Tagged: war

O’er the Ramparts We Watched

Dear Planet Earth,

It’s the Fourth of July, in case you didn’t know. I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. None of us felt free today, no matter how many mole people we killed or how many pieces of American society we tried to pick up.

We got drunk — wasted, really — and listened to classic rock and roll. The kitchen staff took the unflavored tofu we’ve been living off of lately and molded it into the shapes of hamburgers and hot dogs. When the sun set, we blew up some cars and Cash4Gold billboards while mumbling the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

It was the Fourth of July in the sense that the date was the fourth of July. We had nothing to celebrate. We had no independence. We had no inspiring speeches from Bill Pullman about how today was truly the day to honor that original fight for freedom on this hallowed land.

And then some random girl kissed me. She pulled me into a woody area and shoved her tongue into my mouth. It happened so quickly I didn’t get a chance to see what she looked like or wonder if it was a good idea. She abruptly stopped after about a minute, giggled, and said, “Thanks.”

I watched her saunter back to the unfestive festivities, her blurry figure silhouetted by a bonfire fueled by Justin Bieber CDs. I instantly became aware of the dopey smile on my face. More than that, I realized I was happy and I was free, even if only for today. I won’t know what fights may come tomorrow, but I do know that if my happiness and freedom is on the line, I will fight.

God fucking bless America.

Mole Season

Dear Planet Earth,

We found a couple mole people wandering around a serene stretch of wood defiantly calling itself Seola Park. They were just walking, like two humans on a casual stroll. They clutched their large rifles as though they were carrying something as harmless as groceries. A bright sun, clear sky, and song of sparrows framed the scene.

Private Karter, now Corporal Karter, gave me the binoculars to get a closer look. The glowing red eyes from their masks, at one time a menacing image that implied something demonic, now looked ridiculous — almost comical — from our safe vantage point 200 yards away.

“Be vewy, vewy quiet,” he said behind the lens of an M24 sniper rifle. “I’m hunting mole men. Heh heh heh heh heh.”

I was supposed to be Karter’s spotter, but I have my suspicions that he knew even less than I did about what that meant.

He fired, and the resounding noise forced me to bury my head in my arms. I readjusted myself in time to see one of the mole men down for the count as his comrade darted his head erratically in all directions. Karter opened and closed the barrel, and an empty cartridge landed in the grass beside us. He fired again. I was able to withstand the piercing sound this time and see the lone invader fly a few feet before landing in a puddle of red.

A morbid silence filled the air within seconds. Karter stood up, stretched out his arms and legs, and smiled like he just heard a clever Chuck Norris joke.

“That calls for a beer.”

Good News/Bad News

Dear Planet Earth,

There’s conflicting news coming out of the Twitterverse today. For one thing, I’m apparently not the first person to coin the term “Twitterverse.”

But onto the real stuff. Humans in Austin, Texas raided a slave labor camp and even took out a couple drill snakes in the process. They freed over a hundred people, bringing up their resistance to about 350 strong. I contacted one of the raiders who told me that they plan to carry out even more assaults against the mole people in the coming weeks. They’re putting up defenses around their city just as we are here in New Seattle. Good luck to all of you in Austin.

The people of Blackfoot, Idaho were much less lucky. There was a resistance group there made up entirely of civilians who had been holding their own since October. They were attacked in the middle of the night on all sides. The mole men didn’t bother taking prisoners. They shot and killed dozens of men, women, and children. There were only two survivors of the tragic massacre. They’ll hopefully be safe within the borders of New Seattle in a few days. We’re excited to meet you, Maggie and Emily.

1,000 Words

Dear Planet Earth,

Let’s talk about the picture. Everyone else here is. Private McCarthy and I found it on the side of a pizza joint downtown. Some others are talking about seeing similar graffiti on a Dumpster and a garage door.

It’s your typical tyrannical propaganda poster, or so says Dr. Eimer. An image resembling a mole man gas mask is framed by the phrases “OBEDIENCE IS LIFE” and “DISOBEDIENCE IS DEATH.” This is the same mantra that ended their last message plastered across cyberspace.

We’re looking at this with muted concern, holding back fears of a counterattack or spies within our ranks (the two saboteurs’ execution is still fresh in our minds). If we were worried about anything, it would be the fact that the graffiti was remarkably clean in an area that was definitely a part of the fighting when we retook Seattle. Someone had to put it up recently, or so logic would tell us. But the one consolation we can all count on is the fact that logic died long ago.

Humanity or Tyranny

Dear Planet Earth,

We’re expanding our borders. We’re fortifying and refortifying, putting up defenses in the remains of overturned school buses, dusty coffee houses, and scorched dog parks. We’re spray painting messages on cars at the edge of the city that read “BRING IT ON” and “HUMANITY OR TYRANNY.” We’re calling this ever-growing enclave of liberty New Seattle.

There’s talk of making a flag or a new form of currency. Some people want to have an election to counter the military’s possibly overbearing influence.

Again, I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself. I’m more than just a 21st century teenager with more luck than skill. I’m more than just a dystopic survivor who can count his victories on one hand. I — like the hundreds of other dedicated individuals working beside me — am a human, one of the most durable and resilient creatures to ever walk this planet.

Mole people, bring it on.


Dear Planet Earth,

“Hey, Exterminator.”

I looked up from my cold rice and beans to see Rachel‘s deceptively angelic face staring back.

“Don’t call me that,” I said.

“Why not? It’s a cool name.” She sat down on the stool across from me. “When I was a kid, I wanted my mom to change my name to ‘Unicorn,’ but she said that was stupid.”

I almost asked that ten year old when she thought she stopped being a kid. I almost asked her where her mother was.

“Look what I got.” Her eyes lit up and she reached inside her shirt. She pulled out a long bullet hanging around a dog tag chain. “It’s one of their bullets. Santiago put the holes in it for me.”

I went back to eating my gruel, tried to avoid looking at the giant projectile.

“Oh, and you can have your book back.” She pulled out the copy of The Time Machine from her messenger bag and slid it toward me. My father used to read it to me every night. “It was kind of boring.”

I laughed, weakly. “Compared with reality, yeah, I guess so.”

She abruptly stood up and saluted me. She had other errands to run, more adults to vex.

“Bye, Exterminator.”

Strength is the outcome of need, my father would read to me. Security sets a premium on feebleness.

Hunky-Dory Steampunk Story

Dear Planet Earth,

We’ve been hopping from place to place around the city all week. We kept expecting the mole people to return for a counterattack, drill snakes and steampunk guns in tow. It’s now undeniably apparent they’re not coming, either out of fear or condescending disinterest.

They have a right to be scared. We’ve fortified every inch of downtown Seattle and trained dozens of new rebels how to use some serious weapons. Oh, we’ve started calling ourselves “rebels,” too.

I helped raid a firehouse yesterday to get those flames around the Space Needle under control. We did a pretty good job considering our only training came from playing fireman in preschool. The CDC guys contained the remains of the drill snake I epically pwned, which makes for a pretty eerie picture.

Despite how hunk-dory things seem now, a lot of us are actually itching for the mole men to bring it on. Dr. Eimer compared our zeal for battle to the “geopolitical climate prior to World War I.” I think most of us rebels are imagining Star Wars IV.

Early Epilogue

Dear Planet Earth,

Like I guessed, it was General Talpa and his resistance fighters who attacked the transport truck outside of the slave labor camp. Mr. Ozawa, the homie spy, ran back to the mole men with his tail between his legs, which let Talpa’s crew rescue Rachel, Randall, and Mrs. Bing. (Mrs. Bing is apparently in an even worse state than before right now.)

They planned a 200% more organized assault than we did, scouting the area and getting the tanks in position. When they finally attacked, the mole people and their homeless underlings had practically no time to get together a defense. We rolled out together with few casualties about an hour later.

We’re all in pretty high spirits — happy to be reunited with lost friends, invigorated that all hope is not lost, and planning our next attack on our clearly vulnerable invaders.


Dear Planet Earth,

Karter gave me a green bandana and told me to wrap it around my left arm. I noticed he too had a green bandana around his arm. He said it was so we could tell our own people apart from the mole men and the homies battling outside. He opened the rusty hatch that reminded me of a submarine and we were instantly propelled into a scene from a war movie.

Large plumes of smoke grew on all sides. Mortar blasts continuously pummeled groups of short people I had to assume were mole people. The steampunk towers creaked and melted from the constant volleys.

Karter lifted his rifle and started firing wildly at a troop of people clearly not wearing green bandanas. He yelled something back at me, but I had screams, explosions, and gunfire in surround sound. I followed closely behind him, crouched like a ninja, just as we did when we first tried to sneak into this tenth circle of hell.

We scrambled up the slope of a dune, climbing over the corpses of about a dozen mole men, the red eyes from their masks watching us all the way. We saw human bodies too, homies and our own people, if their left arms could be believed. I tried not to view too much of those images.

We made it to the lip of the desert bowl where we greeted by a familiar-looking boy. He was firing toward the battle below and quickly pointed his rifle toward us. The hardened look on his face swiftly changed to fear to shock to relief before letting us pass out of the contained war zone and into freedom.

Song of Sirens

Dear Planet Earth,

A familiar feeling swept over my deaf, dusty body after Private Karter blew open my cell door with a surprisingly effective hand grenade. I forced myself up and sauntered to my new gaping opportunity of freedom, ignoring the ringing song of sirens playing in my head. A blurry version of Karter grabbed my arm and guided me through the fresh rubble. Some other, logical mirror of myself must have been active, because I somehow remembered to grab my laptop, broken walkie talkie, and the book, A History of the Inheritors.

I regained my senses faster than I would have expected. My vision cleared and I was able to make out dozens of jail cells identical to my own — all lined up like in a mental asylum, all empty. I had no time to interpret what this meant. Even now, I have few logical explanations as to why I was the only one in that underground mole people prison.

When we got to the end of the hallway, I could make out some earthen stairs and my ears had healed to the point that I could hear Karter say, “Eddy? Ah . . . oo . . . ee? Ah . . .” He shook me by the shoulders.

“Are you ready?”

I took deep breaths, flexed my muscles. The light coming from the surface was so sweet it blinded me in a whole new way, yet I managed to retain focus.

“I think so.”

“Trust me,” Karter said with a trademark grin. “You aren’t.”