She grappled for some source of balance as she fell forwards, she was warm- getting hotter by the minute. Her heart fluttered franticly in her chest as the banners of war flew in the smoky atmosphere. Her eyelids fluttered over her brown eyes. It was chaotic. There were terrifying blurs of kevlar and flurries of bullets rushing past her. That was when Ara realized she had been caught in the crossfire. The red staining her arms wasn't her sister's blood- it was her own. She cried out, feeling nauseous and sweaty. Her midsection screamed in protest as she bent over with her arm covering the new seeping wound. She dared not look down lest she lose consciousness. The ground met her body hard with a crash, shards of glass and broken metal hit her face, stars surrounded her as she blinked back tears. She grasped for the dust in front of her and crawled towards the treeline as fast as her weakening body could go.
" Ten more feet...just ten more..." Ara thought, as she tried to block out the sound of her friends and strangers alike, fighting and dying to defend their own. But the Super Soldiers were more deadly than they were a decade ago. There would be no survivors. The blood encrusted clay gave way to cool, dark green grass, sheltered by pines. She was safe, but she knew that the safety wouldn't last.
" This must be what childbirth feels like." She muttered through gritted teeth as she chanced a look. She gagged at the metallic stench of the dark blood and forced herself to look away," Except that brings life," she sobbed, "this brings death." Ara felt like she was too young to die. The survivor was only fourteen, the youngest of five children- but that was irrelevant now. The small girl watched as fire glistened in the ranch that she used to call her home. The heat radiated from the scene like it would from an oven. Just watching and hearing the wooden frame houses fall and crack underneath the flames' pressure beat her down even more. Ara was afraid for her life, friends in nearby encampments, and the simple fact that she was slowly and painfully dying. Ara's malnourished hand forced the blood back into the seeping hole in her gut as she struggled to keep her eyes open. The exploding of the fire and falling of the houses sounded dull now as her mind slowed. Ara placed a blood stained against her chest. She couldn't feel her heart, the beating was faint.
She grew limp against the trunk of a fallen pine, her scorched blonde hair entangled in the bark. Her eyes weighed down and the fourteen year old girl's will to live quieted, but her relentless hope endured... Maybe that's what had called out to the soldier as he watched the black flame of the Democracy grow foot by foot.