2 April 2010

The Last War

'What's the difference between a biscuit and a machine gun?'
'I don’t know Sir'...

'One makes a tasty tea treat, while the other gets the enemy to make a hasty retreat. Now stop eating, grab your gun and get over to that barricade before I start to lose my fucking sense of humour Private'.

Pete knew better than to answer the sergeant back. 'Sir yes Sir' was what he was expected to say so he did and then ran off to do what he'd been told.  These days if you pissed off a superior officer they were more likely just to shoot you in the face and step over your body than bring you up on charges.  Little things like court marshals had gone the way of the dinosaurs once the Frogs had started making their move for London.

Since they'd secured Dover and Brighton there was nothing to stop the bastards just shipping more and more troops and equipment across the channel.  They were experts at amphibious landings, it had been their speciality since the start of the war. By now their forces would be large and well equipped, and now their tanks had started rolling towards  London.

He looked around at the pitiful Croydon defences.  They'd mustered half a dozen old tanks and maybe ten field guns half of which were almost out of ammo and all of which were straight out of a bloody museum by the looks of them. 

They were going to get slaughtered, there was no way out of it.  Pete wondered if the air-force still had anything left that could fly.  He thought back to the start of the war,  the sneaky bastards had knocked out ninety percent of England's military fire-power in the first five minutes of hostilities, and all the while their bloody ambassadors had still been talking about peace. 

Fucking EMPs and micro nukes all over the place.  They literally came out of nowhere, smart as ya like, VAP and they'd taken down everything that wasn't totally shielded.  Planes fell out of the sky, tanks stalled and never ran again, shit, even the latest assault riffles had packed up.  He looked down at the relic of a weapon he'd been issued as a replacement.  It was some nondescript machine gun for which he had about four clips of ammo left. Fucking thing had been barely up to the task in the last war let alone now.  The sergeant's joke about forcing the enemy into a retreat was just that… a fucking joke. 

The Frogs were gonna come rolling right in with their fully equipped and state of the art tanks and kick the living shit out of anyone stupid enough to get in their way.  Croydon was going to get flattened and he'd get flattened too if he hung around here for too long.  He'd make a break for it once the fighting started, a lot easier to slip away during the chaos of combat than it would be right now.  If he tried it now and got caught he'd just end up with a bullet in the back of his head.  There was no mercy for deserters these days, he'd seen that when he was stationed in Southampton.  He lost some good mates down there, most to the enemy but some to the firing squads for desertion. 

There was no way Croydon was going to hold and he didn't want to be around when it fell, it would be a bloodbath.  Without air support they didn't stand a gnat's chance.  He'd have to make a run for it, maybe head for his aunt's place over in Wimbledon.   

It still amazed him that the Frogs didn't have an air-force.  It seemed impossible that they could have accomplished what they had without control of the sky.  It was, he thought, the only piece missing in their military arsenal.  The only countries that had put up a good resistance had been those with decent air support. 

Germany had been a walk over and those fucking chickens in Italy had surrendered without even firing a shot.  Not like those poor pig headed bastards in American.  Now they had put up a damned good fight and they certainly knew the benefits of a good air-force.  But now most of their country had been nuked to shit just to teach them a lesson and to send a message to the rest of the allies.

Seemed like the Frogs had spent a long time planning World War four and they'd also spent a hell of a lot of time just thinking about how to make really good tanks. He'd seen them in action a few times now and boy were they impressive killing machines.  Nothing the allies had, came even close to being able to stop them.

There was a low rumble in the distance, maybe ten clicks to the south, that was them, they were getting close now.  He turned and surveyed the rest of the troops around him, bright eyed and bushy tailed kids mostly, straight out of basic training. Most of them would be dead in an hour he guessed.  

The field guns would start firing soon trying to slow the advance of the tanks, but it would do no good.  He'd seen how ineffectual field guns were against their tanks,  it was like trying a bring down Rhinos with pea shooters. 

He decided that once the tanks started blasting the crap out of everything and everyone was hopping around like headless chickens, getting blown to pieces, he'd slip off and make his way up the old railway tracks.  There were no trains running these days of course but the tracks would lead him in a pretty straight line right back to London.  From there he could head west out towards his aunt's place, maybe find something to eat along the way on one of the abandoned farms, some carrots or cabbages maybe.

He took his cap out of his pocket and pulled it on.  He didn't normally wear it as it didn't fit over his ears properly.  But that was the problem with most things these days, they weren't really designed for the likes of Pete or anyone really… they'd be designed for humans.

"The Genetic War" or World War Three if you wanted to be pedantic, had done a lot of good for sure. The acceleration of the lower species had probably been part of some human master plan, but like so many of their endeavours it had turned around and bitten them, bitten them hard. Now they were extinct but quite kindly they'd left all of their cities, technology and possessions behind for those that came after.

In the here and now though the upshot was that there were an awful lot of English rabbits like Peter walking around with badly fitting hats and uncomfortable trousers… he didn't even want to think about the state of his tail.  None of the races that came after the last human war were particularly suited to their clothing come to think of it. The Frogs probably had similar problems, he wondered if their problem was getting shoes to fit?

Someone shouted "here they come" and the fear suddenly gripped his heart like it always did… "Don’t freeze up and stand here staring at them when they come,,, don't freeze up", he whispered to himself.

The field guns started to fire… and then the Frogs leapt into view.