Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Conscripts
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Conscripts An Atom Trying to Understand Itself

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"Uh yeah. I was intending to anyway."

Even if Michael may not end up being long-time friends with those guys, he was still their subordinate. And he should at least made himself known to them first. What if they happened to need him during a battle? They'd need a name so that if something occurred to them, or if he needed them. In the heat of the bullets and blood, these precious moments could be life-saving.

Michael followed the energetic Paloma to greet the squad. She surely was a sunflower, always with a smile on her face. She immediately greeted the guys with a flood of question marks about poetry. But as Michael was about to show himself, his recognizable but less visible silhouette, more guys from the same squad swarmed the two Lance Corporals. All taller than he was. Believe it or not, he was certain that he was the shortest person in the entire army. Spent his entire life looking up at people. As much as he wanted to introduce himself, he wouldn't want to be edging his way through those towers of a person. There was still an hour and a half left until battle commences, so he had plenty of time. He could meet them after the squad had dispersed a little-

"8th Platoon, gather your gear and webbings. Plans have changed. Advancement commences in 15 minutes, so haul-arse over to the frontline steps! Anyone who refuses to come is to be court-martialed, so let's get a move on!"

As he said it, it happened. It was time to pick up the rifle.

"Seems like there is no time."

He didn't want to be late. Their names were Isaac and Jean, right? He could keep that information in mind.

"Alright calm down. You've been trained for this."

As he carried the weight of his own body combining with the multitude of both engineering and combat equipment over to the front trench, the traumatizing stench of human flesh on its way back into mother nature's soil. Poor these fellows. Some of those who were still recognizable were just as young as Michael, barely even reached twenty years of age. And they were now without a proper burial place. We were both pinning each other down, so no personals with any quality of brain cells would actually pop their heads over the parapet. That only meant that these unfortunate souls wouldn't have a place to rest, and for us a pleasant smell. To call it unpleasant was a gross understatement, however. It was disgusting. Traumatizing. Pure horror. Something that would stay with the sapper forever.

To distract himself from the horrifying smell, he decided to look over to his comrades. Some were just as scared as he is, while a few were jumping with their heels, eager for the faithful charge that would determine a few of these men's destiny. The face of the former group attracted him the most. It didn't resonate this clearly to Michael until now, but they were also a shadow of his own self: young with a bright future, with someone waiting for them to return at home. He remembered it. He would not in any circumstances, want to die right here, right now. And what could he possibly do right now but to fight. He wouldn't want to shoot a gun out of malice, or plunge a bayonet deeply into the enemy's chest with hatred, but his parents were waiting for him at home...He'd not leave them alone.

As much as he tried to avoid looking to the side or consciously acknowledge the stench, he couldn't fully. The more disturbing something is, the more likely you would be inclined to pay attention to it. It was unpleasant, but the human brain. What could he change about that? Thankfully though, whilst he could not distract himself, someone else did. A tap on his shoulder called for his attention. It was from a man with dark skin, nearly two heads taller than Michael. He was offering a tin can of sweet chocolate with a friendly smile on his face. At least his squadmates were mostly nice person. Otherwise how would he survive in this calamity?

"Thank you." He expressed simply, though his voice was deep, in contrast to his petite and roundish face, as he took out a small piece. The guy did say this was his homemade chocolate from his mom. How nice. The letter in his pocket seemed to clatter for his attention again. Reminded him of his own mother. He took a small bite from the piece of chocolate he was offered. The flavor melted immediately.

"It is so good..."

Not just by the military standard, but also by his own standard as well, as someone who had the privilege to enjoy some fine dishes in the past. But perhaps nothing beats mother's cooking. The love placed in those mixes of cocoa and milk. The same could be said in those curves of inks that was in his letter. He couldn't help but take it out again, after he had munched down the piece.

"It really gives me something to remember." He turned over to the man with a small smile of gratitude on his face. "Thanks again, uhh...sorry, what's your name?"

@Rigmarole
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by CFProxy
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CFProxy Für Gott und Kaiser

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Franz moved at the order, tucking his helmet down to proper position before quickly marching to the front. There was no hesitation. There was only knowing that this may be the last day he ever breathes air. His heart pounded, giving himself a bit of surprise in anticipation of the main event. He kept in formation but immediately took cover in the trench once it was available. The silence was unnerving, this darkness was surely to be awoken by the light of explosives and gun fire. He did a weapon check, a brief maintenance before wiping off the water that had collected upon the rifle and peeked over the safety of the trench briefly to check for any movement before ducking back down and checking for his bayonet. Thoughts raced as he shuffled in his space and felt his emotions bubbling. Thoughts of the past.




"War? Is that what you want?"

"I'm going back. That's it."

"So what? You want me to wait here while you go out there and get killed? Use your head, Franz. They're going to the grinder and you want to be the next on the chopping block? Get the hell out of the army before that happens!"

"What else am I supposed to do? Sit around waiting to find someone that will never show up? I've tried and tried but nobody has seen her. I need to do something other than get spit on in the streets."

"And the best thing you could do is go die for the fucking Feds? The same ones that told us we'd be better in a ditch?"

"It pays. The army is nothing if not consistent with payment regardless of hair color."

"Yeah, job security isn't going to matter when you're meters in the ground. I can't believe we're even having this conversation. You want me to keep looking for this bit-"

A solid strike to the cheek. It caused the first silence of that mid day conversation and it did so with the other man holding his jaw for the moment before throwing Franz over the table and diving after. It was a struggle, both men grunting and groaning as fist and words hit with such ferocity that furniture nearly gave way under the pressure of their battle. Ten minutes. Ten minutes of struggling with Franz finally being thrown against the rotten wood stairs and grabbed by his collar.

They stared at each other, heaving and sweating with the sound of rain tapping the glass. The power went out. Lights turned dim.

It wasn't long after that they sat quietly by the campfire burning damaged magazines and newspapers, sharing a moment with warm coffee and a blanket to cover them. They held neutral expressions with battered skin.

"You know, sarge is going to kill me once he sees my uniform."

"Just see Veronica before you leave. She's laundered equipment before I'm sure she'll know how to fix it up or at least give you a new one."

"How did you meet her anyway?"

"Veronica? We were just sitting at the pool enjoying the day and I just decided to talk to her. I looked at her she looked at me and it just kind of happened. Just a couple of Darscens trying to get by. Course, she dyed her hair light blue. I always hated that shit. Sure a coat of new paint means you get treated better, but it's disgusting that we need to change who and what we are to even be accepted. To hell with that. I'm staying Darscen even if it kills me."

"You're a thug on the street, I'm pretty sure it will kill you at some point."

"Not as fast as some pretentious fuck of a lieutenant telling me to throw my body at a line of rifles. You hear about that fucking poster boy? What a god damn joke. He wouldn't last a week in the slums."

It got a laugh out of Franz, smiling as he responded to Markus "True. Still, it pays."

"With all that money you get I think about investing into a new apartment but then I remember that staying in isolation like this is the best way to be. Sure it's not what I'd call paradise but a couple Darscen sympathizers isn't going to change the fact that the world is filled with its biased selections. At least here we're a den of our own kind. That's better than any luxury suite."

"That's kind of a lie isn't it? I know you'd rather have that sweet chicken pulled buffet."

"Oh fuck yeah I would, but that's besides the point. Good food only carries you so far. I'm an idealist, just like you. I'm gonna die in a few decades so I might as well go out doing what I love and being who I am. Maybe I'll build up a family in the meantime."

"Veronica?"

"Relax, professor. She's just a squeeze. I'd like to think I have higher standards."

"I don't think she'd appreciate hearing that."

"We don't exactly have the best chemistry but it's better than being a punk ass virgin like you. She feels the same in that way."

"Always did have a way with words."

"Glad you agree. Still, I think it's time you gave up on that Amber shit. She's gone, man. You need to find someone else."

Silence. The fire burned, ripping away at the remnants of the trash as Franz stood and grabbed his letters, looking at them and then the fire before putting them back. He took the old phone book instead, chucking the behemoth into the pit before taking his part of the covers again.

"You're hopeless, Franz... Still, you're lucky you're my best friend... I'll keep looking for her. Just don't fucking die... alright?"




He was in something of a trance for a moment, gripping at his shoulder as though the blankets were there until he left his memories, his ear still placed against the structure as he listened and waited. He thanked Veronica quietly. Even if it wasn't right to work with an insider like that he didn't mind it personally. She'd never gotten caught as far as he knew and it saved him a week in the hole. This uniform felt better too, the lines weren't as irritating and it had something of a soft comfy stretch to it. It was better than the stiff and hastily made uniform they gave him at first. He took a moment to appreciate it, knowing that she picked it out just for him.

He would still need to talk with his squad eventually, but for now he settled for just staying still and listening for a shift. Waiting for the order as he remembered Markus' words.
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Deadnaut
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Deadnaut Weapons Specialist

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Marielle had never been one for physical effort, which had made her entry into the Army quite difficult. Training had been hard, incredibly hard, and her class had barely made it through. Only by supporting one another, building each other up and bearing one another's weaknesses, had the class survived. Marielle had been overjoyed to be part of such a group, even if the work was hard and her marksmanship had very nearly had her failed out, her fellow trainees had saved her from such an ignoble fate. It hadn't been one way, however, as every time one of them felt their will failing, or they nearly dropped out of formation, Marielle had been there to save them with encouraging words and a gentle smile.

Training wasn't the end of the story however, the inspiring story of recruits coming together, the kind of tale you'd read about in a storybook, segued into the real story: war. Marielle was separated from almost all of her recruit class and assigned to the 8th platoon within the 15th Atlantic Rifles. She was packed into a train, tight with the others being shipped to the frontline, an army duffel bag shipped with her leaden with what few belongings she had already been issued. She'd nodded off for most of the journey, her fellow soldiers were consumed by worry but Marielle had been calm, drowsy even given she'd been in intensive PT not even a week before. She was awoken by the train's stopping and another soldier shaking her awake.

She trooped out of the train with the men and women surrounding her, soon arriving at the Lieutenant's gathering spot for the platoon. The soldiers around her had all manner of different expressions on their faces. Some were nervous, others excited, others still drowsy from the trip, all around her these people had a riot of different expressions on their face. On Marielle's face was a beatific smile, as if she knew some beautiful truth that nobody else was privy to. The Lieutenant's speech was fairly rousing, though it also made Marielle more than a little nervous. Combat was on its way and she'd hardly been issued her weapon, much less gotten comfortable here in the trenches. She calmed herself with a great effort however and, when the speech ended, found herself aimlessly surveying the crowd of her fellow soldiers.

When she drifted away from the main formation, another girl approached her to speak. She immediately lead off with a fairly cheap pun, causing Marielle to giggle and smile merrily "Ah yes, my travel agent advised me to stay home, but I just couldn't! You're very funny miss...as for why I'm here, I just want to do my part for my family. Oh, um, I'm Marielle, Marielle Oxford. Its very good to meet you!" Marielle smiled happily but, soon after, the Lieutenant put out the call: they were heading to the frontlines early. With a chuckle, Marielle continued "Oh dear, it seems our rest is going to be very short. Lets head for the trenches together, I think it'll be nice to have a friend to speak to while we wait."

When they arrived at the frontlines, the distant sound of gunfire and explosions were...disconcerting to say the least. Marielle had been shot at in training, or well, at least had guns fired over her head while training. She found herself crammed in a dirty trench, though at least her newfound friend wasn't far away. Making her way back beside the other girl, Marielle smiled in an attempt to help the other girl remain calm in this admittedly terrifying surrounding "Oh my, it seems this will be quite the active excursion. If you'd like, when we attack, you can stay with me. I may not be as good a soldier as the others, but, I think being with a freind makes everything better."
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Symphoni
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Symphoni Insufficient Vespene gas.

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The group's hearty conversation was interrupted by none other than Lieutenant Loud-voice aka Middleton. He announced ever so loudly in that voice she knew he loved to hear so much that the advancement had been moved way up, and they would all be leaving in fifteen minutes. He even threw in court martial in there as well, because what use is a loud order if there isn't any harsh punishment to go along with it?

A short while later, their time was up and Britta headed together with the rest of her squad and company as they all made their way to the front lines. All of them moved slowly through the rear lines before emerging into the entrance of the communication trenches. The boom of arranged artillery fire that used to sound so distant before was now a whole lot closer than she'd like. If she thought that the trenches in the back were bad, nothing could prepare her for the unworldly stench that hit her when she step foot into the trenches that marked the front lines.

The stench of the dead bodies of the fallen soldiers and the dying was near indescribable. The closest thing she had ever smelt that could even compare to such a thing was way back at home on the farm, when she'd come across a dead cow with its carcass rotting ripely open in the sun, already savaged by predators and carrion. That had been the worst thing she'd ever smelt in her life. And now this wasn't even close. If anything, it was like a hundred dead cow carcasses, or perhaps maybe even thousands, if she had to use anything to describe the smell.

The artillery fire soon stopped, and silence fell over the trenches like a blanket. It seemed to be to quiet now, her ears having got used to sound of gun and cannon fire. The ghastly faces of the soldiers who had been here before them was a sight to behold. Most of them were stoic, and had no expression regarding their reinforcements. You would think that they would be happy, and maybe they actually were, and being at the front lines too long had a way of taking away the power of your emotions from you. Britta didn't know what else to do.

She gathered herself and moved towards Jean, Isaac, Paloma and the others and simply found a place she could sit while she waited. The lull of the battle where you didn't know what to do was often the worst. She had no choice but to depend on Jean and Isaac and the rest of the squad if they were all going to make it out of here. Preferably alive. But war always has a nasty way of twisting things.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Kuro
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Kuro no tengo dinero

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Garnian Salient
Rear Lines
@Deadnaut
Kirsi grinned from ear to ear as the girl laughed at her cheesy joke. Perhaps the Asseni's attempt at making friends was going to work after all. "Kirsi Lüneburg—with two dots above the U. Nice to meet you, too... or maybe I should stop rhyming." She went on to state, nodding happily to Marielle's response. However, as quick as Kirsi and Marielle's newfound friendship began to blossom, it was just as quickly interrupted by the First Lieutenant.

"8th Platoon, gather your gear and webbings. Plans have changed. Advancement commences in 15 minutes, so haul-arse over to the frontline steps! Anyone who refuses to come is to be court-martialed, so let's get a move on!"

In response to the First Lieutenant's orders, Marielle had stated that the duo should head to the trenches together. "I'd love to, Marielle. Just let me make sure I have everything, and we can head on our way." Kirsi replied, though she was somewhat disappointed that they were to head out so early. It seemed whomever came up with the statement that war never changes was quite the awful liar.

Garnian Salient
Front Lines
@Deadnaut
The trip to the front lines was rather short, but it was unsettling. Despite the fact that Kirsi had someone to talk to, there was a lot going through her mind at once. They were being thrown right into combat, where Kirsi would likely have to kill someone, unless the Imperials shot the Asseni first. This battle would be entirely different than all those training battles she went through, but Kirsi knew that they were destined to fight to free her homeland. To free Assen. To free the farm. To free her parents. The god of war had finally given the Asseni her chance to weather the storm like she wanted to do so those many years ago.

Regardless, it didn't help the fear Kirsi was already experiencing. The Asseni had trained for months, yet she felt less ready than ever. She was scared of dying young and alone in the cold, menacing wastes of no man's land, but all Kirsi could do now is bite her lip and quiver in her boots as the stares of weary soldiers locked upon the recruits, as if they knew something they didn't.

Thankfully, Kirsi's new friend seemed eager to look out for her in the coming future. "I... I'd like that. We can watch over each other's backs, right? I'm sure we'll drive those Imperials back to where they came from—for Assen and the Federation." Kirsi replied as hr confidence began to return upon Marielle's gentle smile and calming words. Even if Kirsi had no idea what their next operation was to be, she was sure that the Federation was going to let the Imperial bastards have it.
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by LetMeDoStuff
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LetMeDoStuff The Token Cripple

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Garnian Salient: Rear Line, August 25th


Her phrasing was what concerned him, but there was a slight ease in his tension when her hand gently patted against his back. The strange sensations of a soft human touch left him slightly more at home, one that left a slightly uncontrollable smirk upon his face. The scent of the battlefield before them, one he still hadn't seen beyond the trench's walls, was harsh and horrid, yet she stood out like a blossoming flower in the looming battlements they resided within. Jean found himself shifting slightly closer when the man beside him grunted, forcing more and more soldiers to line up. As mentioned, Jean was most concerned by what she meant by how the battle was to go. Killing was not in Jean's nature. Were there really hundreds of thousands of beautiful creatures like such who'd be happy to kill? Jean would do it only for the sake of his survival and those behind him, however he felt a strong urge not to ever pull the trigger. Part of him would be reluctant to fire the rifle, however there was no choice. He had to kill and there was no question about it. If only this poor girl knew about how Jean ended up in the military, including the racist bigotry and social pressures to go along with it. Or perhaps he was the only pessimist here, being unrealistic to what the war could become?

"You're a diamond in the rough, Paloma. Those words could inspire an entire army, if someone gave you the microphone to do so. And yeah...maybe it isn't that bad? We haven't seen the frontline before us, so maybe we're...Maybe I'm just being a bit of a idiot, perhaps? Wouldn't you agree?" He rubbed the back of his helmet and wiped some of the rainy substances from its metallic frame, looking back down upon the short Paloma. She indeed was a diamond in the rough, seeing herself as a soldier not of fortune, but of honour and decree. Perhaps she had something to protect back home. That thought reminded him of a special someone in Jean's own life who'd done the same, only to expend her life without closure or relief.

Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Sync
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Sync The Wildcard

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His eyes narrowed considerably noticing that his words left no trace and much more, were entirely ignored by his Lance Corporal. It seemed his conversation with the petite blond held more merit. Which was fine, Miakel thought. But still... Words on deaf ears they say, but much more, it felt no different if Mikael had spoken to the corpses themselves. At least if he did, he felt a sense of validation and purpose, because he would be motivated by sense of prowess and honor he himself befitted worthy. At this juncture, it felt like the winds carried his words and flew them away from his lips like a kite with a broken string. Mikael at the moment felt distant, far more distant that what he had been since the moment he decided to leave home. There were no companions and furthermore he seemed to be the only one who was taking anything with any amount of seriousness. Perhaps it was due to his upbringing, he knew this had to happen and was prepared for the inevitable. Well, it was a simple notion to be frank, they were comrades but they weren't friends. It didn't change the fact that he still needed to aid them in battle. And so, Mikael took it upon himself to not direct another words towards these people, and there when he used the term, these people, was where he noticed how cold his heart sank. But instead his focus was upon the surroundings. Everything was terrible, but it mattered naught what he had to be met with. This was important, again, just by slightly analyzing his situation he realized that the trek up to this point would be arduous. But then again, what did the youth expect? They were at right place of such, at the worst possible interval.

War felt terrible and Mikael had just started his campaign, he had not have to kill anything yet, he hadn't felt any sort of hunger or irreparable scarring's yet. But he could sense it inching ever closer and such brought his body to quiver. There were nothing he could do but be vigilant and prepared for it. And, as he felt once more like a fool for opening his mouth, he decided not to give it a third attempt and continue further to one of older operatives of the field. "Sir!" The moment a man, dark-skinned, towering a few inches above Mikael in height brandishing his combat knife in hand and rifle on shoulder, heard the voice of Mikael's call he gave him the at-ease command and both began to talk. There was a noticeable gash that marked the man from forehead to cheek, demonstrating the history of a battle well-fought and hard gained. "Huh? You're part of the 15th Atlantic Rifle, correct?"

Mikael nodded, leaving his salute behind and promptly responding to the man. "Indeed. Private Lauter, at your service. But saying such would feel too much of a commodity at the moment. Feels less like a squad and more like a group. " The man didn't seem to understand what Mikael was getting at, and so to shine such he brighten his confusion by demonstrating a reflection on the mien by a raise of the brow. Mikael caught the glance and he added "I feel like fish out of water." With such the scarred soldier nodded and threw it as petty squabbles of the new recruits. "Lauter, huh? That name sounds familiar. You have brother's in the force?" Mikael nodded and further explained the situation to the man, they went to and fro between conversation but finally reached the subject the young Private wanted to talk about. The situation, seems like most were about as knowledgeable about as much as he was, but there were substantial details that could benefit him further beyond. Looking upon the sky the clouds seems sparse and far in between, he couldn't smell beyond the stench of rotten flesh and gun power so he couldn't detect and form of odor that would make him believe it would rain again. Searching the surroundings once more, the mud and dirt seemed still in mush, deep too. Their feet would sink and become heavy upon placement. Meaning that there was a heavy shower constantly pounding at the earth. There seemed to be safe from any upcoming showers, at least for a moment.

This would be difficult, he needed to adapt to the floor to get a sturdy shot. Maybe he could use a vantage point somewhere with better footing, sadly that would also be troublesome as he would have to weave away from his squad. However, if moments dictate action he would do what must be done. At the moment, he didn't feel like doing something so foolish as disobeying so he strayed back to the squad and began to fiddle with his rifle. Trying to see if anything was out of the ordinary so he could adjust and repair as needed.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Ithradine
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Ithradine A Rouge Machine

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_____________________________________________________________________________________________

You can't break a man who is already broken.

Through every drill that made every muscle in his body ache to the long marches that nearly caused him to collapse in exhaustion, Daniel pushed through it all. He had nothing. That meant nothing was holding him back so he could put every fiber of his being into moving forward. All he could rely on was himself to get the job done. Honor means nothing if you die. That way of thinking did not earn him many friends nor did his unorthodox style of fighting in hand-to-hand combat. It seemed pointless to become friends with a person who very likely might be dead tomorrow. To that end, he only cared about accomplishing his assigned task and staying alive. Anything beyond that was outside of his interest.

Daniel could tell simply from the arrogant way he spoke that the first lieutenant was a noble. That was reason enough for Daniel not to like the guy but truth be told, he liked the fact he got straight to the point. The early wake-up call was rough enough without having to listen to some old man rant prattle on and on. The Atlantic 15th rifles...simply another cog in a greater war machine. He was not here for some made-up concept like glory and would settle for simply surviving day by day. His wary eyes scanned over the other soldiers in formation, noticing that many of them were around his age. A brief flash of curiosity made him wonder what kind of lives they all came from. He quickly stopped his examination of his brothers and sisters-in-arms. In the end, their personal history mattered little.

Despite his childhood being spent mostly in a gang, Daniel had never once directly claimed the life of another human being. He had broken bones, cut open flesh, and even separated a few fingers from their owner. These violent acts gave Daniel the belief that when the time came, he would have no issue pursuing that kind of violence to its ultimate end.

Once the platoon was dismissed, he separated himself from the group rather quickly to examine and double-check his gear. The last thing he would want would be for his rifle to jam in the middle of a fire-fight. As a shock-trooper, Daniel would be straight in the thickest of fighting and had the responsibility of charging enemy lines first. It was a dangerous job but it afforded him more freedom to be as ruthless as the situation allowed.

While cleaning his weapon, he couldn't help but overhear the conversation between the two lance-corporals and a few privates from his platoon. They seemed, at least to him, a easy-going and relatively care-free bunch. It was better than having a few jar-heads and gung-ho morons as squad-mates, at least they would live a little longer. He had no interest in joining the conversation so he just kept to himself. If they survived their first battle, maybe then he would be more open to discussion. No sooner did he finish fully inspecting his weapon than did the first lieutenant return with new orders: to move towards the front line.

He quickly changed his mind about the lieutenant, he was just a pretentious asshole with a greater-than-thou attitude typcial of one in his position. Quietly and quickly, he gather up his gear and joined his assigned group with the same people he had been eavesdropping on.

Daniel had thought that he had suffered the worse smells on the streets of Ancaster but this....this was enough to even make his stomach churn. The entire scene leading up to the front-line trench was depressing to say the least. The flame of hope flickered and wavered in the eyes of soldiers, an early warning sign of what to expect. He simply took up his position, waiting for the signal to be sent towards victory or death.

Any signs of anxiety that made have crossed Daniel were hidden deep under a mask of complete concentration. He appeared almost like a statue, a fierce look locked in on his face. Whatever happened in the next hour, Daniel would make sure he pulled through it all and carried any he could over to the other side. One observation that Daniel made about being in the army was that it was very similar to being in his old gang. There was nobody looking out for you except your fellow soldiers. He didn't need to know them and they didn't need to know him, but he would have their back all the same.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by Bushman501
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Bushman501 The Saber of Hungry

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Dear Reyna,

I hope you are doing ok. In the last letter you wrote to me, you mentioned you were about to head to the front. I'm so worried for you, but you have so much faith that you will be fine. Still, even for someone as strong as you going off to war must be scary even if you will receive honor and glory if what those advertisements say is true. I know you want to create your own path, but please stay safe. We don't want to lose you.

Scott and Finley have been up to no good as usual. Yesterday, I had to convince Finely's mother to not make him clean out the chicken coop. As for the events that brought this on, you really don't want to know. You know what they say, Rey: Boys will be boys. Your mother and father told me to write in that they say hello so here it is. I'll write to you again soon, I promise.

Your friend,
Eleanor


The letter made Reyna smile even as she read it. After making it through the extremely uncomfortable training, she was dumped into the almost equally uncomfortable field. She didn't know which was worse but Reyna figured she will find out soon. Cracking a smile as she lifted her head and watched the others converse around her get into groups, Reyna couldn't help but wonder what they were all talking about. Her curiosity and her shyness, however, conflicted heavily with each other. By the time Reyna decided that it couldn't hurt to join a conversation they got the order from Middleton to move. She grabbed her equipment, including the carbine and sapper equipment that all sappers were issued.

And move they did, to the trenches where countless men and women were waiting for orders or simply trying to survive the boredom. What made matters worse was the trench looked and probably was even filthier than the place they came. Foreigners and Edinburgh citizens alike caught Reyna's attention as she followed her unit, each one having a different face and different lives. She wondered what would happen to each of them as she passed by, writing off for now that they could die in the battlefield: that was too depressing. Look at the bright side, Reyna. You'll be able to fiddle with a few things when this is all over. Try something new. All of these people combined with the unsanitary conditions was starting to get to her already. Reyna finally started to do what she did when she was nervous: she started fiddling with her rifle to make sure it was in working order, then started fiddling with her entrenching tool with shaky hands, going through the issued sapper's equipment one piece at a time to ensure it was all in optimal condition. Hopefully...just hopefully she will not have to be one of those in a charge with a mass of people.
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by SMS
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SMS A Tired Writer

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It's been several months now since Kalisa had joined the army. Day by day, she and her fellow recruits had been undergoing harsh training to prepare them for war. She had performed averagely throughout, not particularly standing out in anything besides her willingness to volunteer. Many times she had thought about quitting, the way her officers had barked at her on top of the harsh and difficult training they were in had started to crack her. But every time, she would remember the ear-piercing screams, overflowing bloodshed and deafening gun fire of that day. She would have to keep strong. If she backed down now, how could she face them?

Today was different. Some time before, she and many other people were told to get onto the train to be brought to the frontlines. The girl hadn't been keeping track of time since they first got on. She had been keeping to herself since the beginning of the trip, as a way of avoiding unnecessary attention to herself as a Darcsen. The intense heat didn't help either as she was sandwiched in the middle of her car. She had nodded off a few times in order to keep her mind off of temperature.

Kalisa was awakened by the train suddenly stopping and several people nearly pushing her down in the process. After getting off of the car, they were all gathered for a round of introductions. She found the lieutenant to be rather stiff as he spoke to them.

They were all soon dismissed whilst they waited for further orders. The people around her had begun forming groups with people they already knew. She had wanted to introduce herself to the Lance Corporals as well, as she mentally recalled the names and faces of those who went first. Though her plans were dashed when the lieutenant suddenly came back telling them all to get moving. The girl made sure to double check her equipment before she followed everybody else.

Her body had instinctively tensed up as soon as they arrived at the trenches. The smell was nauseating, and the sights weren't something to behold. She knew the frontlines weren't exactly pleasant, but this was something else. After a few more minutes of walking, she found herself standing amidst the other shocktroopers. She'd be rushing towards the enemy lines with them soon, so she felt now was the best time to try and get to know a few of them so that she and they would have someone to cover them.

Kalisa had spotted somebody with crimson red hair who had a look of intense concentration. "Is he nervous?" She figured talking to him might help him relax a little. The girl shifted beside him and gave him a pat on the shoulder to get his attention. "Hey, you alright? You seem pretty tense. It wouldn't do us good if you fumble with your gun later." She realized that she probably sounded condescending, especially for a Darcsen, so she backpedalled. "Oh, I'm Kalisa by the way. Kalisa Larsen. A fellow shocktrooper." She took a half step back and extended her hand for a shake. She had hoped that he wouldn't ignore her or else this would have been very embarrassing.

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Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by LetMeDoStuff
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LetMeDoStuff The Token Cripple

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Garnian Salient: Front Line, August 25th - The Battle of Hill 58


Once he and Paloma had concluded their quick interaction, the final group started to arrive. The line was now complete in about four rows, all tightly crammed together down the entire trench line. It was hard to even see what was going on all around them. Some familiar faces had started to lose themselves in the crowd. A rugged Sergeant walked up and down their line, pulling those like Britta up onto their feet with a large snarl. Those sitting down were forced back onto their feet and met with a cruel glare that was unmatched by no-one but the Lieutenant himself. Alexander was busy making himself useful by inspecting the line as it was. Very few were talking to one another now and it was just the case of the empty wind blowing between each and every body whilst the bootsteps of the superiors lunged around on the duckboards beneath everyone. The rain continued to trickle down, still at a somewhat heavy rate. The moist fog had cleared up only slightly, enough that they would be able to see the hill once they scaled the trench walls. Until then, all they could see were the backs of their comrades and the walls of the mud-trodden entrenchment.

Jean's eyes drifted back down to Britta, who still stood after being forced back up into her position. She was a gunner, of course, so there was a little bit of a tight squeeze for her equipment. It was obvious that the plan of action didn't require for her to stand in the back lanes of the upcoming show. Heavy machine-gun emplacements that weren't mobile nor adaptive were to fill that role as the lighter, though arguably still sluggish, gunners were to join the huge ranks of the upcoming charge. A small ray of sunshine had drifted upon her when his eyes met her direction, only for a second however, before the fall of the precipitation fell upon her uniform once more. Jean turned back to the uniformed back before him, slightly adjusting the uncomfortable strap beneath his chin.

To his front, a larger man, with muscle and mud still stretching across his face, stood with a shiver. It wasn't the cold getting to him, and Jean could make that out clearly, but instead the discomforting sight of fear and dread for what Jean didn't know was coming. He tilted his head, eyeballing him with some confusion. The man had a private's insignia etched into his uniform though appeared to have been present on the frontlines for a lot longer, especially with the dirt claiming its home upon his tainted brow. A few tears had already been on his once blood-stained uniform as he shifted on the spot, the duckboards beneath creaking as he did so. His rifle was slightly troubled with an audible shudder amongst it. Some of the mechanisms on the inside could be heard with their metallic shake, keeping in constant syncopation with his own tremor. His eyes were devoid of all colour, that in which he could no longer see the brightness of the world. A sudden ecstasy of pain came from his condensation and each breath was lined with another barrage of whispers that were quite disdaining to hear. Jean held his hand out, in hesitation, before tapping the shoulder of the soldier. He slowly drew his head into Jean's direction, fully showing the true experience he'd been through. He was definitely older than him, by about 10 years perhaps, but that didn't stop Jean from trying to reach out for him in compassion for his rank.


"Private, are you...Okay? I can imagine the wait is the worst part, but I'm sure we'll all get through without a scratch upon our sleeves." His eyes were strained when the man finally began to speak in his shrivelled whisper, one that continued to shudder and stutter as much as the muscles within his uniform did. Before him was a broken heart and mind being left to the war's bidding, one that was a common piece for the soldiers of experience. Jean just didn't know how damaging the war could be, especially with all the romanticism through media, poetry and news outlets back in the homelands.

"I d-don't want to go back out there. The wait is the best part, Greenhorn. They...The fields of desolation and uncharacteristic delusion will be once more a resting place for the masses." He shivered in his whisper and looked as if he were about to break down into unending tears, yet he somehow held his breath back and continued his fearful twisting of Jean's expectations. "The fall, we lads call it. Don't want none-of-that. I've stepped above trenches like these...once...twice. Too many times, more. Lad, d'not let me go out there, please? You have a higher r-rank? Use it?!"

Jean was unsure of how to react, his head and face visually taken back by what he'd just experienced. The man had true fear in his colourless eyes and yet he remained where he was, like a good soldier should've. It could have been a stasis of enigmatic confusion and drastic fear or simply the mischief of a lazy trooper, but something about his choice of vocabulary and their poetic translation caused him to freeze, slowly taking his hand off of his shoulder. The soldier didn't say anything else, but instead turned back to face the front and to continue his shivering composure. He was slightly moved by his sudden outburst of whispering panic, yet he yielded in complying to any of his strange requests. The snap of a passing Sergeant called for him to be quiet, quickly making him shut up and listen out for the rest of the day. Everyone was now silent. There was no sound, not even the wind anymore. The world felt like an eerie graveyard. What a coincidence that was. Before long, a figure arose slightly elevated above the rest. His head wasn't yet poking over the trench-line but he still had enough space to see over those around him and to be visible to all of them. He broke the silence with a voice. A voice of a Lieutenant, that was.

"15th Atlantic Rifles, listen to the brief!" There was a slight difference in how he was dressed than in comparison to before. Now on his hilt sat a large sabre tucked neatly into a leathery sheathe. Upon his chest piece laid yet another socket in which the handle of his trusty sidearm poked out of. It was a very battle-ready rendition of his previous smartness and formality yet he hadn't completely lost that sense of seniority and importance. His hair waved gently in the August wind as he stood higher up, still not revealing his head to the battlelands above the trench-line. Around his neck sat the binoculars, slung around like the rifles everyone else carried. "It is our duty, to the Federation and to humanity itself, to do whatever it takes to end the miserable war and cripple the bastards that identify as Imperials. Their dictatorship and outdated ideologies are to be destroyed by us, by you! Over this trench lies Hill 58, the most important sector of the Garnian Salient. For days, and weeks, on end, artillery pieces atop of this hill have shelled us relentlessly and have managed to garner the range to fire into the town this Salient aims to protect. We have been tasked by our highest commanders to go forth and take this hill out of their grasp and to secure it immediately. This is a high-priority operation, thus we will be dealing with it as such."

Jean felt his heart race. These were real terms for the war they were to be joining on this day. The real battles were going to begin now. Were they as romanticised and glorious as everyone said they were going to be, or was this just another facade to cover up brutality? Jean had no idea how to even think of the latter and thus stuck to the instinct that had been drilled into his mind ever since he joined the training academy and went through boot camp. He felt his heart race, though not from excitement, as the briefing took a nose dive in its glory. Now a darker side was beginning to show.

"Once we start the charge, you will not retreat unless ordered to." Eventually, he strove forward and began to part the tight crowd slightly, moving towards a singular youthful soldier, possibly only 18 years of age, who stood with a terrified look on her face. The girl, as such, was selected and handpicked for a job some might think was lucky, meaning they wouldn't have to charge. The arms shuddered as Lieutenant Middleton gave her a rifle, and stated loud enough for everyone to hear his warnings. They seemed devilish, and brutal, to lay upon this small and sweet girl, but Middleton had his way of getting what he wanted, it seemed. "If anyone is to come back without orders to do so, Private Lucia Farris has been personally ordered to kill anyone on sight. We do not accept cowards nor traitors in our regiment, and neither does the Federation army." Jean listened in shock as Middleton leaned in towards the girl, keeping his face but a nose's length from hers, and audibly muttering personal orders towards her once more. "If anyone who isn't an officer comes back without orders...You shoot them. Got it? You shoot them. Shoot. Them. Dead."

Tears were clearly dribbling down from the apparent Lucia's face as she snivelled at the cruel fate she'd been placed upon. Jean didn't dare to look back, feeling the eyes of Middleton burn into his own mind. An unsteady breath started to take his throat. Was he realising something or was this just a point he missed from the war? People always spoke about the harshness of officers, but they also stated that the harshness was what led to victory and success. Could this really be what was driving the war forward? Jean held his throat in its place and clutched his rifle harder, staring only at the timid man before him and his soaked helmet.

Middleton didn't return to the front, but instead remained on the same levelled ground as the rest of his regiment, just at their rear. He didn't want to go at the front of course. It would be improper for the most important Lieutenant of the Federation to go first into whatever was out there. Who'd be the poster-boy if he was to go?


"Fix...Bayonets!" At first, he hesitated, but soon all those with a rifle in their hands were beginning to unsheathe the blades within their webbing and to attach them onto the ends of their barrels. These bayonets didn't get in the way of the direction it could fire, nor did it ruin its line of sight, but the sharpness on its tip definitely added a minute and small amount of additional weight to its balance. Jean struggled to get it out before quickly twisting it onto the end of the barrel, his heart pounding with the knowledge that they were only seconds, if not minutes, away from the whistle. Something about Middleton's sternness and aggressive commanding tone made it even more stressful on his end. Those who held machine guns were obviously out of the question for orders like these as bayonets weren't designed for their heavier weapons. But what made Jean even more uncomfortable was that some of the more veteran individuals started to unsheathe other strange tools. Some had clubs, others planks of wood with barbed wire wrapped around tightly on one end. These were tools they'd picked up and crafted over their time spent on the frontline, and none of the greenhorns like Jean were aware of such strange tools. He didn't know what they were used for, but he had a good idea. "Hold for the signal!"

Middleton looked down at his hand, in which a small bronze stopwatch was sat ticking away. It was all part of waiting for the perfect moment. Jean could feel his heart pump and thrash his rib cage with violent worry but he remained as tall and strong as his body could manage. He was a Lance Corporal. Olivia would have been proud to see him come this far. She was the reason he was here, right now, doing one terrible thing for her name. The men and women under his command wouldn't want to see him panic, so why should he? This was his time to prove himself and make a glorious example out of what people said the war was like. For a moment, Jean thought about what the Imperials were doing. Some say they were already bombed out into oblivion from the previous day's bombardments but whether or not that was true was up for debate. It was almost impossible for them to expect this sort of plan, wasn't it? He looked around to those he'd met previously and announced in a semi-quiet tone to ensure they were discreetly ready.

"Just stay by me, lads and lasses. We'll get through this together, like the stories back home say." When the response came forward, silently to not disturb the command waiting by the nature of their watches, he closed his eyes and thought only of nothing, only of victory, the beauties of the potential friends around him, the wonders of the world and many many more delicacies. And that was when it sounded.

In that moment, Middleton looked up from his bronze watch and quickly raised a whistle towards his mouth. He began to blow into it, screeching its high pitch loudly all the way down the trenches. The hundreds of soldiers, both men and women, who were within them could have heard it clearly, and he quickly shouted the dreaded phrase that some were scared to utter.


"Charge!" With the rain dribbling down onto them, those all around them suddenly exploded into an uproar of war-cries, everyone shouting in one long cheer to encourage them and to let everyone know of their presence. The first lines began to start ascending the large wooden ladders all over the front trench, getting closer and closer towards the top. The cheers kept on going as everyone tried to move forward towards the ladder, and that was when it happened.

Just to the right, on the front row, the first few men and women who showed their heads and bodies above the trenches saw something hit them, sharply within the chests and heads of them. Gunfire suddenly erupted in the near-distance and those who were unlucky saw themselves drop. Directly in front of Michael was that of a young girl, just only the minimal age of enlistment, who as soon as she showed herself to the battlements above, fell down in a sporadic jolt of blood almost on top of him. Jean tried his hardest not to look as he began to ascend the ladder himself. Left and right, there were a few who were still unlucky to even leave the trench before being struck with a bullet. The balance of gunfire, automatic and singular, from before them blended almost hellishly with one another. Before long, Jean's head poked over the top and prayed that none of the bullets struck him. Life seemingly slowed down as he looked in horrific awe at the mess humanity had made before him. Trees were no longer in sight, at least ones that had life in them and weren't uprooted, and the land was scaled with nothing more than a muddy tomb. Craters dug a few metres into the ground littered the landscape whilst hundreds of bodies were already in sight. Some were new, being created by the flickers of lights at the top of the hill, whilst others seemed to have been there for days, even weeks. The smell was apparent, and Jean froze in position, standing at the top of the trench with his eyes in wide fear. Those running forward were either dropping to the floor somewhere a few metres before him or continuing to run through the mud and gore before them. It was an unnatural sight, one that seemed like it could only be out of the horror books he jokingly wrote as a child. Nothing like this was anything like he could imagine. A hand came onto his back, one of a random male soldier, forcing him to run forward.

Jean moved in a very light jog, watching as only seconds later that same man dropped dead onto the floor, his face falling into a deep puddle located in one of the craters. Jean was scared, panicked by the sights, and began to run, hoping his friends were behind him. He began to talk to himself, almost feeling tears dribble through his eyelids.


"Head...head...Head right. Move J-Jean! Move!"

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Hidden 10 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Ithradine
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Ithradine A Rouge Machine

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@SMS
The creaking of the duckboards were brought to his attention just before a soft pressure was felt on his right shoulder. He only turned his head slightly in response, his body remaining in the same position with his left hand on the underside of his rifle's barrel ready to surge over the top like a force of nature. He gave a single, firm nod to the girl ignoring the what could be read as a offense. Instead he looked at her from her head to her feet back to her face, his face unchanging like a mask, as if looking for a weakness. Daniel hoped that she would not slow him down "Daniel." He simply stated, extending his rough hand to shake hers in an almost crushing grip. Kalisa being a Darscen meant nothing to him, as there were more than a couple in his old gang. There would be little point giving out his first name if she bit the dust in a few minutes. Afterwards, he returned to looking at the top edge of the trench "We must do anything to complete our objective and survive. The enemy will do anything to stop us. I am preparing to do whatever it takes, and so should you." The way he said this came off harsher than intended. Daniel knew what kind of brutal acts of violence humans could to each other, so why would war be any different?

The look on some of the soldiers who looked to be here more than a day...was what had him on edge most of all. Daniel could feel it in his gut that something awful was going to happen when they went over this trench, though he couldn't possible imagine the reality he would soon face.

Once the sarge came down the trenches telling each soldier to shut it, he knew that it had begun. The words of the LT that followed did nothing to sway Daniel's morale, not entirely convinced about duty to the Federation and Humanity. However, he could agree on one part of what he said: The Imperials would be destroyed by Daniel's hand. Just like a game of King of the Hill, Daniel would be the one standing at the top victorious. He watched completely unmoved as Middleton forced his ridiculous orders on some girl who could barely hold herself together. It was as he thought, however. Each and every one of them were simply pawns in a larger game and fully expendable. If that was the conditions for this game, so be it.

As Daniel affixed the bayonet to his rifle, he could feel his heart beating faster in his chest. A tool that made his rifle deadlier in close quarters, and one he would be sure to make full use of. For the first time since entering the military, Daniel reflected on the moments in his past that brought him here. A broken home where he wasn't wanted, an early life of crime on the streets, and lastly the loss of the only person that showed him unconditional love. How many people would have taken their life by now? Would he have been justified in doing so he wondered. That was not who he was. If he let every tragedy bring him closer to the edge, he would have fallen off years ago. No matter how broken he became, it was his ultimate defiance to life and the universe at whole to continue living at any cost.

The sharp whistle and loud yelling of the Lieutenant broke him from his rare self-reflection. He turned towards Kalisa, the shock-trooper who tried to calm his nerves even if she had been mistaken "I'll keep us alive, just don't get in my way." He stated bluntly as he got in line to climb ladders that lead over the trench.

Flashes of light and splashes of blood filled his vision as he reached the top, breaking off into a full sprint the moment he was off the ladder. Yelling and screaming filled the dense air, saturated with the smells of the dead and dying. The sweet feeling of adrenaline pumping into his bloodstream allowed him to press forward through the hellish landscape. Nothing he ever saw on the streets of Ancaster compared to the sight of those first minutes of battle and would be burned into his memory until his last breath. He couldn't stop to think about anything else except for the enemy before him and his orders. The only option was to keep moving, since staying still would only get himself killed. More than once he stepped on strange terrain only to find out it was a body of a soldier who tried before them.

Daniel made his way ahead of Jean, his legs more used to running for his life than the write it seemed. It was hard not to notice the fear in the lance-corporal's eyes as he moved past. The last thing he wanted to do was follow in the footsteps of a leader who could not bring himself together. Meanwhile, Daniel would pave the way for his fellow soldiers while Jean got a grip. All he had to do was get in close, and the ones responsible for this massacre would pay.
Hidden 10 mos ago Post by FalloutJack
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FalloutJack The Long Dark Nuka-Break of the Soul

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You may be wondering why he was being quiet now. The answer was simple, really. When Isaac ran out of words to say, he just stopped talking. Conversation is a funny thing. Many will just keep going and going on about stuff, even when they're not actually saying much of anything. That was one thing Isaac preferred: To be meaningful in word and deed. Don't boast and bluster, alright? If you oversell yourself, you'll soon find yourself in a position you're unable to pay for. This whole time, those damn recruitment people and trainers were trying to push him into things. He didn't need this. He wasn't suppose to be a part of this war. Isaac was fighting for the freedom of his own person from the orders that put him here. For that act, the Imperials were going to pay for this. The only ray of sunshine here was that he had managed to have an effect on the people around him when he spoke. Paloma was one person who didn't need his help, and he even said to her, "Yeah, never lose that disposition, alright?" while agreeing with Jean. They needed her to keep people feeling fine. Maybe even he would lighten up. No, we don't mean Middleton. That guy is incurable. We mean Isaac himself. So far, he wasn't in the best of moods, and he was just putting on a good face. Hopefully overtime...that would change for the better. Because right now, he had good reason to feel out of it - and a little angry - especially now that he was a bit quiet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They threw him in the cell because they didn't want even the slightest chance of him running off, not when they believed they had a gold mine of a man to send to war. He wasn't even allowed to go home to get annything because the recruiter thought he might run off or that his family would shield him. Well, truth be told, he might've been right, but that didn't mean they had to do it like this. He was bbehind the bars as his older brother argued the very same reasons that he had, and that it was inhuman to keep a man from his home and his family, even if he HAD been drafted, right up until his departure for training. In the end, they were allowed to ask him what he wanted from home and they'd deliver it to him. He was to be transferred to the camp tomorrow morning, when a car could come get him. That night, Isaac felt really low, and angry, and probably a bunch of other bits and pieces of emotion that he couldn't resolve. Even fear, just a little bit of fear. He went to the barred window and he actually howled. It was an impulsive and stupid thing, and the anyone in earshot inside the building immediately got pissed off, but then after that...

He received a reply.

"Oh my god... Rikes..."

If you have to ask how he knows, you haven't been paying attention. Isaac was stunned. It was something he had been trying to do got years, but they never did until now. His wolves, the ones he'd been raising to pass on to other owners, the ones led by Rikes, the alpha. He'd gotten them domestic and useable for people, but he in turn also felt connected to them. He wanted their acknowledgement, as strange as it sounded. He admired their solidarity as a pack. And after the sad farewell to his family that he'd gotten through cell bars, this was something he needed badly. It made him think that they'd really remember him, and that actually made him tear up.

Isaac really hoped that this would be the only sadness he'd feel in this war, because he knew times were gonna be tough on him.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back to reality, Isaac noticed that there was an irritable Sergeant pulling and shoving people in their cramped trench now. He first noticed when he shoved Britta, and let out sort of a low growl when he did that. This wasn't necessary. These people knew what they were suppose to do, and they knew that the next few minutes or hours were going to be hell. Being in perfect formation wasn't going to help that. He moved his attention back to the front once he was gone, and in time to hear Jean talking to a Private who was feeling the fear and loathing in Las Vegas of the war. The soldier was practically pleading with his fellow Lance to somehow get him away from having to go over the top. Damn... This was what they might end up as in a few missions, themselves. Isaac had to speak now. Jean had run out of words, so it was his turn.

"I know you don't wanna go, but they're going to make us all do it, anyway. Think of it this way: Us greenhorns need you because of your experience to show us the way. I know you don't want us to die anymore than you do yourself, so help us look after each other."

It was at that point that he heard someone say to can the chatter. Isaac looked over his shoulder and said "Just doing my job, Sarge.", followed by a low mutter of "You ass.". It was the best he could do. Fear was in them all, and while the rest of them had the fear of not knowing just how bad this could be, this guy had the burden OF knowledge, so he was in a different kind of hell.

So now, Lieutenant Middleton was explaining how Hill 58 was an all-important strategic point to capture annd that they needed to combat the Imperials with everything they've got for their freedom and whatnow. Really, it was a nice speech there, but Isaac pulled out the little flaw in the whole thing, and it was this: Hill 58 implied that there were ALOT of hills to climb, and that told him that this speech - or others like it - was gonna be used for all of them. Somehow, it's what he felt was going on. What happened next, though... That required no subtext. The Lieutenant now made a public display of...let's call it his official policy. He was one of those 'Victory or death' types. He'd heard of these. You hear about people who refuse to retreat, regroup, and reconsider their options for battle. They end up either slaughtered to a man or nearly slaughtered and victorious, but either way the body count was too high.

This policy was that a soldier - not even a veteran who was use to any of this, but a young girl, in this case - was to kill anyone who attempted to return to the trenches for ANY reason. What...the hell? Not only was the Lieutenant turning rifles - Well, one rifle - on them, but he placed this burden on a girl who did NOT look like she was up for this. They were trained to fight The Enemy. Federation soldiers were not The Enemy. This simple conflict might end up crushing her. Isaac would almost say that this was the sort of thing that you would preferrably put upon HIM, except that he wouldn't want to do it either! This was insane! It practically made Middleton a traitor! You can't shoot your own people! It's not even friendly fire! It's just murder! Isaac watched as the girl - Lucia, her name was - was crying already, and she hadn't even taken the first shot. He felt bad for her, and he couldn't take his eyes off until they needed his attention up front.

It was time.

Bayonets and other things were drawn. Those with machine guns didn't have bayonets. They just didn't work with such machines, especially when you considered the fold-out legs attached to the barrel. Isaac noticed a bunch of modified weapons in the hands of other people. They seemed to have more reach than his trench knife, but were they better, overall? Maybe he'd find out later. He heard Jean speak up, working to encourage people in a last-minute sort of fashion. He appreciated the effort.

"Remember your training and remember supporting each other! You'll need it!"



Now, came the whistles. For some, this resounding noise was already a climbing dreadful thing that would probably haunt them all in their sleep before the day was done. Isaac didn't like the sound of it either, but he wouldn't have time, really, to contemplate it now. The moment had come, the order to CHARGE was given. Rain was everywhere. This was gonna be rough, or rather slippery. God dammit, work at the farm was hard enough in the rain. Why the hell did they have to WAR in the rain?! There was this roar of people as the battle charge commenced. Why did they do that? Wouldn't it actually creep the enemy out more if they were strangely quiet? No time for that now, approaching the ladder- Dammit! He had to duck low because someone just got shot and almost fell on him as he was reaching for the rung.

Shit! Shit! Shit!

He made it over the top. It was a barrage of bullets in no particular direction, because they had plenty of targets to choose from. Isaac got moving, using a sort of low run he preferred to do when hauling heavy. You may not know, but when you're carrying a load on your back or something, moving lower naturally made you more able to move. It was balances and such. You may still be slowed down, but you'll be able to move, as in properly. Besides, keeping low was what you were suppose to do in these situations. Isaac also thought keenly of what ELSE he was suppose to do. He braced himself as he fired ahead of people and in the direction of their opposition when he saw an opening here and there. The enemy needed something to think about, bullets to feel panicked about. Even if it was a bit far, he needed to do this for the sake of his people, especially for the Shocktroopers who had to get in close. If he found himself exposed, he was taking a dive to the ground, getting ready to try and fire on anyone looking over the enemy trench, provided he could see anyone. Damn rain... He was gonna get people out of this alive, and if that meant sacrificing the lives of many Imperials so he could give his 'superiors' the earful they deserved for this bullshit, then so be it.
Hidden 10 mos ago 10 mos ago Post by Conscripts
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Conscripts An Atom Trying to Understand Itself

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The sapper had a short conversation with the man of color, shortly as the ranks began to cram into the narrow short and disgusting trench. Before he was silenced by the Sergeant passing by the lads, he learnt that this guy's name was Jovan, or Jonnie that he would like to be called. And then, all became void. Nothing was said, nothing was done. It was like everything had gone dead. Everybody. Artilleries stopped, guns ceased - for a while that is. The only thing keeping people from going insane from the silence was the constant drips of water coming from the heavens. Michael did not know it was blessings or curses. He was inclined to the latter, as he was sure the trenches would be dripping in mud, and the battlefield would be too wet and slippery to move properly.

In any minutes now, he would be standing on No Man's Land. And any seconds after that, he may either be inside the enemy's trenches, or lying face-first in the mud. Michael tried not to drift his eyes to the front. Silently, his hand found its way onto a rosary inside his pocket. He was told to put all personal belongings into a bucket, and would be able to later get it back if he survived another day, but he did not put this one. It was the only thing keeping him in check and giving him just a little bit of faith in face of this predicament. His hand fiddled with the rosary, whilst the other ones placed on his forehead. Then on his belly. And then finally on his two shoulders. 'May God have mercy on our souls.' He silently prayed.

"Are you religious, by any means?"

A whisper suddenly broke the silence. Looking right over to his right, he saw a young girl, seemingly only barely enough to legitimately be here, or maybe even younger, with brown braided hair hanging on her shoulder, asking him directly, her eyes looking right at his hand that just made the cross. She looked genuinely curious, but not without a smile on her face. Reminded Michael of all the country girls back in Tyrelia: nice, diligent and cute. At the time he had the dream of marrying one of them, but they were just an arrow whizzing through his mind at the time. Michael did not speak, but he did return her with a nod, to which the girl smiled bigger before tapping his shoulder.

"Don't worry, if we do our job then he will take care of us all." She said. 'He' huh? She must have shared the same belief. Yet her eyes did not hold fear. It seemed as if she could pierce through the walls to hell in any heat of a second now. Michael couldn't help but admire that, but he wondered how long could that mentality keep up. She'd probably never been shot at ever before, nor had she shot anyone dead. But at least, Michael should try and cling onto that now. Yeah, he'll get us through this. Just do the job right.

Michael was about to ask her for her name, but before he could, the Lieutenant from before came into the trench, holding a large sabre as he delivered a speech to the entire squad. How it drips with propaganda. Just typical stuff of glorifying the Federation's act while demonizing the Imperial Alliances. Not being a fascist here, the Imperials did shut down a lot of citizen's freedom and rights, but their ideology in itself was not demonic in any way, and a more important face is that they kept millions of people fed everyday, years to years, and the Federation was the one shutting that down. He'd been there. He knew it. That all of this romantic arousal was all bullshit.

But he had a point that Hill 58 was an important strategic position. It was high ground, so whoever holds that can dominate the area. But also because of that same aspect that made this battle an 'uphill' one. The Imperials had the high ground, so that meant they had the advantage here. But this seemed to be the only chance to take the hill, the only one in months. So he was seeing it from the horizon that Middleton would bestow the Pawn policy upon the soldiers - of not one step back. But he didn't see this coming. A little girl. This Private Lucia Farris. She was bestowed upon a task that Michael couldn't say whether she was lucky or not. She was to shoot her OWN comrades, if they retreat without orders. Just...what in the bloody hell was that? Not some cold-hard ass veteran, but a girl barely even reached the age of twenty told to shoot her own teammates. A boil of anger rose inside the sapper as he saw the girl's tears running down her own cheeks. She was too young. This wasn't war. This was a crime. Uncivilized crime. But what could he do? Shoot him? Then he'd be shot himself. Tell him otherwise? He wouldn't listen, judging from his tone. Furthermore he was way above the chain of command. He was the army's rook or knight while Michael was just a puny pawn. So he had no choice, but to silently look forward and begged that no one was broken enough to run away.

When the command was called, he reached for his bayonet and twisted it into the muzzle. His heartbeat hounded his consciousness, yet he only blinked. He knew he was scared, but this was not the time. It would affect him, and it would also affect the girl next to him, everybody around. For now, until then, he'd have to keep this up. Like one of his Lance Corporals and the girl said, remember the training, do the job and pray that a bullet does not find its way to the head.

It was time.

The whistle couldn't come any better. Loud and clear, the order was given. War cries were shouted, and the ranks began to charge forward. For a moment, it was like a tidal wave. And for that split second, Michael thought that if he could ride on this wave, he could actually stand a chance. But how naïve was that in a moment thought...

The braided girl was among the first row to charge forward. Michael was right behind her. He grabbed the ladder tightly, step by step, he ascended to the Earth, to the line of fire. But as he finally turned his eyes to the front, to look at the enemy straight, what he saw wasn't that. It was somebody's back. Particularly, that girl he just talked to. She fell right on top of him, pushing him off the ladder and back onto the muddy trenches.

"Argh." He at first didn't realize what just happened. His eyes were up at the sky, and that everybody was running past him. And as he looked up, the girl was on top of him, motionless. Quickly realizing he was back in the trenches, he slapped the girl's back as he said.

"Come on, get up, we have to-"

And that moment, his hand was soaked. Not from the rain, not from mud...but blood. That red juicy liquid. Oozing out of the girl like a stream. He immediately feared the worst. He turned to lift the girl's head and shoulders up. She was still twitching, but nothing came out of her eyes anymore. Nothing. Just seconds ago, her eyes were so lively. She was talking to him. The smile was bright, her skin was colorful. Yet now it was all gone. Skin paled, eyes lost all energy. She is dead...

"I..."

He wanted to say something, but the thousand words that was built up inside his vocal chord was clogged. Nothing came. And so was the same for his eyes. Nothing came. The few things that came next were all automatic. He pushed her body out of the way, with the help of a kind soldier. He searched for the weapon that he dropped in the fall as he heard a Sergeant that just climbed the ladder yelling at him to come up or he'll shoot. He heard it, but he didn't even flinch. He made his way to the ladder anyway, this time without anyone falling on him. There he finally got to see No Man's Land for the first time. It uncovered right before his eyes. He thought he was dead and had gone to hell. Bullets were everywhere, mixed across with the drops of rain, tears and blood. No second passed without a man falling dead, just within a small area of a few hundred yards. But like Middleton said, no turning back. A sure death if he turned back now.

And with that, the sapper made his way up the hill. In the hail of gunfire, over the muddy field and piles of dead soldiers, he pushed forward.
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CFProxy Für Gott und Kaiser

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Franz had perhaps spent too much time thinking on when to introduce himself yet he couldn’t help but prepare himself mentally as he thought of what he had to in order to survive. Life or death he would push forward. The words of the lieutenant simply let him know that death was knocking at the door. It rapped with fury and screeched the names of so very many. It was true that he had never taken a life but he was a thug who wasn’t unfamiliar to making someone bleed. Still, this was different. Now he was being prepared to leave and in this time he thought of the only thing that could stir his blood more than anything else. He thought of that miserable Gallian who dared infect his mother. He thought of that town of depravity that dared call itself civil. He thought of his blood and of his impurity. He would fight in this war even if it meant fighting that great empire he admired. He had found himself on what he might have considered the wrong side were it not for the people he cared for. What few friends he had lived in the Federation. If not for anyone else, he had to do it for them. The end of the war would mean the beginning of a new dawn and he had every intention of living to see it come.

He fixed his bayonet, the remark about Imperials being bastards immediately burned his insides further, his teeth clenching as memories of being pushed around surged. While possibly unintentional, the lieutenant had sparked blood lust within the body of that young man. He had half a mind to fire at his officer as he finished but instead redirected his energy to the front. He turned for a brief moment to the side to check his surroundings as he vaulted over the ladder and felt his heart sink for an instance. Blood. The spray and gore of rapid fire tearing and ending the lives who had just moved to do his job. His eyes dilated as something ungodly opened inside of him. It was a moment when he truly realized where he was. This wasn’t going to be as bad as he thought war was beyond the propaganda. There was absolutely no hesitation to end them. Those poor souls were extinguished as soon as they were seen like a response team to a fire just beginning. There wasn’t even so much as an attempt to preserve their lives from his view. In that state of blood lust all he could register was that they had just killed people who would never see their homes again. As much as he adored that empire it sunk in deep that they were the enemy. They would not hesitate to do the same to him.

“If you see those fucks come at you just hit the god damn dirt with everything you’ve got. You bolt your ass to safety and take them out. You gotta look out for yourself, Franz. Nobody else will because the moment all hell breaks loose all people are going to do is look out for themselves. So fuck em, if being alive means you gotta do the same then all for it. Just come back alive.”

Franz clutched his rifle, roaring with seething rage as he turned to face the enemy and pressed forward harder than he had ever done in boot camp. He felt invincible, like nothing could hurt him from his immense emotion. The deaths of those around him only fueled that fire to avoid what he could and take down what he could see. Something triggered yet inside of him. He checked behind him as he broke rank to race ahead, seeing his squad leader lagging behind. As much as he believed he could break through with caution he was still rather aware of what would happen if Jean died. At this rate he was a sitting duck and a man had died trying to push him along. In the end Jean was more important than he. Jean could lead people, Franz had no officer training and as such was incapable of using tactics to their advantage. He noticed something that only drove him to this task further. Darscen. He was just like him. He had realized it earlier but deep within now that everything was breaking apart did it strike him as a duty beyond belief to keep one of his kind alive. Were it not for other Darscen such as Markus he would have given up. He would be damned if he let one of the precious few be allowed to join the fallen.

@LetMeDoStuff

Dashing to the lance corporal he took in heavy breaths, feeling a bullet graze his arm as he stopped in his tracks to grab the man and practically screamed in his ear as he tugged him along. “Corporal! Get your ass moving! You want the rest of your squad to drop like him? Then let’s go! We need you and we need you right fucking now!” Franz hoped that would be enough to get this man pushing forward, keeping to his side and watching the gun fire. In his head he screamed the same thing, his mind a one track mind as he maneuvered to the objective. “It will not be me! It will not be my squad!”

The world had turned into a cesspit of death and destruction with the perversion of man twisting the fabric of reality itself. Teeth grit together as he thought of the mess he lived in. The murder, theft, abuse of the common man, exploitation of all things without a government badge. Here they were all equally monsters capable of tearing through those too weak to take life. There was no longer complex personalities and the understanding that things could be negotiated. Now there was simply predator and prey.

All the while that he tried to get his lead to press on he checked the rest of the squad briefly, roaring encouragement in his fueled state. “Our leader will see us through! Don't forget what you fight for!” He felt his blood slamming into his brain, adrenaline rush pulsing through his body as they dragged through the mud and rain. He was a stark contrast to the quiet man from earlier. Where before he had simply listened to the storm now he sought to fly straight into it. Beneath all of that desire for death he hoped that this battle would be swift. He clenched his teeth, squinting slightly as the light wound began to feel its way around his arm. The damage, at least, kept his fear of death suppressed underneath layers of anger and adrenaline.

He watched Daniel race past them slowing down briefly to shout before watching a bullet hit the ground right in front of him. In an odd way that man just prevented him from taking another hit but it wouldn’t deter him. He simply pressed on, yelling once in an attempt to draw him back. “Your squad!” He didn’t have time to worry about some red head charging straight into death when the rest of the squad was still in plenty danger and in a way he had no right to even begin to criticize him because he was just about to do the same. In truth they needed to get to get out of the hell storm as soon as possible but what then? If they arrived scattered then would they still be organized? Or would they pause to regroup and get mowed down by a shocktrooper waiting in ambush? Ideally they would stay spread enough to avoid making the squad a pile of gore. All he knew was that the moment they hit they had to do it at least partly coordinated. They beat it into them enough that the squad moves as a unit. For now he would leave it be.

@Ithradine

Ears began to feel irritation at all the noise, but it would be alright. Of the group it seemed that Michael had drifted further back and for a brief moment he screamed out his rank, waving him closer as he returned to trying to keep Jean and himself alive. He didn’t know how he was going to make it or even his squad for that matter but he didn’t waste time worrying. He just kept moving, the only thing that kept him alive before. He had to keep moving, waiting for Jean to tell him what to do as he prepared himself for the tidal wave.


@Conscripts
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A certainty of conflict began to erupt on this youth's chest, once more he peered at his locket after dabbling with his rifle, remembering what is now just a delightful memory, before anything too sentimental drifted onto consciousness, they were ordered to stand and listen. The Lieutenant began to speak and now was perhaps the first time in the entirety of his journey that he had experienced cruelty. The first week of boot camp was hell, the days following it weren't at all pleasing either. All that training and adjusting was but mere fancy compared to what was said, ushered and spoke today. Murder not only on the enemy hands, but any source of insubordination was to be met with lethal force. Stone faced, Mikael listened intently and his mind drifted onto times of history where such gruesome behavior was displayed, times were all but all needed to be experienced. Mankind had too much blood of their own kin stained on their hands, and today was no other stamp into that history book. The shivers of men and woman alike began to quake onto existence, tears fell of the faces of some men, others stood without as much as a flinch. And Mikael was upon them, although he kept to his devices, he sensed it all. This atmosphere was one of despair and horror, the smell of blood and corpses, the stench of gunpowder and rain. All of this was a scenery of murder and desolate of any hope. All the weight began to now, befall him. He picked his helmet and secured it tightly. Relax... please relax, were the only words he talked to himself to steady his heartbeat. But like warning signs, bellowing an escape, the anxiety started to take over, but a determination and will fought it back. He placed up his hood, and pulled out his rifle.

The battle here would be difficult for a marksman like himself, the is not much distance between him and the enemy, so... got to get to the top of the mountain trail. Best that he stayed behind the group, he'd be a nuisance if he was any close, that way he can protect the rear. Steady movements before- Any thought that continue halted with the command to charge, a barrage of soldiers began to move, along with Mikael himself bodies were already piling up and the count of bodies gowning the trench had started to pile up, blood and water starting to mix and now indistinguishable from puddles. This was but a secular part of the frontlines, this is what Mikael expected, but truthfully he was ill prepared. The sight was horrid, but he needed to move, he needed to numb his senses and move. Any secular mistake could mean the lives of many more on the floor. Besides, if failure happened... he'd rather be dead anyway! He charged behind his teammates, the Lance Corporal was starting to let his inner demons take the best of him, a grit of his teeth. Why? Why was he there struggling? What did he expect? Was this all a joy ride for him, another began to move beyond the team's scope. Another one with the intent to work alone? What does he plan to do? Damn it. Another boy, short help there on his knee body on hand... Teeth began to clench, fist followed after.

Any form of organization was thrown out the window, war was messy, it was unfiltered and raw. Everything he thought and planned about was being thrown out the window and he needed to improvise. Bodies continued to pile up, heads were peering up the trench bullets was what all of them met. There was no time for anything, just needed to keep moving. The Lance Corporal was being motivated to move and so he didn't need to bother with the details of that anymore, if he died then it would only mean he was not prepared and all that hard work would end up in nothing. Think, there was Jean in a stupor acting as if it were the end of the world, which to some extent it was, there was a red-haired individual with the most inscrutable visage on his mien, he seemed to want to play the hero. Then there was another one, darker hair, seemed to be trying to help Jean on his feet, the other Lance Corporal was on that as well. Too many inconveniences, so then with this small amount of space, he pulled out his rifle and knife instead, and moved on ahead, beyond his squad mates. He was proficient enough in close-quarters, so if he met any enemies along the way he needed to use the narrow nature of these trenches to his favor. So he followed the red-haired private of his squad seemingly worried about what he was planning to do. But paving a way too was something he needed to do, and doing it alone would be foolish.
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Symphoni Insufficient Vespene gas.

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Britta felt herself getting pulled up, and jerked her head towards the offending source only to get an eyeful of rugged snarling sergeant. Turning into another direction only earned her another death glare from none other than Lieutenant Middleton himself. If glares could kill, this one could definitely have killed her before any enemy bullets did up above the trench. She forced herself up proper and got ready her weapon, cradling the barrel of her machine gun as she lined up with the others and got ready for the inevitable to happen. Thankfully, she wouldn't be among the first to charge, that would fall upon the ranks of the shock troopers and the rank and file riflemen. As she gazed towards Jean, she thought that she'd seen him glancing towards her way, but their eyes didn't meet as his were turned away by the time hers landed upon him.

Britta wondered how the poem-loving lance corporal would do in the upcoming battle. How would fate deal with him? Would he be dealt a severe blow and die the moment he rushed up top? Or would he live towards the end as he brought the rest of the platoon to victory? These thoughts were not going to be answered anytime soon and by no one in particular. She simply had to wait and see. If she even had the luxury to afford to do so. Perhaps she may even not have the chance to do so. She tried to keep her spirits up thinking of how many Imperials soldiers she could kill later on. While the other soldiers began to fix the bayonets to their rifles, Britta tried her best to remain as stoic as ever, giving her best attempt to keep the fear away from her face. Despite that, her heart was thumping rather loudly in her chest.

She reckoned that it was a mixture of anxiety, fear and trepidation that made it ever so loud, like beating drums echoing in her ears. Machine guns weren't calibrated to be fixed with bayonets like all other heavy weapons and her best bet was to keep her distance as far away from the enemy as possible, hopefully mowing down enough so that they didn't have the chance to get close. If that happened, all she had was her trench knife. Hell, why didn't they even had a sidearm, a pistol? Britta unsheathed her knife, taking a quick look at its recently sharpened blade and sheathed it back once more. She hoped she didn't need to use it just yet. It was supposed to be a weapon of last resort.

To deter any of the soldiers from thinking of retreating, the Lieutenant had picked a young innocent looking girl (who looked way too young to even be on the battlefield) and gave her the orders to shoot anyone returning from the front lines that wasn't an officer. Such equality they had there. So officers were allow to retreat then? He probably officers like him were too valuable to kill if they were the retreating type. Britta stifled a snort just as it was emerging, turning it into a half-snort instead. Turning grim and serious again once more, she hoped that she would not find herself in a situation where the younger girl would have to shoot her. Their target was Hill 58, and that alone was quite a challenge to get there before they could even contest it. There was quite a bit of open land where swaths of gunfire would be ready to mow them down, and even as inexperienced as she was, Britta knew that plenty of them would die before the outcome of the Battle of Hill 58 would be decided.

The moment finally arrived as Britta heard the loud squeal of the officer's whistle. Shouts and yells filled the air as the men and women began climbing up the trenches as they charged into the battlefield. It wouldn't take very long at all before the first casualties of the battle began racking up. Some didn't even had a chance to take more than a foot onto the war-torn land, struck by the wave of bullets that flew through the air. Eventually it came to her turn to go up the ladder, and with her heart still thumping ever so loudly, she hefted her weapon and charged into war.
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A small wave of relief came over her as the shocktrooper looked over and introduced himself. His handshake was something else though, and Kalisa's face twitched a little at the sudden gesture. "Nice to meet you too, Daniel." Her tone a little pained but still friendly. "Don't worry, I'll do what I can." His words rang true enough, so she chose her words a little carefully. Although she was trained on how to use a gun and was taught some close quarter combat in preparation for her role as a shocktrooper, she feels like she isn't entirely ready to actually start shooting at people.

Before either one of them could continue the conversation, the lieutenant had appeared once more before them all. Hill 58 was their target. Kalisa had grown up in the mountains of Diebal, so she had experience with traversing uphill in harsh conditions. But this is a battlefield, and so she isn't sure how much said experience would actually help her out here. Raining bullets don't exactly equal falling snow.

The lieutenant, however, earned her ire when he gave orders to a girl who looked younger than her to shoot anybody who had retreated without orders dead. He would have earned her ire regardless of his choice, but specifically handpicking this poor girl, named Lucia, felt like he was going too far. There's not much she can do right now however. These were orders, and any objections will surely result in being shot at.

Everybody had begun fixing their bayonets onto their rifles. Kalisa shortly followed after catching her breath and calming down after the lieutenant's display of dominance. For a moment, everything was still. Breaths were held, and Kalisa could hear her own heartbeat going off loudly. And then, it was go time.

The roar of gunshots and screams of soldiers as they charged was deafening. She didn't even hear Daniel's words to her before he went ahead and lined up to go up the ladder. Bodies were beginning to pile up, the unlucky ones who went first were promptly returned back to them as corpses. A few still lived, but they probably won't last long anyway.

The girl had found herself up against the ladder, she had unconsciously been walking forward and eventually got her turn to go up. Kalisa had let out a deep breath, before she found the courage to ascend. At the top, she quickly dove down onto the ground to make herself a smaller target. She took a second before she scrambled to get to her feet while still keeping low. She spotted Jean, one of their Lance Corporals, and Daniel running towards the right of her and chose to follow them.

@Ithradine @LetMeDoStuff
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Garnian Salient: Front Line, August 25th - The Battle of Hill 58


Once his feet began to move in full motion, the grogginess of the exterior world had started to take its largest effect. A twisted sinkhole or two could be seen breaking down the advances of some of the central ranks, ones in which left them vulnerable to a wall of steel and iron. The pits of mud were rather well concealed and seemed to offer little chance of survival. One group of three, who still seemed to be advancing together as a collective of friends and long-time allies, were unfortunate enough to fall into one of those deep muddy pits, where the soil sunk up to their knees and instantly halted their quickened advance. They looked panicked and scared as to the trap they'd fallen to, and within seconds their bodies were littered with the bullets of the Imperials, dropping their bodies down into the mud permanently. Jean tried his hardest to not let the sight get to him, but a strain in his head and the ringing within his ears suggested otherwise. Dirt was thrown into the air as small arm explosives were detonated from the top of the hill downwards. Either they were fragmentation bombs chucked from atop of the defensive positions or they were mines buried into the less soggy areas of the hill, however Jean couldn't care any less about their specific identity and instead focused on trying to avoid being caught within a blast radius.

The right seemed to have only a small relief of pressure on its side as the mainline machine guns were not as volatile towards that direction. Whilst the odd burst or two from the tip of a stationary HMG did bring down those who chose the path, it was mostly the singular bolts of rifles that were accurately putting down the soldiers who ran blindly up that way. It was hideous and awful to admit that the only tactic provided was to reach the hill's peak. 58 metres of soil, debris and gunfire was asking far too much without a solid strategy, though it seemed clear that there weren't many they could use.

Jean continued to run, keeping his head low and his right hand atop of his loosened helmet. Keeping up with the group who chose to follow him was quite a difficult task, and it was clear that most of them were relying on reaching the piece of broken debris located halfway up the hill. They were the scarce remains of what used to be a place of worship and community, a church of sorts, but had now been reduced to a few high piles of bricks and the odd half a pillar that remained standing. It was only a few metres before him and yet Jean could still feel a bullet or two slapping against the splattering mud only inches away from his legs and body. Coming so close to the face of death was terrifying on all accounts, and Jean knew that the relief of this cover would only be so temporary. And so, he dove towards the cover and compressed his body into a cowering stance as he hoped to have landed behind it safely, to which he had. Within the few seconds he had of arriving there, those he'd met before that had chosen to follow him and the waves of other fresh faces soon joined him, hoping to catch some relief and guidance as well. Jean looked up, turning around to see who'd joined him.


"W-Where's a Sergeant? Or anyone with Chevrons?" The mutter he made to himself was a valid question but only provided the darkest of answers. Everyone before him were in the same shoes as him, except without the unprivileged rank of Lance Corporal and instead that of a lowly Private. There was no senior NCO or officer in sight, and those who'd joined him from behind one of the few pieces of cover soon let him register that they all had the same mindset as he: to find a plan of action. Jean realised that he, being one of a few Lance Corporals, was in charge of assorting the sortie with whatever means he could come up with. A great deal of instantaneous pressure weighed itself down upon his gut and forced him to shudder on the inside.

"There 'e is, Lance...Face first in th'mud!" One random face clearly had heard his quizzing and intrigue and pointed towards the destination of the fallen target. It was barely recognisable, the corpse, as the contrast of blood agains this uniform was far too little. All that remained was the somewhat exaggerated additional pieces to his combat gear, including the ceremonial sabre that was strapped to his waist and the triple chevrons of the Sergeant's insignia. Jean looked upon him in horror and sorrow, noticing that even those who presented a strong attitude were deemed unworthy of survival. Jean looked from his men and women towards the body again, then slightly above the cover they all resided behind. The distance and details above of their enemy defences were far too blinded by the distance and exaggeration of the erupted battlefield, meaning he couldn't effectively function without the proper ordering equipment. It was a strange coincidence to see, but the Sergeant's fresh body seemed a likely candidate to holding those tools he deemed necessary. Jean gulped, and looked towards those with their eyes upon him.

"U-uhh...Hold here. Don't...Don't move unless you need to but don't stay here for too long. I...I don't know if they have artillery on our position, and they might do s-soon. Just...I'll be a second, if..." Jean didn't want to admit that his instinctive response to the situation was to put himself before those around him. There was something deep within him that kicked harshly at his heart and soul for what he was about to do, one that made him consider why he was putting so many before himself. And thus, he quickly ran forward into the wake of the open gunfire, towards the corpse of the Sergeant. Without hesitating, he quickly began to rummage around the body, feeling the wisp of bullets fly and crackle above his head narrowly. It was an almost idiotic move, but what else could he do to make a difference? Within a few seconds he had looted the poor body of its binoculars, before he started to drag it towards the cover everyone was behind. A few soldiers he'd been standing with were yelling at him, but were drowned out by the unrelenting tone of gunfire. And as he nearly got towards them, he suddenly felt it hit his head.

The pressure and sudden force threw him onto his side, beside the corpse. From an outsider's perspective, and judging by the sparks and furious noise it had made, anyone would have expected the bullet to have gone through his head and end him right there. Jean was stunned and bewildered, laying somewhat still for a few seconds as he collected what had just happened. He didn't blame anyone for thinking he'd just been killed, but as the bullet had struck his helmet at such an angle that he'd seen it rebound there was still life within him. After a minute of laying in the cold mud, collecting his place, he began to move once more and rekindle those who may have been worried about his demise. He finished the job, pulling the Sergeant's corpse into the cover and laying it down against the wall.

Jean's breath was uncontrollable, sporadic and truly amongst the messes of the battle. He could barely hold himself straight after the experiences of sight, sound and touch the battle had given him so far. All around them, more and more soldiers were still moving to scale the hill, and a vast majority of them were still being shot as they went. Jean was able to see a few on their way to the top, some getting very close to the objective but halting themselves at the close encounters of the machine guns. From there, he whipped out the binoculars he'd scavenged to gain a better insight of what they were heading up. Once more, he saw nothing more than a scarce landscape of mud and treachery towards Mother Nature, but now the advantageous mind of his own creativity began to sink in. Training within boot-camp taught him a few ways to utilise different forces, and the first few days he spent on the rear line allowed him to talk to other experienced soldiers for tactics. A basic, yet possibly effective, plan was constructed within his mind. Jean stared back at the others, his hands shaking violently from the shock of a bullet narrowly missing his head completely. The mark in where the bullet scraped by was still visible atop of his steel pot. In reality, Jean needed the soft touch or comforting of a fellow beauty to soothe his mind, but he simply sat there, trying to formulate a plan for their benefit, not his.


"I...I see potential pushing lines. Gunners, you can...you can suppress them from behind this cover, use the bipods and just keep their heads down. If you kill 'em, that's a bonus, but just try to relieve the stress off of us. Everyone else push forward. Once we are about to hit the top, there are several f-foxholes for us to jump in. Shocktroopers can throw bombs into the trenches to try and distract or clear out the front part, then we prepare for close quarters combat and clear out the trench at the top. U-Understood?" And despite his anxiety and panic, Jean began to take charge of the situation.
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Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by FalloutJack
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FalloutJack The Long Dark Nuka-Break of the Soul

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This was as rough for Isaac as anybody. On the outside, he may have looked well-gathered and in control. And indeed, he wasn't in a panic, even on the inside. He knew what he had to do. It was just that even the confident, even the brave, even those who can keep their calm - all of them will feel the pulse-pounding terror of war, as bullets attempt to find their way to a new home in your blood-filled body. He'd gotten up from his last burst of cover-fire, trying to give people approaching the enemy territory a few seconds of relief, as Imperial troops duck even the threat of return fire, let alone if it was accurate enough. He wasn't sure, at this distance. He didn't have binoculars. Gunners have enough equipment, as is. They need bullets way more than they need accuracy. That said, at least Isaac's aim could be considered fairly true. He kept some people going, as his gunfire whizzed towards Imperials to make them think twice.

Machine gun nests opened fire from the right and Isaac shouted "Move left! Move left!" and "Wait for the reload!" so they could get further from the effective fire of the well-stocked machine gun nests when they weren't spitting fire. A number of them weren't gonna make it, dropping even as he called out. Isaac gritted his teeth, damning Imperials as he got moving. He ran low and fast, as well as he could under the circumstances. Isaac didn't hold back on movement. There was only stop and GO GO GO! He'd recover his breath when he was on the ground, when he was ducking the incoming fire. He was counting seconds to reload. Not his reloads, but theirs. When it seemed like he was they needed to reload, he'd be getting the hell out and moving up, so he'd be somewhere completely else. He was trying to impress this upon others, and for some it was working, or at least he hoped it did.

But then, shots flew by so close that he felt the force of their passing, maybe even nicked something, and Isaac slipped and fell back, eyes wide as he realized that wasn't a reload phase. He'd just delayed fire. Whoever fired might've spotted what he ws doing. He...oh hell.

He has my position. He's sighting me. Fire back!

Putting the barrel of his gun down over his own leg and holding it steady, Isaac fired in the direction the bullets had come from. He'd strayed a little too close to the Imperial Gunners himself. Dammit... He'd been focusing on them far too much. This allowed him to roll aside and get out of his immediate mess, though, and once he'd righted himself to face forwards again, he saw the same ruins that the rest of the squad was heading to. Good. Uhh, hang on... Was that the Sergeant's body getting pulled in? No time to question that. Isaac had to run. He could feel the thirst of a predator on his heel. Like the instinct for being followed, Isaac had to make for that cover and fast, before he was sighted again.

He ran. There were bullets again. He was pretty sure something whizzed by his legs.

However, Isaac only sprinted in circumstances like these. Your muscles might complain, but at least they'd be there tomorrow. This was a place of relative safety. Yeah, you had to keep cover and stay out of sight, but it was a structure - the remains of a church - and that was good enough to catch his breath. He just needed a minute. The wolf will run full-tilt towards an objective and then hunker down to catch its breath, all the while mmaintaining a fierce attitude in the face of potential threats. Isaac's heart was still pounding away, maybe only slightly better, now that bullets were striking bits of wall instead of trying to forge new paths through his body. He noticed Jean there with some binoculars.

"Careful there, Jean. The-"

More bullets struck ground and wall.

"The glint sometimes gets their attention."

Something they told him in basic, in that if he had binoculars, be careful or else a rifleman might shoot you through the eye. And yes, riflemen were being trained to find a glint and shoot at it. Still, at the moment, Jean was looking at something, so Isaac moved over to have a peek. He couldn't see as much, but he could hear it enough to figure it out. The machine guns again... Shit. Alright, it was either up to him or Jean to come up with a plan. No Sergeant, no Lieutenant. Just them. Jean came up with one, though, before he did. Sounded like a good one. Isaac nodded.

"I like it."

He turned to everyone else here.

"Alright, this is gonna be our machine gun nest. Everybody going out, keep low and move fast. Takes a few seconds for us to reload and for them to get up and shoot. You hear silence from back here, that's all you've got to duck."

He then focused on Britta, gesturing her to come on over and set up, as he was getting started himself.

"Let's make it easier for our side, get everyone to that hill alive."
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