Until The End: Part 5

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.

Part 5

“We’re disobeying bastion command?!” R3298 exclaimed incredulously, staring at Blaze with shock and a glimmer of mischief.

“The Barren’s aren’t going to be sitting idle, so nor should we,” Blaze replied with determination.

“What’s the plan then?” R318 asked, with the delight of a child who knows they are about to do something they should not.

“Get the wounded into the bastion and, while you’re there, find remote explosives, lots of them,” Blaze replied with a wicked grin.

“Yes sir!” R318 responded as he tried to figure out what Blaze’s plan was. R318 had an idea building in his head and it had the potential to be somewhat destructive. “Come on boys let’s get you to safety,” R318 continued addressing the injured. Blaze nodded in satisfaction and turned back to the swiftly darkening vista; they would have to stay at least one step ahead of the Barrens if they were to stand any chance of surviving this.

 

Twenty three minutes later Blaze crept out of the defences followed by R318, R3298 and another Dino known as R3272.

“Keep low, we can’t let the Barrens know what we’re up to,” Blaze warned in an undertone, not that there was even a remote chance of being overheard, but it made for a sneakier atmosphere and would encourage the other three to be more furtive. The barricade was pushed back into place behind them as softly as a winter bird alighting on its nest, leaving the four Dinos crouched in the trench that led up to the first ring of defences. They were all laden with as many bundles of explosives as they could carry, an assortment of lethal packages.

Blaze crept forwards, crouching to keep below the level of the parapet in the hope he could stay hidden, not that anybody could see much anyway. Hayveon had no moons and the darkness that now enveloped the trenches was complete. The only illumination came from the occasional lamp and still flickering fires as supplies and broken gun emplacements burned. The trenches were abandoned now; all power had been cut to them so only a few portable lights still functioned. In other words, Blaze could barely see where he was going, forcing him to move carefully so as not to lose his footing. Slinking forwards in the mud like thieves in the night, they reached the second of the reserve trenches.

“Keep going, we want to stop them before they get this far; if the Barrens make it any closer we’re in trouble,” Blaze instructed as R318 paused.

“Of course.” They kept moving, picking their way to the front trench, the only sound was the squelching of their boots in the churned up mud that plastered the ground. The trenches were deathly silent, a sombre testimony to what had happened earlier that day. Blaze squinted into the dark as they rounded the next bend. Bodies littered the ground here, clad in the unmistakeable blue uniform of the Barrens. R3272 spat as they crept past.

“Wretches,” was all he uttered. Blaze simply kept quiet, from R3272’s attitude he guessed he had lost a good friend in the fighting.

“This should do,” Blaze remarked, stopping by a pair of dead Barren soldiers. “They’ll advance through these trenches as they did before,” he added. Barrens were predictable, most of the time. They were neither terribly creative nor original; they relied on sheer numbers and firepower to overwhelm the far more elite UCEF forces. Only occasionally did Barren generals show any level of insight or tactics, Blaze was betting and hoping no such general would be present.

R318 and R3298 unslung a selection of their explosives and got to work setting them up, concealing them beneath debris or Barren bodies and priming the detonators. As soon as Blaze was satisfied they moved along, working their way further up the frontline trench, laying explosives at every intersection. His plan was not only to injure the Barren advance but to make it more difficult to move towards the Bastion. It would force the Barrens to proceed in the open instead of in the relative cover of the trenches, making them vulnerable. He doubted the Barrens would be smart enough to anticipate such an attack.

“That’s my last one,” R3272 remarked, as he viciously kicked a fallen Barren back over the explosives he had just set up.

“I’m out too,” R3298 added.

“Right, that should stall them a bit,” Blaze remarked, satisfied with their work, having placed the last of his explosives in a dugout a little way back.

“What now?” R318 queried.

“We get back to the defences and grab some rest while we can; then we watch the fireworks.”

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Look out for Part 6 of Matthew Gill’s story!