Remember the Fallen
by Thomas Cormier
Remember the Fallen is the work of my son, Thomas, a 15 year old high school freshman. It is the tale of mankind's struggle against extermination by alien forces, told in
journal entries by several different characters. Thomas is a promising young writer, and I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.
Earth was abandoned centuries ago. The dark, blackened atmosphere nearly prevented our escape. We settled in many of our colonies, building them bigger and stronger, with our environment in mind. We lived in peace for over three hundred years, then we lost contact with Aariend. It may have been a newly developed colony, but millions lived on that planet. Fleets were sent from many others. Syrria, Vius, Eridon,Lisura; the strongest of all the colonies. I was on the fleet from Syrria when we lost the Vius, Lisura and Derisian fleets. Following new orders, we made our way back to our planet, as were many other units out there.
We were followed, shot down over Syrria. Ours was the only ship to fall to the planet's surface. What was left of our crew awoke to the sound of distant blasts. The horrifying sight of the planet being glassed over laid before us. This isn't just a militaristic campaign. No . . .
This is genocide.
We must fight back.
We cannot afford to lose.
Torraan Rahoan, 788th Company/SPAN>>
THE LANCE CRASH SITE, SOMEWHERE IN THE SYRRIAN FORRESTS, 33:25 HOURS. 21 HOURS AFTER CRASH
They must have thought us dead, or they would've sent a rescue party. We've been salvaging through our Carrier, the Lance, for roughly half of the day. It's a big vessel, but the planet takes forty-two hours to rotate so we didn't burn as much daylight as we would have on Earth. We found few survivors in the rubble but acquired many supplies, considering on eleven percent of our personnel are still alive. It still horrifies me to look up into the sky just to see Syrria being glassed over. The size of the alien ship is overwhelming, comparable to a city that is home to millions. I figure the nearest military city that isn't being destryoyed is Azurstone, three hundred miles from here. Even if we were to find one of our Grizzlies, I highly doubt it could drive through this thick forest.
The smell of blood engulfs anyone around the ship. Those whose visors weren't smashed in the crash are lucky and don't have to bear it, but I've smelled worse. Half of our eleven percent that survived are on the brink of death. Their cries of agony echo throughout the forest. Not even our power armor could protect us. I, myself, suffered some blast trauma. The ringing in my ears hadn't left me until half an hour ago. It had been faint then, but hadn't vanished. I had a cut on my forehead, which a medic offered to fix, but I reminded him that others needed his help more than I. My armor still bears numerous scorch marks and scratches, and my shields are offline. But others have not been as lucky.
My job as of now is to retrieve the data from the ship's mainframe. We cannot let any alien being get hold of it. Unfortunately, the Data Storage Center of the Lance is at the tail end, now over three hundredmeters above us. I've spent my time cutting through the ship and climbing to the DSC. Many hallways were coated with the blood of the bodies that had been dragged out. As I bashed in the door to the DSC, a body rolled down the steep hallway and nearly bowled over the soldier behind me. Standing on the wall of the room, I examined its contents. Two other bodies lay in a pool of blood in the crease between the wall and the floor, their torn uniforms identifying them as Tech personnel. They appeared to have died from electromagnetic burns. This was confirmed when I saw a sparking computer terminal on the far wall that was now the ceiling. Two soldiers entered the room to search for lootable supplies so I proceeded to the central mainframe console. The station's monitor bore a blue screen riddled with computer text. I pried off the blast resistant outer paneling with the butt of my MG and removed the tiny microchip that held thousands of terabytes of memory. I inserted it into a memory storage unit in my cuff, which then slid shut, and began my descent to the ground.
On the ground I reported to the Major that I had the chip and gave it to him. Then began our march through the forests of Syrria, with the rest of the planet burning in the fires of the Hell that had so suddenly arrived.
REMEMBER THE FALLEN.
Torraan Rahoan, 788th Company
AZURESTONE, Azurestone City, 18:29 Hours
The sound of combat hadn't ceased since the day began. We engaged them at dawn and the sun was now beginning to set. I rose and squeezed the trigger of the combat rifle. The display's number raced to zero. I ducked behind the fallen pillar and replaced the empty magazine with afresh one. The man to my right on the mounted chaingun took a spray of plasma and fell backwards, blood forming in a pool around him. I crouch-walked toward him, pulled a grenade from my belt, armed it, and lobbed it over the wall of the building he was in. It exploded and rubble fell back where I was. Another explosion shortly after mine caused the wall behind me to collapse and I fell over into the pool of blood.
Sitting up, I heard a voice come over the COMM channel. "A-Team, give me a sit-rep, now!"
"Encountered heavy resistance. Heavy casualties," I said, pressing my chin to the mic-trigger.
"Then get your asses out of there!" ordered the commander.
"Understood." Switching channels. "A-Team, we are falling back to Rally Point Charly. Move!" I ran, hunched over, as the wall in front of me collapsed, and ran left as plasma flew at me through the cloud of dust. As I ran over, past, and through ruined buildings, corpses and blood, I began to realize the real severity of the situation. As more plasma rained around me, I turned and squeezed the trigger of my CR and heard it strike purchase. The Ka'ar's armor sounded like breaking bone as the lead penetrated it and burst into the scales and tissue beneath. One alien dropped and the other one spun halfway around as my empty clip popped out and clattered to the scorched earth.
I ran behind a pillar before the surviving Ka'ar could see me. I could hear him, his breathing. He was just to my right. I tightened the grip on the knife in my left hand. His clawed hand grabbed the corner of the pillar, and I lunged. I stabbed its neck and drove the beast to the left, slitting its throat. I reached the Rally Point and saw a dropship with several of my squadmates inside. As I got in, it took off. I must have been the last to board. Fewer had survived than I had thought.
"Where to?" asked a soldier, one who I didn't recognize.
"The main front," replied the pilot. "The 396th infantry is pushing through fast, but they've taken heavy losses and can use every available asset."
I stared out the open door of the ship. Below me were the ruins of a once flourishing city, Azurestone. Syrria was a beautiful planet. Why would the Ka'ar come here? Eventually, spotted conflicts dotted my view of the city. We must be near its edge. The sounds of combat grew louder. The ship rocked and I steadied myself, putting a hand on the wall to my left.
"Prepare to drop," said the pilot. The dropship set down not far from the frontlines and I hopped out. As the craft took off, we were greeted by another soldier.
"Where are you guys from?" he asked in a friendly tone. The man wore grey armor with red and orange insignia.
"218th infantry." I spoke for all that was left of A-Team.
The soldier held out his hand. "788th Armored Company. The name's Torraan."
"Tami," I replied, and shook his hand.
"Well 218th, let's roll."
Torraan took us to the front lines, past burning buildings, broken weapons and bodies. Most of them were alien. Good. We are winning. As we neared the battle, a stray blue plasma round hit the wall to my right.
"We're here!" called Torraan. He vaulted over the fallen pillar in front of him and began firing. His MG was so loud. It must be custom.
He was shooting at a wall. Was he blind? But as I watched, a Ka'ar dropped from behind the hole-riddled wall. I was impressed. I and the rest of ex-A-team clambered over the pillar, guns blazing. I crouch-walked past Torraan, stood up and unloaded my gun's magazine into an unsuspecting Ka'ar. The alien dropped before the clip was half empty, but I didn't let go of the trigger until the empty magazine hit the ground. I sat back against the wall while I reloaded. Plasma flew overhead. I stayed down until it ceased, then I stood and sprayed lead at the two aliens that stood not far from me. I sidestepped as I fired so that when the magazine was empty, I was behind a strong-looking stonewall.
As I snapped the new clip in place, a glowing orange orb landed in front of me, bounced to a stop and began beeping loudly. I looked up to see Torraan fighting off more Ka'ar, standing just a few feet from the grenade. "Torraan!" I screamed.
He turned toward me as the grenade went off in a torrent of cyan flame and black smoke. I popped off a smoke grenade behind the rubble where Torraan had been standing moments ago. Another incendiary blast went off, nearer to me, and a ringing sound filled my head, which lingered until I reached Torraan. I flipped him over and saw that his visor had been smashed. "Medic!" I yelled. "Medic!"
A hand weighed heavily on my shoulder. "Giving up on me so soon, eh?" Torraan struggled to his feet, and I helped him up.
He smiled at me through his broken helmet, which he then removed. Blod trickled from somewhere under his black hair. Another soldier came up to us.
"Come on," he said, putting a hand on each of our shoulders.
We moved on, encountering nothing but rubble and bodies.
We had reclaimed Azurestone!
REMEMBER THE FALLEN.
Tami Steel, 218th Infantry
I knelt in the mud for what seemed like hours. I sat upright, the rain falling in sheets on my visor, seeping through the cracks. I had failed yet again to save and bring these men to safety. Those bastards are ahead of me at every turn! Thunder boomed in the distance as I removed my helmet. I looked up into the tempest and saw the ship, and its blue radiance cutting through the clouds. Standing up and letting go of my comrade's hand, I took one last look at the carnage that surrounded me.
Stumbling over the bodies of my friends and enemies, I made my way up to the cliffside. Looking down, I saw Citidel smoldering in the blue light of the mothership. Our greatest bastion of humanity's survival, gone. Putting on my helmet, I looked up at the azure judgment and vowed to bring that ship down into the hell it had created, and make them know fear. We will not be extinguished.
REMEMBER THE FALLEN.
Torraan Rahoan, 788th Company
TRAGEDY, somewhere near Citidel. 41:08 hours
The only thing that I was aware of was the high-pitched ringing sound deep in the confines of my skull. I was lying on my stomach. I turned my head. The grass that I saw was a sparkling red. I pushed myself to my knees. There was blood where I lay. I looked and saw two bloody holes in my plated hauberk. The clearing was littered with bodies, both human and Ka'ar. The trees on the edge of the clearing were broken. I looked around for my rifle. The only gun near me wasn't mine, but I had used one like it before. The display read "4". I located a new clip, discharged the nearly empty clip and reloaded.
After a few more moments I noticed that everything was blue. Looking up, I saw the biggest Ka'ar vessel I'd ever seen. I staggered over to the cliff and looked down. Citadel lay in burning ruin. The light turned the smoke purple. It was an eerie sight. I found my pack lying on the ground, one of its straps broken. It was unopened. I wandered to the edge of the clearing, sat down, and fished a pack of rations from the bag's depths. I ate it in under a minute and a half. Belly satisfied, I wondered where I was. I strained to remember what happened before I awoke, but I drew a blank.
I thought of contacting Command but I had no helmet and no COMMIC. I decided to search Citidel's military center for a radio. As I entered the forest, the terrain returned to its natural color. The ship was gone. I flicked on the light of the assault rifle. It would be a long walk.
By the time I reached the gates of Citidel, the horizon was slightly orange. The gun's display read 07:17. My vision went blurry and I fell onto all fours. I got up after a minute of pain and stumbled through the smoldering gates. Civilian bodies littered the streets. Blasted cars created barriers and opened holes into buildings. The military block was on the other side of the city. I was looking at a flickering advertising billboard when I tripped over a dead child. I hurried along. I didn't want to see the slaughtered innocents.
Huge craters made sectors of the city impassable, and it took me another three hours to reach the military block. Mounds of blackened, bloody bodies littered the ground. Soldiers. Slaughtered. It was then that I realized what genocide felt like.
REMEMBER THE FALLEN
Tami Steel, 218th Infantry Division
This is a work in progress. More entries will follow in the weeks to come.
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