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 I Have Seen War, World War 2 AU - John Murphy
Bellamy Blake
 Posted: Jul 31 2017, 10:45 AM
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bellamy
I Have Seen War
Hürtgen Forest, October 28th, 1944

They called it the “Black Forest” for a reason. It was not just some word that they came up with because it sounded neat. They called it Schwarzwald in their own language, which sounded like just about every other German word to his ears. Or was this even the Black Forest? He had heard it called “Hürtgen” but he didn’t know if that was the same thing. All of the trees looked like each other, and they had been moved around so much…

…until they got here. United States Sergeant Bellamy Blake had marched with his men, on orders of their Captain, and brought them out to this unforgiving place. Winter came early to Germany, an. He didn’t know if it was always that way, or if it was just their luck, but they barely had the equipment to battle against the autumn weather. Winters in Germany had a bite to them that even their thickest wools did not prepare them for… not that they had enough wool to go around…

It was hard not to feel like the forgotten men of the war. They were technically on the Western Front, but the demarcation lines had spread out far to the east in Russia, and far to the west in France and England. These men were here because they were dropped into the middle of the wilderness. They were here because the American Generals did not like the idea of giving up even a crumb of their homeland for the Germans to reclaim. But they were far from the priority. Even the mail had stopped getting through…

Bellamy was unconsciously aware of the weight in the pocket near his chest. It was the most recent letter he had gotten from home, one that had not made it into the tin in his sack. It was a bit of a habit now. He kept the most recent of letters with him, closest to him. He guessed it was out of some superstition… some belief that if he kept the literal momentous of home close to his heart, it was like home wasn’t too far away. Of course, home consisted of only one person who sent him letters.

Octavia’s writing was never very good, and the worn nature of the letters by the time they got to him made them hard to read. Deciphering them was like unlocking some ancient code that only the two of them would understand. She would reach out to him, call him stupid for leaving, and tell him how much she loved him… in her own sisterly way. He knew she only called him stupid because she was scared for him, and in the letters he managed to write back to her, he tried to reassure her. The last letter he got, though, was from back in September… it was folded up in his pocket next to his return letter, which was just as world worn. No incoming mail meant no outgoing mail, which meant both sides of the correspondence had gone dead.

He hated the isolation of being out in Hürtgen, but the Hotel at least made it better. That was what the men called it anyway: The Hürtgen Hotel. In reality, it was a house in the middle of the woods that got abandoned by the family that lived there once the American forces had pressed in. For two months, they had not been able to move beyond this point, so they just made the abandoned house into their base, and their “home.” Men would loiter around the porch the same way they might have back home. Not being in full uniform was common, since clean laundry was not regularly available. They would do pushup and sit ups and light jogging around the Hotel to keep themselves active, and would play poker from a worn deck of cards, using pebbles and sticks to bet. Bellamy himself wasn’t much of a gambler, but there was little else to do out in the wilderness between skirmishes.

No word from the brass yet about the next time they would move, but there had been talk of a scouting excursion being planned for later in the evening. Bellamy was considering signing up, if only to break up the monotony. It was a stupid reason to go, but it was a good as reason as any at the same time.

He made his way around the front of the Hotel to find Murphy. The Corporal and him had come up through training together, and though Murphy was as surly as they came, he and Bellamy had formed a comradery that only could be forged in the trenches. All truth being told, Bellamy was no so sure if the two of them would have ever become friends if not for the war and the bond that was forged from it. It was one of the things about this march that he didn’t regret.

He came around the corner to find him throwing his deck of cards, one card at a time, into his helmet from about three feet away. He was bored, and no one else had come by to relieve him of, and Blake could tell. Murphy had a lazy cat nature about him that was almost relaxing. Without a word, Bellamy crossed over to the porch and sat down next to his friend.

[-] words: 906 {-} tag: John Murphy [-]
[-] notes: this ended up being longer than planned! Thanks for the input on what Murphy would be up to. I am kinda excited about this one! Figured we could go a few rounds and then bring in the lady? [-]
THANKS PANDEMIC!


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John Murphy
 Posted: Aug 2 2017, 12:06 PM
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War is Hell, they say…

At least it is for anyone who got to see it. For Murphy, war had just been a never ending assembly line of long marches with the occasional bullet being thrown at him. He supposed he should be grateful. So far, he hadn’t been shot, and he hadn’t been locked up. He hadn’t really seen any major incidents; not compared to the kind of things that were making it in the papers back home. Hell, they were not even making it into the papers here. He didn’t speak a single word of German, but just looking at the headlines as they marched through towns and hamlets, he could see just what their contribution to the war effort was.

Their captain tried to tell them it was propaganda, like he gave a shit about what the Germans thought of him. He did not even want to be here. The fact that anyone at all signed up for this as a volunteer blew his mind. (Maybe he shouldn’t use turns of phrases like that when he was in an active war zone.) He, like many other men in the Uncle Sam’s Army, were conscripted. Unlike them, though, Murphy was not very happy about it. He went for his physical, but was unfortunately found to be red-blooded American enough to be shipped off to basic. Here they were rejecting hundreds of kids who actually wanted to go to war because they had “flat feet,” but Mr. John Murphy had to make peace with it. Why couldn’t he just pass over his place in line to someone else?

Then there was Blake. He was one of those idiots that volunteered, and apparently the lines at his local recruitment center were nothing like the ones in New York City. He was moved right to the front of the line, and here they were. Murphy wasn’t a reluctant soldier, but he didn’t go above and beyond is orders. He was just looking to do his time and get out. Not Blake, though. Bellamy did not settle for average.

Speak of the Devil, and he shall appear. As if summoned by the thought of him, Bellamy Blake came around the corner of the Hotel. Murphy had found his usual perch about an hour ago. People had come and gone. He had just wrapped up a boring game of poker (everything was boring out here) with some of the other men who had gone off to probably find something just as boring to do. He had a pocket full of pebbles for his troubles. He didn’t move his legs from where he stretched out, trusting that Blake was capable of stepping over them if he wanted to get by.

It turned out that Bellamy didn’t have better things to do that morning, and sat himself next to Murphy. The worn pair of cards rubbed against his calloused fingers as he tossed card after card towards his helmet. He didn’t care if they made it in. Murphy was just trying to fill the stretched of time between poker games and mess meals and sleep. When they had first gotten to this “camp” and he learned what kind of deployment it was going to be, he had tried to nap away the long hours, and was immediately corrected with trench duty by his captain.

The moment stretched on between them, but Murphy knew why he was there. “You’re going tonight, aren’t you?” He had heard as much as the rest of them had. The captain was looking to deploy a recon mission that night. Maybe the enemy lines had moved. Maybe they weren’t even out there anymore and they were wasting their time. Maybe the weeks of silence meant that something bigger was coming. It made their captain nervous, so he asked for volunteers to go in past the line and see what they could see. He knew Bellamy would volunteer, just as much as Bellamy probably knew Murphy would volunteer to escape the boredom.

He didn’t say anything for a bit, flipping more cards into the helmet. Finally, almost lazily just to prove how much of a hero he wasn’t being just because he was going for a little night time stroll, he said, “Yeah. I’m coming, too.”



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Bellamy Blake
 Posted: Aug 4 2017, 11:38 AM
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bellamy
I Have Seen War
Hürtgen Forest, October 28th, 1944

There was something about Murphy that reminded Bellamy of an animal. What animal that was changed every other second. Some days, he was like a house cat, lazy and curled up in the sun, not really caring about the world around him. Other times, he was like a snake, all coiled up and ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Today, he was like a panther. Sure, he was reclined and relaxed, but there was something dangerous and mildly volatile about him. He was just happy that Murphy was in a decently calm mood right now.

This had become their way. They would sit down, and start a conversation in the middle. No “hello” or “how are you?” Not anymore. They had been in the field long enough to get past the salutations of the everyday life. Neither of them was sick or injured, the answer to “how are you?” would be the same as it was every other day. There was a status quo among the unit, and it was one that resembled the surface of a lake. There were no ripples. Not yet, but no one could say what lay in the brackish water.

Bellamy knew he didn’t need to say anything to Murphy’s question. Either Bellamy had always been that predictable, or they had been around each other long enough for Murphy to just know how Bellamy would act. They really were an odd couple, when he thought about it. A reluctant conscript and a willingly volunteer, but war made for strange bedfellows. If there was something he could be grateful about the military for, it was that it had forged a friendship between two men that otherwise would have never met. Bellamy did not know what would come when the war was over, but for now, Murphy was his closest friend in the world.

He at least nodded when Murphy asked him if he was going out on the night’s mission. It seemed polite. For a moment, he thought he misjudged the silence between them, and maybe Murphy was actually waiting for an answer, when the other man spoke up. Bellamy nodded. “It’ll be good to have you out there.” And he was being honest. He trusted Murphy; it wasn’t more or less than the other men in the unit, but it was in a different way. Bellamy saw how Murphy handled pressure in training, and during the few skirmishes they had encountered. Many other men panicked, but not John Murphy.

He shifted in his spot, moving closer to the ever growing pile of cards, and started to collect them, putting them all in the right direction. It was as good a shuffle job as anything else was going to be. Once the cards were fully in his hands, he started to deal out a double hand. They didn’t ever bet when it was just the two of them. He turned over a card from the middle of the desk, and showed it to Murphy. The fives of spades. Fives were wild. He placed the card back in the deck and shuffled.

“Need a light?” Murphy was a smoker. He never knew what his ration of cigarettes might look like. Every time Bellamy thought Murphy was on his last, he would pull another out of nowhere. But he rarely had matches. Maybe that was what made their friendship work: One of them was an accomplice to the others bad habits.

[-] words: 574 {-} tag: John Murphy [-]
[-] notes: This has been kind of fascinating... [-]
THANKS PANDEMIC!

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John Murphy
 Posted: Aug 7 2017, 12:05 PM
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Murphy kept hocking the cards into his helmet, and Bellamy just kept picking them up. He suppressed a grin when he purposefully slowed down just to keep Blake waiting a bit longer. He didn’t say anything to Bellamy’s comment about how good it would be to have him out there. He made some kind of non-committal sound of affirmation in the back of his throat, but he was clearly not making a big deal about it. He was bored. It was an way to get some action in his life. He decided to say something after all. “You would be lost without me.”

He shifted and settled against the wall of the “Hotel” as Bellamy dealt the cards, nodding more with his eyes than his head when he saw what came up as “Wild.” He remembered something from back home, one of those Polish or Russian or something ladies who lived in his neighborhood. She said she used to read cards and stuff back in her home country, but she had to leave them behind when her family left. Now, all she had were playing cards, but she somehow would read fortunes using those. He thought it was a load of shit, but he remembered each card was supposed to have a meaning. He couldn’t help but wonder what the card Bellamy showed him meant.

He considered Blake’s question for a moment before shrugging nonchalantly. “Nope. Smokes are for winners. I might steal your matches when we get back, though.” Because they were coming back. He knew Bellamy would want to correct him with an “if we come back,” but Murphy knew they were. Everything was too quiet for them to find anything out there. Either the Germans packed up and left, or they were just as bored as the Americans were. There was no great scheme like their captain thought. There was nothing by monotony. Not everyone was coming out of this war with some grand story.

“Besides, I only have two left.” It had been forever since they got a rations run. It wasn’t like cigarettes came with the rations, but care packages did. Murphy didn’t have anyone to send him packages or letters, but it meant that other men would have stuff to trade, and Murphy always found a way to get himself a pack of cigarettes by the end of the day come mail call. “Need to save them for something special.”

He picked up the worn playing cards and got to playing. No ante. No bets. Just cards before two guys. He supposed he could call it cards between two friends.

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Bellamy Blake
 Posted: Aug 9 2017, 11:12 AM
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bellamy
I Have Seen War
And just like that, the conversation between the two of them was done and they settled into a comfortable silence, breaking it only when the words they needed to speak came to the deck of cards between them. For the most part, people left them to their game, only coming to talk about what the mission tonight would mean. Some people were not too keen on volunteering, uncertain of what the dark German forests would hold. Others just did not see any reason for the mission in the first place, and suspected it was a way to fill time and kill restlessness. Whatever the realty, Bellamy expressed his desire to still go, and no one’s opinions seemed to change.

The time slowly ticked by, with only the setting sun to mark the time. Bellamy supposed he should be grateful that winter was coming, not for the chill that would bite in the air, but because night came sooner. Fires were started and mess was cooked. It was trench food, pure and simple, with limited flavor options by way of dried meats and canned veggies. They would not starve, and the clock ticked down to the end of another day at war. The men ate in silence, and in silence they gathered near their captain when all was done.

Volunteers were given simple instructions. The rough borders of the American troops stretched to approximately 5 miles to the east. The walk would take two, maybe three hours through the dense forest. By then, night should completely fall, and offer plenty of cover for the men moving in. There was also a good chance that the Germans would light fires for themselves, and the darker it was, the better they could find those. Once they hit the enemy line, though, they did not know what to expect. The Germans could have camp set up anywhere past that line, if they were even there at all. That was the point, though; they were there to gather information.

Their captain left one of Bellamy’s fellow sergeants in charge of the men left at the Hotel. He wanted to lead the mission personally, and Blake let him do it. It turned out Bellamy was the highest ranking volunteer in the unit after the captain, and Bellamy did not feel like leading this mission personally. He gave one last nod to Murphy before they all set out into the forest, walking in a single line. Sure enough, two and a half hours went by in mind numbing silence.

This was the part that Bellamy hated. Even though he was with five other men, it was hard to not feel like an isolated wanderer. The woods were deep, and the darker it got the harder it was to see even his fellow men around him. He knew they were there because he could faintly hear them. But it was not until the captain briefly whistled a command to halt and fan out that Bellamy knew they had reached the line…

[-] words: 503{-} tag: John Murphy [-]
[-] notes: You know what to do [-]
THANKS PANDEMIC!

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John Murphy
 Posted: Aug 16 2017, 10:20 AM
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There was a quiet place in Murphy’s mind that he went to when they were on a long walk like this. It was not like they were on a march; those were different. Walking for a few hours, though, with very little chance in the scenery could have an impact on the mind. He saw people go completely crazy from it, so John Murphy did what he always did: he protected himself. Finding that place where memories lived, he filled the quiet air around him with the sounds of New York City: the imaginary sounds of people and traffic and life. He remembered it like a shield from the encroaching dark and sounds of a foreign forest. He didn’t have the memories of friends or family waiting for him back home. All he had was that city, and the life he would be returning to once this was all over.

Their pace slowed when they got to the German line, and only then did Murphy know it was time to pay attention. He followed orders when they were told to spread out. Fanning out meant that they could cover more ground, and that it was be harder to spot them in the dark. He didn’t look to anyone when their orders came down to spread out, but he did look to Bellamy, as if to show him just how apathetic he felt about those whole thing. It was better than sitting back at the Hotel, though, and wait for something to happen to them. Moving away from the safety of his fellow men, almost rolling his eyes in annoyance, he set off by himself into the darkness.

He had found that his eyes had only just barely adjusted to the dark. Some people had eagle vision no matter what time of day. Murphy was not so lucky. He could barely see the ground in front of him, much less the other men in the unit. The rule of thumbs was that he was never to wander too far left or right so that he could not see the men walking near him. Everyone was at least 30 feet from each other when they walked this way. Tactics, he guessed? It meant that men kept coming in and out of his peripheral vision, and he found himself focusing on them more than on the ground in front of him. There was something that did not feel right about this.

A shout came from somewhere down the line. Murphy turned his head instinctively, as if that alone was all he needed to see through the darkness and into the trees. When recounting the events of that night later, Murphy would admit to that shout being the last thing he remembered; the shout, and the snare against his ankle.

A tripwire.

He would not remember the bright flash of fire that pierced through his vision. With his eyes so adjusted to the night, he was blinded anyway. He wouldn’t remember (at least, not in his waking hours) the lancing pain that ripped through his torso. He was screaming. He would vaguely remember that. And there was blood. It was his, wasn’t it? Maybe, at some point, there were hands on him? He was being dragged? He didn’t remember when the first time he passed out was.

For a moment, he could see the night’s sky. Or was that a hallucination? Bursts of light and color crossed over his vision, coming and going, before it was all just black and bleak, and he was fading away.


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Bellamy Blake
 Posted: Aug 21 2017, 05:00 PM
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bellamy
I Have Seen War
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WARNING: TRIGGER: WAR INFLICTED INJURIES

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Where Murphy was doomed to forget most of the events of the night… Bellamy was doomed to remember.

Both of them would remember the long task of hiking through the unfamiliar forest. It wasn’t exactly awe inspiring, and when they would talk about it later, Bellamy would discover that his story and Murphy’s did not really differ much along the way. The only difference was that it was not Bellamy who knocked into the trip wire, so he was a way away from point zero of the blast when it came. It still blinded him the way it did most of his unit, though, as the tall fire ripped through the night. The shrapnel from a nearby tree stretched out and pierced one of his unit mate through the chest, before his eyes couldn’t take it anymore and he had to squint them shut.

The sound that snapped him back to reality was the distinct sound of a bullet whizzing by his head. He forced his eyes open, playing against every instinct that he had, and fell to the ground. His training took over. He pressed himself against the ground, trying to making himself as flat as possible, making himself a smaller target. Some of the other men he could see finally doing the same thing. Others… he couldn’t see at all.

Bellamy didn’t know what to call this. An ambush? A trap? Or just well laid on defenses? At least they would have something to report back to the captain. He hoped he was happy… There was already one casualty on the field…

Murphy…

At this point, the objective of the mission had changed as far as Blake was concerned. It was no longer about information gathering. Frankly, he had all the information he could handle. Now, it was about getting out. The only person he knew the location of in all this chaos, though, was Murphy. He didn’t know his status… but he knew he was probably in trouble. So, after righting himself and placing himself in the last known direction, where the triggered bomb fire still burned away at the tree, Bellamy started to crawl.

He could hear shouts and yelling, coming out in English and what he assumed to be German… though, the Germans were keeping their cool a lot more collected than any of the American voices. Blake himself didn’t say anything, only the occasional grunt of effort muffling in his ears. The explosion had not been close enough to deafen him, but the voice of the fire only grew louder the closer he got to it, drowning out other sounds.

He forced himself to remain moving, but every time he thought he was there, he was still far away. It was only when he happened upon a black pile of rubble that he realized he had found his friend. The blast had thrown him back some ten feet or so. At one point, a part of his uniform must have caught fire, because parts of it were charred and black. Murphy would be happy to know, Bellamy could not help but think, that his face was almost completely unharmed by the explosion. The only things that Blake could see were the dirt and soot seamed against his friend’s features. Below the neck, though, was another story.

Bellamy had been told once that, often, wounds looked 100x worse than they actually were. Blake hoped so… because there was an awful lot of blood, and seeing 100x less of it would be a blessing. The entire area just under the chest and down to the knees as a shit show of red. He steeled his jaw against the sight of it, making himself looking, forcing himself to not look away. Was he breathing? Was Murphy still breathing?

Maybe it was an illusion of wishful thinking, but as he stared at him, he could see Murphy’s chest rise… … … than fall. That was all Bellamy needed. There was no need to check for a pulse, and no need to slow down.

He had not brought an overnight pack. There had been no need for it on such a short mission. The plan had always been to go back to the Hotel afterwards. Bellamy had no medical supplies with him, and he saw no sign of any medic. So, he had to make due. He unclipped his harness, and proceeded to take off the outer shirt of his uniform. A bullet whizzed by his head, and for a moment he thought he had narrowly dodged a stray shot… until it happened again. In sitting up to remove his shirt… in being so close to the fire of the explosion, the only source of light on the field… Bellamy had given away their position.

He needed to move, but move as little as possible. He managed, though, to take the shirt and tie it tightly around Murphy’s gut. He had no time to assess the wound, or see how back it was, or whatever exactly was hurt. All he could do was tie the shirt tightly, and pray. And then, get him out of there. No matter what, they were behind enemy lines. If Murphy dropped here, he would not be taken in by an American medic team. It would be the Germans who found him… and what they did with him after that…

Bellamy waited for a break in the burst fire before he made a break for it. In one motion (one that twisted his back painfully) he managed to lift Murphy partially onto his shoulder, turn, and make a break for the line. It would be miles away from them, but he needed to get away from the field. Even if he got a half mile away from the fight, he could slow down, but for now, he needed to move fast. Murphy’s dead (oh, please do not be dead) weight slumped his shoulders. He was off balance. He was slow. But he was moving.

Bellamy didn’t know where he was, or how far from the line he was, when the sun started to come up. That was the only thing that made him stop, really. He told himself he wanted to find his bearings, to see if he could get a landmark, but deep down he knew it was because he did not have much left in him. If he could breath, for just a moment though, he could-

The pain lanced through his ribs, a rush of stabbing, and ripping, and bursting pain all at once. The gunshot registered in his ears too late, the sound echoing off the high trees. He almost didn’t know it had happened, until he heard his body reflexively scream, and felt his knees buckle. Him and Murphy were down on the ground, And Bellamy had his service arm in his hands. He stopped, the pain cutting through his mind, his hands only on his gun as a reflex of his training. No… no, not now… they were close… they had to be…

He heard movement in the brush beside him, and his instincts, the desire to live, the desire of Murphy to live, flared. He was sitting up, against all instincts to stay down, and lowering his weapon. The second gunshot pierced through the forest. He saw the German soldier drop, but even then he didn’t know if he should believe it. Even after he counted to 30…

He took a deep breath to relax his nerves, and felt an uncomfortable pressure in his side, his breath coming in as a wet wheeze. He looked down, his body trying to inhale again, and watched as he breathed through the hole in his chest.

Mercifully, that was when the darkness took him… a quarter a mile away from the line… on the American side.

[-] words: 1306{-} tag: John Murphy [-]
[-] notes: and maybe a certain lady, soon? [-]
THANKS PANDEMIC!

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Clarke Griffin
 Posted: Dec 13 2017, 04:00 AM
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rebels and mutineers
There was a certain calm that overcame their camp that always unnerved her. It was the quiet before a storm; the wait before a new round of wounded and the panicked rush of their team. To be honest, she wasn’t sure the blood would ever wash out of her skin. But she needed to do this, her guilt propelled her forward and her frustration and anger at her once family and friends drove her here. There were so many reasons that she defected to the Americans. When Wells was murdered, when Finn willingly took to arms and slaughtered innocents and children, when her mother sold out her father for disagreeing with the criminally deranged leader of their country. She could still remember the panicked look in her father’s eyes when those monsters came for him. They were more wolf than man with their black pelts and cold iron munitions. No one knew she held her father’s secrets or had ferried them to his contacts on the allied forces. No one knew she was a traitor too. It’s why she was allowed to live, by hiding in plain sight while her mother ran around as a creature Clarke couldn’t recognize. Was her Father even cold in the ground before his wife took to an officer’s bed?

It wasn’t treason that caught their eye as far as she was concerned. Not her traitor father, not her “undesirable” friend. Not even her admonishing of a now zealot to the cause. It was Lexa that damned her. It was gender crimes that brought the eye of a vigilant hauptmann her way. She could still remember the look in her love’s eyes as a bullet tore through her stomach. She could still recall how her blood cooled on her hands and face as she desperately struggled to get to her. The brunette was a failure of genetics twice over, oh but Clarke… she held potential in her genes. Blonde. Pretty. Intelligent. She just needed reeducation…

The memories of her time before her escape singed through the nurse’s mind as she tried to focus on the present. She tried to fixate on the scent of sickness that clung to her uniform, the bite at the back of her heels beneath her stockings of long since opened and reopened blisters. The dry patches of skin that caught on the fibers of any cloth she touched and the cool glass that she cradled between her palms on what little accounted for a break she had. The clear liquid at the bottom was an old companion, and Clarke didn’t hesitate before finishing the glass with not even a wince. She needed to be numb; she couldn’t remember the last time she slept, even longer since the last time nightmares ravaged her sanity. So she drank in silence and worked twice as hard at triple the workload for a fraction of the credit.

She supposed she deserved it. After all, she was a “Kraut”.

It was the nicest of words she had slung at her from one of the languages she learned in her youth. It didn’t matter that she was educated or that she had been horrifically brutalized at the hands of the Nazis. She was born a German citizen and that made her a monster to them all. At least the lead doctor, Eric Jackson, was kind. If it wasn’t for him she doubted she would be trusted anywhere but in a cell. She had asylum. She had forsaken her country and it’s current insanity. But only Jackson acted as if that mattered. So when the good doctor gave her something to drink she had responded with as much of a smile as she had inside her anymore. He deserved the attempt, even if she was a broken thing. He deserved her trying.

It had been a long night. There was a pair of soldiers that were ambushed not far from their field hospital. It had been hours of surgery for both of them, one shrapnel related gut injury and the other a sucking chest gun shot wound. Jackson needed her to assist from the beginning and halfway through repairing the intestines of the smaller man, Clarke had to take over as lead. They were all exhausted but the two men needed them. She wasn’t going to fail anyone else again. So after a few quiet words with the half awake medic, Clarke nodded and rose up onto her heels. Jackson was right; she should check on the patients and then if they seemed stable get some rest after her shift. They needed prolonged care and it was only a matter of time before some new soldier boys ripped to shreds by her once countrymen needed her to put them back together again.

They didn’t have much for rations, and MREs wouldn’t be the best thing for her patients so Clarke sacrificed her own dinner to the cause. It wasn’t much, just some broth in a metal thermos and a few pieces of salted meat and bread. But it could be split between the pair should they awaken anytime soon. Quietly she slipped out of the social tent and into the medical tent like a whisper. Smoothing the edges of her skirts, ‘beauty is duty’ was a concept drilled into her by her American hosts, Clarke made her way over to the two cots that held both men. Checking the glass IV bottles and checking on their breathing and vitals Clarke found a nearby folding chair and slid into it quiet as you please. The steady sound of breathing was soothing to her tired nerves though she regretted not bringing a book with her. Absentmindedly, she pulled some charcoal and book from her bag. She opened the cover and moved to a blank page before she began to draw; losing herself into the quiet scratching of the artist’s tools against smooth brown pulped paper.

tag: murphy, bellamy words: 1005 notes: i’m wicked late but inspired for this thread and desperate to find muse. so.. better late than never? I left it open so you both didn’t have to wait to post again. outfit: here
© SHE MEANS WAR AT ATF

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John Murphy
 Posted: Dec 19 2017, 02:17 AM
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Resident Criminal
player: Piper
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john murphy

Murphy always thought that death would feel like flying. He remembered the stories that he had been told when he was a kid. When a person died, they became an angel, and they went to Heaven. Or, they went to Hell and they were punished for all eternity in the fire pits of torture. Either way, there was a certain amount of movement involved. When the pain ripped through his body, and the warm blood exploded from his body, he expected that to be the end. The pain, though, did not end, and it was not like anything else that he had felt before. What was even worse was that he found himself utterly powerless against it.

He laid on the forest floor. Part of his body was resting just on the edge of a fire. His hand, in fact, was completely submerged in flames. He could feel the fire licking at his fingertips, and the coals that the dirt of the forest floor had now become were scalding his palm. He could swear that he could smell something cooking. Whatever it was smell better than anything he had eaten in a long time. Some kind of live game that someone had been lucky enough to catch. He hoped that they saved some for him for when they got back to the Hotel.

black swirling down and down and down again

Murphy wanted to scream. Every movement that was made was a flash of fire in his veins. There was something weak and sticky against his face. He wanted to grimace, but his face wouldn't react. He couldn't tell if he was hot or if he was cold. His head swam violently, and he was suddenly overcome with the sense of vertigo. His stomach wanted to wretch, but the muscles just would not work for him. He found himself even telling his stomach to churn and blow chunks, if it just meant that it would do something to reassure him that he was alive.

Still nothing happened, and that was all that his mind was becoming. He was dying. Wasn't that a cruel joke? The explosion had not even done enough to kill him. John Murphy: Survivor was surviving. He hated every second of it. If his body knew what was good for it-

He was asleep again, or at least he was before he hit the ground. It took everything in his power to keep breathing when the wind was knocked out of him. His eyes were open this time, and he did not have the strength or power to close them. There were boots in his vision, lying in a way that showed that the limbs that wore them were akimbo. He couldn't move his eyes even if he wanted to. He really wanted to. He needed to know where he was. He needed to know who those boots belonged to.

At least the pain was gone now. That was one good thing. They just needed to get inside before nightfall. It was getting dark again, and soon it would be too dark to see.

why wasn't he flying? why wasn't he falling? why this limbo?

He was screaming. He was screaming in his mind, but all his throat could do was whimper. Something was inside him. He thought he saw a flash of blonde hair. The only color he could see was white. There were lights shining down on him. He just need to show them that he wasn't dead, yet, right? Maybe he could blink. Maybe he could move his hands. Maybe he could sigh or speak. Instead, he could not fight back against the things inside of his chest and inside his abdomen. When his eyes finally decided to go dark, this time, he was grateful.

The freedom from pain was short lived. As far as Murphy was concerned, he was dying. He woke up slowly, but that did not mean that he woke up smoothly. Every time his vision focused he was taking in some new and foreign sight. At first, the light that was focused on him was blinding, but only because his eyes were so accustomed to darkness. He had just enough power in his skin to flinch, but not enough to turn away. He was forced to get accustomed to it, just like everything else in his life.

He could feel the air in his lungs. Every breath hurt. He could feel something rattling in his chest, and it was something wet and angry. It made every part of him heavy. He told himself to move his arm, and when that did not work, he tried to move his hand. When that did not work, still, he went with a finger; just one finger. He internally screamed at his nerves to just move, even if it was a little bit. He needed to prove to himself that he was alive, and that he was not stuck in some kind of cycle in limbo. It was a cycle of inaction, and he needed to break it.

His head rolled to the side. There was that flash of blonde hair again, and this time there was a face to match. It was an unfamiliar face, and it was not looking at him. She did not even know that he was awake. Did she even know he was alive? Like the wings of a butterfly, his pinkie fluttered under the sheets. He had never done anything so delicately in his life. He could have cried from it, though. He had his proof. He had his proof that he would not die. His breath hitched hard. It was more proof that he was alive.

That hitch in his breath, though, was not one that his lungs were ready for. What started as a gasp started a seize. His lungs, it seemed, were not ready for him to breath like a big boy just yet. He tried to cough, but that sent a lance of pain through his stomach. It was pain, and it was worse than it had been back when- back when something had happened. Why was he even here? What had happened in the forest? He remembered fire. He remembered the night sky. And he remembered a pair of boots lying akimbo on the forest floor.

Every cough felt like it was ripping open his stomach, but he could not stop. He wheezed and fought it but that only made it worse. He needed to sit up and stop, but he did not have the strength. All of the butterfly flutters in his fingers could do nothing to lift him up. He was going to die after all, and it would be choking on his own lungs and ripping apart his own gut.

NOTES: Ow. Ow. Ow!

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