by Max Barry

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Region: The East Pacific

Lark listens to the slow ruuuuumble of the tank as it moves forward. Usually, he would be waving hello to startled citizens, or keeping watch for any enemies. Which is why he always enjoyed tank rides. The feeling of power, of glory, of strength always gave him such a huge kick to which nothing else could compare.

However, right now, Lark would rather be at home. Sipping a cup of coffee and looking at the daily news. Not the scene he looks upon now.

It has yet to be a week, but the city is already in ruins. As the tank moves through the streets, Jack can see a few dead bodies hidden in allies. Looking up at the sky reveals to him a trailing line of smoke; evidence of what used to be large fires. Whatever happened here, it was devastating on the country.

Lark had heard of the reports in the mission briefing. He still couldn't actually believe it. Osterreich und Ungarn collapsing? It seemed impossible, yet he looks upon the destruction of an innocent city, akin to a war torn battlefield.

As the tank crests over a broken piece of road, Lark sees an OU flag covered with burn holes and marks, lying on the ground. It covers some dead bodies- many of which are wearing suits.
He can't help as his face cringes at the grisly sight. He was a soldier, yes, but no soldier he knows would ever get used to the sight of dead innocents.

As he continues to look around, his ears pick up a slight shuffling noise from one of the buildings in their path. As the noise gets louder, Jack looks around at the surrounding construction, wondering where it was coming from. What It is coming from.

Then he hears a loud SNAP, as a bullet pings right next to his head. Lark yelps and jumps down into the tank cabin, throwing the hatchet down and locking it quickly, even as another bullet pings.


He sits and huffs. Whatever he was expecting to get from his mission, it was not a gunshot wound.