• Hell.

    Thousands upon thousands of dead, dying, and wounded littering the ground. Blood and debris pot marking the otherwise beautiful landscape.

    It was beautiful.

    The carnage of battle has scarred the area with violent explosions and shockwaves of powerful magick as they war against each other. Man against man, beast against machine. A thick layer of dust has kicked up, limiting visibility. The wind, too has picked up which has caused the canyon to be blocked off by an almost impenetrable layer of stinging sand.

    Amidst the chaos of the fight a single figure stands out. He surveys the frenzy with his own sense of purpose, unaffected by the carnage that ensues all around him. To his left a man is riddled with potholes as a battalion of soldiers fire white hot lead through his soft body. The soldiers in turn quickly realize they are being turned to stone by the now dead man's ally. From the feet up they frantically claw at their hardening flesh, desperate to break free. As the last man's scream escapes his stony lungs, the mage strikes the ground, causing a shockwave that reduces the men to mere rubble.

    This place is hell.

    The man continues to scan the massacre down below. He watches as tanks blast into battlements, and mages ignite the whole area on fire. Streaks of pure energy steam across the field, lacerating everything they come in contact with. Men are rended left and right. This pointless madness seems as if it will never end.

    And then he sees it. The blood red sky makes it hard to focus on the ruby glow emanating from the rising smoke of battle. Its him! The man from his visions, but he's rapidly moving away from the battle. The man on the rock looks around to see if there is a better way around the battle, but the walls of the canyon surrounding the battle are steep, and it would take too much time to scale them. He must go though it. He must go through the bloodshed, the death, and the destruction. It is likely he will not make it through the canyon unscathed, but he has no choice. Bracing his shaky legs and choking his heart back down his throat, he leaps off the rock and hurtles into the fray.
    Going down, the man passes a group of heavy infantry kneeling behind a rock. Out of the corner of his eye he notices them taking aim in his direction. He darts in and out of the wrecks of several downed mechs as his assailants open fire, riddling everything in the vicinity with hot lead. Keeping crouched, he scrambles behind a walker whose driving unit seems to have been melted into the rest of the chassis, rendering the entire piece of hardware immobile. Stopping to catch his breath, he peers over towards the men and notices one of them switching his gun for something else, but the stinging sand makes visibility difficult. He can only make out the shape of the item. The man straps the long tubular device over his shoulder.

    A missile launcher!

    Damn! The man rolls to his feet and makes it about ten steps before the entire area behind him is rocked with a violent explosion. Shards of shrapnel whiz by him as the concussion blast from the explosion throws the man fifty feet into the crimson sky. Flying through the air like a rag doll, he twists and bends his body so that when he lands on the ground once again, he only has to do a tuck and roll in order to keep his momentum going, sprinting away from the men with their eyes on his blood.

    Continuing deeper into the massacre, the man spots a trio of mages working their deadly magicks in the most grotesque form imaginable. One mage is reciting some enchantment and making peculiar signs with his hands and arms. In effect a force shield raises up and surrounds the three of them, deflecting all incoming fire from their would-be assassins. Another mage has gathered a small mountain of large boulders and uses them to smash their opponents. In amazement the man watches the boulders crash into a huge mech, smashing the cockpit and snapping the legs beneath it. The rocks continue to pulverize the mage’s victim until nothing but a heap of scraps remain. Other rocks controlled by the mage are used to grind other, less protected soldiers into a mess of bones and blood. The third, and most terrifying mage has conjured a small maelstrom in which he uses to send blasts of electrical energy to whatever target he chooses.

    Gotta be careful with those three. The man opts to keep his distance from the mages and instead chooses to go around to the right, using the carnage they are creating as a cover for him to sneak by. Unfortunately, that puts him in the middle of the rest of the assailing army, bent on the three mages’ destruction.

    Weaving in and out, darting this way and that, surviving several near death encounters, the man painstakingly makes his way through the roaring battle. All while keeping an eye on the glint of red trailing ahead in the distance. He’s gaining on him. Although it doesn’t matter now as the shimmering beacon disappears completely from view. Now at this point the man has a choice to make. Since the individual with the stone seems do have completely vanished, the man has failed in his opportunity to complete his task. This means he can go home.

    Back to the rolling greens hills of home.

    All the death he’s encountered will be behind him. An alluring thought for sure. This also means he has to do a one eighty and backtrack through the labyrinth of carnage he has just traversed.

    Not quite as appealing.

    The second choice? Keep going. Maybe, just maybe there’s still hope of catching his adversary…however slim the chance. And being that most of the battle is now behind him, it would extend his chances for survival by a few minutes at least. It also means the chance of rescuing her…

    The choice has been made.

    Steeling himself, the man forges ahead, against all odds, into the unknown.