, Splash, Gulp, Clink. tomorrow he would get those four new recruits into their battle harnesses for the first time. Glug splash, Gulp, Gulp…Clink Tomorrow he would discipline the one recruit who looked just like…. And then the memories came.
He layed his head back in his chair as his mind began to struggle through the haze of alchahol to torture him. struggle to break out of the bunker of dormancy he desperately forced it into. The recruit who looked just like Rebecca… images of her laughing, fighting, Smiling, sleeping, Dying… Her last glance that haunted almost calm look of someone who knows they are about to cease. Her gaze began to merge with others, dozens of other brave men and women, hundreds, The eyes of that look flickered from brown to glacial blue to green to golden to red from man to women from soldier to child. How many souls had thrown him that last desperate look over his life as they were ripped into the blackness? the look that regardless of what other cluster of mixed and terrified emotions overlayed it always asked one thing… “remember me”. The chair fell backward as Rick lurched to his feet hand splanted on the table head hung eyes burning. The mostly empty brandy bottle clattered to the floor. Rick clenched his teeth not daring to close his eyes for fear of what he would see when he did. He threw his head back.
Down the street Sophia Heroditous heard a howl not unlike that of a dying animal come from the soldiers district. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she continued walking. weeping for someone who had long since run out of tears.