|Crash and Burn
Author: Howler556 PM
Thatcher and his squad of special forces operators are ordered to clear a section through a war-torn city.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 7 - Words: 33,098 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 09-10-12 - Published: 01-29-12 - id: 2992811
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Mark." I whispered into the radio.
There was a flash in the distance as Crow fired his rifle. A soldier was nearly ripped in half as the huge twenty millimeter round tore through his chest. Blood sprayed up against the walls of the power plant. There was a rolling crack as the sound of rifle finally reached the yard. Nearly half a second later there was a huge uproar of shouts. The yard burst into life as guards started rushing around in search of good cover. Another large flash appeared in the distance and another huge round tore through the guard house. Wood splintered and glass spun into the air. A long drawn out wail was launched out of the open door of the guard house. Quinn, Nekolai, and Nicks burst out from behind the cooling tower. They sprinted out a little and dove to the ground and opened fire. Chips of concrete flew off of bullet pelted barriers; shards of wood flew out into the cooling evening air. Every few bursts of bullets a geyser of blood would fly into the air. I jumped up into a standing position on the chipped concrete ledge. I shouldered the rifle and drew a bead on one of the guards that was hunkered down in the guard house. I squeezed the trigger and a solid hung of metal exploded out of the barrel. It tore through the thin wooden wall of the house and ripped through the shoulder of the soldier. He spun around with a cry and fell to the ground. A twelve gauge hull spun through the air and landed on the gravel. I sighted in on one of the windows of the trailer that the officer had walked out of. I pulled the trigger when a shadow appeared behind the window. The window shattered inward to reveal emptiness. I aimed at the door of the trailer and fired off a round. The large cylinder of lead crumpled up against the armored steel door. The bullet sparked off and left a large dent in the panel. The continuous roar of my men's machine guns died down.
"Hey, Nekolai, toss me one of those shotguns!" I called.
He jogged in between the barriers and around the bodies to pick up a blood coated shotgun. He ran over to the side of the entrance and tossed it up to me. I dropped my slug rifle and pumped the shotgun. I pulled a shell out of one of the duct tape sheaths that were stuck onto the stock. I flipped the gun over and slid shells up the dust filled ramp until the tube was full. I peeked down at the doorway, which was empty. I waved my hand at the men to tell them to move back against the wall. The steady thumping of heavy boots grew louder and louder until the six power armor wearing soldiers burst out into the yard. They were in a crescent shaped formation with guns pointing in every direction way from the door way. They stood in the doorway for a second and then started to slowly move outward. After they were about three feet out of the threshold, I silently jumped down off the roof and put my shotgun an inch from the lead ones back. They hadn't noticed my jump down. I pulled the trigger.
The lead man flew forward and landed in a heap, his power pack sparking and glowing bright. All of the men spun inward towards me. They stood still for a second, shocked to see another soldier wearing powered armor that wasn't one of them. I grinned and spun the shotgun around me, knocking all of their machineguns away from me. I pumped the gun again and emptied it into the face of another one of them. He flew backwards onto his back and landed with a crash on the concrete layered ground. I flipped the shotgun around so I was holding it like a bat and swung it at the head of the man next in line. He caught the gun by the stuck and jabbed me in the chest with the barrel. I bent over and he brought his knee up to meet my face. I grabbed his leg and pulled him off of his feet. I spun to the next man who had brought his gun to bear right at my head. I slapped the gun away at the same time as I brought my leg up to side kick the gun out of the hands of the fifth man. I grabbed the man directly in front of me and spun around and threw him into the chest of the final man. I ripped my knife out and jumped back out of the fray. The four living men all stood in a line, panting with adrenaline. The first one sprinted at me. He ran and slid down onto one knee, bringing his leg around behind mine, pulling my legs out from under me. I fell onto my back and he pulled his arm tight around my neck. The three others ran up to help the guys strangle me. I brought my elbow around into his kidneys and spun around when he weakened his grip. I stuck my knife in between one of the plates on his side. Blood spilled out of his armor and I jumped up, side kicking one of the men in the process. He flew back and landed behind a barrier. I spun in a circle with my knife outstretched. Sparks flew as the blade collided with solid steel and titanium plates of armor. I stopped my single spin with my foot planted behind me for support. The two soldiers left standing charged my simultaneously. I quickly spun into a roundhouse kick for the one on the left and put my knife out in front of the one on the rights neck. He ran into the blade and cut his own throat. He fell with a gurgle to the floor behind me. The one that I had roundhouse kick was still lying on the ground, trying to catch his breath. I leapt into the air and jumped onto his chest with a crunch. The remaining soldier that I had kicked over the barricade had gotten his hands on a shotgun and had it pointed right at my head. I stood there panting for about half a second, then the soldiers head exploded.
I stood there staring, wondering what had happened. A rumbling noise came from behind me.
"Crow." I thought. The rest of the guys ran out from various places around the yard.
"Why didn't you help?" I asked.
"You told us to stay away from the entrance." Nicks said. Nekolai reached over and slapped the back of his helmet.
"We couldn't get a clear shot at any of them without hitting you." He said.
I shook my head and pulled out my radio.
"Crow, you can come down now. Meet up with us at the entrance to the plant." I said into the radio.
I slid my radio back into my belt and walked toward the entrance. I leaned up against the door and waited for Crow to get down from the tower.
Crow ran up to the gate and unlatched the chain around the two posts that were holding it closed. He ran over to the door I was leaning up against and stood there panting. I spun around to face inside the dark hole that was the entrance. We walked along the smooth concrete floor, our boots making loud, hollow thumping noises. We walked through the maze of hallways, searching for the door into the cooling towers. We found the door into the towers. It was a much thicker looking door and was a matte gray color. It had a few dents on the front panel and had a small keyboard next to the door. It looked as if it had been hit a couple of times. I walked up to the door and knocked on it with my fist. The door made a solid thud, like when you kick a large rock. I reached over to the keyboard and hit a few random buttons. Nothing happened. I was about to move out into the yard to contact command about not being able to get into the tower, but then I remembered the acid we had collected. I pulled one of the bottles off of my belt and walked over to the door. I set it down at the base of the door and waved the rest of the guys away. I turned the timer up to ten seconds and ran as fast as I could down the hall way. I ducked around a corner and crouched down beside the rest of them. There was a loud thump, and then a long crackling noise. I peeked around the corner. A large hole was being eaten through the thick metal. All along the hall dips and craters were burned into the walls. The hole in the door continued to get bigger until nearly the entire door was a liquid metal sludge pooling on the cold floor. I walked into the tower and looked up. The towers ascended about four hundred feet into the air before opening up into the air. Thin wisps of steam rose out of a pool of liquid in the center of the room. I sprinted back out through the maze of concrete halls into the yard.
"Command, we've made it into the cooling tower. The fuel rods appear to be intact. What now?"
"We are sending a squad of specialists to remove the rods. Stay put and guard the rods. It's going to be about two days until we can assemble the equipment and send it off to you."
"Ok, over and out." I said as I dropped my radio back down onto my belt.
I walked back into the plant and moved around the halls until I was standing in the tower. Quinn and Nekolai were walking around the area, while Crow and Nicks were just staring at the pool of coolant. I walked over to Nicks and waved the rest of them over. When they had all crowded around I started to recite what command had told me.
"Ok, here's the plan, we have to hold out here for about two days until command can pull their shit together and send out a team that knows how to remove a fuel rod. We just have to sit here until then and pray that word didn't get out that we are here."
They nodded and resumed wandering around the area. I walked back into the hallway and out into the yard. I moved into one of the shattered guard houses and opened up a storage cabinet inside. The rusting hinges squeaked as I pushed the door open and a slammed to a stop up against the wooden wall. Inside the cabinet were a few extra magazines for an assault rifle, a few bottles of water, and a bottle of whiskey. I reached in and grabbed the whiskey. I pulled my pack off of my back and dropped the bottle in it. I reached back into the cabinet and grabbed hold of one of the bottles of water. I spun the cap off, took off my helmet, and took a long drink of the stale water. After drinking half of the bottle, I tipped it back and spilled it all over my face. I tossed the bottle into a corner of the room and walked out of the guard post.
I moved over to one of the guard towers and climbed up the ladder. Up inside the tower was a dead guard and a long scoped assault rifle. I picked up the body and rolled it over the side. The body landed with a thud on the cracked concrete. I picked up the rifle and tossed it down after the body. I checked around the tower for any more supplies. After a quick look around the tower I slid down the ladder onto the ground, leaving yet another large crack in the already destroyed concrete. I walked across the yard to the next tower, the only sounds accompanying me were the sounds of the cool breeze rushing through the weeds all over the ground. A small drip could be heard as I neared the next tower. Blood was dripping over the edge of the tower and splashing down into a small crevice in the ground. It ran down through the cracks to puddle at a low point in the ground. I grabbed onto the blood slicked iron wrung at the bottom of the ladder. I looked up and a drop of blood spiraled down through the air to splatter on my visor. I looked down and climbed up quickly. I did the same in this tower as I had in the last tower. I picked up the body and rolled it over the edge of the tower. I picked up the rifle and tossed it down. I slid down the ladder in the exact same way as I had the last one and walked back into the halls.
"Nekolai and Nicks, you two are going to help me dig a grave for those soldiers."
"What the hell. Why?" Nicks asked as he walked toward me with his hands raised on either side of him.
"Because we are going to be stuck here for two days. Do you want those things starting to stink?" I asked.
"Also, nothing brings more attention to an area than pools of blood and a dozen dead bodies."
Nicks shook his head and reluctantly walked out into the hall. Nekolai waited for a second before following. I turned around a walked into the halls after him. I walked out into the yard and grabbed one of the bodies and tossed it over my shoulder. I walked over to the large truck that the power armor wearing men had arrived in and tossed the body in the back. We repeated this process until all of the bodies were loaded onto the back of the truck. It took two of us to pick up one of the power armor wearing soldiers. After loading all of the bodies in the back I started to go around and collect their weapons.
"What are you doing?" Nekolai asked.
"Would you rather have the guns fall back into the hands of the Mercs?"
He stared at me for a second before snatching a few choice weapons out of my arms. I removed each of the clips from the guns and then tossed the weapon into the back. After collecting all of the guns off of the ground, I told Nicks to go back inside.
"Nekolai, you can stay if you want to. I can go bury them alone."
He nodded and moved back inside the plant and I hopped into the driver's seat of the truck. I turned the key and the V12 engine roared to life. I backed up and lined the truck up with the gate in the fence. Nekolai quickly rushed out and unlatched the gate. I pushed the accelerator down slightly and the truck rolled out into the street.
I rolled down the crumbling, dusty streets towards the drainage ditch. The clouds had moved into the sky and no blue could be seen. The overcast sky in some areas had developed into full fledged rain clouds. They had dark gray bottoms and were towering over the rest of the clouds. I spun the wheel into a tight turn around a fallen wall that occupied the center of the street. I tapped the wheel in impatience as I turned another corner and sped up slightly. A strong gust of wind rocked the truck slightly. I laid back in the seat as I came upon a long straightway. I watched as the clouds swirled around and sped away when an uneven gust of wind blew through the air. A single drop of rain flew down through the air and splattered onto the windshield. Being the ever pessimistic person I felt like being today, I turned on the wipers full speed. I made a quick turn to my left and passed by the large chemical tank that held the acid. About a mile behind that I found the ditch. I jumped out of the back of the truck and walked around the back. I flung both the doors open and reached into grab a shovel. My hands touched nothing but dead bodies and empty guns. I felt around a little more before I brought my hand out and slammed it into my face.
"Shit, forgot to pick up a shovel." I said out loud.
I sat down on the edge of the back of the truck. I thought about how I could get rid of the bodies. The rain had not picked up at all. Every few minutes a drop would fall. I decided I was going to burn the bodies. I reached up and pulled a siphon pump off the roof of the back of the truck and walked down to the ditch. I pulled a few of the gallon jugs out of the reluctant mud and walked back up to the truck.
I walked over to the auxiliary tank of the truck and dipped the tube of the pump in. I dropped the other tube of the pump into the jug and started to pump. After filling the first jug I pushed it over with my foot. I filled up the next two and walked back around to the back of the truck. I tossed two of the bodies over my shoulders and walked down to the edge of the ditch. I dropped them down with a soft thud and slogged my way back up to the truck. I repeated this until I had all of the bodies piled up, except for the ones with power armor on. I walked back up to the truck and grabbed the cans of gas. I poured each of them over the bodies before tossing the jugs back into the ditch. I pulled out a lighter and spun the ancient friction wheel. I tossed the lighter down onto the pile. Blue flames burst up into the air, about two feet high in some places. I sat down on one of the steps leading up to the cabin of the truck and dropped my head down onto my hands. I watched as the flesh bubbled off the bodies before the scent of burning flesh caused me to gag. I walked back around to the back of the truck and grabbed one of the power armor wearing soldiers and dragged him into a nearby office. I dropped the body down in a janitor's closet, in between tons of cleaning supplies. I filled the entire closet with the bodies of power armor soldiers, and then closed the door. I walked out the front door, down the steps, and walked over to the open doors of the truck. I grabbed an armful of guns and walked down into the muck filled ditch. I dropped them down in the water and pushed muck over them with my foot. I walked back up the sliding walls of the ditch and closed the metal doors on the back of the truck. I stepped up into the cabin and turned the key. I shut the door as the engine came to life and backed away from the tower of brightly burning bodies. I wheeled back out into the main street and turned down back the way I came. The large, hard rubber wheels rolled over the huge crevices in the water stained pavement. I revved the engine and rolled along the road. The steady roar of the engine bounced between the buildings. The rain started to fall heavier and the pillars of smoke became more obvious.
I sunk into the soft seats of the trucks cabin. The steady roar of the engine caused my eye lids to feel heavier and the world grew darker. I turned the wheel automatically as the truck neared another corner. Almost in no time at all I arrived back at the yard. I stopped the truck at idle and stepped down the wet metal stairs. I jumped off the final step and walked over to the gate. I grabbed the chain and unwrapped it from the two metal spokes that were holding the gate closed. I grabbed onto each of the posts and flung the doors of the fence open the either side. I walked back over to the truck and moved into the yard. I turned over into a corner of the yard and turned off the engine. I pushed the door open and stepped back down the steps.
I walked back inside the halls of the plant, which were getting quite humid. I stepped into the tower and the guys turned to look at me.
"Wow, you were back fast." Nekolai said.
"Yah, I didn't bring a shovel so I had to burn the bodies."
He nodded his head and turned back to the table that they had dragged into the tower.
"I'm going to check the rest of this place out." I said.
They nodded and continued walking around.
Crow burst into the room carrying the deck of cards that had been outside in the guardhouse.
"Who's up for some poker? You'll just have to wipe the blood off the cards." He said with a chuckle.
I looked down at the cards he was holding, and sure enough, they were splattered with a thin layer of blood and water.
I turned and walked out into the hallways.
Each of the rooms in the plant were equally dark and drab. The first one that I had encountered was full of desks with computers on them. Each of the computers sat on a tower that was turned sideways. The desks were made out of some sort of fake wood that had been painted a blue whiteish color. I shut the door and continued down the hall to the next room, which had the same appearance of a room filled with computers. I peeked through the doors of the rooms on the other side of the hall, and they were exactly the same. I walked down to the end of the hall. There was a long, concrete staircase going up into a second level, which was pitch black. I walked up the steps. At the top of the steps I reached over to a wall and slid my hand over it until my hand bumped into a small switch. I flicked the switch up and the lights blinked on, one by one with a loud click, all the way back to the other end of the hall. I took a tentative step into the new floor and swung my head around. In the center of the hall was a cross shaped intersection. I stepped into the very center of the hall and looked to the left, then to the right. At the left end of the hall, there was a standard fake wood door with a rectangular pane of glass in the center of it. Doors similar to that lined the walls of the hall. I turned my head to look ahead of me. The hall was the same all the way down to the end. I turned to the left, there were fake wooden doors lining the walls, but at the end of the hall was a shining steel door with a key pad next to it. I walked up to the door and gave it a pound. It sounded almost exactly like the door that had lead into the cooling towers. I was going to go get Quinn to blow it open, but I thought against it.
"Command told us to get the fuel rods, not explore. Anyways, it probably leads to the catwalks above the floor of the towers. I walked back over to the left side hallway and opened the door into the room at the very end. Inside were rows of radiation suits and small flashlights. I parted the rows of suits and walked to the back wall, which was letting in light. There were four small windows that had a view over the yard. I reached over and opened one of the windows. A cool breeze flew into the room, causing the suits to rustle. I inhaled deeply, smelling the scent of rain and rubber. I turned and walked back out the door into the hall. I took a right at the intersection and walked down the hallway until the end room. I opened the door, which had no window on it. Inside the room a couple of chairs bolted to the ground, and dozens of computer screens and monitors lining the walls. I flicked the switch on the wall next to the door, and walked over to the screens.
A small white dot appeared in the center of the middle screen, and spread over to the screens next to it. After a blinding white light had filled all of the monitors, it died away to leave millions of numbers and graphs covering the all of the screens. Some said something about temperatures and another said about gallons of coolant. There was a warning flashing in the upper right screen. I swiveled my gaze to focus on the warning.