"It’s been a year since the portal was closed and the invasion of the living by the dead thwarted…now the power of the dead world is massing to make it return again this year on All Hallow’s Eve. Our scouts have not yet discovered what the denzines of the damned have planned but if it is anything last year it should be none the less…riveting. "
“Oh really John do you have to be so dramatic.”
“Look hot shorts we don’t need any coffee or donuts.”
“Sure,John,sure. What ever you saaay.”
John the loader of his undead tank trapped in purgatory shakes his head at the pale green skinned vixen.
“Even in Purgatory the women are…troublesome”
“John, I heard that.” whispers her voice through the dead and leaf trees.
“They just come and go as they please and they are always sneaking up on you from behind. I still haven’t got used to that trick.”
“So get ready men for this years Halloween Fight to keep the dead where they belong. Our tanks will be ready for ya when you arrive and as usual so will our souls. Maybe this year we can get to see our families one last time and say good-bye before we return to Purgatory where we wait until our deeds have been judged good enough to move on from this place of desolation…and bothersome Purgatory women.”
While walking back to the tank a dead tree limb cracks John on his butt.
“See what I mean. See ya soon.”
“Actually, I have a better opening than John’s. After all he is just a lowly Loader.” Brian the driver of the tank says to the roar of laughter from John inside of the the tank.
“I wrote this last year during the Halloween contest and thought it might 'invigorate your soul a little more than John “Willsie Nillsies” did. I hope you like it. Here goes.”
"The morning sun crept into the tank through holes that had been penetrated by a small caliber tank round. The warm and yellow rays of light cut the nighttime air like a sword. The smell of gunpowder lay heavy in the tank and across the battlefield like a fog bank on a fresh and crisp morn’. The grass wept with heavy morning dew that had collected on their coarse blades, running into the ground never to return. Never providing the soul for what the ground needed, but running somewhere. The brackish trees carried the burden of holding up the sky, their branches reaching up towards the clouds for rain that would never come.
Brian was interrupted by an elbow to the ribs. It was Jerry, the driver from another tank who had come and sit down close to him around the pale green fire that lit the up the camp. A fire that would never provide any heat at all no matter how many logs Jerry threw on it.
“Tell them about it.” Jerry said gazing deeply into the flickering of the fire and sparks created from the log he had just tossed into it.
Matter of fact most of the men from the tank companies had started to wander in, taking up places around the campfire and in the windows of buildings around the ethereal fire. In the distance the portal lay quiet as a tomb, a reminder of what separated the living from the reaching hand of the dead world they all lived in now.
“I like this part as well Jerry” said Brian with smile.
“The Tsar tank, as tall as a ten story building, creaked and clanked through the countryside. Its single Ferris Wheel crushing the soil beneath it into a road that the Undead Army of Hell would use to patrol from. Great plumes of black as coal smoke billowed from the clanking steam engine. No one had ever seen the Tsar from the inside as only the truly dead and Hell bound could be part of its crew. But from a distance, through our binoculars, we could see the undead clad in grey leather uniforms wearing Iron Splatter masks manning their guns. The truly dead kept like passengers on its rear arm, ready to be dropped to the ground at a moments notice. Not a single soul moved on that wretched thing save for its Commander in a crows nest a top the main artillery deck, like a Prince in a tower that he could never escape from. He scoured the land with his gaze, looking for those from Purgatory, looking for us to add to the army of the dead…”
The pale light of the fire cast long shadows into the hearts of the men and women that had gathered around it.
Far off in the distance, Tsar tanks following each one in echelon across an abandoned crop field, billowed the sky with great columns of black smoke as they continued ending patrolling for those from Purgatory. The growling of their engines turning the creaking drive shafts of the huge beast.Its company of undead and Hell Sent locked into an eternal stare of the dismal land that lay all around them for miles on end.
Miles Ahead of the Tsar Behemoths hundreds of A7V tanks lumbered their undead troops on their eternal duty across the land of Purgatory each tank filling the daytime with its own blasphemous plume of coal black smoke. If the camp of Purgatory was ever found there would be no stopping the undead the Hell Sent from invading the living through the Portal. A Portal that the Army of Purgatory could not cross but had been charged with protecting until the day of their service was needed no more and had been recalled into Heaven, their mission fulfilled.
Miles behind the advancing metal came the Hell Sent’s A7V Gatherer’s. Nearly as large as the Tsar tank fortresses, the great siphons of the Gatherer’s probe the cemeteries, hospitals and battlefields of the living, drawing the life force out of young and old alike. Its mechanisms converting the souls of the Gathered into small golden vials. The awaiting purple fluid, the essence of the Gathered, then seeded into the corrupt and wasted lands that had once fielded rows and rows of crops. After a time the Hell Sent would emerge from the ground like fields of endless corn to then be harvested by the Reaper’s of the Hell Sent. Once harvested and judged based on their essence each new soul was given a place in Hell. Most were fit with leather uniforms and iron spatter masks that contained the essence of the Hell Sent and its black magic. The judged were then divided into three groups. The Hell Sent, Hell’s soldiers, were sent to the front lines to fight for Hell. The Workers were sent to tend Hell’s megalithic factories deep inside of Hell itself for all eternity. Immense factories that produced everything Hell needed that had been gathered from the wasted fires and molten vats of the industries of the living. Those that were judged to be truly undead were allowed to roam the Great Fields as Bone Warriors, skeletons who had the power to repair broken bones and lost flesh by simply touching a Hell Sent or stealing the essence of those in Purgatory.