Excerpt – The Third Earth

Book 5 – The Beta-Earth Chronicles series

Note – This excerpt comes from a much longer battle scene in the war between the pairs of Cerapin-Earth and the nams, the single-bodied humans the pairs are invading across a bridge that connects their respective districts.

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Without question, all eyes centered on the coming main event. The bridge. On one side, the pairs were lining up rows of their infantry that would lead the way for their armored troop carriers. A seemingly endless number of nams were preparing for their own, far less professional march. The pairs began by calling out through their loudspeakers and speaking-cones that resistance wasn’t necessary. No lives needed to be lost. No blood needed to be spilt. The 33 army was there to meet the needs of their people and cause no harm. Well, the nams were not interested in the needs of the unkind people of District 33.

Almost simultaneously, the two forces began their marches. I know not who fired first, but I’m sure it was the hail of arrows sent into the 33 ranks. They accomplished little beyond annoying the pairs. In response, the invaders shot the electric fire from their pistol-batons and sent waves of their whirling stun discs into the nams. The pairs sent hovering winged drones towards the nams, which suddenly wobbled in the air before crashing to the stones below. My eyes widened, as I saw nam arms pointing into the sky. I realized some of them were holding up signal blockers. Others responded to 33 technology by flinging bottles and jars containing fluids that ignited and exploded in the frontlines of the pairs.

Despite these opening shots, both sides moved relentlessly forward. For both sides, an obvious problem was the confinement of the walled bridge. Neither side could ever retreat as, especially in the nam hordes, there were bodies in the rear waiting to have their chance to join the battle.

With an ear-splitting howl and roar, the nams stopped their slow march and began screaming and running into the 33 soldiers. “Flam! Flam! Flam!” the nams cried in unison. Roughly translated, that little word meant “Those of us about to die will take you with us!”

That battle-cry was almost a weapon of its own. For the invaders, it resulted in confusion and surprise on so many faces. For the nams, they were voicing the rage and pain they had felt all their lives. While the 33 military was sturdily professional and didn’t break, the nams vented an emotional outcry that drove all of them to frenzied fury. They didn’t stop even as the bridge began to fill with the downed bodies of the dead and wounded of both sides. The nams had become screaming savages now flushed with the chance to hit back with a vengeance that was filling the pairs with growing fear.

Finally, the relentless flood of the nams broke through the first ranks of the pairs and hand-to-hand combat made it impossible for the fighters to know just who they were hitting, cutting, shooting, beating. Soldiers on both sides were picking up weapons left on the ground and turning them against whomever they were scrambling with. As the fighting was so close, the 33 forces could not use some of their more sophisticated weaponry as they’d be just as likely to cut down their own people as much as any nams. There armored vehicles ground to a stop as, apparently, the pairs wished not to crush the bodies of their own wounded and dying in their path. Some of their mortars might have taken out some of the nams near the back, but that could have resulted in weakening the bridge which was already quaking with the carnage.

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