Sons of Earth

All is blackness. It is the middle of the night. He is fighting with someone; he cannot see him in the darkness, but every time he thinks he has dealt his opponent a mortal blow, the man staggers back to his feet and attacks him again. They grapple; he pulls his foe off his feet for a bare moment, and the man gasps in pain. He lifts him up off the ground entirely and the man's groans grow louder. He must kill or be killed. He wraps his hands around the other's neck and squeezes.

Just as his opponent grows limp, the first light of dawn streaks the sky. In the faint illumination he can finally see the face of the man he was fighting. It is his own.

Combeferre wakes up with his hands clenched around his rifle and the ringing of the tocsin in his ears.