The Halley War - Skod Varinno

A ten-part audio log from on Field Commander Skod Varinno, detailing the final war on Sine

Audio Log #001
Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 47' LON - Sector 7B, "Kyu"
972 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  They did it.   Selfish rat bastards.   They did it.   Can't see past their own noses. Crashing a Horizon into the surface. God. They crashed a Horizon into the surface. God. Fanatics. Murderers. Bastards. Monsters.   We've been re-deployed to the surface. Battalions are scrambling rapidly, but most of us have been told to remain here in 7B. Damn jungle, and the last one, too; it's like at this point, they just want to make the planet fully hell, instead of just mostly hell. It's a tactical nightmare. We're all a little euphoric - we've been fighting on gas waste and acid swamp for two years, now all we can see is green.   We've trained for this our whole lives, and we feel so inadequate. We don't even know who we're supposed to be fighting. Yesterday, the Monarch were fighting alongside us, against the separatists. Today, they've revealed that the only allegiance they're out for is their own.   Tomorrow we'll all be dead, and no one will care.   No one will care.

Audio Log #002
Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 47' LON - Sector 7B, "Kyu"
979 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  "How the hell did we get here?" That's what I heard the men saying, and they're not wrong. Two years ago, The Cavalcade swore that they weren't going to get involved in any of the "infighting" of the petty factions. Idiots. Narcissists.   We came into armed conflict with Monarch loyalists today. We aren't sure who it is that's arming them, let alone training them - they're civilians - as Monarch itself is completely tied up with the fighting on Cycle.   At 0700, planetside time, we lost contact with a scouting mission, about 24 kilometers out from base camp, in the deep jungle. We thought it might just be the weather - there's a hellish storm going on right now, can barely see the sky - so we sent out a probe drone. Things were going fine, it was transmitting normal data.   Then it went offline.   And then the raid started.   We were thankfully not caught too off-guard, but the level of capability and armament that they displayed was unprecedented. Not eclipsing our own, by any means, but they had cell weapons. And rockets.   They came and went, from the jungle. Took out two supply pallets, killed half a dozen men, injured three times that. The loss wasn't significant, but it was colossal for the scale. Heat scans say there were only a dozen or so of them, all of whom survived the attack.   God, the Cavalcade have no clue what they're doing, do they?

Audio Log #003 Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 47' LON - Sector 7B, "Kyu"
981 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  The storm is still raging. It's miserable. The water is getting into the gear, the mud into the food, and the thunder into our minds. It's so loud.   It's so loud.   The fight on Cycle between Monarch and the Cavalcade is raging on. Sometimes, when the storms lulls, we can hear the bombs. Most civilians there have either been killed in the crossfire or evacuated. Fights are springing up all over the Horizons, between the different factions who align with either Monarch or the Cavalcade. Battalions in other sectors are already engaged in direct combat, either with Monarch sympathizers or civilian loyalists. How is it another war? God, listen to this, listen to this. It needs to be recorded. For history, for comedy. It's what they said, on Arrival. The Cavalcade broadcasted it as soon as the last ship was in orbit.   "Comrades, survivors, humans! For centuries, we have voyaged, through the darkness between stars, past supernova and through galaxy, to this place. The planet of Sine. This new land is now the pinnacle of human achievement, the utter bastion of tenacity and unrelenting ambition.   So please, from the Cavalcade: welcome.   Let this new land represent a new era of thought, a new culture of progress. Let there be no war, or conflict, but instead let us commiserate over our common humanity and shared survival of the Journey. Let us instead live together, colonize together, breath"   Two days later was when the first war started. First? Only. It doesn't even matter anymore. It is funny, though.

Audio Log #004

Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 47' LON - Sector 7B, "Kyu"
989 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  There's new news. Rumors, secrets. They're saying there's a new weapon, of a sort. And that doesn't sound scary - there are new monsters of war the scientists in the cities cook up every day - but this time it's different. The Councilwoman spoke with ... reverence. And something else, something I've never, ever seen in her. Fear. Terror.   The entire army'll be gathering here in the next week, and after that we're leaving. We've been ordered to clear out of Kyu, back into a rock waste from last year. Sarasus was where people first tried to build a city. The audacity of that. It's just a ruin now. I'm leaving Kyu tomorrow, to go with the advance team, one battalion.

Audio Log #005
Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 63' LON - Sector 7C, "Sarasus"
1000 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
Auditor's note: this particular recording was not wholly legible, due to seeming extreme duress on the recorder's part. Recording has been artificially amplified to the best of the auditor's ability. I love you, Dad.
  It's gone.   Kyu's gone. It's gone. It's- [unintelligible] -gone. They're all dead, God, HELP US, HELP ME, what are they doing?! It- God.   God. Gone. Gone. God. Gone. It's gone. God.   I-   The entire army is gone. The new weapon. A bomb. They're calling it the Halley bomb, because of the creator. He was a rogue scientist, couldn't stop himself. We heard he commit suicide after Kyu was hit.   It's gone. Kyu is gone. It's a crater. A whole sector. It's three times the size of a Horizon. The entire army was there. And they're all dead.   Miyal.   Oh my God. I'm so sorry. I should have taken you with me.   Oh my God.  


Audio Log #006
Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 63' LON - Sector 7C, "Sarasus"
1001 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  We've sent out a discreet distress signal on Militia frequencies. I pray to God those madmen on Cycle aren't tapped in.   Our guess is that only about 4-7% of the Militia are still living.   The Cavalcade just released their press report. Commending the brave souls - dead souls - condemning Monarch, saying that they won't stand for it, that the next offensive is going to be the real last one, and so on and so on and so on and ... I'm so tired. They're liars. They're just hoping to wait for everyone to just kill themselves. All they want is power.   It's funny, how they use us. Their entire army has been decimated. But we're still the biggest force on the planet. No one can match us. But we're just a tool for the Cavalcade. I wonder, what'd happen, without us? They'd have collapsed long ago.   I'm so tired.   We're all so tired.  

Audio Log #007
Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 63' LON - Sector 7C, "Sarasus"
1005 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  Scraps have been showing up. Mostly infantry who retreated from the front lines, outside of Kyu. They're looking to me for leadership. I don't ... I don't know anything. I ...   I can't think. I can't live. I don't understand. I can't live. I can't speak. I can't think. I can't live.   Three years ago, this planet was a paradise. Now it's hell. It's hell. Ecologists be damned. It's hell, and we made it hell, and there's no going back. And there are children being raised.

Audio Log #008
Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 63' LON - Sector 7C, "Sarasus"
1005 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  We number about 12,000, here on the surface. 12 battalions, though not that organized. We're scared. We're all scared. We could all be dead in an instant. The Cavalcade have launched a huge offensive on Cycle.   Monarch has finally released something. They're saying ... They say no one deserves to live anymore, Monarch or Cavalcade, Partisan or Loyalist. None of them. They're planning something big, and we don't know what.   Cavalcade's discovered us, despite my better efforts. They say they'll be sending down cruisers to transport us to Cycle, to fight Monarch. I see it in the troops' eyes. They don't want to go.   I don't either. I don't know what to do. I feel something. I feel something dangerous. Something I know I will do. For Miyal. For all of them. I'll stick it to Cavalcade, to Monarch, to all of them. If I die, so what. Millions, billions, have died.

Audio Log #009
Field Commander Skod Varinno of the Militia of Mankind
10' LAT 63' LON - Sector 7C, "Sarasus"
1009 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  Two cruisers arrived today, almost no crew.   We aren't going. They refused, and so did I. We need to move quickly, or we'll just be bombed. This is treason, and no one cares. We've had enough. They're all bastards, they're all monsters, they know nothing, they're idiots, they deserve to die, good men do instead.   None of us can live with ourselves, for living. This is the only thing we can do to make it worth it.  

Audio Log #010
Excerpt from the speech of Skod Varinno, to the last battalions of the Militia of Mankind, given in the ruins of Sarasus.   You have heard that Cavalcade, that the bastards, have sent for us. Their lap-dogs. To fight on Cycle. We are their tools. We mean nothing to them. Death means nothing to them, and they've turned us that way as well! When was the last time any of you cried over a death? Look me in the eyes, soldiers! When? When?   I will not stand for it!   [audible cheering]   Now ... now I believe that we lived for a reason. I believe that the Instruments had mercy on us for a reason. Because why? Why would we live when so many - so many - died? No. We were chosen. Some of you are looking at me like I'm trying to turn us into a cult. No. It's not divinity, it's happenstance. We survived, and because we survived, the only way we can justify surviving, is if we end all this. Damn them all to hell. Cavalcade, Monarch, it doesn't matter.   Understand me, soldiers: this is treason. A mass desertion, a negligence of duty? That's what they will say.   But duty is dead, and we should be too.   The time has come for us to end all of this.   Today, we are no longer the Militia of Mankind. No one deserves that title, and those that do will squander it. We are the Century. 1000. 1000 days after Arrival, one and a half million soldiers died. Died for nothing. For the petty struggles of lesser men. It is disgusting.   We will not stand for it! We will not stand for it.

Audio Log #018
Aniya Varinno of the Century
10' LAT 63' LON - Sector 7C, "Sarasus"
1019 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  My father is dead.   The Cavalcade didn't like our desertion. They don't like that we've thought for ourselves. Yesterday, one of their operatives within our own ranks shot my father in front of the entire Mili- Century.   They're both dead, now.   But only one of them died in vain. An end is in sight. With us no longer working under the Cavalcade, people are rising up against them. We think it's only a matter of time before they collapse. Hopefully they'll take Monarch with them.   The war on Cycle is going as strong as ever. It passed over top of us last night. Had to take cover underground to protect from flying debris.   As the new leader of the biggest army on the planet, I've received several bids for allegiance. All just a bunch of rich sycophants who think they know what a power grab is.

Audio Log #019
Aniya Varinno
Century Cruiser 2, "Carpathia"
1022 Planetside Cycles since Arrival
  They did it.   Selfish rat bastards.   They did it.   They're extremists. Monarch. They're insane. They're mad. They Halleyed Cycle. God. They Halleyed Cycle. It's gone, forever. Cavalcade and Monarch. Both gone. The city, gone. Vaporized. They're insane. Monarch, right before it happened, released a transmission. They're a cult. Talking about how humanity doesn't deserve to exist. He was covered in blood.   We saw it. A blinding light on the horizon. It blotted out the sun. Some of us realized what it was, got under cover.   Others weren't so lucky. About 2,000 of them burst their eardrums. It was terrifying. The sky was the color of blood, and that's not hyperbole. The sky was blood red. Ash is still falling. The gas storms that formed in the northern hemisphere are speeding south. We're evacuating.   There's been a lull. Civilians and soldiers alike are revolting, calling a ceasefire. Three Tori have been taken over by the insurrectionists. We've sent several platoons to help them. I'm headed for Palace, to meet with a faction leader, Meela Vauhan.   I think...   I think the war is over. All of them.

Comments

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11 Dec, 2021 08:41

That is really, very interesting - I found the narrative gripping me right away and really wanted to see where it was going. Very well done :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
11 Dec, 2021 14:49

Thank you!! I know the article's still very ... text-wall-y, if you know what I mean, but I'm workin on it :D


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
11 Dec, 2021 17:03

An interesting way to show the conflict through the logs of people on the ground. The only thing I could suggest is adding some tooltips or links to other articles to explain what certain names mean

Check out the worlds of Solis Empire, Magic Earth, Ithir and Vyraj
11 Dec, 2021 17:05

Thank you, I'm glad you like the storytelling style! I will do that, once this isn't the only article in the world :P


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
11 Dec, 2021 17:23

Good luck!

Check out the worlds of Solis Empire, Magic Earth, Ithir and Vyraj
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
11 Dec, 2021 21:17

Fantastic article! I really love how you've written it, it made it super interesting to read and gripping in a way an encyclopaedia article could not be :D

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
11 Dec, 2021 21:41

Thank you! That was the intention, it's super encouraging to hear you think it worked!


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
11 Dec, 2021 23:37

I do love this so much. Using logs to tell the story of the war... good work!

11 Dec, 2021 23:41

Woah! Thank you so much, and for taking the time to comment!


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
12 Dec, 2021 05:37

Really excellent style of telling this story! I loved the way you took us through these harrowing events through the perspective of an individual character. It really drew me in. Great work! :D


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
12 Dec, 2021 20:31

Wow, thank you so much! I'm glad the style worked out :D


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
24 Dec, 2021 04:55

I love the epistolary style of the narrative. Also - freakin' intense! Great work!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
24 Dec, 2021 16:26

Thank you!


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
13 Jan, 2022 05:11

Awesome way to handle a conflict, my friend. Well played and very well written. It really does hook you in.

13 Jan, 2022 15:22

Thank you, I tried :) Absolutely loved your entry. Good luck with judging, or congrats if you're finished.


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
10 Jun, 2022 20:51

This was excellent Winger! The despair and terror of such a technologically advanced war was shown really well, and the emotion in the desertion speech came through loud and clear. I especially liked the line "But duty is dead, and we should be too."; it was dramatic without being pretentious. Well done!

|Author of Matelo Kaloje|

When life gives you lemons, they're probably poisoned - The signature of some pessimisst on a defunct forum in 2014