Authors: Andrew Gibson
Copyright © 2015 Andrew Gibson
All rights reserved.
I would like to dedicate this book to my daughter, Olivia Angela Marie Gibson. You are the light of my life and the reason I work so hard. I want to be able to give you everything in life you deserve.
I love you so much, you have no ide
Infiltrators Never Prosper
Mr. Justice and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Dead Shall Inherit the Earth
Itchy Trigger Finger
On That Day…
His Name Was Merton Chaucer
In This Day and Age
The Devil’s in the DMT
Pay No Attention to the Monster Behind the Curtain
Three’s a Crowd, Four’s a Party
This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Black Velvet Sundae
Warehouses & A Little Luck
What Has an Ending Must Also Have a Beginning
Infiltrators Never Prosper
“Fox, how many are out there?!”
Something was dripping down my face, but at this point I didn’t know whether it was blood or sweat. It certainly wasn’t tears. I’ve never been much of a crier so I could rule that out.
“I do not know for sure, about thirty. Maybe?” Fox was out of breath, he usually was when he was running close to enemy lines. “Someone taught them how to use guns.”
“Oh, really? Ya think??” I screamed back at Fox, my retort dripping with sarcasm.
“They can fuckin’ learn?!” Several quick bursts of gunfire came screaming over our heads.
“It would seem that way.” I shuffled across the ground close to the edge of the trench. I had to get a look at this. It’s not that I didn’t believe Fox, it was just one of those things I had to see for myself in order to confirm its existence, like Bigfoot. Unfortunately I wasn’t actually able to see anything specific since they were still a ways away, but we were backed into a corner, so there was no escape. We were going to have to fight through them.
“But sir, what’re we supposed to do if they armed as we are?”
“Dammit Burns, I’m a scientist, not a weapons specialist.”
“Well our weapons specialist’s brains are carpeting the ground now. Someone’s gotta know.” Burns is a big fella, he did demo. His specialty and signature was napalm. Not one other person in the world had the knowledge or even willingness to work with such a volatile and outdated concoction. He loved it though. He always said he would eat it for breakfast if he could.
Several more bursts ripped passed our encampment, some actually hit the ground sending dirt and dust flying everywhere. We didn’t have much time. These Bloodless were armed and without remorse. They were basically the worst type of killing machine imaginable. “Who’s leading them? Do we have a fifty on a General?” I asked the group at large. When no answer came in a reasonable amount of time I turned to look at my crew and was met by five pairs of blank, clueless eyes. There were seven of us but I couldn’t see my own eyes and Fox always had his face covered. Seven against nearly fifty Bloodless, which was the way they attacked, with overwhelming numbers. “Anyone?!?!”
Fox was getting a lot of looks at this point now. That’s fair, seeing as though he’s one of the best scouts any half-wit leader such as myself could ask for. He was trained in the ancient art of Ninjutsu and could remain hidden even if he was standing in front of you with a flood light attached to his head. “I failed to obtain a sufficient view. I apologize.” He was very well spoken.
“Fuck. Well, go get another look.” I wiped my face. It was sweat.
“That ain’t gonna do us any good now! They’re bearing down on us! We need to get the fuck outta here!” Saturn, our sniper, was always the first to suggest retreat. She wasn’t afraid, she just preferred to always have the high ground. This is not a bad strategy, but it’s not the only strategy either. By this point we didn’t really have much of a choice though. We could fight, we knew by then how to stop them, but stopping that many was still a Herculean task in and of itself.
“Okay, okay, everyone listen up. We’re gonna have to stick and move. Stick and move! There’s no way we’re getting out of this alive if we try to stand our ground. How many rounds can you fire off Saturn?”
“I’ve told you before! My LRTDS-15 is a bolt action. Maybe two rounds a second, if that!”
“A bolt action, in this day and age,” I mumbled. And in spite of the situation, a grin forced its way to my face but then my throat dried up.
“What?” Saturn yelled.
“Nothing. Okay, ammo check!” I screamed unnecessarily as everyone was already crowded around me. As they frantically rummaged through their various bags I couldn’t help but think back to the day when we first assembled as a whole.
A large explosion went off only meters from our location preventing me from daydreaming at a wildly inappropriate time. They were getting close and our time was running out.
“SIR!” Saturn grabbed me and nearly shook my head off.
I snapped back into the present and was staring at a group of anticipatory eyes. They were waiting on my command, something that wasn’t easy to achieve. In fact, I remember…
Saturn shook me again. Apparently I wanted nothing to do with the reality of that situation. I felt lost, helpless, in WAY over my head. I looked again at my men’s eyes and knew I had to do something. “Okay, what do we have?”
“Like I said, I have a single clip of regulars and a few crystal tips.”
“Well, load a single CTB and then have your regulars at the ready. What else?”
“Gotta ‘bout 10 grenades, incendiary and plasma. Uh, my launcher’s full but it’s the last barrel. Plus, still got my Crowd Pleaser.”
“Okay, well definitely save the Crowd Pleaser, I don’t think it’s that type of situation. Shoot to the back of their advancement, hopefully we’ll get some legs taken off. Everybody else at least got one clip?” A lot of nods around the circle. The hammering of the feet of our relentless enemy was getting louder and hungrier. These particular wretches were after us hard; their General really wanted us dead. I don’t know why for sure, but it might have had something to do with us just neutralizing one of their power sub-stations. The explosions of bullets were getting more frequent as The Bloodless were getting a better hang of their weapons. The more proficient they became with those guns meant the chance of us getting out of there with our asses intact dropped drastically.
“Okay, I need heavy weapons in front, aim low like always. Saturn, I want you to fire first then find a good vantage point and make tactical dispatches as you see fit. I need you mainly for support but if we can start off with a kill that would go a long way for us. Crowder, do you have any rounds left for your AMG-50?”
“Yeah, like half a clip.”
“Good, I want you to conserve that, don’t use it right away. Take your AR-15 and aim for kneecaps. Other than that, it’s business as usual. We’ve been here before and we sure as hell aren’t going down here tonight. Not after making such a huge stride. Let’s end these bastards! For Crist!” To this day I still don’t know where that came from, but we all shouted and grunted, firing ourselves up. I’m sure we were all scared. We felt cornered, but it was true, we had faced worse with less. Plus, we had the ignorant confidence that we could get through it. And it’s not like we had a choice.
The sounds of everyone locking and loading made our battle all the more imminent. Then it started: A couple more bullets cleaved the air and blew the ground up around us. They were too close to ignore now. I signaled Saturn and she sprang right into action. She popped up over the makeshift wall and let fire into the charging crowd. With a sickening squelch the head was ripped clean off a Bloodless in the front. From there all hell broke loose.
“GO! GO!” Fresh gun bursts fired off all at once as my entire team came out of our encampment. Luckily only a few of them had weapons otherwise we would’ve been riddled into forms resembling sponge coral. After Saturn let her first shot go she retreated to get an auxiliary vantage point of the field. I pulled my automatic Desert Eagle out of its holster and aimed into the middle of the fray. Before I was able to get a good shot off, the heart of their formation was lit up by the combined efforts of Burns’ plasma grenade and Pillar’s minigun.
That only took out a small cluster of Bloodless while the rest, unconcerned for any of their compatriots, charged us mercilessly. One charged me, reaching straight for my throat, as they often do. I countered by grabbing its arm and spinning around to its back, breaking the arm in multiple places in the process. This didn’t slow it down as it struggled to break free from my grip. I quickly put it down with a quick burst from my gun jutted up against its big dumb head. Reanimated gray matter spewed all over the battle field.
Close to me I saw Fox employing his katanas with deft skill and quickness, much better than I had ever seen anyone be. He sliced through heads like an industrial bread cutter. He favored the tactic of removing the top of their heads: If they can’t see, they can’t find you. He was moving around his enemies like water finding its way over a rocky riverbed.
Everyone was maneuvering pretty well, keeping their heads on a swivel and watching their companions’ backs. Buggs was in his element and out of his mind with mindless rage to rival that of the Bloodless that surrounded him. He had two razor sharp blades built into the sleeves of his jacket and was spinning like a tornado, dropping foe after foe to the ground. One particularly large Bloodless bore down upon him and struck him hard in the face with an open palm sending a short spurt of blood through the air. The Bloodless went for another strike but Buggs dodged it and started to pinpoint his attacks. He severed the brute’s annular ligaments on both arms, then spun, ducked, sliced both medial collateral ligaments in his knees, and even somehow managed to sever its Achilles tendons. The oaf fell hard to the ground, tried to get up, but to no avail. It was soon crushed by the fighting around it.
My bullets flowed through the wrecked faces of the never ending stream of foul smelling bastards. BANG! BANG! I pierced an eye of one and buried a few in the intestines of another. I shot a particularly ugly one through the chest, exploding its heart inside of its ribcage, I imagine. One got behind me and grabbed ahold of my neck. I grabbed the knife from my side sheath and began to pierce its body over and over but I wasn’t able to hit anything vital. I started to black out quickly as I was already winded. Just before I passed out completely I felt a splatter on the back of my head and the grip was released.
I spun around and looked down. Its head had been turned inside-out. I looked around for my savior but no one else was in my immediate vicinity as we had spread out pretty well. I saw a gleam in the distance and pointed at it knowing it was Saturn, she had used one of her precious SCBs to save my life. A bright flash and a sudden wave of heat told me that Burns and Pillar were still fighting and taking down large portions of the squad.
“FALL BACK!” I took out the legs of another Bloodless and scampered away from an advancing second wave. It was at that time we were offered a momentary lull in the siege. Everybody, except Saturn, came together. Everyone was out of breath and Crowder was bleeding heavily from his arm. “You okay?”
“Yeah, it’s not as bad as it looks. Darn bullet clipped my wing.”
“It looks like it hit an artery. Go to Saturn and get a laser graph, seal that shit up. Anyone else?” Nobody said anything. “Good. Anyone come in contact with a General?”
Fox spat a glob of blood from his mouth, “This appears to be a remote squad. I have not seen any sign of a General giving orders.”
“Are they regrouping too?” I looked at the remainder of the squad and that’s what they seemed to be doing.
“Yup,” Pillar loaded a new ammo pack into her minigun. “Probably gathering body parts to reconstruct. We need to get the fuck outta here, man. We ain’t gonna last very much longer, I’m on my last pack.”
“All right, well we accomplished what we came here for, let’s get the fuck out of here! Burns you get Crist’s body, we can’t leave her here.” I signaled over to Saturn and the rest of the company followed me as we made our retreat. Very oddly the Bloodless did not chase after us, they just let us go.
Later that night we found ourselves packed into our base of operations which was just a shitty little makeshift shaft. It hadn’t changed much since we first put it together and at that point in time it had started to feel like home. It was safe and familiar. Saturn and Crowder came in a little after the rest of us and Crowder appeared to be in good health.
We had accomplished our mission that day but it didn’t feel like much of a victory. Crist’s body lay shrouded in the corner, not moving, lifeless. The exact opposite as Crist had been in life. She was always full of energy and spunky. Sure, she was a little rough around the edges and one time she tried to kill me, but her heart was in the right place. She was just another person trying to do some good in a fucked up new world. I adored her and it felt like a part of me had been ripped away. It was hard to accept, even with all our technology people still had to die. Nature always seems to win out one way or another.
Nobody really talked for quite some time; it was like we were still waiting for her to show up. Again we didn’t want to start the meeting before she arrived. We were all pretty tired too. Fighting those relentless monsters was an extremely draining undertaking.
Out of respect to Crist, we all went our separate ways that night. We didn’t make plans or agree on a time to meet back up. We just split up knowing full well we would have to get back together and soon. Before we departed we built a grave for Crist in front of the base. It was the first one of our company and we all hoped that it would be the last.