Jamie’s vision was blasted white by the muzzle flashes of the rifle. She pounded hypervelocity darts at the rushing Nix. She screamed, it screamed.
There was nothing left to do but fire in a desperate attempt to kill them, and escape. Her mind raced has she loaded another magazine of metal darts. The Jeep was totaled, they were far from Vickers, and the Mix were many.
Everything was a blur of movement. Jamie was sure her life was over.
“EVAC! WE NEED EVAC!” Yelled her CO over his boom-mike. He and Jamie locked eyes, and he saw her ass in the mud.
“JAMIE! GET ON YOUR FEET NOW!” He pulled the Custom up one-handed; bewildered, Jamie looked around to get her bearings. The Jeep was their only cover. Several torn bodies were scattered around, and everyone else was firing in every direction, trying to make it back to the vehicle.
She could smell the jungle tainted with fresh blood, and that odor that the Nix gave off.
“Jamie, in the Jeep, get the ammo boxes, flares, and trauma kits!” She rushed to the vehicle, and scoured the wreck of twisted metal. The reports of the Reaper rifles got closer, as she launched her armored body into the twisted frame.
“Ammo first!”She tossed out the metal boxes of flechettes and grenades. They were immediately broken open by her comrades
The radio finally cracked to life. “Echo 4-19, this is Wireless, what’s your status?” There CO huddled down by the Jeep, and screamed into his mike. “We need gunships! NOW! Command! NOW!”
“Roger that, Echo 4-19, Weanoc gunships en-route. Eleven minutes until they’re on-site.” The CO lifted himself out of the mud, and fired into the intense night jungle.
“Gunships in eleven, people! Hold the line!” Jamie jammed another mag into her nearly over-heated rifle. Every surviving soldier asked themselves if they could make it.
The CO was the first to go down. The Nix had gotten wise; they outflanked the Customs, and then hit them where they were not firing. It was an old trick that still worked. He was busy barking orders, loading, and throwing grenades, when one of them rushed him from behind. He was screaming before anyone noticed the claw through his center mass. Jamie was the closest; she unloaded her rifle, then her pistol into the black crab-like creature. The CO howled as his bright blood trail disappeared into the dense tree line.
The few Customs left pulled back to the flipped over Jeep, throwing shrapnel grenades, and touching the trees with Greek-fire flame throwers. The shadows in the jungle screamed out from the flames were signaling clearly to the Weanoc tilt-rotors their location.
Jamie watched another die in front of her, Brewer, who had been the first in camp to welcome her off the shuttle when she arrived, was cut into three chunks by a suicidal Nix warrior. Jamie blew it to pieces, before it could haul off its protein prize.
“Fuck this!” She wiped Brewer’s blood off her helmet, and dug out the screamer mines.
The screamer’s ultra-sonic pitch was the only thing that drove those goddamned crab-things back into the bush.
The screamers held them off.
But they didn’t last long, the batteries drained quickly when covering a wide area.
Jamie didn’t care. It did the trick.
The whoop-whoop sound of the four tilt-rotor blades finally became clear over the gunfire, and Jamie’s eyes became wet with relief when it hovered near the Jeep.
The survivors piled into the rotor, with machine-gun fire raking the grass. White phosphorus grenades lobbied into the jungle, as the heavy vehicle lifted toward Vickers. Jamie collapsed into a seat, and took an energy drink from the door gunner; exhausted beyond belief
She hated the Nix, Honiara, and this goddamn alien bush that covered everything. Before the can was drained, Jamie was asleep.
Part three "F.O.B" in one week