Thursday, June 27, 2013

Smooth Operator

Here's another flash fiction piece from the message board invasion of what the artists are doing. This time the story is based on this picture


Miesha clung to the ivy along the wall and waited for the light to leave the window. She sidled along the wall on the ledge and crossed the eight feet to the window then wedged the dagger under the frame to pop it up before she could work her fingers underneath and open it. She slid into the gap, closed the window behind her, and moved to the door. As the footsteps moved away into the distance she slowly opened the door and entered the hallway. The servant was three doors down and only halfway down the hall as Miesha tucked herself along the wall and slowly followed along behind him. Eventually he checked all the rooms and made his way down the stairs.

Finally alone Miesha made her way to the master bedroom of the mansion and found the doors locked. An obstacle, but not an insurmountable one. She slipped her picks out of her pouch and slowly worked at the tumblers of the lock until it gave way and she pushed the door open. The moon was shining brightly into the room and all the reflections off polished wood and the shiny metal lying around confirmed that she was in the right room. A vanity held the middle position against one of the walls and Miesha made her way over there and started opening the drawers. The first drawer she opened had a bunch of letters and envelops that she sorted through and found nothing of interest. The second drawer had more letters, but on top was a necklace with a large ruby hung on it. She pushed her hood back and slid it over her neck and lifted her hair up to let the gold chain fall against her neck. Always nice when the haul offered a way to carry it out.

The third drawer was a larger one and when she pulled it open their was a jewelry box inside of it. Miesha lifted it up and a bell started ringing in the distance. She looked down and saw a metal plate under where the box had been. She opened a pouch and quickly dumped drawers of jewelry into it then closed it up and tied it.

The door of the room opened and a man burst in with a sword in his hand. Miesha spun toward him as she drew her dagger and released it as she squared up with him. The blade slid into his neck and blood bubbled around there as he released a soundless scream. She hooked the pouch onto her belt and went over to the man to retrieve her dagger, but it wouldn't come out, apparently lodged into the spine somehow. She took the sword from the ground and opened the window and as she knew from how she planned her entrance there was no easy way to the ground. Miesha could hear a bunch of feet stomping on the stairs as people made her way up so she took a deep breath and jumped out of the window and hit the ground twenty feet below and immediately went into a forward roll, but she definitely felt something tweak in her right ankle.
She got up to her feet and felt the pain in her foot, but kept going and didn't let the pain slow her down, there was enough adrenaline pumping that the pain wasn't too bad, for now. A bunch of people started screaming from the window, but none of them were willing to take the leap, but the noise would attract the city guards. Miesha angled to the left toward the wall and jumped off her left foot and grabbed the rope she had left there. She pulled herself up and levered herself over the wall for another drop although this one was only about eight feet, but her right ankle gave out again and she rolled along the ground before getting to her feet again.

She was reduced to a limping run down the street with the gas lights providing little more illumination than the moon. She was halfway over the first bridge when a pair of guards showed up behind her yelling for her to stop. Miesha ignored them and started going faster trying to ignore the pain in her ankle as she ran. The guards were closing in, but she still had a good amount of distance when she reached the town proper instead of all the rich people houses. She ducked down the first alley she found and clambered up the crumbling bricks to the roof and started moving along the tops of the buildings. The guards started shouting from ground level flummoxed by her disappearance. The city wall to her left was only a couple of buildings away so she ran and made a leap to cross the first gap. Her ankle held up so she kept going and jumped the next, then jumped again and landed on the catwalk of the city wall then jumped again and once again landed hard with a somersault.

Miesha kept up her limp run and made it a good way into the thick forest and was confident she had lost her pursuit and stopped running. She grabbed the pouch of stolen goods and saw a good amount of reflection from the moonlight that trickled through the overgrowth although nothing compared to the ruby on her chest.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Gal Scout

This short story is part of a competition in a message board I go to where the writers make stories out of artist drawings and vice versa. This picture is where I got the inspiration and you can see more of his pretty drawings Here so without further ado here is my story. All 844 words of it.


Even with the thrusters and a parachute I felt the mech make solid contact with the ground. Right in the middle of the manufacturing park like she was supposed to be, a nice surprise for guidance to work that well on a drop. A quick scan of the video feeds confirmed everything the instruments told me; there were no hostile weapons present, just a bunch of surprised and scared workers who scattered as I guided the mech forward.

I fired a rocket that blew open a loading bay door in manufacturing building six. A quick jump with a little thruster boost dropped me and Scout in the building. Now there were hostiles in the area, exactly the thing I'd expected from an illegal build site. Five guards were arrayed around the room shooting at Scout, but they'd have to get lucky to even do enough damage to slow us down a little bit. I swung the right arm across the mech's body at table height with the machine gun firing steadily. All of the workers fleeing added to the confusion, but anybody involved in this was in trouble even if that created more of a body count than command wanted. I raised the left arm and unleashed the flame thrower and made solid contact with the guard on the walkway who screamed and flailed before he flipped over the guardrail and crashed to the floor below.

The targeting system put up red boxes over the two guards still on their feet so I swung the right hand over and unloaded with the machine gun to tear through the flipped tables and the men behind them. I put Scout into motion and he burst through the huge double doors and knocked one off the hinges as we entered the long hallway. Scout's evasion systems did an automatic quick step to the right as an RPG flew past and exploded against the wall behind us. I replied with a missile of my own that detonated against their security post; blasted it to fragments and filled them with shrapnel. I got Scout moving forward again and watched the display for the isotope sniffer as it kept going up and then red lined.

I turned Scout and again we slammed through a pair of double doors, this time into a lab. And this lab seemed to be where the guards had decided to make their stand as Scout was rocked by heavy gunfire and the mech staggered to the right to stay on his feet from the impact. The only plus side was these guys wouldn't use explosives as they didn't want the laser in the middle of the lab being destroyed. I was just the opposite so with a quick lock I fired a missile that inexplicably connected with one of their bullets and exploded in midair, so I fired another. This missile flew true and exploded the makeshift machine gun nest and sent the men wielding it flying. The targeting screen showed ten guards outlined in red still up and firing and doing a lot of damage to Scout's paint job. I rotated the upperbody of Scout while unloading with all of the weapons I had. The machine gun on the right, the flame thrower on the left, and the small flechette guns above the flame thrower. It was a terrifying display while doing it, I couldn't imagine being on the receiving end. All the soldiers were down on the floor; Some of them dead or dying and the rest cowering for their lives.

I grabbed the package of explosives next to me and opened the front hatch, my least favorite part of this mission. I dropped to the floor with the bag on one shoulder and my pistol in the other. I attached two bundles of C4 to each end of the laser module. I grabbed the ladder to get back into Scout and bullets pinged off the metal next to me. I dropped into a crouch and aimed down my pistol, but Scout reacted first and ripped apart the chest of my attacker with the flechette launcher. I scrambled up the ladder quickly and the hatch sealed behind me. I put Scout into a full run the way we came in. Outside the loading bay security had set up with a lot of men, but nothing pegged as immediately dangerous.

Scout leapt into the air as I put on full thrusters and dropped some mines out the back of the mech as we lifted over the buildings and out of the manufacturing plant while the mines exploded amidst the security forces. Once we hit the ground I detonated the C4. Manufacturing building six went up in a series of explosions. Way more than just the C4 would have done, the result of all the volatile material they were using for building stuff.

“Commander Kyle Warren ready for pick up outside the target zone. Illegal weapon was been destroyed along with the manufacturing building.”

“Good work, Commander. We're coming in for pickup now.”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Yippee Ki Yay, Nerf Herder

I sat at the bar with my third Jack and coke in front of me as I waited for Madeline. Fifteen years of service in the army with a lot of that time spent on various fronts and meeting up with her was making me more nervous than I'd been there. I turned on the bar stool and watched the entrance and saw her come in. She looked as stunning as the day she left me five years ago. Short brown hair framed her heart shaped face perfectly. I got up from my seat and made a beeline to the bathroom before she could spot me.

My pep talk staring at the mirror was cut short by a screaming and mechanical voices from the dining area. I confirmed my fears with a platoon of robo-soldiers. Ten machines designed to work perfectly together and now liberated from government control as members of the Dedicated Intelligent Electronic Harbingers of Absolute Robot Dictatorship. The bane of his life for the past year, but it also meant he knew how to take them on and neutralize their Strategic Threat Analysis/Reaction programming and the Weapon Active Radar System once in combat. I checked my phone and found it jammed, standard procedure for the robots, but they forgot to check the bathrooms. They always did, and with the opening I had left my service pistol at home, but being Psy-Ops I was a weapon.

I could take out a platoon by myself in the field, but there I wouldn't have to worry about a bunch of civilian hostages being killed, including Madeline. I went into the handicapped stall and brought my foot down in an axe kick to remove one of the ends of the hand rail, then ripped the other end free giving myself a club. I opened the door and got a good look at the robots, the smartest thing those fuckers did was paint themselves all the same so we couldn't identify the leader.

I focused my mental powers and grabbed the fire controls of two of the robots and had them fire at two other robots. Enough to mess up the friend or foe systems and hopefully do serious damage. At the same time I pushed off the ground to leap ten feet towards the entrance where two robots held Madeline and the hostess. I brought the metal rod down over the head of the robot right behind Madeline with a solid thunk that forced him to the ground. The other robot turned as the hostess dropped to the ground and I swung as hard as I could and lifted the robot off the ground and sent him flying into the bar.

The two robots who fired on their compatriots didn't do much damage, but did set off the STAR system and were gunned down thanks to my efforts. I reached out and telekinetically grabbed a serving platter and pushed it against the nearest bot as he fired his launcher. The grenade detonated and blew the robot to pieces. Half of the robot force was down as I leaped onto the bar to draw attention away from the hostages. I focused on the furthest away bot, and pushed him through the front window as he screamed “Roger, roger.”

I dropped behind the bar as the four bots focused fire on me and blew apart hundreds of bottles of liquor that I had just been standing in front of. I stood up and threw the pole then grabbed it telekinetically and pushed it harder and it went straight through the chest of one of the remaining bots and pinned the lifeless metal against the wall. I stood up over the bar and only two robots were left standing. The other two were being ganged up on by the other restaurant patrons. I propelled myself up in the air and pulled the metal bar back to me as I landed behind one of the robots and grabbed him in a strangle hold. Obviously ineffective as he didn't need to breath, but it did give me a good amount of leverage to twist and disconnect the head from the processor in the head, from the power source in the body.

I lifted the lifeless hulk and flung it through the air directly into the last standing robot and the two went down in a pile. I charged after the projectile and swung a hard blow as the bot tried to stand and sent the head flying to stop any thoughts of retaliation. Madeline slowly made her way to her feet and I pushed through the disoriented crowd to steady her.

“You never could leave work behind could you?”

“Glad to see your sense of humor hasn't disappeared.”

“You came out of the bathroom,” she said. “Nervous about seeing me again?”

“Sounds kind of silly considering I just beat up a bunch of robots to save you.”

“And everybody else here, but you were still nervous about seeing me.”

“I can do a lot of things with my mind, but I can't control everything.”