Dulce et Decorum Est
The little path between the debris of the former compound served as the perfect route to avoid possible enemies: cautiously she scurried over to a solid block of stone that had once served as fundament of a watchtower. Now it only seemed to mock the feeling of security it had given to the long dead inhabitants of this place. A short glance, then she started again to move. It had been a few days since she had eaten anything for the last time: food had become a rare commodity in the ruins of the selfsame city that had meant protection and nourishment to hundreds of thousands before. She knew instinctively she had to find something to eat: the alternative would be a growing pain in her intestines, seizures, and a slow death somewhere in the ubiquitous decay of that dying city. Then she stopped abruptly and raised her head. With a growing agitation she scanned the road in front of her: first only a faint rattling, that strange sound became louder and louder. She stretched her muzzle as far as she could and sniffed the air. It was a smell that told only one single story: the story of violent death. She didn’t hear the shot, nor did she see the bullet. She only felt an intense pain for a split second when she was hit and her entrails splattered against the solid stone behind her.
"There’s nothing more important than effective range in compound raiding”.
Elmo lowered his sniper rifle and distorted his face into a toothless caricature of a grin. “Oi! Got dat little sucker. Fucked dat fucking rat with ma Suzie here”. He turned around and punched Bubba in his back. “What’s it this time, Elmo? Don’t waste my time by telling me you shot another one of that vermins. Damn you, I’ve to hold that beast on the road, you stupid redneck idiot”. Elmo waved his hands in front of his face and started to blather, “Oh, Mista I-can-drive-dat-baby-bedda-dan-you behaves as if he’s someding bedda. Huhuhu! I’m scared”. “Oh, shut up, Elmo. You’re the stupidest bastard I’ve ever met”. Bubba concentrated again on steering the huge vehicle on course. Humongo had given them the order to get it into position for the next raid: a strongly fortified compound that had held off every attempt to overcome its defences so far. Humongo had stood in the remains of an adjacent apartment tower, watching the compound and its defences for almost an hour. He had carefully studied the guards in the towers, the men at the gates, the women and children inside. Then he had abruptly turned around and simply said: “Get Big Bertha and put her on yonder hill. There’s nothing more important than effective range in compound raiding”.
“But I only asked you to test my compound defences”. - “I did. They were bad”.
“But I only asked you to test my compound defences”, the wounded man stuttered desperately as he tried to crawl away from his pursuer. He only saw the silhouette of a single man against the burning fire consuming the scarce buildings that had been used by him and a few others. That man didn’t seem to be in any hurry: his movements were slow and deliberate, as if he had all the time in the world. “I did. They were bad”. Every single syllable of these few words resonated a coolness that made the wounded’s blood run cold. His hands tried frantically to claw into the ground, to find some hold to move him forward, away from that nemesis who had come to get him. “Bartovsky, please. That’s just not fair. I just asked for your advice”. The man addressed as Bartovsky came out of the fiery glow of the burning compound, and the wounded could see his face. Some cold blue eyes beneath bushy eyebrows focussed on him. The bald forehead was covered with deep wrinkles. The long white hair was gently waving in the evening breeze. The mouth was hardly discernible amid the long white beard. The man stopped in front of the wounded, pulling a gun out of his holster and aimed at the wounded’s face while the buildings behind him collapsed into a cloud of dust and smoke. “Have you ever read Horace? In one of his poems, he says, ‘dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’. That stupid moron had no idea about dying”. Then he pulled the trigger.
Jeb was sitting in his Pronto M61 and enjoyed this wonderful evening. They had just finished supper. John was still slurping his coffee while Moses was already cleaning his automatic rifle. “Don’t be afraid, sweetie. You’re in good hands now. If somebody wants to get you, he has to pry you from my cold dead hands”, he whispered soothingly while he caressed its barrel with a polishing rag. John was watching him over the brim of his cup, hardly hiding a widening grin. “Son, if I’ve ever seen a crazy old Hebrew, that dude over there is one. Hey, Moses. Bet you cheated when you divided the Red Sea. Come on, tell me your secret. How did you do it?” Moses just looked at him and shook his head, “John, you’re an idiot”. “I wouldn’t make it a habit of calling me that, son”, was the Duke's only reply before he continued sipping his coffee. Jeb just wanted to start telling one of his war stories when suddenly a deafening blast interrupted the peaceful atmosphere of this evening. It was shortly afterwards followed by another and yet another blast. “That is artillery,” Jeb commented on the obvious. “Who the heck is using artillery? Damn, this city is getting worse from day to day”.
Edited by Samuel_David, 24 September 2013 - 01:02 PM.