Future Warfare

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A glimpse of the future.

Submitted: October 27, 2008

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Submitted: October 27, 2008

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Future Warfare
 
He screamed. An explosion that rocked the ground beneath him drowned out his voice, and the screech of missiles overhead scraped into his skull. John slapped his hands over his ears, eyes wide with horror, and fell to his knees to the bare ground. A bullet hissed past his nose. Flames roared up into the sky; a fist of searing hot air slammed into him, hurling him backwards. He shrieked and rolled as an arc of bullets sprayed the ground. Now he was looking up, away from the battle, the chatter of machine guns and screams as they found their targets all around him. The sky was gone, now just a heavy black pall streaked with the white tails of rockets. He felt his mind slipping, his eyes clouding over against the nightmare that raged on everywhere, all around, the sounds of battle fading away…
A dark shape clamped over his face, a voice shouting at him to get up! Get the fuck up! He jumped to his feet, scrabbling at his face, found only leather and Perspex goggles. Another mask looking at him, a steel grip on his arm, pulling him low and away from the gunfire. A burst of light from the right; fanning out across the goggles then gone. There were no more men in that direction. Geddown! Pulled to his stomach, hands flying over his head as tiny glints of black shrieked over him. He looked right: a mass of black particles were pouring down the throat of a man with a rifle, driving him to his knees, sending his limbs into spasm as he crumpled and lay twitching. Move! Running again, keeping low, the world seeming like some bad dream through the goggles as something struck the ground nearby with a dull thunk, exploding seconds later and throwing them forward.
Scrambling up they ran again, ducking under bullets and not feeling the nip of shrapnel against his skin or the spray of blood as men danced in bullets and fell backwards. Fire and blood and gore and guns and rockets, he felt his legs turn to jelly but ran on with the stranger, the Man with the Mask, not knowing how he was alive but not thinking just running and running and running.
 
And then the darkness.
 
¤ ¤¤
 
The Man with the Mask ripped his mask off and pulled of John’s, throwing them aside. His face was strained, scarred across his nose and right cheekbone and a small chunk of his right ear was missing. But his eyes shone with some battle-crazed bloodlust that made John shrink back in terror. The man grinned insanely.
“You scared, boy?”
John nodded quickly.
“Good. Better scared than dead, right?”
John nodded again.
“What are ya, some kinda retard? Say something for Chrissake!”
John nodded, caught himself and said in a deep, dramatic voice,
“My name is John Peterson. I don’t know where I came from or where I am or why the hell I’m here. But I am. So get used to it.”
Except that his voice came out as a scared little squeak, and he only managed to say his name.
“And where do you come from, John Peterson?”
“I can’t remember.”
The man burst into harsh laughter. It sounded odd, a forced sound from a throat that had nothing to laugh about.
“You can’t remember?” he sneered. “Then good fuckin’ luck to ya, mate! Cause it looks like yer stuck here for the next few months.”
“What happens after that?”
The man gave him a humourless smile that didn’t reach his eyes. It was the smile of death itself.
“When I said months, I was being generous,” he said simply, and walked away. John felt his knees buckle, his head hit hard rock. Then there was only darkness.


© Copyright 2018 TomWilliams. All rights reserved.

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