From One Mind, Into Another

November 23, 2010

“Checkpoint Alpha, fall back to checkpoint Charlie, Bravo is unresponsive, fall back now, over”

The voice drifted into the man’s consciousness, forcing him to open his eyes. Blinking he forced himself to focus on his surroundings. Strapped to the passenger seat he dangled across the cab, hanging into the driver’s side, which had mostly been torn away by the wall the vehicle was against. No, not a wall, the ground. He shook his head. The vehicle was on its side, crumpled with windows smashed and scattered across the cab. Blood was dripping past his face too. He reached up to the pain throbbing through his head and touched something sticky. Pulling his hand away coated in red he realized where the blood was dripping from.

The radio crackled to life again “Checkpoint Alpha, come back, over”

He looked out of the vehicle at his surroundings. The grey concrete road was pitted with rough holes, splashed with blood, a lot of blood, and scattered with bullet casings. Across the street a large building was billowing smoke into the clear blue sky, the flames licking up the outside of the building and setting alight to a pair of curtains that billowed out into the wind. Looking at the vehicles dashboard he could see the radio, shattered as it was he was surprised it worked, yet with no handset it was useless to him.

“Checkpoint Charlie, any sign of Alpha? over”

Who was he? Where was he? Some sort of warzone? He pulled at his jacket, camouflage, and saw the name tag ‘Jacobs’. He nodded, he liked the name Jacobs. He liked the name Mark too, Mark Jacobs. It had a nice flow to it, so, for the time being, he would be Mark Jacobs. He tried to remember something, anything, but his mind was blank. He pulled at the seatbelt, braced himself against the dashboard and unclipped the latch. Tumbling, sliding and crawling, Mark pulled himself through the front window and free of the vehicle.

“Checkpoint Charlie? Status report? Checkpoint Charlie, come back, over”

Looking around he could see the streets were deserted, nothing moved. The faint radio crackle, the whistling wind and the building fire was all he could hear. This was unnerving, Mark knew he was in a city, he could see building tops for miles around, there should be more sounds, cars, people, even gun fire. Nothing.

“Twelfth troop is moving to fallback point eight. All surrounding units are advised to do the same, over”

Mark looked at the crashed vehicle he had just emerged from, skid marks were all around it, obviously the rest of the convey had kept going, leaving them to their fate. The vehicle was a dark grey humvee, blood coated the heavy weapon mounted to the roof and was sprayed into the circular turret that provided access from the rear of the vehicle to the gun. As he looked at the scene he realized that as the vehicle had come to lay on its side, whoever had been in the turret had been firing at the enemy, tearing holes into the concrete road until he, yes, Mark could see strips of material and blood, had been pulled out of the hatch. Despite the damage taken from the crash, Mark could tell that the vehicle had not been hit by a single bullet. He frowned. Getting down on his hands and knees he looked at the driver’s side, more blood and again, more strips of material, as though the driver had been pulled from his seat and out of the window.

“Twelfth troop, rendezvous at checkpoint delta, we have two additional units on route to that location, over”

Looking around Mark saw a trail of blood leading away from the humvee and into a shattered shop front. Swearing, he reached into the vehicle and pulled a large caliber machine gun from its rack and several clips of ammo that looked like it matched the weapon. He checked the safety and pushed the clip into place, pulling back on the loading bolt and checking the first shell had clicked into place. Satisfied that the weapon was ready he braced the large gun against his hip, pointed it forward and strode off toward the shattered window.

“Twelfth troop be advised, we have confirmed combatants at checkpoint Delta, over”

Approaching the shattered window he peered into the gloom. Display cases were toppled, chairs scattered and china, obviously the stores merchandise, was shattered across the floor. In the middle of the wreckage two figures lay slumped on the floor.

“Anyone alive in here?” he asked

With a low moan one of the figures looked up. Mark stood, frozen in stunned panic as he realized the figure slowly pushing itself upright had been eating the chest of the body on the floor. Dark blood poured from the mouth of the man as he stumbled over the wreckage toward Mark, arms outstretched and eyes unblinking.

Mark pulled the trigger.

The heavy machine gun roared, lighting up the shop with giant flashes of flame and light as the figure flew backwards, bullets tearing through flesh and bone. Mark stopped firing and peered through the gun smoke at the figure. As it cleared his eyes widened and he swore before pulling the trigger and sending more rounds into the man as he had started to rise up. Gun roaring Mark saw the man’s flesh being torn away as the second figure sat up into the hail of gunfire. A bullet clipped through its skull, spraying blood into the air and the figure slumped back to the floor. Mark stopped firing, and paused as the man, body torn apart by the bullets, continued to move, pulling himself toward Mark with its shattered arms and leaving a trail of blood and gore in its wake.

Mark frowned, aimed the barrel and carefully squeezed the trigger. One round exploded from the gun and buried itself in the man’s head, where he immediately slumped to the floor, motionless.

Mark stood silently looking at the figures, until, satisfied they were truly dead, he turned away.

“Headshots only? Guess I need something more accurate” he said to himself.

As he looked around the deserted street a distant explosion went off with a thud in the distance and as he watched a small plume of smoke rose into the air. Slinging the weapon over his shoulder, Mark Jacobs set off toward the distant combat, determined to regain his memory and let others know to aim for the head.

Advertisements

Decisions

November 22, 2010

“So what should we do?”

“We should just leave her, close the door and walk away.”

“NO! That’s what got us here in the first place! We have to do the right thing.”

“Which is?”

“Maybe we can cure her?”

“Cure her? Really? Are we looking at the same person? Never mind the devastation going on out there, but she can’t be cured. Her arm is practically coming off at the shoulder and her guts are still in the other room.”

“Well we can’t just leave her here, maybe we could bring her with us? Get away from the city and find someone to help?”

“…”

“OK, maybe we get her some food, some water and then come check on her later on?”

“We are the food you idiot. Go grab the axe and we can be done with her.”

“No!”

“We have to, the handcuff won’t hold her for long! Either get the axe or get the door.”

“I can’t, it’s not right. She’s a person.”

“A person? Like the ones out there? You didn’t have a problem taking the axe to all of them did you? How many of those people did you kill? There must have been easily fifty, maybe more.”

“They weren’t people, they wanted to kill me.”

“Just like she does.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Then why is she handcuffed?”

“Because…”

“Exactly, now get the axe before she pulls her shoulder apart.”

“…”

“Do it”

“I shouldn’t listen to you, your bad for me! Get out of my head! GET OUT!”

“I’m the only thing keeping us alive. Now do it! DO IT!”

“I.. I’m sorry Mom”


Properly Armed

November 19, 2010

The large man raised his arm and slammed the hammer down on the molten metal blade across his anvil. Sparks shot across the room and bounced off the two shadow drenched figures in front of him. The taller of the two men, with a thoughtful look on his face spoke first.

“Why?”

The blacksmith looked at him and smiled.

The man filled the silence, “There must be a dozen hardware stores in the city, take ten of your little villages men, go raid them, and you’ll have enough tools and weapons to last a life time, why make your own?”

The blacksmith, still smiling, turned the blade and brought the hammer down again, before hefting the red hot weapon, inspecting the blade and thrusting it into the large barrel of water to his side. As the steam billowed into the air he looked at the two men and spoke.

“Lifetime is the keyword son. I, and we, around here, like ours to go on for a long time.” He walked across the room to a large rack “When the ammo in the rifle you carry runs out and you’re down to hand to hand, and the only thing standing between you and your enemy is the weapon in your hand, will it be a cheap piece of metal you got at a hardware store? Or something made to keep oblivion at bay?” He pulled a short blade from the rack and hefted it, inspecting the glint of light as it played along the razor sharp edge.

“I see the hammer you have tucked in your belt, and it’s a pretty big one, but it’s designed for hitting nails, not enemies. When it gets wet, you put it down and wipe your hands. You can’t do that in combat.” He thrust the blade, hilt first, at the second silent figure, who clumsily scooped it up “This here has a channel for blood, a hilt to protect your hand, leather grip to absorb your sweat and an edge to make the devil himself shit blood” He smiled again and walked to the far door.

“I have two tied up outback; use your hammer on one and this on the other. Don’t come back until they’re both dead”

As the two men walked out of the room, the blacksmith pulled another blade from the rack and set it on the table. He sat down, steepled his fingers and waited, listening to the dull rapid thuds coming from the other side of the wall. A few moments after the thuds faded away and a single sharp ‘Snikt’ sound echoed into the room, the door was pushed open and the two men walked back in. Both were covered in blood and the first, who held the hammer, was drenched in sweat.

Looking at the seated blacksmith and the blade on the table he dropped the hammer to the floor.

“We’ll take two”