Again not again

by Mike998
Enjoy, and mail me if you like it, or even if you don't!  I will post a followup if anyone is interested.

/Mike

Again Not Again
~~~~~~~~~~
I adjusted the comforting black weight of my rifle again, then began stretching my arms and legs to work out the kinks that always came when I was on a long helicopter flight.  A hand signal from the loadmaster.  Couldn't be much longer, could it?  Then the intercom hissed in my ears.  Five minuets until the landing zone.  The burning, bilious taste of fear rose in my throat as I fought the shakes to give an affirmative thumb up to the pilot and regarded my comrades.  Two women and three men against god knows how many of those twisted shambling creatures.  I closed my eyes and pictured the village again in my mind's eye.  We'd been there before and sealed all the buildings.  Seems the things couldn't get in if they couldn't turn a door handle.  That was one blessing, as clearing rooms was a sure way for us to lose more men.
Phoenix company.  The rise of humanity from the ashes of our fiery death from alien invaders.  It didn't make me laugh any more.  Once upon a time, it would have sounded so asinine, but now...
The rotors changed pitch as the pilot began his descent for a combat landing - put down and dust off with only time for us to get out.  I unbuckled my harness, pulled off my headset and one last time checked my meager equipment.  Rifle, spare clips, grenades, flares, pistol, spare clips for the pistol and radio.  The intercom buzzed and the distorted voice of the pilot said that we would be touching down in 30 seconds.
I rose from the torturously uncomfortable webbing seat and half crouching in the confines of the Chinook walked to the rear door as the ground rushed up towards us.  I could feel my fellow soldiers behind me and with a bump that signaled our touch down, ran the scant few meters to kneel with my back to our lifeline.  A blast of wind and another change in the pitch of the clattering roar of the helicopter signaled its departure.  The whine in our ears would subside soon enough.
"Ready" I said, loud enough to be heard by everyone and readied my rifle.  Five other weapons were readied at the same time.  I squeezed the pistol grip of my rifle, swallowed my nausea one last time and ran at a crouching sprint to my designated start point.  I scanned up the deserted street as the reassuring warmth of Rebecca bumped into my shoulder as I pushed the earpiece into place.  "Let's get the bastards" I whispered to her.  I activated my throat mike.  "One to all stations proceed as per orders.  Bravo and Charlie teams commence patrol".  "Bravo, Roger. Out"  "Charlie, Roger....  I see one"  I winced inwardly to myself as Rebecca and I began our methodical leapfrog advance up the main drag.  What the hell was it this time?
"Jesus!  It's a car"  I signaled Rebecca to go to ground, and she took a position the other side of the street facing the way we had just came.  Staccato chatter of an M-16 and an AK-47 signaled we were beginning our primary mission.  Was that a third rifle?  "Charlie, Alpha.  Can you give support, over?"  I hoped to hell that Gunter hadn't gone crazy.  A car?  "Charlie." came a disembodied voice.  "Charlie, affirmative.  Out to you, Bravo, state position over."  Silence.  Shit.  "Charlie, Alpha - take the fastest route to Bravo's position, we'll meet you there, out."  I listened - I could hear only a single rifle firing now.  Either one of my men was down or they were re-loading.  I signaled to Rebecca to follow me, turned to my left and began running.
Suddenly, I could see a stream of lightning ahead and the chatter of the last rifle was silenced.  I knelt at the corner, took a breath and held it.  I darted my head around the corner of the building and my jaw dropped.  Pockmarked with bullet holes and chittering, the car-crab thing scuttled towards me.  I pulled my head back and looked back at Rebecca.  She had only joined Phoenix company two weeks ago.  "Grenade." I intoned grimly.  She nodded to me and slung her rifle across her back then pulled one of the grenades she was carrying from her belt.  I slung my rifle at the same time and listened as the abomination moved closer.  I pulled the pin from my grenade and held it tightly.  "Let the fuse burn for two seconds, then throw it." I ordered.  She nodded.  A crablike leg, followed by another came into view. "NOW" I shouted.  Two grenade spoons flew and I silently counted.  Rebecca's grenade arced over my head and dropped neatly in the thing's path, followed closely by mine.  I ducked and put my back to the blast and heard the CRUMP! CRUMP! of both grenades followed by the concussion.  A sharp pain in my neck followed by a warm trickle of blood signified I had been injured.  Regardless, I unslung my rifle and turning pointed it at the thing.  A pool of fluids seeping from the bottom of the car showed that it wouldn't be moving again.
I turned to grin assurance at Rebecca.  Morel-man!  I squeezed the trigger, unthinking, and saw the worm that impaled the zombie-like man squirm as my rounds impacted.  Milliseconds slower I saw Rebecca turn and watched as the last spasm of the creature's hands twist my saving act to one of murder.  The pistol in it's hand coughed.  Rebecca's back arched as the round impacted on her chest.  They both fell backwards in a dance of death.  Rebecca's long hair streamed around her head in a dark halo as her life pulsed from the wound in her chest.

I shot bold upright.  The darkened room was claustrophobic, lit only by a single lightbulb and the glow of the monitors.  The sheets were knotted in my fists.  Cold rivulets of sweat ran down my neck and back.  A figure beside me moved.  I tried to turn but the pain in my gut stopped me as a hand touched my bare shoulder.  Why was I here?  What had happened?
"Hey" ejaculated a voice.  Female.  Rebecca.  "It's okay.  Its all okay."  Her voice was soothing, now.  I relaxed slightly.  Her hand drifted down my arm and our fingers entwined.  The pillow enveloped my head again.  Darkness beckoned to me.  "Don't worry, Doc says you'll be outta here in two days.  We've got a mission together then."  Soft Southern tones relaxed my muscles one by one.  "Sleep till then, Love"
My last thought as the darkness wrapped around me was of the precious cargo.

The most precious.

Our child.

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