Episode 2: Drafted

There was a knock at the door of Jeff's office. Two black carsons were here to pick him up.

"Mayor DeRoll, due to the lack of communication with the draft director, you will be escorted to Fort Loftner to help the front in Washington."

"Come on, DeRoll. Every carson is required for military duty at some point. We went through it, now it's your turn. There's no point in driving away. We know who you are."

The door slowly opened. Jeff peered behind the draft officers to his city. He sighed then drove forward.

"Alright, I will go."

A truck carrying other conscripted carsons waited at the base of the trapezoidal prism or simply the Prism as it became to be known. Since a city was on top, there were walls on the sides to keep anyone from falling. To get up to the city, a crazy expensive teleportation machine was built to teleport anyone from the button to the top and vice-versa. At the top, a security system was installed.

"What is your requested movement?" the computer asked.

"Downward," DeRoll answered. They then teleported to the bottom. DeRoll was startled as he drove over the rocks and short grass. It had been a while since his wheels touched something other than soft road.

"In the back," one of them ordered. The back end of the trailer opened and Jeff drove in and parked inside. The quarters was small and crowded. He tried his best to keep snug among the ten or so other carsons. The trailer's back door closed and in no time, they were on the move to the base in Washington. Jeff had left his town for long periods of time before, but never did he think this would be so long.

The semi carrying him drove about two thousand miles to Washington, the state, where the front was. The plan for the carsons was to capture Seattle. An invasion force of epic proportions was needed. Jeff said nothing to the carsons around him. He was an introvert and didn't like talking to new carsons that much. That made this trip even longer. Eventually, though, the semi dropped them off at Fort Loftner, three hundred miles from Seattle. Once there, he was immediately taken to the front after inspections, joining many others who seemed to be as miserable as he was. The war had gone on for so long that many felt it as pointless, but the Carson Empire was needlessly insecure. The humans had taken their new presence very negatively, and the carson leaders wanted to make sure the empire would be secure, and it showed through their legislation and foreign policy.

Upon landing on the battlefield the very next day, Jeff was overwhelmed. Corpses of carsons were scattered every which way. In one direction there would be a wheel on fire. In another there was oil spattered across the pavement. His squadron was task with capturing a mansion on one of the mountains, considered to be a major human stronghold.

Driving around the gunfire, he accidentally ran into another carson. His look was very odd, and he had a ridiculous paint job.

"Hey, watch where you are driving. Ever heard of using your signals?!"

"I'm so sorry! The humans are very accurate."

"Watch out!" An RPG zoomed towards them. Jeff and the purple carson hurried out of its way before it obliterated the area they were parked at, setting the surrounding bushes and trees ablaze. After calming down, the purple carson introduced himself. "I'm Vert. Who are you?"

"I'm Jeff, mayor of Hot Wheels City."

"You're a mayor?" he asked surprised.

"Yeah. Where you from?"

"I grew up around New York City, but me and my best friend, Danny, have been searching for a place to stay in the Midwest for years. East Coast's too expensive. Thought we'd go to Detroit and get our lives together and settle down, but we got conscription notices, and now we're here."

"Help me make it through this battle, and I'll give you and your friend a cheap place in my city. It's not far from Detroit."

"Are you serious, bro?! Deal!"

"Where's your friend at?" he asked.

"Over there." Vert moved part of the bush they were behind a little so Jeff could see Danny on the other side of the field.

"Soldiers!" yelled a tan carson behind them. It was their commanding officer, Jeep. "Stop chatting! This ain't no time to be conversing! Now get ready! We're about to take this dang stronghold once and for all! The semis will ram the doors and we will rush in and finish this!"

The carsons went into position and when the signals were up, the semis knocked down the door, and the carsons drove through with their guns attached to their side view mirrors, however, they were stopped in their tracks as secret mines directly in front of the mansion were detonated, exploding the front line. Shrapnel sliced the air in all directions. Jeff was upside-down, unable to move. He couldn't see with all the fires and smoke, but then, a forklift came to his side and turned him over.

"Thank you! What is your name?"

The forklift didn't respond. Instead he nudged him to retreat with everybody else. Suddenly, though, people on top of the mansion and through the windows started opening fire on the retreating carsons. Some were throwing grenades and using RPGs. All around Jeff, his squadron members were blowing up one by one. It was such a gruesome sight in his eyes.

When he looked back, he saw Danny pushing Jeep who had a bent axle. Jeff came back to help. They kept pushing until the humans were out of sight. Semis picked them up and took them to Fort Loftner for treatment.

Jeff had a cracked windshield and broken headlights. He was being tended by a mahogany carson named R.J. in the medicine tent.

"That was quite the battle out there," said R.J.

"I'll say," said Danny who luckily didn't stuffer any injuries. "I knew there was something not right. I felt it in my tires."
"Where's Vert?" Jeff asked Danny.

"Oh, he died."

"What?! Nooooooo!"

"Dude, I'm just joking. Ha! Ha! He's right here." Danny moved out of the way. The forklift from earlier was carrying Vert. All his wheels were missing.

"Hey! It's the white forklift that saved my life! What's your name?" There was no response.

"He's mute," R.J. informed.

"Oh."

"I'm sorry I couldn't get you through the battle. If you wanna revoke the promise, that's totally fine. I can always find another place."

"No, it's cool. You did enough."

"Thank you so much!"

"No problem." Jeff smiled. "I'm just glad we can all go home."

"Hey," said Danny. "Did you hear about Jeep? Apparently, his superiors blamed the loss of the battle on him, and he was stripped all the way back to private."

"Why would they do that to someone so high up?" Vert replied.

"Beyond me. I guess he was in some deep trouble and now was the final straw, but, nonetheless, he's devastated."

"I'm gonna talk to him." Jeff then left the medicine tent and met up with Jeep who was being treated in a special tent for his bent axle.

"What are you doing in here?!" he snapped.

"I heard you were stripped pretty bad."

"And?"

"Well, you know, it's just a rank."

"No! It was much more than that. It's not just rank they strip; it's your name."

"Name? So what are you called now?"

"Excuse me?"

"You said they stripped your name, so what are you called now? Stephen?"

"What? No! It's a figure of speech. It's not literally your name. It's your reputation!"

"Oh."

"They even take your house..."

"Well, I wouldn't worry about that."

"Why?"

"I know just the place where you can stay..."