KRAKEN- A Jacko Murray Novel.
Yes, another one, starring two more of my favourite Role-Playing Characters, Jacko Murray and Sam Dunn. Jacko is pretty much the upgraded version of Malus from the Chronichles of Malus Darkblade, and Sam Dunn is a new character.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“OVER THERE! THEREÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S ANOTHER ONE!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re coming out of the walls! TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re COMING OUTTA THE FUCKING WALLS!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Get Ã¢â‚¬Ëœem, knock Ã¢â‚¬Ëœem down!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The ruins of what had been only a week before a classroom was in chaos. The muzzle flashes stabbed through the darkness that prevailed in the room, accompanied with the familiar high-pitched chatter of Pulse Rifle fire. The noise was deafening, as the shouts and orders of the marines mixed with the sounds of their gunfire and the roars, screeches and hisses of the savage monsters that were fighting them for control of the classroom. The tempest of war was all that existed in this room, with the damaged remains of desks and chairs now becoming temporary cover to duck behind to avoid being blasted to bits by gunfire or cut down by wickedly sharp claws and blades.
It was a maelstrom, simply put, and young Corporal Sam Dunn was caught in the center of it. He quickly dived behind the upturned teacherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk as he ejected an empty ammo clip from his M41A Pulse Rifle. Ã¢â‚¬Å“RED!Ã¢â‚¬Â He shouted as he fished in the pockets of his combat webbing for another with a gloved hand, praying to god that a Xeno didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t come for him while he was reloading. Red was their codeword for Ã¢â‚¬ËœreloadingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and basically was a call for someone to give them cover fire until they got back into the game. Sam quickly found a full ammo mag and slammed it into the berth of his Rifle, and flipped the weapon onto itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s side to check the LED ammo counter on the side. There was that familiar red Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ95Ã¢â‚¬â„¢, which meant he had a full Ninety-Five bullets now in the gun waiting to be shot. He grinned and shouted Ã¢â‚¬Å“GREEN!Ã¢â‚¬Â as he jumped up to his feet, and using the teacherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk as cover opened fire on the Xenos in the room with a snarl on his lips and his Pulse Rifle by his side, bucking in his hands as it fired round after round at the Xenomorphs.
He lined the rifle up with one of the Xenos, and pulled the trigger.
The alien creature was blasted into chunks of ebony black exoskeleton and a spray of acidic blood, which splashed harmlessly into the classroom floor. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d gotten the bastard before it had come too close to one of his marines. If he had been to late, one of the three marines also in the room would have copped a spray of highly concentrated molecular acid, which was rather unpleasant. He knew that from experience.
He heard a dull, metallic thump come from just beside him and risked a quick glance down, and saw Private First Class Gilly Frost, grinning up at him as she quickly twisted the barrel off of her M240 Flamethrower and winked at him, her blond hair streaming from the inside of her helmet, matted and dirty. He grinned at the familiar sight of his old friend there, and grinned even wider at the idea she was hinting at. He knew the signal, and nodded, quickly prepping his Pulse Rifle and slowing down his breathing, readying himself for the maelstrom that was to come. It was a trick that they had learned a few missions back, and it was deadly.
Seeing the nod, Gilly grabbed the empty fuel canister and with all of her might lobbed it into the middle of the room. Even though that barrel had no more napalm in it, it was still at high pressure and was effectively a massive fragmentation grenade ready to go off. He took careful aim at it and shouted Ã¢â‚¬Å“FRAG OUT!Ã¢â‚¬Â in warning to the other two marines in the room, and fired a single three shot burst at the canister, quickly diving back behind the relative safety of the large teacherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk as the bullets impacted against the metal canister, and ruptured it.
At such high pressure, that little hole meant a lot as every bit of air inside the large canister tried to escape from the tiny bullethole at once, causing the fuel canister to rupture violently and with terrible force. The other Marines had barely the time to dive behind whatever cover they could find before the barrel literally exploded into millions of tiny, red hot razor sharp metal fragments, which were propelled from the explosion around the room at almost supersonic speeds.
The Marines, having known what was about to happen and having taken cover behind whatever desks and chairs they could find, were relatively safe from the fragments of metal, and took the time to grab another ammo magazine and prepare to reload their weapons, thanking every god they had ever heard of and some they even hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t for that little bit of wood and metal that was now saving their lives, as the metal shards pin-cushioned it and not them.
The Xenomorphs werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as lucky, and every single one of the chittering ebony monsters in the room was literally shredded to bits by the shrapnel, screeching their death cries as they were pulped by the improvised grenade. Gilly screwed another barrel onto her flamethrower and quickly got to her feet, followed a moment later by Sam. Their weapons were raised to fire, but there were no more bugs left to shoot at. The other two marines got to their feet from their bits of cover and walked cautiously towards Sam and Gilly, making sure to avoid any pools of acid or holes melted in the floor.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nice one you two, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give them something to think about before they try to fuck with us again.Ã¢â‚¬Â The taller of the two said as he reached them. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Where did you learn that one?Ã¢â‚¬Â The other asked in a distinct British accent, hefting his heavy M56 Smartgun as he sat down on what was probably the only part of the TeacherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk that didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have bits of shrapnel poking up from it.
Sam and Gilly glanced at each other and grinned. As the most senior of the Marines there (even if they werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the highest ranking), they had been in the most fights and had learned more tricks of the deadly trade than perhaps even the deadly Alpha Draconis Marines themselves. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We picked up that trick back in Rome, mate.Ã¢â‚¬Â Sam said, his Australian accent clear and thick for all to hear. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Gives you all the time you need to reload and catch your breath before the next wave of them hits.Ã¢â‚¬Â He added, remembering that campaign. Rome had been a colony that had come under siege by Xenos, and it was one of the few successful campaigns against Xenos that the USCM could boast about. The two marines had been fighting together ever since Boot Camp, and were known as the Ã¢â‚¬ËœHammer and the AnvilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. There was a lot of debate amongst their Platoon as to which was which.
The taller of the other two nodded and grinned. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s this room cleared out, something tells me those ugly motherfuckers ain;t coming back. Shall we continue the tour?Ã¢â‚¬Â He asked, as the other marines reloaded their weapons and got ready to continue their missions. Gilly looked up and flashed the marines a charming grin.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What? More life-or-death struggles against a foe with superior numbers, being outnumbered, oumanuvered and just about everything but outgunned, wondering if every step will be your last, fully knowing that you will probably not live another hour? WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t miss it for the world, Sarge.Ã¢â‚¬Â She said, also bearing that same Aussie Accent, and as one the marines took positions near a blasted-out doorframe that was literally covered in Xeno corpses. It was obvious that this was where the bugs had come from.
One by one the Marine stepped carefully over the pile, making sure they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a footfull of acid, and moved into the next room, looking around as they did so, covering each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s flanks and making sure that they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t miss a thing. It was Sam who spotted them first, and he immediately raised an open hand as a signal to stop. Ã¢â‚¬Å“One more step and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all dead guys, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got us some eggs here.Ã¢â‚¬Â He called out softly, and the marines all took some steps back, making sure they were as far from the eggs as possible. They all knew exactly how deadly the Ã¢â‚¬ËœHuggerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢-Class Xenomorphs hibernating within those eggs were. One step too close and those eggs would open, the Hugger would leap out at astonishing speed and latch onto your face, implant an embryo into your chest, and then die. Last sexual encounter of your life.
But by then, it was far too late for the poor victim. A few hours later, the little baby Xenomorph would be grown enough to decide it was too big for you chest, and it would burst out with the power of a shotgun. And youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d die. It was widely accepted amongst the Marines as the most horrible death in existence, even worse than being skinned alive by a Yautja. This was because you had to face the knowledge that your death had created a creature with the power and mindset to kill every single one of your comrades. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d potentially taken your whole unit down with you, and if thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a hive nearby consigned them to the EXACT SAME horrible death that had taken you. The four marines looked at the four eggs in the room with disgust, rifles raised, wondering if they were going to hatch.
After a few tense seconds of waiting, the complete lack of movement from the eggs became more pronounced, and the Marines relaxed visibly, sensing that they were safe. They hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tripped the eggÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hatching system off. Thank god. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, that sure as shit was a close one.Ã¢â‚¬Â The Smartgunner said, and the marines shared a nervous laugh. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fuck yeah, Johnny. We almost Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgot a gripÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ there.Ã¢â‚¬Â Sam said, knowing fully how lame a joke it was. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really matter, any joke was enough to relieve the tension of a close call with death, no matter how funny it actually was. He had learned that much on the front line.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey, you know how much those things are worth to Weyland-Yutani alive?Ã¢â‚¬Â Gilly piped in, and the marines all grinned at the thought of getting rich. Money was damned hard to come by these days, even in the corps. Capturing FOUR eggs -let alone one- would give them enough cash to retire really early. Sam nodded and grinned. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fuckin oath I do. 10 Million Each is what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re offering. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enough to BUY our own fucking moon!Ã¢â‚¬Â He said, rubbing his hands together. The two looked expectantly at the Corporal, obviously asking for permission with a wordless plea.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good fucking thing your Sergeant here is a synthetic. Those ugly Mother fuckers wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hatch for me, so I say letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s get rich!Ã¢â‚¬Â He said, and produced Four small sheets of metal from his backpack. After about a minute of exertion, those sheets had been assembled into three titanium boxes roughly the right size to fit an egg in. The other three marines waited with rifles raised at the eggs just in case something went wrong as the Corporal walked right up towards the eggs and carefully placed one into each of the boxes. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fourty million dollars man, I can see it already.Ã¢â‚¬Â Gilly said as they hid the four boxes behind the teacherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk and continued on with their mission.
The four marines all gasped as they entered the next room. It was almost exactly the same as the last one, except that there was another door leading off to the left, which had been blasted open by explosives. That sounded about right, Jacko, their demolitions man, was in Second Squad, and they had been deployed in the left tower.
It was then that they looked down at the four eggs in the corner of the room. They were open, empty, and looking a little dead, having already expended their deadly cargo. Right next to them, was second squad, all lying still on the floor of the room, not moving a muscle other than their laboured breathing.
And attached to the faces of all four of those marines was a facehugger, their spidery arms around the marineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heads in a death-grip, and their tails wrapped around their victims throats, ready to squeeze if they tried to remove the creature. Ã¢â‚¬Å“FUCK!Ã¢â‚¬Â Sam said loudly, and sprinted towards Jacko, who was lying nearest to them. Under the hugger, the marine must have been conscious and heard SamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s words, because he managed to struggle himself to a sitting position, and grabbed for the tail of the creature.
He said something, although the hugger on his face muffled his words.
However, the meaning was clear: Ã¢â‚¬Å“GET THIS FUCKING THING OFF OF ME!Ã¢â‚¬Â Sam and Gilly rushed to his side and grabbed the Xeno parasite as well, with Sam grabbing the tail and Gilly going for the legs. As Sam managed to slowly unwind the tail from JackoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s throat with some difficulty, a snapping noise could be heard as Gilly broke itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s legs with a superhuman effort, one by one.
After about a minutes struggle, they had completely paralysed the parasite, and managed to pull it off of JackoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face, working the umbilical chord out of his throat. Sam snarled at the Xeno, kicked it into a far corner and shot it as it twitched, spraying that corner with acidic blood. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Try to kill MY marines will you, you little bastard.Ã¢â‚¬Â He growled at the corpse, before looking over at Jacko. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You okay mate? Did that thing have the time to implant one of those little fuckers in you?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Jacko slowly and unsteadily got to his feet, and shook his head to get rid of the dizziness before replying. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nah, at least I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think so, it mustÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve only been on me for a few minutes, nowhere near long enough.Ã¢â‚¬Â He said with an uneasy grin as he picked up his shotgun from where it lay on the ground. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Thanks guys, I owe yas one.Ã¢â‚¬Â He said, his grin solidifying as he walked over towards another fallen Marine to see if he could get the facehugger of his face.
He never got the chance, though, as the other door at the far end of the room burst open, and a pair of ebony black Xenomorph warriors sprung through it, hissing and screeching, issuing a sibilant challenge.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“GET THE FUCKERS!Ã¢â‚¬Â Sam shouted in reply, and after a second to take aim he blasted the Xeno farthest from the unconscious marines into oblivion, detonating itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s oblong head with a well-placed burst of explosive rounds. The Xeno died without another sound, as itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decapitated corpse fell to the ground, acid already pooling around it.
The other one leapt towards Jacko, but the marine was too fast for the Xeno, a single blast from his shotgun smashed into the monsterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chest and stopped itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leap short, sending it flying back towards the ground, where it smashed into the floor with a dull crunch. Jacko walked up towards it as it tried to get to itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s feet and finished it with a final shotgun shell to the face. The Xeno didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rise.
The victory was short-lived though, as more Xenos started to pour from the hole, screeching and roaring in rage. The Marines knew that this was too much for them, and after a few seconds The Sergeant and Gilly ran for it, sprinting out of the room and back into the first egg chamber, followed a second later by Tommy. Sam pushed Jacko towards the door, before pulling back as well, blasting at Xenos with every step he took.
He stopped moving backwards once he reached the door, however, and glanced at the unconscious Marines, the ones they hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t had the time to save. Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m so sorry.Ã¢â‚¬Â He said, a tear brimming in his eye as reached for the grenade launcher trigger and fired a grenade into the middle of the fallen marines, before turning his back on the room and slamming the door shut.
He then sighed and shook his head, wiping away that tear. He had known those marines for about a year now, and the knowledge that he hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been able to save them really hurt. Maybe if they hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t taken the time to capture the eggs, they could have got to them in timeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
By then, it was rather conspicuous that the Xenos were not trying to break through the door. They had a little peace for the moment. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They must be dragging the others back to their nest.Ã¢â‚¬Â Gilly observed morbidly. She then noticed SamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s expression, and placed a hand on his armoured shoulder. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey, there was nothing you could have done. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re buying us the time to get out of here. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not have their sacrifice be in vain.Ã¢â‚¬Â She said, glancing over to the Sergeant.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You heard her marines, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re pulling the fuck off of this planet before we find itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s too late.Ã¢â‚¬Â He said, as he headed back into the classroom, followed by the marines.
It was only after Sam, Gilly, Jacko and Tommy had strapped the egg canisters onto their backs and were ready to move when the Xenomorphs broke down the door they had barred and started to pour in. The marines all took up defensive positions, with Sam, Gilly and Jacko taking cover behind desks at the far end of the room, and Tommy & the Sergeant fighting at the front from behind the teacherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk.
They mowed down Xeno after Xeno, but it seemed that the ebony tide was creeping ever closer, until eventually one leaped onto Tommy, just after he had shot it to bits. He screamed as the acid splashed onto his leg, but the acid was wreaking a much nastier havoc. It was melting through the egg container strapped onto his back!
As he backed away from the Xenomorphs, crawling because he could no longer use his leg, the canister burst open and he found a Xeno egg right beside his head! Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh no...Of fuck please noÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â Was all he was able to say before the Xeno hugger burst from the egg and clamped onto his face, ending the story for him once and for all, because there was no way that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be able to save him under fire.
With the Smartgunner gone, the defensive formation started to collapse, and the Xenos surged forward. They were all surprised when the Sarge leaped up onto the teachers desk and shouted. Ã¢â‚¬Å“GO! GO! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢LL HOLD THEM OFF FOR AS LONG AS I CAN!Ã¢â‚¬Â They nodded, realizing his sacrifice and thanking him, and quickly ran from the room, closing and locking the door behind him. They ignored the screams coming from the room as they sprinted back towards the dropship.
In the end, Sam Gilly and Jacko made it, boarding the dropship and lifting off with their precious cargo. They nuked the planet from orbit and set a course towards the nearest Weyland-Yutani facility, to hand over the eggs and cash in on their Thirty Million.
A LITTLE TEASER OF WHAT IS TO COME! IF YOU LIKE IT SAY SO, AND I MIGHT GO AND POST THE NEXT CHAPTER