Bathsheba by Toys de Guzman

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There was a note for him on his bedside table. A message from his captain wishing him a quick recovery. He didn't know how long the note lay there but he was glad of his superior's concern for him. They had been through many campaigns together, and if he had a friend, his captain would be it.

A postscript was written underneath stating that he was to bring his equipment and report to the grounds. The grounds...

What did the world look like again? he asked himself.

Peering from the solitary window in his chambers, he saw the training grounds and his mouth opened in awe. What used to be a barren patch of marshland was now a paradise of greenery. He must've been in bed longer than he thought.

He could already feel the blades of grass bend beneath his weight as he lay there on nature's bed, staring at the vastness of the skies. Not the overcast and smoke-plagued heavens in his nightmares but an azure wonder made by the gods.

Morgan laughed. He couldn't quite believe that he was suddenly overcome with an appreciation for the little things. He felt like a child again.

But there was time for frolicking when the war ended.

Yes, deep inside, he still felt the hum of war. He felt its gears turning to bring about change and prosperity. It didn't matter how long he slept, the war would rage on. And he would be there again to pave the way for the realization of his cause.

As he went to the armory to gather his accouterments, a sudden uneasiness came over him. He kept looking behind his shoulder. He shrugged the paranoia away. War had that effect on people. Even on veterans such as himself.

There was no one at the window when he arrived so he decided to slip in and just sign the paperwork later. No harm in that. He needed to be in duty, and he knew his captain would back him up.

He turned the wheel of the metal door and the steamy sigh of its machinery met him as the lock was disabled. He made a beeline for his group's equipment lockers, passing all sorts of weapons and gadgetries as he did. They were located at the farthest room in the facility, and were larger than the rest of the normal soldiers' storage bins.

A smile crept on his lips. That was the luxury of being part of the elite group...

His smile faded. What was his team's name?

When he failed to coax the name from memory, he merely shrugged, irritated as he continued to pry his locker open. The squeak of its metal hinges gave out an ominous feeling that made him forget his annoyance. He shuddered at the uncomfortable feeling of dread it wrought in him. And as he stared at his equipment, he understood why.

Icy blue flames came to his mind at once. He backed away from the armor that stood inside his locker, tumbling over some of the weapon racks behind him.

"It can't be."

He uttered the words like a litany. Fervent and solemn, like a prayer that would shield him from the truth. And yes, from the nightmares too.

Then he remembered.

The Baphomet. That was his group's name. He was the demon in his nightmares, the butcher of the Races.

As if to punctuate the horror, the goggles of the armor's face mask glowed with an inner fire.

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