Only three of the spheres remain, each strapped to the chest of a trusted runner. They should be close to their objectives by now. I can't begin to imagine what they're moving through.
Before I fell I saw that the battle had devolved into thousands upon thousands of episodes of single combat. Weapons of steel and bone were continuously raised and brought down over a field gone to bloody mud from a series of pointless advances and retreats. I now lie under bodies stacked three deep in places. I can feel the men fighting above, and hear their screams as viscera are torn free and their life-fluids gush forth, filtering through the dead to me. I can taste their last meals; theirs will be mine.
The time has come. I crush the detonator ampoules, the glass cutting the palms of my hands. The initial shockwave lifts the mantle of bodies and I can take a full breath for the first time in hours. A splintered rib pierces my lung. I can see the blue light of the blast through the tangle of limbs and weapons and savaged faces. My eardrums rupture and the world becomes an endless shrieking hiss. The bodies above me disintegrate, and in a fraction of a second I am exhumed.
I lie in a pool of gore, watching the clouds receded above me, the expanding radius of the blastwave soap-bubble thin at this distance. It is beautiful, gossamer, fly's-wing fragile until it hits solid matter. The sky goes dark as the atmosphere is consumed and light itself is converted into fuel for the expanding devastation. I wonder when the wavefront will die, and how long after that will it take for the walls of air to collapse back into the void we have left.
My short blade is still sheathed at my side. I have a few moments – I could cut my own throat with a little effort. It might be the right thing to do.