Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta weapons. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta weapons. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

Facts of war

   The bombs had suddenly stopped dropping from the sky. There was an awful, eerie silence that occupied everywhere that still stood, which wasn’t much. Most of the city was now ruins, a bunch of unrecognizable rubble where people had lived and tried to have good lives and happy days. But that had ended some time ago, when the war started and things went rapidly downhill for everyone in every corner of the globe. It had happened so fast that no one really knew how to explain it or understand it. It was just chaos in it’s simplest form.

 Before bombs started dropping, people thought it would never come to that. They innocently thought that the war would be fought in empty, far away spaces, where no one would ever get hurt and where countries could argue for long periods of time without really affecting the civilian population. Those who thought that had visibly no idea of what war was really like and how it had destroyed and devastated the world once and again in the past. How cities had been leveled down by fire and force and how the strong ones didn’t really care who they hit and how.

 The morning before the bombs dropped on the city, people were already getting a bit nervous but not nearly as nervous as they should’ve been. They had all heard about the rumors that new airplanes that could fly without being detected could be sent in any moment to attack. But the frontline of the war was so far way that people simply didn’t buy that theory. They claimed that some people were being alarmists in order to get some sort of advantage in the war. They decided to deny any possibility of war coming to them. It was their undoing.

 Most of the people in the city died right then, that morning when the sun was just coming up and then, out of nowhere, the first bomb was dropped in the city. It is strange to say it, but the enemy had the so-called kindness to drop a single bomb on an industrial part of the city first in order for people to be able to run to the nearest shelters or to get safe in any way possible. It was a kind of warning shot. Most people ignored it and that’s why the amount of survivors, on the days following the decimation of the city, was so low.

 The few people that survived did recognize the signs of what had happened and ran to the underground parking lots and places similar to those. There were no shelters because they had chosen not to get ready for a war that was real, even if it was far from their homes. Most survivors had to be dug out from under the rubble because they had been underground by chance. Almost no one had actually run down from their home to protect themselves. They really didn’t believe anything could happen to them, as if they were special in some way.

 But they were not. The city was not treated any differently than any other city before or after that. The enemy had a clear objective and new exactly how to hit a target in order to have maximal damage and be able to withdraw fast if the attacked nation reacted efficiently. This was almost never the case as they always destroyed military bases and other potential points of defense in order to be able to do whatever they wanted. The rules of war were clear to them.

 Exactly two day after the bombing started, the bombers retired and went back home. They had done their job and the ground army was already advancing fast, taking advantage of the new position they had taken. It was a very dared strategy but it had worked perfectly for them. When the army arrived, they helped the survivors out of the rubble and they put them in special camps to be held as prisoners of war. No one was mistreated in any way and that made the whole experience a little bit worse. People couldn’t properly hate them if they were suddenly kind to them.

 Of course, they had been the ones that destroyed their city and probably killed many members of their families and friends. But the treatment in the detention center was not the one of a concentration camp or anything like it. It was exactly as if the hundreds of survivors had been taken to a five-star hotel to be locked down as prisoners. It was a very odd thing to experience and most people had no idea what to feel, what to say to the guards and how to react to anything. However, it was clear who had won and who had lost that battle.

 Many other camps like that one appeared in the region, as the enemy’s army advances through the continent. They had a pretty successful year but then, at the end of it, the expansion stopped. The invaded nations were responding but only with skirmishes and guerrilla warfare. The fact that winter had come was an important factor in them being successful and the enemy deciding that the advance of their troops could hold for a while as they decided a new course of action that would end the war in the favor, once and for all.

 The winter was unusually long and harsh. Snow covered the ruins of many cities and prisoners in camps realized that their situation was harder than they realized. Even though they had a goo reason to feel good about being in a warm place during the violent snowstorms, they realized that they were prisoners because of they weren’t they would be out there, standing in the storm with a weapon, defending their countries and their right to exist. Not all of them thought the same but a general feeling of sadness and confusion could be felt among the prisoners.

 When the winter ended, people assumed the enemy would resume expansion and the war would be over in months. But that didn’t happen. Pockets of resistance had appeared during the summer and they turned stronger once the weather got better. No matter their big guns and strategies, the enemy’s army couldn’t taken them all down as they wanted to. They had to be smart about it and realized that their plan for expansion had problems from the beginning, as they had never thought people could resist them.

 That entire year, the Resistance movement, which spanned several countries with different languages and cultures, was able to have some small victories over the enemy. They robbed some weapons or transports; they temporally blocked their advance or just annoyed them when trying to do anything. It was a very tense year and it was the turning point for everything or at least for most things. Prisoners were still in the camps and the destroyed cities remained on the ground. That hadn’t and wouldn’t change in a long while.

 The following winter, the enemy decided the offensive was taking too long so they did something that no one expected them to do: they reached out to the Resistance and proposed they negotiate a deal to end the war. Of course, the people that had been massacred and persecuted were not very keen on accepting anything that came from the invader. Most people called the move a trap and felt that it was a new strategy by their enemy to exterminate any opposition to their plans for the whole world. They didn’t trust them at all, they couldn’t.

 However, they finally sent a group to discuss what the ideas were for the ending of the conflict. The war had lasted for too long and it was worth the shot to at least know what they could potentially do to end the fighting. The group that met with the enemy was very nervous about everything but the others tended to tend as if they were allies. They gave them a great dinner and told them that they wouldn’t return any of the occupied lands but tht they could liberate some territory for people to leave in what could be called the Free Cities.


Those cities would have access to sea and rivers, would controlled by Resistance but an Occupation Board would oversee anything to do with the cities and their development. They would basically be free but with a few limitations. The group went back to the rest of the rebels with the proposal and, it had to be said, they discussed thoroughly for many days. It was very hard to discuss what was right or what was wrong because any measure is good to end death. But at what cost should that be done? The decision didn’t make everyone happy, that’s for sure.

sábado, 6 de febrero de 2016

The 501st

   The first battalion to arrive at the drop point was the 501st. Commander Yok, who led them nowadays, was a very experienced man, having the privilege of been one of the few soldiers in the war to have been personally awarded a medal by the Chancellor. He was very respected by his men and it hadn’t been very difficult to decide he would be the one to lead the invasion of Kamara. And even if they hadn’t chosen him, he would have volunteered. That was the kind of man Yok was, always putting the mission first, him second.

The planet Kamara was very far the industrial worlds and the farming planets but it was important for another reason: tourism. It had been a resort world for many centuries, a favorite spot for the wealthy of the galaxy but just after the war the ties to the planet had been cut and the indigenous population, which lived of the tourists, was left to defend itself when the Confederacy invaded. They destroyed many of the hotels and resorts, as well as many attractions that had made of Kamara the envy of all the tropical worlds.

 Commander Yok landed in the jungle, near Kyloi, the capital of the world and the center of all confederate activity. The idea was simple: to decimate them with aerial attacks and then move in the troops. They were lucky enough to have two full cruisers for this mission so the planet was expected to fall shorty after the arrival of he army. Such was the trust put on Yok and his men that many aristocrats were already planning their trips to Kamara, not only to enjoy its beaches and climate but to recover the fortunes they had left in the many vaults constructed all around.

 Before the first way of bombers departed, Yok demanded a probe to be sent and check for the status of the city and the population. But that proved useless as the probe, and the two sent after that one, exploded in midair before reaching the central area of the city. Bombing started and from a mountain overlooking the city, Yok was able to see how many buildings the bombs destroyed, how they fell and burned. He was pumped. He had been made for this in the factories of his home world, and now his flesh was ready for battle.

 He led his men raging through the streets of the decimated city, running at first and the marching, all the way to the capitol of Kamara, building that was at the center of the city in every sense possible. They were silent, slowing down their march and blowing up roadblocks every so often. They climbed the steps of the capitol and went inside. No one was there, not a single confederate. They went to the top of the building and planted there the flag of the galactic government, claiming back Kamara. But joy was short-lived.

 Everyone knew taking a planet couldn’t be that easy. It normally involved very heavy fighting and resistance. It required days, at least, or months at most. Besides, they hadn’t seen a single native. The people there were rather humanoid but with green skin. If they had seen one, it would have been obvious. But nothing, not one of them was lying dead on the street or hiding in any of the many building that the 501st checked on that first day. To prevent anything from going wrong, Yok asked for no more battalions to come down to the ground until the situation was clearer.

 The first night was very confusing for the soldiers. They gather around and improvised fire and were rapidly divided into two groups: the one that believed they had won already because the enemy had abandoned Kamara and the other group, who believed there was something darker in the shadows of the capital. They discussed each theory thoroughly but didn’t reach any consensus. Yok didn’t really pay attention, not even taking part of the conversation.

 He was a soldier, a hero for many and now he was in a situation in which he had never been before. The enemy appeared to be smarter this time or at least much more mysterious than usual. He wondered why there were no bodies, from any kind, why there were no signs of the invasion that had cut off Kamara definitely from the rest of the galaxy. Communications had been interrupted but in the capital all services appeared to be in optimal shape except they didn’t work.

 Yok was the only one that didn’t sleep that night. Every other man closed his eyes and fell asleep fast. None of them were tired, they couldn’t really be but maybe it was because it was their first peaceful night in a while that they felt so at ease and in peace in Kyloi. The following they, they checked several other government offices but they couldn’t find anything that would explain why the planet was deserted. The army was already considering pulling off their war effort on the planet and place it somewhere they could actually help in some way.

 But as decisions were taken, something happened and only the 501st was there to see it. Up, in the sky, several enemy cruisers appeared out of nowhere. They engaged the army in the air and the battalion on the ground could only see how their forces were destroyed in a matter of hours. The only ship they had was a shuttle that hadn’t been built for galactic travel. So they were trapped in Kamara with enemy cruisers in the air and a sudden sound that made their souls quiver. It was a sound they realized had always been there but just now they realized it wasn’t supposed to be there.

 The enemy cruisers left the airspace, disappearing into the blackness of space, leaving the soldiers frightened to death on the ground. The sound didn’t stop, growing in volume and, apparently, in number. They all had their guns up, pointing at the sound as if they could attack it. But they couldn’t do anything about it. The sound continued as the small group of men climbed a building and decided to take shelter in the terrace, in order to see if they could decipher what was making that noise.

 But when they decided to investigate, the sound stopped. However, damage had been done. The men were scared and knew they were trapped for at least three days if not more. Commander Yok tried to contact their headquarters several times but he was unable to do so. Nothing came into his radio, no communication of any kind. He even tired scanning the sky for ships, even maybe cargo vessels or whatever was up there. But nothing, it just didn’t work.

 Then they heard another sound but this was weaker. It came from below so they descended the building and so what it was. A humanoid, one of the greens that inhabited the planet, was there in front of them. But it didn’t seem to be ok. It was barely moving, its arm an legs moving very strangely and his eyes just opened but unfocused. Commander Yok ordered the men to raise their weapons and wait for his command. The humanoid stayed there and he began to tremble, especially around the waist and chest. The men were all scared at this point.

 Suddenly, the most awful thing that could have happened happened. The humanoid burst open and from inside his bodies many insect-like creatures emerged, breaking his ribcage and launching themselves towards the soldiers. Gunfire was heard all around, insects blowing up in one side and the other. Commander Yok ordered the men to climb up the building again. But he hadn’t realized many more insects had come out, they appeared to have been waiting for them or possibly they all hatched at the same time.

 Arriving last in the terrace and locking the entrance, Yok realized the enemy had set them up. They had used some kind of creature to lay eggs inside the indigenous people of Kamara and use them as hosts that would burst open once the army had arrived. The bodies were probably in the sewers and hadn’t been detected because they were practically dead.


 The insects pounded the door hard, clinking sound made by their pincers. Every single man tried to help in holding the door, except Yok. He knew what was going to happen, somehow he had always known. He decided to put on his helmet and face the true destiny of a hero, of a true soldier of the Republic.

sábado, 19 de diciembre de 2015

Pilot in the stars

   The rumors were true. The whole colony had been dreading it would happen again, some day, and it had finally happened. Scouts and explorers coming in and out of the Field confirmed the destruction of an entire planet. According to them, the explosion was still visible in the nearby sectors and it was impossible to pass through the area. Many freighters had to take longer routes to rich worlds nearby, as the rocks that were floating around were sampling to big for such slow ships to handle.

 For the colony, this was especially difficult news. After all, it had been established many years ago precisely because a mad man had destroyed their former planet and they had to resettle in an asteroid field. Somehow they were the only ones, or at least had that idea in mind, that understood how real war felt like and how scary fanatics could be. That’s why they knew it would happen again and it did.

 Some of the colonists cried when they heard the news of the destruction, even more when they learned it had been a planet with a very large population and that had no why of responding to an attack of that magnitude. They had just died, with no way of even knowing they were going to die. The small room that served as temple to all religions in the colony was filled with flowers, one for each inhabitant. The guy that owned the flower shop was both happy and sad.

 Younger colonists, like Gregor, were not as hurt by the destruction of the planet as their parents. They understood it was something awful but hadn’t been old enough to feel their planet been destroyed in order to have something to compare the feeling to. Besides, Gregor’s parents had been mining in a far away planet when theirs was destroyed. According to them, it was something they felt deep in their hearts and it their minds, but Gregor was too young back then and did not remember feeling anything.

 Young colonists also worked and had responsibilities like helping around in the cargo area or in the commercial zone. The idea of the colony was that everyone could give something of themselves to make it all better for all inhabitants of the colony. It was a nice sentiment but difficult to handle as many passers by came in their lives for a few days and even a few hours. Ships came and went from the colony, used as a stopping point to refuel or have a decent meal before preceding their journey.

 Pilots were normally very talkative people and the colony was rather closed to the outside world so every piece of news came from them. It was often boring to hear them talking about the same old subjects but sometimes they did have very interesting insights about the other inhabited planets in the galaxy and the power players beyond the Field.

 Gregor was always interested in hearing the pilots talk. There was something in the way they told their stories, something so intimate and also universal, that made him want to leave the Field and get to know the world for himself. Once, sitting around fixing a machine in his family’s quarters, he decided to test the waters and get a conversation going with his parents about pilots and what they thought of them.

 His mother was a bit scared of them, not only because some of them were aliens, and she wasn’t still very used to that, but because they took so many risks when going from one place to the other. In her mind, the galaxy was a very dangerous place, filled with villainous creatures. His dad was, on the other hand, very interested in them but knew that their job was very difficult and sometimes even deadly. Pilots took many risks and not everyone was built to be one of them.

 Silence followed the conversation and Gregor broke it, by announcing he would love to be a pilot someday. His parents reacted in horror, dropping what they were doing, and looking at him as if he was sick. It was the first time they told him to go to his room and stay there doing nothing. They always wanted him to be helping, to be doing stuff, but now they just wanted him to be isolated and locked behind a door so he could think about what he had said and they could think how to counter that.

 The thing is, of course, it wasn’t and idea he had elaborated on that day. Gregor had been thinking of becoming a pilot for a long time. He even discussed it with a couple of pilots that told him that new blood was always needed but that it was essential that he had the courage to do what they sometimes didn’t have a choice of doing. Some of them had killed people, defending their cargo, their crew or their passengers. They were skilled not only in flying ships but also in different kinds of combat.

 It was a difficult thing for Gregor as any type of weapon was forbidden in the planet and any fights meant jail. The colony had gone out of its way to ensure that its inhabitants could live a life better than the one in other places. They thought that by banning violence, they would avoid it altogether, forever. But that wasn’t the case. After all it was a spaceport and fights always broke out and authorities couldn’t just arrest pilots transporting important cargo.

 That night he spent in his room; Gregor used it to think about what he was going to do with his life.  He really wanted to go away, to leave the colony and get to know other places and he was sure he could be a great pilot, even if he had never even tried to pilot anything.

 Decided and realizing his parents would never let him to do what he wanted, Gregor decided to just leave one night and try his luck in the outside world. He knew he could die or something worse but he didn’t mind. He was sick of staying behind, of just waiting for things to happen in his life. He wanted to be amazed by the galaxy and to see all that every planet had to offer with his own two eyes.

 One night, he went out of his room and left home with only a small bag with clothes and other essentials. His parents had not talked to him after their failed conversation and he was still hurt by it so he didn’t left them any kind of letter telling them what he was about to do. He just left and ran through corridor and hangars in order to get to the cargo area, were ships were refueled and taken care of.

 Gregor hid behind some crates containing food and waited until the workers left. It was well known that no ships could leave for some hours in the night, so he just waited there for all the workers to leave. The flight prohibition was only good for a couple of hours but it was more than enough for him to sneak into one of the ships and hide inside it. Once they realized he was there, it would be too late and no pilot would go back just for a kid escaping his parents.

 He entered the nearest ship, a typical cargo freighter, and hid between the tanks it was transporting. As he was not very tall and skinny, he could easily hide sitting down among all those tanks. After some minutes, he realized those were fuel tanks and decided it was maybe not a very good idea to travel near any of that. After all, it could blow it in any given second and his journey would be over.

 The ship next to that one was transporting cages and something made an awful noise inside of them. The third and last ship carried the typical crates and he went for it but wanted to go back as soon as he felt the awful smell in his nostrils. It was really awful, probably some kind of food considered a delicacy in another world but certainly not in the Field. He was about to leave when the ship closed its back door and he was trapped.


 He hadn’t realized the prohibition was over and all three ships departed at the same time. He had to hide there, among the stench, and try not to be detected. But after a while he just couldn’t hold it and started coughing like a lunatic. It was too loud for the pilot to ignore it. The door to the cockpit opened and Gregor was surprised to see a very tall women look at him and say: “You’re gonna die if you stay here. Come”. And he did and that’s how his big adventure started.

miércoles, 11 de marzo de 2015

The Shadow

   Weapon of choice? Well, he never really needed one. Every single job he was asked to do, he did it with his hands. He had learned most martial arts techniques and many other ways to kill without the use of weaponry. It was dangerous when he encountered armed victims, but nothing that speed and wit couldn’t solve. People were always scared when he appeared, apparently out of nowhere. He was practically and urban legend, the silent assassin. His real name was Gideon.

 But that name had been long forgotten, as he was not that person anymore. Now, he only went by his nickname, Shadow. It suited him, as every person that hired him knew of his skills and ability to make anyone his victim. Not even the strongest or smartest had escaped. He collected bounty for his work and disappeared, never working for the same person more than once in a year. If he was to attract the attention of the authorities, he had to keep his outings to a minimal.

 The rest of the time, he just kept on training and lead a quite life away from all the turmoil of the city. Thanks to his grandparents, he owned a farm, which sold milk and other diary products to local stores. In the farm, he lived only with the animals and no one else. He had decided, long ago, that he didn’t want to endanger anyone else due to his secret life. Besides, he had never felt a connection with anyone so pulling the plug on romance and a relationship wasn’t all that difficult.

 One night, the Shadow was hired to kill a corrupt policeman hat had escaped justice for too long. The wife of a fellow policeman had hired him for the job, as her husband lay in a bed in the hospital, in a coma, due to the actions of his former partner. The Shadow located him fast, in a warehouse, where he was supposed to receive payment for his help from a criminal group. He wouldn’t be able to attack right there but he would follow the subject quietly and then kill him away from all the fuss.

 But that wasn’t possible. The moment the man arrived at the warehouse, he was ambushed by many criminals and finally killed by a shot on the head. The Shadow, seeing something was off, was about to leave silently but then he realized the place had been sealed and then a hoarse voice called at him. Knowing he had nowhere to go, the Shadow remained where he was and asked the voice who had hired them.

 Then, someone else appeared from behind two thugs. It was the woman that had hired him to kill the man that was now lying on the floor, his brain all over the place. The woman identified herself, and her husband, as the head of a criminal organization. She had hired the Shadow to capture him and not to kill anyone. He thought of his chances but knew he wouldn’t be able to defeat so many men, without at least one pulling out a gun and killing him. He asked then, what it was that she wanted.

 The woman, called Helena, told him that he had killed his son a year ago. He really didn’t need any more information than this because he knew who it had been. A young man who he had been hired to kill related to a rape. He proceeded to tell the woman about this but she refused to listen, telling him the man who had hired him was dead, as well as his lying daughter. The Shadow then asked her to kill him fast because he didn’t like to chat without reasons to do so. But the woman kept telling him that she wanted revenge, because her husband had been shot in pursuit of him, only a few weeks ago.

 Fed up with it, the Shadow decided to engage the men. He was too fast for most of them, although a couple of bullets burned his skin. He finally toppled down one of the men, took his gun and shot Helena straight to the head. With the same gun he downed another couple of guys and, as they regrouped, he broke a large window and escaped through there. He never knew how but he made it back to his home, sleeping in the barn instead of the house. If he had been followed, they look there first and he would notice.

 But no one came. He woke up to the licking of one of the cows and decided to cure himself in the bathroom. They were only scratches so it was rapidly done. He decided to lay low for a couple of weeks or more, in order not to attract attention and destroy both his lives. The radio news informed about the incident in the warehouse and attributed it to a dispute between criminal groups. They also informed of the detention of several policemen and others related to the criminal gang.

 The Shadow, who went by the name of Barney in this town, decided to turn of the radio and instead work on his animals. He spent all day grooming them, changing their spaces and giving them fresh new food. He even had time to fix one of the milking machines that had not been working correctly. He did that for the following months, never suiting up again in order to take on a mission. He had enough money now and didn’t need to kill anyone else to live decently until the day he died.

 Anyway, Barney had other dreams. He wanted his products to be sold all over the country and, honestly, he wanted a life of peace. The incident in the warehouse made him realize that he couldn’t afford putting his life at risk for reasons unknown anymore. It just wasn’t worth it. So he put it all behind and, for a good year, he was at peace with himself and the world. He hired new employees to help in his small factory and the business grew better and wider, buying more cows and buying new equipment. It was all going too good.

 One night, after closing the factory, Barney decided to go through the books and check his financial state. He did it every week because it distracted him. The people working for him were well paid and were all every honest and trustworthy but he just needed to be distracted by something. Too often, before going to bed, he recalled all of those times he had killed people. It was something awful to live with; even been convinced that most of them deserved their deaths. The others were just victims and he did know he was a murderer.

 Then, after he had finished doing the numbers and he recalled one more murder, he heard a knock downstairs, in the small store he had put up. Maybe it was the wind but the knock sound grew louder and it was obvious someone was there. He went downstairs but did not open, instead going through the back to surprise his nighttime guest. He grabbed a shovel to do so but was himself surprised when it was a young girl, who screamed like crazy when he almost slammed the shovel on her head.

 She started talking loud, like crazy, saying many words in a single second. Barney lowered the shovel and tried to calm her down, asking her why she was there. Asking her if there was some kind of problem. She shook her head negatively and said she had come to speak to him. Taking a look around, Barney invited her inside through the back door, to the kitchen. He poured some tea on two cups and told her to speak freely.

 The girl then told him her name was Florence. She had been looking for him for the last couple of years. As she put it, she was a clever girl and put it various clues together to get there, because she knew Barney was actually the Shadow. Barney spilled some of the tea on him as she said this. He automatically looked around, expecting people to come in from everywhere but that did not happened. Florence then confessed that her father had hired him two years ago, to kill her rapist.

 The Shadow was shocked but then he remembered the woman in the warehouse saying she had killed of that family. Florence explained that the men had tampered with the gas supply in her home, so to create an explosion. She was the only one in her family to notice the smell, coming down the house and then coming out to check the gas register. She was there when whole house exploded and she saw, before passing out, the men who had killed her family.

 The Shadow looked at her and understood instantly. He told her that he wasn’t accepting any requests or jobs in the meantime and that she should go and look for other family members to help her, if that was what she needed.

 But Florence was confused. She told Barney that she had no need for help as her family money was on an account that she emptied the day following the explosion. She had changed her name and, since the tragedy, she had been looking for him only to thank him and to ask a small favor, which had nothing to do with death or revenge.

 The Shadow didn’t even ask. He only stared at her and she started to cry in silence. Florence then said she had survived two attacks on her life, out of pure luck. And now, she wanted to learn how to defend herself. She wasn’t going to seek revenge but, if someone else did, she wanted to be prepared. And who better to prepare her that the legendary Shadow?


 He finished his tea and, without any word, he left for his room when he tried to sleep but couldn’t. In the morning, he realized Florence had not slept a minute, instead making breakfast. They didn’t say a word, not until she followed him to the backside of the barn, where he showed her a small space where he did a demonstration of his skills. There, the first relationship he had had in years finally began.