Roleplay > The Other World

Falling Skies 2.0 IC



From the diary of Queen Rhiannon of East Moreland

Today is the sixth month anniversary of when they came. I remember the day well the world's power grid shut down all at once and then ships zoomed over the city. It was as though they knew exactly where to strike. Within seconds my home of Northfort Palace was destroyed and I found myself being dragged down the streets by Will Buckley, I miss him. It took less than five minutes for them to bring our nation to its knees and then ever since we've been running. My father may be dead but it taught me that it's my purpose to defend those incapable of defending themselves, and so that's what we've been doing. The nation of the Kingdom of East Moreland currently has a population of 287, assuming the teams under the control of Alex Redfern, Tim Carpenter and Olly Thomas. For the last week the 70 people under my protection, well Tom Saxby's but at the end of the day they are my people. We're heading North, Rockhampton has deep undergound bunkers and so we think we may be safe. It's a week's journey now by foot and I pray to Jekar everyday that Auntie Freya is there.

The group waited under the railway bridge, over the past few days they'd noticed the flying patrols becoming more and more frequent, it was also taking them less time to find groups and so it was time to once more downsize. Over the last month they'd split from one large group, to two, now four, they didn't want to split again but they may have no choice. The tell tale "hum" sound of the ships overhead filled the air but Saxby knew if they waited they'd move on, despite the obvious technological advantage the aliens had it seemed they had yet to be able to see through buildings. "Lets roll" Tom ordered as he looked out from under the tunnel making sure nothing was waiting for them. He had five Red Legionnaires with him and a rag tag of civilians and military types, although everyone who could carried a weapon including the 16 year old Rhiannon. "Get back Your Majesty" Tom pushed her back further down the group as two Red's made their way down the railway line. Tom fell into step alongside her as they walked, there was another railway bridge around three miles down the track and a canopy of trees for most of it would provide at least some cover.

"I never get used to that" Rhiannon said looking down at the ground as she thought about her father. "I wish he was here." she added touching the silver bracelet he'd given her for her 16th birthday just a few days before the aliens had come. It had been a great day, her father had thrown a ball for her, which was actually more just a big party for her and her friends in the Palace, a rock band replacing the orchestra and pizza and burgers instead of a state banquet. The memory made her happy but then she remembered the loss, the fact that from the hundreds in the hall that night less than a quarter were still alive that she knew of.

"If he was he'd be proud" Tom said as his eyes still scanned the landscape around them. "The way you've grown up in these last months,'d make one hell of a Red." he was proud of her, she'd took to soldiering well and although always kept as far away from combat as possible she'd killed a Skitter or two herself, some of the group even had taken to calling her "Rhiannon the even Fiercer" in reference to her ancient namesake. She missed her half brother though, the eight year old Richard was travelling with Redfern, it had been thought best to keep them seperate. She worried about him a lot.

As they reached close to the tunnel they heard movement ahead and several scouts went to investigate, they saw four harnessed teenagers lifting sections of railway line and carrying them up the embankment. A single Skitter sat watching them at the top and Saxby and his men moved closer, only once confident it was alone and there were no Mechs did they strike, the .50cal anti material weapon blowing two of its limbs off as the team closed and finished it off swiftly. The harnassed children immediately stopped and stood stock still "Get Dr.Henry up here." he yelled and within a minute the royal medic was unpacking her kit.

"If we had a theatre I'd be more confident." They'd moved away from the main group not telling them that they'd found harnessed children, it created panic, families wanted to see if they were their own, but the problem was within an hour any harnessed children they took seemed to have somehow called for support and Skitters and Mechs turned up, they couldn't be taken with them. "OK....hold this" she handed a can of chemicals to one of the Red's, "as I lift each barb and cut it I want you to spray that." he nodded, "Lets go" she began lifting the harness clear of the skin and cutting with tin snips the barbs that seemed to connect it to the spine, she held her breath, she'd got half way, one more barb and this was the furtherest they'd ever got. She tensed as the barb put up resistance and then she heard it snap, she waited for a second and nothing happened, maybe they'd cracked it. Two more fell in short order and she had now just two more to go, she cut the next one and the child immediately began to spasm and like every other child they'd tried to free died seconds later. "Shit"

"Hey" Saxby said, "We go again, you had two theories" he pulled one of the children over and helped hold him down face first. "We leave them we get found out, you get the harness off they get their lives back maybe. If we don't do this I have to shoot them, you know that" he urged her, reluctantly she nodded and tried again, this time having worked from bottom to top. The same result, the child spasming at the exact same point before dying. "And again" The child was dead either way, at least that was Saxby's logic, to stop them being given away he would have to shoot them, this way at least they had a chance.

This time Dr.Henry gave the child an injection of adrenaline, she had a theory that the body went into shock and perhaps this could counter it, and with one barb left she had prayed to Marissa that it had, only for the same result. "I'm out of ideas" She was crying, she did everytime they did this, but she knew each failure meant they were a step closer to working it out.

"One more" Saxby said as he dragged a young girl over, she was placid and the team held her in position, "Go" he urged but Dr.Henry was hesitant. Saxby removed his pistol and cocked it ready to execute the harnessed girl if the doctor couldn't go on. They were probably already pushing it time wise. The Doctor tried again, this time giving the child a drug to slow her heart rate, but once more it ended in failure, she was sobbing now as one of the Red's packed her kit for her. "Doc, you'll get it, and when you do we're back in this game" Saxby squeezed her shoulder. "Lets get these bodies hidden" he ordered his team as he had no intention letting anyone know what they were doing. As he made his way back to the main group he heard a noise at the side of the track.

"Its me" Rhiannon's voice came as she emerged from the undergrowth. "I got bored of waiting" she slung her rifle on her back. "Anyone hurt?" she asked after the assault team.

"No, everyone is ok" he added, "Just wanted Dr.Henry to look at a wounded Skitter, you know see what we could learn" he lied and she knew it, after all she'd seen everything.

"OK" she grabbed his arm, "Just promise me that if a Skitter gets hold of me you'll shoot me before it harnesses me ok, even when the Doctor cracks getting them off. I know too much"

"If we can get you back we will" Saxby said confidently. "I've already lost one monarch"

"So I can end up like those four kids......just shoot me. That's an order." she turned and began walking a few steps before stopping and turning round. "And's the right call to do what you did." Without another word she headed back to the main group leaving a relieved Saxby to follow.

"This is bullshit" Redfern moaned as he checked the equipment spread out before him on the table in the ruined school some 35km South of Rockhampton. "Who the hell left the GPMG? And we're four claymores short. I know its a bloody crisis but since when did we become Lodjains." he complained to the assembled "military" under his command. In truth it was three Red Legionnaires, two Marines, one Air Force pilot and then a few guys who had stepped forward as "experienced" soldiers. At the mention of the Lodjains a cough came from the side of the room. "Sorry" Alex said shyly as Stasya Ironside stood there. They'd grabbed her and run when the attack began, King David had been the opposite side of the Palace and had been taken out early in the attack. Many who had escaped that side of the Palace had said they'd last seen the King with a rifle in his hand alongside his protection detail firing at incoming attackers. It gave Alex a reassurance that at least the King had gone down fighting and in some ways even if those rumours weren't true they would have needed to have been started in these difficult times. Redfern had split up what had remained of the Palace and scattered them across the countryside. He had suspected the scattered nature of East Moreland settlements would have helped the people survive but that hadn't been the case and every small village or town they approached on the march North had seen destruction and seemingly just adults dead, for some reason these Skitters wanted the children for those harness devices. They had become mindless slaves and frankly a liability. Redfern and his advanced guard of Tristian Rowe and Sebastian Johnson had been given direct orders to either evade or kill any children they'd come across if they saw those harnesses. Now though the problem was where was the missing weaponary. There would be no shortage of guns at Rockhampton and the equipment could be replaced easy enough but first they had 35km of Skitter infested country to cross and that was now suddenly harder.

"We've five people missing too." Sebastian interjected. "Luckily none of the military bods but I bet they've taken the stuff. There is a rumour going round that somehow people in that shithole of Vaguzia have survived better and we should be heading West not East." He shrugged his shoulders.

"We told Rhiannon and Saxby we'd see them in Rockhampton. We're going to Rockhampton and I don't care if Vaguzia was Skitter free and full of beer and steak, we get the Queen." The room nodded. "Then we turn the caves into a fortress and work out how to get these things off Mundus." A young boy walked into the room and Stasya took him by the hand and lead him away. Eight year old Prince Richard had been doing well keeping up but it was hard for him. Most of his friends had been killed and now he just had his mother really. He still would wake up in the night screaming for his deceased father and then complained he missed his sister Rhiannon. The Red's had managed to find a small dagger in the ruins of one of the Northfort Palace buildings and had given it him as his "sword" and that had gone some way to making the Prince feel better but it couldn't replace his father. Stasya tried her best to reassure him but even after eight years of being a mother she had little maternal instinct. She was though pretty ruthless when she had to be and when she had found out about Alex executing children he had expected complaints instead the former Queen had helped distract the others in the group so they were not aware of the issue to the majority of the group the children were already dead when the group found the settlement, Stasya had even told the people the Skitters executed the children once the work was done. It was cold but it had cemented a desire to fight in almost every Morelander in their column of around 60 people.

"We'll have to make do" Alex said as he redistributed the kit. "We keep everything within our group now" he gave each person a weapon and a share of the ammo. His two frontmen, Sebastian and Tristian got the best rifles and a Anti-Tank weapon and having refilled their water bottles from the schools kitchen sink headed off into the night. They'd be heading towards a village called Elthorpe and from there they'd find the river and that would take them to Rockhampton, the big concern was much of the trip would have little cover from the air and so they'd make the journey at night, rest up during the day. Alex cursed they'd got no night vision goggles but the distinct hum of the Skitter ships meant they'd be largely un-needed anyway. "You've got twenty minutes" Alex told everyone else and the rest of his group of survivors began packing their gear ready for the hike.

"She better be there" Alex said to himself as he watched his two scouts disappear into the nearby woods. Stasya heard him and unsure whether he was meaning his wife Freya or his niece Rhiannon left him to his thoughts.


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