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Dynamics of Death is a short story that takes place during the early stages of the Autumn Campaign.

Dynamics of Death

December 8, 1941. The same day that most of South East Asia was attacked by the Empire of Japan. The Japanese invasion of Daresia, a neutral, global superpower in the middle of the Pacific, began after Japanese forces coordinated attacks on large portions of Western Daresia; along with their attacks on the Philippine Islands and Singapore as a part of Japan’s ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’. These attacks resulted in the mobilization and retaliation of the Commonwealth and the Empire of Daresia; thus pulling these Empires into the Pacific Theatre of WWII.

In accordance with the Crimson Contingency, preparations throughout Western Daresia were arranged to defend against a predicted eastward push by the Japanese invaders. Ever since the Empire of Japan withdrew from the League of Nations, Japan was known to conduct biological human experimentations on Chinese military personnel and civilians in Manchuria; resulting in the increased use of biological weaponry during the second world war. In an attempt to withstand such warfare, the rapid research and development of special protective suits nicknamed Grizzlies, were funded by the Imperial Government of Daresia to protect and further enhance their infantry; demanding that these special suits be utilized at a moment’s notice. Along with the limited production of the Grizzly prototypes, coastal defence lines and fortresses were fortified with multinational units that were effectively trained and well-prepared; to the point where it seemed that the defence lines would be impenetrable.

December 9, 1941
Alliot Coast, Western Daresia
Second Defensive Line, Tojo Sector

"Hold the line! We're not done for yet!" yelled an officer, as endless explosions and the screams of dying men overwhelmed the officer’s unit through the scrambled radio traffic. The entire coastal garrison was a scene of sheer chaos as defence personnel scrambled to suit up in their combat gear and get to their assigned positions, despite the fact that the attack had already begun nearly 5 minutes prior. Breathing slowly, Lieutenant Mathieu de Chauffard of the 2nd ‘Swordmasters’ Company, a special unit testing out these prototype suits, listened in on the scattered radio chatter, which were filled sheer amounts of panic, confused yells and background gunfire- before he could comprehend the gist of the hellish situation through audio alone that occurred outdoors.

"This is Lieutenant Mathieu de Chauffard of the 2nd ‘Swordmasters’ Company to HQ. We’re requesting immediate artillery fire support, 3800-5769! Repeat, artillery fire support, grid 3800-5769!"

"Request approved Swordmaster- good luck!”, replied the radio operator in a tone of urgency.

As one born of noble blood, his family had the responsibility of generations of service and duty; accompanied with his aristocratic manner, utter intelligence and calming demeanour, which enabled him to stand out even during the heat of the moment. Unlike many of his fellow colleagues, he remained calm, patient and steadfast. He didn’t question how the Japanese could have stricken such a major fortification, as he already knew how unpredictable and sudden the Japanese could be. It wasn’t the first time that their small forces have bested military giants, nor would it be the last. The choice was clear; to fight or to die trying.

“Fellow brethren- we will hold here! There will be no retreat, and no surrender! There is no higher duty than defending the Empire!”

The signal for the counter-assault was given, and the young men and women who were all but ready jumped out and rushed forward; running blindly into an absolute hellish blaze of machine guns, rifles and explosives; devastating the collective spirit of those remaining. Those who survived fell back severely wounded, blocking the primary exits and preventing the rest of the attacking force from leaving their small isolated fortification. Those who remained could only listen and hope, as they heard the endless gunfire and screams; where those who fell paid the harsh penalty for wishful thinking.

“What the actual fuck?! Where are they coming from?!”, yelled a young Australian as he peeped around the wall- witnessing fellow allies fall, like scattered dominoes blown down by wind in quick succession. It was a vile sight, however the dust created from all the smoke, gunfire and dirt soon formed a thick screen of cover, through which nothing could be seen distinctly.

“Keep your heads down, get what you can while it’s still thick!”, replied Mathieu as he crouched and blindly pulled back a wounded comrade while looking for more signs of life. The victim he dragged to partial safety was hit in the stomach upon closer inspection; which bled profusely as the woman weakly grasped the wrist of the Lieutenant.

“You’re going to be alright, I’ve got you.”

His soothing voice raised the overall morale of those who heard him, as they regained their senses and began to help one another; despite the hell that they’ve only begun to dwell into. Suspiciously, the sound of gunfire seemed to lessen, to the point that they could hear faint, distant explosions, and hear other friendly units yelling about the status of other groups within the vicinity- without the yells and foreign tongue of enemy men. He thought to himself, was there a friendly bombardment amidst all the chaos? Was that the reason why he could hear his allies, instead of continued enemy fire? The physical and nervous exhaustion had begun to take its toll on the Lieutenant, despite his efforts to remain calm and collected. As he kept thinking about the situation, he reached for a radio with a trembling grip.

“Swordmaster to HQ! Do you read me? HQ!”

While he continued to request a response from headquarters, Chauffard used dressings to staunch the flow of blood, after which he had given morphine to the pale woman- who crookedly smiled and was carried toward a stretcher by two men. The aftermath of the counter-assault was atrocious; the evidence of their failure strewn in front of them for all to see. All they could witness were bodies of different shapes and sizes scattered into a range of brownish colours around them, accompanied with walls painted red and hands dyed crimson. He looked around, and saw his assistant squad leader; collapsed against a wall with his right arm blown off.

What made the situation worse were the sounds of faint whistles through the air. Mathieu immediately made a dash towards a bunch of huddled injured soldiers, pushing them into a corner and covering them, as the shouts of friendly men and women in the area quickly heightened. What followed were nearby bursts of ceramic bombs, sending bits of shrapnel flying in every direction- some hitting those out in the open. Mathieu witnessed the very definition of screaming agony. Those who weren’t wearing the prototype suits wailed in absolute torment, helplessly collapsing and screaming for help. No one had ever smelt, seen, nor heard anything like it; the dense, pungent swarms of infected fleas primarily carrying cholera- even through their Grizzly suit. He finally realized the reason why the headquarters ceased to respond; for they had also been hit.