The soldiers stationed in Fort Lauderdale ran for cover as three huge columns of tanks, troops and an assortment of other evil weapons of war rumbled towards the city. A knocked over sign read WELCOME TO FORT LAUDERDALE, but the incoming army was far from welcome. Above the city dozens of frigates and two capital ships floated silently among the clouds, their guns still until they were giving the command to fire, then they would rain down hell. Miles behind the columns, smoke billowed upwards. This was all that remained of Miami, and unless the troops could stop the columns, it would be all that remained of Fort Lauderdale.
By this point the troopships that had left the capital ships had landed, and the creatures inside them were pouring out. They ranged from being approximately 5ft to about 8ft. The second they left the landing craft the creatures started to fire their weapons. Compared to the weapons of the humans, these weapons were cruel. They fired a huge range of ammunition, from plasma-coated bullets to flying blades. The armour used by the creatures was near impervious to bullets. One marine squad discovered this the hard way. They took up a position and fired on the aliens only to have their bullets do no damage, and end up dead themselves. For the humans it was a massacre.
No matter which direction Lt Harper looked, human soldiers were dying but there were very few dead aliens. They marched at walking speed towards the human frontline, aiming down the iron sights of their weapons, firing mercilessly on the entrenched soldiers.
Further from the battle an alien commander stepped from his landing craft. He had the same full body armour that covered every inch of his body as the soldiers, but his was blue, and his helmet had an ornate headdress. Across the left side of his chest were row upon row of medals. He looked at the battle before him and pointed in the direction (but unknown to him) of Lt Harper.
“Kitaku ma shoda” The commander shouted and the artillery cannons deployed by the aliens began to fire.
“Retreat!!!!!!!” A soldier shouted before he exploded in a ball fire, mud, blood and bone. Another soldier was grabbed by an alien in complete head-to-toe armour and pinned against a wall. The alien lifted his gun to the soldier’s head and activated his spinning bayonet. The man screamed with all his might before his scream was replaced with the sounds of a merciless death.
Another alien commander stepped from a landing craft but he looked completely different. His armour was gold and he had an even more ornate headdress than the first commander. He also wore a short cape that stopped at the waist. He had medals covering his chest plate and on his waist were two holsters. One held a black magnum pistol and the other held a sabre. This commander was a general by the name of Zaxiv Pinot, second in command of the Kallorian Expeditionary Force. The general raised his wrist and a hologram appeared on a small device of cloaked figure.
“Mi lot, se cah katan te kata mos suien lat tosca.” General Pinot said sharply, but that was probably due to the fact that Kallorian cannot be spoken smoothly.
Lt Harper raised his head from the ground of his trench. He had barely survived the onslaught of artillery shells and had severe shell shock. He got up and immediately began to order the troops to the evacuation points.
“Come on, come on move.” Lt Harper whispered. He turned to Sgt Johnson. “Sergeant, I need you to go to the flat complex and command the snipers.” Lt Harper ordered.
“Right away.” Sgt Johnson said enthusiastically. Lt Harper watched Sgt Johnson run through the mess of destroyed buildings, fleeing civilians and wounded soldiers before moving on after an explosion shook the ground close to his position. He jogged through the streets and came across Captain Park ordering retreating troops.
“Move to the destroyed building in the city centre, set up a command post!” Captain Park shouted. He turned to Lt Harper who was examining a dead body.
“Come on!” Captain Park ordered. Lt Harper got up and left the body to its fate.
“They’re coming to the east!” A scout shouted on top of a pile of rubble. Captain Park turned to the remainder of the men in Fort Lauderdale. There was nowhere to run; they had to fight if not for the civilians still in the city, then for Earth.
“Okay, let’s show these guys who they’re up against, you are going to shoot, you are going to kill, and you are going to drown them in their own blood! All you greenhorn who wanted to fight, this is your lucky day!” Captain Park shouted patriotically. He turned to the direction of the enemy columns. The sound of marching and tanks tracks rumbling became louder and louder as it came closer and closer. Suddenly hundreds of smoke grenades were thrown into the square. The smoke built up quickly, blocking off all sight. The smoke absorbed the city like a huge white sponge; growing as if it was consuming the air.
“Wait until you see the whites of their eyes!” Captain Park ordered. The sound of the marching aliens continued. The soldiers took deep breaths, as it was likely those were the last ones they would ever have. Shadowy figures appeared in the wall of smoke. That was close enough.
“Fire!” Captain Parked yelled to his comrades. The soldiers raised their rifles to their eyes but before they could fire, the aliens fired and took out the entire frontline. The soldiers dug in to cover and so did the aliens. A massive battle raged for several minutes. Soldiers began to die on either side of the battle, the onslaught of bullets, grenades, tank shells and other pieces of twisted metal cut through the air shredding anything in their path.
A tank with two barrels suddenly burst its way through a derelict building, nearly crushing a few men that barely had enough time to move. The barrels turned together and fired upon the trench. Mud and splinters of wood flew into the air, careening back down on to the blood soaked asphalt. Captain Park peeked around the side of what was left of the trench. The tank had blown a hole in the side of it and the Kallorians now had a clear way through the defences.
Captain Park quickly looked around to a soldier as he staggered up on to his feet. The soldier was holding a Taurus rocket launcher system; it could take down their own tanks so it was worth a shot.
“Soldier, take out that tank!” Captain Park ordered the soldier.
“Yes, sir!” The soldier replied quickly. The soldier brought the rocket launcher to his shoulder and zeroed in on the tank. A ringing emanated from the launcher which told the soldier he had a lock.
“Firing!” The soldier shouted. He pulled the trigger and a warhead shot from the barrel of the launcher and headed straight for the tank. The rocket was a mere metre away from the tank when it violently changed direction and spun off wildly into the air. Captain Park looked at the tank to see a faint translucent fluid ripple before becoming undetectable again.
“It’s got some sort of shield!” The soldier shouted.
“God Damn it! Hold them off! Hold them off!” Captain Park shouted as he ran down the trench. A few brave soldiers took up positions around the smoking crater where the tank had fired. Aliens began throwing themselves at the position, trying to break through the defences and push into the town. The soldiers dug in tight, they deployed heavy machine guns and began to fire mercilessly into the horde of oncoming bodies.
A shuttle landed vertically behind the golden-armoured alien’s command post. In front of it was a line of fourteen artillery cannons, barrels held high, and ready to fire on the city. General Pinot turned as the shuttle doors split apart and a metal ramp slid out and clamped itself into the floor. General Pinot swallowed nervously. He had had meetings with his superior officer many times, but he still became filled with fear every time.
A hooded figure, covered in head to toe armour that was as black as the night, walked slowly down the ramp. The figure wore the most ornate headdress of any of the commanders. It was black but with a certain iridescence. The headdress was like a tree of spikes that rose just under a foot off of the top of the helmet. There were no features to the face of the helmet either. It was simply a blank surface. Under the figure’s black cloak, the outline of two swords could be seen. The figure also had a holster, barely visible against its armour, holding a black magnum pistol.
General Pinot stood to attention and kneeled before the sinister figure.
“Mi Lot.” He said graciously.
“Rise Pinot.” The figure said commandingly. Pinot did as he had been instructed; he rose and stood next to his commander, who surveyed the destruction of Fort Lauderdale through a pair of electronic binoculars that had been handed to him by a humble soldier.
“What's the situation?” The figure asked, he voice synthesised by the helmet’s breathing vent.
“The Indigenous have setup a strong position on slightly higher ground. We launched a Marauder but our soldiers are still unable to breach the trench.” General Pinot explained as he pointed to a column of smoke that rose silently into the air.
The commander sighed thoughtfully. No one had ever been able to withstand his army for so long before. He had not even expected a fight.
“It seems you underestimated them, Pinot. That is a mistake in any situation.” The commander slowly.
General Pinot shuffled uncomfortably. He was afraid he would be punished.
“Yes, my lord, it will not happen again.”General Pinot replied nervously. He thought it best to ask for advice. “My Lord, what do you suggest we do?” He asked courteously.
“Major Sucadref?” The commander bellowed to a blue-armoured officer standing next to an artillery cannon. The Major turned around, saluted and marched towards his superior officer.
“Sir?” He asked politely.
“Give them a volley on my mark, scattered line, two and eight firing together.” The commander instructed.
“It shall be done, Lord Xavier.” Major Sucadref replied quickly. He marched towards the guns and yelled instruction at the gunners. The soldiers jumped to their positions. They opened the breaches of their howitzers, placed a shell within the breach, closed the breaches and stood perfectly still. The team leaders shouted when their gun had been loaded.
Xavier watched with pride as his men performed their duties perfectly. They had finished in less than thirty seconds, they had been trained well.
“Withdraw your men, once the artillery fires, prepare smoke and launch a charge.” Xavier instructed General Pinot.
General Pinot nodded in acknowledgment and contacted his officers to pull back through the comm. system built into his helmet.
The soldiers knew they would not be able to do this forever; the bodies were beginning to build up as the aliens made almost desperate attempts to breach the trench through the hole the Marauder Tank had created. The soldiers fired round after round, used magazine after magazine and grenade after grenade trying to hold their position long enough for the civilians and wounded to be evacuated. But then, to the human’s surprise, the aliens retreated. They fell back completely, out of the space which had once been a beautiful plaza, and back into the alleys and streets that divided the mass of skyscrapers and other various buildings.
As they fell back, Lt Harper truly saw the devastation of the attack. There were dead everywhere. Corpses lined the streets, military and otherwise. The ratio of humans lost to aliens lost was significant, for every one alien, there were five humans. Lt Harper surveyed the battlefield and noticed that one soldier was not among the departed. He wasn’t screaming, he was in too much pain to scream, but he writhed around on the floor. Lt Harper knew the man would be killed in the next onslaught. The man was only a few metres away, he could be saved.
“Cover me.” Lt Harper ordered to some nearby soldiers. One of them nodded and informed the rest of the soldiers in Lt Harper’s vicinity.
Lt Harper wasn’t sure about this, he didn’t know when the aliens would attack again, he didn’t know their tactics, but was reassured to know that Sgt Johnson was staring down the scope of a HC-85 Sniper Rifle. Lt Harper jumped out of his trench and crouched towards the wounded soldier and checked he had not died in the time it had taken him to reach him. He wasn’t going to risk his life for a dead body. The man was alive, but barely. His leg had been torn to shreds by shrapnel, how the aliens hadn’t seen him was amazing. The leg hadn’t been dismembered, but the bone and muscle tissue of the leg was visible through a long split in the skin. Blood poured in an around the wound profusely. He was not going to be able to do this alone, the man needed treatment, but this was neither the time nor place to do it.
Lt Harper quickly looked down at the wounded man, but only with his eyes, his head stayed perfectly still, ready to fire if he saw something. Lt Harper quickly placed his rifle into the clips incorporated into his armour. There was a clunk has the rifle fell into place. He looked at the chevrons on the soldier’s arm to check his rank. There were two on top of one another, he was a corporal.
“Corporal, can you move?” Lt Harper said quietly. The soldier breathed heavily in pain. He tried to move but couldn’t, the wound was too severe. Lt Harper nervously checked for any aliens before calling for a medic. One quickly bolted out off the trench system, his hands covered in blood. He kneeled next to the wounded man and inspected the wound. It was serious, more than a simple stitch. There was still shrapnel in the leg and it was very close to the main artery, he couldn’t remove it now, he didn’t have the equipment. His breathing became uneven and heavy as he tied a piece of cloth around the man’s leg to stop the bleeding, and then put another piece of cloth around the wound to hold it together.
Lt Harper heard a noise in the dense smoke and immediately turned around and drew his rifle; he aimed down the sight, but then replaced the gun on his back as the medic tapped him on the shoulder to help carry the man. Lt Harper picked the man up by the legs and carefully carried him towards the trench. They moved slowly as soldiers fired blindly into the smoke. They had no idea if they had hit anything, but that didn’t matter, all that mattered was holding the line and keeping the aliens at bay while Lt Harper and the medic saved the wounded soldier.
Another medic joined Lt Harper and he let the medics take the man away. They put him into the back of an APC and administered some anaesthetic. The man slipped away into unconsciousness as the APC pulled away. The soldier was lucky; there would have been no way to save him in what happened next.
“Now!” Xavier shouted.
“Launch volley!” Major Sucadref yelled. The artillery cannon team leaders ordered their guns fire individually. The shells were thrown from the guns, impaling the ground around and in the trench. Guns two and eight fired together. They were firing stun shells. Upon detonation, the shell would explode exactly as a stun grenade. It would emit a loud bang, accompanied by a blinding flash that would overload the sensory system of a body, causing massive disorientation, claustrophobia followed by blinding headaches. It would affect anybody caught within a sixty metre radius.
Lt Curb lifted himself up off the floor. He held his skull tightly as it felt as if it was going to explode. There was an intense ringing in his ears and he could only see what he was last looking at before the shell landed. His vision started to return just as the alien army charged out of the smoke and dust, revving three-bladed bayonets that were built in to their weapons. There was no organisation at all. It was like a banzai charge. The soldiers had little time to react and the aliens collided with the frontline of the human army cutting and mincing them with spinning blades.
Lt Harper quickly fixed his bayonet and stabbed an alien behind him. He killed another then another, but there were too many. The tactical battle had turned into a melee war. It was like something out of the 12th century, no guns just blades. Lt Harper got a few soldiers together to make an effective defence, but it soon fell to pieces when the left machine gun nest exploded in a massive fireball. Two 12ft tall creatures walked out of the burning heap of what had once been a solid concrete pillbox. One creature had a massive mini gun while the other had a shield and a mace.
“Tactical withdrawl, fall back!” Captain Park yelled uncontrollably. Even though he gave an order the soldiers ran disorganised, many fell to the aliens. Some surrendered to the aliens while the rest escaped to the evacuation points. Lt Harper held off a few aliens but as he began to retreat another 12ft beast crashed through a wall close to his position and saw him.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Lt Harper shouted angrily and began to run for his life. The beast ran after him crashing through walls, cars and anything that got in its way. Lt Harper ran down the debris-covered street then took a sharp right in an alley. He stopped around the corner and checked if he was being followed.
Lt Harper relaxed for a moment, breathing heavily when the creature burst through the wall to his right and roared. Lt Harper drew his pistol, fired three shots then ran as fast as he could from the alley. He ran across the street without checking for other enemies and leapt up the steps of the Museum of Discovery and Science. He ran into the entrance hall, closed the door, and pushed anything he could get his hands on in front of the door.
Lt Curb was already in the museum and walked into the entrance hall investigating the noise. He came in just as Lt Harper was holding a computer desk.
“What the hell are you doing?” Lt Curb asked, fearing for the sanity of Lt Harper. Lt Harper put down the desk, but before he could answer, the creature burst through a wall, looked at them and roared.
“Run!!” Lt Harper screamed. They ran, rolled and jumped over obstacles, trying to evade the creature’s attacks. Lt Curb jumped behind the reception desk and fired a few shots at the creature but the shots did nothing. The creature became annoyed and attacked Lt Curb. Lt Curb jumped back from the reception desk as a huge mace came crashing down upon it. The computer on the desk sizzled electricity up the mace to the creatures hand. The monster recoiled from the shock, which gave Lt Curb an opening. He ran from the creature and up the central staircase but the creature saw him and threw a grenade at him. The grenade stuck into the wall and Lt Curb tried to remove it but when he found it could not be removed he leaped off the staircase and hung onto a chandelier. The grenade exploded, blowing a hole in the wall.
“Go!” Lt Harper shouted. Lt Curb jumped off the chandelier and went straight out the hole. Lt Harper ran up the staircase and placed a C4 charge by the hole before jumping out of it. He waited for the right moment before blowing the charge.
The creature had run up the stairs after them. As soon as Lt Harper saw a glimpse of the behemoth he blew the charge. The ground shook as the C4 detonated and a plume of smoke burst from the even larger hole. There was no sign of the alien. It was dead.
Lt Harper and Lt Curb looked around to see that they were on the main street in Fort Lauderdale. They looked at one another and laughed at their experience, but the moment was short lived as thousands of civilians ran past. Their combined screams broke the sound barrier. At the end of the street gunfire could be heard, the aliens had pushed deep into the city, they would soon overrun it.
Lt Harper looked into the mass of people and was lucky enough to notice his family running among the crowd.
“Lucy? Sara, Jack!” Lt Harper shouted but they couldn’t hear him over the noise of the gunfire and the crowd.
There was a group of soldiers running in front of the civilians. They were meant to be guiding them to the evacuation point but they had become part of the crowd. Suddenly an alien APC jumped over a pile of rubble and swerved in front of the soldiers. The gunner turned to the men and opened fire. Another APC jumped over the rubble and fired on the civilians but it did not fire bullets but a plasma bubble that seemed to act as a net.
“Lucy!!” Lt Harper shouted. He began to run towards the bubble but Lt Curb stopped him. If the extraterrestrials saw him they would kill him.
A Battleship appeared overhead and a door on the bottom of the craft slowly began to open. The bubble filled with civilians began to lift off the floor and headed toward the hanger door.
“Jack!” Lt Harper screamed with all his might. Jack noticed him and fought his way to the edge of the bubble.
“Dad? DAD!” Jack shouted back. He tried to break his way out of the bubble but it didn’t work. The bubble disappeared into the ship and the hanger door began to close.
“Come on, we’ve got to move.” Lt Curb said bluntly.
“No!” Lt Harper yelled with a stutter. Lt Curb grabbed Lt Harper by the shoulders and made Lt Harper look at him.
“John, come on we have got to go.” Lt Curb said quietly trying to calm Lt Harper down.
A roar suddenly broke the silence and hundreds of soldiers began to run around the corner the civilians had come around moments before. The shadows of the aliens could be seen against the wall of a building, made bigger by the fires in the city.
Captain Park suddenly ran around the corner shouting orders to the soldiers.
“Retreat, retreat…” Captain Park began before an artillery shell landed near to him blowing off the bottom half of his left leg. A female soldier tried to help him but she was shot dead.
“Captain!!” Lt Harper shouted and ran towards him. Lt Curb tried to stop him but got caught up in the crowd of soldiers.
“Leave me you idiot…go…now!” Captain Park shouted in pain.
“Come on!” Lt Curb yelled at Lt Harper. He tried to pull Harper away but Harper was insistent on saving the captain.
“Wait here!” Lt Harper said to Lt Curb. He ran to the captain but as he reached the him, a building collapsed and debris blocked his path. Harper had no choice but to leave his captain.
Silence filled the empty streets of Fort Lauderdale. The confusion had left the streets destroyed. Bodies were scattered throughout the city and in a square by a museum, Captain Park groaned on the floor as he tried to pull himself to safety. He could hear footsteps behind him and stopped moving. It didn’t work. They had seen him. Two aliens brought him to his knees as a third alien walked towards him. It was the Kallorian commander. Captain Park had seen what the aliens had done to the human ranks and couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to him.
The figure stood in front of him and stared at him. Then to Captain Park’s surprise he silently ordered the alien soldiers to let him go. They picked up a large cylinder and walked off.
Captain Park fell onto his hands, the mangled flesh that was his leg throbbed with such extreme pain it numbed him. He felt a strange sense of relief. The cloaked figure walked past Captain Park and he breathed heavily in relief. Then he was taken completely by surprise as a cold, thin piece of metal erupted through his chest. He looked at it, wide eyed. He tried to scream but nothing came out. The sword was wrenched out of Captain Park’s back and the good captain fell backwards, dead. A puddle of blood slowly grew around Captain Park as the rain began to hit his face. A rain drop trickled from his eye as if it were a tear. It fell from his face and plopped into the red sea below it.
Lt Harper and Lt Curb ran through the deserted streets as fast as they could in full gear. They were running to helicopters that would evacuate them from the city and from the state.
Just as they reached the opening where the helicopters were stationed a massive nuclear shockwave knocked them over and a wall of blinding light headed towards them, swallowing everything in its path. Lt Curb helped Lt Harper to his feet.
“We gotta get out of here, fast!” Lt Curb said running out of breath.
“We have got to get to that chopper.” Lt Harper said quickly. They continued to run, when out of nowhere, Sergeant Johnson ran out of an alleyway followed by an alien soldier. Lt Curb acted fast and smacked the soldier in the groin with the butt of his gun. Lt Harper then took the soldier’s gun and shot him, the bullet passed straight through the soldier’s chest armour. The useless pile of jelly fell to the ground and a pool of red blood poured from the hole in its chest. They had completely forgotten about the wall of light that was coming straight towards them and unless they moved quickly, they would be killed.
“Thanks sir, come on we should get going.” Sgt Johnson said quickly and began to run to the helicopters. Lt Curb joined Sgt Johnson then stopped and looked back. Lt Harper was examining the dead body. He was paying particularly close attention to a small green button on the side of the otherwise black helmet.
“John!” Lt Curb called to Lt Harper. Lt Harper didn’t listen; he continued to examine the helmet.
“What’s he doing?” Sgt Johnson said desperately. Lt Harper built up his courage and pressed the green button on the helmet. Pressurized gas jets came out of small holes in the helmet and the helmet lifted free and the face concealed within the helmet became visible. Lt Harper stared at the face in amazement and signalled to the others.
“John we have got to…oh my God!” Lt Curb started reluctantly before being amazed, unable to speak. The creature lying dead on the floor in front of them, the creature that had come from another planet, maybe even another galaxy; was human. Everything about the face was recognisable as human. The eyes were where they should be, the position of the nose and mouth were correct, everything. Lt Harper would have studied the body for hours, but a gas tank erupted from the heat of the explosion that was still engulfing the city and it was only now that Lt Harper realised how close to death they were.
“Pick him up!” Sgt Johnson ordered.
“What?” Lt Curb said disapprovingly.
“Just pick him up!” Sgt Johnson said again. Lt Curb bent down to pick up the body and as he did an explosion went off sending Lt Harper flying.
“John…John!?” Lt Curb said to Lt Harper kneeling over him, but to Harper his voice was quiet and fading away as he left consciousness.