Archived: Last Man Standing by Riley McGee

Chapter 1: Awakening

I look around and see a bunch of trees. I get myself off the dirt ground. I begin to randomly walk around hoping to figure out what I am doing here, where I am, or anything really. As I try to remember one thing I begin to realize how little I remember. I try to figure out where I am, but then I realize I don’t know how I got here. When I try to think about how I got here, I try to think about my family, and from what I remember I have none. When I try to remember my family I think about my past and my childhood, and it’s all just blank. I feel my pockets, hoping to find a clue as to who I am. I reach into my jacket pocket and my hand goes completely through. I reach into my pants and I find a wallet. Looking in the wallet, I find $5 and 27 cents, a couple of cards with the names King Soopers, and Kum & Go. What the hell even is that? I also find a few pictures of a family. The next card I pull out is an I.D. I guess this must be me. The card reads:

Gabriel Morrison, 8/15/20

The rest of the card was torn. But when the sunlight hit the card I noticed it was laminated with dozens of these seals with an eagle holding some sort of wheat or something.

Well, that doesn’t answer much, but I guess I know I have a name now. Gabriel, huh. The sun is starting to go down, I should probably try to find some shelter. I start a fire with a few twigs and a couple of pebbles I found on the ground. I quickly make a makeshift Teepee out of pine-covered branches. How and when I learned how to do this, I have no clue. But I must admit I’m glad I know how because I don’t think I would make it to morning if I didn’t. Granted, a couple of twigs above my head doesn’t guarantee safety, but it’s a start, I guess. I grab a couple more pine-covered branches and try to use them as a blanket. I feel all the bristles rubbing and scratching at my skin while spots of sap start to seep onto me. 

“Anyways I should probably go to sleep so I can have enough energy to stay alive tomorrow.” Who the hell am I even talking to?


Chapter 2: Memories

I wake up in a nice, warm bed wrapped in blankets. I begin to sit up and stretch and I see someone coming into the room.

“Hey sleepyhead, I made some breakfast for you.” My lovely wife says to me as she hands me a plate of food.

My belly begins to grumble as I stuff my face with eggs and bacon. “This is so good” I mumble in gibberish as I keep shoving more in my mouth. 

“Well, it is your favorite. I guess you’re pretty hungry.” She replies with a concerned look.

“I haven’t eaten all day.”

“Well, you just woke up silly.”

Jason starts yelling in the background because his sister was wrestling him. But I was too concerned with breakfast and my beautiful wife to care.

I wake up again. This time in a helicopter. The sound of the blades turning is deafening to the ear. The pilot tells us to jump and everyone else in the copter begins jumping out without hesitation.

The pilot looks at me and shouts, “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? GET DOWN THERE!”

And so I jump, opening my arms and legs to let my squirrely suit slow my fall. With incredible reaction time and accuracy, I bob and weave through the trees. I do not know why I am here, or what I am supposed to be doing. I and my squadmates take off our parachutes and land in the forest. I take my squirrel suit off to reveal military gear and I see the same jacket I was wearing earlier in the forest, just with fewer holes. The squad regroups.

“Alright guys, we have a long battle ahead of us. You see two clicks to the North is a highly secured base. We are to blow the base to smithereens. We are going to go in there silent but deadly, show no mercy to anyone. This base is exactly how the enemy has been winning the war, and we had no idea it even existed. But thanks to Lieutenant Morrison here, we now know how to hit them where it hurts, like they’ve done to us for so long. Morrison and Ziegler, you will be scouting from the North. There is a vantage point right behind the base where you will station yourselves. You will be communicating everything you see so we know when we are safe to go in. Parish and Trejo, you will plant the bombs on the West and East wings. One explosive on each wall will breach the wall and the closest building which is their fuel reserves. Any slight spark in those tanks will blow the whole place up. While you do that, me and Reyes will infiltrate the base and take out their security systems so they will have no way of disabling the explosives. Once the security systems are disabled blow detonate the fuse. Understand?”

“YES SIR!!” The entire squad replies.


Chapter 3: Survival

I begin to wake up again in my little teepee, covered in pine and sap, and confused, my mind begins to spin. I know I had some dreams but I barely remember them. I start wandering trying to piece together what happened in my head. Was it real? Was it fake? Was it a memory or just some crazy dream? 

I grab a branch and a knife I found in my camo pants.

“I guess maybe all of it wasn’t a dream.”

I start sharpening the branch to make a makeshift spear in hopes of maybe catching some food. I see some bunny tracks in the dirt that leads me to a small hole.

“I’m sorry little guy, but I’m going to have to eat you.”

I try to reach into the hole as the bunny escapes and I start chasing the bunny. “Holy… What the hell happened here?” I nearly ran off a ledge hundreds of feet above the lower ground. I look down to see a crater bigger than anything I have ever seen. And I begin to see another vision.

“Alright Windhelm, you and Reyes are in the clear. Feel free to infiltrate.” There is a long pause. “Windhelm… WINDHELM ENGAGE! This is Morrison to Bravo 6… Bravo 4, Bravo 5, does anyone read!?!” I look to my right to see Ziegler has disappeared. “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” I hear whispering through the comms.

“Did you swap out the bombs?”

“Yep, instead of basic C-4, this is a radioactive explosive. We won’t just be blowing up the base. We will be blowing up the entire city.”

“Son of a… I have to go stop them.” I grab my sniper rifle and begin to go down there. I run into Parish. “HEY, STOP! THIS WASN’T PART OF THE PLAN!”

“Neither was you figuring out.” He pulls his sidearm on me but I can’t reach my weapon in time. A shot was fired but Parish didn’t fire his gun.

“You just gonna stand there Lieutenant?” Windhelm says to me with a smoking gun in hand.

“Sir what is going on?”

“It appears Parish and Trejo have betrayed us. They muted our comms, but were stupid enough to not mute theirs.”

“We have to go stop Trejo before he blows his side.”

“I will go take care of that, you do your best to stay here and defuse that bomb, we can’t just let it sit here.”

“Yes sir.”

I spend a while trying to defuse the bomb but it’s unlike anything I have ever seen.

“Morrison, you copy?”

“Yes Windhelm I’m here.”

“Have you defused that bomb yet?”

“No sir, I’ve never encountered this bomb before.”

“Dammit, I was really hoping you wouldn’t say that because it’s the same here.”

I look to my left and see guards of the base.

Прекрати прямо здесь.”

As the guards yell at me I realize something. Even though these bombs are more powerful than a C-4, if you take out the radioactive material it becomes a plain bomb again. It may be more powerful, but it would save the city. So, if I can take out the canister and light the fuse that would give me about 5 minutes to getaway. I just need to do this without getting shot first. I see Parish’s gun laying on the floor and I remember I have one of my own. I take mine out and quickly grab his, eliminating all the guards. I remove the canister and quickly run into the woods.

“Windhelm, do you copy? I removed the radioactive canister so it’ll have a lesser impact. If you do the same we can save the city. You only have 5 minutes to do it and get out of there”

There is silence for a second but then I hear fighting and gunshots coming from the other end. I hear coughing coming from the comms. “Morrison?”

“Yes, Windhelm.”

“I… I did what you said… But I got shot, and I won’t make it. You have to promise me you will run like hell and get out of here. Just know you saved this city, and you completed the mission.”

I wake up from my vision yet again seeing the crater below me. I feel glad knowing who I am, but at this point, I wish I didn’t know. I won us the war, and I saved the city. But now I am left here alone in the forest. I just wish I could’ve seen my wife and kids one last time. I see a comms device on the ground.

I pick it up and hear, “Bravo team, do you read?”

“Yes this is Bravo 2, Morrison.”

“I am so glad to hear your voice. We thought we had lost you. Get ready for exfil. We are getting you out of here.”

The end.