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Metal and Flame


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#1 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 11:05 PM

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My entry for the fire contest, which hopefully I didn't post too late. If it is, tis no one's fault but my own. Cheers.

Spoiler


Edited by Neyo Wargear, 16 July 2016 - 02:55 PM.

Omnius mille passus expeditio, omnis fossa bellum.

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"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

- General of the Army Douglas MacArthur


#2 Risk

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 06:11 AM

Pretty brutal story. It might just be me, but it seemed to start a bit awkwardly at the beginning with the really short sentences, however, this could also be interpreted as very quick thoughts on the battlefield. I really liked the level of grim detail later on in the story, and how the theme of fire comes about in a climactic manner. There were a few awkward grammatical errors, but nothing insanely bad to the point where it ruins the story. I think your attention to detail and outlining the atmosphere more than makes up for all that.


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#3 V.Metalic

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 09:05 AM

This is part of the old Age of Armor? :)


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#4 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 12:09 PM

Pretty brutal story. It might just be me, but it seemed to start a bit awkwardly at the beginning with the really short sentences, however, this could also be interpreted as very quick thoughts on the battlefield. I really liked the level of grim detail later on in the story, and how the theme of fire comes about in a climactic manner. There were a few awkward grammatical errors, but nothing insanely bad to the point where it ruins the story. I think your attention to detail and outlining the atmosphere more than makes up for all that.

 
I thought that there wasn't enough fire in the story to really count, glad that it ended in a blaze of glory.
 
What exactly were the awkward grammatical errors?
 
Well, not all bad, a bit more decent than some. Thanks for the comment. 
 

This is part of the old Age of Armor? :)


Nope, this is about my sci-fi nation getting obliterated by their enemy, which results in an alternate timeline. Survivors on both sides are trying to guide their selected nations to win this World War One like conflict.


Omnius mille passus expeditio, omnis fossa bellum.

KY0FhTX.jpg
"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

- General of the Army Douglas MacArthur


#5 Risk

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:43 AM

What exactly were the awkward grammatical errors?

 

The only really noticeable ones were what I saw in the first and second paragraph; some sentences were very short and could have been continued by a comma or semicolon to bridge them together. I'm not nitpicking; since you asked, I'm just pointing them out for you so that you can avoid minor little issues like these.

Spoiler

Just mostly minor punctuation issues, as you can see, but you can really help the flow by knowing when to use a period, comma, or semicolon. On the other hand, you don't want a sentence to run for too long, so try and find a comfortable sentence length for the idea you're trying to outline. Again, it doesn't really detract from your story, I can see that you put a lot of imagination behind it.


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#6 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 09:42 PM

The only really noticeable ones were what I saw in the first and second paragraph; some sentences were very short and could have been continued by a comma or semicolon to bridge them together. I'm not nitpicking; since you asked, I'm just pointing them out for you so that you can avoid minor little issues like these.

Spoiler

Just mostly minor punctuation issues, as you can see, but you can really help the flow by knowing when to use a period, comma, or semicolon. On the other hand, you don't want a sentence to run for too long, so try and find a comfortable sentence length for the idea you're trying to outline. Again, it doesn't really detract from your story, I can see that you put a lot of imagination behind it.


Does this look better?
Spoiler

Edited by Neyo Wargear, 20 July 2016 - 09:43 PM.

Omnius mille passus expeditio, omnis fossa bellum.

KY0FhTX.jpg
"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

- General of the Army Douglas MacArthur


#7 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 07:29 PM

The battlefield was deafening, and it didn't help that Private First Class Winston was inside an Arlington T1M3 light tank. The engine may have been in its own compartment, but it still droned loudly with the tightness of the tank amplifying it. The tracks were outside, but still creaked loud enough to hear, coupled with the short, but loud bursts of the T3M1 Blackwood heavy machine gun and the incoming artillery screaming like a banshee. It just made Winston's ears hurt, a lot. He was surprised they weren't bleeding and that he wasn't deaf yet.

Winston shook the thoughts away, trying to focus on the mission at hand. Peering through the vision slits, there lay trenches after trenches. All full of Vernin infantry, ready to die for their country. Being in a tank didn't make you invincible, although the propaganda said otherwise, as did the teachers at Armor School. Dust and dirt still got into the vehicle, via the vision slit. Winston had heard horror stories of drivers being sniped through the very tool he used to see. He gulped, and tried to calm himself. They were making good time, and Vernin infantry would rather run from a tank then stay in a trench. This made them easy pickings.

 

"How much farther?" screamed Winston to his commanding officer, Sergeant McCormack. The Sergeant didn't hear Winston as he was far too busy mowing down Vernin Regulars.

 

"Die you Vernin vermin! Ha ha!" barked Sgt. McCormack as the .60 caliber machine gun fired. Winston watched as Vernin were cut in half literally by the hail of bullets. The lucky died instantly; some were very unlucky and tried to hold in their organs in vain. Only the fastest got away, the bullets drilling into the earth and kicking up dust.

 

"SIR!" screamed PFC Winston. McCormack was off firing into an already deceased man, the Vernin was being shot apart as the rounds tore into him. Winston couldn’t see McCormack’s face, but he was sure it was one of a mad man.

 

"What? What my boy?" asked McCormack as he took his foot off the trigger. Winston could hear the spent casings hit other casings. So much ammo had been used already, and they were still far from the objective.   

 

"How much farther?" asked Winston.

 

"We go forward till we reach the Els River!" replied the Sergeant as he returned his attention to the enemy. The .60 cal went off again, and more Vernin went down. McCormack had no mercy; then again he was an old soldier. The sergeant had been fighting since the very beginning, four long years ago. His hatred was tempered against the Vernin, whatever the fuel was. Maybe he was just homesick, perhaps he loved the thrill of the kill, or it was nothing more than pure utter hate for their people.

 

Talking inside his head, "I hope I never become like him. I know war changes people, but I hope I can come home without hate in my heart and a clear conscience. That’s all I really want."

 

Winston grunted to get the thoughts out of his head as he pushed the steering levers forward. The artillery was becoming more intense, as the explosions increased in number and volume. Dust and dirt was being kicked up as shrapnel flew like angry hornets. Impact craters were left, almost as deep as some trenches. Those few trees left standing were scarred and dead, their trunks skinned of their bark. Ashen white and blackened, the trees were like ghosts. They stood as broken reminders of the ruin of war.

 

The infantry supporting the armored charge that were unlucky enough to be with them suffered greatly. Men exploded into red mist as pieces of them were sent flying. Blood splattered everywhere, those unlucky enough to live and left shattered screamed as they bled out. Others moaned in pain as they held in their entrails, others crawled screaming. Some were in shock as they wandered the battlefield, their minds incapable of coping with the horrors of war. The lucky wounded were put out of their misery by snipers, as medics ran towards the screams.

 

Yet even in this madness, in this carnage, the tanks charged forward. They would leave their bloodied and wounded brothers behind. The air was full of screaming, both organic and artificial. Men screamed for first the medic, then their God, and finally their mother. Artillery shells screamed as they punched through the sky, their impacts causing the ground to groan and give way. Scarred, the battlefield became harder to navigate. Another barrage was on the way, the screaming of artillery drowning out the cry of man. Winston watched as the defenseless wounded and unarmed medics disappear into nothingness. Others were thrown into the air and slammed back into the ground, left dead or worse, paralyzed. Broken bodies with pain ravaging them like a wildfire, they couldn’t even scream. Their ribs collapsed, as their comrades left them behind. Some were honorable to drag them to an impact crater. Others carried their friends upon their shoulders, only to be gunned down by Vernin.

 

One particular medic had fully fledged rage burning through his veins, his blood boiling, "You bastards! You Vernin bastards! We’re unarmed and these poor boys are at your mercy! You’re killing us, you merciless bastards! Give them a chance, just give them a chance. It’s not fair!"

 

A tank was hit by the heavy artillery; it wasn't a direct hit, but enough to destroy the vehicle. The massive charge blew apart the tracks and immobilized the crew in No Mans’ Land. The fragmentation flew from the impact like a swarm. Most fragments bounced or lodged themselves into the armor of the Arlington tank, but a few managed to pierce its metal skin. The fragmentations ricocheted within; lodging themselves in radiators, the engine, but the fatal blow was when the fuel tanks were ruptured. The highly flammable gasoline leaked into the engine.

 

Sparks flew from the damaged engine, at first the little flames died before they could reach the oil. As the oil continued to leak, the liquid rose higher upon the floor of the hull. Sparks began to reach the oil, and it ignited in a bright flash. The engine continued to smoke as it began to burn.

 

Winston awoke to pure agonizing pain as his ears rang and his head hurt. His eyes shot open as he smelled smoke, fire, blood, and burning flesh. He dared to look behind; Sergeant McCormack was limp and aflame. The fire licking at the body, as it charred his skin. His blood was splattered against the walls of the turret and the casings. His body like Swiss cheese, his uniform was tattered and full of holes. Before burning, he was lucky enough to be killed by ricocheting shrapnel.

 

Winston grimaced in pain; he put his hand up to the left side of his head. A mere touch caused further execrating pain; he whipped his hand away to see blood upon his fingertips. The shockwave of the artillery had caused his head to be thrown against the metal interior of the tank.

 

Smoke and flame flowed from the engine compartment and leaked oil covered the floor of the tank. Winston was frantic, and full of adrenaline. He pushed on the hatches, they didn’t budge. He pressed harder, they didn't give. He pressed even harder, the hatches remained shut. He punched the hatches, nothing. He kept punching till his knuckles bled, yet the hatches remained unmoved. The heat was increasing in the metal coffin, causing the PFC to sweat. Winston dared a glance behind; the sparks were landing on the oil. Any moment and he’d be ablaze.

 

Growling like an animal with determination in his eyes, he punched the hatches even harder. He kept going even after he heard sickening crunches and pain explode from his hands. Winston let out a long, broken breath, and opened his eyes. Nothing had changed except the blood upon the hatches. His knuckles drenched in blood and to the bone, chipped and cracked, and the skin surrounding stripped, bloody, and raw. The smoke was growing thicker, it was harder to breathe and see. Winston let out one last feral scream; he leaned back into the now flaming oil and kicked the hatches with all his might.

 

They finally gave, and sunlight poured onto Winston. Calm fell upon him, but was short lived. The adrenaline had run out and once again, he was brought back to the real world as flame bit into his back like a thousand hot needles digging deep.

 

Exploding out of the tank, Winston ran a short way then fell. He rolled across the mud and dirt, hoping to put out the fire all the while screaming. The oil had drenched his clothing and wouldn't let the fire die. Giving up on rolling, he tried to crawl towards the advancing troops. His fingers were unresponsive as he tried to claw at the ground. The dirt and dust landed on his raw skin, causing further excruciating pain. Try and try he might, Winston was getting nowhere and the fire was not dying. He screamed louder to try and get attention for a mercy kill.

 

"Please! For the love of God, someone kill me! Oh God, why? Why?" he cried out.

 

Winston stopped, no longer having a will to live as he looked to the sky one last time. The sun burned bright, not a cloud in the sky. Dust and ash was settling as it floated in the sky. He felt the flame crawl across his body and spread, the heat overwhelming, and the smell sickening. Feeling gave way to pain, as the fire followed the oil like a hound chases a rabbit.

 

With a tear in his eye, Winston spoke once more, his voice hoarse, "Mom, I'm... Sorry, but I broke my-my... promise. I'm-I'm not... com-coming home to you. I'm... Sorry..."

 

He gave into the darkness and shut his eyes.


Omnius mille passus expeditio, omnis fossa bellum.

KY0FhTX.jpg
"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

- General of the Army Douglas MacArthur





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