A short story based on a dream I had
Maxwell turned his head to look at everyone in the hanger. 150, 200 people, he reckoned. He still couldn’t believe he formed a team this big to go after his goal, a goal that became shared, a goal that was about to be achieved… Of that, he had no doubt!
“Max put your jumpers on!” His friend approached him and gave him a strong punch in the shoulder. “You wanna get sand all up in there and ruin our day?!”
“Hey, everything’s gonna be okay!” He said as his friend laughed.
“Are the vehicles ready and prepared?”
“No, Max, I help you lead the squadron just so I can kick back and let everyone else do the work… OF COURSE THEY’RE READY! I checked them all myself!”
“Okay bud, CHILL! Chill. It’s not like you’re actually doing anything by checking them anyway…”
“Dude, I will put something in your sandwich if you keep talking like that…”
Both of them chuckled and went off to do their duties. They loved how a raid could be so casual when normally, well, it was a serious endeavor. They were friends since birth, and by friends I mean they helped each other survive the harsh desert landscape. They founded their town with only 10 people, and now it grew to be over 1,000. That was quite the accomplishment as far as they were concerned.
Their biggest building was a hanger that could hold 2 dozen fully-sized raiding vehicles, and boy, they would need them all tonight! They were going to raid Mazadon, the largest city in a 500-mile radius, for one simple reason - they existed. That was all the reason they needed to prepare ground vehicles including busses, infiltration weapons, bomb carriers, and supply trucks towards their destination. Aircraft never worked, not in this kind of weather.
Maxwell’s friend turned on the loudspeaker for the entire hanger.
“Aight desert rats, man your stations!” That was all he needed to say as each and every person cheered in excitement and rebellious enthusiasm!
They were almost there, and Max decided to look all around him.
Rolling hills, desert rocks, and wind as far as the eye could see. Giant busses holding 40+ people, rolling bombs, and supply trucks were all around. Everyone was feeling amazing, his sense of comradery had never faded in the entire 25 years he had been alive, and it was rubbing off on everybody else. Everyone was silent but smiling, just the way he envisioned it.
After a while, they came to an all-too-familiar rock formation that looked oddly suspicious. Legend had it that Mazadon was hidden under a rock formation in the sand and that its people never shared the location of the entrance to anyone… That’s why they brought the bombs.
“We’re here!” He shouted, and everyone stopped, almost in unison. He practically skipped towards the bomb truck and grabbed some human-sized pieces of dynamite. He lit and stuck them in a small hole in the rock! It exploded, and chunks of rock flew everywhere! He made his assessment and turned to the demolition experts of the group.
“Boys, we’re gonna need a bigger bomb than that!” They grunted with laughter as they turned on their special, sand-friendly forklift and brought out the MOAB - The Terradactyl 3000.
“Light ‘er up!” He said as they placed it near the formation. They lit the longest fuse possible and the drivers backed their vehicles far away to avoid taking any damage. BOOM! You could hear it from miles away as it went off, and Maxwell ran to the hole they just made.
“2 more!” He shouted as the process repeated itself two more times. That did it, they had access to the entrance of the city.
They left their vehicles on the surface and walked down a very, very long spiral staircase. They weren’t one for subtly, weapons and armor hung from every inch of their bodies, grenades and shock bombs were in their belts. They were prepared, no doubt about it.
“If this doesn’t work then we die invading the greatest city on earth! Okay?”
“That’s it, die like a man why don’t ya?”
He chuckled to himself. This certainly wasn’t his first rodeo, but he had his doubts about making it out alive. So did everyone else. But they were still feeling great, and the tension in their gut wasn’t going to stop them from living their best lives.
They could just barely see a rooftop! They threw some grenades down and made half of it blow to smithereens. They ran down the staircase very quickly to find that it was the “entrance” building to the rest of the city - they took a look out the window, and they saw it for the first time with their own eyes. There had to be 1,000 buildings, they couldn’t even see them all! There was a palace in the back, signs that showed which building was which business, tons of soldiers coming to attack them… Damn! What an impressive place!
They filtered their way out of the building and into the actual city. They weren’t fond of breaking and entering, they just wanted to find the source of the treasures. Since the palace was on the other side of the town, though, they might have to make an exception to this rule. On the other hand, the houses were very close together, so losing any unwanted followers would be an easy task.
You could say it looked like a battlefield from an eagle’s-eye view, with one group running towards another with hundreds of buildings in between them. The people weren’t paying much attention to them, surprisingly, but some of them gasped and shrieked as they ran by. At some point, they decided to split up so it would be harder to kill more than 2 when they ran into the soldiers.
The time came. Both forces were in the middle of the city, and they met each other.
Maxwell studied the first grunt as it appeared from behind a building. Tall, slender, covered in a dark brown desert combat suit with a gas mask on his face. Machine gun, utility belt, a giant knife strapped to his belt… And a slow reaction time. Maxwell made quick work of him and 2 others who tried to get him immediately after.
If there was any such thing as a war in an anarchical world like this, this was it. Maxwell’s team was far better trained and prepared for this than Mazadon’s, with some of them ducking inside of homes and jumping out at the perfect time. Max’s buddy even went into an empty home where he found a valuable black notebook and $20,000 in their foreign currency!
While they seemed to be less skilled, there were definitely a lot more of them than they expected. They were beginning to feel like they were outnumbered 10, nay, 20 to 1 as they began to feel tired and wondering what they should do next.
But Maxwell had an idea. They were close to the palace at this point, so he figured he would hide and rest for as long as he could before making a run for it. Max had a special gift for communicating to his family without saying a word; one of them picked up on what he was doing, and he found a good house to hide in. Two more saw him, and they did the same. Soon the entire squadron was hiding and rejuvenating their energy, ready to make a break for it as soon as they felt they could do it.
5 minutes felt like 5 hours. 10 minutes passed. 15. 20. They specialized in outmaneuvering their opponents, so their energy was building up quickly. The occasional shot could be heard as a soldier would go into a house with someone inside. But they waited. And waited…
He leaped to his feet. As he ran through the town soldiers shot at him and missed, sometimes hitting their own kind. Everyone followed as soon as they picked up on it, and soon they were at the steps of the palace with only a few guards in their way.
They stepped inside, and they were surprised at the lack of security - they guessed everyone was sent out to shoot them. They were sneaky and observant, so they quickly found the treasure room and took everything they could have possibly hoped for.
"Boys…" Maxwell bellowed in the now empty halls, "...we have done it."
An uproarious cheer filled the room. All they wanted was to get back to their vehicles and drive away, so they found the tunnels that led from the palace to the staircase, and they made their way up to safety.
Just another day in the life of Maxwell and his family!