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About Deviant Premium Member Jake Ristic-PetrovicMale/Canada Groups :iconmilitaryaddicts: MilitaryAddicts
Military, war, ww2, soldiers
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Where'd everybody go? 

5 deviants said Kidnapped by Russian cosmonauts, taken to quasar
4 deviants said Directly behind you
2 deviants said Away from your page, ya douchebag!
1 deviant said To a place hidden between two ancient towers...the back alley.


Nobody was much older than thirty when we got here. I was nineteen. I jumped out of the belly of an RM-390 atmosphere skimmer, you know, one of those hydrogen sweepers they turned into drop ships. It was fun during training, the drop. Knowing it was a combat jump, I soiled myself at the first sign of enemy movement on the surface. Those Guludeb—they're not ones for subtlety. They know that in a head-to-head fight they've got us whipped.

But I made it. Most of us did, actually. We landed in the hills, the youngest of us eighteen and the oldest of us thirty-two. Another year and the youngest of us will be older than the second extreme. We knew that going in. We just had no idea what it really meant.

They say it takes twenty years to properly colonize a habitable planet. Twenty years to build the cities and the facilities and the economy. Murad had been fully colonized a century before the Guludeb showed up. I wonder what the founders of the colony would have done differently if they'd known a tribe of aliens who looked like little miniature Leviathans were going to come wipe out half the population and put themselves in charge. Maybe they would've given up. Maybe they would've just taken a little longer, been a little more careful to make sure some things survived.

Hard for me to say. I've heard colonial founders are a weird bunch, but my planet's old enough they're all already dead.

Twenty years to properly colonize a habitable planet. Eight months for a tribe of violent alien monstrosities to take over. Earth High Command estimated nine years, six months to retake the world. Guerrilla warfare at its finest: they sent us in to make Murad a logistical nightmare.

From what I understand, thirty-thousand troops were dropped all over the planet. We were so far apart, though, the largest unit my company had any contact with was an independent platoon, the only unit in the area with a proper laser cannon. I remember practically pissing my pants I was so excited when they knocked that orbital repair station out of orbit with one burst from that thing. It's a 5FKS “Mini Boar,” for you armchair generals out there.

It's been thirteen years. I don't remember what my mom's front lawn looked like. I don't remember what I pictured when I was first told we would all be compensated with housing and lifelong pensions for our service. I can't count for you the number of times I've had to inject a temporary sterilizer into my testicles just so I could do the one thing that kept me from going absolutely wodwo.

I'll tell you what I do remember. I remember rendezvousing with the rest of my company in the foothills outside Lyundhill, the local capital. I remember that first ambush, when we massacred twenty-three Guludeb soldiers performing some kind of ritual in the woods—I remember their return fire, those automatic cannons they hold blowing apart full-grown conifers, decapitating soldiers. I remember the day when I stopped remembering every firefight, every roadside bomb, every rocket launch, and it all congealed into a blur punctuated by only the worst horror or the most exhilarating victories. I remember the chunk of shrapnel that took most of my nose. I remember the Guludeb devouring the surgeon who fixed it for me, eating him in public as restitution for an ambush.

I remember a lot. Now I think I'm going to remember today.

The Guludeb leaders were on one half of the table, and there were admirals, generals, and politicians from a dozen earth colonies on the other. I sat on the far edge. One of the Guludeb chieftains stopped the dialogue for a moment and pointed a claw at me. He spoke. I'd never heard them speak before. You'd think with names like Olgkhuptu and Hagrakadacz they'd sound like the way they looked—ugly, scarred, violent. But they don't. Their language is singsong, with all sorts of underlying harmonics that sound just like an orchestra getting ready before a big show. The translator worked slowly.

“Why do you sit at this table with these great men? You are but a footsoldier.”

I didn't smile, but I spoke politely. “I am the highest-ranking footsoldier to fight on Murad.”

“Lies! You are too young! Your rank is corporal!”

“Yes, chieftain. And corporal is the highest rank left.”

I'm going to remember today. I'm going to remember the treaty, I'm going to remember all the ships leaving the atmosphere. And when I remember, I'm always going to wonder what thirteen years and thirty thousand means to anybody else.
Young Man Wants Pension
It's been a while since I've done proper science fiction on this website. This story started off as a realization: an entire planet is a lot bigger than your average battlefield. To successfully nab one back would take a very long time, and incur casualties that I can only describe as truly epic.

It isn't very polished, so if anyone could point out anything confusing, or a jarring break in style, or what have you, let me know.
A woman calling herself Jo Ann of Archer Street took over the barber shop a year ago today. I don't think she was really crazy. She was just frustrated. Or maybe she had a few too many cups of coffee.

Anyway. She jumped through the storefront window with a pair of pearl-handled revolvers drawn, and told us we were all joining her on an expedition. She pointed them squarely at my eyes, one barrel per pupil, and demanded my compliance. I was in the middle of giving an old customer a quick trim, but I said what the hell, sure. You can't argue with that kind of panache.

Really I wish I'd got to go on the journey she was ranting and raving about. You should have heard her describe it. We were going to hijack a boat and sail to Greenland, where she would proclaim herself empress. She was so goddamn convinced, that Jo Ann, that we all believed she really could do it. We all forgot that we were in a barber shop, us barbers and those customers, and we started cheering her on and laughing at her cracks about the people who might oppose her.

Of course the cops showed up. She didn't shoot at them or anything. They blew her brains out just for having the pistols and, I suspect, for being black. This is Chicago; I've seen plenty of well-armed loonies out there with pale skin who got the taser rather than the bullet. Then they started handing out blankets and coffee and asking us if we needed to see the on-site psychiatrist. One by one we told them off. I said they'd made a mistake, shooting our empress. That got me plenty of funny looks.

I miss Jo Ann of Archer Street, though I couldn't have known her much longer than an hour or two. Such a character. The window in our shop was replaced, and I went back to cutting hair. Someday I'm going to go to Greenland, though, and I'm going to see what it's like in my empress' country.
Barber Shop Boogie
A blurb about mentally unbalanced cops vomited onto a deviantart document in under ten minutes.
I was driving down the interstate in a stolen SUV. The SUV said “Security Patrol” on one half of the rear hatch, and “Patrol Dog” on the other, in big red letters. I'd already taken care of the driver, the security guard. But the dog was still in the back, and my Christ was he pissed.

There are times when I think I've taken the wrong path in life. Most people would say that's obvious; you're out stealing security guard cars, beating the drivers half to death for their keys and their suits so you can pull off liquor store heists. But for the most part I don't think that's really wrong. It's just the lot in life chosen for me by the powers-that-be. I've only ever killed one person, and it was an accident. A complete fluke, really. So am I a bad person? No.

Like I said, though, the wrong path in life. It doesn't make much money, to be honest. Every couple months I've gotta rob a jewelry store and fence it off through this guy I know, Rene, just to make fucking rent on my apartment. I should've got into bank heists, or white collar crime, or contract killing, or some other kind of big deal shit. Instead, I'm hoping that dog can't bite through its cage in the back because if it can, I'm not just out a thousand bucks or so. I'm out most of the skin on my ass and all the time of my life they can throw me in the can for this petty shit plus assault.

The parking lot started to come up, and I was thinking about all this existential bullshit about who I am and where I'm going in my life, and the dog shut up. It just shut the fuck up. I was relieved for about two seconds before I asked myself: what do animals tend to do right before something really bad happens? Birds up and fly away by the millions, cats flip shit, dogs run under the bed in terror, and I imagine armadillos do the mamba.

So I pulled into the lot, thinking something very strange was going on. I stopped in the first convenient stall, directly in front of the little bar I knew had an ATM just waiting to be popped open. I turned around and looked the dog's way.

The dog, a little larger than the average Kodiak bear, had its tail between its legs and its front paws over its eyes, even though its head was halfway through the hole it had torn in its obviously substandard cage.

“My god sir,” I said, “What on earth has gotten into you?”

“I look into the eye of infinity,” Said the dog in a voice that scared the shit outta me almost as effectively as the fact it could speak surprised the shit outta me, “And I see the final portents have revealed themselves. The world is at an end, human.”


“Oh, no,” The dog lamented, “Look at the moon! Look at how the black world of Nemesis aligns with it!”

I turned and looked out at the sky. The crescent moon did line up with a planet, but I figured it to be Mars. I shook my head and told the dog so.

“Are you certain?”

“Yes, quite.”

“Oh. Well then I suppose you ought to go fuck yourself, because I just unlocked the hatch with my hind leg.”

“Bloody hell.”

This big canine leaped out the back hatch and came running around to the driver's door, barking up a storm and trying to crash through the windshield. Of course I had a piece—the security guard had dropped his nine mil rather than shoot me with it, the dumb fat bastard—so I pulled it out of the holster, flicked off the safety, and tried to aim through the window at this animal. I fired two shots and hit the dog precisely in the fucking nowhere, because both rounds missed and skidded off the asphalt. The glass was shattered, and the beast gladly jumped through the opening to try for mauling me.

Then I blasted it. At point-blank, with its teeth just about wrapped around my carotid. I put maybe five rounds in it. The dog didn't go limp, it started twitching and kicking and it fell out of the SUV and back onto the pavement. Though my operation had been blown, and now I would have to spend the rest of the night ditching the vehicle, I took pity on the creature and stepped out of the car.

“Praytell, worthy opponent,” I said, “Why did you choose this life?”

“Life is not for the choosing, human. We are not asked to be born, nor are we asked to live. We come into being and we follow the ruts dug for us by the preceding souls. My death is no more the consequence of my actions than my birth. It is fate, and I accept it. Now, fuck off.”

So I left the dog to die there in peace, and I made damn sure I got rid of the security car without leaving any traces. From then on in, I vowed to make sure the security guards didn't have any talking fucking dogs with them.
For most of the day they marched across salt flats, the land of obelisks at their backs shrinking until, when Samir last turned his head, the immense black stones were simply dark streaks shimmering in the sun's heat. As the flats gave way to gravel and crag, the prince decided it was tie for his expedition to rest. He ordered the archers to higher ground with small contingents of the Manakhan knights, and the rest of the soldiers arranged the usual circular camp. His tent sat in the center, his cavalry around it, the rest of the knights and all of the arquebusiers in the next ring, and finally the heavy and light infantries.

He lay on his little throne of cushions with Qashamvili's book of clairvoyance on his lap, but he did not open it. The sun was setting when Evom, leader of the infantry company from Jushadd, stepped into his tent. They had spoken little since leaving the safety of the coast, but it was impossible for Samir to forget a man like that.

He was short, old, and muscular. He was the palest man in the expedition, and one of perhaps three or four with blue eyes. He wore the simple chain mail and rotund helmet of a very poor noble, and accompanying his blue shield and short sword were two hatchets strapped to his legs. It was said that Evom armed all of his men this way, but that he was the only one who had used the axes very well in combat. The day before, at the obelisks, he was said to have thrown them into the skulls of their ghoulish attackers.

“Evom.” Samir greeted, and got to his feet.

“Evening, my lord. I've come here to ask for your blessing in a reconnaissance of the pass up ahead.”

“You think it's needed?”

“It may be, it may not be. My men are restless, and hungry for something other than goats and lizards. If they can at least find themselves good prey, they'll be satisfied.”

“Evom, you are the only man in my camp who has come to me after an entire day's march through the scorching desert and complained of having a restless troop. You have my blessing and my admiration.” Samir sat down again. “Find something and kill it.”

“It would be an honor, my lord.”


They called him the albino. Evom knew this, though it was never said to his face. It didn't anger him, though; the years of fighting street urchins for respect because his grandfather had gone to Jushadd to die had consumed all of his rage. Now he was simply pleased that they said albino out of respect. He was simply pleased they called him leader at least as often.

He marched in front of his unit, sixty-three of the original ninety remaining, through the twists and turns of the badlands. His Çavuş, Iokharra, marched behind them, though if he was watching for deserters he wasn't likely to catch any. Better to die on campaign than to return to Jushadd alone.

The twin moons and the many stars gave this place a glow so strong in places that it seemed to reflect their light perfectly. Crunching beneath their boots told Evom that his men were walking over bits of glass—the detritus left by another army from another era? Swallowed by the Sadegh as they had been, and not fortunate enough to fight their way out? Evom ordered his column to halt and disperse.

The soldiers quickly clambered up the folds in the earth on either sides, clung to places where the sediments were darker. Evom remained at the center of the bowl, and listened. They had to be two hours' march from the camp, but he could still hear the drunken frivolity of the javelin hunters and the heavy infantry companies. He could hear his men breathing into the dust in front of them. He could hear the faint crinkling of glass skittering down the slopes all around.

He knelt down and picked up the first thing that gleamed in the moonlight. It was delicate and waxy, not at all like a wine bottle. It was too light, as well, nothing like the stores of whiskey and beer they had captured form the goblin raiders. It had not been forged by a glassblower.

More crinkling. Like a small avalanche of bottles precipitating from somewhere in the badlands beyond Evom's sight. He drew his sword and commanded his men;

“Get to the crowns of these hills and be ready to defend yourselves!”

“What is it, boluk-bashi?” Iokharra demanded as he ran to his captain's side.

“There is a dragon in these hills. There might be a hundred dragons. Quick—you take the right, and I'll take the left.”

They both ran their separate ways and had the gaggles of men form up into something resembling phalanxes. From up high Evom could see nothing—the horizon was covered by the gradually growing hills, the faint glow of the camp's fires a cold reminder that he was very alone here. Comprehension dawned on the soldiers when they saw the first supine form slink about in the shadows of darker crag.

“Dragons! Dragons, captain!”

“Hold steady, if they're in for a fight we'll give them a bloody nose and retreat to the camp as a unit—as a unit, my sons!”

The first creature to climb into easy view atop one of the glowing slopes was a creature borne of every child's worst nightmare and most exciting fantasy. It was as long as Evom's company had been when they were in full formation. Its neck was short, its tail was endless. Its eyes glowed in the shadows of their bony, hideous faces.

“God is great!” Many of the men yelled, “God is great, God is great, God is great...”

The dragon that struck came from the darkness down the slopes, and it attacked a phalanx on another hilltop. Like an arrow, the creature seemed to move instantaneously from one place to the next. Its claws gutted and its teeth tore men in half. But the soldiers did not break; they thrust their blades into its head and neck and arms and it retreated a moment later. The exchange hadn't taken the time needed to piss in a stream, but four men were dead and three more were mangled and in agony.

“Watch your feet, men!” Iokharra roared, “They won't come from straight ahead, they'll come up from beneath!”

“Let us retreat, captain! For the love of merciful God, let us fall back!”

“Hold your ground!” Evom bellowed, “Hold your—”

The next strike was on every phalanx at once. The dragons moved like trained soldiers, two to each group. The two men standing in front of Evom were sliced in two and he flung himself past them, stabbing at the enormous knobbled head that had appeared. His sword found its place imbedded in the beast's eye. It shuddered and twitched and when the captain tried to hold on it threw him. The only thing he felt, even as he rolled down into the crag, again and again, was the sensation of his blade snapping at the hilt.

He came to a halt and remained on his back for a moment, winded. He heard someone yell that their boluk-bashi was dead. He tried to roll onto his feet but only succeeded in turning onto his hands and knees. His chest burned and blood stung his right eye. His helmet was cracked in half in front of him.

“Useless...useless piece of shit.” Evom fought to get to his feet and found his shield. Above him, he could see the dragon he'd attacked was limp and slowly sliding down. If anyone survived, he would be remembered as Evom the Dragon Slayer.

He pulled the hatchets from their leather straps and moved as quickly as he could back up the hill, slipping twice. When he reached the fight again, his phalanx had been wiped out—just two men of the twenty who had gathered there were still on their feet. They had wounded the dragon badly enough that it had run.

“To the next formation, men. We can't stay up here, just the three of us.”

“Captain! You survived!”

“I won't for long. Move!”

They dashed across the hump of the hill and back up the other side of the valley, to the group that had been attacked first. Another dead dragon was at their feet, but this group of sixteen numbered only five. Evom's company had been decimated. He looked over to Iokharra's group. They were the most intact; he didn't know how many had fled there, but he could see eleven or twelve soldiers still standing.

Gore stained the sand on every hilltop and dozens of bodies had rolled limp into the glassy crag below. Blades and arrows did not leave pretty wounds, but they were nothing compared to the serrated claws of dragons. Phalanxes were strong formations against men, but the tactics of trained soldiers could not match the brilliance and quick wit of a small pack of dragons.

Evom felt his chest. It was hard and bloated. He knew that if someone cut him just far enough to break into the cavity beneath his muscles he would gush all his blood. No one could survive such an injury.

“Iokharra! Form the company up and retreat to the camp. Move at double-time.”

“Sire!” Iokharra called across the gulf, “What do you intend to do while we leave?”

“The dragons were merely warning us of what lay in store if we don't leave.” He bent down and picked up another piece of glass, painful as the motion was. He spoke, too quietly for his Çavuş to hear. “These are vain creatures. They will want an effigy to burn, a monument to leave. I will be that monument.”

Iokharra obeyed his commands, had the company of ninety form up, with twenty-three men in the lead, and sixty-seven ghosts covering the retreat. They drained their canteens and ran as a unit back the way they'd come. Iokharra was a fine soldier, a man with dozens of campaigns under his belt. He could lead them. He wouldn't get lost.

The dragons returned to find Evom kneeling in the remnants of his company. He still held his two axes, still breathed laboriously. One of the creatures, larger than the rest and scarred so that its macabre beauty was unrecognizable, climbed until it was two horses from the captain's face. Heat was welling up in its throat before it spoke in the bizarre, inimitable language of its people.

Evom understood what it said. Dragons spoke the same language as the Sadegh. Words that reached through from the ancient days of life and plenty did not touch the ears, they went directly to the soul. He did not drop his axes. He did not even squint when the flames turned him to a charcoal statue on a plinth of blue glass.
An Encounter in the Badlands
Part of a high fantasy project I'm working on. It centers on Samir, a prince with a grudge, but the battles and funnier anecdotes are taken from perspectives all throughout his small army. They're marching through the Sadegh, a vast desert that consumes all but a few who enter it, that speaks to men with power and tempts them to cross it. Whether Samir has simply been duped by the desert's soul or is in fact the man chosen to tame it is a major question the story brings up and will answer.

Boluk-bashi is an old Ottoman Empire rank for captain. Çavus is the closest thing I could find to a centurion/sergeant-major/other high-ranking NCO, which in the old days mainly existed to keep men from fleeing the field and to take over after the commander of a small unit got bumped off. Tell me what you think, it should be a little sloppy since I wrote it in about an hour, so feedback would be very helpful.
It had been one of those beautiful emerald Irish pastures once, kept low and verdant by livestock grazing. It was overgrown now that the extraterrestrials had gobbled up all the cows, chickens, deer, dogs, cats, pigs, hamsters, hedgehogs, small children, adults with the mentality of small children, sparrows, crows, barn swallows, geese...the list goes on. All there was to plod the earth were the few humans such as myself and old Myles and the dolphins which some sick alien had decided ought to run about on feminine legs.

"Get that glazed look out of your eyes, lad. It wasn't that fucking pretty to begin with." Myles growled. He pulled a mickey of Jameson's out of his blue trench coat and pulled a swig. "Now help me find the old brick shithouse. I buried Flann's treasure out behind it."

"You don't suppose anyone else found it before us, do you?"

"Oh, yea, well everybody goes diggin' around shithouses don't they?" Myles rolled his eyes and grumbled something in Gaelic. Perhaps I should say "Irish." He snapped at me every time I called his language Gaelic.

I never understood Myles that well. He materialized in an amber haze shortly after the aliens left, possessing an innate knowledge of both Dublin and the Irish countryside. Though he refused to tell me who he really was or where he'd been before I met him, he sympathized with me, for I was the only Canadian tourist neither beamed into the belly of a flying saucer nor spliced with an inanimate object. My girlfriend hadn't been so lucky; she was to forever wander the streets of that city as an antique ottoman. Myles told me he knew where there was buried gold, that he had buried it with a fellow named Brian after they murdered Flann--though he left out any other pertinent details about his prior existence.

I followed him through the pasture until we reached the old stone inn, a dirt road leading up to its stout black gates that we hadn't seen through all the tall grass and monstrously overgrown hedgerows. Then he motioned for me to take the lead while again sipping from his whiskey. I looked up and down the area, didn't see anything that resembled an outside toilet, and so went around behind the house expecting to find it there.

Sure enough, overlooking a sharp drop into an ocean strait, across which was a large green island, the outhouse. It had a pair of vultures, minus any flesh--just feathers and bones--sitting on it and having an excited conversation in what I guessed was Tagalog. I assumed this because I'd heard that language spoken a great deal in my days as the manager of a Tim Horton's off the Trans-Canada outside Golden.

"Is this the one?"

"Yea." Myles nodded, and then sat on a bench behind the inn. "Poor ol' Flann. I told Brian we shouldn't do it, y'know. But he was a sick one, that Brian. Totally cuckoo. Told me if I didn't do it he'd have my head. Yea, it's buried right by those two stones."


"Speak it, lad."

"What are we going to do with the gold when we have it?"

"I always wanted to buy an estate somewhere as far from the English as I could without leaving Ireland."

"But who would you buy it from? There's hardly anyone left."

"Yea. Now I imagine we'll have to use it to get you some women. Repopulation is the ticket now."

While his logic seemed flawed, I shrugged, found a spade leaning against the inn, and started to dig. The vultures chuckled at me, and Myles went into the inn tavern to find himself another bottle. The world is such a strange place, I thought to myself, it's good to have friends who don't think so. I struck the box of gold, plucked it from the earth, and popped it open. Brilliant coins sparkled like hundreds of little suns.
Gaotha Te
What fresh hell is this?
You ever read a book and you love it so much, you wish you could read a thousand books just like it but you can't find any? That's how I feel about The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien. I read it a few months ago and thinking about it just makes me manic. The weird thing is; it's not the kind of book I'd normally like. It progresses slower than it ought to (which is the number one thing that makes me completely unable to read Stephen King, the fact that he can't shut up), it's written in very formal language (the number one thing that keeps me away from some Lovecraft stories--I love ol' Howard Phillips, but I can't get through the Mountains of Madness because of the goddamn language) and really it doesn't have much action in it (which tends to turn me off science fiction with a really good premise and good characters--a lack of crazy shit happening). But it's hilarious and unsettling, and I couldn't put it down when I read it. Strange.

So folks, what book or books gives you that feeling of excitement, just thinking about it? And what books do you love, even though they seem like the sort of thing you shouldn't be able to sit through?

Also a sorry in advance to Stephen King fans. I'm not saying he's a bad writer! He's just not as concise as I like. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. If it was, he wouldn't be one of the top American writers of all time.

Double also: that title is a prompt. You people should write a story about a door that knocks from within, or, like, something analogous to that.


Jake Ristic-Petrovic
A drunk Albertan, I'm a writer. I write stuff, and shit, and other things. Feedback is always appreciated, positive or negative.

I've got a tumblr.




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Arianod Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:) :iconthnxplz: :meow:
sincebecomeswhy Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
Dood broods over oodles of food.
sincebecomeswhy Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You've been working on that all week, haven't you?
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014
myriadwhitedarkness Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fave! :)
Edges-to-Everything Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
Happy Birthday, Jake! :nod:
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
HadrianR Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
Happy Birthday ! :D
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
Thank you!
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