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Old 2014-01-08, 04:15 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Sonny
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First Sergeant
 
Against the Zerg


The young recruits posted to guard this little corner of Esamir thought they were never going to face the War. Nobody expected the Terran Republic zerg.

You can read the full story here, just an extract below:

###

“WOOOOH!” Leoric cried, gripping the wheel like a vice.

The Harasser whistled through the air. It curved at the last second, and the vehicle missed the corner of the abandoned gun tower by a millimetre. The left-hand mirror went CLANG as it was torn clean off. He punched the brake and the Harasser skidded to a halt at the bottom of the hill. Privates Leoric and Esaias fell back into their seats with a painful THUMP. For a few seconds, they sat still, breathing loudly in the cold air as the engine whined in protest.

“Holy crap, that was great!” Leoric laughed “Let’s do it again!”

“Umm, can we call it a day?” Esaias sighed “I got my tests to do…”

Leoric sighed. So much of a downer, that Esaias. Too serious, always with his head in his books, working his damnedest to get into the space program as if the Sovereignty really were really going to choose a know-nothing country boy like him. Leoric didn’t pay any attention to that stuff. For him, military service was just an excuse to play with some cool-ass vehicles.

It was a typical day on the Northwest Esamir front. Nothing much happened, nothing ever changed. The young recruits posted to guard this little corner of nowhere knew they were never going to face the War. The Terran Republic and New Conglomerate were far too distracted exhausting centuries of mutual hatred on Amerish and Indar to waste their time fighting a small band of separatist scientists on this godforsaken wasteland.

So for now, Leoric, Esaias, and the rest of the Vipers spent their days endlessly patrolling the ancient Terran warpgate, performing acts of daring, races, or high-speed jumps, whatever it took to keep themselves going mad from boredom.

“Come on Esa, just one more!” Leoric grinned “It’ll be dark soon.”

He swung the Harasser to the left, preparing to make another pass. Esaias didn’t protest as he usually did. Instead he sat stock still, staring into the distance.

“What’s that?” Esaias pointed through the cracked windscreen.

The red warpgate shimmered two hundred metres away, a glowing relic of better times when international travel wasn’t governed by factional loyalty and military checkpoints.

“I don’t see anything, Esa.” Leoric squinted into the distance.

He shook his head “No there’s definitely something there. See that black spot – no, two – drifting in the sky on the left.”

Leoric peered intently. There was definitely something flying behind the shimmering shield. And coming closer.

“Oh shit, you’re right.” Leoric stated flatly, his mouth going dry. Only Terrans had access to this warpgate.

“I’ll -”

Esaias was already on it “Viper command, enemy contact at NW bearing… 121, 54, 930. Two, no three -”

Black spots rapidly started popping into existence. Three, five, ten, Leoric couldn’t count them all. His heart started beating rapidly.

Esaias continued, his voice wavering.

“- I, I don’t know how many.”

A Mosquito interceptor drifted lazily through the shield, casually weaving in and out of its protective field. They were powerless to react – there was no anti-air capability on this Harasser. The buzz of powerful engines grew from a quiet hum into and earth-shaking rumble as tens of Liberator gunships and Galaxy dropships loomed through the red screen.

“OK, We’re getting out of here…” Leoric shouted, his heart beating rapidly. He twisted the wheel fully and the Harasser span 180 degrees on a dime.

Esaias continued to call into the radio, his voice louder by the second.

“We’ve got bombers, troop carriers, all Terran, bearing South East.”

SNAP!

Bullets pounded the roof of the Harasser, denting the canopy in front of Leoric’s head. Puffs of white punched upwards from the snow in front. He weaved left and right in a desperate attempt to dodge the salvo of rotary bullets.

A barely-broken voiced teen from Command blared back.

“Received, Viper 4… Can you confirm numbers? Is this a drill?”

Leoric and Esaias had no time to respond. Two Mosquitos roared ahead of them, performed a full vertical loop two hundred metres in front, then flipped to face them dead on. Machine gun fire pounded the snow in a straight line towards the Harasser.

“Hold on!” Leoric cried.

The buggy pulled to the right, and Leoric launched them at a 45 degree angle up the side of the hill that bordered the road. They flew off the top, rotary bullets smashing into the hood and wheels of the flying vehicle.

Mid-air, Leoric spotted Crystal Ridge Comms a few hundred metres away. Its solitary front turret scanned the road ahead. A cluster of Vanu infantry ran back and forth, searching for defensive positions among the dusty old books and crowded laboratories. The Vanu Sovereignty were not ready for this surprise attack.

The Harasser landed with a crunch on the ridge. The suspension gave way, the buggy pulled to the left, struggling through a thick snowdrift. Leoric cursed. The bullets had blown a tire.

“Come on!” he cried, smacking the steering wheel as the squealing engine stubbornly refused to break away.

“It’s over, Leo.” Esaias stated matter-of-factly. “Accept it, Vanu wills it.”

Leoric had never been respawned. His mind whirred with horror at the thought.

“No! I don’t care what Vanu says, we’re getting out of here!” He piled his foot down on the accelerator, and the buggy began to drift down the hill. He glanced out of the left window, the scene filling him with horror. Ten, twenty, thirty Mosquito interceptors. Dozens of Liberator gunships. All heading directly towards them. The ground shook relentlessly as distant tanks and troop transports tailed the assault.

“If anyone can hear us… We need reinforcements now… It’s the whole damn Terran zerg. Get everyone here! We need everyone on Esamir!” Leoric cried into the comms. But his voice was lost in the chaotic shouting filling comm channel.

A shell slammed into the ground 10 metres away, covering the windshield in dirt.

“Run, Esa!”

Leoric dived out of the driver seat, and started to sprint as fast as he could through the snow. He spotted the first missiles trailing from the massed aircraft directly towards them. As he ran, he heard Esaias chant to himself.

“Great Vanu, please accept us for our dedication to your great works. Forgive us for our -”

BOOM!

The world filled with fire, and Leoric fell.

#

Slowly, his vision faded back into view. Leoric felt nauseous, his head was spinning, his mouth dry...

###

Read the rest here.
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