"On Patrol"

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SemisoftCheese
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:44 am

"On Patrol"

Post by SemisoftCheese » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:06 pm

A little different from my normal style.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Your cane sounds a bit like this rain, Lilly.

The rain reaches everywhere here. It taps down in big, fat drops, soaking my skin, chilling me to the core.

I can remember you.

I can remember you. I can remember every aspect of your face, your weak smile, your blonde hair cascading down her shoulders.

I can see your white cane tapping out a pattern on the warm asphalt. I can see your white shoes, tracing a delicate pattern in the finest of dances.

If I focus hard enough, I can--

The burst of automatic fire jolts me out of my memories.

Heckler and Koch. G36. Green tip ammunition. Roughly 30 metres out to my right.

I spin out of my concrete divider in a practiced move, so sweet that Comaneci herself would have given me a 10. Two taps of my trigger and my would-be assailant is silenced for the rest of eternity.

I return back to my makeshift bunker in the war zone, giving a glance to the green suited figure next to me.

It’s only the afternoon, but he’s wearing his NVG’s already. Never takes em’ off. Without them, he can’t see.

In a way, I’m lucky to have Kenji as a buddy, He’s a crack-shot with the rifle, and always willing to take the dreaded second watch. He’s a deft hand at sourcing grub in a war-zone, and even better at cooking it.

He clutches his weapon of choice, an import British SA80. Configured in the “Bullpup” layout, the magazine is located behind the grip, offering the user superior balance in a smaller package. 5.56x45mm chamber, Trilux sight, equipped to take STANAG magagzines.

I’d be jealous of this hot piece of kit, except for the fact that he gave his other one to me.

As I slump down next to him, the burst of artillery fire in the distance mingles with the rattle of automatic fire a block over.

I sigh.

“Kenji, how did we ever get into this?”

He doesn’t reply, just sliding me a pack of cigarettes with a zippo lighter on top.

The rain’s still falling.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

They say smoking is harmful, especially with my heart condition, but I’ve not got long to live, anyway.

If I’m not killed by the separatists, I’m going to die from the radiation soon.

The separatists thought they were clever, sourcing little U-238 packages to compress into “football bombs.” They fit in a backpack and can lay waste to 10 city blocks.

If you place them in strategic locations around a city, you’ve got a hell of a threat to tell a government.

Only they didn’t work out the physics so right. The reason why conventional atomic bombs are so large is that the array of explosives to “split” the uranium is massively complex. That, and the massive amounts of radiation shielding surrounding your nuclear medium.

If you put it in a football-sized package, it might not work. It might just split open the case and shed radiation everywhere.

Tokyo’s a wasteland after the first couple were set off. The only ones left here are the military, fighting for control of the remaining facilities. The separatists even have control of the airspace around here, so they can’t even medevac or call for supplies.

It’s just me and Kenji, versus the world.

I light one up, savouring the smoky blend hitting my lungs. I used to think it disgusting, but now it’s a necessity for survival.

Just like the rad suits in the Tsuchiya armory Kenji and I are going for.

I take another drag.

After the separation, Yamaku became a safe haven for it’s students. Away from all the chaos, life continued on as normal.

Of course, we had to make a few changes—start a vegetable garden, source a generator, and source a few firearms—but nothing major. We all worked together to make it happen.

That was until Lilly fell ill. And Molly. And Lelouch. And Hanako.

Nurse knew what it was. Tuberculosis. Simple enough to treat, if you have the antibiotics.

We didn’t. But the rail system was still functioning, so they sent Kenji and I down to Tokyo, where the military government was headquartered.

There, we could not only pick up the TB medicine, but pick up other dangerously stocks of medications we required.

Like Rythmol. The pill that keeps my heart beating.

A big, fat, raindrop lands on my cigarette, causing it to sizzle out. Breaktime’s over.

“Kenji, time to get moving.”

“Right, man.”

We arise in unison, taking careful stock of our surroundings as we make our way down the desolate streets.

Tokyo’s a bit of apocalypse town nowadays—the poor saps who didn’t make it out of the city have banded together in little ragtag groups, stealing and grabbling with each other for stuff like rotten supermarket food.

Kenji and I know better than to tangle with them.

And for the most part, they know better too. The sight of our rifles is often more than enough to stop the most determined rioter.

We have a pattern—I take one side of the street, Kenji takes the other. I sweep the storefronts with my rifle, looking for any signs of life.

Anything that could be a threat.

The separatists set off the first few after we arrived in Tokyo. A plan to show the world that they meant business.

But in reality it just fried all the electronics, making rail travel impossible. And automotive travel. And travel in general.

But there’s nothing to go back to, anyway.

She died after just two weeks of struggling with TB. Nurse guessed that she was more genetically susceptible than the rest, and as a result, the disease beat her immune system far quicker than the others.

I buried her myself in the school’s garden where we first watched the fireworks break over the sky.

Oh, Lilly. If only you could see me now.

Kenji stops, holding up a closed fist.

Halt. Potential trouble ahead.

A young woman steps out, draped in an orange shawl, clutching an old Tokarev pistol in a shaky grip.

She looks exotic, arabic almost. Definitely a foreigner.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

“Drop your weapons, both of you!”

Is she stupid? There’s two of us, and we outgun her. She must be desperate for our gear, or foolish enough to think that because our rifles aren’t pointed at her, she’s safe.

Kenji and I exchange glances.

Forgive me, Lilly.

I let my rifle slide down my chest, slowly undoing the straps.

“See, I’m dropping it. No problem. I don’t want you to hurt me.”

She gets overexcited, brandishing her pistol again.

“Pick up whatever food ration’s you’ve got an slide them over! Fast!”

Kenji scowls. He doesn’t like doing this. Neither do I.

My hands brush down towards my ration pack, unclipping my pistol.

A IMI Jericho 941. Handed to me by Mis-ter Mutou himself. 9mm hollow point, second round full-metal jacket. A man’s pistol. Wood grips with full grain.

I slide out a ration pack, showing it to her with both hands.

“See, here’s the food. No-one’s going to get hurt now.”

I draw my pistol, racking the slide in one fluid motion.

Tap.

Bang.

Tap.

Bang.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

I holster my pistol in a smooth motion, watching the smoke come off the slide.

“Nice shooting, man.”

I know behind Kenji’s words lies a fundamental bitterness.

For all his anger, he hates the killing just as much as I do.

I step over her body, pocketing her pistol as I go.

Maybe in another life, you and her could have been friends.

======

We step into the ruins of Tsuchiya armory. The rad suits are deep in a sub-basement, only accessible by access card.

Luckily, Kenji’s got a hack-card we picked up off a dead thug. How he got it, we have no idea.

I sweep the dark ruins with my rifle again.

When the Separatists first started to cause trouble, all of the males in the country were required to attend a two-week training camp.

I don’t remember much of it, except for a lot of yelling and a lot of disgruntled teenagers.

But I do remember being out on patrol.

There’s something so elegant about being on patrol. There’s a point-man, who keeps watch for the group. And there’s a rough, shambling line, that at the right angle, seems to go on for eternity.

Each man keeps his rifle ready for trouble, but in a way, you’re safe. You’re in a group. You’re all together, for the better or for the worse.

You can’t talk, because you’d disturb operational silence. So you walk, and you hear the gentle rustle of packs and trees leaves on the wind.

I remember one forced-march, on the coast in deep sand, where everyone was grumbling silently. I remember watching that orange sun dip beneath a deep-blue coast, with a purple layer of cake in between.

I wish I could have shown you that sunset, Lilly.

=====

We reach the sub-basement without any trouble. The halls here are clean and well lit, probably running off some government generator.

But even here, the rain still reaches. A leak springs from the ceiling, dripping muddy drops onto a linoleum floor.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Kenji inserts the hack-card into the door slot. We’re so close. Maybe if we get these suits, we can sneak out of the city and I can see you again.

The door flashes red. No go. The door emits a beep.

Fuck. Noise.

A flash of black rounds the corner.

What is it?

I bring my weapon up, start to shout, but it’s too fast.

It pulls the trigger once.

Kenji. Kenji’s gone.

Twice.

The shot hits me, right in the middle of the shoulder blades. I feel no pain. The form continues to fire.

Bang.

Tap.

Bang.

Tap.

Tap.

Bang.

The scene starts to fade before me. My eyes tear as the ceiling blurs

I’m sorry, Hanako. I’m sorry, Molly. I’m sorry, Lilly.

I failed you. You were there, and you needed me, and I failed you.

The fluourescent light blinds me, and I raise my hand to shade my eyes.

Sleep invites me, encloses me in with arms covered in a black cloak hiding skeletal hands.

But before I go, can I tell you, Lilly, the love of my life, about this dream I’m having right now?

You and I, and Hanako, and Misha, and Shizune, and Kenji, and Rin, we’re impossibly on patrol in Kagoshima.

And you’re on point, and I’m your second, right behind you.

You’re tapping out the path with your cane, and I’m right behind you, and I’ve got your back, like you’ve got mine.

The sun is setting on a deep blue sea, with a purple sandwich in-between. I want to tell you what it looks like, but I can’t, because we’re on patrol together. And we’ve got to stick together, and stay quiet so we’re safe.

I can hear your cane, tapping out a path for all of us, including me, to follow. Me and you, on a path, together. Me and you, on patrol, safe.

Maybe, when this is over, I can see you again.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

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Carighan
Posts: 275
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:14 pm

Re: "On Patrol"

Post by Carighan » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:21 pm

Oh I like this, this is really nice. :D

Sorry that's all I can say about it, short on time. :(
The strength of heart to face oneself has been made manifest. The persona Carighan has appeared.

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SemisoftCheese
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:44 am

Re: "On Patrol"

Post by SemisoftCheese » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:14 am

Carighan wrote:Oh I like this, this is really nice. :D
Glad you liked it, dude! This piece was a little out there for me, so I'm pleased that it hit the mark with someone.

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CptSalsa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:45 pm

Re: "On Patrol"

Post by CptSalsa » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:14 am

I liked it, but I couldn't like it to its full potential because I didn't really understand it, you know what I mean?
�Pick up whatever food ration�s you�ve got an slide them over! Fast!�
rations, an' or and
Also why do they do that if they could just shoot her.
Maybe in another life, you and her could have been friends.
I think it should be "she and I"
Luckily, Kenji�s got a hack-card we picked up off a dead thug. How he got it, we have no idea.
Because short-term memory loss is always a bad thing.

I'm gonna get deep... into my psychoanalysis of the mind now. Well at a half-tired psychoanalysis of the mind anyway. I actually forgot what that means but it sounds cool and for all intensive purposes that phrase applies here.
I wish I could have shown you that sunset, Lilly.
Now does he mean that Lilly was cured, and could see, was that a mistake, or was it actually...
the sunset being a metaphor of a peaceful end in sight, because a sunset never sets fast, and Hisao wishing Lilly didn't die because she was guiding him the whole time during his experience and when she died he lost all of his sanity and he began to slip from the reality everyone perceives and into his own where blind people can see and Kenji can also see?
Me and you, on a path, together. Me and you, on patrol, safe.
I prefer you and I, because it puts the other person first and sounds polite, but yeah, do whatever you want.

You forgot to say sorry to Lelouch you idiot. Baka baka baka desu.
Whenever I log on to this forum it's usually in the dead of night and on a mobile phone. Hooray for technologically-induced insomnia!

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SemisoftCheese
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:44 am

Re: "On Patrol"

Post by SemisoftCheese » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:30 am

CptSalsa wrote: Also why do they do that if they could just shoot her.
This has to do with the basic mechanics of being held up. If someone's pointing a gun at you, and you don't have your gun pointed directly at them, or even if you do, you run the risk of a "draw," or them shooting you at the same time you shoot them. If someone's twitchy, you don't want to agitate or threaten them at all. Even if you shoot first, their second shot could be fatal to you. Hisao draws her eyes to the ration pack while unclipping his pistol, much like how a pickpocket rubs your shoulder while snatching your wallet. While she's distracted, she's much less likely to fire, making it safer for Hisao and Kenji to get rid of her.
CptSalsa wrote:I think it should be "she and I"
I apologize for not clarifying this, as it was a colloquial sentence structure based off the preceding paragraphs. The "you" in the sentence refers to Lilly, not Hisao.
CptSalsa wrote: Because short-term memory loss is always a bad thing.
Not entirely sure what you mean here. If the card is off a dead thug, and they don't know how the thug got it, how is it short term memory loss?
CptSalsa wrote:Now does he mean that Lilly was cured, and could see, was that a mistake, or was it actually...
the sunset being a metaphor of a peaceful end in sight, because a sunset never sets fast, and Hisao wishing Lilly didn't die because she was guiding him the whole time during his experience and when she died he lost all of his sanity and he began to slip from the reality everyone perceives and into his own where blind people can see and Kenji can also see?
Maybe a little too deep into it. Hisao's speech to Lilly during this piece is just him talking to her in his head. Just like when you wish someone well from afar. When she died, Hisao didn't lose his reality, but he did start to miss her alot, as she's constantly on his mind in this story. It's just like when you have a crush on someone--you're constantly thinking about how what you're doing relates to them.

As for the wish part, it's not that metaphorical. Hisao simply wishes he could relate to Lilly the beauty and feelings that he felt during the sunset. Now that's she's gone, he can't.

And as for the blindness (a three-point answer), Kenji's not blind. He's just really poor of sight. That's why Kenji always wears the NVG's in this story--it's assumed that they correct for his vision in some capacity. As for Lilly, Hisao just wishes he could talk to her again. He doesn't explicitly want to show her a picture and say "this is the sunset I saw on patrol." He just wants to be near her and relate to her. Her blindness, as for the most of KS, has nothing to do with it.
CptSalsa wrote:puts the other person first and sounds polite, but yeah, do whatever you want.
It's meant to be familiar, not necessarily polite. Manners are always welcome, especially on the forums;
CptSalsa wrote:baka baka baka desu
but the "me and you" was meant to emphasize Hisao's desire to associate himself with Lilly again. Could "you and I" have been used to the same effect? Absolutely. I just happened to write it that way.

Thanks for your feedback, CptSalsa. I'll try and make it more accessible next time.

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