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call_to_arms Powered By Docstoc
					A Scribbles short story

TJ Sylvester
   Imagine yourself sitting on your sofa one moment, and then shivering in fear behind a
building on the next. Yes, that was what happened to me in my life.
    “What would you do next?” You might ask. I had to grab a gun as soon as possible. The world
was in an apocalyptic state at this time. Dark clouds, fire, broken fences, collapsing buildings,
screaming people…I could go on forever. There’d been an all-out war again. Was this going to
be the World War 3 that everyone feared? Nevertheless, I had to act sharp. I was searching the
streets for any weapon I could use. I passed by a shooting range, no weapons were found,
except a long knife about 2 feet long. Maybe this I could use. The blade was sharp; perfect for a
good cut to the leg. As the world goes crazy above my head, I was running for my life. I had to
trust no one. People were throwing stones to defend themselves; nevertheless, they died.
There were still so many soldiers around, so I killed one. I didn’t care if it was from the US or
maybe Russia. I just had to kill. Checking for the soldier’s supplies, I strapped on his vest, his
first aid kit, and, of course, his M16. This looked good enough. I kept looking for anything else,
killing soldiers along the way. I held some sort of grudge against them somehow, basically
because they started it all. Waiting to turn back, I saw people trying to survive. I had to run back
to them as soon as possible…maybe round them up. I gathered about 6 people at the time. I
handed them survival vests, firearms, anything that would help them survive. At least my job
back in the force was put into good use.
    Now, with a small band of 7 people, we moved into a derelict warehouse. Luckily for us, it
used to be a military base, with extra supplies on the side. It was good enough. Here, I recorded
the events of this fateful day. I will call this ‘the first day’.
    It is now 1800 hrs. I had to talk to the people I rounded up, at least that would reassure
them. This way, I also gathered basic information about them:
  1: Joseph Randall, age 40
     Known mostly as Sloppy Joe, he was the local butcher in this town. He was on his way to deliver
  meat to a local mall when the bombing happened.

  2: Amethyst Kipster, age 18
     Was in school prior to the bombing. She is really shy, making our conversation rather brief.

  3: Bevelle Kipster, age 33
      Amy’s mother. She was the teacher of the 3rd-grade class at school.

  4: Gary Mangrove, age 19
      A sergeant at the local precinct. He was dubbed the Army of One due to his superior skills in
  tactics, first aid, and combat. He is also my best friend.

  5: Billy Mangrove, age 8
     A 3rd-grader in the local school, he is the brother of Gary. He has also shown his talent in battle
  when he shot a soldier in the forehead.

  6: Lt. Frederick Mangrove, age 39
      The head of the Mangrove family, he is a loving father and my direct superior.
   Outside, the world seemed like it was ending. But inside this small warehouse, 7 people are
going to make a difference.

   Day 2, 0530 hrs.
   The day dawns bright on us, but hardly a trace of sunlight was found. Even outside, the world
seemed like it plunged into darkness. Yet, the place was rather silent. Dead bodies were littered
along the streets, and buildings were in shambles, it was just…horrible. We found some vital
information on the bombing inside the warehouse; files, documents, all related to the bombing,
they were found in a basement. They were all in good condition, and all the facts lead to one
Vladimir Varkarumov. It seems it was he who started the bombing, further implicating my
speculation that the bombs weren’t from Russia. More files suggest that they plan on bombing
the entire US, one state at a time. This was something we had to do. But a band of 7 people?
Get real. An hour later, after lunch, I talked to little Billy. The Mangroves were like family to me.
They took me in when my parents died several years ago. I owed them so much, and now, I’m
going to pay them back. Billy was out in a corner, clutching a Beretta 9000, then shoots at a
nearby wall relentlessly, as if he was angry. Then he reloads, and turns to face me. “Oh, hello
there, did I bother you? I’m sorry I used your gun. Here it is.” He hands me the gun.
     I looked at the paper target, and saw much of the bullets hitting the head. This kid must be
better than I thought. “So, Billy, are you feeling okay? Do you feel any pain? Cough? Cold?
   “No, I’m fine,” he says calmly. “I had better get going now.” Looking at him fire each
bullet…makes me remember myself doing the same thing, 18 years ago. I was much younger
than him at that time, just 5 years old. Small and innocent, but that day was the day my father
took me out to a shooting range with him. He taught me every aspect of the gun, how, when,
and why. It brings back memories of that day...
   Then, out of nowhere, Gary shouted, “RPG incoming at 10 o’clock!” The blast was very
powerful, blowing Gary and Fred back. “They’re still here! Get ready!”
   “Sarge, take the girls and evac to the lower floor! Go! Go! Go!”
   I had to bring everyone down to the basement. When I held Billy by the hand, he said, “No! I
want to fight with you.”
   “You shouldn’t be fighting with us. It’s too dangerous.”
   He kicks my shin. Then, hesitantly, I gave him my gun. “Use this wisely, Billy. This is a war
we’re fighting, and you have to fight. I know that. Now, do as I say. Protect these girls if we
don’t make it. I know you’re too young for this, but I’m certain that you’re ready. Will you do
this for me?” He nods as I run back up to the ground floor.
   Upstairs, the place looked as if it was going to collapse, but we improvised pillars by using
bookshelves, boxes, and even sacks from the barricade up front. While I was running to pick up
more sacks, people were screaming as soldiers tore up the streets with their grenades and
RPGs. That time, I knew that we weren’t safe in this area. “Lieutenant, permission to
    He nods, signaling his permission. We had to move, and move fast. Everyone at the
basement looked ready. Billy was smiling confidently, with two guns in holsters on his thighs. I
smiled back at him, slipping in a pair of Uzis, and strapping an M14 on my back. He was looking
at me admiringly as I strapped on extra rounds, and I gave him two pairs of clips, saying, “You’ll
need these if you run out. This way, you won’t come running toward me or your dad for extra
    “I already have these,” he says as he opens his leg pockets, revealing 4 clips. I smile back at
him, and, honestly, I feel proud of him, because he’s put everything I taught him to good use.
The girls had to be carrying a gun at all times, so I gave them each a Glock 26, demonstrating
each function as the others were bringing extra supplies. “Everyone ready?”
    Fred salutes, signaling our evacuation. The world outside was shocking by the time we made
it out. As Fred was running out, he shot at something…which was actually a bomb. Someone
obviously knows we’re up to something.
    As we ran across a mile of devastation, red skies, armed soldiers, frightened people,
explosions, gunshots, and dead bodies littered on the streets, we came to the bridge leading
out of the city. But there were searchlights, soldiers, and wire fences. Something’s telling me
that we might have to move sooner than expected… “Beta 1 to Alpha, do you copy?”
    “Beta 1, I copy. Over.”
    “We’ll need to get away from the city ASAP, but Gamma reports 15 Tangos up front at
    “I know, we’ll evac this area and make a break for the hospital. There’s an airstrip there. We
could fly a plane there.”
    “Good idea. I’ll mobilize Beta 2 and the others. We’ll rendezvous at the hospital at 1400
    As Fred and Billy makes their way ahead, we split up into two groups: one has Amy, and the
other Bev. The place was still awfully foggy, so that might reduce the chances of us being
spotted by air. The buildings were also affected by the fog, making it hard to see anything up on
the roof. We walked as silently as possible, but a soldier spotted us and tried to apprehend us.
We assumed back-to-back position and I double-tapped: bang-bang. It hits the head of the
soldier, giving us the chance to escape. I had to watch Mrs. Kipster’s back, to prevent the
chance of a back attack. I didn’t get a chance to communicate with the other groups, so we kept
on going.
    It is already 1415 hours and we made it to the airstrip. Everyone made it as well. We were
ready to board the plane, when…Bang!
    “Look out!” A few more soldiers were there as well, hoping that they would stop us. We all
exchanged gunshots, and Joseph gets hit in the arm. Billy moves him back as we keep firing.
Damn, ran out. I had to reload, but instead, I used my Uzis. For the next 10 seconds, all you
could hear was rat-a-tat-a-tat…and occasionally a Bang! After around 2 minutes, the attackers
ran out of ammunition, and they all had to run. “That went well,” Fred sighs. “Come on, let’s
board the plane.”
    After everyone was seated, Fred mans the Partenavia P.68. Gary and I had to keep a close
lookout for any enemy aircraft. We had to be armed at all times as well. The fog let up, much to
our relief. As we took off, we had to be as careful as possible. Vrrrrrr…
    “Alpha, status report?”
    “80 knots at 3350 feet. No enemies found on the radar. Keep looking.”
     After a few minutes of flight, Gary alerts, “Missile heading toward us at 5 o’clock! Increase
speed! It’s coming fast!”
    “Increasing speed!”
    “Sir, permission to deploy countermeasures?”
    “Go! Do it, quick!”
    The girls were scared and braced themselves, but Billy seemed rather calm. Joseph felt
pumped and itching to get started. As I deployed the countermeasures, the missile swerved
over to the left. At first we thought that we were safe, when an enemy plane rushes at us from
behind. “Enemy plane at 6 o’clock! Our plane is hit! Ready your weapons!”
    There wasn’t much space in the plane, but we grabbed our guns nonetheless. I grabbed a
rifle while the others grabbed an Uzi. “Sergeant, why use that gun?”
    “I have to take a steady shot,” I replied coldly. I knew this would work, since I also know that
one shot through the cockpit could more or less hit the pilot’s head, but it was pretty risky as
    While the others went rat-a-tat-a-tat with their Uzis, I used earplugs and started taking a
shot. I was concentrating real hard, but suddenly the plane makes a bank to the right, almost
causing me to fall out. “Alpha, steady the plane! I need to take a shot!”
    The plane balances, and I regain my footing. I take another shot, but it hits the co-pilot,
leaving me with one shot, and one target. Reloading would be too late, so I concentrated real
hard. I pull the trigger. Bang! The bullet whistles across the plane, about 500 ft. distance,
reaching the pilot. “Enemy intercepted! We’re clear!”
    Billy cheers happily, clapping his hands. I close the airplane door, and the enemy plane falls
downward, crashing to the land below. Our plane then swerves to the right, heading as far
away from the destroyed place as possible…
    “Hey, Mister Sergeant, what’s that?”
    I looked over to the underside of one of the engines, when I found out…”It’s a bomb!” The
girls screamed as the plane starts to bank to the left. “There’s another one!” ‘Bang!’ went the
engine on the right wing; soon we thought that we wouldn’t make it. “Sir, do we have any
ground down there?”
    “No…just open sea.”
    “Dammit!” I said as I punched my fist into the airplane wall. The plane was failing, but the
instruments were still in fine shape. I looked at a GPS on the dashboard, and it zoomed out to
indicate that we were out into the North Atlantic. That fact just made things worse. If we stray
aimlessly across the Atlantic, only God knows where we’d be landing. “How fast are we at?”
    “200 knots and we’re still up at about 15k feet.”
    “That’s good to hear, sir. Do we have any inflatable dinghies?”
    “Yes, we have 6. That’s about enough, but we’ll use them if we really get in trouble. There’s a
motor in each of the dinghies. We could put one into good use.”
    “How do we do that, sir?”
    “I’ll tell you if we land in the water. In the meantime, just sit tight.”
    Still puzzled, I walked to the lavatory. I opened my first aid kit and my vest, which revealed a
slight bullet wound. Yes, I was hit, but not too much. It was bleeding, of course, but the bullet
was sticking out of the epidermis, so it was easy to handle. It did sting, though. After a few
minutes, the plane started to drop. I could hear a muffled “Everyone, sit tight and brace
yourselves!” outside.
    Well, if I went outside, I would get some serious injuries when the plane crashes, so I sat in
the toilet. It was odd, but I just sat there, bracing myself. I heard footsteps heading to the seats,
so it may have been Fred.
    “Close the windows! I’ll put hot glue and putty to make them airtight! Quickly, we don’t have
much time!”
    The plane tips down headfirst into the water, pushing me to the right side. I didn’t know
what happened next, when the plane suddenly…balanced. When I walked out of the lavatory,
the place was totally still. Dead in the water. I didn’t see anyone, though. I started looking in the
other lavatory, then by the captain’s seat. There was nothing. I looked out the door, and there
they were, already sailing away. I had to catch up to them, so I used one of the rubber boats
stored in the back. It was motorized, too; perfect for an evacuation. I brought some food with
me, as well as a few guns, and a first aid kit. A rescue flare would help, too, and maybe my
survival kit. I brought life vests, and a rescue ring. Then, I rushed in to the small fleet of dinghies
and rubber boats. By about nightfall, I used a flashlight to send a Morse code message. They
replied, saying, “Please come. We need supplies.”
    Lost out at sea, we had to keep surviving. Resources are getting scarce, but we sight land. It
was basically nothing to rejoice over, since we are likely to be tracked down as of now. Our time
here is 800 hours from LA. In our area, we certainly do not know.
    I went ahead of the group to the island. It had lots of lights, so it must be Hawaii. We have
traveled about 60 miles from the point of crash, so we could have been able to land here if it
weren’t for that airplane. When I landed, I shot a flare towards the boat, to prevent any notice.
We shouldn’t go around with guns on our hands, so I looked for a hideout. It was still rather
dark in the sky, so we really must have reached Hawaii. Not a soul was to be found on the
beach, but I could hear music in the distant lights, probably a party. As I moved closer, they
were really happy, dancing to the music. I could almost dance along, but now we were fugitives,
running away from home, but we had support. The police stations back at home were helping
out in our escape, and I have a feeling the government isn’t approving of it. If he doesn’t, my
colleagues would all be killed, but their condition shouldn’t be taken to mind right now. Right
now, I have to find a place to rest the night. I dropped my weapons and my gear, and assumed
surrender to the people, but they instead welcomed me. They didn’t know me at all; but it was
nice to talk to a stranger, so I told them my story, and how we got here. “I have friends coming
with me. We came from the US, but we escaped during the bombing.” The people seem to
relate to the story, telling me that the bombers have made it here as well, and many were
killed. “I brought weapons; maybe I could help you.” They liked the thought of people helping
them, the bombing may have left a scar on their lives, but happiness overcame them still. I was
happy to see that, and when the group arrived, they welcomed them like they were family. We
were treated like one of them, even if we never knew each other. We brought many arms, but
we were few, and they were many. We didn’t hesitate to give them away for the sake of
helping them survive, and it felt good.
    Along the way, several civilians joined us in our little meeting in the woods, far from anyone
else hearing. Of course, we had to make sure that they weren’t giving anyone any info on our
location and plans. We invited any governing officer of that town, pleading to him if whether or
not he’d let us stay, maybe a few years if need be. He agreed, but on the condition that we help
him. Both of us knew that more will be coming, so we stayed.
      A year passes and not a single moment of rest was coming. Battle after battle, we fought
like never before, as the waves got bigger and bigger. As the enemies get bigger, so did we.
Local police forces and hospitals aided us during our battles. 2 years pass, and the waves seem
to disappear all of a sudden. They might have given up on Hawaii, for a thought. Billy has grown
immensely, in mind and body. He is now 11 years old, and he seems to get better and better.
Now, I kind of look up to him, as he grows more and more like his father. Finally, out of the
blue, bombers arrive and shower the town, as the civilians rush to underground evacuation
centers. The armed guards tried to avert the situation through gunboats, but even they weren’t
enough to fend off the invaders. More enemy troops drop down from the planes, and we
fought like there was no end. Finally, I saw a shady figure during the battle. His face was similar
to the one I saw on Varkarumov’s profile. It must have been him. I rushed at him with all my
might, but he lashed out his cane to reveal a long rapier. He slashed at me gallantly, and during
the fight I managed to knock him down, but he shot me in the last place I thought of: my leg.
    I was disabled for the time being, until he shot me in the stomach. “Drake!” shouted Billy,
as he runs to my side. I could see Varka, as I called Varkarumov, make his escape. Slowly my
sight fades, or maybe my eyes just close…

----------------------------------------------------------A month later---------------------------------------------------

     The eeriness of the hospital completes the mourning atmosphere as I lay here, lost in deep
thought. I couldn’t believe what Dad said to me that day. He told me to “keep fighting. Never
lose track of your ultimate goal. And if I die, remember one thing: I’m so proud of you, Drake.” I
was happy and sad at the same time. I overhear nurses saying that I’ve been asleep for several
days now, but I just had to wait for the right time…
     A few hours of stillness, and I finally come to. Billy didn’t look at me though. I sit up and call
him, just as he was about to leave. “Billy, come here. I want to talk to you, in private.” Everyone
leaves, leaving only both of us. “You know, you shouldn’t feel guilty about what I did. It is my
job, you know. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of what to do back then. I was a little alarmed to
finally see the person who started it all. So, in general, you shouldn’t bear the burden of my
actions, because I did it myself, so I should bear it. You’ve grown much more mature ever since
the bombing 3 years ago. I’m proud of you, and I’m sure your father would, too.”
   “Thanks, bro.”
   Just then Dad came in. “Billy, let’s go.” When the room was empty, I fell back on my bed. I
rolled over to the door, to look at things. I could see people rushing around the place. It really
must have been busy. A nurse came in to check my vitals. She told me to “walk around for a
while. It would help exercise those muscles and help recover faster.”
   With that said, she leaves, and I read my report, and bills. When I looked at the total
amount, I could almost faint to the sight of $2,500 on my hospital bill. How long could I have
been out?
   Well, the first thing I would do is usually discuss this with my doctor or the receptionist. I
reread the files over again, and I found out that the bills had all been paid, but by who? The
bank account number was 0801-5672-3349-2020. I searched my wallet at first, but no sign of
that combination was found. It was pretty tedious having to go through lots of paperwork the
next day, but hopefully I would recover as soon as possible to repay that debt. But those
numbers did sound familiar. I could envision myself holding it at the ATM back then, but it was
with dad. Wait a minute, did I just say…? Could Dad have paid the 2500? No. Way. Going back
to my hospital room, I saw dad there. He was going over those files. “Dad, that hospital bill-did
you pay it?”
   “Of course I did, Drake. What would you expect? You think as if I wouldn’t pay your bills
when you were short on cash? Well, think again, son.”
   “Thank you so much, Dad. Did I ever tell you that you were the best dad in the world?”
   “As a matter of fact, you did. About 10 years ago, maybe.”
   “You know, dad, I could’ve paid the bills myself. I opened up a savings account for college
about 5 years ago, but instead it didn’t find any use when I joined you in the force. In fact, I
have the card right here. You could use it, Dad. Last time I checked, I saved up about four
thousand dollars with interest, and that was only 2 years ago.”
   “I’m impressed, Jake. I never thought you’d be putting up that much money.”
   “Well, I took some tips from you, and I believe this is where my online crafts shop, website,
job, and antique collections pay off.”
   “You sold your antiques?”
   “Well, I only sold those things that wouldn’t feel right in my room. But those canisters of clay
you bought me worked wonders for my little business I do off shift.”
   “Actually, I can say that it really has been a while since we talked like this, Drake. You’ve
been living totally independently now. You have a flat, a job; I couldn’t acknowledge back then
that many years have passed. But all in all, I’m happy you’re with us still.”
   “What do you mean by ‘with you’?”
   “Well, it’s because you survived the shot, and also because you didn’t make the same
mistake as I did. Speaking of that, do you forgive me?”
   “I know for a fact that you left to serve our country. I was much, much younger back then,
and I’m sure you know that. But that makes me ever more proud of you, dad. Sure, I did miss
you, but you came home to us still, and I’m happy for that.”
   “Thank you, Drake. Oh, I think your brother might want to talk to you. He has some matters
to discuss with you, privately, so it’s best that I call him in. I’ll see you later.”
   “Okay, thanks, dad,” I said as he left the room. Gary came in after a minute or so.
   “Bro, do you have some time?”
   “Sure, Gary, I have lots.”
   “Your bullet wound-how is it?”
   “It’s as scarred as ever. I’m really glad they managed to take it out.”
   “I overheard your conversation with dad. You really did forgive him then?”
   “To be honest, being angry at him for leaving for a long time wasn’t in my book, believe me.”
   “Whoa, I didn’t know that. You know, I also did forgive him, but I noticed changes between
you and dad. You’ve been acting as if today is 10 years ago. What’s going on, with all the
   “Oh, you mean that. It’s just nothing at all, but I just miss calling him dad. It’s been a while.”
   “Many years passed since you called him that. Now you act as if the past is all nothing to
you. Tell me the entire story. What is going on with you?”
   “I’m free, Gary. Finally free to express myself. I could show the world that I could make
amends with my past mistakes. If you ask why, well, it’s because of the trauma I experienced
when I was shot. I thought that I was gonna die right there, in front of Billy, you, and dad. But
when I finally got to my feet on this very day, I felt like I could take on the world. I’ve been given
this one more chance, Gary. I’m going to fix everything, and turn things around, back to what
they should be, because God gave this to me, and I’m not gonna lose it no more.”
   Gary looks downward, and then walks out the door. Billy came in afterwards, with a nurse.
The nurse gave me my medications, then Billy says, “Um, Ms. Faraday, do you mind if you
would leave us for a short while?”
   The nurse nods and exits the room. “Drake, do you think you could tell me what happened
between you and dad? It’s been bothering me for a while.”
   “I suppose so, but what is it that bothers you anyway? I’d like to hear about that first.”
   “You know what? Maybe I’ll just figure it out myself. I’ll see you later, Drake.”
   About a month passes, and I was finally discharged. I called several of my friends to meet at
the lobby. I had to get more information on the battle that ensued during my recovery. I was
especially worried about Dad. He’d rush into a situation in a heartbeat, but I’m totally not
certain if he’s safe or not.
   When I arrived, everyone was just sitting there. “What’s going on? Where’s dad?”
   Gary pointed to the ICU. I rushed there, and listened in on the situation. I could hear a steady
beeping sound, so I went in-quietly, of course. I saw dad there, sitting up on his bed. He said,
“Hello, Drake. We got caught up in a fight with some smuggling ring, and-“
   “Dad, you shouldn’t talk. I was so worried; I had to get here as soon as possible. W-w-wait,
what did you say?”
   “A little smuggling ring. I just got a shot to the leg, that’s all.”
   “Do you know the name of their leader?”
   “I’m not so sure, but I think I heard only Boss when I listened in on them.”
   “Boss, huh? Dad, I have to go now. You should get some rest; I’ll learn more of this smuggling
   “Wait. I have to give you something.” He hands me a piece of paper. “This is my will. I’m
leaving all of our little businesses and property to you now. You can split this between your
brothers any way you like. I’m doing this to prepare you for your future, because I don’t know-I
mean, we never know- when we’ll die. Accept it; don’t hesitate.”
   “Okay, dad. I’ll do my best to make you proud.” I said as I left the room. Going to the little
underground base that the local officials let us use, I looked up all references leading up to this
smuggling ring. I knew some person called ‘Boss’; he used to look at my antiques. He said that
he was collector of prized antiques, some even dating as far back as World War 1. Any further
information about him is unknown, but what I do know is his location: just about a few miles
south of a mine...
    With Dad still recuperating in the hospital, leading an attack on those smugglers without his
support will all come down to nothing. There’s a huge risk, and a huge reward.
    “Everyone, listen up! This is my first time leading a group on an all-out attack without my
father’s aid, and this is the chance that I could prove to him that I am ready for this. I put all my
faith and trust in all of you. Any casualties will be avenged. I swear on it with my own blood!
Now, let’s move!” We moved south in motorcycles, little jeeps, and a Humvee we borrowed
from the local police. Rumbling and the noise of the motors could be heard all around me as I
manned the gun on the jeep. The place was quite wooded, and the place was mostly green,
which was a good departure from the gloomy, shady gray-red skies back in LA. Vrrrrrr was
mostly the sound that you would hear when you were there, so we had to communicate
through the use of walkie-talkies. The wooded forests we had to go through did delay us by a
few days, but we still managed to make it to a small oil rig off the coast of the southern tip of
Hawaii. Word has been spread that many valuable items, like family heirlooms, have been
stolen by this group of people. The only thing I could expect was a little old-school brawl, but
chances are, I might know this ‘Boss.’ We had to cross there by boat, so our vehicles will not be
of much use, so we brought along boats. The place was generally a dingy, derelict, abandoned
oil rig. Were we too late? As we searched a boat, I heard a whoop coming in from our spy. “He’s
here, Sarge. I saw the smugglers. They seem to have taken a person hostage.”
    “Here, let me see.” As I looked around, there really was a person there – she looked very
much like my mom. Come to think of it, I didn’t get to see mom ever since the worst day. I
assumed that she’d died, but maybe I was wrong. We prepared a bomb, as the other soldiers
out back were arming their weapons. “Lock and load, guys,” said Gary, “let’s roll.”
    We rushed in as the door came crashing down. There were loads of items in the room.
Among them was a woman.
    “Gary, we found someone! Prepare a medic at the boat!” But time was running out, so we
had to get out. We grabbed all the smuggled items that they took, and we thought we were
safe, until someone said, “Bomb!”
    Everyone rushed out of the rig in panic as beeps were heard all over the rig. By the time Gary
and I were just about to get onto the boat, the bombs went off, forcing us to have to jump, at a
height of about 20 feet. We had to jump in the water; it was much better than getting our legs
broken. As the rig collapses, the people on the boat threw life rings at us, and huge pieces of
concrete and metal beams crashed down fiercely. One such beam hit the boat, tipping it
downward. Finally making it back to the boat, a worker turned up the engine, and we finally
make it to safety. “Are you okay?” I asked Gary.
    “I’ll live,” he answered, revealing a metal shard lodged in his right leg.
    About an hour later, we got to the doctor. “This situation of your brother’s doesn’t pose
much of a problem. In fact, only a stitch was needed. It will take about a week to get him back
in tip-top shape, however.”
    “Thank you, Doctor. I’ll talk it over with my father.”
  As I was just about leaving, I had to ask, “Doc, could I see my brother now?”
  “Yes, of course.”

    I could see my father reading some papers. He seemed solemn, as if he was worried about
something. I didn’t want to interrupt their conversation, so I went to my brother at the lobby.
“Gary, how’s your leg?”
    “Fine, nothing you should be worried about. You know, looking back, it was a pretty rough
day, wasn’t it?”
    “Yeah, to be honest, it was.”
    “I better go check on dad. I noticed him looking at some papers just now. Do you know what
they were?”
    By the time I made it to the room, dad said, “Drake, do you know about this?”
    “No, I was discussing your condition with the doctor.”
    “It’s Kipster – you know them, the ones we took with us?”
    “Yes, I recall. What about them?”
    “They boarded a plane, right? I just heard from Amy’s dad, a letter, with pictures – pictures
of your mother – along with a letter, saying that she had died.”
    “No…why?! I don’t believe this!”
    “Drake, before you get all emotional, there’s one more thing. I know that she died, but she
did it – with a Purple Heart in hand.”
    “Purple heart…you mean she…?
    “She did, Drake. She joined the army prior to the bombing.”
    “So…so that’s why she left?”
    “Yes, Drake…I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. You went to the Army with her, correct? She
was in a different office. In fact, she already commanded a large force.”
    “How large was it?”
    “It was about 30 or 50.”
    “I didn’t know mom also had the fighting spirit, too.”
    “Yes, that’s why we’re here now. Your mom and I – we worked together under our boss,
Nelson. He was very supportive of us, and so were our comrades. While we were on our off
time, we had a wedding, right in the war office. It was some good time, back then.”
    “You never talked much about your past, dad. It really shed some light about what went on
back then.”
    “That’s quite true. I never had to talk to anybody about my past, all because I don’t need to.
If you were asked, would you?”
    “I probably wouldn’t. I’ll see you later, dad.”
    As I closed the door, I heard a steady beep sound from behind me. I rushed back in, only to
find my dad sleeping. “D-doc, we need help here! My dad is flatlining!”
    I only had to watch as the doctors and nurses prepared the defibrillator.
    Just then, Billy came in. He was holding a paper in his hand. “Drake, what’s going on?”
    “Dad…he’s, he may be dying.”
    The doctors, though, just laughed. “Don’t worry, boys. His pulse just slipped. He’s all right.”
    “Thank God,” I muttered as the others exited the room.
    “Billy, come here!” Dad said.
    The sight of them both happy, it almost made me cry. I could just stand there forever. But
getting them to safety is not what made me truly happy. I wanted to settle the whole war. My
life serves a different purpose, and I will fulfill it, no matter what the cost.

    0521 hrs., Sunday, June 24
    It’s now dawn, and I’m now setting out for the battlefield, right where it all started: home. Of
course, I brought a crew of my own, a meager group of 4 people. There was 2Lt. Brandon
Dayton, 1Lt. Gary Mangrove, Cpt. Drake Mangrove (myself), and Lt. Col. Kirkpatrick Rutherford.
Kirk, as we called him, assigned us these ranks, even though Gary and I just came from the
police force. We act as a small spy squad, sworn to secrecy. Still, we press onward to the US,
where Kirk had a few of his colleagues that were also part of this “organization.” I couldn’t tell
you how I met these people in the first place in detail, but let’s just say I knew them from a
friend. We took a private plane owned by Kirk, a pair of Cessna T32s. It was my first time flying
a plane, but it was a hell of an experience for Gary. He was born with a terrible fear of heights,
so it was no surprise that he was sitting stiff during the entire flight. “Lion to Leopard, do you
read me?”
    “Yes, sir, I read you. Over.”
    “We are only about 10-30 klicks away from the base. I prepped suits for you in your
compartment; you’re all under my command now, so you might as well look the part. Don’t
worry about formal introductions, either. We’re all here for business, so there’s no need for
    “Thank you, Kirk.”
    Gary opens the compartment, revealing a pair of suits. “The only thing I’m worried about
now is the sizes of these suits. I don’t know if I’ll fit, Drake.”
    “Just wear it, alright?”
    “Okay,” he sighed.
    A twenty-one-gun salute could be heard as we land in the air base. “Now, listen up,” Kirk
commanded, “You better keep your composure when dealing with my men. We do not tolerate
cowardice or lack of confidence around here; we also do not want tomfoolery. So keep your
chins up.”
    A long lineup of soldiers saluted Kirk, and when I walked slowly along, I took a quick glance at
their insignias. Most were already Captains and Majors, but some were Lieutenants, as well.
When Kirk stepped up to the podium, he introduced us to the men. “Our mission here is not
under the government. We work under one roof, and one roof only. No one will impart
information about us or pertaining to us, or he will be paying his debt in blood. We worked
body and soul to restore this air base, and now it is our base of operations. Everyone, we have
worked hard indeed, and now we will end this war. These men I have introduced to you are the
children of my fellow colleagues, and their deaths will be avenged. Now, men, let this victim of
the war brief you in on the situation.”
    The congregation cheers, with a few whistles from the back. Now I took the stand. “Ahem,
now that the applauses have subsided, let me show you a few clips of the devastation of the
bombing. Now, I could expect nothing more from this, and our enemy is moving fast. Each state
is being destroyed even as we speak, and we must do all that we can to stop it. My team has
traveled from the east coast, all the way to Hawaii. We were taken down on the way there
when an enemy plane took us from behind. We landed in the water, but we weren’t far from
Hawaii. Amidst the destruction, the townsfolk are taking up arms against the local criminals and
the bombers. We have fended off multiple waves of enemies for about a year, until we heard
from Sir Rutherford. With your help, we may be able to stop this ongoing war. I expect nothing
more from you, nor do I expect nothing less. This battle is for all of us, for freedom.”
    The congregation cheers once more. I salute the 50 or so men in the abandoned air base,
and shouts came up from the outside. “Enemy ships coming from 10 o’clock, sir!”
    “Drake,” said Kirk, “I want you to command these men. I have more pressing matters to
attend to, so, will you do this for me?”
    “Yes, sir,” I answered. “Prepare bunkers, on the double! You, on the left, take those rockets
and see what those ships are made of! Men, use the towers and assume defensive positions!”
    Soldiers were running around at full speed, as I gave commands. “Bust out those flaks! Get
out your gunboats, quickly!”
    Explosions were everywhere, and men flew out of the ships into the water. Then, out of the
blue, came out a powerful battleship. I had to prepare an RPG as soon as possible, and take a
shot of my own. “Get medics on the front flanks, now! We can’t waste any time!”
    Suddenly, Sir Kirk announced, “Code White, people! Code white – we have to move out!
Retreat, men! We cannot survive out here! If enemies know we’re here, they’ll pound us for
    “Kirk, you can’t be serious! We’ve got a battleship to take care of, and you’ll just run away
like that? You…you’re a coward!”
    “We have to run, Drake. If we don’t, we’ll all die here for sure,” he answered in a rather calm
    “Kirk…I’ve had enough of running. I have to finish this fight, even if I have to do it on my own.
I’m damn tired of running all this time, Kirk. Can’t you understand? If you have to run, then run.
Leave me here, for all I’m worth. If I die, I won’t be remembered anyway.”
    “Drake…” said Gary, “we have to go. You can’t fight them all by yourself.”
    “That’s fine by me, Gary! I don’t care anymore! Don’t you dare give a damn statement like
that, Gary, not to your older brother. Besides, you’re just like them – cowards.”
    “You double-crossing creep..!”
    I threw the radio away, and I steadied up for a shot. Everyone else was in the woods by now.
Fsssssssssssssh… went the grenade, as it flew all the way, straight at the battleship cannon.
There was a massive explosion from then, and it blew me, and the old building, all down to
pieces…except for me. Everything was blurry; I couldn’t make out what was going on. I could
see fire all around me, and rubble was everywhere. As I crawled my way out of the mess, my
eyesight seems to clear up a little. I could see no ships now, but I see a silhouette running
towards me. I clutch my gun at them and shouted, “Don’t you dare get near me – you’ll regret
    “Hey, boss, it’s just me, Brandon! Don’t panic.”
    “Brandon, where are the others?”
    “I could see no one. I bet they ran into the woods. I was the only one who came back.”
    “Thanks a bunch, Brandon,” I said as I dusted off my vest. “I guess it’s just you and me
against the world now…”
    “You’re right. I found a truck nearby; I’ll go get it. You stay here and alert me if anything
    “Okay,” I replied, sitting down on the rubble. There was still a few fires here and there, but
the ships seemed to have retreated. I couldn’t believe what I just did. For that one moment
there, I betrayed my brother, my colleagues, and most importantly, myself. I could only dream
of trying to make amends with him. The truck rolls up nearby, and I asked Brandon, “Do you
have any idea where we should be going?”
    “I don’t know right now, but I do know of one place.”
    I checked the inside compartments, finding a gun and ammunition, among other things. The
ride was really bumpy, and there was basically no road – just a dirt path. Better than nothing, I
guess. We were covered under heavy forest, and after an hour…
    “Whoops – must be a flat tire. Let’s go check it out.” I leaped down from the back, and
noticed the blown-out tire in the rear. “This is really bad. The tire’s got a huge hole in there, and
we won’t get anywhere with this anytime soon.”
    “Guess we’ll have to move on from here, Brandon. We’ll just have to follow this dirt path,
wherever it’ll take us.”
    “Okay, so where will we start? We’ve only got rations for2 weeks, but we’ve also got a tent
and sleeping bags. We have survival gear, and a couple of flares. I’m just worried about the
road, though. What if there’s an enemy truck? If someone sees us, they may probably take us in
and question us. So now, the question is, how are we able to get to that village?”
    So there we were, setting out for the big ol’ world yet again. It’s an enlightening experience,
and I’m sure both of us will learn from this strange circumstance, and most of all, I hope we
make it in one piece…
   “It’s been 10 hours, Brandon. Where could that damn village be?”
   “To be honest, boss, I only heard it from hearsay. I heard that they lived on trees, maybe to
evade enemies.”
   “Well then, we should look where we didn’t – upwards.”
   Countless hours of searching has led Brandon to almost collapse finding it. Well, we did take
a break here and there, but I’d just keep saying that “we’ve no time to waste.” Brandon just
follows orders, like the silent soldier he’s ever been.

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