Categories > Original > Sci-Fi > Bug Run.

Chapter Seven.

by Hussar 0 Reviews

Category: Sci-Fi - Rating: G - Genres:  - Characters:  - Published: 2013/01/13 - Updated: 2013/01/13 - 3168 words

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7.

Standing back, Zoe watched the door slide open over the top of her rifle; she’d not know what she expected, hundreds of bugs maybe or possibly a load of colonists happy to see the army had arrived. What she actually saw was a large room like a loading bay, scattered with wooden crates and plastic cargo pods. The strip lights flickered intermittently to illuminate the scene, of the habitat’s inhabitants there was no sign. Moments later Lea and the hill girls turned up.

“What you got?” Lea asked as she came to a halt next to Zoe.

“Don’t rightly know,” Zoe admitted as she watched the interior for any hostile sign.

“Maybe the colonists skedaddled already?” Lea suggested.

“Maybe,” Zoe agreed, “anyway we won’t find out standing out here asking damn-fool questions.”

“Hey listen to little Miss Decisive,” Lea smirked.

“Yeah, whatever,” Zoe turned to look at her available forces.

It seemed to her she could leave Judy and Sam out here to guard the door while Lea, the hill girls and herself searched the place. But Sam would probably goof off and Judy would get all tetchy about being outside and they still probably not notice the bugs before they’d had their asses bitten off.

“Okay, listen up!” Zoe called, “There should be a whole bunch of colonists cheering and being real glad we’re here…there ain’t so we better find ‘em, okay?”

There was affirmative agreement of varying enthusiasm from the squad.

“So we’re goin’ in there to find ‘em,” Zoe gestured to the building’s interior with her rifle, “search by two’s, stay cool and keep your comms open…” she turned her head to look at Sam, “…and that means no un-necessary chatter, okay?”

“Hey why’re you looking at me?” Sam complained.

“Brandi, Kandi you go together,” Zoe ordered.

“Got-cha,” the two girls replied in chorus.

“Sam go with Lea.”

Lea gave Zoe a hurt look that said ‘why me?’

“Judy you’re with me,” Zoe waited a moment while everyone sorted themselves out, “okay let’s move.”

Moving into the loading bay, Zoe scanned the room watching for anything that might spring out from behind the stacks of crates and pods. Moving rapidly across the room they came to the door that obviously led into the rest of the complex. Standing to one side of the door with Judy on the other, Zoe glanced back the way they’d come to see the other four members of her squad covering the unopened door.

“Okay,” Zoe found herself whispering as she spoke to Judy, “hit it!”

Slapping the door actuator with the palm of her hand Judy watched as the door slide half way open and stopped, she hit the big red button again. The door motors whined but the door didn’t move.

“Ah hink 'at is aw ye gie,” Judy informed everyone quietly.

Pocking her head cautiously around the edge of the door Zoe looked into the corridor beyond. From her position, he could see that the corridor divided into three. Again the lights flicked but she could see definite signs of a struggle. There were pieces of paper littering the floor along with odd pieces of what looked like rag. Taking a deep breath and screwing up her courage, Zoe slipped through the door followed by Judy. Quickly looking left and right Zoe checked the corridors either side of her. Again there were signs of a struggle but no bodies or bugs about to jump out at them.

“Right,” Zoe said into her comms as she advanced slowly down the corridor leading directly away from the door, “I’ve got damage from what looks like small arms fire and maybe seismic charges and…” Zoe bent to examine a brown-ish stain on a piece of rag that looked as if it had once been a shirt, “…and something that maybe blood.”

“Oh freck,” Judy muttered under her breath.

“Okay, the rest of you guys,” Zoe looked back towards the door, “get in here, Lea, Sam go left, Brandi, Kandi go right got that?”

“Roger that,” Lea replied.

“On it,” Kandi called as she led her ‘sister’ through the doorway and disappeared down the right hand corridor.

“Okay let’s take a look down here,” Zoe said quietly.

“Dae we hae tae?” Judy asked as she followed Zoe closely trying to ignore the splashes of what was increasingly likely to be blood on the walls and floor.

“Looks like the bugs got in somehow,” Zoe observed over her comms.

“We’ve got more bullet damage down here,” Lea’s voice came to Zoe’s ears over her comms, “looks like the civ-pop put up a fight.”

Yeah, thought Zoe that made sense. The colonists had obviously been warned that something was wrong because they’d sealed themselves in. From what she’d seen they’d done a pretty good job too, there was no sign of entry on the outside so how had the bugs got in?

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This, thought Sam, was totally bogus. It was obvious that the colonists had either been eaten by the bugs or run away. So, why were they still searching the place? It must be full dark outside so the bugs should be safely in their holes; everyone knew that bugs didn’t come out at night. They should be shutting the doors and getting ready for a good night’s sleep. Instead they were creeping around this dump looking for bugs that weren’t there.

Coming to the door of another set of colonist accommodation, Sam pushed the door open with the muzzle of her rifle. The door sung open slowly to reveal a small room with a bed up against one wall and a desk against the other. Walking into the room, Sam slung her rifle over her shoulder and sighed. Not that long ago she’d have thought the room was cramped and not very nice. But after eighteen months in the army it looked like a palace to her now. Crossing the room she came to another door, opening it thinking it was a closet or something she found a fresher complete with a real toilet and shower, luxury!

“Wow!” Sam gazed at the unadulterated opulence of the fresher.

Reaching out her hand she switched on the shower unit, hoping against hope that the water still worked. Almost crying out loud with joy she felt the warm water on her hand.

“YES!” she cheered as she started to pull off her uniform.

It had been a hot and dusty day, she was filthy and who could blame her if she wanted to clean up. This thought stopped Sam dead in her tracks; who could blame her? Zoe would, she’d been acting like a bitch all day ordering people around and taking her ammo away. Looking back into the room, Sam saw she’d left the door open. Hurriedly switching off the shower she quickly retraced her steps, shut the door and slid the bolts into place that secured it from un-wanted visitors.

Leaning her rifle against the wall by the door, Sam took off her helmet and threw it onto the bunk. Next off came her equipment harness and jacket. Sitting on the bed she took off her boots and socks. Okay so she had no clean clothes to put on when she’d finished, but the chance of a shower was too good to miss. Within seconds her trousers and t-shirt came off. Finally her bra and panties joined the rest of her things on the bed and she headed for the shower.

Stepping under the warm water, Sam sighed in near ecstercy as the water ran over her short hair and down across her body cutting through the accumulated sweat and grime of the day. Not wasting any time, she knew she’d be missed eventually; Sam squirted some liquid soap into her hand from a dispenser next to the shower and started to soap herself down.

This was the life, she told herself as she ran her soapy hands over her body, no one to yell at you to hurry up, or complain about what you wore or how long your hair was. She still had four and a half years to do but when she got off this crappy ball of dust she was going to try and get herself a duty where she didn’t have to carry a rifle or wear combat uniform. Maybe get herself a job as driver to a general or something, that would be cool. Any job as a driver back on Home or one of the older colonies would do. At least there’d be no nasty, nightmare monsters to chase after her.

Sensing the fresher door open, Sam turned to see who’d discovered her little secret; she never even got the chance to scream!

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“Hello India-three sunray this is India-three-four sunray, sitrep over,” Zoe spoke into her comms trying to reach Sergeant Burden, as she waited for a reply she wondered what an ‘India’ was and why it was used to indicate the letter ‘I’.

“India-three sunray receiving,” Burdens voice came loud and clear to her ear, “what y’got for me Zoe?”

“We’ve searched the habitat and no one’s home,” Zoe reported, “looks like there was a fight and the civ-pop either got ate or ran off.”

“Crap,” Burden cursed softly over the link, “how badly damaged are the buildings?”

“Look fine,” Zoe replied, “hardly any damage at all, in fact I can’t work out how the bugs got in…if you could get the platoon over here it’d be a good place to fort up for the night.”

“My thoughts exactly,” Burden agreed, “I’ll be at your location in about thirty mikes.”

“Roger that,” Zoe acknowledged, “until then I’ll try to find out how the bugs got in, three-four out.”

Just as Zoe was switching her comms back to the squad net an angry shout pierced the air, “What the freck?” Zoe grabbed her rifle from off the table where she was lying.

Before she could go anywhere and discover what the heck was going on, Lea dragged a soaking wet and semi naked Private Rispoli into the office that she’d sorta made her HQ.

“What the freck?” Zoe demanded.

“I caught this little bitch taking a shower in one of the colonist quarters,” Lea explained, “Didn’t even think to tell her buddies that the water still worked!”

“Crap, Sam,” Zoe shook her head, “what did you think…”

Zoe never got to finish her sentence as a burst of fire from a corridor over to the right split the night.

“Now what!?” clutching her rifle Zoe headed out of the door followed by Lea.

Running towards the sound of the firing, Zoe demanded to know what was going on.

“BUGS!” came Kandi’s urgent cry over the comms as the rapid fire turned into full automatic, “LOADS ‘n’ LOADS OF BUGS!”

“Hold on we’re coming!” Zoe and Lea picked up the pace using the sound of firing as a directional beacon.

Sliding around a corner Zoe saw Brandi and Kandi retreating backwards down the corridor as they fired on wall to wall and floor to ceiling bugs. In this part of the base the lights were completely out and the strobbing effect of the muzzle flashes made the bugs look even weirder and more vicious that normal.

Turning into the corridor, Zoe and Lea joined their fire to that of the two hill girls. For a moment it looked as if they were going to stop the bugs cold. But there were always more to replace the ones that the rifle bullets chopped to dog meat and rifles needed to be reloaded and ever time the human fire slacked off the bugs gained a little.

“BACK! BACK!” yelled Zoe over the noise of the yammering rifles as they hosed down the bugs that climbed over the dead bodies of their brothers, “GET BACK TO CENTRAL! RETREAT BY TWO’S!”

Once again the four women performed their well practiced method of retreat. First Brandi and Kandi broke off and ran a few yards up the corridor before turning and covering the retreat of Zoe and Lea. In this way they managed to keep the bugs at bay until they got to the door of the central area of the base.

“IN! IN!” Zoe yelled as she stood with her back to the door firing down the corridor at the bugs.

First Kandi ran through the door followed by Lea who turned and using the door as cover added her fire to Zoe’s. Brandi slipped through the door grabbing Zoe as she passed and dragging her in behind her. Just as Zoe cleared the door, Kandi hit the ‘emergency close’ button and the doors slid shut with a loud CLANG! neatly chopping off the forearm of a bug as it did so.

“What the freck happen!?” Zoe demanded breathlessly, “One minute there’s no bugs the next there’s thousands!”

“Nest!” Brandi gasped her magnificent breasts heaving under all her equipment.

“Yeah,” agreed Kandi as she sucked great lungfuls of air into her lungs, “there’s a frecking big bug thing dahn there,” she jerked her thumb over her shoulder indicating the way they’d just come, “must be a queen or sumfing it was laying eggs…”

“An’-an’ there was a big frecking ‘ole in the floor,” Brandi added, “wiv loads of bugs crawlin’ out of it…”

“You mean a bug hole?” Lea asked as she took spare clips from the bandolier that hung around her neck and transferred the rounds to her empty magazines.

“NAH!” the two girls said together, “BIGGER!”

“Bigger?” Zoe asked in a small voice, she’d told Burden there were no bugs here, now he’d be walking into a horde of the damn things, she’d need to call him and warn him off.

“Much bigger,” Brandi agreed.

“Much-much bigger,” Kandi added for emphasis.

“How…?” Lea watched the girls as her thumbs pressed rounds into magazines without any input from her brain.

“Three, four yards,” Brandi explained in a low voice.

“At least,” Kandi added.

“Crap…” Zoe would have said more but the sound of bugs beating against the door stopped her, “…bugger!” she said instead, “Find a way outta here, NOW! Kandi watch the door!”

AS the three other women started to search for another exit, Kandi watched the door, the bugs were hitting it so hard it was starting to bend and bow inwards. This type of door wasn’t made for this sort of punishment and it was only a matter of time before the bugs broke it out of its mounting and got in.

“‘urry up, you guys!” Kandi clutched hold of her rifle and mentally counted her still full magazines; four, she had four and what was in her rifle that should be enough, shouldn’t it?

“Found something,” Lea’s voice called from across the room.

Glancing over her shoulder, Kandi caught a glimpse of Brandi, Zoe and Lea pushing some wrecked furniture away from what looked like another door. Looking back to the door in front of her Kandi could see that the bugs had bent it out of shape and it was coming free from its mounting.

“MOVE IT GUYS!” she yelled; even as she spoke she saw an arm belonging to a bug snake through a gap made between the door and the doorframe.

Firing Kandi saw the arm disintegrate in a fan of blood, bone and flesh. It was more or less at this point that the door decided to give up the unequal struggle and tried to open. Fortunately it only opened about a foot or so due to it being bent out of shape, but the bugs still managed to squeeze through the gap. Shooting the first few bugs to try and gain access, Kandi managed to block the door up again. But only for a second, the bugs simply tore their dead comrades apart in their eagerness to get at the trapped humans.

Listening to Kandi’s increased rate of fire, Zoe and Lea heaved the last desk out of the way. Trying the door, Zoe found it locked.

“Judy!” she called without thinking, looking around she couldn’t see her old buddy, “Where’s Judy?” she demanded of Lea.

“Don’t know!” Lea called back, “stand clear!”

Lea raised her rifle as Zoe took a step away from the door. Putting a couple of rounds into the electronic lock both women were relieved to see the door open and there not be hundreds of bugs waiting for them on the other side.

“BRANDI, KANDI WE’RE OUTTA HERE!” Zoe yelled as she followed Lea through the door.

Watching as the two hill girls retreated across the room as the more and more bugs pushed their way in, Zoe raised her rifle to give covering fire.

“MOVE IT! MOVE IT!” Lea called as she tried to draw a bead on the hissing, snapping bugs as they started to swarm across the room.

Almost reaching the door Kandi turned to give her friend covering fire only to see a bug drag Brandi off her feet.

“NOOOOO!” Kandi fired and drilled the bug through the head allowing Brandi to regain her feet for a moment.

Stumbling towards the door, Brandi reached out for her sister only to be dragged away by more bugs before anyone could get to her. Screaming as the bugs bit into her legs and arms with their long sharp teeth Brandi was dragged under a mass of hissing bugs. Standing in the doorway Kandi fired on full auto into the struggling mass of angry bugs killing them and her friend.

“GRAB HER!” Zoe told Lea as she sprayed the advancing bugs with fire.

Reaching into the bug filled room; Lea caught hold of Kandi’s equipment harness and pulled her to safety. Once Kandi and Lea were in the room, Zoe shut the door, it slid closed with agonising slowness.

“That won’t stop them for long,” Zoe gasped, “we better get outta here now…Kandi are you with us?”

“Yeah,” the hill girl whispered as the tears rolled down her dirty cheeks, “I’m with you…”

“Look,” Zoe gathered the short girl into her arms, “we’ll give Brandi a good send off once we’re outta here…she was our buddy too.”

“Yeah I know,” Kandi pulled herself free of Zoe’s embrace, “but she was my ‘one’, my one girl in-in all the world…”

“Yeah,” Zoe was only just realising that the two hill girls had been more than just friends, “okay I get that, so let’s go kill some bugs for her!”

“Yeah right,” Kandi agreed as she clutched her rifle across her chest.

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