The natural inclination of Man is to war with other Men. This, then, is our destiny, to grasp the stars, and to bring our weapons of destruction with us. But what really is Man, and more importantly, why is Man? The great voyage begins here, as Man encounters other Men, equally clever and as warlike as He is, and war will be waged for the conquest of the entire universe.
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Excerpt From Milton’s Lecture
We felt the impact of the Roach Nest as it landed. The Roaches don’t have any type of atmospheric entry stabilizers. From what we can tell they basically just aim at a planet from space and crash into it. They destroy part of their nest, their starship, in the process, but they aren’t planning on using it again like we do with our vessels. They plan on taking over the entire planet from the outset. When their population expands to a certain point, they simply begin building a new ship through unknown means, and hypothetically, they launch it and begin a search for another suitable planet.
All we knew at the time was that we were way out in the field going through our training exercise. Our squads were spread out all over the place, and something loud and heavy had just caused the ground beneath our feet to rumble. That’s all we knew. Our radios were on fixed frequencies, but the radios the DIs had were not. They told us to stay put while they went out and tried to figure out what was going on. Since we were playing the bad guys that day anyway, I told my team to hide in the brush until we got more intel.
We found out later that several drill instructors went out in an electric cart to investigate, and they weren’t heard from again.
About an hour had passed after the initial impact, when we heard our DI order us back to our starting point. We were over four miles away from our barracks by then, and I guess we were pretty far out when compared to most of the other squads. I can remember my teammates and I grumbling because we’d barely gotten to our sector, and here we were being called all the way back. We thought that maybe the DIs were testing us somehow.
Then we started hearing distress calls from some of the other squads in our platoon. Some guys were saying they were under attack, others were saying there were monsters in the woods. We didn’t know what to think.
I’d asked my buddy Dane Weathers to handle the radio for us that day, and now I was asking him to contact the head DI and find out what was going on. Again, we were told to head directly to our starting point, which was still almost four miles away.
Guys from our platoon, guys that we knew, were yelling into the radios and telling us that something was running after them and grabbing recruits, and taking them into the forest. We kept hearing that these things were shadows, or monsters or demons. A lot of times, we tried to raise the squads that were making those calls a second time, but they weren’t answering any more. I told Dane to try the DI again, and this time, he wasn’t answering any more either.
We did get one last reply, from somebody in the Admin building. It was a woman’s voice, and she was ordering us to return to the landing field for an immediate evacuation. She did identify herself, but I can’t remember what her name was anymore. When we could not reach her a second time, those weird feelings some of the guys had been having that morning started coming back.
I did not order my squad to head straight back to the starting point, or straight to Admin. Instead, we circled around from the north and through the forest, and we found a hill with a good vantage point. It took us a couple of hours to get there, but once we’d reached its crest we could see most of the Admin building, the parade grounds and the barracks. That whole area is known as Admin Square.
I don’t know if you can even imagine the gruesome scene we saw there. The scared recruits that were coming into view were being slaughtered as soon as they got into the parade grounds. They had no way to really defend themselves other than to use their laser rifles as clubs. What they were fighting against… Well, that’s when we got our first good look at those things.
They looked like giant roaches. They had black shells that covered most of their bodies, and they ran on six legs. They were much faster than the recruits. When they got close enough, they’d jump up in the air and knock the recruits down. From what we could see, they were mauling the recruits until they were dead. Not one of the recruits they knocked over got back up again. We watched the Roaches drag their bodies into the woods and ready themselves for another ambush. When the next group of recruits came by, the Roaches were already hidden and the recruits walked right into a trap. Our initial estimated count was fifty or sixty of those Roach things at Admin Square, and not counting however more were hiding in the woods.