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The Quiet War – Flesheater’s World

The Quiet War by Flesheater

Steven Harding awoken in a recovery room and only god knew how long he had been out. Thoughts raced through his mind. How long had I been out? Days, months, years? It certainly couldn’t have been years.

He heard the voices of a nurse and a doctor speaking as he awoken from a deep dark void.

“Who’s the patient?“

“Harding, Steven, white Caucasian, male, thirty eight years of age, injured during
battle.”

The last thing he remembered he’d been struck down by the poisonous venom of a Hunter-Striker. If it wasn’t for a fellow soldier he would have been another statistic in this war.

Steven Harding lay in the recovery room. He attempted to close his eyes only to see the image of the humanoid snake-like creature, ejecting venom onto him. His own screams of agony deep within his mind startled him every time, forcing his eyes to open. Harding watched the doctor and nurse discuss his symptoms. He tried to speak and no words came out.

What the hell’s going on? He thought

Harding tried to move his arm and leg muscles but was unsuccessful at doing so. He was completely immobilized. He was able to move his eyes around to view his own body. His arms
and legs were completely gone and in their place were stumps, wrapped in bandages.

Harding’s eyes widened and he felt sick to his stomach. He began to regurgitate vomit and began to choke.

The doctor and the nurse ran to his aid, wiping the vomit from his mouth and the sweat from his forehead. But he was still choking on pieces of bile, still logged in his throat.

“Quick get me the suction tube!” The doctor shouted.

The nurse quickly wheeled over a console which contained the connected suction tube. The doctor forced his mouth open and placed the tube inside. Through the clear tube the doctor and the nurse could see the bodily waste sucked out from within his throat.

“I think we’re in the clear.”

But that still didn’t help the fact that Harding couldn’t speak or move. No, the only thing he could do now was stare at a holographic projection on the wall that read: “United States Air-Force” with the image of a silver star and below the star the
projection read: “The sky is no longer the limit.”

The sky is no longer the limit… great, Steve thought. We conquer the ability of interstellar flight only to get into a war with another species. Just when all races back on earth have settled their differences we get into another war with an alien race… doesn’t seem fare.

These thoughts raced through his dark empty void. There were so many conceptions sweeping through his mind all at once. The inside of his head had become a private little war, a quiet war. But what he found truly unbearable and damn near traumatic was the fact that his arms and legs were gone. They were more than likely incinerated due to the fact that the Hunter-Striker drained nearly every ounce of bodily fluid from his body.

Why doesn’t the medical staff just kill me? I can’t reason with these people. I can’t even chew solid food. I haven’t had a decent fucking meal since the morning I left for battle.

Harding knew it was getting late and they were going to leave him here in the darkness of the room. The doctor and the nurse left the room, shutting off the light, leaving him alone with his dreadful thoughts of the war.

In his mind he cried out, Someone turn back on the lights! Someone help! But no one could hear him. The only thing he could do was stare into oblivion. The images of war played inside his mind like a movie.

****

The soldiers geared up, ready for standby . The ship touched down onto the planet’s surface and the soldiers erected from their seats . Each soldier pressed a little clip on device located on the upper corner of their uniforms, called a Body-Field Generator. The soldiers pressed the devices which generated a protective force-field around their bodies.

The soldiers stepped off the ship and onto this strange realm. The place was a forest planet, perfect for reptilian-humanoid snake-like creatures such as Hunter-Strikers to thrive. If it’s was one thing about the Hunter-Strikers their species was the best when it came to guerilla warfare. They were able to change skin, making their bodies the ultimate camouflage suits.

Harding noticed a snake-like head of a Hunter-Striker emerging from the foliage. The creature hissed, revealing its fangs and its tongue, flickering out of its mouth. The sight of a Hunter-Striker always startled him even though his body was protected by an invisible force-field. He approached the foliage and the creature hissed even louder and a large frill emerged around its neck and began to eject green venom out of its mouth. Harding saw the venom coming toward him like a speeding bullet. What happened next was pure bad luck which only happened to one out of every other soldier in the Battle Corps.

That’s when he awoken in a medical room with his arms and legs surgically removed and unable to speak. Harding was gasping for breath, wanting to call out for help. He couldn’t even produce a throaty noise.

The lights were turned on and he wasn’t sure whether he was thankful or felt cursed to be half alive and back on board, The Star Dust.

The Star Dust… who ever thought about naming a star-ship after an airplane that went missing in the nineteen forties? I mean, for god sakes… my grandparents weren’t even alive let alone my great grand…

A voice intervened with his thoughts…

“And how are we doing today?” The medical doctor said.

Very funny dick head… you know I can’t speak.

“I don’t think we had a chance to formerly meet after yesterday’s crises. I’m Dr. Morton.”

Well, Dr. Morton. You can go screw yourself.

Dr. Morton injected an I.V. solution into Harding’s arm. He attempted to rest his eyes. But every time the image of the Hunter-Striker, ejecting venom formed in his mind, reliving the first moments the creature drained the bodily fluid from his body.

Steven Harding was discovered hours later. His fellow soldier found him trapped inside the Hunter- Striker’s experimental compound. That’s also where they found many of the prisoners they were sent to rescue. But none of them were alive. The inside of the compound was filled with the slaughtered remains of the prisoners. Their body parts were merged with Hunter-Striker technology. The Hunter-Strikers used prisoners, attempting to make them into an army of dispensable cyborg soldiers.

As they proceeded further into the compound they found their missing soldier. At least they weren’t going away empty handed. When they found Harding he was held down onto an examination bed by a laser barrier.

Private Fisher and Lt. Redding, two of the soldiers in Harding’s Stendec – Unit helped carry him. His arms and legs at this point were completely shattered.

“We have to get to the rendezvous point… let’s move!” Redding yelled out.

“My god… what are they doing to these people?” Lieutenant Fisher asked, with a look that revealed true horror. He may be a soldier but he had never seen anything like this.

“They’re planning an invasion on earth. The Hunter-Strikers can’t withstand the atmosphere on earth so they’re using body parts from human beings and merging them with their own technology, making them into an army of cyborg soldiers.”

“But why earth?”

“So they can harvest our blood and bodily fluids. That’s what they told us during the briefings.”

They heard a hissing sound. A trio of Hunter-Strikers stood in their midst. Their large frills sprout up around their necks just before they eject venom. A yellow orb shines around the soldier’s body as the venom comes into contact with the invisible force-field. But that doesn’t stop the Hunter-Strikers from moving through the area with great agility and speed, attempting to attack the soldiers.

The soldiers fired at the trio of Hunter-Strikers. The laser blasts killed the Hunter-Strikers. But a human turned cyborg began to mobilize itself from a surgical table. The left portion of the former humans face was completely stripped away of all humanity and replaced with chrome plating. The left hand on his arm had been severed and in its place was a turret gun which looked as if it was merged with the human arm. The arm’s skin was melted onto the
turret. But this weapon was not made from Hunter-Striker techonology. No, a turret was a weapon only carried by soldiers from earth.

They were able to quickly depart away from the complex just before the cyborg opened fire on the soldiers. Harding was still barely able to keep his eyes open as the two soldiers carried him, struggling to run from the enemy compound.

Harding looked up with a dazed look in his eyes as he heard the humming sounds of the Stendec squad ship descending onto the planet’s surface. They quickly climbed on board. That was when Harding passed out from the pain. He had awoken aboard the Star-Dust.

That’s when he found his arms and legs had been amputated.

But why just the arms and legs? My entire body was poisoned. I doubt I would even have the balls to ask, even If I could talk.

Harding watched as Dr. Morton talked with a younger doctor about Harding’s age. This young doctor was Lennox.

“Sir, we discovered implants in the patient’s arms and legs,” Dr. Lennox said.

“Implants?

“Cybernetic. The reason why they’re making prisoners into cybernetic soldiers is so they can plan an invasion.”

Harding opened his eyes. His questions had been answered. He could not shout out a single syllable, anger began to build inside him.

So this is the reason why I don’t have my arms and legs. This is the reason why I can’t fucking talk! They’re using us. Attempting to make us into cybernetic soldiers to invade other planets.

His thoughts echoed in the dark void inside his mind. His yelling rants, rounding circles in his subconscious, slowly driving him mad.

“We have one of the patient’s legs,” Dr. Lennox said.

“Let me see it.”

Dr. Lennox left the room but reemerged moments later with Harding’s leg. Several places on the skin’s leg had been cut open, revealing circuitry, surgically implanted into the skin. He looked at Harding who just stared at his own leg with a wide eyed expression. Morton quickly yanked the hospital bed curtain closed, leaving Harding in seclusion. Harding still heard their voices.

“His leg may look bad but his arms look even worse. The Hunter-Strikers really screwed up his body. We took X-rays of the patient’s entire body—“

“We’ll have to talk outside. I don’t want the patient over hearing us.”

Harding listened until the entrance doors swooshed closed.

What did they do to my body?

He could only fathom the thought.

My vocal cords… god only knows what happened to them. What ever happened to my ability to speak?

Harding remembered the day he left for departure. It was the morning he suffered from the largest hang over in the history of his life. If it was one thing about the Battle Corps it was always a tradition to party the night before because who knew if a soldier was ever coming back alive. The morning of departure Harding awoke inside a hotel room next to a stripper who gave him a lap dance at the club the night before. Despite the throbbing feeling of the hangover it was the best sleep and lay of his entire life. He left some money next to the busty blonde stripper who was fast asleep.

While on board the battle cruiser he was fighting off the urge to vomit. The other soldiers were adrenalized and ready, heading off to different worlds, fighting unspeakable enemies. This could be the last time they set foot on earth’s soil or even the last time they
awaken with a throbbing hang over.

***

They should just leave me to die.

Harding gazed up at the ceiling.

I suppose things for me would be different if I still had my arms and legs. At least I would be able read to a playboy magazine and jerk off if I had both hands. I am a soldier and fought hard for my planet and my only wish at this moment is to die. It was the only thing I’d ever wished for and yet I can’t even have this single wish.

Harding thought back to the day of their departure. A day when he could walk, talk and still had both arms and legs and the ability to fight.

***

Harding and the other soldiers were loading ammo and making modifications on their weapons.

“Lets light the fires in this big mutha’!” Redding shouted. “Woo-ah!”

A fresh faced rookie by the name of Private Owens was loading his gun. Harding patted him on the shoulder.

“How ya’ holding up?” Harding asked.

“Okay, I guess… my first time out. I’m a little jittery,” Owens said.

“That nervous feeling… it’ll pass. Once your adrenaline starts pumping… that sign of bravery will slide over you like a shield of armor.”

***

The sound of Lennox and Morton’s voice caught Harding’s attention. He could hear the two doctors talking through the closed curtain, perhaps assuming that he was still asleep.

“The x-rays that we took of the patient’s body show signs of the venom seeped inside his skin. The venom is slowly inching its way to his heart. The patient is dying.”

“Just let me check on the patient and we can talk.”

Harding closed his eyes, pretending to be asleep. Morton closed the hospital blind and left the room, leaving Harding alone to absorb this information. Harding didn’t know whether he should be thrilled with this ounce of news or have feelings of remorse.

This is what I wanted? But how come I feel like screaming to the heavens to save me? For fuck’s sake I didn’t ask to become an amputee. I didn’t want this. Or did I? I was the one who enlisted in the Battle Corp. I suppose it was my so called gung-ho attitude. I suppose my own stupidity and rash thinking allowed me to become captured by the Hunter-Strikers.

He suddenly realized that it was his larger than life persona that cost him his own arms and legs.

Perhaps dying is a good thing. I no longer want to live with these regrets…

Harding closed his eyes and only saw the face of the Hunter-Striker hissing at him, its cobra-like frill sprouting around its neck.

… and I no longer want to see the enemy every time I close my eyes.

Harding remembered reading that the Hunter-Strikers contained both genders. What was strange about their reproduction was that unlike any other reptilian organism the Hunter-Strikers automatically reproduced, giving live birth to one spawn at the end of every year. This sort of information didn’t help ease the fact that they were perhaps out numbered by the
Hunter-Strikers.

Harding clenched his teeth. He felt pain surging through his chest. It was inevitable. He knew it was the venom surging through his body, getting ever so close to his heart.

I just wish the venom would just kill me now and get it over with. The pain… the fucking pain that I feel is getting unbearable. It would be easier just to kill me instead of having me hooked up to life-support, especially since the life-support system is partially operated by the ship’s computer.

He clenched his teeth again from the searing pain of the venom. He tried to scream out, forgetting that his vocal cords were muted.

If only I had a gun and one of my arms I could do it myself.

On any given day the thrill of working for the battle corps would keep him from such thoughts. But not today… no today he truly wanted to end this nightmare.

Who could blame me for thinking such horrendous thoughts? If anyone were in my position… they would think the same way. I better just think about something else.

And so he did. He thought about the girl he was with the night before deployment.

There were plenty of women back on earth, no doubt about that. Every night there was a different woman in his arms because being a soldier in the battle corps was a sign of virility.
At least that’s what Harding always thought.

I use to take everything for granite. I use to abuse my body by drinking like a fish, getting into the midst of bar brawls, followed by laying a different broad every night, thinking that I had all the time in the world. Now as I lay here… there is no more time. With the venom from The Hunter-Striker slowly making its way to my heart… my days are numbered.

The image of the enemy stayed neutral in his mind. Being taken prisoner by the Hunter-Striker was something he was trying to fight back. It was a war inside his head… a war that he was loosing. His vision was becoming unfocused and he suddenly knew that his days or even his minutes were numbered. Harding’s forehead started to have throbbing pains and there was no doubt that it was due to the effects of the virus.

I served my planet well, protecting it and now I’m going to be just another statistic in this godforsaken war. I must have pissed off god to be in this position. Hell, who am I kidding? It wasn’t god that did this to me I was dumb enough to join up with the Battle Corp. Perhaps I was destined for this misery. I wanted to be a soldier… ever since I was a kid. This was bound to happen. I suppose it was misery that was awaiting me on the battleground.

His thoughts were interrupted when the doctor removed the hospital curtain. The doctor noticed Harding had lost some weight since yesterday and looked malnourished. His facial skin had thinned out, giving him a skeletal-like appearance.

Dr. Morton began typing on his hand held portable device.

What the hell are you writing?

The nurse walked into the room. “I just spoke to Dr. Lennox,” she began. “He said there’s no curable vaccine for the poison inside his body.”

“We should speak outside.”

They left the room but Harding still heard their whispering voices.

I can still hear you two outside! It figures… just another disposal soldier for the Battle Corps, fighting off the galaxy’s reign of terror.

The nurse whispered. “Dr. Lennox thinks that we should just wait him off. He said there’s no cure of infection from a Hunter-Striker. Once the venom is inside the body… that’s it… he’s going to die eventually. The only thing the victim can do is wait until death passes over them.”

And that’s a bad thing.

Harding knew that even being fitted for cybernetic arms and legs were impossible for him. He was pretty much a vegetable as he could only move his eyes. He began to think about the war again. He thought about the Hunter-Strikers. He thought about how they were trying to seize earth by capturing humans and making them into cybernetic soldiers.

My god… Were they that advanced? And I thought they were just a stupid and vial species.

Harding felt his sanity slip further away.

Morton said, “Computer… holographic image… scenic view.”

Suddenly the room around him changed into a beautiful wilderness setting, complete with a waterfall and the soothing sounds of the forest.

So this is what my life has come to? This is the thanks that I get for serving my fucking planet? Serve your planet and you will be reward is what they tell you. And to think that I actually bought it. Back then it was a younger me with a gung-ho attitude. But it’s too
late for that now. The only thing I can do is watch this piece of shit holographic image and die.

Harding felt his eyelids become heavy. It was the venom. The venom had finally reached his heart. He took in one last breath and was relieved of the battle for his mentality and of his quiet war.

THE END

Flesheater is certifiable. A man spawned from the murky deeps of despair and darkness itself, his main goal is to make creative stories, wild accusations and enjoy some Japanese beer all the while. You can check out his stories here http://flesheater1701.deviantart.com/. Be warned…they aren’t safe for your MIND!

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