❯ Machines and Mortals – Chapter 1 ( Chapter 1 )
By Drake KarelasThe Beginning
April 26, 2506
My name is Jason Matthews. I have no idea where I am or how I got here, but all I know is this: it’s not the best place to be. There is a war raging, one between machines and humans, and I’m stuck in the middle of it. And if anyone finds this, know that this that follows is true, and will always will be. For the world as it once was known, here we go.
I woke to gunfire in the night. My body instantly shot up, even though a feeling of danger was felt all around me. Adrenaline pumped through me as bullets hit the chunk of wall next to me. Scrambling to my feet, I slid around the corner and took off, the sound of metal following in my wake. I didn’t even take the time to look behind me to see what followed, because, as I turned the corner, I really didn’t want to. More bullets cut the wall as my feet slammed against the ground. My heart beat feverishly. Every corner I passed looked the same, white washed walls and pale white tiling under my pained feet. Skidding around another corner, a door came into my view. I smashed it open, and dragged it behind me as I slipped through.
I slumped to the floor, only to hear bullets rattle through the wood. The sound and air pressure exerted from them hit my ears with shock. I crawled away from the desecrated door, just in time too, for the poor thing was cracked down from an explosive. I watched in horror as splinters of wood and sizzling metal flew at me. I found I could not move as the impending doom struck towards me. Suddenly, an arm reached out and pulled me behind the following corner, and it grabbed me not a moment too soon; the raging projectiles zoomed pass at an alarming rate.
Looking to my left, a young teen with greasy blond hair and deep blue eyes stared back at me. His black bulletproof vest was covered in sweat (and a bit of blood), and he was wearing cargo pants, also drenched. As I opened my mouth to thank him, the boy put a finger to his lips and pulled my head around the corner to point. At that moment, I was very glad I had not looked at what had been following me, because what it was made my stomach drop. They were humans. But not ordinary humans, I soon realized, oh no, these were machines, like something you would see out of Terminator.
Each wore a mask of some bionic type, and each had a machine gun attached to their right arms. A strobe light appeared from both foreheads, scanning the room. I ducked my head back around the corner and stared at the boy in wide eyed fright. The teen did nothing but make a hand gesture with two fingers pointing to my eyes, and then he made a fist. Before I could ask what that meant, the boy took off in a full fledged sprint. Keeping up with him was definitely a difficulty. He slid around corners like lightning, so I kept up the best I could because he looked like he knew what he was doing. Finally he stopped at a dead end, allowing me to catch up, breathless.
I grabbed my knees as the boy touched the wall. Looking up, sweat drenching my eyes, I saw that a faint outline of a door had appeared. The boy pushed, and the door opened, revealing pale sunlight that almost blinded me. The boy motioned me to follow him, so I stood up, stretched my back, and then followed him outside. What I saw there made me on the verge of tears. The world as it had once been known had crumbled to pieces. Buildings had either caved in from poor support, been bleeding scorch marks and bullet holes, or had been demolished completely. A child’s doll lay on the ground in front of me. I picked it up, feeling a pang of fear and sadness. The doll’s face was black of scorch, and it’s probably once beautiful dress was smeared with someone’s blood. The boy’s face was grave and serious as he spoke.
“Sir,” he said “We have reports that the Machines have taken over Roble-Sint tower in the northeast. Our communications were lost, so we assume the worst. What shall we do? Act or defend?” The boy looked at me as if I had the answers. I stared into his eyes, wishing I had some idea of where and what he was talking about, but…” I don’t know…” I grasped my temples. All of this was too much for me to handle. The boy looked at me curiously. “Sir, are you alright?” I looked up at him and whispered, “Who are you?” He looked back at me in disbelief.
“I…I…How could you forget? I’m your first commander. Remember?” He looked at me with those soft, dangerous eyes, searching mine as if I had been making a joke. I shook my head. He sighed and turned his head down. “Sir, do you even know who you are?” he muttered quietly, so quietly I barely heard him.
This I did know the answer to. “I’m Jason Matthews,” I replied “, and I have no idea why I’m here. So,” I stood up to my full height of 5 foot 3 “, I will ask again. Who ARE you?” The boy trembled in fright. I calmed down a bit. He was no more than twelve, as of me being fourteen. The boy came out of the cringe slightly and replied in a semi-steady voice “, Considering you have amnesia, my name is Turner Broads.” Turner finally came out of the cringe and stood straight backed to me.
He saluted to me, confusing me. But instead of asking, I questioned on. “Where are we and what happened?” I asked, never once letting fear enter my voice. “We,” Turner replied gravely,” are the rebellion.” “Rebellion for what, might I ask?” Turner turned his back to me and said over his shoulder. “Against the Machines, the group of robots that were once meant for pleasure reasons, but programmed a virus into themselves, causing them to wipe out most the human race. We teenagers survived the blow, for we weren’t ready for what the robots were doing. This angers them, so we are hunted instead of being left alone. We, the kids of the United States, appointed you our leader for you were the only one with the correct skills for the job. Do you remember any of this?” Turner turned around and couldn’t help but stifle a soft laugh.
I bet at the time I looked pretty funny though too. My jaw was practically down to my ankles, my eyes bloated. This was one of the most shocking moments of my life, so I’m pretty sure I was given a right to make that face. “WHAT THE HECK?!?” I shrieked, and Turner covered my mouth with one hand and put a finger to his lips. He dragged me around yet another corner (he really had a knack for that) and pointed quietly. He had seen what I hadn’t noticed. Many more of the robotic humans were walking in an army straight line, headed for somewhere I did not know. Turner moved his hand along his back, and a very large, very assassin looking sniper rifle appeared in a computerized movement. I stared as Turner slid it off without a sound, unlatched the safety, and I stared in shock as he aimed at the line.
I put a hand on his shoulder, and he looked at me. I shook my head no, and Turner lowered the weapon. I stuck my hand out, and he handed it over without a word. I guess I had more power than I knew. When the gun lay in my hand, I realized how light it actually was. It couldn’t have weighed anymore than 20 pounds at the most. I slid it onto my back and looked back to Turner, who wasn’t looking at me but at the line. The group was thinning, and it would soon end. Turner motioned for me to follow, and as soon as the end of the line turned the corner of demolished building, we took off toward the north.