Type: Original Stories
Status: In Progress
In the future, World War III changes everything. The countries cannot trust each other, each country relies on themselves. The United States is no more, driven apart by hunger, loss, and war. The only people alive in North America are citizens of the newly-born country, Deron.
Two hundred years into the future, a fourth World War is looming, daring to destroy the entire world with nuclear destruction, and the President of Deron may be the cause of it. The problem is, nobody knows. Nobody is aware of this. Nobody can stop him. Or can they?
"Soldier Amour." I spoke into the box on the wall. The voice recognition pinged and a loud ringing noise later I was in the Planning Room. Here, all the soldiers and colonels in the building were together, talking in hushed voices.
"Hey, Kaleb," greeted Brer, another soldier. He and I had trained together ever since I graduated school.
"Hi," I took an empty swivel chair and looked around. I could barely see a bare wall; almost every inch was covered in television screens and important looking monitors. The floor wasn't spared either: fancy tables displayed maps, new and old. The swivel chairs were at every table, ready to seat another important person in this important room.
"I've never been in here," I commented, glancing back at Brer.
He shrugged. "Me neither. I don't think any soldiers ever stepped foot in here before."
"Then why are we here?" I asked.
"No idea, dude." Brer shrugged again.
Over the next few minutes we waited as more soldiers trailed into the room. Once all the soldiers had taken a seat and were looking expectantly at the screens on the wall, a man appeared. His hair seemed to be the only thing that showed his age, his skin as appearing as new as mine; a 20 year olds. I recognized him as the President of Deron.
"Greetings, my dear soldiers and colonels. We have gathered here because of a very... special reason."
The president seemed to be being over dramatic, but the silence in the room made me think that what was to happen would be very serious indeed.
"Tonight, I am declaring war on the rest of the world."
Wait, what? I could tell I wasn't the only one completely freaked out by this. I looked at Brer. He seemed more outraged than shocked. He had never really liked war, but his father had died in the army and he felt it was his job to follow in his footsteps.
"Now, I would prefer if you thoroughly supported this following order, though even if you do not you will follow my orders nonetheless. At 0000 tonight, you must launch a missile directly at Asia, or there will be... consequences."
Chaos erupted in the room
"We can't follow that order! It's absurd!" cried Brer, shock and horror written all over his face. His voice was not heard over the hundreds of others all shouting similar things. I stayed silent and slid my hand into Brer's, offering my support.
"It'll start another World War!" exclaimed Colonel Fletcher, a large, kindly man who I assumed would not take lightly a decision such as this when he preferred to be logical.
"This just going to start a nuclear war and then there will be no Earth." grumbled Soldier White, the man sat across from us. Neither me nor Brer liked him much, but for once we found ourselves agreeing with him. I realised then that having bought and drunk a Big Gulp just before coming here was not a good plan. I felt sick to the core and my stomach was threatening to regurgitate its contents.
"I'll be right back," I whispered in Brer's ear, removing my hand from his grip.
"Wait, why?" His eyes got wide with confusion before looking at me and saying plainly "Don't do something stupid, Kaleb."
I sighed. "I just need to Code 1."
"Oh!" His eyes registered my meaning, that I needed the toilet before standing up with me, saying "Me too." We tried to quietly get out of our swivel chairs, but quietly probably isn't the correct word for a room full of panicking people with papers fluttering around and men swearing and shouting. As Brer and I snuck through the bathroom door, I heard the President speak again.
"Now, now. There is no need for that. If you would just look at the screen, thank you..."
"Do you think they missed us?" asked Brer as I pressed my hand to the door. The people didn't seem as loud any more, and I really hoped that what I was about to say was true.
"Nah, they're too busy screaming and yelling."
We opened the door to the room calm and collected. The President was no longer on the screen. A countdown had taken his place. Slipping back to our places, I asked the soldier closest to me in a whisper "What's the countdown for?"
The man looked at me as if I was the most stupid man on Earth. "For the missile, of course!"
"I thought this would start another World War and nuclear war would end the Earth?"
"I thought 'no' meant 'no'!" I turned around when Brer spoke. His hands were in the air like he looked taken aback. "My bad."
The soldier laughed. "The President's orders are always carried through!" This man was crazy.
I shook someone else's shoulder. When he turned around, I recognized him as Colonel White. "Dude! Missile equals bad, remember?"
I was praying that Brer and I weren't the only sane ones and that the Colonel would have sense in him. "The President's orders are always carried through."
"Why the hell would you say exactly what that dude did?" Brer pointed at Mr. Crazy.
"I have no idea what you mean," replied Colonel. Something was terribly wrong. What had happened to all the men in the room?
"Let's get out of here." I grabbed Brer and dragged him out of the room. The door opened at my command, saying "Have a Nice Day, Soldiers Smith and Amour." It took a second for my eyes to adjust to the bright light of the hallways, and glancing down the corridor I spotted Slone, one of the female soldiers.
"Hey, Sloane. Were you in there?" I asked. Brer whispered in my ear that he thought that aliens must have brain-washed the entire room while we were in the bathroom. I muttered back
"Don't be silly, Brer, we don't live in the 2000's any more. None of the neighbouring colonies would do this, they wouldn't come near us at all like this."
"No," she said after our conversation. She sighed. "I was late."
"Did you hear about the missile?" After seeing her confused face, Brer and I quickly filled her in. Brer told her about aliens and I punched him in the arm.
"Wait, why would they seem so nice about it and completely follow his orders?" Her forehead scrunched up in thought.
"Exactly!" I exclaimed.
"Something weird is going on and I don't like it," she grumbled. "I'll see you guys around. I have some hearts to break."
"Classic Sloane," muttered Brer. In a high pitched voice he added, "Hi! I'm Sloane, the best bitch in town! I'm gonna go slink around the corridors!" I laughed as he got on his tip-toes and and pranced up and down the hall.
"Soldier Amour." came a woman from behind us.
"Yes, ma'am?" I asked as I spun around to face another colonel.
"Are you preparing for the launch of the missile?" Her eyes were calculating me. I looked at her blankly.
"Yes, ma'am. The President's orders are always carried through," I chanted in the way the others had. Even if we hadn't been brainwashed, it was probably for the best that we acted like it. Brer followed my lead, acting in the same calm way.
"Good. See to that, soldiers." And with that, she was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief that our act had been believed. Sloane was right, something was going on and it was not good.
With a sigh of relief, I rested the dumbbell back into it's cubby. 180 pounds was pushing it a bit, maybe going back to 160 was for the best.
"Hey, are you ready for lunch?" asked Brer as he set his 180's into the cubby. Brer, however, could probably lift a landed hovercar with one hand.
"Sure," I replied. We rose together and wandered casually out of the workout room. It had been a week since the missile was lauunched, despite protest. The protest died as soon as it began; it was pretty easy for the President to get his way. Deep in thought, I barely dodged a group of officers going the opposite direction.
"You're out of it today, dude. What's up?" questioned Brer.
"Just thinking about - hey, Sloane!" I broke off as Sloane stood in front of us, blocking our way.
"Kaleb," she replied with a curt nod, her smile sincere. She glared at Brer. "And you."
Brer growled. "There she goes. Classic Sloane." He threw his arms up and skipped away. "I'm going to lunch, guys!" he squeaked, trying to imitate her voice.
"Shit-head!" she threw at him as he made his way down the hall asking people if they knew where the hospital was so that he could check to see if he had AIDS. I laughed.
Sloane glared. "Don't make me call you a shit-head too, Kaleb!"
I shrugged and laughed again. Sloane was silent for a second before she grabbed my arm and dragged me into a storage closet. She closed and locked the door, and I waited to be brutally punched or something.
"What?" I whispered, still holding my hands up to cover my face.
"You know how that missile was going to get launched last week?" Sloane's red hair was gathering static, sticking to the door handle. I went to fix it but she slapped my hand away.
"Sorry," I said, rubbing my hand. "But I thought it was launched."
"Yeah it was but I was talking to Constantine, that new kid from Freason, and he said that it hit North China.
"Okay, I know that it's bad and all that it was sent, but why does it's location matter?"
Sloane's eyes got wide. "North China is where the country's nuclear plant it!"
My heart dropped to my stomach. "Did the missile hit it?"
"Thank God no." Sloane fixed her hair quickly, staring at me through the dark. Then she sighed. "But it was close. China's pretty pissed about it."
"I'd be," I frowned.
Sloane grunted in agreement and unlocked the door, allowing me to leave. "Wait, if anyone asks why we were in here, just say that you're a growing man."
"Wait... what?" I exclaimed before she shoved me out of the door and into the hall. The silence seemed to echo through the halls. Everyone had gone.
"Where is everybody?" I whispered to Sloane, confused. We looked to each other, and I could see she was just as concerned at the silence as I was.
"This is basically rush hour in this place." she replied quietly after a pause.
A beep sounded above us before a deep voice filled the emptiness. "May I have your attention. If you haven't already, please make your way to the lower bunks We are under attack. I repeat, we are under attack. All soldiers must report to the lower bunks immediately. Thank you."
"Damn, China!" shouted Sloane as she broke into a run down to the stairwell.
"This is not good. This is not good!" I said pacing back and forth in my assigned bunker for any emergencies. This was an emergency.
"Shut up, baby. We won't die. I thought you learned that back in grade school? Once in a bunker, you'll be pretty damn safe than not in a bunker," said Sloane, examining the bunker. "It's tiny. Just like Brer's-"
"I don't think you should say that, missy," said Brer, sticking a meaty finger in her direction. "And you!" He said, making his finger change course towards me.
I gave him a confused look before he continued.
Brer sighed, taking a seat on his bunk bed. "If we hadn't gone into the bathroom at that meeting..."
"What are you talking about, dude?" Something glared in Brer's eyes, knowledge, putting two and two together.
"Dude..." he folded his arms behind his head. "Everyone thinks it's because we aren't 'meeting our trade quota'"
Sloane's eyes got wide. "So you think everyone sees it as China attacking us first?"
Brer nodded. "Nobody knows what we are talking about. Not even White remembers a thing. He has the best memory in the building!"
"Why-why would nobody remember?" I stammered, slowly understanding something dark happening in this building. I didn't like it.
"Don't say aliens," replied Sloane.
"What if they wiped our--" He broke off as someone knocked on the steel door to the bunker.
"Who's there?" sing-songed Brer.
"Colonel Fletcher. I'm here to give out rations. We may be here all night."
Sloane stood up, bracing herself as she pushed the heavy door aside, just enough to allow the colonel to slip through with a cardboard box filled with food, clothing, and toiletries.
"Thanks," I said, taking the box from Fletcher, giving him the best salute I could with the box in my hands.
He chuckled, slipping out of the door. "You guys have a good night."
Sloane saluted the colonel before bracing herself once more to close the door. She got it half way closed before she started to waver. Brer shooed her aside, ignoring her death-glare, and finished closing it all the way.
"Well, unless you guys want to open that again, I'm staying the night here," muttered Sloane.
Brer looked like he was going to say something when I interrupted him. "What were you going to say before the colonel came in?"
Brer took the box from me and set it down on his bunk, grabbing a soda from it. He cracked it open, watching to make sure no liquid seeped out. "They wiped their brains." Brer took a long, refreshing sip.
I paced back and forth in front of Sloane and Brer. "No, no, no."
Sloane glanced at Brer. "What makes you think that?"
Brer took another sip before saying, "Just think about it. Kaleb and I leave for the bathroom, the entire board room was calmed down and made to agree with the President's plan. And that quote everybody kept saying...what was it?"
"The President's orders are always carried through," I whispered.
We were silent for a second while I continued pacing, the sound of my boots making the only sound.
"It kinda makes sense," whispered Sloane. She put her head in her hands, red hair cloaking her face. "But I can't believe it."
"We've been lied to our entire lives," I said blandly.
"Our friends, our family, the colonels, that weird Hispanic maintenance man who gives me lollipops..." Brer finished the soda and set it down on the bedside table that is issued in every bunk.
"I don't get lollipops from Manuel," said Sloane, her head still in her hands.
Brer cleared his throat. "Well that's...not strange..."
I stopped pacing and took a seat on the bunk next to Brer. "Do you remember that time when we were in my backyard playing with my new Holophone?"
Brer chuckled. "We were 11 and called Mrs.Thompson next door. Asked if we could get her to buy an extra subscription to Antigravity."
"Of course she fell for it," I said, rolling my eyes.
"Then one second we were chuckling at her gullibility and the next, a giant hole was in your yard and we didn't know how it got there."
"We still don't," I muttered.
Sloane slowly raised her head from her hands, whispering, "We need to stop this."
"Stop what?" asked Brer.
She glared at him. "This lying, brainwashing."
"I agree." I stood up and grabbed my issued duffle bag, starting to fill it up with dry goods from the box the colonel gave us.
"What are you doing, Kaleb?" sighed Brer.
"We're stopping this. We need to stop this war, we need to stop this brainwashing, we need to--" A knock came at the door, this time it didn't sound as friendly.
"Open up, Soldier Amour."
"--go now." I zipped up the bag, put it on my shoulder and grabbed Sloane's hand.
"Don't do something stupid, Kaleb," warned Brer, grabbing his own bag.
I smiled, pulling out the handgun I keep in my boot. "Too late."
As the door opened, I gripped Sloane's hand, smirked at Brer, and clicked off the safety on my gun.