Expendable

Expendable

Postby Musashi1596 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:07 pm

A little teaser to my novel. I know some of you have already seen this but I thought i\'d release a little more as requested. Hope you enjoy it.


The squatting man shivered as the cold wind bit through his skin and into his bone with the ferocity of a ravenous wolf. He rubbed his gloved hands over his body, frantically trying to warm himself as he gazed up at the mighty concrete wall in front of him. He sized the wall up. The bricks were fairly large and seemed thick, but were crumbling in places. A grin crept its way onto his face as he noticed some potential handholds. He was surprised by a sharp cough above somewhere above him, and he pressed himself to the wall. He couldn’t see far enough up to tell but he guessed there were guards patrolling the wall. After all, it was hardly an unusual occurrence.

An experienced free climber, he slotted his fingers into the first handhold, impeded by the warm, frostbite-warding gloves only slightly. Silently and carefully, he pulled himself up to the next one, easily gripping the small handhold. As his hand gripped the fourth handhold and he slotted his foot into the second, he stopped and listened carefully. Above the loud winds, he could just about hear the muffled, yet rasping breath of a guard approaching.

He slowed down his own breathing, and very slowly lifted his left hand and removed the grey gas-mask style headgear he wore, in order to hear better. He held on with one hand, gripping the headgear in the other, as he listened to the breathing, trying to pinpoint the position of the guard. Footsteps were audible briefly, before they stopped suddenly. It seemed the guard had stopped right above him. He waited patiently, but his arm was beginning to burn. After waiting for half a minute, he was forced to drop the helmet and grab on with his other arm. The headgear fell, landing silently on a small but relatively dense patch of snow. He knew that was there, he probably wouldn’t have taken his helmet off if it wasn’t… But it didn’t occur to him that it could’ve missed the snow altogether and make an audible clatter on the tundra next to it. Before he had time to reflect on it, the footsteps began again, seeming to move away.

He waited for two seconds before he pulled himself up with his right hand, which held the higher handhold, and grabbed the top of the wall. He pulled himself up completely with relative and surprising ease. Swinging up, and hoping there was a walkway and the guard was not on the other side of a steep wall, he brought his legs up and onto the wall with barely a sound, landing catlike on the walkway that he was grateful was there. Bending his knees to absorb the impact, he centred all of his mass on the balls of his feet. Barely pausing, he moved forward towards the back of the guard, who was walking away, dressed in black combat gear and with a Scorpion sub machinegun slung over the back of the uniform by a black leather strap. Unlike standard issue Gore-Tex boots, the guard wore fur-lined boots. This probably muffled the guards footsteps significantly as well as ensuring warm feet. A helmet was not worn, but a creamy-brown fur hat was in it’s place.

The man silently grabbed the target, covering their mouth with one hand and placing the other around their head, and in one smooth motion broke the victims neck, and lowered the body to the ground slowly and quietly. He would have preferred to simply knock his target out but time did not allow, nor was it guaranteed to incapacitate the target immediately, potentially requiring several blows or a prolonged choke. The hat fell off the head, and the man faltered for a second as he looked at the face of the guard. He had done it before out of necessity and, call him chivalrous or sexist, he had always found it a lot more difficult to harm women.

A few years ago, legislation was passed that allowed women to serve in all combat roles. It was found to have the desired effect; occasionally their male opponents would hesitate before firing, proving to be a fatal mistake. The move proved to be very efficient, not least because male troops always seemed to work harder around them.

He felt a little regret as he looked at her pale, unsettlingly quite pretty face with a single, blonde strand of hair laying across it, stuck to her face by a thin trickle of blood from the edge of her mouth. He shook himself, knowing he had no time for reflection or mourning, though he knew he would have continued straight on if the guard had been male. Quickly and professionally, while offering a silent apology, he took her sidearm, a still holstered pistol, a Glock 18 model. An expensive pistol, unique in that the outer casing is comprised of a synthetic polymer rather than metal, and capable of fully automatic fire. He didn’t bother with the machinegun, he probably wouldn’t even use the pistol unless he found a way of silencing it, and tucked it into the waistband of his insulated, snow pattern combat pants.

Looking around briefly, he could see other guards walking about. Realising he had little time, he picked the body up in a slightly awkward fireman’s lift, and hefted her over the side of the wall he had just climbed. He didn’t like using such a cumbersome method, but he had little choice. Allowing himself a quick glance over the other side of the wall, he jumped over and caught himself, hanging on by the fingertips to lower the drop height. Releasing his grip, he landed the same way as before, but this time immediately dropped to the ground. Gritting his teeth to try in vain to drive away the cold anchoring itself to his chest, he crawled along the floor as close to the wall as he could, hoping his prayers would assist in warding off pneumonia.
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Re: Expendable

Postby Musashi1596 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:09 pm

He soon came across a small room, a rotating security camera above the steel door, which was slightly ajar. Dim, yellow coloured light from a cheap light bulb could be seen emitting from the room. He stood up, keeping his back to the wall, and moved over to the door. When the camera rotated away from him, he glanced through the gap briefly. A single guard was sat on a wooden, uncomfortable looking chair, gazing at a bank of monitors mounted on a control panel. As the camera began to rotate back his way, he reached up and grabbed the piece of metal it was mounted on, pulling it hard. The camera came off the wall with a wrenching noise, attached to two wires, one red, one green.

Unless the guard was in deep sleep, he would have either saw the picture on the computer suddenly go distinctly pear-shaped, or hear the commotion. He turned and shoulder barged the door (he preferred to kick doors, but it would take too much time here) and ran in, surprising the guard. The guard fumbled for his pistol with numb hands, but the man, in another unadvisable, cumbersome method, hit around the head with the formidable weight of the security camera in his hand. The guard fell off his chair and hit his already sore head on the floor, knocking him out cold.

He preferred to knock people out than to kill them, but there wasn’t always a choice. He wished it was this guard on the wall and not the young woman… She must have only been twenty years old. Shaking his head, he pressed a few buttons on the control panel, and each monitor. Showing the viewpoint of a different security camera, soon showed static with a ‘no signal’ message displayed in capital, black letters in the middle of the screen. He took the magazine from the guards pistol and put it into his pocket, before he exited the room, carefully and quietly shutting the door behind him.

Looking up and over his shoulder, he could see a large radar dish that was rotating slowly. He pondered the merits of destroying the large communications dish, but decided he should really stay low key. He gazed at it for another few seconds, staring at the blinking red lights on top of the dish. He blinked several times as the strong wind dried his open eyes at a fast rate; he wished he had retained his mask. He could see that the radar was mounted on a very large building, that appeared to be a main entrance, judging by the grand, bolted steel doors adorning the front of it. He didn’t like the idea of going in that way, but...

His train of thought was cut short when a rifle round zipped past his exposed head, accompanied by the large crack of a bolt action sniper rifle. He guessed that the sniper was using a Russian manufactured Mosin Nagant, but guessing wasn’t a particularly good idea in a life or death situation. He rolled to his left as a loud, continuous air raid-esque siren sounded. He’d blown it. Swiftly and smoothly rising to his feet from the roll, he ran as fast as he could. He had no idea where he was going but he knew better than to seek solace in the tiny command hut, pinning him to his position and probably to his apprehension or execution. He tried to keep himself low to minimise the target, and kept to the shadows of the wall.

Another rifle round smashed into the wall just in front of his face, small shards of concrete being thrown out. He could see a jeep about a hundred yards from him, and he figured he could make it if he was fast enough, but he was disheartened by the sound of dogs yapping. It sounded like Alsatians, angry ones, but he thought immediately that his judgement was wrong as he doubted they could live comfortably in such cold conditions. He never did know too much about dogs, he’d been put off them for life after an encounter with a vicious little terrier at a young age. He didn’t dare look back as he ran for the jeep, and when he arrived at it he was shaking slightly from the after effects of the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

On closer inspection, it wasn’t a jeep, but some sort of fighting vehicle somewhat resembling a tank. He had never seen it before, and printed in ark black letters on the olive green paintwork was the word ‘Vezdekhod’. The words were written in Russian, but he spoke the language fluently. However he did not understand what it meant, perhaps, it occured to him, he had gotten rusty… It didn’t matter. He had no idea how to start the vehicle, or indeed, enter it, so instead he pulled himself up onto the protruding front of the vehicle, though it was a fair height.

The snarls of the dogs were drawing closer, and he guessed that if he didn’t get moving that sniper would fire a round right through the side of his head. He tensed his muscles, and took a running leap over the side of the vehicle towards the wall, scrabbling for a grip as he landed half on and half off the perimeter wall. He pulled himself up, with much less finesse than his entrance. He heard the scrabbling of feet nearby, and didn’t even look to see what it was before he whipped out his pistol and fired at the source, hitting a guard in the head. This guard was clad in armour, and the round bounced off the black helmet with a dull thud, sending the guard staggering backwards, his large black boots thudding noisily. He raised his submachine gun and was quickly fired at again, the round hitting the muzzle of the slightly sideways-tilted gun and sending it flying from his grip and over the wall, on the outside of the facility. Our hero considered attempting to retrieve it but decided not to as he saw other guards arriving and instead he just jumped over, landing in a roll smoothly and running off into the distance as soon as he got to his feet.

He could still hear the dogs, and now bullets were being fired at him, but the fire was not particularly accurate. It seemed like they were the dog handlers, and perhaps less well trained than the other guards. He felt immense, almost unbelievable relief as he seemed to have found temporary solace in the shape of a cave, just ahead of him. Without pausing to reflect on his good luck, he ran through it as fast as he could, finger still on the trigger of his weapon lest he encounter the local wildlife, ‘if there was such a thing in a nightmarishly cold place like this‘, he thought with the faintest trace of a grin.

He cleared his way through the cave in a little under 10 minutes, his only injury being a grazed knee after he slipped on a large patch of water (he dearly hoped that it was water), but he could still hear his pursuers. He climbed up a small rock face and continued to run, slightly slower now, hoping his luck held out. Only another half kilometre to the evacuation point, a walk in the park…
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Re: Expendable

Postby GoD_GraveDancer » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:03 pm

Thats good stuff, Mu.

More please.
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Re: Expendable

Postby major dave » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:33 pm

Nice. Keep it up Musashi.
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Re: Expendable

Postby jessica101 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:20 pm

Ditto! Don\'t stop there :wink:
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Re: Expendable

Postby Musashi1596 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:42 am

You people, always wanting more... :wink:

Heh, i\'ll put a slice in from a later chapter tomorrow.
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Re: Expendable

Postby Musashi1596 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:22 pm

A short excerpt from Chapter 8: The Dragon of Echigoya.
I can\'t be giving away too much now can I?

The masked man was sat outside in the biting wind. His eyes were closed in a reflective moment as strong winds howled and whipped around his covered face. For once he was not holding a bloodied knife and there were no corpses nearby or bullets flying his way. No, he was merely in deep thought, creating a mental blueprint of the facility he knew so far. His gloved hands are nestled in his lap, fingertips touching. The man did not appear to feel the cold, despite the wind and the fact he is quite comfortably sat upon cold tundra. He was breathing lightly and slowly. He seemed perfectly calm, until he hears a distant crunching sound, though barely audible in the howling wind.

His eyes flicked open sharply, and he stood up slowly before turning around surprisingly quickly. One hand strayed towards his Glock and the other towards his new katana, gripping the hilt. He remained stationary as he scanned the surroundings, shielding his eyes from the glare of the morning sun. And then, in the corner of his eye, he saw a figure exit a building and walk to another. The masked man drew his Glock and cocked it, ready to fire, but decided not to. The man he was watching opened a door after apparently keying in a code, and entered, the door shutting quietly behind him. The masked man grinned and holstered his pistol. He put both hands on the hilt of the katana and began walking over to the building, the frozen tundra crunching beneath his feet.

After about a minutes walking, he arrived at the door. The door was firm, made of metal, and there were no handles or keyholes, just the keypad. He pretended to think about it for a second, and made a tactical decision- he raised his fist, and crashed it against the keypad. Nothing happened, and now his hand hurt. He stood there a little longer and pondered the situation. There was but one idea- sit and wait. Sure enough, minutes later, there was a click and the door opened. A pensive looking soldier walked out, one hand resting on his expensive Glock. His eyes grew wide as he registered the black clad figure stood in front of him, and he began to raise his gun- but alas, a second too late. He didn’t see the katana being drawn...
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Re: Expendable

Postby GoD_GraveDancer » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:44 pm

You\'ve got some talent, Mu.
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Re: Expendable

Postby major dave » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:09 pm

How close is this to completion?
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Re: Expendable

Postby Musashi1596 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:23 pm

[quote="Major Dave":39act8zw]How close is this to completion?[/quote]It\'s presently 19 (long) chapters, plus the prologue posted here, and 57713 words long. Chapter 19 is more than likely going to be the final chapter, with the added possibility of an epilogue.

Chapter list (may change)
Prologue
1: A New Beginning
2: Violent Retribution
3: No Turning Back
4: Green Light
5: Last Chance
6: Kurenai
7: WolfBane
8: The Dragon of Echigoya
9: New Toys
10: Moral Ambiguity
11: Confrontation
12: Sweep and Secure
13: Canis Lupis
14: Final Battle?
15: Comeback King
16: Charge of the Light Brigade
17: Fall of the Puppeteer
18: Third Party Insured
19: Long Journey Home
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