Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer

I laid back and watched the stars. Occasionally a meteor would streak across the sky momentarily lowering my night vision capabilities, but they were still beautiful in their own way. I closed my eyes…

“Shit,… INCOMING.”

The first shells to rain down were sounding shots. Ranging fire. The gooks were adjusting fire on our position. Soon all hell would break loose, and we were already in a world of hurt. One little nucleonic device had left most of the company dead or injured.

Oh sure, the zipper heads would claim in Geneva that we had detonated those devices to implicate them. I laughed grimly. It would never hold up, they were godless heathens, but my men would still be dead. That’s how the gook laughs at you.

I had to take out that mortar position. I bit my left cheek and broke in on Top’s personal link. “I can see their position from here. I can get it.”

“You’ll be killed.” It wasn’t a warning. It wasn’t a plea. It was a fact.

I low crawled the first two clicks. Have to be careful. Even with chameleon skin you still stand out on the Martian plain.

I reached the base of Mons. Five clicks from point. I saw another mortar launch. No probing this time. This was fire for affect. My company was dead as soon as I saw them go.

Fuck ‘em. They’re going down.

I kept low. Moving from rock to rock. My armour blending in with each variation in texture and colour, shadow and light, changing almost as fast as my movements. I bit my cheek twice, cutting into the company freq. Static. They were all gone.

I looked up just in time to see a dark object flying towards me. I had just enough time to hit the Tesla pack and allow the field to embrace my armour as the singularity grenade detonated ten meters to my left.

The experience was unique. As if my entire body had been shoved through a fine mesh screen. My teeth itched. How had they seen me? I looked around and saw more SGs going off. It was a sweep. Good. They hadn’t seen me.

My left arm didn’t move well. I looked down, expecting to see a vague arm shaped fuzziness. Instead I saw a gunmetal grey arm, a scattering of synthetic flesh and metal poking out where my hand used to be. My camo was gone. I was a dead man.

Slowly, cautiously, I could hear them coming down the slope. I saw the briefest of outlines of legs and weapons where their own camouflage chameleon skin hadn’t quite kept up with their surroundings. Theirs wasn’t as good as ours. Slower resolution time.

But what the fuck difference did it make now? I could barely move. My company was dead, I would follow soon. They turned off their camo. I could see their grinning faces and their slanted eyes.

One of them bent over me and his smile got even wider. I knew enough of the gooks rank to understand the insignia on his helmet. Some sort of NCO. He straightened, made a remark in that chicken cackle language of theirs, and then did something I couldn’t believe. In this unbearable cold, he unzipped his dick and pissed on me. The fuckers laughed. Then they just walked away. That’s how the gook laughs at you. They left my comm intact, and even activated my beacon. I was their message. When I am found, I will be terminated.

Until then…

I laid back and watched the stars…

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