Kai. A strange name. Ancient resources tell me it means Seashell or Protector. I like using it as Protector. It just seemed right, considering what we, the Terran people, are up against. My name, it is not protection for myself, no, I have cast that aside, cast my own life aside in favor of others. Protecting them from this scourge of the galaxy, the evil backstabbing lizards from Hell who have come to take over what is known as good and pure, and corrupt it for their own sick enjoyment. So I protect. Daily laying my life on the line for those I love. My people, The Heirs of this world, this Galaxy, this Universe.
Fourteen years ago, My blissful life turned to hell. Though only a toddler, just barely old enough to understand, I swore to fix it. Looking out the viewports of the rescue ship, I watched as the warheads went off, obliterating nearly everything, killing nearly everyone. To me, it was just so much fire, so much loss, so much pain. I screamed for my parents, but they were already gone. My neighbor, I donâ€™t even remember her name, pulled me away from the window, told me it would all be all right. As I cried myself into the void everything had left, I lost who I had been. Without doing anything bad, my innocence was gone. I was a shell of a boy, and the word seashell fit. Having once carried life, I was just an empty vessel. I drifted about, went from place to place, picking up things as a means of filling that hole deep inside myself. Nothing worked truly, but the sharp edges of the hole rounded, and I was able to be â€˜aliveâ€™ again.
Then I saw it. One day, walking along a corridor on some space station I cannot remember. A television, and on it, a newscast. The newscast was showing a battle between the Terrans and the Drathonians, showing the Terrans winning. Undermanned and undergunned, these people, these weak human people, were winning, protecting a colony from the Betrayers. And that was it. I signed up for the military, all of twelve years old. Hard pressed for personnel, they accepted me into training, figuring that I could be useful, I could do something someday. And so I trained, the next four years, taking course after course, Sim after sim, Wargame after wargame, That was my life. The life of a soldier. But I did not know War. I did not know the pain, the suffering, the loss of a friend, the gashes it tears in a young manâ€™s soul.
Three years agoâ€¦ Has it been only that long? Yes, three years ago, a week after my sixteenth birthday, I was signed into active duty. Placed far from the front lines, somewhere safe, where I could get experience away from danger. Unfortunately, the Drathonians made an unexpected move, assaulting the base, my squad was rushed out with the others. We were a green squad, and my captain, though he had seen battles before, wasnâ€™t that adept a commander. At first, everything went smoothly. The stupid lizards sent melee fighters, which we picked off with ease, not realizing that it was a distraction, so their sharpshooters could get in place. We relaxed, then, they struck. Hard and fast, any visible Terran was shot at, many fell, taking hits to the head, hits that couldnâ€™t be fixed. My Captain was among them. I, the most junior soldier in the squad did what I could. But I was so scared. The screams of fear, pain, agony, it was terrifying to me, a fresh sixteen year old Private Third Class.
Beaten back, we were forced into a small group, taking cover in the central part of the compound. And there we found a tactic that worked. Filled with windows, the building provided numerous points of fire, and just as much cover. As we stood our ground, their numbers dwindled, their harsh war cries became fewer, and the rag-tag group of soldiers won out the day. But they didnâ€™t stop. In the night, more came, and we woke to find them inside the building, the barred doors burst open. Another firefight, this time more deadly, more fearful. Every corner could hold one, every doorway deadly. Beaten back to the top floor, there were about a hundred men who could still fight, and three times that many injured, crowded in whatever rooms were felt safest. On and on. Again and again. It never seemed to stop. I was finally forced to take point, I donâ€™t know why, I was scared shitless and shouldnâ€™t have been able to hit anything.
But something changed in me. That fear morphed from an enemy to a weapon I could use, it hardened me, made me remember that I had joined the military for this, to be a soldier, to protect people. And there were so many to protect, they depended on me, on my abilities, on what help I could give. I took up the yoke of my Dead captain, leading the three remaining soldiers in my squad on what everyone else thought a suicide mission. Ductoworks, thankfully large enough for us but much too small for them, wound their way through the building. Then it turned into a game. How many could we get before they noticed us. Turns out, about a hundred. Between the four of us and another squad as crazy as us, we flushed the building in about four hours. Then reinforcements came. Ours.
These are stories that take place prior to the main story. While important in fleshing out characters, they do not necessarily need to be read to understand the story.
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