Only in the darkest of pits do lights shine their very brightest... A desolate city sits before you, the buildings dark and empty, their soulless eyes, shattered windows, glaring at you, begging you to stay away, lest you face and suffer the same fate that they have. Your breath forms... show more
Only in the darkest of pits do lights shine their very brightest... A desolate city sits before you, the buildings dark and empty, their soulless eyes, shattered windows, glaring at you, begging you to stay away, lest you face and suffer the same fate that they have. Your breath forms ephemeral dancers before you and you wrap your arms closer around you to fight off the sudden chill that has set in your bones. Are you merely cold, or are those shivers the first traces of fear? A grey sky hangs overhead, low, heavy clouds blocking all traces of pure sunlight from reaching the surfaces of Earth. Dirt and dust fills the air. Breathing deeply, you can feel it coating your tongue, drying out your mouth, the grit sticking between your teeth and caking your lungs. The road on which you stand is cracked and only the hardiest of weeds protrude from the street and sidewalk. A thin layer of frost lies upon the ground, crackling with each and every step you take, giving away your position. Mortar crumbles from the corners of buildings, and puddles of dirty, oily water sit in the slopes of the curbs, it has nowhere to go; the sewers long since choked with dirt and rubble and bullet shells. A sip of this water could bring long, painful death, yet here and there, rats still brave it, weak and starved, desperate only for a bit of hydration as nourishment is almost too much to ask for. They could nibble the weeds that grow, but they are tough and hard on the digestive system. With nothing else to eat, they would soon gather a ball of fiber in their stomach and die. Instinctively, they know this and so instead scurry about in the corners of your vision, bony, thin and racked with hunger... Their beady eyes view you with anticipation. There are no other stray animals. No cats or dogs are wandering the streets. No birds sing, no pigeons coo from the rooftops. There is only the cold caress of the wind and the silence it brings with it. Bullet holes and scorch marks pock the roads and sides of buildings. Here and there lie husks of burned out vehicles. Tanks lay in ruins, their metal jagged and seared, their barrels drooping from the intense heat of the blasts that ended their noble, defiant, futile resistance. You are not welcome here, the silence screams. This is a place of death, the city whispers. And yet... There are no bodies to be found. This is not a world that gives so easy of an escape. Bullet shells line the streets, laid out like golden lines, leading nowhere, an unwelcome cacophony of brass, copper and gold in a world that has no color. You stop as your shoe catches something from underneath a vehicle, skittering ahead of you by a foot or so. Reaching down, you pick up the remnant of another life, another world, one that seems so far away now that you can only wonder how you have traveled so far. In your hands lies a doll. Just a Raggedy Anne Doll, her red dreads long since falling apart, she is battered and stained, and her coveralls are faded almost to the same color as the material of her body. On the left leg is scrawled, in childish script, a name. "Ava." The doll is left in the dust as you walk on. Streetlamps are toppled, sand bags and mortar and stones and overturned cars have been compiled together to create makeshift walls. Several rusted pistols lie on the ground in front of one such rampart. They were of little use to their owners, cowering behind the doomed Marines as they waited for the end, praying for a miracle that never came. The sound of rapid gunfire and a voice comes seemingly on the wind to your ears... "Come on you bastards! You want some? You want some? Yeah, come on aghraaagh! NO! NO! OH GOD PLEASE NO! SILAS! SILAS! SAVE ME SIR! PLEAAA-" But it is only your imagination. You shudder and turn away, continuing on into this desolately beautiful world you have awakened in. The world of fallen men and monsters... Welcome to the world... WHEN MAN HAS FALLEN.