Chrono Trigger - Believe
"Does the conscious ever die, or make regrets eternal?"
Circa 192 A.H (3022 A.D.). - Somewhere on the
Western half of the Continent
Chapter I - Day One, Ground Zero
The blinding light drove away the darkness of night for miles around, followed shortly by a resounding, and devastating shockwave. The nighttime silence, broken with a roar like the screams of countless lives cut short.
The light gradually receded, as a fiery cloud, shaped like mushroom blossomed upwards into the starry sky.
A voice crackled to life over the radio, "Initial primary strike results indicate an opposition life loss of 67%...", static tore in for a moment, "...success. Prepare for ground assault."
The Malek-Hershaw HA-701 Transport Helicopter clung low to the ground, mere feet above the charred husks of ruined buildings. As the aircraft neared it's destination, spotlights flicked into life, casting light into the misty and shadowed regions below.
"That was one hell of a Relic, eh Lieutenant?"
"What," I said, snapping from my reverie, "What'd ya say Rollins?"
"The Nuke. The Archs did us good when they coughed up that toy," he replied.
I nodded. The Archs... Short for archaeologists, the ones responsible for excavating our weapons from before the Apocalypse, and perhaps the most prized occupation one could have. This Relic, a Nuclear, they called it, was one of the weapons of the Apocalypse.
Although they had found the Nuclear over 6 months ago, they spent a long time trying to unlock the secrets it held. When they had discovered its exact purpose though, the military wanted to put it to good use despite the Archs protests. This strike, was the result of that good use.
"ETA 7 minutes," the co-pilot hollered back.
How many miles of burned out building had we flown over now? Five? Ten? We hadn't even reached the epicenter of the blast. Thank god that was our weapon.
Sporadic gunfire suddenly burst from one of the buildings, tearing into the side of the helicopter. The great craft heaved and lurched, throwing various supplies from one end of the aircraft to the other.
"Dammit! Someone to get to the RG," the Captain shouted.
Someone meant me.
Unbuckling the harness, I staggered across to the drop door and grabbed the RailGun suspended from the ceiling. Buckling up the harness again, I kicked off the doors latch and threw back the door. Taking a deep breath I leaned out into the night.
A second volley erupted from below, no doubt aimed at me. Fortunately there was no sniper at the trigger, or I doubt the bullets would have struck the open door.
Gathering my senses, I marked the origin point of our attacker and let loose with a volley of my own. Explosions graced the side of the ruins, shards of concrete flying this way and that. Doubtful he survived.
Strong hands moved to pull me back into the helicopter, back into the light.
"Good job, lieutenant," the Captain said.
Nodding, I returned to my seat. Good job, yeah, right. It wasn't him sticking his neck out into that blackness, I thought.
"The ‘chopper has taken enough damage that we're not gonna be able to get back out," the pilot grimly informed us.
Well, now it was a one way mission. I shouldn't have been surprised. Soldiers are supposed to be prepared for this sort of thing. I suppose I was more prepared than most.
Within two minutes, we had set down on a relatively flat stretch of land, not far from something that might have been a building once.
"Alright," the Captain barked,"I want a perimeter of at least 200 meters established around this structure! MacConelly, Rollins, you go with the GCL and get set up at the top of that thing. Davis and Watson, you're with me."
GCL. Me. Short for Genetically Created Life Form. You see, I'm not a real person, not like, say, the Captain. There are only six others like me, and I was the only one in the group. Although the army probably valued my life over anyone here, my comrades saw a much different picture.
We all broke out to perform our appointed tasks. With MacConelly in the lead, my group began to make its way into the ruined building. Luck was with us, for either the building had been abandoned or the Nuclear did a good job here, I wasn't sure, nor did I particularly care. Within a matter of minutes, we had set up a small post at the top, and began surveying the area. Besides the crackling of fire in the distance, and the occasional explosion, everything seemed quiet.
Only I thought something was wrong. When a strike team is assembled, and inserted into enemy territory, they do not go on the defensive like we were. Something had gone horribly wrong, or was about to.
"Rollins?" I asked
The answer did little to ease the mind. I returned to gazing at the terrain through another Arch toy, a Day Scope. I can't say I was surprised at what I saw.
"What is it?" MacConelly asked.
"Company at 3."
"Sir?" the soldier asked into another Arch device, "The Lieutenant says we've got possible resistance at 3, relative to our position."
"Can you confirm this?" a voice over the radio crackled.
MacConelly looked to me; gazing back in I saw the same, only closer.
"At least a dozen so far. Half appear to have Arch guns of some sort. Wait... There's something back further, I can't quite make it out."
"Yes, sir." MacConelly said, "A dozen, possibly more. Something further back too."
"It's big, MacConelly. Really big."
"Something big, sir." MacConelly echoed into the radio.
The voice cut in over the static, "Alright then, we're on it. Await further instruction."
My stomach tensed, battle imminent. I waited for the first gunshots to be fired. The big thing, still not quite clear through the Day Scope, bothered me.
My train of thought was interrupted as the sound of automatic gunfire erupted into the night. Shouts rose up, echoing off the sides of nearby ruins. Orders being barked out.
"Gun to 3!" a voice screamed over the radio.
Angling the beast of a weapon, it was time for me to do my job. Peering into the Day Scope once more, I fired a single shot from the Arch Graviton Cannon. The resulting dark rupture wiping out a half dozen, or so, of our attackers.
As I adjusted the gun, to prepare a second shot, I caught another glimpse of the big thing.
"We gotta go, guys!" I shouted, "It's a Tracks!"
MacConelly immediately got on the radio again, as Rollins hastily began packing things up.
The Captain cut in again, "Stand your ground, we can take it out! Shoot the bloody thing!"
Looking back to me, MacConelly gave me the indifferent look of a soldier, "You heard him."
"We can't!" I began, "There's no way!"
"You're gonna disobey?" Rollins asked.
"We can't stay here!" I argued, "If they find out where that Graviton shot came from, we're toast!"
"Lynn, if you can't..."
He was cut off as a blue light illuminated the area, and resulting explosion killing god knows how many of our comrades. The foundations of the building shaking from the force of the blast.
"We gotta go!" I shouted.
"No!" Rollins protested, bringing out his pistol, pointing it at me, "We stay."
"And die? Like this?"
"If need be."
The radio started up for a moment, "Hold our ground. Intel says that they're sending in another helicopter to get us. It seems the Archs have another Nuclear waiting in the wings for these..."
Again the Tracks fired, knocking us off of our feet. I couldn't let this opportunity out of my grasp. Doing what I do best I sprang to my feet, and grabbed what supplies I could. The radio no longer gave anything more than static.
"What do you think you're doing?!?" MacConelly shouted, "Lynn! You can't...!"
A shot rang out, a shot from Rollins. Dexterously rolling out of the way, I glanced out the window. The Tracks main gun slowly turned to face the building. To face us.
Forgetting MacConelly. Forgetting Rollins. I ran. That bastard fired again, catching me in the leg, but not before I threw myself out through a gaping hole in the wall.
The blue light flared, MacConelly, Rollins, and about three stories of concrete were vaporized.
Fortunately, Rollins' shot was nothing more than a grazing wound, so I had little trouble landing on my feet and speeding off into the night.
Soldiers could be heard shouting into the dark, and I had no doubt that my entire platoon, save for me, was dead. I fled until the rumble of the Tracks, faded into the background.
"67%", I muttered as I ran, recalling the Nuclear's success rate, "Not good enough."
Go to Chapter 2