Build-a-Badass: The Black Dogs

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A teaser for the third and final Build-a-Badass 'The Other Side', and follow-up for book two, 'Endgame'. Expect the first and second sooner or later.

"In the not-far off future, mankind's heroes are almost all gone, along with humanity. What's there to do, but build more badasses from the greatest myths, legends and heroes of humanity."

Submitted: July 09, 2015

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Submitted: July 09, 2015

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(Reference note: Roland Deschaine and Eddie Dean are borrowed in this for-free-fiction from Stephen King's Dark Tower, Fedhman Kassad and the Shrike are the creation of Dan Simmons from the Hyperion Cantos, and Deadpool and Tony Stark are characters from the Marvel universe.)

 

The bugger’s homeworld was radioactive ash and dust propelled through the atmosphere and across the barren landscape from constant, high-velocity winds hindered no longer by aboveground forests or mountains.  The conglomeration of large, insectoid and sentient alien species had had their nuclear wars long before they chose to invade Earth.  Their armageddons left their single planet’s surface almost flat; their tallest mountains melted to foothills by fire from the power of many suns.  And, from the view of the chimera’s fleets in orbit above, the world that had launched an invasion fleet nearly wiping out humanity was seen in dark browns and barren grays.  All the healthy greens and blue from before had been wiped away by the buggers’ own hand.

 

And on a small speck on the near-dead planet’s surface, near a small knot of blackened rock and glassed earth, a small army of bugger Sentinels--a creature like a serpent thing that had no Earth analogy--endured the wind and constant threat of radioactive death in hazard armor and invisible defense fields surrounding their alien bodies.  The Sentinels watched for danger with solid, dark eyes, above an underground lair of one of the bugger’s Queens.

 

A shimmering thread attracted the attention of the Sentinels further out, who made a creaking sound as it cocked its cylindrical head to the side, inspecting the curiosity.  Behind it, the Sentinel furthest back fell onto its chest, lifeless.

 

From two-hundred feet away, hidden in light-bending refractive armor, Scourge moved his silenced sniper railgun’s thermal scope over the Sentinels, looking for the next victim that could fall without the other Sentinels knowing.

 

“Thirty-two minus one,” Scourge murmured over the chimera’s quantum communications.  He saw one Sentinel, on the far end, lit up in light red and yellow shades of heat, who was turned the wrong way; isolated now that the other Sentinels had gone back to check on the fallen.  

 

Scourge graced the trigger.  

 

“Thirty.”

 

Hidden in the gray wind three-hundred feet from the nearest Sentinel, Liege, a massive chimera--a faceless machine soldier with a simulated and amalgamated human personality in dark gray armor--watched through Scourge’s eyes.  The Black Dogs’ Captain had a pair of gunmetal gray thirty-millimeter revolvers with petrified redwood grips crossed and magnetically attached over his back, almost as long as he was tall--nine feet.  A two-handed titanium and steel composite greatsword was sheathed straight down his back, the grip custom fit to match his gauntleted hands and fingers.

 

Smaller but still similar dark armored chimera soldiers waited along a line to Liege’s left and right: Syke, Freq, Gale, Maul and Nord.  The Black Dogs seven on another mission into the nigh-impossible.

 

“Mosh?” Liege inquired.

 

“Fashionably right on time, as always,” Mosh replied.  

 

The second-in-command darted through the distracted Sentinels, cloaked in his own refractive armor, trailing lines of shimmering thread from his hand spool.  He tossed a pebble to one side of a Sentinel from a collection in one hand, then darted behind it, moving at a chimera’s blurring speed.  He wrapped a single loop of the thread around the Sentinel’s neck, as he had done the last eight, then zipped over to the next.

 

Mosh came up short as a Sentinel turned away from checking on the first Sentinel to fall, and by sheer accident, looked directly at the chimera in the bugger guard force’s midst.

 

“Oops,” Mosh said.  He darted a jab out that broke the Sentinel’s skull and snapped back and broke its neck.  “Busted.”

 

“Scourge?”  Liege asked, bringing a hand up to signal the other chimera soldiers to readiness.

 

Scourge dialed back his zoom, giving the entire force of Sentinels one quick look.  “Go,” he said, then flicked off the weapon’s silent-mode, canceling the noise-dampener and bringing the weapon’s muzzle velocity back out of subsonic-limited ranges.  The next shot exploded at Mach 7, tearing through two Sentinels easily.

 

Syke, on Liege’s right side, aimed his grenade launcher underslung his coilrifle in the air, and launched a round.

 

Mosh didn’t need the Captain’s orders to flip his thread spool’s switch.  The high-revolution motor whirred as it reeled the thread slack back, decapitating nine Sentinels in one go.  Mosh darted to the closet Sentinel, who was bringing its weapon up, stopped the reel a foot of silvery thread short, grabbed the capped end, and made a running garrote on his eleventh kill of the day.

 

Syke’s grenade impacted behind Mosh, then exploded in brilliant, blinding white, strobing light, casting the Sentinel’s in a movie’s special effect-like theater of flashing grayscale.

 

The Black Dogs crossed two-hundred meters in ten seconds, crashing at full speed into the blind and helpless surviving Sentinels, exterminating the entire force in as much time as it had taken to get there.

 

The chimera seven reloaded fast and on the go, stopping just long enough to finish the bugger’s wounded, leaving nothing living behind them, then were quickly next at the sealed double-doors leading down into the Queen’s lair.  

 

Nord slammed a industrial-sized pry bar in the door’s crack, then held the bar’s top end while the titanic chimera Maul kicked the pry bar’s middle, bending the wedge into a crescent shape, but widening the door enough the chimeras could poke their weapons through and kill the internal guard.

 

Liege plucked a pack of breaching C4 from Nord’s belt pouch and tossed it to Mosh, who quickly set charges inside the door.  “Set,” Mosh called.  “Three, two--”  He turned away, along with his comrades, then triggered the charge, blowing the double-doors open, overpowering and breaking the door’s hydraulics.  “One!  Mine!”

 

Mosh dove in before the rest could follow, sliding on his rear down the dark tunnel’s thirty-degree slope that was dug in with claw-holds for the ease of the buggers who infested the place.  He came out at the bottom still trailing dust and dirt, surprising two Sentinels at the bottom.

 

“Hi!”  

 

Mosh shot both Sentinels through their heads with two pistols, gangster-style, then spun the pistols around by the trigger guard and reholstered them.

 

“Mosssh!”  Nord yelled as he came down the tunnel slide next.  “You always do this shiiit!”

 

“Shut up, Nordy,” Mosh replied.  “I know it.”

 

Liege came down third, followed by the rest of the squad.  Scourge brought up the rear, watching their back.  The chimera Captain counted three tunnels: left, center and right, and flicked Gale and Syke down the left one, Nord and Freq down the right, and pointed down at Mosh’s feet, holding the heavy support chimera in place, to hold the tunnels with his heavy chaingun, and setting Scourge to Maul’s back.

 

The chimeras disappeared down their assigned tunnels.

 

Mosh looked up at his Captain.  “God, I love you,” Mosh said, and would have grinned if he could have.

 

“I know it,” Liege said, and took point down the center tunnel.

 

By the time the chimera Captain and his second had burst through the first two lines of buggers, Mosh was well in front, much faster than his larger leader, so that Liege leapt over bugger corpses and dodged and ducked through defense barrier debris.

 

Liege came out into a massive cavern just as Mosh came hurtling back, knocked back by a massive Leo: a bugger like an Earth ant-lion grown to almost twenty feet in height, weighing a few tons, and balanced by a long segmented tail.  The chimera second’s armor was crushed and dented in a few places.

 

“Ow,” Mosh said as he tucked into a roll, back up on his feet in a second.  “Hey, I got recon on this guy when I got close,” he told Liege.

 

“Yeah?”  Liege asked.

 

“Buggerese from that government hive Second Assault found,” Mosh explained as the Leo waited, four large scythe appendages raised, for the next attempt.  “‘Godkiller’, this one’s known.  Some kind of local badass.”

 

“Apt,” Liege noted.

 

“Yup.”

 

Mosh dove in after the Godkiller again, ducking under and dodging attempts to cut him down.  He almost got into melee range, but the Leo came forward one long step, bumping the chimera off, sending him flying backwards again.

 

Mosh rolled back to his feet, wiping the dust and grime from his armor. "Nice one!" he complimented, then worked his shoulders and neck to the sound of a mechanical whir and electrical short sparking. "So, you're this Godkiller thing, eh? No offense, bud, but you're a little--"

 

The colossal Leo snapped around, spinning, swiping its segmented tail at Mosh's feet.

 

"Whups!" Mosh leaped over the tail. "Shit." And caught the bugger's following backclawed swipe, hurtling him across the lair, hitting the earth, then rolling back up to his feet.

 

"Ahh, I shoulda seen that one coming," Mosh said, once again brushing off his armor. "Welp, this was fun." He gave a thumbs-up to the monster that was twice his size. "But you won’t get another.”

 

"Also," Mosh said, ducking under a long swipe that created an after-effect vortex of wind over his head, "like I was about to say--" He bounded over the charging Leo's head, landing on its broad head. "--you're kinda a runt for Godkilling.”

 

The Leo swiped at Mosh, who shoved off behind the bugger, landing at its back, letting the Leo slash its own face.

 

"Mosh," Liege said. "Would you kindly already?"

 

The Leo, enraged, spun around, bleeding green puss from its own weapon.

 

Mosh held up a detonator. "Yeah, yeah..." He clicked the button.

 

A fist-sized pack of C4 flashed its detonator-receiver on the Leo's head, then exploded, sending puss splatter everywhere, painting the lair green.

 

Mosh pocketed the detonator. "Godkiller, my ass," he said. "What kind of God did he kill? A nightlight God? The God of boogeymen in the closet? No wonder there's no good soldiers on this fucking planet, if that guy killed a God."

 

Liege walked past the battered chimera. "Let's go," he said.

 

"I was just having some fun, Cap," Mosh said, falling in line. "You can have the next one."

 

"Oh?" Liege asked as they took the next bend, heading deeper into the bugger's Queen's Lair. "What's bigger than a Godkiller?"

 

Mosh shrugged. "Two Godkillers?"

 

“Heaven help them,” Liege commented, and punched an iron door off its hinges, following it with a quick-grenade that killed the Sentinels inside before they could react.

 

A third grenade-like device rolled into the next cavern, and both chimeras--Mosh and Liege--could see through the recon device that this was the Queen’s room: full of Sentinels guarding some other bugger thing that had no Earth analogy, but was even bigger than a Leo.  The Queen was a gooey mass of flesh and gunk hooked into the lair, and possibly the rest of the bugger’s command lairs, by conduits of cables and wires.  Two smaller Leo’s--juveniles--were kneeled before their Queen, facing the door Liege had busted open.

 

Liege looked at Mosh.

 

“Fuck the bourgeois,” Mosh said, pulling his backup coilrifle off his back, dual-wielding rifles then.  “Viva la revolution, Cap?”

 

Liege reached back, detaching his gunmetal gray cannon revolvers from his back, dual-wielding Valor and Havoc, the Roar and Howl of War--two highly custom weapons only a year old, but were already legendary in the chimera armies.  Fit for a legend: Liege, Captain of the Black Dogs, himself crafted from the resimulated personalities of King Arthur, the ur-legend; Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger; Colonel Fedhman Kassad and the Shrike, science fiction soldiers and lethal legends, and the Roman philosopher Seneca.

 

Liege remote detached a stun grenade from his belt, letting it fall, then kicked it in, where it burst into deafening noise and blinding light.  The Captain stepped in first, raised Valor and Havoc, pointed each at the head’s of each Leo, the gun’s clamp stabilizers clasping around his forearm to absorb the massive recoil, and fired.  The twin guns’ booms shook the lair.  The Leo’s headless bodies flew backwards, landing in their Queen’s lap. 

 

Mosh flew under his Captain’s guns, rifles in each hand out to both sides cowboy-style, killing Sentinels, heading for the wailing Queen.

 

Liege glanced left, on Havoc’s side, and disintegrated two Sentinels, then looked out of the corner of his right eye, past Valor, and destroyed three more.  He raised the revolvers, and emptied the cylinders--the twin revolvers exploding in shattering noise instead of merely firing--on the Queen lair’s electronic systems built into the ceiling, wrecking the lair completely.  Liege ignored the raining debris to reload quick and smooth from his brown leather shell belt.

 

Mosh leapt on the shoulders of a headless Leo, then vaulted up to the Queen’s face, thrusting a package of C4 through the Queen’s skull.

 

“Smooches from Earth--” Mosh tapped his helmet visor on the Queen’s mauled face one quick time “--bitch!” then leapt away, coming up behind Liege and hitting the detonator.

 

After all the gunk and puss had settled, Liege looked over his shoulder at Mosh.  The Captain was covered in green and yellow, pus and bile.  Mosh was clean.

 

“Hah hah,” Mosh mock-laughed.  “Sorry, Cap.  Little too much kaboom.”

 

Liege shook his head, finished his reload, and placed his revolvers pair-crossed back over his back.  He paused just a moment, completely motionless, which triggered Mosh to do the same.

 

“Yeah?”  Mosh asked, as the lair went dark.  “Oh yeahhh.

 

The chimeras were well-equipped to see in the dark.  Their optics combined so well, the darkest of nights were daylight to them.  And the Assassin buggers appeared to believe their own refractive armor made them invisible to the chimeras.

 

“Left,” Liege claimed.

 

“Right,” Mosh seconded.

 

Liege smashed down a fist that crushed an Assassin into the ground, cratering the earth with the corpse and splattering the bugger’s body.  His greatsword leaped from his back sheath, straight up, propelled by electromagnets embedded in the sheath, clearing the sheath, then turned upside down, sword tip coming down first, where Liege snatched it out of the air and took a massive horizontal cut that bisected two Assassins at their torso.

 

Mosh, on his right, flicked away a blade point with two fingertips, then swiped the fingers up, trailing silver thread, slicing his first attacker’s head off.  He followed the motion, bringing his hand and thread down, stepping aside from a thrust, wrapping the second assassin’s blade in the thread, trapping it, then jabbing with his free hand into the holder’s head, stabbing right through its brain.  Mosh spun, holding the corpse, yanking the dead Assassin’s sword out of his hand and flipping it into the torso of a third Assassin.  Mosh spun around one more time, removing himself the dead bugger, and snapped the thread back into its spool.

 

Liege swatted the last two Assassins dead with his greatsword before they could get into their range.  The chimera Captain swiped the blade down once, shearing off the bugger’s vital fluids, and tossed it into the air over his head, where the sheath’s electromagnetic devices took control and gently resheathed the weapon perfectly back into place.

 

Mosh scanned the lair again.  “Little late to the party, those guys,” he observed.  He put his hands on his hips.  “Is that it?  Really?  Come on.”

 

Liege walked over to examine what was left of the Queen and her command installation, but there was nothing left to salvage.

 

“Coming through and in!” a chimera announced.

 

The Queen’s room walls exploded inwards.  Mosh turned to look, but Liege did not, as a devastated Sentinel came flying through the gap, lifeless, followed by Nord and Freq, covered in puss.

 

“Whew,” Nord said as he examined the damage in the new room.  “You should see the other buggers.”

 

“Freq,” Liege asked.

 

Freq held a hand to his helmet’s side, then nodded.  “We’re good, boss.  Other team is clearing side tunnels.  ETA: Three more minutes.”

 

“Outside?”

 

Freq shook his head.  “Follow-up inbound.  Won’t find nothing to kill, of course.”

 

“Good.”  Liege turned away from the Queen’s corpse.  “Set charges.  Bring it all down.  We’re out in five.”

 

“Sir.”

 

Freq went with his partner on this mission, Nord, doing just another job.

 

Liege looked at Mosh.

 

Mosh shrugged.  “I’m bingo boomers.”

 

Liege pulled his C4 packs from his pouches, then held them out casually to Mosh.

 

“Aw,” Mosh said, then looked up and down his Captain, still fouled with bugger fluids.  “Yeah, okay, I guess that’s fair.”  He swiped the explosives from his Captain’s hand, and went about, working with the rest of the Black Dogs to deny the lair from future bugger inhabitance.

 

Five minutes later, the hive, lifeless, collapsing inwards behind them, the seven chimera--covered in gunk and puss--boarded their aircraft and flew away, leaving the follow-up chimera teams to do their business.

 

Hundreds of light-years from Earth, across a wormhole the buggers had first opened to assault Earth, almost wiping out humanity, the chimeras were waging a war of retribution.  And there would be no surrender or mercy.  Not after Earth.

 

It was xenocide, and that was fine with the chimera forces, who exterminated like no other in human history.








 


© Copyright 2020 Jack Motley. All rights reserved.

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