A War In Evol | Chapter I: The Silver Eagles
Teppei shook in his sleep, sweat covered his face. He was dreaming again, another one of those twisted ones he had become so accustomed to having. It started in a cold forest, at night. The moon was full, and a thick fog was coming in. On the ground there were dead animals scattered everywhere: squirrels, frogs, bats, deer, mice… Not a living thing in sight, even the trees were dead. Teppei made his way down a winding path past the dead animals, and underneath the dead pine trees. Eventually it led to a clearing where a man stood alone. He was tall, and wore a cloak which covered his entire body and face. By the way he stood Teppei could tell he was quite old. He approached Teppei, who stood immobile.
“Don’t be afraid,” said the man.
“I’m not afraid,” replied Teppei confused. The man didn’t say anything for a moment. The air was so cold you could see his breath, and the fog began to get heavier as it crept in.
“Don’t be afraid of losing them… Realise that everyone you know who lives will someday die and they will die alone. Remember that, you can’t stop it. Embrace this knowledge or you will forever be misguided…”
“Misguided?” Teppei didn’t understand. Suddenly an explosion of light filled the clearing and blinded Teppei. Everything in the forest was blown away by a sudden gush of wind. The impact threw Teppei to the ground. He curled up and began to shiver as it grew even colder. Now he was left in pure darkness with not a living thing in sight: no trees, no animals, not even the wind blew past. Pure cold darkness engulfed him. He woke up. He was still shivering; he had had this dream many times, but never thought twice about it… Just a phase, a pre-war nightmare he was having. It was nothing…
* * * * *
Tall yellow grass was as high as their waists, and the wind couldn’t make up its mind as to which direction to push it towards. The two young adults stood in an empty field. A boy and a girl held hands tight and gazed into the atmosphere. The sun was setting and the sky was beautiful, blue and yellow swirls enveloped by white cloud. It hadn’t been this nice since the beginning of summer, before the blasts had started.
“My father says that this is the last we will see of nature’s beauty…” said the girl. The ground began to vibrate, almost as though it had a heart, and it was beating. You could feel it in your feet with every consecutive thud.
“I don’t believe it. One day you and I will come back to this spot and it will be more beautiful than before. I promise, Penny.” The boy grabbed the girl’s other hand they stood and looked into each other’s eyes. The beating from the ground was getting louder and heavier. It almost made you jump each time.
“Teppei, why do you have to go away? Why can’t you come with me and my family and leave this destruction?” Tears rolled down the girl’s face. Teppei wiped her cheek and took a deep breath.
“I’m sorry… I can’t come with your family! I’ve told you already, and I can’t change my plans now. This is what I have to do to protect you.”
“If you’re doing it for me, then come with me! I don’t want you to stay behind, come with all of us; we’ll be safe where we are going!” Penny knelt down and covered her face with her hands as she cried. The wind was picked up speed and you couldn’t ignore the beating of earth. It was almost as if there was an earthquake.
“I don’t think you get it… There’s not going to be a safe place if there’s nobody left to stop them! You can’t run from them, we must defend our country.” Suddenly the sky grew dark as two colossal planes soared over the hills and into view. They left a trail of thick white cloud behind them and a thundering sound erupted throughout the field as they flew overhead. The planes were beautiful war machines, each as big as a city block. People around here called them the Silver Eagles, mostly because of the sheer beauty and size. All together there were six of them in the army, and they were the best warships in the world.
“I’m leaving for Evol in two hours. The planes will be leaving and they don’t expect us to be back for months at least. I’ve told you this a million times, but I’m sorry… I have to go.” Penny didn’t say anything. She took Teppei’s hand and squeezed it harder. There was nothing left to say, nothing could get him to change his mind. The planes were nearing the city now and the ground began to calm. The wind settled down and Teppei and Penny watched the large planes fall from sight into the centre city.
* * * * *
It was almost dark now, and most of the people in the city were inside their homes. Now the last remaining truckloads of working people and exports were leaving the urban Sellor, and an immense troop of soldiers marched into the heart of the city.
Teppei marched with his line, single file down Main Street and into city square where the Silver Eagles had landed. His line approached city square where all six planes had touched down. The amazing part of the city of Sellor was the fact that it had been built around these great machines. What was once a large army base was now an enormous city, based on security and warfare. Everything in the city was high-tech, from moving sidewalks to talking parking meters. Security here was ahead of its time, with bullet-proof glass being a basic commodity and alarmed and camera-ready homes in even the poorest areas of the city.
The soldiers stopped and all lines faced the planes. In front of one of the planes stood General Collins, and waited to address the soldiers. Everything settled down and he took hold of microphone propped next to him.
“Silver Eagles, your time is now!” the soldiers erupted in cheers and General Collins continued. “I don’t want to give you the same war speech we’ve ever heard. Tonight we are leaving our homes and families to fight an enemy who shows no mercy. You, my men, are the finest soldiers we’ve ever had. I’m not going to lie to you, this is the biggest battle we have ever faced, and probably will ever face. Not since the Intelligent War have men known this type of chaos and hostility. I just want you to know that each and every one of you has made a choice to defend your country and your people. I didn’t force you into this, you enlisted yourselves, and I want to thank all of you for that. There are 20,000 men entering these planes tonight, and when we arrive in Evol tomorrow the same 20,000 men will fight for their lives. The only advice I want to give to you young men is this: Things are not as they seem! Things are NEVER as they seem! Remember that when you’re out there, and may god be with you…” He put the mic back on the stand as the entire army cheered and clapped. The sound of the engines starting up could be heard throughout the city. Collins walked up the dock into the Silver Eagle I and the front line of men began to follow him.
Teppei’s line was assigned to Silver Eagle VI, which was the last plane to board. Once every plane was loaded his line made their way to the last plane. They went up the boarding platform and he entered the aircraft.
The plane was huge; Teppei had never been aboard one of the Silver Eagles before. It was magnificent; it was like nothing he had ever seen. There were six floors on Silver Eagle VI Teppei had been told. Giant glass windows stretched throughout the hallways. The basement floor through which they entered held all of the war vehicles and supplies for the missions. Everyone was lead to the centre of the plane where the elevators were. Teppei patiently waited for room to head up. The second floor was the dormitories. As far as Teppei knew, he wasn’t sure what was on the other floors. This single dormitory floor could hold his entire troop and then some. There were few windows on this floor. He wondered what else lied above him. He explored the main hallway and found a room where you could look up into the heart of the plane. It had couches and television screens on the wall displaying mission objectives and weather conditions. In this room you could see each floor and the elevator in the centre of the plane. From where Teppei was standing he could see that there were other rooms like this surrounding the entire plane. It was like a slinky with a glass tube in the centre.
Teppei resumed to his duties and went looking for his dorm. His ID card he had been given had his dorm number on it next to his picture: #0636. He walked down the halls, past the red dorm doors until eventually he found his own. He opened the door and threw his bag to the ground. It was small. About as big as his bathroom at home, except it had a bed and a small table. There was no window and only one single light in the ceiling. For a war plane, this was luxury. He pushed the bag underneath the small table and sat on the bed. He had been waiting for this day for months. His training was about to be tested. After he had enlisted in the Eagles he knew things were going to be different. They told him to tell his family it could be months before they return from war, but he knew damn well the battle would only last days at the most. The government needed that extra time to account for the bodies they would find in the aftermath. He took off his uniform and got into the small bed. Tomorrow things would be hectic, and they told the soldiers prior to get rest. He turned off the light and fell asleep to the sound of the plane engines humming beneath him as the plane took off.