Sunday, 4 November 2007

(4) The Lost Watch

Tarkath froze for a moment, gripping the aged steel handle, he just didn't want to go into that room. The fear had seized him and he felt frozen on the spot like an icicle.

'Get in there!' ordered Endrin in his powerful and commanding voice. He pushed down on the tarnished rod, and inched the door open on its hinges. The smell of decomposition hit him like a club as he entered the morgue, the sight before him was terrible the bodies were just piled on top of each other in the dirty and dark room. The smell was eating away at him, it seemed to stop him breathing for a minute, Tarkath just froze.

Endrin looked into his eyes and his own features softed in sympathy for the young man.

It had been 12 ticks since the fight, and the dead had all been recovered from space, or at least what was left of them. The remains of the ships had been recovered and recycled easily, and were now stored in the resource bays ready for use. Recovering the soldiers, pilots, and other crewman had been a long process. They were here now in the small morgue, chilled, but with this many bodies it was impossible to stop the decay.

Tarkath stared at the piles, one after another, he couldn't even try to count them without fear and guilt overwhelming him. There were rivers of liquids and blood all over the floor, just draining away through the grate in the centre of the room, browns and blacks just trailing across the tiles and dripping away.

As he looked around the room he noticed a large skip full of pieces of people, floating atop the pile was a large hand, severed at the wrist. He walked apprehensively upto the skip and stared at the hand, as he looked through the blood he noticed a watch, he focused on it, and he could see that the time was still counting.

'All this yet we still go on...' He paused and turned to Endrin, stared at him directly eye to eye, and spoke quietly 'This shouldn't be happening, its just wrong, wrong.'

Tarkath lowered his head, turned and walked away, across the blood stained floor and out back into the corridor, trailing partial footprints in his wake. Endrin started after him

'Hey kid, this is war, this stuff happens, it's not pretty but you needed to see that'

'Nobody needs to see that...' replied Tarkath 'Nobody'.

'Well kid, if only we could convince everybody of that' he paused to exhale, 'come on, you're coming with me, we've got something important that needs doing.'

They both started down the dim corridor, back into the dark maze of halls Tarkath was now becoming accustomed to wandering during each day.

No comments: