Read Gamma Nine (Book One) Online

Authors: Christi Smit

Tags: #military action, #gamma, #nine, #epic battles, #epic science fiction, #action science fiction, #fight to survive, #epic fights, #horror science fiction, #space science fiction

Gamma Nine (Book One) (10 page)

BOOK: Gamma Nine (Book One)
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“My system is
still not use to it. Can’t even remember what real food tastes
like, probably won’t even be able to tell the difference between
shit and honey glazed ham these days. These protein-based foods
kill your taste buds.” Rivers added while they were walking towards
a doorway leading out of the docking bay.

“I will try and
remember that,” Christian said.

“You could
always try the lower decks, lots of rats down there.” Nathan did
not turn to look at Rivers as he spoke, he picked up the pace,
passing Christian at the head of the column of Titans.

Christian
wondered why the workers and engineers on the deck just ignored
them. The people he had passed in the corridors of Beta facility
during his extraction looked at him like slack-jawed puppies. Their
wonderment was clear in their facial expressions. Titans were
something to see, something to witness and tell your grandchildren
about.

On the Hyperion
they might as well have been part of the crew or invisible.
Everyone was busying themselves with their appointed duties.
Perhaps that was why the Titans went almost unnoticed on their path
to leave the docking bay.

The squad
reached the door leading out of the bay, Nathan opened it with a
metal on metal screech, shepherding everyone through it.

The room on the
other side of the door was an empty room of bare metal, no
furniture could be seen anywhere, a single door opposite the other
door they had entered from led to the bowels of the Hyperion. The
room was only used for mustering troop in, here leaders and senior
officers could convey their orders before departure or debrief
their troops once missions were completed.

Nathan closed
the door behind the squad, stepping in as he did so. The door gave
another screech as its locking mechanism turned the gears, securing
it in place.

The door on the
opposite wall opened as soon as the other one closed, the Wolves
formed up in a line, Christian at the one end, Nathan at the other,
arranged in line by rank.

Captain Gabriel
Locke stepped through the open door, his armour’s newly painted
finish almost glowing in the light of the mustering room. The
squad’s signature insignia was painted in vivid green and grey on
his right bicep. A snarling wolf on the field of green stared at
Christian as he watched his new commander in silence.

The decking
beneath the captain gave a dull clang with every step he took,
lending weight to his already formidable presence.

Captain Locke
greeted his squad with a nod, not removing his helmet to speak to
them. “Quick work Wolves, don’t get too comfortable, we have to
train the FNG ourselves before mission start.” Locke walked down
the line, patting Pyoter and Rivers on the arm in greeting.

Christian
stared straight out in front of him, trying to not let the
Captain’s aura get to him. It was more difficult than anyone could
imagine. A living legend only a few feet away from him, a man he
had read about in war journals, his epic tails of battle painting a
picture of a demigod.

“Relax, Little
Bear.” Locke stopped in front of Christian. “That’s right, Nathan
already informed me about your love for your new nickname.”

“Yes sir!”
Christian replied.

“Loud isn’t
he?” He directed the question at Rivers, who was standing next to
Christian.

“I am already
drawing up plans for a silencer for his helmet, Captain.” Rivers
replied with a smug tone.

“Let’s keep
that one as a last resort Sergeant.” Locke looked back at
Christian. Looking him up and down, no doubt sizing him up.
“Corporal Quinn, report to B deck, your armour looks out of place
without the proper colours on it. Xander, meet up with him after
designation and show him his quarters, understood?”

“Yes sir!”
Xander replied.

“Once you are
done settling in report to the armoury. The squad will meet you
there.”

Christian just
nodded, not daring to speak too loud again.

“Very good
Little Bear, very good. Squad dismissed.” Locke turned to Nathan,
removing his helmet with a hiss. “Nathan. A word please.”

Christian could
only see the back of his new captain’s head before he left the room
for B deck.

A few systems
distant, a cargo vessel drifted in the void. It drifted without any
destination, its engines silent, and its reactor dormant. The
vessel was a large cargo hauler used by P-SEP to transport
resources from sector to sector. During missions its cargo varied,
transporting anything from livestock to machine parts needed for
military production.

This one,
however, was en route to New Horizon, its mission and route through
the sectors top secret to anyone not involved in the Titan Project.
Cargo bays able to hold thousands of tons of materials were now
empty, all of it vanishing when the vessel itself went silent.
Rebel ambush was the obvious explanation for the vessel’s sudden
disappearance from P-SEP’s tracking systems.

P-SEP’s
assumption was wrong; there were no rebels ships reported in its
vicinity, no shots were fired on any enemies.

The Fateful
Moment had not been boarded by any hostile. It was not ambushed or
attacked. Its crew was merely erased, without mercy, without a
reason except to keep a secret, executed like criminals, tied up
and shot one by one like scum, and then ejected into the void like
garbage. None of them deserved to die like that, but their deaths
served a very important purpose, a purpose that would remain hidden
from the galaxy until the time was right.

Even though
their deaths had served a purpose to someone, they did not know it
before they died, no-one telling them why they had to die. The
crew’s brutal murders were lost to the silence of the void. Their
deaths only a footnote at the end of an after action report. Simply
vanishing without any last words, leaving only their meagre
personal belongings behind, and blood smears on the decking of the
Fateful Moment.

It continued
drifting, going nowhere, its desolate and cold corridors the only
witnesses to what really happened. It was waiting to be discovered,
an invisible hand guiding it, hoping that something or someone
would find it, maybe even reveal its secrets.

The vessel’s
name was fitting, for whoever found the vessel first, would be led
down a treacherous path, culminating in one Fateful Moment that
would change the galaxy forever.

Christian
looked around his new quarters. There was no space to remove his
suit, not that he wanted to, he was just calculating the quarter’s
dimensions, reasoning that his suit would be removed in another
section of the ship after an operation. He would have to find that
out later, for now he had only a few minutes to himself before he
had to report to the armoury with the rest of his new squad.

His suit had a
new tint to it, almost the same as before but it seemed to glow
slightly, catching the light and refracting it at odd angles,
matching the rest of the Wolves’ armour.

The snarling
wolf on his right bicep filled him with pride, he did not catch the
name of the man painting it on his arm, but the man was obviously
skilled, it would be a great dishonour to let anything damage or
ruin this piece of art. He looked at his left bicep, staring at his
personal insignia painted there.

All regular
soldiers wore a personal family identifier on their military
fatigues, making them feel as if they were a unique and an
important piece in the military machine. Everyone wore their family
insignia with honour, proud to represent their forefathers in the
struggle against the Beast. Some insignias had more weight to them,
certain families more distinguished than others.

The Titans were
allowed to wear any insignia identifying them on their left bicep,
family insignias were not enforced by Command. Christian had to
think when the artist had asked him what he wanted there, it took
him only a few moments but he had chosen something that meant
something to him.

Two fists,
knuckles touching, wrapped in unbreakable chains, the words Forever
Loyal written beneath it. Christian stared at it for a long time;
it brought back deep emotions, emotions he had worked his entire
life to bury, he bit them back once again, leaving the words to
echo in his mind while the memories were kept at bay.

He took a deep
breath and sat down on what looked like the most uncomfortable bed
in the galaxy, it creaked and squealed like little piglets being
chased around his quarters, placing his helmet on the bed next to
him, its weight releasing another creak from the bed.

In the corner a
metal chair and a tiny, fold-out desk sat immobile, waiting to be
used, looking more like they were used too much. The chair would
not be able to hold the weight of anything more than a child, the
table being nothing but a piece of flat metal riveted to the wall
on rusty hinges.

Home sweet
home, he thought. It was nothing compared to his lavish lifestyle
on his home world. For some strange reason he liked this place more
than his previous residence, somehow feeling like he belonged where
he was now.

A blinking
light he had not noticed at first caught his attention as he looked
around the room, daydreaming about what was to come. Above the head
of his squeaking bed a personal receiver and screen stared back at
him, bolted to the bare metal wall by hasty hands, its right side
hanging lower than the left side, something that instantly irked
him.

Christian
pressed the blinking light, the button beneath it clicking,
activating the message that had been waiting for the quarter’s new
owner.

He was relieved
to hear the voice, knowing that his sudden departure from New
Horizon would have caused the voice’s owner great concern. It made
him smile to hear it now, how strange it was to be leaving without
saying goodbye, it almost made him feel hollow somehow. A feeling
that vanished quickly the more the voice spoke.

Her voice
always had that effect on him.

“I...wish I
could have said goodbye in person, Christian.” She sounded so sad.
“Why did they just take you like that? Why did they not let you say
goodbye?”

Silly girl, he
thought, they did not know about us.

“It hurts
Christian, I wish I could hear your voice, or just know that you
will be safe. It breaks me to not be able to talk to you. It kills
me not knowing if I will ever see you again.” She started crying,
as strong as she was she still tried to hide it, but ultimately
failed.

He wished he
could hold her, just to keep her from harm forever. Love changes a
person, some say it does not, but it does without a doubt change
the hardest bastard into a soft, blubbering fool. He realized with
a sudden shock that he had never told her that he loved her, he
hoped she knew it.

“Please find a
way to contact me, if you can. I will be waiting for you, until the
end. I asked Sam to hide something in your suit. I want you to have
it, may it bring you back to me in one piece. Sam said he would
hide it in a special piece of equipment for me. Look for it there.
I have to keep this short. Command won’t allow you to receive
encrypted messages like this again. Goodbye Christian, be
safe.”

The message
stopped, he was already checking the many compartments located
throughout his suit, panicking slightly as each one contained what
they were intended for, and he could not see anything out of the
ordinary within these compartments. Then it hit him, the shield,
Sam had said it was a special one.

Christian
unclipped it from his back and started looking at it intently,
noticing nothing at first, after a few moments of closer inspection
he saw a hidden button on the side of the shield’s grip. The button
looked like the rest of the grip, but with enough pressure it
released a latch, opening up a small panel on the side of the
shield’s mechanism. He tilted the shield, letting whatever was
inside slide out into the palm of his other hand.

It was the
silver locket and chain she wore around her neck, he never saw her
without it, the fact that she had removed it and given it to him
would have been very difficult for her.

He unclipped
the chain and put it around his neck, forcing it down beneath the
edges of his under suit, it would be more than just safe there. It
pressed against his body, and it would constantly remind him of
her. She was such a clever creature.

He closed the
panel on his shield, locking the shield to his back again.
Christian stood, picking up his helmet and locking it into place
over his head. He was going to be late if he lingered any longer.
His reply to her message would have to wait. Not too long, but long
enough for him to think about what he was going to say to her.

Christian
pressed the door lock, the door sliding open to reveal the dark
corridor outside of his quarters leading to the armoury, he
promised himself to reply to her message before they left for the
mission.

He hoped he
would keep that promise.

They were
waiting for him in the armoury, everyone except Pyoter, fully
geared up and ready. Ready for what Christian had no idea, but he
hoped it would be further training. He was still irritated about
his time in the Labyrinth being cut short. His chance to prove
himself would have to wait for another time.

Rivers beckoned
him over to where the weapon racks were hastily mounted to the
armoury wall. The racks were mostly empty, only a few weapons still
attached to the racks by locking clamps.

Christian’s
eyes scanned the paltry selection, thankful for the pristine
weapons they had issued him in Beta Facility.

Rivers lifted a
crate from the floor and banged it down on the armoury’s metal
table. “Grab some attachments for that Kicker of yours. It isn’t
much good in standard configuration. It’s only good for creating
leaks in small targets.” He opened the crate, revealing dozens of
different attachments for Christian’s rifle.

BOOK: Gamma Nine (Book One)
7.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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