Apocalypse Short Story 1

by scg
Apocalypse Short #1

High-calibre shells spat from the muzzle of the autocannon, seeming to force the very air apart as they soared towards their target - an unfortunate Psyke gangster.  The unarmoured man was literally torn apart by the impact; the remains of his crumpling corpse were flung back against a nearby wall by the power of the shells.  His broken body slid down the graffitied wall, leaving a thin smear of red blood.
The bulky figure moved on.  Striding confidently through the shadows of the slums, the soldier turned a corner, coming face to face with three more terrified Psyke gangers.  Cursing, the armoured woman dropped the autocannon - she was down to incendiary ammunition, and at close range it might hurt her too.  Instead, she whipped out two small pistols - Marsec plasma pistols, in fact.  Sizzling white bolts of energy dropped to the ground, and the third, screaming of an attacker 'doing the burns', turned and fled.  A third accurate shot blew open his back and cauterised the wound in the same instant.  He tumbled, fell and slid a few more metres.
Behind the armoured woman, two more figures emerged.  They were in similar garb - heavy red and grey suits of flexible armour.  Megapol standard issue - although the huge logo on the suit's chest plate indicated a different affiliation.
It read, 'X-COM'.
The three figures moved on slowly, inexorably.  As they moved into the centre of the new street, aiming for an entrance to the slum towers, a boarded window exploded outwards.  A Psyke gangster appeared at the window, seeming to look down at the troopers.  Seeing him, they riddled the figure with bullets, but bar a little trembling, they had little effect.  Puzzled, the troopers prepared to fire another volley, but in that instant the corpse was flung from the third-floor window with tremendous force.  A scowling blue humanoid appeared at the window, watching as the dead gangster thumped into a surprised trooper.  The blue alien did not have time to appreciate it's good aim; the troopers two comrades blew its brains out with unerring accuracy.
The other soldier, knocked to the ground by the impact of the cadaver, managed to extricate himself from the flailing limbs.  Flipping the corpse over, he stared in surprise at the large object jammed inexpertly into the dead mans mouth.  It was a disc of deep crimson, and had six points jutting from it at regular intervals.
The soldier spoke for the first time since the mission had begun.  'What the hell?' he began, looking at the odd device.  His comrades turned at his words, and glimpsed the object.  One of them, recognising the vortex grenade, yelled an incomprehensible warning and leapt to one side.  An instant later, the bomb exploded.  The corpse and the trooper holding it were torn into shreds by the blast, flecks of flesh and bone coating the surrounding area.  The explosion also killed the nearest trooper, his chest armour blown away, exposing the vulnerable flesh, which crisped and blackened under the explosions fury.
The sole survivor moaned in agony.  Her armour was coated in black carbon and scratches.  Huge gashes ran up her body.  Her left arm had been torn in two, and the weapon in the hand had gone with it.  The pistol that had been in her right hand lay just ten metres away from her, and attempting to forget the burning agony, she crawled forwards, fingers outstretched.
A blue foot stamped down on the pistol, shattering it into fragments of plastic and cydonium alloy.  The fatally wounded woman looked up, and met the gaze of another of the blue aliens gazing down at her, characteristic smile on face.
It raised the organic-looking weapon clenched in it's bulky fists, and the world suddenly went black.