Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer
“Jesus jumpin’ Christ,” ejaculated Cpl. Davidson before he died. Though clad in nearly impervious plasteele body armour, his head was cleanly ripped from his body.
“Run away, run away,” the rest of the men in his squad screamed as they fell pell mell over one another. The creatures went by different names; Bandersnatch, Grendel, Jabberwocky. Vicious Motherfuckers, or VM’s, was not an uncommon term.
Whatever they were, they certainly weren’t the creatures that created and piloted the immense spacecraft that had taken up residence in Earth orbit. No, these were brutal mindless beasts that appeared to kill and destroy anything without a conscious thought. A biological killing machine.
Lt. Fenwick let out a deep sigh as he watched his men hauling ass across the plain with a Jabberwock trailing close behind. Their enhanced speed, augmented by the armour, was no match for the creature. Much to the terror of the fleeing men, the beast quickly gained.
“Vorpal ready,” barked the Leftenant.
“Vorpal weapon ready, Sir,” replied his gunner.
“Wait for it.” The Lt. raised his field glasses just in time to see another of his men fall beneath the scythe-like claws of the beast. It paused just long enough to shred the hapless soldier before resuming the chase. The drawback of the Vorpal weapon was its range in an atmosphere. It spat a stream of tiny magnetically accelerated ferro/tungsten particles at seemingly relativistic velocities. In the near vacuum of space, the range was virtually limitless, in an atmosphere as dense as that of Earth however…
“Hold your fire until you have range,” Fenwick ordered as another of his men fell to the loathsome nightmare. The gun crew watched in anguish as their comrades died while they remained impotent until the bastard could be drawn within range.
“Wait for it… wait for it…” Despite the bunker’s chill conditions, imparted by the weapons coolant system, beads of sweat rolled down the young officer’s face . “Almost there… almost… FIRE!”
The Vorpal emitted a muted shushing sound as mag-accelerated particles, little larger than coarse sand, issued forth in a coherent pencil-thin stream. At hyper velocities the trillions of individual particles took on a solid aspect that sheared through the monsters nearly invulnerable exoskeleton and severed it neatly in two. Though mortally wounded, the torso of the Jabberwock still pursued its prey at speed with its four upper appendages and managed to slaughter another soldier before it expired.
Despite the daemon’s recent demise, the remaining men of the patrol continued to hastily beat feet back to the safety of the bunker. While the exhausted men shed their armour in the cramped bunker’s antechamber, Lt. Fenwick called his company HQ requesting a mortuary team to retrieve his fallen soldiers. Clicking his teeth, he logged off the company freq and turned to Master Gunnery Sergeant Kalnick.
“Bad day Gunny. Bad fuckin’ day.”
“Yeah LT. I just wish we could get a ‘wok alive.”
“Why? There’s nothing we can learn from them. They’re little more than a living automaton programmed to destroy. They’re mindless.”
“Yeah, I know. I just want to see how long one would hold out against my mother-in-law.”
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