Gates of Hell
A land, laid waste. A kingdom, in ruins. Worlds, at war. This was all knowledge of many people around the world these days. Karmac reviewed his captain’s log.
“The year 2087. 32 years since the Gates of Hell were opened. 32 years of war. Day 17 of Omega 8, our eight attack on what was the States 30 years ago, before the population was consumed by the Accursed Soul and his dreaded 9 foot minions. This time, the sole objective is to infiltrate the Dead Wastes and close the Gates. So far, the wastes have proved impregnable, but I believe that Alpha Triumph can overcome the horrors of Primordia. Captain Krumm out.”
Karmac sighed, and rallied his troops for what was hoped to be the final battle. 300 skilled soldiers, a fraction of the initial numbers, stood to attention, about 80 in each group (some significantly less). Their orders came, short and sweet, and in half an hour, the remains of Alphas Triumph, Proxy, Victory, Dawning Sun and Blackout marched out of Camp Nelegra and towards the Southern Wastes. Soon the black mass of the Gates of Hell loomed over the horizon, an imposing building of terrifying prospects; it was closely followed by the noise. The repetitive droning of cursed feet, falling on the hard rock in near harmony. It was a fear-inducing cacophony.
Karmac turned, and his words, no matter the din, rang loud and clear.
“Remember the old phrase – Good luck be with you, and keep your powder dry.” There was a small cackle from one corner of the battalion, and the laughter quickly spread throughout the soldiers. “A good-humoured battalion is a victorious one,” Karmac’s second-in-command muttered.
Shotguns were readied, Photon Torpedoes were loaded, Pulse Lasers were primed. The horrors had arrived. Rugged, jittery steps were taken by the monstrous nightmares as the horde closed in on Battalion Alpha. Their hands, if attached, were clawed and bloodied. Karmac doubted it was theirs. The writhing bodies outnumbered Karmac’s troops by over 30 to 1, but they weren’t exactly the smartest beings on the planet. As the armies neared each other, the dread had started to seep back into Alpha, like a bad cologne that permeated the air and the clothes.
Once he was prepared, Karmac uttered a cry so loud that the whole battalion sprung forth, invigorated by their leaders fearlessness, and their battle cries rapidly grew to a roar, and one blast went off, felling a wraith (for that was what they were called).The wraiths then leapt forwards, and the two masses crashed together. The noise was deafening, and Karmac’s adrenaline kicked in when a wraith rushed him. A controlled flourish of his vitro-blade, and the beast’s entrails spilled to the floor. Eventually, Karmac and a band of 26 soldiers broke through the lines.
“Come to me, fools; come towards your doom…” resonated between them and the Accursed Soul. He stood, large and proud, Scythian Blade in hand. Karmac breathed and stepped forward to meet his fate.
Andre’s entry to 2014’s BBC 500 words