08 September 2010

CUSTOM: Part Six-Triage

Jamie was awake jolted and she fully expected to be in purgatory, but instead she was a gel-filled triage-bed. Jamie shot up, and Jamie was instantly being pushed back into the bed by strong hands.

“Easy, Custom, you’re fine now.” Above her saw the face of exhaustion. She stopped struggling and noticed the messy hair, pale skin, and stained uniform

Busy time to be a medic, she thought


“Sandy.” The medic barely moved her mouth as she said it. Jamie started to sit up slowly this time and soreness danced through her chest.

“That Nix sure liked you, troop.” The medic mocked.

“I’m pretty tasty.” Jamie tired to smile through the bitter spent feeling. “Am I clear to return to duty?”

Sandy made a puzzled face. “Don’t you wanna rest, troop?”

“No time the line’s about to collapse.” Jamie steadied herself as she stood, and darted her eyes around for her kit.

“All right,” The medic sighed, “new hardsuits around the corner, the old ones are outside to be sent to the recyclers.” Jamie nodded, and slapped on a fresh uniform. All around her was horror. Despite the hardsuit, the Nix biological weapons took a bloody toll on them. One quick slash could cut an armored custom in half.

Jamie had been fighting on this moon for years, but hospitals always left her feeling wrecked. Everywhere her eyes fell, there was a Custom suffering. Screams, prayers, and alarms filled her ears, and made her twitch.

“Code!” FUCK!” “We’ve gotta code!!” The medic took off for the coding patient, and Jamie felt herself go green and pale as she watched them work on the broken body. She took off running for the exit and only stopped once the sun hit her face. Jamie felt instantly better, more whole, and more alive, knowing that she wasn’t going to die in underground aide station.

Her hands dug through the piles of hardsuits gathered around the entrance, scouring for her old suit, all while cursing the Nix that slashed the armor. She had just got this one the way she liked it! She finally found it and salvaged the cross that her mother had given her just before she was hauled away to basic. Jamie took a moment to remember her mother, and what the cross had symbolized. Jamie had seen too much death to believe in religious meaning, but she could still believe in her mother’s love.

She wiped her wet eyes, and pulled on a new Mark VII armor, and attached the cross while, walking towards the ridge, as artillery landed close by. More Custom soldiers ran to the trenches where she had been wounded. All around her was a sea of activity

It was the big push.

A temporary armory had been set up just on the ridge. While she waited in line, she could see the flood of organic warriors, fireballs, and muzzle flashes. It was a chaotic scene as the armory techs threw Reapers and Shatter pistols at the soldiers. Jamie gathered up her weapons and watched the techs beginning to load a drum for their own Atchisson.

While she slapped in a fresh magazine of flechettes, and loaded her sidearm, Jamie was engulfed in a legion of other Custom soldiers running for the trenches. Everyone had panic running through them, this is how it always happened. The Nix got their shit together, and decided to make a coordinated assault, devastated the major military installations.

Jamie’s mind flashed back when she was stationed at Aquila base. It didn’t exist anymore; it was a tomb for those that bought time for the evac…. She had lost some good friends there. It still plagued her nights.

Jamie got a rolling pit of acid where stomach should be once she saw how far back they had been pushed back. There was a sense deep within her that told her that this was the end.

“So good of you to join us, Jamie!” Hissed Mariam as Jamie took her position on the line.

“Damn girl!” Jamie shot back. “Did you see what that fucker did to my foot?!”

“Excuses Jamie, excuses.”


“Shhh!” Tom said.

“What the hell, dude?!”

“Listen! What’s that whistling noise?” Jamie and Mariam turned up their audio pickups, and they too heard the whistling.

“Reminds me when I was on the archery team in high school.” Said Mariam.

“I don’t think-”

It was the point-defense laser lens that opened up first, tracking and taking out something from the skies. The cracking of the invisible beams striking their target rumbled down to Jamie’s hardsuit.

It wasn’t enough.

Four foot spikes rained down on the trenches at terrifying speed, the skies darkened with the biological hailstorm. Jamie was splashed with Mariam’s hot blood, throwing Jamie down into the trench wall. She hugged it for dear life, screaming in her helmet while pained cries bounced over her.

She could feel the thump of bodies next to her; she closed her eyes and waited for the bombardment to stop.

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