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Home is Where the War is

New Orleans

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a part of Home is Where the War is, by Reaper2707.

War-torn and recently occupied

Reaper2707 holds sovereignty over New Orleans, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

370 readers have been here.

Setting

WIP
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New Orleans

War-torn and recently occupied

Minimap

New Orleans is a part of Earth 2023.

4 Characters Here

Kalen Clarke [7] Insurrectionist
Marcus Dathe [7] Ex-Police Officer
Kwon Sung [2] Korean Major/Translator
Colonel Jiang ZhenKang [2] Chinese Commanding Officer/ New Orleans Garrison

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Character Portrait: Kalen Clarke Character Portrait: Marcus Dathe
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War does not prove who is right - only who is left - Bertrand Russell


Black snow fell from the sky, clinging to Marcus like a second, ashy skin. He tried to wipe it away, but the harder he pressed the more it mixed with his sweat; becoming a runny, black paste that stained his fingers and ran down his skin. Damnit he wiped the concentrated blindness from his eyes with the end of his shirt, turning up smears of black from around his eyes fucking slants...

"What was that?"

Marcus looked at Kirby - who stared at him behind strands of black hair - waving him off after realizing he must have murmured to himself, "I'm fine, goddamn ash is in my eyes again." He did his best to clear the thin, black streaks from his face before pushing his rifle into his shoulder and taking aim out the second-floor window, "What's the status on the convoy?"

"Looks like they are working on whatever-the-fuck blew in the lead truck's engine." Kirby slicked back his hair and adjusted the barrel of his long-rifle, settling it firmly in a split between two halves of what-was-once a single window frame, "must not have seen the 'made in China' sticker when they bought it."

Kirby swiveled his rifle, staring down the scope at the soldiers peering into the hood of a monstrous, sixteen-wheeled, armored behemoth that sat smoldering on the shoulder of what used to be a respectable highway. Now, it was crawling with unwelcome Chinese military forces and broken to pieces by god-knows how many mortar impacts. Where there wasn't a crack there was a pothole the size of mini-cooper.

"Why don't we just take them now? What are they going to do, drive away?" Kirby voiced, taking a moment away from his scope to look at the distant column of idle vehicles with his own two eyes. Logan Kirby was a young man, one of the youngest in the Resistance's New Orleans cell. At only 18 he had grown gaunt, with deep-black circles around his eyes and a few teeth that had already rotted away. It didn't help that his rather large height made him more akin to a spaghetti-armed ghoul than a malnourished teenager.

"Because they are expecting it now. We need to hit them when they have their guard down." Marcus paused, doing his best to make out anything useful with squinted eyes, "like right when they fix their little problem and are mounting up to leave."

"Is everyone else still in position?" Marcus asked, to which Kirby nodded after a few moments of scope searching.

"Looks like it."

"Good...the truck can't be much longer. On my mark...we hit them. Just be careful not to hit our boys in there...we lose enough of men to the Chinese already.

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Character Portrait: Kalen Clarke Character Portrait: Marcus Dathe
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The cuffs fit loose, but they had the last time as well. Not that she’d ever been caught by the PLA before this. No, Kalen had always been too fast, or too good at blending in. Once you’ve seen one homeless person you’ve seen them all, or at least that’s what the soldiers seemed to think. Except she stuck out from the rest of the prisoners in the back of the truck, jeans held together by the patches stitched into them and vest suffering much of the same, the t-shirt she wore beneath torn and stained. The only thing not completely in ruins were the black boots laced up on her feet.

The last time she’d been arrested had been before the war, but even that was typically a product of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when peaceful protests turned violent. Usually that never resulted in more than a few nights spent in jail, not that anyone missed her anyway, except the group she ran with. This time she knew things were going to end up more permanent, whether that meant she was assigned to some camp or shot on the side of the road.

It wasn’t that she’d exactly done anything particularly horrible – not even to the PLA – but vandalism wasn’t taken kindly to regardless, it seemed. If you asked her it had been worth it to see the place in flames, even if in the grand scheme of things she’d not done much damage. That didn’t change the mind of the soldiers any, and they’d still kicked her to the ground and forced her hands behind her back before dragging her to the truck. From then on things had been routine – having rifles in your face had become routine from the beginning of the occupation – until the truck broke down.

Things had taken long enough that she’d contemplated slipping out of the cuffs and finding a way out of the truck, but that was before they’d sealed it back up and left men in the back with her and the rest of the prisoners. Shifting in her seat, she didn’t make eye contact with anyone, it starting to sink in that there wouldn’t be a way out of this one. Fuck.

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Character Portrait: Kalen Clarke Character Portrait: Marcus Dathe
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"Hold...hold..." Marcus whispered, dot of his ACOG scope tracing the steps of the Chinese engineer as he slammed the hood down on the lead truck. He called something out, something in his native tongue that barely caught on the breeze slipping through the crumbled streets. Another man, dressed down in loose figures and an officer's cap, stepped forward and the two had a quick inaudible conversation that ended with the officer throwing up a quick hand before shouting something across the convoy-line.

The convoy screamed to life, the armored trucks keying their engines in unison and the perimeter guards rushing back to remount the APCs peppered throughout the twelve-strong transport convoy. "You see that officer? Track him. Right before he gets back in the truck, take his head off."

Kirby nodded silently, adjusting the stock of his rifle and steadying his aim, "Got it" a cocky-grin spread across the kid's face.

At least he was confident, Marcus wasn't so sure. The whole plan was bordering on the suicidal, but they couldn't just let the PLA take members of the resistance. Sitting alongside however many American citizens had gotten on the wrong side of a Chinese officer or had the misfortune of being caught breaking the laws set down by the "Provisional Democracy", were at least a dozen resistance fighters. Things hadn't gone as smoothly as they could have when they first arrived in New Orleans, thanks to a trap or just faulty Intel...it was hard to say anymore.

It didn't matter right now, all that mattered was getting the survivors back while they still could. If they were lucky, the prisoners weren't a liability and they could bolster their numbers a bit. Maybe they even had some military veterans or ex-cops in those trucks. Hell, Marcus wouldn't even complain if they had a rent-a-cop cuffed up in there.

The officer took a stance beside the lead truck's driver side, overwatching as the perimeter guards made their way back. "Hold" Marcus reminded as he watched the officer do an about face and step around the hood of the vehicle, hand casually draped over the sidearm on his hip.

"Hold..." Marcus repeated one last time, letting his own sight drift from the officer to the driver of the lead truck. The SR-25 rifle was rifled for 7.62 and he'd gotten lucky scoring a few rounds of Armor Piercing for it, now he just hoped they'd breach the glass. He watched the officer move toward the door from the corner of his vision...he let his finger-tip coil tighter around the trigger.

The driver shot back in his seat, first from the surprise of his CO's head imploding, then from the two bullets, Marcus put through the windshield. The convoy roared to life and so did the windows of buildings and the covers of manholes, pipebombs and Molotov's burning tires and shredding suspensions as the trucks pulled away desperately to no avail. Ununiformed fighters popped from the shadows, laying sheets of bullets into the armored soldiers as they jumped from the sides of APCs and fumbled towards cover. Marcus followed them with his sights, a spray of gore-laced mist accompanying each squeeze of the trigger.

A leg was blown from the knee here, a spaying hole put in a neck there. Each bullet found a home somewhere in a Chinese soldier and when the gunfire died down he could hear the dying groan. He gave the battlefield one last scan, resistance fighters were slowly closing in from hiding spots on either side of the smoking convoy. "Come on" he motioned, shouldering his rifle and standing up, "let's get down there."

It didn't take long to get out of the house and make it down the street where the other resistance members where clearing out any stragglers. "Let's get these trucks open! Come on people, we only have five minutes to get the fuck out of here!"

Marcus screamed over the commotion, running up to the back of the lead truck. A Chinese soldier was desperately pounding on the back ramp and when Marcus approached, he held up a hand and rambled incoherently in Chinese. Marcus gave him a bullet in the chest for his trouble.

"What was he saying?" Kirby asked from behind, eying the dead soldier

"how the fuck should I know?" Marcus shot back, reading his rifle, "get up front and get that fucking ramp open"

Kirby acknoweldge and ran to the cabin, throwing up then door and leaning into the mess of blood. The driver groaned at him, in shock most likely, but did nothing as he hit the button and the ramp's lock disengaged.

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Character Portrait: Kalen Clarke Character Portrait: Marcus Dathe
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When the first shot was fired Kalen almost didn’t realize it was gunfire, but then the second and third came, and finally full automatic fire as the hell outside opened up. “Holy fucking shit!” The soldier inside the truck said something in Chinese that she didn’t bother paying attention to, instead trying to make her movements as concise as possible as she did her best to slip out of the cuffs. Sharp metal bit into her wrists and hands, and she shifted in her seat to disguise her intent, keeping the man in her peripheral vision.

Those around her shared panicked glances and murmurs; meanwhile she braced herself for the moment the back of the truck opened, prepared to make a run for it through the streets to the next safe zone. As the gunfire drew closer the soldier moved towards the back of the truck, and she let the cuffs fall to the bench beneath her, on the edge of her seat. C’mon…I need to leave before more of these fuckers show up…

The minute the back dropped open she was up and on her feet, darting forward and pulling the barrel of the soldier’s rifle to the side and down, two shots put directly into the center of his chest. Immediately she dropped to a crouch to search the body, locating his combat knife and pulling it from his belt along with its sheathe, clipping it to her belt. She squinted into the sun at the resistance members advancing towards her before taking off in a run that was quickly halted by a strong grip that held her back.

“Fuck you, I have places to be.” Her protests didn’t get her anything except dragged along to wherever the insurgents were holed up, and she struggled until it became apparent that wouldn’t get her anywhere, momentarily resigned to whatever was going to happen. At least she wasn’t destined to be executed anymore. Theoretically.

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Character Portrait: Kalen Clarke Character Portrait: Marcus Dathe
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The first round put the fucker down, the second kept him there and the third was just because he could. All around Marcus the ex-prisoners screamed in unison, crawling back into their own skins as he moved in and hauled them out one by one; starting with the punk who'd grabbed the soldier's weapon. By the look of her, she was the last person he'd have expected to jump in, but he grabbed her regardless and threw her to the group of insurgents gathering outside the ramp. In a quickly rushed herd, the freed prisoners were drug from the seats and pushed into the anxious arms of their saviors; who quickly rushed them into the sewers and down the alleys.

Once the civvies were out, he grabbed the rifle and ammo off the bloodied corpse and stormed down the ramp. He could already hear the roar in the distance, mechanical grinding of tracks and the foreign shouting. "Come on people we have to leave, now!"

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Character Portrait: Kalen Clarke Character Portrait: Marcus Dathe
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One prison didn't look so different from another when you'd been on the wrong side of the bars as many times as she had, but Kalen would have taken almost anything so long as it wasn't the PLA. That didn't stop her from cussing her way through being dragged and shoved around until they reached their destination, and it definitely didn't stop her from kicking the door after it was locked from the outside, but despite the display put on she was much more at ease now than she had been just a few minutes earlier. Sometimes it was better to be in a place you didn't recognize instead of surrounded by something familiar, at least as far as prisons these days were concerned.

By the looks she could feel she knew she stood out from everyone here, and she would have taken a second to laugh at the fact that the way she dressed stood out even in this situation, if she wasn't so concerned with getting out and back on the streets. The last thing she'd wanted was to be conscripted into the Chinese army, and just because these were the people fighting against them didn't make her want to pick up a gun and start shooting. It was easier to worry about nothing more than just making it, and that was an art she'd perfected in the years leading up to the riots and the war. It wasn't her problem that this resistance had decided to hit that convoy, and she didn't see why they decided to bother her by keeping her locked up.

Fishing around inside her vest she produced a cigarette, lighting it soon after and ignoring the curses she heard from everyone else. Leaning down she picked up a piece of brick that hopefully hadn't come from anywhere too important, and with it she shattered the already cracked window in order to provide some ventilation for the smoke she exhaled from her lungs. Sure, they could keep her here, but that didn't mean she wouldn't be staying on her own terms.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Colonel Jiang ZhenKang Character Portrait: Kwon Sung
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"Unacceptable. Irresponsible..." the heat in the Colonel's voice rose like a flame, his boots pattering just outside pools of blood collecting from the bullet-riddled bodies of his men. So many wasted lives, so many good men. Lost. Gone. Dead.

"When were you going to tell me about these patrol routes, Captain!" the Colonel shouted in Chinese, head whipping back to face the shrinking man in the shadows. Captain Xio, already shorter than the Colonel by three inches, was little more than an ant facing a giant after having recoiled into his own skin.

"Colonel, I apologize, but you said we were to apprehend all the local criminals. I just thought that-

"No! You didn't think, Captain!" Grabbing one side of Xio's face he forced his eyes towards the bodies lying stripped of all but their uniform pants and shirts. The captain tried to close his eyes, but that just made the Colonel squeeze harder, "Look. This is what happens when you don't think."

The captain did so, opening his eyes but just barely. "Colonel..." he whispered, holding back the swell of guilt building his throat, "...the Red Zone is full of criminals and..."

The Colonel cursed, pushing the captain aside, "you are being relieved of your command, Captain, get in your vehicle and get back to the headquarters."

The captain opened his mouth to protest, but taking one last glance at the bodies he suddenly fell silent and bowed his head before turning back to his vehicle. The Colonel didn't watch him go, nor did he watch as the vehicle disappeared into the distance, he was too busy letting his failure sink in. Watching the bodies of good men be crammed into black bags.

He hated this place. Hated the smell. Hated the heat. Hated how the people spat at every aid truck and shot at the doctors and engineers come to rebuild this shit country. Most of all though, he hated being away from home.

"Do you have any orders you want me to relay to the GKA, Colonel" Major Sung, the official coordinator for the Korean military asked and took a stand beside the colonel.

"Yes. No more patrols are to take place outside of designated safe zones, the Chinese forces will do the same. Have them spread the word that a terrorist cell is operating in the Red Zone and any American who comes forward with information will be rewarded greatly."

He stiffed as they peeled yet another soldier from the pavement, "I will not lose more men."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kalen Clarke Character Portrait: Marcus Dathe Character Portrait: Colonel Jiang ZhenKang Character Portrait: Kwon Sung Character Portrait: Srg. Christian Johnson Character Portrait: Major Chris Dyer Character Portrait: Major Kris Dyer Character Portrait: Major Kris Wright Character Portrait: Major Jay Wright Character Portrait: Major Jay Mario Character Portrait: Major Jayln Mario Character Portrait: Srg Jayln Martin Character Portrait: SRG Evans
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#, as written by evans

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