'The Pride of Vastime'
The warm air of Vastime seemed to be heavy this evening, the occasion known as Veteran's day was on of the few Holidays transferred from pre-war america. It was by order of the King they reactivated this day, a way to show thanks to those who had served in all wars before and during Vastime conception. The city streets was alive as parades across the nation took place, soldiers given some rest- a welcomed occassion considering what was to come.
However, in a more secluded shack within their capital was a small bar. It had been built many years before Vastime was Vastime, but the rustic down-trodden look had a few customers. A small band of men who at it's height had been eight, all rugged handsome youngmen with youthful eyes. Promises of splendor and grandeur had awaited them. Warm promises, brought on by drunken lullabys had been their kinship. That was nearly ten years ago.
Instead, alone in this bar was a singular man. His hair was cut short, his burned hand holding onto the beer bottle. Across his face he held thin scars, a soft shake to his hand which seemed to never stop. Perhaps the nerve was weakened for so many encounters, but within the older man's eyes was a darkness. He watched the TV silently as it paraded the troops- a thank you for their service.
But for this unknown man it was a day of lonely remembrance. He could barely recall the friends he had lost, all seven of his closest lads each going off in the world to do great things. He could recall each of their funerals- one being vaporized in the iceland war- another half ripped apart in the Moon war. Their was always barely anything to bury.
His free hand reached into his coat pocket, thumbing the rusted dog-tags. The jagged feeling of old metal, heated and morphed from his last deployment. He was no super soldier, he was no demi-god among men. No, he was simply but another soldier in the endless grind house the world was producing. All fighting for the idea of a better tomorrow, to somehow make use of their sacrifice to repel an enemy which seemed endless.
His lips went taught, he had so many regrets. So many lost friends. The taste of salt tickeled his throat as he threw the money on the counter. He had been retired for two years now, but something in his soul- a primal urge yelling to be followed. It demanded that he go back to the killing fields, to set to rights the responsibility his friends left him. The sound of boots marching, the shout of the people meant nothing to him currently.
Only the cold vow of vengeance and guilt was on his lips as he walked into the recruitment office.
He could not bring back what was taken, but maybe he could find them on the otherside.