LOCATION: Just outside Wexford, Ireland
DATE: June 24th, 4033 (approximately 30 minutes after the initial attack by the Drathonians)
The sky was red, and the smell of smoke was heavy on the wind. If one looked carefully at the sky they could see the massive Drathonian fleet that had moved into the system sitting on the outskirts of the planetâ€™s atmosphere. The attacking fleet had made a b-line for the British Isles and had been raining fire and death down upon the unsuspecting world. Smaller Drathonian fighter crafts could be seen darting in and out of the atmosphere as they swept away the meager Terran defenses as well as any who tried to flee into space.
For all of the innocents who were caught up in the initial bombardment it was as if Hell itself had opened up. For the billions of people living in the major cities the sight was short lived, as they were vaporized within minutes of receiving the warning call. For those who lived in the small towns and the suburbs they had to bear witness to Godâ€™s wrath. With the major cities and spaceports destroyed, there was nowhere for them to flee. Some drove far into the countryside hoping that the rural areas would be spared from the massive conflagration, the more pious folk fled to the churches to seek safety in the arms of their Lord, and others simply resign themselves to seeking shelter in in their homes and cellars.
Cassy sat with her parents and younger brother in the cellar of their small farmhouse. Her father was sitting at a small table listening to a small, old radio as he search for a station that could give advice on what to do; her mother was sitting by a small alter praying; while Cassy comforted her brother Aidan.
â€œDamn. I can only get scattered reports, but the news is still the same. Almost 80% of England and Scotland has been completely vaporized, and Ireland isnâ€™t fairing much better. Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway. They have all been shot to shit. Which means all of our spaceports as well.â€ Kyle, Cassyâ€™s father, growled as he listened to the radio. Her father was a tall, well-built man who had been a farmer all of his life. He had long, auburn hair and a bushy red beard. His eyes were usually filled will a definite sense of strength and determination, but today was the first time Cassy had ever seen her father look so defeated.
â€œI wish Fred were here,â€ Cassy said in a whisper, but her father still picked up on it.
â€œThat Haverthorn boy is likely better off than we are. I wish we were with him instead,â€ Kyle said as he slumped back in his chair. â€œI understand the need to fill the world in on whatâ€™s going on, but for Christâ€™s sake youâ€™d think at least some of these stations would be giving some evacuation information. Damn international stations."
The minutes dragged on by like they were hours. Every moment spent worrying if the next bombardment would vaporize the house with the family inside.
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**(cracklefizzzcrux)â€¦.S AN EMERGENCY BROADCAST. I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A TE...(crixxazzz)**
â€œHey! Quiet everyone! I finally found a broadcast!â€ Kyle said as he almost jumped out of his seat.
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**(shruzzixxxxac)â€¦PLEASE STAND BY FOR AN URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT. [b]â€œAttention citizens of Ireland, this is not a drill. Terra is under attack by Drathonian invaders. The following areas are hereby declared disaster zones: Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Port Lairge, Inis, Tallaght, and Bray. All major spaceports in these areas have been destroyed. Do not approach these metropolitan areas. Too aide in the evacuation, relief shuttles are in route from the French, German, and Spanish regions. They will be going to the following regions: Cobh, Edenderry, Baile Loche Riach, Claonadh, Macroom, New Ross, Cionn tSaile, and Caher. I repeatâ€¦[/b]â€
â€œAlright everyone, grab your things, we are heading to New Ross! Come on Riona letâ€™s go. Cass! Grab Aidan, we are getting in the truck,â€ Kyle shouted as he shoved his chair away and started grabbing the familyâ€™s duffle bags.
â€œCâ€™mon Aidan, itâ€™s time for us to go for a drive,â€ Cassy whispered to her six year old brother.
â€œArâ€™ we going to visit granma anâ€™ granpa?â€ little Aidan mumbled as he rubbed some sleep from his eyes.
â€œNah, we are taking a drive to New Ross today,â€ she whispered as she picked him up and cradled him, â€œThey are going to meet us there.â€ She started toward the cellarâ€™s exit as Kyle came back down the stairs looking as though he had seen death itself.
He scanned the cellar to make sure they had grabbed everything, and saw his wife still clutching the family crucifix. â€œCâ€™mon hun, itâ€™s time to go,â€ he whispered as he gently patted his wife on the shoulder. She turned towards him slowly, revealing tear-ridden and blood shot eyes.
â€œWhy is God testing us like this?â€ she said, almost weeping. â€œSo many innocent people have died. He is surely punishing us.â€ Kyle now kneeled down facing his wife and embraced her.
â€œI donâ€™t know Riâ€™na, but all we can do is try and survive this. If we canâ€™t even manage that, then we need to make sure our kids survive,â€ Kyle said as he looked Riona in the eyes, â€œI need your help on this. Are you with me?â€
She reached up and grabbed her husbandâ€™s hand and kissed it. â€œYou know I always am.â€ The two then stood up and hugged once more before exiting the cellar.
Kyle looked up towards the sky once more as he and his wife raced to the truck. He hurried into the driver seat while his wife got in the passenger seat. â€œMake sure you are buckled up kids,â€ Riona said just as Kyle slammed his foot down on to the gas and the truck peeled out.
The truck shot down the road en route to New Ross. Kyle focused on the road sparing only brief moments to glance at the sky, Riona was once again praying, while Cass tried to keep Aidan distracted.
What normally would have been a thirty-five minute drive was made in half that time. Only problem is that a lot more people were also trying to get to the evac shuttles.
â€œWe are parking the truck here, we will get there faster on foot,â€ Kyle said as he shifted the trunk into park on the side of the highway. The family quickly got out of the truck, this time Riona took Aidan though. The sound of the one sided battle over head was more prevalent now as the four raced down the side of the road towards the shuttle port.
â€œLook, the shuttles! Some are taking off already,â€ Riona said suddenly as she pointed towards the sky with her free hand. Off in the distance three shuttles began to rise above the cityscape. Out of nowhere the sound of sonic booms could be heard, and on the western horizon a squadron of Scourges came into view and opened fire on the shuttles. The civilian shuttles didnâ€™t last a minute against the alien military, and the shuttles erupted into flame. The sound of thousands of screams could be heard rising up from the city as the flaming ship began to rain back down to earth like brimstone.
â€œThe shuttles would be able to take off as long as those fighters and destroyers are blockading us!â€ cried somebody from off to the side of the road. â€œItâ€™s hopeless!â€
Off to the south the sound of more sonic booms could be heard. People all around the family began panicing for fear of more Drathonian fighters, when suddenly the new incoming fighters opened on the scourges.
â€œIt is the defensive fleet! The Navy is here!â€ people cheered as the incoming Daggers started taking on the Scourges.
â€œCâ€™mon, we got to get to the shuttles, nowâ€™s our chance,â€ Kyle said as he ushered his family forward.
They traveled with the pack of survivors further into the city. As they walked, it suddenly became dark all of a sudden, and shortly thereafter more screaming and panicking arose from the crowd. Cassy looked up to see what was going on and she was stunned by what she saw. One of the Drathonian destroyers had moved in front of the sun. â€œWhat is going on, Fred?â€ she asked as she stared up at the sight.
â€œCassy? Cass! Where are you?â€ she heard her father calling to her.
â€œIâ€™m right here, dad,â€ Cassy called back. â€œDad? Dad?!â€ The crowd had moved around the young girl as she slowed down to look at the sky, and now she was separated from her family. She began to try and push her way through the crowd to find her family, but the crowd was too dense and she didnâ€™t get anywhere.
Her fear of being separated was short lived, for once again the crowd began to panic. â€œThe destroyer is getting ready to fire again!â€ a woman cried. Almost instantly the crowd began to try and rush towards the shuttles.
â€œOw! Hey watch it!â€ Cassy cried as the crowd began to suffocate her. â€œDad! Mom! Aidan! Where are you!?â€
In the sky above the massive Drathonian destroyer began to charge it main cannons as it prepared to unleash another devastated bombardment down upon the defenseless Terran citizens. To those looking at the destroyer, it looked as though the ship had spawned another sun that rapidly grew in size until it dominated the sky. The people trying to flee would notice it growing increasingly hotter as the second sun drew closer to the city.
â€œDad! Mom! Aidan! Where are you?!â€ Cassy began screaming, tears now forming in her eyes as she was pushed along with the tumultuous crowd.
â€œFred! FRED! Help!â€
The light became blinding.
LOCATION: Durbrillion Marine Training Facility
Date: June 24th, 4033 (approximately 3 hours after the initial invasion of Terra)
Fred woke up and sat up, gasping violently. He was soaked in a cold sweat. â€œOh, thank god, just a nightmare,â€ Fred said, breathing heavily. He was about to try and go back to sleep when all of a sudden the lights in the barracks turned on and an announcement came through the speakers telling everyone to report to the parade grounds immediately. Fred wiped the nightmare from his mind and followed the other recruits to the parade grounds.
It was about four thirty in the morning and the stadium lights were used to light the area and everyone on base was gathered. Fred stood silently at attention as the base commander stood on the podium.
â€œAttention!â€ the commander called. â€œAt approximately 0430 we received dire news. Three hours ago Terra came under attack.â€ The commander paused as he let the news sink in. Every person on base gasped at the disturbing news. Fred however was deathly silent as the memory of his recent nightmare resurfaced.
â€œTerra has been betrayed by the Drathonians. It isâ€¦with great sadness that I must inform you that at last report the death toll counted into the billions. The British Isles have all but been vaporized, and the Eastern Coast of the US territories hasnâ€™t fared much better. We have received confirmation and as of this moment forward the Terran Republic is now at war with the Drathonian Empire. Marines, it is now your duty to stand up in this time of crisis. It is up to you to stand and fight as the spear head of our campaign to right these grievous wrongs. Now go get some sleep marines, for in the morning the real training begins.â€ After the commander finished speaking he stepped off of the podium. Many marines cheered, many remained solemn. Fred felt as though he was about to collapse.