21 September 2010

Custom-Part Seven: "Darts Down Range!"

All Jamie could smell, while huddled in the wet dirt was fresh blood, in her fractured mind; there was no doubt that the Nix biological artillery bombardment had reaped a heavy toll on the line.

A brutish hand excavated Jamie from her cowering position, and pushed her back on the wall. Ibanez loomed behind her with his officer pistol trained at her head.

“HOLD THE LINE! NO ONE RUNS OR I’LL FUCKING SHOOT YOU MYSELF!” Jamie deliberated which would be a better death, his pistol or a Nix claw? The devilish streaming blaze of flamethrowers further down the line broke her thought.

“Here they come!” Someone shouted.

“Darts downrange!” The line of Custom soldier responded Ibanez’s order with the almost musically rattle of gunfire pouring into onslaught of Nix warriors. There was no need for Jamie to aim; the thick murderous swarm cast darkness in the horizon.

The Nix did not waver from their fanatical drive, despite the wall of gunfire. Jamie nearly shit herself from the sheer sight, and shaking from icy fear, she fired her weapon until the aroma of warped metal emanated from the barrel.

The alien horde did not just scramble for the trench line, some leapt over the hail of lead, directly into the trenches. From the Customs’ point-of-view, the threat of death was everywhere, in front as well, as behind. This tactic divided the attention of the soldiers, and decreased the level of fire.

That gave the enemy a crack in the defenses to pour through like a flood. The satanic Nix legions were everywhere at once.

Among them, next to them and on top of them. Soldiers were dying, body parts flying everywhere. Jamie, filled with icy panic, abandoned her position for higher ground.

With the primitive overpowering desire for survival fueling Jamie, she spun around, and scouted out an escape route avoiding Ibanez. She would not have to worry about him, a Nix straddled his eviscerated body, scooping out his large intestines.

She swept her auto-shotgun, tearing its exoskeletons into shreds. When one died, three more jumped from over the top of the trench, and flicked their claws. When the shotgun clicked empty, Jamie cursed wildly, jetting a snap kick into one rushing Nix, and worked on the pack with her .410 pistol. When that quickly ran out, she grabbed a Reaper rifle from a dead hand.

As the Honiara sky turned dark, the Nix withdrew from the trenches, and Jamie followed the general retreat of soldiers.

“What the hell?” Jamie asked. “They had us!”

“That’s a bad sign.” Beth whispered

“Maybe it’s-”

A whistling cracked through the smoky air, and acid shot through Jamie’s stomach when she realized that it was sound of the spikes. This propelled the soldiers to seek any cover.

In the distance, the automated laser point-defense lens tracked and fired at the incoming alien projectiles. In the mud of the trenches, Jamie could hear the booming of the beams and the snap of an interception. There were too many for the targeting software to cope with through, and a steady hail of these projectiles landed on the trenches.

One rolled into the trench next to Jamie. Jamie pointed her pistol at it, but did not fire. Her mind struggled to identify it. It was not a spike, but a ball.

“What the hell is it?” Nicky asked

“Maybe the Nix is throwing their basketballs at us!” One soldier poked at it with his Reaper.

It flew open and sprayed thick goo over everyone in range.

“FUCK!” Screamed out Mariam clawing at her eyes. “It burns!”

“Kill it!”

Jamie had a permeation of death stalking her. If it’s Nix, she told herself, it means only death.

When Beth pulled the trigger, the entire trench became a gauntlet of flames. Jamie turned her back to the fireball, and witnessed soldiers rolling on the ground trying to put themselves out. Jamie tried to help Beth, but the Nix made their move. Confusion mixed with automatic weapons made for a goddamn disaster. In such close quarters, the darts meant for the Nix were tearing up soldiers instead.

There was nothing Jamie could do, but save herself by seeking higher ground. Everyone that she knew on this moon was burned to death, and her mouth felt lined with ashes…the ashes of their defeat…

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