The inside of the IFV was black, only a faint red light in the back of the IFV could be seen. I was sitting right next to the door holding my rifle tightly while thinking deeply about life. I didn’t need a light to know that everyone else did the same.
The hours of painful waiting came to an end when we felt the IFV stop. The doors opened and we could hear the Colonel himself in the front. “Man the walls!” he commanded. My company rushed outside and headed towards the waypoint. We ran up the stairs of the wall about 12 meters along with the rest of the battalion and the IFVs made a secondary wall around the gate.
The skyscrapers despite the years of negligence stood tall in the sky towering over us. The way they reflected the moonlight made the atmosphere blue. From the walls I tried to look back and catch a glimpse of the snipers but no luck.
I felt relief when I saw that the colonel and his guard take their position next to us. He was about my age, young but clearly much more robust. He stood with an excellent posture that contested the sturdiness of the steel wall and he had the eyes of an eagle as he stared at the destroyed section of the city, at the horizon looking for the enemy. Once again we waited in agony.
Then it came. We could see the bodies of the infected sprinting at us 25 miles per hour in an aerodynamic wedge. “Here they come!” the Colonel shouted “Today we will hold the line and fight for humanity! As long as I am here I swear that we will not fall! Not until Romeo finishes their mission.” All together we shouted
“3000 meters!” A logistics officer shouted over the radio. We all stood shoulder to shoulder ready to face the enemy. I was in the front of the double line for my accuracy but despite all the soldiers with guns we attached bayonets onto our rifles as we waited.
“Snipers.” the colonel ordered and they answered.
“Locked and loaded Colonel.”
“2100 meters!” we could hear static over the radio.
“Almost in effective range.”
“2000 meters!” then the Colonel gave his orders.
The snipers behind us fired with anti material rounds from the towers. They shot right into the head of their formation. It was working! We cheered for them but then they stopped to reload. To our amazement the enemy was intelligent beyond what we actually believed. No one at the academy believed our instructors. We were Une Rafale, we stood pale like ghosts. Even the Colonel had disbelief in his eyes. They quickly recovered their formation, it barely slowed them down. The snipers continued shooting but this time faster less accurate.
“1700 Meters!” The colonel shouted at the next officer.
“Where’s my artillery!”
“Still unloading sir!” he shouted absent of hope and full of disbelief. Realistically artillery had a range of 28,000 meters. We all began to wonder if we had been abandoned.
“1600 Meters!” Then we could see it flying over our heads. The artillery fired their first rounds. The shells fell in the core of their formation we felt relief as we heard the explosions I closed my eyes tightly and thought that perhaps heaven had not left us for dead after all. Then I opened my eyes. Still the enemy came charging.
“1300 Meters!” We saw the enemy more vividly. No dammit! No! I thought to myself. It wasn’t possible it cannot be real! And yet it was right in front of me. The evolution of the enemy. A monster that truly deserved the title demon. Unlike the other infected humans this one was something else. Our instructors taught us about them but we did not believe it. We laughed and dismissed it as a joke. The demons in the front evolved with wings. The wings were unfit for flying but they boosted their ability to close gaps and increased height of jumping. Their wings even made them more aerodynamic.
“1000 Meters!” At that mark we knew we were the last line of defense.
“900 Meters!” It's not too late to run I thought to myself. Several other soldiers looked back towards the staircase undoubtedly estimating how long it would take to route.
“800 Meters!” The Colonel made final checks on his weapon then shouted
“700 Meters!” No, we can’t run. Not now. Its what we trained for; I tried to convince myself we had a chance.
“600 Meters!” We can do it! Its what we were born to do! Its how we lived! We can take them. We will reclaim our lands and come home as heroes.
“575!” The officer shouted.
“Weapons tight!” The Colonel ordered. The enemy was almost in effective range of our assault rifles. The wedding was close.
Seconds that passed felt like years. We all waited for the order.
“Weapons Free!” The Colonel Shouted. We opened fire. 500 meters was the gap between us. Our bullets fell one by one just as the enemy did. They died but it was nothing. Nothing could stop them.
The demons jumped at us and used their wings. They finally penetrated our line. Shouting orders, bullets, screaming, and the cracking of bones were the only thing I heard as I unloaded my ammo into the horde. I didn’t even see it coming. A demon pounced right at me. I was centimeters away from its grasps. But then it fell. The Colonel had protected me. From what I saw he had abandoned his service rifle for an old aged revolver. He took the demons down with great accuracy and with one shot. The soldier behind me picked me up and I once again held the line.
We continued our struggle. We slowed down the hordes approach but by little. Then it occurred to me, we weren’t fighting against mindless creatures. They had intelligence that we always underestimated. Their winged demons skirmish into our defensive line while the main horde would make its approach.
One of them flew past me. That time my life surely would have ended had it not been for another miracle. It wasn’t aiming for me, no. It headed straight to the Colonel. I stood and did nothing as it raced passed his guard towards him. The Colonel turned after he had fired at the demons brother. The gap closed and the Colonel had his revolver aimed inches away from its face. He pulled the trigger and my heart stopped. The Colonel had no bullets. The demon grabbed him and pushed him off the wall. One of his guards ran at the ledge and looked with eyes wide open. “The Colonel is dead!”
Soldiers dropped their guns and ran for their lives. Our valiant officers called for a retreat. I didn’t even realize that my legs were already sprinting. I looked back for just one moment and saw some soldiers failed to drop their primary weapon. I could feel nothing but pity for them. The fools would be the first to be devoured into the swarm.
The horde finally reached the wall. All together with the wedge formation they slammed into the steel gate and it broke. The APC’s held their ground and used their anti-personal weapons to stop their approach.
I didn’t know where to run I just did. Everything was hazy and time seemed to slow down but for what? There was no escaping this. I ran into one of the great skyscrapers moved up the stairs. I looked around and realized I was alone with only a sidearm. I kept moving up the darkness. Honestly I don’t expect to find anything special but anything is better than being in the streets. I held my pistol with one arm and used the other to feel the walls. I dare not use my flashlight dreading I might catch unwanted attention. Then my GPS strapped to my forearm started to blink. Once again I believed I was saved. A rally point had been set up in this very building just two more stories.
I continued my journey through the dark with caution and anticipation knowing that the worse could happen with every step that I take. Finally I made it. I opened the cold rusty door and to my comfort I found that the moon decided to shine brightly tonight. I approached the waypoint down the hall. Slowly with my finger on the trigger I walked to find more hope or despair.
My breathing became faint as I finally made it just a few feet away. My hands were steady and the world seemed to slow down. Every step I took crushed my nerves, with all my heart I feared I would be heard by the enemy. The door opened slowly… but not by my will. My heart pounded in my chest like a marching drum, my blood boiled and cold sweat drenched my body all in a moment that could have been seconds.
“Thank God.” I heard myself say. I was welcomed with guns pointed at me but they were more than comforting at this point.
“Scared the living shit out of us mate.” my comrade said as he held the door, his accent clearly implied that he was a Brit. I let myself in the room then heard the door next to me shut. My back fell against the wall next to the door and I felt my body slide down. I took a good look at the room, it was an office room outfitted with what was once space aged technology. There were four others at first glimpse they appeared to be standard riflemen like me but one of them was clearly a sniper.
“Just as I promised. I told you we still have blue helmets out there.” exclaimed one of the two woking on a radio.
“The more the merrier” the sniper said while she sat across the room next to a window.
“Was there anyone else?” the Brit asked whilst taking a seat next to me. I shook my head.
“Hopefully we can rally more people with the waypoint.” the same soldier from before responded. I looked up to get a closer look at him and I recognized his face and voice. He was the officer that called out the meters the one next to him upon closer inspection was clearly an engineer.
“I keep telling you it isn’t broken, stop screwing around with it or else we’ll really be screwed.” The engineer contested as the officer while he toyed with the mechanisms on it.
“We can’t get anything from Command so there’s clearly something wrong with the radio.”
“I don’t think we’ll be making much progress leaving it alone or screwing it up.” Sniper pointed out.
“There isn’t exactly much we can do.” the engineer replied.
“Our ranks just got torn apart and it’s more than likely no one left other than us” The Brit next to me pointed out. “Is there really any chance at an evacuation?” we hung our heads in silence.
Then static broke the peace. The officer lunged for the radio “Command do you read!? Situation is a Charlie Foxtrot. Our entire battalion is near annihilation requesting evac.” Silence filled the room for a moment.
“Command acknowledges all. Evacuation is negative. Your orders stand.” the officer shook his head in disbelief.
“Orders!? Didn’t you hear me? I said everyone but us is DEAD!”
“Your orders stand.”
This time we knew we were truly abandoned and our faith finally died. There was no escaping reality. We will die at point defense.