No Peace For Old Soldiers



Brief Appearance By:


Scene Title No Peace For Old Soldiers
Synopsis No matter the state of the world, sometimes, there is no peace for old soldiers.
Date March 07, 2018

The Home of Benjamin Ryans

“On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool…”

The deep rumble of Ryans voice is much like a big cats rumbling purr as he reads softly from a brightly colored book. A book about an elephant who had to fight to protect a world for those who would destroy it.

“… in the heat of day, in the cool of the pool, He was splashing…”

It was a little awkward, but he had managed to fit his long frame on the small bed that his daughter Phillipa uses when she stays with him. The tiny girl, was curled up against his side, helping turn pages. Her mom had asked Ryans to watch the little girl, while Nicole went out with her sister.

“..Enjoying the jungle’s great joys… When Horton the elephant heard a small noise… ”

They were trapped, behind the enemy lines. The plink of bullets was loud where they punched into the side of the car where the old man had found shelter; cut off from the others. He pushed the military helmet — lifted from a dead soldier — up on his head a little, with the hook attached to his left arm.

Then he hears it. A familiar high-pitched whistle of something arcing through the air. A harbinger of death. Shit!

INCOMING!” he manages to bellow into the radio, before ducking down himself, arms over his helmeted head out of instinct, keeping himself low to the ground. The world goes bright, his ears ring…. He doesn’t have to look to know that they had just lost a lot of good people.

By time he finishes the book, his little girl’s eyes are drifting close — a content smile on her lips. The smile of innocence. He tugs the blankets up to rest under her chin, tucking in the edges to make her snug. “I’ll see you in the morning, peanut.” A kiss is pressed to her temple.

“Night daddy.” The little girl murmurs tiredly. “Love you.” A chittered chirp at the end of the bed, reminds the girl of a rather large cat loafed at the end of the bed, “Night Ruma. I love you, too.”

Ryans can’t help but smile at the exchange, pausing just outside the doorway, hand on the switch. “Love you too, Pip.” The light is shut off and he waits for the cat to follow him before he closes the door a little, allowing the hallway light to shine in a little and chase away the monsters.

The ringing in his ears start to fade away, only to be replaced by the sounds of the injured and the tinny shouts over the radio, demanding a status. As his eyes focus, he only sees carnage around him. His voice rough as he affirms that he’s alive, even as he starts moving to assess the others on his team. So many dead.

Spotting a man down, one leg a red mess, but he is still alive. It was bad enough, that Ryans’ brain doesn’t register what he is looking at. Instead, he drops to his knees next to the guy, pressing his hand against the pumping wound, while he yells to the chaos round him. “Where’s the medic?!”

Times seems to slow down, like the sluggish oozing of the viscous fluids of the young man he and the medic try to save the life of one of them. It feels like hours when a voice pops up over the radio, cutting sharply through the haze.

Hey.. Ryans. News from the homefront. Congratulations, man… it’s a girl.

It was hard to feel anything in the moment, as his hand is sticky and warm from the blood of a dying man; he was trying to save one of his teammates. A kid… not too much older then Delia.

What’s her name?” He ask over the com, trying to keep focused on anything but the sensation of twitching, shredded muscles under his hands.

Phillipa Allyn Varlane.

Brows furrow a little confused at the name… Especially, the last name. Varlane? Something to ask Nicole about if he ever sees her again.

The old boards creak as he makes his way down the stairs and into the kitchen; Ruma with him all of the way. She jumps on the counter and sits, tail twitching, as he reaches into the one of the cabinets and pulls out a bottle of whiskey. He rarely drinks as much as he used too. However, tonight the past wouldn’t stay quietly and he needed to take the edge off those memories. He pours himself a measure and quickly down the contents. The glass is refilled, before putting the bottle back. The cat gets a quick swipe of affection down it’s spine, before he turns away.

He has a purpose in mind, but Benjamin finds himself standing at the bottom of the stairs, with his head tilted and listening up them. Taking a sip from the glass, his blue eyes go distant, lost in the past.

Benjamin slowly puts a finger to his lips, silencing his team where they range out down the building’s stairs well. With that same finger, he points to above him. The enemy was above them. The scuff of their boots was hard to miss. The men all watched him cautiously lean out over the edge of the stairwell looking up.

In the confines of the stairwell, the sound of discharging weapons leaves ears ringing, but luckily, Ryans was alright. He saw the edge of a muzzle before it went off. He managed to throw himself back just as the weapon when off, followed by others. At least, a dozen of Mitchell’s men above him.

He presses fingers to his temple, they come away bloody. He had been grazed by a bullet. That was close. The Mitchell soldiers had somehow known they would be there…. But how? They had been so careful.

His route must be repetitive enough, that Ruma trots — with wispy tail hair flowing like a flag behind her — over to the door into the basement. Sitting to one side of the door, she look back at Ryans was gives a little impatient chirp. There were always things that needing hunting down there. “Hold your horses,” Ryans growls out softly, opening door into a pool of inky darkness.

There is no moment of hesitation, as he takes those steps, descending into the pitch black of the basement. Of course, Ruma feels it is her job to precede him down those steps. He can hear the soft sound of her paws landing heavily on each step.

In the deep moonless darkness, Ryans crouches among the brushes. The crunch of boots alert him to the arrival of the patrol. The former Company man, glances over quickly at his companion, before silently making his way out of the bushes. The soft hiss of the branches against his clothing is loud in his ears, but the soldier in front of him doesn’t notice.

With his handicap, Ryans has to move fast. He’s practice this move many times before. Enough that it becomes muscle memory. His arm is thrown across the man’s face, yanking him back against the old man chest. Throat exposed, the knife cuts deeply, reducing the muffled cry to a gurgle.

There is no emotions in Benjamin’s eyes as he lets the body slump and fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes. He watch the limbs twitch, while motioning to the other. The mission was only getting started.

He doesn’t bother to turn on the light once he is down there. Just enough light reaches down into the cellar from the open door above, that he can see enough to know where he is going. Crossing the length of the basement, he watches the cat investigate where she last saw a rat. She was good for that at least, he muses quietly to himself. Now surrounded by darkness, Ryans side steps behind some shelving. Tucked back in the cubby is a door. It was one of the reasons he wanted this home.

A jingle of keys and the door is unlocked, allowing him and his companion to step inside. He doesn’t have to look, instinct had his hand reaching for pull. Light flares painfully bright…

His hands are covered in blood, but it isn’t his. Benjamin flexes his fingers feeling the tackiness. It belongs to a captive man — a high ranking military official to be exact — slumped over in a chair, blood drooling out dark. They were getting nowhere… They needed to get those codes to the technopath before it was too late. Time was slowly ticking away and he had been stopped. Looking at the slumped figure, Ryans feels no remorse, even as his brain also tell him… he might have gone too far this time.

Benjamin sends a look over his shoulder at the man standing behind him, he is currently being yelled at, eyes narrow slightly. “Ben! We are not them and what the hell is wrong with you man?!” Or something like that, it was hard to concentrate. “Get out of here and get yourself cleaned up, for god sake.”

Bloodied fists close, and for a moment, the other man looks nervous. What had he seen on Ben’s face?

“Be it on your head when those nuke get launched,” Growls out Ryans before he turns and stalks out of the room, people scattering before him.

Blue eyes blink as they adjust to that sudden and very bright light. Around him hangs various boards. On those, photos and newspaper clippings are pinned. Pictures of war criminals, news articles about this and that. Even covering what the new government is doing.

As much as he wants too, Ryans found himself leary and on edge. He had been betrayed once, he would not be taken by surprise again.

The wall behind him holds a couple of gun safes, each filled with various weapons. Stacked on tops of those are cases of ammo. There was a desk that sat in the middle of the room, facing the wall of paper. Onto this, Ruma jumps up on and sprawls out, her body just about reaching one end of the desk to the other.

In a sense, this was a war room.

No matter how much peace there is in the world, for old soldiers, like Benjamin Ryans the war will never end until he breathes his last breath.

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