I’m keeping my last post going a little. Here’s another few hundred words of the story I’ve been picking away at. Same as yesterday, it’s a little rough on grammar, spelling, and overall quality. I just wanted to get it down and it’s by no means the final version. That all said and done, enjoy and lemme’ know what you think. Oh! Tiny disclaimer: I totally made up the names and events. If it resembles anything real or whatever, it’s happenstance.
“What happened from there?” Dean Daily was as invested in his interview as his audience was.
“It wasn’t long before the next time we were called on to do something important. The wrong man in the right place, they say. I’d been promoted again to commander of the technology division under Faction Three. Was still a Corporal, but I had superseding authority over the decisions of the other Corporals in the division – like that made a difference. This semi-military thing was new to all of us and we just ran with the best idea regardless of ranks.
Around the middle of December –must have been a week before Christmas– F3 was ordered to the sewers to repair a couple meters of broken pipes before the next attack.”
“Anyone else sick of Anderson,” one of the technicians asked. He was banging away at some rusted cables, complaining that percussive maintenance was the only way any of this would be done inside three days.
“Enough chatter,” Lucius ordered, beating on his own length of torn material. “The Commander wants this done and Anderson agreed to front the cost of tools and time. This isn’t cheap, you know.”
“Don’t I know it,” one of the techs answered from across the way.
“That’s when all Hell broke loose,” Lucius told Dean. His voice was low and even.
Dean Daily leaned in, a cue for his audio technicians to adjust the gain on the microphones. He barely whispered, “Go on.”
“A few days later. The main invasion. You’ve all been through a history class or two, right? Twenty ships dropped out of orbit right on top of us. The hovered, office blocks in the sky. Each carried hundreds of soldiers who wanted out city. Why? Who could say? The SDF wasn’t so hush-hush in those days. New management, I suppose.”
The team from Faction Three felt the shockwaves of ships landing far below the surface. The city was built to withstand natural disasters of all sorts from flooding to super-storms like the one over Siberia.
“What was that?”
Lucius said, “Groundwave concussion. What could have caused that?”
The question was rhetorical, but received an answer. “Nuclear weapons?”
“Idiot,” Lucius answered in kind. “There aren’t any nuclear weapons left. At least, none anyone will admit to.”
“Exactly. What if America is up to that research into nukes again?”
“Shut it. Besides, that was Brittania you’re thinking of.”
“One empire falls apart, a new one took its place. I don’t think anything but the name changed.”
“You watch too many movies.”
“Then what was that shockwave?”
“I don’t know. Those repairs done yet?”
“Near enough. Should we glue the cover plates back on, or leave them?”
Lucius knew he wanted them back on, but they didn’t have the time to adhere them any better than that. “Bolt them in place. If they fall off, no matter. Let’s get to HQ and see what happened.”
The Auto-Bolter was meant as a weapon against the possibility that something might follow them into the subterranean sections of the city. It fired twenty-millimeter slugs meant for short to mid-range suppression. He supposed the Commander adapted the thing from a power tool because the projectiles were almost the same shape and size of a bolt gun one would find of any modern aircraft carrier or battleship. It made quick work of the cover plates and his team was hightailing it back to the surface.
“We high-tailed it out of the sewers damn fast, hoping that nothing happened.”
“But you weren’t sure?”
“Of course! For all we knew, the city was gone. Those shocks didn’t feel like much, but we were almost a hundred meters below street level.”
“That you felt anything at all was the problem.”
“That it was. We came up on the opening salvo.”
“Green Squad, suppressive fire! Red Squad, circle around and flank!” Orders left and right came down from the command staff on the ground – Sergeants barely awake at such an early hour waiting for their superiors to take over.
Lucius ran up to someone who seemed to be giving orders. “Corporal Brad Lucius, reporting.”
“Hell of a time,” the Sergeant said. “You’re tech, right?”
“Command is in disarray. All I know is that something blew up near the center of town. Get your people over there and get whatever it is working.”
“Any idea what it is?”
“None. Heard from one of the Colonels that we’re calling everyone. We’ll hold here, cover your six.”
Lucius grabbed his hand. They shook. “Thanks. Knock ‘em dead.”
The Sergeant turned back to his people. “That’s the plan.”