Author Topic: The Assault  (Read 171 times)

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Offline Enraged_Cassowary

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The Assault
« on: April 26, 2017, 10:40:45 PM »
Chapter 1

Wednesday, July 23 1997 - 2:16am

My name is Jake.

I hadn’t been sleeping much lately. Our last mission had gone bad. We’d had too many close calls, and I was having a tough time shaking the memories. I was sitting on the edge of my bed, playing Madden with the sound off when I heard the phone ring in Tom’s room down the hall. He answered it immediately, as if he’d been waiting for the call. There were a few seconds of silence, and then Tom spoke fast in a low, urgent voice. He hung up the phone loudly and I heard the thumps and squeaks of Tom’s dresser drawers being opened.
   I set my controller on the bed and crept quickly to the door. I could hear Tom banging around in his room, but I was still extra careful as I opened my door a crack. A second later Tom’s door burst open, and he rushed into the hallway with a heavy gray duffle bag bag in his hands. His face was grim, and his eyes held an edge of panic.
   Uh oh.
   My backpack was lying on the floor next to my door. I silently knelt down and pulled out the cell phone that Erek the Chee had given us a few months ago. I’d call him when Tom had gone and see if the Chee had heard of anything. It was obvious the Yeerks had some kind of emergency.
   The light went on in my parents’ room, and a moment later dad opened the door, blinking sleep out of his eyes and staring at Tom incredulously.
   “Son? What the hell are you doing?”
   “Move, you fool!” Tom snarled, and swatted my father out of the way with a vicious backhand.
   I ripped my door open, ready to dive for Tom. No time to morph. Whatever had just happened, the Yeerk in Tom’s head was making its move, and subtlety was out the window. But Tom simply shoved past my dad and rushed down the stairs.
   I ran to my parents, mind racing, panic setting in. Something major had just gone down. Tom had just seriously compromised his cover. My dad was laying on the floor in the doorway of his room, holding his jaw with a look of profound confusion on his face. Mom jumped out of bed and ran over, screaming. I knew I had to follow Tom, but I also had to alert the other Animorphs. I needed backup. What had happened? Had they captured one of my friends? Was this the invasion? Had the day finally come when the Yeerks had decided to make their presence known? Nightmare scenarios started to play themselves out in my head. I wasn’t ready! I wasn’t prepared! Idiot!
   I came back to reality and realized my mother was yelling at me, and dad was starting to pick himself up off the floor. I grabbed mom’s shoulders and shook her. I didn’t have time to try and calm her down, so all I could think to do was shock her into hearing me.
   “Mom! Shut up!” I yelled in her face.
   Thankfully it worked. She stopped yelling, and an expression of outrage started to form.
   “Mom, listen to me! I’m going to go get Tom. You and dad STAY HERE! Don’t go anywhere, don’t call the police, don’t do anything! You just have to trust me, please. Stay. Here!
   I glanced from her face to my dad’s. They both wore nearly identical expressions of shock, anger, and utter confusion. My heart sank, but there just wasn’t any time to explain anything. I wasn’t prepared for this. I wasn’t ready. Suddenly, my throat felt tight.
   “I love you both very much,” I said, in a low voice, thick with emotion and frustration, “but if you don’t do exactly as I’ve told you, we could all die.”
   Before they could react, I turned and leapt down the stairs after Tom.
"Ram the Blade ship."

Offline Enraged_Cassowary

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Re: The Assault
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 10:41:26 PM »
Chapter 2
Wednesday, July 23 1997 - 1:58am

My name is Daniel Upchurch, and I was about to die.

This didn’t concern me as much as you might imagine. See, I was born with a fatal heart defect. My ticker was a ticking time bomb. Even with the medication, my chances of living to see 30 were basically nil. The minute I was born, I was a dead man walking.

Quite a nasty surprise for the Yeerk slug that infested me. Laughing at the outrage of my captor when he realized his host was slowly dying was the high point of my time as a controller. Served the slimy little turd right.

   He tortured me, of course. Replayed all my worst memories. Mocked my imminent death. But there wasn’t much he could do, really. Others had it much worse. They watched helpless as the Yeerks took their friends and family. But I didn’t have many friends, and my family had long ago abandoned me. I guess my condition was too much trouble for them.

   In fact, the only reason they didn’t simply discard me like a piece of trash was that I had an important job. I was an electrical engineer at the local power plant. The Yeerks needed someone in place there, and when I joined the Sharing I guess they’d thought their dreams had come true. Surprise, ****s.

   But I wasn’t a controller anymore.

   I’ll tell you a secret about the Yeerks. See, they’re actually more like us humans than you might think. Yeerks **** up too. And boy, did Baelid 1257 **** up.

   I was rewiring a capacitor at work. Or, more accurately, Baelid was. And he forgot to connect his ground line before he started working the terminals. Thankfully, I didn’t catch it either, else he would have known instantly. You can’t keep secrets from a creature that can infest your very mind.

   I didn’t feel the hit when the capacitor discharged up the wrench and into my arm. You’d think you’d notice 12,000 volts plowing through you like **** through a goose, but I didn’t feel a thing. I simply blacked out, and a moment later I woke up laying on my back.

   I opened my eyes and blinked, and it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever experienced. Because, you see, it was me who had opened my eyes. Baelid was silent. Somehow, some way, the shock had killed him, and left me alive. Don’t ask me how. My heart should have exploded like a grenade when I took that hit, but electricity is a funny thing. And now, 12 days and 8 hours later, I am master of my own body again, and Baelid 1257 is a slowly decaying little snot wad pooling around the base of my spinal column.

   Rot in hell, bastard. I hope it hurt.

   I’d fled after the accident, of course. I knew that when I didn’t show up at the Yeerk pool in three days, they’d come looking for me. But the Yeerks had blown it. Baelid had thought he was learning everything there was to know about me and humanity, but I had been watching, waiting, biding my time and learning everything I could about the Yeerks. I knew how they would try to find me. Knew where they were, who was a controller, how to get into the Yeerk pool.

   I hadn’t wasted any time. I was used to that. When you live your whole life knowing you could keel over any moment, you learn how to use your time effectively. In twelve days, I had formulated my plan, gathered my supplies, and now I was ready to take my revenge. I almost felt sorry for the Yeerks. There was only one Yeerk who might have had an inkling of exactly who they had decided to **** with, and I was carrying around his rotting corpse in my skull. Now it was payback time.

   The thought made me grin with anticipation. I was about to die. But that wasn’t important. What was important was that I was about to take a whole bunch of Yeerks with me.

   With some effort, I wiped the predatory grin off my face and looked down the dark alleyway. It was clear. Good.
   
   This was the least-used entrance to the Yeerk pool that I knew of. More of an emergency entrance, really. It would be relatively unguarded. I adjusted the straps on the heavy black backpack and checked the chamber on the silenced MP5 submachine gun I had purchased at the gun show two days ago. Cash. Fake ID. Easy.

   God damn I love this country.

   Without hesitation I stepped into the alley and quickly made my way past the dumpsters and trash piles. I stopped in front of the faded and beaten red steel door and carefully tested the handle. It opened easily, without a sound, even though the rusted door looked like it should screech. I gently pushed it open and gave my eyes a moment to adjust to the gloom. The room on the other side looked long abandoned. Rusted machinery and faded posters on the wall made it look like this place hadn’t seen a soul in years. But if you looked carefully, you’d notice that the floor was clean, not covered in dust like the walls. I quietly closed the door behind me and crossed the room to the storage lockers on the wall. I opened locker 912 and squeezed myself inside. Closed the door. Twisted the coat hanger clockwise, then counterclockwise, then pulled down.

   With a low rumble, the floor began to descend. “Get ready, you filthy ****ing slugs. Daddy’s comin’ home.” I muttered to myself. With an almost sensual flick of my thumb, I released the safety and flicked the firing switch to automatic. I hadn’t had time to practice with the gun, and I hadn’t gone shooting since I was a teenager. I knew I’d need to spray-and-pray. But that was alright. I only needed a few minutes. Just enough time to get close to the pool…

   The elevator jerked to a stop and the door slid open. Show time.

   I stepped out into a small room. Two Hork-Bajir and a human controller were standing off to the side, chatting. The human was sipping a mug of coffee. Like an office water cooler conversation from some insane nightmare. The Hork-Bajir were relaxed, leaning their seven foot tall, heavily bladed frames against the wall, while the human controller finished telling some joke. They all laughed, and then the human controller glanced over at me. I flashed her a grin, and she returned a polite smile, not noticing the gun in my hands.

   She did a double-take, and I relished the look of confusion on her face as she finally noticed the black rifle in my grip.

   “Hi.” I said with a toothy grin, and squeezed the trigger.

   The gun rattled in my hands, but the silencer did it’s work. There was a long series of loud snaps, and the woman did a funny little dance as her blood painted the wall behind her. The Hork-Bajir stared at her crumpling body in dumb shock, and before they could react I hosed them too. I made sure to empty the clip into the Hork-Bajir, I knew those bastards were tough to kill.

   I stood silent, watching the smoke curl from the barrel of my gun as I strained my ears for any sign of alarm. Nothing. Just the quiet, rhythmic noise of the woman’s spilled coffee cup rocking on the concrete floor.

I couldn’t stop smiling. I’d been wondering if I could go through with it. I knew most controllers were involuntary. The woman I’d murdered was probably trapped in her own head, terrified. But I was beyond caring. I’d crossed the line, and I had no interest in going back. Only in revenge.

I moved quickly to the door and opened it a crack. Immediately, my ears were assaulted with the echoing cries of the involuntary hosts in their cages. I peeked through and saw the Yeerk pool complex exactly as I remembered it. Things were pretty calm out there, probably because it was 2am. I grinned my shark grin and swiftly moved through the door, keeping low behind some barrels and construction equipment against the nearest wall.

I peeked over the top of one of the barrels and spotted my target. The pool. A huge vat of roiling gray sludge, full of Yeerks in their natural state. It was only about 50 yards away. I was going to make it. I crouched back down and carefully slipped the pack off my back. Setting it down on the ground I gently opened the top zipper, trying to make as little noise as possible. Inside was a dull gray steel box with a few wires poking out of it. I checked the connections one last time, and then pulled the detonator out of the front pocket. On a whim, I bent down and kissed the box.

“Here we go, baby.” I whispered.

I gripped the bag tightly in one hand, and my gun in the other. I took a last, deep breath and sprinted out from behind the barrels, heading straight for the pool. I’d made it halfway there before someone shouted an alarm. Another ten yards before the first dracon beam lanced past my shoulder. Two human controllers ran to intercept me, and I sprayed half a clip at them. The bullets caught one of them in the chest, and he dropped straight away, dead before he hit the floor. The other was a young girl, no more than 16. A bullet exploded her left knee and she collapsed to the ground with a shriek of agony.

No time to finish her off. I leapt over her and cleared the last few yards, spraying the rest of my clip randomly into the nearest crowd of controllers. New screams added their pain to the piteous wails of the caged hosts. I felt a moment of regret at not being able to help them. But this wasn’t a rescue mission, this was bloody vengeance.

With all my strength I hurled the bomb as far as I could into the pool. As soon as the bag’s strap left my grip, I saw the red flash of a dracon beam, and felt a burning sensation in my chest. Suddenly, I was on the ground, staring up at the ceiling. I lifted my head, and saw smoke curling up from a perfectly round, charred hole right where my heart used to be. How’s that for irony?

My head swam, and my hand fumbled clumsily for the detonator in my pocket.

Got it.

My vision started to darken, and I suddenly saw a Hork-Bajir looming over me. He raised his massive clawed foot, and glared down at me with hate and disdain.

I smiled, with blood bubbling out of my mouth, and as his foot came rushing towards my face I squeezed the detonator as hard as I could.

Die, you bastards. Die...
"Ram the Blade ship."