On the far-flung planet of Hayveon Blaze, a plucky army commander, is fighting a seemingly hopeless battle. In a universe where empires span solar systems, a great war has split the galaxy into three. UCEF, the Union of Creature Energy Force, is an alliance of aliens fighting for freedom and justice. But set against the Cosmaratic Empire and the Barrens, an empire with mind-controlled citizens, UCEF must achieve the impossible in order to win peace.
Blaze blinked groggily, trying to force his mind and eyes to focus.
“Sir! They’re here!” The Dino repeatedly urgently. Blaze hauled himself into a sitting position, although not without considerable effort. “The scouts reckon there are at least a couple of hundred Barrens coming this way, it seems they’ve finally figured out where we went. The Family are aware and are moving to engage,” the Dino reported, resting his paws on one knee and crouching down so as to be at Blaze’s level. Blaze nodded as the machinery of his mind got moving, this would be the real test of The Family, if they failed now then the battle for Hayveon would be over. However if they could drive the Barrens back then it could add a new dimension to the fighting. He rubbed his eyes again still trying to wake himself up.
“How long have I been asleep?”
“Only a couple of hours I think sir, what are your orders?”
“Get everybody ready, make sure we’re prepared to fight back should the Barrens break through,” Blaze replied. “I’ll just get suited up,” he added. The Dino saluted, banging his fist on his chest twice and then departed.
Blaze cast his attention to his leg, it did not feel as bad, which he presumed was a good start. The throbbing pain had receded to a mere ache, which, considering it had been a raw energy sword wound not long ago, was relatively impressive. The Queaksys had cleaned it up, treated it and carefully bandaged it and by the looks of it they had done a good job too. He guessed in an ideal situation he ought to rest it and not put any further strain on it, but that was not an option.
“Well it’s going to have to do,” Blaze muttered to himself, rolling the leg of his undersuit back down. The Queaksys had left a water bottle beside his stretcher and it was with enormous satisfaction that he swept it up and emptied it. He gulped down the precious fluid like a desert Rordox finally reaching an oasis after days in the wilderness. It did nothing to quell his hunger, but that at least was slightly less critical.
Blaze pulled himself to his feet, carefully testing his right leg, it still lacked strength and felt weak, like a supple branch, but it did not burn with pain. The makeshift camp was buzzing with activity once more; Dinos were waking each other up, weapons were being checked and precious water bottles passed round. The remaining squad commanders were ordering the defences, just in case it came to that, he sorely hoped it did not, but only a fool would not be prepared.
Blaze hobbled his way over to the PASHAS, which was still resting by the column of rock. A trio of Dinos were crouched round it and looked up as he approached.
“We’ve done our best sir, fixed it up as well as we can… given what little we have,” one of them reported, turning a welding torch off and pushing his visor up.
“The power cables are mended so the joint should run smoothly and we’ve repaired a few cracks, sir,” one of the others added.
“Thank you,” Blaze said, nodding in appreciation to them. Almost with relish he crossed the last few metres and ran a paw over the smooth metal. He felt that tingle of excitement, even though he knew he should not, for he wore the armour to fight in a desperate struggle. Regardless, part of him longed for the powerful embrace of the PASHAS, an engine of war it may be, but it did feel good…
He stepped backwards into it and then fired up the energy core, it let out a reassuring hum. Blaze activated the armours systems and one by one the heavy plates slid back into place, sealing him in again. For the second time he felt the strength, the protection, the raw power of the PASHAS. He grinned as the helmet slid shut and the display lit up. Gone was the injured and tired Dino, the starving and sleep-deprived commander of Legion R12. Back within the PASHAS he was once more a master of war, he could be that awe inspiring champion that the forces of UCEF so badly needed.
“The Barrens have entered the tunnels, The Family shall drive them back,” Blaze’s projected voice announced, ringing across the camp. Dinos turned, heads swivelled and attention was drawn to him. Blaze hefted his energy cannon and locked it onto his left arm. “They will be ambushed and destroyed!” He stated with confidence he did not quite feel. “We have fought and bled; we did our best and held the bastion for as long as we could. The Barrens think they have us trapped, but they are wrong. Now we take the fight to them! They haven’t finished us, we will survive, we are UCEF and we will not fall!” There sounded a cheer from all across the camp. “I need about thirty volunteers, those willing to take part in a hit and run raid. We’re going to storm the lower levels of the bastion in the wake of The Family and gather supplies, who’s with me?!” Shouts went up from all sides of him as numerous Dinos enthusiastically declared their intention to participate. He could not help but smile with pride as fifty odd Dinos came forwards, all eager. Exhausted, battle weary, having suffered defeat, but still they were willing to fight, to rally to Blaze and strike out against their hated enemy.
“The rest of you hold the camp, we will bring back supplies and food!” Blaze declared.
“For UCEF!” Somebody shouted and the cry spread like wildfire until the cavern echoed with the resounding chant, “For UCEF! For freedom!”
Look out for Part 35 of Matthew Gill’s story!