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Until The End: Part 8

On the far-flung planet of Hayveon Blaze, a plucky army commander, is fighting a seemingly hopeless battle.  In a universe where empires span solar systems, a great war has split the galaxy into three. UCEF, the Union of Creature Energy Force, is an alliance of aliens fighting for freedom and justice. But set against the Cosmaratic Empire and the Barrens, an empire with mind-controlled citizens, UCEF must achieve the impossible in order to win peace.

Part 8

“We will go out fighting, dragging the Barrens down with us!” Blaze roared, waving his rifle defiantly in the air. One by one the Dinos around him took up the shout as Blaze’s fiery words swept them up. Blaze knew they were going to die, but he was certainly not going to lie down and he was going to make darn sure none of those under his command did so either. He had been a soldier almost his entire life; at a very young age he had trained to be a fighter, it was what he was good at. He had known from the very start that he would die in battle, being an ageless race, one which never grew old, he knew the only way he would finally meet his end would be on the battlefield. As it stood, this was a good way to go out, in the final defence of Hayveon standing alongside his fellow soldiers.

So as they watched the sun creep into the sky for one last time, the otherwise silent morning air was broken by the roars of the northern defenders. Like a wave rippling across the bastion the rest of the UCEF forces took up the cry. Guns were charged, weapons loaded, mounted energy cannons manned, as the defenders of Hayveon got ready for their last battle.

“Don’t stand on ceremony; there are far too many Barrens to miss. Send them back to where they came from!” Blaze yelled. As one the Dinos opened fire, a crackling swarm of green energy blasts tore through the still air to meet the Barrens.

Blaze squinted down his sights; many of the shots had gone wide. They were still far out of effective shooting range, but with so many Barrens approaching it was inevitable some would hit. Blaze let loose another burst, green energy spitting forth. He knew it was hopeless, but he was beyond caring, all he wanted now was to kill as many Barrens as he possibly could.

His rifle beeped and he dropped down to recharge it. The whole of the UCEF defences, bastion included, were firing away. Remarkably the Barrens were holding their fire, not bothering to slow their advance until they were within an effective range, just marching forwards. That was one thing Blaze hated about them; Barren generals had no care for their men and used them like ammunition, as if they were expendable. They had no more trouble sending soldiers to die than losing a few rounds of cards; letting them walk into the UCEF guns. It sickened him; he did everything he could to keep his boys alive and would never put them at risk unnecessarily.

His gun beeped at him and he swung it back up; the Barrens were getting close to the trenches now. Blaze’s breath caught in his throat as he saw the three super heavy tanks grind to a halt. It was about to begin.

“Brace yourself lads, it’s about to start!” Blaze yelled, almost on cue the Barren’s guns opened up with a devastating wave of firepower. Huge mounted energy guns fired, rockets arced up into the sky, mortars boomed and a thousand rifles blazed.

He threw himself flat; knowing the first round of shots would be the worst. It was well that he did as blue energy blasts screamed overhead, so many they blotted out the sky like a swarm of locusts. The noise of blasts and impacts was nearly deafening as explosives rained down; giant shells crashing around and upon the bastion with almighty detonations. Huge energy bolts spat from the heavy guns tearing into the bastion and hammering its walls.

Blaze winced as he heard cries from his defenders, several at least had fallen, but the instant the first volley was over the rest were back on their feet. The Barrens were charging forwards now, their whole army surging onwards. It was utter chaos; there was no other way to describe it. The ground between the two forces was lost amid a sea of energy blasts, blue and green alike, although there were far more of the former. Almost constantly shells detonated, throwing plumes of dirt and smoke skywards.

He did not bother to aim as such, just pointed his gun at the Barrens and fired. He felt like a coiled spring, every fibre in his body tense, expecting any moment to be his last as an energy bolt tore into him. Never in his life had he experienced the likes of this. The first battle had been madness, but it was nowhere near the scale of this. Two of the Barren artillery tanks exploded in blue supernovas as their energy cores detonated, struck by the bastions guns. In reply one of the super heavy tanks let drive, annihilating a pair of the remaining bastion guns.

Time seemed to stretch and warp, the concept of minutes becoming immaterial. All that existed was shooting, ducking down, recharging and shooting again. Blaze’s mind comprehended nothing else, just battle. The roar of a heavy energy gun sounded to his right as the Dino wielding it let drive, panning it left and right. A blue energy blast struck the parapet not a metre away, blasting shards of metal outwards. A Dino to his left fell. A thundering explosion hurled mud into the air just in front of the defences.

The Barrens were in the trenches now, pouring forwards like a tide rushing into an estuary. It would not take them long to reach the bastion, that was if there was anything still standing by then. Blaze ducked down to reload again as… his world exploded in a deafening bang.

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Look out for Part 9 of Matthew Gill’s story!