Hold The Line

From the Story Arc: One of Two

Previous Story in the Arc: INVASION! by Belladonna Aura (Monday, July 23, 2007)

Next Story in the Arc: Us Or Them by Belladonna Aura (Thursday, July 26, 2007)

(posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007)

Pocket D.

The wave was over. But they would be back. Bella knew they would be back, the way she knew the scars on her hands, the ache just behind her eyes.

The Heavies. Yeah I remember them. Some of the armored ones are new. But the Heavies...the tech for that is only on the Home World, the Bugs here lost the means to make them. Which means they're punching through.

The Cruisers too....most of the people that fought the first War never saw the cruisers. But in Las Vegas, the saucer had strafed the Strip, while the cruisers went after Nellis and four of them had headed for Groom Lake. Where her parents had been.

They'd dropped Heavies. Lots of troopers. Swarms of monkeys. Bella hadn't seen the drop, though; they were already inside Groom Lake base when she and her team of too-olds and too-youngs had gotten there.

...the whine of the teleport beams, they're all around you, bug-eyed helmets pointed at you, scorch of plasma and you roll out of the way but see some poor jumpsuited tech burned in half and one of the team screams on the radio. screaming and blood and fire and smoke and choking chemical smells, skirting too close to flames, blood on your hands and your hair, not enough energy, not enough power, not enough bandages, not enough anything, a man who could have been your fatehr dying under your hands, a woman who could have been your mother crushed under a falling wall, and you scramble through the dark, lit by fires and flashes of plasma and you watch the kid you ate lunch with in school for three years go down with his face burned off and his best friend freaks and charges and the monkeys swarm and tear him to bits...

They didn't get it. They didn't get it. It was horrible yes and awful that poor Sister Jo gone down in a flaming wreck and...there was someone else dead, Bella didn't know who... Yes it was horrible. But there was no time. No time to mourn, no time to bitch about how your head aches, no time, no time at all, to think about anything except how you were going to do better in the next wave.

They thought she was giving them a pep talk. They didn't get it. It wasn't a pep talk, it was straight talk. Hold the line/ Don't think about anything else. Hold the line There was no other option. Because if they failed, if they didn't hold the line, then there would be nothing left. Those ships would carpet-bomb the city, then the big Portals would open and the real forces would pour through. And that would be the end of humanity, game over, man. If they all lived they could mourn later. Not now.

None of them got it. Not even the ones that had fought the first time around. Well, maybe Petro. Sera did, she had just been on a world that was fighting a losing battle. But not the ones in the D. Victory was natural to them; defeat simply unthinkable. Finally she handed out a few choice words, drank to the fallen, smashed the glass and left. Taking her position where she could get people out, then hook up another team. Emotions would stay bottled up for now. If she lived, she'd deal with them. Right now, there was no room for anything but cold calculation, vigilance and action. Anything less was death. For everyone.

Hold the line.