An Ancient in Alexandria

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An Ancient in Alexandria

Post by Morse » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:06 am

Planet: Alexandria
Location: Pyrio City
Date: March 9th, 2237

Morse stared at himself in a mirror behind the dimly lit bar. Though not a real mirror, of glass and silver, it was some sort of holographic reflector that was set up behind a series of pictures of local sights and imitations of taxidermy that were likely just grown from cloning vats. The gray steel walls were tight in that place, and the single room facility served likely only thirty people at the busiest it had ever been. Small steel tables with false wood stools were scattered around, most toppled over with broken drinking cups and emptied liquid upon the floor.

The old man lifted a steel cup filled with harshness and brought it to his mouth. The liquid poured into his mouth, a firm swig, which he sloshed. The taste was faded and lacking on his ragged and burnt tongue. He swallowed, feeling the intense burn on his acid scarred esophagus, and as it made its way down, he could almost feel his kidneys rejecting the poison. A twisting wretch whirled in his stomach and into his side. It was so uncomfortable it could almost be called painful.

He squeezed the cup, which brought real pain, but in his fingers. Synthetic cartilage injections in his fingers and wrist had worked when he was younger, but now they just weren't doing the trick anymore. And finding a place to get it where he was was becoming more and more impossible.

Morse looked at his ragged and scarred physique. He'd lost weight, a lot of it. Where once there was a strong, young, agile Marine, there was now a haggard, beaten, broken husk. Bearded and bushy eyed, scars upon his chin hidden beneath the somewhat maintained fur. His arms were thin, and his gut was starting to eat itself, and not just because he was hungry.

Years were catching up to Morse. Years of physical abuse. Years of tortured intoxication. Years of mindless carnage. Years of brutality and battle.

He looked himself in the eye. What was he? Not in real years, but in biology? In his 60s? In his 80s? Who could say. And who knew what the stress and booze done to add their own twist on him.

Morse just starred. Was he disappointed? No. This was inevitable. Was he happy? No. This was inevitable. He just was what he was, and nothing could change that, and many things had certainly tried.

He reached over the bar, grabbing a steel bottled to refill his cup.


The room shook, the shockwave pushed Morse down onto the bar, knocking over glass and plastic.

"Fuckin'!" Morse said twisting around with a snarl.

He gazed out at the hole in the wall behind him. It had already been there when he arrived. The twisted and mangled metal of where what was likely a mortar shell had impacted, blasting apart a piece of the wall, and throwing the bar into disarray. Outside there were the visions of tracer rounds and airstrikes. Smoke billowing from a thousand buildings both near and far. The muttered noise of orders being chanted outside, and the ever present clacking of the machine gun rounds gave an interesting ambience to the half crackling blues music that spilled from a blown out speaker that was still tapped into some entertainment feed.

Morse felt a resistance at his foot, and he looked down. His metal leg was inside of someone's head... or what was left of it. The robotic hiss of his false limb was inaudible over the carnage beyond.

This was not the only body in the room, nor was it the most mangled.

Had Morse killed these men? Were they dead when he arrived? Did any of it matter? Did any of it ever matter?

Morse pulled the robotic foot from the blood and turned back around filling the cup. He looked again to the mirror at himself. The aged husk of a man, once a proud Marine, a warrior for god, country, and all of human kind, reduced by his years and own decision to what?

A mercenary? A brigand? A bandit? A pirate? A fascist? A soldier?

A Man?

A Monster?

It was hard to say what Morse was other than alive. Still alive, and doing the only things he understood. Was he still doing it well? Or was he just doing them as best as he still could.

Whatever the case, he looked in the mirror, a mind empty and full. Full of horrors of his own making, and empty of thought entirely.

But from his lips came the words that had guided his whole existence.

"Born in the thorns. To die in the sky."

The chant. The prayer. The motto. Written on his arm in ink that was now faded but still legible.

"Born in the thorns, to die in the sky."

He repeated this, little more than muttering it. Time and time and time again. He lifted the cup up to his mouth. Repeated the words again, and tipped his head back and swalled.

This drink was more than he could handle. He felt the gurgling twist and he doubled over coughing, then gagging. He prepared to expel the contents of his stomach. Nothing came. He breathed hard, but brought it under control. He just muttered the words to calm himself down.

"Born in the thorns, to die in the sky."

His mind swirled back to reality. The darkness outside filled with the fires of battle, and his place in it.

Morse reached down to his right. The M56 smartgun, an outdated relic of wars long gone, covered in scribbles and trinkets, was resting beside him. He hefted the weapon up, with more strain than it had been in his youth. He affixed the weapon to the harness on his chest, the trusty vest distributing the weight equally. He put his headpiece back on and turned back out toward the hole in the wall.

He zoomed in, he could see the capitol, a hail of fire still coming from what remnants of combatants were still holding in the smoldering heap of the building. There was a slight interference on the sensors after this much time, but the weapon had only lost a fraction of a millimeter of accuracy. But in Morse's hands... the difference would be made up.

And as he looked out Morse just muttered a true, almost sober thought.

"How the fuck'd I even git here."

Morse took in the sight of the ongoing battle a moment more, and turned towards the door he walked in. And as he walked, he muttered his words, the only words he understood and the words he longed to make ture.

"Born in the thorns, to die in the sky."
Image-SSG Allen Morse - Squad Leader
-3rd Bn, 2nd Reg, 1st Co, 8th Plt
- M41A Pulse Rifle - M4 Pistol - Med Kit
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