31 October 2010

CUSTOM: Part Ten-Hold Out

Another line was gone; Jamie’s back plate of her Mark VII showed the viscosity of their attack. She kept a look out while one of the medics patched up the hardsuit, and sprayed some painkillers over the gash.

“Try not to get hit here again, okay, Trooper?” She yelled over the burst of gunfire.

“Tell it to them.” The medic moved on to the next one, and Jamie picked up a Reaper and returned to her place on the wall. The attack on the lines had lessened, and that worried Jamie. Most of the time, these things came at full-tilt to kill, but now they were holding back.

She hoped that somehow, they would have been decimated and they would be forced to wait on reinforcements.

But she knew that wasn’t it.

The Nix were up to something…and since they were getting closer to the heart of the base, it was most likely the big final push to finally wiped humanity off of this moon. Jamie ignored that, and helped with the loading boxes of ammunition and first-aid supplies to these new frontlines.

Behind them was the empty settlement city of Vickers. No more civilians lived on this world, when Nix came from unexplored space, they hit Honiara Moon hard. When the military finally showed up, Vickers was empty. The Nix had dined well during those days. Now, the parks, shops, and restaurants were filled with gunfire and fires started to sweep through the urban area and dark thick pillars colored the Honiara sky.

Jamie could still hear screams coming from a fallen defense line...now deep behind enemy lines.

“Damn! Those poor sons-of-bitches!” One of the soldiers removed his helmet, and crossed himself.

“Yeah, save the last one for yourselves, brothers!”

Jamie wanted the screams to stop, for all of the Nix to just fucking die. No matter the years she spend killing them, it was never enough.

“Won’t they just eat them, and be finished with it for Christ’s sake?!”

“They like to take their time.”Jamie uttered above the cries of pain.

“How would you know, troop?” Then he looked at the LRRP patch on her chest.

“Oh, sorry, about that.” He turned his face from her.

“So, you’ve seen these things feed on people, LRRPer?” Another soldier asked.

“Yes…yes I have.” There on the old highway in the middle of Vickers, she recalled that night mission in the heart of the jungle, setting the trap with a fresh body from an Nix outpost raid. The bait had been a Custom soldier like her, but when the trauma care didn’t work, he became Nix food.

Jamie was close, with a 20mm sniper rifle pointed at it. R&D wanted one for their playpen. Her orders were to wound it. So, she had to wait, and from scope, Jamie watched it peel the skin from the body, and nibble on it.

She enjoy it watching it rolling around in pain when she one of its six legs off.

“You Jamie?” The guff hand shocked Jamie back to the grim present .

She looked at the normal human guard. “Yeah, what do you want? Wanna come out of your bubble and play with us?” The soldiers laughed.

“Get your fruit-fly ass in the dome, bitch, the General wants to see ya.” With that Jamie was stripped of her weapons, and hauled into the domed complex.

“Jamie, huh?” The face behind the visor just started at her.

“She’s a LRRP, General.”

“Huh, good…then she’s up the task.”

Jamie flashed a confused face. “Task, sir?”

“Those fuckers have the moon, Jamie, we’re bugging out, but you and yours have to hold the ground here for us to evac to the Bashar.” She watched the human staff drain the computers, running scare to the launch pads, while attempting to don the environmental suits.

A pale white techie handed the general a small box with a number of lights on it. “It’s ready, sir.”

“Quick work, Sparks!” Jamie noticed the swear building in his face and the tremor in his voice. She wondered if had ever pulled the trigger on a Nix before. He slapped the device into her hand, and then tapped it down. “This is a dead hand trigger, soldier. When you flatline, so does the cold fusion reactor under Victors.”

“Sir-” Her tone was of protest. But the general wasn’t playing. He whipped out a shatter and leveled at her helmet.

“Listen to me, fruit-fly, you’re supposed to be here, fighting, we’re moving on. When you die, and you will, you’re going to radiate those bastards. They want this moon, and we’ll give it to them with a fresh mushroom cloud!” He lowered the weapon.

“You got me, soldier?”

Jamie took a moment to digest what was in her hand. “Yessir.” He holstered his weapon, and forked over Jamie’s confiscated Reaper.

“Good luck, Jamie, I shall remember you.” The personal escorts of the general kept their weapons trained on Jamie until the airlock cycled, and the command staff and slimy company reps board one of the last shuttles. She watched them, in their suits trying to move around and suddenly she was grateful for her new customized body.

“Fuck you very much, General.”

She sat down in the soft leather chair in the general’s office. She took out the bottle of Scotch in his lower desk drawer. Fished out a glass and several ice cubes, and processed to drink with one hand, while the other held the key to doomsday.

She drank until she was numb, and didn’t even feel the violent vibration of the shuttles taking off.

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