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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Dark · #2198749
The best defense is an insane offense.
“I know you’re afraid,” Sirius shouted over the engines. “I’m right beside you, every step.”

The floor juddered as the jump-ship settled, intruder alarms blaring outside in the ruined shuttle bay. They readied their weapons.

“Trust each other,” Sirius said. “Trust your training.”

He chambered a round.

“Kill anything that isn’t human.”

The rear hatch lowered, as did their gold faceplates against the nearby star’s blinding light, burning in through the ruptured hull.

Sirius leapt down the couple feet between hatch and floor, jogging to the nearest cover.

After some rapid hand gestures, the rest scattered into position.

“Aries,” he said, linking comms with First squad’s. “You read?”

“Five-by,” Aries responded. “‘Sup, boss?”

Sirius heard gunfire, and ... roaring, through the comms.

“Busy?”

“Oh, well, you - oops ... one sec.”

Aries was shooting and swearing at something nearby that clearly enjoyed neither aspect of the experience. The roars continued but diminished.

“So, I know it’s a whole thing now,” Aries began. “Not crashing the jump-ship and all...”

“You crashed anothe—?“

Aries interrupted. “For the record, I blame Higgins.”

Sirius heard a defensive “hey!”.

“The man’s just, well, he’s a menace behind the wheel.”

Sirius smiled.

“Where you at?” he asked, moving toward the inner doors. “Maybe I can crack these open.”

Something exploded on the other side.

“No need.”

The doors fell inward. First squad spilled through, some injured, and all - especially Aries - covered in goo.

“Guys, look,” Aries said, pointing. “Jump-ship.”

“Hurraaayy,” Higgins groaned.

“What’s the count?” Sirius asked.

Aries checked his watch. “Boogie time.”

Debris crashed around them as the ship lurched, the shockwaves of Aries’ specialty slamming along the bulkheads.

“Hey, Jake?” Aries said, grabbing Sirius’ arm. He leaned in, bumping their faceplates together.

“Sure, man,” Sirius answered. “Always.”

They boarded the jump-ship, heading for home.


297wc

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