Dream a little dream of me
The endless plains of glass stretched out as far as the eye could see. The reflective surface of the ground was colored red from the red giant in the sky, a sun in its last part of life. There where no clouds as there where no atmosphere on this planet. Keller took one step forward, but stopped as soon as his foot touched the ground and crushed the thin glass surface. His bare feet where bleeding, and he realized he was completely naked in this hostile environment.
It was first like a sharp crack in the air, then it was more clear. A huge missile like shape sped past him in the clear reddish sky and hit the ground many miles away. The blast sends waves of dirt and dust many kilometers into the sky and a shock wave begins to move in every direction. Keller can do nothing but stand there and gaze at the horrible end of his life moving towards him.
“It's not like you could be alive here anyway, Christian”. Said a old crackled voice beside him.
Keller turned towards the voice that cut through the roar of the approaching destruction like it was the only thing that really existed. Its was an old man, with cracked old skin like parchment and he wore a yellow robe with a hood that you barely could see the vague outline of a face on the inside of it.
“Who are you, and why are you here, don't you see that”? Keller asked, and wondered how his voice could be calm at a moment like this. The old man turned towards him, and still he could not really see his face.
“Ay, I see it. But it does not exist, as you do not really exist here.. And where you exist you really should not exist anymore”. Keller felt a wave of nausea when he said it, he could not quite understand what the old man was saying. And he was even more bewildered that he had not started running out of instinct, as the wave of death almost was upon them, so high you could not guess its height anymore.
“Am I dreaming old man”? He asked calmly as he saw the wall coming towards them, just a few hundred meters away. The old man walked towards the wall of death and turned. He pulled down his hood and it was not a man, but something else, something that Keller's mind could not comprehend and it became part of the storm.
“No, this is not a dream for I walk there no more. This is the future of your kind and now you will feel it”. And with that the shock wave hit him and in the first split second his skin was flayed, then muscle and innards before his bones was disintegrated by the heat and still he did not die, but felt only the pain as his mind was eaten. An then he could see it, a swirling black mass, in the blackness of space, and the sickening tune of billions of flutes, and then he screamed, screamed and became part of the flutes...
Keller awoke with a hard jolt, breathing hard. His bedsheets where soaked in cold sweat, as was his body. That was a really bad one, he thought and stepped out of the bunk bed. The others in the barrack tent slept soundly, he hadn't screamed and he thanked for that.
It was the third nightmare in a week and it was getting worse and worse. And it did not really feel like a dream, more of a hallucination or a trance fever. He could not really explain it. Hell, even his army shrink did not have any good suggestions for the meaning of the dreams. Just take a couple of pills before bed, and take a vacation when he get leave. Ah, fuck it! It was not like it was not expected to get some form of nightmares when you were stationed on the southern border of China, and holding the Rapine Storm at bay.
The cold water from the shower was an almost sexual experience after a nightmare like that, cleaning away all the salty sweat and in a way, reincarnate him to a new day.
Christian Keller, Mecha pilot of the 2nd division of the 5th Corp, 2nd lieutenant. That was him, or at least what it said on his badge. He was twenty five years old and have been stationed here for three weeks now, only seen action once. And it was a mission to get rid of a Yug, a huge apelike creature around a small settlement just a few kilometers away from headquarters, but that was enough to give him pause. He was fighting monsters, inhuman and unearthly monsters from somewhere else. Pilot training had never really prepared him for something like that.
Keller put on some fresh clothes and walked out into the Chengdu night air. The division base was stationed just outside the city, a bit to the west of it. It was a big place, but did not really have a proper Arcology, more a bunch of interlinked structures in the center. The city lights were far enough away that yo could see the stars, it was a blessing and a curse. It was a curse, because few things was as unnerving as the sight of the Migou Hiveship moving across the night sky. But not tonight, this night it was only stars and tranquility.
Four kilometers south of Chengdu corporal Bates did not have the time to take a look at the night sky. He and his team are more busy with the careful movement through the dense forest, looking after movements of the enemy. Sargent V'aka flicked his hand forward and everybody moved in that direction, assault rifles held in readiness.
There had been several reports of unusual happenings in these parts of the forest. And it probably had something to do with this being the kill zone and the Storm's close proximity to it. But it had to be investigated nonetheless.
+Any thing on the scanner people?+ The comm crackled inside the helmet, it was the sarge. He was almost mental when it came to status reports, and the team had good training in sucking up all the details around them for just that.
+Nothing at the moment Sarge, but we have tracks up ahead. Unsure who or what they belong to as the moist in the earth have destroyed the details. They are moving due south of my position.+ Claire, the sarge's pet, called in with the overdone sex phone voice of hers. But she was the best scout in Bates opinion, so he never complained about it.
And without any further communication between them, they followed Clair's lead deeper into the unwelcoming forest.
Keller headed toward the mecha hangar, he wanted to do a little diagnostic on his broadsword before the patrol started in two hours. As he was up anyway, he had nothing better to do.
The mecha hangar was an awe inspiring place for someone who had never seen something like it before. In small, almost like booths, rows of giants stood vigilant, slumbering until the call of war was laid upon them. Keller always felt a bit humble when he walked down toward his own war machine.
The Broadsword was not the biggest of the swordclass mechas, but it was still an impressive eight meters tall, and that was when it was standing a bit hunched.
He went over to the staircase and climbed up to the cockpit, though it was more like an internal suit then anything else. Keller was about to enter the mecha when the sirens went off. What the hell, is this a drill? He climbed down and ran full speed towards the designated mustering spot for his squad. A fucking bad day this is starting out to be, he thought as he entered the squad tent.