Challenge #03283-BONUS009: Breaking it Down

"I was there, in the midst of the firefight, that damn song on full-blast but it kept me pissed, hate that song now. Most of my closest friends are dead. My lover... they're gone, too. Yeah, I could've gotten an arm that looks real, skin that looks real, and not look like a patchwork doll, but I didn't want it. I can't... I don't want to forget that war, brief as it was. Even if their screams call out every night. I was one of the unlucky ones. I lived. I miss my friends....."

A soldier talking to their therapist who was helping them deal with the massive amounts of PTSD after the fight against Those Bastards. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Content warning for the horrors of war]

Lem had been on Evac patrol when Those Bastards turned everything to shit. First order of business was always to protect the civilians. Riko had launched with the cargo bay open and activated the Hungry Caterpillar as the doors eased closed, desperate people clinging to the exterior.

Lem remembered one throwing their baby into the Caterpillar's horrifying maw. Then making a religious gesture and taking a literal leap of faith. The Caterpillar was busy, and didn't prioritise anyone.

Lem remembered the sound as that parental bounced. So many were falling, but that one had been hir lover.

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