GOA Chronicles: Changing World

May 26th, 2049.

Dawn had barely broken when they arrived at the base, a fortress bristling with antique weapons. Soldiers patrolled with bows, crossbows, and aged firearms from another era; others brandished swords or daggers. Donald, bewildered by the array of primitive armaments, couldn’t hold back his surprise. “Really? This is our defense?” The private escorting them nodded solemnly, “Yes, our advanced tech is rendered useless.”

They drove through a tunnel opening into a vast underground parking area. After parking the jeep, the private directed them, “Admiral Silenski is down that corridor to the right. We’ve arranged a small apartment for your family straight ahead—unfortunately, no technology.”

Donald embraced his family, promising to return soon, then motioned to Roland. “Let’s find out what’s happening from the admiral.”

Barging into Admiral Silenski’s office without a knock, they found him burdened with paperwork, his frustration evident. “Commander Aargos, and… your companion?” Silenski inquired as he managed a smile.

“Let’s just say this is my new good friend, Roland McGregor,” Donald said with a smile. “Now, can you tell me what’s going on and why I’m here?”

Admiral Silenski put on a serious face and began with a deep breath. “Right to the point, and I guess there is no reason not to be. I suppose I’ll start at the beginning with what I do know. A few months ago, several long-range space satellites and telescope arrays from around the world received a strange signal from beyond our solar system. We used our most advanced AI computers to analyze and possibly decipher it, but once in our system, it seemed to just disappear. The same thing happened to all the other countries that came upon the signal.”

The admiral put his hand through his short hair and continued, “Some countries panicked, but most just dismissed it entirely after a few days of searching for the coded signal. Then, a couple of weeks ago, anything connected to the web or through WiFi, Bluetooth, or whatever would begin to act up.”

The admiral leaned forward and looked right at Donald, saying sternly, “Which is pretty much everything in this world!” He leaned back in his chair and continued, “Then, in the last 24 hours, you could probably guess what happened next. Everything stopped working. Our DACs and MACs made portals and left us, and in their place came these creatures. The top brass has been calling these alien creatures Chthonians. Any questions now?”

Roland just sat in a chair, trying to digest everything the admiral had just said while playing with his newfound crystal. Donald asked, “First of all, what kind of communication do we have?”

The admiral pointed to the corner of his office, where an antique radio lay on a desk. “We have this old ham radio we’ve been using to keep in contact with all the other military branches and countries. That’s how I know what I know.”

Donald then asked, “So why am I here?”

Admiral Silenski closed his eyes for a moment, as if a painful memory passed through him. “You’re here because we have lost so many men in the past day. Dozens of portals were opened in the middle of all our bases. We didn’t have anything to fight back. No MACs, no weapons, and hell, most of our vehicles didn’t work. What you’ve seen here is all we have left to fight with. So, I sent out what men we had to get any past military members I could think of and bring them here. We have men and women from all the branches and all sorts of ranks.”

The admiral began to look anxious, as if wanting to get this conversation over with. “I’ve said enough for the moment. Go ahead and get your friend and family comfortable, because come tomorrow, the two of you will be joining the fight to begin some reconnaissance.” Roland didn’t look surprised, and Donald said while walking to the door, “I wouldn’t have it any other way, sir.”

Roland got up from his chair, ready to leave, and added, “Well this will be fun.  My old life was getting boring anyways.” Roland then chuckled with a little grin on his face.

The rest of the day, Julia and the girls got things set up in their new home, while Donald and Roland familiarized themselves with the base. While walking around, Donald came across a very recognizable face from several days ago. “Russ? They brought you here too?” Donald said while giving out a good chuckle.

“Yes, I’m here too. They needed someone smarter than you to try and figure out why all our tech doesn’t work anymore. Like this phone, for example, with the push of a button, I used to be able to call halfway around the world. Now it’s a paperweight,” Russell said frustratingly while throwing the phone aside.

“Well, I suppose if anyone is going to figure this all out, it’ll be you,” Donald said, as he left to check out the rest of the base.

After talking with Russ, Roland asked, “Don, let’s go check out the armory. I would like to see what we have to help us in the fight.” Donald nodded in agreement, and they moved towards the armory.

When they arrived, they saw an assortment of katanas, long swords, and daggers. Some bows and crossbows lined the wall, with a variety of arrows and bolts to go along with them. Then, in the corner, were a few old guns with a few boxes of ammo. “Well, Roland, it looks like we’re back in the dark ages for the time being,” Donald said disappointedly, until he saw a nice long sword in the back. “Oh baby, I think we’re going to be best friends when we get up close and personal with some, uh, Katorins… Chakatins… Well, whatever they are,” Donald grinned as he swung the sword around.

After visiting the armory, they spent the rest of the day getting acquainted with everyone in the base and their surroundings before heading back to their new home.

May 27th, 2049.

The next morning, Donald and Roland woke up at sunrise to meet up with the admiral and dozens of other military members. Admiral Silenski said in a booming voice, “You’re all here for a reason. I know some of you are scared for what has happened or what may be happening as we are facing an unknown enemy but know this. This enemy is taking everything that we have ever known! Our homes, our families, our very existence! Yesterday they pushed us out, and today we begin our journey to push back and take what is rightfully ours!” Everyone cheered and got pumped for what lay ahead.

The admiral then split the men into five teams named Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo. He called out the names for Alpha, “Commander Aargos, Sergeant Kaizer, Private Adams, and Civvie McGregor.” The admiral continued to call out names for the rest of the teams. When he finished, he shouted, “Alpha team, with me!” Donald and the rest of his motley crew walked over to the admiral while Roland seemed like he was running to him. Donald yelled, “Hey, what’s your hurry?” When they caught up to Roland, he seemed a bit confused. “I was just walking at my normal pace when suddenly my legs were full of energy and away I went.”

Admiral Silenski started without hesitation, as if he had put a lot of thought into his words. “I have chosen the four of you for a reason. Kaizer, you’re our intel guy out in the field. Gather any information you can from these creatures and the structures or portals they come from. Aargos, you’re the strong tactical guy for the team. You have experience on the battlefield that is needed to succeed. McGregor, by the looks of it, you’re the team’s runner and lookout with long-range weaponry. Adams, I put you with these guys because I know they’ll keep you alive and you’ll learn a lot from them.”

The admiral took a deep breath, opened a map, and continued, “I will have all four teams scouting this surrounding area in town for any working weapons that can be used against these Chthonians for the next few weeks. During that time, your team will be scouting any structure the Chthonians build or take over. In addition, I want you to scout out the defenses of this portal. Once we have the manpower and firepower, we are going to take over the portal, enter it, and try to disable it. I hope to have this accomplished in a month’s time.”

Every day during the next month, teams Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo went out to explore their designated areas for weapons that could be used against the alien creatures that had invaded their world. At times, they took on an enemy when it was unavoidable or helped civilians find safety.

Meanwhile, Team Alpha scouted out the area surrounding the green portal. It was surrounded by what seemed to be four outposts and a large flying lizard guarding the portal. They watched their routine day by day and learned the area. During that time, Donald, Russ, and Private Jesse Adams noticed Roland had been acting a little peculiar. The first week he just seemed to walk fast everywhere he went. Then he started nimbly jumping off objects or going from rooftop to rooftop. Just a few days ago, they had an encounter with a creature that looked like an armored dog, though Roland quickly ended the battle with an arrow right through the eye and into the head, critically killing it. In the past, it took Roland several shots to kill a creature or even hit it. Now it seemed to be second nature to

July 7th, 2049.

A month and a half went by before Admiral Silenski felt they were finally ready to take on a portal. “Ok, it’s been a long road to get where we are today, but we finally have the equipment and intel to get this accomplished.” The admiral pointed to Commander Aargos to continue with the briefing. “We will attack in mid-afternoon, as that is when we’ve noticed there is nothing coming or going through this particular portal. We will need teams Bravo to Echo each attacking an outpost surrounding the portal. This will hopefully help distract most of the guards or inhabitants. During that time, my team will attack the portal guard, which seems to be some sort of flying lizard.”

Roland whispered to Russ, “It’s a dragon…” Russ snickered, “Don’t let Donny hear you say that.” Donald concluded the briefing, “Rest up, for tomorrow we fight the biggest battle of our lives.” As the teams dispersed to prepare, the air was thick with anticipation and the weight of the impending battle.