Chapter 2

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From behind the protection of a boulder, Sobril spied Mirthrog fleeing the valley with something or someone on his back. With the fighting so close, he had thought the dragon would have evacuated his valley long ago. As the commander in charge of this battle, Sobril signaled to his males to open fire in the hopes of distracting the attacking Niroshids from seeing and shooting down the dragon. Bursts of laser rained down on the enemy. A single shot of dack disintegrated a tree. The Niroshid hiding behind it flopped to the ground, burned to a charcoal lump from the laser beams following the hand grenade explosion.

Planning his every move with calculating precision, he swiped his hand over his head to send another message to his males. He couldn’t communicate with his men telepathically or the enemy might intercept the thoughts. The message traveled through the field and, while he and several of the resistance continued to fire their lasers, many of the rebels ran away.

The Niroshid captain seemed to interpret the action as desertion and ordered his troop to advance, firing on anything that moved. Next to Sobril, Suckeri, one of his soldiers known for stealth, ran from behind a tree and up to a rock, diving for concealment behind a wall of low-growing bushes, parting the foliage, he peeked through.

The Resistance continued to fire upon the aggressive Niroshids to keep their current positions. Sobril zigzagged his way backward to another boulder, trying to reinforce and propagate the idea of a possible retreat. Seeing movement from his peripheral vision, he shot his laser, setting the bushes harboring an enemy soldier ablaze. The man rolled on the ground to take refuge behind a sizable rock. Sobril continued his relentless attack. With the click of a button, he released one blast of dack and the boulder disintegrated. The soldier retreated as a comrade came to his rescue, opening fire on Sobril, forcing him to dive then rolled away from his cover. The rock exploded from the enemy’s dack. The force slammed him hard to the ground. He shook his head to clear it, scrambled to his feet, and ran for cover.

With caution, he snaked his way to the rear to meet up with his sergeant.

The sergeant glanced to his right as Sobril took position behind a cluster of chard tree trunks next to him. “Sir.”

“Keep your eyes on the enemy.” He nodded in the direction of the fighting.

It wasn’t long before the rebels, flanking the Niroshids’ positions, appeared from behind and closed in on the enemy forces. The enemy, busy in their advance, never noticed the bold move of the Resistance.

Although few in numbers, the rebels opened fire upon the rear, advancing, moving into the enemy’s ranks, killing many of the Niroshid platoon. The surrounded enemy had nowhere to run. Sobril and the rest of his men pushed forward in a full charge. The pincer maneuver brought victory to the rebels. In a matter of minutes, the resistance regrouped, having killed every last Niroshid. He shook his head at the many Niroshids turned to ash, their families would never have closure, unable to give them a proper burial. The ugliness of war settled at the pit of his stomach.

Some of the fresher recruits shouted for joy, raising their weapons in the air. The seasoned rebels ran around, checking for survivors, killing them with effective swiftness to release them from their misery. The resistance did not take prisoners, for they had nowhere to keep them.

The Niroshid would meet the victory with greater retaliation. He ordered his men to leave the battlefield immediately. Running to the camouflaged vehicles hidden among a cluster of trees, an enemy fighter jet appeared on the horizon, approaching fast. Many reached the protection of the small forest and scurried to clear a vehicle with a mounted gun. The powerful new weapon, designed to take down even the stealthiest of jets, would be the culminating surprise for the enemy.

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