'Damn it Private! They're in the bloody building!'
I bolted upright, my hands already feeling for my weapon which I always kept to the right of the thin sheets I called a bed. Quickly realizing my gun was missing, I felt a gun barrel on the back of my head.
'Pathetic human!' A deep, guttural voice said in my ear.
I tensed up, waiting for the shot…
Instead of a shot I heard something nearly as bad, human laughter.
'Blimey Private Zack, you should have seen the look on your face!' Someone behind me said.
'And you did?' I countered. Turning around, I saw the rest of the unit, minus the captain who was on sentry duty, cacking themselves laughing.
'Well, I can imagine it.' The soldier chuckled. He widened his eyes and dropped his jaws slightly. It was a pretty good imitation actually, not that I was going to admit it.
'Yeah, this entire unit is going to become a group of comedians after the war, aren't we?'
They all burst into laughter, and I couldn't resist chuckling. I should have seen it coming really; we'd been playing pranks on each other to relieve the boredom. We weren't the most organized or mature unit, I blame the half-Australian commander on that. He was on sentry right now, but I imagine he knew this was going to happen.
'well, we need a job after we bust these alien scum back where they came from!' A cheerful soldier with green eyes and blonde hair replied.
That would be John, and he HAD been a comedian, although how successful he was is left to the imagination. Naturally he was the second-in-command, and had a "humour rivalry" (in two interpretations, a joke rivalry and a rivalry that was a joke) with the captain, very "funny".
'So, who is on sentry duty next?' I asked quickly, trying to change the subject. Not that I didn't know that it was me already. John's eyes glistened with merriment, obviously catching the ploy, yet he remained silent.
'You are, in approximately seven minutes. You can't say we prevented that much of your rest.' A chuckle came from that voice, warm and amused, yet every syllable carefully executed.
That would be Joshua, the "genius" of the group, as well as the guy who tinkers with our weapons (for better or worse). When he first came he was quiet and shy, but I like to think this group gave him some life and courage.
Joshua tossed me my carbine, the throw was a bit short the best but I stretched my arm and grabbed it expertly, slinging it on my back.
'We didn't want you to shoot anyone by accident.' Joshua confessed.
Smiling, I walked outside the room to a hastily pushed-aside surgery bed, on it were numerous medical implements, all of them sharp. Casually, I picked up a syringe that seemed like the right size, the thin, sharp section coming out just above my pinkie. I pressed the button and some clear, odourless liquid squirted out. Satisfied, I turned to Joshua.
'You know, I don't think you can get the better of me.' I said casually, taking slow but large steps towards Joshua, my left hand holding the needle chest-level forward.
'This seems so gay.' John murmured, yet he couldn't help but continue staring.
Joshua's eyes were staring at the tip of the syringe, he didn't move, even for his gun slung on his back. I advanced further.
'This is all some sick dream, isn't it?' I whispered.
Everyone was now absorbed at what we were doing like a theatre performance.
I brought the syringe back, as if to stab, Josh tensed.
'How's it going lads?'
The spell was broken. Sighing, I tossed the syringe at the back left corner of the room.
'You still need some battle experience.' I told him coldly.
'I'm fine with guns.' He muttered, 'and you've never been in a real battle yourself!'
Ignoring him, I turned around to look at the captain standing at the door, he was tall enough that his short spiky dark brown hair brushed the top of the door.
I gave him a cheerful look, 'Anything out there?'
'With all your talking, I doubt they would be spotted until they had their guns blazing.' He chuckled, as well as most of the unit. Something about his good humour was infectious. Not that he wasn't without flaws, for one he should have waited for me to get there before coming in here.
Then again, we'd been here for a solid four days, and the last radio call we got from the beach front said it was A OK, so perhaps we really should relax…
'Well, I best be doing my part, don't be too loud people!' I waved at my team and left the room, taking a left up a staircase that headed up to the rooftop. I stared at the walls with distaste as I went. All plain and boring colors, Hospitals were purposely designed to drain the life of who entered, weren't they? However it was the biggest and easiest to defend building in the area, so we took it after "borrowing" what we could find in the empty town.. Not that a hospital being the easiest place to defend made me feel any easier…
I took a deep breath as I reached the top of the staircase, my hand gripping the handle of the doorknob. I wondered for a bit whether it was wrong to scare Josh like that, it keeps him on edge which is always useful in combat, shows that he needs to learn more which is good to keep him humble, the only negative is that it fractures the team a bit. Perhaps it could damage his psych too…
It was at that point I noticed my mind was wondering. Locking those thoughts to be reviewed later, I opened the door and stepped out, leaving the door open as petty revenge. The day was cold and windy, I chuckled at the thought of my unit shivering, that would prevent them from talking about me behind my back, aside from the obvious snide comments anyway.
The roof was a large and rather plain rectangle with elevation at the edges to prevent people falling off. The door was in the middle, with triangles showing the staircase going back down. Ignoring that, I continued gazing around the town.
After half an hour there had been no movement, I was about to fall under dull repetition when I noticed something out of the corner of ym eye in the south-east, movement.
I squinted, had something gone behind the church over there? I leaned forward…
And promptly flung myself back at the door as I heard a strange, high-pitched noise, followed by glowing shards (of metal, perhaps?) pelting above the roof where my head had been.
Glad that I had avoided the shots, I only remembered I had left the door open when I was teetering over the edge. I just managed to grab the doorknob and steady myself. Shrugging off the two close calls, I pelted down the staircase, shouting 'THEY'RE HERE!'
Well yeah, hope you enjoyed it
The main character wasn't meant to be the most likable, hope you see that.
Perhaps he'll develop in time, wars do change a person...
In the space of seconds nearly the entire team had armed themselves (Josh was still fumbling over his carbine, I noted) and had the steely gaze of those ready for action.
I noted the weapon held by the captain with envy. The shotgun, I had felt, was my calling weapon. It was so devastating, so up-close-and-personal.
Precious seconds later, I snapped out of my envy and said coolly 'I didn't get to count, they got in range before I was able to see them. Perhaps this wasn't the best place to camp, plenty of cover to hide in.'
'No time to dwell on the past.' The captains said abruptly, followed by frowning, his mind going through the information. I could think of what was going through there as well. If there was only a few enemies who by chance managed to get through, our best bet would be to hunt them down carefully. If there were more then a few, our best bet would be to get to the vehicle we had, a military car basically, with reinforced metal, basically a box on wheels.
He came to a decision fast, which was why he was captain, after all.
'I'm not risking our lives. Besides, at the very least we should report back. Our main priority is to get to the vehicle; our secondary is to kill any opposition.'
Well, none of us were going to argue. All but one of us cheered in fact, that one was Ochaz. It probably wasn't that he wanted to fight the enemies, but he never seemed to talk. We had thought him mute, but his medical records said nothing of it.
We exited the room, weapons in hand. Ochaz came out last, and I noticed idly he had bent down to pick something up before leaving. Probably forgot a grenade or something, if he was making mistakes already, I could only imagine what would happen to him later. Cut down after forgetting to reload when he had the chance.
We went down the rather large with three in a row, except for the captain in the front who was on his own.
Lower and lower we went, we were nearly at the ground floor when it struck…
The captain had just gone around a corner, and flung himself back right into the first group as another burst of those glowing fragments drove themselves into the wall. The first three were stunned as the captain rammed into them, but the other two (me included) acted. We dashed forward, not bothering to aim, and fires.
It was then I got my first look at them. It was a good thing I was already firing, because I froze at the sight of them.
The pictures I had seen on the posters showed them to be what seemed to be a comedic mix of a human and a flytrap, an enlarged heard with teeth that jutted out awkwardly on a flimsy body.
It was rather different, even in the brief glimpse I got before it was riddled with bullets, it struck fear into me. The skin was a mottled grey and bulging with muscles, the fangs out of its large mouth looked vicious, it had four yellow, merciless eyes that seemed to give you a vision of your death. It had armour on, and a strange glow from some sort of backpack that had tubes attached to it.
Bullet after bullet thudded into it, however it managed to remain upright and alive for a surprising amount of shots, several of which struck its skull, before finally collapsing to the floor, dead.
We didn't stop to examine the body, we kept moving. Except now I and two others were in front, and the entire group was on hair-trigger alert. Our ears waiting for the slightest sound, the sense of urgency had increased.
We were at the front entrance, exiting at a hurried pace straight for the jeep. Gunfire burst out from nearby buildings. Had they been waiting for us? They didn't look that intelligent, the gaze I had seen before in those yellow eyes had been bestial.
But there was no denying the tactics used now, we fired back half-heartedly, but really we could barely see them and they had plenty of cover. Luckily we had parked close to the entrance; we could hear bullets pinging off the car. Hopefully they wouldn't be smart enough to shoot the tires.
We jumbled into the car as fast as we could. Not bothering to wait for all of us to get comfortable, the captain put his foot on the accelerator and the car went off.
All we could hear was the thud of whatever those creatures used for bullets and loud thrumming engine. Had they pierced the engine? Were they tearing through the armour and seconds away from stopping this vehicle and ending us.
And yet I made the mistake of looking back.
They were swarming in. Like a swarm of hornets they charged forward, wildly firing after us.
Still, we were gaining distance from them. Although my heart didn't stop pounding until they were out of sight. We had gotten away, unless we were leaking fuel. Hesitantly, dreading what the sight may be, I glanced to the fuel gauge. Still high, what a relief.
'…What the hell were those things?'
The silence was finally broken, it only occurred to me now that one of us could have been shot as well. Looking around, we all seemed to be unharmed…
But I thought that too soon, John groaned as he turned over, revealing a bloody mess. Several shots had torn through areas around his chest, and blood was all too eager to seep out.
Ochaz immediately crawled over me to reach him, I turned away sharply. I must admit to not being a fan of seeing allies in pain.
Or hearing them, but I couldn't exactly turn off my hearing while he screams in agony.
The captain glanced back, then turned immediately back to the road. 'I'm stepping on it.'
As we continued driving towards our headquarters, it was strange going past these derelict homesteads. Already most of the front lawns were choking on weeds, broken windows a sign that looting had already happened. The war had only just begun for us, and yet already we were moving back.
The Government had done so much to comfort us, tell us that the defeat of Europe had left the enemies weak, that any attacks would be a weary force that couldn't do a thing. But did they believe that?
Considering how far they had fallen back already, I doubt it.
Already it was becoming apparent, this war was going to be a lot harder then they made it out to be.