This is the first World In Ruin book entitled Montevado.
To find the rest of the books, please refer to the main thread here.
It has been 14 years since E-Day and the hours of the day still haunt a young Benjamin Wolf. At 20 years old, he has shown amazing leadership skills very few Gears alive possess. With the closing of the war and the Locust digging deeper toward Jacinto, Ben Wolf is given a squad to lead. Accompanying him in the newly formed Sigma-Two is Benjamin's closest friend and demolition's expert Sven Brant, the heavy weapons specialist Sith Magana, and the precision expert Valjymyr Flint.
Together, the four will be sent into their first mission toward Montevado, the city that Benjamin grew up in, to find an old weapons cache inside a military fort left over from the Pendulum Wars. Heartbreak, action, sadness, and confrontations collide as Ben leads his squad through the city, fighting pockets of Stranded, Locust, and his own personal feelings, all while learning the ropes of leading a squad.
The beautiful streets of Montevado glistened in the sunlight that morning. The older civilians were retrieving their newspapers and others were driving their cars down their streets, mostly heading to their jobs, whatever they may be.
Young children were playing with their toys on the sidewalk, shaded by apple and oak trees along the sides of the cement slabs covered in colorful drawings colored with chalk. If only anyone had known what was about to happen.
Ben was like the other children. His mother always told him, “Remember, baby, don’t go out on the streets. It’s not safe there.”
Yet, he was young and didn’t understand his mothers warnings. Every day he would play on the streets and sidewalk with the other children. It didn’t matter to him, he was a kid. Kids don’t care about things like safety until they are old enough to realize how many different ways danger could lurk.
Ben’s father was a large man, about 200 pounds with short dark hair and a slight five o’clock shadow. Ben wasn’t as close to his father as he was to his mother, Ben didn’t even really remember what his father’s job was. All he remembered him doing was sitting on the couch with a beer in his hand watching a Thrashball game. He always cheered for people he didn’t even know. They always had funny names. One player he liked was a player for the Eagles nicknamed The Beast. Another one was named the Cole Train…or was it Coal Train? He had no clue, but whenever those players were seen, his father would jump up from his chair and cheer for them.
Ben removed the covers from his rested body, stepped off his bed, and fumbled down the stairs. His father was on the couch as usual and his mother was in the kitchen making breakfast.
Ben’s mother was a beautiful woman. She had long black hair, and hazel eyes.
“Hey baby, you hungry?”
Ben quickly nodded his head and smiled. A gap was shown where one of his front teeth should be.
The kitchen began to shake as his mother said “Ben come here!”
Ben’s father stood up and yelled “Stay there Laura!” and quickly ran outside. Laura was scared. She had never experienced an Earthquake before. Yet, she was mostly scared for Ben. She wondered whether he had interpreted the shaking as a game or something terrible as it had been.
The ground ceased shaking and as Laura made a sigh of relief, a loud explosion erupted outside the home. Screaming and gunfire shook the streets of the city. Laura ran up to the window to see monsters the size of their house, resembling spiders, digging through the streets. Adults, teenagers, and even children as old as Ben were crushed and gunned down by these monsters.
Seconds later, Ben’s father ran back into the house and smashed a glass cabinet open. He pulled out a double-barrel shotgun and 4 shells and stood hiding behind a door.
“Get Ben upstairs and hide him!” yelled his father, terrified. “GO!”
Some strange monstrous creatures were running up to the door and as they kicked it in, Ben’s father slid around the wall and fired his shotgun into the creatures. Only one went down before Laura ran up the stairs. Ben never saw his father again. More gunshots were fired inside the home and then stomping on the stairs as Laura slid Ben under the bed and finally said “Mommy loves you.” Sobbing and putting her hands over her face.
Ben’s bedroom door was kicked open and all he heard was a loud scream and a shotgun blast. Ben closed his eyes tight as his mother fell to the floor covered in blood.
The creatures boots stomped around the room. One of the creatures was sniffing, as if he could smell Ben inside the room. After a few moments, one of the creatures yelled “Exit!” and they ran back down the stairs and out the door.
Ben stayed under his bed for the next hour before the sounds of screaming and gunfire died down. He finally left the bottom of the bed and walked outside, afraid of what he may see. All that was left of the peaceful city of Montevado was left in ruins. Trees and building were on fire. Buildings were crumbled and humans ranging from children to adults lay dead in the streets. There was death everywhere he looked. A few Gears ran past the house and as Ben screamed, they turned around and yelled “There’s a survivor!”
The Gear picked him up and said “It’ll be ok, son, It’ll be ok.”
He quickly barked orders to search the home for any relatives. After a few minutes the Gears exited the home and said in a whisper “Nobody survived.”
Ben cringed and began to cry. He heard and understood exactly what the Gear meant.
“Jesus, alright lets move out.” said the Gear as he walked off.
Ben cried until his tears put him to sleep.
“Put your helmet on dumbass!” yelled Ben. The locust drone popped up from the ground as Ben slid into cover and fired its fake bullets at the Gear with his helmet removed. The Gear fell back as their drill sergeant yelled “Smooth dumbass, had this been real, you’d be dead!”
“Keep you’re fucking helmets on, we’re in a live fire exercise!” yelled Ben. Ben looked up from cover and put a round into the locust drone dummy and jumped over the cover. Several Gears followed behind as a dummy Berserker walked from behind a wall. It shrieked and ran after a Gear and knocked him down, then turned back to Ben.
“Uh oh, it seems the Locust have unleashed a Beserker into the field! Whatever shall you do?” yelled the sergeant sarcastically.
“Sarge, we don’t have a hammer of dawn!” yelled another soldier from a distance. It was Sven Brant. The fake beserker made it’s charge at Sven and knocked him on his butt with full force. It turned around and chased Ben and another Gear down a maze like training structure toward the end. As they neared a wall they realized it was a dead end.
The berserker charged back at Ben and knocked him and the other Gear down. It then turned away and ran off.
Ben climbed out of the training course and yelled “Sir, what the fuck was that!”
“Well, Ben your squad leader, I would assume you knew what this entire training simulation was.”
Ben of course understood now. It was a simulation of his swuad’s death. He was supposed to die.
“…I’m sorry, sir.”
“You’re young as shit, boy. I could’ve given this promotion to any other of these recruits,”
“, However, the rest of these recruits are retards excluding that Sven Brant. He’s one smart son of a bitch. A good squad leader puts his himself before his squad. If you want to be the best you can be, then you should have been one of the first Gears killed by the berserker.”
Ben thought of this. Why should he have died? There will be casualties on the battlefield, which he was sure of. But to say that he should have died didn’t make the least bit of sense to him. Squad leaders aren’t cannon fodder, squad leaders are a valuable asset to the battlefield. Squad leaders should take Hammerburst bullets for their squads, not the fist of a Berserker.
Anyway, he didn’t care anymore. He was just happy the sarge didn’t push him over the edge again.
Ben was the last in the locker room. As he walked in, he slammed his sweaty fist into a locker, denting it.
“You! Carmine! Don’t you ever remove your damn helmet during a training exercise while your under MY command EVER AGAIN!”
“Aww, Ben is mad at Ben!” teased Sven. Sven pulled his helmet off and set it down in the top locker shelf. As he slammed the locker, Wolf turned to Sven and made a sarcastic face before turning back to Carmine and saying “The next time you pull that shit, your done!”
Another Gear stood up and started to laugh after saying “And don’t go running to Clay either!”
Carmine was furious at this. He couldn’t stand listening to people make fun of his older brother. Ben shoved the Gear into a locker and yelled “Don’t you ever make fun of my brothers!”
“Whoa, Ben, calm down I was joking.”
“God died with the rest of our families on E-Day, Michael.” Replied Wolf.
Michael only cringed at this and turned back to unpacking his armor without another word.
“Oh, and Michael?” said Wolf.
“…Yes, sir.” mumbled Michael.
“I’m sorry; I don’t think I heard you?”
It was only a matter of time before Michael would send Carmine over the edge. He hoped that Carmine could get out of Basic as fast as possible. When he had first met Carmine and found out he was the brother of the Grub Killer, he had hoped he would be just like him, cunning, fast, and brave. Benjamin Carmine was a pussy. He was, however, a good shot with the sniper rifle, which made him a valuable asset for stealth missions, but nothing more than stealth. Funnily enough, Ben Carmine surviving just one sniping mission could be enough to promote him to Captain, assuming the kid went to college. Ben laughed at the thought of this; Carmine going to college.
Michael? He was an asshole. He specialized in being cocky, inconsiderate, and snot-nosed. Fuck him. Wolf didn’t like him, Wolf wanted nothing to do with him, and most importantly Wolf had hoped he would never see him again after Basic.
One thing Wolf found funny about his role as squad leader is that he doesn’t have authority over any of the other squad members outside of training. He wondered, was it out of respect, or awareness? Whatever the case may be, Wolf liked it. He didn’t bother with it. All he knew is that no matter what, Sven Brant would be there for him. He always had, since Wolf met him for the first time as kids in their orphanage home.
That night, after everyone was asleep, Wolf turned a small flashlight on and pulled out a journal. Inside, taped to the back of the hard cover, was a picture. It depicted a young boy, throwing a baseball toward a man. He smiled at the picture of his father and him. It was the only thing the he remembered besides his love for thrashball.
Wolf had heard the Cole Train survived E-Day and had been fighting in the COG for the last 14 years. Even though he barely knew who the Train was, he was happy that something that reminded him of his father was still out there somewhere.
Wolf finally turned his flashlight off after another eventful day of Basic, closed his eyes and fell asleep.
“You wanted to see me, commander?”
The commander turned around on his desk chair and said “Yes, Ben.”
The Base Commander was an older man with thinning white hair. He looked to be about 59 or maybe 60 years old to Wolf. He took a bite out of an apple sitting on his desk and stood up. The commander held out his hand and Wolf shook it hastily.
“I like your style, son.” continued the commander. He stared out the window of his office at the recruits performing target practice on dummies as Wolf replied “Thank you, sir.”
“You’re a natural leader. We need more Gears like you.”
Ben smiled at this. He hadn’t expected to get the commanders attention this quickly with his leadership skills.
“We are looking for new soldiers from Basic to help build a new squad,” the commander pulled out a cigar, lit it, turned his head to Ben and said “Sigma-Two.”
Ben had anticipated what the commander would say next.
“Of course, sir.”
“Excellent. This squad is home to some of the smartest, strongest recruits straight out of Basic. Not only do I want you to be in this squad, I want you to lead it.”
This Ben had not anticipated. Even though the commander had admired his leadership skills, for some reason he hadn’t expected to lead his own squad straight out of Basic.
“You got some real hardasses in your squad. There’s Sith Magana, a mean son of a bitch from out in Camino
“Sir, do you have the profile docs of my squad mates?”
The Commander chuckled and said “I sure do. Here.”
The commander moved around some papers on his desk and handed a manila envelope.
“Oh yes, your being promoted to Corporal straight out of Basic.”
“I don’t know what to say, sir.”
“Don’t say anything,” replied the commander “Just help us win this war. I’ll debrief you on this entire situation later. Good day.”
Ben saluted the commander and walked back out through the office and toward the main target ground. Sven was sitting on the pavement watching Gears firing Snub’s at the target dummies. Ben sat down on the hot pavement, warmed by the sun. Crossing his legs, he opened the envelope and looked at his squad members bios. A smile crept across his face.
Sven Gregory Brant
Classification: Ordinance, short-range and mid-range combat
Notes: very smart, perfect for the job. Nothing less than a pyromaniac. Best of the best when it comes to things that go boom.
Sith Bin Magana
Classification: Heavy Weapons, short-range and mid-range combat
Notes: Do not fuck with Sith Magana. He could tear your balls off and wear em as a necklace. Qualified to drive APCs.
Valjymyr Harold Flint
Classification: long range, mid-range combat
Notes: Eager to fight. Well trained with a Longshot
Benjamin Aaron Wolf
Classification: squad leader, short-range and mid-range combat
Notes: I have no doubt in my mind, this soldier is smart, tough as nails and normally, at his age, wouldn’t come near the position of squad leader. This one is special. Not too many soldiers out there like Ben. I would rate this man at the levels of Colonel Victor Hoffman, Sergeant Madison Carmine, and Corporal Dominic Santiago. He’s got the style of each one of them. He’s got Hoffman’s roughness, Carmine’s perseverance, and Santiago’s passion.
Ben looked to the right of each bio to see pictures. There was Sven with his goatee and scarf. Sith was a darker skinned Gear, was completely bald except a large ponytail that culminated on the back of his head, just above the back of his neck and green eyes. He had no facial hair.
Valjymyr was slightly lighter skinned than Sith and had a slight five o’clock shadow. He had short brown hair and blue eyes.
“Well, shit.” laughed Wolf.
“They told you?”
“I didn’t know you knew yet.”
Sven smiled and said “Told me, like, an hour ago.”
“We did it, man. We got a squad.”
“I don’t know about the others though. This Sith Magana? Sounds dangerous. A fucking heavy weapons guy too. Whadaya think?”
Ben dropped the envelope on the pavement and said “I think he’s gonna do what I tell him to do.”
“How tall are you?”
“’Bout’ 6’3. Why?”
“I just wanna make sure I can get a coffin for your size.”
“You’re an asshole.”
“That’s why you need me. THESE assholes are gonna tear you apart if you don’t put down some authority.”
“Believe me, Sven, I’ll show ‘em authority. And remember your one of them too. We can’t act so buddy-buddy like we are now.”
“Man, I think you fucked Carmine up. That’s just a small test. Your gonna have to stare down these two big ass guys and tell them ‘no’ right to their faces.”
“Carmine? Forget him. If he was afraid of that then he’ll be dead in a week. Probably blow himself up with a grenade or something.”
“What’s sad is that there’s more of em. He mentioned something about his brother Anthony getting shipped out, another, can’t remember his name, who’s like 18, hasn’t even started Basic yet, and Clay.”
“Who the hell knows, man. Commander told me we are the best Basic has got to offer right now. I’m sure these guys are good.”
Wolf lifted himself off the pavement and brushed the dirt off. He then cracked his knuckles. Something about that always made him feel right. Maybe he loved to hear bones snap, or maybe it just made him feel loose. God, hopefully it’s both.
“See you at dinner.”
“I haven’t had dinner in 14 years.”
Camino Basic Training. Southwestern Jacinto. 4 days before the beginning of the Lightmass Offensive. 1 day after the formation of Sigma-Two.
That was the first thing that came to mind when Sith pulled off the cover from his new custom painted Mulcher. It had been completely covered is black spray paint with the handle grip in red and the barrel with a flame decal over it. This is what would make him famous.
“How the hell did you do that?” asked someone.
“It all just takes a bit of time and patience.” Replied Sith, now rubbing his hand across the glossy texture of the barrel.
Like I actually have patience.
“I can’t wait to fuck some grubs up with this beast.”
Another gear laughed. “You think your CO is gonna let you lug that thing around all over Sera?”
“If I can’t, no way in hell I’m just dropping it.”
Suddenly, a door swung open and a grizzled looking Gear walked in with his hands behind his back.
The Gears quickly leaped off all their thin, broken mattresses and formed a long line across the room as the Gear continued his walk down the isle.
“You, Private Magana. I want a word with you at 0600 today. Be there or do not be anywhere.”
The other recruits in a line all began to oooooh! As Magana yelled “What are you guys, six!?”
“That is all.” Said the gear finally. The man walked back out through the doors and everyone let their breath out and laid back on their mattresses, some to sleep, others to do god knows what.
Sith went back to his Mulcher the instant the doors closed behind the Gear and continued his smiling expression until it was time to head down to the base commander’s office.
“What do ya think he wants?”
“Fuck if I know. Hopefully shipping me the hell out of here.”
And he truly hoped it was just that. Sith felt he was too good for Camino. He already mastered heavy weapons, knew every tactic and trick in the book- Take cover or die.
The words ran through his head like a train.
Take cover or die.
He was a heavy weapons guy. Take cover? Jesus. The only thing he didn’t know how to do with a Mulcher was blindfire it over a wall.
Seriously? I’m so fucked.
Sith had no idea what it would be like after he was sent to the frontlines, but had heard stories. Mostly from the old vets. He had heard stories of the Pendulum Wars, most notably Aspho Fields. How its survivors went down in history for their fighting there. He had heard about how the UIR had been stopped and that if one faithful soldier had not made a “mistake” as some called it, Jacinto would have been taken 13 years ago. What would history be like if the soldier he could not remember the name of had not detonated the grenades on the bridge leading out? What would history be like, had the COG lost Aspho? These were the weird things that Sith had thought about. The whole damn point of Aspho was to capture the Hammer tech. What if they didn’t succeed? Would the UIR have risen from the aftermath of the Pendulum Wars and used the tech like the COG did?
All he knew was that that was then and this is now. We won, after all. It doesn’t matter how differently it would have been. Sith was just glad to still be alive.
Nexus, somewhere below Sera’s surface
“It is time, my friend.”
“What do you propose, my queen?”
“Jacinto stands as the last bastion of humanity. Break them. I have faith in you, General. You will not disappoint me.”
“It will be done, my queen.”
The colossal Locust General stood from his knee, and bowed to the queen before turning away.
The General stopped in place, waiting for an answer.
RAAM smiled a crooked, evil smile before replying “Yes, my queen.”
“Yes, my queen.”
“You are my advisor, are you not?”
Skorge had been lost with this question. Of course he was. Why ask?
“Yes, of course my queen.”
“I want you to mobilize your followers. It is time we show the humans that we have much more soldiers as our disposal. Ready your Kantus monks. We come full force. Strike the remaining humans around the Jacinto basin. Kill them all and leave none behind. Illima, Ephyra, Montevado, all of them. We must rid the humans of any stragglers and trap them within their pitiful stronghold.”
“It will be done, my queen.”
Skorge turned from the queen and followed RAAM out the palace gates, leaving the queen in her chambers alone to think.
“This plan must work. It can’t fail. We have no other options.”
The Lambent were upon Myrrah’s doorstep. There were no other options. The humans must die now, or else all may be lost.