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A Penetrating Trauma (WiP)

AssaultTurtle Dec 23rd, 2016 (edited) 866 Never
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  1. >Grass grows.
  2. >Birds fly.
  3. >Sun shines.
  4. >And brother...
  5. >You hurt people.
  6. >That's hurt in a past tense though, and for a good reason.
  7. >There are no people around you anymore.
  8. >Whoa, okay. That sounds weird out of context.
  9. >Let's start from the basics then.
  10. >You are Anonymous, and you are currently living in a tiny pastel horses' land.
  11. >Also known as Equestria.
  12. >As it happens, there are no other humans in this place.
  13. >How did you come to be here then?
  14. >You have no idea.
  15. >But your best bet is that you have died.
  16. >That's where the hurting part comes into play.
  17. >You were a soldier.
  18. >Not out of deep sense of duty, or an urge to shoot people or anything.
  19. >It was just the most reasonable line of career for you when you graduated.
  20. >It had its risks, sure.
  21. >But you would rather take a risk of getting shot than living your life in a dull, repetitive job.
  22. >That's just how you were.
  23. >You would sometimes skip school just to hike in your local woods, simply because you were tired of the monotony.
  24. >Which in hindsight did not help widen your job options.
  25. >But hey, you had no real regrets.
  26. >For the most part.
  27. >Your basic training went well.
  28. >You weren't the fastest or the strongest or anything.
  29. >But you knew your way around the land, and were perfectly fine with long, forced walks.
  30. >Also by some weird star alignment you were a pretty good shot.
  31. >That one caught you by surprise to be honest.
  32. >You mostly only used guns when you were visiting your uncle.
  33. >He was a cool guy, and he loved hunting.
  34. >He would also take you for a trip every time your family came around.
  35. >You were mostly taking in the new environment there, but the occasional feel of a well placed shot was nice you suppose.
  36. >And yet turns out that you had some sort of natural talent or something.
  38. >That's what sarge said anyway when he gave you the marksman rifle.
  39. >It wasn't that different from what they had you firing before, just a different sight a bit more kick.
  40. >The longer ranges didn't really bother you that much either.
  41. >It was weird at first, but you got used to it and managed a pretty good accuracy.
  42. >You even got a pat on a back from the old man.
  43. >It was like your dad complementing you on the shitty bird feeder you made in third grade.
  44. >A happy little moment.
  45. >Nevertheless, the training went on.
  46. >You scored decently on all the physical tests, miles spent on hiking paying off.
  47. >You even inevitably made some friends with the guys there, since you figured you would end up spending a lot of time with them in the end.
  48. >That was until the very end of your basic.
  49. >You have just finished a three-day long test in a real environment.
  50. >You were supposed to work as a team and fulfill some random objectives, the usual stuff.
  51. >The trainees were given a day off in preparation for the final ceremonies.
  52. >You were pretty content to just sit on your ass for the most part, since holy hell was sitting in a short supply for the previous couple weeks.
  53. >That was when the captain overseeing the site has found you.
  54. >Apparently you did well enough in the training that he recommended a sniper school for you.
  55. >It was an application per volunteer basis he explained, but you were meeting all the entry level requirements.
  56. >Physical fitness, marksmanship and some of the pathfinder courses you took out of interest.
  57. >It would mean that you would have to work almost alone though, only with a paired spotter, sometimes maybe cooperating with other such pairs.
  58. >You were genuinely interested though, so you truthfully answered that you will consider it, and got a short ballot explaining the basics.
  59. >Like an advertisement really.
  61. >After mulling over the idea in your head for an afternoon you decided to go with it.
  62. >You said your goodbyes to the folks at the camp after the final ceremony and went on to the new training place.
  63. >It was quite the mix in there, because next to the completely green rookies like yourself there were some people with a few years of service under their belt.
  64. >Nevertheless, the meatgrinder did not differentiate and all were judged equally by it.
  65. >Just how fit you were and how strong your mind was.
  66. >Oh, and how quickly you learned too.
  67. >You found it ironic at time that after graduating the school you loathed so much you ended up sitting in a class with a notepad anyway.
  68. >Only this time it was all stuff you actually cared about, not logarithms, ancient literature or body parts of plants.
  69. >No, instead you learned how to properly find your way around the landscape with just a map and a compass.
  70. >How to find the fastest way across a ravine.
  71. >How to walk through the forest and not get lost.
  72. >How to use your surroundings to your advantage.
  73. >You thought you already knew a lot of those things, but boy were you wrong.
  74. >The amount of intricate nuance that you've never expected there to be to hiking inawoods was overwhelming at first.
  75. >But you welcomed it.
  76. >It was learning how to be better at what you loved, how could you not?
  77. >And even the new stuff was interesting as well.
  78. >Concealing yourself using what's found in the wild.
  79. >Moving unseen through said wild.
  80. >Observing your surroundings and remembering the details like wind or humidity.
  81. >The rangefinding.
  82. >Sweet lord the rangefinding.
  83. >How to accurately measure or estimate the distance to what you're looking at, with or without various equipment.
  84. >Accommodating for the wind at different ranges.
  85. >Calculating the elevation coefficient when firing up or downhill.
  86. >By the time you got to shoot your weapon your head was filled with all the details you tried so hard not to forget about.
  88. >And so you obviously failed.
  89. >Your accuracy was pretty much a laughing stock at the start.
  90. >Even after weeks of fire range practice you only got better.
  91. >Not good, just better.
  92. >You were far from the best marksman anymore, you were barely not trailing behind.
  93. >But you didn't mind.
  94. >Sniper cells, as the instructors said, were operating in pairs - sniper and the spotter.
  95. >Sure, they would switch roles when need be, but not everyone graduating had to be a newborn Vasili Zaycev.
  96. >You were good enough to be trusted with a rifle powerful enough to punch through an engine block, and that was an achievement as is.
  97. >The fact that you would get to focus on things that lied closer to your interests was nothing to cry about.
  98. >And so the training soon was over.
  99. >You officially became a sniper of a [spoiler]Canadian Armed Forces serving under Her Majesty herself.[/spoiler]
  100. >And like, a hundred officers between you two.
  101. >But hey, the thought was nice.
  102. >What was less nice was your first deployment.
  103. >It was fucking Afghanistan, of course it was.
  104. >Desert, bleh.
  105. >You didn't like desert.
  106. >Still, it was long past the point of what you did and didn't like, so you adapted.
  107. >Moving quickly and silently through rocks and sand was a challenge, but a one you welcomed.
  108. >And somehow you managed to not get yourself and your buddy Mark killed.
  109. >He was the one doing the actual shooting for the most part, but you took over a couple times.
  110. >It even turned out that you were doing better job being a marksman in the field than in the school.
  111. >Less things on your head probably.
  112. >Emptying your mind and all that.
  113. >But for the most part neither of you engaged.
  114. >You were more like scouts, paving the way for the soldiers behind you and marking the targets for the mortar teams.
  115. >So it's not like you had clean hands, you were aware of that.
  116. >People died because of you.
  117. >People died because you told the gunners where to lay their fire.
  118. >But you accepted that.
  120. >It's not like you didn't care.
  121. >You weren't a psychopath or anything.
  122. >It's just that after the first IFV got blown up by an enemy grenade launcher, something clicked.
  123. >Someone will die here, either you, your friends, or "them".
  124. >It was easier to think of them as "them".
  125. >"The enemy", faceless foe.
  126. >It helped you sleep at night.
  127. >And with that state of mind you soldiered on.
  128. >Observing while unseen, searching the enemy, even disarming explosives three times.
  129. >First two were simple.
  130. >You shot them from afar.
  131. >Because your C15 was more than capable of taking out hardened targets, you were able to detonate the traps with little risk.
  132. >The third one was not so jolly though.
  133. >Because you disarmed it from much closer.
  134. >And by "disarmed" you actually mean triggered.
  135. >And by "you", you actually mean the Bison you were in at the time.
  136. >Yep, an IED by the road, undetected by the friendly forces who were in the area.
  137. >Must have been freshly placed.
  138. >You never got to find out though.
  139. >The explosion happened on the side of the vehicle you were sitting in.
  140. >You didn't really have a chance, even through the armored underbelly and sides of it.
  141. >You don't remember feeling pain, or shock.
  142. >It was just a sudden burst of adrenaline as your body was squeezed and pressured to unnatural limits.
  143. >You only remember two things after that.
  144. >You squeezing your Tac-50 so that it doesn't get lost.
  145. >And your teammate Mark over you.
  147. >You must have been on the road, because there was a smoking vehicle in the corner of your eye, along with some of your friendly soldiers frantically running around.
  148. >You didn't hear his words - your eardrums were one of the first casualties there.
  149. >And you never were a lip reader.
  150. >So you have no idea what he said to you.
  151. >You just remember that look on his face.
  152. >More scared than you ever saw him.
  153. >Even more so than when the hostile patrol basically walked over you.
  154. >His eyes running wide, and his mouth never really closed, sputtering unknown words.
  155. >His hands holding your head.
  156. >And at the dying moment you had but one though.
  157. >You were glad your roles weren't reversed.
  158. >At least you died young and pretty.
  159. >...
  160. >At least you died young.
  162. >You never really thought about afterlife much.
  163. >Figured you'd find out in time.
  164. >But a few musings you may have had about it did not involve magical land of talking pastel tiny horses.
  165. >So boy were you in for a shock when you opened your eyes to see not one but two of them staring down at you.
  166. >One was white, the other blue.
  167. >And they were horny.
  168. >As in, they had horns.
  169. >Not "they had lewd intentions towards you", at least you don't think so.
  170. >So you kinda just woke up after being blown up by a roadside explosive in Afghanistan.
  171. >And you saw two unicorns with flowing jelly for their manes with concerned look on their faces.
  172. >Shit's weird.
  173. >You sat up, still awkwardly holding on to your rifle which was by then taller than you thanks to the sitting position.
  174. >And you started to look around like you were a kid in Disneyland.
  175. >You were taught to take in your surroundings and assess them on a whim, so that's what you did.
  176. >What you were not taught, is what to make of being in a large room of what looks to be a medieval castle with a shattered chair laying next to you.
  177. >That's when the blue one spoke up.
  178. >"Are you alright? Are you wounded?"
  179. >And so it came to be that you had an honor to produce the first ever words to be spoken by man in Equestria.
  180. "Horses shouldn't talk."
  181. >Yep.
  182. >A lasting impression to be written down in the history books no doubt.
  183. >You even stated it plainly, like it was the most obvious thing under the sun for you.
  184. >Which back then, it kinda was.
  185. >But bluehorse did not like it.
  186. >She puffed her quickly reddening cheeks and splayed her wings out, exclaiming loudly
  187. >"Excuse us?"
  188. >Another acquired skill you had was to quickly judge a new situation.
  189. >And so you did, rapidly realizing what's happening.
  190. >You fucked up.
  192. >But before you got to come up with a way to fix it, a salvation came.
  193. >It came in a form of a soft and warm laughter, a laughter that could cure wounds.
  194. >"Come now dear sister, the poor creature must be at least as confused as we are. Do not hold it against him."
  195. >You furrowed your brow at the "creature", but saw that whitehorse words had managed to calm down the angry one.
  196. >She closed her wings and ruffled them a bit, before stating again
  197. >"We are not amused by being called "a horse". And we will exercise all our freedom to speak."
  198. >To which you replied in equally diplomatic manner.
  199. "Ok."
  200. >You never were a charmer with your words.
  201. >Not really a part of your job description, and it was not a natural thing for you.
  202. >But the pastel horses did not mind in the end.
  203. >You introduced yourself, and expressed your confusion about this supposed afterlife.
  204. >In turn you learned their names, Luna and Celestia, but also found out that this isn't supposed to be an afterlife.
  205. >They expressed their condolences on your demise, but also noted that for a dead person you seemed quite alive.
  206. >Yeah, that conversation was all kind of awkward.
  207. >But what do you expect when a dead man falls into the table in one the horse princesses' dining quarters, covered in desert dust and with a sniper rifle in his hands?
  208. >Especially when said dead man started talking.
  209. >Honestly in the retrospect, you three handled it quite well.
  210. >You asked about who they were, and found out that you crash landed in front of the rulers of the world.
  211. >You quickly found out that they were also immortal.
  212. >Thankfully before you started doubting your sanity further they asked about you in turn.
  213. >Things went a bit sketchy there.
  214. >You decided to play it straight and told them the truth.
  215. >You were Anonymous, a somewhat young male human, much closer to monkeys than horses.
  216. >And as for your living, well.
  217. >You were a soldier.
  219. >When you found out that they don't know such word, you started using related things.
  220. >You found a common ground at “warrior”.
  221. >And so the royal sisters quickly found out that you were “a warrior” that was “slain in a war”.
  222. >A wild oversimplification, but it got the idea across.
  223. >You somewhat expected at that point to be escorted away, or at least for them to call their guards.
  224. >Surely an alien killer ape appearing in your house is a reason to worry.
  225. >But no, instead they expressed their regrets.
  226. >Regrets that you had to live in such a dark and violent world, where young men had to die to protect their families.
  227. >You decided to not start arguing that you were not technically defending your family, since that was getting dangerously into politics territory.
  228. >So instead you clarified that not everyone has do that, not in your country at least.
  229. >But you only managed to sour up their mood further, since they now found out that there were countries that forced nearly every young child to fight in a war they often didn't care for.
  230. >As you said, you weren't a diplomat.
  231. >Celestia then went to assure you that you shall find no such conflicts in Equestria.
  232. >Ponies were free to live out their lives in peace and whatever prosperity they shall earn in their lives.
  233. >You decided to question that.
  234. >Surely, there must be some kind of outside threat that would endanger the equilibrium?
  235. >But they were adamant about their position.
  236. >Yes, wild magic does threaten the harmony sometimes.
  237. >But the same magic can always repel that danger.
  238. >And you would believe that too.
  239. >If they didn't start talking about the power of friendship.
  240. >You then simply decided that you either are in some magical fairy land for real, you didn't have enough sleep, or someone was lying to you.
  242. >You tried your best to politely express that perhaps this isn't the best time and place to talk about it.
  243. >All of you had a lot of questions here, but you were bloody tired.
  244. >Apparently dying does that to you.
  245. >That and being awake for about 36 hours beforehand.
  246. >They in turn offered their hospitality.
  247. >You could stay in the castle for as long as you saw fit, as long as you agreed to follow some basic rules.
  248. >And promised to tell them more about Earth in the future.
  249. >You agreed to both, since it had promise of a real bed and maybe even a shower.
  250. >Neither of which you could pass up.
  251. >They even were so kind as to offer taking your belongings with their magic, and escort you to a guest room.
  252. >Which apparently was always ready for “unexpected occurrences” such as yourself.
  253. >Apparently this land was no stranger to weird things going on.
  254. >Made your life easier really.
  255. >And as for belongings, well.
  256. >You were in the field, so you didn't have everything on you.
  257. >Just the smaller backpack with the necessary equipment.
  258. >And your rifle of course.
  259. >You agreed to hand away the former, but your weapon was a bit trickier.
  260. >You were both resigning your means of protections and giving an immensely powerful tool to a creature that could either harm you, or mishandle it.
  261. >Your concern did not go unnoticed, and Luna decided to reassure you.
  262. >”We mean no harm to you Anonymous. But we do understand if you choose to not trust our word on that yet. We still remember what it was in the times of strife all too well.”
  263. >You couldn't help but to notice how genuine her words and face was at that moment.
  264. >So you decided to take a risk.
  265. >You detached the magazine and slipped it into your pouch, taking a mental note that it was a third one you had on you now.
  266. >15 shots.
  268. >As you let go of your rifle that was being enveloped in a dark blue mist you explained that without “that box”, it was as harmless as a metal pipe.
  269. >Though you made sure to express how delicate it was at the same time.
  270. >You weren't sure how easy it would be to replace a telescopic sight in Equestria.
  271. >The night princess expressed her gratitude in the trust you put in them by giving away your weapon and assured you that you will not regret it.
  272. >The siblings then beckoned you to follow them as they took of in the direction of a supposed room.
  273. >Meanwhile you were busy feeling uneasy about the fact that you never admitted to your P35 sitting by your hip.
  274. >You were not sure if you would have a need for it.
  275. >You wished you wouldn't.
  276. >But your wishes weren't important for about 8 months by then.
  277. >So you decided to play it safe.
  280. >Your journey to the bedchambers, if you can even call it that, was short and uneventful.
  281. >Celestia was just reassuring you that you can take all the time you see fit to rest.
  282. >"I know that dying can take quite a toll on a pony. Or a human in your case."
  283. >She remarked with a knowing smirk.
  284. >Another position you added to the list of things that didn't make sense.
  285. >Luna on the other hand was consumed by examining your rifle.
  286. >She asked you a few questions about it too, but stopped after getting a stern look from her sister.
  287. >You noted her curiosity though, and fully expected to have to handle it later down the line.
  288. >Probably when she is not seen by the bigger princess.
  289. >You also passed a few guards on your way.
  290. >At least you assume they were guards.
  291. >Archaic metal armour and spears awkwardly held in their hooves pointed to that.
  292. >You couldn't help but to estimate the threat they would pose in a fight.
  293. >And the only conclusion was that there would be none.
  294. >You have no idea how a creature with no fingers could wield a tool like a spear.
  295. >And the blue tinted plates they had on them were even more peculiar.
  296. >Their front neck was fully exposed and visible.
  297. >The chestpiece was there still, but the actual chest made up a very small portion of their silhouette.
  298. >So to a frontal attack, they had almost no means of defense.
  299. >Interestingly enough though, the back of their necks was covered in a thick layer of armour.
  300. >Same thing on their withers - plated all the way to the tail.
  301. >If they lowered their heads to be flush with their backs, they would have a solid means of defence from attacks above them.
  302. >Which meant aerial predators most likely.
  303. >It could explain the spears too.
  304. >If you only want to protect against things that charge at you, all you need to do is point them at the enemy.
  305. >So they were prepared to handle birds or other flying creatures.
  306. >Dragons?
  308. >Another interesting thing you noted was that none of them had horns.
  309. >A few of them had wings poking out of their side plates, but all their helmets were flush.
  310. >This contrasted with Celestia and Luna.
  311. >Maybe it was a sign of nobility then.
  312. >You didn't have enough time to ponder about it though, as the three of you reached what turned out to be your room.
  313. >Though calling it just that would not be doing it justice.
  314. >As the large spruce doors opened you saw what could very well be a presidential suite.
  315. >The usual floor made of smooth stone was mostly covered with a dark blue carpet, thick and fluffy.
  316. >One wall nested a large hearthfire, with neatly stacked logs by it.
  317. >There was a large wardrobe on the right, with a bunch of dressers on either side.
  318. >They were made out of some kind of dark wood with bluish tint, and had hinges that looked like pure silver.
  319. >And in the centre of the room there was a bed.
  320. >A queen sized bed with a generous arrangement of pillows at one side, and a puffy quilt that looked like it was made out of light blue silk with silver ornaments.
  321. >All of that gave you two quick ideas.
  322. >This was probably decorated by Luna.
  323. >And it was aimed to spoil the resident.
  324. >"So, do you enjoy it?"
  325. >The moonpony asked, proud smile on her face.
  326. >Muzzle?
  327. "Princess, I haven't slept in a real bed for about 5 months now. Anything going to change that is a huge favor for me."
  328. >You answered truthfully, though seeing the hint of disappointment you quickly added
  329. "And I love the decor too, it's a great change from the sand and rocks."
  330. >Seeing Luna's beaming smile you knew that it was her design.
  331. "Though I am concerned that I will make a terrible mess here. I mean, I already dusted your plain stone hallways."
  332. >You said while taking your backpack from the golden mist.
  334. >"Oh but don't worry about that Anonymous."
  335. >Night princess said while releasing your C15 from her grip onto your hands."
  336. >"It is our servants' duty to clean up any such mess. They even get paid nowadays."
  337. >You cocked an eyebrow at her proud expression wondering what the hell was that supposed to mean, before Celestia interjected in a playful tone.
  338. >"Do excuse my sister please, some of her habits are a bit outdated. About a thousand years outdated."
  339. >Luna decided that it would be an appropriate response to stick her tongue at Celestia, which was equal manner cute and further confusing.
  340. >Those were the rulers of the world?
  341. >After the sunhorse was done giggling at her sister's antics she also added
  342. >"And a little bit of a mess is not a problem, trust me. The every day perfect order of this castle can get really dull after a while."
  343. >You decided to play along with that and placed your belongings in the corner of the room, where the fluffy carpet didn't reach.
  344. >Stone was probably easier to clean than carpets.
  345. >Not that you would know.
  346. "Still though, I would like to clean myself somewhat. Is there a place with running water nearby?"
  347. >Having remembered what you knew about medieval castles from Earth you were honestly asking with a river in mind.
  348. >Those places were not exactly the most hygienic.
  349. >So it came off as another surprise when Luna waved her hoof towards a second door and said
  350. >"Oh but of course. You have a fully equipped bathroom over there. I do believe you will find it more than fitting."
  351. >You simply nodded and walked towards it, peeking inside.
  352. >And sweet mother have mercy, it had a bathtub.
  353. >From what you could tell it was large enough to accommodate your body.
  354. >You were going to get a bath.
  355. >Not just a shower, which you would be more than grateful for.
  356. >A bath.
  358. >Several layers of caution have instantly crumbled in your head as you had to stop yourself from squirming in anticipation.
  359. >It was entirely unreasonable to act like that on something this petty.
  360. >But you honestly didn't care.
  361. >A fucking bath!
  362. >There still was one outstanding question though, so you asked it after walking back towards the horse royalty.
  363. "It's extremely generous of you to offer such conditions to an alien stranger, but... Isn't it a bit too generous?"
  364. >Maybe it was a bit too bland to be this straightforward, but you had broken enough protocols by that point anyway.
  365. >Luna raised her eyebrow before saying
  366. >"Why, whatever do you mean?"
  367. >You pointed behind you with your hand and explained.
  368. "Back on Earth this would be a very luxurious accommodation. So I'm just wondering if this is something all guests of yours get."
  369. >It was Celestia's time to speak, and so she did with that smirk of hers.
  370. >"Not at all Anonymous. Only the strange, one-of-a-kind aliens that pop up in our dining chambers."
  371. >You chuckled.
  372. "Okay, but it isn't Luna's bedroom or anything? Because it looks that way."
  373. >The blue Princess snorted
  374. >"Why, we feel insulted. You thinks that a royalty such as ourselves would stay in such barbaric conditions as these?"
  376. >Her sister rolled her eyes before chiming in.
  377. >"What Luna is trying to say is that your concern is misplaced, Anonymous. This is as we said just a guest room that happens to be in the night wing of the castle."
  378. >You gave a slow nod, understanding more of your situation now.
  379. "That would explain the decor then."
  380. >Moon pony smiled before saying
  381. >"If you have no more questions then we will leave you to get some rest. Should you have any requests, you can tell the guards that will be by the door."
  382. >You mentally noted that your room will be guarded.
  383. >Whether to protect you from intruders outside, or to make sure you won't run away is a different question.
  384. >Celestia then added
  385. >"We will make sure to search for some suitable clothes for you, but it might be a bit difficult. In the meantime, we will leave you alone. Including in your sleep."
  386. >She has said the last part while looking at Luna, who then scrunched hard and had her eyes running over the wall to her side.
  387. >With your weariness starting to settle in you decided to not inquire.
  388. >"Have a peaceful rest Anonymous."
  389. >And with that, the two princess left you alone in the room.
  390. >But not before igniting the fireplace with a beam of magic.
  391. >You felt somewhat uneasy about the fact that they could set things on fire with that much ease.
  392. >But there were more important things to worry about in that instance.
  394. >The bathtub was large.
  395. >You have noticed that the ponies you've seen so far have been rather small, closer to a sheep than a horse.
  396. >The princesses stood taller than the guards of course, but you still were able to look down on them.
  397. >Literally.
  398. >And yet your earlier concerns about whether or not you will be able to fit were now gone.
  399. >This thing was clearly designed with something larger in mind, as even when lying down Celestia would not need that much space.
  400. >Hell, it was almost too big for you.
  401. >But you would manage.
  402. >You took the liberty of playing around with various oils and bath salts while waiting for the tub to fill.
  403. >The porcelain surface slid smoothly against your naked body as you were pouring tiny bits of each substance into the water.
  404. >You were not sure if you should mix them like that, but only realised that when you were about half way done.
  405. >So you just went along till the end.
  406. >Once the bath was about three quarters filled you shut the faucets and prodded the water with your hand.
  407. >It had just the right temperature
  408. >It wasn't scalding hot, but still warm enough to melt your stress and weariness away.
  409. >You stood up and submerged yourself all the way to the neck and the back of your head, which rested against the padded end of the tub.
  410. >Those ponies have thought about everything it seems.
  411. >The burning sensation of smooth and slightly oily water (and a fair bit of foam) consuming your form was pure bliss.
  412. >You could feel your body relax in every sense of the word.
  413. >Every muscle, every sinew.
  414. >You felt like you were turning into a warm mush, slowly settling at the bottom of the tub.
  416. >Still though, you had a job to do.
  417. >Grabbing a green sponge from the shelf and pouring a bit of soap on it, you begun to scrub yourself clean.
  418. >It felt rough against your skin, but that had probably something to do with the amount of force you were using.
  419. >You wanted to sweep all that was behind you away.
  420. >The dust of that damn desert, the sweat of your long walks and patient crawls.
  421. >The smoke from an explosion that killed you.
  422. >Because you were still technically dead.
  423. >And you were not ready to come to terms with that just yet.
  424. >But you still had some priorities, and washing yourself was high up there.
  425. >The process took you a good while, and by the time you were done you had been resting your head against the plush end of the bathtub again.
  426. >Your body, sore from the rough treatment and the trails of past days was just lazily floating in the still hot water.
  427. >And you were content with that.
  428. >You wanted to get out and dry yourself, before going to sleep.
  429. >But...
  430. >Just not yet.
  431. >Because you also wanted to sit in the comfortably warm water, covered by the foam a bit more.
  432. >Just one more minute...
  433. >And with that thought you have drifted away into sleep.
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