“God…” Luke muttered to himself as he sat outside his tent, his head hung low and his rifle safely in his lap as he lazily inspected the weapon with exhausted eyes. He let out an irritated sigh as he rubbed the back of his neck, his exhaustion making his body feel heavy and his mind cloudy. The night had been rough for the young soldier, sleep was nothing but a distant pleasure that he just couldn’t reach, his mind cluttered with yesterday's ordeals alongside vivid and twisted dreams that only suffocated him with a heavy wave of dread and anxiety. After the fifth time he awoke, his lungs empty of air and a coat of sweat covering his body, there was no hope for a blissful sleep. Remaining awake wasn’t any better for the exhausted soldier. Trapped with only his thoughts Luke found himself repeatedly thinking of yesterdays encounter with Green Fox, recounting every step he took during the fight, questioning if his actions were truly for the best. There was so much dread behind his thoughts, feeling slightly sick as he remembered the demise of Green Fox by his own hand, the blind rage he fell in as he put that bastard's life to an end. In the moment it seemed like a proper punishment for his fallen comrade, but had he gone too far? Was it really the right call? He could never answer that question for himself, instead he pushed it away in the back of his mind, the thought feeling to heavy a burden for his mind to carry in the moment.
A hiss escaped Luke as he felt a throbbing pain in the middle of his forehead and rubbed it gently with a small frown. He gritted his teeth in a mixture of annoyance and pain as he remembered his fight with Ines, her words remaining with him and only souring his mood even further. Blaming him for Thomas’s death and tearing into him. It still irritated him a bit, but his anger had now dulled and with his sleepless night he had plenty of time to think of her words. Too much time maybe. Then there was Isaac and Diana throwing in their thoughts, Diana pouring out her heart about the team and how she didn't want to lose anyone else to this war. Then there was Isaac who compared Luke to Middleton, saying Thomas deserved a better end than the one he got. It was all so much to take in, especially since he was alone in the argument. No wonder he exploded the way he did, it was bound to happen one way or the other. There was one thing though that Ines said that he couldn’t deny, Luke was afraid. His fear of death was present, but he feared more of dying a pointless death, or leaving his loved ones behind to deal with his demise. In the end the only thing Luke wanted out of this war was to carve his name into it for others to remember it, making sure he would never be forgotten. He wanted his sisters to remember his determination and strength to achieve his goals. If they came to hate him for his decisions then so be it, but they could never deny his ambitions to become something better than himself.
Luke winced again as the throbbing in his head brought him out of his thoughts. Not only were his thoughts burdening his mind, but now his sore skull pounded away without mercy. The only way he could be free of this horrible experience was located at the end of his rifle barrel, but that would waste a bullet. He’ll need that extra bullet to kill some Imps in the coming days. With a heavy sigh he loaded a fresh round into his rifle and rose to his feet with a groan, his body feeling sluggish and sore. Luke looked up to the sky and frowned, knowing it was almost time to go to work again. Apparently this was going to be a big mission, probably the biggest Luke has ever done in this war. He could feel it in the air, the mixture of dread, anger and even bloodlust. For Luke he could give a damn about it all. He felt like a zombie, readying to shamble to the next battle without any thought about it. After a moment of thinking to himself Luke popped in a crumpled cigarette and lit with a match. For the first time in hours Luke felt his mind dull for a moment as he breathed in the chemicals into his lungs, enjoying the taste before releasing the smoke into the air.
After relishing in brief moment of relief Luke strapped on his new helmet and began to make his way to his teams briefing area, walking slowly through the rain with his rifle securely strapped to his shoulder and his new pistol tucked away in his pants. It was definitely busy today as he saw several soldiers hurrying around the camp to fulfil their duties before the assault. There were so many, but all Luke could think was how many of them would come back alive. It didn’t matter to him too much, just a curious thought on how many lives have been extinguished in this damned city. Just thinking about it made him wonder how many lives were taken in this war all together. Lots of holes to dig. Blowing some smoke through his nose Luke continued on as he let the thought fade from his mind. Soon he reached his teams briefing area and saw his team gradually gathering together to prepare for the assault. Without any words Luke kept to himself and remained to the side, focusing on his cigarette and trying to keep his exhausted mind focused on the coming battle instead of his dwelling thoughts. All that mattered right now was making sure he was up to get his job done.