26 Aug Chapter 3: Bare

I get my first whiff of the gas. Acrid smelling, it burns my throat and I start coughing. It gives me a head rush too. I see that everyone in the tent is now violently coughing and either rolling around on the floor or grabbing hold of the table to stay upright. This lasts for thirty seconds or so and then the collective coughing subsides. I notice a man to my left curled up in a ball on the dirt floor has now lifted his head and is looking at the soldier next to him curiously.


Others have stopped their convulsing and are glancing around hesitantly. The man right in front of me holding himself up by tightly gripping the table lets go and takes a tentative step towards the supreme commander. Table grabber takes hold of the lapels of Trenauk’s uniform jacket and yanks them open, sending ribbons and medals flying. Trenauk appears to be strangely fascinated as he watches his own shirt being pulled open by the other man, buttons popping off here and there. Once Trenauk’s bare chest is exposed, table grabber plants his face in his commander’s chest hair and starts grinding into it.

Two other men have started kissing forcefully as one grabs the other’s crotch. The woman who was typing is now bent over her textwriter as a man and the woman who was filing are lifting up her skirt and reaching underneath. The soldier on the floor near me has rolled on top of an officer and is kissing his neck rather passionately. By this point the gas has mostly dissipated.

I look towards the tent opening and see two guards awkwardly pulling each others’ trousers and underwear down to their ankles. I spy a key ring on one of the guard’s belt. I gingerly creep towards the guards, dragging the chair behind me. To get there I have to step over the two men on the ground who have progressed to removing their shirts and rubbing each other’s nipples. The chair I’m attached to hits one of them in the leg as I try to carefully lift it over but he doesn’t seem to notice. When I reach the guard with the keys I twist around in an attempt to get close enough to grab them. I sneak closer until my face is almost up against the guard’s butt cheek. I finally succeed in unhooking the keyring. I eventually get the cuffs off; before I leave I look back and see that Trenauk has stripped all the clothes off the officer who was grabbing the table and is in the process of tying the smiling man’s wrists together using a discarded shirt sleeve. I grin and duck out of the tent, walking purposefully away from the front lines. The Bavul shuttle that will take me home must be around here somewhere.

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