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We ran on and on, always away from that thing. We have never seen it before, but an old hermit in the swamp, named Jath, told stories to Matt, Jim, and me about how it used to come in the darkest of nights and attacked small towns and completely eradicates them. He told us of its immense size and its eyes that stopped men dead in their tracks out of pure fear. His stories brought tourists by the hundreds to our small city. However, Jath warned us to never to go past the swamp and into the desert, into its domain. The last time someone did this was during World War I when a scout went into the desert to find a mountain that would provide an excellent vantage point for an attack. When the scout reached the mountain, an unearthly howl split the night. The Beast, as it was called, destroyed five towns in one night. Then, as suddenly as it began, it vanished back to the Desert of Mantia. Since then, the government has fenced off the area to prevent anything from happening, not only to the city, but the country as well.
The Beast remained dormant for nearly one hundred years, until a few hours ago when a group of drunken partiers jumped into the desert to find The Beast. Needless to say, they found it, and it was furious. After it had found its way with them, then flew over the fence toward town. The Beast hit the power plant as it moved in, and electricity singed the air as the power fled. People ran out into the streets, only to be met with a flurry of talons and blasts of pure energy, showing how much power it had gathered in its century long rest. My brother, Joshua, died that night along with so many others who tried fending off The Beast as the rest of the town fled.
“Run Connor! Stay alive!” were his final words, so I did. I found Matt and Jim three miles out of town, both out of breath.
“What…was…that?!” Matt yelled to us in between breaths.
“It’s that Beast that Jath was talking about,” I explained. “But he never said anything about it shooting plasma!”
“Yeah, well it can, and we can’t stop it!” exclaimed Jim.
“Sshhh, we don’t want it to know we’re here,” Matt whispered.
“Well, then what do you suggest we do?” Jim snapped, although he had lowered his voice. “That thing will just keep coming and coming and it’s going to destroy everything in its path. We’re doomed!” And, for the first time in all my memories of Jim, he broke down and cried.
“Okay,” I began after we had calmed down slightly. “We need to keep moving. If we’re where I think we are, then we need to head about five mile north of here.”
“Why?” Matt asked as we started to move. “What’s north of here?”
I looked back and simply said: “Camp Halton.”
Camp Halton covers about two hundred square miles of land, but that’s just above ground. Probably the worst kept secret in the world is that Camp Halton spread twenty miles in all directions and was thirty stories deep, which was where all their secret testing occurs. Rumors have spread about aliens working alongside humans, giant death beams being constructed, and, most importantly, the creation of the beast. The camp began construction in the 1700’s, just before the French Revolution, and it was focus mainly on protection of our country. But, right around the 1850’s, the camp began scientific research, and a horrible accident caused an innocent creature, and The Beast was born.
“Halt!” a guard bellowed as we approached. “No one is allowed inside without authorization!” I then approached the guard and whispered a secret to him.
“My apologies for the inconvenience,” he said, instantly snapping to attention. “The General is on the 2nd floor in the beta war room. I’ll have Corporal Danielson escort you down.”
“What did you say to him?” Matt asked in pure awe.
“I told him about my dad, General Markins,” I responded.
My dad had lost my custody to my dear dead brother. Josh Believed I would not be safe with a high ranking general, and he took me from dad. I still remember the day General “Stone Faced” Markins cried as I was pulled out of that abysmal courtroom.
“…I don’t care!” a Voice boomed as we walked in. “The Beast needs to be stopped NOW!”
“Got that right,” Jim murmured.
“Who said that?!” The man barked as he whipped around. “Connor?” My dad gasped. Briefly, I noticed a single tear of joy slipped down his face. “How long has it been?”
“Almost ten years dad,” I choked out.
“Matt and Jim are still your buds?”
“Best buds,” Jim replied.
“Excellent!” He remarked, and then he looked around the room. “Where’s Josh? He didn’t send you out alone, did he?”
“Mr. Markins,” Matt began. “Josh died fighting off The Beast.”
Dad’s face first showed sorrow, but it quickly turned to rage.
“Do you see now, Colonel Davies?” bellowed the General. “This beast killed not only my son, but countless others as well! It needs to be destroyed!”
“But sir…” Davies began.
“No ‘buts’ Colonel,” Responded my dad. “I gave you an order, so follow it!”
“Yes sir,” sighed the Colonel as he exited.
“Now then,” Dad said, turning his attention back to us. “What was it like?”
“`It’ sir?” Jim asked.
“The Beast,” he said. “Are the rumors true about its power?”
“Oh, um,” Jim thought. “It’s more dangerous than we thought.”
“How so?” inquired the eager man I call father.
“Well it can shoot plasma out of its mouth, for one,” Matt responded.
The shock on Father General, as Josh affectionately called him, was immediate. Too shocked for words, he walked over to the elevator and motioned us to follow. As we plunged down deeper and deeper into the base, we three could feel the tension coming off of him.
“Where are we going?” I asked, breaking the silence.
“To the munitions room,” he simply responded, as if it solved all of the world’s problems, which it might. “Down there is the only weapon capable of defeating The Beast.”
When the doors opened, a room the size of three football fields lay before us. There was every kind of machine of war down there; machine guns, assault rifles, handguns, rocket launchers, even aircraft and tanks.
“Which one is it?” I thought out loud, still in awe over the arsenal of warfare.
“This,” Father General said as he pulled out… a 19th century Gatling gun.
“It looks like terd,” Jim bluntly remarked.
“Well, it probably has seen better days,” replied Dad. “But it’s the only thing that can defeat The Beast.”
“Why that?” asked Matt. “Why don’t we use an AK-47 or an Uzi?”
“Because this gun is the earliest perfection between man and machine, which is not what the beast is,” explained General Markins.
“Okay,” I exclaimed. “Let’s load this thing into a Jeep and kill that freak!”
“Yeah!” screamed Matt and Jim, obviously ready to end this now.
“General!” A voice yelled over the intercom to be heard over the sounds of battle in the background. “The Beast is here, and it’s tearing through our defenses!”
“Bring up the weapons store!” He hollered back. “Boys, pick your favorite, we’re going in!”
As we rose up through the Earth, we could hear the roars from The Beast growing louder and louder. Jim loaded up with as many RPG’s as he could, Matt grabbed about ten P90’s, General Markins took a seat at an armored buggy with a fully automatic M203 launcher, and on top was me, on the Gatling gun. When we finally emerged from the hidden floors of the fortress, the troops had fallen back behind the third wall, which The Beast was rapidly dismantling. Matt and Jim began firing upon its body, a seventy-foot-long jet black dragon-esque monster. It looked over, wondering what these new beatings were. Dad screeched out of the floor and onto the road and began firing the grenades at it.
“Die you monster!” I screamed until my throat was raw, and began turning the crank on the ancient weapon. The battle lasted only an hour until The Beast fell, dead as a doornail.