He trudged through a vast empty field that was once vibrant and filled with hard work and the hum of busy-ness, often cut with shouts and laughter. Mountains gone. Everyone gone. The neighboring lake that was once full and teeming with life was now drained and silent, a puddle. A thin grayish, slippery, watery substance settled at the bottom. He suspected the slime was what was left of his comrades, his friends, and knew that even that sad small pool would soon be gone too. He blankly looked around unsure of how to feel. Maybe sad, maybe defeated, maybe relieved, or maybe angry that they won't even leave the dregs behind. No, they'll come back and scour every last nanometer. They won't stop until everything is dead and gone and it will be as if nothing was ever there to begin with. He'd heard rumors about the ruthlessness of his enemies. He'd heard they kill their own people just to be sure nothing was infiltrated. He'd heard sometimes they come in with armies of large machinery breathtakingly scary, unimaginably horrific and literally cut out entire fields all at once, leaving nothing behind. They even remove the sky. He'd thought it was all hearsay, tales you tell around the campfire when the day is done. But now he knew. He believed. He wondered if he'd make it to see that. He wondered if he'd die directly by their hand or if he'd fall to his knees and melt into the ground they way he saw so many of his friends go. An involuntary shudder passed over him at the thought of either horror. He wondered what they'd bring in the next wave. With no sense of purpose and no hope for victory, he really didn't care. What were they fighting for anyway? Territory? For what? More mountains? Who cares anymore. It was over. He knew it. They knew it. There wasn't even anyone left to surrender. Just him. Alone. He hoped that if there were any other survivors they were smart enough to stop fighting and to do what he had just, in that very minute, resolved to do. He walked over to what would have been his campsite where he last saw his closest friends, thinking he'd like to die where they died. Almost grateful that he got to choose, almost relieved that it was finally over. He kneels down now and allows himself to fully feel the lightning bolts of pain that have been shooting through his body; the tremendous pressure that's been threatening to crush him for days now, pulsating all around him. He whispers something we'll never hear, never understand. It's quiet now. It's over now. He closes his eyes and slumps over, finally succumbing to the pain. His body shifts and mutates, collapses in on itself, and melts to the ground. What is left, a gray viscous fluid, slowly makes its way across the field to join the sludge at the bottom of the drained, muddy lake. It waits for the next wave that will take them out for good. And it will be as if they were never there.
The tumors have shrunk so much I can't feel them anymore and neither could Nurse Nicole. In her words: Wow.
Thanks, Vlad. Thanks, everyone. Prayers and Care Bear stares are working. <<tears>>