A Dark Night – With a Bright Ending
By: Ray Zhao
Near midnight, the order finally came. The air was humid and electric. The night was pitch black. Jonathan’s nervous system was jittery. He could sense his fellow fighters in the trees beside him. Suddenly, a map appeared on his eyepiece. A 3D view of the Enfejien National Drone Dockport reminded him of just how large his task was. He raised his hand and pointed left, then right. He took a deep breath, then pointed forward.
At first, nothing happened. Jonathan frowned. It took him a second to realize that his hearing system’s newest update allowed him to drown out the sounds of airplane and drones. But he could see them, all right. He crawled forward on his stomach. The earth smelled fresh, but he could also detect 11.3 percent smoke coming from east-northeast. An airplane had been hit in that direction.
At the gate, Jonathan signaled his company to stop. He sent a message on his eyepiece, requesting vehicle backup. Within seconds, a tank had arrived.
It was truly a vintage piece of equipment. Not equipped with flying or stealth technologies, the tank, which Jonathan estimated to be about 200 years old, was loud and burdensome for his men to operate. But what was most important about this tank was that it had the infrared technology needed to demolish the gate.
Jonathan knew that as soon as the tank fired, his men would have to move quickly or face slaughter. He signaled for his soldiers to get ready. A sudden, warm blast of air hit him. Before he knew it, their surroundings were illuminated by the shredded gate. Jonathan ran forward. Behind him, the tank burned because of an aircraft strike.
Jonathan’s company was the second of eight to reach the inner gates. The other two that had breached the outer gates were eliminating aerial objects from the runways. Jonathan ducked under the graphene monolith and waited for his soldiers to catch up. Only after he looked back did he find that he was extremely lucky to even get to the inner gate. The fallen bodies of his fellow soldiers littered the ground. Only half made it to the cover of the wall.
But the hardest part of the night lay ahead of them. To scale the inner gate, the company needed to enter a 137-digit passcode or, well, do the impossible. Jonathan intended to do just that.
What was the impossible? Well first, he had to-
A sound broke his thought train. The gates opened. A group of soldiers came out, hands up. They had surrendered and opened the gates.
Leaving ten men to guard the prisoners and the gate, Jonathan and what was left of his company entered the Drone Dockport’s inner portion. He could see both A and E companies engaged in fierce fighting at the gates. He quickly secured his sector. As dawn lit up the sky, he reflected on his success. The mission would bring his home planet one step closer to peace and freedom.