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The sands of time: Episode 3: Old sand- a war story by Remirol Nacnud
Written by Remirol

The sands of time: Episode 3: Old sand

It had been 3 years since Archer arrived in this world. After the events of the Arab base Archer had drifted. He had been unable to track down his chrono suit and he had given up hope of ever seeing his family again. The world had changed a lot in three years. Most if it for the worse. But Archer could be glad that none of the chrono technology seemed to be used, so whoever it was that had stolen his suit, they were not unscrupulous. He had never left Asia, always in the hope that he may stumble upon the people with his suit. He had travelled through Arabia, China and India searching for an organisation that could have funded the attack on the Arabian base. He had realised that it was no large organisation. Since the events, the Arabian alliance had disintegrated as the Global Liberation Army became more and more popular in the middle east and had assassinated many leaders. The technology used had definitely been Chinese, but he was certain that there was something else. When he had fired upon the commandos he had inflicted no damage. As implausible as it seems, these people must have developed an Iron Curtain device for infantry. But he had not seen it in use again. He had also realised that his suit wasn't being used and that it was in fact someone with his own suit, stealing Archers, for security. The plot had thickened, but Archer was no nearer to understanding what had been going on. It only got more and more complicated.

He was now working for the Royal Air Force. A war had started between the GLA, the USA and China. The British had become involved due to Archer alone. Archer did little jobs for them. Infiltrating and destroying bases especially. He had also been used as a decoy to distract the GLA forces so that the Chinese could attack key targets.

Archer was currently in Istanbul. He walked down one of the streets, admiring the architecture. He had been told by the British that a new section of the GLA had been set up in Istanbul. It was a major route for oil to be transported and so this assignment was top priority. After three weeks of keeping his ear to the ground, he had finally heard of a GLA meeting. Word had spread that GLA sympathisers should gather in this street. Archer knew that anyone who was not Arabian was considered highly suspicious so he decided to keep out of site. He stepped into a back alley and used a conveniently holed wall to climb to the top. As he climbed he realised that the holes had been caused by bullets that had split away the white rock. It was most likely from the execution of a GLA sympathiser or possibly even an agent. The US forces were not discreet about what they did. They were usually angry as their friends had been butchered so they wanted to frighten any of the GLA nearby. Sites like this were common in Istanbul, Archer mused over whether it was the main reason why there were so many sympathisers. He reached the top and ducked down behind a washing line. He watched the street and set his uplink camera running. The Chinese were now watching the street through him and noting every face, cataloguing every suspect. All of them would probably be murdered in their sleep by more foreign brutes. Archer could see himself sympathising with the GLA, but then he remembered the terrible chemical weapons that they used, and his mind was put to rest.

Archer's instructions were to record the meeting and then shoot the organisers. His Arabian companions would try to infiltrate the meeting and find the location of the GLA base of operations in the area.

"Fools. Even the GLA aren't stupid enough to keep an old meeting after I kill those people. Hasif is risking himself for nothing down there." Archer muttered as he took the pieces of his sniper rifle from his garments. As he screwed the barrel to the chamber and the chamber to the butt he thought back to his history with Hasif. He was now a dear old friend with whom he'd worked several times. He reminded him of an old friend from the soviet wars. "Hey, maybe he's his alternative's grandson? You never know." He loaded up his Eagle 76K rifle and tucked it out of sight. Below the bustle of moving people became a bustle of still people. A crowd was gathering about a small podium made from fish boxes. A man stood upon them and began to speak. A translator told Archer what he was saying through his ear piece.

"People of Istanbul! No longer need you be oppressed here! The rich countries of the world have enslaved you! They are like vampires! Feeding on black blood! Let them feed no more! Take what is yours! Take back your great city! Help us take back our great world!" The crowd roared with excitement. Hasif looked up at Archer. He put his hand to his face palm down, indicating for him to wait. "The GLA can remove the western shackles of injustice! Join the GLA and you shall finally have a rich life. Tell me, you there, boy!" The man was pointing to Hasif.

"Awwwwwww FECK!" Archer said to himself.

"uh, me?" Asif said quietly.

"Yes, you. How old are you?"

" 28. I am a man, no boy."

"Aahhhh but have you ever fought for what is right? Have you ever escaped from these oppressed cities of ours?" Every part of Asif urged him to say "Of course I have you ignoramus." But he resisted.

"No, I have lived here all of my life. I wish to leave this oppressed place and join the ranks of the GLA! Especially if it will get me out of this sun! hahahahahahaha" It was a particularly hot day so everyone laughed. They laughed as Asif raised the back of his palm to his forehead. Archer aimed and fired at the speaker. He then fired at the three men who were also standing. He was quite confused. Why had Asif decided for the shooting to take place before he could find out where the next meetings were? The crowd was running frantically for the side streets and the GLA visitors were looking around the rooftops and windows for a sniper. Archer noticed one last important target. An old man was sitting there, calmly, with 3 guards around him. Archer tried to fire through them, but he just couldn't do it. More gathered around the man as he tried. Asif ran to in front of the man, looking like another loyal defended. He pulled out his pistol and shot the old man. Obviously Asif had recognised this man as someone very senior. As Asif ran he was shot in the back. As Archer watched him fall to the floor his heart screamed. They didn't kill him, they'd only shot him once. They were going to torture him and make him die slowly. Before Archer could fire a shot of mercy to Asifs head, he had been dragged away by the lightening fast GLA. He madly fired at the group. "Revenge!" He hissed. He rapped his rifle in its cloth and stashed it on the roof. He pulled out two pistols and leapt from the roof onto a skin rain guard outside a shop. As he bounced off it he released two shots towards the GLA. He knew that there would be more of them in the houses around him, so he kept running and kept shooting until all of the visible GLA were dead. As he ran down the alley that Asif had been dragged, a shot hit him in the thigh. The man who had fired was in a first floor window, until Archer shot him, when he fell to the ground, clutching his neck which was spurting blood. Archer reached the end of the alley and found Asif, lying in the corner. He held his head in his hands. "Speak to me, friend. Speak to me...please." Archer was almost crying.

"Mei...yan." Asif croaked. His head flopped to one side and the life drained from his eyes. Archer closed his eye lids, took one of his dog tags, and leaped into a window. He ran until he'd reached the main streets, where he blended into the crowd. He didn't know what ‘Mei yan' was, but he would be determined to find out. He sent a full report to the RAF, but they did not tell him what they made of it. When he mentioned Mei yan, his commander was just silent.

Archer knew that what had started as a street demonstration, had turned into a thick plot. Asif had died to kill that man, and Archer was determined to find out why. And especially why he was there, in Istanbul.

A war story by Remirol Nacnud.

Hope you all enjoyed it.

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