The principality of Kotor where the ones said to have started it. Well, so say the rumours. But they’re believable. Though, no ones really sure.
They had been trying to control everything on the planet ever since they came into power; but the Earth Alliance thought their ways too destructive and violent. They were. Drastic action, according to the Alliance, had to be taken. It never was. Never had a chance to be. The battle was over before it began. Well, not completely. The Alliance still had some strength…
Somewhere in the Philippines, a small base, to fit about one hundred men sits high in the mountains…
All that is seen through the trees is a small, what seems to be, ordinary cabin. Closer to it and behind, is a very hidden ditch, completely invisible to those who don’t know of it. Three thousand-two hundred metres across. In the ditch, sits this base. A tall grey, metallic building, with radar domes on the rooftop, and what looks to be a viewing area, a lookout point as it were. The cabin is placed in front of the ditch, so anyone coming along the path wouldn’t think otherwise. But to seasoned professionals, a doorway to all the guns and ammo a man, or woman for that matter, could ever want.
Inside, through the doorway, a large metal hall, filled with tables and chairs, a map, and a digital space chart. These were a few expensive “luxuries” as it were. Well, expensive for the Alliance. They weren’t too well off when it came to money; when the Principality came into power, they took away all of the Alliance’s resources as soon as they went against the Principality. They were allowed. No one could stop them. It was against the law to oppose them. But the Alliance didn’t care. As far as they were concerned, if the Principality wanted to take the world, it would have to go through the Alliance first.
The troops were preparing to defend the Ark in Washington. They would have to take a transport as soon as possible. Because there was only a small amount in this location, they all had to go. One or two were selected to stay at the base, but that was all.
The transports were probably the best feature of the Alliance. They were big, but they were fast, and they had the best armour of any ship the Alliance had. They were the most trusted too. Out of all the ships they owned, the transports were the only ones that haven’t had a single accident.
The Ark was the most known place on the Earth. It wasn’t big or famous or anything, but it was the only building that survived the apocalypse.
It looked like the Whitehouse, only a little bit bigger, and dark grey. It was supposedly the world’s biggest military base. Sure everybody knew about it, but this place was even more secret than Area fifty-one.
Now everybody knows that was just going to be the world’s largest shopping mall. When it was finished. But it never was.
“Why are we going to this place anyway? We gonna go to S-Mart or somethin’?” This was Shinkai. A bit of a goofball, but he did what he was told. He didn’t really know anything else.
“‘Fraid not my friend.” This was Yamoto. Good looking, cocky and a bit of a clown, if not for one unfortunate characteristic he would have been the ideal hero. He usually holds his own pretty well, but sometimes things go wrong and he loses it. “We’re gonna kick ol’ Kotor’s ass!”
Unknown to the Alliance, the Principality had set up a fake attack. They wanted to lure in the Alliance, so they could try and destroy it.
The transport was almost there. It had onboard about ninety-three soldiers, two pilots, a medic and a trainee psychic. A few transports had to be used in order to get everyone to the destination. They had almost reached the destination point, when the psychic began to sense something. It was getting stronger the closer they got. Until…
“They’re here! Kotor are here!”
“No! Pilot, turn around, turn around!”
As soon as the pilot actually realised what was going on, they were under fire. Heavy fire. Bullets, lasers, plasma, missiles. Everything.
The transports had never been under this much fire before.
The shields couldn’t take it. They failed, leaving a few shots to ricochet off the front viewing port, the next, off the inside ceiling, pounding everything as they went. No one could do anything, except watch. Then just as the rear doors were closing, a plasma blast came flying in, taking Yamoto’s leg as it went. Everything seemed to move slowly, as if someone with a remote had just put his life in slow motion. He could hear something echo, but he wasn’t sure what it was.
He couldn’t really hear at all. Just a loud ringing and that echo. He’ll never forget what he heard when the echo had become clear…
“Dude, wake up! Wake up!” Shinkai was screaming in Yamoto’s ear, but he couldn’t hear him. He was still entranced with what he had just heard.
“What? What? I…what?” He was suddenly once again aware of what was going on. ” You’ve been hit!” He was pointing at someone. “James, you’ve been hit!”
“So have you!” James replied, shouting. James was about the same age as Yamoto. Blonde hair, blue eyes, he was the classic ladies man. “You’re worse! A lot worse!”
Yamoto looked down, as he felt a shearing pain in his leg, shooting up into his shoulders. He started screaming, as loud as he could. To describe it at best, he was having a fit. He started rolling around, and screaming even louder. The more he moved, the more his foot became detached from his shin.
“Oh, Jesus! Don’t move, don’t move!” now the medic had him pinned to the floor. “Somebody hold him!”
It took quite a while for the medic to sort him out. While the rest of the troops departed, Yamoto was left onboard, in a stretcher. There was no way on Earth Yamoto could have fought that day. He was sent back to base immediately.
It wasn’t easy getting into the Ark. A few things had to be blown up, a few members of the Principality had to be shot, but they did it, eventually. The only problem was: they weren’t meant to. The Principality had hoped to destroy the forces that came to take them down. And they should have. They had better everything. Guns, soldiers, aircraft…
It’s amazing how so little a number of people, against so big a number, turned the odds around.
The inside of the Ark wasn’t much better than the outside. It just looked like your average shopping mall. But bigger.
There were shops everywhere, windows everywhere, lifts, escalators everywhere! But nothing at all to take or use, otherwise this would have been an even better headquarters than that group of the Alliance already had. Except the Principality knew where it was, and therefore try to take it back.
It had been a few days since the victory at the Ark and for some, who decided to throw a party, the fun wasn’t over.
Yamoto had been in a restoration tank for quite some time, and his leg was completely healed. In fact, he had been out on many missions since he came out; some unknown to the others, and some with the others. But there was something bothering him. Something strange. Unusual. As if something was building up inside of him, but he didn’t know whether it would burst out, or settle calmly.
He even went to see the psychics. Bad move. The psychics didn’t know what it was either, so they did some tests. They made things worse.
He went missing…
Reports had been coming in about people being attacked by a thing, down in lower London. Victims had apparently been eaten.
So a team was sent in by the Alliance to go and check out these reports, but they never came back.
So another was sent in. a few came back. Said not to send another team in. That the thing that was killing people meant business, and it wouldn’t stop.
But the Alliance had to try and take this thing down. After all, they were trying to save the Earth, not sit back and let it be destroyed.
The first wave went in. Getting dropped off near to Big Ben. Guns at the ready, and waiting for something to happen. Whilst trying to contact the second battalion, they were attacked by something. But it all happened so fast; they didn’t know what hit them.
So the second wave went in, to check up on the first, once again just waiting for something to happen. They found the first squad. Well, kind of. There were pieces of them everywhere: arms, legs, a few heads, but no living member.
They could hear a low growl. A deep, low growl. A few men pushed forward to see were it was coming from, they soon found out.
A dark, slightly big figure could be seen on the rooftops of houses, getting nearer and nearer, until: the squad had two less than what they had started with.
They began to open fire, they hit everything it seemed, everything but the target they were aiming for.
A few more shots, and the entire group were out of ammo. But the creature seemed to be leaking something. Something red. Blood!
“Ksst! Come in, come in, this is uniform seven, uniform seven. We are right on top of you, stay where you are, we will drop off additional troops and ammo. Over.” The radio had been going for a while, but no one could answer it.
Then, a light suddenly came down upon them, as if in gods eyes, a light of hope. It was uniform seven. They came to back them up, but as soon as their feet touched the ground, chaos enraged.
No one stood a chance. Most of them were taken out as quick as the lightning in the midnight sky.
Shinkai had done more than waste his ammo, he had broken his sword, and his knife, so he was practically begging to get out of there. But he didn’t have the slightest chance.
The creature was on him as soon as anything, and Shinkai could do nothing but grab the creatures face, and stare into his eyes…
“Yamoto? Yamoto? Yamoto…I know it’s you. I can see it, it is you.”
As soon as these words were spoken, a great swipe came upon Shinkai’s face, and left three, deep, slashes upon his face.
He screamed, so loud, the heavens would have had to shut its windows. He tried to get up, but the beast was still on top of him.
Nothing could be heard but the scream of pain from Shinkai’s wound, nothing could be seen but the blood gushing from his face.
But for the beast, the scream was too much. He flew off Shinkai, and landed on a roof. It started running around, howling, but almost screaming, itself.
It started to look less of an animal, and more human, but a strange light began to flow from its eyes, ears, nostrils and its mouth.
It seemed the beast could take no more. It leaped into the air, and began to almost levitate.
The military forces of Kotor could be heard from afar, advancing on their position. And as if it knew what it was doing, the beast glided towards the oncoming enemy, slashing and hitting its way through the troop, in the direction of Big Ben.
As it was advancing, gaining speed as it went, a low, dull “dong” sound could be heard, from the direction of the beast.
“What? That sounds like…” Shinkai couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“It is…” Nor could James. He had become Shinkai’s partner since the disappearance of Yamoto.
Big Ben was striking again. It hadn’t worked since the apocalypse. Nothing had. Yet there it was, chiming away.
The beast was gaining speed to his location. It seemed like he was heading straight into Big Ben.
It striked again. One…two…three… And again. Ten…eleven…twelve…
And again. Thirteen…
Now, he may not have come from that time period, but Shinkai knew something was wrong. Big Ben striked thirteen.
As soon as the mere thought entered his head, everything turned orange. He looked up, and saw a huge ray of light, being emitted from the tip of Big Ben. Then, looking down again, saw the whole thing, become engulfed in an almost, bright yellow flame.
Now he knew. That thing was Yamoto.
He had to be stopped. But Shinkai was the only one that knew. He had to do it alone.
He stepped forward, and immediately was confronted by an enormous blast of hot air. From the light. It had caused a sort of mini nuclear blast.
But it didn’t stop him. He had to help Yamoto. He had to help his greatest ally, his greatest friend.
It took a few minutes, but he made it. He looked around, and he saw Yamoto, lying there. Lifeless.
Shinkai believed him to be dead, but that didn’t mean he could just leave him there. He had to be quick if he wanted to get him out of there; Big Ben was starting to collapse. In his direction.
Everyone else had taken cover; they could see what was about to, and what was happening. But they were missing a man.
They looked everywhere for Shinkai, just as he had been looking for them again, to take cover, and try to save Yamoto. But alas, they did not succeed.
A soldier had been looking to the East, and saw a figure emerging from the light. He screamed to everyone about what he had just seen, and sure enough, Shinkai came over the wall, with Yamoto in his arms, holding on to him dearly.
He laid Yamoto down on an old, dusty mattress, and sit by his side.
Seeing Yamoto take a breath, Shinkai went crazy. He couldn’t believe that he was still alive.
Everyone else was asked by Yamoto to leave; he wanted to talk to Shinkai, alone.
He told him everything. From the beginning. He told him, that the echoes told him of this. About the mutation, about Big Ben. Everything.
But Shinkai was still confused. “But why thirteen? Its onl…”
“Thirteen? Because the last chime was for me. It didn’t come from Big Ben. I don’t know where it came from, but it was for me… it is my time…”
“You’re not dying are you? Are you?” he was getting extremely worried.
“No, I’m not dying. I cant. I am already dead…”
Before his eyes, Shinkai saw his best friend go from a fairly active being, to a limp dummy.
He stared. Stared at his best friend. He put down his body, and left.
Shinkai bumped into James again along the way.
“Well?” James asked. “What did he tell you?”
“He…He…” Shinkai was trying to answer, with tears flooding his face. He found it almost impossible, but was able to in the end.
“He…told me, for whom…the bell tolls…”