Adrian - Dogs of War Beyond the Scope
I watched through the scope as the world before me burned. Tears ran down my face as my world burned. Through the scope I am able to compartmentalize and separate what I see. Through the scope I am able to hold onto my sanity. Above me the clouds are black with smoke. In front of me the fire rages out of control. Body’s burn and flesh is boiled by the heat. The screams of children are more than I can take. I fire my rifle and a man fall to the ground. Smoke pours from the barrel. I move quickly low to the ground. I set up again and look through the scope and target my next mark. He is dismembering a mother while her children scream. I hate him for doing it. I fire and the bullet takes part of his head in a shower of blood and bone. I move again.
This is my life now. Move, scope, shoot. Move, scope, shoot. The world around me is fallen. We are a ravaged people. I know this but I will not surrender to become the prey of the wicked. Every part of me wants to rush in and kill them all, but I cannot be foolish with my life. I must be patient. I must be patience. I must make the enemy pay for every step of ground they take, for every life they take. The dogs are coming! They are coming for me! Their handlers are running behind them chanting and shouting in their wicked tongue. I pull the scope from my eye and run.
I hear the dogs sniffing and growling and see their iron capped teeth. They are inches from my face but I do not move, I barely breathe. The dead surround me and cover me with the putrid smell of decay. I hope it will be enough to save me. The dogs move on and drag a corpse away with them. They consume it and break the bones. I watch as their handlers reattach the leashes. They speak to the dogs and the dogs obey. The corpse is torn and bleeding and the dogs are hungry. But their masters have full sway on them and their will is iron in their words.
I am patience. I am patient. I crawl from the dead and move slowly away.
I find a hole in a broken wall and press my body into it. I have been awake for three days and am unable to move anymore. With the fires all around me and the enemy close at hand I close my eyes and do not open them again until the sun is up.
I dread the daylight. I hate to look upon what the enemy has done. The buildings are nothing but rubble. They are black with soot. Thousands upon thousands of corpses cover the ground blackened by flame. Before I move from the hole I fix the scope to my eye. The world shrinks around me until it is a focused controlled environment. My stomach is growling so loudly I think that surly the enemy can hear it. I am thirsty; my lips broken, my mouth and throat so dry it burns with every breath I take. Ash covers everything. It is all that I can taste. I hate it, but do not have enough saliva to spit it out. I wait in the wall and do not venture out. I want to run. Fear holds me so tight it is a vice around my heart and a hook in my guts. Not more than a step away a man is sleeping. He is my enemy. He is one of hundreds. They are part of thousands. They are camped all around me. I am trapped.
In daylight I am exposed. The enemy is sleeping, recovering from the torment they have inflicted upon my world, upon my people. Most are drunk. I watch for nearly two hours. My patience is tested to the breaking point. If I stay here than I will surely be found. Slowly I pull the knife from the sheath in its harness and slide from the hole. The man before me is snoring. He stinks of decay and smoke. He is as covered in ash as I am. I cover his mouth and slice his throat. I push it between his ribs and puncture his lungs. He kicks once and then is still. I move skillfully and quickly from one sleeping person to the next slicing and stabbing. My heart is beating so hard I can barely hear anything so I watch and move and kill. Watch, wait and kill.
Behind me is a trail of death; twenty-six broken bleeding bodies leading from the corner of the building to the hole in the wall. I smile grimly as I turn the corner and slip away.
Night comes all too quickly. I am rested and full. I made my way inside a home that had not been completely razed and found food drink and a carpeted closet where I slept the day away. It felt good to eat and sleep but I felt guilty for feeling a moments respite from my pain. The world is dyeing all around me. Joy and relief are swords in my gut. Under a blackened burning sky I moved and readied for war.
The rifle is in my hand. The brace is against my shoulder. The scope is to my eye and the enemy is before me. I fire and am moving even before the man falls to the ground. I am set and fire once more. The man eating a screaming little girl loses the top of his head. I move and take joy in the fact the Emperor has let me fight. It feels good to fight and kill. It feels good to strike fear in the hearts of those who cause fear.
I did not see them. I should have seen them but I was so focused on what was within the sites of my scope I lost sight of what was beside me. I moved with vengeance in my heart, but a lack of patience has delivered me into the iron capped teeth of the dogs of war.