Lesson of war

A roar of ranks of iron-armored monsters. A whistle, scratch and gnash, tearing air apart. Agonal screams of people – men-derelicts. Ones, who made themselves as such with own hands. Explosions, roaring in a far distance. Bearing death iron, cutting air apart. A crunch of human flesh under wheels of tanks, who are plowing this field of death and regret. Rage and hatred. Agony and horror. Pain and destruction…

This war has finally been waged – despite all efforts of the Congress of Post-Nuclear Security. Despite appeals to both heart and reason, despite possible obvious consequences of war, maybe even more destructive than the Last War of Grief itself. What a strange voice did those politicians hear when they have finally made a decision to begin military operations? A voice of thirst of money and power? A voice of their lowest nature, which has not been overcome still?

Silence… And once again – an air, being sliced with a gnashing of tanks.

The whistle of a shell. A cloud of gray-green gas, which filled out a place of its falling and quickly began spreading around. Five hundred meters. Too close. The plague is spreading, thankfully, not too fast, so he still has a chance to get out of here. If only by running. Yes, running.

A lethal weapon, which was put on his back. Mobilized possibilities of a Tessa-suit, granting him the ability not to lose any superfluous drop of invaluable water and protecting from radiation waves in this field of sand and metal. Optical, infra-red and lots of other sensors, with which his current “survival suit” has been literally larded, have been turned on and are functioning – working to warn of the danger, created by the very same people.

A fast-fast running. A growing gray-green cloud behind the back…Poison. A dreadful plague, invented by scientific minds – ones, who have received loads of money while working on this project. Just several seconds of this gas's inhalation – and man's genotype will be transformed beyond recognition. Actually, since the time one, who had true misfortune to be there, where this ordinary-looking pig with bones and a skull, engraved on it like flags of ancient pirates, has fallen, ceased to be a man any more. A live rotting, gradually leaving only a strong calcium skeleton, awakened instincts of the beast, forcing a victim to transform to not even just an animal, but much worse – into a monster, feasting on corpses… finishing off wounded men for the sake of own livelihood…

Terrible fate. It's so much better to die from a bullet of some soldier than to become a victim of this weapon – a weapon, invented by humans themselves.

An even better option is, well, not to die at present – no, not to continue this madness. Not to keep killing and to be, certainly, sometimes be killed, but to work and live a peaceful life instead… to even be that very plowman, or a teacher, a writer, a musician, or… damn dreams! Is he allowed now to practice all these human gifts and possibilities? Or can his enemy do the very same? What else can they do except for to throw up on a shoulder this UPEPD – universal plasma-generator of expanded capabilities of destruction, able to burn to death crowds of enemies even in newest metta-survival suits – and time and again to go to fight.

Hopeless fight. Cruel battle. Terrible war of destruction and murder for nothing. A battle where no winners ever exist, only those who have lost – who have already lost, when the possibility of this fight became true. This ruthless war…

This war will probably become even more terrible than that well-known War of Grief, memory of which still remained only on shabby pages of old books and has been living in human hearts – a war, which has taken away ninety nine percent of planet's population and turned a planet into a deserted landscape, only instead of sand – a burned products of nuclear synthesis. A war, after which few survivals needed three more thousand years to alter the planet and make it habitable once again so that they can start living and stop surviving at last. And to be precise and state the truth, when mankind's history has been erased and started to be written from a new page, one, that even after three more thousands years couldn't be deleted and forgotten, having left a mournful and painful hem in a memory… a page, on which several large, stamping and ruthless letters were imprinted – “Atomic war”.

Atomic warfare… a weapon of their ancestors, which have destroyed life on a planet… a mad invention of human scientists. A horror, released into their world.

A nuclear bomb. He spoke this word and tried to feel its taste – dead cold inhuman one… a terrible word. A word that frightened him in own childhood when parents had said so, one that made him shiver, being founded in ancient manuscripts of former men, still preserved by some sort of miracle after past events. How is that ever possible, that is has been created? Why? What for? What's the reason? And to be used as well…

Much like this very gas is being used now, leaving a circle of death through many miles around. And this was just one of the tools of murder along with a set of others, beginning from bullets, filled with explosive materials and finishing with “stakkers” – bombs with weight of up to several hundred tons, that were actively used for suppression of “areas of active enemy resistance”, leaving only a burning territory with no signs of life after droppings…

Total madness. The madness of war. The madness of those started the war. A witness of what other horrors will he become for the duration of the war? And is there is the slimmest chance for it to stop? When will it come to an end – when all life and lifeless forces of enemy… enemies are destroyed? When all remnants of life, which are still remaining, will finally be totally deformed? When?

But this must come to an end at last! Madness should be ended.

A shell, scratched the armoring of his suite – series of rifle's bullets, which have left hems on his “survival suit”. A soldier of the enemy, who jumped from around a corner all of a sudden. A soldier of the enemy… another madness. No, they are not enemies, they shouldn't be as such! Why enemies, why foes, why are they compelled to kill each other?

Why now he must sharply move towards the incoming shots with a perfected grace… prepare his gun for a strike… wait for this damned and dreadful mechanics to make an approval signal… smoothly press a trigger cock… observe, how a face on his enemy changes from a wild grin to a human shape for an instant, and how he heavily falls to the ground, without even a last single sound. He used to be a man once… now, in this war – whether he has been him still? And whether is he still a man? Robots, brought and trained for murders, are men in this war have become exactly them?

Drops of water transferred to him by that iron-plastic armor, which he was compelled to dress – he'll definitely need those few drops. A long run awaits him – a run for tens and thousands of kilometers, a run away from his native city, which has been raised by enemies, a city in which he was born and has been living… till the recent events.

A run through the fields of grief. A very long one…

***

A drop of sweat showed on a face. Sharp and faltering breath.

He woke up, yet horrific images were still trying to pursue him. Terrible pictures of war – pictures of terrible war. Dreadful pictures, for any war, brings with itself fear and pain, grief and regret.

He began to gradually come to his senses. Sighted deeply and exhaled. Sighted once more and exhaled again – breath was normalizing. He was coming to senses, yet the memory of horrors didn't desire to leave. Maybe he should remember – remember the consequences of war, realize them? As each and every man has to realize them – so that wars can be no more? So that a peace with a capital letter can reign in a world – a world of kind and open human hearts, full of wisdom and understanding, filled with love and beauty? Yes, war has no right to exist – as well as death and destruction, the bitterness of losses and hatred to artificially made enemies, brought by it.

Let there be peace – a peace throughout the entire world, no matter how banal it does sound. Even if it sounds banal – it's still a worthy direction and aspiration, and a work of each man over himself will give birth to essential steps – essential steps in this way. A way of peace.

29.12.2004


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