Friday, February 10, 2012

At The Speed of Blood 1

The bus seemed to stumble over the barbaric surface of the roads, and we swayed in our seats as the tires found ever new ruts to struggle with. The light outside began to dim, night was waking. The hatch in the ceiling to the rear of the bus opened and the Turret Gunner climbed down the ladder. Her body was long and tight, and again I felt a stir. I looked forward to shake it. When I peered back she was shaking the shoulder of a passenger next to the ladder. He rubbed his eyes and pulled a pair of glasses out of his pocket. They said a few words to each other - he and the beautiful mystery - that I couldn't make out, before he gave up his seat and headed up the ladder.

The tires on the road were growling more, they were growling louder. This told me that we were getting further from the little patch of civilization we had left. This should have set on edge yet the primal, arrhythmic thumping of the tires had a hypnotic effect on me. My eyelids sagged with ritual effect and I was soon asleep.


Mike tormented my dreams like he tormented me in life. His bloodied face, that heart rending agony in his eyes - they always waited for me. I couldn't sleep without them. They were brands of failure. Part of me thinks Mike would have enjoyed my torment.

I was a young man when I joined the Democratic Defense League. Like it sounds, it was an emergency auxiliary military branch created by President Adams to help preserve the nation. The standards guiding enrollment were relaxed and I got in at sixteen. I was filled with a burning desire to be a hero, to fight for my country. When the Cartel Wars of Succession erupted in the southwest, everyone sensed that the end was approaching. When the Wars were made worse by the implosion of the oil industry the remaining supply lines - many of them from the north - fell prey to unholy marauders. It wasn't long before our fight turned into an all out struggle for survival.


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