The soldiers scurried about like ants in an anthill, the sirens screaming at them. From high above, missles fell to earth, shaking the ground with each small explosion. They were panicking. They were trained for this, but they were never really ready for it.
Above the crowd, in a protected dome building, the Colonel looked out of his window.
"We can't stay here any longer, Lieutenant." he told the young officer, standing at attention in front of his hardwood desk.
"I know, sir." replied the young officer. "But where will we go? They've attacked. They broke the treaty."
With every word, Lieutenant Jefferson's voice grew slightly more shrill. He was as stressed out as those soldiers on the ground; and with good reason, as he was as much to blame as any one of them if they were to die.
"Stay calm." admonished Colonel Jackson. "We'll get out of this."
What he didn't tell him was the Plutonians had not, in fact, attacked first. It hadn't been any of his men, for sure; but someone did not want peace between humans and the large, bear-like race that inhabited the tunnels below the planet. Who it was, no one could say for sure; but at least they knew where to start looking.
"Get the men back to their stations. We're going green."
"What, green?" replied his subordinant. "But that's an experimental procedure! It hasn't been tested yet!"
"It's about to be." replied the base leader promptly.
"Yes, sir." replied the young man, saluting.
After the salute had been returned and the Lieutenant had left, he stood staring out at the battlefield. He mulled over what he knew.
They had come to this planet not to fight a war, but to trade for resources. These men were not fighters, although trained they were, as all soldiers were. There was no reason for this battle to be occurring at all; but there you were.
The explosives had gone off at the exact moment. Someone had planned this well, and for a very long time.
When the lieutenant returned, he informed the leader that everyone was in their place. The word was given; the sirens began blaring "code green." As the ground shook, a half empty bottle of scotch fell from the top of a small chest in the far corner of the room, rolling across the floor while the captain steadied himself on the wall.
His foot landed on the bottle and flew out from under him. His head hit the ground with a loud crack.
When he awoke, he was in the hospital on the base. "Did it work?" were the first words out of his mouth.
"Yes." replied the Lieutenant. "Although not quite as expected."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, the nanobots were programmed to move the base in whatever way was most practical..."
"So they gave it legs." he laughed. "That's right; the whole base, every building, just got up and scuttled away."
_497 words, 20:33 minutes_