Fierce and brutal was the fighting between the armies of Allem Raush and Killia. The north became a wasteland of human misery, and the Killian capital, Daufor, was now the bloody epicenter of the war. The Killians were ruthless in their defense of Daufor, going so far as holding their own citizens hostage. Regardless, the soldiers of Allem Raush (the Reds as we called them) fought valiantly and crumbled the black wall of oppression that was Killia. There was nothing left to destroy, nothing left to take, when the Red Empire had claimed victory over the capital. There was only desolation and a sea of blood left as a parting gift from the Killians. Never had the soldiers of Allem Raush fought such a tenacious foe, but it was certainly a beast worth slaying.
Though the Reds had taken Daufor, there was still much war to be fought.
Several weeks after the 7th Division had passed through Camp 636, I began hearing far-off explosions in the night. They came from the south, from the cape. Each night they grew closer, and they seemed to cause a sort of delirium among the prisoners. Conversations buzzed about how we were to be liberated soon, but I was not so sure. The Killians never lost, at least in the long run.
The air of the camp had changed. I hardly ever saw the warden (not that I saw him regularly in the first place, but it was now much less often that I saw him). In fact, no one usually saw him unless it was Sunday, execution day. The beatings and executions became more brutal, and the guards tightened their grasp of authority. The camp personnel in general seemed to be on edge. There were always people scurrying about to and from the warden’s office and the communications room. There would even be the occasional occurrence of catching fear in a guard’s eyes. Something was up; something big that they didn’t want us to know about.
After four nights of the hearing the explosions, the camp’s own battalion of 700 was sent down to the cape. A few nights later they returned with only about 100 men left. The next day, the warden addressed the camp population in the Middle Yard. He stated that Lord Forlaud had ordered the evacuation of all southern concentration camps. We were to march into the Midland, where we would be put in larger, more expansive camps.
“We will march in the morning before sunrise,” barked the warden with his abrasive voice.
That night, I lie awake in my bunk, staring at the ceiling. I overheard several prisoners whispering about an escape plan. I looked over and contemplated joining them.
Ah what the hell. It’s either now or-
BOOM… BOOM… BOOM!
The ground shook and threw me off my bunk. I looked up at my circular window and only saw smoke and fire.
What the hell is going on?!
I heard a loud battle cry followed by gunfire. Bullets peppered the barracks, breaking a few windows here and there. People were yelling, screaming, shooting, shouting; it was all too much for my mind to comprehend.
“The gate! Defend the gate!” I heard someone shout. There was more shooting, and a few more explosions. I heard a mass of bodies throw themselves against the metal wall of the barracks. I looked up again through the window and saw a flag; a blue flag!
The shooting stopped shortly thereafter, and there was now just the murmur of orders being given. Someone turned the screeching handle of the barracks door and slid it open. There was a tall masculine figure clad in royal blue armor, his face covered in dirt and blood. He commanded us to come out, and slowly we walked out into the Middle Yard. There, in the fire-lit night, stood a tired mass of soldiers, all clad in blue. Their flag hung above them, embossed with the initials T.J.S.
Some of the prisoners ran and embraced the soldiers, while others sunk to the ground and wept. I simply stood, dumbfounded.
The General approached me and put a hand on my shoulder.
“Welcome back, soldier. It’s been a rough fight, but you’re safe now.”
I could hardly speak. Only one question came to mind, “Where is General Hau?”
He drew a heavy sigh, “General Hau has passed. He was mortally wounded a few months ago, and he was hospitalized until his death. His forces have now been pooled with mine, and I have initiated a liberty march through the Southland. With Allem Raush fighting in the Northland, we can now liberate Te Jaan Song of the Killian menace.”
“Don’t worry about it for now. You and the rest of your comrades will be taken to the island provinces for recuperation. The end of the war is near.”