Atten-hut soldier. Welcome to our base here on Ishiya. We're here to prep you for this here story, Digital War. (The author, Reiji Ishiya, owns none of the recognizable characters in the story) It's bloody, it's violent, it's not safe for work or your little mamby-pamby land family, so be careful we reading, are we clear?

Good. Now get ready to read, private!


Chapter 1: In Which I Die

1 in 5 people…every second…die in a war. So…let's make our seconds count people.

It's funny, I think, that everyone perceives dying as something far off. It's near us every day, kicking ass and taking names of ones we've loved right off of the planet. That's probably why we don't like wars (or, for some of us, Call of Duty games) so much. Not because of the 'Oh, fighting is so evil!' approach, but the fact that they're a constant reminder that, yes, you can die at any second.

But when you're in a war…death is all you can try not to think about. Somewhere inside of you, you know that for a fact, death is around the corner. (And he's got milk and cookies made especially for you. I hear they're chocolate…your favorite.) But you ignore that gut feeling, opting instead to think about all the friends you make or the scary drill sergeants or whatever. And even if you do manage to wake up from your daydreams about the awesomeness of war, you think that if you get shot, you'll be one of the lucky ones.

Lucky enough to see more than one friend die…lucky enough to only be partially paralyzed…lucky enough to go back out and pray that your luck stays with you.

This war was different. There were no drill sergeants to train us (we did it ourselves) or friends to make, (because we were all we had…and that wasn't much) but there was lots and lots of death. These…things that lived here (they are 'Digimon: Digital Monsters' according to their introductions) died a hell of a lot. It wasn't pretty either, watching as the little tykes (because yes, some of them were pretty cute…not that I'd say that out loud) just…vanish. But at least they were comforted with the fact that they could be reborn and maybe, just maybe the war would be over by then.

We weren't as lucky.

I was a leader. I held all of the plans inside my head (no matter how stupid, they were followed…no matter what) and I kept everything together. If someone broke a leg, I found a doctor. If someone couldn't fight, I fought for them. If someone was dying…I tried as best as I could to console them without letting my fear show. It was how I led.

But it came with a price.

I was too attached. Some people are given no warning as to how they die.

Take Binky for example…mine field. Unexpected, right?

I'm different. I knew how it would happen because I planned it. (They always called me an idiot.) Well, not entirely. I knew that I would get shot saving someone. "But why," you ask, "why die for someone else?" I knew that jumping in front of those things would kill me. But I did what I had to just to save her.

Because, I…you know, I loved her,(in the maybe kind of sort of but not entirely sure about it much way).

Now you might be going, "Aww, how cute! He died for love! ," but don't ever do that. It hurts. It hurts like hell. Strange looking balls (don't laugh!) to the chest feel like the world's worst hangover that decided to attack your chest for unknown reasons, and watching blood seep out of you or listening to your comrades, your friends, cry over your death…not fun. Trust me.

Thinking was all I could do. Had I accomplished everything that I wanted? No, because I hadn't seen this war through to the end, drinking in the cup of success that I made it. (That we made it.) I hadn't told my parents how much I loved them or given up my goggles- my most prized possessions- to someone that could take my place, and I never got to apologize for that night.

All you can do is stare because you're not going anywhere.

My friends see me lying there, and they stop fighting to rush to my side. Izumi is behind me, red splattered onto her clothes, in her hair, all over her face. Her eyes are stuck to mine, shock and sadness and something wonderful that I can't place looking at me. I think she's crying because my face is wet and I can't really see any clouds in the sky. (But then again, I can't see much at all right now.) The others get closer, completely ignoring my 'pay attention to the battle 100% of the time!' rule, and I want them close just to smack them. (One last time.)

But I miss entirely, hitting who knows what (I don't care) because of the damn pain. It hurts to move much, but I ignore it, reaching for the goggles perched on my head. ("Until the day I die", I said, "I'll never take them off!" Me and my big mouth.) I give them to Tomoki, but he doesn't want them…and I don't care if he doesn't because (I'm dying, damn it! I just want to sleep…) he deserves them.

"Take care of them, Tommy. I need a leader and you need the goggles."

Izumi might be the worst off. Even though Tommy (put on the goggles!) and everyone else has left to fight (Kick his ass, damn it! Avenge me!) Izumi hasn't even moved…I think. The maybe raindrops are still falling, so I guess she's still somewhere near me. I'm pretty sure it's her, because I can hear someone saying "I'm sorry! I'm so so sorry!" But it doesn't really matter because I would've done it for any one of my friends.

It's all my fault. Beautiful green eyes, bloodshot. Someone make them stop.

I want to tell her that I should be the sorry one and that I should be apologizing because of what happened before and all the stupid stuff I said, but I don't think she'd care. I'm pretty sure she leans in closer, because those maybe raindrops are getting heavier and the smell of strawberry is assaulting my nose.

I love Izumi (maybe kinda sorta). Izumi loves strawberries. Therefore, I love strawberries.

She leans down so close that I can see her (one last time) and it breaks my heart. Her puffy eyes and blood splattered hair are things I can't put up with. "Hi, Izumi, you look beautiful." She smiles, but it's a sort of sad smile, but I don't really care as long as she's smiling. "Thank you, Takuya," she says just before she kisses me.

One.

Last.

Time.

I really don't want to go after that, but I'm just so tired. I think Izumi notices it, because she's saying things in her melodic voice. (Won't you sing me to sleep?) She whispers four words, though, that stand out above the rest of whatever the hell she says (because it's pretty hard to hear now) that really make me want to stay.

But I'm pretty sure it's too late (it's not too late. It's never too late.) because my eyes are too heavy and my chest just hurts and…

My seconds are up. My luck has run out.

And I'm gone.


Yola, it's Reiji.

Did you like the drill sergeant entry? Or the haiku? Or the story? Maybe you hated them, I don't know. And I won't be able to tell unless you write a review. (*Hint hint)

No, seriously, review. Or gimme and my drill sergeant buddy 500(push ups or dollars) each.