Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Jovian Rebel 4 (Final)

short story

Gregory snapped out of his memory and looked for a way in. A dust devil was headed for the checkpoint. He jumped into action. Grabbing some rocks and throwing them at the turrets. The dust devil came by and the turrets started firing. A symphony of gunshots, then silence.

Gregory heard the guards scrambling to reload the guns. Gregory jumped out and carefully aimed his first bullet at the one guard with a free hand. A gunshot, and a body in the dust. He aimed at another and fired. Another and fired. In just a few seconds, Gregory had taken out the checkpoint and was nearly inside. The compression chamber unlocked and four guards greeted Gregory with automatic rifles pointed at his chest.

Gregory snapped out of his daydream. He looked at his readout--83% failure. At 85% the failure would increase exponentially. He took a deep breath and started to move when he felt a hand on his shoulder. It pushed him back down and commanded him not to move.

His hands were above his head. An arm grabbed him and turned him around. Three soldiers stood before him aiming their guns at him. He felt numb. No grand escape, no big surrender, just caught.

A gust blew by and knocked a soldier down. The other two scrambled to try to recompose themselves. Gregory reached for his sidearm, and pulled the trigger quickly. One, two, three. All were down and he was running to the gathering point.

As he ran he thought about a crater he had passed on the way. It looked like there was something mechanized in the dirt. Something that was part of the larger infrastructure. It could be an essential line. He could hold it hostage and get supplies in return. He could live for years like that. He started running toward the crater. Then he heard a jet in the distance. A strike force was coming for him. They were far more equipped to track him down than he was to evade them.

He saw the rim of the crater and he dove into it. He immediately lost traction and started rolling down the slope. The jet faded and he made his way to the center of the crater. There he noticed a geometric shape. It looked metallic; part of something big.

He glanced at his wrist 91%. The running had accelerated his condition. Soon he would feel the effects and start losing his mind. It already hurt to breathe. He looked back at the edge of the crater. Several soldiers appeared at the edge.

Gregory grabbed his sidearm and put it to his head. Three gunshots rang out. Gregory’s ears rang. He looked at the hand that had been holding his gun--it was a mess of blood, quickly vaporizing in the thin atmosphere. His helmet screen was half-covered in blood. He coughed and spit blood.

Through the smears and spatters he could see the square. He knew that if he could just get to it he would be ok. He reached out with his good arm and tried to hold it. Everything started to fade and he was cold.

The three soldiers made their way down to Gregory’s mangled corpse. They checked for life-signs and found none. The commanding officer called in the body and sighed to himself solemnly. “HQ we have a body. And call in a technical team. There’s something they need to look at.”