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Dr. Maria Gordon inwhichwar wrote in memebells
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This Ain't a Meme, It's an Arms Race


AKA: THE BATTLEFIELD MEME

1. Go to Random.org's coin flipper and flip that coin.
2. Heads, you are now on one side of the conflict. Tails, you are on the other.
3. Comment with your character name, fandom, and which side you're on in your subject line.
4. Do not leave your initial comments blank. Create a scene. Set things up. Are you in a foxhole? Pinned down by enemy gunfire? Enjoying a quiet cigarette while the mecha troops of the other side are momentarily stilled? Give people something to work off of in their initial tag to you, even if it's only one or two lines.
5. Tag around. Tag your allies (those whose coin flip landed on the same side as yours), tag your enemies (those who flipped opposite you).

Note that nobody said you had to be a willing participant in this conflict. Be a draftee, be a deserter, be a noncombatant who's found themselves caught up by the war. Be a medic, be a general. Be reluctant allies, be lovers torn apart by principle, be old school rivals who are pleased as punch to have an excuse to shoot at each other.

There are no RNG prompts. There are no limits to what kind of war, when or where it takes place. Do as you please, and be excellent to one another!

Raphael | OC/Christian Myth | noncombatant/medic

[You know this guy. Everyone seems to know this guy. He's that guy who always has a light when everyone else is out of matches. The one who can find bandages where nobody else can. The one who's always in whatever trench or foxhole needs him there the most, who specializes in talking sense to the scared and the angry and the wounded.

Weirdly, nobody seems to know what unit he's officially with. Or where he's from, come to think of it. He's just here, a fixture of the war just like official incompetence and delayed peace treaties.

And when you need a medic, and there shouldn't be one on hand for miles -- somehow, this guy has a habit of showing up anyway.]

TML! Serenity Valley.

[Ben ain't sure how long he's been lying face-down in the mud, bleedin' and paralyzed. He does know that the last battle he was in devolved to hand-to-hand pretty quick, and he's surrounded by dead purplebellies.

He also knows that sometime in there, the rage and pain from his many wounds made him Change. He'd at least had the presence of mind to strip his coat off before he did, and it's crumpled in a heap just beyond his reach.

And someone, in the melee, had known what he was and shot him with a silver bullet right before the man's throat had disappeared under his jaws. But the bullet is lodged in his spine, and he's back to human, naked, and can't feel his legs. A burning numbness creeps up his back, however, and it's only a matter of time, he knows.

That's all right. He's lived a long while. He's ready to go Home. It don't even hurt much no more, though he's cold.]

Yea. Though I walk. Through the valley. Shadow-a death. Won't fear no evil...

Re: TML! Serenity Valley.

For yea, Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

[A warm weight settles over Ben's back -- his coat, drawn over him with a gentle hand.]

We do meet in the strangest places, Ben Lockwood.

Raph. [The word is a relieved gasp.] Guess I shouldn't. Be surprised. You're here. What with the. Battle. 'n all.

[He closes his eyes.] 'm tired.

So am I, old friend. [Raph sounds weary down to his bones, actually, as he passes a hand down Ben's spine, looking for the bullet. It doesn't come as easily as it would. He's been in this valley a long time, and he's running low on energy.]

Been a bad. Few weeks.

...did we win? ["We" being subjective. He knows that Raph doesn't necessarily pick sides in battles like this.]

[Raphael winces, resting his hand between Ben's shoulder blades.]

No, Ben. You did not.

[He goes limp. Limper. A single sob tears its way from his throat before he clamps down on it.] Oh. [And that hurts worse than the compound fracture in his tibia, which he can feel again thanks to the bullet being out of his back.]

I know, Benjamin. I know.

[And Raph has nothing else to offer. Not even enough energy left to do more than set the bone back in place and nudge it towards healing; it's been a long battle and he hasn't been holding much back.]

[Ben just closes his eyes and nods into the ground that's been churned to mud by battle and blood.] Thanks, Raph. Be okay now. [Physically.] 'f you see Guri 'round, and he ain't busy, I'd be obliged 'f you'd send him my way.

My brother will come when he is able, Ben. [Raph can't even afford to roll him over. Not and risk damaging his wounded spine further. Just because the bullet is out. . . .] I will wait with you, until someone comes.

Thanks, Raph, but... ain't there others need your services? I'll live now. An' walk again. [He has no words for how relieved he is about that.] But I wouldn't like someone to die because they needed you and you was sittin' with me instead. [His jaw tightens.] Been enough dyin'.

More than enough. [Raphael suddenly looks very old and very sad and worn beyond belief. His uniform is so black with mud and blood and other less identifiable substances that nobody could tell which army it belongs to, if any.

He closes his eyes and turns his face up to a very unfriendly sky. It's threatening to rain again.] There's nobody left to save, Ben.

...oh. [Ben heaves a shuddering sigh. His face is wet with rain and smeared with mud and blood. He can keep the sobs contained, but no one will notice a few stray tears, right? He snakes a hand out and grasps Raph's. He's got a little spare Grace, and he lends it, gladly.] Love you, Raph. I hope it weren't all for nothin'.

[Raphael sighs. He's not supposed to take comfort from humankind, he's meant to do the exact opposite of that, but at this moment he is very old and very tired, and he tightens his fingers gently around Ben's and lets that spare Grace rekindle his own, a bit.] So do I, Ben.

Oh, so do I.

[Well, Ben's not "humankind," strictly, he's a Hound of God, even if he's a bit tarnished 'round the edges, so he reckons he can give his brother comfort if he wants.] I been in more wars'n I can count. Some declared, some not. I know you have too.

No one ever learns from 'em. Just better'n easier ways to kill folk.

No. They don't. [There's a low rumble somewhere off at the edge of hearing. Maybe thunder, maybe artillery or engines. Hard to tell just yet.]

Oh, that You would rend the Heavens, Lord, and come down.

Be a blessin' if He did. I'm tired-a dyin' by inches. An' watchin' my friends die. And I know this ain't no pleasure trip for you neither. Hump the Alliance anyhow. [The tears are tracking through the mud and blood on his face. He doesn't even realize they're falling.]

[Raphael sighs and reaches out to run a hand over Ben's matted hair.] Someday. Someday.

[It's the promise he's been clinging to for a very long and bloody eternity, thus far. And some days, that promise seems worn very thin indeed.]

[Ben takes what little comfort he can from the touch and the promise.] Even so, Lord, come quickly.

Please.


[He swallows hard.] And if'n You don't, well. Give us the strength to endure this without shatterin'. Shatterin' more.

Edited at 2012-04-03 04:56 am (UTC)

Amen and amen. [Raphael sighs deeply as the thunder rolls again and the rain starts falling. He shakes out a wing and spreads it out over Ben.]

[Ben makes a noise down in his throat. The simple, kind act of the sheltering wing is enough to make him break down completely, and he buries his dirty face in his filthy arms and just cries his sorrow and heartbreak out to his God and Father. How. How can he endure this. Again.]

[And Raphael can offer no other comfort but this -- a sheltering wing and close company and someone to cling to Ben's hand as he weeps. Somewhere along the way the angel starts crying as well, turning his face up so that the rain will mask his tears.]

[And it helps. Ben's not strong enough to cling like death to that hand, but he clutches it as hard as he's able. Eventually, he cries himself out, too exhausted to even weep anymore. This war, at least, is over. Maybe he can have a life again, if the purplebellies don't decide to "detain" him. It's a eventuality he lives in terror of, fear of it coiling around his heart like a rattlesnake and shaking its tail amongst his lungs.

It's not a fear he wants to burden his brother with, however, and as he quiets, he makes a sort of slithering hitch and wraps his arm around Raph's waist.] Love you, Raph. We'll get through this too.

[Raphael draws his wing close around Ben, returning the somewhat awkward embrace.]

We endure, Benjamin. What else can we do, but wait and hope and endure?

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