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    Thread: Earths End

    1. #1
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      Thumbs up Earths End

      The End Comes to Earth


      Intro: In the year 2220 NASA saw a strange event coming. Comet fragments that had never been seen before came running into our solar system. The outer colonies saw them first, striking the ground on planets and moons that were frozen solid, and the swarm continued into the middle of the system.

      Never before had so many small to medium comets run together, and slowly they approached the earth and its colonies on Titan and Mars. It was the chance of a lifetime..to see materials from outside the solar system for free, and they set up gathering sites for when they touched down on either Mars or the Earth, to get samples as quickly as possible, and with as little contamination as they could.

      The first strike was on Mars, hundreds of miles from the colony there, as plans were made to get there quickly and gather some material from it, but a cloud formed over the region, and the scientists were in awe. For the small amount of material in the comet fragment this was incredible, and they knew they were going to learn something totally knew from them.

      But the cloud moved oddly and cameras in orbit caught glimpses of movement inside it, and many demanded it was impossible, and laughed. But the cloud moved on and soon it could be seen stopping and starting, and entire groups of sand dunes went missing from photos. Now it was a sure thing, and scientists urged caution. But it was too late. The first outpost to see it coming reported flying creatures, not flying exactly but like gas bags, floating on the Martian wind. They dropped down to eat, or dissolved, every bit of metal they found,including vehicles and buildings that were open to them. Sand that was rich in iron or other metals was next, anything and everything they needed was theirs for the taking. Mars and its colony fell in a month, and only a scarce few escaped with evidence back to Earth, and as many more of the odd comets circled the system and crashed onto asteroids and moons, the world saw a true threat for the first time.

      After meetings, it was decided they weren’t intelligent... not really... instinct and need drove them and nothing stood in their way. Earth sent out ships to intercept any coming towards them and they only split them into smaller pieces, that rushed in. Now small groups of animals were on earth and very few things could stop them.Explosions made them break open and a very toxic and corrosive acid was released, the smell alone killed many nearby and the mist corroded any metals it touched.

      Nothing would stop them it seemed, nothing but fire. It burned them to dust...if it was strong enough...but by now there were millions of small to medium sized creatures everywhere and special cities were immediately established to save men and women they would need in the future. If Humanity survived at all.



      Chapter 1: War Without End

      Rust colored blobs a thousand feet wide and bigger , were seen floating in the upper atmosphere and thousands of smaller ones on the local breeze. Any buildings they touched, they grasped with tiny claws until it was gone. Metals of all kinds, iron, copper, even some alloys, all were eaten and then the new cloud, bigger than before, drifted on.It seemed that reproduction was their only goal, using pure instinct as they moved on.

      People that ran out to try and stop them died a terrible death. The defense they all used was the same...they spit out a cloud of toxic gas and acid...so strong that a person hit by it was burned to death in minutes.

      The Militaries of the World united against this new threat and waves of fighters ran out to shoot down the larger ones flying overhead, but when they did, they were attacked too and their ships dissolved under them, many times before they got landed again. The pilots and planes burned to a crisp with nothing left but the tires, that fell onto the ground, or unsuspecting people and buildings below.

      Hit a large one with a missile, and it explodes, showering the entire area under it with the acid and killing thousands, even before the toxic gasses settled into the valleys and hollows and just laid there...for weeks at a time.

      After years trying everything possible, nothing seemed to work. Until a Corporation called Harrington Inc. made a robotic suit with plastic armor made from the strongest rubber and plastics possible, rubber and plastic, things the enemy had no interest in, and ignored completely.

      Add to that a flamethrower that vaporized them nearly instantly, and Mankind had a chance...but only one.

      The Militaries of the World had fought, very unsuccessfully, for years now and an Army of millions was now nothing more than a militia of thousands. But the new units and special ‘armor’ for infantry units, gave them a chance at last and the Governments of the World instituted a Draft...for every person age 16 or older... to fill in the slots that needed people, and to build an army of the new machines.

      Special filters were made that saved them from the gasses, and they were added to the suits so that the pilots could sit inside, out of harms way, and do what needed to be done. Also pyrotechnics were invented that did nothing but burn bright... and extremely hot...and these missiles and grenades were added to the new arsenal.

      After the loss of billions...Mankind was making a comeback... of a sort. The World was not the place it once was. The land was toxic in many places, and would be for ages to come. They even tried Nukes before, and killed millions of creatures, but also destroyed cities that might be needed again someday.

      Only a few cities remained, under a constant threat from attack. Newly invented Shields kept the enemy away from these few but if they failed, the remaining Humans would be gone in an instant.Tokyo, Miami, and Hong Kong...each under a protective dome after all the other cities were dissolved under a cloud of toxic gas and acid.

      Humanities numbers now reach 60million...on a good day...and they all know the feeling that helplessness brings, as people try to adapt and live on.

      The many studies that were made public named the new enemy Cometus...a name that seemed to suit considering they came drifting in riding comets. The idea had been around for nearly a century...Transpermia...the thought that some creatures, mostly microbes originally, could sleep inside asteroids and comets and ride for thousands of years until they found a new world.

      The scientists that wrote about it in years past now waved a finger at the rest of their brethren, as a few mentioned that saying ‘I told you so’ was unprofessional, and unnecessary, to say the least. But it was now a proven fact, and they had more important things to do than argue about who knew in the past.

      They worked feverishly to make new weapons, better guns, more of everything, and Harrington Corporation was front and center in it all.But Phillip Harrington was a businessman who saw things as they really were...to him...and he saw that Humanity would have been dead long ago if not for him throwing every cent he had into designing and building the original Model 1 Plastic Armor Suit.

      He demanded that his ideas were his own, and demanded a special patent so no one else could manufacture a suit like it. The world in general went into shock. This man was holding Humanity hostage and had enough security measures in place to make sure that any attempt to cease and copy his research would fail, and it all would be destroyed. He openly said he wanted no roll in ruling Humanity in the future...but since he was the only one to mention it, people were very sceptical about that... and he worked around the clock to make sure his factories sent out new models and improvements every chance they got, and soon even the World Government saw that he was doing his best for all of them...and they left him alone.


      Chapter 2: Life Today...As It Is


      20 years after the Cometus came, the World is a different place. The cities that were saved are all there is of Humanity now. The plastic coated armored robot suits are the best line of defense... and offense... using flamethrowers of great power, and other armaments that do exactly the same thing. Now they even use small nukes, with limited range to vaporize the biggest of them all... now called the Commander series...half a mile wide... it moves along slowly on stubby little legs, doing a few miles a day, surrounded by hundreds or thousands of smaller creatures, looking for food.

      The nukes are small, easily carried and very short range, and have to be placed very close to the Commander to get the job done, so missiles are out of the question. Research has made them much less radioactive now so its all heat and no radiation, saving the planet a little more damage. But the robot suits, at 20 feet tall, walk along at a much faster pace and even run for short distances. So getting close isn’t a problem, if you can get past thousands of small to medium sized guards that is.

      The enemy seems to be adjusting too, now if they are starved or injured enough, they explode and rain their guts all over the ground nearby, but they learn to use that new power, and every unit carries some along ready to explode, and they attack the suits trying to blast away their protective rubber or plastic armor to get to the tons of metal underneath.All the old cities are gone now, so traveling looking for anything they can eat is their lives, and sacrifice is something they don’t think twice about, it seems.

      Now with the new Draft in place, high school is nothing more than a training ground and thousands of students nothing more than pilots or mechanics in training.They are the future of this world and they know it, a terribly stressful way to see your young life, but one they must live with to the end.

      In the dorms at Miami High No. 2, James Harris and his friends get ready for another day. The three young men dormed together and walked to school, just a few blocks away. Air raid alarms are an everyday occurrence and soon you learn to ignore them, as flights of specially made planes fly out to bomb passing Cometus units to help reduce their numbers, and the city gets safer as each group is destroyed.

      But aerial bombing can only do so much, and against Commanders...its useless. Thats why the schools now teach basic math, science as it pertains to war, and survival techniques, and little else.The boys walk along talking about their jobs...pilots...and of course, girls.

      The past might have been all about holding back and waiting, but when today might be your last day, waiting isn’t an option, and any young woman who gets pregnant gets excused from service, until the baby is delivered, and then it gets taken and admitted to a city wide preschool system, and its parents continue to work to keep the city, and their children, safe.

      Of course the girls might have other ideas, even with ads running asking for more children and middle aged couples still bringing more into the world as part of their normal lives now. But hundreds die weekly from each attack. And living in a massive city where millions live now that might only house 250k or less in the future,is a hard thing to think, and some girls do have a baby, not for love or their personal future, but because they are young, healthy, and feel that they want to leave a part of themselves behind, before its too late.

      The boys walk into class and wave to their friends there. The girls smile and they talk about the latest new weapon, or maybe some new show that is running on the entertainment channels, but behind all the smiles and cheer is the feeling that they are dieing, and many want more than anything to live, to be that old person they see in the ads, white hair and big smiles, giving lectures on Survival of the Species, and being old now means having survived when others could not, and you’ve become a hero, and example of survival to them all.

      “Those new generators are a bitch to get installed...” One of the maintenence girls mentioned as James asked why, and she reminded him that they were pushing a lot more power, but that size was a problem in the confined areas of the Armor Suit.

      “We need to move everything around in there to make one fit. I swear...if its not one thing its another.” She declared as a few others got a good laugh from that, she took her job way too seriously, but she made sure they knew no one had ever died because of careful planning, and everyone had to agree to that.

      “I hear Harrington is making a new Team based model, two people inside one cockpit, one driving and one specializing in weapons fire. That would be nice in some of the messes we’ve been in lately.” One young man mentioned as the group all agreed, as the teacher came in and they all got to their seats as quickly as they could.

      There were 20 of them in this class, about average for a class now, and the teacher was a middle aged woman that had taught before, but even she looked tired trying to get everything done they expected...with little in the way of materials to work with.

      “Open your books to page 25, and we’ll start where we left off yesterday,” She started and everyone did, but no one was worried about graduating, because that meant they’d have to survive for 2 more years yet, and even as trainees they went out as escorts and backup for the older units, and some of them had died out there already.

      At the back of the classroom was an empty seat now, with one wilted flower laying on the desk. Harriet had been a nice girl, smart and attractive, but on a patrol a dozen or more Cometus dropped on her unit and detonated...and then dozens ran inside to eat the metal they found when the top blew clear off. She was dead instantly, and they never even went back for her body...what little there might be of it...they just had a service for her and went on with class the next day. That was the world they were living in right now.


    2. #2
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      Chapter 3: The Transfer from Hell


      But that left their class...and Unit...one person short. They had just enough for 2 wings, or patrols of 4 each, now there wasn’t anyone to fill that spot, and the word went out to Command for a replacement and everyone waited to see.

      The teacher found out first, and she smiled and left the Dean know a replacement was coming. Then he got to see the application too...and his face fell into shock. There...on the application was a picture of a young woman, with long brown hair forever in a ponytail, and a name...Cassandra Harrington...and his mind went as blank as his facial expressions right now.

      “There... must be some mistake...” He whispered as she shook her head no. It was official, and they both wondered why. The Harrington’s owned the factory that made every unit they had, that everyone had actually, and she definitely didn’t need to be out here...fighting in the trenches. She was an heir to a Family of great importance, and there was no way she got drafted. But here she was, and even he waited to hear the story behind this one...because, frankly... it made no sense to him at all.

      A week later a tall brunette got off a helicopter, wearing full military dress, and walked inside carrying her clothing bag over her shoulder. The Principle himself met her and the teachers with him, and as she looked around to get the official welcome, overdone as usual, as she asked only where her bunk was, without smiling a single time.

      “We don’t have private quarters here, so you’ll need to sleep in the dorms with the other girls.” One lady teacher said, as the girl nodded and threw the bag over her shoulder once more,and gave them a look that said..’well lets go’ and they walked away, as the Dean stood there looking like he should have said more...if she gave him the chance.

      She was taken to the girls dorms and given a room, and she started putting her things away when the door opened and in walked three of the other girls that shared the floor, all to welcome her to the Unit, and she looked surprised and thanked them for saying so, and turned her back and went on working as they seemed to want to say...or ask something else...but couldn’t get it out.

      “Yes...” She said loudly without even turning around,” my Father is Phillip Harrington...is that what you wanted to know?” she asked as no one there seemed to want to admit it.

      “Why the Hell are you here then?” One asked, as a few tried to get her to quiet down.

      “There’s a war going on...and I’m a pilot...isn’t that enough of a reason?” she asked as everyone got quiet, and she looked around and demanded that she was nothing like her Father...and that ended the conversation right there... as they backed away and the door closed behind them.

      Casi felt bad for doing that, but everyone was the same to her...she was a Harrington...and so she shouldn’t be out here fighting, she should be living the good life, like her Father. But she hated him more every day. He had said, right out loud when no one but Family was around, that he would keep them all alive, and then rule this world when no other government was left to do it.

      She had asked why he would want to, it was a poisoned planet after all, and he smiled and said that Humans were a tough species, and he had faith that they’d win, and that someday the world would be liveable again. But she took his statement to mean that he was better than everyone else, just like he acted, and even her fiance argued with him about his attitude about the ‘little people’ dieing to protect them...and 2 weeks later Jimmy was gone, dead they said...on the front lines, and she knew for a fact he had never studied piloting or armored warfare, and she thought for sure she knew why this had happened, and she left home that very night and never returned.

      Her family was still trying to get her to come back,and she made sure they knew...in front of a lot of people...that if he was so special let Father fight the war too, and he looked sad she was acting like this, and she disappeared again and popped up at some other base where they hadn’t looked for her yet.

      Her skills were excellent, and her attitude said she’d get the job done...no matter what it was...and she went out on a lot of missions as she ran, and did a lot of damage to the enemy too. But her Family was always one step behind, and she knew it would be the same here.

      She put her things away and went for dinner as the buzzer sounded, and as she sat all alone several girls came by and asked to join her, and while she felt ready to scream if they started on her again, these few didn’t... and they acted all along like she had been there forever... and she smiled after a while and really felt glad they had finally gotten the message.

      “Hear any good gossip?” was the closest thing anyone got to asking about her past, and she laughed and said that even if she had she couldn’t say, and they all chuckled and agreed.

      “It sucks being Military,” Another added and they all agreed to that, sadly.

      “Everyone is Military now,” Cassandra whispered sadly, as the others looked oddly at her, and finally agreed.

      “For now,” Got mentioned as she looked surprised and they said that maybe the propaganda messages were getting to them, but sometimes they really felt like they had a chance, and she got a little smile about that.


      Chapter 4: First Mission


      A week went by and a mission for a resupply convoy came up. Cassandra got assigned as a shot gunner, carrying a pyrotechnical grenade launcher, while a young man drove the truck. The convoy consisted of 4 trucks, plastic armored, and they were running for 20 miles, to get to the nearest railroad that was still intact. Spraying oil and chemicals on the rails gave the Cometus a bad taste in their mouths and saved the rails, but it didn’t last forever, and one by one the trains stopped running, so when supplies were ready then they had to get there somehow, and some things were just too big to fly from city to city.

      She was assigned to the truck being driven by James, and he smiled and introduced himself when they met, and she got her nose in the air and looked away. She didn’t want to make friends, they might not be alive tomorrow after all, and her own emotional safety was important too. But he just smiled wider, shook his head, and got in as the big rig started out of the base and down the road at best speed, as the convoy Commander called ahead to make sure the train was on time.

      They said it would be there and they ran on, and after an hour they pulled in along side as cranes lowered cargo into the trucks and the one bigger flatbed truck James was driving got a special load, and a new Tandem unit got loaded as Cassandra nodded to herself and looked everywhere at once, waving the big gun around as people smiled and whispered that she was way to serious, and soon they were on their way going back and the Commander...a young man who enjoyed a little excitement when he could find it...called for a race, as James looked shocked and Casi wasn’t much better.

      “Get real Frank, these old units cant run like that all the way back.” James called on the coms as the rest of the convoy started pulling away.

      “Its not Frank today kiddo, I’m the Commander and I say they can, so get the lead out.” he called as James just growled and sped up as Casi started to worry too. The gauges on the dash showed them running at a good pace, considering what they were carrying. They almost kept the others in sight but not quite and soon even James left the speed drop, saying it was all a set up, because they knew they couldn’t keep up like this.

      “Last one in buys lunch...for everyone...” Came back as James looked disgusted and many others just laughed. But by now the big rig started chugging and missing and slowed down considerably, and Casi grabbed the coms and called saying they were breaking down, as James tried his best to keep them moving.

      “We’re still 5 miles out,” James called and she relayed the info as the Base came online and said a maintenence group was on the way. James did his best, but finally had to pull over and stop, as steam rolled out from under the front and they jumped out so they didn’t have to breath the fumes.

      A smaller truck ran out a few minutes later, with a small armored unit along side for security, and as the one girl checked out the damage she gave James a dirty look as he looked away, embarrassed.

      “What the Hell James, what ever made you think this was a race car??” She screamed as everyone laughed, and James looked bad enough they had to come all the way out here this morning. “And it’s fully loaded too..is that the new Tandem model we heard about? Do you have any idea what that thing weights??” She went on, and finally just went to work getting the big rig going again, and after cooling off and getting new coolant, it started back up and she gave him another dirty look, as he promised not to do it again.

      They got back inside and started home and after a second Cassandra mentioned that girl could be nasty, and James looked very serious and nodded.

      “Our maintenence unit has to keep trucks and armor units running that are way past their prime.” James admitted as Casi looked surprised.” This is an old model 3 big rig, and there are few if any parts for it. They have to come all the way from Hong Kong.The smaller trucks were newer and had better engines than this. I always get the old **** to drive...” he lamented as she nodded and tried not to smile at the look on his face right now, and she knew that back at the base, someone was getting a earful for starting a race in old, fully loaded trucks.

      The Hong Kong base made trucks and some weapons, Tokyo made electronics and all electrical parts, and Miami made the new units, and some weapons for them, and a few aircraft, why this group had all the junk didn’t make sense to Cassandra but someone had to get it, she decided, and just left it go.

      Each City had many different Units assigned there. Miami had 12 units, in smaller groups, and they were sent out depending on what units they had and their experience. This one was Miami group 2, not even close to the top, but it was a nice place to hide for a while from her father, since slumming it like this was completely beneath him.

      They made it back and got unloaded, and as maintenence started swarming over the new unit, James was led away for a chewing out for breaking down the truck. But even as Cassandra walked back to the dorms, she saw Frank and his driver raking gravel and sand nearby, and she knew that he would be doing that for a few days for the trick he pulled, and she chuckled and went back for a break.

      They went out and made it back without seeing a Cometus at all...a rare thing. But no one was complaining. The old rail line was protected as much as possible, but sooner or later it too would go, and they’d be back to whatever they could get hauled in by truck or helicopter. The armored units used helicopters to get them where they needed to go, but flying across the world carrying supplies was a full time job, and a Logistical nightmare. They had large cargo carriers that flew around the world without stopping, and had to because there were few places left to land. The runways were there of course but nothing else and from there something had to run the supplies across country to the cities they were intended for.

      Trucks, trains and helicopters all worked as groups or teams and every few months things got delivered, like the new Tandem model today, here from Tokyo, even though it was made here...the scanners and coms and all the electronics were made there...and since Harrington refused to give up his research, they did too.

      Politics , when the world was on its knees, and no one liked it but thats the way it was. The new units were shipped to Tokyo and they spent a month there getting fitted with parts and tested, then back to the cities they were intended for. Its a wonder they got there at all, and some didn’t. But no one could talk them into cooperating, and so important progress was held up by anger and fear.” They’re all old fools.” Cassandra whispered to herself as she lay there on her bad resting,”sooner or later every city will fall, because they couldn’t work together.” She said, and she rolled over to take a nap, knowing full well her premonition was true.


    3. #3
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      Chapter 5: Secret Santa


      Cassandra asked a few questions and got very few answers. Out of all the Units she had visited in the last 6 months this was, by far, in the worst shape. The newest model at the factory was the M9 and they had only M6 models running and a few M4 sitting for parts. The Tandem was brand new, and they treated it as if it were gold, and they should, seeing what else they had. She also managed to ask about parts and got laughed at for it. Parts orders went out weekly, and they got a few from time to time, but never what they really needed.

      She saw right away that these kids were living on borrowed time, and she felt bad for them.Not only that, but out of 12 Units in the city, this one could never defend itself if it had too, making this area a soft spot for the Cometus, if they ever figured it out.

      She finally decided she had no choice, her Family would be onto her soon enough, but lives were at take here, so she waited until no one was around and she was alone in the classroom and got on the computer at her desk. It lit up and the link went through and a short message played and she rolled her eyes and typed in...” Carl, its me...open the damned link!’...and a second later a middle aged man came on and looked surprised to see her soo soon.

      “Miss Harrington, where are you?? Your Father...” He started as she waved him away like so much smoke.

      “I’m sending you an order, make sure this one gets through and gets filled.” She said as he looked at the page and smiled and asked why she was ordering junk parts, and she told him one Unit had nothing else out here, and his eyes opened wider, and he nodded and said he’d see to it.

      “When will you be coming home, Miss?” he whispered as she asked if it froze over there yet, and closed the link as he chuckled for a second and turned to another machine and after a minute a man came on yawning and asked what the Hell they wanted, before he saw who it was, and his life suddenly flashed before his eyes.

      “Tell me... Charles...why does Unit 2 have nothing but rejects and no parts, even for those?” He asked with a very mean look as the man apologized, and said that no one had ever mentioned it to him before, and he’d check into it.”If I find out you’re scamming our Units for personal profit, I swear you’ll be on patrol in an old wore out M4 all alone...in the dark...” he said as a list came up and the man nodded and swallowed hard. Well that free ride was over...and he quickly set up to send out a truckload of parts, and a new Unit that was long overdue for delivery, the very next morning.

      By evening the next day the maintenence crew was standing in awe, to see parts they had ordered months ago...all showing up at the same time. Not only that but a new M8 Unit too, taller and more powerful than anything they had besides the Tandem, and the maintenence manager was crying and saying it was a miracle, and a few others agreed.

      But the head of Security knew better, cameras all over had shown Cassandra asking lots of questions, and never getting good answers, and the message was sent to the Unit Commander, who called her in and thanked her personally.

      “It was the least I could do,” She admitted after getting caught red handed.” You’ve lost people because someone messed up your orders a long time ago, so I just asked someone to check into it thats all.” She said and he smiled, knowing it was probably a lot more than that, but he left it go.

      “This Unit will be combat ready soon, thanks to you, and we might even get asked to join in operations with other Units. We have never had the equipment others had, so we got to sit a lot of things out, and got a reputation for it,.” he whispered as she nodded sadly they probably had.”I also wanted to ask you to move into training for the tandem Unit, you have the best skills and scores in all the tests, your weapons accuracy is far better than anyone else.” He mentioned as she nodded saying she wouldn’t mind giving it a try.

      “Then its settled, now we just need to agree on a driver, or pilot I guess we say for the new Unit, we’ll let you know when we decide who it will be, and then training will begin.” he said and she gave him a snappy salute and walked out, and he sat there looking over tests and scores and decided that he was going to need help to decide.
      He sat down the next day with his Second and they looked over different possibilities.

      “What about..this combination?” The man asked as he turned his noted for the Commander to see.

      “Two weapons experts dont make a team for a Tandem, who’s going to drive?” He asked as the man nodded and they sat some more.

      “If it was just the numbers it would be Harrington, and Kosco I think.” He said as they both sighed heavily. John Kosco had only one thing on his mind...women of all sizes and shapes. His piloting was great, in simulators, but his mental attitude kept him from getting the best jobs, because he had bad concentration on anything else.

      “We could try and see how it works?” The man said as they both agreed and the first run was scheduled for two days later. They showed up on time and dressed for training, they entered the simulator together and after a short time the sim started. But after a few minutes the machine went nuts and slammed to the ground and stopped and out jumped Cassandra, and stormed away, and John had a very red welt across the side of his face, as he screamed for her to come back, and the Commander just shook his head and decided that it just wasn’t going to work.

      “Kosco and a pretty girl in a closed capsule...we should have known better.” He whispered and they went back to looking through the lists again.

      “I think there’s no choice, this is the way to go..” The Second said as the Commander looked at the team he made up, Harrington and Harris, and he looked less than sure.

      “But Harris isn’t even in the top 5, on average.” he mentioned as the other man agreed but showed his test results and after reading a while it became obvious even to him. James was a great pilot but his accuracy with weapons sucked big time, driving his scores down. But if driving was all he needed to do...then his scores might well be the best in class.

      “Its worth a try, it cant be any worse than last time.” He admitted and the next round of tests was set up.

      They came in together and James gave her a big smile again, and again she ignored him. They got into the machine and after some reading and a short talk by the Commander the simulation started. It showed them inside the forest somewhere with rolling hills and deep gullies and small dirt roads that twisted around trees and streams. The radar said there were enemies in the area and Cassandra called to move into range, now 500 yards with the new weapons, and James agreed as they ran forward. She got a good scan of the enemies, all walking slowly past them, and she targeted them all, over 35 animals. James said they were out of range yet and she ordered him closer, and he said he had ‘his spot’ picked out and he ran in and jumped down into a gully nearly right in front of the hoard as she screamed to see the big unit airborne, but it touched down gently enough, and she was flustered for a second, as she fired her cluster rockets and got a decent number of kills, as the simulation ended.

      “ 65% dead...” The one man said as the Commander nodded agreement, not bad but not what she was capable of either.” I think that jump shook her up a bit, I believe they’ll do better next time.” He mentioned as the Commander agreed, and they made a schedule up for them to keep practicing, and the school looked surprised that the resident ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ and the new “Weapons Master’ were now a team.


      Chapter 6: Deals and Steals


      Phillip Harrington was sitting in his office trying to force himself to make a call. He knew they’d go for the deal, but it might tip his hand a little too soon. But things were getting tight here... and he decided that for his own sake he had no choice.

      He made the call and after a few minutes the other two men came online and they sat there looking sour towards each other.

      “What do you want, Phillip?” The Japanese man asked as Phil just smiled wider still.

      “A deal...” He said as they all looked surprised.”one hundred coms units and radar units from you...” he said pointing as the man looked even more impressed he would ask.

      “And a full load of weapons and 12 new trucks from you...for twice the normal armor shipment next month.” He said as even the other business men looked like they were seriously thinking about it. “Lets not play dumb, we all know the rail lines are doomed, we are lucky they are still working at all. The future of supply is trucks and planes, or heavy helicopters, or we’ll become isolated and die off one by one.” he announced as the other men had to agree to that.

      “A full load of weapons and 8 trucks,” Was the counter offer, and Phillip demanded 2 were big rigs...and the deal was done.

      “Why the sudden urge to fix things between us?” Was asked, as he laughed out loud and they saw he wasn’t being fooled.

      “You’re all designing your own armor units for defense because sending them back and forth is a waste of precious time.” he announced as they finally agreed.” but you don’t have my armor designs and your experiments are less than successful, so we still need each other. I will bend a bit if you will. Satellite images show some large groups moving our way, and not just towards Miami either.” he said as they agreed they had seen it to.”It might be the big push we have feared, their last attempt to take the cities, if thats true then it will last weeks... months maybe... and we need to prepare.”

      “I can have a partial shipment to you in a week,” The Japanese man said as Phillip agreed,” send out what armor you can get right away and we’ll get on the rest of the order.”

      “Just do a fly over and parachute it as close as you can, our units will gather it from there.” Phillip said as the man agreed and the Chinese man said that a shipment of trucks was on its way too and Phillip thanked him, as the link went closed.

      “See that didn’t hurt a bit did it?” Phil heard as his wife stepped in and gave him a hug,” It’ll be for the best, you’ll see.” And she walked out and he had to admit that having so many supplies at once meant he could get ready a lot faster on his end, and he left Security know that more supplies were coming and would be available soon, and they all cheered for the end of the dry spell that had them firing like snipers instead of laying down heavy fire in battles.

      It hit the news a day later and the new deal was seen as a way to get ready for big attacks that everyone knew would come. But the people that had been watching this all along saw a definite change in Harrington’s attitude, and they started to wonder why.

      “Things must be getting better between them,” Someone mentioned at lunch as Casi just chuckled and they asked why.

      “My father doesn’t do anything without a reason...you mark my words...he’s up to something.” She added, as a few looked surprised she thought that little of her own father.

      “But Security says it’ll be a big thing, and we’ll have parts and supplies in storage for the first time in a while, so I for one don’t care what he gains, so long as we gain too.” Another added as everyone agreed.

      “Here’s to ammo and parts in storage...” One girl said, toasting with her cup and even Cassandra smiled and went along with that, knowing full well that this is the way it should have been all along, and she saw her mother and maybe a few others twisting his arm a bit today, and she decided to call home and say that... for once... they were doing the right thing.

      The call was made and as it got picked up Casi was face to face with her mother for the first time in months.

      “Hello mother,” She said softly as her mom gave her a squinty eyed look that made her look away from the screen.

      “Coming home soon?” She asked as Casi said she wasn’t, and her mom looked tired just trying.
      “Unit 2, thats the Eastern edge of the city, thats pretty far away from your friends and home isn’t it?” She asked as Casi mentioned she made new friends, friends that were putting their life on the line every day, not sitting back watching others die for their protection.

      “You have no right belittling your father for his attitude, since its abundantly clear thats where you got yours!” She added loudly as Casi refused to admit to that too.”You made a valid point,OK? We need to do more for everyone not just ourselves. And he got it, really, so come home for a visit at least, and tell him he finally did something right for once.”

      “He never would have done any of this without someone pushing him into it, and we both know that.” Casi added as her mom looked sad too.
      “But he did, and things will get better, so keep that in mind too. He’ll never be the father you want him to be, so be thankful he tries at all, because he does it just to please you.” She said as the link went closed and Casi had to think that maybe SHE was the reason her dad was finally getting some sense.

      But the real reason was simple enough...things were getting bad everywhere. The Cometus had run out of metals everywhere and their instincts told them that the last cities were their only hope. Satellite images showed massive armies gathering together and moving towards them, very slowly, and flights had already started to thin them out a bit, and seemed to be working. But when they reached the cities shield there would be tens of thousands, maybe millions trying to get something to eat just this one last time, and they expected explosions, and just the weight of all those animals on the shield would be enormous, so preparations had to be made, as flights continued every day and supplies started being dropped in and were stockpiled, because when this happened, nothing would get in for a long time.


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      I've gone completely off the edge this time...I found a story that I can sink my teeth into and.....its a MMO story about a world called Avalon. MMO's were never my strong suit but they are popular, and so I thought I'd try that and low and behold...it works.This story is short after that Avalon, and maybe a few more people will get interested in this one.


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      Chapter 7: Survival of the Sneakiest


      Carl...Phillips right hand man...went to see about the research they had been doing for a while now. The new Tandem units used rockets with pyrotech warheads...all made in China...and that just wouldn’t do. Each explosion could cover an area of 30 meters and burn anything inside that area to dust. But they only had 500 rounds for it and the shoulder mounted tubes carried 20 at a time, and since they were tiny, they were loaded onto the backpack in a roll like machine gun ammo, only loading much slower.

      They had 5 rolls now, but in a major battle it would be out of ammo fast, and they had people making their own right here. Not as high a quality as the original, but they worked, and they now had another 300 rounds made and were making more every day.

      That line was working, so on to the next...grenades for armored units... basically the ammo for their guns, and while they got a shipment in that gave every Unit 100 rounds, they were also making a few here, and he saw another 50 rounds being added to the stockpile today. Not a lot, but better than nothing, and so he made his report and Phillip sent more people to help, and even sent out more prospectors to gather raw materials found nearby.

      It was a desperate attempt to get ready for a real war, one that would be for all the marbles, and as one truck came in with tons of coal in it, the researchers smiled and got it unloaded. Anything helped, and some more than others. The rockets used solid fuel..souped up gunpowder really... for propulsion, and this added lots of material for them to work with for a while again.

      “Anyone hear from George? He and his team are out in the swamps gathering sulfur from the bogs.” One man asked... as no one had heard a word... and that didn’t sound especially good right now.”Well, tell the Boss he’s late, maybe someone will go see about him.” And the call was made and a Unit went out to find him, and found only dead bodies and hundreds of small Cometus finishing up his old truck.

      “Damn you!” The pilot screamed and after a few minutes none were alive, as fire burned all around him. He looked around and found a plastic barrel more than half full of sulfur they had gotten by filtering the sulfur water here through some system research built...all gone now...and he gathered that barrel and went back with it to explain what he found, and another team was marked as gone, and new equipment was made from materials that the Cometus wouldn’t bother with this time, and an automated system was placed there, sucking up sulfur water slowly and evaporating off the water to save the pure sulfur, and it was all plastic, and safe from getting destroyed again for a while.

      If you know where to look there are chemicals everywhere, and they had some talented people working for them that knew. So, slowly their ammo and fuel got replenished, and even some got stored away for later and some extra was traded for other things that they could get easier than making them for themselves.

      The cities were doing the best they could, and everyone knew it, if they continued like this they had a chance, because while they had food the Cometus had unlimited people, or creatures to work with. But now that all the cities and even the infrastructure was gone, they had nothing, and the weak exploded and died all over the world by the hundreds, as the rest finally decided that attacking the cities was their only hope, and instinct took over after that, as they walked towards the only food left for them, and were met with a fury that Humans were known for.

      Miami’s Units were running raged now, and the new tandem Unit was front row center in many battles. They were taken out by helicopter, and dropped near their target. then they attacked until their ammo was gone, and was picked up the same way and retreated back to the base. Thousands of Cometus died this way, burned to a crisp by missiles and grenades, and while they stopped their advance a few times for a day or two, they always resumed their walk, as new attacks were ordered.

      “How damned many of them are there out there?” Phillip demanded to know, as figures came in and he looked sick. The numbers dropped daily but not enough to guarantee their success or that they’d be stopped from reaching the city. Three Commanders were seen and attacks led by several Unit groups managed to set a bomb and escape in time as it was set off remotely, and the explosion ripped through the forest they were in and killed thousands again, as well as a Commander and that reduced the attacking force by perhaps 1/3...as people cheered to hear it.

      “More Mines...we need more nuclear mines...” he demanded and was told that they were hard to make and they only kept a few at a time. It would be another week before another was ready, and he went nuts screaming that the end was coming, and they needed them now...as the real President walked in and stopped him cold.

      “You do what you do best, Phillip...make weapons, its about time the real Leaders here step up and take charge.” He heard as he looked around to see the President standing there among his security detail and it was the first time he had come down to his office in person.”You were doing alright for a little while there, but your not trained in military matters. We have specialists for that sort of thing, so stop ordering my men around... and get back to making parts and armor units...its what you do best.” he said and walked out as Phillip nearly split a gut in anger. He had been in charge because they didn’t want to be, and now that they saw the attacks ending, the politicians stepped back in, and he decided right there that he would not allow it, and his own plans went into high gear.

      He made a call and made a deal, and some people that hated the lazy government even more than him got involved. The time was picked out, and at a meeting where the President was giving a speech, a shot rang out and he went down and his security detail caught the person responsible and took them away for questioning, something Phillip and his friends hadn’t planned on. They felt that the second the shot was fired they’d return fire and kill her, but they didn’t and now Phillip couldn’t get a message out to anyone, because no one would talk to him now. He was cut off until they saw what happened, and three days later he was dragged away screaming that they needed him, and was never seen again.

      The government took control of his factories and soon parts and new units were coming off the lines faster than ever before. Phillip really had been playing politics, but now the city ran things, and they had units for everyone... and for sale too... and parts came in by the truck load and air, and cargo containers dropped in under parachutes, and soon they felt they had a better chance then any time before.And attacks against the Cometus went into high gear, as Cassandra pretended not to know her father when people asked, and even one news agency caught up with her after a mission and asked what she thought of what happened, and she turned her nose up and said he got what he had coming, as eyes popped all around and she walked away, ending the interview right there.

      Chapter 8: Cooperation at Last


      With the fall of Phillip Harrington, the other businessmen at the other cities were stopped from interfering as well. They were forced to step back, or have their assets confiscated forever, and they saw that their time was over and they did as they were told.

      Planning was now open and more transparent. The trades were advertised on the news and new deals were harolded as a good thing. Armored units made by all the cities got the special armor from Miami and soon everyone had enough, or they hoped they did, for the fights to come.

      Each city watched as more and more massive groups found their way to that part of their country, and satellite feeds showed groups as far as a thousand miles away working that direction, knowing many would never make it there without food.

      “Its not just all the local groups any more.” One intelligence man said as everyone on the conference call agreed,” They are coming here from all over the world, this truly is the last attack. They must have used up every possible source of food, and now, we are it. So its all or nothing, and either we survive or they do, but knowing what we know now, even they wont survive here for long. Once the cities are gone, they will die off in droves, so that might be our ultimate revenge.” Was told, but many would not accept that, they wanted to be there to see it, and so plans for the biggest of battles went into high gear.

      Thousands of rounds of ammo was stacked and stored, every city had loads delivered, and in exchange got parts and things they needed too. The air attacks continued and hundreds died every day but their numbers dropped very slowly, and soon the attack units from each city went out and attacked smaller groups and eliminated them quickly.

      The government had a news campaign going and each victory was hailed as a great thing, and the people cheered and their moral went up again for a while. But they knew if the time came when the shadows of hundreds and thousands drifted over the cities then panic would ensue, and a panicked people do stupid things, so every day attacks went on and intelligence estimated the new total left, as it slowly went down, but never to a truly manageable number...not yet.

      James and Cassandra just got back from another attack, dead tired and worried. Their missiles ran out and killed maybe a thousand Cometus, grouped so close together they were like a moving wall, but the wall before them was enormous and they barely made a dent in it.

      “Get some rest,” The Commander said,” and a hot meal, we go out again in the morning.”

      And everyone nodded agreement and went back to get some sleep, and even he saw that this new plan was not working as well as they had hoped. For every thousand they killed hundreds from the surrounding areas joined in, in small groups and large ones, from all over. Attacks on these stragglers killed a lot and some never made it, but he knew it would need to be 5x more deadly than it was, or they would never stop them in time.

      He went to his office and got all the results from the attack and after checking figures he called it in, and his superior nodded and looked sad.

      “12,800 dead during this attack.” he said as they both agreed,” but its not enough. We’d need a lot more...of everything...or we wont stop them from reaching the city.”

      “The good news is: satellite images show hundreds a day exploding from lack of food all across the country. All we need to do is hold them off until they reach their limit, then they will die a natural death.” He heard as he agreed that would be the best solution for them all. “New supplies are coming in, use whatever you feel is necessary. We must keep them back until they kill themselves, our shield hides our presence from them but it wont hold if tens of thousands of creatures attack it with just their weight alone.”

      “And if it fails...” The Commander added as they both nodded silently,” a gas attack followed by acid for anything and everything is range. Millions will die overnight.”

      “There’s a special survival plan in the works, using our armor units and their pilots, keep it to yourself, but have emergency rations gathered and stored, if they ever have to leave the city for an extended period of time.” The General hinted as they both nodded agreement. Even if they got in... it was their last meal... and some humans would escape, far enough away to make sure they were never found, and life would go on, barely... but it might just survive this, the most terrible attack ever on the planet.

      “I’ll start planning immediately.” He announced as the General agreed and the link went down.

      He quietly made sure a few cases of bottled water were set aside, and a case of ration bars they used for food when in the field. It wasn’t much, but with only a few people they could stay alive for a week, maybe more this way. Then a set of medical kits and he felt that was as good as he could do.

      “I hope we never need this...” He whispered to himself, but deep in his mind he was sure they would, and that thought frightened him more than the Cometus themselves.

      Day after day the attacks went on, and thousands and thousands died in that burning Hell they created. Three armored units were destroyed, and their pilots killed instantly, and their friends and comrades mourned for them in the only way they knew how...they killed Cometus every day...for revenge and for survival, and slowly the numbers went down to what they thought might be manageable, and a pair of units went out to deal a terrible blow to them and set off a nuclear mine they planted right near their Commander, and the bright red explosion was seen for a mile...its real range...and tens of thousands were now gone as well as their leader, and it looked like they just might have won.

      “That last attack eliminated more than half whats left,” The Unit Commander reported, as even his boss looked happy to hear it. “We may still get to keep the city after all.” he said and smiled for the first time in a while.

      “There are still a few small groups working this way, and gathering together as they do. But we eliminated the biggest threat so far, great work! Give the pilots a day off and let them rest. We’ll be checking the newest satellite data later today and see what else we need to do.” He said and the link went black and even the Unit Commander sat back, all smiles, because they had done it...they saved their city...now just a few smaller attacks and the continent might well be free of Cometus after all this time, and he truly hoped so.

      The Command staff at Central Command set up the link and turned it on to watch the last remaining creatures and see what they were doing now. But as they turned and looked all along the southern US, a cloud formed and was slowly moving East along the coast.

      “What the hell is that, and where did it come from?” They asked and after looking back along its path they saw...the last remaining train station and rail line that served Miami for all this time. Even the bitter tasting oils and chemicals weren’t enough to stop them when they got desperate enough, and the small group that broke through the armor on the train devoured it and then started down the track. The track that by accident, ran right to Miami, or at least within 20 miles of it.

      For every 10 tons of metal they eat, 100 creatures are born, and they were slowly eating a few hundreds of miles of track, and thats where this cloud had come from. Now it had a Commander of its own, and slowly other groups were merging with them and getting their next meal too. They knew someday this might happen, but this was the worst possible time, and flights went out right away and bombed the big group and got close up pictures and video of it, and intelligence analyzed it all and the numbers were bad, real bad, and their biggest battle hadn’t even come yet, it seemed.


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      WEEKEND EDITION

      Chapter 9: The Last Days


      The next day the news made it to the troops and they were shocked, and looked exhausted to hear it.

      “ 100,000 or more new ones, not even hungry yet because they just fed. Those will definitely make it this far.” One pilot whispered as his Commander declared they wouldn’t, no matter what.

      “Air attacks have been under way since the second we found out. We’ve dropped over a hundred bombs on them... killing thousands...” he announced as a few even smiled that they were working so fast. “We wont give up that easy, and don’t you either.” he explained as many there nodded agreement.

      “Since the last attack that killed the local Commander, that group has stopped to regroup about 500 miles north of here. They are in a tight group, and its possible one is trying to become a new Commander even without enough food to sustain it. But we’re not giving them the chance, all 12 groups are going out today and we’ll stop their plans before any other groups get this close.” he said as they all agreed and they went to get ready for a hard fight, and the tandem unit was fully armed and had a grenade launcher too, something they hadn’t added before, since it had all the missiles to use.

      “Looks like we’re getting even more serious...” James mentioned as Casi looked the launcher over in the units hands, and she agreed.”Then lets get on with it!” He said as they turned and their group followed them to the meeting spot and all 48 units were there this time, and they laid out how they’d attack, and they split into smaller groups and ran to the little valley where the Cometus were waiting.

      The attack came all at once, as Cassandra sent her missiles in first, destroying an entire wall of creatures. Then the others attacked and explosions went off all around the area. James maneuvered them for a better shot as the launchers reloaded, and after 5 minutes a second wave flew in and another several hundred creatures were vaporized.

      “Good work...” They heard, as James thanked them for saying so.” One more load to the North and you’re done here.” They heard and they checked the scanners and saw the group sneaking away and Casi scanned them into her computer and they ran to catch up. Then they rained fire down on them from a small ridge nearby and the valley was on fire for miles, and even the scanners had a hard time finding targets now.

      “OK, Unit 2 start back, we’ll clean up the stragglers.” They were told and they went to the extraction point and got lifted out of the area, and the Commander checked everyones information and was more than pleased. They threw everything at them they had, and it worked, and now this local group was gone and they could turn their attention to that last group, still slowly coming East along the coast towards Miami.

      Flights ran out and attacks went on for days. The main group was now just 700 miles from the City and still contained at least 70,000 creatures. The air assault had slowed them and reduced their numbers, but not stopped them and an attack by 3 unit groups flew out and a nuclear mine went off killing many more and removing their Commander, and they stopped for a day to regroup as the attacks went on. Now with no organization they faltered and units form the city attacked every hour, and several didn’t return. Now instead of 48 units to protect the city they had 40 and new units were under construction, but were not ready yet.

      As the big group stalled out there for a few days, scans from orbit showed exactly where they were, and the number still left. Until one day something odd happened, as the scans went on another Commander was seen...coming out of the ocean and joining the group there...it had never dawned on anyone that the Cometus came from space and they might not even need air, but here it was, and it was a sure thing that it had come from finishing off all the pipes and beams from drilling rigs that once dotted the Gulf.

      “Another 5,000 more joined today and a new Commander...God knows how many more are out there, under water yet.” The conference call mentioned as everyone agreed sadly.”Tokyo and Hong Kong will scan again for underwater signatures, Miami better start planning because the area around you was heavily industrialized for oil drilling, so there’s no telling whats coming.” Was mentioned as the local Commander added something too.

      “If they were out there all this time, then the last of the metal there must be done, or they wouldn’t need to come back on shore.” He added as many did agree.” So even though its worse than we thought, these are still the last remaining Cometus on the continent, so if we win against these, its all but over here.”

      “But can you win?” Was asked as he just shrugged and smiled.

      “We’ll give them a Hell that will make them wish they stayed under water, you can bet that!” He declared as his equals in the other cities smiled and nodded they understood. The meeting ended and flight after flight went out until they exhausted their supply of bombs, and had to make more.And as this went on more crawled out of the ocean, and even the best guest was that the main group was as big as ever, and new training went into overdrive for some armored until pilots...training that they didn’t seem to understand... but they went, and did their best.

      When the main group, now estimated at 75,000 creatures started moving again the time had come.There was a meeting and a new ‘initiative’ went into place. Armored units would leave the city...to be replaced with newer units that were even now coming off the assembly line. New pilots got added and old ones heald back to help restart the new groups, and food and water was handed out and the units were broken into 2 main groups. The Western Group and the Northern Group.

      “Your job will be to see whats still out there, its possible some humans have survived in small towns near areas where food could be easily found.” The Commander said as many looked shocked. Not only new people they barely met, but a mission that might last months, and they asked why now.

      “Even if the City stands after the next round of battles, sooner or later we’ll be thinking of leaving and starting new towns and cities again.” he explained as many agreed.” This will be our first attempt at that, go see how the land faired from all the attacks. Seeing humans might never happen, or they might hate us for leaving them alone all this time, but remember this...we are counting on you to make this happen. Start a little community somewhere, each group gets 20 units and extra people to help. Skilled in farming, hunting and first aid, everything necessary for a new start.” he added as many saw that this really was the cities last gasp, but they said nothing.

      “The two lead units will be the tandem models, so they are the group leaders.20 units to a group, two basic directions to travel in. Remember, plastic was never used by the Cometus so you’ll find entire buildings made of the stuff. That might help you later, gather what you find... use whats there... and make this work!” he demanded as they all nodded and they got any small things they might want to take along and gathered by the main gate.

      “Well James this is it...” The other group Commander added as James just smiled and agreed.” Give us a call if you find anything you think we might need to know and we’ll do the same. Our coms units have a lot longer range than the average armored unit, and the Commander wants regular reports on our progress.” He said as James nodded he knew.

      “Good luck Stan...stay well North of that group down there and we’ll start up the old 95 corridor here.” James added and they turned and started out, each group hoping the other did well.


      Chapter 10: New Beginnings


      They walked for a day then stopped by a steam and did some research. The water was clean and usable and they decided to save the bottled water to use in an emergency. Every unit filled its water supply from the stream and they gathered some small plants that were eatable to help stretch out their food too.

      Their first report mentioned it all, and even the City Commander was surprised that fresh water and food was so close.

      “The damage to the planet was less than anticipated then,” he remarked as James agreed and they got a good nights sleep and then went on.”Remember...your units are multi-fuel...so anything that burns will run them...anything. Fuel oil, gasoline, even alcohol, so take good care of them and they’ll last you for years.” he mentioned before the link went closed and James felt that that might be their last call, but he just shook it off and said nothing.

      Another days travel and they stopped at an old building along the road they were traveling on. Much of the building had fallen down but all the wooden parts were still intact, and a infrared scan showed no living beings of any kind nearby, so they got out to see what they could find and were pleasantly surprised. It had been a gas station once, and even inside the old building was some things once thought of as ‘snacks’ what little hadn’t been stolen or carried away by rats.

      “Goobers??” One girl asked holding up a small paper box and many laughed and James said it was food of some kind, and she added it to her gathering bag.

      “Pork rinds...” One guy said as many nodded, out of the entire store only a few pieces were still unopened, but anything beat nothing and it was all gathered.

      “James..out here!” They heard as they all ran that way to see a guy down on his knees checking a hole in the ground, and James asked what he found. “Scanner says: ‘fuel oil’ probably diesel.” he mentioned as James smiled wide, that was going to help a lot.

      “Lets bring all the units back here, we’ll move our fuel around and fill the remaining units from this tank, but lets run it through a filter too, an open hole like this is probably got a lot of water in it.” James mentioned and they all agreed and a hand pump was rigged up and the units were drained and fuel moved from one to another, as a second group filtered out gallon after gallon of fuel from the underground tank.

      James made another report saying they were hundreds of miles further North now and they had successfully refueled at some old station, and he got a resounding reply saying they were doing well, keep it up, and the link went down as James smiled that they were still happy with what was happening out here, and never mentioned their own battles.

      But they did notice one thing that was mentioned before they left, behind the old store was a plastic building, maybe 10 feet square with a slanted roof on it. Inside was the hand pump they found and a few tools, and James mentioned that it would make a usable storage area or even a small house if they needed it, but it was also mentioned that millions of these were out there and he agreed but they gathered any tools they thought they’d need later and they moved on.

      By noon the next day they were standing looking out on a field of neatly lined trees and colorful little balls hanging on them as everyone cheered, and they walked that way to see. Apple trees, all badly grown over by weeds and brush but still here and still growing. They took a break and eat their fill and gathered enough for a while too and put them in their machines for later. Their research was sent back and got the same reply, and James started thinking things would be alright, and they had a meeting asking if they might stay here, since some food was easy enough to find and there might be houses or other buildings nearby.

      It was decided they’d look around, and just a few miles down the road was what once was a small town, now just a ghost town sitting by a nice stream.

      “Low lying area here...” James mentioned as many agreed,it was probably where a gas attack had just laid here for days, killing everyone.”Want to risk it or maybe move on for now? We can always come back later.” he mentioned and they had a meeting and decided that going too far North was a bad idea, Winters got nasty up there and even though one young man liked the idea of snow and skiing, many were not thrilled to see it coming too soon.

      “We’ll stay hear for now then...we’re about 900 miles from Miami so we should be safe from the Cometus, and if we use only wood and plastics from now on even any survivors we might see will leave us alone.” Another added and while that was by no means a sure thing, it sounded good saying it.

      “The land is good and we have groves of trees already, so that gets us a huge first strike there. There are fish in the stream and other animals around, and even though we’ll get Winter here, it should be mostly rain.” Was added and they all nodded and agreed. They decided to look the old buildings over and claim one each... until they were ready to cohabitate at least...and they parked their armor units and went about seeing what needed done to survive here.

      Windows were still in some houses, others had fallen out and were destroyed. Plastic sheets were used for now to seal the holes and the buildings got warmer, and while there was no electricity, it was mentioned that it was possible to make some if they got the right materials later.

      “Solar panels were not metal just had some around the edges,” One man said as they all agreed, “ and they were well used in this area so after some exploring we might get something set up.” He said and they all agreed.

      Two couples moved in together right away, they had been dating anyways and it just seemed right.Cassandra and a few other girls moved in together and some of the guys got their own places and started fixing them up.Soon it became an everyday thing, fishing or hunting and going for apples and a small group started trimming the brush away and taking better care of the trees. If this was Humanities last stand then it was based on not only their skills and future but its past as well, and the old place started looking pretty good and James made another report, after talking to Stanley who also had found a place to settle, and he mentioned the same thing James had thought. Their reports sounded the same every time, a quick ‘well done!’ and then silence and they finally agreed that they were talking to a machine, because no one else was there any more.

      They decided to keep that to themselves and they congratulated each other on finding a new place. They both had food and water and nothing close by was even the slightest bit hostile, unless you counted one old bear they saw walking through the grove eating fruit, but she didn’t bother them or they her and soon this new place became home and everyone had a mate for the future.

      Casi and James were the last to join together, pure stubbornness all the way, as others laughed at them. The little town soon had children running around and getting into everything, and at one meeting they did ask if anyone from Miami would ever come this far North again.

      “You never know...” James added as Casi’s eyes dropped because she knew why he smiled a lot and refused to say one way or another. It was possible some had escaped the fall of the city but did they find food or water? Did they survive that first Winter? They might never know, but Stanley’s group was doing well and they talked from time to time, and it looked like Humanity might well survive this, the greatest attack, and no one ever heard from Hong Kong or Tokyo because the coms units just weren’t that strong in the tandems, but they hoped some had survived, and that someday Humanity would travel the world again, and all this would become just stories of the dark past, that no one believed had ever happened.
      The End


    7. #7
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      you may have heard some rumors so here it is...I was hospitalized for 5 days, my asthma has moved to blood clots in my lungs, but I'm on better medication now and getting better.So forgive me for getting a ways behind, its just been hard until I get my medicine adjusted.


    8. #8
      TXU Full Member Dazzard's Avatar
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      Woah, I never knew your health was so bad I hope that you recover very soon.


    9. #9
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      well I am 63 now and my entire family has asthma, its hereditary to us. So this was the first big step up for me for a long time, but I'm getting better again, slowly.


    10. #10
      Swarmed by spaceflEyes Mangar's Avatar
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      glad to hear you doing better. My family does not have asthma but ran into a serious dander issue with our rugs. my whole house in done in swift lock hard floors. I only have one room left in the house to complete. and swear every time I walk into that room my nose swells up and lungs feel short. We never got a doctors note that the floors need to be redone. I heard if you get a doctors note AND your state or fed Gov't can let you write off the install as a tax write off I would do it. ... For me it just had to get done. My grandparents never had rugs and lived a long time and never really sick, but ever since RUGS people have more allergies.

      when the house had rugs we dust 2 a week, now we dont even see any dust to even clean up once every 3-5 weeks. Rug fibers break up and become dust we breathe.

      Last edited by Mangar; 06-07-2015 at 07:53 PM.

      Hmmm....there was something I wanted to mutter....must not be important after all
      [ Fluently verse in mutterings, babblings and ramblings ]

      "Never confuse education with intelligence." - unknown

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