Blood of the New
Private Sylvester slowed from a run to a trot, and finally stopped. Sergeant Ford took notice. “Postpone your recess and take five.” Everyone stood around a worn poster depicting a beautiful landscape. It was pure propaganda. A message sent from administration to keep peace among the inhabitants of Sera. Private Brady scowled. “Don’t cha think it’s a little too late for that crap?” Nobody answered or even made a sound. The squad of outcasts had been on recess for 20 miles, running 95 percent of the way, and they were positioned in ruins. The smell of smoldering wood and fires polluted the ruins. With no birds to chirp, gunfire, or any other animals to cast out their communications, this was one of the quietest places on Sera. Private Brady twitched. He hadn’t killed anything for hours, and he needed his dose. Sergeant Ford, who was looking to the east, turned and faced his men. “Our Raven should arrive any minute to transport us to our objectives.” The squad sat for a couple of minutes, and finally, and King Raven hovered overhead. “Brady, Sylvester, and Ford, we’ve been looking for you!” The Raven lowered to the ground. It got within feet, and pulled up. “Clear this area! We can’t extract you until we have a clear environment!” The troika onboard started to send flurries of ammunitions near the Drones ahead. A Longshot Rifle got shoved into Sylvester’s abdomen, knocking the air clean out of him. Brady sneered and emptied a three round burst into the face of a Drone. Unsure of himself, Sylvester inserted a bullet into the rifle. He raised it to his right eye, and pulled the trigger. Ford shoved a new clip into his Lancer and demolished 4 Drones. Brady peeked over the massive slab of concrete that offered him cover. He rose up and let his lancer do its business, sending bullets through the chest armor of a nearby enemy. Sylvester pulled the trigger of his rifle, and surprisingly turned a Drone into a blood fountain. He clicked another bullet into his weapon, but this time with more self esteem. “Oh, by the way, if you didn’t get to these locust in your training, they’re Drones.” Sylvester shunned his headshot and lowered. He gave a blank look to Ford. Ford grinned. Sylvester rode up and quickly blew a Drones head off of his shoulders. He grinned back. After the last Drone was dead, the Raven lowered, and all three men piled in. Humanity had won the battle, but the war was not yet over.
Sitting in the Raven was a gift from the gods. Not only were the men given refreshments, but they were filled in on their objectives. Colonel Williams was sitting directly behind the pilot of the Raven. The objective was to clean out a building that could hold the information to end the war for sure, but the density of locust would be overwhelming. That’s why the raven was heading to pick up Alpha Squad. Sylvester was getting curious. “Doesn’t Agustus Cole reside with Alpha Squad?” Williams glared at him. “Yes. But what does a retired thrashball player have to do with the tasks at hand?” Sylvester shifted in his seat. “I don’t know. It’s just that I kind of idolized him for a while… and that 95 yard play… I don’t know, just forget I ever mentioned it” The Raven began to descend. The pilot momentarily looked back. “I haven’t seen your face around here. Who are ya?” Sylvester sat there tinkering with his rifle. “Well, I recognize that you’re a marksman” Sylvester looked up. “No. Not really. This thing just got thrown at me. I never even knew I could use one. My names Private John Sylvester sir” The pilot looked straight again. “Well, war is hell my friend. I heard about your ‘two day training’. I just hope you were there long enough to learn something that could save your life.” The Raven’s engine now longer roared, but purred. The pilot opened the door, and two men climbed into the bird. “Names Agustus Cole, reporting.” Cole trotted across the Raven and tool a seat. The next man got in. “The name is Damon Baird, and I reluctantly report.” He walked over, and took a seat next to Cole. The Raven lifted once more. Sylvester glance at Cole. “So, this is awkward” Baird stared at Sylvester. “And who would you be? A noob huh?”. “Yes. Just got called out two weeks ago.” Baird giggled. Cole punched him in the shoulder. “Eh man, take it easy on the kid. It’s his first war. Ya know, I was a noob once to” Baird stopped smiling. Cole looked at Sylvester. “When we go through this dump, man, I got your back. I remember when I first came out here. I sure as hell didn’t have a sniper in my hands. More like a Snub Pistol, Lancer, and one grenade. Small arsenal, but I worked for me.” Sylvester grinned. “ Nice catch.” The Raven went silent, and Sylvester blushed. “In thrashball” Cole looked at him. “Oh, yeah, that. Man, I remember the feast we got for that. With the stranded. Whoo…” The Raven began to descend. The pilot looked back. “In case you guys haven’t noticed, we’re landing now. So cut the crap and get out. The door opened, and all six men hopped out into the war once again.
All six men poured out of the Raven, and it lifted out of sight. The weather was extremely cloudy, with minimal to moderate rain. The squad had been dropped off near the House of Sovereigns, or what used be. All that remained now was rubble and that familiar smoldering smell. “There’s that freakin smell again!” Brady sneezed. The men walked cautiously along the crumble street. Ford signaled for the men to stop. “Sylvester, scope out that area up ahead.” He yanked the scope to his eye and looked from the left to the right. “It’s all clear, sir” Baird began to move, but suddenly turned around. “Okay, let’s make a deal. If some of us have to move through any sewage systems, don’t ask me. I had to do it with Santiago and Fenix. It’s not happening again” Sylvester giggled. “Hey, put those lips together, or I’ll rip them off!” Ford turned around. “Hey, hey, hey, stop the arguing here. We came here to carry out orders, not carry out insults to each other. Now get your act straight, or I’ll shoot you both myself!” The men regained their composure, and moved on. The sun ducked behind a cloud, sending a blanket of shade across the street. The temperature dropped. “Whoo, it just got mighty chilly out here” Cole rubbed his arm with his palm. “Spotter! Locust spotter on the roof to the northeast! Sylvester, use that rifle” Sylvester put a bullet into the gun and scoped the Spotter’s face. The only thing the squad had heard was a shot, and a splat. The spotter’s body tumbled off of the building, falling to the hard concrete platform below. Cole laughed. “That’s gonna hurt in the morning!” Sylvester, full of himself, put another bullet into the sniper. Ford stopped. The expression on his face showed pure thought. “Spotters are a Troika gunner’s assistant. There’s a troika somewhere. If he sees us all, he will kill us all.” He looked to his left. An alley way stood unblocked. And to his right, an open door into a building standing 15 stories tall. “Sylvester, Brady, you guys come with me. Baird and Agustus, take that alley.” The men split up. Sylvester placed his rifle firmly on his back, and pulled out a Gnasher, the standard COG shotgun. A Drone rounded the corner in front of them. “Take cover!” Sylvester pushed on, blowing the Drone limb from limb with his Gnasher. Ford grinned at his bravery. Brady, on the other hand, sneered at the mere thought of Sylvester taking all of the kills, and he too pushed on. The building was now is sight. Sylvester had to look up at a 75 degree angle to see the top of this massive artifact. The only problem is, where is Baird and Cole?
Sylvester peered out of the window. “I can see Damon and Agustus from here, sir” Baird turned and looked up at them. His voice came over the radio. “Where is the entrance to this place supposed to be?” Ford looked uneasy. Out of nowhere, a Troika started blaring and Baird and Cole. Sylvester knew what to do. He scoped the gunner near his aorta, and fired. The gunner fell to the ground spewing blood everywhere. “Nice shot rookie” Baird stood up and Cole did the same. “Ummm...” Ford scratched his chin. “Well, if I am correct I would check the eastern wall, maybe there is no door” Ford shifted his weight. “How will we get in?” Baird looked disgusted. “Imulsion Mines.” Baird turned abruptly to Cole, and turned just as fast back to face Ford. “It would be better anyway. The sun should set in about 3 hours, and it would take that long to get to the nearest drilling platforms.” Ford tried to ease the tension that even the rookie Sylvester could feel in the air. “You know what? Whatever. Whatever you say captain” Baird saluted, but not for good. A mockery at best. “Sylvester, scope Baird” Sylvester turned to face Ford. “What?” Ford frowned. “Do it now or an insubordination charge will await you when you go home. Hey, you would be the next Marcus Fenix. But you my friend, won’t be busted out by some companion of yours! Now do it!” Sylvester scoped Baird between the eyes. “Now you listen to me you bull headed cracker, if you ever mock me in the middle of a war, your head… will be used for Sylvester’s target practice. Do you understand maggot?” Baird scowled and didn’t answer. “Put your gun down man” Cole also looked uneasy. Sweat dripped into Sylvester’s eye, and he lowered his weapon. Baird turned and continued to where the staircase ahead of Ford should lead to. They continued down the stairs. Baird was waiting at the door. As soon as Ford walked out, a punch in the face greeted him. Baird threw a flurry of lefts and rights, upper cuts, and once he had Ford where he wanted him, a haymaker landed solidly above Ford’s right eye. Cole pulled Baird away. Sylvester ran over to Ford and checked for a pulse. He slowly got up to his feet. “Damon Baird, do you realize what you have done?” Baird spit at Sylvester. “He’s dead.”
Sylvester was breathing hard and fast. Cole approached him. “Don’t breathe like that man, it aint cool. It messes with your lungs.” Sylvester shot a glance at Brady, who hadn’t said a word for hours. “Ok. Baird and Brady got the brains. Sylvester, man, you got the marks. And me, well what do I have man? Oh, yeah, huh almost forgot, I got the enthusiasm. I’d say we still got ourselves a decent squad here man” Cole glanced at everyone. “Well, are we gonna get that info or what? We aint just gonna sit here” Brady was the first to move away from the corpse of what used to be Sergeant Zachary Ford. Baird was next to move. He looked over his shoulder once, and he never did again. The men walked silently towards an unknown destination. “Brady, do you happen to know where these platforms are? Or do you Baird?” Neither men spoke. “ Look. A death in the past can’t affect the mission at hand now.” Sylvester stopped walking. Everyone else did the same. Sylvester looked a stern as ever. “Drilling Platforms are in a little town due south of our position” Baird stepped forward. “That would be… this way” Sylvester grinned, and began to walk in the direction that “The Brains” had indicated. Cole looked at Sylvester. “You know, I think that I speak for everyone when I say that you, in our eyes, are a Sergeant.” Sylvester puffed out his chest. “Well, my word is, head for those platforms.” Then came the response “Got it Sarg!” Baird looked to his right. “Sir, Junker spotted. I think I see a gas station too” Sylvester looked also. “Well, haven’t the gods of Sera paid us a visit boys?” The men headed for the station and transportation. When the men reached the station, it appeared to be desolate. “So, have any of you guys heard of a ‘Corpser’?” Cole grinned and giggled. “Yeah. Me and Baird missed Santiago and Fenix demolish one. Down in the Imulsion Mines.” Sylvester looked impressed. He reared back and kicked the door down. “Weapons ready” Everyone lifted their weapons. The inside was completely dark, especially when the door shut behind them. “Jesus. Can’t anyone here install a light switch?” Sylvester relied on his gun, moving left to right, making sure he didn’t bump into anything. “Found a light switch” Lights flickered on overhead. Brady studied his surroundings. A destroyed counter, a broken cash register, and a floor full of skittles was all that was seen. Baird looked behind the counter. “Oh god” He moved backward. Sylvester looked. A body was sat up against the wall, head smashed. The men could see where blood flew from the carnage as high as 6 feet. Brady went behind the counter, and pressed a button. “What does that do?” Cole inched forward. “It enabled the gas pumps outside” Baird walked out of the door, and headed for the Junker. He put the nozzle into the gas can, and turned the knob, letting gas flow through the hose into the vehicle. He walked around the side and hopped in, and turned the ignition. The Junker revved up, and cut off. Baird hopped back out. “Well, those skittle are dinner. We’re in for a long night men”
All five men stayed inside while the krill had their recess outside. Brady searched a file cabinet, and pulled out a game of checkers. He pulled out some files, and documents. “Well guys, I did manage to find some entertainment” Everyone looked at him. “Checkers, Monopoly, and Chess. I also found files about COG soldiers” Sylvester hopped to his feet. “What are they doing here? Who are they about?” He picked one up off of the counter. “Minh Young Kim?” Cole walked over, arms bulging. He took the file. “He commanded Delta Squad. General RAAM took his life. Killed him in crossfire.” Baird looked over. “Is there a television somewhere in this wreck?” He looked to his left and for the first time, noticed a door. He stood up and pulled his lancer off of the counter, which got everyone interested. When he was in striking distance, he kicked open the door. Nothing. He let out a sigh of relief. “Gimme that flashlight Cole.” Cole chucked the flashlight across the room, and Baird turned it on. A wretch popped out of the room. Anyone watching got the treat of a chainsaw ripping through the little critter. The two halves that remained of his body fell to the floor. “Well, that…was satisfying” Cole chuckled. “Now you’re startin to inherit traits from me bro” He walked over and patted Baird on the back. Baird walked into the room, and flicked the light on. “Ahh, a man’s best friend” He jogged to the television, kneeled, and turned it on. Static filled the screen. “Well, now isn’t that disappointing” Cole walked in and sat next to Baird. He was still staring at the screen. Cole reached out and turned off the TV. Sylvester fell asleep first, and then like a domino affect, everyone else did the same. The next morning, as soon as the sun was high enough to cast light over the land, Baird was repairing the Junker. Cole jogged out of the station and took a right, taking his 2 mile jog. Baird looked at him and went back to work. Sylvester walked out rubbing his eyes. “How is it coming along?” Baird looked up and gave a half grin. “I need parts” Sylvester moaned, and walked back inside. While inside, he found a toolbox full of parts and tools, and gave it to Baird. Within an hour, Baird had the Junker running. “Yeah! When we get back, I’ll recommend that you get your stripes for this” Sylvester walked around the Junker, studying every nut and bolt. “So how far are the drilling platforms?” Baird looked at Sylvester. “Bout 15 miles. But with this, we’ll be there in maybe 10 minutes.” Sylvester smiled, hopped into the Junker, and looked at the gas station for the last time.
The Junker screeched to a stop, and five men got out. In front of them stood a massive building with towering smokestacks appearing to be unused. The time was around noon, so the men had plenty of time to do their work. A ladder on the side of the structure led up to a possible entrance; two massive doors. If they required codes, Baird believed he could crack them. All five gears climbed the ladder, and approached the doors. “Well Baird, no codes, no locks. Gentlemen, we might once again be in luck” Sylvester yanked the door as hard as he could, and back up. Baird walked up to the door, and pushed it. The doors flew open. Baird shot a glance a Sylvester. “Common Sense. It comes in handy sometimes” From the entrance of the building, the drilling platforms were visible. The massive rods of steel and iron were what forced this building to be so tall. Baird led the way toward the platforms, or in this structure platform. Sylvester hopped onto the platform, as did all of the others. The platform began to descend. No conversation filled the tunnels below. Everyone was silent. Not many Locust tunnels remained after the lightmass bomb detonated, wiping out 95 percent of the locust horde. When the platform reached it destination at the bottom of the tunnel, the men hopped off. “Baird, which way from here?” Baird studied the tunnels around him. He tilted his head. “That way” Sylvester began to move in that direction. “Keep an open eye men. Can’t afford to lose you guys” The walk lasted for hours. “Cole, are you enjoying this walk?” Cole looked at Baird. “Oh yeah baby!” A tunnel to the right led upwards. “Take this tunnel” Baird turned. “Guys be ready for the fight of your lives. You men can end this war. We have to clean out one more area of locust scum. You boys think you can do that?” The squad responded. “Yes sir!” Sylvester grinned and turned toward the door leading to humanity, and their victory.
Sylvester twisted the massive knob that held the door shut. “Weapons ready soldiers, and remember. Show no fear” the door blasted open, pinning Sylvester against the wall. Ambient Wretches poured out of the door, and they seemed to come forever. Twenty of them became a large nuisance to the outcasts, but were getting blown away one by one. Chainsaws revved, gnashers blared, and grenades exploded send wretch guts all over the tunnel walls and ceiling. When the wretches were finished off, Cole ran over to Sylvester. He pulled with all of his might, but this door would not budge. Sylvester coughed up blood, dripping on his armor. It was most definitely crushed by the impact. Cole gave the door another tug. It moved just enough to let Sergeant Sylvester drop to the ground in a crippled pile of broken bones, and internal bleeding. Sylvester looked at Cole. “Sh-shoot m-me” Cole looked Sylvester in the eyes. “T-to much pa-pain” Cole stood up. A tear fell from his eye. “Naw man… hell naw man” He shook his head. “D-do it n-now” Cole pulled out his Boltok Pistol, and made sure it was loaded. He aimed directly at Sylvester’s forehead, and pulled the trigger. The shot echoed through the tunnels, and everything went silent. In front of Agustus Cole lay the corpse of Sergeant William Sylvester. Cole extracted a bullet from his pistol and gently put it next to what remained of Sylvester, then walked away, being the last time he saw Sylvester.
Three men were left in this squad. Sergeant Ford and Sergeant Sylvester, KIA. All that remained was Agustus Cole, Damon Baird, and Nicholas Brady. “Can’t believe I did that man!” Cole kept walking. “You did it for a good cause” Baird replied. “Why does it seem like whoever you start to respect dies?” Baird continued. Cole shook his head trying to clear it of the intense sorrow locked inside. “Where do we go from here” Brady asked, being the first time he had talked since the gas station. “Follow this hallway. There should be a door on the left. The info is probably in a safe?” Cole looked at him. “How do you know all this?” Baird had a stern expression on his face. “I just know. It sort of a gut feeling.” Brady chuckled. “So now we’re going by gut feelings? Common Sense. It comes in handy sometimes” This made Baird and Cole giggle. “Man you might be a wound up tight brother, but you know how to cheer people up” Brady laughed. “Kinda hard to cry when you’re laughing, huh?” Cole stopped and smiled. “My mom used to say that, man!” The laughing had to stop. All three gears knew that the queen of the locust horde might be waiting around any of the multiple corners. Everything went silent. “Stop and listen” Footsteps were heard. Then conversation. “Do, you think that the intellects outside of our safe haven have configured the odds of this documentation being here?” Baird’s eyes widened. It was the Queen. Who knew that they would run into her, and why here? He didn’t know. Millions of people killed, Emergence Day, it all rested on this… thing. A wonder of nature, a beast set out to destroy all destinies. Bounty was to be served. Right here, right now. Baird’s pupils narrowed, his instincts altered, everything about him… changed. This was the wars end. He could bet on it.
Baird kept listening for further clues. “No you majesty. How could they calculate the odds if they don’t know we’re here and they don’t know how to get in.” Baird giggled to himself. A door opened, and the voices became muffled. The door closed. Baird jumped ahead. “Man he acting like he got PDS or something. It’s kinda freaky” Cole advance along side Baird, then came Brady. Baird giggled. “The door is motion activated. I created a little motion for the lizards. He pulled out a grenade. Cole stopped him. “Whoa man. You really ready to do this?” Baird looked back at Cole. “Oh, yeah!” He let go of the grenade. It banged up against a wall, and through the door. “Prepare for defensive action!” Baird prepared his lancer. A loud bang was heard, followed by an almost continuous squirting noise. Baird knew what it was. The door opened. All three gears raised their weapons. Nothing came out. Baird moved ahead, and took cover beside the door. He peeked in. Nothing but severed arms and legs. He moved in, cautiously approaching the only exit in the room. It was apparent-the queen was on the run. “Arrrrrggggg… Cole! Brady! We gotta move! Now!” Baird ran and kicked open the door Wretches were everywhere. He ran through the crowd shunning them all. Cole and Brady were stuck with them. Baird entered the next room. The door shut and locked behind him. No way out. He knew the queen was in this massive auditorium. The question was were was she? He looked around, paranoid. The queen burst out of nowhere, knocking Baird into the wall. Concrete dust and rocks fell around him. She walked over and lifted him by his head. “Human stupidity… a wonder of the locust educational society” Baird lifted his shotgun and blew a hole through her stomach. She fell to the ground in agony. Baird stood up, and crack his neck. “And your ugliness… a wonder of all the people you have cast genocide upon. Sergeant William Sylvester, Sergeant Minh Young Kim, Private Carmine, and the millions of civilians taken into your wrath” He reloaded his shot gun, and demolished the head of not only the queen, but the head of the locust horde. The war was over. No need for information. Humanity had once again showed that it can work together to overcome anything that may distract them from destiny. Humanity is the almighty, not the locust horde, not the gods, but humanity
Nice story, I like the short chapters.
yea these are great nice job