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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9. The Warriors

Commander Hutchinson had stationed guards at every window of the building, along with many at the front door.  The soldiers were ordered to kill any Kalen that got near the building.  Gunshots were heard all throughout the ground floor. 

Mason knew the kind of army Khan would lead this time.  They were packed full of demolitions teams, with intention of blowing this building to kingdom come.  They needed to avoid the collapse of the building at all costs if they were to survive.

The building itself is a sturdy one.  It is also 10 stories tall.  However, the Kalen would not stop until it was in shambles.

“Alright, the Kalen are going to try to invade and blow up the ground floor in order to destroy it and collapse the building.  Singleton, how long will it be until your evac teams arrive?”

“About half an hour”

“They’ll most definitely have taken over by then.  Khan isn’t known to be the most patient”

Commander Hutchinson looked perplexed “Why don’t we use your Red Cloaks?”  To this Mason rolled his eyes.

“It doesn’t matter whether or not I use them, manpower is not the problem.  The problem is the fact that we can’t expect any of our soldiers to hold a single floor for a half hour of limitless Kalen invading, it can’t be done.”

Commander Singleton stepped in at this point “What we need is a reason to stop them from blowing this place up.  If we do that, then we’ll have a lot more time, and 10 times the ground to fight on.”

“Thank you Commander”

“So what’ll have them stop fighting?” Mitchell asked a little timidly.

Mason turned to him and raised his eyebrows “That’s an excellent question, what do you think will stop them?”

Mason could tell he knew the answer, but wanted Mitchell to come to the conclusion himself.  He needs to be more comfortable with stating his ideas.  Lord knows that Hutchinson and the president do, and they aren’t half as good as Mitchell’s.

Mitchell turned to Hutchinson “Well, what stops the National Defense from detaining a criminal?”

“Either the risk of losing men unnecessarily or hostage situations”

“Well, since Khan is prepared to lose as many men as possible for this, the only solution would be to capture one of the Kalen, preferably Khan.”

Everyone seemed visually surprised by Mitchell’s thought process; it was impressive to say the least.  Mason smirked “Ant that, is what we need to do.   Joe, how many Red Cloaks are still able to fight”

Joe checked the reports, before responding “since about 100 Red Cloaks were either killed or injured in the fighting beforehand, there are about 300 still ready to fight”

Mason scowled slightly “Alright, that’ll be enough.”

The president interrupted “Mason, you’re not getting priority in reinforcements after this, it’s very high handed of you to think that you can throw the orders around like that and not consider the toll it’ll take.  You’re sending good men and women to their early deaths because you always think you know what’s best.”

Mason felt the near overwhelming urge to punch him right there, instead he responded as calmly as he could “It is unbelievably disrespectful of you to think that I would not give a damn about my men like that.  Putting the fact that you’re too greedy to send more men to our cause is one thing.” The president turned red.

“However, if you dare say, or imply, or even think, that a second goes by my mind without thinking of all the people I sent to death, then you clearly don’t know what it’s like to be a leader.”  The president opened his mouth to respond, but Mason wasn’t done with him yet.

“More importantly, I am prepared to sacrifice anything, including myself, in order to ensure the continued survival of humanity, even if that means trading myself and my men to save someone like you.  I know what I’ve done, and I’ll repay my debts in hell one day, but for now, we’re going through with this plan!”

Mason closed his eyes, and sighed out his anger.  “Now Joe, do you have any ammunition that could incapacitate Khan?”

“I have three sleeper darts, it’s strong enough to even put down a Kalen.”

“Can they be loaded into a gun?”  Joe nodded in response.  Mason then turned to Mitchell “In that case, we’ll need you to shoot him Mitchell, we’ll go and retrieve him.  Squad Leaders, gather your men, Jaylen, get David.  We’ll stay up here”

***

5 minutes have passed.  The building was only half intact at this point.  The guards tried their damnedest, but not even the elite guards could stop wave after wave of Kalen from getting to the building and planting explosives.

The guards were in an even worse condition.  Commander Hutchinson had already lost most of his men, and he feared he would have to fight himself soon.

Hutchinson walked up to one of the squad leaders of the National Defense “Allan, how many of you are still fighting?”

“Not many sir, the perimeter is about to break.  Kalen have about 3 more rooms to go through before they arrive here in the center.”

“Hold this position.  We fight to the last man”

“… Yes, sir”

One by one the guards continued to fall, and every time a position was lost, the Kalen would immediately destroy the pillars supporting the building in that area.  Hutchinson himself was about to start fighting  if the next room was lost.

Suddenly, to the National Defense’s relief, an all familiar war cry came from the staircases.  300 Red Cloaks flooded from the upper floors.  The National Defense cheered as their saviors ran toward the Kalen line.

The front line almost immediately broke at the surprise.  The Red Cloaks were mowing down lines of the enemy as they clashed into the line for hand to hand combat.  The Elites engaged them, putting up a bloody fight, but it was too late, Khan showed himself to join the bloodshed.

Khan had taken the bait.

***

“What does Mason think he’s doing?” Thaldon cackled.  He was throwing his men into an army of Kalen, mostly with Elites armed with explosives.  The Red Cloaks caused considerable damage, but ultimately it was clear they could not keep fighting like they were. 

Derrick watched nervously as the Red Cloak line slowly thinned.  There were only 200 Red Cloaks left, at most.

Thaldon continued to taunt him “Oh look, Khan has decided to step in, can you see Derrick? Can you see him?”

“Fuck you!”

Derrick indeed could see him.  He was triumphantly walking through the Red Cloaks, swiping his swords.  The soldiers that were desperately fighting him couldn’t stop his attacks, and many fell under his sword.

A small dart then flew into Khans arm, who yelped in surprise, but took it out.  Moments later a crossbow bolt with a rope attached to it fired into a post behind Khan.  6 figures then flew down the rope, and dropped themselves next to the High Elite.

Mason’s team had him on all sides, and Khan seemed dizzy, because he wobbled as he drew his swords.

“Maddie!” Derrick exclaimed, as he watched his little sister become the target of Khan’s attacks. Even with only a combat knife however, she was able to block and dodge his sloppy swipes.  Thaldon soon grew in concern.

Carla jumped in front of Maddie, and went on the offensive.  Khan attempted to block her attacks but failed to do so.  Soon she took her chance, disarmed him, and headbutted him.

Khan grabbed his face and stepped back, only to have troy knock him off his feet from behind with his sledgehammer.  Joe immediately rushed over and stuck a needle in him, completely sedating the Elite.

“No!” Thaldon roared.  He watched helplessly as the team began to carry his limp body back to the building.

***

Troy and Joe picked up Khan on the battlefield.  Jessica and Maddie protected them in case Mason and Carla missed anyone who got close.  None of the four seemed to have any problems with that however.

Mason and Carla were a sight to behold.  They needed no communication in order to work in perfect unison.  When swarms of grunts tried to surround them, Mason would grab her, and spin her, while she would immediately fire shots in all directions.  None missed their targets. No one could even see them properly, all the four saw were blurs of the two moving back and forth, bullets and knives flying from the two, not letting a single Kalen near them.

Five Elites immediately charged the two at once. Carla immediately drew two knives and parrying with one.  Mason drew his and charged.  At the right moment, he slid under the Elite’s legs, and impaled it from behind. 

Carla saw as a third raised its swords from behind Mason.  She immediately brought the Elite to its knees, and used it as a Launchpad.  When the Elite saw her, two knives came out of Carla’s boots.  She immediately drove ler leg upward in mid air, driving the knife up the Elite’s jaw, killing it instantly.

The other two Elites standing immediately tried to charge into the fray, only to have Carla turn around and have the knives in her boots shoot out, finding their ways into both of their skulls.

As the last Elite attempted to stand, Mason nonchalantly pulled out his revolver and dispatched him.

“Since when have you had those boot knives?”

“Since Joe designed them for me”

Mason smirked and nodded, the two didn’t have time to talk more, they still needed to protect the team.  Most of the Kalen learned their lesson however.  Without Khan to yell at them, they had no incentive to charge to their deaths in a fruitless attempt to save him.  The team made it back with little problem after that.

The Red Cloaks immediately ran back into the building.  Neither group fought for a while, needing to catch their breath.

***

“NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!”

All Derrick could do while he watched Thaldon throw his temper tantrum is smile.  It earned him a punch in the face seconds later, but it was worth it.

“HOW COULD HE FALL FOR THAT!!!”

“Because all of you are stupid as fuck”

“I CAN KILL YOU ANY TIME I WANT SCUM!”

“Ah yes, but you need me, and now, they are going to get every piece of information out of Khan.”

“He wouldn’t dare say a word”

“Everyone has a breaking point” Derrick lamented.

“…”

“And now you can’t blow up that building, can you?”

“WHY AREN’T THEY ATTACKING!?”

***

Mason and the team burst through the conference room doors, carrying Khan with them.  Commander Singleton smiled in satisfaction.

“That’ll stop them” Hutchinson remarked

Mason acknowledged him “It already did, I need to go downstairs and organize the troops for the attack.  How long will we have to hold?”

“The rescue was delayed, they’ll be another half hour”

“Well isn’t that fucking perfect”

As Mason got ready to leave, the team followed him.  He stopped, and turned around.

“Sorry, I should’ve explained more, you are not coming with me.  I need you guys to keep an eye on Khan.”  Everyone almost immediately protested

“Mason!!!”

“No way!”

“C’mon…”

Carla was not watching over Khan while Mason went to fight “Mason, we need to help in the defense, I’m coming with you.  Just get some of the National Defense to watch him”

“No, I need you guys to watch, I don’t trust anyone else to watch him but you guys.”

“But-”

“Not now Carla, just trust me on this”

No one seemed satisfied, but Mason didn’t care.  He left without another word, leaving them with the other two Commanders.

***

Mason gathered all the troops around him.  He was going to explain his plan before the Kalen burst up to the second floor.

“264 soldiers stand before me.  All of you have one task.  To stop the Kalen from reaching the 10th floor and kill the VIPs up there.  You must be prepared to die for this.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, most of you are probably not going to make it.  However, if we fail this mission, Free America is doomed.  You are what stands in the way of the Kalen and humanity’s survival.  Now, I want the National Defense to be at the second floor, and a Red Cloak Squad on each floor above that.  Protect the stair cases.  Demolish every other one so the Kalen have to alternate between them.  When rescue arrives, everyone go to the top floor.  Dismissed, and God Speed.”

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