|The 13th Orbital Frame
Author: Giovanni Bacardi PM
Life is a fickle thing. Fate is something you don't mess with. I on the other hand did and suffered and now my life has changed. Here's my story in a time I don't belong in, a place that is foreign to me, and with machines that I thought were only fictionRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 2 - Words: 8,109 - Reviews: 1 - Updated: 11-15-04 - Published: 09-01-04 - id: 2040032
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chp.2 A War in Another World.
Wind whistles to the east, twirling through the air like a ballerina. The sun reaches the horizon, pushing itself out like a beacon to the ocean that it watched over. An ocean that was once green and pure, now made of sand. The cold air that accompanied the night now moved away from the sun, fearing it's heated gaze and once more, as so many times before it, the hot moist desert air came as the cold left and claimed it's rightful place over the lightly colored sand. This was what was left of the tropical paradise known as northern South America, Brazil. What once was a fruitful and beautiful forest now laid as a desert wasteland completely and utterly void of life.
Here one of the most heinous atrocities to humankind happened and therefore signified the possible end to all of humanity and the beginning of the biggest war ever. But humanity is strong and like a cornered rodent, it refuses to quit. No matter the odds.
As the tempered heat of the sun continued to bear down on the sand, a sound is heard off in the distance. An eruption of power that seemed to engulf the sky in a haze of light blue and green color giving it an surreal look. Then as it covered the sky, objects started to appear over the horizons to the east and the west.
On one side, there were thousands of moving vehicles and humanoid figures that raced across the sand as if in a frenzy. On the other, the numbers looked innumerable as hundreds of thousands of machines crawled through the rising dust and seemed to cover the massive landscape of this once green paradise. Yet as dreadful as this scene would seem, the glowing object farther back to the mechanical carpet almost painted a more wondrous picture.
This machine was the source of the blue haze that covered the sky. As if born from the heavens itself, it hovered in the air, armor glistening in the fiery light of the sun gave the illusion as if it were untouchable. It's arms crossed over it's chest giving it that subtle look of grand superiority. It's body, shaped like a humanoid, it's own small differences. The head seemed almost minotaur-ish in nature, and a great large flexing tail snapped and crackled in the empty air behind it. The entire upper body was enlarged, like a bestial creature of fairy tales, pulsing with the same power that flooded the soon to be bloodbath. The legs were long and almost as thick but oddly reverse jointed. It looked as if someone had reached into the Odyssey and pulled out King Minos' favored creature.
Then as if like a signal from a god, the brilliant machine extended it's arm forward, and the army of vehicles and weapon platforms increased speed. The other army responded as well, increasing their speed as well. Soon, the two armies were locked in battle that would forever change the future of mankind and the face of the planet……. Once more.
Commander Victoria Pride gazed outside the bridge reinforced poly-glass windows and watched with a heavy heart as she watched the men and woman under her command go after an enemy that they knew they may not win against. What must it be like to fight with that mentality, she often wondered. Did they feel the same way she did? No, she doubted that. Not many people could understand the pain and anguish of sending people you know……no, ordering them to go out and defended a dying race with their lives. Of course she couldn't ask for no less either. Like this battle and so many others, too much was riding on this. If they didn't repel the enemy forces this time, it would be over.
"Pull up the 3rd and 5th divisions on the right flank, they're getting too close to our artillery." She ordered to the myriad of people behind her. All of them officers of some type regulating the battle with profound efficiency. Yet still as she stood tall and proud in her black commanders uniform decorated with many medals, safe on the bridge of the "Earth Preservers" most powerful battleship, the "Sui-Juris", she knew numbers didn't lie. Especially when you are outnumbered a hundred to one.
"Are the "Dominion Cannons" clear to fire yet?" She asked without turning around. The carnage of the battle captivated her.
Without missing a beat, First Officer Charles Reach replied, "No ma'am, we still have bombers trying to relinquish their loads. Air to be cleared in 20 seconds."
Victoria nodded and then asked another question, "Where are Stars nine and ten?"
Sitting directly behind the commander on a higher platform that overlooked the bridge, Charles looked back down on his console and quietly pulled up data on thus said squads. "I'm sorry ma'am but they were destroyed three minutes into the battle."
Victoria looked at her silver plated watch and looked at the digital readout. "That was only one minute and thirty-seven seconds ago." She spoke quietly
Charles looked at the clock readout on his screen upon hearing her and said with a heavy sigh, "Yes ma'am, that was one minute and thirty-seven seconds ago."
Victoria sighed as well and without even realizing had repeated every member of both ten man teams in her head twice. She had grown accustomed to them both and now they were gone like so many others.
"Ma'am." Charles jarred her from her self pitying moment, "The skies are now clear. We're ready to fire."
Victoria looked back at Charles then back to the erupting battleground. "Aim for their artillery."
Charles nodded and started barking out orders. "Laser Designators! Aim for Dominion Cannon assault!"
"Laser Designators One and Two, ready!"
"Pinpointing target's coordinates………Y-three-five-zero by X- negative one-two-three. Target cannons, vertical angle negative twenty degrees. Turn about fourteen degrees." Charles said with master precision.
"Turning about one-four degrees." Repeated the navigator.
"Targets, locked-on sir!" Informed one of the Laser Designators. "Ready to fire."
"Ma'am?" Charles asked one time to Victoria.
Victoria was quietly thinking aloud. "Since they have no capital ships here, the next best target would be either that mech or their artillery. Easier of the two targets though would be the artillery though it would require more shots."
"Ma'am." Charles repeated with more urgency.
Victoria swung her arm out and ordered, her long blonde hair flaring behind her, "Fire the Dominion Cannons!"
"Firing!" Charles repeated as the whole ship bucked under the stress of charging enormous amounts of energy into two massive cannons on both sides of the whale shaped ship. It's hovering bulk shone brightly for a moment as the two elongated barrels were filled with energy and then in no time at all, the same energy charged was propelled forward at a slight angle, straight to the back lines where the enemy artillery was bombing the infantry with blue colored orbs of light. The two yellow and white beams of superheated plasma darted towards their respective targets but were stopped cold turkey as the god-like mech appeared in front of them. Shooting it's hands up, it placed a shimmering mirage-like wall between it and the beams and then they were reflected off the shield like rocks on a wall. They spiraled madly as they shot harmlessly straight up.
Victoria watched, as did the others on the bridge that saw that, with empty gazes. Most of them now were scared out of their minds.
"They blocked the Dominion Cannons like nothing." One ensign gasped, not believing his eyes, "How are we supposed to fight against something like that?"
No one answered him. No one had an answer. They just saw their most powerful weapon get tossed aside like nothing. They had nothing else. But Victoria refused to give up so easily.
"We make a way. That's how we win." Victoria reached up to her face and tapped an interface that sat beside her right eye. Tapping it activated a roster of squads that she could see directly in her eye. Very handy in a jam. "Get me Rebecca's group."
Charles hesitated for only a moment then nodded in approval and tapped a few buttons on his console. It was risky, but he had learned to trust Victoria's judgment.
"Keep the truck steady Marcus!" Rebecca yelled out over the sound of a nearby explosion.
"I'm trying to Miss Rebecca. I'm trying to." Snapped back Marcus as he maneuvered the four-wheeler past the leg of a quad legged assault tank and then by the edge of a smoking recently made crater. Rebecca in the back seat of the open bed jeep pulled up a twin barreled rocket launcher. Targeting the back of one of the knee joints on the quad legged walker, she fired both of the rockets and completely shattered the joint causing the large mech to spin and find a grave in the sand.
"Yes! Another one down!" Rebecca cheered enthusiastically.
Marcus nodded with a faint smile and then noticed the beeping red button on the dashboard. But just before he pressed the button, he reached back for Rebecca and veered hard to the right to dodge an incoming tank-shell. Rebecca nearly fell over but found herself in the warm grasp of Marcus's large arm.
Marcus held on to her for a moment longer as he turned right in between one ally hover tank and five enemy Mobile Troopers gunning it down from all sides. He ran over two of them and Rebecca reached for the .250 caliber gating gun and mowed down two more and the hover vehicle gunned the last one.
Marcus finally found a relatively safe place, behind some Allied Mammoth Tanks armed with twin barrels of high plasma cannons and twin racks of Viper Missile Launchers pinning down a semi-large group of Mobile Troops and two high tower Mobile Turrets trying to move on their reserve jointed legs.
Once finding a somewhat sound area, Marcus pushed the red button marked com and watched the screen on the dashboard come to life with static. Rebecca turned around while re-arming her Infantry Level Viper rocket launcher and quickly put it down as she saw her commanding officer's face materialized on the screen. Drawing a quick salute, Marcus and Rebecca both called out over the sounds of the powerful Plasma turrets behind them going off,
Victoria waved them at ease and got straight to the point, "Rebecca, got a mission for you."
"Yes ma'am!" Rebecca barked like a dog awaiting orders from it's master.
"Since our cannons didn't work as we had hoped we need you to go up the left flank and up behind enemy lines to take out that artillery."
Rebecca tapped a button beside the screen and a small image of a gridline map revealed them the locations of 30 heavily armored Howitzer Artillery Tanks. She noticed that they were also escorted by three large groups of small and medium sized troops. Amble support considering they were behind the main force. So how could she get there? Without even bothering to question the near insane orders she and Marcus was given she tapped a button on her small headset under her light blue colored hair and called out for her other team members.
"Signus, Ricardo, Gina, Valentine, and Cam! Approach sector Y-three-five-zero, X-one-two-three and get ready to assault the artillery." Rebecca ordered.
Only Signus who was with Cam and Ricardo answered back.
First it was Signus with sounds of heavy gunfire nearly overcoming his heavy voice, "Rebecca we're pinned down over at Sector 3, no possible way to assist."
"Same here ma'am." Ricardo said in a barely audible whisper. Since he was always more quieter then the others, it always reflected, even in combat. With a sudden grunt he came back and said, "I'm locked in combat with several Mobile Troops and they are giving me a hard time."
"Damn it." Rebecca hissed. Then realizing that Gina and Valentine hadn't answered, she radioed them again, "Gina! Valentine! Give me your-"
"On our way Rebecca!" Gina shouted in her heavy northern accent, "Eta to set coordinates in seven minutes!"
Rebecca then turned to Victoria and asked, "Commander, are there any Swordfish fighters in the air?"
"You'll have them in five minutes." Victoria then yelled behind her with a sudden urgency, "Pull up shields on the port shield! Brace for impact!"
Rebecca, not knowing what was going on, turned back to the Sui-Juris. Marcus was already seeing the incredible yet frightening spectacle. Rebecca gasped in fear seeing seven green and blue energy beams coming from no where and striking the port side of the their only capital ship. She watched as a huge section of the ship seemed to slouch to one side and some large chunks of the ship crumbled to the group.
"No!" She shouted in fear. Then seeing that the Sui-Juris was still in the air, she calmed herself down. She turned back to the screen and saw only people scrambling in the background. There was debris everywhere and Victoria was no where in sight. But before the words could escape her mouth someone in the back shouted, "Commander Victoria!" Rebecca immediately recognized the voice of the ever watchful First Officer Reach.
Victoria then suddenly appeared none the worse for wear and told Officer Reach, "I'm fine Charles, Just get that complement of Swordfish Fighters in the air. And then redirect our remaining Dominion cannon to the opposite side of the Artillery, maybe we can fool that mech into defending an unimportant area."
'So, it was the Dominion cannon.' Rebecca said to herself. She then nodded to Her commanding officer and said, "Thank you ma'am."
"Rebecca!" Victoria called out before they dropped comms.
Rebecca awaited her next comment.
"Be careful and we're counting on you." She said with genuine worry.
Rebecca nodded and assured her, "They haven't won yet."
Victoria nodded again and then turned off her side of the com. With static filling the screen, Rebecca tapped it off and looked to Marcus.
Another salvo of cannon barrages erupted beside them and she asked him, "Think you can outrun a squad of Swordfish?"
Marcus turned to her and said calmly as he always did in the thick of battle, "Do you think they may be able to keep up?"
Rebecca grinned and strapped herself to the gun turret on the jeep and Marcus hit the gas peeling off as hard as possible. Leaving the cover of the now retreating Mammoth Tanks facing more units then they were earlier, they headed farther to the left through the heaviest concentration of units.
"Use the large vehicles as cover Marcus!" Rebecca advised.
"I know." He replied calmly
Turning the beat-up jeep under a trio of Quad legged assault tanks, he drove up the back of a much larger, Brachio-Tank. Then driving down the side, while avoiding a sudden increase of incoming fire, he hit the ground with a thud and took off at high speed toward the open side of the Artillery. He gunned the heavy duty engine and flew out of the heavy concentration of mechs and infantry and rode up a slightly slanted hill that lead to the large plateau the Artillery was resting on. Hitting the edge, his jeep soared through the air just as the Swordfish fighters came in with a huge array of missiles toward the unsuspecting units.
"Commander Victoria, Rebecca is now one minute and thirty seconds eta till target. Swordfish are twelve seconds behind them. And the large Mech is now pursuing them." Reach yelled over the increased commotion on the bridge. What with all the mechanics flooding in fixing shot panels and fired conduits and screens, no one could hear themselves think let only someone talking to them. And yet, Victoria always seemed to have an ear open for Officer Reach.
"Target sector 81, the heaviest concentration of heavy assault vehicles and fire the cannon! Let's give them two for the price of one." She hissed violently.
Reach and his fellow officers tapped their controls furiously hurrying to get the cannon ready.
"Angle correction for single cannon assault."
"Rerouting power from the disabled cannon to first and secondary generators, then after assault, rerouting all power to the Flare turrets and shielding!"
"Angle for single cannon, negative twelve degrees. Turn back two-eight degrees."
"Target's locked on, preparing to fire!"
Victoria pointed to the targets through the glass and yelled out the order, "Fire!"
Again ship shuddered with energy but not as much as before. The single cannon charged up with a vicious maelstrom of energy and propelled it to the large group of the largest armored vehicles.
The godlike Mech in the sky that was previously dashing to the artillery saw this and stalled for a moment. It only had seconds to react and it did. Dashing back to the other troops it stopped in front of the impeding beam and took the full brunt of it. The immense energy exploded violently against the mech causing as enormous veil of dust and smoke.
Everyone back on the bridge, once realizing that it actually hit were in a state of ecstasy.
"Direct hit Commander Victoria!" One of the other officers said. And as everyone else was fighting, the ones who saw it were shocked to say the least. But Victoria only stared at the glass with a hardened gaze. Charles had also seen her stone face poker gaze and watched the cloud of smoke and dust cover the nearby units but still concentrated around the area of the mech..
Victoria then gasped and yelled out turning to her crew, "Brace for impact! Now!!!!"
Charles had seen it too and was grabbing two guys jumping up and down, to the ground. Victoria as well had leaped to the side behind a newly reinforced panel.
From the center of the smoke was a flashing light and a series of beams erupted from the clever cover. Seven beams had streamed from the front and torn into the ship. Considering they never had a chance to reactivate the shields, the beams shredded most parts of the side hulls and sliced the other cannon right off the brackets supporting it. With the cannon falling down on their own people, they could do nothing but watch as it exploded violently on them.
At the exact same time, a hand appeared from the quivering cloud of smoke and another series of beams shot out from that hand and easily clipped the small complement of Swordfish fighters. Fortunately though, they had already unloaded their payloads and gave the artillery and their escorts a nasty blow before they were only fireballs in the sky.
Rebecca watched as the missiles hit their targets but didn't even bother counting the number of targets destroyed. She was more worried about the squadron pilots and the sudden debris falling over them like rain. She had to duck from debris falling everywhere. Marcus expertly turned the Jeep to dodge most of the large and small stuff but found one flaming piece fall directly in front of him. Nailing it at over seventy miles an hour, the vehicle flipped in the air and spiraled into a broken heap about forty feet away. Marcus had jumped out of the jeep at the first possible chance after it went airborne but couldn't get Rebecca out. Finding himself laying on the ground and unable to move, he passed out on the hot sandy ground.
Rebecca though had flew with the Jeep about halfway through the journey and was launched out into a wall of rocks that gave way to her small weight and allowed her to continue falling down a slick dark tunnel that continued for an almost unimaginable distance. She finally skidded to a halt at the bottom of the tunnel and almost passed out on the cold hard floor she now rested on.
The ceiling shook violently outside as Rebecca tried to move, finding it nearly impossible. At first she was scared that she may have lost the ability to move but then found herself even more scared due to the fact that she had no idea where she was right now. She closed her eyes for a moment, then sensed the pain that coursed through her body. She guessed that meant her nerves weren't severed. At least most of them and it also gave her the sense that she might be able to move after all. She started with the little stuff first, letting her military training kick in to help her out of this. She willed her fingers to move and they did. A little bit at first then into a closed fist. Then she focused on her feet. Letting them move a bit getting her the satisfaction that she might be fine after taking that tumble. That was a miracle. She slowly picked herself up, trying to ignore the magnitude of pain racing through her whole body and finally found herself at least on her knees. She closed and opened her eyes again and found her vision clearing up from earlier, now she could see that she was in some type of really dark room with a dull blue light coming from somewhere. She still couldn't see completely.
She reached up fro her headset, disappointed to find it missing. Then she reached for her sidearm and found it missing as well. So now she was in some type of dark room without any weapons. Great. She decided that it was best to get up all the way and pushed herself up bracing herself on what felt like a metallic wall. Shuffling her way around the room, she could barely see or think right now. She felt a slight pulsing pain on her forehead and decided to go against common sense and touch it. Immediately pain raced from a large knot that had taken up shop on her small forehead. She also felt some slick ooze between her fingers. Guessing through the darkness that it was blood didn't take much effort but that was a bad sign. Hopefully she wasn't bleeding that much.
Suddenly the room quivered yet again from another nearby explosion. It sounded close but didn't feel close. Soon Rebecca started wondering where exactly was this room. Now wanting to get out, she decided to head for the mysterious blue light on the far side of the room. Hopefully it was a way out. Now walking to the light, she realized that the room was a lot longer then she had previously estimated……….A hell of a lot longer. Picking up some speed with her walk didn't even seem to make a difference. The light now had a shape, a line but besides that it didn't look like it was getting closer. With another shake startling her, she decided to go for it and burst into an all-out run. Besides she didn't have the time to waste and just walk, they needed her up there and she never forgive herself if something were to happen to the others.
Filled with a new sense of urgency, she doubled her pace and was basically running blind. And yet the light didn't move! She pushed her aching body to it's limits and the moment it seemed she had made it, she hit a wall at full speed. She fell straight back onto the ground with the wind knocked out of her. Seeing through the stars that suddenly appeared in her vision, she stood up and rubbed the large sore square in the middle of her forehead.
Suddenly another explosion, the strongest yet, almost sent her head over heels. She couldn't wait any longer. She had to get through this wall to the other side. Searching around for a panel, she felt a single button panel that was hidden amongst the darkness. But just as she pressed the button and found the wall itself separate, she questioned her actions and didn't think about what might be waiting on the other side.
However, she quickly realized that it was completely different then what she thought it would be. The bright bluish white light filled the room she stood in and nearly blinded. Her eyes though quickly adjusted and she found herself in a completely white room with a single item inside. The room itself was no bigger then a room you would find in a house. Yet, the thing in the middle was definitely not something you find anywhere.
Rebecca walked up to it and gasped once she saw what it was. She easily recognized it.
"A cryogenic unit?!" She whispered. She touched the frosted glass that stretched the length of the extremely high tech bed and wiped a bit off. It revealed something humanoid in it. She continued to brush off the ice blanket and gazed at the seemingly normal human face that was asleep. She looked at the strong youthful features of the teenage looking male and started tracing her finger on glass, outlining the boy's face. He had such a pretty tan that seemed to meld perfectly with his matted black hair. From the frost that was knocked off, it also seemed that the boy was in incredible physical shape. Comparable to that of Signus, and he was one hell of a strong man.
And, yet, something about this boy seemed odd. In fact everything about this place, seemed…..abnormal. Almost like it was out of date. It carried an old and ancient air around it with the illusion of shimmering newness. She almost pitied the boy. It seemed he was frozen for something, but it couldn't possibly be for this damned war. Such a waste. He seemed so peaceful sleeping there, frozen from the dangling reaches of time.
But something else was wrong. The shaking had stopped. Was the battle…….? No. It couldn't be-
Rebecca knew that sound immediately. She whipped her hand up and tapped the comm button. "This is Rebecca. Hello!? Is anyone there?"
Nothing but static met her. Her heart just dropped with this then like the little beacon of light, a voice broke through the static and she couldn't be happier to hear the voice of her commanding officer.
"Rebecca?……..are you? You're signal…….breaking up." Supreme Commander Victoria spate through the static.
"I'm transporting coordinates now. And attempting to boost the signal." Rebecca said static with relief. At least their commander made it. But what about the others?
"Got them." Victoria replied with a fully boosted signal. "We're coming to pick you up. Eta, 20 minutes."
"Commander Victoria?" Rebecca wanted, no, needed to know how it ended. "What happened?"
Victoria was quiet for a moment and answered, "I have no idea. The Arcadian forces just up and left. Why I have no clue."
Rebecca suddenly felt unsafe in the white room and looked back at the boy in the cry tube. "I think I may know."
Terrible sorry about the long wait if any were waiting. I have been balancing a job, a club and school at the same time and that is not easy. Hope you enjoy.