Chapter 9: A Proper Ending

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 223

Twenty-six hours had passed since Scy had first awoken to a war at least three of his personalities were fit to fight, and two more that could admire it from an intellectual and poetic viewpoint.

Twenty-six hours, Scy thought, staring through a chain-link fence at the bugger-infested Johannesburg combined spaceport and airport.  Such a short amount of time to win a small war.

Twenty-six hours of carnage after atrocity after death and maiming--mostly on the bugger’s side--who still reeled from the chimera-led assaults.  Every now and then, a bugger air unit would tumble out of the sky, shot down by the combined efforts of chimera and human aircraft, now that most of South Africa’s human combat population was talking to one another again; led by Major Dawson, of all people.

“Get ready!”  Dawson yelled as he marched up and down along the chained-link fence, talking to human soldiers of all kinds, and chimeras.  

There were at least two-hundred chimeras on point and up front on the fence line, waiting for the signal to attack, and backed by everything Johannesburg could throw at the port from regular human vehicles to chimera-custom armor that had wrecked everything in their path in what would be known in history as the Counterattack of South Africa.

Sergeant York was crouched beside Scy, with Private Rathens manning their light-armor vehicle’s turret behind them.  

Breach stood on the other side of Sergeant York, daring the buggers to shoot at him.  Which they did, and missed, adding to the morale of the combined human forces to know the buggers were no longer able to attack with accuracy, much less fire with impunity as they had before.

Sapp was joined with the special forces infiltrators even then working deep inside the port’s structure, setting charges and assassinating bugger targets.  

Scar was amongst a dozen or so snipers waiting on rooftops and taking aim from windows surrounding the port, ready to support the assault.

“Damn, what a difference a day makes,” Sergeant York remarked.

“Yeah, Sergeant?”  Scy replied.  “Try to see the end of it.”

York smiled and flashed a thumbs-up.  “You too, mate.”

Major Dawson was still going back and forth, yelling and screaming, getting things tight in the Major’s fashion.  He ignored the buggers trying to snipe him from inside the port, just as the human snipers picked those snipers off in return with silenced rifles.  Anxiety, anger, and anticipation filled the air.  This wasn’t the last battle for South Africa, but it would be the most significant--opening the port back up for aircraft and cargo, so to reconnect the rest of the human resistance and counter-attacks ongoing on Earth.  

Scy looked over at Sergeant York.  

Beyond York, Breach still stood silent, even as laser fire singed the air past the titanic chimera’s head and body.

“I have to ask, Sergeant,” Scy said.  “Your first name isn’t Alvin, is it?”

York snickered.  “C’mon, mate,” he replied.  “My parent’s weren’t that obvious.”  York looked back at Scy, extending a hand.  “Calvin.”

Scy cracked up laughing, even as he took the Sergeant’s hand and shook it very lightly.  “Fuckin’ brilliant, Sergeant.  I love it,” he said.

Major Dawson made his way back towards Scy’s position.  “--and I’d better not see one person running away from this fight,” he yelled.  “This is the last one, folks!  This is the end of the bugger’s domination of Africa, and even their invasion of our Earth!”

Sergeant York shrugged again.  “Not bad for a POG,” he remarked.

“Get ready!” Dawson yelled as a series of airstrikes hit the port’s structures.  Dawson stopped and turned to Scy, saying quietly to the chimera, “Take point for me, man.  I’m not cut out for fronting an assault like this.  I’m just a supply guy.”

Scy nodded.  “On your command, then, sir,” he replied.

Dawson looked up, through the fence and over the bugger’s positions.  There were pyres of black smoke from strikes of all sorts, broken-out windows revealing glowing eyes and moving shadows of bugger infantry, and more explosions and shooting as the special forces infiltrators and sappers engaged the buggers inside the port.

Scy turned to Sergeant York.  “See you on the other side, Sarge,” he told the flesh-and-bone man.

York grinned.  “Not if I get there first,” he told Scy.

Major Dawson jumped up and down, getting everyone’s attention, yelling at the top of his lungs: “Here we go!  Here we Goddamned go!  For-WARDDD!!”

Scy bounced up, yelling even louder than Dawson over his external speakers, “Chimeras lead the way!” and bounded over the fence, firing a flurry of grenades and coilgun rounds, followed by a tidal wave of chimeras bringing the fence down, themselves followed by flesh-and-bone human soldiers.

 

It was over within an hour.

Scy walked out onto the port’s main terminal roof, shaking out his missing left hand, lost in the battle.  He admired the mechanical wound, which even now was trying to self-repair, putting back together again the loose wires and hydraulics.  His armor was punched through in multiple places, and scarred from laser fire, but he was still active--and out of ammunition.  

The battle had become hand-to-hand near the end, and he had green and red blood still smeared over his armor from stabbing and slashing one bugger after another.

Good goddamned battle, Scy thought, and wished he could smoke a cigarette right now.  He was sure at least two of his personalities enjoyed tobacco, and there was a little craving still left over in his amalgamated personalities.  

What could it hurt? he thought to himself, or himselves.  Not like I can get lung cancer.  I’m a machine body, and immortal.

Sergeant York joined him on the roof, bloodied and battered as well.  The man sighed, rubbing at his forehead, with bags already under his eyes.  “Rathens didn’t duck fast enough,” he told Scy.  “Got clotheslined out of turret by shrapnel.  Might have been a human-made explosion, too.”

Shaking his head, Scy looked out over the reclaimed space and airport, admiring, just as he had when it was beginning to rain when he first woke up to this war, how the sun was seeming to set at just the right time--for the buggers.

“Damn,” Scy remarked.  “I’ll miss the farmboy.”

Breach came up the stairs.  The big chimera seemed untouched in comparison to everyone else. “Fuckin’ ours again,” he said, and give a one-finger up.  “That’s one for us, those motherfuckers.  Good Goddamned bloody one!”

Scy looked back over his shoulder.  “Casualties?” he asked.

Breach shrugged.  “Chimeras: twenty percent, I’d say.”

“We’re replaceable,” Scy said.  “They’ll be back.  Mortal humans, though?”

Breach shook his head.  “About forty percent loss,” he said.  “So many damned rookies…”

Sergeant York shrugged again.  “Sixty percent more veterans isn’t bad, though,” he said.

“True,” Scy said, then went into his quantum comms to ask, “Scar, Sapp, status?”

Scar came back immediately: “I’m fine, Scy.  I just kept running out of ammunition.”

“Sapp?”

Sapp responded a few moments later, “I am somehow still not tired, but alive,” the former loner said.  “For as much as this is a state of life.”

Scy nodded to himself.  “It’s good to have you with us, Sapp.”

Breach spun around before Sergeant York could, calling, “Ten-hut!”

Scy came around as well, noticing it was Major Dawson joining them on the rooftop.  The two chimeras and the human Sergeant saluted.

“No, no, hell with that!” the Major said.  “This was such ugly POG BS on my part.”

“You lead it well, Major,” Scy said.

“Fuck that noise,” Dawson replied.  “You lead this thing, not me, Scy.  Your chimeras did most of this, too.  I should be commending you.”

“Sir, I--”

Dawson waved Scy to silence with a hand.  “No, seriously, I’m going to commend you,” he said as he walked towards Scy, something clenched in hand.

Scy tilted his head.  “Sir?”

The Major stopped in front of Scy; two feet shorter and lanky compared to the chimeras.  “Don’t ‘sir’ me anymore, Scy,” the Major sighed and said.  “I just got orders from what’s left of higher command.

“I’m to rank you chimeras, so to integrate you into the rest of the armed forces.  Also, they want officers amongst the chimeras, so…”  Dawson pulled out a metal Colonel’s insignia--an eagle.  “This is the highest rank I can give a chimera, right now, and well--”  He slapped it home on Scy’s chest, dead center, where it stuck, magnetized.  “Colonel Scy,” Dawson said.  “What’s your orders, sir?”

Breach and Sergeant York stood at attention, looking at Scy.  Scy looked down, inspecting the insignia and new authority and responsibility with something like awe.  Funnily enough, a part of his personalities--Patton--thought it was something of a letdown rank, after being a General.

Huh, Scy thought.  That moved faster than expected.

Scy looked up at Major Dawson, Breach, and Sergeant York.  “As my first order as the highest ranking officer on this battlefield that I’m aware of,” Scy said, “is for you all to get some bloody rest while I try to figure out what to do next, please.”


Submitted: April 02, 2016

© Copyright 2022 Jack Motley. All rights reserved.

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