Man of War

I never thought I would see this day while being out here defending my squad. We have been stuck here for more than, to be honest I cannot remember. We are down to a handful of bullets, one gun and enough food to last a normal person three more days. Out here you start contemplating your life and what you will do if you make it out alive. So far I have lived for forty-eight years strong and never had to take care of anyone other than myself. Though after my time here drafted in the war I think it is time for a drastic lifestyle transformation. I think it is time to start helping others rather than looking out just for number one. I look around and notice the others focusing on their task at hand. Nobody saying a word; to be honest when you stop and listen, it is quiet. I peer out over the horizon but the darkness consumes the distance and my eyes cannot make anything out. As I look out I can see faint flashes of light, a storm coming perhaps. I stare out waiting for the sound of thunder to follow but hear nothing of it. I continue to stare and as I breathe I notice something odd. A smell in the air that was not there before; a sweetness in the air that I could not place.

When I woke up, the others already hard at work to keep the other safe. I grabbed the gun and looked out over the horizon to cover our rear. I laid there looking out into the darkness, it was odd how dark it always seemed. Flashes of dim light off in the distance sky but still no audible sound of thunder. I look down at the gun, surprised I did not notice it when I picked it up. The weight of the rifle was off. I investigated it, visually it looked like an operable gun. I held the gun in my hands and raised it. Rested the butt of the gun against my shoulder, looked down the sights and aimed into the vast openness. I slowed my breathing down and in a fluid smooth motion squeezed the trigger. The sound of the shot echoed throughout. I lowered the gun and looked around on the ground. Shocked, I set the gun down and turned my attention to the others. Not a single movement from any of them. I darted over to one, his face was familiar, but I could not remember his name. I stared into his lifeless eyes and I prodded his exposed skin, it felt the same as mine. I shook him and pleaded for him to snap out of it. I ran to one of the others and tried to get a response but no such luck. I look out where I saw those flashes of light. I ran towards them, not knowing what I would find. I ran, ran until my legs wanted to give out and then I ran some more. As I ran towards the unknown I suddenly struck what felt like a wall. As I hit it I staggered backwards and had to mentally regroup. I lifted my hand and held it in front of me and moved slowly forward; I inched until my hand felt the cold invisible wall. It was cool and felt almost like glass or perhaps a mirror. Occasionally I could see flashes of white lights. I stared at the wall, even though I could not see anything. Nothing but darkness stopping my hand. Then that aroma filled the air again, a sweetness that was not there before.

I woke up near my squad, was it all just a nightmare or did it really happen. I looked around at the other guys. Same people, just placed in a different position. I questioned how I got back and how I got into this strange situation. I decided to try a different direction this time but it was the same as the first. I ran until I found myself facing yet another of those wretched walls. Again the air filled with that sweet aroma shortly afterwards.

I grew tired of waking up in this place. I tried twice more so that I could cover the four directions and they all ended up the same; me waking back up here. I have no recollection of how I got here. The last thing I remember was being in a war and going to sleep in a similar setting. Now it feels as if I am in some sort of box forever reliving a war scene. Trapped forever by myself and never being able to make those changes I wanted. It’s only me, and that sweet aroma from time to time.

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Completed Never-ending Bellow

Okay so before I post the entire story, from beginning to end, I am so glad to be writing again. Even if it is just this little bit that I added to finish up the short story I started over a year ago. When I write I know, for the most part, the beginning and the end of my stories. I then just fill in the middle. I have not checked this for grammatical errors so please excuse this, I will make sure my future posts are free from errors. Anyway here is the story:

The sound of the machine running is on you’ll never forget. The grippers thrusting the steel forward until they collide with the stationary grippers at the front of the feed. The steel sliced by the shear blade, like a hot knife through butter. The grippers returning to their initial spot to repeat the task. Eight hours, sometimes more, I stand listening to this machine bellow. I watch what seems like an endless coil feed through and sheets being chopped into various sizes; forty-eight by ninety-six, sixty by twenty, forty-five by thirty-two, the combinations are endless.

Finally the skid has been filled with the appropriate limit, the table lowered down, rolling down the skid to the end of the line and finally it gets wrapped up and secured with metal bands. In that moment is when you receive your break. The low continuous screeching of the exhaust fans are a welcoming noise. The hum of the forklift motor and continuous beeping when backing up is even music to my ears.

Though it isn’t long enough and another skid is placed upon the table, rolled up and ready to be filled.

That wretched bellowing always returns.

I survived another day with my sanity intact. Though my work isn’t done yet. I return home and gather my things to start the night.

Outside I lock the house and take a stroll around the neighborhood. It’s a quiet place that is within walking distance for anything that one may need. I stop at an alley that is connected to the back of a pizza joint one street over. My mind gets lost almost four years into the past. I shake myself from the memories and make my way to the bus station.

I glance at the surroundings of the station, nothing has changed. It is merely a place for junkies and dealers to either support their habits or feed off the wealth of one’s addiction. I make my way inside and towards the young woman at the desk.

“I need a ticket to Telten.”

I could already hear the conversation just by looking at her bewildered face.

“You do realize Tel….”

I cut her off there so I could speed things along, I don’t have time listening to the same conversation every time.

“Yes one ticket to Telten.” I place the money onto the counter which she took, punched some information into her computer and then handed me the ticket. I nodded, grabbed the ticket and made my way to the bus.

That wretched bellowing returns.

I jolt up, surrounded by darkness. The red glow off to the right side of me lets me know that I’m in my house. I turn to the alarm clock, 4:15, and turn off the alarm. I turn out of bed to place my feet on the ground, stretch my hands over my head, when a sharp pain jolts through my left side. I make my way to the bathroom to see what last night’s adventure has bestowed upon me.

I stare at my side in the mirror, the softball size bruise laying on the surface of the ribs. I prodded it and welcomed the sharp pain as well as the pulsing feeling after removing my two fingers from it. It made me feel good about what I was trying to do so I accepted it and wore it like a badge. Sure nobody would ever see it nor would they know who it was but it felt good what I was doing. I shook myself out of the daydream and started getting ready for work.

Eight hours to go like every day but today is going to be a bit different. I’ll be taking a day to rest from the second job. Not due to the small bruise but since today was the anniversary of my, let’s just call it my alley awakening. I make my way into work, clock in and start the shift like I do every day.

That wretched bellowing returns.

Work is finally over and I make my way towards the clock to punch out. I get into my car and head back home so I can change out of my work clothes.

I jump into the shower to get all the filth of work, both physically and mentally. I can’t believe I work with a bunch of guys who are like drama filled high school kids. I change into a pair of jeans and plain blue shirt. I leave my house, lock the door and walk down the road to the bar that’s close by.

I get to Corner Bar, it is literally named that due to being on the corner, I notice a couple of bikes and cars which is nothing out of the ordinary. This bar was actually a house at one time that was converted to a bar. It was a single floor house that only had two bedrooms, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The front had a porch that ran the length of the building. The only reason I know this was a house is due to the fact that when I moved out here seven years ago it was one that I thought about buying. Five years ago someone bought it and turned it into a bar. The front porch has enough room for about three chairs on each side of the door.  I made my way towards the door and opened it up.

The inside wasn’t much. When you first walk in you had a single pool table to your left. A couple of feet down from the pool table was a juke box on the left wall facing the direct middle of the bar. It was easy for the bartenders that way so they could use the remote to control it. A couple of round tables, about six, were spread out on the floor with about five chairs to each of them.  The bathroom was in the back right corner that the bar connected to the wall. It was a unisex bathroom since it was the only one in here. Though they did install an “occupied sign” that was connected to the light switch so people would know someone was in there. Though I thought it was always a distraction since the sign was bright red. It was my go-to bar though so I just have to deal with seeing it while I sit at the bar when I’m here.

I make my way towards the bar and pick my regular seat that’s closest to the door. The bar tender nods at me and I give a half wave at him. He brings over my regular, Guinness, and I place a couple of dollars on the bar and tell him to keep the rest as a tip. There was a handful of people in here. The two bartenders, a couple playing pool, one other person at the other end of the bar and a couple sitting at a table. I sat there and drank my beer and listened to the room. Between the music and the two televisions they had going not much could be heard unless you were practically talking into someone’s ear. I noticed the couple getting up from the table and what looked like the young lady wasn’t too happy with the gentleman. I couldn’t make out the words but it really wasn’t any of my business. She made her way towards the door and the guy followed her. They exited and the door shut behind them. The next thing you heard was a loud thud. I finished what little bit of beer I had left, ordered another and laid the money down on the bar letting him know to keep the change. I walked towards the door, opened it up, and noticed the two yelling in the parking lot.

I sat down and glanced towards their direction. The woman had a red mark around her neck. The gentleman had his back towards me but neither one noticed I was out there. The guy grabbed her again by the throat, I sat my beer down and sauntered over.

“I wouldn’t do that”

The man tightened his grip, ignored me and continued yelling at the woman. He raised his other hand to hit her. I grabbed his wrist and twisted it behind his back. His grasp on the woman’s throat let go and she darted off cowering behind a car. I shoved him to the ground and opened my mouth but the next thing I know, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what appeared to be a bottle in full swing directed towards my face. The glass shatters and the cold liquid washes over my face. I could feel it running down, but maybe that was my blood, at this point I honestly couldn’t tell.

I wipe my face but the liquid had impaired my vision causing everything to be extremely blurry. The next thing I hear is the guy’s voice, the one that was hitting the woman, tell whoever hit me to finish it. There was a loud bang and what felt like a big green dude punch me in the chest. Another shock ripped through my chest, then a third one. It’s funny I thought the second job would have been the death of me. Guess I just wasn’t put on this world to help bring it justice.

“Is he…?”

“Maybe if we…”

“Has someone called…?”

I lay there and listen to the familiar voices. Then all of a sudden I hear it.

That wretched bellowing returns.

I force my eyes open, blinded for a few seconds by the overhead lights. My eyes adjust to them and I notice everyone standing over me. I was at work, the machine still going, never stopping. The guys help me up and walk me over to take a seat on the steps near the operators stand.

“What happened?”

I looked at everyone after asking, waiting for someone to let me know what happened.

Finally one of the guys stepped forward and filled me in.

“You fainted down by the end of the line, quite possible from the heat. When you fainted your left side hit the end of the table causing you to land on the ground face up but hitting your head fairly hard. We thought you had a concussion or something so we called for an ambulance. Since they still haven’t gotten here we decided to throw some water in your face thinking maybe that would wake you up if you didn’t have a concussion. Then finally someone grabbed the defibrillator and well, we shocked you three times with it. Then you woke up.”

I stared at his face as he told me all of this. I shook myself out of the trance and slowly stood up asked.

“What day is it?”

The one guy that informed me of what happened said.

“It’s Monday the first of February, your first day on the job.”

I stood there, thinking about the events that had played so vividly in my head. It was all a dream, at least something like a dream. Then it hit me, this was a sign. I knew what I was supposed to be doing with my life. This was my second chance and I was going to do it right this time around.

Caught off guard.

It’s a warzone out here and it’s every man for himself. It isn’t a safe place; always scoping out the area for certain dangers. Landmines scattered everywhere to make travel by foot almost impossible. The only individuals that walk these grounds are my companion and me. I won’t give the name of my companion; I made a promise I wouldn’t so we shall call my companion, “X”.

We make our way near a creek, the low sound of rushing water flowing is somewhat soothing even out here. We make sure not to place our foot upon death as we travel. The creek now at our backs, slowly making our way through a tight narrow tree line, X decides that a rest is in order. We stop momentarily, gather our composure and continue forward.

X moving slightly faster now and was making it a bit difficult to survey the area for immediate dangers but I stayed close behind as always. We came to an unforeseen halt. In that split second I was caught off guard.

I felt it underneath my foot. It was in that moment I felt as if I had died. My companion turned, looked at me and grinned as if she had plotted this all along. Though I shall keep my promise even if I’ve been betrayed.

CRAP!

Clinging to the bottom of my shoe and smeared along the side; it’s as if a little part of me died inside. I treated my wound as any other and limped towards safe ground.

CT #2

Alright so I will begin by saying yes I realize this isn’t Sunday. I believe I will be moving this to post “Comic Talk” to Tuesday since the weekend is usually busy with reading, family and other things that keep the day going quickly. Besides Comic Talk Tuesday just has a nice ring to it.

So without further ado here is the real post.

Last week I picked up a couple of comics (Ms. Marvel, Punisher, Black Widow, Superior Carnage, Star-Lord) from my local comic shop. The title though that stuck out the most to me was The Punisher written by Nathan Henry Edmondson.  The artwork was done by Mitch Gerads.

My initial impression of The Punisher when I first saw the cover was that of interest due to the artwork. Then I saw the name of the individual who was writing it. My thoughts transitioned to the new Black Widow series and I immediately put getting the comic (The Punisher) out of my head; or so I thought. Why would I want to read this one when I didn’t particularly care for Black Widow. While I was gathering other comics I continued to think back about getting the Punisher and then thought back to Black Widow. In the end I decided to pick it up. I came to the realization that it wasn’t the writing in Black Widow that I didn’t particularly care for. It was the character and her story that I didn’t really care for. Espionage honestly doesn’t do anything for me. So I got home and read Punisher and within the first couple of pages I was pleased that I didn’t skip this series.

The Punisher as you may or may not know is about a man named Frank Castle. He was a U.S. Marine which he received multidisciplinary military training. He also received training from the U.S. Army as well as Navy. He is not only proficient in basic infantry skills but in special operations as well. He is highly trained to infiltrate heavily guarded structures as well as territories for the purpose of assassination, captures and military intelligence.  He has been through a plethora of other specialized training programs which he has exceeded. So to boil it down in one sentence; he is a one man killing machine with just about anything.

His family witnessed the Costa crime family which dealt with them hanging an informant from a tree. They , the Costa family, sought to dispose of all witnesses and murdered Castle and his family on the spot. However, Castle survived and even though he could identify the shooters the police couldn’t help; due to corruption in the force which protected the Costa family.  Castle then waged a one man war upon crime and used the alias of Punisher.

Yes this story of revenge has been told time and time again; Death Sentence, The Last House on the Left, Machete, Hamlet along with numerous others to make this list a page full. So what makes this new Punisher worth reading. When you first open it until the end of the comic you’ll have felt as if you got kicked in the face by just reading the amount of action in it. Let’s face it that is why one would want to read a Punisher comic after all. This first issue is about Castle bringing a bit of pain to a drug cartel who is moving drugs through Los Angeles. Sure some of the pieces in the comic may have flaws but Edmondson has a good grasp of the character and the flow of everything is swift. Gerads’ artwork is great and in certain panels in which more detail are put into the scenes it is phenomenal.

I am glad that I picked it up and can’t wait for the next issue.

This Saturday I am going to be picking up She-Hulk #1, Superior Spider-Man #27 and All-New X-Factor #3.

Though I will continue to pick up Black Widow for two more issues and if I’m still not impressed after five of them then I will stop collecting her current title.

CT #1

Once a week, most likely on Sunday, I will post “Comic Talk” which is just what it sounds.  I will talk about one of the comics I have read during the week as well as what I am looking forward to the next week. Though I will not include any spoilers in my pieces.

I have decided to do this for the simple fact that I enjoy talking about my comics. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads what I write. I don’t do it for fame, fortune or glory. I do it for myself and if some people happen to read it and enjoy it then I’m fine with that.

So with that said let’s start this off with talking about “Avengers Arena”. I must say that I have enjoyed this series. Sixteen trapped on an isolated island in a fight to do the death where only one will walk out alive. This is basically the same thing as “Hunger Games” or “Battle Royal” only with Superheroes. The characters that were abducted for this game are Anachronism, Apex, Bloodstone, Cammi, Chase, Darkhawk, Death Locket, Hazmat, Juston Seyfert, Kid Briton, Mettle, Nara, Nico Minoru, Red Raven, Reptil and X-23.

I am not going to go into each character and their powers due to the fact that the series does a great job talking about each one that is new to the marvel universe. Though I will give the information about the characters I personally found interesting.

Anachronism, Aiden, makes his first appearance in this series. He has inherited the body of an immortal Celtic warlord and wields an axe of monstrous size. He has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability and has a healing factor. The downside of having this body is he shares half his mind with the previous inhabitant who continuously  craves violence.

Bloodstone, Cullen Bloodstone, makes his first appearance in this series as well. He possesses superhuman strength and durability with greater than average stamina, agility and reflexes. This is all due to the fact that he wears the Bloodstone ring which also keeps him from a more sinister fate.

Hazmat, Jennifer Takeda, made her first appearance in “Avengers Academy #1” back in 2010. She can produce deadly substances from her body but she herself is immune. She can create different forms of blasts that deal great harm to anyone she targets. Due to the side effect of her power she must wear a hazmat suit to prevent exposure for others.

Reptil, Humberto Lopez, made his first appearance in “Avengers: The Initiative” back in 2009. His power come from an amulet that has become embedded in his chest. He can take on the form and abilities of different dinosaurs simply by thinking about it. While in the dinosaur form he has a healing factor of some degree.

I picked this series up mainly due to the fact that while I was looking through a preview of upcoming series I encountered “Avengers Undercover”. I was talking to one of the guys at my local comic shop and he suggested it to me. He also let me know that “Avengers Undercover” is placed after “Avengers Arena”. I can’t say anymore about “Avengers Undercover” due to the fact that I promised not to give spoilers but I will say I can’t wait to read the first issue and see what happens to some familiar faces.

This Saturday I will be going to the comic shop, like every Saturday, to pick up some new issues. Ms. Marvel #1, Superior Carnage #1, Black Widow #3, Swamp Thing #28 and since the comic book shop sold out of it last week Inhumanity #2. Black Widow to me so far hasn’t been that great but I am willing to pick up a few more in hopes that it is taking its time to really get going.

Never-ending Bellow (part 2)

I stare at my side in the mirror, the softball size bruise laying on the surface of the ribs. I prodded it and welcomed the sharp pain as well as the pulsing feeling after removing my two fingers from it. It made me feel good about what I was trying to do so I accepted it and wore it like a badge. Sure nobody would ever see it nor would they know who it was but it felt good what I was doing. I shook myself out of the daydream and started getting ready for work.

Eight hours to go like every day but today is going to be a bit different. I’ll be taking a day to rest from the second job. Not due to the small bruise but since today was the anniversary of my, let’s just call it my alley awakening. I make my way into work, clock in and start the shift like I do every day.

That wretched bellowing returns.

Work is finally over and I make my way towards the clock to punch out. I get into my car and head back home so I can change out of my work clothes.

I jump into the shower to get all the filth of work, both physically and mentally. I can’t believe I work with a bunch of guys who are like drama filled high school kids. I change into a pair of jeans and plain blue shirt. I leave my house, lock the door and walk down the road to the bar that’s close by.

I get to Corner Bar, it is literally named that due to being on the corner, I notice a couple of bikes and cars which is nothing out of the ordinary. This bar was actually a house at one time that was converted to a bar. It was a single floor house that only had two bedrooms, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The front had a porch that ran the length of the building. The only reason I know this was a house is due to the fact that when I moved out here seven years ago it was one that I thought about buying. Five years ago someone bought it and turned it into a bar. The front porch has enough room for about three chairs on each side of the door.  I made my way towards the door and opened it up.

The inside wasn’t much. When you first walk in you had a single pool table to your left. A couple of feet down from the pool table was a juke box on the left wall facing the direct middle of the bar. It was easy for the bartenders that way so they could use the remote to control it. A couple of round tables, about six, were spread out on the floor with about five chairs to each of them.  The bathroom was in the back right corner that the bar connected to the wall. It was a unisex bathroom since it was the only one in here. Though they did install an “occupied sign” that was connected to the light switch so people would know someone was in there. Though I thought it was always a distraction since the sign was bright red. It was my bar though so I just have to deal with seeing it while I sit at the bar when I’m here.

I make my way towards the bar and pick my regular seat that’s closest to the door. The bar tenders nods at me and I give a half wave at him. He brings over my regular, Guinness, and I place a couple of dollars on the bar and tell him to keep the rest as a tip. There was a handful of people in here. The two bartenders, a couple playing pool, one other person at the other end of the bar and a couple sitting at a table. I sat there and drank my beer and listened to the room. Between the music and the two televisions they had going not much could be heard unless you were practically talking into someone’s ear. I noticed the couple getting up from the table and what looked like the young lady wasn’t too happy with the gentleman. I couldn’t make out the words but it really wasn’t any of my business. She made her way towards the door and the guy followed her. The exited and the door shut behind them. The next thing you heard was a loud thud. I finished what little bit of beer I had left, ordered another and laid the money down on the bar letting him know to keep the change. I walked towards the door, opened it up, and noticed the two yelling in the parking lot.

I sat down and glanced towards their direction. The woman had a red mark around her neck. The gentleman had his back towards me but neither one noticed I was out there. The guy grabbed her again by the throat, I sat my beer down and sauntered over.

“I wouldn’t do that”

The man tightened his grip, ignored me, and continued yelling at the woman. He raised his other hand to hit her. I grabbed his wrist and twisted it behind his back. His grasp on the woman’s throat let go and she darted off cowering behind a car. I shoved him to the ground and opened my mouth but the next thing I know, out of the corner of my eye, I can see what appeared to be a bottle full swing directed towards my face. The glass shatters and the cold liquid washes over my face. I could feel it running down, but maybe that was my blood, at this point I honestly couldn’t tell.

Darkness consumed me

The war between console and PC gaming has gone on for as long as I could remember. When I was younger my parents won a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and I loved (and I still have it in my closet) playing Mega Man, Super Mario Brothers and many other games on it. Once the Super Nintendo came out we (more like my dad) bought it and hours upon hours were spent playing glorious titles that were released for it. I really didn’t look at the computer world for many reasons when I was younger but the console games were there for me. I was so naive back then.

When I got into high school is when I had an epiphany. My eyes were shown the darkness after so many years of being in the light. It was amazing taking that first step into the unknown. After I had save up money from my job I decided to research and build my own computer. After receiving all the components for it (thanks to newegg) I was so nervous about messing something up. It didn’t stop me from building it and after several hours of being extremely careful I put it together, uploaded everything and turned it on. I had no idea of what I was in for; it blew me away.

Ever since I was sixteen and put together my first computer I realized what the consoles will never truly give to someone; choice. The graphics maxed out on a game, mods for games, everything about gaming was changed when I made the switch. Though not only are the games customizable but everything on a computer is as well – Well for the most part anyway. Computer building allows you to create something that is perfect for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ultimate gaming machine or something just needing to get work done.

Consoles are built with one major object in mind, gaming. Sure now the new consoles have streaming as well as the ability to internet access but PCs have had that capability.

I use my computer to draw, write, play games, connect with people all around the world, and much more. The consoles are very limiting on what is possible at one time.

So what’s this post all about one might be thinking. It’s just a long winded way of saying console gaming is over and PC… Well all I can say is welcome to the PC master race.