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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4. Sign of Resistance

“So” Mason began, his team, Derrick, Jaylen, and the rest of the squad leaders surrounding the table of what’s left of Free America “Like it or not, we can’t go and let this mission fail for the sake of failing, like the other absurd missions.  We need to actually devise a plan to take roughly 60 square kilometers of land.”

Carla soon said “Mason, the government is trying to get rid of us-“Mason interrupted her “Don’t you think I know that.  The president doesn’t believe that fighting back is worth the risk.  We need to do this or get destroyed trying.”

Everyone seemed a little shaken by this.  The task was virtually impossible to accomplish, yet their commander is saying it has to be done.  Mason could read their thoughts like an open book.  “If we can do this, than the government hopefully will back us in future missions and invest more into getting more trainees”

Jaylen seemed less than convinced “Is it really worth it if we are jeopardizing the future of the Red Cloaks?  Should we not take less drastic steps to get the same result?”

Mason turned to him and said “Let me be frank here, it’s not worth the risk.” Everyone stilled around him “However, we don’t have the time to do so.  The government isn’t going to let up unless we prove to them that we can accomplish something.  Furthermore, the government isn’t all we have to worry about.” Everyone seemed surprised.  They didn’t think of the Kalen attacks. 

“The Kalen haven’t been attacking much at all, which means that either we’ve beaten their hordes of men badly enough that they can’t mount an offensive, which I doubt, or, the Kalen are building up forces so they can attack with force even the National Defense can’t stop.”

“Free America is on its last limb here.  If the AA gun is destroyed, we’re done.  If the president is killed, we’re done.  If we lose one of our last 5 Districts, we’re done. We need to strike at them so they will be sent reeling.  We can get more soldiers, and repeat the process with the government’s money, power, and full support.”

Carla spoke “How likely are we to succeed on this mission” Mason paused for a minute before he said “If I were to give a percentage… around 10-20%” Everyone seemed a little disheartened at that. But they knew their duty, and they knew the situation.  Soon, Derrick smiled and said “I like those odds, what’s the plan?”

Mason explained his plan.  There was a large river between the northern and southern half of the Boston District. They will be invading from the southern side.  If they are able to take all of the southern side, they will put all of their mines into the water, and blow up all but one bridge, stopping the Kalen from advancing through the river. 

If they do that, then they will wait for the Kalen to attack them.  The will be protecting the bridge and defeat the attacking force, they will then proceed to attack the northern half, with most of the enemy being destroyed after their failed attack.  If everything goes according to plan, we should meet minimal resistance. For both the southern half and northern half, the only tough part will be defending the bridge, which all the Red Cloaks will be there at one spot to fight them.

“What if the Kalen don’t fight us?” Mitchell put in.  Considering the Kalen know the fighting capabilities of the Red Cloaks, they would probably avoid a head on fight if their numbers meant nothing in the battle.

Mason smirked “Yeah, it took me a while to figure out that, but I have a way for them to.  The Kalen know that our retreat flare color is purple.  If we act like we are going to fight them at the northern half, but then turn tail to the bridge and fire the purple flare, they will attempt to chase us down. If we set up a barricade at the base of the bridge, then we will also catch them off guard too.  This is the best plan that I’ve had.”

“I think it’s the best plan we’ll ever have” said Jaylen “I think we should do it.  Mason nodded and said “Alright everyone, you know the deal, vote for who wants it to go through, we need a majority vote to pass, all in favor?” All 8 hands were raised.  Mason started handing out papers “Alright, everyone prepare your squads, here are the field operatives, we leave for Boston in one week.”

***

Mason walks over to Joe, who is causing sparks to fly from his workshop table.  “What’re you making, Joe?” Joe shushes him as he presses a sword on a grinding wheel, sharpening it well.

“I have a close quarters weapon for you”

Mason smirks “seems a little medieval if you ask me”

Joe chuckled, I did some work to make it look picture perfect, but that’s not even the best part.  I learned to imitate the Elite’s electricity bursts from its sword.” Mason looked at the sword “So what does that mean?”

Joe took the sword, pressed the button that’s on it, and swung it at the dummy.  Suddenly, electricity started flowing throughout the entire dummy.  After he let it go, the dummy was fried, Joe said “It takes less than a second, for lethal amounts of electricity to flow through a Kalen.” Mason smiled. “Thanks”

***

There was a steady bumping at dawn on the transport truck they were in.  In the back sat one team each, making about 70 trucks to carry the 433 Red Cloaks.  Team Mason sat on a truck as they slowly went through a town full of people cheering.  They supported them. “It’s not genuine” Mason says “They heard about our mission, and are hopeful, but as soon as we come back, failure means the conservatives talk about how much of a waste of tax money we are, and the public is booing us.  Of course, if we succeed, then we will be cheered by everyone”

“Kick their asses for us Commander Mason!”  “Get those Kalen out of our land!”  “Save us, Red Cloaks”.  Troy and Maddie smiles a bit at these shouts.  Joe and Jessica seemed unchanged.  Carla simply rolls her eyes a bit.  Mason seemed to be agitated by these comments.  ‘He must’ve heard this so many times before, and knows what’s going to happen if we fail.’ Mitchell thought

As they approached the border, fear seized Mitchell.  The team’s breath is pushing steam through the air, and he sees, that everyone, but the experienced soldiers, have shaky breaths, nervous eyes, and a sense of dread emanating from them.  They disembark from their vehicles after they get to the National Defense checkpoint.  The guards, clad in their blue uniforms, allow them past.  This was the point of no return; they would be in Kalen territory.

Mason waited for everyone to get into position; he looked out into the foggy sky. ‘It really is a shame’ Mason thought ‘How much blood will be shed’ He closes his eyes to feel the breeze on his face, it ruffles his hair.

“Squad 3 is in position” Joe says, listening to the radio.  “I think that’s all of them, no one has been discovered yet to my understanding” Mason nodded “Start the countdown”

Joe says to the radio “Everyone the countdown is beginning, Squad Leaders, prepare your signal flares.”

“10” Mason loads his flare.

“9” Maddie takes a final scan of the area.

“8” The anticipation builds within Mitchell.

“7” Carla puts the silencers on her pistols.

“6” Troy fastens his cloak.

“5”Jessica kisses Troy on the cheek and whispers “Good Luck”

“4” Mason draws his sword.

“3” Mitchell holds his breath.

“2” Mason raises his flare gun.

“1” …

BANG!!!

***

8 flares were fired almost simultaneously.  A wave of Red floods out of the trees.  An unholy battle cry was heard. Gunshots were heard everywhere.  Almost all of the Kalen fled on the spot.  Everything was going according to plan.  Everyone was performing perfectly, each person ducking at the right time for their comrade to fire a shot.

The timing was perfect.  The Kalen were in disarray.  The first time Mitchell saw the Kalen, he was a little unnerved.  They were not particularly ugly, but their black claws, dark green scales, and slanted orange eyes were particularly frightening. 

Three Elites, clad in a chrome-like armor, were desperately trying to get the Grunts to stop running and give orders.  Mitchell wasn’t allowing any of that. 

Suddenly, he saw the world slow down around him ‘This is so fucking cool!!!’ Mitchell thought.  ‘Shit… focus’ He surveyed the area.  Many Grunts were running, but some were I fact rallying.  They are all trying to listen to those three Elites.  ‘I need to hit all three.’ He thinks.

Mitchell raised his sniper and aimed down the scope.

BANG!

Greenish blood spurt from one of the Elite.  One down.

BANG!

The other is thrown back by the sheer force of the bullet.  It doesn’t get up. Two down.

BANG!

The last Elite stands there for what seems like a solid minute, before it collapses onto the blood stained grass.

Things start to speed up once again as Mitchell notices that his shots have completely routed the Kalen in the area.  Mason looks at Mitchell and smirks, before he looks over to a soldier “Casualty report”

He smiles and says “Only two dead and five wounded, sir, we should press the attack” Mason nods and loads the next flare before firing it into the air.

Another charge begins.  The grunts charge into the Red Cloaks, with the Elites shouting orders left and right.  Carla was sneaking to the side of the clash, shooting down any Kalen she can see, Troy was crushing skulls with his sledgehammer and delivering uppercuts sending Kalen meters into the air.  Maddie was spraying bullets into the line of Kalen.  Mitchell was picking off Elites behind the front lines.  Mason, sword in hand, was electrocuting every Kalen he slashed at; he was a blur of red and black.

The Red Cloaks were like a well-oiled machine.  No grunt got to them effectively, and there were simply too few in the area to push past the waves of bullets and attacks.  A laser pierced the chest of an unfortunate Red Cloak, and Joe was immediately there, trying to tend to his wounds.

As soon as they started fleeing this time, Mason wasted no time, and fired another green flare.  There was no stopping them, not this time.

***

“Lord… Lord Thaldon…”

“Yes?”

A lone Kalen kneels before the king of the race.  Unfortunately for both of them, he needs to tell his king of the Red Cloak attack.  “It… It appears that, the Red Cloaks have attacked again. 

Lord Thaldon’s face darkens. “Where” The Kalen takes a deep breath “The Boston District.  They… They just took half of it.”

Thaldon stands up and yells “Why am I being informed of this now” The Kalen, still kneeling, trembles

“They ambushed us, and they… they killed everyone in their path.  We were caught off guard. We-” The soldier had no time to finish his thought as Thaldon plunged a sword into his neck.  The soldier dropped to the ground with a thud.  Thaldon looked viciously at one of his officers.

Stop them from taking Boston District, or I’ll kill you, too!”

He glared over at a grunt “Clean up this mess” and he walks back to his throne.  Soon he settles down and says to one of his High Elites “If they take the Boston District then it will set Operation Crushing Blow back for months.  I will not have that.”

He stares off into space a bit.  “These Red Cloaks have been avoiding my grasp for too long.  What we need is a prisoner of war, close to Mason.  But it can’t be him; I’ve gone face to face with him.  He’s not like other humans, he’s a little like me.  For the benefit of his people, he’d be willing to stain his hands with blood.  I need… A squad leader.  Get me a squad leader.” The officer nodded “Yes Lord Thaldon” and with that it left.

They reached the bridge.  Thank God.  After they officially took half of the land, they blew up every bridge except one.  Then, they laid mines throughout the water.

 The unfortunate first few Kalen that tried to ford the rivers were blown to bits.  A defensive barricade was set up across the bridge.  Mitchell assessed the situation.  Squad 8 had the most casualties.  They should stay to protect the barricade with another squad, while the rest initiated the plan.

“Commander Mason, I have an idea” Mitchell said, and discussed his plans for the two Squads to stay back, so they can be ready for the counter attack.

David, Sarah, Maddie, and Troy were standing near the rail of the bridge “We did it!” Maddie jumped a little.  Their first mission was going perfectly. 

Sarah spoke up “Not yet, we still have to press forward, feign our retreat, and hold that bridge.  If you ask me, that was just the easy part.” 

David nodded in agreement.  “This is a good start, but there’s still too much to say that we have this in the bag.”

Joe sprinted over to Mason.  He panted out “Everyone’s in position, we should continue the plan before the Kalen meet us here.  Mason nodded, and said “Tell Squads 2 and 8 to stay behind.  They will guard the bridge while we move forward.

A few minutes later, everyone was in position.  The other Squads were at the front of the bridge, ready to charge.  Slowly, Mason raised his flare gun, and fired, sending another green flare flying through the sky.  Part 2 has begun.

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