Prologue

The man stares out into the huge abyss that once was a quiet village. All that the villages had once been had been replaced with such horrors you can only imagine. Except this wasn't imagination: this was real! He could see it.

The sounds of sheep and cows had been replaced by the whistling of falling bombs, giving birth to an almighty bang that make men deaf and many cry. The feel of the gentle breeze on his skin and pebbles underfoot had been replaced by the stinging smoke, blinding so many brave and the littered remains of those who had fallen. The smell of flowers and freshly cut grass had been replaced with the stomach turning stench of gunpowder and rotting comrades.

His father had been wrong. War wasn't glorious and magnificent like in his stories. He had said to him when he was only ten, "war, son, makes men great and nations even greater". Now he knows, the price for a nation's greatness is paid through the sacrifice of men such as himself. And a sacrifice he will have to make; but not to make his country great. No. It was well past that. He knew the war was lost. He had said we had lost the moment it had started. To face such an efficient beast as the empire he was fighting against was surely futile. And yet they order us to fight.

He quickly came to terms of what he had decided upon. He caressed the orb with shaking fingers, identifying every scratch and bump on its surface. He slid his fingers into the ice cold circle and paused. Silence. Deafening silence had filled the air. He looked up.

The war was over for him.