DK ' 2000
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I'll be writing and updating this story more often.  There's going to be some surprises in the future.  Enjoy.  

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DK - 6.11.00
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- Heart of a Fortress -

Written by: DK
Last Updated:
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Chapter One – "GO TO HELL…"

    "Wake up sir! Captain Larkin! WAKE UP!!"

I awoke to a violent shaking. My blurred vision cleared as I made out the silhouette of Private Kittridge. I barely remembered the fact that he was a green soldier. He was new to our platoon. He was still a mama’s boy, but I saw that he had a small burning flame of courage deep inside – somewhere…

I looked at Kittridge, my eyes still wincing from the sudden intake of light.

He was fully in-gear. He had his assault rifle at his side, bullets belted up across his chest, and night-visors fully operational on his forehead.

What the hell, I thought. But to my dismay, I soon found my answer.


    "Captain Larkin! Our base… we’re under attack!"

I got up quickly and looked out the small opening at the wall. Sure enough, the streaking of bullets and the burning of rampant fire were seen. The flames engulfed our perimeter defenses and blood-curling screams were heard everywhere.

    "What should we do, captain?" Kittridge asked as I rapidly strapped up my weapons and supplies.

The hell with uniform.

I was ready within seconds and running out the doorway.

    "Private!" I demanded.

    "Yes, sir?!"

    "Where’s your team?"

    "They’re out fighting."

I cursed silently. Now whom am I going to fight with? The whole damn base was caught off-guard. I had no support!

    "Alright. C’mon, let’s move."

Kittridge looked hesitant. He reluctantly followed my orders and quickly ran by my side. I knew that he thought running out like this was suicidal. In order to crush an assault, a large force was needed. Going out there into the heart of the killin’ fields with one guy besides you would be wasteful, futile, and stupid. But it wasn’t his call.

It was mine.


We reached the doorway and found a large pool of blood near the drainage. I looked around and saw our enemies.

The Garatons.

Their shiny green armor glistened in the dark of night. Fearlessly, they ran with intense momentum into the core of our defenses – slaughtering anything that moved.


    The Garatons originally came from the depths of space. From the first week after we colonized the planet, Xarrux, the Garatons had appeared numerous times. Each time, we undertook ways of upholding peace. But the Garatons would have none of it; they chose to attack us instead.

The Garatons were strong and ruthless warriors. Their awesome build and fearsome fighting prowess were unmatched.

They were ugly too. The Garatons had thick, grey skin. It was extremely bulky and muscular. They’re eyes were shiny beads of darkness. They were like visors. These "visors" protected their sensitive retinas and gave them excellent vision. Like us, the Garatons breathed oxygen. But their noses were no more than two indiscernible holes under their beady eyes.

The Garatons had a variety of hand-weapons. These weapons were highly advanced – ranging from shock-axes to photon-blasters to unbreakable energy blades.

They were the perfect hunters.


    "Kittridge! Ready your rifle and cover me!"

    "Yes sir!" he cried as he loaded his assault rifle. The trusty machinery hummed and prepared for the bloodbath.

Like a madman, Kittridge fired.

He fired at every Garaton he saw.

Dark-green blood oozed all over and deafening howls of pain were heard.

    "Aw damn!" Kittridge yelled as he fired. I looked to my left and spotted 10 armored-Garatons running toward us. I took out three shock-grenades and threw them as hard as I could.

The first one hit a Garaton squarely in the face.

So long sucker!

The grenade exploded on impact and immediately, it began to rain blood. The other two grenades took the rest of the pack down. Only two poor Garatons remained – fazed and badly wounded, they retreated.


By now, almost all of the Garatons had diverted their attention to us.

We were fresh blood.

We made the most noise and proved a lot more difficult to kill than the others. Baring weapons of all sizes, they charged us.

    "RUN!!" I yelled. I looked for Kittridge and saw him already scampering for dear life.

You bastard!

I started a steady trot. I couldn’t move very fast with all the weapons I was lugging.

Where would we go, I thought.

I didn’t know where to go and how to beat those angry guys behind me. I was running, but I knew that eventually I’d get tired and stop. If I happen to stop in an open area where there’d be no where to hide, I’d surely die.


I called out to Kittridge. I told him to round the base and meet at the headquarters. All the while, shoot at every damn Garaton you see.

He obliged and I quickly diverted off my course. I leapt behind a vehicle and immediately began to load up my assault rifles, both of them. The familiar hum filled my ears, and I just couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear.

I sprung from my hiding place, and screamed,


I held down the trigger as far as I could. My body shook with the rifles as they unleashed their awesome barrage of bullets. Maybe ten or twenty Garatons were instantly cut down.

A couple of others tried to flank me, but I swayed a little to my side and plopped off their heads.

I was having a blast.

I had never seen so much green blood splashed out of so many different parts of their bodies.


    One of the assault rifles then went blank. Without wasting a second, I junked it and reached for my grenades. With one hand firing a rifle and the other tightly holding my precious grenades, I sprinted as fast as I could to the headquarters. I mowed down any Garaton that got in my path and blew up any stupid ones that tried to chase me.


    Kittridge and some other men were already at the headquarters. Once I got in, they closed the gates. After much inquiring, I learned that we were the only survivors on this base. Over a hundred men lost their lives today.

    I could see that Kittridge was scared as hell. This was his first real battle – a battle that we lost, a battle that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

    "Evac arrives in 5 minutes!" one of the corporals informed me.

    "5 minutes?!" Kittridge yelled in a slightly cracked voice. He looked dazed and pale, and ready to throw up at the next sight of blood. Guess he never anticipated this kind of experience before. "We don’t friggin’ have 5 minutes! They’ll tear us apart before…"

    "Quiet down!" I commanded. I was getting annoyed at Kittridges inexperience and lack of confidence.

You need to find your balls ya damn coward!

I wanted to say that to him, but I knew that’d make him even less confidant than he was now.

    "You gotta calm down, Kittridge! We’ll be alright." I was sure of it.




Chapter Two – The Ice Hive

            Evac took us up north.  I slumped into the bucket-recliner seat, wiping the sweat from my dirty brow.  I was exhausted.  All that running and killing had taken a toll on my body.  I was sure I had lost some weight during the battle; and I was eager to gain it back.


I peeked out the window and saw the grassy lands outstretched indefinitely.  The virgin landscape was absolutely gorgeous.  I had missed the simple, untouched beauties of nature after the military took over my life.  Everything simply became guys, guns, and guts.  They get nauseating after awhile. 


The green pastures were gradually replaced by desolate tundra.  The snowy-white ice blanketed the lands.  It glistened against the sun, shining brightly against my weary eyes.  I sighed deeply, knowing that my next home was going to be a good one – a safe one. 


What seemed like seconds later, we were at the exclusive Ice Hive.  It was a monstrous military base equipped with the most advanced, damned weaponry on Xarrux and the 500 most qualified soldiers to operate them. 


The entire base was gray except for the occasional patch covered with fresh snow.  The Ice Hive consisted of many domed structures, including several encompassing watch-towers that protected the base.  It also boasted many other defenses, such as anti-craft cannons and the “Accel-Blaster”, that were heightened by the surrounding snow and ice.

The outstretched icy plains around the base were jagged and loose.  If you traveled on ground, you would either cut yourself up pretty badly or just simply fall in.  So the Ice Hive became practically impenetrable by ground.


            I’ve even heard that a band of rebels once tried to attack the Ice Fortress during its weak, early developmental stages.  The rebels fearlessly ran in, disregarding the dangers of the icy plains.  They were equipped with powerful weapons that would’ve mowed down entire platoons with ease, but in the end nature beat them.  They never made it past the rocky terrain, and had to endure the sub-zero temperatures.  Some poor fatties even fell in!  They became over-sized ice cubes within minutes.  Hours later, the rebels withdrew what’s left of their force.  The Ice Hive had won its first battle without firing a single bullet. 


            The Evac-dropship landed on the field pad as the hangar doors slowly opened.  A blast of cold air stormed in and stole my breath away.  All I had on was a sweaty tank top that I was still wearing from my sleep.  I clenched my teeth and ran into the building.  The domed-building was a large and especially spacious hangar-bay, full of fighters and dropships.  I surveyed my new home and nodded approvingly.  This will do, I thought. 


Then a rotund man rolled to my comrades and I.  He introduced himself as Colonel Bruce Schicklen.  After a solemn solute, he instructed us to our rooms and that a debriefing would take place in three hours.  I blankly gave him a thumbs-up and eagerly ran off to my room in hopes of continuing my slumber.


I washed up and changed into a clean white tank top.  I plopped myself on the small bed and quickly dozed off. 


I shot up from my bed after what seemed like a few minutes of sleep and gazed intently around the unfamiliar room.  The Ice Hive, I thought.  But then I just remembered about the debriefing.  Fat Colonel Chicken, I thought.  I looked at my watch and noticed that I still had an hour before the meeting.  I had slept two hours.

I lied down again, but I could not sleep.  My stomach roared loudly in agony.  I couldn’t get the thought of a fat chicken out of my mind.  Time for lunch, I thought. 

I took a quick shower and got dressed.  I finally made my way into the cafeteria after the third try.  The deep aroma of cooked food and soup filled my nose upon entering.  It was quite a remarkable feeling.  I took a deep breath and went on line. 

“No steak?” I loudly inquired as I moved forward.  A couple of guys in back of me chuckled.  I heard them murmur something about rookie or new guy.

“No sir.” The young cadet behind the counter replied.  “But we do have a very healthy veggie-platter.”

I frowned in disgust.  I continued my search for something meaty, but nothing I saw suited me. 


A feminine voice behind me said, “He’ll have the sub and the chicken broth.”  I turned around and saw the most magnificent sight I could ever behold – my girlfriend, Natalie.  I hugged her immediately and nodded my approval to the young cadet.  We embraced each other closely and did not let go.  We hugged and twirled what seemed like an eternity.  The light scent of her soft hair began to wonderfully fill my nostrils.  I could tell that she was still using the same hair-wash since we first met ten months ago.  I stayed in that happy trance and nearly went limb. 


“Sir?” said the cadet.  I woke from my trance and finally let go of Natalie.  I took my tray and went to sit down at a table.  Natalie followed and sat down with me.  This was the first time in a long while that I saw her without her standard uniform.  She looked absolutely beautiful. 


Natalie had shoulder-length, brown hair that would bounce softly with every step she took.  It kind of curved along the features of her pretty, little face.  Her face was one of those faces that’d set a room on fire.  It was pretty, cute, or simply pretty damn cute.  And even though Natalie ate a lot, she still had a great body.  The required daily workouts kept her figure curvy and perfect.  Natalie was simply to die for.


“Hey,” Natalie said with a smile.  I returned smile and replied with a raised eyebrow and deep voice,

“Hi there Ms. Porter.  How are you?”

“I’m fine,” she replied with a melodious giggle.  I sighed silently.  Her laughter was like music to my ears.  “I’m pretty bored though.  How are you?”

“I’ll be okay I guess.  I just lost a whole platoon back there.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.  So…” Natalie trailed off as a young cadet approached the table. 

“Hi, sir.” said the young soldier with a slight crack.  He was extremely anxious.  “Are you really the Captain David Larkin?”

“Yes I am.”

“Wow, I’ve heard so much about you!  I’m just happy that I finally met you!  And I…” I held out my hands for him to stop yapping.  I shook his hand, and politely told him to beat it.  He happily replied with a “Yes, sir!” and left quickly.  I rolled my eyes back to Natalie.  She was laughing. 

“Well Davy, how many did you kill this time?”



I should tell you about my reputation in the United Forces for Mankind (UFM) before I go on further.  Basically, I am the king in Garaton ass-whuppin’.  No other man (or woman) had slaughtered more Garatons than me.  I’m not proud of extinguishing life, especially so many of them, but because mankind depends on the UFM for survival, I have to.  I have to go out there and stop the Garatons, one way or another.


All of my advanced training had revolved around combat, from learning how to enhance my senses, to building weapons, and to killing a man (or any other living being) in 1001 different ways.  That’s why I was able to kill so many Garatons. 



“I don’t like to brag, but maybe forty or fifty.” I said with a smile.  We talked some more and I really got to know how she’s been lately. 


Natalie, unlike me, chose medical, psychology, and engineering as her advanced training.  She was a medic, mechanic and a psychologist, an invaluable support on the battlefield.  But with fazed soldiers coming in from other fallen bases, her workload has increased tremendously, especially her therapy.  However, she couldn’t relate to the frightened soldiers, for she has never been in a Garaton battle.  She didn’t know the horror – the sense of hopelessness when fighting Garatons. 

So Natalie was relieved of her psychology duties until she has actually been in the heart of a Garaton battle.  This could account for her boredom. 


I told her that someday, we’ll fight together side-by-side.  Delightfully, I also said to Natalie that with me around, you wouldn’t be bored.  She smiled one of her warm smiles, the one that took my breath away.  I couldn’t help but lean over a plant a soft kiss on her cheek. 

I finished up my lunch and told her I had a debriefing to go to.  She led me to the Mission Center and we went our separate ways. 

To be continued...


Copyright © DK, 2000.  All rights reserved.

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