Friday, August 15, 2014

Sandstorm: Enemy Lines

Lombard Ogleson stood in the field of white tombstones and remembered. Vietnam felt like yesterday and he knew it always would. Once a year he would go to the cemetery to pay his respects and remember the place he discovered his awesome elemental powers. Those were the powers that changed him from Private Ogleson the grunt into Sandstorm, the CIA operative. If only he'd discovered those powers 15 minutes earlier; his platoon might be alive today. Why did the memories have to be so vibrant?

He was surrounded by Vietcong and their weapons were aimed at his face where he lay on the ground. His buddies were all dead. They yelled at him in Vietnamese and, of course, he couldn't understand. That was when everything blurred. Enemy soldiers screamed in ways that would echo in his thoughts forever. Their flesh flayed away from their bodies so fast it was like being in a giant sandblaster. That's exactly what it was. He became his namesake in a raging swirling sandstorm the left his enemies in piles of polished bone. Foliage was shredded away several yards in every direction. He looked at his hands in terror and down at the rest of himself. He had destroyed his uniform and stood naked in the jungle.

With nothing but pure shock to guide him he ran. It wouldn't be until much later that he would remember branches and vines flexing out of his way. As his bare feet hit the ground, nothing pierced them, not even the smallest thorn. He was one with nature and its vibrant life was surging through him. He had no idea how far he had run. Miles would be the truth. When he finally stopped, still naked, it was an entire enemy platoon staring at him in confused awe. Slowly, they started to pick up their rifles while trying to figure out what a naked American was doing in their camp. He realized he couldn't let that happen.

Lombard began to scream. It was primal and savage and the ground reacted. The jungle floor uprooted with explosive force, throwing men into the air. Then the ground churned as if being torn by a giant tilling machine. Terrified men, trees, and even a pair of jeeps were plunged underground, never to be seen again. Those men would never have gravestones, not like the ones he stood near.

Lombard took a deep breath. It was just one of those memories and it was the day they were the strongest. He looked out over the sea of tombstones and saluted before walking away.

(Lombard "Sandstorm" Ogleson is one of the characters in my upcoming book, Chaos Rising! Be sure to add the Facebook Page -link upper right- and tune in for updates!)
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