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20 August 2015 @ 04:36 am
_Project Dystopia_ part 7  
 

Her eyes raised . . . widened as they fixed on something behind him. "Ebsa!"

He jumped, dumping his chair, gathering power, reaching for his gun, fixing on the huge spider bounding across the ground, closing fast. That thing must weigh fifty kilos! Safety off. Calculate a bounce . . . squeeze. It jolted with the impact. Leaped again. Toward him.

Two more shots to the body. It finally fell in a twitching heap a meter from his boots. Movement beyond. More spiders. Lots of more spiders. Black, like a pack of labrador retrievers, bounding like deer . . . spiders.

"Paer, gun safe. 12mm." Ebsa shot the two nearest spiders. They dropped, scrambled around to reorient themselves, smaller jumps but still heading for the tent.

Ebsa stepped out to keep any spiders away from Paer and the crawler, thankful he was still parked up close and cozy. He felt her spell spill out, over the crawler, under the crawler. He started hearing other gunshots, more distant. He started shooting every damned jumping . . . dropped the empty mag as he reached for the other, slapped it into place. Slice spell and step aside from the spider parts, shoot two more.

Cursing from the side where someone was trying to hold one off with a chair.

Ebsa threw the anti-chitin spell that direction, and smeared it outward toward two others. Two shots into the more distant pair of a foursome. Slice as the first two got close enough. Turn back and throw the anti-chitin. He stepped out to have a clear view. Men were running in from all directions. Action Teams.

Paer ran up and handed him his favorite 12mm dacca, stepped aside, raised her shotgun and fired. The spider flipped and landed twitching. Enough soft spots in their faces. Good. The rifle took the nasties out with a single shot. Excellent. Ebsa started to circle the mess tent, spotted movement to the side, turned and shot one leaping out from under a table. He knelt and peered.

"Shit! He bolted to his feet and wove through the tables. Threw the anti-chitin spell ahead of himself, and again as he neared the thrashing fight on the floor. The spider on the man sagged, and Ebsa grabbed a chair, swung it around and got a leg under the creature and flipped it away. Its victim screamed as its jaws ripped out of his arm.

"It's got me good, I can feel it. I'm dead."

The blood flooding out of the wound stopped, gelled . . . Ebsa ripped out the injector Paer'd given him. Jabbed the man's upper arm with it. Dropped it. Reached for the little tube he carried, flipped the lid off. Poured a bit in the man's mouth as he panted. He choked.

"Swallow it. Now!" Ebsa poured all the command he was capable of into that.

He scanned under the tables again. Got up and ran back toward Paer . . . veered and checked the core of the triangle of vendos and fabs . . . clear. No more shots, near or far.

Paer was turning slow circles. "The action teams got the far side of the breakout. I think that's the whole hatch. It's not like they're shy."

"Hatch? How did they get over the wall?"

"The adults lay their eggs deep underground. The hatchlings dig their way up to the surface, then spread out hunting." Paer looked back at the tent." There've been four fatalities since I've been here."

"Might be five now, that guy . . ." Ebsa hunched his shoulders. "His blood . . . "

"Jelled. I know." She swallowed. "Watch this side. I need to go check him."

"I injected him with the anti-venom, then gave him a dose of the Joy Juice."

Paer paused. "That's illegal . . . and I didn't hear you say that." Then she ran off, eyes scanning, shotgun at ready.

Ebsa stayed on the kitchen side of the tent, checking everything obsessively, throwing the anti-chitin spell everywhere. He kicked a dead spider. "Dammit. For just a second there I think I almost had the nerve to propose."



Chapter Four

The Action Teams had been busy on the other side of the hatch, and finished up with a sweep of the whole enclosure.

Chief Ocho got his people out for cleanup. He eyed Ebsa's rifle and surveyed the battleground.

"Good thing the tent's got a wide clear fire zone around it." Ebsa looked around. "And now I know why."

The chief nodded. "I thought by now all the dens inside the barrier would have hatched. These big ones . . . well, if they were laid just before we finished the wall, they incubated for six months. And if they were laid earlier . . . there could still be more."

"Crumb. And they really stink." An odd smell more like a concentrated snake den, raising the hairs on the back of his neck. "What do you do with them?"

"Burn them. They'll be stinking even worse in a couple of hours if we don't." He waved down a man in a small tractor and walked out to meet him.

Ebsa eyed his relaxed demeanor, nodded. Crisis over. I can relax too. He hunted down his expended magazine, and took it and his grubby self off to the Junkyard's shower. Cleaned and reloaded both pistol and rifle. He looked over his shoulder as the door opened. Rye and Woofie, big eyed. He holstered the pistol and slotted the second mag in beside it, racked the 12mm.

"I don't ordinarily rack anything loaded. But after those spiders, I'm making an exception." He closed the gun safe, but didn't lock it.

"You were, you were . . . " Woofie ran out of words.

"Awesome. How did you move so fast?" Rye's voice was high and squeaky.

"You were carrying a gun! Loaded! That's that's . . . "

"Illegal." Rye finished for him.

Ebsa snorted. "For a civilian, in most cities. I am a Directorate Agent. I don't carry at home, unless there's a reason, but in the field, damn straight I've got a gun."

He stepped out of the crawler and closed the door. "Hate to have something crawl in there. Sheesh. Well. Lunch is definitely over. Grab garbage bags and let's collect all the dropped food and plates. Maybe it can all go in the fire pit with the spiders."

"How can you be so cool?" Rye took a bag and looked across the tent to where a stretcher was being carried off. Paer was holding an IV bag high, so the man hadn't died yet.

Ebsa shrugged. "This assignment as a Mess Chief? It's like a . . . nice easy posting, because the last one was really rough. I've fought before. Killed and thought I was going to die before." He stopped at a table and swept everything into his bag, stooped and grabbed the half sandwich on the floor. "Just . . . get back to work, and get a little tougher. Field agents can't be too soft."

 
 
 
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on August 20th, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
Hmm.

Can you get though the Directorate School without doing Firearms 101 ?

We know Woofie & Rye attended (the food comment) and the daily run was described as compulsory for all.


Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on August 20th, 2015 11:51 pm (UTC)
Everyone gets some firearms training, but for people trying for the teams the requirements are much higher. Ditto martial arts.

Other sports, such as fencing, are additional, not substitutes. So Woofie and Rye may have knocked out the minimum as freshmen, then gotten into business management, and human relations, and How to Fill Out The Right Forms. 0:)Oh, and lots and lots of equipment classes, and inventory control, accounting, and other things that really are useful. They just thought they could skate past the actual hands on at peon level in every job and every camp section they want to manage.

And yes, everybody runs.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on August 25th, 2015 02:04 pm (UTC)
Just reread - from Directorate School

"Enough of you will wind up in very active assignments that everyone will run regularly, everyone will learn karate, everyone will be trained to shoot a variety of weapons, and everyone will learn at least the basics of fencing. ..."

So Woofie/ Rye feels a little off key plus the legalities of being an Directorate Agent will have been skimmed.

Also maybe a slight problem in that in Three Interns Ebsa and Hob are a little too ignorant of fencing.
matapampamuphoff on August 25th, 2015 02:42 pm (UTC)
Things like this are one of the reasons I like writing so far ahead of my publishing. _Now_ I'm finding out what a directorate agent needs to have been trained to do. And that there's no firm line between Action, Exploration, and Info Teams. Heck, in _Spy Wars_ there was no mention of who did the first across exploration of new worlds. Because I hadn't thought about it.
matapampamuphoff on August 25th, 2015 02:54 pm (UTC)
How's this:

"Enough of you will wind up in very active assignments that everyone will run regularly, everyone will learn karate, and everyone will be trained to shoot a variety of weapons. Two semesters are required. If you are trying out for the Teams, you will have both martial arts and weaponry every semester."

A deep sigh accompanied a resigned expression. "There are other sports. Those of you inclined to . . .social or political advancement may want to consider fencing. There are team sports, but we advise against them, as they tend to be very time consuming. These are all strictly optional, and will be in addition to your classwork, and the running, shooting, and karate. If you get a job at a desk or in a lab, you can let yourself go. But not until then."
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on August 25th, 2015 08:48 pm (UTC)
=running, shooting, and karate= like a British gentleman's huntin' shootin' and fishin'

Sorry, digression.

I think that is OK but still requires a small Woofie/ Rye tweak for shooting and legalities.


Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
matapampamuphoff on August 25th, 2015 10:24 pm (UTC)
"You were carrying a gun! Loaded! That's that's . . . "

"Illegal." Rye finished for him.

Ebsa snorted. "For a civilian, in most cities. I am a Directorate Agent. I don't carry at home, unless there's a reason, but in the field, damn straight I've got a gun. How'd you get through the Directorate School without weapons training?"

"Well, I had to take two semesters. Knocked that out as a freshman, Rye, too. It's not like we were Team Track or anything."

"And karate. Oww!" Rye hunched her shoulders.

Ebsa stepped out of the crawler and closed the door. "Hate to have something crawl in there. Sheesh. I was Team Track . . . and, well, I like trying new weird things."

"We noticed." Woofies eyes widened suddenly. "Wait, we aren't Directorate Agents, are we?"

"Umm . . . legally . . . actually I'm not sure where the dividing line is. It's not all graduates of the Directorate School . . . just some specialties, positions, or ranks. But I never actually looked into it. I sort of got appointed under weird circumstances, and never thought about it, after."

He looked around the mess tent. "Well. Lunch is definitely over. Grab garbage bags and let's collect all the dropped food and plates. Maybe it can all go in the fire pit with the spiders."