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A new place.

You wake up in a field. Rubbing your pulsating temples with your left hand, you groan and try to remember what happened. You were driving... there was that sign... then... you died?

Of course you didn't. You're still perfectly alive. You sit up and look around.

The sky is starting to dim, and there's an unwholesome smell of some kind in the air. The field stretches on in all directions, covered with yellowing grass. "Crap." you mutter. "How did I end up in the wilderness?" You get up, shaking the grass off your butt. You have no idea how to get back to town.

Then you see a flying ship overhead. It's quite big - bigger than an airline cruiser, and totally black, except for the gleaming hatch windows. The shape is somewhat round and elongated, with sharp edges sloping up on the bottom. As it passes overhead with a terrific roar, you glimpse firing turrets studding the ship all around.

"This isn't Kansas anymore, is it?" you say to yourself as the ship recedes into the distance. "Damn... and I had a fat bottle of cider in my fridge, just waiting for me to get home..."

Having nothing else to do, you start trekking off down the field. After an hour of walking, three things happen - your nose gets used to the smell in the air, the sky turns totally dark, and you get very, very hungry. You root about your pockets. Aha! Half of a crunchy granola bar left over from breakfast! You wolf it down, but it's still not enough.

You continue walking for another hour, now almost sure you're going to die out here. Then, the ground beneath your feet suddenly slopes away, and you come upon a gruesome sight.

Beneath you, in the valley below, a small village is being ransacked in the worst sense of the word. Black armored soldiers are hacking, chopping, shooting from firearms, burning, robbing, pillaging and raping. The victims of this long list of verbs seem to be your typical pillage-fodder - peaceable villagers just eking out a meager existence from the soil. What to do? The choice is hard.

Written by Ryu

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