Howdy! Parabellum will be docked and One in the Chamber will be its replacement.
The story will focus more on the MC surviving out in the fantasy world and building up his arsenal and eventually building his own army.
The world I knew was filled with war, death, disease, and resource shortages. However, none of that seemed real to me. I’d seen the battles on the internet. I’d seen the body counts on the news and posters protesting the war crimes, but it felt like it had nothing to do with me. My family had a long history of military service, from the American Civil War to World War 2. Our family even fought in the Great Southern War where Mexico attempted to invade America only to be bulldozed by its armed populace at the border – with Texas obviously going overboard and taking over half of Mexico afterward because the rednecks weren’t paying attention to how far they chased the enemies.
My brother is a Special Operations Agent while my father is a newly appointed Major General. I was closer to my mother before she died of cancer. Along with her, I had no aspirations to take up the mantle of war. I trained with my brother and father. I hunted with them and even had a few guns in my closet, but it always seemed so unnecessary. My father had always told me “One day, we’re going to lose. We haven’t lost a conflict before. No matter what, someday, the winning will stop…” That was the day he taught me how to hold his old 1911.
My name is Isaac Willow, second son of Jacobs Willow, Major General of the United States Army. My brother is Jacobs Willow II, taking my father’s name, he followed in his footsteps. Being the last child of my father, I was also the largest disappointment in his eyes when I refused to take up the mantle before I could even enlist. I was a senior in high school when my father asked which branch I was going to enlist. Being the dumb and naive child I was I told him “I’m not fighting in your stupid wars!”
I saw the anger and I saw the hurt, but being a kid fueled on never seeing his father and his brother for the most part of the year. When I did, it was always on the rifle range, during combat training, or when I was getting lectured about what I was going to do with my life. So never anything slightly happy. For the most part, I hadn’t had a happy memory since the day my mother died. That was when both of them went down that rabbit hole at work… Thinking back now, those times were so simple and overly blown over by my younger self…
. . . . . .
“Wake up!” Jolted awake as a part of gloved hands ripped me from my bed, I scrambled to fight whoever had laid their hands on me out of instinct only to get manhandled by my big brother. “Get your shit together!” A dull slap raked my left cheek and the shock pushed my brain into gear as my eyes shot open only to find him dressed in full black combat gear. He smelled like gunpowder and his Hk416 was slung tight to his chest over his armor. For a moment, I thought he was joking until I saw the serious look in his eyes.
I knew at that moment, this was really real – my wish had come true.
The house shuddered as something exploded at the front of the house. “Fuck! They’re already here!” Someone yelled out before a series of gunshots rang out from the hallway. “Grab your guns!” My brother roared as he helped me to his feet then ran to the doorway before peeking out. He then loosened the harness at the front of his rifle before aiming it down the hall and squeezing off half a magazine, or what I believed sounded like it.
I scrambled out of bed, tripping over my grey sweatpants as the blanket tried to keep them, causing me to face plant on the rugged floor. My brother looked behind him to see what happen only to see me quickly scramble towards my closet. Pleased I was taking the situation seriously, he turned his attention back to the fight taking place at the front of the house.
I threw the solid oak sliding door open with a slam and rummaged through a few piles of papers from school before finding the large black polymer chest sitting on the floor. The box stood nearly 3-foot tall. With the adrenaline pumping through my veins, it took me a couple of seconds to pull open the latches. “Damn, damn!” The room was still slightly dark. I realized the light in the room was actually coming off my brother’s Tactical Link. An arm braced computer that fed my brother information on his teammates and other support functions. The room was still unlit. I hit the light switch to the closet’s LED Lights…
Only to find they wouldn’t turn on.
“Jacob! I can’t see! It’s too dark!” My brother turned back ready to curse me, only to see my childlike face with my bushy brown hair nearly covering my eyes as I pushed it back. Maybe he realized I was just his baby brother who hadn’t seen the horrors of the world nor gone through the elite training he had to put the gear on in near-dark environments, but something clicked in his mind while he tossed me something nearly the length of my arm. The thing smacked my face with a sharp smack and fell into my lap. I didn’t have time to rub off the pain with a screen lit up.
[ Utilizing Link – Activating in process]
[ Link activated – User Isaac Willow “Whispering Willow”]
Whispering Willow was my nickname my family gave me as a joke, something that ended up sticking for a long time till my mother died. For a moment, I held the Tactical Link gauntlet in my hand in shock. A few thoughts flashed through my head, but a bullet pierced through a weak point in the wall before clipping a few hairs off my bangs as if trying to conga-line after my thoughts. I flung myself backward in shock before my brother barked at me. “Hurry up little bro!” He dropped a magazine out of the rifle before slamming a fresh one in and flicking the bolt release.
As my brother fired another volley down the hallway, I rolled over, cursing my loose fitted clothes that were secretly my brothers – I strapped the tactical line on the top side of my forearm. I felt the rigid metal under the thing layer of rubber against my skin and the TLG lit up again.
[Unit equipped . . . Stand by.]
[Fully operational check complete. The unit is ready to use.]
Relying on my shallow experience using the Link that I got the few times my dad let me use one, I quickly found the light function which turned the screen into a giant flashlight with a single off button center-screen. The room lit up enough for me to see the contents of the box. I quickly put on my black Condor plate carrier that already had its plates inserted with the trauma pads. The rig was six pistol mag pouches already holding a double stack pistol magazine each for an XM17.
Fitting the vest over my slim frame, I strapped in and pulled my Orion battle belt out with my XM17 already holstered with the holster attached to the belt. The step up was what my dad and brother called a “Bug out” chest. They used bags, but I didn’t like the idea of having a firearm so easy to carry off, but my father insisted that I have something set up. While I had all this nice equipment, whether I had the ability to use it in an actual firefight… was something else…
Geared up, I estimated ten minutes had past as I pulled the last piece of gear from the chest. An MP5. Both the XM and the MP used 9mm as their ammunition of choice so I didn’t have to carry two different types of ammo. “D-Done!” My brother peaked over his shoulder to look at me. My bushy birdnest of a head coupled with my rather small stature in partial combat gear awkwardly while in my pajamas must have been a sight to see because, for a moment, I saw my brother hold in a laugh before a few bullets peppered the doorway next to him took his attention again.
I stood at 5’6 with what I believed to be a normal male body if you compared it to the bears that were my brother and father. None the less, I took after my mother in looks with more soft features compared to the rugged faces of the other two. My brown eyes looked at my brother like a scared puppy as I cowered down against the wall while racking the bolt back. Just because I was small compared to my brother, didn’t mean I was weak… I was just not a fighter.
I repeat. Do. Not. Compare. Me. To. The. Bears.
Just as I found my sneakers, my brother spoke into his radio “Whispering Willow secured… He’s locked and loaded, but don’t expect a fight out of him.” He added that last snide comment on while looking at me swimming in my pajamas while the vest hugged my upper torso and for a moment, I thought I saw sadness. However, whatever it was, it passed just as quick as it came before he ordered me to follow him. “Push!” He spoke into his radio before he unleashed a torrent of death down the hall before charging out as other gunshots rang out.
I followed him out like a baby kitten chasing its mother. To which the light of day greeted me in the hall as broken glass snapped and crackled underfoot. The hallway window that overlooked the backyard pool was shot out with the modern light blue hallway walls dusted over with hundreds of bullet holes, most of then hitting the studs as most came from the opposite end of the floor. The rifle shook in my hand as I skittishly chased after my big brother. I passed a man in urban camo dead by my door, face down in a pool of blood.
I was about to ask big brother if that was one of his. That was before I saw the European flag on the man’s shoulder and I squeaked in fright. “Calm down, he’s dead!” My brother yelled without looking back, his rifle trained on the stairs ahead that lead down into the foyer. The upper landing that lead into the bedrooms was dusty as all most of the decorations and furniture was mutilated by bullets. Several other men in black were ducked behind cover, with only two of them slumped over unmoving. “Leave them! Scavenge if you’re out of ammo.” My brother called out to two.
My brother took the lead and posted himself on the waist-high wall that acted as a railing to the L shaped staircase. I looked around him and found several men in urban camo slumped down on the steps with hundreds of shell casings glistening. The air was thick with gunpowder and blood as I nearly vomited out my stomach. It wasn’t bad by my room where the fresh air was pouring in, but deeper in was another story.
“Farmer 1 to Oracle, do you copy?” My brother radioed with his left hand while keeping his right on the rifle’s handle and finger on the trigger. I had the tactical link so I looked at it while keeping myself as out of the way of any windows and other rifles as possible and found my light was still out. The landing was bright as day since all the windows were shot out, not to mention the light streaming through the holes in the exterior wall.
I was trying to find the radio function on the screen before my brother placed his hand on my shoulder and pulled me into his embrace. “Danger close!” The other men took cover as well before I felt the whole house shutter followed by a deafening explosion followed by a “BRRRRRRRRRT”. Another explosion shook followed by two of those “BRRRT”s overlapping. I wasn’t gay, but being held in my brother’s arm felt oddly comforting as I looked up. “It’s okay little dude. We’re going to make it. You can count on your big bro.”
I never really thought about death, nor did I ever think about if I ever had to come to terms with it. I also missed an opportunity to call my brother out on a lie when I could see it on his face. I was doing both of those right now when I could see my brother was lying to comfort me as the house shook from explosions, but there wasn’t a BRRRRRT this time. They were out in the distance as my brother peeked over the stairwell wall quickly and let me go. Dust and smoke were twirling in the air as they slowly blocked the windows on the stairwell side.
I watched my brother lead this time as I stared stunned at what I saw. “We’re… going to… die…” I mumbled in shock to myself. I wasn’t going to call it out to his face. My brother rarely did anything to comfort me, I knew instantly he was trying to soothe my fear before it overrode my adrenaline. But my brother was a bad liar when he spoke to me. “Move your ass Isaac!” My brother hollered from the bottom of the stairs. Getting to my feet, I shakily navigated my way over the dead Europeans before finding myself on the 1st floor.
“Friendlies!” My brother called out as men in the army camo stepped through the door. “What’s the situation?” He asked as an officer stepped through the door. “Sir, enemy forces are bombing the city. They’re not caring if we’re shooting at them. I think they’re trying to take as many people with them as possible.” In layman’s term, we were fucked. Bad. I could see it on my brother’s face. That hardened soldier was slowly slipping away as his home was torn to shreds.
Then a mass of metal crashed into a ball of flame in the street in front of the house, sending debris everywhere.