This story is by Miguel A Zamora and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Welcome to Morning Talk. I’m your host, Amy Dumas. Tomorrow marks the 3-year anniversary of the High Command defeat by the Alliance.
Supreme Chancellor Prescott will attend the ceremony and will address the nation, mapping out a course forward.
Our sources confirm General Oded Issac will attend. Issac, then a captain, attained hero status when he led a daring raid on the High Command headquarters and secured complete victory for the Alliance.
Stay tuned for all-day coverage tomorrow here on ZEK channel 21.
Issac turned off the holo screen.
The Chancellor’s aide was an attractive young Asian woman. She wiped her glasses clean. “How is the security detail for tomorrow going?”
Issac cleared his throat. “The Agency has put together a good detail, and everything looks in place.”
“Who’s leading the detail?”
“Agent Tomas Vera.”
“Has he been vetted?”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Issac handed her a file.
“We leave in the morning at 0700.”
Flames and glass burst from the second-story office building as Tomas and Allie jumped out of the window to the ground below. They hit the ground and rolled. Tomas grabbed his left knee and popped the dislocated knee into place.
He winced. “Two hundred yards to freedom, love.”
They ran between the pipes of the refinery. A company of men pursued them, so Tomas unslung his Uzi and opened fire.
Tomas looked back. “Run!… Don’t stop… Run!”
Two men appeared ahead, blocking their path. Allie dropped to a knee as she drew her Glock 26 9mm and engaged the men with a withering hail of bullets, dropping them both.
“Allie! Run for it!”
Tomas took a bullet to his left thigh, toppling him headfirst onto the pavement. He rolled to his back and fired a full-auto burst between his knees, killing two, maybe three men. Allie came back for him.
“No, leave me; I’ll hold them off.”
Allie took a rifle round to the chest and collapsed, dead. Tomas caught her and clutched her to his chest.
“It’s over, Rougarou.” Tomas looked up to see the muzzle of an M4A1 carbine pointed at his face.
Time slowed to a crawl as he watched the muzzle flash bloom like a bright yellow flower, inches away from his eyes. He saw the bullet exit the muzzle, even discerning the rotation of the bullet. It seemed like minutes passed before he felt the round pressing against his forehead. The pain increased, as it always did before he jolted awake in bed. He gasped for air.
“Shit!” he yelled at the darkness. It happened again…
Later that morning, Tomas drove to the North Gate into the city. Armed masked guards stood at the entryway, scanning i.d.s of all those that entered. Tomas handed his i.d. to the guard.
“Agent,” the guard said.
Tomas nodded and drove in. The city was clean, and patrols roamed the streets. Security cameras were mounted on every street corner and government buildings.
Tomas noticed a cleaning crew removing propaganda posters from a storefront. The posters had an image of a hand holding a U.S. flag with the words “Still Here” written underneath it.
“They think so small… those rebel fools.”
Tomas drove up to the amphitheater where General Issac and the Chancellor’s aide waited. He took a deep breath as he exited his car.
“Ma’am… General. I’m Agent Vera.”
The aide looked Tomas up and down and smiled. “Agent.”
Tomas took the aide’s hand. “You can call me Tomas.”
“Agent Vera, have we met before?” Issac stepped in front of the aide.
Tomas smiled. “I don’t think so. I didn’t fight in the war. ”
Issac took a closer look and sized him up. “I guess you just have one of those faces.”
“Maybe.” Tomas grinned.
The aide nudged Issac. “Agent, is everything in place?”
“Yes, but General, how many men in the Chancellor’s detail?”
Issac glared at Tomas. “Why?”
“So, my men know who‘s a friendly and who’s a threat. That’s why, sir.”
The aide put her hand on Issac’s shoulder. “General.”
Through gritted teeth. “Five of my Honor Guards.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Tomas handed papers to both the aide and Issac. “At 1800, the Supreme Chancellor will take the stand and will speak for forty-five minutes, and then there will be a fireworks display. After the fireworks, he is unveiling a statue for the people.”
The aide looked up from the papers. “That is correct.”
“Good. I need to check with my men. We have an hour before the festivities.” Tomas handed them both a radio. “You can reach me on these if you need anything.”
The aide smiled. “Thank you, agent.” Tomas grinned and winked.
“General.” Issac nodded as Tomas headed down the hall.
She watched him till he was out of sight. “He seems to have everything in place.”
“So, it seems.”
We are moments away from the General taking the stand and introducing the Supreme Chancellor. Word has it that the Chancellor will unveil a gift for the people marking the third anniversary of the Alliance’s victory.
This is Amy for ZEK channel 21 live from the amphitheater.
Issac stood at the mic flanked by his honor guards. Issac calmed the crowd and introduced Supreme Chancellor Prescott.
He was an imposing figure in stature. Prescott held his head up high, and his baritone voice projected out into the crowd for the next hour.
Tomas talked into his radio. “Stay frosty and stand fast.”
The sky flowers filled the night sky with dazzling vibrant colors of the rainbow. An instrumental soundtrack accompanied the light show.
Issac patted the Chancellor on his back and laughed. The Chancellor nodded in approval.
Distracted by the fireworks, Tomas and his men advanced on the honor guards in a flying V formation. Their M5s were drawn and fixed on their targets.
The aide screamed as Tomas and his team advanced. The guards fell back and attempted to shield the Chancellor. Outmatched and overpowered by Tomas’s men, the guards fell. In the crossfire, the aide was killed.
Issac reached for his Glock. “I wouldn’t, General.” Tomas pushed his M5 against the small of the General’s back.
Issac reluctantly dropped his gun.
Tomas knelt and closed the eyes of the aide and covered her with his jacket. “Another casualty. What a shame.”
Chancellor Prescott wiped the blood spatter from his face. “What is the meaning of this?”
The tarp covering the statue fell to the ground. The crowd got quiet and then erupted into cheers. The crowd started to chant, “WE’RE STILL HERE!”
“This.” Tomas pointed at the statue.
Chancellor Prescott and General Issac turned and saw the statue in front of them. A bronze hand holding an American flag stood tall.
“That’s not the statute,” Prescott said.
Tomas stood in front of Prescott as the crowd swarmed the stage.
“What to with you.” Tomas circled the Chancellor. “You’re not worth a bullet.”
“Wait, I can….” Tomas hit the Chancellor in the throat with the M5 and pushed him into the mob. Prescott screamed as the mob ripped him apart.
Tomas waved. “Happy anniversary, Chancellor.”
The mob cheered.
Issac definitely stepped to Tomas. “Who are you, Agent Vera?” Tomas’s men stepped in between them.
“Stand down.” Tomas leveled his rifle. “Me?”
Tomas stepped up and placed his hand to the back of his ear, and pressed down. A green grid appeared across Tomas’s face. The grid disappeared, and Tomas’s face changed. Tomas’s right eye was grey and glazed over. Over his eye was a bullet scar that webbed down the right side of his head.
“Rougarou?” Issac was stunned. Tomas let out an exaggerated laugh.
Issac shook his head. “but I killed you.”
“Next time you shoot a man in the…wait what I’m I saying there won’t be a next time.” Tomas pulled the trigger. The round entered Issac’s abdomen.
Issac stagged back. Tomas kicked Issac into the mob.
Tomas hit his radio. “Are the gates to the city secure?”
“Yes, sir.” A voice said over the radio.
“Good, keep me informed.”
One of Tomas’s men brought Amy and her cameraman to him on stage.
Amy nodded her head and held the mic in front of Tomas.
Tomas took the mic and leaned in tight on the camera.
“For three years, we waited as the Alliance grew cocky and power-hungry. Wanting to expand your dominance, you raged war on other Nations. It cost you so much blood that you had to move assets. You put your trust that the Authority could keep us in check. You were wrong. As I speak, coordinated attacks have happened across all sectors. On your third anniversary, it turned out to be your last.”
The crowd cheered.
“I dare you, try to take us down again. You won’t like the outcome. You can’t kill our spirit.”
Tomas dropped the mic and pushed the camera in the direction of the crowd.
The crowd chanted even louder. “WE’RE STILL HERE!”