While you slept




Cassie rubbed the grit out of her eyes as she gazed out at the desert plains of New France, a province in the free republic of UNC. New France took up much of what was left of the old north eastern United States. Dotted along the highway were many deserted towns reduced to rubble over the decades of war and unrest. Sighing she picks up her heat seeker and continues scanning the area for the disturbance that brought her this far into the bad lands.

In the distance a dark cloud hung low over the horizon ,through those ,she knew a mountain range lay in corroded piles of rock and earth. Lightening illuminated the cloud cover for a brief moment then thunder rumbled across the desert to Cassie. The wind had picked up noticeably in the two hours she'd been posted there.

Michaels , the guy she relieved from duty for a well deserved break was the only one who could stand this post. He was an artist of sorts and spent his time twisting the debris of the last century into strange sentinels that overlook the desert from the lone standing out post at the edge of the new free world. Cassie cringed as she looked over her shoulder at the giant claw hanging over the building .The latest of Michaels' work was a metal man reminiscent of toys and what not discovered from the old regime or the country once known as America.

Out over the desert Cassie watched the wind kick up dust and debris and twirl them around in dancing whirlwinds only to disappear leaving them to fall to the earth with a empty thud. The humidity hung heavily in the air as she turned and went inside. The air conditioner was on its last leg as it sat clattering away. The radio brought spasmodic conversations with five minute lulls in between hours of static clamor.

Leaning back against the wall she sat and was soon soundly asleep as bullet sized rain drops splattered against the windows like missiles falling silently in the night.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*`*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

She awoke to the ground shaking violently small objects clattered off the roof of her small house amid the clustered street of Kirkuk. Somewhere a siren sounded loud and wailing sounding the approach of another missile. She was still shaken by the events of the last few days and this one single moment held all the fears she had envisioned of this war.

Screaming she ran through her house grabbing up what little supplies she could spirit away. Out side she could hear others screaming and running the through the town banging on doors to awaken their neighbors family and friends. Some thing slammed against her door then lay still. A noise from a back room caught her attention and she almost cried as she realized in her hurry she had forgotten about her children.

Miquat and Alirah lay together in their bed only the tops of their heads and large tear filled eyes visible above their blanket.

"Whats happening mother?" Miquats voice wavered more with fear than the effects of puberty.

"We are under attack son .Hurry get you bag and come ."

Grabbing her young daughter ,the woman watches as her twelve year old sun searches for his gun and a small pack of dried foods. He will soon be leaving her to defend the oil field which lay less than a league away from her front door.

"Momma ?" little Alirah's eyes are still wide and unblinking as the house shakes once again. Fine silt falls from the ceiling as more debris clatter onto the roof.

"Hurry now Miquat!" she says a silent prayer as she kisses her son on the forehead.

Forcing open the door the boy looks out on the town in ruins. A thin mist hangs over the street many people lay on in the road trampled by others fighting to escape the bombing. The sky glowed oddly bright for so close to midnight. Looking out above the houses he could see flames licking hungrily at the sky. The oil fields were burning already. Stepping over the body slumped against his door he took off dodging people and objects hurled through the air. The siren began its horrid wail again and as he rounded the plaza on the road to the oil field he could hear the rumble of jets passing over head .As he neared the engulfed field he could hear the scream of an object hurling through the sky. Looking back he saw a silver glint of metal then nothing as the bomb struck the little town sending dust and debris hurling through the air .He was knocked off his feet and lay face down in the dirt sightless as countless scraps fell from the sky to bury him.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*`*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Cassie woke up to the scream of the wind and sound of a voice calling her from miles away. Clearing her head she stood and walked to the window. Out side a storm raged on The sky a mass of writhing black on black. The voice kept on calling out to her between bursts of static .

Turning she realized the noise was from the CB radio sitting on the counter .

"This is CBG 14 calling Blue Base do you read me !" the call continued athrough the static.

"Officer C. Absharod do you read !?"

"This is Blue base to CBG 14 I am reading you." Cassie's voice seemed calm and detached, she didn't realize she had picked up the receiver until she heard a sigh of relief from the officer on the other line.

"Blue Base do you know how long I ve been trying to reach you, over ?"

"No sir I don't. Got some interruption out here." Cassie glanced out the window again. A piece of metal hovered beyond the glass before being hurled away by the wind.

"Yeah we got some reports of bad weather bout a good 4 hours ago. What have you been up to officer?"

"Well when you got bad weather all you can do is relax and enjoy it ."

"Did you secure the perimeter ?"

"From what sir ? there's nothing but dirt and wind out here ." As she said that the roof gave an ear splitting moan and something fell and crashed into the yard outside.

"What was that" The commander demanded voice growing stern with impatience.

"Just one of the old mans creations falling. Those are about this only things to worry about here this close to no where."

" I am gonna get that Michaels ! always cluttering the base with scrap metals and what not .Do you know how dangerous that could be during an electrical storm!?"

Just then something crashed against the side of the building and thunder shook the foundation with a earth shattering roar.

"I think I am about to find out." Cassie said into to the receiver as lightening illuminated the night out side. Far across the plain she could se a dark tower approaching swiftly.

Static issued from the CB radio once again and she put down the receiver ad gazed longingly out the window.