Operation Jack-O-Lantern

November 15, 2011
By Harrison Scantling BRONZE, San Jose, Other
Harrison Scantling BRONZE, San Jose, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

5:21 AM
Malcolm led his group onward towards the hill overlooking the Imperial City. It wouldn’t be much, but it would have to do if they wanted any fire support. From his perspective, the castle was on the very edge of the horizon, and for a moment his glare gave the castle a glowing look, as though it were truly the house of a God. Then he realized the shine of the lights were only the tears in his eyes, and he wiped them away swiftly. They were so close now, they couldn’t give up. Not after so many years of fighting, mostly slaughtering on the Empire’s part. Malcolm’s radio crackled and everyone jumped. They couldn’t afford to be caught, not yet anyway. Malcolm and his men dug some fox holes and waited silently for the signal.

7:24 AM
Malcolm scrutinized the clouds for the signal. All at once the choppers exploded from the smog clouds like a swarm of giant wasps. Thousands of them kept on pouring in, but he had orders. Then the signal, a black, low flying chopper barreled over the trees until it was right overhead.

“Banzi!” someone shouted from the forest.

Without warning, the tree line ruptured. Dozens of artillery walkers, hundreds of centipede tanks, and thousands of soldiers rushed to their positions. The sky was lit with fire from ground based AAA guns. The blast heat from thousands of chopper missiles hit Malcolm like a sledge hammer. His ears rang with the reverberating sound of SAW bots scrambling up the hill to rain death on the evil city. On all sides the rebel army was attacked. For every death one hundred took their place. On this day the Empire would fall and operation Jack-O-Lantern would be successful.

10:12 AM
The walls were built high and thick, but the artillery reduced them to rubble. Dozens of dragon tanks scuttled over the walls and spat forth a wall of flames, but the eagle jets turned them into burning ash piles. The flames of their many war machines still tore from the city in all directions, but the superiorly equipped centipede tanks crushed Imperial Armor like ants. A swarm of hornet jets was met with a hail of metal from the chopper’s mini-guns. Soon they would near the inner wall. Malcolm led an assault group straight to the front line in an attempt to reach the inner workings where they would come face to face with the Emperor’s castle.

1:51 PM
Malcolm awoke beside the shell of a burnt out centipede tank. Freshly cooked corpses lay all around him; the scorched flesh made him vomit. In the distance was the sound of enemy bombers and droves of dragon tanks and hornet jets. The artillery couldn’t be heard and neither could the choppers.

What the hell happened?!? Malcolm wondered.
The last thing Malcolm remembered was a bright flash west of his position. He stirred but the pain was too great for him to lift himself up. He turned to his right and gasped in horror. All at once, he saw something he would never have believed in his life. A mushroom cloud that punctured the highest clouds. He dimly remembered a deep rumble but it was a faded memory, like the ones from his childhood. The fiery taste of rage and realization boiled in his throat.

“Those b******s! Those stupid, crazy b******s! They nuked their own city! Those cowards, those damn cowards!” thought Malcolm, bitterly.

Imperial soldiers rolled by, shooting survivors as the went. Malcolm was quick to act dead once more.

2:34 PM
Malcolm waited patiently for them to pass. Their entire plan was ruined. The full force of the Imperial Army couldn’t defeat them, but a nuclear missile could. Fire was everywhere. The sound of bombs pounding into the ground echoed through the streets like a scream. He heard real screams somewhere else; most likely torturing the survivors. Malcolm couldn’t bear the heat and with the great loss of blood he finally passed out.

7:01 PM
Malcolm jerked back to life. His blood was gone, wounds cleaned, and pain subdued. He was wearing a new set of clothes. He tried to take a breath but felt an instant burst of pain whirl down in his chest. He must have been in the infirmary of a forward operating base, or an enemy torture compound. He lay there, not knowing weather to sit up and look around or try to sleep some more, but the distant battle sounds meant he needed to act quickly. So, he sat up. Looking, he saw a tattered rebel flag hanging for dear life on what appeared to have been a wall once. A rebel medical officer looked at him and smiled an unusually large smile.

“Sir, you’re alive!” he shrieked.

“Wh-what?” Malcolm stubled over his words as he spoke, “what happened?”

The man, ignoring his question, ran from the room and swiftly back in, dozens of others in his footsteps. The medical officer and all the others cheered and one soldier helped Malcolm out of bed.

8:00 PM
Malcolm was mounted on a 50 cal. in the furthest top left window of the base camp, where he’d awoken. He had been briefed on the situation. Twenty-two miles from the city, the emperor had authorized that a nuclear missile be launched to deter invaders. The obvious outcome would have been a failed attack on the capital city, but the rebels were smart. They dug in as soon as they gained ground inside the city, a good example being the base camp that Malcolm was recovering in. The plan of action now was to wait for reinforcements to arrive and then pick up the assault. The Imperial Army had established a strong perimeter around the inner city zone. It would be one tough a** nut to crack. Malcolm was prowling the immediate streets with the advanced optics of the 50 caliber heavy machine gun when he was interrupted. Before this point his patriotism knew no bounds. He would have easily denied a shift change and sent the soldier packing, but now he was second guessing this. The pain he was in was to much to bear, even for him. So, he dismounted the 50 cal. and decided to rest until further notice.

9:45 PM
The sound of war filled his ears as a commanding officer shook him into consciousness. It was Jamie, a close friend of his whom he hadn't seen since the beginning of the rebellion. Jamie looked worried and eccentric at the same time, a mash of laughter and shocked eyes. His eyebrows were raised but his lips were creased into a thin smile. Malcolm couldn’t hear a word he was saying. A blast in the distance brought back his hearing and suddenly the words came rushing at him like bullets.

“Eagles, hundreds of eagles! They’ve cut us a straight path to the city core! Lets move, dammit!” said Jamie with a tremble of excitement.

Malcolm had no time to ponder the situation, but quick thinking was his strong suit. In no time he was rolling through melted streets towards victory.

10:29 PM
Night was thick in the sky but the Imperial city was fully illuminated. AAA, artillery, jets, choppers, and centipede tanks swarmed the core of the ruined city like insects into the core of an apple. Pure insects of equality and fairness, towards a black apple of hatred and greed. Even with the rebel’s new wave of vehicle support, the inner wall wasn’t like the outer one. It was made of diamond fused reenforced steel. The factories that make this material used high powered micro plasma laser beams, which were the guns mounted on the walls. The beams melted anything, but they heated up quickly and the rebel’s centipede tanks quickly overwhelmed them. The Emperor’s advanced dragon tanks, capable of shooting highly condensed napalm up to a quarter mile, made their way over the walls, but the rebel eagles took care of them. Everything else that defended the core had already been encountered in previous attacks. Malcolm drove his centipede through a hole in the wall, made previously by heavy artillery fire. Flames were everywhere, but the centipedes were perfectly designed to counter these flames with protective shielding. After much fighting, they neared the castle. Oh the days spent dreaming of this. The day the Emperor would fall as would his dark empire of evil. Malcolm broke the massive steel doors down with his tank and slithered inside.

11:15 PM
Upon entering, the rebels partook in the destruction of every individual object. They broke every door, every painting and every vase. Antique weapons, desks, beds, and windows. Literally everything was demolished, even the servants and guards.

“Where was that damn monster? That stupid, evil, rotten, greedy, monster.” Malcolm spat on the floor just thinking about it.

The Emperor was nowhere to be seen, but there was an interesting sight to behold. In a well hidden room behind one of the many portraits of the Emperor, there was what appeared to be a laboratory. The walls were white and there were many chemicals scattered over tables and the floor. At the back in the center of the room there was a big, circular, pod like machine. Malcolm was quick to dismount and walk over to a little black pile right beside the machine. It was common for the Emperor to wear back armor, but he was a huge man. This pile was nothing but a mis-fed peasant in the Emperor’s armor. Taking a closer look, Malcolm was shocked to see that it was the Emperor. A small hole in the side of his head told the whole story, a cheap suicide was his only option.

“The little sheep in armor was nothing more than a coward, all the way to the end.” Malcolm thought, furiously.

Malcolm pondered to whether the machine had anything to do with it as Jamie’s centipede crawled in. Jamie stepped out, turned slowly, and stopped before he could even begin to form a question. Minutes later a total victory was announced. Seven years of struggle, seven years of plight and misery, seven years of fighting for freedom had culminated up to this point. The world was finally free.

The author's comments:
One scene out of three that I did for literature class.

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