24 October 2010

Custom-Part 9: Mad Minute

The last of the Custom defenders were packed behind hastily constructed defense walls, while black crab-like monsters swept through the last human outpost. Anyone unlucky enough to not escape their charge was being consumed; Jamie tried not to hear their screams reverberate through the empty buildings.

Jamie slumped down from the line, racked with fresh pain from her previous injury, but she was washed in thick dark depression as the pain pills wore off.

Nothing mattered anymore; she thought in that dark moment of her life…Wireless Ridge had fallen.

They had been pushed back to the command staff’s complex, and while they fought, the Terrans that ran the war from their hermetically sealed domes. They were soft rear-echelon Terrans could not breathe the air, and cowered as they dictated the war from their domes.

In all of Jamie’s years of duty on this moon, she had never seen a Terran outside of their domes. But now, she could clearly see that Terrans were trying to make their escape to the warship in low-orbit. The shuttles were being raised onto the launch pads, and then attached to booster rockets. Those great machines that would lift them to safety, leaving the people like Jamie here in the shit.

The Customs had once been Terran, Jamie thought as she examined her camouflaged skin. But, when the draft collectors came around at eighteen, she didn’t have a choice, when they altered her DNA to the point where Earth was now foreign soil. What disturbed her more was the news feeds about former colonies being transformed into armed camps, each a barrier to the Nix incisions into human space and manning these militarized colonies were the former colonial civilians of military service age. The colonists were shipped up from their colony, surgically customized and implanted with training then send back to the front. All while their families were hauled back to Sol, never to see each other again.

Such was the price of protecting the human race, Jamie scoured.

“Where the hell are they?” Someone asked, breaking Jamie’s dark thoughts.

“Maybe they got fattened up on our friends, and they’re taking a siesta!” Another one joked.

“You’re a sick fuck, Rojas.”

“No, someone planted screamers in the gap over there.” Jamie piped up. “They’re finding a way around them.”

“How do you know, troop?”

“I saw them doing it, they bought us time.”

“Yeah, like we’re buying time for them” He point back to the dome complex.

“My respect to the combat engineers.” Said another soldier.

“We need some more tanks.” Jamie turned to see the remains of the Wattman tanks that were now being picked over by the Nix. Sniper took out a few of them, but the streets of Vickers were covered in a black moving carpet of homicidal crabs.

Only the small screen of screamer cones kept them at bay from the Customs’ lines.

“How long on the batteries?” One of the soldiers asked Jamie.

“About six more minutes.”

Everyone heard the exchange, then checked their weapons, because there that was the only thing they could do. Jamie set her HUD to flash a countdown. When the number burned down to zero, she cocked her Reaper and pointed down range.

It only took a few minutes for the Nix to overwhelm the line; Jamie fired her Reaper until the barrel was red. One damn fool, pulling the pin off a grenade and trying to toss it, a Nix claw plunged into his chest rolled a live grenade into the line of soldiers.


She leaped from the grenade, trying to clear the explosive radius.

It was stupid move.

The concussive forced threw hard into the street hard, and the Nix were merciless in their pursuit. Before her feet were under her, the Nix swung, connecting with the back armor plate. It ripped off with some flesh. She rolled to keep the wound from the excited monster.

They loved the smell of their enemy’s blood.

With a few shells left in her Atchisson, she put down a Nix in mid-leap. More rushed over the undefended barrier, killing anyone that stood their ground, like waves of flood water. When the shotgun clicked dry, Jamie pushed the stubby barrier of her pistol to her temple, realizing that it was over for her

Jamie had made a promise to herself; she would never be eaten by one of those fuckers.

Before her watering eyes, 40mm grenades landed along the wall, driving back the monsters in a burst of high explosive salvation.

“MOVE DUMBASS!” She didn’t know who it was, put she got up and ran into the next defense line.

While a hail of lead covering her, she leaped over the wall and into another group of soldiers, picked up a weapon, re-cocked and took her place on the yet another wall.

It looked, to Jamie, while peering over the wall, like the end of the world…

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