The Chronicles of Eden: Dirge of the fallen
"Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth."
Chapter 1- Revelation
Are we that ignorant? Are we so blind to not see what's right in front of us? It's Pathetic of us to turn our back on the truth. We have been given a second chance at life in this world of ours, to reconstruct the future we destroyed with the mistakes we've made. Earth is our home, ancient and mystifying yet compared to the rest of the universe it's small and fragile but it's our home nonetheless. We've fought countless wars, started many civilizations, constructed endless structures and cities, created many lives and also ended many others and we still have the audacity to mistreat this world the way we do.
We have left what was once so beautiful and mind blowing, into a post-apocalyptic dying earth in which we need to try our best to return it to how it was before. I will tell you everything from where my part of the story actually begins.
*"Please let them go. Please they are innocent; they have nothing to do with this. Please I beg you spare their lives".
I was looking in their eyes, full of fear and confusion. I shot his wife first and the blood splattered in the children's faces as they just watched astonished and horrified by what had happened. "NOOOOO!!!!" His reaction is what they wanted to hear.
"Отче наш, сущий на небесах!
Да святится имя Твоё;
Да придёт Царство Твоё;
Да будет воля Твоя
И на земле, как на небе;
Хлеб на насущный
Дай нам на сей день;
И прости нам долги наши,
как и мы прощаем
И не введи нас в искушение,
Но избавь нас от лукавого.
Ибо Твоё есть Царство
И сила и слава во веки.
I can't stop those words from running inside my head 24/7. I remember them like if it was yesterday. They started chanting that moments after I killed their mother; it was some kind of prayer they knew in Russian.
"I'm sorry!!" I woke up sweating and yelling I'm sorry to them but that was years ago and now it doesn't matter anymore if I'm sorry or not. Can't change the past; what's done is done.
Another usual insomniac night of nightmares that keep me awake till late. I look at my watch that's showing 3:21 am. I always wonder when these nightmares are going to stop. I think I like having them as much as I hate them, I think it's one way to atone for my sins, I think it's a path to redemption that I must continue to walk in order to fully amend my dark past. The Russian prayer always affects me so much, always leaves me shaking. There is only one nightmare other than the one I just had that gets to me even more, that cuts even deeper into the wound it left years ago and I dare not talk about it ever.
Most of my nights are spent awake, laying down on my bed, sitting on my porch looking up at the stars, reminiscing about my past that constantly haunts me. Ever since I retired from my career all I do is try to amend and hope I achieve my goal. I've lost so many things in my life that I don't even have the will or motivation to go on living; it's not that I want to die but it's not that I see myself wanting to live.
One day I woke up with my front door knocking loudly and as I opened my eyes I saw that it was 12:25 in the afternoon. When I went up to open the door an old man was standing there and I noticed a car parked in front of my house so I guessed it was his. "Good afternoon Mr. Haaze I need a few minutes of your time". The man was well dressed and nicely groomed but it wasn't too flashy. He had some black slacks, dark blue long sleeve shirt, and dress shoes. "And who are you?" I said with a rude tone of voice and a really bad attitude. I didn't' sleep well so I was tired, sleepy, and annoyed. "I am here on behalf of someone you know from your past and he sent me here to tell you that he wants to speak with you".
I kept thinking who from my past he was talking about considering he even was saying the truth. I mean I really wasn't taking him serious but to be honest whenever my past surfaces in my present it always gets my attention. "From my past….Who?". The man looked at me with a really serious face standing all straight and formal. To me he kinda seemed like the soldier type, his body language most of all made me think like that. He stood up straight, without any excessive movement, looking at me square in the eyes. He then replied to me. "That's for you to find out once you meet him. He's going be waiting on 244 crescent St. the house on the corner". By this point I started to be amused by him. I mean a stranger knocks on my door any random day and tells me that somebody from my past wants to see me and he doesn't even tell me who that person is, then tells me to go find out at an address I don't even know…I thought that was hilarious. "So you expect me to just go cuz someone from my past wants me to go?" I replied with a really sarcastic tone and a little smirk on my face. The guy nodded at me slowly and said. "He said you would be skeptical about it so he told me to ask you something that you know the answer to". I briefly chuckled in amusement looking away for a second as if I wasn't paying no mind to him and then I looked at him smiling. "And what is that?", we both stared at each other silently for a moment and then he said to me "What does every person have in common?"
The little smile on my face faded away as soon as I heard those words, my past came rushing with pain and sorrow, such nostalgic words paralyzed me completely. I just stared at the old man as he walked away and got into the car.
I got up really early the next day. As usual I didn't really sleep much especially now that I'm not sure what to expect when I get to where that guy told me to go. I can't believe the glory days are over even though they weren't really glory days for me. Some call me hero and I did believe that once, but that changed over the years, now I just think all I was as a soldier was a pawn of the greed driven government. There are some things that as much pain, suffering, corruption, death, and destruction we go through you're glad they happened because between all those negative things there are things worth keeping in your heart; people I've met, things I've seen, places I've been, emotions and feelings I've felt.
When I got there I saw that car that the old man that came to my house was driving around in. *"This is it kid"*, I smiled as I remembered him saying that.
I rang the doorbell and seconds later a man opened the door asking me to come in and telling me that I was expected, that I'll be attended soon enough. I was really inpatient and there were so many thoughts going inside my head, all the memories and hardships we went through following orders from a mad man who only wanted power and cared only for himself.
"Soo tell me. What does every person have in common?" I was so glad to hear his voice; I missed that deep voice always yelling at us, always intense, yet always advising us and being there for us. I stood up all formal as if he was still my commanding officer, as if he was still my captain.
"Sir" Out of habit I also saluted him and he laughed. "you don't need to follow military protocol with me anymore kid". I felt a little embarrassed but I respected the guy so much that when I saw him I had to show it. "Oh no sir don't worry the only protocol I'm following is the respect I have for you sir". He was looking at me square in the eyes as he slowly approached me. "I see. So you don't follow Semper Fi anymore huh?" He stopped right in front of me with his imposing aura that he always gave off. "No…it's not that sir don't get me wrong. I believe in their cause to protect and serve; I'm faithful for what it stands. It's the people hiding behind the shadow of that cause that I don't trust, the same people that taught us to believe in it in the first place" The Captain stayed silent for a few seconds staring into my eyes but then suddenly he smiled and hugged me then he said "Oh how I missed that righteousness in you kid" As he was hugging me I couldn't believe what was happening, all this time I thought he was dead, I thought that I was never going hear him yell at me anymore, but here he was hugging me. I was happy, really happy. I stood there all awkward without moving then he let me go and put his hands on my shoulders and continued saying "anyways messed up isn't; how they actually show us a truly honorable, brave, and heroic cause but they use it in a totally wrong way while they manipulate us for their own selfish gain".
*I never liked this assignment from the start but orders are orders I guess; when did everything change from the way they made us see our job at first? When did it become so difficult and bothersome to follow orders? I think I've lost my way.
"Hey phoenix, PHOENIIIIIX. Stop daydreaming kid and get in the safehouse now!!!!". I heard the Captain call me while I was zoning out thinking about what we were doing there. His face was really intense, eyes focused on me, veins popping out. It's funny that even though I could overpower him in a hand to hand combat he was just really intimidating. "Sorry Sir…. Yes Sir going in now". As I was going in I had this knot in my stomach that got real tight at that moment, I also started feeling this pressure in my chest. I wasn't the type of soldier who would let emotions get in the way. That was the way I was trained to be but I had been changing a lot recently and I could not ignore my feelings anymore. "Iceberg go in behind phoenix, we'll be there ASAP". The captain ordered Ice to come with me while they held off some insurgents and give us some time. By the way I never really understood why they used insurgents and not rebels. I mean are they trying to make believe they are so smart and sophisticated, just fucking use rebel. INSURGENTS!? ha!
From a mission that involved going in a house of a family of 10 and get one guy by any means necessary to a fucking mass homicide one. Once again I say it I never liked this mission from the start it seemed like something was off. It wasn't even that difficult to apprehend him, the house was completely without bodyguards inside, so when we entered he noticed and tried to run away though we were able to catch up to him before he got away but the little bitch took one of his cousins as a shield and we stopped. We tried to talk him into letting her go and giving up before things got worse but he just tried once again to run away with the girl still in his arms but iceberg took the chance to get him and he did.
"What the fuck Ice he still had her covering himself". The guy and the girl were both on the ground, both bleeding. The guy we were supposed to capture got hit on his arm near his shoulder and on the leg. While the girl got hit just on her leg. "Yea and we still have a mission to follow". Sometimes I just wanted to punch Ice in the face for being such an ass. He didn't even look at me when he said it he just stared at his mark, which in a way is a very good thing. It also reminded me of my old self. "Whatever just page the captain and update him on the situation and I'll go check on them". I let Ice notify the Captain while I went to apprehend our target and check on the injured girl. "Captain we got him; I repeat we got the package and there's and injured civilian here as well, waiting on your orders Sir". I was relieved to know that the civilian girl wasn't in any danger. I was able to treat her with some morphine and managed to stop the bleeding for the most part. She had this look on her face full of fear so I told her that everything was going to be alright. At first my English came out but then I corrected myself and said it in Arab. "Copy that, we're there in 5 minutes just make sure the package is safely apprehended and that the civilian is treated". When he replied to us it didn't seem like he had any problems with the rebels anymore. His voice was calm and there were no noises in the background. "Copy that Sir, iceberg out".*
The Captain looked well, he still seemed like he could take the world on in a fight. He certainly had a lot more gray hairs though, and was a little more wrinkly but he looked strong still. I couldn't help but to think of all the times he saved my ass back in the day and I really wanted to thank him for everything he had done for me in the past. I also wanted to say sorry so bad that all this time it has been eating me up inside just like mostly everything else in my past.
"The world, sir". He was serving himself a drink. He always drank the same brand drink. Johnnie Walker was his thing, the black label mostly. He also liked a 12 year old limited edition double black label Johnnie Walker whisky that had this really fancy yet simple black case, as well as the expensive blue label one. Always had it straight, no ice; no nothing. So he turned to me with his drink on his right hand and a smile on his face. I knew he knew right away what I was talking about. "What was that kid?" he replied to me with a rhetorical question. "The world is what all of us have in common sir". I remember the look he gave me when I answered him. He stayed silent for a bit still smiling and he rolled his eyes up and down looking at me like if he was scanning me. He then took a sip of his blue label whisky and said, "yes. You still remember what I've taught you huh….but never mind that for now because the reason I need you here is to show you the true face of this gilded world we live on so that you would help me save humanity". His smile faded as he told me that and I could sense in the tone of his voice that he was very serious about it. "Humanity Sir?" I said to him all confused. "Yes... I've never met anybody with the kind of heart you have and I need someone with heart and a strong good common sense. What I am about to show you will make you wonder what kind of species we are, it will shake you to your core kid so brace yourself". I was even more confused after that.
*The Captain arrived at the house me and Iceberg had the package safe and the civilian was still wounded but Medic came to her aid and was able to get her out of any serious situation.
When the Captain got here he told us that he was given an order on the way here. He seemed troubled, worried. Harding had ordered him that if there were any survivors that we had to eliminate them no matter what; women and children included. Six people were in the house at the time including the package so that meant that we had to kill 5 people inside that house. At that moment I realized why I had such a bad feeling about the mission. "No there has to be another way, this can't be" I said to the Captain. We were all looking at him to see what he would say. "I don't agree with it kid but it is an order from Harding himself". I know Harding; I know what that fucker is capable off. If we didn't do what he wanted us to do he would for sure give us hell to pay. I trained under him and if I was still under his direct command I probably wouldn't mind completing the mission exactly how he wanted. I'm not his puppet anymore. I will not take part on his bullshit. "So we are really gonna do this huh" I kept arguing against it. "What other choice do we have Phoenix" Ice replied to me. He always liked following orders without questioning anything. He reminds me soo much of my old self in that way. I just want to yell it out at him that he is wrong. But I once was like him and even worse so who am I to say anything. "I'm with Phoenix on this one, I don't think it's right". Medic is the only one who supports me. I love that about her, I love that she always looks at things the same way I do. To be honest it's more like I see things her way, she's plays a big part on my recent change of heart. "I will not be part of this inhumanity that you call an order Sir. What about you guys, do you guys agree with this...Chino, Siren, Nova?" I asked all of them if they were with me and Medic. I knew that they didn't want this as much as didn't, I was seeing it in their faces. But they were hesitating and that wasn't a good sign. I knew Ice wouldn't budge if the Captain didn't say so. "I……" well chino didn't even have much to say than just a fucking I. For someone who is always opinionated he sure didn't put any of his usual opinions out there. "Sorry Phoenix but. I can't". Nova said while he quickly glanced at the Captain, of course he wouldn't side with me unlike Chino he never had any opinion on anything and pretty sure he wouldn't start now. "Siren I need you right now, please Becca help me out". I had a really good relationship with Becca, we were pretty close and I needed her support right now. I could see that she wanted to oppose the order more than anybody else, not just because she didn't agree with it but because she didn't want to let me down. "Captain's orders Phoenix". When she said that I knew that if she didn't side with me then that was it, I wouldn't even bother with Ice. "FUCK!! We are really gonna do this? Are me and Medic the only ones with a sense of humanity here? What the hell is going on with you guys!! We are going to kill five innocent people because some fat fuck greed driven heartless maniac who doesn't even believe in what the marines stands for gives us an order just to protect his own fucking mistakes…are we really gonna do that, are we!!?". Now I was losing hope and patience. So I got mad and started shouting and yelling at them. I didn't know what else to do so I snapped. Then of course Ice interrupted me. "He's our superior officer Phoe…". I stopped him before he had a chance to continue. I didn't want to hear his obedient ass. "WELL FUCK HIM!!!" I got in his face all mad. I felt my face all hot and the pressure of my veins popping out through my shirt. I could see that he didn't like me getting in his face. He got all serious and tense. "Ok that's enough We've all have been through a lot and I know that you especially Phoenix have seen some fucked up shit. Before us you used to be the most obedient non-hesitating never questioning soldier ever so get a grip and calm down. We aren't gonna kill anybody and we as a team are not gonna say a word about this to anybody because if Col. Harding finds out we are all fucked. If he finds out…I told you guys that I got an order from him saying to not kill them ok". The Captain got in between us and he what he said was very true. I was a different soldier before I joined this team. And I did some crazy shit. So I felt obligated to stand down and give it up but the Captain listened to me. Maybe somehow I got through to him and made him disobey a direct order from his superior officer.*
I've always known that this world wasn't perfect, that there was more corruption than goodness but I never knew how far gone we were as humans. The things the Captain was showing me were not so unbelievable yet it really hit me hard. I stopped trusting the government a while ago now and I've never really got too into the whole world conspiracies out there thing yet I never denied that there wasn't any out there but assuming something is one thing and actually confirming it is another very different thing. I didn't realize at the time but I was getting into something that was even beyond our own world.
The Captain told me everything that happened that made him end up here in this situation.
That he uncovered some really top secret information while he was in hiding that made him question everything he believed in. He then later met this really eccentric intelligent man who was extremely wealthy and powerful yet he like the Captain never trusted the government ever and they ended up becoming partners in this plot to uncover the whole charade the world had going on. Mr. Hyde was a very patient well-mannered guy with really pale skin in his late 40's that inherited his parent's wealth. He was a little odd you may say but he was a good guy nonetheless.
Ever since they joined forces creating an organization called Heaven they have been preparing and planning how they're going to execute their plan. They are well equipped with the technology, the money, the connections, and weapons to make the plan a reality.
"Kid I don't want you to call me Captain anymore. I don't mind it but things have changed now and I called you here so you can be part of special team that I'll be putting together for the odyssey we are about to have. I want you to be It's Captain and I'll be the big boss this time"-"This is some crazy shit Sir…I can't believe this is happening right now, that it has been happening for so long now it's just…"-"I know kid I was just as shocked as you are now and I know that you are the perfect guy to lead this team and lead humanity into salvation and freedom"-"But Sir I've made soo many mistakes in my life that…"-"Yes that is one reason why you are so great Haaze, you have been through soo much in your military career, made good and bad choices that really affected you but you never looked back. You always finished the job whether it was ruined or not, always learned from your mistakes after you realized that they were a mistake. You have made many mistakes Haaze yes but, because of your mistakes and that you learned from all of them you now have the knowledge and the opportunity to change all the negative into positive. Don't you see that if you hadn't made those mistakes you wouldn't have learned from them and there for you most likely would have lacked the knowledge to take on this mission now? Sometimes things happen for a reason kid".
So I accepted the Captain's offer even with all the guilt and fear of not being enough or worthy to be a special team Captain to save the planet. The whole being the savior thing kinda made me feel like if by taking it I would be robbing this world of something better, someone actually excellent for the job not a scared soldier who doesn't believe in himself anymore because of the horrible things he did in the past. I'm just a fraud of a soldier now, of a leader, of a savior. I will do it because I want to at least have the courage to try to be the best I can for the Captain, my friends that passed away, and most of all for myself.
The realization of this disturbing Machiavellian truth…no actually this plain evil sinister truth makes me really uneasy and it takes my already bad opinion of the government into just raw disgust and even more guilt now that I see an even deeper, blacker, and insidious side of this government of ours. To believe that the Illuminati could have been the ominous organization that has been plotting to conquer the world since ancient times was for me at least an incredible and fearfully threatening reality I didn't want to face if it were to be true but…but now I look at the real truth we never imagined or at least never considered it as a real truth. The feeling of extreme loneliness and worthlessness that came over me, a feeling so overwhelming and overpowering to know that even one of the worst conspiracies on earth is nothing but a fucking wall, a stupid invented idea, a set of spread rumors and lies of simple facts based on their own true conspiracy to derail people's mind away from the actual truth.
Loneliness I felt because of how the people who are supposed to be our leaders and protect us are the ones who we need to be protected from. How scary it is to realize that all this time you thought you were protected by someone from the demons around you and yet that someone is the devil himself. You tend to lose all trust in everything and that makes you feel really lonely. Worthlessness I think I felt because of the loneliness in the first place. I guess we are lonely because nobody wants us or nobody needs to love us or I don't know but that is what I immediately felt.
That was a revelation that I was never prepared to handle. Especially me, I don't feel worthy of this privilege even though I'm changed my past is still there always following, always haunting because change never comes without pain.
*I could see the astonished face of his turn to anger. I could see on his face, taste it on his wife's blood that splattered on my lips, feel it in the tension that was building, smell it in the air, and hear it on his voice, the rage that took over him. Col. Harding was enjoying it, but I knew what I came to do and then I heard "continue" as the children started praying.
"You son of a bitch you…you…monster!!" I then held my gun to his son's head as he was praying with his eyes closed and his dad's face dropped. He started begging me again not to do it. "Baaam" the blood splattered on both his sister and father's faces and then I put the gun to his daughter's head and he frantically pleaded me to stop but again "Baaam". That last shot left him speechless and lifeless and by the time I put the gun to his head he didn't care if I killed him anymore. Col. Harding was satisfied by the fact that he broke him completely so he told me to stand down and let him live with his pain. I took the camera that was videotaping directly to Col. Harding who saw the whole thing live and left him there on the blood bathed floor staring at his murdered family.*