Prologue

He remembered the rain, relentless needles pouring from the black blanket above them. He remembered the feeling of panic, the adrenaline pumping through his veins, clouding his vision with white fear. Shadows, trees with their mangled corpses, appeared at every corner, their hollow eyes following their every movement. The water seeped its fingers into the ground, reaching for their feet with every step he took. Just keep running.

Explosions sounded behind them, ringing through the air, the atmosphere charged with hysteria as the orange glow behind them surged forward, threatening to swallow them whole. The air tasted like copper.

His ears perked. A loud, high pitched whistle sounded through the air, getting closer with every heartbeat. His mind stopped. A bomb.

And everything was a blur. He remembered screaming his friend's name, his heartbeat pounding in his ears. He remembered the soldiers in the black armor and their gas masks. He remembered a red curtain over his vision, anger filling every fiber in his body, propelling him forward as he ripped the soldiers apart with his bare hands. He remembered the screams of terror and blood on his hands, his clothes, his face. And he remembered those blue eyes, those comforting blue eyes, that sparkled when he laughed, that welcomed him home, dark and lifeless, as tears filled his own.