To promote the (then) unreleased Playstation 3 game “Resistance: The Fall of Man” a short fiction contest was run. The instructions were simply to create a “War Journal” with the alternate history (a 1950’s war between British and American forces and an alien horde) of the game as a backdrop.
[Transcribed from Radio Communication Logs.]
[Identification logged as Private First Class Wilson Jacobs, U.S. Army, Company E, 325th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Current status: MIA.]
[Multiple Responses attempted, all failed.]
[11 JUL 51, 02:34]
“I won’t be able to hear you. The ear-piece was blown off with most of my left hand. Sniper fire. I think I lost my ear too. I’m not sure; I haven’t been able to look yet. I’m not even sure if anybody’s hearing me.
Not sure of location… drop zone was Manchester but we started taking heavy fire as soon as we hit the coast. We dumped as soon as we could. I think we drifted south. My best guess is someplace north of Liverpool.
Most of us were taken out in the air. I don’t know how the bastards could be so accurate. They use some weird kind of tracer round – it glows red and hums. Damn things look like orange sparklers. They got some of the boys before they could even open their chutes. I don’t know how they could see them.
At a guess I’d say that less than one man in 50 made it to the ground alive.
I lost most of my equipment during the drop. I’ve still got my sidearm and my bayonet.
I was one of the first ones out so I think I was at the tail end of the drop. I’m going to move East and try to reconnect.”
[11 JUL 51, 03:17]
“No friendly contacts. Ran into an enemy squad. They had one of our boys hung upside-down by his chute. They were cutting on him and throwing pieces to some of animals they had with them. I thought they were dogs at first – they were about that size – but they didn’t move like dogs. There was no barking either.
I hope he was already dead when they started.
I was able to flank them without getting noticed and kept moving East.
We heard all sorts of stories from the Irish refugees about demons and men from Mars. They talked about burning blood and giant monsters like something out of ‘King Kong’.
Command told us that the enemy was using some new gas weapon that could make you see things.
I couldn’t see that clearly, and I don’t think I’ve been gassed, but I swear those bastards didn’t look human to me.”
[11 JUL 51, 06:48]
“I’m not sure what time it is – my watch was blown apart with my hand. It’s lighter; a little after dawn but still cloudy. Hazy. I think I’ve moved about four or five miles but I still don’t know where I am.
Saw a fire-fight from the top of a ridge a little while ago. I think it was our boys – I recognized BAR fire. The enemy squad was small – I only saw six men – and they used those weird tracer rounds again. They really ripped into our line. But those boys held their own: I saw at least three of the enemy go down in the first exchange.
They sent a pack of those animals at our boys – they’re definitely not dogs but I’ll be damned if I can say more than that. They move like cockroaches. A lucky grenade got most of them before they hit the line.
The enemy is strange. They move different… like they have too many knees or something. But they’re fast, damn fast. The uniforms are bizarre. With spikes or feathers or something across the back – it makes them look a little like movie Indians.
I’m holed up in a shed now – a sheep fold or feed house or something – about two-hundred yards from a farm house. My head is starting to ache and my missing thumb is itching fiercely. I’m going to rest here for a bit and then try to hook up with that squad.”
[11 JUL 51, 14:07]
“I must have fallen asleep. Or passed out. I think it’s early afternoon. Still cloudy. Been very quiet. I was hoping to hear more noise – that would have meant more of us made it to the fight. Or maybe I landed farther off the mark than I thought.
I was able to use my bayonet as a mirror. I couldn’t see the back but my head is messed up pretty good. I could see skull showing through above where my ear used to be. I don’t know what they hit me with but it sealed the wound somehow – like burned it closed. There’s not much blood. Lots of pain, the mother of all headaches, but only a little blood.
At this point I may as well sit tight until nightfall. That squad I saw is probably miles off.”
[11 JUL 51, 20:23]
“I fell asleep again – I think I might be going into shock or something. One of those things was working at my boot when I woke up. I still had my bayonet in my hand. It was softer than I thought – it splattered like a bug.
They’re not dogs. About the same size as a poodle but nothing else like it. More like a weird squid or crab or something. I’ve never even heard of anything like it. I don’t know if it was just the smell of the thing or the head wound or both but my stomach couldn’t take it. I couldn’t stop heaving until I got away.
I can’t see any other movement but there’s a small light at the farmhouse. It’s probably a mistake but I’m going to head down there. They told us to look for help from the locals.”
[11 JUL 51, 20:57]
“I should have left the farmhouse alone. As I came around the corner I ran into two enemy soldiers. I was able to squeeze off a few rounds and took one out before I ducked behind the chimney. I think that saved my life. Whatever they’re using cuts through wood like butter but the brick offered protection.
I heard the other one running toward me and I jumped out firing when he got close. We collided and I passed out.
I woke up with him dead on top of me. They’re heavier than they look by about half. Lanky but really solid. I broke at least two ribs running into him. They stink just as badly as the crab-things.
I figured if anybody else was around they would have made an appearance by now so I went into the farmhouse. It was small. The fireplace was still glowing.
I found the family in a bedroom… along with two more of the crab-things, feeding. I took them out with my last two rounds. The family – I think there are three of them, maybe four – had been dead for a few hours. I might have been able to do something if I’d come down earlier.”
[11 JUL 51, 21:28]
“I think I passed out again but not for long, the embers are still hot. The pain in my head is getting worse and the cracked ribs make breathing hard. I found some brandy in the cupboard; it took the edge off.
I’m going to scrounge some gear and get out of here. It’s too hot. I… I don’t think I’m going to go into the bedroom again.”
[11 JUL 51, 22:28]
“I tried to strip the enemy bodies but I couldn’t figure out how in the dark. I grabbed up the weapons – heavier than they look as well – but I’m not sure how to use them yet. They don’t look like any gun I’m used to. I was able to drag one of the bodies into the farmhouse and risked building up the fire for a bit of light. I covered the windows as best I could.
Maybe they did gas us, or maybe it’s the head-wound making me loopy, but this guy just isn’t a guy. The blood is green. It doesn’t burn but I’ve got a nasty rash and it’s raising boils wherever it hit my skin.
Their faces… their faces are hard to describe. Six eyes. Six. In a line across the face. The mouth is like a lizard’s – something out of ‘National Geographic’. Sharp teeth, big fangs. No real nose… just holes where one would be. Those feather/spike things that I thought were part of the uniform are part of them – like spines. They’ve got claws on their hands and– wait. I hear something.”
[11 JUL 51, 22:31]
“There’s a troop coming up the hill. I don’t think they saw me yet. Two of them look enormous. At least 15′ tall and carrying cannons the size of Buicks. I’ve got to run. The radio’s too heavy for me now and the battery won’t last much longer anyway, this will be my last transmission.
I’m going to circle around and try to meet up with that squad if I can. If not – I hope somebody’s listening – please tell my folks that I did my best and I’m sorry I let them down.”