Writer: Timothy Dumont Jr.
Co-writer: Crystal Ferguson

Monday, February 13, 2012

Flashback 221: New recruits -Jason-

"Can anyone tell me the three types of Baggers?" I looked over the room full of our newest recruits. I had been training them for a week and they were showing great progress. It didn't take long for the smartest one to raise her hand.

"Yes, Betty?" I pointed in her direction. Betty was a shape-shifter which meant she could possibly be more of an asset than anyone else in the tent.

"Class A, B, and C. Class C are relatively mindless and follow the direct orders of Class B and A. There are usually an upwards of 100,000 of them in every army but anything converted joins this class at first."

She was right of course, but what she didn't realize just yet was that it was the Class C's that were a big problem. The sheer number of them was akin to a zombie apocalypse. I could remember the countless friends that had gotten swept up in a charging mass of them, only to be converted. I could still remember the sound their head made as I stabbed my blade through it.

"Class B are slightly taller than Class A and they're much more intelligent. They can make snap changes in their plans to ensure the safety of the Class C's that they give orders to. If a Class B dies then one Class C takes their place. There will always be at most 5000 Class B's in every army."

These noobs would soon find that surviving a Class B attack was more simple than expected. They were almost human, which meant they made very human mistakes. The real danger was an army of B's and C's. The Class C overwhelm your defenses at strategic points while the Class B attacks from behind while you're defending from the Class C. One of the reasons that I've survived as long as I have was because I'd never been in that kind of battle.

"Class A are the most intelligent and have the most strength. There are only 1000 Class A in every army and they are the main generals. They decide what strategy to employ in battle and when one of them dies then a Class B takes their place. They are also the only known Bagger that can convert others and they're the tallest."

"Good," I wrote Class A on the blackboard, "That's exactly what we're going to be talking about today."

I put down the chalk, "I need a volunteer."

Hands shot up and I searched for the strongest among them. I choose a tall man named Fredrick. He got up and made his way next to me. He looked a little worried because word had gotten around about my teaching methods. I stood him a few feet away and turned to the class. Way in the back I saw Alex slip in and stand against the wall. I'd have to finish this lesson quick.

"Class C," I pointed to my fists, "Class B," I pointed to my head. I turned to Fred and swung.

It wasn't expected but Fred took it with stride and didn't move. I frowned, "Fred, if you don't fight back then you're going to die. I'm not going to stop hitting you until it's a fair fight."

I swung again. Fred slipped under my swing and caught me in the chin with his elbow. I stumbled back as he charged forward. I saw his swing coming for my ribs and sidestepped. My palm smacked his back, adding a little more to his momentum. He stumbled until he caught himself and turned. I was already swinging. My knuckles crunched into his nose with a sound like the crumpling of a paper bag. Fred seemed unfazed and got two punches in my gut. I fell back as Fred moved forward.

It was time. I unsnapped my holster then brought my gun forward until it was very visible and pointing in his direction. Fred stopped in his tracks. The color drained from his face when he realized that the gun was cocked and ready to be fired. He stepped back and put his hands up.

I pointed to the gun, "Class A. Any questions?"

There were none.

"Class A's are very dangerous and if you aren't prepared for them then the only thing you can do is run. They change the tide of battle just by showing up. Had we been really fighting I would have shot Fred dead without hesitation."

Fred laughed, "C'mon, I could have taken you."

A loud bang filled the tent and everyone jumped. Alex was standing at the back, his gun aimed at Fred, "Now listen, when a Class A shows up it will probably be a surprise, kinda like me. You might have seen Jason's gun, but in real battle you wouldn't know a Class A was involved until soldiers started dying. Class dismissed."

I holstered my gun and slapped Alex on the back, "So what's the word?"

Alex was one of the only humans I could call a friend. He'd taught me not to underestimate the human race because they were tougher than expected. He'd saved my life countless times and I'd do the same for him. The baggers had their Class A but we had Alex. In our time serving together I'd seen him take on Class A's on three separate occasions. Not only did he survive all three times, but he actually killed one in hand to hand combat.

Not that he looked the part; he was slightly overweight and shambled around looking for a seat more times than standing. However, when he battled he was a monster. Even I'd be worried facing him.

Alex frowned and shook his head, "We've found the Academy, but it's completely infested. Only Class C's and they seem to be looking for something. I think your information was accurate, there is something in those ruins."

"Good. Bring the platoon back. We'll regroup and attack with force. We need to get whatever it is before they do."

"Can't. The scout escaped just as the army was attacked. No one survived Jason. They've all been killed or converted." Alex punched the blackboard.

"Shit," I sat down in a chair, "Alex, I haven't heard from the other generals for weeks. I fear that we might be the only ones left."

We sat in silence for a long time until I stood up and went to leave, "Prepare the troops, even the newbies. We leave tomorrow morning to take back the Academy. Hopefully what we have is enough, but even if we don't, we can't stop fighting."

"I'm fighting till I'm dead." Alex smiled.

"Me too." I slipped from the tent and out into the escaping sunlight.

I was terrified.

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