Decided to try my hand at fan fic. Hope you like it.
8th Platoon, Proud Members of the glorious 134th fighting Foot
Most of a soldier's life is dull. Don't get me wrong mind it's not all dull. Only 90%. There's the other 10%, the days where it isn't dull, you just wish it was.
Let me tell you about one of those days.
It started with a bang. A huge bang a great explosion that jerked me out of sleep rolling sideways into the brush my hand on my gun barrel trying muzzily to get my bearings.
Big Willy walked back into the clearing where we had been camped. A giant of a man he was our heavy weapons specialist. He looked like a big affable goon but he had a mean streak like a cornered weasel and assumed anything he couldn't understand was some kind of snide insult. As he wasn't terribly bright this caused him to lead a life of some considerable bitterness. And as if all this wasn't bad enough God in his infinite cruelty had made the poor sod Scottish.
“The wee slen'karj just pooped on ma heid,” he whined.
Sure enough his hair was decorated with a white gloopy substance that was beginning to dribble down over his left ear. Behind him an alder tree burned fiercely.
“Let me get this right,” the Old Man said coldly.
“A bird pooped on your head,” the Old Man said coldly.
“So you shot it,” the Old Man said coldly
“With a freaking MININUKE?” the Old Man asked, his voice giving way to mild hysteria.
The Old Man as we called him, Sergeant Forbes to outsiders, signalled the Move Out and we slipped away from the clearing packing our belongings as we marched. Ghost our scout had disappeared somewhere up ahead. Big Willy avoided meeting our gazes.
As we marched away Tasha, our medic, began to berate Big Willy. I couldn't quite hear the conversation as she was whispering quietly but urgently while Willy massaged bird poop into his scalp. I thought I could make out the words “reckless” and "alert the enemy”. This wasn't going to end well.
“A WEE BIT O' RADS NE'ER HURT ANYONE!” shouted Big Willy exasperated eventually. The Old Man glared back at them and they both fell instantly silent. I beckoned Tanya over to me, mainly to keep her from provoking Big Willy into getting us all killed but also partly out of sympathy. I'm a nice guy at heart.
“Your first tour?” I asked quietly out of the corner of my mouth, not wanting the Old Man to catch us whispering.
“Big Willy's all right, he's just a bit thick.”
She nodded unhappily.
“One thing though. Do not ever under any circumstances in any situation if your life depends upon it ever ever call him mental.”
She looked at me a little wildly.
“It really annoys him,” I said apologetically.
Just then the Old Man glanced back and we shut up.
I didn't know if there were hostiles around. In the hills above New York City we'd lost a few patrols, everyone assumed to lizards. Everyone needed it to be lizards. Because the Shimmers they were our friends. Intelligence told us they were our friends. We all really hoped they were our friends despite certain rumours that got themselves shared after the camp fires went out.
Ghost was waiting up ahead. He gave us the Quiet, Hostiles signal. We melted into the bushes, I couldn't hear a sound from the others.
Standing procedure was for me to move to the right flank and wait. Combat waiting is like boring waiting but much, much sweatier. The mugginess of the day, the heaviness of my battle armour, the weight of the cannon I was lugging around wasn't helping me. After a while I began to hear Duncan, our Engineer, constructing a few surprises and made a mental note not to go back into the front part of the copse in the vale again.
I waited about half an hour, no sight or sound of the others except for the occasional gentle metallic tapping from the copse and then it all kicked off. There was a huge explosion from about a mile ahead followed by a chain of smaller explosions. Then came a really big explosion, from up ahead smoke pillared into the sky like some satanic genie.
There was a brief lull then the sound of gunfire. Lots of gunfire. I felt a rising panic that I knew wasn't natural – damn, they had psykers. It settled, Dennis, our own Telepath damping out the psychic waves from the hostiles. Weirdos playing table tennis with my soul. It really wasn't helping me relax.
I could see down into a valley at the bottom of which was a copse of trees. Scattered brush and hedges and brambles covered the slope. It began to sway in places, erratically. Almost time to start work...
There was an explosion in the brambles, someone on our side had tossed a welcoming grenade and it all kicked off for real now, up close and personal. As they stood I realised there were a couple of dozen lizards, we were badly outnumbered. Time to make a difference.
I began with a tactical nuke, airburst, just above the officer's head. Nukes ain't just for tweety birds. It vaped the officer's head, his headless torso ran off for a few seconds before collapsing twitching and it killed or knocked out several nearby lizards. I followed up with a brace of fragmentation grenades. As some of them escaped upwards I launched a salvo of drunken missiles the trails weaving madly in the sky as they chased the jetpackers down.
All kinds of badness was raining down on them now, the slope had become a blazing inferno of fire, explosion and bullets. Plus some psyker stuff – one of the lizards lost interest in the rest of us and began clawing out his eyes to escape from whatever demons Dennis had dropped into his head.
After ten minutes the Old Man yelled “Cease Fire” from somewhere off to my left. The gunfire stopped. The brambles burned with a cheery crackle, festooned with blackened and killed Rodons.
I didn't move for five minutes. No sign that anyone else did. Then I headed back towards where I thought the others were. I felt I ought to check on Tasha, our rookie.
I found her in a forest glade, lying in a pool of her own blood, her eyes staring wide in horror. Something had gutted her from behind. Big Willy emerged from the bushes, his face sombre.
I respectfully closed her eyes. Couldn't do much about her entrails though. I took her tags and her water bottle. Willy took her rations and her wallet.
“Tell yer what, I was right about one thing,” he said, handing me a biscuit.
I looked at him inquiringly.
“She never died o' cancer like she said she was gonna.”