I'm Michael Fournier, a former lieutenant with the Phoenix mercenary outfit. I say former because a month ago the bridge between the past and the future was destroyed.
The Phoenix mercenary outfit was hired out by the biggest companies in the world to do jobs that they couldn't legally do themselves. We thought our mercenary outfit was the best that money could buy and when we were hired to travel through time to Terra Nova we thought of it as our due. The only complication was the thought we wouldn't be able to see our loved ones again. Lucas Taylor assured us it was possible.
When we got to Terra Nova it was beautiful. The air was so clean that we couldn't believe our eyes. When Mathew affirmed that it was real we ripped off our breather masks and I personally swore that I would find a way to stay here and would never wear that breather again. Once our initial joy passed it was time to begin our mission.
It was a relatively simple operation. There were a mere 40 soldiers guarding the compound, most of them poorly trained, and we routed them within the hour. I heard Commander Mitchell remark that take away the technology and this little village was no more than a pathetic poverty stricken African village waiting for a stronger group of people to take control.
The analogy was apt. We thought of this mission as similar to the past raids on African tribal communities. Some poorly and inadequate amount of soldiers, a small easily intimidated population of civilians, a routine mission for the Phoenix group to attain resources for a corporation that found itself lacking.
During the resource wars in the latter half of the 21st century it was all too common to see CEOs of corporations take what little resources were left on old Earth by arranging a nice overthrow of a South American or African country. South America and Africa were all that was left for resources, and they were guarded by pathetically fragile nations that could be overthrown or bought by anyone with money. Any global corporation if a nation refused to deal with it could hired a good mercenary group to go put a new more pliable ruler in place. We thought the community of Terra Nova would be no different. Sure they had access to the most modern weaponry but other than that we outnumbered them, most of them were civilians and we had the training.
Unfortunately, the comparison and way of thinking Commander Mitchell had damned us in the end. In the 22nd century, on old Earth the ruler of the system, the global corporation heads, command a system too large to be overthrown. A mass protest can be shut down. Any armed rebellion could be destroyed by the army and failing that a convenient orbital strike. Despite puppet states like the United States, the European Union, the British Commonwealth and China advocating democracy, democracy has been dead since the mid 2060s. In its place has ridden the global corporations, and it's not what you know on old Earth that makes you someone, but rather who you know.
Why do I bring up old Earth you ask? I tell you because the one thing truly out of place in my last job as a member of Phoenix group was that we forgot we were on Terra Nova.
Funny isn't? We threw off our breather masks with glee. We stared in awe at the greenery and clouds of the environment. We were terrified by the dinosaurs and hostile insects the size of my arm. But somehow we forgot.
We were used to pushing around an ignorant and serf-like populace of civilians. Sure, general rule, "don't hit the Engineer's too hard you need them" rule still applied but don't worry about the bartenders, local laws, or whatever. They aren't worth the paper they are written on. Everyone knows that whomever is in charge in the particular area will change all the laws anyway. To make things clear, we weren't rapists, we weren't cold blooded murders and looters, we were raised better than that but in all my raids, the civilians were always seen as inferior. For lack of a better term I will use a metaphor. The people in the villages of Africa, and South America were serf-like in that they belonged to whoever controlled the reins of power. You don't respect someone whose only reason for existence was to be a tenant for the current company in power in the region.
Old habits die hard. We didn't pay or acknowledge the people in the settlement with respect. We despite their more privileged upbringing and intelligence simply viewed the inhabitants as new slaves that had been sold. They would do as they were told or they would die. The revolts in Brazil or South Africa showed the world in the 2080s that the thumb of the rich and powerful was absolute. Even if one was overthrown, a company from abroad would simply view their overthrow as an opportunity for them to move in. Sometimes to be fair, things would get better but most of the time I doubt the people were able to tell the difference. In that, the people of those countries were merely serfs with their lord ever changing depending on the great game between the top corps. The global system was too big to fail on old Earth and we, the phoenix group took that as truth. But, we were on Terra Nova.
These people saw hope. The old way of doing things didn't have to be the way things had to be done. The system on Terra Nova was small. A single common person can make a difference on Terra Nova. For that person is one in only around 2000 people. We, the outsiders didn't understand that.
Every person we hit or prodded with a rifle. Every person we talked down to. Every person we humiliated with lewd remarks or laughter. Every person we killed. Every time we laughed away from not paying for something. Every time we insulted someone in some way we earned the ire of the only civilization in the world.
Four weeks ago, our pathway to old Earth was severed. We discovered that the invulnerable system of old Earth didn't exist here. That the little guy could flick off the man and get away with it unscathed. They destroyed Hope Plaza and ironically rekindled their hope. The Phoenix mercenary group found itself without an employer and without a home.
We could have tried to keep the settlement but what then? We only outnumbered their military forces two to one. That's a guarantee that Taylor's forces would wait while the civilians slowly whittling us down. Our situation was a hostile population, without the outlook that whatever they did wouldn't matter, without any incoming reinforcements, and an outside hostile force was a disaster in the making. Even suppose we had stayed there and took the whittling down and incoming battle with Taylor's forces, the phoenix group and the remnants probably wouldn't be enough to live out the next couple years. We were soldiers. We weren't farmers, engineers, or doctors. And unlike Taylor we certainly didn't have the goodwill of the people.
As we talked and tried to figure what we were going to do however Commander Mitchell informed us of a discovery. We had made contact with a blond, blue eyed, and sword bearing young man yelling at us in some foreign tongue. The Terra Nova settlement wasn't the only civilization around. Our desperate talk of what we were going to do centered on this. We could live like kings with our vehicles and weapons; all we had to do was find out where they were based.
It took three weeks of living in a shanty, starving town of tents. The Phoenix group broke up. The whole living like kings thing didn't quite work out. The population generally by modern standards was always starving. They hunted, but hunting dinosaurs with arrows and swords was risky. Agriculture was impossible because they couldn't keep predators out. They were hunters and gathers. The only saving grace was that they knew of other peoples, mainly the city peoples on the coasts that sat behind huge walls.
Unfortunately for Commander Mitchell, discontent with the life the troops were living was already in a boil. Disregarding for now the mental problems the men began to show in face of the fact that they would never see their wives, children or loved ones again. The Phoenix outfit had never had to go with the possibility of never having food anymore. No matter what shithole we were in, the guys in charge knew that you had to keep your troops comfortable. The definite truth that the only civilization with a hot shower and recognizable meal hated our guts was quite discomforting. Were we to eat dinosaur meat until our ammo ran out and then begin eating bugs like the poor women and children of the tribe had to? The group of 243 men splintered. After Commander Mitchell was shot and killed in quite possibly the last drunken rage private Daniel will ever be able to have, it was almost every man for himself. The biggest splinter group probably left with a mere 34 men. Some went in search of the big cities, hoping that their weapons would last long enough for them to take charge. Some went back to Terra Nova (the settlement) to beg Taylor into allowing them to join the community. Some decided to stay with what we had already taken. And still others talked of trying to set up their own community somewhere.
It's been a week, and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.
AN: This is a challenge fic... Mostly because as you can tell I'm a poor writer. I hereby challenge any reader of this fic to tell of the Phoenix Group's activities with the many different ancient civilizations in Terra Nova. They could be anyone, from anytime, or any place. The whole ending of the season of Terra Nova with the finding of that piece of the wooden ship I think shows that there are going to be other people around in Terra Nova as possibly the time fracture has happened before. The remnants and pieces of the Phoenix group encountering these pieces of civilizations from far gone times will make an interesting story I think.
1. Make a character in the Phoenix Group
2. Have the small group that they were in decide a coarse of action.
3. Notify me! So that I can not only read it but also post it on my profile for others to find! Have fun!