A short story
(27 pages) on the impact
, written by David Kibrick. Shifting between a military
training camp and the war-torn city of Bordinon
, Korbon follows the journey of one beginning tank pilot, struggling with the honor of leading a tank platoon
, as well as a battle of honor between a rival tank commander. However, thrust into the heart of a conflict, he realizes that training can never begin to describe the true horror of war
"Panicked by the sudden turn of events, the pilot of the other tank sent it into a forward run, trying to retreat with only the limited gun-camera systems. The tank blundered around a nearby hill, with David in close and easy pursuit. David fired seven more rounds, impacting with an electronic sizzle on the other tank’s armor. The last shot hit the lightly-armored back of the tank’s turret, and the enemy tank shut down completely, launching a bright green flare which burst a few feet above it, signifying a kill. David drove by, watching the stunned tanker poke his head from the top turret hatch and stare in awe as the Blue Team tank drove triumphantly by."
"For the most part, they were lying on the street, although a number of them were slumped in doorways or small alleys. The bullet-riddled figures, clad in the blue of city police or the various outfits of rebels or civilians, looked almost unreal. David tried his best to think of them as nothing more than bloody, meaningless sacks, just like the targets used in training, so that he wouldn’t have to think about them. However, the loud crunching and twisting of bones and gunmetal under the powerful blast of air from the turbines made the corpses much harder to ignore. And even if the scene had remained silent, David realized that the images would have been impossible to forget."
Suddenly, two muzzle flashes burst from the crowd in the city square, and a group of infantrymen collapsed in a spray of blood. The rest of the infantry reached for their weapons, and David suddenly realized what was going to happen.
“Stop! They’re civilians!” he yelled into his radio, the tank’s speakers broadcasting the message a moment too late.
The dusk became alive with gunfire, the muzzle flashes seeming to combine into a rippling ribbon of brightness that crisscrossed the screen. Around the square, the groups of civilians flew apart, trying desperately to outrun the metallic hail that clawed after their lives. The first row of fleeing civilians crumpled, their outstretched hands vain protection against the onslaught.
“Stop! Stop, you idiots, stop!”
But still the gunfire prevailed, the panicked troops emptying their clips into the harmless bystanders.
- Excerpts from "Korbon"