Storm is brewing

As he sat on the silent stone steps of the fortress, he gazed into the far distance, where the sky was eternally darkened by a malice so intent, it tainted the northern sky black. A flash of lightning lit the sky, briefly revealing a wide field of nothingness. Here, he sat, contemplating the future that awaits him. It was so quiet. It was the calm before the storm.

Storm.. A storm is brewing. With it, a furious gale of unforgiving force of terror will rip apart anyone foolish enough to enter it unprepared.

He still remembered. How he, among thousands others, thousands of the best soldiers from the Empire’s army were chosen for the elite fighting force. An elite fighting force so renown all over the Empire that it became a dream for every soldier to be part of it. He had friends who failed to be chosen. Yet when the official scroll of appointment came, he was a tad surprised to see that he, along 25 other soldiers of different creed, would be sent to garrison an outpost far in the cold, dark northern reaches of the Empire. An outpost so notorious for its distance from civilisation, only a handful were posted there. In his heart, he thought.. why the tiny troop? 26? Suicidal, considering the dangers that would be faced by them when they travel the perilous journey to garrison their new posts.

A soft breeze ruffled his hair, bringing him back to reality. He blinked, let out a slow sigh and looked down. His armour is heavy. His sword is dull. His shield, scarred from countless battles, rested against the stone steps. His leather gauntlets, embellished with the Empire’s royal seal and coat-of-arms of the elite army, reminded him how he had surrendered the coming years under a voluntary service, all for the glory of the Empire. Was it worth it?

He remembered how being part of the elite army was all he ever wanted. Of course it was worth it.

He looked upwards and saw the glimpse of a raven, circling high above him. Closing his eyes, he suddenly recalled the first day he stepped into the barracks, where he would be spending the next 9 months undergoing a series of grueling and harsh training to prepare for his ultimate assignment. Together with hundreds others of new recruits, he would eat, sleep, and train in the isolated barracks. They had a nasty name for that place. He couldn’t remember.. it had something to do with isolation..

He remembered the first day they were gathered in front of the Field Marshal and countless other captains. They had only words of warning and not one looked too happy nor proud. They knew that not all can survive out here.

“You do or you die. You have been chosen not out of your merits, not because you deserve the honour to serve as an elite soldier. You are here to prove your worth. Fail it, you’re gone. No matter how many enemies you’ve killed, how many battles you’ve endured, no matter how high your ranks were in the army, in here, you’re nobody.”

Not a single one who didn’t shudder at the thought then. He, for one, have not the slightest inkling of how harsh the training would be. All the thought of pride, of honour of being chosen, vanished. It was not what he thought it would be. It was far from it. It was, in a sense, hellish.

A sudden rumble of thunder brought him back out of his reverie. He opened his eyes, stifled a yawn and stood up clumsily. Armour be damned.. but such is the rule. They, the chosen 26, had to adhere by the strict code. They had to undergo the harshest training since they were posted to the northern frontier. He didn’t know much about the others who trained alongside them, a much larger platoon of 60. Word was the rest were going to head south.

He felt sleepy. Aching all over from the sparring tests last week, he and his comrades had a few days off to rest before the actual perilous journey. He gazed northwards again. Storm is coming, he kept thinking. In 3 weeks’ they would have to traverse the rugged terrain, bracing icy gale, holding on to dear life. It would be the hardest journey they ever took.

He stretched. The bell rang, signalling the switching of guard duty. He turned back and heard metal clinking. Immediately, he saw Xuyin, an talented sword-fighter and excellent archer who was probably the best among the 26. He never saw her being tired. She was always vigilant, always ready, eyes shining and face stern. Knowledgeable and wise. He paled in comparison.

He gave her a curt nod, she nodded back. He clambered up the steps, dreading the routine sparring practice and war skills they would have to undergo for the final time before embarking from the barracks. 3 more weeks before the bloody storm. Damn it.

Yet, with each step, his steely resolve began to surge through his blood. His heart is set with an unstoppable determination, not unlike those of his comrades:

I shall survive the storm. I have to. I will.

With one last look northwards at the dark sky, he trod lightly through the silent training ground.

Life’s simple surprises

Life. Its so filled with subtle surprises that you never tire of getting high just living it out.

Today, everybody was so excited. Even though its not our last paper for the Pre-AS exam, almost everyone (in my class, that is) cannot sit/stand still because we’re gonna be free for almost 5 days after the paper. The session lasted for 1 hour (by jolly, thank goodness almost everything came out from past year paper) so we rushed back to our apartments, grabbed our bags (which were already packed yesterday) and everybody else literally ran to the van, eager to go home. All except me. Make no mistake, cause I’m not going home, and I’m not taking the van. Lol my sister came to fetch me and I’ll be staying here, at her apartment for the short ‘holiday’. So here I am, typing happily away at her laptop, content with the decent Internet connection. Compared to KTT’s ‘Wi-Fi’ which could’ve been a Stone Age technology pioneered by the Flintstones, this is sheer bliss.

Anyway, back to the topic. Life.. sheer bliss.

What have I learned for the past 2 months? The experience, of course, is invaluable.

– I learned to appreciate Physics. (GASP!)
– I learned not to rush into things.
– I learned to think and not let emotions dictate my thoughts. (it could really be disastrous)
– I learned that when people are put together, with the same purpose and same aim, bonds of unbreakable friendship can be forged.

I don’t know how others feel about my last point. Maybe they don’t feel the same way. I have no idea. Yet, whenever I see them laughing, joking about stupid things, enduring the same lectures by the same lecturers, fighting through the challenges together, and whenever I step into a classroom and seeing their faces, I always tell myself: this is where I wanna be. I won’t not trade them for the world. Seriously. There’s this special feeling of attachment I feel for them all. Perhaps it is possible, considering they’re gonna be my pillar of strength for the next 6 years, so far away from home.

I suddenly thought of the guys who live one floor below my apartment. Of the fond memories: where Kian Joo would burst into songs at every fixed intervals and his voice would be heard upstairs, where we would huddle together at the balcony and ogle at girls passing below on the road, where we would joke about stupid things.. Lol.

Life could throw simple surprises at you too. Take for example the fact that Kim Moo Moo sent an e-mail to me. Gosh, she’s one of my best girl pal and I miss her. So imagine my delight and pleasant surprise to see the e-mail. Lol. Even though she’s having an ‘Internet fasting period’ which I think is ridiculous in a biblical sense of proportion.

OMG I forgot to hand in the IELTS assignment to our lecturer. Shit. LOL that’s so totally random.

Back to life’s simple surprises. Oh yeah, a dear dear friend of mine said something just now which was, well, unexpected but it was.. sweet I guess. o.O

Suddenly, life’s surprises don’t seem that simple anymore. 8D I really wonder how on good earth things like that could happen. Maybe I’m not used to it, but who knows what the future holds. o.O

Oh I watched The Dark Knight just now with my sister. I enjoy watching the Joker. For once, a villain on screen had the sheer impact on me that I literally shuddered when he first opened his mouth to speak. Heath Ledger was TOP-NOTCH. I bet my ass NO ONE can beat that stellar performance as Joker. Seriously. He was SUPERB. The only other actor who, in my humble opinion, can exude such character on screen is Johnny Depp. Too bad Ledger is.. gone. *sob* oh yeah, I heard Johnny Depp’s gonna be pulled in to be cast as the next villain in the third Batman film. HELL YEAH BABE!!!! He’s gonna be The Riddler alongside another villain. Christian Bale will be Batman and Sir Michael Cane as the same old lovable butler (they are both awesome in their characters). I look forward to the film.

Speaking of which, I saw the trailer for Harry Potter’s upcoming film. Forgot what’s the name. Then again, I think my enthusiasm for HP has waned somewhat. Not was exciting as before. I demand something that stirs the intellect, or something that is no-brainer yet enormously fun. Nothing of the sort of in-between.

Running out of ideas..

Sometimes, I wonder why I’m here, studying A-levels, enduring it all just to be able to pass and go to Czech. Why medicine? Why? I could’ve chosen accountancy, or economics. I could’ve opted for petroleum engineering when I applied for Petronas. From what I gathered, many of my classmates think I should’ve gone for something business-related, not least due to the fact that I LOOK and TALK like a businessman, which is.. ==” SWT. but but.. why medicine??

Why?

No matter what people plan, things turn out to be not exactly the same way they planned it. Like The Joker in the film. He’s the element of Chaos, out of which FEAR itself is created. No planning, no systematic and meticulous organising.. just plain.. headlong, bang boom goodbye. Amazing. Its the same in life. No matter what you plan, things.. never seem to go they way you planned. So it leads on to the thought that, you are MEANT to do something and its etched, somewhere, that its your destiny to tread that path. Karmic laws and the whole shebang, bla bla bla. I won’t go into details.

Then again, why? lol..

Updates galore!

Not much of galore, now that I think of it. Since my last update, life has been busy. Most of my days were occupied with constant revision, study, revision, eat, sleep, study, and pretty much nothing else.

Occasionally we would go jog together and go up a nearby hill with a huge water tank on top. Then we would climb it, even though its a prohibited place (government facility) with barbed wires and locked gates and the whole shebang. We had lots of fun time up there together, with the wind in our faces and the sense of achievement filling our hearts, feeling adventurous and mischievious at the same time. Lol 8D

I really need to post a huge, one-time post about our ‘adventures’ here. Priceless memories..

Nothing much to say.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that we’re having exam. Pre-AS. It is a preparatory exam for us, prepping us for the real big mad thing next month. It’s still not over yet, but the bulk of the difficult papers have passed. Luckily they weren’t that hard. Slowly catching up with the pace.. o.O

And I learnt not to compete with others. Here, where everyone is as good or as bad as you are, to compete is tantamount to putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. The only one I need to beat is myself. I’m thankful enough if I can pass AS level with 3A’s and get a good placement in Czech Republic.

No need compete. No need compete. No need compete.. I have a dear friend to thank for hammering that message into my head. 8D

Looking forward to Wednesday. I’ll go to my sister’s place and stay for a few days before coming back. Precious few days, a treasured holiday of sorts from this… place.

Till then, c ya..