All right folks! Time to reveal my master plan, that I only created just yesterday! NaNoWriMo is approaching and I struggled and struggled with what kind of story I planned to write. Action? Mystery? Suspense? Romance (my girlfriend would laugh at me because I suck at writing romance).
That’s when it hit me. I already started building a world in some of my short stories, and I realized that some of these stories could actually take place in the same world (GASP!).
So I decided to link up this short story (found below) and two others. All three short stories would lead up to my novel for the month of November. The collection of short stories and novel would then be titled… (drumroll)… The Broken World Chronicles! (Work in progress).
I’m excited to be working on this, and can’t wait to share my novel with you. After the month of November, I plan to upload each new chapter weekly on here and Wattpad. If you all are interested then I would recommend reading this short stories and the following two short stories found linked below:
I actually wrote each short story with the goal of improving my world building and character development. In a way, aside from just leading into the main novel, the short stories also represent my progress towards writing my novel.
I hope you all enjoy this and I would definitely appreciate any feedback! Can’t wait to share my novel with all of you!
“Hurry we got to get on.” My friend, Eli, tapped my shoulder, but I end up waving his hand away.
“Hold on. I need a few more seconds.”
“We don’t have a few seconds!” Eli walked back to his previous position in frustration.
I took off the last of my civilian clothing and changed into a full black armor, designed more for stealth than protection, armor plating was sleek and covered the vital areas. Afterwards, I hurled the duffle bag filled with our civilian clothing into the bushes. I looked to Eli and gave him a nod of approval. Eli nodded back and pulls out a large gun with a hook at the end, and points the gun over the cliff.
Then I hear a rumbling noise in the distance and a train came hurdling around the bend.
“Rookie! The train is almost in range!”
I rushed over to Eli’s side and pull out my binoculars. I watched the train as it approached us, I catch a glimpse of Eli looking into the scope of the gun and concentrating at the target. It has been almost 3 hours since we arrived on top of this cliff, we waited through the cold, blistering night for this train. We can’t afford to miss this target.
“Steady…” I watched as the number of miles on my binoculars started dwindling down. It was almost there. These few seconds felt even longer than the 3 hours we spent waiting. There’s no going back.
I watched as Eli braced himself for the recoil, the hook went flying out of the gun with a rope attached to the back of the hook. The hook landed right above the train, and connected the cliff we were on to the a lower part of the mountain side that the train was passing by.
“You ready rookie?” Eli glanced over to me. Eli was my friend and mentor, and he never failed to remind me of that.
“Nope boss, but what choice do we have.”
There was no time for hesitation. I pulled the hook on my vest and attached it to the rope. I braced myself and ran off the cliff at full speed. I began sliding down the rope we attached and I could feel the cold wind hitting my face. I kept my eyes on the train and as I drew closer I detached myself from the rope. From a distance the train didn’t seem to be moving too fast, so I was caught off guard by the speed and started rolling on top. I barely managed to stop myself and I look back to see Eli had landed gracefully.
“You all right rookie?” I knew he saw my “graceful landing”. He definitely plans to add this to his ongoing list of my embarrassing moments. On top of the train, I began to notice that I was breathing faster than normal, so instead of talking, I just threw him a thumbs up.
We’ve somehow managed to pull off this part of the plan without a hitch. Over the coms, I began to hear similar confirmation that other teams have managed to land on their trains without a problem.
“Team 7 here. Confirming successful infiltration of the Royal Express. Commencing operation.” Eli responded back to HQ in unison and then he looks to me and motions me to head down to the nearest entrance. We slipped both our masks on, the masks were simple in design, it completely covered our faces except our eyes which were protected by some kind of flexible glass… I think… I probably should have paid attention in class.
Once aboard, Eli and I began investigating each car. Around 1400 hours yesterday, we received an alert that 3 of the trains inbound to the city, were simultaneously attacked. Enforcement in their respective quadrants were unable to stop the train, so it’s been escalated to us. We were an organization known as the Knights and we were established with the sole purpose of protecting the city. The organization grew and eventually they began sending us out to complete difficult-to-near impossible missions. This mission was one of those, we and 2 other teams were tasked with investigating the trains, and our goals to learn why they all went dark. Eli and I were a part of team 7, and we were assigned to investigate the Royal Express, the train coming from the desert quadrant.
3 cars into the train, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Eli popped open a hologram of the train and it looked like we had 3 more cars before we arrived at the passenger side. Eli and I continued towards the passenger cars, while carefully investigating each car as we walked through. This silence is aggravating, and I didn’t mean the radio silence we had to maintain, but the silence that we felt on the train. I thought we’d be hearing voices of panic, or at least conversations as we approached the passenger cars, but there was nothing.
In the last of the cargo cars, I came across some unidentified markings, so I decided to stop and investigate, while Eli pressed forward. From my wrist, a beam of light appears and shines on the markings. From initial observation, the marks looked like claw marks, but what kind of creature left it? Our suits were directly linked to an AI back at HQ, so it should be able to identify what it is. A message appeared on my heads up display, “Unidentified object.” That’s impossible, the AI should have identified something even if there were multiple results.
“Shit” I hear Eli over the coms and then I rushed over to his side.
I saw Eli standing at the entrance to the passenger car, and then I felt my stomach drop. My eyes widened at the sight in front of me, it was a massacre. Blood was spilt all over the car, bodies were mangled and beyond recognition. Not one person was shown mercy, not even children.
“HQ. It’s bad. It looks like all the passengers were slaughtered here.” Even a veteran Knight like Eli was not immune to this. I could hear the sadness in his voice as he talked over the coms.
“Team 7, proceed with caution. We’re getting similar reports on other trains.”
Eli then unholstered his silenced pistol, and I followed suit. I walked into the car first, but then felt that my footing was off. I looked down to find a stuffed bear and a child’s arm was still attached to it. I reeled back in horror and I felt my body go into shock. My mind began to wonder, what kind of creature were we dealing with? This is… this is too much.
“Rookie… Rookie…” I could hear Eli’s voice, but my body is still numb from the shock. It was only when I was called by my real name that I was brought back to reality.
“Jack! Snap out of it! We’re short on time. There’s a time for mourning, but right now we got to focus on the mission and figure out what’s going on before the train enters the city.”
“You’re right… I’m sorry.”
We carefully navigated our way through the cart, avoiding as much of the bodies as possible. I’ve been through so much when I trained to be a knight, but all the training and simulations in the world couldn’t prepare me for this. Eli arrived at the door first and leaned to the side, I then quickly rush over as we prepare to move on to the next car.
“All right… 3…2…1”
But before we could open the door, we hear a loud roar on the other side of the door. I jumped immediately and felt my grip tighten on my gun. Eli then forced the door wide open and on the other side we were greeted by a creature, dark as night, but its eyes were bright red and it stared directly at us. The creature was on all four and it snarled at the sight of us.
“Sir… what is that thing?”
“HQ come in… we’ve come across an unknown and I’m 100 percent sure we’re its next meal.”
“Team 7! You need to avoid confronting that creature at all costs. The other teams have just made contact and tried fighting it, but they’re reporting that it’s immune to bullets.
“Well that’s just fantastic!”
The creature lunged forward and Eli and I dodge to the sides. The creature landed back in the passenger car, then I see Eli run towards the door at full speed and slam the door shut. The creature began to ram at the door.
“Rookie! Go grab something to block the door!”
I quickly ran through the car, trying to look for something durable enough to hold the creature back. At the end of the hallway, I see a food cart and I ran towards it as fast as I could. From behind, I could hear Eli yelling at me to hurry up. I jumped around the cart and started pushing it towards Eli.
I come barreling down the car with the large cart and then slam it at the door. The creature continued to thump at the door, but the cart should hold… for now. I looked to Eli and can see that he’s started to pull large luggages out of the overhead compartments.
“Rookie, help me stack these luggages on top of the cart. The added weight should help for a bit”
Eli and I then took a moment to catch our breath and we began moving forward towards the front once more. What I don’t get is how did the creature board the train? And why? Damn it… it doesn’t matter, we just got to get to the control room and stop the train. Then we’ll either have HQ bomb the hell out of this train, or we’ll just blow it up ourselves.
The damage to the cars got progressively worse as we approached the front of the creature. It looked like the guards on the train tried fighting it off, and then I imagined the looks on their faces as their bullets had no effect on the creature. I see Eli put his hand to his ear to contact HQ once more.
“HQ… What’s the status on the other teams”
“It’s no good… we’ve lost contact with the other teams. Please be careful.”
“Sounds good. We’re nearing the front of the train.”
Eli glanced over to me and then places his hand on my shoulder. “I bet you weren’t expecting this for your first mission.” I can tell that Eli was trying to start a conversation to put me at ease, and it worked… for a bit. All I know is that, I’m terrified of what we would find at the end of train.
“Yeah… why did I ever agree to be on your team again?”
“Well it’s because you think of me as your older brother, that’s why!” I laughed and for the first time this night, I didn’t worry about what was going to happen next. I trust Eli with my life and that’s why I chose to follow him as a Knight.
“More like a pain in the ass…” Both of us laughed and then Eli’s face changes into a more serious expression.
“The control room is just beyond this next door. I don’t know what we’re going to find… but as long as we have each other’s backs then we’ll be fine.” He raised his fist towards me.
“You’re right… and beers on me after this mission.” I respond back by fist bumping him.
We both looked towards the door in front and Eli moved forward first. I see his hand grip the handle tightly and then he slides the door wide open.
“HQ… it’s worse than we thought. There’s a bomb attached to the front of the train. It’s safe to assume that all the other trains must have similar bombs attached.” Eli rushed immediately to the bomb and pointed his wrist at the bomb and began analyzing it.
“You’ll need to defuse those bombs right away!” HQ responded back with panic in their voice.
“What about the other trains?” I had to ask, especially since contact was lost with the other teams.
“We’ll worry about that, but just focus on that bomb.”
“Will do…” I responded confidently, in an attempt to hide the anxiety and fear that I was feeling at this moment.
I moved to Eli’s side and I could see him still waiting for the results of the bomb, and for instructions on how to diffuse it.
“Shit!” I knew what that meant… unidentified object.
“HQ! The AI couldn’t identify the bomb. I’m shooting over a live feed for analysis.”
“This is… impossible” Eli and I looked at each other as HQ responded.
“HQ respond. What do you mean impossible?” Panic started to appear in my voice.
“Team 7. The both of you need to evacuate the train. Immediately!”
Something’s wrong, and HQ knew why. I didn’t bother to question them, but Eli knew something was up and questioned anyway.
“Answer me HQ, why? What’s going on?”
“There’s no time. The both of you need to get off that train.” I glanced at Eli and felt the fear in me start to swell up.
“Eli there’s no time! We have to go!”
“I’m afraid I can’t let you leave” a female voice shot out from behind us.
In an instant, before I could even react, a large black lance grazed my face. I felt blood splatter all over me, but it wasn’t mine. I looked to my right and found my friend pierced by the lance, and covered in his own blood.
“ELI!” I tried to run towards him, but then another black lance entered my field of vision and I barely managed to dodge it.
“Excellent reaction.” The female’s voice grew louder as she walked closer. The moonlight from outside shined on her and I see a female human shaped figure, cloaked in darkness, with the same glowing red eyes as the creature. It stood there with another black lance, ready in hand.
“Who are you?! And why are you doing this?!” I aimed my pistol at her, but I knew it was just an empty threat.
“It doesn’t matter who I am, but I do have to congratulate you on making it this far.” The woman stopped walking and stood a few feet in front me. Looks like she intends to block my only exit. “But your mission has been for naught, and it’s time to forfeit your life here and now.”
I fired several shots at her, but the bullets just phased right through her.
“Didn’t you hear” She began walking slowly towards me. “Your frail weapons are useless against me.”
She lunged forward and swung her weapon down at me. I pulled out my sword, but it didn’t matter at all. Her weapon sliced mine like cheese, I reacted by leaping backwards, but her weapon still grazed me. Absolutely overwhelming. There was nothing I could do, bullets, swords, nothing would work against her. All I have left are some grenades and flash bangs, and of course using a grenade near this bomb would be stupid. Or would it?
“I told you didn’t I? It’s useless. Just give in.” She swung her lance and I could see my blood splatter across the cart.
“Damn… what are you?”
“We are your executioners, and you and your kind will die by our hands.”
“You guys are crazy…” I reached into my back pocket and pulled out the grenades. One grenade for each hand.
“It doesn’t matter what you think. All that matters is our mission. The darkness will spread and we will rise” Her voice was female, but it was distorted, menacing, and almost unrecognizably human.
She lunged forward once more. I knew I had to do it, because I had no choice. I had to stop this train, no matter what. I rushed towards her instead of dodging, and then just like that, I watched as her lance ran right through me. I held back the tears and stood my ground in front of this creature.
“And now it’s over.” Her red eyes stared directly into me. I looked back into hers and give her a smile. “You humans are interesting creature. Why do you smile as you die?”
“Because… this was the shittiest first day I’ve ever had on a job, but at least… I won’t be dying alone.” I revealed the grenades in both hands and unhook the pins. I see her red eyes widen. “So that’s what it looks like when you’re afraid”
And that’s how my first day on the job ended. With a bang.
“General. All teams have been confirmed KIA.”
Back at HQ, rows upon rows of computers lined the middle of the room. Each one stationed by an agent providing intel and support to various teams. At the back of the room was the command station and there sat an older man clad in full armor.
“Status of the train?” The general responded. His voice rumbled with authority.
“Explosion confirmed on the Royal Express, but it was still miles away from the city.”
“And the other trains…”
“We’ve lost contact with all other teams. The first train is about to make contact with the outer wall. We can expect the train to make contact in less than an hour”
The general then looked to the front of the room. A large screen displayed a map of the entire city and on one part of the map, there was a red blip approaching the city at full speed. The general scowled at the screen and stood up from his seat.
“Raise the alarms and contact all Knights within the city to gather at the wall! The city is about to be breached.”
*To be continued*