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"And This Shall Pass" (Part 2) Coming in From the Rain

Updated on October 20, 2016
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher. He is a former journalist who has worked on various community and college publications.

"Get the Objective..."
"Get the Objective..." | Source

Part II Coming in from the Rain

Ada slid under the barbwires like a snake on the prowl. The lack of friction from the mud made it easy to traverse the narrow passage way. But it was messy, wet and uncomfortable to go through.

On top of that, Ada was battle-ready. He was armed with a rifle and bayonet, and protected by a gas mask and steel helmet. Any vestige of his humanity was hidden under the mud and blood soaked uniform he wore.

The final inches he crawled couldn’t come any sooner. The coldness, the vileness of the mud was too much, even in his armor. He wanted to stop and strip off the mask. But, the area he emerged in was wide open to any potential sniper. He’d have to find salvation before he could act on his impulses.

It didn’t take Ada long to find such a place. He craned his head to and fro to ensure everything was clear. With a renewed burst of energy he rushed up a knoll and crashed against a standing wall that jutted from the earth like a jagged tooth stuck in somebody’s jaw. Although broken, it supplied the type of cover he needed.

His lungs burned. His muscles ached. Ada slumped against the wall and sank onto his haunches, shaking as the adrenaline flushed from his system.

The sound of his panting was altered by the mask’s filter. Strange, he thought, I sound mechanical, inhuman. A silly thought came to him; he was a machine. All that training, all that drilling from cantankerous sergeants and all that action from the previous nights had robbed him of his own humanity. He wasn’t just a machine; he was an efficient machine with a purpose.

Or was he?

A surge of renewed strength pumped through his body. The shaking stopped and the steely determination returned. He rose from his position and brought his rifle up, readying it for battle.

"He peered around the wall, observed the environment before him...."
"He peered around the wall, observed the environment before him...."

Ada faced no-man’s land. He gazed upon the place he had come from. It was dark, dead, and full of “machines” like him. At that moment, he felt like a mere, expendable cog, an anonymous piece of a large, soulless system.

Thoughts raced through his head. And each one was as murky as the mud that caked him from head to toe.

What am I doing? Am I doing the right thing for my nation or for me?

He could quit and walk away. The thought was tempting. He could go somewhere and strip away this uniform, throw away the guns, and live life like he wanted to.

But another realization emerged. He had been trained for war. War was his life. And war only ends when the objective had been reached.

The realization was like a hammer coming down on his head.

“Get the objective,” he whispered. “Get the Objective.”

A surge of renewed strength pumped through his body. The shaking stopped and the steely determination returned. He rose from his position and brought his rifle up, readying it for battle.

He peered around the wall, observed the environment before him and calculated his move.

Finally, he rushed into the remains of the town, all the while, the mantra played over and over in his head.

“Get the objective, get the objective, get the objective.”

PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 PART 4

The most powerful city is in ruins. No hope. Too Quiet.
The most powerful city is in ruins. No hope. Too Quiet.

War Looks the Same.

When selecting photos to insert for the second installment, I came across numerous pictures of destruction, past and present. Among them was the aftermath of the Civil War, Allied bombing of a German city during World War II, one from an unknown war (World War 1 or 2 or some other event).

The one thing that stood out while perusing this photos was that I couldn't tell the difference between city ruins from the U.S. Civil War and the Syrian Civil (with one exception: one was in color).

Oddly enough, this story blends various aspect of wars fought in the past. However, upon looking at these cities in ruin, it doesn't take much of an imagination to do so.

from American Civil War
from American Civil War

© 2014 Dean Traylor

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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      I wouldn't go there but then I can stop reading and I'm back where I was. Yikes!