Kalen Series

When war arrives at your home, no one is unaffected by the devastation. Death is a unavoidable, and when it comes early, it's a tragedy. These are the things that we learn to survive, avoid death and everything that causes it. It's what keeps us human. However, as a Red Cloak, one must learn to accept both, and cast aside their humanity, in order to cling to what remains of their life.

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5. Fellowship

There were bullets and lasers flying everywhere.  He Kalen was starting to put their heels in the ground, and the Red Cloaks were finding it difficult to push through.  Elites were making charges, and Maddie’s SMG wasn’t doing enough to stop them; the ones making it to the Red Cloak line did considerable damage.  Then, Maddie saw it.  A grunt, carrying a gun almost its own size, and it was pointing right at her.  There was no time to react. 

A large laser blasted through the air, headed straight for her.  She closed her eyes and waited for death to come.  “Maddie!” Derrick shouted, as he tackled her.   Her eyes were wide, then she hugged Derrick. “Oh thank God, Derrick, thank you” He nodded with a stern face “No time, let’s go”

***

The Red Cloaks weren’t moving an inch, but they needed more ground.  They were slowly losing soldiers one by one.  It was painful to watch.  Carla, Troy, Jessica, and a few other Red Cloaks were pinned behind some wreckage.

Mason watched as another soldier was shot straight through her chest.  She screeched in pain and a second later, another laser drilled through her head and she fell to the ground.

Jessica was providing covering fire, but shots were being fired at her.  She was grunting at the shots that hit her arms, legs and chest.  Blood was streaming down the spots where she was shot.

Finally, one shot on the kneecap brought her to the ground, and one got close to raise a gun to her head.

BANG!

The Kalen was thrown off its feet by Troy’s shot gun.  Another rounded the corner, which Troy immediately punched. Even Mason, standing several meters away could hear a blood-chilling crunch as it was thrown back.

Jessica hugged Troy tight, thanking him.  Troy soon looked over to Mason “We need to retreat, now!”

Mason shook his head. “Get Jessica to Joe, he’ll patch her up, find Mitchell when you drop her off.”  Troy looked unconvinced, but wasn’t going to question him.  Troy picked up Jessica bridal style and ran her back.

Finally, Mason looked over to Carla.  “I need you to sneak around the Kalen line and plant these explosive behind them.  She nodded, and went off. 

Mason took a moment to mentally prepare himself.  HE felt the DMG, his adrenaline was pumping, he had to get to the Kalen line.  Drawing out his sword, and charged the line alone.

***

“Mitchell”

“…”

“Mitchel!!!”

“…”

MITCHELL!!!

“Gah!”

Troy looked slightly frantic “C’mon, you have to get up.  Let’s go!”  Mitchells head hurt so much, all he remembers is a large piece of metal blasting toward him, and everything went black.  Troy offered his hand to help him up, which he accepted.  Troy immediately took his shoulder and helped him walk over to Joe.

“God, you too Mitchell?” Joe looked desperately.  He was treating David, who was bleeding from his right arm, and his leg was bent in an odd shape.  Sarah was holding out her bow, ready to shoot any Kalen that got near the wounded.

David soon said “What happened to you?” Mitchell explained how some barrel exploded and knocked him out.  He can’t see straight.  David nodded and said “you probably have a concussion.  I was overpowered by one of those Elites.  I would’ve been dead if it weren’t for Sarah” He turns over o her “Thanks by the way” She silently nods and continues to Survey the area.

Mitchell sees Jessica, she’s bandaged almost everywhere, and fading in and out of consciousness.  It was clear that she wasn’t in too much pain, it was just that she was losing too much blood to keep her head up.  He can see the blood-stained gauzes, the burnt edges of places where she was hit.  She tried to wave hello or make some form of greeting when she saw Mitchell, but she passed out again.

“This is bad” says Joe “We can’t move up, but we still need a bit more ground to effectively pull a safe retreat.” 

Joe finishes bandaging David and works on Mitchell.  Joe feels around for blood coming from his head, which he finds, and wraps bandages around him.  “It looks bad, but you’ll be fine” he reassured.  Troy looked over to him “I need to go join the front. Sarah squints off into the distance and seems to be in a state of disbelief.

“That might not be necessary”

***

Most people barely saw him.  He was just a flash of red.  There was roughly 20 meters in between the two battle lines, and he got there in a few seconds.  The Kalen tried shooting him, but he either dodged them, or simply passed them by.  He leaped almost an entire meter and had his sword land on the first Elite he saw, electrocuting it to a crisp.

Mason jumped off as soon as the grunts tried to react.  He sliced heads off inhumanly fast.  Some Kalen didn’t even notice him before it was too late.

Grunt after grunt fell trying to fight him.  He cut through them like butter.  Sparks flew from his sword, it was a dance of death.  The look on him changed from stoic to fiery.  It didn’t take long for the grunts to lose heart, but four Elites surrounded him, ready to end his onslaught.

The first brought its swords down upon him.  He raised up to block it.  In less than a second, another Elite charged.  Mason crushed the leg of the first Elite, causing the lock to break, and the Elite to fall to the ground, howling.  He brought his now free sword and sidestepped the charging Elite, holding his sword out to skewer it; he then electrocuted it to death. 

The other two Elites met him at once, four swords trying to break through to him.  None did.  He parried with flawless precision.  Then, suddenly, he broke the attack, throwing his sword into the air.  As soon as that happened, he pulled out his revolvers, placing a bullet firmly into the heads of both.  The sword then fell, falling onto the Elite on the ground, killing it.

The grunts, having witnessed their masters be brutally killed in less than 30 seconds, tuned and fled.  The line soon wavered, and routed.  The Red Cloaks let out a triumphant cheer.  Mason smirked triumphantly, but he soon remembered what he was planning when he saw Carla.  “Carla, now!!!”  She detonated the stacks of C4, sending even more Kalen flying through the air.

Mason then raised his gun and fired a purple flare into the sky, signaling the “retreat” The remaining Red Cloaks turned and fled, carrying their wounded comrades with him.  Despite the unexpected resistance, they still had a good chance of winning if the Kalen took the bait.  Mason took his time going back, making sure to pick up the dog tags left behind.

***

“They did what!?!?!?”

“It was the commander, he charged us, we couldn’t shoot him, we couldn’t fight him, not even the Elites-“

“Mason is a human.  You let a single measly human break an entire army, and then have that army completely obliterated by explosives behind you? This is unacceptable, no, more than unacceptable, shameful!”

The terrified officer, still kneeling, tried to slink away, only to have Thaldon grab him, and take a sword to him. “You don’t deserve to live! Die!”

Another bloody mess was left on the floor.  He stomped to his throne and looked over to one of the scouts reporting with the officer. “Where are they now”

The scout timidly spoke “They’re retreating, that was the good news”

Thaldon stood up and roared “NO IT’S NOT!!!  I need them all dead! Chase them down, and don’t let them escape!”

He turned to one of his group of High Elites.  “Go hunt them down, and kill all of them.  Chase them out Boston District, and get me a Squad Leader, and Mason, I’ll make that disgusting worm wish he was never born on the puny rock” The High Elite nodded and left without another word.

***

When the Red Cloaks got back to the bridge, the Kalen were less than 5 minutes away.  Mitchell saw what the Kalen did to them.  Squad 7 had almost all dead or wounded.  Squad 5 took considerable damage too.  He noticed Jaylen, helping 2 wounded soldiers, one on each shoulder, to the medics.  Jessica was still heavily injured.  He still found it hard to stay upright.  Mason soon walked over to him.

“Mitchell, can you still fight?”

“Y-Yeah, I think so.” Mason looked at him, and pushed him a little.  Mitchell tried his best to keep balance, but ultimately landed on his bottom.

“Like hell you are, go over and keep Jessica company.”  Mason walked off.

When he got to where Jessica was sitting, he sat down, and trly felt the concussion setting in.  He felt like he might throw up, and he was so tired.  He felt like he could pass out at any moment.

Jessica looked like she wanted to punch something.  ‘No doubt she’s salty over being unable to fight’ Mitchell thought.  “You alright?”

“The hell do you think?” she responded a little coldly.

Mitchell smiled a little “It’ll be alright”

“Shut up”

“Alright”

***

Maddie looked at the barricade.  It was made out of a mix of sandbags, barrels, wreckage, and pretty much everything the squads could find.  Derrick put a hand on her shoulder. “You going to be alright?”

She nodded.  But she was scared.  She was afraid she was going to die.  She wants to fight for the Red Cloaks, to help humanity, but she doesn’t want to die pointlessly, or just die in general.

Derrick interrupted her thoughts “It’s okay, I was scared my first mission too” He was practically reading her mind “Being scared is what keeps us human, and the fact that you’re even here is very, very brave of you.  Mom and Dad would be proud.”

She looked over to her big brother, and gave him a hug. He always knew just what to say to make her feel better “You’re the best”

He chuckled a bit “So are you”

***

Mason checked the casualties: 71 dead, 120 wounded.  Nearly half are already down for the count.  He needed to get everything prepared.  “Jaylen, cover the right half of the bridge.”

“Alright, but do you honestly think we can hold back another army?”

Mason said nothing, he just stared at the Red Cloaks making the last preparations for the attack.  Jaylen had a bad feeling when Mason didn’t respond, but he left without another word.

Mason was doing the math.  Armies consisted of roughly 1000 Grunts and 50-75 Elites.  The bridge was 30 meters across, which means that with around 222 soldiers, they could have a few of Red Cloaks per meter to cover, and some to stay back and fill in holes and tend to the wounded, while the enemy would have to play at even numbers.  It was just enough, but it left no room for error.  Mason quickly thought ‘Maybe I could do some last second adjust-’

“Contact!” shouted a soldier. Gunshots could be heard.

‘Too late’

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