My first short story on DITL.

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My first short story on DITL.

Post by Deepcrush »

Operation Dusted Moon

"It was a strange time to look back on. Three years you know, three whole years and all we do is jump around. I'm still not sure for what really. Its not like these factories still work. No one works the mines anymore. No more ore coming up. No one to even care. Right, you should know something virgin, just so you know what you're going to die for. Recent conflicts between the Imperium and Tau Empire where classified as "Minor Border Disputes". I think they wanted a way to avoid saying it was a war. Either because higher ups wanted too pretend it wasn't important or because we kept losing. They never liked saying they weren't the victors of everything. The Guard even have a rule saying that anyone higher rank then you is always right. That it's as Mandate of the Emperor. I think they were about as mandated as the dung on my boot back from my father's agro. To think of it though, how fast everything changed. It was my first time in combat, my first time off world. Amazing how small your home becomes, when you're a million kilometers away. You'll understand, soon enough to be sure. Don't cry kid, really. Stay close and we'll keep you alive."

Chapter one - I wish I could just cry!

My damned skull felt like a bouncing ball inside my helmet. Our transport was coming down fast, a lot faster then I thought it should. Two dozen training mission and never did the pilots ever rush down to reach dirt this fast. "Touch down in thirty! Rapid deploy!" The pilot was yelling but somehow still sounded calm as morning. I reached to check my harness and weapon stack. For the tenth time. Maybe it came undone, I don't know, its possible. It hadn't though. I checked it again, then I prayed. I wasn't the only one. HQ said in and out, six weeks tops. One of the NCOs joked that meant six months. I didn't think it was funny. "Touch down! Kiss the dirt!" Again, the pilot sounded relaxed while yelling. Some freak of a man there. Took me a second to realize what he was talking about. The transport jerked forward, slamming my head to the right. Then like a boy and a his whip, our APCs driver stomped the throttle and my head flew back left. Just like popping a ale bottle, we shot out of the transport's ramp.

Squad Sergeant stood upright through the whole thing. Holding on with one hand and smoking with the other. "Listen up you virgin mucks!" Sergeant yelled like he was a demon, not sure why since we where hearing him over our helm comms. "Check your air seal and then check it again! Then, check your boots then your weapons then your armor. In that order virgins! Masks on and glare lens down! The sun is going to be in front of us. Don't get yourself blind or whatever!" Masks, why masks? They said we could breath the air here. Breathing with the breather masks on is like breathing with a towel over your face! That and I threw up a little bit in mine on the way down from orbit. "This is a live fire zone! There will be things trying to kill you. Stay low, stay fast and stay like me." We all looked at him a little funny for that. "Stay with me! Get your eyes off me virgin, you're not that cute! You all know what the hell I meant!" Sergeant comm'd the driver about something and signed the Cpls. They unhooked from their seats and moved to the ramp. They didn't say a word but they looked at us and we all unhooked and tried to move back with them. Most of us were tripping and falling over things. I grabbed onto an ammo rack for balance and stood in line. I was the biggest man in my team, so I got to carry the heavy stubber. That and a thousand rounds of ammo for the beast.

Our APC's turret started up. A pair of heavy bolters letting go. Every shot made a sound that reminded me of a sledgehammer hitting concrete. Though this was a bit muffled, I think because of the hull armor. The APC slowed to a near halt and our ramp dropped. "Move!" Barked the Sergeant. So we ran, the Corporals leading the way. My team ran around the left side of the APC. Then I saw a flash and felt like someone had just hit me with a mule kick. Sergeant grabbed my backpack and lifted me to my feet, yelling something about running for cover. I didn't even know I wasn't standing to begin with. Sergeant shoved me down against a waist high rock wall. Not rock, but maybe concrete. I was just so smashed it looked like piled rocks. I looked over to where we had come from. An APC no ten meters from ours was hit and looked like it had peeled open like a fruit. Fire was blasting up to the sky from its engine and ammo was cooking off inside. Or what would have been inside before. I got to look back at where we had just run across. A number of APCs and MBTs were on fire. The gray dirk on the ground had been kicked up by all the tracks from the Division. My helm HUD read 'Breathing Condition Warning'. I shook my head. "Sergeant said masks and air seal." I wished I could kick myself for not thinking of it. I saw men from another squad nearby who hadn't had their masks on. They were coughing up puke and blood the plenty. The dusk must have been like razors, seeing how it was made from what used to be concrete. Some of those men were flailing around while medics tried to help them. One of them put his pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. I watched his helm jump two meters above him before landing on the guy next to him.

"You might just want this for later!" The Sergeant tossed my stubber to me. "Next time I pick you up, you should pick that up!" I wanted to say something back, but I just wrenched in my mask again. I was glad that the mouth filter was separate from my nose and my nose from my eyes. "Move! Move for cover!" the Sergeant yelled. We moved, I didn't even wait for the Corporals to stand. I ran, we all ran! Right towards a blown our building. A whole lot of squads followed us in. Blue bolts started up on us, right out of nowhere. A bunch of those around me went down, a few didn't get back up. Sergeant opened fire, on something, don't know what. I opened fire in the same direction. "Short bursts, its always short burst, short controlled bursts!" I got back conformation calls from people around me. I thought I was thinking to myself. "Shut up, we heard you the first time!" Guess I wasn't. I fed half a belt down at whatever the Sergeant was shooting at or at least hoping he was shooting at. We made it to the building and started ducking for cover. I fell to my knees and crawled to a hole in the wall. I pulled my knees up to my chest, I wanted to be small right now. Just very very small. We were there for about ten minutes when the shooting stopped. There was a full company worth of men in this little building. Only three of the squads here are a part of my company. Don't know the rest. It was so quite now, like the world was dead. My ears were ringing and my whole body was shaking. "Cry, its okay, really." I can't, why can't I? My eyes are flooded like a spring river! "Just cry you coward!" I just wish I could cry!
Jinsei wa cho no yume, shi no tsubasa no bitodesu
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Deepcrush »

I'm thinking about adding to chapter one but I want to get some reaction first. I'll also be working on the next part being
"Chapter 2 - Wake up, its bed time!"
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Mikey »

More!
I can't stand nothing dull
I got the high gloss luster
I'll massacre your ass as fast
as Bull offed Custer
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Mark »

Nice. Really nice. 8)
They say that in the Army,
the women are mighty fine.
They look like Phyllis Diller,
and walk like Frankenstein.
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Deepcrush »

Thank you, really, such great feed back... :roll:

Just pickin, 30 views and I got "More" and "Nice". :lol:

EDIT!

I'm working on Chapter 2 now but I need some feed back on Chapter 1. What people liked or didn't like? If you could see in your own mind what was going on through the lead character's eyes or not?
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Deepcrush »

Long time over due but the other night I just felt like getting to it. Some review help if you please.

**********************************************************

Chapter 2 - Wake up, its my bed time!

Corporal Stalk stomped my chest. “Get up, we’re moving out of here.” My legs were sore from being curled up for the last hour or so. “Why? Where are we going? Aren’t we safe here?” Sergeant smacked the back of my helmet. “Shut up! You talk to much and that’s my job.” I picked up my weapon, slammed the bolt and clipped a fresh belt onto the half spent one. Some of the Sergeants from the other squads got together and thought up some plan about not being here and being somewhere else. Pure genius if you ask me. Not that they ever would. I finally got myself up after a few minutes. My suit was a lot heavier then I remember. “Got a cold one here Sergeant” chatted Corporal Stalk in the same voice I use to say “good morning” to my folks back home. Sergeant walked over and kicked the body over. “That hole is wider then your fist! Poor virgin must have bled out in minutes.” “Funny, you’d think he’d have said a thing or two about it.” Sergeant made a turn on his heel. “Stalk, strip him for gear an ammo.” I couldn’t see the wound, but it was Thyus. I went through enlistment and training with him. I always thought he’d be a hero someday. We’ve only been planet side for a few hours. I know he never fired a shot. Corporal Stalk laughed how the safety catch on Thyus’ weapon was still on. He must have forgotten to take it off when we ran from the APC. Corporal Stalk got a good bit of gear from him. Eleven auto rifle mags, six frags, four O2 filters and a full week worth of ration paste. “Rest of his gear is wasted Sergeant! Been hit half a dozen times on his back. Melted everything not on his chest harness.” His eyes were still open. I looked away because I didn’t want to wrench again. For the first time since I landed on planet I looked up at the sky. “Did anyone notice its night time and snowing?” “That’s right kid, the best time to move. The snow will make reading thermals a bitchy thing at best. They’ll need to put up flares if they want to see us.” Corporal Stalk laughed as he dropped Thyus’ body to the ground. Sergeant waved everyone forward. “Well, if they flare to see us then we can see them. Sergeants lead the way. Squads stay close to your Sergeants.” Our squad went first.

There used to be a wall on the corner of the building we were in. Not so much anymore. We could and did run four men wide out the hole. My heavy stubber didn’t much agree with trying to climb over the rubble wall we had used for cover. I didn’t trip this time, someone else did. Corporal Stalk kicked him, quietly yelling at him to get up and move. We made a straight run for the other side of the street. What I think was a tram track of some kind had fallen down into the street. It made a nice rubble trench about a meter and a half high on either side. Being about three meters wide, we had a lot of room too move. No one used it though. Everyone stayed as tight to sides as they could. I kept bumping random pieces of whatever where sticking out. I didn’t care, I would have been inside that rubble if I could have. We found a spot where the track rubble crossed an open area with a large, formerly tall building in the middle. “A tram station.” “What’s left of it.” “Anyone in there?” “Only one way to find out.” Sergeant waved a squad forward. They stayed low and slow. The building empty, they weren’t there yet but we knew. No one lets a squad walk to their door with a full company behind them. You either shoot or run like hell the other way. The squad got in and comm an all clear. First Sergeant put five squads in the station and our plus one other in the trench. The other three squads spaced around the other three sides with whatever cover the poor bastards could find. Sergeant said that we would hold our escape rout. It was a good spot, so I think and so the Sergeant told us. He gave us a short speech, it made me feel better. “We’ve got a good hole. Fifty meters to the next cover and only the trench running up to the building. The building is already as crushed as its going to get so no one is going to think to bomb it again. We hold here until we hear from command.”

Watch was easy, the snow had slowed a few hours after we took up our new home. The sun was up and it was a wonderful shade of gray/black, or just a filthy shade of white, whichever suited a man’s mood maybe. Flakes came down light and soft so that you could see a good hundred meters without visor. The whole thing was almost peaceful, minus the blown out building everywhere. I dug into a small shelf of rubble and set up the bipod on my weapon. My position had a perfect view down between the buildings we had come through. I packed up some debris and snow in front of me and on the barrel of my weapon. From the opposite side, you couldn’t tell I was even there. I poked my micro-cam through my cover and used that to spy the area. Morning was pretty peaceful for us. Shots, such as cannon and some auto fire, could be heard but it was distant. Seemed to me that the fighting and the forces of both sides had shifted along the city we were in. Since everything in this area was smashed, most likely both side’s commanders had moved to more productive locals. It was fine by me since I was happy to just lay here on my weapon’s stock and relax. Yeah, I liked the peace. It was just perfect for me. I call this the life right here.

Life is funny sometimes. Just when you think things can’t get any better… it falls to shit. I had gorged my paste ration for the prior day which got rid of the hunger pain in my stomach. The snow made a great mattress as any I had ever laid on. My armor and wears kept me so warm that I was hot. It did that because that’s how you blocked thermals, not that our quartermasters gave a damn about our staying warm. The armor and wears did the same even in the heat of summer. At that moment life was good, then the next moment it was a wakeup call.

Somehow I missed the first of them, but I didn’t miss the whole platoon that followed their lead squad. The enemy was pouring out of the corridor we had come from the night before. Did I doze off a bit, did they just sneak that well or did I miss them because I wasn’t paying attention? Hell if I know for sure but I do know this much. They didn’t see us, but the runners spread the word along our line and we were told to wait until they reached fifty meters. I racked the bolt on weapon and stared through my micro-cam. At seventy so meters, the enemy stopped in its tracks. It was possible they saw us somehow, or that they thought they needed to avoid the scary looking position we were hidden in. Whatever it was it didn’t really matter much. They paused right in the open and tried to redeploy for a fanned line advance with some of their numbers stepping forward as skirmishers. Sergeant didn’t give them a chance to finish up their thoughts. “FIRE AT WILL!” rang through my ear comm. My fingers pulled the heavy trigger and my weapon responded with a solid kick to my shoulder. I held the trigger down and the belt fed through the weapon with rounds feeding down range at the enemy.

The first few seconds of fire just punched around the enemy. I couldn’t draw a good bead on anything. Sweeping back and forth my rounds just chewed up debris which the enemy had dived behind for cover. Some of them had gone down by our fire at the start. Auto-Rifles on single shot barked down our line and I saw at least one of the enemy get his chest ripped open. I paused my fire to refocus myself and my aim. The enemy must have figured there were only a few of us by the volume of fire. They surged at us, their whole number standing and rushing as one. “Internal comms” I thought to myself and out loud. “They must have internal comms”. There was no way they could have spoken otherwise over the distance and noise and cover. Pulse fire ripped over our line and cover. Someone on our side went down in a scream and the blast took him in the shoulder. I looked away from our line so I wouldn’t have to look at the man who went down. At that moment I saw a small number of the enemy moving to our left.

“Enemy moving to the left! They want our flank for a fold in!” I yelled out and gripped the trigger of my weapon tighter then I think I’ve ever done. I tucked myself tighter and focused more clearly then I had ever thought possible. The trigger seemed to pull itself just as I thought it should and I watched my rounds fly down on the enemy squad. The first two were tight to each other, my rounds gutted both of them . Seeing they had been spotted they tried to turn back but I refused to let them go. Thyus was suddenly in my mind, his ruined body was in my mind. THEY killed him! “no no no, don’t run now…” Another one of them went down, rounds shredding his upper body. “…you‘re not scared NOW are you…” Thyus wasn’t a bad person, he liked cards and farm girls and dancing. I cut down two more of them, hitting both in their backs and legs as they tried to run for cover. “…Thyus sends his greetings assholes!!!” I let my yell run for several seconds. It felt good! They had invaded us, killed us, ruined us and it was my turn to return the favor.

Sergeant came over to me after the fight. Knelt down by me and asked me “Feeling better Trooper?” Trooper? He had called me virgin and kid and son before. “Yes Sergeant, feeling damn good.” The Sergeant’s helm nodded and pointed to my weapon. “Got a good enough grip on that stubber now I bet.” I patted the bolt and nodded in return. “Thyus isn’t leaving my side again, not so long as I live Sergeant. And that’s a fact.” Sergeant stood, tapped his weapon and told me he felt the same about Zeltos. Took me a minute to realize that I had just named my weapon. That the Sergeant understood what it was and why I did it. That I wasn’t a virgin anymore and I had a place here. When it was all said and done I had five kills, a new name and my weapon had life to it. To be truthful though, I didn’t feel like I was myself anymore. I wasn’t Enrick anymore, not the Enrick my mother raised and my father accepted.

“Von Hydden!” Sergeant snapped at me. “You’re off watch for four hours Trooper, so go get some rest.” “Aye Sergeant” plus out of habit I tapped my internal comms’ confirmation switch. One of the Corporals chimed the Sergeant. “Should we get that stubber from him Sergeant?” “Only if you want to be the one I sacrifice to get it. He‘s a bit touchy when it comes to Thyus.” Said the Sergeant in reply. “Uh, no Sergeant, I think I’ll be okay as is.”

I made my way into the burnt out building that was now our home. Some basic bedding had been set up by whatever they could find in the place. There were only a few spots and I was told on the way in to pick someone and send them out as my replacement. I saw a trooper on the ground, stretched out like he was on vacation. So I kicked him in the side. “HEY YOU!” I knelt beside him. “Wake up, its my bed time!”
Jinsei wa cho no yume, shi no tsubasa no bitodesu
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by mwhittington »

Great storytelling, I can definitely see in my mind's eye the battle taking place. The only criticism I have is to watch your punctuation marks (your quotations, parentheses, etc.) Keep it up, Deep!
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Deepcrush »

Yeah, it drives me crazy seeing the lines of green errors across the text. But I was trying to write it by how it feels and not how "proper" paragraph would be written.

Thank you for reading and giving me your thoughts.
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by RK_Striker_JK_5 »

I take it this is Warhammer 40K, Deep?

Well-written. A few typos here and there, but fast-paced and moves well. I'm no expert and you probably are, but I feel you got the 'first time in combat' done rather nicely.
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Deepcrush »

Yeah, its a 40k story. Fighting "aliens" is a great way to reflect the way it feels going up against the unknown. You can talk about a guy shooting at another guy but when you read the story it lacks mystery at times. Fighting an alien makes it easier to express how it feels to fight someone who is completely different then you. Also, when you fight someone and its a matter of life and death, you stop seeing people. They have two arms, two legs and a head just like you. But you don't see "them" for who they are. They just become the enemy as well as anyone who looks like them.

I'll try to get chapter three up soon.
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by RK_Striker_JK_5 »

Looking forward to it. :)
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

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Chapter 3 - So, who’s up for a walk?

If it wasn’t for the time digital on my HUD, I could have fooled myself into thinking I had slept for more then just two hours. As it was, I slept for just two damned hours. Corporal Stalk came through and started waking us. “Come on boys, got some movement along the dip side.” Dip side was the nick name for the side opposite of the trench. Since the wall ‘dipped’ down to the flat side. “Grab your shit and move to the wall to make ready for attack.” Looking around, everyone seemed about as slow as me until the word attack came. That gets your attention no matter how tired you are. Thyus was still in my grip, so I rolled over and stood for a quick stretch. Only took me a few seconds and then I was off and a quick jog to find a spot to deploy. As soon as I got outside I noticed it was dark again, freaky ass planet. Snow was coming down again and pretty hard this time. Means no thermals again.

I put Thyus on a little lip and grabbed my camo-blanket from my kit to throw over the barrel. A trooper next to me with a missile launcher looked at me and bumped my arm. “What’s that for? You know they can’t see you to clear through all this.” He said nodding at the snowfall. I shoved him and gave him a sharp tone “No, but they could see the snow-steam off the hot barrel.” He didn’t say anything, just got up and moved down the line a bit. Corporal Stalk took his place next to me and slapped my shoulder. “Stupid virgins just don’t get it do they?” He said with a laugh. “I was a virgin not to long ago.” My response seemed a bit cold, I still don’t know how to feel about everything. Stalk slapped my shoulder again but with a bit of force. “Yeah, you were, not anymore. One hour or one year don’t make a bit of difference. Just know your job and make sure the virgins know theirs. I mean that Trooper, these are green boys just like you were a bit ago and they haven’t had to face down a head on fight. Show them some of your aim and let Thyus do the talking.” Stalk got up and moved down the line some more, stopping next to a Trooper who was shaking, even through his armor and wears. I don’t know if Stalk had told me what he did because it was the truth or because it made me feel better about myself. But to be honest, I just don’t give a damn. “Alright virgins!” I grumbled into the comms for the nearest troopers. “When they come, wait for a clear bead on them. Don’t fire till you hear the go word.”

I felt like we were waiting there for an hour, or maybe it was really just eight minutes. Damnit if it didn’t feel like an hour! Then there was the first sign of movement, then a bit more. Suddenly whoever was out there just stopped. “FRIENDLIES COMING IN!” Howled Stalk over the comms. “Bring’em in boys and watch their backs.” I exhaled a breath that must have been in me for a good minute or two. But blessed be a fortune, it was a full Company of Nyleahan troops. They were even a part of our own 672nd Armored Regiment. Their Captain was up front and was greeted by our Sergeants who rushed up to the Dip. First Sergeant locked wrists with the Captain and slapped his shoulder. “You have no idea how good it is to see some people here not trying to kill us Sir.” Captain slung his weapon and looked around. “Well to be truthful we were just bored and heard the fire from here and decided to visit. Hard to mistake our own weapons on this hole.”

The Captain, Von Riem, took command and named our Sergeant as his new Lieutenant since he lost his own out on a recon mission. On the plus side it meant that our boss was still second in command of our now two company force. Ninety plus from the Captain’s and around a hundred and twenty from our own. Captain brought a long a lot of heavy weaponry too which is never a bad thing. They spent some time briefing each other on what they had seen. From the sounds of everything, the landings were bad everywhere for us. Our forces dropped right in the middle of an enemy counter offensive and the local Guard General didn’t tell because he had somehow thought silence would be useful. Typical Imperial Guard, fodder led by fools. I was lucky or unlucky in some way because I sat close enough to hear them talk.

“Well Lieutenant, you got yourself a hell of a nice pit here. If we’re going to be the thorn in their side, then this is the right place to do it from.” The Captain had tone in his voice that I was sure without his helm we’d see a big smile on his face. “Aye Sir, its as good a place as any. Solid ground and plenty of dirt to dig into. If the enemy wants to get us out of here they’ll need to hit us with a Regiment. We already tore up a company worth of them prior to your arrival. Just walked right up and didn’t even notice us till around fifty meters. We killed at least half of them and sent the rest running.” The Captain paced a bit and looked out over the killing ground. “Bet there could be some useful stuff out there just waiting for us to barrow. So see to it Lieutenant, and let me know what we find.” “Aye Sir” The Lieutenant snapped a salute and quick stepped back to the defense wall.

Lieutenant pointed at Corporal Stalk and then myself. “You two! Since you look so bored there’s some work for you. Captain wants a scouting of those bodies out there. Grab anything that can be useful and haul it back here on the double quick. Corporal Stalk, pick eight more men to go with you. Trooper Von Hydden, you’re going to be his cover if he needs it. Reload Thyus and stock up on frags.” The Lieutenant walked off down the line to do… whatever he was going to do. Stalk grumbled something and stood up, stretching a quick bit and then shuffling over to a group of troopers sitting down on their rest time. “So, who’s up for a walk?”
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

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Chapter Three up and ready. Its a short one, more or less just a feeder chapter but it gives some subtle details that will be important later.
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

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Chapter 4 - Why don’t they stop?

“This is bullshit, why’d we get drawn for this?” I don’t know who he was, some trooper out of Sixth Company, but he hadn’t shut up the whole time we were out in the field. “Because…” Corporal Stalk started “…the Captain wants us to gather up everything useful out here. That means weapons, ammo and intel if any exist.” There was only the three of us out here now, the other seven had been sent back once we loaded them up with salvage. The Trooper stood and kicked a rock or bit of rubble into one of the bodies. “Xenos trash, should have stayed the hell off our ground.” Stalk waved the Trooper low. “Would you keep your damn head down!” “No one’s out here Corporal, just us and the dead.” Stalk stood upright and walked over towards the Trooper. He made it five paces before we heard the first crack followed by a weapon report. The Trooper, standing fully upright, dropped his weapon out of his hand and it hung only by its strap to his body. Three more cracks, followed by weapon reports. I comm’d my all-call and screamed… “SNIPERS!” I ran over to the trooper, grabbed him by his arm and near dragged him back towards our lines. “We need cover fire! Cover fire now!” Pulling the trooper along, I ran past Stalk. He had dropped to his knees, four holes punched clear through his body. He head was drooping forward. “God… damn….” He said, and fell forward face plate into the ground. The trooper tried to stop for a second, he turned towards Stalk. “The Corporal, we have to help him!” I let Thyus swing on its sling and grabbed the Trooper again but with both arms. “No time virgin! Back to the lines now!” Then the storm started. First it was the single reports of our snipers countering, then our heavy stubbers joined in with grenade launchers. I ran, just like I did the day we landed, I ran. I pulled the Trooper with me and I ran. My legs burned, resisting the weight on them, I hadn’t dropped the gear I had salvaged. In all I had an extra forty plus kilos on me, and I still ran like I was naked. Later I would think about it, how fast I had gone. How I had reached our lines in time that would have earned me merit as a jock in school as a youth. I just ran.

I reached our lines and dived over the lower wall. Should have thought about the landing before I jumped but I didn’t. I landed on my shoulder, hard, with all the extra weight on me crunching me into the dirt. The trooper I dragged with me threw himself over the lower wall and landed next to me face first into the ground. His “Ugh!” over his comm told me he had just knocked himself dizzy. I threw off all the extra salvage and rolled to my feet. Lifting Thyus to the wall, bracing the stock to my shoulder and letting the bipod touch soil. I got the first look at what was behind me in my run. I froze for a second, only a second, and then I pulled the trigger. They were flooding out of the far intersection, I pulled the trigger again. There had to be hundreds of them, running to whatever cover they could find. Somewhere down the line, a Non-Com yelled “Beaks” which was quickly repeated. Seemed that’s what these things were called, these Beaks.

Our lines were afire, every trooper able was shooting at full auto without any concern to spare the ammunition. It was a storm of bullets to and from our ranks. What I didn’t know at the time was that in thirty seconds we killed over two hundred of the Beaks, though that was hardly a third of them. Thirty five seconds into the fight the Beaks jumped into our lines. And at forty seconds, we were dying.

I don’t know how many I killed myself, a dozen or more, but it didn’t matter. They were fast and a wall that I had to climb they leapt in a single bound. Thyus had done well but it wasn’t meant to last. I heard the worst sound, the sound that stopped my heart, the click of an empty belt feed. Thyus was empty, no more bullets to give to the enemy. A Beak jumped up to me and out of instinct I pointed the empty weapon it’s way. It jumped again hoping to leap over me but I swung Thyus and caught it in mid flight sending the Beak in a tumble. A second Beak landed next to me, I smashed it in the face with the stock of Thyus. It stumbled backwards so I stepped on its foot so it couldn’t rebalance and drove Thyus into it again. It let go of its own weapon, some slug thrower rifle with a blade on front and back, and grabbed Thyus. I let go of my own weapon and watched the thing fall to the ground. I drew my Bolt Revolver and put a round to its chest. Things didn’t even wear armor, just cloth.

The screaming caught my attention, a trooper was being pulled over the defense wall with a number of Beaks ripping at his armor. I put a bolt into two of them just to be blindsided by another. It rammed into me and sent me flying to the ground, I felt the pain of both impacts through my armor. I tried to find the trooper but he was gone, they had him. I leveled my sidearm to fire at my attacker only for the Beak to grab my wrist. I could feel its strength as it pulled on my weapon. I could over power a normal human without trouble and this skinny ugly cloth wearing primitive was as strong as I was. Its fist met my helm and I felt my brain rattle, I returned the favor by slamming my helm into its head. My brain rattled more and then I was airborne, the Beak picked me up and flipped me by my leg. Landing on my shoulder, my neck craned with the impact. Rolling to get some distance the Beak charged me. I stepped into it, gripping its upper body and twisting my own. The Beak didn’t expect it and lost its touch with the ground, flying with good spin and ending with an extremely unpleasant crack against a block of rubble. Half crawling on all fours, half running chest to the ground, I planted myself on top of the thing. It threw a punch to knock me away but I just braced and let it bounce off my armor. I replied with an armored fist to its skull, with another, another and another. At some point the wet crunch of breaking bone sounded from its bouncing head. I put both my hands on the sides of it’s head and taught its head to look behind it with a twisting snap.

I fell to the side of the Beak I had just killed. My heart was pounding in my chest and my muscles were crying out for use. I heard another scream as a trooper went down. I rolled to my feet and ran towards him. He was on his back fighting off a pair of Beaks who were slashing at him with their rifle blades. To close to shoot the trooper, they were trying to find a soft point in his armor. Coming up behind on of the Beaks I stomped my foot into the back of its knee. I felt the joint dislocate from my weight and pressed it to the ground. The Beak let go of its weapon, squalled something that sounded like horrible pain and flailed its hands not knowing where the attack had come from. I wrapped my arms around it’s neck and gave it the mercy I had just given its friend. Pushing my foot down, grinding its dislocated joint to the dirt I wrenched up with my arms. It convulsed for a second, the sheer agony it was in overloading its senses. Then the pleasing sound of wet cracking bone as its neck separated from its spine. “Peace be with you…” I screamed at it as I dropped the corpse to the ground.

Seeing the relief, the grounded trooper kicked the remaining Beak over him in the knee. The strike was lacking in power but it caused the Beak to back off its attack. I rushed the Beak, its attention too unfocused to level its weapon at me in time. “…And also with you!” The scream more like an angry growl now as I finished the prayer line. I gave it emphasis as one hand batted the Beaks weapon aside and my other hand drove a thumb into its eye. The jelly of it bursting over my glove and gauntlet. The thing howled in pain, so I pressed my thumb deeper using my free hand to grab the Beak by the throat. I shoved forward, driving the Beak against a broken wall piece. It was still howling and scrapping at my arms to free its eye socket of the intrusion. I pressed it against the wall, my hands gripping so tightly it felt as though my fingers were sure to break at any second. If it weren’t for our protective wears then its likely they would have. With the creature distracted, I began kicking and kneeing at it. Its legs and groin suffered five or six impacts before it dropped to its knees. Its energy spent in the vain hope of driving me off. All it could do is look at me and whimper, its left eye socket draining blood and bile. Its hands patting at me, a universal beg for mercy or pity. I picked up a rock and bashed its skull in. When I was done hitting it, I dropped the rock on its ruined face. I’d have spit on it if I weren’t wearing my helm and breather. It was then that I noticed how quiet it was getting.

The Beaks seemed to lose their drive for the fight, or maybe they‘d done what they came to do. As quick as it started they just turned and left as though it wasn’t even a care anymore. At some point our reserves had formed up on the second wall defense and rained in on the Beaks. We shot a number in their backs as they ran away but hitting them on the move jumping like wild animals was tough. Though by we I don’t mean me, I didn’t even have a firearm at the time. Honestly I was still leaning over the corpse.

The trooper who I had saved it turned out now owed me twice. Leaning against the wall next to where I had just killed the second Beak trying to kill him. “I’m… I’m Vulnas. Thanks for the help.” That was his name, the bitching trooper from the field that I had dragged back. The one who had rather run his mouth then do his job. I punched him. “You’re welcome.”

I dropped down next to the Beak, sitting upright with it’s head next to my thigh. My eyes wondered around our lines, the bodies… the bodies were just twisted and dropped, shredded by bullets and blasts. Torn up by claws and blade and rocks. The gunshots were all but gone now. So we had a new sound taking over my hearing. Men, and Beaks, were crying out. Some shouting orders and others begging for aid of some sort or another. I watched a Beak raise its hand to a trooper, its body shredded by bullets, and point to the trooper’s pistol. The trooper drew his pistol and put a round through the Beak’s head. I don’t think he cared about the mercy end of it at first but he stopped before finishing his first step away from the Beak. Looked down at its split skull from his bolt and something must have just moved him. Because he reached down, put its rifle across its chest and folded its arms across the rifle.

All the screaming, all the crying, everything just went quiet in my head. As though the whole world just stopped turning for a moment. I looked down at the Beak, and something stirred inside of me. It was then that the tears hit me, I was finally crying. Damn me for being a coward, for being weak but I swear to you now that it was all I wanted to do. I know I shouldn’t have, I should be stronger then this. Stand up, grab my weapon and get my ass back to my post. The enemy will be coming back and I’ve got killing to do, lives to end and bodies to ruin. That’s what I have to do! I pulled my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around my legs and just cried. I couldn’t believe it, after all the time of thinking why I couldn’t let out the tears. All I could think now was “why don’t they stop?”

Chapter 4.5 - Or maybe I like to hear myself think.

“I know what you’re thinking. You’re asking yourself what’s so special about me? Why is it I just had this moment in battle where I got be some sort of hero when a short while back I just wanted to cry? Emperor’s hell, why am I even bothering to tell you the embarrassing parts! The truth is that I just don’t know. Sometimes things end up one way or another and if they didn’t then it wouldn’t be me telling you the story. It would have been Thyus or Stalk or whoever that trooper was that got pulled over the wall and torn to pieces. They’d be telling you about the crying trooper who got himself killed trying to crawl in a hole. Balled up and shaking like a child after a nightmare. But that’s not how it turned out is it. It turns out that I lived to tell you about this, all of this. So now that you’re joining our unit, and our unit is rejoining the fight here. You get to listen too me ramble on and if you’re smart then you’ll take some sort of lesson from this and pretend that I meant to teach you that very important lesson all along. So if that’s the case then I might as well tell you everything. Now I know you have a billion questions that I’ll never bother to answer. But keep this in mind, from now to the day you die. When your time comes, when you see your end on the line and know that this life is over for you… Right there, when you thought I was going to ask you a question or give you some advice. Think about what you were thinking, what came to your mind when you thought THIS IS IT. Because that is who you are, truly yourself. Not some clerk or servant, not some warrior or priest. At that moment, you are simply alive and for your last moments in this life. You can truly be what you’ve always wanted to be. I know that when I dream, I cry. For in my dreams, I’m still nothing more then the engine of violence you think of me as. And all I ever wanted was to die on a porch, watching my grandchildren playing on my farm. Maybe that’s just to much to ask if you are what I am. Maybe I deserve to die cold and alone and forgotten. Maybe its all for the best, could be if you think about it. When you hear my story, picture me here doing what I’m doing. Killing with hate on my lips, crying like a child at night, watching people die for something that I don’t even understand why we’re fighting for it. Could just be that its best I’m forgotten, that way people can live on and not have to think about me. Get to live out your dreams in this world and not have to think about what has been lost to get there. I hope you’re dreams are better then mine. I think I’m going to let myself cry again, just for a little while. Maybe I am where I belong after all. Or maybe I like to hear myself think.”
Jinsei wa cho no yume, shi no tsubasa no bitodesu
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Deepcrush
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Re: My first short story on DITL.

Post by Deepcrush »

Chapters four and four-and-a-half are up. This is a major stepping point in the story so if you're interested in more let me know.
Jinsei wa cho no yume, shi no tsubasa no bitodesu
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