Incomplete Saga Of Nowhereland

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my first story ever so criticism is good. And its hard to surmise. An organization has attempted a program aimed at fixing the world. The narrative is based on one mans experiences and fact presented to him by chance.

Submitted: July 28, 2012

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Submitted: July 28, 2012

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The Incomplete Saga

Of

Nowhere Land.

By Anton Gray Basson.

Introduction:

The Incomplete Saga

Of

Nowhere Land.

By Anton Gray Basson.

Introduction:

I awoke, my chest was bandaged and I was alone. Robin wasn’t anywhere to be seen. And the island was freshly bombed. The room with the records was destroyed and a few note books remained. I felt a need to read what was left and write what I knew, everything that was important. I could write the facts plainly but then they would be hard to recall. My father told me as a child a story is always more interesting and memorable than fact. So with the facts at hand I write this Saga. In the hope that if there are future generations may know what happened to the world. I know that all that happened was engineered on this island, the factions, Lab, Priest and war. This is what I know and supposed to have happened.

Part 1: Nowhere Land.

“Do you understand the terms of your employment, Mr. Jones?”

“Yes. Please call me Oz, Mr. Bastes.”

“Ed.”

“Alright, Ed. When do I begin?”

“Tomorrow. Dr. Rules will show you around now.”

The men had no idea what they had begun. That day, years ago. And now he is back.

Ultimate Peace Solutions is the world’s largest supplier of arms and arms related systems, every new weapons system is developed here and then sold through its subsidiaries. No one knows about it. One must not think that anyone employed here ever chose a career at UPS, they were chosen for their skills: weapon engineers, bio-chemists and warriors all tasked with the job of creating the ultimate weapon. Ozmand Jones was chosen for his skills in psychological warfare and assassinations, its best to think of him as a psychopathic psychiatrist. His current employ is to find the mentally anguished and damaged.

“So how big is this place?”

“About the size of Britain.”

That was rather abrupt, thought Oz; in fact, everything Rules had said on this tour was undercut with a sort of tone. It was the type of tone you get when you ask an absurd question; make an inappropriate comment or, perhaps, when people think you are inappropriate.

“I know why I’m here, the terms of my contract.”

This was an odd moment for Oz, he usually didn’t care what people thought of him or his work, and he was after all a self proclaimed bigot. Rules looked up.

“I know you’re here to kill my daughter. Don’t prolong her agony.”

“I assure you sir, whatever suffering she’ll endure, will be of her own doing.”

Sensitivity? Odd for both of them.

“Your, living quarters.”

No one would know what Peace saw. Oz, for once didn’t have to do anything. But Rules and Bates both felt a near sense of loss. It’s true what they say; women tend to go after men that remind them of their fathers and in Rain’s case, at their happiness’s sake.

“How long has she been hanging?”

“About two days, Edward.”

“Seems like a waste, this loss of beauty, almost. Can we still use her, Rules?”

“Yes, have you found her yet?”

“Yesterday on the Bomb Green range”

“Didn’t you run tests on that range, yesterday?”

“And the day before. It’s actually amazing she survived.”

Despite their feelings of loss they felt more concerned about their projects than about the person that just died. A woman they both professed to love; Rain.

“Cut her down. Where’s Peace now?”

“Ozmand Jones is working on her now.”

The girl was barely 16. Despite her attempts to hide behind her beauty, pretending to be brave, Oz could see that she was breaking.

“Peace how you doing.”

“Alright. My mother killed herself and I spent the rest of the time dodging bombs.”

“Most people, you know, avoid the question. They tend to be defensive after...”

“Seeing someone die? I, I didn’t see anything.”

“But you were t…”

“Are we done?”

“Um, yes you may go.”

Oz felt relieved when he returned to his room, it was welcoming after his day. It was grey. A knock pulsed through the door.

“WHAT!”

Aggression? Ever since he’d arrived he had been acting odd.

“Morning, sir. Mister Bates wishes you to meet him at A-7”

“A-7”

“Oh, right you’re new here. All the buildings here are numbered. The factories are numbered with an A and…”

“Okay. I understand. Now tell me, why?”

“Didn’t say. Be there at 17:45.”

“Ah, Oz. Glad you made it.”

“It’s hard to miss a building with a giant A on the side.”

“Glad you like it, but that’s not why you’re here.”

It was odd seeing someone who was clearly excited sound so impassive. Oz could see why Peace was so dead and why he didn’t have to work on Rain. Listening to Ed was enough to damage any one. They entered the building.

“Jones. Do you know how one designs a weapon?”

“Not really, but you’re going to tell me.”

Whoopee.

“You test it on its intended target. The Americans did it in ’45 and that’s why they supply weapons to the Israelis. That’s why I and my grandfather recommend it. I also believe that a weapon is no good with out a soldier to use it. And the only way to train an effective soldier is to send him to war.”

“And how do you intend on sending them to war?”

Oz couldn’t help but wonder what he was he going on. He felt nervous.

“Behold the ultimate weapons training and development tools in the world.”

“My God!”

Oz has never been shocked in his entire professional career. He watched Serbs snipe children and families getting hacked up in Rwanda. He killed people for a living, though he preferred to have his targets kill themselves, he wasn’t a humanitarian. He had buried those feeling deep inside him years ago. But this made him sick. The tanks filled with over grown foetuses and the massed surgeries. It looked like a butcher’s shop.

“Didn’t know you were religious, Jones.”

“I’m not. But this is sick. I, I, does this have anything to do with my contract here?”

And yet he felt the need to pray.

“Yes.”

“But?”

“I see. I would have thought you would understand. Never mind these aren’t people, well, they are chemically. No, that is not reassuring.”

“I don’t…”

“Understand? I’ll explain.”

Bates’ smile changed disturbingly. Turning to his bodyguard.

“Merkava set up a demonstration in pit 2.”

Then turning back to Oz.

“They’re not clones or actual people. We resurrected them. They serve us in our work. They have no conscious thought or will. They allow us to test anything medication, surgery but primarily weapons. And unlike paper targets or chronographs they tell us exactly how deadly a weapon is. Do you understand?”

“So far I’ve gathered you think your both God and Satan. Giving and taking life and serving your own ends.”

“My dear Mr. Jones. God and the Devil are the same. They are men with guns and bombs. It is always the way it has been. The biggest man with the biggest stick wins.”

Ed and Oz entered a room. Inside there was a small clump of technicians and on the facing wall a clear panel. Oz could see five figures through it. He gathered that the unarmed ones were these resurrections of Edward Bates.

“Now with every piece of new technology there are certain problems. Look at the targets Jones. You see that they are wearing what appear to be gas masks and back packs. There is a chemical in a human that gives it life, it is unique and individual. We extracted from dead bodies and then synthesize it to gain a useable amount and bath the remains in it. This causes the regeneration of flesh and organs. It makes them live again.”

Oz was struggling to take this in.

“In these units it has to be recycled as, unlike us, they can’t do it themselves. The backpack holds the control and recycling units. The mask covers the neural connections and the tubes that carry the recycled chemical to the brain.”

This wasn’t making sense to Oz. He, like a good student, had turned off. He didn’t turn on again till he saw one of the units get hit in the head and explode and the other get shot in the backpack and do the same.

“One of the problems I was taking about. They also have aggression problems and require filtered air. Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to my late wife and show what you are helping to accomplish.”

“I can’t wait. How main of these things do you have here?”

“Two hundred thousand.”

“And if they went wild? Couldn’t they kill us all?”

“They won’t, tell me if my daughter saw something like this would if push her over the edge?”

“I really don’t know.”

“Tomorrow you two will meet my former wife.”

Oz never did get to meet Rain. Nobody knows what happened at UPS. All they found was a traumatized girl who keep on saying “God and The Devil are one and they my father. My mother is the Arc-angle.”

“Miss Bates. We’ll be landing shortly.”

It had been ten years but now Peace was going home. After the incident, the media had been quick to dub the facility Nowhere Land. All of a sudden there was a large island that no one knew about with only a single living soul among a million. She always longed to return, but she had been committed for six of those ten years, being “treated for long term psychological trauma.” But now she was “acceptably recovered, and permissible in society”, like she was some sort of vulgar creature. She was better. She met someone and felt loved for the second time in her life. The plane touched down.

“So what are you looking for?”

“My mother Ben, my mother.”

A tear ran down her cheek, they hadn’t even cleared up the bodies.

“So where is she?”

“There.”

She pointed to the only building left standing. A long concrete structure, with a large faded A-7 on the side. They entered treading lightly round the bodies.

“Peace, what is this place?”

“A factory, Ben. You see that body there. He died twice.”

“What?!”

She ignored him. She was on auto pilot, reliving that night.

“Do you want to see your mother?”

“That’s what I said didn’t I. I know you turned her into one of those things.”

“Very well.”

She, Ben and the ghosts of the past headed down the elevator to a room. In it a single body with large metal “wings” attached to it. Ben couldn’t take it. He regretted following her here.

“What the hell is that? Honey?”

“Mommy.”

“Father what gives you the right to play God.”

When Peace first saw her mother that night she couldn’t believe that the crumpled industrial spill before her was indeed he mother.

“Because God and The Devil are the same, they are men with…”

“Guns? And because you make most guns that make you the God of Gods?”

“He is both.”

Peace look down she barely heard the creature speak.

“I’m sorry for abandoning you, for you having to watch me die and for what I’m know, Arc-angle.”

“Ssssh. It’s fine he’ll turn you back.”

“Run. Hide by the tree.”

“What?”

“The Arc-angle shall punish the creatures of this hell, but your mother will keep you safe.”

“Peace? Are you alright?”

“She killed every one to avenge her suffering.”

“I’m not following you.”

“Not everything needs to be understood.”

This is after all a land of nothing. And nothing always makes sense.

“Let go. And leave the dead as they are.”

Perhaps she was right but as events in the future will show one can not turn ones back on the past; a tomb opened can not be resealed.

Part 2: Sounds the Ghosts of the Past

“Can you believe this rubbish? I think this time they’re over estimating the power of the media a bit?”

“Jason, we’re on in five; four; three…”

“And we’re back with the latest on the New Falkland Massacre, today the UN has announced that the island of New Falkland will be place under security blockade until the its leader feels fit to rule it again and that it will not be conducting an investigation into the happenings on the island. We have seen a few images of the aftermath of the incident and we have heard unconfirmed reports of the death toll from sources with in the UN, some of which only estimate that there was a lone survivor,” said Jason Nicola the news anchor of five years, three of which he worked as conflict reporter and of those years he never felt so confused about what happened on the island no one ever heard of. In the past there was always some one to blame but now there was no one; no despotic leader in a third world hell hole wish to hold on; no power hungry rebel group that wishes to rule their own nation and no super power that invading a small oil rich country to stop terrorists. Jason continued “We have no answers as of yet but we have been granted permission to broadcast an audio recording of what we assume to be combat troops. We warn you that this may not be suitable for young children and sensitive viewers”

In his mansion in Grand Cayman an aged man sat watching the television with great interest at first but then with horror as he heard the sounds of a voice belonging to a man in his final moments. He had known of the other voices, but this was the one that a father dreads the most; the sound of ones son voice: the sound of ones son’s death and eventually Anthony Merkava heard would just here sounds, but he would never gain the answers to the questions that madden him to the point that he nearly contemplated killed the one woman who might give him answers and beyond.

It had been two weeks since Peace had returned to her home in New York; it wasn’t much sparsely furnished, no chairs just a bed TV and kitchen table, with grey walls. Grey a colour she both hated and loved. The colour of her childhood, of her mother and father, of people she saw on her Island and of the carnage she witnessed. She was still hurt by them: damaged but she still felt love towards them, her parents, the ones that could not.

A knock at the door distracting Peace back into the present. As she walked slowly towards door she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, as they always did in anticipation for the worst; like when her mother would come home crying from work or when her mother took her to the meadow or when she went to find her that night ten years ago and knew that the world as she knew it then would end. She opened the door to be greeted by an old man; his face was mildly familiar it reminded her of some one in her past. “Is this the residence of Peace Bates?” he asked.

“It is and you are?”

“Just a man looking for his son. May I come in?”

“Yes” Peace said opening the door to let this man in. “I’m sorry you will have to stand I don’t own any chairs”

“I see that. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Anthony Merkava and I am lead to believe that you are the only person to have survived. So tell me what happened to my son David.”

“He worked for my father and he died like every one else.” when Peace started she knew that he would listen. “It is a long story. My father owned every single arms and aerospace company in the world; some how he managed to have them operate independently but still so that he could take the profits and fund the real development facility. He called his company Ultimate Peace Solutions because he believed that only destruction would save the world.”

Peace took awhile explaining the functions of the company and the Island, everything even the resurrections. It had already dawned and yet Anthony Merkava sat there listening not saying a word. Finally she began “What do you want to know Mr. Merkava?” He wasn’t sure how to respond he hadn’t grasped the fact that her father could use his wife, the mother of the child, to create an army of un-dead to be killed over and over again to make better ways for countries to off each others population. He wasn’t sure all he knew what he wanted he had too many questions now. He looked up and… nothing. Peace questioned him again, “What do you want to know? The truth of what happened or the reality of what happened, if you want the truth you can read it in any document regarding the matter but reality is something different I told the truth but I’m not sure it’s what you want to hear so tell me what do you want?”

Anthony sat there he was considering what he had been told but it was too fantastic and yet something in Peace’s tone made him believe it was true. He looked up his eyes were eager to know the truth. Peace started again, it was surreal, descriptive: he could picture every thing she was telling him, he was there.

Peace and Rain sat in the limbs of the tree enjoying the cool air and the peacefulness of the meadow it was located in and yet there was a hint of dread in the mood. They hadn’t said anything to each other. This was the only place that they could be together on the island; the only place not set apart for the study of destruction. Rain said “Your father has brought in some one new, no doubt to take over my project. First my father and now some stranger.” Peace wasn’t sure why her mother was going on like this but she knew that her father often removed her mother from projects and that her mother usually tried to kill herself. “I can’t believe that he does it every time I near the completion of a project he hands it over”

There once had been a tire swing attached to the tree. Some rope remand behind. Of all the places Peace had spent time with her mother this was the only place that had happy memories. It wasn’t going to last. Rain quickly tied a noose and through herself off the branch. It must be true what they say practice makes prefect. Peace ran like she always did in these situations but this time it wasn’t to get help she had to get away it was too late to get help. Rain’s neck snapped/ instant.

Peace ran and ran and ran, she didn’t even read the signs warning her of the danger and then every thing went white and warm. She wasn’t harmed in the explosion but she spent most that day and night dodging ordinance. Eventually she was rescued.

The first and last time she met Ozmand Jones was in a cold grey “consoling” room. She liked him instantly, but she couldn’t let him know how she felt.

“Peace how you doing.”

“Alright. My mother killed herself and I spent the rest of the time dodging bombs.”

“Most people, you know, avoid the question. They tend to be defensive after...”

“Seeing someone die? I, I didn’t see anything.”

“But you were t…”

“Are we done?”

“Um, yes you may go.”

She nearly slipped up. She left the room and proceeded directly to where her mother and mother lived it always felt so empty and loveless but it was comforting. She went to sleep quickly and only woke late the following evening. She didn’t know but she had to see her mother and she knew where she was. She knew all about the horrors in Building A-7. And knew that’s where she had to go.

She found her father on the way to a lift. “FATHER!” she shouted. He turned never emotional. “What do you want?” he said.

“I want to see my mother.”

“Do you want to see your mother?”

“That’s what I said didn’t I. I know you turned her into one of those things.”

“Very well.”

She climbed into the lift with the man she couldn’t help but love unconditionally. And he always suspected that she knew more about this place than what she had been told. The doors opened and there was “Mommy.”

When Peace first saw her mother that night she couldn’t believe that the crumpled industrial spill before her was indeed he mother.

“Father what gives you the right to play God.” Her tone was choked.

“Because God and The Devil are the same, they are men with…”

“Guns? And because you make most guns that make you the God of Gods?”

“He is both.”

Peace look down she barely heard the creature speak.

“I’m sorry for abandoning you, for you having to watch me die and for what I’m know, arc-angle.”

“Ssssh. It is fine he’ll turn you back.”

“Run. Hide by the tree.”

“What?”

“The Arc-Angle shall punish the creatures of this hell, but your mother will keep you safe.”

Arc- Angle? She had heard her father and mother talking about it when she had been “sleeping”. It was supposed to control the resurrections and Edward Bates her father had turned her mother into it. And she ran blindly noticing everything along the way but not processing it. All the alarms and the Forth Sniper security personnel trying to evacuate people and fight off the resurrections and losing. When she reached the meadow and tree it had become a garrison unit. Tanks, howitzers and machine gun nests became one with barbed wire and the noise of helicopters preparing for a hot extraction en mass. Peace had just made it inside when all hell broke lose. The line of choppers erupted into flame followed by the arms of the Fourth Sniper. Peace found an unoccupied fox hole and balled up in it. For hours the sound lasted.

“A grenade landed in my hole and David grabbed it and was throwing it back when it went off and nothing it all stopped after that nothing was left alive. When I was rescued I was lock up for five years to recover and nothing was done. They ignored the situation and could blame no one so the left it. It’s been ten years I’m going back with a friend do want us to bring him back?”

Anthony was in tears when he gave his answer. “No. Thanks for the help I think I should rather go home.”

“Are you sure?”

“No I am fine”

The old man didn’t look fine. But no one that was connected to UPS looks fine, so thought Peace.

Part 3: My sins, My war

The day is hot. All I’ve got is my ration of water and the tin shed hot box. I would dig a hole to find some cool, moist soil but the wardens’ dumped broken glass and barded wire. I need to suffer for my crime. Thinking. Knowing that some orders shouldn’t be given and knowing that this is the worst they could do to me. I’ve been here too long. Nine months alone in my hot box. At least the food is real. This wasn’t the future I wanted. I wanted to study mountain goats, be the last to see them in the wild. It was three years ago, before the world went to hell. There was no food and every one was hungry. We became divided. The scientists and religious leaders fought it out verbally for as long as possible and then an alternative form of diplomacy was needed. We had to pick sides or in my case have our side chosen for us. Some sided with the Priests and some with the Lab and those who couldn’t care moved to the cities and walk the streets zombie like waiting for some one to die close enough so that they don’t have to run to get a piece before the crush of the hordes of their fellows wanting the same. At first people fought and barricade buildings and tried to wait for things to return to normal but it took to long. We lost hope. I had no idea about the war was going on till on day I left the city - hungry. Anywhere was better.

“Marine, you still alive?” The voice calls from outside. I don’t hear people often, except when a fellow detainee kills himself. I always felt the food was reason enough to stay even if the accommodation is lacking in comfort. But some people don’t know a blessing. “Yeah.” I reply. Hey who else can I talk to? “Good, do you want out?” says the voice. I would like out but why risk sun burn? “Depends” I say. “Prodigious, I’ll be back tomorrow I want you to punch me in the face.” It walks off. I listen until. There it’s gone. No more foot steps. I’ll sleep.

I wake to the shifting of the corrugated steel door. “Marine I would suggest you hasten to get up.” It’s the voice. I struggle up and out of my box. It’s bright. “At least you can move, but I don’t think you function. Maybe if you weren’t retarded you would be smart enough to acknowledge the fact that you should in fact be dead.” I don’t feel angry but I hit the small man the voice belongs to. I still can’t see well. Something pricks me in the back of the neck. I swing round to see who it was but loose my balance. I slam in to the dirt. Dust curls up round my head; into my nose and I can’t sneeze. The world is dimming. “I’ll take him.”

I wake up cold. I stand up. Man runs up to me in a flight suit. He indicates that I should sit down and strap in. I have no idea where I am. Slowly I become aware of the throbbing of engines and a glass partition next to me. I strain to see through into the dim section behind it. “We’ll loose half of them today!” shouts the small man with the voice from behind. I turn and shout back “Half of who?” He just smiles and points to the section as it turns red. The men in bulky suits that cover them from head to toe. They look quite intimidating, taller and larger that the men in flight suits that swarm round them. The flight suited men assist them to in linking up to rails that extend from the roof. A buzzer sounds the light changes from red to green, the flight suits leave and the buzzer sounds again. And giants fall into space. And the aircraft rises slightly. I turn to the small man seated besides me he is still smiling.

The aircraft lands. As we disembark I turn to him and all he says “You got thirty minutes, report to hanger three” he points to the hanger ahead “you will be issued chow and gear. Then go the plane you’re in F section, B squad.” I just do what he says. I walk to hanger. The door opens and out comes a medic steps out. “Right arm.” He demands. “Steak or eggs” I haven’t had steak in forever. “Steak” I ask eagerly and he jams a needle into my arm and says “Enjoy it, it maybe your last.” Back on combat rations I would rather be in my hot box than here just for the food. He steps back a pace or two, eyes me over and announces “Size fourteen, go to the desk and ask for that size. We’ll fit you a custom suit if you come back.” I enter the hanger and approach the desk and get greeted by a kid half my age, I only twenty, a new world. “Suit?” I look at him and he looks back “Fourteen.”

He gets up, motioning that I should follow him. We walk past shelves of parts in a dimly lit section of the warehouse. We stop. “Sergeant Joy! I’ve got a fresh offering for you.” the boy shouts down a shelved section, its strange to hear a child talk in such a jaded, grown up manner: to old for his age. He walks off. I’m left alone. Around me there are pieces of medieval looking armour and suits like I saw in the plane. I can’t make heads or tails of what’s going on. “The old guys knew how to wrap them selves up in tin” says a gentle voice “we just brought it into the present. Any way boot size and suit size.”

“10/ 14” I reply I have no idea where she is. A pair of boots and cover alls attach me for above. I put them on the cove alls seem tight and the boots weren’t made for walking with squared toes. “Here,” I get handed a box by the girl, any other time and she would have been on the cover of magazines “These are you legs, three clips on the inner part of each, loosen and put on; there should be a gap round your leg. Once those are on, clip the external armour plates on. They’re numbered.” I try to work as fast as she speaks. Done. And I get handed another box, “Arms, same as before.” I put the arms on, clip the armour plates on. “Hold this” she shoves a large piece of plate against me, “Just like that.” She has sea green eyes I would love to dive into. She spins around and flame like hair licks my face, she pulls out a stool. “Sit, and hold that chest plate in place.” I get told; I do. I hear wheels squeaking behind me. I don’t look back I fear what there. I feel a weight get lowered onto my back and shoulders and click. “Okay arms out. Sit still for a bit. It needs to power up.” She lowers another piece of armour. Click. “You have a visor keep it down at all time from when you prep to drop till the rounds stop flying. It contains you weapon sight and battery and oxygen levels.” I wish I knew what was going on. I hear a humming noise and slowly realise I look like a robot. “It’s ready. Go to the plane and join up with the squad.”

I stand up and walk, effortlessly. I walk towards my plane, know this ‘because it says F section on its tall tail. “You’re late rookie!” Move it!” This is fun. I run into the hold and take a seat. It’s dark. And I can just make out the outlines of things. “Chill man, Sarg. Joy isn’t here yet.” Sergeant Joy? I notice the empty seat next to me. The engines power up, I look towards the divider. There he is watching, some how I feel I’ve made a mistake. “I forgot to give you your rifle.” I turn to look at her. She seems so kind. I take the rifle, last time I held one…

The heat was intense, my squad and I had been patrolling for weeks and finally we had come across a farm, a working farm. We could call in a chopper and get real food instead of these inject your meals rations we get issued. But first we had to round up the farmers. “Sir, you need to take a look at this.” I told my squad leader, as I held up a black uniform. “Well, it is Priest issued.” He replied “burn the buildings, and crops. Kill the rest.”

“Sir we should gather some food from here.”

“No. the area could be swarming with them.

You have no idea how important food is till you don’t have it; the killing I can handle but it was food.

“Red Light visors down. Grab your junk and move!” Sergeant Joy shouts. I lower the visor and grab my rifle and walk forwards like the rest. The flight suits come out and help us on to the rails. Green light. The hold is filled with the clicking of bolts as weapons are cocked. The buzzer and I know how a stone feels.

A powerful shock vibrates thought me as I hit the ground. “Damage nominal.” My suit tells me as it forces me to my feet. “Squad Leader Sergeant Joyce Wick Located 2.3 clicks east north east.” The suit instructs me so I move in that direction. As I walk I see a body hold an old M16 but its head had been torn clean off it. It’s odd that despite the mess of flesh and bone that it’s considered a clean kill, one round. I walk on. I see my armour clad fellows standing in a loose laager protecting their quarters. I join them no one’s speaking, so I don’t. “Head count.” I notice that each suit is coloured. A red suit responds, turns and counts. “Fifteen, Joy.”

“Right, loose V. New guy you’re on my short right.” She sounds so different, as she gives the orders. I move to my position. We walk off.

People in the city didn’t know how deal without food, each week more and more people arrived. Each week we got smaller and smaller. The kids look like bones that swallowed party balloons and their parents keep on giving them new siblings. Some of us ate birds, rats, grass and even books. The rest waited till some sod died and they crawled up to them and ate them on the spot, even licking the ground to get, whatever they could from the fluids lying there. Getting crushed. One day I was walking in the endless horde when I heard this popping buzz and the guy next to me fell. That’s when I got out.

“Get down!!” I felt my suit getting pounded, screaming damage reports. Put my balls to the floor. I got my rifle up and searched for targets. “It will target for you! Just shoot when it tells you to!” Joy shouts from my left. The red suit runs forward and fires some grenades in the direction the attack. It stops we get up run. I keep my rifle trained like the rest. Suddenly a cross hair pops up green, my rifle rocks back twice. Some one else pops up and Joy kicks him to the ground and caves his head in with her foot. We slide down the earth pile they were sheltering behind, more bodies lie there and we pound over them making mud with their blood. There are others running away. “Halt.” cries the Sergeant. I hear it coming. I break formation as it approaches burping out bullets. Others dive for cover, some get cut in two. The plane leaves us. We leave them. Following her, Sergeant Joy.

We move at speed that would tire even the fittest combatant. A pilot comes floating down in front of us Joy grabs him and starts screaming “Are you a Hog pilot! Did you attack my unit?” The pilot looks at her and smiles. She snaps him in half over her leg spraying her golden armour with blood. Standing up again she looks at us and says “Pick up over the ridge.” We move.

Back at the base, I get told to drop my armour and follow the kid. He orders me to stand against a graded white wall and have photos taken from every angle. I get ask what colour I want my new armour in? “Black.” Like my home for the past nine months. Like my soul. A void for depression. I walk out of the hanger looking for solid food, or some thing made from solid food. Soup. Warm soup, something to fill every corner of my gut. “Yo, new guy over here.” Somebody shouts. I turn to see the occupant of the red suit standing by a well lit tent. I walk towards him. “Name’s Roy; the grenadier. The rest of the team is inside.” I look at him. He is smiling. Not a dead mans smile of relief or one to cover ones fear, a genuine joyful smile. I haven’t seen one for nearly, too long. We walk in. “What do you want, not much of a cook but I haven’t turned water into ash for a while.” Every one looks at me, waiting for me to say something. “Soup.” I say. “But its burger night.” Shouts some one. Roy steps forward “The Rookie wants soup he wants soup he gets soup. That’s the rule.”

“He’s no rookie, he has fought before. He broke formation when that Hog flew over. He’s trained. He was in the Marine Patrols.” a bald headed man drones from the back of the tent. I know him. He stands up and says “Come with me Mike.”

We walk outside; it’s a clear cool night. I used to look up at the sky and wish I could see the stars, now I wish that there where enough lights left to blot them out again. I turn to face the bald headed man and say “I thought they would have shot you by now, Tom.” He looks at me. “I mean you’re a Priest but you’re here? What and where is here?” He stares at me and says “Every one here was a Priest. We all swapped sides. And you saved my life so I decided to return the favour. As for this place well welcome to the Breach Marines. We thin out resistance before the poor Lab grunts clean up and secure the bases we invade. Our ops last for forty minutes at the most, then the battery dies and then well, we are screwed.” “So you guys, we have to take on the role the pre op ground pounding. I should have stayed in the hole.”

The next day I wake up to the smell of toast and eggs. I start to cry. I can’t recall the last time I smelt that. I’m embarrassed luckily we get our own quarters. I get out of bed and there they are, white overalls, another uniform.

After breakfast we walk out to the hanger and she stands waiting. ”Morning, today we have to do another tech raid.” she says. I can feel the air get colder. She continues “On Nowhere Land. We are to suppress the ground resistance and then switch into conventional infantry and clear the buildings floor by floor. The primary objective is to locate files and hardware related to a project known as ARC, Artificially Resurrected Combatants. Questions? ” No one moves the all appear stunned. I have no idea what’s going on. “What is Nowhere Land?” I ask and all eyes fall on me. She replies “It’s the place that ended the world and the largest base belonging to the Priests. Chances are we’re all going to die today.”

The air of tense remains the whole flight. I turn to face Tom and say “I was glad when they locked me up for disobeying orders and saving you I thought I’d never have to fight again, but.” He looks up “But?”

“I’d rather be killing than locked away, almost free. Even if it meant I had to survive on liquid rations, with runs and constant stomach cramps.”

“Why did you go after the food? How long were you in the city?”

“Four years it was fine at first but then all the food ran out, even the rats got eaten. It was strange I would have thought people would have left the cities but they just kept coming. I wanted to leave but couldn’t that’s the odd thing not until the sniping campaign started to clear the city. I saw people getting shot and I didn’t leave until it was almost me,”

The drop buzzer sound and we move to the rails. “Now, Tom I don’t think I want to do this any more.” Green light. Here we go.

“Damage to primary breather! Secondary coming online shortly.” I can’t breathe I’ve got to open my visor. “Danger visor open. Danger visor open” Shut up I need to breathe I need to… Bang. “Damage to helmet internally!” Everything fuzzy. “Sniper!! Secure the Rookie! Medic!!” I don’t think that will help me.

Part 4: Last memories

“Welcome back.” She says as I come round. I look up into her dead blue eyes. She continues “You look quite good considering I put a bullet into your head 3 days ago.”

She smirks, “How does it feel too be pulled away at the portals?” I notice the body behind her. She follows my eyes, turning to the body says “Oh yes my mother, poor weak soul a weed that is unfit to live in the world that she created. All her fears realized all the guilt that she built up over the years. ‘Oh my father was evil.’ ‘Oh that bastard drove my mother to her death.’ ‘I can’t ever reconcile his wrongs.’ Well my dear mother you killed the whole planet, you pushed it into Armageddon. And look you were forced to use his finest creation. ARC! Even you were not above using your own child. Turning me into the second angel. What you should have been. But you have to admit I did turn out more refined than my grand mother, those wings they fitted to her were such a cliché. And I’m more...” She glances back her face and voice contorting with hysteria. “I am more powerful. I didn’t have to kill myself to kill you mother. 27 years you were hiding here. For 17 years this ruin was my home. And for 10 years I was fighting for you, for no reward, not asking why just doing what you asked what you demanded of me. I didn’t even know why. I never set eyes on a living man before or even been close enough to smell them to speak with them. All I want was to talk to him; I don’t know what to say how to act. And you forced me to kill him before I could find out his name. To find out why they wanted to kill us. No you changed him; you want more ARC troops to protect your self. But I saved his mind his memories and now it’s too late.”

She turns to me. Tears streaming down her angry red face and asks. “What is your name?”

“Mike” I reply.

“Well Mike, you’re going to kill me. I don’t want to live any more.”

“I don’t want to either.”

“Well then we will kill each other.” She says smiling in token.

“Okay”

She hands me a pistol and I press it into her forehead while she presses hers into my chest.

“Click” my pistol misfired. I’m beginning to tremble inside.

“Click” her pistol misfires, and we start to cry and I do not know why. But it feels good not embarrassing at all. We just sit in the rubble round us, bawling like children. And it’s okay because the two of us never had one I know it’s true, we see it in each others eyes. We hold each other, it’s honest and unconditional. I haven’t felt anything like this my whole life. I look at her, face red; wet and her eyes have a sparkle to them. They were cold and angry before. Not dead but close to it, now there is life. “Your eyes have changed, they aren’t scared anymore.” she says. I smile; it’s true I am not longer afraid. She holds me closer, warmth, “My name is Robin. I am terribly sorry I killed all your friends.” I am not surprised. “It’s alright, I do understand.” We sit in silence the rest of the night.

“Morning Mike, did you sleep well?” Robin says with a smile. I did, I smile as I struggle to open my eyes. She giggles and then she stops and looks at her feet. Her grey shoulder length hair falls away exposing the back of her neck, and I notice it a small metallic stud protruding from her skin. “Oh, that gives me my power. My mother did that to me.” She says still looking down. She continues “She also made this world. I’m not mad; don’t think that I am crazy. I can prove it.”

“I know you can, but first let’s eat, I haven’t eaten in a while.”

After breakfast she leads me to a room. It is intact very different to anything else on the island. The floor is essentially a litter of files, dairies and, on the only desk, a computer. “I am going to show you some thing. It has the answers.” Robin says. The computers screen starts to flicker on. There is an old man, bald and sad. Red eyes looking straight at us. “That’s my great grandfather.” Robin whispers. He starts talking.

“I am Doctor Damian Rules, the head of research here at Ultimate Peace Solutions. I have a great fear within my heart. We aim to create a utopian world but for that we must destroy this world. My Fear is that we could loose control of the process and then we would have created a un-end-able hell. We have embarked on a course that will plunge the world into chaos and destruction. And I do not think it can be stopped. I have committed a treasonable act against my own family with the aid of my son in law. I believe in the work we do here, our goal is good but it is the methods we employ that I am having a crisis of conscience with. We create suits that will make soldiers near unbeatable, weapons that destroy cities with out long term poisoning and food crops that will fail in forty years. If we should loose control, I will leave information that will explain our actions. Some of the things that will be encountered during the Rapture we have started and how to proceed to the Paradise that will follow.” He says in an even tone. Did he start all this? All this was engineered. He continues “Tomorrow we complete the Second Phase of the ARC program when we make the first full functioning Angel. My daughter will be used, failing that my granddaughter will be used using a second design. The Angel will be used as a controller for the ARC Nova units. All ARC units are resurrections of suicides, murder victims and soldiers. People that have died violently have an excess of the chemical agent that gives life. The aim is to provide an accurate method of weapons testing and training, but also providing us an army to push the world into decline and then controlling its rebirth. Our current control systems using conventional technology are limiting. So the Angel will provide enhanced control using psychic means. The design amplifies the energy enabling full and direct control. We need to use suicides, people in extreme mental/ emotional distress. To provide suitable candidates we have been using a Mr Ozmand Jones. His results to date have been some what disappointing. But given his lack of knowledge and vague details of what we are looking for he has done rather well. According to his assessment of them, be believes them to be good candidates. Our plan involves the release of technologies such as the Advanced Combat Armour System Individual and Super Large Ordinance.” Rules pauses and on the screen weapons start appearing. He continues “The SLO is a conventional weapon that approaches the 45 kiloton mark and can be deployed from the majority of heavy lifting aircraft in service. The ACA is argument armoured suit that turns the individual trooper in to a tank. These and others systems will be released to various nations when global war and unrest start.”

I turn to Robin. I can feel the blood flowing out of my face. “Why? Why would they want to do this?” I feel her arms wrap round me. “The rest of the file is damaged, but there are three more, one my mother made last week.” Robin is so warm, she is so kind and after what she has been doing that’s even more special. She wants me to understand, to have answers to all my questions and know that she isn’t like her family. All these things that she was force to be and deal with. Things we may not ever know or understand were made her responsibility. I want to understand but “I don’t think I can watch anymore right now.” I turn and walk outside and fall to my knees and cry. I am crying a lot lately. I am confused and it makes sense just to let go. It feels good. I am sitting on an open grave, I’ve just noticed that there are remains of people and machines everywhere some fresh others are bones green with mould. This place is sick. It’s the only place I want to be. I see Robin and smile, “I am glad you’re here too, Mike.” She read my mind; I am sure she can and does. I don’t care unlike most people I’ve met these past years, she isn’t hiding her heart to save it. People that hide it often loose it. I don’t want to know anything more than this: that somebody wants me around, that will keep me going. She hugs me from behind; I drift off for a bit. Pain, now I am getting cold and my eyes are watering, Robin is behind me still but limp. There a pole in us. Why? Who killed us?

There is something else happening, another force.


Authors note: This was the first story I have ever written, if you have read it please comment and help improve. I have thick skin.


© Copyright 2017 Anton Gray Basson. All rights reserved.

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