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Prologue to The war for Sortania (Revised)
Briefing: 1836, 7/17/2836 Lincoln, NB
America and Russia have developed a devastating energy weapon, which requires massive amounts of energy. In order to have the advantage, both countries have built hundreds of prototype plasma reactors provide sufficient power to their arsenal. These plasma reactors are extremely dangerous and have been to unpredictable for countries to use them in the past. With neither country willing to submit, Russia and the United States have virtually turned their landscapes into a giant bomb waiting to go off. Whichever country wins this power struggle with have military superiority to the entire world.
Sergeant Major Jack Blesley pulled on his combat helmet and straightened it as he and his squad exited the barracks. The view of the massive plasma reactor instantly filled his vision. The facility had been built recently to power the energy weapon developed by U.S. scientists. Russian spies had stolen the blueprints after the completion and cloned the weapon and erected plasma reactors over their landscape as well.
The prototype reactors were so unstable, the smallest explosion could set off the entire reactor. Blesley’s battalion, consisting of eighteen squads of four soldiers, had been stationed here in Salt Lake City to protect the reactor from sabotage and militia groups. The facility had anti-aircraft cannons and missiles to protect it from larger threats. Each soldier was equipped with a light machine gun and a plasma knife. These weapons could not cause serious damage to the reactor, but would be effective in an attack. All day, Jack's squad patrolled floor seven; the floor where the reactor was most vulnerable.
Jack and his squad members, Helen, Ray and Tony, reached the edge of the main building and stepped into the elevator. The ray shielded door closed. Helen drew a seven in the air and a neon red light followed her finger and formed into the number.
A second later, the elevator shot up violently, and stopped just as suddenly a second later. Jack led his squad out onto the floor seven deck overlooking the reactor. Jack began walking in a clockwise direction around the circular deck.
Floor seven was the largest floor, a full mile around. The facility was shaped like a sphere, and floor seven was right in the middle. Jack and his squad took their places around the circle, each a ¼ mile apart. At Jack's command, the squad began patrolling the floor.
At about 1040, the lights went out. The lights were powered by a backup generator behind the building. This security measure had been taken because the reactor was unpredictable and had repeatedly died for several hour periods during the month it had been running. In order to fix the generator and prevent an attack, the battalion required adequate lighting.
Since sabotaging these reactors was temptingly easy, it was more likely that someone had taken out the reliable generator than for it to shut down randomly.
Either way, the squad's orders were get into position around the elevator, since that was the only way to the reactor.
“Hold your positions,” Jack said into his helmet.
Everybody drew their machine gun and stopped walking. Tony was the closest to the elevator. Jack was a quarter mile behind him.
Jack ordered the squad into the standard defensive formation they had learned on their first day here. Helen and Tony took up positions twenty meters from the elevator. Jack and Ray stood 200 meters away from the elevator, one on each side of the reactor.
Suddenly the intercom blared, “The perimeter has been breached, all units on red alert.” The wail of the security alarm drowned out the rest of the message. A few seconds later, both were silenced.
Jack heard the unmistakable whoooosh of the elevator shooting up from the ground floor. Jack knew that the enemy would come to his floor, and they had little chance of stopping him. The ray shields of the elevator appeared.
“Prepare to engage enemy!” he yelled.
Suddenly, a neon blue bolt shot through the ray shields and shattered them. It continued on its course and hit Tony, vaporizing him. His gun clattered to the ground. Jack tried to see into the elevator, but the only light was the green light from the plasma reactor.
Helen fired into the elevator, but a second later, she was blown to pieces as well. Plasma rifle, Jack thought. It was the only infantry weapon powerful enough to shatter ray shields and still vaporize a human in combat armor. The plasma rifle was also remarkably accurate, and made almost no sound.
Jack remembered that the plasma rifle was a favorite of Russian Special Forces. The U.S. used other rifles because the plasma rifle only had ten or twelve shots.
“Move in!” Jack whispered urgently to Ray through his helmet. Ray ran silently toward the elevator and stopped when he was about 100 meters from the elevator. Jack also crept within 150 meters of it.
A dark figure emerged from the elevator. Jack couldn’t see well so he zoomed in with his night vision scope. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He had heard stories about the secretive Russian Elite Saboteur. He didn’t believe those stories until he saw the RES written in Russian on the saboteur’s chest plate. It was most definitely to late to stop him.
He remembered from his research that the RES wore tank-grade armor that had been specially strengthened. They were supposedly responsible for the downfall of twelve countries in the last century, including England, Germany, China and Belgium. They were almost unbeatable in an infantry setting. Even artillery had to hit a few times to blast through the armor. One RES could take out dozens of men just with his hands and feet.
Ray sprinted toward the soldier, gun blazing. The soldier pivoted around and shot at Ray three times. Jack put away his night vision scope, but he hit a button on the side of his helmet that lowered a night vision visor. Jack began running silently toward the saboteur, staying close to the railing.
The saboteur got down on a knee and aimed at Ray, who was still running toward him. The rifle flickered and emitted another bolt that clipped Ray on his side as he dodged, sending him flying over the deck toward the reactor. Jack heard a thud as the dead man crashed far below.
Jack drew his plasma knife, and a neon blue ray emitted from the hilt and formed into a solid knife. Jack aimed carefully and threw the knife at the saboteur’s weapon. It covered the fifteen meters between him and the saboteur in two seconds.
The knife cut the rifle clean in two and hit the saboteur in the chest. It bounced off harmlessly. The two halves of the rifle fell from the saboteur’s hands. The saboteur pivoted toward Jack, who had drawn his machine gun and begun to fire. Several shots bounced off the saboteur’s armor, one of which hit the ground near Jack. Jack sprinted toward the armored figure.
When Jack reached the saboteur, he raised his gun and swung at the saboteur’s head. The soldier easily caught the gun, ripped it free from Jack’s grasp and threw it over the railing.
The saboteur swung at Jack with an overhand right. It connected with his head and Jack staggered back, seeing stars. The saboteur backhanded Jack and he dropped heavily to the floor, vision blurring.
The soldier then stepped over Jack and walked to the railing. Jack shook his head and cleared his vision as best he could, then began crawling toward the saboteur on his hands and knees.
The saboteur pulled a blinking charge out of his pocket and armed it. He threw it toward the plasma reactor and Jack heard it lock on to the metal.
The saboteur pulled a thin tablet from his pocket and looked at the display. “Good they are all in place,” the saboteur muttered in a thin Russian accent. Jack stood slowly. The saboteur noticed him and laughed. He showed Jack a blinking red word in Russian that Jack translated as ACTIVATE.
“When I touch this, all of your plasma reactors will be destroyed,” the saboteur explained.
“Why,” Jack croaked weakly, “millions of innocent people will die from the explosions.” Jack crouched back and prepared himself to launch himself at the saboteur.
“The strong must dominate the weak,” the saboteur stated simply.
And with that, he lowered his finger toward the blinking word. “No!” Jack screamed as he lunged forward to tackle the saboteur.
But he was too late. The gloved finger hit the screen an instant before Jack slammed into him. The man hit the railing and broke it, falling into the huge reactor room. Jack barely managed to grab the edge and stop himself from suffering the same fate. He pulled himself up and onto the deck. His whole body burned from tackling the hard-armored saboteur.
The reactor rumbled. The tablet the saboteur had dropped hummed and produced a shield. Jack knew it would protect him from debris, but not the imminent explosion. Jack hit a button on the tablet shaped like a fighter jet. His experience with Russian tactics told him the wouldn't let an RES die. A fighter jet coalesced out of thin air in front of him. Russia put cloaking mechanisms on all their planes, and this one was no exception. Jack jumped in and took off, closing the cockpit just as he exited the reactor, punching through the three foot steel like a tin can.
Jack heard a huge rumble behind him. He turned around. The reactor facility shook violently, the burst apart in a huge beam of green energy. Jack barely had escaped the blast zone. The explosion destroyed miles of the surrounding landscape, obliterating everything. Jack set his course to Nebraska, the only state without reactors.
When the plasma reactors in the United States went off, the whole world shook. After the initial effects of the massive explosions died off, aftershocks still shook the Earth to the core. Scientists warned that the explosions had disrupted the convection current in the Earth’s mantle and now all the magma was building up pressure under the surface. As soon as enough pressure built up, the Earth’s outer surface would bust apart and Earth would fall to pieces.
The U.S. government had a plan. They launched an operation to save the human race. 5000 military men and women were hand picked to board the intergalactic star cruiser ‘Evolution’. It was heading to the nearest planet that could sustain life. This planet was three light years away. ‘Evolution’ was loaded with combat gear, medical supplies, food, and building materials.
‘Evolution’ took off from Memorial Park runway in Lincoln Nebraska on July nineteenth, 2836. Thousands of people watched as the enormous white cruiser slowly lifted off the ground. For a second, 'Evolution' hung there, then the ion engines pulsed and the cruiser rocketed up, speeding away from the doomed planet.
The cruiser was 2256 miles out of orbit when the planet boomed violently. The shockwave was felt on every spot on Earth. Another earth-shattering boom sounded, then the planet vaporized in a enormous, blinding, burst of light.