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Old 03-12-2000, 01:25 AM   #1   [permalink]
BigShot Jordan
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CANNON FODDER




Know your place, Know your job, Know your enemy. Live to fulfill your duty. And shoot without question.



It was morning. The old alarm clock ticked until the hand struck 7:00AM. The alarm then rang loudly and woke up the sleeping boy. However he didn’t want to get up so he continued sleeping. “That alarm clock sounds like a million cannons”, he whispered to himself. But then with the loud voice of his mom yelling, “Wake up! You'll be late for school”, he flung the white sheets over himself and let out a yawn as loud as a lion’s. He slowly stretched out his arms and legs and then placed his feet onto the cold green tile of his small and dirty room. It was hard to even live in this house with the smell of gasoline and gunpowder everywhere. The room was small. There was only enough space for his clothes, a desk, a bed, and a small bookcase. The boy began to stretch some more and stall as much as he could because he hated school. Then he heard his dad say,” Is Noh still asleep? He better not be”. Noh then forgot about stalling and quickly put on his school uniform that was hanging on a rack next to his bed. It was quite a dull uniform. The only color that it had on it was green. It was also done in a military style so the top covered up anyone’s entire body. Noh was a rather short and fat boy. He had blond hair done in a crew cut, stumpy legs, and small eyes that you could hardly see on his face if you didn’t look hard enough.

Once he had his uniform put on, he grabbed his red helmet and walked out of his room buttoning his uniform. Pretty much his whole house was a big machine. There were vents and pipes everywhere that let out steam every few moments or so. This was a high-powered city. Everything was run by steam or electricity. His house was also not made of wood. It was made of metal for shielding against the enemy. As he stepped out of his room he stopped in front of a large painting. This was a painting of the great cannon firer, the great tall man who leads the city’s war against the enemy. Noh stood up straight and brought his feet together. ”Ten-hut,” he said while saluting the picture. Immediately after he said that a big gust of steam spewed from one of the pipes next to him. This startled Noh so he looked down the large hall behind him. It was a hallway with no pictures on the side. The only things that were on the metal wall were pipes and vents. His mom steeped out from the end of the wall and said loudly,” Hurry up for breakfast”. The boy then placed a smile on his chubby face and danced down the hall saying, ”Yesssssssssssssss”, trying to imitate an airplane. Once he got to the end of the hall he then stopped suddenly and began to march militantly to impress his parents. His mom thought of him as a runt and a failure. She always thinks that he is never going to be successful in the world. She cares deeply for him, but she hardly ever shows it. Noh’s dad hardly ever talks. He was a tall and skinny man with a large nose and a wrinkled face. Every morning he just sat down at the table and read the newspaper.

As Noh walked up to his mom and said, “Good morning”, all she did was walk away from him to put some dirty plates away and then grab something to eat for Noh and his father. As the mother walked towards the table with some pancakes and toast she said to Noh, “why don’t you wake up earlier, you silly kid. Every other boy in this city is attending morning school Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Even if it’s not required, the teachers are there for you. From now on it’s going to affect you. What’s most important is that you become eligible for a scholarship. Tuition is going up and dad will never get a bonus”. She then put the food on the table and Noh began to eat as fast as he could because he knew that he was going to be late for the train and, let alone, school. Dad didn’t want anything. He just covered up his face with the paper. Once Noh finished he said to his mom, ”mom, listen mom, I want a Musical Helmet! Musical Helmet!”

His mom turned back to him as she walked away with his plate and said,” those are not allowed. PTA has outlawed them”.


“ But everybody else is wearing them, like that kid at the next desk to me”, Noh answered back.

The mom just walked into the kitchen to grab their lunches. As she grabbed the lunches she said to Noh,” You never listen to what your parents tell you to do. Your grades never improve. You never attended morning school for help. You will never get the scholarship. You always ask for such things and you never wonder why you ever get them. Right dad?”

Dad put down the paper and said, ”that’s right”. Right after he said that he turned on the T.V. for the morning news. He had perfect timing. The news started right when he pressed the power button. A short man in a military uniform came on and said,” Today we have wind from the south, strength is five, and there is absolutely no possibility of rain”. Right after the news man said that, mother came back with their lunches.” Here you go”, she said as she handed the lunches to both of them.

“Yes”, they both said. Noh jumped from his seat at the table and ran as fast as he could to the door. A few more gusts of steam blew from the pipes and vents, hissing as it came out. He ran through the gusts until he reached the brown metal door.

“If you don’t hurry, dad, we’ll miss train#7”,said Noh nervously and hurriedly.

With that, his dad turned off the T.V and walked slowly up to the rack next to the table to get his coat. He always wore a dark brown coat. It had buttons down the middle and long sleeves. It was kind of like a miniature trench coat. Once he put his arms through the sleeves, he walked faster towards the door, which was about 15 feet away from where he was standing. “Hurry, hurry, hurry”, panted Noh as dad walked to the door.

Once he reached the door he pressed a button next to the side of it. This button opened the door and revealed an elevator. They both stepped into it and they said to mother,” we’re off to shoot”.
The door closed and they went down slowly to the first floor. They looked out the window at the large city. It was filled with large metal buildings. Each building had at least 10 cannons attached to it’s roof. Noh guided his eyes to a large steel dome. This dome was the place of the great cannon#16, the place where his dad worked as a cannon loader. Once they reached the bottom, the door opened and they both stepped out onto the street of the big cannon city. Dad went left to the train and Noh went to the right side of the street to school .

The streets were full of litter and pollution, the smell of gas was unavoidable, and the hard rock that it was made of hurt your feet no matter what type of shoe you wore. Bums and beggars sat against the walls of the buildings waving cans of coins. In the midst off all of this Noh ran as fast as his tiny legs could get him. As he ran down the street he heard the sound of a siren blow across the city. A few seconds after the siren blew, the shadow of #16’s towering cannon barrel glided itself against most of the buildings. Noh didn’t stop to look at the gigantic phenomenon. He just ran and ran until he reached the school building called “Cannon University”.

Dad arrived at work from train#7. As the train reached the port the conductor said,” This is the west 16th station. 16th cannon tower, 16th cannon tower. Shoot and blast for our city. Shoot and blast for our city”. He got off with at least a dozen others and entered the changing room in front of him. It was a small bathroom that led into 16’s main loading area. As he went in to change he heard other workers talking about him. One man said,”8th cannon labor screwed up big time”.

“What happened?”, said another man changing into his uniform.

“He messed up with the cannon loading yesterday and the day before that. If this keeps up….”, answered the other man.

Dad didn’t pay attention to the talks any longer. It just made him nervous. It might make him make another mistake again. He went to his orange locker #8. He opened the locker by turning the dial to the numbers of his locker combination. When the locker opened he reached in for his uniform and gas mask. He threw the uniform under himself and pulled it up to his waist so he could strap it on. Before he put on his helmet he saw a instructor walk by and say loudly,” five minutes until suit up is over. There is no time for rest. There is no winning for those who don’t follow the rules. Now continue”.

The instructor then walked out of the door that lead to the loading area. Dad nervously grabbed his mask and strapped it onto his face. It was a mask that matched the color of his suit and had large goggles. This mask protected workers from the toxic fumes that unleash when the cannon fires. Once he had the mask on he quickly shut his locker door and ran out of the locker room into where the great cannon#16 awaited him, a phenomenon of human creation.

Noh was at school doing his usual lessons on the way the great cannons work. They studied no math, they studied no English, the only thing that was important was firearms and cannons. Cannons were the only things that were important to the city. Noh sat on a steel desk. It was hard to get comfortable because the material was almost impossible to be comfortable. Noh’s classroom was made up of about 22 children, each one dressed in the military school uniform. The room was dusty, old, and falling apart. You could barely walk anywhere without stepping on a loose board or into a crack. Noh was about to fall asleep on his desk when his teacher slapped his stick onto the blackboard saying, “...and so, we can calculate the target's location through triangulation by using sine, cosine, and tangent functions. The science teacher will explain this later.” After the teacher said that Noh looked out the window to the right of him where his father worked. It was cannon#16, the colossal weapon of mass destruction.

Cannon#16 was being cleaned at the moment. All of the cannon laborers gathered around the cannon and began to wipe it with rags. These rags got rid of all dirt that stuck to the cannon. After about five minutes the cannon was cleaned and ready to be loaded with the gigantic shell. An intercom turned on and said,” order has arrived, target angle 2:15 o'clock, vertical angle 42 degrees.”

After that was said an instructor came towards the cannon and looked up at the workers that finished cleaning the cannon. He cleared his throat and then yelled up to them, “ Everybody set !? Finish up and load the cannon shell!”

The workers ran down the staircase that brought them to the loading area of the 200-foot high cannon. A large crane came towards the workers with the shell. It was a heavy shell so the crane’s holding devices struggled to keep the cannon’s shell upright without it falling down. Once the shell was directly above the loading wagon a worker walked near the crane and said,” Get the shell down.”

“ Shell coming down”, the man inside the crane replied.

The crane let off a big puff of steam from one of It’s pipes and the shell slowly made it’s way down to the loading cart. Once the shell was correctly placed in the red metal cart, the hooks on the crane detached and the shell dropped onto the cart. The crane then drove away to somewhere away from the cannon. A group of four workers gathered to the back of the cart and pushed the cart into the cannon so the shell could be fired.

“ The bullet is set, control room”, said a man to the control room above the cannon.

“ Alright, lets move this cannon up to aiming position”, said one of the men in the control room.

The cannon lifted it’s barrel into the aiming position. It’s mighty red barrel was glowing in the rays of the sun making an almost blinding affect.

“Okay, move the cannon into the confirmed angle of 2:15, minus 0.2 accounting for the weather. Then move the cannon 42 degrees and adjust the cannon +0.1 degrees”, said the control room man again.

The cannon did exactly as the man said. Everybody went down the stairs to get off the cannon. As they reached the bottom they stood in amazement at the mighty structure, glaring at what they have created out of their insignificant lives. Steam and smoke almost covered the entire area inside the dome. An intercom came on again and said,” the cannon is now ready to fire. Everybody must now evacuate”.

The workers ran in panic to the nearest exit out of the area. Each man ran until he came to a metal door where he could get out. Once the last man ran to one of the exit doors and got out, the great cannon firer would come out and fire the cannon with great honor and pride. All of the men looked out the windows of the upper floors to watch the cannon firer do his duties. They all stood there waiting for him to come out with great excitement and anticipation.

Out of a tunnel came the great cannon firer. He was a small chubby man with a twirled mustache below his pointy nose. He walked with honor in a white military uniform that was completely covered with medals and honorary ribbons. Cannon firing was a place of high status in the society and the man was treated with the highest amount of respect possible. As he marched to the lift that would carry him to the firing pad everyone else had there eyes staring at him without a hint of blinking or movement. They all had their eyes on him and only him.

He reached the lift and walked onto the pad as the gate let him in. the pipes below the lift let out a puff of steam and then hurriedly carried him up to the cannon. As he was carried up the serious expression on his face was as flat as stone. There was no movement what so ever in his posture and stance. Once the lift made it’s way up to the top of the cannon the man stepped out and marched to the cannon firing control. He came to a stop and put on his protective gas mask then clicked the buttons on his shoulder and swung his red cape of him. He came to a solute stance and then pressed the firing button on the control panel in front of him.

“Fire!!”, he yelled and the cannon let off a large explosion of smoke and fire. The blast sounded like all of the thunder ever made roaring at once in one concealed room. A huge gust of smoke came out of the barrel and covered almost the entire city with it and the smell of gunpowder. The smoke blew really fast and then slowed down as the shell went flying hundreds and hundred of feet into the blue sky.

After the cannon fired all of the workers inside all of the buildings cheered
by raising their arms up and yelling. Even if the people didn’t fell like cheering they were forced to do it. Noh’s mom was in one of the buildings. She hated cheering for something she didn’t like to cheer about, war. She saw that a person in front was not cheering. The women in front of her just stood up straight and had her arms folded across her chest. Noh’s mom didn’t want any trouble to start with all the instructors around so she patted her on the back and told her that she had to cheer or she would be arrested. The lady agreed and pretended to cheer even though she didn’t care about the cannons successful firing. After the cheering stopped an instructor came by everyone in the building and said loudly,” That’s the lunch break. Everyone must now finish eating quickly and return to their stations. There is no time for breaks when fighting against the enemy. There is no conquest without labor”. The ladies then put their arms down and returned to their work as ammunition builders.


The barrel was being cleaned with a gigantic cleaning device for a second firing. The workers removed the giant device and said that the barrel cleaning was complete. The crane came by again and lowered another shell down to the loading cart. A group containing Noh’s father and 3 other workers came over to the cart to assist the lowering. Once the crane released the shell and fell into the cart the force caused by it made Noh’s father lose his balance and fall onto the cold concrete. His mask fell off when he made the fall also. An instructor ran up to Noh’s dad who was lying on the floor and yelled angrily to him,” You stupid fool!!! What the devil were you thinking? As a punishment your family will remain outside. One small mistake can escalate into one big problem. Now get up to the cannon!! The great firer is about to come for the second and final firing”.

Noh’s father ran as fast as he could to where the workers lined up for the final firing next to where the great cannon firer pushed the button. Once he reached everyone he hurriedly ran to the end of the horizontal line in which everyone was standing on. He looked below him and he saw the great cannon firer heading upwards to where he and the other workers were. He looked to the right of himself at the other workers. He noticed their uniforms and how different his looked from theirs. Once he turned his head back to the front of himself a big strike of fear ran through his head. He knew the reason why his uniform looked so different. He had just noticed that he had no gas mask! It fell off of his head when he fell onto the ground. He had no idea what was going to happen if he even sniffed the fumes that released when the cannon fired. But he couldn’t run away. The punishment for running away is even worse than death itself. He just stood up straight as if he didn’t think any thing was wrong. A tear slowly ran down the side of his face as the great cannon firer approached the firing control panel.

The cannon firer marched up to the control panel without a wise look on his funny looking face. Noh’s father was sweating so badly, it was like bullets were coming down from the top of his head. Once the great cannon firer yelled,” Fire!!!” , Noh’s father couldn’t take his fear anymore. He went out of attention stance and plugged his ears. He shoved his fingers into his ear holes as far as he could. Once the cannon fired a whole hurricane of smoke surrounded him. He took his fingers out of his ears in the midst of all the chaos of the blast and plugged his nose. He didn’t want to inhale any fumes from the firing. After about 20 minutes the smoke that blew around him cleared and he found himself on the top of a cannon with no one around him. The workers must have all went home considering after the second firing work was over. He got up from his crouched position and dusted the filth off of his watch to reveal that it was 6 O’clock. Once he saw the time on his watch he ran down the steps of the cannon and out the door to his home.

The sun settled slowly over the city creating an orange and yellow color over all of the cannon equipped buildings. It was quite a beautiful site for such a filthy city. Noh’s family had just finished dinner. Mom was cleaning the dishes, dad was watching the news, and Noh was drawing with crayons on a wooden circular shaped table. The news man on the t. v. picked up a white sheet of paper and read,” Cannon 7 shot 3, Cannon 8 and 10 both shot 1, Cannon 15 and 17 shot 4. As for damages done to the enemy's moving city: 5 big hits, 7 medium hits, 2 small hits, and 1 direct hit. Once again, we've done great damage to them. Our victory is close! This month's slogan: Blast away for the sake of our city! Blast away for the sake of our city! “

Once the newsman was done, a comedy show came on called “ Cannon Family”. The actors on the screen were not very funny. The only things that they mainly said were,” Kaboom! Kaboom! But that's not it, so I shot the cannon...”

“Not the cannon family again, kaboom kaboom. What a stupid show”, said Noh who was looking at the t. v. and then turned to his dad who was drinking some coffee. Noh noticed that he was covered with filth. Noh then said to his father,” Dad, who are we fighting against anyway? Who is the enemy? How come the only thing are city talks about is cannons and war? How come we fight against an enemy that we can’t even see? How come they are our enemy if we don’t even know who they are or what they do? …”

“Be quiet”, his dad interrupted while putting down his coffee mug,” You’ll…umm…find out when you’re older, now go to bed before your mother and I get angry”.

“YESSIR!!”, replied Noh.

Noh laid down his crayon drawing and ran to his room imitating an airplane. Noh’s father picked up the drawing. It was a picture of Noh as a cannon firer with a happy smile on his face. When Noh reached the end of the hallway that led to his room he stopped in front of the portrait of the great cannon firer. He gazed up at every aspect of the oil painting that was 4 times his own height. Noh raised his hand up to his forehead and saluted the painting saying,” when I grow up I want to be a cannon firer and not a cannon loader like my father. Ten-hut! “.

After he saluted the portrait Noh walked into his room, took off his uniform, and changed into his night clothing which was just a large white t-shirt. The smell of gunpowder and gasses still filled the house but Noh had gotten used to it. He hopped onto his bed and wrapped his body with his sheets. As he tried to fall asleep he couldn’t help but wonder why the city was fighting an enemy that they don’t necessarily know exists at all. He also wondered if they were even an enemy at all. But after he put his head onto his pillow he forgot these thoughts and started to try and fall asleep again. It didn’t matter what he thought. He was just a child with a dream, a dream that he would become the great cannon firer and run the city as he wanted too. It would be a city of peace and not war. But once Noh fell asleep another cannon firing siren went off and a red bright light flashed through his window. The night shift was ready to fight against the enemy, the enemy that exists only in themselves and to themselves.





-FIN-










































[Edited by BigShot Jordan on 01-01-2001 at 08:15 AM]
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Old 22-03-2001, 01:22 AM   #2   [permalink]
BigShot Jordan
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Unhappy

c'mon,someone has too read it...
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Old 22-04-2001, 09:44 PM   #3   [permalink]
BigShot Jordan
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read this fic you sons-a-bitches. I know where you live!!!!!!!!

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