Singularities - Rush

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Logan, Erik, Mark and Steve are travelling in a military convoy when they are attacked by a bunch of outworld aliens. They don't have much time to get to the base and they have an army eager to make a meal out of them.

Submitted: October 23, 2012

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Submitted: October 23, 2012

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Singularities –
Rush

It was a hot day and the convoy was as slow as it could be. 8 vehicles in total; Logan, Erik, Mark and Steve were right in the middle of it, between the black fumes of the tank up front and the troop truck. They were advancing towards the Brooke military base, a dozen miles south of the sandy city growing with all kind of aliens; from the fast-flying gorgons to the gigantic worm-like spawners.

As usual, Steve complained of the slow pace they were travelling to.

“Guys, every time we need to move to a base from another, it always takes hours. Can’t we just stay in one place?”
“For once I agree with Steve,” Mark said “we spend more time in a vehicle than in a bed. That’s freakin’ ridiculous!”
“No choice on the pace though, we don’t wanna wake up these freakish monsters around here… They are very sensitive remember.” Steve pointed out. “But they could have at least built some freakin’ air conditioning in the ‘bender…”

Driving the Hellbender, a SUV-like vehicle fit for 4 and equipped with a mounted gun at the back, Logan was silent. He liked driving; actually he drove so much it had become a natural state. That is why he always drove the vehicle, no matter the model, the goods they were carrying or the path they were following, it was his personal mission.

At least I leave the guns to them, I’m much better with four wheels.

“How is it going back there Erik?” He finally asked. No reply from Erik. As Logan turned back he saw that he was wearing a large scarf to protect himself from the quickening sand storms that raged throughout the region quite regularly. No wonder he can’t hear me… “Steve, can you please check on Erik? Just getting sure that everything’s alright.”
“Sure…” Steve opened the back window and reached for Erik with his arm; he finally turned around“Hey Logan’s asking if everything is alright with you?”
Erik lowered the scarf around his mouth “You can tell him that if he really wanna know, next time he should take the mounted gun…”
Steve got back inside the hellbender and when Logan asked him about Erik, Steve quickly nodded “He’s doing great.”

Half an hour had passed and they had barely travelled 1 mile through the city. It was the most delicate part of the whole journey, the 2 miles across the city were sure to be crawling with aliens but at a pace slow enough, the convoy would look like a giant caterpillar. Nothing to worry about.

Inside the hellbender, the 3 friends were steaming while outside Erik was now under the assault of another sand storm. Logan tried to reassure everyone that they would soon resume a faster pace but as long as they were in the city, they had to maintain that pace. That meant another slow hour.

“I’m gonna shoot my brains out.” said Steve “It’ll be less painful and torturing than rotting inside of this… of this hellcooker of theirs.”
“And less painful for mankind to support any child you’d wish to have…” remarked Logan.
“Ha-ha-ha, very funny, at least I have a girlfriend with whom I could do that. You can’t say that much huh?!”
“Low blow man… low blow.”
“You started it!”
“Hey you two… stop it,” urged Mark “you’re making too much noise.”

Logan saw ahead that the convoy suddenly stopped at a crossing. He stopped the hellbender, grabbed the radio and contacted the head of the convoy.

“Alpha 1 this is Hotel 2, what’s the status at the front?”

The radio was throwing back the clatter of all the other vehicles trying to reach for Alpha 1 but no clear reply came through the channel. Once all voices had gone down, he heard Commander Forge. “To all units, cut off your engines. We have a situation at the front where the road ahead of us is now blocked by debris. We are investigating an alternate route and…” As he was finishing, a tremor was felt throughout the city. The windows that hadn’t fallen yet were torn apart by the shaking. The buildings on the brink of falling added to the debris on the road. Inside the Hellbender, the nervousness was reaching new heights.

“Guys, this is an earthquake right?” Steve asked.
“Sorry to disappoint you but it was too focused around the perimeter to be a regular Earthquake.” With his scientific expertise, Mark had proven a very reliable source of knowledge; now, they all wished to be spared such information.
“So if it’s not an Earthquake, what then?” Steve looked long enough at Mark to understand what would happen next “…oh shit!”
Logan understood it well enough “Brace yourselves guys!” He got ready to turn the engine back on when the call would go before realizing Erik, still outside might not have heard the news “Hey Erik! Hey! Get ready to use that gun, we might have some company.” He didn’t give time for Erik to reply that he was already back on his seat. “Okay guys, we know the drill, we know it better than our names. So stick to it and we’ll be fine.”
“O-o-okay, I am calm… I am calm…” kept repeating Steve. His anger issues led him to find a book on how to canalize his emotions, control them and transform them in positive energy. It seemed to be a pretty good idea for after the first gorgons appeared, he yelled “SHOOT THE FUCKERS!!! SHOOT THEM DOWN !!!”

Logan didn’t wait for the order to scatter the convoy and took the matter in his own hands. He turned the engine back on and drifted away from the convoy and into the city.

“Guys, it’s rush hour time!”

Logan headed for the route north of the intersection closely followed by another troop truck. By then the call had gone out and the order to spread given. He looked at his left mirror only to see that hundreds of gorgons were trying to take over the convoy. The troop truck was being assaulted as well but he never got to know its status after taking another turn left and losing sight of it.

Steve was panicking “Did you see that? Did you fucking see that?”
“Yes Steve, we saw it,” Mark reached for the 2 machine guns left under the seats “Now grab your rifle and help me clear the way ahead!”
“Use the hatch on top of the ‘bender,” urged Logan “and stay back to back, those sneaky bastards can fuck you from behind like no one.”

They hardly reached the hatch as the Hellbender was going way too fast for them to steady their movements. But there was no time to bicker about it; they were more likely to die than not to…

“Erik! Talk to me! How are you managin’?” asked Logan
“I don’t think now’s the time to ask me for a mandarin! We’re all hungry and…”
“I said MANAGING, you dickhead! MA-NA-GING!!!”
“Oh! Well, fuck this shit! They’re coming from everywhere, how would you manage a fucking cricket invasion?!”
“Kill it with fire I say!”
“Too bad, I’m out of matches! Oh shi---” a gorgon sneaked up from under the Hellbender and was coming out right in front of Erik’s gun. He could see the 10 multi-faced black eyes of the beast staring right at him. Its head thrice as big as Erik's, he could have trapped him in its jaw and with its razor-sharp teeth decapitate him in the most gruesome manner before the drooling gastric acids took care of melting the flesh from his head until nothing was left behind.

Erik pulled the trigger. “No fucking way I’m gonna be your lunch you shitfaced-bastard!”

Logan was driving at breakneck speed, drifting through every turn he took every time the road ahead would be packed by swarmers, dog-like creatures 3 times as big and a hundred times fiercer and dangerous.

Steve and Mark were shooting at anything that moved outside of the Hellbender, quite often bumping into each other as the vehicle drove down the walls. The following turn almost proved to be too challenging when the back of the Hellbender crashed into the corpse of a parked car. The shock had Steve fall off back into the vehicle, the finger still on the trigger riddling the inside with bullets, much to Logan’s surprise.

“Holy fucking crap! The hell you’re doing? We’re the good guys you dumbass!”
“Dafuq is wrong with your driving?!” Steve got back to his feet “We’re trying to shoot here!”
“Oh yeah?! Well, try it outside! I’m too busy saving our lives here!”
“Doesn’t look like it!”
“Fuck off and shoot!!!”

Steve got back outside but popped back in after a few seconds. “Hey Wacky Racer! Erik’s asking if you could, as per his words, ‘Steady the fuck out your fucking driving?!’”
Logan just turned back to him, his dark look saying it all.
“Okay never mind, keep up the good… FUUUUUUUCK!!!”

Logan looked back at the road, tried to turn, and escaped the jaw of the spawner by nothing.

Inside the vehicle, Logan and Steve were out of breath. “O-o-ok Log, you s-s-see what just happ… happ… Happened? Don’t ev-er do that again? K-k-kay?”
Logan took a deep breath “I hear you.”

He could hear Erik yelling at the top of his lungs outside. “Whadda hell?! Are you serious?! I’m gonna kill you! Actually, I’m gonna kill you so hard you’ll die twice!”
“Huh? Is that even possible?” Mark who’d miss the whole event, too busy he was shooting at incoming gorgons, was surprised by Erik’s rage “I mean; do you really want to kill our transporter?”
“Who cares?!” Logan’s focus was back on the road “If we fail defending this vehicle, it’s game over for all of us so keep doing what you were doing, I’ll take care of the driving!”
“Whoop-dee-fuckin’-doo! I’m reassured!” Erik kept pulling the trigger of the mounted gun as swarms of gorgons and swarmers were tailing them.

At the front of the Hellbender, the swarmers that had been left by the spawner were closing in on Logan’s side. He called for Steve or Mark to get rid of them but “We’re too busy up here! Behind you Steve!” Steve quickly turned around, drew his modified Magnum and headshot the swarmer that was jumping at him. “You see, if we stop for a second, we’re done here!”
“What do you want me to do then? Spit at them?!”
“I don’t know, just bash the door at them if they come too close!”

Bash the door?! Who does he think I am? Achhnold?! Oh wait…

“Hey Steve, I need a quick service. Hand me what’s in the box with the sticker, just behind Erik.”
“Did you forget what just happened? If we…”
“Shattap and give it to me or sooner or later one of these freaks will pull me out and you’re done without a driver!”
“Ah crap! This is all going FUBAR I’m telling you!” Steve leaned towards Erik, who kept shooting like nothing else mattered. He saw the box with a ‘In case of emergency’ sticker on top and managed to flick it open. Inside, he found a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun. “You gotta be kiddin! Why don’t you keep that with you?”
“It’s in case of emergency!”
“Aren’t we always in the middle of an emergency?! You dumbfuck!”
“Just give it to me, will ya? And the… geez, fucking rock! Give me the ammo along!”

Steve grabbed the ammo, a hand-made device consisting in a horseshoe attached to a metallic bar with 5 pairs of gun shells. He looked in disbelief at the craft but Logan’s yelling cut short his contemplation.

He first handed the ammo to Logan who clicked the metallic bar on the door so that the horseshoe was the only thing popping up at the window. He handed the shotgun but the charge of a swarmer destabilized Steve who dropped it at Logan’s feet. “Sorry pal, get it yourself, Mark’s yelling at me!”

Fuck my life…

Logan tried to get the shotgun with his feet but he was too busy dancing around the pedals to drift, speed and, rarely though, brake. He leaned towards the shotgun and could almost feel it under his sweaty fingers, but that made it difficult to grab it. He finally looked down, saw the gun, got hold of it then back on his seat.

“EVERYONE, HOLD ON TO SOMETHING!”

The Earth started to turn, slowly it seemed. Logan thought for a second the night had set for the sky was dark. Gorgons were walking, swarmers were flying. He was slow himself, almost at peace in the middle of a bloodbath. The sounds were faint; the gunshots, the strident screams of the gorgons and roars of the swarmers; it all seemed so distant, so relaxing.
Logan saw the sun rise up again, his arms tightened in front of him, he felt like Superman, flying, getting away from this nightmare, and speeding.

The shock of the wheels back on the road awakened him.

“OH MY FUCKING… bllluuhhhhh…” Steve was puking on his uniform and some bits dripped on Mark who didn’t even seem to notice what had just happened. “…You’ll pwah… you’ll pay for this! You’ll pay for thinking you could use the ‘bender to make a GODAMNED HORSESHITED LOOPING!!!”
“Technically it was a barrel roll…” said Mark, covering up his nose from the stench of Steve’s lunch.
“WHO GIVES A GORRAM DAMN?! LOGAN, I’m with Erik on this, I will ki…”
“I get the first kill!” Erik wouldn’t let Steve take over him as Logan’s tormentor. “I kill him first, and then I revive him! Then I kill him again; and if I feel like it, I’ll take a break BEFORE I DO IT AGAIN TILL’ I COLLAPSE!!!” He checked on his own self “You’re so damn lucky that I have a belt on this gun-seat Log or I’d have come back from the dead just FOR YOU!”

Logan took a deep breath to realize what had just happened. As he regained his senses, two swarmers were closing in on his left. He cleaned the vomit from his glasses. They were 10 meters away. He saw the road ahead and the exit from the city. Their bared teeth showed torn bits of bloody military uniforms. They were close now, so close he could smell them. A flash and he smelled their burnt flesh splattered all over him and the smoking shotgun.

He kept driving with one hand, the other firmly tightened around the trigger, waiting for other victims.

The forest of buildings was getting thinner now. He knew he only had to travel half a mile before the road started going downhill and joined the highway. He sped up.

Above him, Mark and Steve were as busy as ever, shooting the hundreds of gorgons that were trying to close in.

Erik never seemed tired of it; it was just a game for him and the smile on his face betrayed the joy he had of killing as many of these fuckers as he could.

Logan kept emptying shells after shells after shells, manipulating the shotgun inside the horseshoe so he remained steady when shooting; each time opening the shotgun in reverse to ease the reloading.

He was getting down to his last 2 shots when they tipped over the hill. What he saw was nothing but bad news. Two huge spawners were blocking the road ahead and the only way down went through their gigantic dark hole they used as a mouth.

“There’s no way we go through there!” yelled Mark “We need a backup plan!”
“Do we still have fieries?” That’s how Steve used to call the incendiary frag grenades. “They would rip them open, we could…”
“Nothing left, sorry. We left them at the base for their defense.” Logan pointed out, much to Steve’s despair.
“Then we’re done…”

Not exactly.

Logan took a tight turn on his right onto an alley large enough for the ‘bender. “Listen guys, if I remember well, there’s a parking lot 2 streets down from here and I know for sure there’s an exit on the other side. If we can go through it, we’ll pop up just behind the spawners.”

Steve and Mark stared at each other looking for something to say; but they simply nodded their approval to Logan. Erik turned around for a second but the look he gave Logan was enough an approval.

The parking lot it is.

Logan got out of the alley, the tires screaming from the drift on his left. Only 2 streets to go before turning left onto the parking. No swarmer was threatening him as they’d be stuck in the alley, only the gorgons still as numerous.

He avoided a dozen crashed cars before he saw the entrance of the parking. He turned left at high speed and ripped to shreds the barrier. Little gorgons followed them through the parking as Logan zigzagged between the dozens of abandoned cars. He came in front of the other exit but realized it was guarded by a tanker, a swarmer-like beast as big as the Hellbender, and supposed indestructible as no one they knew ever faced one and those who did weren’t there to talk about it.

“Brilliant idea Log!” Steve said “Instead of being eaten by swarmers, let’s just get ripped apart by a tanker…”
“Like I chose that!” He looked around him “I’ll try the upper levels, keep him occupied!”

The three of them looked at Logan in disbelief, like they were realizing the impossible task he was asking of them.

“Grab your guns and your nuts and shot at him!”
“With our guns or with our…” the slap from Mark hit Erik on the ear as it came as a surprise.
“Like it’s time to joke?!” Mark reloaded his gun as the Hellbender went past the tanker. “Give me your best smile sonofa…!”

Following his example, they all reloaded and started shooting at the tanker. They were shooting all the ammo they had. Anything to slow it down. Yet, the tanker got closer and closer, while Logan was avoiding every car, the beast rushed through, on or under them when he tossed them above his head. Logan still managed to get to the second floor, and the third one but as he was reaching for the fourth, he heard Steve yelling.
“He’s on your left!”

Without even looking, Logan reached for the shotgun and pulled the trigger. As he looked through the window, the tanker had disappeared but not the gunshots. Looking at the mirror, he saw the tanker running behind the Hellbender.

“This thing can’t be killed or what?”
“You got him,” Erik said “his right eye got blasted away!”
“That still doesn’t mean it can be killed!” Logan looked all around for an exit. “We need to get out of here or game over guys!”

There were scarcely any vehicles on the fourth floor, plenty of room to speed but only one exit. The one barred by the tanker behind them.

And it knew it. Once on that last floor of the parking lot, it stayed next to the exit, as if to guard the only way out for the Hellbender who made it to the other end of the parking.

When he realized that, Logan stopped and turned the Hellbender around to face the tanker. The beast was walking left and right in anguish, Logan could tell that it was fighting the urge of rushing at them but it knew that would give them the opportunity to escape. And a tanker would never let a lunch escape.

“Well guys, it’s been a pleasure…” Logan’s voice steadied and was solemn, he told them what a great adventure it had been with them and that he was proud of fighting alongside such fine warriors. And that despite all the words they might have had, “especially lately” added Steve, they would be forever in his mind, even in death.

“Bu we still have one thing to do. Let’s send this motherfucker back to hell and lock the door behind us!”
“Hell yeah let’s do that!” cheered Erik as he turned the mounted gun towards the tanker.
“Will do!” added Mark.
“Fuck this shit!” said Steve grabbing his magnum on one hand and the rifle on the other.

Logan drove towards the tanker, slowly first, aiming straight for its head. As he drove faster, the 4 friends took deeper breaths to brace for the impact, 50 meters ahead.

As they were closing in, they started shooting at the beast which raced towards them, sure of the strength of the Hellbender, Logan didn’t flinch as the impact was imminent. He heard his friends yell to turn and contour the tanker. “There’s an opening, we can go down now!” Steve was yelling, or was it Mark, the sound was getting cranky.

He didn’t flinch and crashed against the tanker, which by a movement of the head, sent the Hellbender fly above it, and outside of the parking.

Time slowed down once again, he saw the light turn dark, distant voices on the horizon, the same feeling of peace he felt before. The world turned black. It was over, finally, the war, whether it was won or not, was over.

The screen showed “Game Over”.

The once distant voices were getting clearer through Teamspeak. They all seemed pissed at him though.

“Why would you do that?!” Erik seemed the most pissed of them all. “Seriously, we’ve been playing for hours and now that we’ve reached the end of the level you fuck everything up!”
Steve sounded disappointed “For once, again, I side with Erik. It was probably the easiest way to beat that boss and you failed it. Man, seriously next time, I drive the Hellbender.”
“You already drove it and we never made it that far.” Mark pointed out “Log is still the best we have to go through the sand city. But please, next time, focus on the road! That stunt you did back there cost us a lot of life.”
“You gotta admit it was impressive though. Even I, Erik the progamer, couldn’t have done it on purpose. Hands down to you Log. But you still sucked!”

Logan was listening half-awake, half-dreaming. It was already midnight and he didn’t even remember when they had started playing. All he could think of was his family, Kim and especially what he had discovered back at the farm.

What was that? How did it end up there? Can I make this game be real?

“Earth to Log? Earth to Log?” Steve was calling on Teamspeak. “Let’s do it again, we’re sure to win this time! As long as you don’t screw things up again…”

But Logan was tired. “I’m sorry guys but I’m totally falling asleep. It’s almost sure that I fuck things up again if I play like this. We’ll have to postpone it till I’m rested.”

The other 3 agreed to stay a bit more, playing another map. They wished Logan good night.

He quit the game, closed a bunch of articles on Quasars he had been reading for the whole day and headed to bed.

When he closed his eyes, he saw space, stars, galaxies, things that were beyond his imagination and he had thought unattainable. As the images faded away, a single thought remained.

I can reach for the stars now…


© Copyright 2019 Jon RG. All rights reserved.

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