Something Wicked This Way Comes...

Day of Days, the Battle of Gettysburg

1st-3rd July 1863

In a bid to bring about a successful conclusion to the war, General Robert E. Lee leads the Army of Northern Virginia to the town of Gettysburg. With the 13th Alabama Rifles ordered to take up a defensive position on Cemetery Ridge. The group arrives on the second day of the battle (the 2nd).

With a nervousness spreading through the group with the prospect of a huge battle in the morning, each soldier returns to familiar territory to ease their nerves. Dr. Smith heads to the hospital tents to render any aid he can, before returning to the more destructive side of his nature on the following day. Screams attract his attention to one particular tent. Rushing in, he is stopped in his tracks by a scene of bloody carnage. The figure that will become known as ‘The Butcher’ stands over two figures, scalpel in hand, both are strapped to beds, one is a nurse, the other a Union soldier. The soldiers right leg is heavily bandaged, he has obviously been wounded on the first day of the battle, the nurse is unharmed. Both are clearly terrified. Numerous other wounded soldiers lie strewn around the tent, all are lacking body parts, limbs, eyes, organs etc. The Butcher indicates the nurse and the soldier before speaking, his voice little more than a raspy whisper, “My master demands one more soul this night. Choose.” Dr. Smith refuses and The Butcher quickly, and with surgical precision, slits the throats of both.
He then turns his scalpel on the Smith, a drop of blood drips from the blade and time seems to slow as it descends at an achingly slow rate to the floor. The Butcher then whispers “Die”. Primeval terror rises up in Smith and threatens to overwhelm him, before he manages to fight it off and draw his pistol. To his credit he manages to put a slug in the abomination’s chest before The Butcher is on him, slashing with the scalpel. Smith then flees for his life, a wound in his arm pouring blood. He reports his encounter to Corporal Cooke, but The Butcher has fled, leaving scores of dead and mutilated in his wake.

After a fitful nights sleep, the posse awake before dawn and march to Cemetery Ridge, taking up a position in the grave diggers house. The enevitable Union assault is terrifying and the defenders are hard pressed.

The group managed to repel the first wave, with some Union soldiers getting as far as climbing through the windows. As things become increasingly desperate and the tempo of the incoming fire becomes almost constant, Captain Anderson smiles and orders " Fix bayonets! Sergeant prepare the men for a glorious charge." Patently the order is suicidal, Tully simply stands there, mouth gaping with disbelief. “Cowardice in the face of the enemy, sergeant?” says Anderson, coolly rises his pistol and shooting Tully in the head. “Corporal Cooke, kindly relay the order to fix bayonets.”

Sonny raises his pistol and shoots Anderson in the back. Absolute chaos erupts, before McCoy finishes the Captain off with his Colt. As the dust began to settle, a clearly dead Union soldier that was impaled on the remnant of a window abruptly lurches to life and begins to drag himself into the room. More panic erupts before the blue belly is basically torn apart by sustained fire.

As the tempo of the Union fire increased again, an eerie red light was spotted from between the floorboards. Dr Smith lifted a rug to find a trapdoor, which everyone piled through to escape the richoceting bullets. The red light was coming from a thin groove in one of the walls. The groove formed a circle roughly 8 feet in diameter and some of the blood from one the numerous bodies above had run down between the floorboards and into the groove. When the blood joined at the base of the circle, a ‘portal’ opened. As the door to the house was smashed in by forces unknown, the group jumped into the portal.

They arrived in a cave, with the portal now behind them, still open. A path formed of hexagonal stones, three stones wide, exited the cave. The stone was black in colour, with thin red veins. The posse followed the path for a short distance before it crossed a large chasm on a single arched bridge, below which was a lake of blood with a stepped pyramid rising from its centre. A large silver bowl with a flame burning above it was located at the apex of the pyramid. On closer inspection it became apparent that millions of people were present in the lake, writhing and fighting each other in an effort to climb onto the lowest tier of the pyramid. Each time someone did, he was rapidly pulled back into the writhing throng by a host of hands.

Fleeing over the bridge, the path ended in small cave, with a similar circular groove in the wall. Cooke pricked his finger and smeared the blood into the groove. A large amount of blood flowed unnaturally from the tiny wound and filled the groove. A second portal opened and they quickly jumped through.

Note:
Cemetery Ridge was, in reality, held by Union forces during the Battle of Gettysburg, but the name was too good not to use.

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Galrick

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