The Rise and Fall of Icarus Squad

Historical Context

Introduction To Chapter One 

The concept of what if is relative. It leads to so many new outlets of possibilities, but in my universe, after 1969 when my country the United States put a man on the moon, we wanted to see how far we could go. By 1970 the cold war had ended with the U.S.A defeating the Russians with their base on the moon with nuclear bombs aimed at Russia. The U.S.S.R surrendered and was annexed by the U.S. afterward, both the U.S.A's scientific team and the former USSR team worked together to allow commercial space flight from the first colony to the moon. In 1988, Mexico, Panama, Cuba, and Guatemala were integrated into the U.S. Having their funding amass even higher, the UK and US worked together to completely terraform the moon, by 1999 new year's evening with a building crew on the way to mars that night to begin colonization of mars.

The year is now 2238 and the United States of the west and the united kingdoms of Europe have completely terraformed most of the solar system. As well as *made a complete Dyson sphere around our sun. We are in the golden age of The human race. At least that's what we want you to think. The four governments of the world: the United States of the west, The united kingdom of Europe (the UKE), the African Hierarchy, and The communist counsel of Eastern Asia (The CCEA) are being called to arms in a war between us, a growing class 2.5 race, and an alien race known as the Serestar, a class 3 race. We are fighting a losing war, but we have hope. We took the most promising orphans at a young age and trained them into kill squads, for the past 25 years they have done nothing but train, and heighten their intellect and tactical prowess. These special ops squads are called demigods and are named after Greek heroes from 800 BC to 146 BC. I am Charles Quake, and I am the leader of the shock squad Icarus, the special squad that receives orders from the grand minister of the UKE.


Chapter I

My legs feel numb, my hands shake as well but I always feel this way before a drop, my personal A.I. in my battle armor, named Lyla (whose full model name is Demigod interface and companion systems. But I gave her the nickname of Lyla.) Asking me if I want the anti-stress medication before the drop, I turn her down politely. “Are you sure, big guy? I know you usually don’t, but this operation feels different, we have some captive friends down there, and if our intel is right and the guy holding them is the same guy who killed Icarus six two years ago. Well I don’t want someone you care for down there to suffer, I don't want you to freeze.”the tone of her voice gave her fake emotionless act away. She is a defective prototype, she was one of the first DICS created for us demigods, but she showed too much emotion and compassion towards the test subjects so they attempted to delete her, but I saw something in her, almost human. So I convinced the researchers to allow me to use her. I know deep down she wishes she was normal and tries to act like the later models but I always see through the act. 

I’m sitting in a room filled to the brim with firearms, the vertical white light streaks in the wall illuminate the room, the door to my right was the door to the cabins for the demigods on the ship, to my left was the entrance to the hangar bay with fighter ships and drop pods.

“Hey, Icarus one! Are you still a little shaky from the briefing?” A young woman walks up to me in purple and black Battle armor, her purple hair in two braids in the back and a pale single strand of white hair near the center of her head fading out. Hida Bonotello, Icarus three: an excellent sharpshooter with a fiery attitude, she’s annoying at times but she always has my back in a pinch. 

“How many times have I told you, I'm not one to use our ranks in a casual environment,” I respond to her with a smirk at her comment. “Alrighty, Charlie,” she says smugly. 

“Gotta be honest with you Boss, ya walked right into that one.” Kade, my walking artillery of the group, his suit can turn his arms into portable canons that can take out a corvette cruiser in just a few hits. He is a little hard-headed sometimes but his strength, outgoingness to virtually everyone and bravery pick up the slack. His suit is red and silver, he has a gruff-looking face and has a scar that goes over As we gear up, Harrison, my Second in command of our squad, a tall almost lanky guy who looks as thin as a toothpick with his silvery blond hair he looks almost like a real ghost, but don't let that fool you, he can lift, up to three tons, which is a lot for even a demigod. He comes into the armory holding hands with Peggy, one of the kindest and most gentle of anyone I've ever met, but if you mess with someone she cares for, you're as good as dead. She has a golden tint to her hair and is strikingly gorgeous. She is our number five in our squad. Those two have been insufferable since our eighth training year, (around ten years old). “Hello lovebirds, did you get that room yet as I told you to get?” Hida smugly remarked. Blushing furiously, Peggy shouted “Shut up! You couldn't even get a man in prison with a fistful of pardons!”

“Why you little!” Embarrassed, Hida charged at Peggy as if that was something she had tried to do once, “Hida, do you need a time out?” Kade warns Hida while picking her up by the back of her power armor with one hand. Before we manage to sort out this argument, the lights in the armory begin to flash red. It’s go time. 

“Icarus Squad! To your drop pods, now!” I yell, Peggy and Harrison share a quick kiss and sprint to their drop pods. I ran to the hangar to see my ship the Supernova. One of the few official S-ranked fighters out there. It’s from the expansion era of the late 2000s. I sped past it to the drop pods, six all in a row, with one left empty for the past two years. All my other squad members beat me there but it was probably because I slowed down to look at my ship. 

The drop pods look similar to lockers in what they called “Highschool” Except they are built to be shot out of a dropship at over moc 7 towards an enemy ship or sometimes the ground. They are virtually indestructible, but that does not ease the minds of any demigod squad, that's why they have anti-stress meds to boost morale and remove fear from their bodies. I don't need them, stress makes me stronger. 

I step into my pod and Lyla begins the countdown. I prepared my demigod issue commander rifle, it's similar to normal rifles but the demigod commander issues are special and contain unique modifications to suit the personality of the user. The countdown is almost complete before I know it. I yell “Icarus squad, move out!” Then we scream our battle cry “First to fly, last to die!” and Lyla finishes her countdown 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . dropping now.




Chapter ll

We drop right on top of an enemy crawler (A type of Serestar super tank). I plant a C4 round right underneath one of its fuel cells. I jump back to dodge a tank round and then detonate the explosive, Incinerating the tank and its crew. Funny, I almost feel bad. They thought they had me there. I turn from the fire to see the landscape of the battlefield. The rubble of a city stands before me, very few buildings still stand, the smell of smoke and piss and gasoline dwell in the ruined streets of the roads. The U.S.W flag lay there tattered over the embassy which dwelt in the center of the city around ashes of burned trees and decimated concrete scattered through the ruins of exploded cars and corpses of both military units and civilians alike. Although we may be on Titan currently, I feel as though this moon has some connection to me. I brush it off and take a good look at the battle, it's the ruins of the once-great city of Athens. Known for its virtually impenetrable walls, the U.S.W navy held this point as the last bastion to help the citizens escape before the Serestar commando units wiped them out. Now it is just smoldering buildings and sands and concrete where this once great city used to dwell. A squad of lurchers, the infantry of the Serestars, their body builds are thinner than the average man’s and shorter than 5 feet tall almost always, they are decently fast and not too strong, they look like mainly skin and bones, very angled creatures, and with blue-ish skin, they have a normal upper face but their mouth is that of insects, like a cockroach to be exact. 

They run at me with plasma rifles, deadly guns. They incinerate flesh at the slightest touch and burn through my armor integrity. I pull out my gun and tell Lyla to switch my gun to widespread. I fire and a horizontal line of bullets fire out of my barrel, they spread into a line 6 feet long and they hit the squad of lurchers. Killing them instantly. 

“Are you done showing off yet Icarus one?” Harrison yells to me over our coms. I completely forgot that I'm in a squad, this needs to stop. “My bad, where are the others?”

“Icarus four and five are with me, we just took out a squad of commandos.” He says over the sounds of gunshots. “We found a platoon of captured navy soldiers. Twenty dead, ten dying and twelve injured but mobile,” 

“Good, request a medical ship to come and pick them up, then look for the leader of the assault on our navy, and kill him,” I say clenching my jaw.

 

“What will you do, Icarus one?” 

“I’m going to find Hida, and save the rest of our troops, over and out.” I mute my commlink and ask Lyla “Tell me, you know Hida’s AI right?” 

“Yes, Commander Charles. What do you need?”she asks.

“Can you pick up Hida’s signal anywhere? She’s missing and we can find her,’” I say, getting more worried. Last year just after Icarus 6 had passed, command had discovered that there was a mole our ranks, had been for over two and a half years, this mole given away Icarus six’ location, leading to his death. The mole was never discovered, and there hasnt been a security breach since, but I now Hida, she would never betray us, never.

Charles… I have been told to never relay this to you, but given the circumstances of Icarus three, I fell as if I’m obliged to tell you. But don't want you repeating it because her AI threatened to rearrange my code again if I let the secret get out. The truth is, she has desperately loved you ever since you were twelve. She would never betray you, and you better not betray her! She’s a keeper, you know that.”As she finishes, I can feel my heart rate increase from a timid beat to a roaring pound.

What is this feeling?

A light on my suit lit up, a small needle enter my arm and my body calms down, I shake the thoughts away, I need to focus on finding her.

Moments later a your SEAL Lieutenant, around seventeen or eighteen, ran up to me with a grin on his face “Thank you, Demigod! We are fire team alpha, we were sent by the governor of the CCEA to assist you in your operations, I am the acting Captain of this strike force, you can call me Aaron.” he said.

“We have three MVTs behind the rubble, we lost one of our drivers so there is enough room for you.” 

“Thank you, captain, let's move out.” I hop into the driver's seat of the truck, tank hybrid, and have a feeling of nostalgia. “Been a while old friend,” I mutter to the MVT or as Demigods like to call them, party crashers. As we rode through the city, this feeling of dread never left me, it only worsened with every empty street searched. I begin to lose hope of ever seeing Hannah ever again, hearing her make fun of me, insult me, after all this time, I forget that Demigods are still just people, and die the same ways others do. 

After two long tiresome hours of searching, Hida’s Beacon flickers to life. I’m finally in range of her tracker, I begin to locate where she is, I had been trying at her for the entire time over comms to hear no response until I hear a faint “this is Icarus three here, does anyone copy? I am trapped under the rubble of a fallen building and the Lurchers are right on top of me. Does anyone copy?” Her voice broke there, you can tell she is scared of dying. I tried speaking back to her but to no avail, her comms system must be malfunctioning. 

Icarus one do you copy?” Harrison sounds off over the comms, “Yes Icarus two, I copy.” 

We have successfully freed the hostages on their main frigate and have assassinated the Serestar’s CO in the process, we still need to clean up the remaining baddies on the surface but the cruisers are retreating as we speak.” 

“Copy that Icarus two, I’m on route to Icarus three’s location, over and out.” 

I get to city hall where her pod is located to see at least 200 lurchers hanging around the area looking for her. Possessed by something I could not control, I order my backup seal teams to flank them from behind to get a tactical advantage, they drop me off and head to the lurcher’s blind spots. “Lyla, activate Daedalus’ wrath,” I order, she obliges and my Demigod rifle turns its single barrel into four and my ammo magazine side turns from a medium-sized magazine to a box magazine, I feel my anger coursing through my veins, I begin firing, taking out ten in five seconds. The rest scatter but to no avail, because my SEALs round them back up or shoot them dead with the tank rounds or the LMG on top of the vehicle. In under ten minutes, not a single Lurcher is left with a pulse. I begin digging through the rubble with my bare hands till I feel something that is not brick or still, but fiberglass, I clear it out to find an unconscious Hannah lying there, I take off her helmet to reveal her beautiful face with puffy red eyes. She had been crying. I removed my helmet and put my ear to her chest to check if she was still breathing. Thankfully, she was. I woke her up with a light tap on the shoulder, she woke in a jolt and pointed a pistol at my face, God knows where she had been hiding it though. 

She dropped the gun with happiness in her eyes and gave me a hug “I hoped you would be the one to save me.” She said with her body shaking. Compared to me, she was so frail, something about her made me want to just hold her and never let go. I pull away and (I don’t know what made me do so, but I’m glad I did it) kissed her on the lips, she kissed back and we had a short sweet moment before a tactical helicopter flew over us full of my squad and the seals, everyone but Kade shocked to see what had just unfolded before their eyes.

“Oh my gosh! This makes so much more sense now!” Said Harrison smugly 

“I don't know about you guys but I saw this coming for years,” Kade said with pride. Lyla let out a nod of approval to me and Hida along with a few whoops and hollers from the seals and one annoying “Look who needs to get a room now?” from Peggy.



Chapter lll


One ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~    Year    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~      Later         ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




“Commander, your heart rate is way above your average BPM, is everything alright?” Lyla asked me, concerned for my health, “I’ve never been better Lyla, I’m just a little nervous, that's all.”

“Oh right! Today's your wedding day, isn't that right?” “Yes it is, and it’s not that I'm nervous but mainly it’s anticipation for what’s going to happen.” It had been over a year since the Icarus squad had been under the same roof, after the invasion of titan was repelled, the serestars retreated to the Alpha Centauri system to reorganize. They have not been seen since, this gave humanity the time it needed to bulk up its military forces, over 300 new demigods have been deployed with each in a squad of six. 

“You nervous boss?” Harrison asked as he strolled into the men’s changing room 

“Honestly, I don't know. This is probably one of the most important days of my life, I hope I made the right decision by asking her to marry me.” I say shakily.

“Charles, do you love this woman?” 

“Yes, more than anything” I answered confidently. “Then you made the right choice!” He slaps me on the back, “All humans feel love, my old friend, even demigods.” I nod and we head outside to attend my ceremony. 

We step outside to see the beautiful world of venus, a tropical paradise known for its beautiful beaches and grasslands. I walk down the aisle to the pastor and stand at his side. My heart rate was pounding like a drumline. 

Finally, the music started playing “Here comes the bride” after all, traditions never change. Harrison, my groomsman, stood next to me and gave me a nod meaning “I told you she was a keeper” I laughed and rolled my eyes. Then, I see my fiance Hida Bonatello walking down the aisle. We smiled at each other when she met my gaze. She wore a lavender wedding dress to her ankles, the sunlight hit her bronze skin in such a way she appeared to be glowing. Once she met me at the altar, the priest began the ceremony. We said our vows and exchanged a passionate kiss to seal the deal. The guests, were mostly high-ranking officers, demigods, and a couple of close friends. Yet out of all cheering, Kade’s hollers were the loudest.  

During the reception, all of the Icarus squad, including Jeremiah, our new Icarus six came to congratulate me and Hida’s marriage. “So, you finally took the big leap huh? Well took you long enough!” Peggy teased, though she knew she had no right to poke fun at us since her and Harrison’s marriage five months ago. “Hey, Peggy! You and Harrison better be having a kid soon, I was a nephew!” Kade whined. As Peggy continued to blush at Kade’s request, we all celebrated till late at night. 

When Hida and I finally managed to get to our honeymoon suite, it was well past midnight. We unlocked the door and stumbled through the dimly lit living quarters. “Come here, Charlie…” Hida beckoned to me from our bed, we slipped under the sheets, and slowly, I began to take her shirt off as she kissed my neck. 

*


*

*

*


The sound of an alarm as your wake up call has got to be the most advance method of torture twentieth century humanity had ever invented. My eyes fluttered open to the demonic roar of alarms and blinding red and white strobe lights signaling a code red. I fell out of my bed in shock as Hida sat up in distress. I stumbled to the dresser in confusion, slipped on my Nano suit and drowsily pressed the pink button that appears on my wrist.

Initiating Wakey Wakey protocol. Second later a felt as awake as someone who chugged three liters of Espresso. Rushing to the communication console, I clumsily yet quickly, I dialed Harrison’s ID number into the keypad. After a couple of stressful moments later, he picked up. “Harison, what the hell is happening out there?” I yelled,

“Lost? What do you mean lost? We had the Serestars on the run! We had hundreds of demigods stationed there!” I could barely believe it, 

“We thought so too until we reached the edge of our system. Admiral Boone and his fleet were about to finish off the invading force, then the serestars turned around and an entire armada of dreadnoughts came out of warp speed and obliterated his entire fleet. Boss, I think we just lost the war.



Chapter lV

As I and Hida sprinted to the armory to get our battle armor, we began to hear stomach-wrenching screams and sounds of gunshots coming from the outside of the base. I thought even if they breached titan again we would be prepared, but I was not there this time to back them up. I currently am on the neighboring moon of Io, too far away to offer support in time. I need to rally the troops here and make a defensive stand against the invaders until support arrives. As we round one of the corners, I see a national guard Infantryman get thrown against the wall in a bone-shattering crunch. I turn to Hida and tell her to keep going and get our armor while I help the young woman. She nods and I rush to her aid. Once I reach her, I help her up and administer a med pack into her flimsy right arm. Once she steadies herself she stands up and screams, pointing behind me. I look behind me to find a large fist charging into my chest. It knocks me off my feet and the wind out of my lungs too. I look up to see the creature that caught me off guard. It looks similar to a Lurcher except it is much bulkier and stronger.  

“HA! THESE DEMIGODS ARE MUCH WEAKER THAN LITTLE LURCHERS TOLD US, SUPER LURCHERS!” It shouted in a gravely low voice. 

“Just wait for a -moment– while– I catch my b-breath.” I lie, pretending to be tired and weak. We are trained to undergo strenuous training against high-impact projectiles. Though it caught me off guard, it only felt like a love tap contrary to what it thought. It laughed and said something about how the weak deserve to die, then it raised its right foot to stomp on my head. I swept his left foot out from under him, jumped on top of him with the soldier's knife, and slit the creature's throat.

I steadied myself and continued to run to the armory. So that’s what has been killing the demigods,I thought to myself. When I arrived at the armory Hida was almost done putting her battle armor on. She tossed me my armor pack and put on my equipment.  

As we sped to the hangar bay, the shadows of the giant invading ships block out the light of the sun. Turning what would have been a beautiful sunrise into an ominous black. As we fled, we managed to unpin a couple of S.E.A.Ls under fire as we sprinted to our ships. “My men can’t take much more of this!” the S.E.A.L lieutenant shouted. 

“Just a little bit further!” I yelled back. One more mile, just one more mile… 

Once we reached the hangar bay, there were only 13 of us left. When we left the compound, there were 34. I saw my ship gleaming hotrod red, one of the fastest ships ever made: The Supernova. “MOVE MOVE MOVE!” I shouted. The soldiers funneled into the ship as another man fell,

12… 

I ran as fast as I could to the cockpit of the ship and hit the ignition. The fusion core stuttered for a moment then revved to life. I yanked the throttle back and the ship shot out of the hanger in a red flash. I look out the cockpit window to see the serestars overrunning the base with their seemingly infinite numbers. “Of the three thousand ships down there, Transport ships: Argo, and Crusher, as well as two marine corvettes Alpha 4 and Delta 7 and the light cruiser Andromeda were the only ones that managed to escape successfully without capture or elimination.” Lyla’s voice broke. 

“Have them rendezvous with us at 45x, 79y, 23z at 0500,” I say. How could we have been caught so unprepared like this, we should have seen their coming days in advance– 

“Commander.” Harrison’s voice rang through my helmet. Relief flooded over me. “Harrison, did you manage to make it off-world?” 

“Yes, we are currently on route to your location,” He said, 

“Who is all there with you?” I asked with dread in my gut.

“42, three of which are combat medics. I have Peggy and Kade with me too. Oh and two recruits for Icarus squad.”

“Two what?” I’m stunned, I knew there were applicants for Icarus six, but not so soon, and with two being accepted? I’m shocked HQ didn’t tell me in advance. To be fair, we are under attack and half of our communications are down, so I let it slide. 

“Docking now.” The ship AI said over the intercom. It was now time to meet the newest members to Icarus squad.

As I walk through the halls of the other docked ships, I see the faces of refugees who up till now had never seen the front line before, these are faces who will never forget what they saw today. I kept walking by until I looked onto a young boy who was crying, he looked to be around the age of 6, his tiny frame covered in ash and soot. It was hard to hear him over the commotion of the injured in the sickbay right across the hall, but I could make out something about “I can’t find my mommy and daddy” through tears. It reminded me of when I was around 5 years old. I recalled sitting at our dinner table on the farming world of Neptune. We were whole, we were happy. And then the bombs went off, nothing too crazy, but it was enough to blast through the walls of our house. Their bodies went limp and there was blood everywhere, and that was where I saw my first serestar. I will never forget it’s face, the way it coldly shot at my older sister till she was just ash. She had just enough time to free me from the rubble I was under before it killed her mercilessly. I don’t remember much after that, all I remember is red until I saw the serestars body on the floor with a kitchen knife in its scull with lacerations all over its body, It’s jet black blood staining my young hands. I stared at the serestar for what could have been five minutes or five hours, until a national guard squad came through the house for shelter. They saw me sitting on my knees over the biggish corpse, and were somewhat terrified yet somewhat fascinated at the same time. Their captain radioed in something to her CO and walked up to me. 

“Hey kid, where are your parents?” She said with a small quiver in her voice.