The Emerald Necropolis
Elder Commander John Hamblin took one last moment to admire the range of steel towers gleaming in the sun against a boundless blue sky and over the crashing waves of Lake Michigan. It was a moment that perfectly captured the majesty and might of the iconic skyline.
As the Mormon soldiers stretched the borders of their holy kingdom the way from central California to the plains of the Midwest heroes were being born with every new campaign. Men who would be remembered as the masons who layed the foundation for the Terrestrial Kingdom, John was certain he would join the ranks of legendary soldiers. His legacy would be cemented when he captured and restored Chicago.
The idyllic image of this lost city is what had inspired his belief in destiny. Entering the city was going to be the pinnacle of his years on earth the summation of a life's mission.
They gathered up what they could and dumped it down into the pitch black level below. It wasn't long before they were leaving their own dead down there. They were sitting on top of a corpse pit. Where things even more awful then the vermin plaguing them feasted on the decaying scraps of humanity they discarded into the impenetrable black.
The men scattered in a mad dash for safety.
There were times when his hands would claw at the material of his sleeping bag and his chattering teeth felt like they were about to shatter, and suddenly there was darkness. He would awake to a hazy world, his muscles sore with the pain of the contraction. He existed somewhere on the line between life and a dream, somewhere in the light of life and the shadow of death.
The boys days were quickly growing shorter. He was in and out of seizures; his convulsing body expelled his infected blood into the air during long bouts of coughing and choking on the saliva flooding his mouth. His moments of lucidity were rare
John and his last remaining medical officer watched in despair and impotence wondering when he would finally slip away into peaceful death or irreparable insanity. He talked when he was alone; the men could hear him through the rusty steel door conversing with shadows and screaming at his memories.
Guilt tormented him as much as the illness and his deteriorating brain exasperated the feelings of despair. For better or for worse he was still rational enough to know he may have been able to save them all.
It eradicated the heavily armed bandits marauding through central California and had overtaken innumerable enclaves protected by some of the most lethal and horrific weapons left behind by the old word, but now their time was running out.
He quickly extinguished the later light and cowered against the wall on the far side of the room gripping his pistol. The massacre was fleeting, and soon there were only the muffled murmurs of the enemy dragging away the butchered remains of his comrades.
Lee realized he could not last outside long enough to leave the city. His flesh would succumb to frostbite before his stomach collapsed in hunger. He was going to die in this city; his mortal remains nothing more than another decaying pile.
. He lay down on his stomach so he couldn't be pushed from behind and pressed the cold binoculars to his eyes. He could still see the plumes of smokes lazily rising into the sky. He scanned the ground until he found the smoldering pile. He couldn't make out what the charred mass was. He squinted his eyes and adjusted the sights. Finally, it the entwined mass of limbs came into view. Those were bodies.