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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6. Holding Back the Gates of Hell

The Kalen charged the bridge.  The first wave of Kalen was met with practically a wall of bullets, killing or wounding all in the front line.  The High Elite was in the back giving orders to Elites, who in turn gave orders to the grunts.  The grunts ran toward the barricade, losing more soldiers, than they could make progress. 

The High Elite took notice, and told them to take cover, and turn it into a shootout.  He will wait them out.  They will not escape his grasp.  Thaldon will be pleased with his results.

***

Troy pressed against a few sandbags as the Kalen returned fire.  His shotgun wasn’t as effective as he would like it to be, but it sprayed bullets at them, so at least the Kalen had to take cover.  Suddenly, a grenade flew over his head, landing at his feet.  He quickly threw a sandbag over it and stepped on it.  He held his breath.

THUMP!

‘Thank God, he thought’

Jaylen ran over and caught sight of Troy.  Troy’s eyes widened as he pointed a gun straight at him.  He was just about to raise his shotgun when Jaylen yelled “Duck”.  Troy dropped to the ground as a Kalen, about to shoot Troy felt a bullet run through its chest.  Troy understood then, and nodded to Jaylen in thanks.

“Get over and get Joe, we need his crazy engineer shit” Troy swiftly ran towards where Joe was.

***

Troy sprinted to the medic bay, and yelled “No more time to play doctor! We need you” Joe seemed a little surprised, he wasn’t to be used unless there was real trouble.  However, he stil needed someone here to tend to the wounded, and make sure they don’t get any further injuries.

“Got it, just, keep an eye on the injured here”

With that he raced to the barricade.  He took some tiny boxes and threw them across the remains of what cover they had.  He pulled out a button, and quickly pressed it.  The boxes started arranging themselves into turrets, and began to mow down lines of Kalen.  Joe could hear the sighs of relief coming from the exhausted soldiers.

***

“Hold!” Mason shouted.  The Red Cloaks could barely put up a weapon to fire under this intense barrage of lasers.  One by one the turrets Joe placed were being destroyed. The barricade would not last forever.  Not even he could get to the line without being riddled with laser wounds. He fired more shots from his revolver, killing 3 more Kalen. 5 more took their place.

Another scream of agony.  Another body falls.  Another tear falls from a friend.  It kept happening.  Over and over again.  Kalen after Kalen fell, only to have them be replaced by others.  Mason looked across the bridge.  There was only about 120 still fighting.  Carla grunted in pain next to him as a laser skimmed her arm.

“Mason.  We can’t keep doing this.  We should blow the bridge and pull out while we can.  The line isn’t going to hold.” She pleaded.

Then, they heard something from the Kalen line “CHARGE” When they peered their heads up, they saw all the Elites charging down the bridge.  The High Elite lost its patience, Mason’s blood ran cold.

***

Half of the Elites didn’t make it to the barricade, but that didn’t matter.  Red Cloaks were desperately in melee combat with highly trained killers, and what’s worse, the grunts haven’t stopped firing at the line.

Maddie fired into a two Elites, killing one, but the other turned in time to see it coming. The Elite quickly ran towards her.  Maddie fired at it, but with every shot, it ducked and dodged.

 Suddenly she heard a click from her gun, giving the indication that she was out of bullets.  She pulled out her knife as the Elite’s blade descended on her, causing the knife to fly out of her hand and send her to the ground, but saving her from a mortal wound. The breath was knocked out of her and she felt a sharp pain from her knee as it smashed into the barricade near her.

She crawled over to her knife reaching to get it, but the Elite strolled over to her and gave a sharp kick to her stomach, sending her rolling a few feet. The Elite brought its sword up to finish her.

BANG!

The Elite screamed as it dropped one of its swords.  Derrick rushed over to bring a machete to its head.  The Elite quickly blocked it with its other.

Derrick was parrying with an Elite using his machete.  Despite having lost use of its left arm, the Elite still held its own. Sparks of electricity flew from contact. Derrick was losing ground, and his back was nearly against the barricade.

A sharp pain came from the Elite’s leg; it looked over to see Maddie, still heavily injured, with her knife in its calf.  Before it could react, Derrick cut its head clean off with a single swipe of his blade.

It fell limply to the ground blood draining out of it.  Derrick helped Maddie up.  “Can you walk?”

“Not well, what should I do?”

“I want you to get yourself to the medics.  I need to go help support the line.” Maddie wanted to go with him, but he cut her off “You’ll only get yourself even more hurt if you’re like that, just go to the medic, we’ll talk later” with that he ran off.

***

It took Maddie a few minutes to drag herself to the medics.  When Maddie arrived at the bay, she saw Mitchell, Jessica, David, and Troy.  Troy was the only uninjured one of them.  “Guys!” Troy quickly saw her and rushed over to her, helping her down to sit with the others.

“Alright guys, I want you to-”

“TROY!”

An Elite jumped from a blind corner and nearly drove the sword into his neck, but Troy’s reflexes allowed him to take his sledgehammer and block it.  The Elite followed with a kick to the gut, knocking Troy back.  The Elite swiped his sword at Jessica, who caught the sword, ignoring the pain.  However, the electricity soon kicked in, and she was screaming, trying to hold it in order to hold the Elite back.

Mitchell took his combat knife and grabbed the Elite’s arm.  The Elite snarled to raise its other sword at him, but Mitchell already cut the hand of it off.  Jessica dropped the sword, shaking involuntarily, unconscious.  Troy then capitalized that moment and tackled the Elite, knocking the sword away.

The two tussled along the grassy field.  The two exchanged blows, and slowly the Kalen started to lose to the blond haired boy.  Every punch delivered too much momentum that not even an elite could stand under its punches.

Troy could feel the GMD having it’s effect.  His hand felt more akin to a club that he was using to batter the elite with.  He felt bones crack from his blows, but only one thing was on his mind.

‘FUCK YOU!!! DIE!!! NO ONE WILL HURT HER ANYMORE!!!’

Finally the Elite went limp, and Troy grabbed his hammer and brought it on its head,  causing the mess to splatter everywhere.  He immediately ran to Jessica to check her pulse.  He felt the steady up and down beat on his fingertips.  He then held her tight, thanking the world that she was alright.

***

The High Elite is a position of nobility.  It was meant to show that this Elite was the best of the best, and therefore had the position of leading armies and being the royal guard of Thaldon himself.   This Elite’s name was Khan.  He is the best military leader and soldier in the Kalen armies, making him effectively Thaldon’s right hand man.

As yet another Red Cloak fell under his cruel sword, gargling blood as it spasmed from the residual effects of the electricity, he spotted what appeared to be location of which the Red Cloaks kept their wounded.  Perfect.

He strode towards a couple of wounded soldiers, but one, tall, well-built, short blond hair stood up, standing protectively over what appeared to be his friends.  How cute.  He had a sledgehammer in hand, and was taking a fighting stance.  Well, if he wants to die so badly, who was he to refuse?

The boy charged, and swung his hammer down at Khan, which he aptly dodged.  He then took his hammer and wrenched it out of the soldier’s hand. He raised his fists.  Was this guy serious? He threw a powerful punch to the gut, and he made contact.  To Khan’s surprise, he threw him off his feet, with his hands feeling like balls of iron as it swung into him.  The boy quickly tried to throw a punch to his face, which would surely knock him unconscious, however, Khan moved out of the way just in time.

Khan saw a blinking red coming from his hand.  A GMD!  This must be a member of Mason’s squad.  Perfect, he can find Mason, and take him away.  Khan quickly got up while the boy was still down and took his arm behind him causing cries of pain from him. “You’re from Mason’s group aren’t you? Where is he?”

The boy defiantly remained silent, or at least didn’t speak.  Khan made sure he was screaming as he twisted his arm back even further.  “Maybe I could convince you another way…” He took out a gun from his pocket and pointed it at his friends. “Tell me now or I kill one of them.” The boy had a horrified look on his face.  “When he pointed it directly at the blond girl, he struggled even more.  “Ah, so is this more than just a friend?”

“You… You bastard…”

“Tell me where Mason is!”

“Fuck you!”

“WHERE IS MASON!”

“Right behind you…” An angry, familiar voice called from his back side.

***

Khan dropped Troy happily, who fell to the ground, clutching his arm.  Mason continued to stare at his with a look of killer determination.  Khan suddenly charged Mason, and the two clashed.  Sparks flew whenever the two made contact. They were a blur, Red and Black flying into shining gold.

Mason brought his sword wherever Khan swung his.  Metal clashed and Khan could not slip passed his parrying.  Finally, out of frustration, Khan kicked him in the gut, which Mason didn’t see coming.  He tumbled before a split second before regaining balance, but that was all Khan needed. He brought both of his swords on his, causing a lock.

Gravity was working against Mason.  He knew he couldn’t overpower Khan.  He was one of the best warriors in the entire race.  His cruel voice interrupted his thoughts.

“How does it feel to be the prey?” He snarled smugly as he pressed his swords harder onto Mason, making it all the more difficult to keep the swords from touching him.  Mason kneeled to get more space. “How does it feel to be fighting a war that is impossible to win, to have everyone you know and love die, to keep fighting for them, even though in the back of your mind it was all for naught.” Mason just looked at him, he knew this wasn’t going to last long. “Operation Crushing blow is almost upon you, and you bugs will finally be eradicated from this planet, the best part is, there is nothing you can do to stop it.”

Finally, Mason yelled “CARLA, SARAH, NOW!!!”  The two girls came out of seemingly nowhere.  Khan roared with frustration as he broke the lock. Mason dashed back, and pulled out his revolvers.  The three had him on all sides.

Time slowed down as the three fired at Khan.  He dashed toward Sarah.  She aimed a shot, and fired, but in a panic, did not aim well enough for a kill shot.  Khan roared in pain as his arm was skewered by the arrow, but kept running.

There was absolutely no time for Sarah to react as she was impaled by Khan’s sword.  Electricity shot through her, and she screamed in pain.

“Sarah!” David yelled.  He desperately tried to stand up, but his broken ribs immediately made him buckle over. “Argh… no… Sarah!” he started crawling towards her.

Mason already was upon Khan by the time Khan pulled his sword out, making Sarah fall limply to the ground.  Mason furiously attacked, this time driving Khan back. Khan couldn’t block Mason well with only one useful arm, and he feared for the worst.  Finally, the two broke off. 

An Elite arrived at the scene and yelled “We have one! The Red Cloaks are surrounded, only about sixty still fighting, but almost all the Elites are dead!”

Khan smiled and yelled “I’ll leave you for the grunts!” as he quickly ran off, Mason futilely trying to shoot his revolver at him until he was out of sight. 

“Is… is Sarah alright?” David continued to crawl to her, still several meters away. Mason checked Sarah’s pulse.  He regretfully took her dog tag as he closed his eyes and turned away from the boy with jet black hair.  Tears formed around David as he bit his lip.

Suddenly, planes flew through the sky, colored white. “The cavalry has arrived!” yelled Joe as he stumbled to Mason, riddled with cuts and bruises. 

Several helicopters landed as teams of National Defense, clad in their blue uniforms, got out with the commander.  Bombers filled the sky as the remains of the Kalen retreated.  The National Defense immediately gave chase to them.

The commander of the National Defense was Commander Philip Hutchinson.  He is a confident leader, but lacks battle experience.  To put it bluntly, he hasn’t seen someone murdered right in front of him.  He is competent, but not battle tested.

“Commander Lagner” he reached out his hand to shake Mason’s hand who accepted it.

“Commander Hutchinson, what are you doing here?” Mason looked quite peeved, but was grateful nonetheless.

Hutchinson turned to Joe “Your friend over here contacted us on the radio.  We didn’t think you would make so much progress, so we decided to help you out if it meant taking Boston back.” Mason simply nodded and gave a look to Joe.

“Don’t look at me like that, I just saved our asses!” Mason simply looked back to Commander Hutchinson.

“Thank you for the help, we’ll get our wounded back and check for casualties.” Mason then turned around and walked back to what remained of his men.

***

“Khan is back? Send him in.” The grunts quickly brought in Khan, who strode in a little frightened. “Did you do it?”

“No, sir, but we inflicted heavy casualties.  The Red Cloaks survived” Thaldon smashed his fist on the throne.

“Khan you are testing my patience with your failures”

“I wouldn’t call it a complete failure, my lord”

“Oh?”

“We have a prisoner.  He’s a squad leader.”

Thaldon smiled at this “You’ve redeemed yourself for now, Khan, bring him in.” The grunts brought in a man, battered and beaten.  Thaldon walked up to him. “And who are you?”  The man spat in his face.  Thaldon smirked as he wiped it off. “Ah, so you’re going to be tough?”

Khan then said “He’s the leader of Squad 3, very close to Mason, comparatively speaking.  His name is Derrick Roberts.”

Thaldon chuckled “well, Derrick, we are going to have some fun, now won’t we?”

Thaldon delivered a powerful punch straight to the face, and Derrick’s vision went black.

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