The Shenyang Cloud (Final Draft- Part 6)

"I remember, when the IDS first came to fight them off..I was still an officer in the party. I watched as the troops advanced towards the Cloud..never before had I ever seen such silence torn asunder by the thunder of guns." Lao's father talked of the past, a welcome endeavor as the People had ended their assault. maybe they had forgotten they were inside or had simply gotten bored of trying to get in. Nevertheless, it was silence that shrouded the panic room. "They never stood a chance. The men in the front were ripped apart, like a wolf tears apart a fresh corpse. My colleagues fled, but I stayed behind..our work was too important to be abandoned. The IDS say that the Hubs are safe..impregnable, but that was the first..and the first ones did not have the security that they have now."

"There were other Hubs? Before the current ones?" asked Lao.

"There were, but they weren't called Hubs…I mean they were officially, but we inside called them 'Graveyards'. They were without the tall concrete walls that they have now, all we had was a wire fence. Those meant little to the Cloud…and we were too late to realize it." Quing explained. "One day, when I was working on our most recent project. The alarm blared. The whole place went crazy..the largest Cloud that we had ever seen was approaching the base..I was jolted from my seat by a guard and sent to the panic room with the others. I had never seen a man move so fast from one room to another."

"What happened next?" Lao's voice was quieter this time, as he drew himself deeper into his father's story.

"The damn fool left the door unlocked..he must've forgotten to lock it..I got back to my station; mine was a top floor work room with a view of the rest of the base." he sighed. "It came right through the perimeter; like a wave over a wall of rocks they were all slaughtered." he wiped sweat from his brow.

"Father, you never told me this before…what happened?"

"Lao…you have seen this 'Cloud' do horrible things..but I have seen it do terrible things."

"What do you mean?"

"There weren't just IDS and scientists at that Hub…" he sighed again. "I still hear their screams every time I close my eyes." his father wiped some tears from his eyes.

"Father, what was the project that you were working on? When you were at the Hub?"

His father smirked. "You're going to be have to be more specific, there were a lot of them."

"I had heard of a project call–" before he could finish, a series of loud bangs emanated from outside the panic room.

"Is anyone in there!? This is IDS! Are there any survivors in there!?" a trooper yelled. Everyone's heart skipped a beat.

"Yes there are!" yelled Lao in response. "There are people in here!"

"Hmph!" his father went. Lao just turned towards his father in confusion. "Look at you, thinking the IDS will protect you."

"That is their job, father!" Lao replied in anger.

"It is their job, but the 'International Defense Service' can barely defend themselves." he said staring into Lao's eyes. "Remember, 'like a wave over a wall of rocks'."

Lao staggered over and hit the release button for the door. The doors opened revealing a group of IDS troopers.

"Okay folks, its time to leave. We are here to extract anyone still outside the Hub zone." he explained. "So, please come with us."

"Hmph." Quing blurted. "How many are still outside the Hub zone?" he asked.

"Not many, we believe you are all that is left." the trooper replied.

"Then we should leave then, come now Lao." his father ushered them to follow the troopers. As they walked down the hallway from the panic room, Lao could see the glimmers of destruction through the smashed windows. When they got outside, there were IDS troopers all around, gathering their dead. One trooper was walking around carrying a severed arm in one hand. He was going between the bodies, trying to see which one it belonged to.

"Like a wave over a wall of rocks." uttered Lao under his breath.

"Indeed." his father replied.

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