19 November 2010

CUSTOM: Part 11-Dead Man's Trigger

She woke up to pounding on the hatch. In an alcohol soaked fog, she scooped her flechette rifle, and stumbled to the airlock.

Who the hell was this?!

Pounding on the small pothole was a blooded fist, and Jamie shot back with weapon trained on the pothole.

“PLEASE LET ME IN! FOR GOD’S SAKE, PLEASE!” That sobered her right up, with one hand on her weapon, she keyed opened the hatch. The wounded soldier fell into the airlock, flipped around and sprayed the Nix that chased him. Before he could put one of them down, it sliced leg, cutting it into a jagged bloody spraying wound.

Jamie re-sealed the hatch, dragging the wounded Custom into the command room. He begged for his mother and morphine with howling screams that echoed throughout the empty room. Jamie injected the morphine, applied a pressure bandage on the spraying wound, and held the trooper.

She held him until he stopped screaming, until he stopped breathing…until he was cold.

Then the pounded started again. This time it was not a human fist that bashed on the airlock, and she knew it was just a matter of time now. Waves of deep sadness washed over her, for the Nix to be at the airlock, meant that every defense lines were crushed.

Then one thought bolted through her: I’m last Custom on the entire Honiara Moon and here is was the final ground,

With the last of the General’s Scotch, she honored the soldier under a sheet on the cold metal floor of this domed building. With the last drop of the harsh drink, the full weight of the situation fell on her. The Nix had taken Vickers, and the compounds robot cannons were dry, the shuttles were gone. The airlock doors were fortified with every goddamn piece of furniture in the dome. She prepared with every weapon locked and loaded around the room for the moment when they broke though.

It only took them an hour to punch through both doors. Jamie was ready with are automatic shotgun. When the door collapsed from the body slams of the Nix phalanx, Jamie fired, jammed up the door with bodies, trapping them inside the corridor. Dozens died before they could even enter the room.

She could not hold them off forever, and when they spread out, she tossed grenades, and laid down buckshot. Their death-wails indoors nearly shattered her helmet.

When one weapon was dry, she rushed to another stashed around the command center. Each time, Jamie was sure that the Nix would get her, and perform their horrific slice-and-dice.

When every weapon was depleted, she drew her last weapon, her trusty pistol, and unloaded on the nearest Nix.

But one outflanked her.

The claw swept up, tossing Jamie’s .410. It was gone. The creature followed it up by another claw sliced to the inside of her legs, sending her down. That was normally the end of a Custom trooper, but she fought back with a knife in one hand slashing in blind terror and the dead man trigger in the other. But another claw savagely diced her armor, and spilling out her large intestine into her hands.

Death was near.

“This is my world, asshole.” She pushed down the trigger.

The Bashar saw the nuclear mushroom cloud while waiting in low orbit. The Captain scrolled around her expansive bridge, looking at the banks of projected holo-screens.

“Report, Mr. Hikaru.”

“Total loss, Vickers is a smoking hole.”

“Any sign of survivors?” The Captain had once been a hot-stick dropship pilot; she had pulled many asses out of the fire. That made her always had concern over the Customs that were left in the field.

“Couple of fruit-flies are fighting in an outline jungle station.”

The Captain spun around and leveled a finger at the sensor officer. “Customs, Mr. Hikaru! Watch your tongue!” He looked down sheepishly.

“Sorry, Ma’am.” Hikaru was red from embarrassment.

“Have a couple of supply modules dropped.” She knew that it would not do much good, the fight was lost on the ground below, but she felt if anyone was left down there, than food, water, and bullets was the least she could do.

“Ms. Hughes,” Spoke the Captain with a grave voice while checking her watch. “All shuttle accounted for?”

“Yes, Ma’am, everything is locked down for departure.”

“Break orbit, Ms. Hughes, spin up the drives, the Nix has won here.”

“Course, Captain?”

“Plot a jump to Rub' al Khali.” She tapped on her PDA and signed when she saw that the fresh batch of Customs in the cryo-bay. They had never been deployed per her judgment of not sending more lives into a lost battle on the moon.

“The Nix are hitting us hard there, so have bio-med adjust the cryo Customs’ genes for desert warfare.” The Captain ordered to Ms. Hughes.

“Sir!” The Captain starred at the lust jungle green covering the small world, and their retreat from another battlefield, as the Bashar broke orbit. She was all too aware that this could not continue, losing planet after planet to them. Soon, her side needed a victory.

Maybe at Rub’ al Khali will be a victory…she thought as the massive warship leaped away.

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