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The War For Rivercrest

Written by Hyper9
Last updated on 2004-05-31

It was a cold Sunday night. I could feel a slight breeze push at my hair. A slight drizzle was falling. I looked upon the long grassy fields, the bubbling brook, and the forest that took up the south side of this land, and the many hills and depressions. This was where it was happening:

The war for Rivercrest.

Chapter 1: Preparations For War

Present minus 177 hours - Rivercrest Middle School - Cafeteria

My friend Jack and I were going over our usual things, namely that of my varied computer projects, his many track meets and his BMX bikes. We popped a squat at our usual table next to the window and chowed down into what the school claimed were burritos. We got to talking about a little war we had with the kids of South Block a few weeks ago, remembering the various little strategies and a suicide run that won us the match by our friend Sam, who was currently getting worked over for one of the best pranks ever on our P.E. teacher. We kept on chatting about this and that till one of the guys from South Block came right up to our table.

He made a quaint, quick, quiet scene of squeezing some filling from his burrito straight into my face. I wiped it off, licked my hand of the chili-like substance, and asked what the Hasbro HQ he wanted. He told me of a "small" wager the South Blockers wanted to make: A war for all the marbles: The one thing that was the pride of the kids of North Block; the Northside flipping coin.

This was not any old coin, mind you. It was a coin with the radius of a silver dollar It was gold on one side, silver on the other, with many intricate markings crisscrossing it. The two particularly special parts about it were the history of the coin; It was found by a "kid expressing his freedom to go where he pleased" on the wreckage of an old schoolyard. Evidence links this coin back into Europe, and it seemed to have been used in the Civil War. Once more, this kid was one of the first "true" North Blockers, one of the few who started the rivalry of North and South blocks... It had made its way from one North Blocker to another for quite some time. Sam was the one currently in possession of it. The other special thing about it was the fact that no matter how flipped, the arrow embedded into it always pointed a certain way when flipped. Wanna guess which way? Yes….. North. It was the North Block pride.

Naturally, such a prize was not going to be risked without an equally special prize placed on the line by the South Blockers. So I pulled out the biggest stud of them all; the old tattered confederate flag once flown on the CSS Richmond, one of the infamous ironclads of the Confederate Navy. It was handed down through the family of the leader of the South Blockers, Sean H. Malloy, A.K.A Major Malloy. It was a huge prize, one of which even mentioning sent him running straight back to the Major. Knowing that after talking it over with his father, whom also was native to Rivercrest and a South Blocker still inflated with pride, that he would be right back to accept, I immediately went about gathering the many forces of North Block. Of course, at that time, the bell rang. I guess the rallying of North Block was to come after Algebra class.

Present minus 174 hours - Sam's house - (Large) Attic.

Around me were the leaders of the North Blockers. There was myself, Sam, Jack, Reese, Ash, James, and Alpha. Reese was a tried and true North Blocker. He was captured during our previous war. Despite being thrown through enough methods of torture and coercion to stretch the length of the Great Wall, he didn't crack. If he had, the purpose of Sam's suicide rush would have been blown, and the full might of the South Block forces would be at the weakness we found amongst the trees. He was an intelligence man and also liked the forces of Propaganda a good deal. Ash was the only girl in the leadership of North Block. She was a hardened warrior, having survived 2 days out alone after the supply convoy she was in was ambushed. It was she that found the weakness in the North base. She also single handily captured a South Block recon picket on her way back. James was an old friend of mine. He was a stealthy commando, a crack shot at distance and one of the most brilliant strategists I've seen. Of course, everyone here had a knack for strategy, combat, planning, and looking at the big picture, but James was a special case. He memorized Sun Tzu before I even found a translation. Alpha was my lieutenant, and was the next person most likely to be formally admitted into the top ranks of North Block. He had earned his 15 minutes of fame in the saving of Reese during the assault on the South base, as well as pulling one of the best nails of the "Major" known to man on his way out.

We were busy deliberating what to do. In front of us were huge aerial photos of Rivercrest, the South's usual hideouts and bases listed, as well as, the typical routes of the south Recon Pickets, and their common attack strategies. There were also large diagrams of our previous bases, making sure we corrected our previous flaws in defenses. We quickly tasked starting up the recruitment drive to Reese and sent him out to do his work, and catch a few peeks at activity around the "Major's house. I instructed Alpha to run a quick sweep of the area to make sure that there were no eavesdroppers in range. James, Ash, Sam, Jack, and myself started to deliberate a plan of attack. Although North and South bocks were pretty much even, the South had a slight numerical advantage. It was also not a good idea to let too much personnel slip away from our base, considering what was on the line, so we started gearing our strategies towards stealth and guerrilla attacks, only resulting to the "Decisive Hording" theme if things were in a far different situation than we expected. James had an idea to make 3 platoons, White, Blue, and Red, modeled after Bush's "Running Start" plan. We started to flip through old records from our most recently war, picking the best combatants and stealthers for "White Platoon". We also had to bear in mind that there was far more at stake here than a simple set of bragging rights, that it was the complete North pride on the line, and that every able-bodied boy and girl in the North would be fighting. It was decided that until we had a better idea of what we had for forces that the other two platoons should wait.

Alpha returned after a VERY through sweep of the area, more than necessary, to find us finishing up until Reese came back. We yanked out the known South Block staff records and went through them. There was the "Major", Omega, Tim, Bruce, Brandon, Needle, and Sparx. Omega was the Second in command of the Southern Army. He was a clever idiot who liked the idea of overwhelming force tons. He also was the SOB who knocked out Ash's supply convoy. Tim was the best friend of the "Major". He could best be described as a fast tin fist. Not iron, tin. He was quick, and had a bit of a sting. Just enough to go blockade running, as he demonstrated in the last war, where he sprinted straight through a Northern trail block, grabbing a few gallons of water in an old CPS 3000 backpack. Just enough to get a stranded set of Southerners, out of the clutches of capture. Bruce was a big man with a mission: To get back at Ash. His smaller brother was in the recon picket that Ash captured. He would do anything to get back at her. It was a prime example of North and South rivalry. Brandon has a mastery of making things not work. He was one of the reasons that Ash's recon picket was captured, and a prime factor in Reese's capture as well. He probably wanted to sabotage our asses yet again. Needle was the eyes and ears of the Southern leadership. He was getting intelligence in and out of him at all times, and also stung with the info he obtained like... well, a Needle. Finally, rounding out the South leaders was Sparx. He was a computer whiz and a soaker techie, plus an electronic whiz. He wasn't as good as me with a few choice pieces of C, mind you, but he could handle the South's basic computer needs. He could also make and repair some handy things, such as radios, or drills, perhaps. However, his key aspect was Soakersmithing. He could repair triggers on the fly, make CPS soakers outta nowhere, and he could do it under pressure, even once while staring down the barrel of a Northern gun. We had a Soakersmith, a innovative one, making ideas outta nowhere, probably next in line after Alpha for a spot among the leadership of the North. However, he was good at just making and improving; he pretty much sucked at repair. Sparx was a ideal target for capture if we had the chance.

We waited around and played a few games and finishing homework until Reese came back, reporting he had restarted the Northern armada, and it was gaining motion fast. He also heard that the Major had gotten permission to make the bet and war arrangements with the North. We would have talked over our plans with Reese and see how he liked it, but we noticed the time was growing rather late. We all agreed to come back at the same time tomorrow. We went down, grabbed our bikes, and peddled a storm down Monroe Lane.

Present minus 151 hours - Basement - Ash's house.

War planning was at its full. Earlier today, the "Major" and company personally came over and formally delivered the bet. Naturally, I accepted. A few people thought we might be bluffing before this occurrence, but now everyone knew, there was a war starting, and it was to be the biggest dang one any of them would see before they were 20, let alone be in. The Northern recruitment drive had already scooped 60 prime pieces of flesh estate, and they were all being reassociated and retrained. The top ranks of the Northern leadership, as well as some platoon leaders, were meeting in the large, ample basement of Ash's house. The warn plans were being tweaked in a thousand different ways, and those who had proved themselves in the last war were being assigned many jobs.

First out of the gate was troop deployment and jobs. The white platoon was being amplified in strength, while at the same time becoming more and more stealthy. The blue platoon was starting to take shape, and the leftover would be taking the Red platoon. The fastest working of the White platoon, along with our Soakersmiths and best builders, were being sent out to begin stealthily building the base and fortifications. The plans called for a large round pit being built, and on top of that a proportionally tall non floored building being built. It would allow enough to build barracks for some, a full combat HQ, weapons storage, and C&C. Around this, supplemental tents would be built for the rest of our forces. Around this, a trench dug and a mud/clay wall being built. After that, the whole mess would be camouflaged as best as possible. It would not keep from sight, but enough to possibly allow troop movements in camo to be semi-hidden. It would be built upon a rather high hill in the northern end of the Rivercrest plains, beyond which Rivercrest's forest lied. Beyond that, it was Southern territory, being a bumpy region with plenty of bushes, fields, and some trees, and a long flat space with scattered trees and bushes at the end. Many hiding places and a more ideal staging ground, really. Considering down to that point, it was a slope. North of us more were very high hills. Not tall enough to be mountains, but tall, sloped and rocky.

Our lead SoakerSmith, Geoff, walked up to me and wanted to show me his latest brainchild. In theory, it was a shotgun with the properties of an eggstractor. A water balloon was inserted into a shotgun like thing made outta PVC. A rear CO2 tank from a paintball gun slid into the stock of it. In theory, upon firing, it would "balloonstract" and send out a large semi spherical blast of water out, kinda like a waterball launcher. Except launched at a MUCH higher velocity, and was overall more stable during the first bit of flight. During the last half, it dispersed into a plate shaped blast, like a shotgun blast. He said he would work through the night on it and hopefully get a prototype to test in the morning before school. If it worked anywhere near what he claimed, it would be a handy and powerful weapon.

After finishing up today's battle plans and watching the teams prepare for the stealthy base building, I decided to hit the sack early. I said my goodbyes and got on my bike back down to my place.

Present minus 136 hours - My Place - My room

I just rolled out of bed to a computer I had left running through the night. I checked on how my BitTorrents were downloading and seeding, and I loaded up Outlook. I saw the usual XPBackfire-esque scattered in there. I had a science test, there was the ending of 24 on tonight, needed to pop in my copy of Shrek 2 for my visiting half-brother today, needed to do a virus scan through tonight…. I checked my email, and saw a new email from Geoff. Inside were some digital photos of the “ShockGun”. It was a lot like a normal old Shotgun, but it seemed to throw that H20 a Hasbro HQ of a long way. It was an amazing piece of work. He attached the blueprints again, with a few changes. He seemed to have an idea of a kind of water Artillery, better than any old balloon bazooka or catapult. He said he'd try to get another prototype of this ready by tonight's meeting. It would be a sight to see. I replied saying that I wanted him to bring the prototypes with him to the meeting.

I printed out the diagrams/blueprints, and yanked out my side drawer in my desk. I grabbed one of the Pop-Tarts in my small stash of cookies, breakfast drinks, mini coffee packets, and sodas. It wasn't much, but it was enough. I ripped open a juice box that was also left in them and started sucking down. I clicked on Desktop Weather and grabbed the weather report. 99 degrees. Yay. I pulled up GlobeXplorer, and started tasking it on higher quality aerial photos of Rivercrest. I yanked open my closet, and grabbed a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of shorts, and tried to somewhat smooth down my messy hair. My folks weren't up yet, seeing as it was 5AM, but I could get stuff done till then.

Present minus 124 hours - Nature of Rivercrest - 1 1/2 miles east from future battlefield

I was dressed in a camo vest and some light, think, camo pants. We were moving going to the “construction site” where the building teams were happily working their asses off. Geoff had the “ShockGun” prototype on him, and was going to show me the thing in real time when we were at the construction. The usual batch of leaders was right there with me as well, having MD2000s kept close just in case, plus 2 guards fully armed in case it got hot for some ungodly reason or another. We were keeping casual talk, since it was a bit risky to talk about sensitive material until we were in our secure chunk of territory.

A half hour or so had passed, and we had finished the hike to the future home of North command. We had stopped and doubled back a few times just to make sure we didn't have enemy intelligence on our asses. At the site, building was going on great. The trench and wall were dug, and the digging of the pit was going along nicely. We went over next to the pit, dropped in, told the workers there to go on a supply run, and started discussing the terrain. We already had good knowledge about the area, but on the way, we found some new paths were made. Thus meaning we needed to rethink one or two things. Right as James started to pipe up, I interrupted, remembering that we needed to see Geoff's creation in action.

He took out the device I saw in the digital photos he emailed me. He slowly turned around, slid open a panel on the PVC, and loaded in a cylinder-shaped water balloon. He closed the panel, slid back a small metal lever, and let it clack back into place. He double checked the tank of CO2 loaded into the stock, and leveled it. He flicked a small switch under the grip, and a small laser point showed up on the tree. He twisted a small dial until the meter right above it read 250. He then took a breath in, put the stock to his shoulders, and pulled the trigger. There was a loud cannonball sound, a hissing, and then a huge blast of water exploded on the tree's stump. It was amazing. He then popped out the panel, loaded another shot, leveled it, and threw out yet another shot. It would be a force to be reckoned with.

Present minus 123 hours - Nature of Rivercrest - Future home of North command

He handed the device to me. I leveled it carefully, flicked on the laser pointer, and pulled the trigger. The recoil was pretty hard. But I couldn't argue with the results. I told him to make 10 more. As we turned back into the pit, I heard a branch snap. I turned around and saw a shadow darting backwards through the woods. I borrowed the guards XP310 and gave chase.

I darted to and fro between the many trees. The shadow, whoever the Hasbro HQ it was, was a fast idiot. He threw his weight into every turn and dart. He was a hard one t catch. I chased him for a half hour, darting headlong and headstrong through the forest, trying to catch up to the little female dog. We had reached the southern end of the river, and were running along it downstream. He never seemed to run out of energy, but I guess I wasn't stopping anytime soon. I started to huff a little. It wasn't doing magic for my lungs. But sometime, hopefully soon, he would have to give.

I kept chase through the forest, reaching the periphery of the “neutral zone”. It wasn't like there would be people down there; it was always made sure that the Southern end was kept clear during construction; but I was waiting for a patch of idiots to ambush me. The shadow was getting tired; I could see his stride weakening.

10 minutes later, he made a jump over a log and tripped. I skidded, and saw the worm standing still. He had been dressed in a full ghillie suit; Under this, full military camo; under this, some kind of black fabric. I unsheathed my pocket knife and flicked open the blade. I steadied my hand, and made one precise, long, shallow slash along the head portion of the clothing. I grabbed the cut pieces and ripped the layers off of his head. And what I saw….

Present minus 122 hours - Nature of Rivercrest - Unknown<

It was Ash's smaller brother.

Taken somewhat aback by this, I asked what the Hasbro HQ was up. He told me that he was being paid off by Needle. I asked him what he had heard. He outlined everything that had been said. He also revealed he was angling to get at the blueprints. Him spying wasn't as bad as I had seen, but a Northerner being paid off by the South? That just made me sick. I checked him for weaponry, then grabbed him by the gruff of his shirt and dragged him back to base..

Present minus 119 hours - Nature of Rivercrest - Future home of North command

Ash was pissed off like no tomorrow. She…. She…. Lets just say I saw many, many ugly sights….

Ash was still whipping, tearing, and chewing her brother out. We had finished up discussing the base plans, and, although we had no reason, Reese convinced our parents to let us camp out for the night. He was out fetching stuff for everyone. I sealed up the plans, stowed them in a small metal case, threw it in a already pre-dug hole, covered it with the small pile of sand in one kick, made a small mark, and went to see Geoff's latest work.

Geoff was busy as usual. He flicked a rough sketch of his current project at me while he was cutting up some PVC. It looked kinda like 3 long shotguns in a horizontal row. I took a guess that it was some kinda artillery. I asked him for a range estimate, and he merely replied: “However much range we need”. It would be a interesting sire indeed.

The tents were set up. I didn't feel like doing much, especially after chasing Ash's brother all that way. I settled into a sleeping bad and dozed off.

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