Thursday, February 25, 2016

0019

Classified Area. Codename: Green Hell

The factory bustled with activity, it had been abandoned for years until a group belonging to a rebel faction found it with the old machinery still in workable condition, slowly it became an outpost and by the end of that same year it was one of their main operation centers, people working left and right to manufacture and load supplies, weapons and ammunitions into small vehicles parked on the old docking bays, the officers coordinating troops from the old offices on the second floor and a small team dedicated to communications and code breaking.

A radio signal from a nearby dropship had been intercepted, the codebreaker team had to rapidly work their way through encryption and get as much information before being cut off or found out.

"TY-1 here, unit 0019 has been deployed" Said a soft voice, the sound of turbines roaring could be heard on the background, quickly there was a reply.

"Understood TY-1, report back to base, operation commencing for unit 0019" Said a second voice, the voice faint and full of static.

"Roger, I am coming under heavy fire. Permission to engage?" Asked the pilot

"TY-1 you are authorized for to fire on will, give them one thousand brands of hell" Said the second voice

"Roger, TY-1 out" The pilot and the other operator went off the line.

"Sir!" The man who had intercepted the conversation rapidly finished writing it down on a piece of paper and handed it to a Lieutenant who had just approached him. The Lieutenant wore, as the rest of the troops, civilian clothing adapted for their situation, there was no rank visible anywhere except for a white star on the cap the man wore, the symbol of their rebellion.

"Where are they now?" Asked the Lieutenant as he speed through the conversation

"They just finished their communication sir. No locations were given, the only clear statement was the deployment of a unit" Replied the man who had intercepted the conversation

"Where?" Asked the Lieutenant

"I don't know sir, no information about it was given either" Replied the man and got slapped by the Lieutenant

"Useless!" Said the Lieutenant and returned to a table in the middle of the room where other officers sat, most of them were only losing their time there having conversations, joking or gossiping, smoking or having something to eat, their dedication was to themselves and no one else. Outside, just a mere feet away, was a different story. The people working outside went through excruciating shifts of sixteen to twenty hours a day non-stop, sleeping was a luxury they could not afford and if working a twenty four hour shift was possible they would be doing it, supplies were always on short stock, scavengers had to go further and further away into the nearby towns and cities for material, going on foot had gone from an hour or two to entire days, food was another problem, with not enough around of them to go they had to relay on crops which the surrounding area could not properly sustain due to the drought the region was currently going through, mining, while possible, was out of the question as it was too dangerous to proceed with the original deep mining operation that was going there before the civil war and without enough personnel, fuel and people with the knowledge to operate the machinery it would be pointless to restart it, the idea of a smaller mining operation was tentatively put into operation but without proper tools it became obvious it would take too long to get enough material. Additionally the nearby front was draining them of everything on a daily basis, it was reaching the point where command had to put into consideration if it was viable to keep their front here or if they had to accept being pushed back and take the machinery with them.

While all of this happened the nearby front had stalled at a major city some twenty miles away, neither forces was making any progress and while limited in resources the rebels made due with that they had, tenacity wasn’t something they were missing and neither was ingenuity. Their well applied guerrilla tactics served their purpose in this environment, retreating was very common for them but only after they had managed to disable some important objective or harassed the enemy long enough for them to reposition or try and chase them.

One of those groups was returning back to their current safehouse, a blown out three story building from which they used the basement, and were taking quick considerations as to what was the best route for said purpose.

"Through the back alley, lets go" Said the Sergeant as their team had stopped at an intersection.

"Sir, we could easily be ambushed through the back alley" Said a Corporal who was catching his breath

"We are not going back through the same street, they probably have it figured out by now which means an artillery run that will easily tear us apart" Replied the Sergeant as he eyed the other streets and possible routes.

"Sir, with all due respect, if we go through that back alley we may not make it out alive, we have better options going through an open street where we can rapidly find cover than a small alley" Said the Corporal

"Corporal we have twenty seven men left and from those seven are injured, we need to get out of here and we need to do it now" Replied the Sergeant who was becoming noticeable angry.

"Sergeant come on, be reasonable, we need to find another way, what about the top floors?" Asked the Corporal

"We could try and pull something on the top floors but not with the injured men and I am not leaving anyone behind" Replied the Sergeant

"What about a distraction?" Asked the Corporal

"I doubt we can make a distraction that bit for the artillery spotters, I am not willing to risk it anyway since they could just barrage the entire area. At this point we are lucky to not have been blasted away" Said the Sergeant

"Well no shit, sir..." Said the Corporal who took a big swing from his canteen until there was no more, he froze right there as he felt something cold on the back of his head "Sergeant?"

"Yeah?" Asked the Sergeant who was busy checking the map, he did not turn to watch the Corporal.

"What the hell do I have on the back of my head?" Asked the Corporal who began to raise his hands and in turn was given the full attention of the Sergeant.

"Holy shit--" The Sergeant had tried to act quick, his right hand had reached for his main weapon and now his right hand was stock to grip of the weapon by a large dark protruding from the top of his hand, the Sergeant immediately panicked trying to get the dart out, the Corporal closed his eyes and began to breath rapidly while whispering -This isn’t happening-

"Please" Said a soft voice coming from behind the Corporal. "Avoid making this any more complicated"

"Sir, stop freaking out and give me a hand!" Demanded the Corporal as he began to grit his teeth

"When I get this fucking thing out of my hand I will stop freaking out!" Yelled the Sergeant as he continued to pry the dart out.

"Try not to make a mess Sergeant, you will die relatively quick if you miss" Said the voice. "And you too Corporal"

"Wait, why--" The Corporal peered to the left and with horror saw the rest of his unit on the ground, necks broken, heads in odd positions, arms and legs as if they were rag dolls, blood still spilling out of some of the bodies, dead eyes everywhere "Oh shit"

"Those who live by the sword, will die by the sword, so sad for the young ones though, they could have served another purpose" Said the voice coming from behind the Corporal

"You monster" Said the Sergeant as he began to loosen up the dart, as soon as he managed to remove it he could feel his hand warm, blood slowly pouring out from the wound which the Sergeant immediately clogged with some pieces of cloth.. "Taking away their right to live a free life"

"I am not the monster Sergeant, I am a solution to a problem that has been going on for too long. You and all your people, on the other hand, are the ones that wish to continue fighting, pointless" Said the voice.

"You won't win, whoever you are, we will get our freedom" Said the Corporal

"Freedom to oppress others is just the continuation of a vicious cycle, you do not see it right now but you are the seed for another civil war waiting to take place in a few decades, just like those who you are fighting right now, so the question is, how long before you become that which you so ardently fight?" Said the voice

"You can--" The Sergeant tried to raise his weapon but it was useless, his right arm slowly went numb and rapidly his shoulder and neck followed, the Sergeant dropped to his knees trying to say something but he could only mumble incoherently until he dropped down with his tongue out, swollen, and eyes rolling up as his body slowly became a swollen purple mass.

"Ah shit" The Corporal, traumatized by the sight, could only thing of how he would die. “If you are going to kill me please do it fast”

"Answer me a three questions and I will grant you that" Asked the voice

"OK, what’s the question?" Asked the Corporal

"First, where is your Headquarter?" Asked the voice, the Corporal hesitated for a second, sweat running down his forehead as he stared at the blob that now was his former commanding officer.

"An abandoned factory twenty miles south of this city, the map on the Sergeant will reveal the location" Replied the Corporal

"How many?" Asked the voice

"A hundred or two at the most right, the operation used to be bigger. You may find some vehicles too with weapons and ammunition caches" Replied the Corporal.

"Final question, how many people do you have in the streets right now?" Asked the voice

"I honestly would not know that, we don’t keep communication with each other but taking a shot at the dark I would say at least one thousand troops" Replied the Corporal


"Good" Said the voice and then there was silence.

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