#5 - Entrenched: A story about the Marines

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#5 - Entrenched: A story about the Marines

Postby vemlich » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:00 pm

A story about the Marines

The invasion is pending. Weighing heavily on the back of everyone’s mind. Creating a muscular knot where the neck meets the thoracic vertebrae. We knew, but we didn’t want to admit it, after the scout came our future was set. The pendulum started to swing, and like my old grandfather clock, the pendulum is bold, pronounced. It glides effortlessly reminding us we cannot stop time. We cannot stop time, but we knew after that planetary scan, our time here is limited. The scout came and left quietly. Some say they saw it through telescopes or powerful Borthan binoculars. 7 days later it happened.

Fighters came screaming through the atmosphere. Banshee wailing as if trying to paralyze our hearts. We fought them, destroying every last one of them. No prisoners. No survivors. From the alien wreckage collected, we learned a few details, characteristics, even a few quirks from our humanoid visitors. They are pirates, with a thirst for blood and the resolve to carry it out. Rallebians: a ruthless Pirate Empire. Expanding, enslaving, looting systems throughout the Estra galaxy.

We defeated their fighters but not their determination. For Rallebians consider interceptors pawns in the interstellar chess game of conquest. The second wave of fighters came at dusk in the Northern continent of Lexarum. Swarming: doubling the size of the first wave and slightly stronger. During the attack, our interceptors scrambled from bases and space faring aircraft carriers. Most of the pilots who died were still on the ground. Held captive in their cockpits set ablaze from strafing runs. We sent them back but at a high cost. Over 700 marines died in their barracks. Probably still asleep. Dreaming of peaceful times, times of love and family. Robbed of both by those Rallebian thugs.

Then they came with a sound you will never forget; an extremely deep rooted and profound bass. You could feel the resonations in your chest. As the missiles roared across the horizon, they broke the sound barrier sending concussive waves that slapped your face and bruised your skin. Your breath left your body as each wave rammed your frame. The missiles struck a fort obliterating it and destroying the surrounding city. The metropolis is gone. Not ruined or broken, but gone. Where there was a golden and blue-green skyline, the type you would see on galactic e-cards, now is black, a void except for a rare I-beam sticking up out of the ground. It reminded me of a Merchetti desert, a flat and lifeless landscape. The explosion could be heard 14-18 miles away. Some of those that were closer than 4 miles and survived, it was the last sound they will ever hear. Imagine the last sound you hear is the death of 681,000 people, some of which you knew, few of which you loved. Some fates are just that cruel. You lose your hearing, but not your memory. Hearing a sound in your mind over and over, but never physically again. Eerie.

That was the last time I saw either sun. The municipality and its residence instantly changed into a fine ash that is suspended in the air for what I believe will be for all eternity. You can’t walk outside without goggles and a gas mask. People tried to wander the streets with bandanas covering their faces or makeshift cloths over their heads. But with the tears, the dust cakes to your eyes….people wish they were blind or worse.

We made them pay. Our counterstrike blanketed the next two waves of missile sloops. Their missiles never left their bays. Death was easy. Target their missile silos and let their own destructive devices do the rest. We were not trying to create POWs or rescue damaged ships. We need to break their will and their bank accounts. We couldn’t. Another fighter strike came. They didn’t catch us asleep, but they were better prepared as well. The attack was a stalemate. Both sides lost half. Both sides touted victory. But we realized they would never stop until they claimed a land they had no right to. So many people found religion. These same people who wouldn’t pray to help an orphan, were on their knees pleading. Some asked for revenge, others for their lives to be spared, the selfish begged to keep their station. I hope these petitions fell on deaf ears. The truly religious just wept. They sobbed for mercy on their souls. For they knew Rallebians had smote the apple of Rana’s eye. Revenge would be his, and there would be no weeping for Rallebian Pirates when their justice is served.

So we did it. ..Looted - disassembled everything valuable or historic. Our heritage may not continue here, but it will not be forgotten. An old movie reminded me the common man dies twice. Once when he draws his last breath, and another time when the last person who knows him expires, and he is totally forgotten: Officially extinct. I thought old movies were supposed to be cheerful and not so sobering.

Our leaders hired smugglers. The best money could buy….and we bought them. They began to smuggle archives and families. This is where I come in. The families chosen would be selected by lottery, unless someone from your family volunteered. Willingly agreed to stay behind with weapons upon weapons. Vowing to kill as many invaders as you can before you die. Enough of us volunteered to create 200 divisions. Thousands of marines to defend the land you grew up on, played on, loved on and now inclined to die on. The remaining forts are automated, and the surrounding cities emptied. Void of life - except for insects and vermin.

We have built trenches. To hide us and to surprise them. Hide below the surface and strike the Rallebian slayers with a dose of their own cruelty. Hand held radar barely works, and vision is deceiving and useless. We will never quit. So here I am in my new home. A seven foot channel of impending death and misery. My earthen home for today and possibly until the end of time. I do not know what history will say about us. The last Quezalian soldiers on our world. Defenders of our homes to the death. I’m afraid. One of thousands with weapons and crates of ammo. Bound to be forgotten. Destined to die….twice.
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