Author Topic: The Freedom War  (Read 520 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
Re: The Freedom War
« on: March 15, 2018, 12:00:26 pm »
The war drums of the gods beat with their full might as Xander awoke in the morning, each pound upon their mythical instruments louder than the last. Not the light tap of tiny feet as they scurried around, frantic to supplement their needs, or the rush and din of energy only capable after a solid night of slumber, could overcome the sensation of an atmosphere filled with anguish and terror of an individual forced from their livelihood, nonetheless a cluster of them.

A shower. A hot one. That might help.

Xander remembered rigorous rush of water that had resounded distantly last night, a loving embrace he sorely needed and had missed out from as a result of the nights activities. He stumbled down the hall, one hand braced upon an ugly, rose patterned wall, slowly inching closer to the nearest bathroom, each step a herculean labor within itself.

One step up. Both legs in. Turn the knob.

Water, freezing icy water, as if chilled by a hyperborean, beat down upon Xander’s flesh like a roaring waterfall. One hand reached out, turning the shower’s handle. Nothing. No hot water. Crud. But it would have to do, and the powerful cascade served to awaken Xander further.

”Xander, are you up?”

Henry, probably.

A quick shower unfortunately, but not an unwelcome one.  Xander wiped the loose water from his worn body with a rough, peach towel, re-clothed himself, and quickly left the bathroom.

Henry stood at the bottom of the stairs, looking up towards the above floor, his dark eyes still enraptured underneath by thick, veiny bags. A restful sleep was not for all last night, as it would seem.

”We’ve loaded up all the gear. The new guy, the big one…. er…. Atvulf I think? scavenged the rest of the house this morning. We’re good to go; just you and a few others need to finish getting ready. Don’t bother eating, we’ve taken all the food, and I’ve got a ration bar sitting out on the dashboard of the van for you.”

Xander rushed back to his room, far faster than his first flight. His belongings were limited to only a handful of items, and beyond the black, chipped flashlight that he had taken from the van, none were of any note, except perhaps the thick padded jacket he had found in the closet of his room. It was a mature piece, with its edges frayed from wear, and a suspicious stain adorning the right breast pocket, but where the survivors were going, any such protection from the elements might remain useful.

Xander turned back and rushed down the rickety stairs, his feet raising minuscule amounts of dust and loud creaks with each heavy step downward, his hands gliding down the worn, smooth wooden banister, each groove and notch a fairytale. The doorway lay open to the elements, blocking nothing but one’s own imagination. As he exited their temporary abode, he quietly closed the heavy door behind him. No reason not to close the door, perhaps some other travelers might find use for the house in the future.

The van had been moved out to sit quietly in front of the house, with only the din of noisy occupants filling the brisk, morning air. A light breeze flew through the air, not so strong as to cause alarm, but enough to kick up loose topsoil and dust that had begun to coat the windshield of the armored van. Tsubaki stood solemnly in front of Xander, staring upward toward the skies, her eyes never wavering from some imaginary point in the domain above as her newly acquired bright summer dress swam loosely around her stockinged legs.

”COME ON YE TWO, WE LEAVIN’! GET IN THE VAN!”, Atvulf shouted loudly, startlingly, enough to awaken a sleeping hen that had been resting on a weathered wooden post by the barn, and send it squawking away.

A few steps forward and Xander jumped up into the passenger’s side of the armored van, Henry alongside, hands already on the wheel. A quick flick of his wrist as he turned the metal key in the ignition, a sudden jolt, and they were once more driving towards their destination. For a moment just off the farmhouse land, and back on the uneven road, Xander turned his head back towards the temporary abode that had suited them well the previous night. A shame, to leave the house. Futures are rather uncertain.

The group drove mostly in silence as they inched towards the distant evacuation point, Xander occasionally catching snippets of speech from the other survivors whose names escaped him as he quietly consumed his dry, coarse breakfast. It was not until Atvulf began to speak did Xander snap awake from his light, weary nap.

”So, we all headin’ to this evacuation point in the mountains right? What be makin’ this location important for us anyhow?”

Henry responded somewhat mutely. “My commander, Captain Bruse, received orders to pull out of the city and relocate any survivors we had picked up to Lattimer Valley. There’s supposed to be a fully functional DERA camp being built up there.”

”Yea, but that was ages ago dude,” Atvulf began, ”what makes ye think the camp is still functioning?”

Henry took a moment respond. …”I have faith in our government agencies. If they say they’re going to do something, they’re going to do it. We have survivors under our responsibility, and we need to get them there safely as instructed.”

”Hhhhhh”, Atulf snorted quietly, blowing enough air to raise the hairs on Xanders neck. The van lapsed back into peaceful silence, except for the low hum of the engine and the crunch of debris underneath.

”Anyone mind if I turn on the radio?” Henry began to speak a short while later. When no one spoke up, he turned to Xander, and continued. ”Xander, just keep going through the channels. There has to be something on, maybe some information we could use. This silence is getting to me a bit.”

Xander turned the radio on, and began to test the airwaves, looking for a sound, a peep, a whisper. The only thing that the metal box returned was static, lonely, empty, noisy static. It was if a great void had encompassed the world, silencing all the voices that had once graced the invisible waves. No quiet starlet on a moonlight serenade to impress the stars themselves, no traffic announcer warning cars off some infamous highway like it was the forbidden land, no sports analyst listing off stats as he would his own families birthday’s no, no, no.

No sound.

No people.


”Wow… this is depressing, there has to be-wait, what was that?” Henry spoke.

Xander had heard it to, a barely audible word, such that had he not been paying attention, he would have missed it to the wind. He began to hone in on the frequency, a light twist of the nodes until-

”-escape. If you’re in the vicinity of Medona, make your way to east to the clearing, just 30 miles outside of town. We’ll be leaving in an hour. If you want off Hiroikku, now’s your chance.”

Henry stared at Xander. ”Off Hiroikku? They have a ship or something?”

Atvulf had made his way back to the front of the van, and had stuck his head between Henry and Xander obtrusively. ”The f*** did I just hear? Off Hiroikku?”

”Xander was going through the radio channels, and there was a broadcast going on…”

”What dumb*rse is on the radio blatherin’ bout’ some stupid escape? Dem metal heads probs heard that, idiot is super screwed.”


”Dem metal heads are probably able to hear that kind of sh*t. They hit us hard, and they hit us fast. They had to have known where. Stands to reason they got sum’ kind of way to get that info. If they heard that, you can bet they’ll stop anyone from leaving the planet. They easily have the firepower.”

”That’s conspiracy talk, and you know it Atvulf. If there’s a ship out there with room, we might be able to use it to get away from Hiroikku. Sure, we might be able to make it out here for longer than most, but the other survivors? They’re not built for this. Getting them to safety is our top priority. Space seems like the safest place to me. Besides, if they do get attacked, then at least we’ll be there to help them.”

Choice 3 (Strength: ???)
A. Atvulf is right. It’s not worth the risk to go and see what is going on with the mysterious broadcast. It’s too bad if they get hurt, but it’s not our fault.

B. Henry is right. It’s a valid evacuation method, and we need to get the survivors to safety as soon as possible. If they get attacked we can help them to.