Chapter 1- a great disappointment.
Warfare can go two ways. Physical or biological. But talking about it doesn't help. Saying how bad war is can help you understand. About 20 years ago the Shangraili Empire declared war against the Hut'tians. The Hut'tians went biological dropping a virus. You could see in a person's skin after they had been infected. It would glow bright orange. It would appear as if their skin was moving about slithering across their body. And the worst part is every time they touch another person they would spread the virus temporarily easing their pain.
Hello, my name is Jack. I have an average job as a Shangrailian police officer. I have a girlfriend named Emily and I am just about to propose to her. On the faithful night that the time is right I will just say it like I have been practising in front of the bathroom window…."Emily will you marry me? No, that's not right! Emily will you" and so it went on. Well the plan is made midnight at Glen's garden (the park dedicated to Mr. Richard Glen an inventor and a wonderful man). That night I was nervous too meet my beautiful Emily and propose to her. I had the position of the moon predicted exactly right; we would be directly under the light. As I approached the park I saw her, but not exactly as I imagined, she was with another man in a dark shroud of clothing.
He wore a hat which reminded me of the old inspector movies. The rest of the outfit matched it included long brown trench coat, brown trousers, brown leather golf gloves and the kind of shoes that looked like someone in the old mafia used to wear (the mafia died out about 85 years ago). I sat and watched then talking fort about 30 minutes before he checked the time and then what I saw was worse than I could ever imagine seeing, his skin appeared to be glowing very dimly but I'm sure that I saw it glow. He quickly snapped his arm back as if he was trying to hide his skin, at first I thought he could be one of those new household robots but then he nearly collapsed and let out a loud painful groan. This was what disturbed me the most. He sounded as if he was dead but yet still had complete control of his body. Then there came a devastating blow, at first I thought they were just hugging then they turned and I saw it, she was kissing him and looked like she was enjoying every minute of it. I could not believe it, I had remained faithful for all these years and she just goes and kisses someone right before we were meant to meet.
I put the ring away and started walking away when I heard her shout my name "Jack! Jack! Over here", the man had disappeared. All I could say at that point was "sorry Emily, it's over". She looked devastated; she tears started running down hear cheeks then slapped me before I could say anything, "How could you? I have done nothing wrong!" I was shocked by her reaction "look I think we need our space right now, ok? I'm a bit confused, at the moment," I could not bear to look her in the eyes. I felt so bad, but there was not anything that I could do. Just before I left I asked her "why did you kiss him?" her eyes went white as that of ghost in the mist. She looked confused, obviously knowing I had discovered her new male friend. "w-what do you mean? Kiss who?" this was unlike her. She would never try to deceive anyone as far as I knew, but it appears I was wrong just as I was wrong all those years ago at the age of 18 when I was lured in by someone who appeared to be a lowly beggar but was instead a vicious murdering thief who would kill someone just to steal their watch, jewels or wallet. He took me hostage for about 2-3 hours demanding great amounts of money from my family. What he didn't know is that I had no family; me, my two brothers and my only sister where the last ties of entire family line. We were the only sparrows' left. My sister was pregnant and had a husband who agreed to change his name to sparrows. My brother is dating, and I just lost my girlfriend because she went and started kissing other men who I don't even know. So what can I say I guess I'll have to go make a new start, and tomorrow's the day I'm getting the promotion I have been waiting for, it took me long enough but I can handle waiting.
Chapter 2- a new beginning
Hut'tians are known for their harsh warfare. They are the people who brought down most of the rebel forces in this sector of imperial space by simply capturing a rebel troop, slowly killing him then cutting open his skull taking out his brain extracting inserting needles into it and extracting all the information through a long process called de-stranding eventually getting all the information about the base, it's weaknesses and it's crew. Then they would take a fleet of fighters and basically bombard the space stations with lasers and torpedoes at any unsuspected time. This would be no different for them. Kill. Capture. Then annihilate. And the space force was first.
Promotion day. Finally now I have a chance to join the brave space fighters, but then again I am finally an inspector. Now all I have to do is keep my eyes open, find clues and on occasion I might be able to go out arrest someone. But how come the best time in the police force is when you're a rookie? I'll tell you why, because you're not under so much pressure to give orders, all you is take orders and o home till you've been doing it for so long you get promoted and then you feel happy and inspired to carry on for a couple of more years. Well when you've reached my rank getting another promotion is just another officer saying "hi, we hope you fall for our trap and carry on risking your life for 7 more years" and then handing you your next badge which might as well say "hey we've fooled you so far" so in the long run this promotion wasn't all it was cut out to be. The next day it was back work and back to applying for a job at the space explorers (SE); this dream had become a near reality with my promotion because only experienced officers and pilots can join. Officers just have to take an 8 week training course in space flight and combat. While the pilots have to take an 8 week coursed in leadership, ground combat and crowd control.
Training isn't so bad it's just basically sitting through some simulators, making notes and watching dogfight (space fight) videos. I'm just about to send off my details, they said if I kept trying to get in I eventually will. So I spent the rest of the day patrolling in the speeder which wasn't such a hard job though it was quite boring. After work I went down to my favourite café and my favourite coffee and doughnuts and no just because I'm a cop doesn't mean that I have to have coffee and doughnuts it's just that I like them.
Chapter 3- a sickness of the mind
Dogfights. Not the cheeriest of subjects, but a matter that must be dealt with. There are various ways of eliminating a enemy in a dog fight, shooting them, cause two planes to collide and certain peoples favourite making them go mad with images of flowing blood, vicious murder, and torture that could make your flesh go pale as the These days the Hut'tians images of their newly developed virus taking affect on anyone that came in to contact with it. Most people doubted that the virus would work but then they showed how it would work via live demonstration. First they would drop in one of their prisoners who have been infected with the virus for months so that pain would be excruciating. Then he would have a choice to infect someone else and temporarily relieve his pain at the same time or warn the people about the virus and have the pain grow even more excruciating by the day. One thing they knew is that they would not find a cure and in the end he would attack one of the people that are trying to cure him and infect them, and then the process will have started and they would nearly have won the war. The government would have to keep this virus secret otherwise the citizen's would go into a mass panic and start getting what they can locking themselves in their homes just to make sure that they would not get infected and that would be a very unpleasant experience for the government.
Well now that I have had some rest and good breakfast I'm ready to go. I just found out I have been accepted into a secret government program which requires me to learn to do what I have wanted to do all my life, become a space pilot. I had packed my bags and I'm just about to leave and man I would really love leaving right now. The circumstances have forced me to leave. The next morning I woke up to the musty smell of the base, I couldn't explain it; it was almost as if something had managed to gather all of it's strength just so it could crawl in here to die somewhere out of the rain. I went past I room which was heavily guarded by men completely covered in armour. There was a giant window that was cover by a metal shutter so to say. I had asked what was inside it but the man just closed his eyes and slowly said in a sad kind of voice "you'll find out soon enough". His voice was quiet disturbing to say the least. I went into the training room to find but three other students in there all ready geared up in similar armour to the guards I had seen earlier. They looked as confused as I did but nevertheless the stood there still as statues.
I went into the changing room and put on the surprisingly light armour, well it was light for its size anyway. I went out and joined the ranks where a officer was standing with a helmet which looked like it was made out of a similar material as the shutter. The first words he said were "you have been entered into a quick effective course. It will be hard and tiring but it will literally only take a minute." His manner was quite different from other officers. He was very straight forward and I could imagine that he didn't like smiling very much. I was right. His helmet quickly unfolded and the first thing I saw was a gigantic scar running across his face which looked like was caused by a sword of some kind. These days everyone carries a sword with him and people working for government get bigger sword for when they enter hand to hand combat. My sword was always carried on my back and was the biggest I have ever seen. Well back to the point.
We were ordered to step into the simulators which were basically just small pods. After we entered we were in a whole new world of dogfights, escorting other ships and fighting against enemy's when not equipped to fight, for instances if we had crashed or if we were attacked after landing. One warning that he gave us was that what happened in their happened to us in real life. Two minutes later we exited and we were physically and mentally fatigued. Many of us had scars and some of us had even had certain parts of their bodies that had been amputated in battle. Afterwards he gave us full instructions on our suit's and how to work them and gave each individual a activation code and implanted a microchip to show each of our bio signs and to increase our strength, stamina, intelligence, agility and reaction times. These suites made us super human. We exited the training room and headed towards the room that had me so curious. He ordered his men to open the metal curtain in front of the room revealing a man in a straight jacket and a tight pair of white pair of trousers which made him look like he could be a madman that could have tried to plant a bomb here at the headquarters but was caught arrested put in that room and questioned so much that he could wish he was dead. The officer went to the side of the window and spoke into the mic saying "hello again" the man turned towards the window as fast as he possibly could, his face was glowing a bright shade of orange and his skin, well all I can say is it moved. I can't describe all I can say is plainly, it moved.
The officer said he had some sort of disease which could be spread by touch but no one knows whether or not it can spread by other means. But they are doing research. Apparently there is one more infected man out there who knows about the virus and is doing everything in his power to get here and do it without infecting anyone. At that point I remembered seeing a man with the exact same features as this man and told the officer about it straight away. Then I realised that if he was infected, he kissed her and the virus spreads by touch then Emily would be infected as well. Now I understood why she kissed him, she must have known that kissing him would get rid of his pain even though it would get her infected. I told the office the whole story straight away and he was astounded that I actually knew someone that had been infected by the disease and asked me where she was straight away, all I said was a simple I don't know. And that is when the testing of the man who was infected began, they poked him and prodded him with allot of different types of needle to get samples but all test came out inconclusive. Then one of the doctors had a idea and came rushing in saying "I've got it, I've got it" all the doctors turned curiously and the he started explaining that if you could see the virus in the skin and all blood and tissue samples came out negative then why not flay off a piece of skin and test that…it was harsh yet necessary. There was no other choice.
Chapter 4- Mind Games
Some people call it murder, others call it war, but almost everyone can tell you that it is pointless. Many people crave war and to be the best, the strongest and the fastest. Any man will work as hard as they can to become a leader and others even harder to become a dictator. Most people get implants to make them superhuman and there are very few warriors in an empire that don't have implants. Some known men have done nothing but train for years and have had their muscles grow to a great size. He had been training self-defence and hand to hand combat with and without weapons. Most soldiers would barely train at all and get implants. I have told you all you know about war and how brutal and fatal it can be. I leave you hoping that someone else will continue this telling story of war.
Viruses are scarier than anything I have ever seen, especially after what I have seen. You could not imagine it, seeing a man who had fire burning in his eyes and was tearing his own skin off to get rid of the pain. His skin was stretched far away as if he was trying to distance himself from his skin as if it had abandoned and tortured him, in a sense it did but then again if I was to talk like that then anything is possible. I am now leaving to get decontaminated as I have just spent several hours in that room, that haunting room. The man I need to study is the man I would most hate studying that virus infected man. I was to protect him and that meant escorting him. "What if something goes wrong? What if I get infected?" all these questions were running through my head as we sat on the APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) but my main concern was what if I start to go numb once I gave been infected, what if all his pain kills me? Well I well leave those questions for fate to answer. We finally landed and we immediately had to fight, no-one predicted it, I mean who could predict it?
There were Hut'tians to the right and Hut'tians to the left and they were just as ugly as I remembered them. I have arrest many of these creeps and all of them pleaded guilty to whatever the charge was, they were proud to kill and they make sure it's as brutal as possible. But anyway I start charge towards first cover shooting wildly at the psychotic freaks. I killed a few of them as well but then it happened I got shot. I had forgotten to activate one piece of armour and it shattered like glass. How could I forget to activate the thing keeping me alive?
The infected man saw my blood spatter over the entire floor and he charged at me ripping off the cloth and grabbing my skin and making a hissing sound while doing it, I saw the glow of his skin dim and then it hit me, he was infecting me. I shoved him off and begged my team to kill me, first I asked as a team-mate then I asked as a very desperate friend. They said I would be fine and I was over reacting but I wasn't in only a couple of days I was infected, and the other ma had escaped and caused a massive infection. I now felt his pain to a minor extent and realised he was the only one that was infecting the people, Emily was helping. Memories of the past came rushing back, I relived the night that I found out she kissed the man except this time I couldn't keep my cool I lashed out at her and pushed her to the floor screaming at her "you idiot! How could you kiss a virus infected man?" but all she did was cry and then I woke up to the sound of a riot that was obviously caused by sickies as they were now called for obvious reasons. I saw them charging into the building killing or infecting anyone in there path. They opened my chamber but I pushed past them and ran as fast as could. I ran to get my weapons and to warn the others.
Chapter 5- outbreak
Running, cowering and killing is all I seem to do. Killing is important to my survival even if I am slaughtering my fellow Shangrailians. All I can think about is finding a cure and relieving all this pain and suffering. I have begged and pleaded that my doctors shoot me or giving me a lethal injection but they keep turning me away saying they require me for "further examination". I have to stop the spreading of this virus by any means necessary. I go out on another hunt to kill all the infected people which is pretty easy considering I have military issued weapons and the entire infected area is on lock down. I shoot a few of them with what little bullets I have and even consider shooting myself but then I see in the very corner of my eye a way out but it is covered by unofficial guards which gives me the worst yet best idea I have had so far, all I need to do is creep up to one of the guards infect him them kill him and throw his body down to the infected area. It kept me awake at night and made me think about how I was ending this man's life to ease my own suffering. What kind of monster had I become?
I decided to study the guards and read books on how to create artificial skin but no books had what I need but I had come with an idea. Kill a guard and flay his skin, it wasn't the best idea but it was all I could do. I crept up to the guards posts and killed a guard in his sleep, I decided that if I was to work successfully I would need to "disinfect" myself so I killed about two more people and touched them till my pain had almost disappeared, it felt so good to finally feel other things except pain. Now I know you're wondering how I was holding items steady in such immense pain how could I hold things steady well the pain cam from touching the ground and certain items but you see I kept the armour that I was originally given on which seemed to ease the pain. Well back to the point I flayed the skin of the non-infected guard and put in sow it on a manikin; I just keep telling myself "extreme times call for extreme measures. I inject white blood cell into pieces of skin to see if there is any reaction but there isn't. I go out everyday and kill at least two volunteers; you see I have opened up a mercy killing service where anyone that has been infected can come and the next day I kill them with a heat tag which I give the to put up on their backs which give me a heat trail so I can shoot anyone that has signed up.
"This is only a temporary service" I keep telling them that but they won't listen, they even try to infect me! I start making my way towards the usual grounds when I pick up something unusual all of the heat patches go in one direction the north-east wall. I run along the walls where I can only be reached by a bullet, I reach the wall to discover a break-out which is terrible news considering the diseased are going to spread the virus and there is nothing I can do about it unless I find a cure. So I go back to my research lab and inspect the flayed skin once again except this time there was a change so I decided that I might as well see if it is a cure by touching it, if not then I will kill myself and that will be the end. I touch the skin and I feel that same good feeling except to a lesser extent. I examined the skin canvas and see a change but not a great one, over time I see that new advanced antibodies are taking their toll against the virus and eliminating it. I use the cure on myself as a live test except I use a larger quantity. It works I just to hand this to the government and they will cure as many people as possible. I go to the government and hand them the cure I wasn't sure if it worked on me but I was hoping that it did. The scientists examined the cure but didn't believe me and asked if I had a live specimen and I presented myself.
They started test to see if the results were positive and they were! I was cured but it seems only temporarily. It would have to do. I go out on a quest to find me sweet Emily and cure her but I can't it seems she vanished off the face of the planet informally known as earth. I carried on my research while I was moving all across the empire looking for my sweet infected Emily.
Chapter 6- endings and beginnings
I found a cure after a few years and I also found Emily even though she had shot herself to escape the pain I was still happy and yet sad to see her. I carried on my research and started studying science like my father before me which is where I picked up most of my knowledge. I went back to the academy and retired with a pension which supported my research quite comfortably. I continued to live my life in harmony and I presented our research to our allies and carried on helping the Shangrailian Empire as much as I could. I invented a suit of armour which even activated itself so that ignorance and forgetfulness would no longer be such big problems. I found a new girlfriend and ended up marrying her and having a couple of children so I lost allot in battle, I did my duty, I became a respected scientist and I managed to get a family. Life was going great and if you could see me now then you would see my share of scars were worth remembering so I hope you will tell my story to your children so that this legend may life on and I hope you don't ever see such devastation in your life time.