Not had any feedback since Chapter 1 <sad face>, but I hope people are reading and enjoying these.
I'm always trying to improve as a writer, so I'd be grateful for any positive and negative comments and these are always welcome, because I think they can only help me develop (and hopefully write better stuff for you guys).
Anyway, here's Chapter 3:
“Another Judgement Day”(Chapter 3):
Exiting the vehicle, my eyes are everywhere aloft, scanning the nearby pylons and oxygen towers for snipers.
The scanner’s good for detecting ground-level approaches, but it’s a spherical array, so it only reaches so far up, plus there’s always the chance for additional ‘interesting times’ -as the Precinct now calls it- when a glitch hits the system.
Lost in memory, I try to recall the guy who’d first said that phrase; Laszkowitz, that’s the guy...really tall and always hungry. Funny guy, too. Got shot in the face by some kid ganger whilst he was stuffing himself on yet another food-break. Nothing left of the kid, of course.
Taking a swig from my emergency supply of amasec, I think about leaving it in the car, but decide against it.
I try to assuage my conscience by telling myself that it could be useful as an opening line to get people talking -sometimes it even works- but I also know it’s occasionally the only thing keeping me through the end of a shift, just like tonight.
Looking slightly forlornly at the half empty bottle, perhaps it’s more ‘occasionally’ than I’d like to admit.
Closing the door, I check both of the alarms and each of the three security devices...electric charge in the doorhandle, knockout gas under the roofline for persistent would-be offenders and a demo-charge under the seats if things get terminal.
Catching a reflection in the window, I spin around and scan the nearby cabling and gantries; could have been the slight wind, making them sway, or maybe it’s something else.
I think about calling out but, if it is someone up there, they’ve already seen me and I’d just be showing them I’m anxious, so I keep silent, but my hands go to my guns just in case.
Checking out the walkways, however, I disarm security device #3...a bomb here could bring down half of the overpass.
With the vehicle as secure as it can be, I make my way over to the substation’s doors, left mysteriously ajar unlike nearly every portal aroundabouts:
No one here has much that’s actually worth stealing, but what they do have, they hang onto like a starving wolf-rat, so there are signs all over, inviting intruders of the various hovels to ‘imminent death’ and other, more gruesome, fates.
Using the flashlight on my laspistol, I scan it across the entranceway. Maybe the cells need recharging, but the light only goes so far into the lobby, then it stops abruptly.
Passing the columns framing the door, they show signs of recent weapons discharge from low-powered las-weapons and I curse as a few stub gun shell-casings crunch beneath my boots whilst I advance amongst the dilapidated machinery.
Cobwebs and dust are everywhere...this place hasn’t been used in an age...yet there are fresh tracks from a boot and also drag-marks alongside: sure signs of a limping adult, one leg dragging behind them.
My experienced eyes show up the tell-tale circular mark of something being used as a crutch, too. That'll make things easier if I need to get out of here in a hurry.
Ahead, I can hear a soft voice, urging another: “Grandpa...why do you still live here? Mummy and me can get you to a safe place.”
Closer now, I can hear a soft wheeze in a reply and stumbling, then a light splashing sound, probably tripping on the stacks of pipes and pools of rank fluids that lie in wait everywhere in this building.
One of these menaces snags my trousers and I stagger, hitting a broken off air-vent. The older voice replies: “That will be my visitor now, child, they come to save...and must be told...”
“Save who? Told about what, Grandpa? I don;t understand! Why do you never speak of the things you see?”
“You are too young to understand and must be protected from them, child Aris. I cannot keep you safe anymore...neither can my daughter; your mother. The only defence against them is to not know of them at all and to live in ignorance of them.”
“But I don’t even know what ‘ignorance’ means, Grandpa!” Aris’ exasperated young voice rang out.
“I know”, I said, stepping out into the pale light cast through the broken skylights. My weapon is held down so as not to cause alarm, but kept in hand if needed.
The child staggers back, falling over a section of girder whilst the old man brings his heavy-bore gun to bear upon me, even though it must weigh a ton in his frail arms.
“You were the one who answered my call.” he says, gun never shifting from my midriff.
“The ‘Xerxes’ time-code definitely got my attention...just as certain as that gun does...just like you knew it would.” I reply.
The old man sighs in relief as he lowers the rifle. ”I’ve not used that in decades, so it was the one thing I knew they wouldn’t be able to duplicate.”
His weathered frame seems too frail to even allow him to stand. However, Aris is still too shocked to let me anywhere near, so we both wait for the boy to come closer and sit with his ancestor.
His voice cracking like old wood, the old man begins cautiously: “You and I are human, but we know that there are things in this world that are superhuman.
"There are also things in life which are odd to us, ‘alien’ even.
"Then there are things which are different to all of those things.”
Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.
"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"
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Last edited by andygorn; 07-08-11 at 11:32 PM.