Another great challenge from Chuck Wendig. Today I am doing the first thousand words to a four part story, see details at his blog. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/02/06/flash-fiction-challenge-the-four-part-story-part-one/
If you do decide to continue my story, I am honoured and look forward to reading it. And as always constructive criticism is welcome.
Thanks and hope you enjoy.
The battleship jumped out of slip space like a bullet and slowed to a stop in seconds. Before it was the old blue. One of the first planets to be colonised after the 21st century.
But this wasn’t a day for history.
Inside the battle ships alarms screamed and red lights flashed. Its crew running to battle stations. The cannons and guns all swivelled and aimed into the planet. On the bottom floor a squad of six were armouring up.
“LISTEN UP LADIES” shouted Lieutenant Weir. A tall woman with short blond hair stood on a steel disk.
As she spoke the disk opened up around her. Armour plates lifted by metal arms attached it to her.
“We are dropping into the capitol as briefed. I remind you that this is a level one contamination zone. Do not, I repeat DO NOT remove your helmets, if a civilian can’t be trusted or acts radically put them down. ARE WE CLEAR?”
“YES SIR!” her squad shouted back. Five all wearing the same large bulky armour. Their helmets opened showing their faces. Each one showed confidence and discipline but also fear.
“Good. To drop zones.”
They all did what they were told without hesitation. Lining up at the bulkheads on squares.
“Commander, alpha squad is ready for deployment.”
“Roger that, ship is in position deploy when ready. And good luck” her radio answered.
“Thank you sir. HELMETS DOWN”
In unison the squad members grabbed their helmets and pushed the face plates over their faces. A steel mask with breathing apparatus now in place.
“Count it down gunny”
“Dropping in five!” Gunny’s breathing was heavy on the radio
The steel squared below them gave way and dropped them out of the ship.
Diving through the atmosphere they spread out. Displays in their headsets showed the trajectory and direction. As well as the distance to the ground.
Below the city was on fire. As if staring into the pits of hell. Mortar shells and napalm hit the buildings and streets.
“Keep it together Felix.”
“Sorry sir” his voice was filled with panic and static.
Out of each member an X detached from their backs, attached by a cord to themselves. The X fired thrusters and acted as a sky crane to lower their descent.
The sky cranes detached and they resumed the drop.
“Prepare to land ladies.”
A large glass building rushed past them as they neared the surface.
A giant worm smashed out of the building face, tendrils searching it found its prey. Gunny.
As quick as it arrived it swallowed the marine whole and smashed into the neighbouring building.
“LANDING THRUST NOW!”
They rolled feet first and their boots exploded with flame. Slowing their descent one last time before they smashed onto the ground.
“Gunny’s got got. I’m good” Sally stated.
“I am good to” Felix said, clearly shaken up.
“I think I’m good lieutenant, but I doubt we will be for long” Danny straitening up.
The fifth raised his hand before taking a coughing fit.
He was choking on his own breath.
“Shit, get a hold of yourself.”
He reached up to take his mask off.
“Do that I kill you now!” The Lieutenant drew her side arm. The Marine froze. Coughed some more and took a deep breath.
“I’m good” he wheezed.
“Thank the gods.” She lowered her weapon. “Sorry guys we are in deep shit, no mourning time. Sally what’s your analysis?”
“That was a mutation, not a final product. Probably local wildlife prior infection. However it means it’s in the ground. Containment zone is shot.”
“OK, I’ll radio in.” she tilted her head and switched channels. “Commander, we lost one marine, the rest landed.”
“Good to hear now what’s the bad news?”
“The infection is worse than previously briefed. The containment field is in jeopardy. Please advise.”
“Carry on to the central tower double time, local government has placed defences there. Download all Intel as previously ordered and then get out, only now you have less time. We are nuking this city in 24 hours.”
“All due respect sir the download needs more time.”
“I will inform the tower about that, but when we were called this infection was two blocks wide, now it’s the city. If we don’t cleanse this city by then the Galactic parliament will destroy the planet. Are we clear?”
“Crystal clear sir. Any idea how it got here?”
“Negative. But it isn’t local. Now do your mission and get out, I’m not losing my best people to this.”
“Yes sir, Lieutenant Weir out” she turned to her squad “you heard, we are on the clock. We will sprint for the objective, we have full authorisation for running gear. Don’t fall behi-“
Ungodly sheiks fills the air as a man, or what used to be one, leaps off a sky scraper and with clawed hands drops towards them followed by many, many more.