Rags. The lazy even exhausted snap of the withered fingers of a tent flap. The iron taste that lingers in the mouth, no matter how much algae water or soured wine was drunk. A thickness to the sinuses that says infection looming. Weariness and muscle soreness in a level that replaces hate and love and any other strong emotions. A blur of time and sleep, snapping back to focus as a cry sings out over the wrecked refugee camp that is this hospital emplacement. Dug into the earth and the stunted trees, the lean-toos of the hospitalers and healers, ragged after several weeks worth of wind breaking down the consistency of the oiled sail cloth; create but a lane of misery down the center of the encampment. All those without are simply glad they are not confined within those flapping, graceless confines.
The heat is annoying, but not oppressive. The lack of direct clear water is balanced with snap vines and blood loot boiling, separating waters and liquids from the either fallen or the animals the few able hunters can find. Small stills set in place by the dedicated ranger types before they left, still render a few ounces of drinkable water every few hours; provided they continue to be stocked with leaves and branches to be heated.
The surrounding forest is, sick to be sure. Stunted and cancerous, even the leaves contain odd numbers of points and gnarled almost fictional growth. But in here, nearing the hot sands to the south, the Ruk-Roofah fear to tread. Naturally we would gravitate into this sick thicket, a forest tens of miles wide that perpetually seems as if to die and stubbornly continue. Maybe the Ruk-Roofah trackers know something we do not.

Where you came from:
The defenses at the beach heads were a mistake. Choices made by arrogant people, full of heritage memories of human dominance against all comers. The three advanced companies, of which you were part of, were surprised and set upon before full defenses against a medieval marine landing could be prepared. One of the three beaches prevailed in at least costing as much casualties as they inflicted, the other two crumbled almost at the get go. One of the hero generals was captured.
Instead of an orderly static defense against the overwhelmingly dangerous and diseased hordes of the Ruk-Roofah scavenger tribes, it became a running retreat; haunted by lack of food, cannibalism, and realization that those that survived the beaches were fairly low on the food chain. The only hope was to move along the main route of retreat to the armies that were now gathering at the base of the city of Doran. You were the trap wrights, the ammo colliers, the leather repairers, the secondary lines of the beach defenses. These simple skill placements put you into primary areas to escape, and allowed you and a sample few hundred of your brethren to escape the rampaging Ruk.

Where you are now:
This temporary hospital made of dying men and women who can continue no further, resides in the confines of the arc of a sickly forest, sandwiched in between a Ruk-Roofah controlled plains, and a deathly hot desert to the south. The trees and plants grow only more twisted and damaged the closer they get too the sand waste. Probably a good enough reason why the Ruk-Roofah hunters do not dip very deep into these woods, but no good can be made of staying here. Every day passed is another day the armies at Doran have no idea that their advanced guard; failed. They will be ambushed and slaughtered just as you were, weeks ago.

There is a white and blue checker flag on the last to tallest lean too of the hospital camp, signifying the hospital priest is in and requesting aid. The cool of the evening is just now dropping as the light fades. Brisk glints of sharp light, as soon as a blink gone, come out from the sand wastes to the south; the leaves of the damaged trees around you stop most of the flickering glints of reflected light.