I remember my first mission with The Authority as though it happened an hour ago. I was stationed out by Tallaght Hospital on a patrol. We were told that there had been resistance in the area and talk of a rebellion forming.

As I was patrolling, I came across an abandoned school. It had been shut down in the Authority’s initial takeover. Suddenly I heard a crash and a group of men holding files and weapons rushed out of the school in to a van. I screamed “Stop!”, but they continued to enter the vehicle.

I made a split second decision and started firing but I missed every shot. I ran at the van but just as I reached them they drove off. It was only then that I saw him. An innocent man, on a walk with his dog had been caught by a stray bullet. I ran over trying to help him but he was dead.

That was eight years ago and for the first time since that incident I was back in Tallaght. I was sitting in a briefing for an attack on the Rebels who were stationed nearby. Our spies had told us it was a small camp, an easy takedown. From my experience anything that seemed easy was usually a set-up.

“I don’t trust the intel. The Rebels aren’t stupid enough to camp this close to our stronghold and not be equipped to defend themselves”

My commander glared at me.

“I don’t care what you think. The intel is solid and multiple sources have confirmed sightings of Rebels in the area. This attack is happening, and that’s final!”

“Alright, does everyone know the plan?”

The harsh voice of the Commander rang through the truck housing 50 soldiers of The Authority. “Our source tells us that the rebels are holed up in the Square. They’re organising a hit on the hospital, which we cannot allow to happen!. Something didn’t feel right. It was too open, too easy.

The brakes screeched as the truck jolted to a stop. I was gettin anxious now, my gut was in a knot and my sweat was dripping off my face onto my rifle.

“Let’s go people!” Shouted my Commander as the rear doors burst open. He jumped out just 100 metres from the entrance and headed towards the collapsing  shopping centre. Three identical trucks to ours, pull up beside us, and men and women started getting out and moving towards the building.

I felt deep down that it was too simple. No guards, no shooting, it wasn’t right. Then it happened. Every car within 10 metres of us burst into flames and a shower of bullets came from every direction, taking out half our soldiers. One bullet skimmed my shoulder as I leapt to the ground, my arm spitting blood from my wound. I got up and charged toward the entrance as two groups of rebels exited the building. I opened fire upon them. The sound of bullets ringing off the abandoned cars in the car park hurt my ears. The fight had begun.

We pushed forward from cover to cover, taking a few shots at the rebels every now and then. Bodies were dropping left and right and the screams of wounded soldiers loomed over the battlefield. I heard the croaky voice of the sergeant scream something but was inaudible over the gunfire. Seconds later a car 10 metres from me blew up into a ball of flames. My ears rang as the heat from the explosion burnt my face.

I peeked out from cover and saw an overturned lorry –  a perfect place to patch up my arm, which was still stinging from the bullet moments ago. I leaped across the space and collapsed behind the vehicle. Exhaustion started to kick in as I threw a bandage around my injured shoulder.

Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a shadow move around the side of the truck. As the person came into view I jumped at him and punched him in the face and hit his weapon out of his hand. Then I looked down at him and saw the face of a young girl, no older than 17, with fear in her eyes staring back at me. “What am I doing?” I said to myself. But with that moment of weakness, the girl struck, the fear in her face turning instantly into stone cold hatred. She grabbed my pistol from my belt and shot me straight in the stomach. I let out a grunt as I felt the bullet go straight through my body.

She threw me off her onto the cold, damp tarmac. I felt my senses weakening and soon all I saw was darkness and light, no colours. And as the darkness took over the light, I heard one sentence from the girl who murdered my for her cause. “That’s for my brother, asshole.” and with that she pulled the trigger one last time, putting a bullet right between my eyes.