« Last post by Inso on October 08, 2014, 07:17:57 PM »
Stefan was a Grymn. He was born on planet six; named so because it was the sixth planet settled since the freedom. Planets one to five had been deserted by the Grymn because the Bohkin, followed by the Sleiti fleets, had found them. The continuous fight and flight kept the Grymn fit, clever and on their toes; Stefan was no exception; being a veteran of many battles he now called planet nine his home…
‘Wake up Stefan…Wake up!’
‘Who…where’s Jack? He owes me money…’
Stefan launched himself from his bunk, he was already dressed and stank of mead, sweat and urine but his eyes were sharp and cruel. He reached down to his bedside cabinet picked up an etched, silver SMG round and placed it in his pocket. He then took a good draught from the bottle next to where the round used to be and turned to Sven, the young Grymn who had awoken him.
‘I don’t know who she is sir.’
‘Ha! Of course you don’t, she’s my burner…and she’s a darn good one too.’
Sven went to the corner where a red burner sat neatly on a cushioned couch. Along side it there were a small number of flasks and a box containing an immaculate weapon-cleaning kit. He carefully picked up the weapon but in his haste it slipped from his grasp and the butt dropped to the floor. Stefan crossed the room in a heartbeat and the back of his hand hit the young Grymn so hard across the jaw that he was out cold before he hit the floor. He cradled Kylie and carefully inspected the weapon to make sure she wasn’t damaged.
‘Don’t worry Kylie; you’re in good hands now.’
Stefan looked at the prone Grymn; ‘More explaining to do’, he thought.
He grabbed his helmet and mask, buckled on his side pouches and spare flasks and left the billet with Kylie held firmly and a look of thunder on his face.
In the courtyard there was organised chaos. Grymn were barking orders and following them; grabbing weapons and dashing off towards the sound of fighting.
‘Stefan! Glad you’re still with us. Follow Kjaran and reinforce the sun-side wall!’ Captain Torsten shouted. He was a hulking figure dressed in powered armour, sporting a white-grey beard.
‘Yes Sir!’ Stefan replied. ‘It’s a great day for it.’
‘Ha! It’s always a good day for killing Bohkin!’
Stefan smiled, shot a quick salute and strolled purposefully towards the sun-side wall. When he arrived, there were many Grymn lining the wall and the Sangers, and they were all well equipped and battle ready.
‘Stefan! Get yourself to Sanger two and prepare your friend. We’ll funnel the filth towards you so you’d better be ready!’
‘I’m there, Kjaran…don’t fret yourself!’ He walked towards the Sanger and climbed through the small entry hatch.
‘By feth Stefan, you stink worse than a Dino-hound! Did you sleep in a vat of mead?’
‘Antar, if it was anyone but you, I’d spit on your boots for that…but I suppose you’re right…there was a good lot of mead in my bunk this morning but I wouldn’t have drunk it a second time!’
‘Swamped again? You’re back on form then you drunkard.’
‘Aye, I am that; a drunkard but I’m sober enough to burn a few nasties this fine morning.’
‘Well look to your front and keep your eyes peeled, the SMGs are chattering a welcome for them.’
Short bursts of controlled SMG fire rippled from the wall, followed by the whine of mini-guns and the roar of missiles. Out across the fire-break the Dino-hounds broke from cover and piled forwards at break-neck speed; dodging the shot-falls and closing quickly on the walls. There must have been a hundred of the multi-coloured, two limbed lizards and although they were starting to fall in the odd place, many of them were closing fast and would meet the walls in a few seconds.
Next to Stefan, Antar flicked the safety on his grenade launcher to fire, pointed the dangerous end through the fire-slit and pulled the trigger. There was a deafening roar as the launch detonation echoed around the concrete Sanger, followed by a dull ‘crump’ as the anti personnel grenade exploded red-hot shrapnel; tearing the dinosaurs to pieces.
The Dino-hounds still kept coming, even though Antar pumped grenade after grenade into their ranks. They were too close for grenades now and Antar drew his assault pistol and started firing single, aimed shots at the approaching creatures.
Stefan took a deep breath, fastened his mask and closed his eyes. He thought of his beloved Kylie, how the Bohkin had captured, tortured and killed her; how they had left her bloodied, lifeless form nailed to a tree-stump; how they had taken her away from him…and his demeanour changed. Gone was the brightness to his eyes. Gone was the jovial banter. Gone was any mercy. Stefan needed this change before battle. It was the only way he could deal with the terrible job he had to do. It wasn’t easy listening to the sizzle of flesh or the screams of the burning. It wasn’t easy watching figures wreathed in flame dissolving in front of your eyes. It wasn’t easy, smelling the odour of death; so acrid that it clogged the filters in his mask and he could taste it.
‘My turn, I think’ He said to Antar as he also flicked his weapon’s safety to fire, pointing the nozzle through his vision slit.
‘Sing to me Kylie!’ He boomed as he squeezed the trigger and a huge jet of super heated chemicals spewed forth, vaporising the nearest of the Dino-hounds and throwing those following into disorganised panic.
‘It seems they don’t enjoy our welcome, eh Kylie?’ He said, his face set in a grimacing smile.
After a good few bursts of flame, Stefan watched as the remaining few Dino-hounds started running back towards the edge of the fire-break. He always enjoyed this because the Bohkin were forced to detonate their collars when this happened to prevent the deranged creatures attacking their masters. As expected, the remaining creatures started bursting apart. Not long after the last one fell, the Bohkin broke cover and swarmed towards the walls; heavy weapons covering while they ran headlong into the maelstrom.
‘I’d admire them if it wasn’t for the fact that they are Bohkin scum.’ said Antar, whilst looking towards Stefan.
‘I’ll never admire them.’ He replied ‘They use their hounds to see where the guns are because they are too scared to approach us on equal terms’. He snorted ‘they are cowardly fethers who deserve the death I give them…a bullet is too good for them.’
Stefan steadied himself as the Bohkin support munitions began to detonate around the fortifications. He could feel the force through the ground and he could hear the cries of those thrown into the air or wounded or killed by the blasts. The Grymn return fire was becoming a little sporadic as the lines faltered and needed reinforcing but it still carried on and the Bohkin were falling in their droves.
It wasn’t enough though. The Bohkin were closing on the walls and now the ‘thwip’, ‘thwip’ of small arms fire could be heard as they came into range.
Antar holstered his pistol again and started launching grenades. The smell of cordite permeated Stefan’s mask and he could taste the metal in it. Stefan checked Kylie and made sure that her fuel tank was still fairly full. He tapped the flasks on his belt and could feel that there was plenty of fuel left in them. He looked out of the vision slit and could see the horde racing towards them. Every now and again, plumes of earth burst into the air; taking with it a dozen or so Bohkin at a time but it wasn’t enough, they still kept coming.
Stefan put Kylies nozzle through the vision slit again and waited until the enemy was close enough to burn. When they were in range he squeezed the trigger and the burning began. After the first jet hit home, the Bohkin stopped in their tracks and started trying to avoid their burning comrades; who were now running wildly around, trying to extinguish the flames. Bullets started hitting the Sanger as the Bohkin trained their weapons on the threat. As they advanced, Stefan waited and then unleashed another blast of flame; toasting the nearest and causing chaos again. This exchange happened again and again. The Bohkin small arms turned to grenades and heavier weapons but the Sanger still held and Antar and Stefan were kept safe.
After what seemed an age, the attack on the Sanger faltered and the Bohkin started running in all directions, shooting into the air. Stefan smiled as he heard the whine of turbo-fans and pulse-jets. Flame and Tiger squadrons had arrived. Flame Squadron was made up of jet-bikes armed with mini-guns and missiles and they were busy strafing the Bohkin lines. Tiger Squadron was made up of jump-troopers, armed with pistols, power-blades and a complete disregard for their personal safety. Lieutenant Torge was renowned in the mess hall for causing affray and he was the leader of Tiger Squadron. Stefan watched as the bikes disappeared and the Tigers ripped into the enemy troops with such ferocity that the Bohkin were fleeing in panic. As the Tigers continued their work, the light infantry started advancing on the remaining enemy, killing those foolish enough to remain in the fight. The Bohkin were finished and those that could do fled the field to lick their wounds.
‘It’s done Antar; they’ve finished their game for the time being.’
‘Aye and they’ve left me a gift.’
Stefan looked towards Antar and noticed that he looked a little grey in the face. There was a red stain emanating from his right armpit and it looked like he may well pass out. Stefan placed Kylie on the ground and went to Antar’s aid, removing his shoulder and chest plates and opening his fatigues so that he could see where the blood was coming from. He found a neat little hole in the front of his right side and a ragged hole at the back. He pulled his field dressing from his pouch and tore open the packet. Carefully he strapped it over the ragged hole and sealed it with medi-foam. He also sealed the smaller wound and made sure Antar was sitting comfortably as he gave him a shot of pain-ease.
‘MEDIC!’ cried Stefan, ‘MEDIC!’
Stefan sat with Antar after checking to make sure that it was safe outside and did so until help arrived. Once he was sure that Antar was in good hands, he slung Kylie over his shoulder and went to survey the battlefield.
Stefan walked among the corpses, their twisted forms lying all around. There were many more Bohkin than Grymn but when ever he found an ally, he checked for signs of life but he wasn’t very lucky today…there were none. He breathed deeply, sighed and said dryly…
‘Well Kylie, another day; another battle won’.
He turned back towards the gate and whistled as he strolled forwards. There were graves to be dug and mead to be drunk.