“They’re out there,” He told me. “Fields and fields of them. As far as the eye could see.” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. He pointed our to the horizon, and I looked, but all I could see was…
…a field of tall grass and wildflowers.
“All I see is…grass,” I said.
“Beyond that,” Richard said. “Past the tall grass and even the trees. Fiends that wear the faces of humans but have the spirits of wolves.”
I stood there on the wall gripping the army-style assault rifle in my hands, just staring out at the field.
“Don’t scare the new kid, Rich,” Cassidy said as she struck a match and lit a cigarette.
“He’s got to know what’s out there, Cassidy,” Richard said. “It’s time we bring Warren up to speed.”
I turned to Cassidy.
“Wait, is he serious?” I asked her.
She took a deep breath and exhaled a stream of smoke.
“Yeah, Warren. He’s serious. There are so called flesh eaters out there,” She said.
“Tons of ’em,” Richard added.
“Why don’t we tell the people back in the central city about this?” I asked.
“And cause a panic? Yeah right,” Richard said. “There’s a reason people don’t know about the world outside the walls.”
“Only the eldest members of the city remember what life used to be look before they came. Now only people like us know,” Cassidy said.
“That’s why the military teaches wall watchers how to keep secrets,” Richard said.
“So there are just tons of monsters out there?” I asked.
“What do you think you were doing out here with guns? Just baby sitting?” Richard asked.
“I don’t know. I thought there were people out there. People who would want in,” I said.
I looked out from the wall to the horizon.
“Monsters. People. Doesn’t really matter to us,” Cassidy said. “We say something, we radio it in. Then the people in the tower tells us to shoot them or let them be.”
“How often do things come to the wall?” I asked without taking my eyes off the wildflowers.
“It’s rare,” Cassidy said.
“But they’re out there. Whole crowds of them gathered together,” Richard said.
“Yeah? How do you even know that?” Cassidy asked.
“I have my ways of knowing things,” Richard said.
Cassidy let out a small laugh.
“You are so full of crap,” She said.
“I am not. They are out there! Someone from the recon team told me,” Richard said.
“Recon? Who do you know on recon?” Cassidy asked.
The two of them began to bicker, but the noise faded into the background. My focus was on the horizon. Monsters. Fiends. These words swam in my mind. I couldn’t believe that somewhere out there, there were monsters. Growing up we were told that the military was there to protect us and that we must remain within the walls. People who ventured outside the walls were pronounced dead. But we were never told what was out there. We were just content with living within the wall with the military watching over us.
When I joined the military and received my training, I looked forward to learning about the outside world. The recon teams were the only ones who left and came back. The interior kept law and order. And the wall watchers looked over the barrier between life and death.
Now I was here and I had a pit growing in my stomach.
I didn’t have a long time to focus on these new revelations, when I saw something on the horizon. It was a dark spot of movement.
“Hey there!” I pointed.
Richard and Cassidy stopped arguing. Both made there way over to me.
“What we looking at, Warren?” Richard asked me.
“I saw something. It was something on the horizon,” I said.
“What sort of something?” Cassidy asked.
“I’m not sure, but I definitely saw something.”
Cassidy lifted her sniper rifle and looked down the scope.
“You see anything?” Richard asked.
“I’m looking,” Cassidy said. “Wait, there is something out there.”
The spot returned the horizon, this time a little bit bigger and in the shape of a person running toward us.
“It’s a person,” Cassidy said.
“One of ours?” Richard asked.
“Can’t tell from here, but they are running,” Cassidy said.
As she said that many more points appeared on the horizon.
“Oh no,” Cassidy said.
“What do you mean, oh no?” I asked.
“They are being chased by something,” Cassidy said.
“Oh crap,” Richard said.
“We got to help them,” I said.
“Shut it, rookie. All we have to do is call this into the tower. Then they tell us what to do,” Cassidy said.
Richard put a hand on my shoulder.
“We follow orders, Warren. There are a way we do things,” He said with a serious tone which seemed alien to him.
Cassidy put down the sniper rifle and moved over to a small radio tower which was attached to the inner part of the wall. She picked up a radio and spoke into it.
“Wall outpost Delta to tower. This is Cassidy. Please respond,” She said.
There was a bit of radio static and then a voice spoke back.
“Tower responding to wall outpost Delta. Go ahead Cassidy.”
“Tower, we have spotted some sort of person heading toward us. Unable to recognize them, but they are being chased by a bunch of ghosts,” Cassidy said.
“Ghosts?” I asked Richard.
“Military term for the creatures,” Richard said and I nodded.
There was another bit of radio static, but no response.
“Repeating message. Tower, we have spotted someone running toward us being chased by ghosts. Please respond,” Cassidy said.
I looked away from Cassidy and the radio tower, back to the person running toward us. Now they had gotten closer and I was able to make out a form of a woman running toward the wall.
“It’s a woman,” I said pointing toward her.
Richard turned and looked.
“So it is,” Richard said.
“Tower, there is a woman being chased by ghosts. Please respond,” Cassidy said.
“We got to go,” I said.
I held my rifle and ran toward the nearest gate.
“Wait, Warren,” Richard reached out to me, but I just kept on running.
I heard shouting from both Richard and Cassidy as I ran down the wall.
“Run to the gate! Run to the gate!” I yelled at the woman as I pointed forward toward the gate.
The woman was still a bit far to make out any real details, but she seemed to notice me and pick up on my pointing. She readjusted her path and started running toward the path. Behind her I could see what looked like people, but they ran forward like mindless beasts, like wolves hunting down a deer.
I stopped for a moment and raised my rifle. My heart was pumping and my lungs burned. I did my best to steady by breath before pulling the trigger. I braced for the kickback of the gun as bullets shot from the rifle. The first went over top the head of the monster. The second struck the creature in the neck and it stumbled forward. I quickly readjusted and shot at the second one, striking it before it could reach the woman. Dozens more were quickly gaining speed on her.
“Help! Help!” She yelled.
Again, I took off running toward the gate.
There standing at the gate were a few different people all in similar military uniform to me. They obviously saw the situation and looked at me as I ran toward them.
“Open the gate! Open the gate!” I yelled as I shot toward the crowd of monsters again.
“Uh we don’t have confirmation from the tower,” One said to me.
“Open the gate, now. That’s an order!” I yelled.
I didn’t have any military rank or prowess to demand such a thing, but the other wall watchers didn’t know that. They just nodded and began opening the gate. The gate was connected by chain to a winch. Two of them turned the winch until there was a two foot gap in the metal wall. Me and a couple of the other wall watchers unleashed our magazine into the nearest fiends giving the woman enough room behind her.
She ran quickly darting between the gap in the wall and then the gate shut behind her. The crowd of creatures behind her slammed their bodies into the wall, growling and scratching.
“Keep firing,” I yelled as I dropped the empty magazine and inserted a new one into the rifle.
Within a minute the small group of us managed to take down the monsters and they laid in heaps outside the gate.
Seeing that the fiends were killed and no longer an issue, I dropped my rifle and fell back onto my butt. I sat on the wall surrounded by metal bullet cases, out of breath. However I only had a moment to rest before three large, military vehicles drove up. The doors opened and military individuals poured out of them. Most of them were interior, but one I recognized as a commanding officer from the tower.
The interior soldiers surrounded the woman from the outside and pointed their weapons at her.
“Do not move,” They shouted at her as she laid on the ground, out of breath.
The commanding officer ignored the woman and instead looked up in my direction.
“Private Warren, front and center. I need to have a word with you.”
Header Photo Credit to The Destiny Wiki/ Bungie Concept Art
Writing Prompt from “Complete The Story” By Piccadilly