That's the noise you remember ringing in your head, as ash fell from the purple skies. Smoke created a mist, and the whirring of machinery sent you into high alert. Your own machinery made a slight clicking sound as you pulled the quivering trigger that corresponded to the breaking mechanism. Shadows of people flying through the smoke to then be wiped off the face of the earth was heart-wrenching.
Humanity just lost another.
An enormous thud.
A blood-curdling, in-human screech.
The wind picks up, but you know it's not the wind, but a disturbance in the already tense air. The almost un-bearable heat that lingers in the air creates small beads of sweat clinging your neck.
Again, more screams.
Then, a sound of crumbling rock.
There goes Maria.
You approach your target, getting closer to the beast than your squad has ever gotten. You clench your fist tighter around your weapon, clenching your jaw as you get ready to hurl yourself at its weak spot.
It's all or nothing.
Life or Death.
Win or Lose.
R... red... grass?
An enormous pain clenches onto you like jaws, and as you try to let out a desperate cry, your lungs decide not to move, the wind knocked out of the poor things.
As you try to let out a breath, you feel liquid bellowing up and begin to trickle slowly from your still-clenched jaws.
You know this is the end.
I... did it?
The grass shakes, more screams and the whistling of soldiers flying through the skies.
Tears are pouring, as you struggle to take a breath, your lungs shaking with attempts to get the cool air you so desperately desired moving throughout you.
You close your battered eyes, tears clinging on to the lashes that rest upon your cheeks. The feeling of hopelessness, despair, and distraught, sinks to the bottom of your heart.
You take a breath.
"The only thing we're allowed to do is believe we won't regret the choice we made."
"You can't change anything unless you can discard part of yourself too. To surpass monsters, you must be willing to abandon your humanity."
"Someone who cannot abandon everything cannot achieve anything."
You open your clouded eyes, and stare into the ocean, framed by fields of wheat.
You feel yourself being carried, shut your eyes, and ache for the moment you are set back on the earth to lie there and take your final breaths.
You are no longer afraid of what comes after this life.
A sudden huff of breath, as you fall back to the earth, spread across the grasses. Small pools of water form on your cheeks.
But... these... these are not my tears.
You capture enough strength to open your tired eyes.
Your last remaining tears followed freely from your eyes.
"We're going to explore the outside world someday, right? Far beyond these walls, there's flaming water, land made of ice, and fields of sand spread wide. It's the world my parents wanted to go to."
The name falls off your lips, tasting and feeling how the word felt.
More thuds, but the reassuring kind. Soon, you feel yourself being lugged high onto something. A small puff of air is let out, the thudding gains speed, and you begin to be tossed up and down, a rhythmic feel. You bury yourself further into the source of warmth, small hairs ticking your bloodied face and the musty smell of the stables brings a small smile to your face.
The arm around your battered frame tightens, and a feeling of yearning consumes you.
Lolling your head to one side, you gaze up at the cherub that saved you, surrounded by a golden halo. Two pools of water gaze down at you. You smile, and breathe one last breath, before sealing your eyes shut to the world.
This world is cruel... but also very beautiful.