Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Beneath Unknown Skies 78

 

Jack strode through the base. Where are you Joon? His AI implant told him there was a 70% chance Joon had passed through the Gate. Joon- 352, he had to remind himself. And where in fuck was the other Joon? 

He had an idea about that. No doubt he had fled to the Refuge- where else could he have gone? Somehow he had given the slip to the Scholars and their trackers. And that meant... Trish. 

Trish. 

What on earth would happen if Trish and Joon were together? 

He strode into the command center, seeing the bustle of activity. 

Why was Mallory here? 

"Why are you here?"

"Oh," she turned to face him. "There you are."

I can't find Joon. Er, our Joon."

"Yes, he appears to have gone missing."

"Do you know if he's still around?"

"I doubt it. He had a scrambler implanted. To keep him... cooperative." 

Stunned silence.

Where is Yvette?"

"Yvette is other wise occupied."

"Why would you do that? Did Yvette authorize...?"

"No one but me authorized," she said. "Joon has been way out of control. Gating, bringing that other version here..." 

"We can't find him on any scans."

"That would only happen if he's dead or his implant was removed."

"His scrambler is attuned to this place. If he ventures more than, I think, it was two hundred meters, the techno eggheads said... Boom! No more Joon."

"You bitch."

"Tsk tsk such language. That includes the Gate too. If he goes through and no longer reads as "here"... Boom."

"Why?"

"We don't need him. He's trouble."

*******

They fought their way into the city. Running. Why is there always running? It took them hours to get there. Hillier saved his life three times, by his count. He only saved hers once. There were three of them left. Trish was still with them, bleeding, battered, but alive. The escorts had all died saving them. 

The mutants kept coming. Waves. Hillier picked up an energy weapon after its owner was torn apart. Hillier was actually smiling. Joon was out of ammo. When a mutant got close to Hillier he swung his weapon like a bat, shattering it along with the mutant's head. 

Fuck

Trish saved Hillier when she was overwhelmed. They were like sisters in arms. Trish was bleeding from a slash down her face. That would scar. 

At times Joon noticed Hillier changing shape. Sometimes other people, but mostly her black skinned form. Joon had not seen her real form in a while. Her teeth were filed in her natural form, and at one point she ripped a throat out with her teeth. When she looked at him her mouth was blood. 

At times it was good to remember- she was not human. 

And they had help. At one point several gunships appeared, laying down a withering strafe of pulse beams, incinerating some of the mutants. Trish kept running, although Joon would have liked to say thanks to the pilots. Trish explained that the ships were after them, so don't get too grateful. 

When they stumbled into the city they took a rest. A brief respite. Hillier was covered with blood. Joon's clothes were torn. The city itself was unlike cities in Joon's time- there were soaring arches, destroyed vehicles that looked more like monorail cars than the cars Joon knew. There were bridges in the air. 

Joon was gulping air. A noise, scrabbling above. Trish unloading her weapon until ammo ran out. Click. Click. The mutant was dead, though. 

"I'm done," Trish said. "Can't make it." She could hardly breathe. There were explosions nearby as a gunship obliterated a cluster of mutants. Hillier grabbed a hold of her and started pulling her along. 

They stumbled down a wide street, ruined buildings on both sides. They could see dark forms above, everywhere. Behind them they saw a pack closing in. 

Hillier pushed him on. "Go."

"I'm not leaving you," Joon said incredulously. 

"Joon," she said, grabbing his collar. "This is our way. To die in combat is an honor. Saving my friend... is an honor. LIVE!" she hissed. 

Were those tears in her eyes?

He kissed her. Not in a sexual way. She was his friend. 

And he pulled her on. He wouldn't leave. 

"We're close," Trish stammered. She was holding her side. Several mutants went down. Was that sniper fire? Trish smiled, her mouth bloody. 

"They hear us coming."

The next moments were a blur. Through a door. Down a hallway, a mutant coming through a door, grabbing Hiller but she twisted and slammed it into a window, kicking it twice in the head until it split. 

There was a hole ahead, stairs leading into darkness. Looked like an old elevator shaft. 

"Go," said Trish. 

They descended. 

3 comments:

  1. Wow! I like that we get to see the true Hillier! So cool. Oh, I don't like Jack! Hmmmm...does Hillier know about the implant..or is she the natrual scrambler? Lots to absorb here. Lots of action! I do like the way the story is moving. Oh, I hope they stay together. πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€Sorry, I didn't get to this yesterday. I hope you are having a good week. I feel like I am still catching up at home from the weekend. Milde weather at the moment. Although, we are getting the aftermath of the California misery..but since it went through the mountains, I don't think we will get any bad weather other than wind. Thanks for your comments. Oh, I need to write some content myself. All the best. Keep writing!
    Caitlin&Megan
    Ivy
    Ellie

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  2. "Her teeth were filed in her natural form, and at one point she ripped a throat out with her teeth. When she looked at him her mouth was blood.

    At times it was good to remember- she was not human."
    😱 Yup...πŸ˜…

    Also, all that stuff about Mallory and alt-Joon...yikes. Will he blow up? Has him already?

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  3. Why is there always running? lol. This is such a great episode! I loved it. You write great action/fight scenes. :D

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