Horror and Thriller Science Fiction posted November 7, 2017

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Two men on a mission deep into enemy territory

The Snow Kingdom Chapter four Pt 4

by rtobaygo

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.
SNOW KINGDOM SYNOPSIS:  Two soldiers from the United Northern Alliance, Colonel Castille Tasca and Master Sergeant Rambika Maseru, have undertaken a clandestine mission deep into Snow Kingdom territory to test a new agent designed to kill coca plants the source of the Snow Kingdom’s cocaine, the very foundation of its power and wealth. 
BGC: acronym for Bio-Genetic-Construct
BIO-GENETIC-CONSTRUCT:  Fauna and flora created through DNA, genomic and molecular blending and cellular manipulation.
DBS: Acronym for Drop and Bury Site
Grinning, Maseru shook his head.  “Does that make you feel better, sir?”
Tasca nodded, his attention still on the dead stalker.  “Yes, Goddamn it, it does!  I really hate these fucking things!”
 Maseru continued to grin.  “I never would have guessed, Sir.  I damn near forgot how fast these bastards can move.”
“I didn’t.  I really thought I might not make it, that I would die in this godforsaken shithole, so thanks. I don’t know if I could have stopped it before it reached me.”
“No need to thank me, Colonel.  How many times have you saved my ass?  I know one thing, I don’t want to face another prototype, again.”
“Amen to that, Sergeant, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
“Thank God the traps worked, Colonel.”
“Yes, thank God, and thank the laser rifles.  We wouldn’t be having this conversation if they’d failed.”
As Tasca’s last words faded into the hot, desert air, the reality they had narrowly escaped death, enveloped both men.  Neither spoke, but stared at the stalkers’ grotesque, contorted shapes, each oozing a green-viscous slime from their wounds, but it was the blue-green glint of the sun off the dead stalkers’ hides that completed the surreal scene.
Maseru was the first to speak.  “For a moment it looked like they were confused.”
“They were.  That’s why we opened up as the main body was dying.  The confusion caused by their deaths, gave us enough time to kill two before they attacked.  Oh, by-the-way nice bit of shooting, Sergeant.”
 “I could say the same about you, Sir.   Since the powder killed them within seconds, my guess, it’s a neurotoxin?”
“Yes, an extremely powerful one.” Tasca jumped off the outcropping, careful not to land on the dead stalker. “It had to kill them instantly or risk the chance of a quick attack.  We can report back to Intel the powder worked under combat conditions.”  He watched Maseru hesitate before jumping from the outcropping.  He’s still hurting.   “Sergeant, how’s your pain and no goddamn line of crap, understood?”
“Yes, Sir.  The ribs are tender, but nothing like before.  Just how long will the nerve block last?”
“With lamax, under normal conditions, maybe seven, eight hours, but after what we’ve experienced, and with what we might encounter, probably less…maybe three, four hours at best.  However, with the healing process underway, your pain, when it returns, shouldn’t be as bad as it was earlier.”
“I like the however part, sir.”
“I thought you would.” Tasca looked into Maseru’s eyes. “I’m glad you’re not in pain like before, but don’t do anything stupid.  We need your ribs to heal.”  
“As I do, Sir.”  He smiled.  “I’ll make sure I don’t trip.  I don’t want to go through this again. Our mission doesn’t need more complications.” 
“I can’t agree with you more.  Before we repack the supplies, I want you to study the holo map to determine the next DBS’s exact location.”  Tasca looked at the time.  “We need move out asap.  The more distance we place between us and the dead stalkers, the better.  While you’re busy, I’ll collect the traps and any remaining powder and bury both deep behind the outcropping.”  Tasca suddenly felt light-headed and warm all over, and immediately realized his adrenaline rush was fading.  He hated the feeling. With his back towards Maseru, he rubbed his temples until the sensation faded.  There, that’s much better.  He looked at the dead stalkers then Maseru.  “We’ll head towards the next site until we find a suitable defensive position where can sleep for two to three hours . . . provided nothing in this living hell interrupts our beauty sleep.”
“Yeah, big if, Sir.  Let’s see, since our escape, we’ve faced HKs, Reapers and stalkers and we’re how many days into the mission?”
“Maybe we’re due for a break, Sergeant.”
“Of course, we are.  I’m sure the Kingdom will give us a free pass for the next couple of days.”
Tasca smiled.  “One of us has to stay positive.  Once you have the DBS’s location, I’ll need to know what the terrain’s like ahead of us.”
“Will do, Sir.” 
Tasca, having buried the traps and powder, approached Maseru.  “What does the map show, Sergeant?”
  “If I’ve read it correctly, the closer we get to the DBS, we’ll find more outcroppings, but less sand.”
“Good.  What’s the DBS’s location?”
  “It’s about forty-one k’s from our current position, inside Worlar Scavenger territory.  If we sleep for a few hours, and not encounter any wildlife, we should make the site by dawn the second day, Colonel.”
“The sooner the better.  There’s no way of knowing what we’ll run into or how long before the Kingdom realizes some of its pets are missing.”  Tasca looked at the map.  “You’re right, Sergeant.  The DBS’s inside Worlar territory, about half way up the Latal Gorge.  Since Command buried the supply container inside it, and unless I’ve missed my guess, they’ve packed additional ordinance to help us repel any Scav attack.  Emptying the container could prove interesting.”  He turned and looked at the dead stalkers.  “Once we’ve finished repacking the supplies we’ll move out.”
“Yes, Sir. “I’ll be dark soon so the heat won’t be a factor.”
  “True, but whatever hides during the day will come out at night.  For our sake I hope they’re not curious.”  
“Based on our luck, I doubt it, Sir.”
“I hope you’re wrong, Sergeant.”  Despite what Command told him about the fauna in this area not being a factor, he couldn’t shake the feeling Maseru’s words might ring true.  From his earliest missions into this region, Tasca couldn’t willingly dismiss the scavenger’s stories, that within this expanse were two BGC predators created by the Kingdom for the sole purpose to insure Clan loyalties and punishing those that weren’t.   Though Tasca had never encountered either creature on his missions, he realized he had no choice but to wait to see if there was any truth to the stories.  For the sake of the mission he hoped they were nothing more than simple tales meant to keep the Scavenger Clans under the Kingdom’s boot.  

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