My name is Sergeant Felix Anthony Gurdeaux. I've been fighting this war for years, fifteen to be exact. It's between my country, the Green Nation, and the Tan Nation. The history between the Green and Tan people has always included hostility. Those men whom I shoot at on the battlefield are nothing more than an unworthy adversary.
The other nations, the Blue, Red, Grey, Yellow, Orange, White and Black, haven't bothered to help fight with us. They are practically waiting for us to all die so they can then decide what to do with our land. These nations are truly intelligent.
Few military leaves and few silent days have been included in my military career but plenty of injuries have plagued it. Hundreds of thousands of dead bodies have also managed to be part of my life; I wish it would have stopped a long time ago. My injuries spread throughout every corner of my body and mind. Most I've recovered from but some never leave. The mind is a dangerous thing when it is haunted and tormented by the fast and uncertain future. Some claim and speculate that each individual has a cell in the brain that, when encountered with enough trauma and anxiety, breaks apart, creating a chain reaction that inevitably renders the host unstable and mentally handicapped. I have yet to break my cell.
I thought this war would be over in a matter of weeks, months at the most, with an armistice and then eventually a treaty like all the other wars. But it didn't. This was a different war. This was a real war, one that would prove to be unsettling and have no end in sight. As some would refer to it, this was the war to end all wars, a massive encounter of good versus evil, with no clear side being designated the title.
Only few truly know how it all started and luckily I am one of them. I remember the day as though it's played in front of my eyes constantly, a motion picture with a small audience. I see
each frame of every second whiz by my pupil and each minute detail can be described as the movie gets projected.
I was at Green Base 34, an outpost located in the Grinn Desert, west of the Green city Quloff, which is far west of my nation's capital, the city of Fier. The only casualties reported were the wild animals we used for target practice; bunnies were the preferred choice. It was dusk with crisp air filling the barren turf. I was training a recruit to use a scoped rifle, an SR35, when I was disturbed by a messenger. He said I was needed at once to accompany the commanding officer, General Malist, one of the leading generals of the entire Green army. I met him and was led to an escort chopper, an EC8, equipped with an eager pilot and a radio. I viewed this procedure of my superior, to lead me onto a chopper for a meeting, strange. I soon thought nothing of it; perhaps just some new assignment for their top gun and it had to be kept private. Or in the worst case it was a new form of briefing me just before I was dropped into a zone to perform a new mission.
We were airborne in seconds. Minutes went by without any words exchanged. I could feel an askew vibe, but I bothered not to open my mouth. If I needed to be informed, someone would eventually tell me. He looked at me occasionally but never spoke. A little smile here and there was the only response I could get out of him. I had learned long ago never to open my mouth until a superior opened his. It was a Green Army custom to let the boss talk and listen. If you had something to say then you could speak after hearing the vital information come from the source.
After half an hour, the sun settled behind the short desert hills to my right, and that was when I witnessed the start. A flash burst from the ground, just left of the western horizon. It was like a white light bulb, quickly turned on and slowly dimmed for my enjoyment. Malist turned to
me and said, "They've committed a preemptive strike against your base. We had gotten word that this was going to happen from a spy so we pulled you out. Half of all our bases in this part of the world are going to be hit. We've gotten many evacuated but casualties will be high. We are at war."
I later found out General Sirus, leader of the Tan Nation and a major factor in leading the Tan Army, was behind the attack which vaporized my comrades. I suddenly asked, "Why'd they strike? Why they want war?" Malist's reply was simple. "They've always wanted war because they fear our military strength."
I stared at Malist as his focus switched from my confused eyes to papers in his hand and the radio echoing in his right ear. I had just watched young men, my men, sacrificed so more could be thrown into caskets. I had tuned my eyes into focusing on what had just become the beginning to total devastation. The more I think about it, the more I question, "Why was I spared a quick death?"
Malist's response of them fearing our military strength never, even for a slight second, convinced me. Fear was not an option to carefully enact a full-scale operation to make a war happen between two powers. It was a bogus reason and excuse. I've never gotten the truth as to why it all happened, but I know it will come to me one day. I learned that true soldiers never question, only perform their duties. It's a flaw that must be fixed but as of right now, I am not complaining. I kill the enemy and do my job; what more can a soldier do?
Green troops and Tan troops invaded the open space that separated the two nations: Waste Land. This area was placed precisely between my former base GB 34 and a neighboring Tan city Shizerkor. It contained every form of mountains and hills and plains, but not many civilians. More animals such as cows and wolves could be found than any human life. It was a
buffer zone that became a war zone. Many battles had been fought on the land in the distant past: few ever changing the outcome of a nation.
Unfortunately I was sent north of the desert to the tundra, landscaping the roots of the trees of the Hork Forest, which lay at the base of the Yuto Mountains, a very long range of ice-capped peaks. I spent three years there and never went bored for a day, let alone a frozen moment. The Hork Forest campaigns, where I was sent first, became well known and successful. As a show of gratitude, they renamed the campaigns after me. The Felix Campaigns, along with what soon became known as my Felix Legions, were some of the Green Army's finest hours.
I remember my first battle. I was on top of a cliff with three other guys, covered in snow trying my best to stay still. I heard commotion below. Someone shouted. I looked over and saw Tan helmets uncovered with their snow camouflage. I began shooting down on the Tan patrol unit. We killed all of them. I didn't refer to it as a battle, but my commander said otherwise. I soon learned that anytime a shot was fired, a battle had waged. However, I always thought more logically than those around me. I soon regarded offensive fights as ambushes, attacks, skirmishes, assaults and invasions. Anything resembling a defensive measure was called survival. An ambush was a cheap-shot, an attack was a shoot and run away tactic, a skirmish was an unplanned meeting between foes, an assault was a real battle involving planning, and an invasion was the real deal.
No nation had ever attempted an invasion. The risk behind it was to enormous. For the Tan Nation to invade would leave their North and South borders weakened, allowing the superior Green Navy to embark on a dominating quest, plunging deep into Tan waters. If the Green Nation invades, the North, South and East borders would be left wide open for all other plastic nations to walk in and take what they wanted. The Tan and other nations never fully
agreed to a treaty, but I and all the others in the military never doubted the potential threat posed around our borders. My nation isn't land locked but what isn't touching water is surrounded by another nation.
Months went by, then years with men hurled at the lines, ditched into trenches, sliced into barbed wire and melted by fire. I, a Sergeant, commanded the new recruits that were dispatched at my privilege, turning them from fresh meat to stone heroes. By the time I was done with a batch, they were either dead, or wanting more blood.
As a sergeant I commanded up to fifty men at a time. A platoon in our army also went by the title of a legion. Young boys were the first to be sent my way. In my first week in the forest, pinched in a snowy foxhole, I lost six men. I received replacements but lost twelve by the end of the next week. My superiors liked my statistics though. According to my army's sources, my men and I accounted for over seven hundred kills within the first month of the war; I had only lost twenty nine.
Every time a soldier of mine went away in a body bag I would take a shot of liquor we call Morph. The titles of our liquor pertain to their effects. Morph makes you feel of a different species. It can really make you freak out but quickly leaved your system.
I soon ran out of Morph and nobody in my platoon had any after the first three months. The army decided to end all shipping of liquor, except to the high ranks of course. But I still tried to get away from the personal loss. It's hard bleeding with a man and getting to live the next day while seeing him zipped up and flown off into a cemetery where his mother and father cry wondering why him and why now.
However, when I was done in the north I had only lost eight hundred men, while they and I killed over 96,000. We were good shots and somehow always had ammo. At least the army did that right.
We were always close to defeat, always outnumbered, outgunned, out bombed, but we always stood our ground, never walking backward when it seemed smart or convenient. However, every time we had an opportunity to go on the offensive and strike hard at the Tan lines, we were simply told to hold our ground and wait for them to come. I could never understand how ignorance could be superior to intelligence in the military, but I guess my opinion had no merit in those decisions. We did however eventually move into the mountains and captured quite a bit of territory, so much so that we stationed several thousand troops with the Tan border. To this day we still control that land.
After a very successful campaign that lasted three years and took 5.8 million lives, on my nation's side of the forest alone, I was switched to an outpost in the Dirian, a southern marshland, littered with deep and treacherous swamps that stretched for hundreds of miles and caused chaos like no other. To see five feet in front of you meant it was a good day. Friendly fire was always a problem that even I eventually got over and rarely feared during a battle. After three years, I was granted military leave, a solid week, and ordered to desert.
Nostalgia is a weird feeling, something only carnage and bad memories can truly bring about. I find it ironic how the horrifying side of war is also its beautiful essence; war looks ugly but when experienced feel amazing. Your heart races with every step you take, especially when a bullet goes over your head and hits the man behind you. You constantly ask yourself, "How am I alive?" but move on to more important matters such as whether or not you can chuck a grenade
to where that unlucky bastard is standing. The day you almost die is the day you start living; there's nothing to fear anymore.
The desert was never boring. Since my skin is green I rarely ventured out on missions but the Tan were always patrolling the pebbles of camouflaging and blending into the hills. I lost more men in three years from sniper fire in the desert than from my entire campaign in the Hork Forest.
I had done my time in the forest, the mountains, the swamps and other geographical formations but the desert really took a toll on me. The unbearable heat and constant night battles took away my identity as a relaxed man with a loaded gun. I was always on constant alert. Sometimes the desert plays tricks on you and sometimes it's actual people. For these reasons I never slept more than three hours a day. I left behind the horrors, another three years of my life and another three million men to lie in desert. Compared to the twelve million in the swamps, most of which were never found, I think my nations did well.
Wherever my nation's army needed help, I was called upon for assistance. I had scaled mountains, dove into foxholes, but the most fun and scary action occurred when I was sent to help clean the streets in neighboring cities of the Wasteland, whether in the southern, western or northern regions of both Green and Tan territory.
Civilian casualties were very rare for prior to the war all nations signed the Soldier Only Pact and operated under the Civilian Code, but that didn't stop opposing forces to enter neighborhoods and city structures to gain ground for sniper fire and ambushes. The terms outlined made it clear that civilians were not to be intentionally harmed, whether by guns or bombs. This portion of my life lasted three long years. For some reason, each chapter of my war-
life seemed to last three long years. Three years in the forest and tundra of the Yuto Mountains, the Dirian, the Grinn Desert, plus the street-cleaning added up to twelve long years.
During this period of constant moving, an amazing discovery was announced. I can't remember the group of scientists that made this possible, but about eight years ago men using whatever science at hand built a passage system to an alternate world, or parallel universe. Though all the top officials insisted it was by accident, I had my doubts. These systems were soon called "Get-Aways" by those who no longer wished to fight in our world. The new turf they stepped on soon received the title of "The New World", making ours "Our World" or the "Old World".
One would walk through a water-fall-like circle and would end up in all sorts of things. It seemed that when one jumped into the Get-Aways they would pop out of no where and fall. Some broke bones landing on hard surfaces. Everyone who went in did so at their risk, knowing aware of the consequences, the risks and the unfortunate demise of never returning back home. A few, so much that I could count on one hand, were found alive but looked starved, scared and psychologically damaged. There was no explanation for how we had managed to get into this foreign land, let alone the reason why, but I bet the secret would be revealed in time.
When one would go through the portal, they would wind up in the same area. This area was full of houses, backyards and furniture. Sometimes giant creatures resembling those in our world would be found. If provoked, they weren't merciful. Insects, birds and trees, exactly like those in our home world, were found. But nothing looking like our plastic bodies was found, let alone looked for. It was best for those in the New World to let the discoveries come to them, rather than chasing them. Plastic, like that in the materials we use in Our World, were more then plentiful. But the plastic which are bodies were made off were never found.
A year after discovering this breath-taking technology and using it for this and that, the scientists and generals finally got a hand on controlling the system and securing a safe journey and began sending in troops by the thousands. The scientists had found a secure rift in the plane of the world's dimension and exploited it.
When forts and outposts went up, being built out of a giant brick-like material we found in closets and bins called LEGO, scientists then went in and built passage-ways that connected to the ones in Our World. LEGO was everywhere and I loved the simplicity of LEGO bricks. You snapped them on their circular protrusions and held together without any need for an adhesive or reinforcement. Everything looked to be going in our favor. We had an invisible transportation system and it looked good.
While in the New World commanders had to be informed through paper via messengers on news and military movements, for no radio could contact any person in Our World, at least at the beginning of what was called portal running. Generals were being kept in the dark of what was occurring on the battlefield as they set up forces and strongholds in the houses they had claimed.
It was kept the highest secret until a mole leaked it to our foe. From what I heard he was given the normal execution: shot by five men, all with normal rounds and no blanks. Soon, it was a two-front war. Soldiers poured into these gateways, most of them never returning. At first the Tan soldiers who went in were shot or captured. But after a while, some slipped by our security and then built their own Get-Aways. The blueprints for the portal systems were then made available to every scientist in our world, no matter what color of skin. They could now easily be built in the new world and then used help supply troops in any corner, at any position. System-building definitely made the war in the New World a challenge.
With each new system, we could wind up in a different house or street, never being able to contact our comrades for help. Tan portals linked up to those in Our World, making everything chaotic. Our systems, and those of the Tan military, were hacked occasionally. Green soldiers would sometimes jump into a portal in the New World and wind up inside a Tan base in Our World. It took a while but secretly the Green portals were redesigned to only follow certain paths while teleporting people and items. This crossing of paths soon ended, either because the Tan solved their own problem or because they eventually gave up… no one knows for sure. What is known is that Tan portal transportation is now a rarity.
Once assigned to go through you were destined to die in the New World. There were very, very few exceptions for returning to the known world. The most common way was through a body bag. The New World contained everything that existed in our home world, except bigger. It was as though a giant object or creature created everything and left no trace of his existence.
No one was brave enough to go around searching for answers, or ways to end the fighting in this new place, alone that is. Even I didn't have the courage to step up and risk everything at first when I came through the portal for I still dreamed of an ending to this war and desperately wanted to see it. It will come about but no one knows when or how. After a week in the new place I went out on a scouting report by myself. I came back unscathed but had a newfound respect for the structures that surrounded me.
I was sent in about three years ago and have never returned, even for a minute, to the old world. I haven't seen my home world in over six years and yet sometimes I don't care. It is as if I have lost complete interest in my past life for I am always focusing on the present and my duties. My family and friends, whether they are still alive, may have already forgotten about me. But the fact is I will try my best to see them at least one more time before I die. When I go home, I'll buy
an apartment in the capital city of Fier, or move to the countryside and buy a home in the town of Irin, and take care of a dog, a Labrador perhaps, or a Basset Hound.
I've killed thousands, tens of thousands, and anyone who dares to challenge me on those stats can go screw themselves. All the men who fought alongside me and/or have fallen would agree that I am telling the truth. It is mainly for them that I fight, for I take on responsibility for their loss. The fact that they died under my command only makes me fight harder and the fact that more will die under my orders should only signal to me to die fighting against my foe. I must continue my reign, my barrage, my campaign against my sworn enemy. Only until I am shot down may I finally rest in peace.
Now commander of Sector Besa or Sector 2, one of the bloodiest sectors in all of the New World, I can honestly say no soldier is afraid of death, but afraid of dying without killing someone first.