403

A backstory to the invading soldiers in John Marsden's popular novel 'Tomorrow, When The War Began' .

My breath began to get caught in my throat, a result of the lack of oxygen. I could hear the soldier behind me wheezing too. Soldier 608, a boy barely 14 years of age, dark skinned and skinny, a uniform and gun that was too big for him and a wild, wild look in his eyes. He wasn't all there, they took away his sanity with his identity when they brainwashed us and forced us to become their mindless slaves.


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1. 403

The crisp air rushed over my skin in cool waves. I stood among my six comrades patrolling the dark streets. Gunshots still rang in my ears, the rebels were still out there somewhere. Three of them, young, late teens, they would not be trained to survive in war conditions. We would capture them in no time. Our leader, 567, lead us round the winding corners of the narrow streets, following the sounds of several pairs of feet hitting Mother Gaea's territory. My breath began to get caught in my throat, a result of the lack of oxygen. I could hear the soldier behind me wheezing too.  Soldier 608, a boy barely 14 years of age, dark skinned and skinny, a uniform and gun that was too big for him and a wild, wild look in his eyes. He wasn’t all there, they took away his sanity with his identity when they brainwashed us and forced us to become their mindless slaves.

 

They spoke of the luxuries Australia held, how they refused to cooperate with us. They told us of Australia's selfishness and sought to wage war on them in hopes of acquiring them. They had won everyone over to their side and thus began scouting. The boys went first "Every fit and healthy young man aged 14 and up, be a man and save your people" , that’s what they said. It had them taking the offer up like moths to flame, so blinded by their egos that they didn’t notice the humility that came with it. Our country was small and sickly, there were not many healthy young men around and so they began to force the females to the camps. They took me from my home. Threw me into a cell and shaved my hair. I spent nights screaming and crying after they took away my identity and left me marked with a number- Soldier 403- my tears had caused them to mutilate the skin of my back and around my ankles and wrists. I was a girl, weak and vulnerable, the painful nights in the cell with only 567 - the cause of my humility, my pain- to keep me company, left me broken but fearless.

 

I was not weak anymore. I ignored the pain in my chest and realised that we had come to a stop. I heard a small bang like the door of a car shutting. 567 gestured to me, I walked toward him stiffly, as I had been taught to at the camp.

"Search the perimeter for them 403" he whispered to me in my ear, harshly yet softly.

"Yes Sir" I replied, in fear of punishment if I did not follow military procedure.

 

I made my way to the forward to a small clutter of sheds, 608 imitating my steps. An uneasy feeling settled in my stomach, I knew something bad was about to happen. A flicker of light and I knew my feelings were not wrong. I started to yell out a warning to my comrades as the light sprinted down a wire.  BANG!

 

An explosion sent me flying through the air like a baseball. I hit the ground hard, screaming as my skin bubbled and burned in the heat. I forced my eyes open against the searing heat. Immediately I was surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colours, they were fading. Fading. I knew I was dying, the white hot pain supplied me that much information. A low moan escaped my lips. I saw the terrified look on a young brown haired girl's face as she ran past me. The look brought my sanity and humanity back to me. Who am I? How old am I? What- what is my name?

 

Melanie. Maria. Minerva.

 

Maea.

 

Maea-Lynn Rayne.

Age 17.

Taken and brainwashed by the government at 13 years of age.

A murderer of innocent people.

 

Maybe now I can repay for my sins in hell and die knowing that this is what I deserve.

 

I see the light. I see it now and its beautiful. I am drifting. Fading. Toward th-

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this :) Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated and always welcome :)

-Clockwork Time Traveller

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