I don't know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- Albert Einstein
Hello. My name is Hel Sunders. I am 25 years old and a deserter.
I do not know who will read this journal. Maybe it will be lost somewhere along with everything that makes out my world...made...I should say "made". My world is but a smoldering pile of embers, left by the war that we brought upon ourselves. There was no greater cause, no matter what the media said. Just some politicians being too trigger happy and utterly blinded by their power. I have two little girls - Caroline (13 years old) and Daria (14 years old). They are all I have left and I couldn't bear to lose them. I am not proud of what I had to teach them in order to survive, but they were still alive and that is the only thing that matters...
You see, too many lines were crossed. Everyone was sent into this meat grinder of a war. Men, women, children. I once saw a girl, she wasn't older than 10 or 11 and was cleaning guns and equipment of resting soldiers...The small ones weren't good for fighting, but they served perfectly well as minor labor. Who am I to speak - my own two girls are with me as well. The war ended just as fast as it began. Four months. Our weapons were simply too good. We developed all kind of arms to kill each other and were damn successful as it seems. Four months were enough to eradicate 99% of the known civilization. You think we are monsters? Crazy? Well...guess you are right. But tell me this: Do you really think that in the age you live in, it would never and under no circumstances come to this? If you honestly can answer "Yes, it would never happen!"...well, I envy you. If not...it may be already too late. I hope it's not.
6th August 5102Edit
My girls and I have made it through the battlefield that merged seamlessly into the ruins that were left of this once prospering city and were both - tired and hungry. The nutrition packs we had were just enough to keep us moving and somewhat alive. The medpack that dangled at my side was mostly empty. A soldier gave it to us without any objections as his head was burned to crisps by a flamethrower and partially crumbled, leaving the rest of the body whole in a grotesque contrast. The city seemed empty, but we three knew it was not. They never were. This is the last one on our path though. If we pass it, only about 9 days on foot to reach the small and secluded area that shouldn't have been attacked for lacking any importance whatsoever. It is a small village that was abandoned decades ago. It was completely overgrown with trees and the nature claimed it back for the biggest part. My father took me there once...it might make for a new home.
Whatever armies or even platoons there were, they had killed each other on the third month, not having anyone to command them on the second. War has no winners, only survivors. I was thankful that me, Caroline and Daria were still alive. I would do everything to keep them. And when it comes down to pure survival, there are no heroes...trust me, I tried to be one. At the end they were more important to me than any stranger and if it was them or us, I had no inner struggle to do what was necessary and neither did they.
We stumbled into one of the buildings, exhausted and searching for shelter. A young man - no older than 20 - had the terrible luck to run into us in one of the wrecked doorways on our way in. He had a combat knife in his hand. It was trembling, his eyes full of fear. I shook slowly my head at him, gesturing that it was not worth it. He desperately pointed the weapon at us. Three against one. He knew he could not win. His lips stayed sealed as did ours. He made a mistake - a step forward. Daria acted without me having to tell her what to do. Her eyes began to glow in a bluish grey and the man froze in his tracks. Paralyzed and pale, grasping the consequences of his decision all he wanted was to run away, but now it was too late. Now her gaze started to glim in a deep purple and the young boy began to stab himself with quick, shallow thrusts - enough to make him bleed profoundly but not kill instantly as his self-preservation instinct stopped his hand from inflicting a lethal wound. After half a minute of him crying and repeating the motion he collapsed on the floor and bled to death.
I gently stroke Daria's head. It wasn't her fault that we had to reserve to such means...I smiled in an attempt to prevent her from feeling guilty, but I knew there was no way. Caroline hugged her and I began to loot the poor fellow, who stumbled into his demise. We could have spoken, cleared things, made an arrangement...war teaches you different. Before it all began, my girls and I were singing in contests. Nothing big or serious, just me and the two of them together, spending time and enjoying ourselves, earning money from time to time or even winning prizes...They would have won more often, but always insisted, that we sing all together even though my voice wasn't the best...we do not sing anymore. Nor do we really speak. Sound is treacherous and can give away your position, attract foes or wildlife...
We go a couple of stories up in this half-destroyed concrete building and lay down to sleep. They hug me both and I hug them back. The rations the soldier had weren't much, but would allow us to travel a little farther than without. After finishing these lines, I will try to sleep as well.
7th August 5102Edit
As I wake up from a sound and my brain begins to process the information as it hurries back into consciousness. It sounds...metallic, almost as if someone would flick one of those old zippo-lighters you see in movies…but different, more as if two at once were flicked....then the next sound, this one is easier...a "clank"...an object hitting an another...one is concrete, I know it, the other...metall...dull...thick...
As the two seconds pass, my eyes widen and I am getting slung back into reality. The small, green orb with a knob on it was hopping to the middle of the room we were in, rolling afterwards. Daria woke immediately up just a fraction of a second before I finally did and spanned a protective field...I do not blame her, you know? She gave her best, but all the struggle, all the things that she had to endure...the impenetrable bubble, that surrounded me and her resisted the explosion and kept us save...Caroline was torn from my other side as the shockwave ripped through her body and smacked it against the wall, where my little girl fell down as a limp mess of flesh and bones...I jumped up as Daria crouched panting, while I yanked a grenade from my own belt and pulled the pin, letting go of the lever I counted the five seconds down it took for the fuse to reach the main charge.
5... They are expecting me to throw or charge. They are waiting.
4... They will throw it back if they get the chance, it has to explode right in their goddamn faces!
3... Oh, my sweet, little girl, please don't be dead...
2... I take a swing and throw it right into the doorway, where the point of a gun was already to see as they tried to carefully advance.
1... The explosive flies through the air and bounces off the wall. I hear a curse and shuffling as somebody tries to grab it.
0... Another deafening explosion engulfs the room and debris, dust and chunks of flesh shoot out of the opening.
I run with my rifle raised to see if there are any survivors to finish them off, but what is left wouldn't even allow do tell whether one or two people stood, where now was a small crater and human remains mixed with equipment and concrete, evenly distributed across the ceiling, floor and walls. The grenade did its job and so did theirs when the first blast wave hit the charges they had on them. I rushed back into the room and saw Daria clenching what was left of Caroline and weeping, tears running down her cheeks. She looked at me in agony, begging with her eyes for me to do something.
I dragged the medpack from my side and searched frantically through all what was left - bandages, stims, painkillers! Damn it! Where are the fucking nanites?!? - My face had to be white as snow as I almost tore the bag apart in search for the octagonal blue capsule. Think, think you bastard, you have to save her, it's your damn responsibility, what else are you good for, if you can't even save your little girl? You need nanites, where can you get any from? Medpacks, right...Medpacks are on medics...soldiers...inside vehicles...special buildings...wait! - I spin around and sprint back to the remains of whoever I’ve just blown up.
Trust me when I tell you, that you cannot imagine how a human looks like when he gets torn apart by an explosion...it's not a pretty sight and the stench is the one of all body fluids combined. I fight the vomit back and fall to my knees, grabbing ribs, limbs, indistinguishable pieces and throw them into one corner, searching for only one precious thing. My hand are sticky, wet and things slide out of them again and again but I manage to find a medpack...My heart races as I grab it and open the lid...blue, glowing liquid poured out of a broken octagonal capsule...
My mind searched feverish for anything that would make up for a solution but there was nothing...nothing...I looked at the pile of human remains in the corner...calculations...subconscious reasoning with the facts that reality presented to me...too much. There is too much! Nobody would have enough for such a pile, two or three, yes, but not a single person. I look around again, maybe, just maybe. It took a lot of sorting but finally, there it was. Another medpack. With shaking hands, as carefully as I could opening the lid...my hand stopped midway...What if it is empty, or broken?...what then?...Please, please, whatever god listens to me right now, please let there be a whole one, I beg you. Amazingly there it was...glowing, whole, containing nanites.
I jumped back on my feet, almost slipped but caught the balance and ran back, came sliding on my knees to a hold at the lifeless body of Caroline and smiled at Daria. My hands were shaking but I managed to fumble the capsule into the autoinjector, jammed its needle between Caroline’s 3rd and 4th vertebrae and pushed the button. The precious liquid poured into her and began its work. Quickly wounds closed and it seemed as if time itself would turn around to give her a second life. She woke up, still badly injured, but alive. Daria hugged her as I collapsed in relief and tears ran down my face. We helped Caroline to a window where she glanced at the dawn. Her eyes began to shine in a beautiful golden light, reflecting and filtering the sunrays. Her body immediately started to regenerate further until not even a scratch was left.
We looted what was left of the 2-3 soldiers that tried to kill us and went on. Tonight's camp will have to be a tank that was driven into a wall when a sonic resonator liquidized its crew. Luckily their exo-suits contained whatever was left of them sealed and we could sleep safely.
9th August 5102Edit
I'm 25 and getting too old for this shit. It seems that the strain and exhaustion of the past days left me completely wrecked and I slept for more than a whole day. I woke up as Caroline poked me gently. She and Daria both held two birds carefully and presented them to me...I was so proud of the two...they sneaked out and scavenged on their own, I never was half as proud of myself in my whole life. Of course it was still stupid, reckless and damn straight not worth it, as long as we had rations. So although my chest was swollen full of pride as they cared so much for me, I still scolded them with flailing fingers forming into sign language and an angry face for about an hour. Their punishment was to eat the two birds without me. They needed the food more and I used whatever excuse there was to make them eat more than I did.
We took whatever we could use from the tank including a sentry-gun platform and a combat rifle, some standard, acidic, stick&shock and even some armor piercing clips. It slowly was getting fairly difficult to carry all the stuff around, but you never can have enough ammunition.
We made it about 5 miles deeper into the city and had it would probably take one or two more days to get out in the open again, then half a day to the forest and from there on. Nothing exciting today and I am honestly grateful for it. We will sleep again and venture on for tomorrow. A camouflage net for a blanket and concrete for a mattress.
10th August 5102Edit
We were going down the main street when we saw something that would look like normal debris and a crashed vehicle partially blocking the road. Randomly arranged, yes, but still arranged. I gave my girls a sign and we went into one of the buildings at the side of the road and began to slowly and silently advance to the possible ambush side. We crawled the last meters on the floor to the missing wall that would allow us to get a good view from the 3rd floor. Everything looked normal, but I decided to wait an hour or more. To fuck up now, so close to exiting the city would be just pathetic.
My Binocular's HUD signalized movement to the side. A woman, probably a "psycho" due to her strange white gown that was just as dirty as everyone else in this world and some sort of a crown on her head. She had beautiful big rose eyes and gracefully went to the suspiciously unsuspiciously looking barricade. We watched her from our position and as she was only a few feet away from it, it became apparent that we weren't the only ones doing so. Five soldiers jumped out of the shadows and behind corners. Three norms (...I'm sorry, I mean "normal" - people like me, without any special powers or abilities), a "speedy" and a "brute". They quickly surrounded her and pointed their weapons at the poor gal...I knew what they were going to do with her, they knew it...damn, even she knew it. The pretty ones are better off dead than getting captured and she was damn pretty. They would take her eyes, so she can't use her mental powers, then have their fun, then...well...
Her voice sounded beautifully as she desperately called for help "Garde! Garde! Ga..." - one of the norms slapped her with the back of his hand across the marble-colored face "Shut up, you bitch, you are going to use this cute little mouth of yours soon enough". Oh honey, I don't think any of your guards will come to help you...Even with her powers she could hope to take one out, maybe two, then she would have it even worse.
I cursed in my head and began to crawl backwards when I saw Caroline and Daria looking at her...empathy, they still felt it. They wanted to help her but would never object me. I gestured that we can either act like heroes or survive and they nodded...I saw it in their eyes. The war was changing them, not for the better. They gave up empathy and kindness...my little girls...saving this woman or leaving her to her gruesome destiny...If we were to leave now, the last bit of innocence would be torn from those two, whom I vowed to protect...We could just sneak away while the soldiers were distracted...Hell, I wanted to help her too, and I never said to be a smart man, right?
I cursed silently once again and began to wildly explain our strategy via sign language to my two girls. The men below had begun to quarrel a little who would have the first turn and whether they should blindfold or just blind her. Caroline took off to get into position as did Daria. I began to assemble the sentry-platform for my assault rifle. The servo-motors would be too loud and give away my position, so it had to be done manually.
The brute hold her in a grip that almost crushed her elegant arms while their speedy was twitching and bumping his fists against each other in expectation. It was one fat son of a bitch, but the yellow hair made clear that he was faster than all of us together, while the brute...well, what can I say, the fucker had muscles on his muscles. I doubt he would break a sweat snapping me in two if he gets close enough. The norms were finished arguing and seemed to have a winner after a quick rock-paper-scissors. I realized that there was no time to get the sentry done and grabbed the combat rifle. Caroline could take the brute on, I knew it, the three norms wouldn't be a problem either, but the damn speedy...man, how I hate them.
As one of the norms pulled his knife and held her head almost gently, ready to blind her I whistled through my teeth - they froze. Instinctively, surprised. It was half a second tops, but enough for me to place a bullet directly between the man's eyes. They quickly reacted - the two norms that were left laid suppressive fire on my approximate position, while the speedy began to accelerate himself. A gentle pink glow came from Caroline's position and the brute began to...it’s difficult to explain - have you ever used tin foil or a sheet of paper and then crumbled it in your fist into a ball? Exactly that, only that he somehow managed to withstand the pressure, though I heard a loud *crack* as one of his bones broke.
From the other side about a dozen of Daria's doppelgangers swooped out along her side and swarmed the speedy, who immediately began to dispatch them one by one, trying to figure out who the real one was. The woman now free looked at one of the norms and her eyes lit into a blazing white as he began to scream, twitch and was teleported into the nearest brick wall. The brute tried to fight against Caroline's force field that was too weak to curl him up into a ball and he was slowly but steadily winning. The second norm began to stumble backwards, fell on his arse and crawled away as I took good aim and Daria - paralyzing the speedy with her smoky-blue eyes which filled him to the brink with pure terror, even if only for a brief moment - gave me a steady target. Three bullets were enough to bring his corpulent body to a fall.
Meanwhile the gorgeous woman looked at the brute who almost had freed himself from the grasp of my exhausted and tired girl and stretched her hand out. As she too began to radiate the very same rose-colored light, his muscles couldn't withstand the pressure from both psychos and he was contorted and pressed into the form of a perfect sphere and ripped in two as both women dragged at their mental leashes.
Only now the sole survivor realized that he should run for his life. He began to sprint and I wanted to shoot him, as I saw a stunningly beautiful green aura building around his former captive - she reached with her hand out for him and began...began to sing. Never in my entire life have I heard something so beautiful. There were no words, but her voice alone sounded like it would tell a story of endless grace, of love, of peace and happiness...a lullaby. The soldier stopped, turned around and began to approach her with a mindlessly happy facial expression. He went all the way to her, fell to his knees and closed his eyes, smiling and falling asleep. I couldn't understand how she could be so forgiving...before I saw what happened next. She bowed to him, held his head in her fragile hands and opened her "pretty little mouth" just as he said before and she used it. She began to suck the air in, but with the air it seemed like a hologram of him, no - his soul was sucked in as well as it parted with his body. He opened his eyes in utter fear but couldn't move an inch in his sleep-paralyzed body. She sucked every little drop of his essence - an event he surely imagined differently in his phantasies just a minute ago - and her wounds healed at the same time completely. She wiped the trickle of blood that was running down her mouth after he hit her away and cleaned her fingers off on his cloth. A hollow husk that was left of him and had no mind in it anymore, turned into a breathing corpse.
She looked at us as I climbed down from my position and was joined by Daria and Caroline. I knew she was thankful but her face said that it wouldn't mean she would do everything to thank us. Not being concerned with silence after so much noise I eventually spoke to her "Listen...we do not mean any harm to you. But you owe us. Follow and guard me and my girls with your life. There is nothing left in this city to search for and we might know a place that is still untouched. Maybe it's just as wasted as everything else, but hey, worth a try, don't you think? “After some inner struggle she bowed her head and made a formal curtsy.
I smiled. "What's your name? “ The woman looked back into my eyes with her hypnotizing gaze "Garde...Gardevoir...“ I nodded "I'm Hel, this is Caroline and Daria". Both nodded and stood by my side. I pet their heads and looked back at our new companion.
We looted the bodies and ventured on. Out of the city and to the Agate village. We made a camp outside the town borders. Gardevoir seems to have seen at least as much as we did. She sleeps for half an hour just to wake up, grasping her mouth not to scream and with fear widened eyes, drenched in sweat and heavily breathing. I stayed up after the third time she did this, grabbed her by her shoulders and leaned her against me. "Concentrate on my heartbeat, count the beats". She was confused at first, blushed like a teenager and did as I told her. Her head against my chest, she slowly began to calm down and she lost at least some of her tension. After a couple of minutes she fell asleep and we could finally rest this night.
11th-23rd August 5102Edit
The rest of the journey wasn't really exciting. We had no obstacles in our way and enough supplies to easily make it to the village. Took even less time than I thought. It's quite an overwhelming sight - the trees are big and everything is overgrown with grass, moss and vines of different plants. As if this place was forgotten by the time itself. Garda - as I called Gardevoir after a while became good friends with Caroline and Daria. I think we will get along and have found ourselves a new place to stay. The buildings were constructed sturdy enough to be still whole, even if the flora and fauna claimed them back for the most part and there were plenty fruits and berries. We slowly began to speak more and more. Converse with each other just like before. We even sang and I was forced to do so as well. If this world survives and society prospers again, we will have to ban all weapons and never, ever forget.
I will leave this journal behind the biggest tree in this village, which grows more or less on top of a house - don't ask me why or how - for someone to find it one day, in case we have to go away or worse. I have one last favor of you to ask, dear reader - never, no matter what should you wish for a war.
P.S. Please don't add a certain category, it would spoil the Mindfuck^^
P.P.S. Comments and critique are very welcome