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WritersCrossing1
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The Temporal Casualty

Coming out of the tent
temporal_casualty_-_final.rtf
Keywords female 865661, clean 9557, war 1623, trauma 265, time travel 264, prompt 149, writerscrossing 71, creative writing 48, monthly prompt 7
I stand before the playpen staring down at the wolf pup. He stares back his golden eyes curious. he’s not afraid; why would he be? He doesn’t know why I’m here, he doesn’t recognize the weapon I have pointed at him. He’s innocent, but he won’t always be. I tell myself this is for a better future. Present? Past?

A paw covers my weapon. That’s odd, there shouldn’t be anyone else here. I should be alone.

“Come back to me Paige,” a familiar voice says. “You’re not there anymore.”

“Just a memory. You’re right Jas,” I say as I remember where I am, when I am, and who is with me. It’s 2050, Jas and I are on a recon mission in APAC territory. We’re too exposed here. I have to get it together, another outburst like that and I could get us caught.

“Paige I’m not-”

I try to silence her with a sign that I hear APAC troops approaching, but she doesn’t pay attention. I’m not sure what’s gotten into her; she knows what will happen if they hear us. I clamp a paw around her muzzle and pull her to the floor behind a low wall, hoping it’s enough cover.

“—our rehabilitation program is showing a lot of promise,” one of the APAC soldiers says. What they’re saying doesn’t make sense, so I suspect it’s code. “While there isn’t a cure for chrono-dementia, with a combination of medication and therapy, we have patients that lead relatively normal lives and only come back to the facility for routine check ups or when they’re struggling.

“Others though, like Paige over there, are what we call temporal casualties. Those who made too many jumps, changed history too much, the damage is too great and it’s all we can do to keep them safe and keep them from hurting anyone else.” I realize they’re not APAC, that’s not where I am either. “Paige is a bit of a legend though. She’s the last to return. The details of her missions are highly classified, except we know she’s responsible for stopping the war from ever happening. She’s a hero.”

It’s 2055. I know this is real and I savor this moment of lucidity. I apologize and let Krystal up. She’s my nurse, not the love of my life. I don’t know if Jas even exists anymore. Lucidity is both a blessing and a curse.

“Hero?” I ask with a bitter laugh, pushing myself to my feet and facing the group. One of the senior staff is giving new interns a tour. “I kept the war from ever happening by stopping APAC from ever existing. More than a billion people who died never did because of my actions, but I am no hero.”

“Paige,” Krystal says as she places a paw on my shoulder. “Please, it’s over. It’s in the past.”

“Not for me,” I mutter. “I relive it every day.”

“I know.” Her paw runs down my spine. She knows how to calm me down just like Jas used to.

“I’ve read the histories saved in the Vault,” one of the interns starts, ignoring Krystal’s attempts to hush him. “If you stopped that from happening, you’re a hero regardless of what you had to do.”

“Heroes do not kill cubs,” I growl. “That’s how I stopped it. I killed all the key figures of APAC before they had a chance to even dream of it. I killed innocent cubs in cold blood for what they might do in the future. While I saved lives, I caused countless others to never exist. I feel like I killed everyone I ever loved, because even if they still exist none of them even know who I am! How am I a fucking hero?!”

I slump to my knees, rage giving way to grief. I’m vaguely aware of Krystal wrapping an arm around me and scolding the senior staff for using one of my trigger words.

There is a mission to complete and I can’t afford to be emotional. I close my eyes and take a breath to compose myself before rising to my feet. I am calm and in control.

Standing before the playpen I raise my weapon. The wolf pup looks up at me with curious golden eyes while his brother is more interested in chewing on a teething toy. Neither is scared of me; why would they be? They’ve never even seen a weapon before, nor could they have any concept of why I’m here.

I look between the two pups. My intel said nothing about him having a twin. I try to determine which is my target, but it’s impossible. No one but their mother could tell the two of them apart. I have to be sure, I’ve come too far and done too much for it to all be for nothing.

This is for the greater good. I tell myself one innocent life is a small price to pay for a billion more. I’m not sure I believe it, but it’s the only way I can make myself pull the trigger twice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Prompt for the month of August! The owner of this piece is Thermite Dragon

Prompt: "A soldier returning from war, with a trauma that leaves him completely dissociated from reality."

Word count: 851

Special thanks to "
WintersInk
WintersInk
" for the three new thumbnails he offered for the monthly prompts!

Keywords
female 865,661, clean 9,557, war 1,623, trauma 265, time travel 264, prompt 149, writerscrossing 71, creative writing 48, monthly prompt 7
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 2 months, 3 weeks ago
Rating: Mature

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