2237-06-03 - The Last Breath

In the slave camps of Picon...

Date: 2237-06-03

Location: Picon

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 563

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I could feel the waves crashing over me. The breath of air laden with the salt of the ocean and the warmth of the sun pressing through to heat my skin. It wasn't just the water that I missed, it was the freshness of the air...

Caked blood had become caked mud throughout the day of work. Tears in clothing growing into tears of the flesh as the group of POWs and captured civilians toiled away. Today's work had been in digging a trench deep enough. So many of his fellow workers had no clue why they would be digging a trench; Addison knew.

Numbers didn't lie. The numbers in the camp had been diminishing over the past few weeks with fewer and fewer familiar faces had been seen, tacked up as losses. Those losses had to go someplace. The idea of digging the mass grave for people he knew, had served with, should rake at his soul but that had faded away into an emptiness.

The dark clouds overhead had begun to spread into a heavy fall of rain that washed over the landscape and flowed down turning the trench they were digging into a river that made escape from within it treacherous, several of the workers slipping in their physical weakness trying to climb out as the work was completed; the first part of the work.

Addison was still in the trench, swinging the heavy pickaxe against a rock when the low rumble of the trucks began to pierce through the air against the constant splatter of the rain. The group closest to him, five total, still at work did not realize initially that the rest of the dig crew had moved out and were now helping to unload the trucks that were dumping their deceased cargo. The living scrambled; not away from the smell of decay or the sight of their friends. Rather they climbed like rats over the bodies, snatching at whatever they could. Shoes, clothes, anything that might be useful for trade. Like the maggots that would soon find their way to the corpses, the living treated the dead in such a way.

Those standing next to Addison swarmed towards the bodies to stake their claim as well, hoping desperately to find something of value. When something was found, fighting would break out. When the fighting was severe enough, those brawling would not notice the next truck dumping bodies and they would be buried -- soon to join the dead atop them as their air ran out underneath the piles.

A young woman, was her name Madeline? She waved at Addison, grinning, beckoning him to join the frenzied hunt.

Addison stood, watching: Is it better to live like them?

His eyes turned to look at the trench filling with bodies: Or die... like them?


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