Read Gamma Nine (Book One) Online

Authors: Christi Smit

Tags: #military action, #gamma, #nine, #epic battles, #epic science fiction, #action science fiction, #fight to survive, #epic fights, #horror science fiction, #space science fiction

Gamma Nine (Book One) (3 page)

BOOK: Gamma Nine (Book One)
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One squad in
particular fought tirelessly to break the back of the beasts they
faced. They protected the soldiers around them with fervour, not
letting one single soldier die while they still drew breath. The
officers and soldiers that fought in close proximity to this
particular squad all reported the same thing. A snarling white
wolf, painted on the upper arm of every member of this squad, could
be seen blazing as they fought. These Titans fought in silent
tandem as they obliterated everything around them, pushing the
beast further back as they were cut down by bullet and blade. They
had fought hard and had pierced deep into the Beast’s lines,
eventually reaching a plateau overlooking the battle lines. From
the elevated plateau they had the perfect vantage point of the
surrounding areas. It was there that the legend of the Grim Wolves
was forged in blood and courage.

The Grim
Wolves, their name bestowed upon them by the survivors of Arkelis,
rallied all of the soldiers around them to their new vantage point.
They fought off wave after wave of Beast assaults, their elevation
making them a prime focal point for the enemy’s wrath. The dead
piled up as the Titans fought on, normal soldiers were dying as the
Grim Wolves could not protect all of them while trying to keep the
monsters from overrunning their position. Dead soldiers and Beast
alike heaped up on all sides, yet they fought on. The Grim Wolves
were reaping the mutated lives of the infected as easy as
smothering a candle’s flame, their kill count now lost in the fury
of battle. When their ammunition was no more they fought with
blades, when their blades were broken they fought with their
armoured hands.

They lost all
sense of time as they fought the enemy, not realizing that the
battle around them had begun to wind down. They never heard the
scream that had spread through the Beast horde signalling the time
to turn and run. Other squads were now converging on their position
as well, squads that were able to move more freely now that the
Beast was in retreat. The Beast had been broken by our new weapon.
By the time the surrounding Titans had reached the top of the
plateau eight of the Grim Wolves still stood, one knelt and another
had fallen. Silence gripped the squads that found them, as the dust
settled the true carnage that the Grim Wolves had inflicted became
clear. The height of the plateau had been raised by a dozen or more
feet, the dead forever tangled together to form a new mountain peak
on the continent of Evodus.

For eleven
hours they had fought without pause, without rest. From the moment
they had deployed, they had slaughtered their way through the Beast
horde, killing thousands in their path to victory. Of over the two
thousand Titans that fought during the battle on Arkelis, only
three hundred had fallen, with half of that injured or
incapacitated. Deaths recorded by regular military units were
deemed within acceptable levels by military command. The number of
soldiers that lost their lives on Arkelis was never released, it
was rumoured to be close to four million lives spent defending that
planet.

The Titans were
now a proven concept and P-SEP military command ordered more to be
trained for the war against the Beast. Resources from all planets
located in close proximity to New Horizon were requisitioned to
help further the Titan Project. Facilities on New Horizon would
create and train new Titans as resources allowed. These
requisitions rendered economies in required materials and resource
trading obsolete in most of these neighbouring sectors. Sectors
that had only limited resources descended into poverty and chaos,
piracy was rampant and entire sectors went dark as they tuned on
each other or refused to supply any more resources. Civil wars
broke out across the star kingdom as sectors declared their
independence, distancing themselves from the war with the Beast and
the rest of P-SEP owned sectors. The war with the Beast had drained
P-SEP and humankind, and we were forced to turn a blind eye to
these rebellious sectors. Sectors that had broken away from the
star kingdom would have to be dealt with at a later time, when
resources allowed it.

The Titans that
were still operational after the Battle of Arkelis had no chance to
recover, they were immediately sent on new operations within the
dead zone. It was during these operations that a weakness in the
Titan Project was discovered. The success of the Titans on the
field of battle was a double-edged sword. They called it
Nano-sickness, but it was much more complicated than that. Those
that fought for extended periods of time relied more and more on
the Nano machines to repair muscle damage from battle strain, and
protect their vital organs from complete failure. As they fought
the Nano machines supplied them with vital fluids and nutrients,
which is why they were able to fight without rest for weeks.

But the
reliance on these Nano robotics caused damage of their own, once
Operators were removed from the suits they would fall into deep
healing comas due to the strain the body was under during
operation. The comas were part healing and part exhaustion, the
body shut itself down to protect the vital organs from burning out.
They were never tested for extended battle periods and this
weakness had escaped the notice of the scientists and researchers
that created them. The Titans themselves never noticed this fatigue
during combat as it only occurred after more than a week of suit
operation, and none had fought for such a long time before full
deployment.

To combat this
weakness, scientists built specialized recuperation tanks to
decrease the down time of Titans after missions. Operators were
removed from their suits immediately upon operation completion and
placed within one of the recovery unit tanks. Operators were
drained off all Nano machines and pumped full of stimulants to help
recover body mass and speed up the body’s natural healing process.
Because of this recovery cycle Titans were used in more single
strike operations on planets and void missions.

There was no
visible command structure to the Beast, so there were no valuable
targets to use our new weapon against or leaders to assassinate.
Instead, the Titans were used on the frontline, commanding and
strengthening the soldiers around them. Salvage and recovery
missions were standard practice as Titans were the perfect tools to
recover derelict ships drifting in the void. The recovery and
salvage of these derelict ships were paramount in the eyes of
P-SEP, vessels could be used to maintain other vessels, or they
could be repaired and used again. Void recovery and salvage
missions were the most dangerous, the Beast trapped within the
confines of a dead ship were more deadly than those set free on the
battlefields. They were also deployed to protect and defend
installations throughout the star kingdom under attack from the
enemy. Mass Titan deployment was left as a contingency plan should
the situation ever call for it. They were helping to hold the Beast
at bay, and did so for many years after their deployment. The
Titans were spread out across the operational ships within the
P-SEP fleet, achieving extraordinary records of missions
successfully completed throughout the star kingdom. However, as the
universe had taught our race many times...

Nothing ever
lasts.

Chapter
Zero.Two
Fall


The constructs they
wore granted them the strength of mythical beings, their courage
unrivalled on the fields of battle. But underneath all of the
technology and armour plating they were still only human, we were
foolish to ever think of them as more than that. Our foolishness
overestimated their capabilities, perhaps due to our hope growing
in the wake of their victories. In the end, they fell like the rest
of us.”

As time passed
after the Battle of Arkelis, more and more isolated incidents of
infected humans appeared throughout the sectors. On planets, in
colonies and on-board void stations the infected would appear out
of nowhere, spreading their infectious hunger and hate for our
kind. The Titans were quick to respond to all threats; their
efficiency staggering, the speed at which they completed operations
was beyond what we thought possible. Together they reclaimed
colonies, defended refugees, held back attacks from our enemy and
found precious lost commodities. A large portion of the close
proximity dead zones to the frontlines were purged of all Beast
infections. Our gamble on such an expensive weapon seemed to be
justified. We expected losses, everyone did, but we never expected
the losses to impact us in such a way. With every one that died, a
hero passed from life into history, and we felt every one that
didn’t return from an operation, we needed them to survive for the
sake of all of us. The Beast somehow sensed this and retaliated in
sectors all over the star kingdom, how they knew that we were
beginning to show weakness we will never know, but it was not just
mere coincidence.

Following the
years of their first deployment only a few had perished during
missions, and those ranks would then be reinforced by new recruits
from New Horizon’s facilities. For a period all was well with the
P-SEP military machine feeding the Titan Project with everything it
needed. But out there in the darkness between the stars the Titans
fought and died alone, and little by little their ranks thinned.
P-SEP tried to reinforce the squads, but as the number of
operational Titans dwindled, so did the resources and man power
required to create new ones. Another problem was that New Horizon
could not keep up with the demand, fewer and fewer Operators were
trained and deployed to squads that needed vital strengthening. The
rebellion in the sectors around New Horizon didn’t help the Titan
Project either; it had swallowed up almost all of the key
production facilities that supplied the project with valuable
resources.

Reserve
resources were all that was left, without new sources of Actinium,
now a very rare commodity, the Titan Project would grind to a halt.
This halt would mean that no more Titans could be trained, and no
more ARC suits could be built without the required resources. To
make the situation worse, the cargo vessel hauling the crucial Nano
robotic systems vanished without a trace before it could reach New
Horizon. Its last transmission received moments before it entered
the sector, nothing appeared to be wrong before the vessel went
dark.

Titans on
operations deep in the dead zones were left to complete their
objectives, while others closer to the safe zones were reassigned
to secure resource deposits within the dead zones and rebellion
zones. Other squads in the safe zone that were on defence duty were
tasked to travel to the planet New Horizon to resupply and
reinforce. One by one, the Titans expired while fighting the enemy
of humankind. Their deaths leaving a gaping void in the ranks of
the brave heroes, voids that could not be filled and squads were
left understrength.

Fewer than two
hundred of them survived, the fourteen years since the Battle of
Arkelis had taken its toll on them. Only a handful of squads still
had veterans from that battle in their ranks, others were all
veterans of later campaigns. Out of these squads only two squads
still had a full roster of Arkelis veterans. The Grim Wolves were
down to five members, all of them still bearing the Arkelis Honour
Star on their chest, a bronze star inlayed with silver depicting
the way Arkelis was before the war. That honour was bestowed upon
them by Titan Commander Alder, overall commander and leader of the
Titan divisions, what remained of them. Commander Alder’s squad,
The Saint’s Templar, was the other squad with seven Arkelis
veterans still on the squad’s roster.

These were the
two squads that were ordered to New Horizon. Commander Alder
refused the order, and remained at his post on a refugee space
station in the Soras sector. He didn’t need supplies, nor did he
need new recruits to screw up his operation. The risk in taking his
flag ship, the Hammer Break, through the rebellion zones was too
high. We could not lose the power it bolstered the fleet with.

Only the Grim
wolves returned to New Horizon on their home vessel, the Hyperion.
The Hyperion’s captain using slip ways through dark sectors to go
unnoticed, almost burning out the BEAM drive to reach New Horizon
as fast as possible. Captain Locke, squad leader of the Grim
Wolves, wanted to waste no time, he wanted to be ready as soon as
possible for the next operation.

On New Horizon,
the Grim Wolves waited for reinforcement. They waited for what was
rumoured to be, if all plans to gather resources failed, the last
of the Titans.

Chapter One
Trials


Agonizing pain was not an apt description
of what they experienced during those trials, their bodies were cut
apart and glued back together by teams of scientists. It is beyond
understanding how their sanity remained intact after everything
they were put through. Their screaming never stopped echoing from
the corridors of those facilities on New Horizon.”
-Anonymous, Echo Facility, New Horizon

2586 - 77 ASD
(After Subjugation Day)

He was standing
underneath a sunless sky, pain was his constant companion. Even
here, in his dreams, the agony could reach his senses. The
suffering that waited for him back in reality would be much worse
than he felt in this dreamscape. Surgery after surgery had forced
his mind to retreat as far away from the real world as it could. He
wished to dream of his childhood, instead he dreamed of a desert. A
desert of dust and silence was all he could see from horizon to
horizon. It was a strange sensation to feel the wind, but not hear
it. He could hear nothing, not the sand hitting his body, nor the
distant storms he saw from time to time. To think, he had
volunteered for this.

BOOK: Gamma Nine (Book One)
12.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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