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Budapest at Night

Recovered Mobilization Records

Foreword: Recovered footage from troop body cameras mobilized to the areas around Budapest to assist in evacuation efforts after the bombs started to fall. Footage was intercepted in order to aid in a misinformation campaign. Given the status of the Iron Corridor and the status of hostilities in all sectors, it was deemed prudent to not risk having the Federal People's Republic (Eastern Federation) command obtain such blatant evidence of Mortfield activities.


[A platoon of EF troops dismounts an armored troop carrier in the Rákosmente district on the eastern side of Budapest. Nearly troop carrier trucks follow the armored vehicle, empty for the most part. Twenty soldiers begin arranging in front of the vehicle. The commander observes them for a moment and then speaks.]

Commander: Listen to me! I know this is a terrible time. We don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know if hostilities are ongoing. The bombs continue to fall. But our job now is to get as many civilians as possible out of the city center and into the countryside to refugee sites. That’s all we need to know. We are the People’s shield, are we not?

Trooper-1: Any sign of enemy movement?

Commander: No reports of Western troops, but they’re the least of our concern. Less than an hour ago, a small-yield nuclear weapon was dropped on the western fringe of Pest. We’ve got a couple of hours while the iodine pills still help at all, we need to get the civilians on these trucks and moved out in by 20:00. Any longer and we risk serious complications from radiation poisoning. Are we clear?

[All twenty soldiers salute.]

Commander: Good, get moving!

[The soldiers spread out in squads of four, pounding on doors and ushering civilians towards the trucks. Hundreds of people shamble towards the vehicles in groups of two or three. Some are bleeding, some are experiencing the first stages of radiation poisoning. The soldiers help the sick and injured up into the trucks.]

Commander: [Utilizing a radio in the armored carrier.] Command. Do you read me?

[Static squeals through the speaker.]

Commander: This is Captain Kaschak, 18th squad is assisting evacuation efforts in the area around Budapest, as Contingency Plan Gamma calls for. We’ve had no word from you since the bomb fell. We could use some guidance.

[The Commander looks at his radio operator, who shakes her head.]

Commander: Keep trying them. [Checks his watch. Exits the top hatch of the carrier and stands on the roof. He yells at his troops.] That’s it, no more! We have a little more than an hour! Form up on me!

[The remaining civilians file into the trucks, which are reaching capacity.]

Commander: Comrades, that’s all we have room for! We will be back in a few hours, I will send the next platoon right here.

Civilian: Please don’t abandon us!

[Several hundred civilians start to push forward. The Commander fires his weapon in the air, causing the crowd to shrink away.]

Commander: Stop it! You’re acting like the weaklings in the West! We will protect you. But we have limits. Don’t mistake me, any person who takes one more step towards those trucks will be shot as a traitor to the State.

[The Commander turns to the truck drivers, and motions for them to carry out. He motions for his troopers, and they start filing into the carrier.]

[The civilians begin pressing in again, and the Commander starts to aim his weapon at the crowd when a brilliant flash washes out the picture from his body camera.]

Commander: What now?

[The light fades and is revealed to be a large troop carrier helicopter, elongated like a lozenge with a rotor at the front and one at the rear. Powerful spotlights illuminate the crowd. The rear rotor is smoking. The helicopter wobbles in the air, along one panel the word Mortfield is clearly visible.]

Commander: Clear the area!

[The civilians run from the square, barely clearing edges as the helicopter comes down hard, landing on its wheels but bouncing violently. Gunshots are barely audible over the rotors. As it lands, the front rotor scrapes the stone of a nearby government building, sending stone and metal fragments spinning into the crowd. Screams are faintly heard as the rotors begin to power down.]

Commander: [Looking at his squads.] Which one of your idiots fired?

[But the commander notices none of the soldiers are in a position to have fired. The gunfire, which is continuing, is coming from within the helicopter.]

[The sliding door to the helicopter bursts out off the frame, gunfire continues, lighting up the interior.]

Commander: Form up!

[His soldiers file out of the carrier and aim their weapons at the helicopter as the gunfire within ceases. A scream is heard from within.]

Commander: Steady!

Trooper-1: Who are they, captain?

[The commander shakes his head and draws his side arm, also aiming it at the helicopter. A silver skinned figure steps out of the helicopter, roughly humanoid but without any body hair or clothing. It seems to move in a fluid fashion that is hard to pick up on the body camera footage. It is covered in blood.]

[The EF soldiers open fire, including the commander. The figure shudders as the rounds impact it. It turns towards the soldiers, then the crowd cringing at the edges of the square. Its face is featureless, just the faintest impressions of facial features. The bullets have ripped through its body, as small drops of silver metal fall off onto the ground and bounce away. It hides its face from the increasing barrage and rushes towards the government building leaping onto the second-story balcony, then climbing up the face.]

[Soldiers cease fire.]

Trooper-1: Sir?

Commander: I don’t know.

Trooper-1: Should we pursue?

Commander: [Looking at his watch and shaking his head.] No time. All right, get on the carrier, boys. We’re moving out.

Trooper-1: But, sir…

Commander: I said get in the vehicle! Do I need to remind you what the punishment for disobeying orders is?

[The commander places his hand on the holstered pistol at his belt. The sergeant salutes and signals to the rest of his men.]

[The troopers get on the carrier and the trucks start moving out. The commander looks out of the top hatch as the carrier heads out of the square, staring at the rooftop. The silver skinned entity hangs from the edge of the roof, staring right back.]


Grigori Karpin

Ignota IronShears


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