End Times: As The Sky Sang
The sky sang. The music was beautiful. The orchestra reached its crescendo. That was when the screaming began. The bombs fell rapidly now as the survivors attack was stepped up to phase two. Shrapnel and liquid fire rained down from the sky as soldiers dove for cover. Across the ridge, bodies began to twist and melt as the heat of the explosions tore through the lines of the advancing forces. The wails from the poor souls resonated through the heart of Sgt. Major Jonas Henson as he lobbed another widow shock hand explosive from the trench.
“Fuck!” Jonas exclaimed, “That was close!” He watched heat waves radiate through the air above his head. Three bodies rolled into the trench and would have landed on top of Jonas if he hadn’t jumped away in time. He saw one of the bodies roll face up and had to choke back a mouthful of vomit. Through the crisped eyes and crumbled skin, he could still make out the name tag of his third in command. Smoke still curled from his cooked flesh. Jonas thought back to the napalm like explosives being used and wondered quietly how many more of his men had just walked into a fiery death.
He looked to his left and right and saw a half dozen men still standing in the trench covered in dirt and blood. They each held an m-76 semi auto riffle to their shoulders and let loose barrages of molten titanium bullets into the crowd of bodies half shambling, half running towards them. A single bullet from an M-76 could easily pierce through a half dozen bodies before slowing down, but the horde spread before them were spaced out far enough apart to ensure his men would not be able to take full advantage of their shiny new toys. The enemy continued to cover more ground.
Jonas looked around for the Lieutenant but couldn’t find his face anywhere among the men. Probably took off like the rest of the brass, He thought to himself as he remember the reports from Fort Tripp, where six thousand grunts were left as the five hundred officers high-tailed it the hell out of their before the shit hit the fan. Without any command, the base fell in a matter of hours.
“We better get the hell out of here Sarge,” said one of the grunts to his left. He couldn’t put a name to the face, but the man tore into a full sprint a second later as the sound of panicked shouting filled the air. Jonas turned to his left and saw that a dozen or so bloodied, hungry creatures had jumped into the trenches not ten yards from his position and were busy dragging his soldiers out and back into the bloodied battle field.
“Fuck,” he said as he turned and ran to rally the remaining men around him. “Retreat 500 yards and re-position at the next set of trenches,” Jonas shouted as he dragged himself out of the trench and coaxed the men to follow suit. The water sloshed around his feet. He stopped feeling his toes a week earlier, too scared to look at what a good bout of trench foot had wrecked under the socks.
The few men that had the misfortune of not hearing the order over the screams of the dying were left to fend for themselves as the bodies began to pile in the abandoned second line. Jonas looked behind him as the screams died down and were replaced by the din of an undead feast. The gashing of teeth and rending of flesh pervaded his ears as he watched a dozen of his men being torn apart.
Jonas looked up at the blackened sky, choked with ash and soot. An alarm sounded and he looked up as a dozen blackened helicopters descended on the scene and let loose a few thousand rounds into the first two trenches, turning whatever was still in there to nothing more than hamburger meat. The bullet song ended and the choppers moved on to another target, past the mall.
Other than the occasional moan or grunt, there was silence. He turned his head and looked up at the Capitol building, burning from the inside and then over towards the White House as the final pillars crumbled, burying at least a couple dozen survivors and undead together. He said a silent prayer as he jumped down into the third line of trenches. The few men of his that remained gathered around him, the last bit of hope on their faces were beginning to dwindle.
“Do you see that?” He yelled, trying to hide his own fatigue. He lifted his rifle and pointed towards the Washington Monument. Around it were a series of flag poles. Only one flag remained blowing in the breeze. Smoke obscured it mostly from view, but a moment later the stars and stripes were visible for his men to see. “That still flies, and that means we carry on!”
He noticed his men straighten up a bit at the sight of the flag. “Hope,” he said looking out over his men, “We can never let that go, no matter how fucked up this scenario is.” He pulled his riffle in close to his chest and checked the magazine. “Now, we hold this line god damn it, and we hold it tight!”
“Yes Sir!” Came the sound of his men as they checked their own weapons. A small, stocky man ran up the line of soldiers and handed out canisters of bullets and canteens of water. The men looked slightly more at ease now that they had break from the constant fighting.
His ears picked up the distant sound of moaning, the sound that always signaled others to start arriving. “Gear up men, this fight ain’t over until I say it’s over!”
The men gathered their guns and took position across the trench. Jonas looked around and saw heads poke up from other trenches across the lines and saw men nearby saluting him. He returned the gesture and raised his weapon.
The battle went on.