Until August 9, 2150, many believed that no organism would desecrate the earth on the scale Homo sapiens had. Species were snuffed out in man’s hunting expeditions, natural jungles, incinerated for the concrete ones he called home. Flora, once green, now yellow leaves blowing across cracked earth long subdued by global warming. These were the hallmarks of man’s reign as the apex predator of planet earth.

When the first cataclysm struck, it vindicated humans of all his past transgressions. Human’s worst sacrilege was like holy sacrament in the lake of putrid poison that followed.

At least humans were repentant. They cleaned the oceans, filtered wastes from land, tried to restore the panda to its past glory. They disarmed nuclear weapons and reached out to one another.

The androids were not concerned with any of this. Theirs was the metal. And oil was only a source of plastic for their bodies. Humans did not cross oceans to actively plot to ruin the world.

August 19, 2150, the machines scarred the planet

It was the day carbon based life form was beaten to a bloody retreat by its silicon progeny with 1000 nuclear warheads scorching the biggest cities of the world. The first 7 Days of the Fusion wars claimed 1 billion fatalities.

The survivors galvanized, a charge for freedom was made to stop such an unprecedented attack being repeated. Humans would not fade silently into the night. They charged to capture the remaining nuclear sites every single radioactive device whether in a research lab or pocket watch was a potential weapon.  Radioactive mines became strategic points of defense.

Human ranks took years to nurture while androids came annually from factories. Suicides were at an all time high some even went back to their shrines to pray to their father in heaven to save them from their children on earth.

If those prayers were heard then Enzo Wik was the personification of the answer. As the leader of the militia, he called the Ghosts of Earth he was Inspiring, risk-taking, and was what they needed at a time they needed it the most. He bolstered morale for the troops, organizing the best settlement there was with strategies rivaled by few. He won back more territory than any general had since the war began.

Now, Enzo faced his hardest challenge. His attack on the Acada center was his biggest yet. In spite its small size and low productivity the base maintained security that rivaled the manufacturing bases. Now he knew why. He’d used a blitzkrieg attack, rushing a large force to gain entry, seize control and leave before reinforcements could arrive, and it was a success.

The exit was where the real crux of the matter came. They were outnumbered five to one and even if less cognitive, the drones that came in hot pursuit more than compensated for any slowness in reaction.

Too late, they realized that the foot hunters charging them from behind were only a decoy. They were cheap, easy to use; expendable. Meanwhile, the blade breakers running ahead from the sides were gaining ground; even moving ahead to block them and have them completely surrounded. They’d already formed a semi circle but their plan was caught on and attacks changed to counter the side runners.

Bullets sprayed out like water from a fireman’s hose. They were down to three tanks but they had taken care of the flanks. The ground beneath the side tank gave in, and it fell into a pit, there was no time to observe the numbers crawling over the comrades like ants onto fresh food.

The two vehicles sped on bullets were now almost fired horizontally as the enemy caught up. The blade breakers took their aim. Heavier shots fired from their anti-tank missiles. The tanks shook from their impact.

Enzo’s head hit the controls as the tanks rear rose from an explosion. It tipped over then tilted to its side landing with a deafening thud. He dashed to the top cover which was now the side. He had to push to pry it open. He was welcomed to the vision of the second tank going up in a ball of flame.  He covered quick enough to prevent debris flying towards him. He pushed it open a second time to be met with a hail of gunfire. He launched an RPG missile before shutting it again.

The explosion was muffled by the sound of machinery moving. Enzo’s held his chest. The force of the explosion had injured it. Nothing felt broken but he couldn’t be sure. They were closing in but it was unlikely they would. The ground shook. Outside erupted in gunfire once more. His radio crackled to life.

“RJ-18 respond!”

He grabbed the radio.

“This is General Enzo, I’m in RJ-18 with the device!”

“Hang tight general, you are beyond the neutral zone we have the numbers we will make the rescue.”

As the radio went off, Enzo heard the sound of metal scratching. They were going to try and pry it open. An explosion went off and the tank shook from the impact.

“Sir you need to make an exit now, support is reaching near you.”

Enzo began to open the top once more. It had tilted and he had to snake his way out. A helicopter had crashed making a second protective wall. As he reached in for the containment unit he saw two troopers approach him he knew one of them: Jason. He noticed his torn jacket and covered it with his arm. Something needed to be done. They couldn’t see. Too late, Jason had approached him to examine if he was injured. Their eyes met. Horror etched on Jason’s face.

Jason examined the wires running through Enzo’s chest. An LED light flickered at the pace of a racing pulse. Another explosion rang through the air.  He went for his radio, “he’s okay! but we need to go now!”

With that, the troops retreated: the humans in success and the androids in loss. They’d fight another day as they always had.  Jason gave Enzo his jacket covering his chest better as the helicopter lifted them. Enzo had to ask, “Have you always known?”

Jason didn’t even look while responding, “some of us always knew but wouldn’t killing you make us like them unable to co-exist with others?”

 

 

 

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