Previous Page Next Page

UTC:       Local:

Home Page Index Page

In Fury Born: Chapter Twelve

       Last updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 09:24 EDT



    Alicia DeVries eased cautiously forward.

    Late afternoon was finally beginning to give way to early evening, and the smoke and shadows made her chameleon camouflage even more effective. Nonetheless, she moved slowly, carefully, like a woman wading through waist-deep water. The slower she moved, the less likely anyone on the other side was to see some small, betraying flicker of movement. The odds of their seeing her, even if she'd run full tilt down the middle of the street, were slim, to say the least. But they had time to do this the right way. Indeed, the darker it got, the worse the visibility, the better from their perspective, and Sergeant Metternich had been very firm on the matter of not running any unnecessary risks.

    She reached her assigned position uneventfully and settled into place. Her particular perch was a traffic island, in the center of a four-way intersection. There were drawbacks to it, especially the fact that virtually every building in a half-block radius had a direct line of sight to it. On the other hand, that meant that she had an unobstructed LOS to all of them, as well.

    The other major advantage of the island was that it was home to half a dozen native shade trees. The smallest of them was at least twenty-five or thirty centimeters thick, and their branches and foliage were dense enough to hide even someone who'd never heard of chameleon camouflage. In addition, there were roughly built, solid stone benches on all four sides of the island, which meant that it provided military cover, as well as mere concealment.

    She watched her HUD icons as the rest of Able and Bravo Teams reached their own positions. For their present purposes, hers was the best-sited of the lot, and she tried not to think too hard about exactly why that was.

    She shifted around to the south side of her island and arranged herself behind the solid stone bench on that side. It was just short enough that she could take up a seated firing position behind it and use the top of its back as a rest for her weapon.

    "Three-Alpha, Bravo-Five," she said quietly over the com. "Position."

    "Three-Alpha, Bravo-Four," she heard from César Bergerat. "Position."

    "Three-Alpha, Bravo-Three," Gregory Hilton reported. "Position."

    One by one, all of the members of the three fire teams assigned to the mission reported in, confirming what the icons on Abe Metternich's HUD had already told him.

    "All Wasps this net," Metternich said when they had finished, "Three-Alpha. We are go. Bravo-Five, open the ball."

    "Five copies," Alicia said simply, and closed her eyes.

    Her normal vision disappeared, and she concentrated her full attention on her synth-link. Each of the Marines in Third Squad had been assigned his or her own dedicated sensor remote. That remote's exquisitely sensitive optical, thermal, and electronic passive sensors were patched directly into the helmet computers of the Marines to whom they had been assigned. Those computers translated the data into detailed displays which were presented to each Marine in the format he or she found easiest to process. Some Marines, Alicia knew, preferred wire-diagram representations and tactical icons. She herself found a direct visual presentation easiest to absorb, without icons, and so she found herself apparently hovering motionless in mid-air fifty meters south and forty meters above her actual physical position, gazing at a crystal clear image of the first building in her assigned sector.

    A mental command reoriented the sensor remote very slightly, zooming in on the panoramic windows of a specific office on the sixth floor of the commercial building. There were four people in the room on the other side of those windows, and the remote's sensors clearly identified the weapons in their hands as they knelt or crouched in firing positions of their own, peering alertly down into the street below. Unlike Alicia, they saw nothing, and she dropped another command into her computer.

    A crosshair appeared in her mental vision. It was at the very bottom of her field of view, and far to the right, but it moved as she shifted her M-97's point of aim without ever opening her eyes. One of the hardest things in the Camp Mackenzie marksmanship curriculum -- for most people, at least -- was learning how to direct small arms fire accurately based on the feed from a remote sensor just like the one assigned to Alicia. It had been considerably easier for synth-link-capable people like Alicia than for most, since the input from the remote feed dropped directly into their brains without the need for distracting sensory interfaces. Which wasn't exactly the same thing as saying that it hadn't been difficult, even for her. But the Corps' tradition was that every Marine was a rifleman first, and so, hard or easy, it was a lesson she'd learned. Learned so thoroughly, so completely, that she didn't even think about it as the crosshair tracked smoothly across her mental view until it settled on the righthand person in the room she had selected.

    She'd considered the possibility of using the grenade launcher, but rejected it. The M-97 used a low-visibility propellant, which, coupled with the flash suppressor, made its muzzle flash extremely difficult to see, even in a low-light conditions, from any point outside a relatively narrow cone directly in front of it. The rifle grenade's rocket engine, on the other hand, would have drawn a bright, arrow-straight line directly back to her firing position for anyone in any of the buildings around it. Which meant she was going to have to do this the hard way.

    The crosshair positioned itself at the base of her target's throat. She drew a deep breath, let most of it out, and squeezed slowly, steadily.

    The slam of recoil came as a surprise, exactly as it was supposed to do, and the target -- the human being -- at whom she had fired went down instantly, bonelessly, without a sound except for the sodden impact of the high-velocity round.

    Alicia was aware of the other people in the room. She was aware of everything, with a godlike crystalline clarity, and she noted all of it. But she was focused on the task in hand, and the crosshair tracked just over one meter farther to the left. It settled on the rifleman who was just turning towards the spot at which his companion had died, alerted by the impact sound, and she squeezed again.

    Two, an icy, dispassionate corner of her mind recorded as she rode the recoil, and the crosshair tracked left again. Settled. Squeeze.


    The fourth and final person in the office had time to realize what was happening. Had time to come to her feet, to begin to back away from the window at which she had waited. But she didn't have enough time, and Alicia squeezed the trigger again.

    "Three-Alpha, Bravo-Five. First target neutralized. Four down," someone said in Alicia's voice, her tone calm, almost serene. "Five engaging second target."

    The hovering sensor remote shifted very slightly, zooming in on another window. There were only two people behind this one, and as yet, they had no clue of what had happened in the office three doors down the hall from their own position.

    Nor would they ever find out, that still, cold corner of Alicia's brain thought as the crosshair settled on the first of them and her hand began to squeeze.



    The people who had positioned themselves to reseal the gap Second Platoon had blasted in the siege lines around the Mall had no idea, no concept, of just what they had "trapped."

    The "Empire's Wasps" had a towering reputation as dispensers of devastation in the Empire's name, yet some people persisted in thinking that the very fearsomeness of their reputation must indicate exaggeration. And most even of those who weren't convinced that at least half the Corps' supposed invincibility had to be pure propaganda had no direct, personal experience with the Marines' combat capabilities. Perhaps they might have reflected upon the fact that very few people who had had direct, personal experience with Marine capabilities were still around to pass the lessons of that experience on.

    Be that as it may, the people waiting in those buildings to pour rifle fire, grenade fire, and rockets down on any attempt to break back out of the Mall had never allowed for the Marines' ability to literally see around corners. To accurately target individual opponents under such adverse conditions of visibility.

    To kill them with single, aimed shots.

    Alicia was only one of four riflemen. Although she had no spare time or attention to waste realizing it, she was the quickest and most effective of them all, but still only one of four, and all of them were killing targets with metronome-steady precision. She'd just taken down her seventeenth when the first belated return fire began to crack out from the other side.

    Most of it was unaimed, panic fire. An instinctive reaction as someone lasted long enough to squeeze a trigger as the other people in his ambush position were picked off. The first long, suddenly interrupted burst of fire from one of the buildings set off others, and within seconds the gathering twilight glared and flickered and danced with the muzzle flashes of scores of weapons.

    Very little of it was actually aimed at anything, and Alicia was only vaguely aware of the supersonic whipcracks of the scattered handful of shots coming anywhere near her own position. Had her eyes been open, no doubt the blinding effect of all of those muzzle flashes would have disoriented her, but they weren't. The sensor remote and her helmet computer showed her each flash, but unlike her physical retina, her mental vision wasn't subject to the blinding effect of those brilliant flares of light.

    Something whipped through the branches above her. A spattering of twigs and leaves showered down over her, and her crosshair moved steadily to her next target. A digital readout in the corner of her HUD reminded her that she was down to twenty-three rounds in the current magazine, and she dropped the crosshair onto the chest of a man firing long, sweeping, obviously unaimed bursts in the general direction of César Bergerat's position.


    She was no longer counting the people she'd killed. She simply noted that the target was down, and moved to the next in her queue.




    The Marines' very efficiency kept their victims from immediately realizing just how dreadfully outclassed they were. There simply wasn't time for the awareness of Death's steady march through their ranks to spread. Not at first. But eventually, here and there, some of the targets waiting to become statistics had enough time to realize what was happening to the other people in the room, or on the balcony, or on the roof with them, and run before it was their turn. And as a few people began to survive the Marines' attention, they began trying to contact others, who had been less fortunate.

    Alicia was ten rounds into her second magazine when she realized the targets in her assigned sector were beginning to vanish before she got around to them.

    "All Wasps this net, Three-Alpha," Metternich's voice sounded in her mastoid implant. "Check fire. Repeat, check fire. Hostiles are breaking and running. Let them go."

    "Three-Alpha, Bravo-Five," Alicia said, still in that stranger's voice which sounded so much like her own. "Confirm check fire."

    The other confirmations came in, and Alicia ejected her partially used magazine. She replaced it with a full one, then began snapping individual loose rounds into the one she'd replaced. Her fingers, she noticed, were rock steady.

    Fifty rounds, she thought. That was how many she'd fired, and she remembered missing her target exactly once.

    "All Wasps this net," Metternich said again after a moment. "Well done, people. Now sit tight where you are for another few minutes. The APCs are moving into position. When everyone else is ready, Third Squad will lead off. Three-Alpha, clear."

    Alicia DeVries sat tight, finishing reloading both of her magazines, while the twilight settled fully about her and her own awareness of just how deadly a killer she was settled within her.



    Kuramochi Chiyeko watched the lead APC shudder like an irritated boar. She'd been astonished when she discovered that their engines actually ran on petroleum distillates, not hydrogen, and the gout of stinking black smoke as its driver fired up sent a grimace of distaste across her face. Not that it actually made the smoke, dust, and varied palette of stenches hanging over the Mall any worse. It just offended her sensibilities to be using such ancient and grotesque so-called technology.

    The other APCs in her column shuddered and shook as their engines turned over in turn, and the militia lieutenant in charge of them listened to his own com for a moment, then turned to her.

    "Ready to proceed, Lieutenant Kuramochi," he said.

    "Thank you. In that case, let's roll them out."

    "Yes, Ma'am!"

    The militiaman actually saluted, then gave an order over the com. The first squat vehicle lurched into motion, and the militia lieutenant went scampering across to the third APC. He climbed up and ducked through the command vehicle's hatch, and Kuramochi walked forward to join Sergeant Jackson.

    "Well, Julio?" she said.

    "Begging your pardon, Skipper, but there's nothing particularly 'well' about it."

    "Now, now," she chided as the second and third APCs began moving at a slow walking pace. The two Marines started forward behind the militia lieutenant's command vehicle, which put them at the center of the column. Kuramochi watched her own HUD critically, but all of her Marines were exactly where they were supposed to be, and the three blocks Second and Third Squads had been tasked to clear were completely free of red, hostile icons.

    "How can you say that, Sergeant Jackson?" she continued. "We've got the open road before us, our knapsacks on our backs, a song on our lips, and only a brisk sixteen-kilometer walk between us and home. And if that's not enough to warm the cockles of your heart," she said with a grin, "I might add that Brigadier Jongdomba and his staff officers are in the lead APC, and the remainder of his so-called 'Headquarters Guard' is spread between there and the second APC. So if it should happen that we did miss somebody with one of the militia's antitank weapons, well . . . ."

    She shrugged, and Jackson shook his head at her.

    "Skipper," he said firmly, "an officer and a lady isn't supposed to indulge herself in that sort of nasty attitude. However much the bastards in question might deserve it."

    "I'll try to bear that in mind," she promised dutifully as the rest of the armored vehicles began to grunt, shiver, and clank their way forward.



    Alicia drifted onward through the night.

    The sky to the southeast of her present position was a lurid sea of billowing, flame-shot smoke as Zhikotse's business district burned. Over half of the city's power grid appeared to be down, despite the fact that the Marines controlled the primary generating station and switching facility. In those areas where the power had been cut, the streets were dark, bottomless canyons of blackness -- like the one through which she moved now -- while in others, streetlights, traffic control devices, and shop windows burned brightly and steadily in bizarre contrast.

    This was not the sort of combat environment she'd envisioned when she enlisted, despite all of her discussions with her grandfather. She'd thought in terms of open-field battle, not of this enclosed, complicated urban setting. And even though she'd known that at least three-quarters of the Marines' duties were those of peacekeepers, especially out here among the Crown Systems of the frontier, she hadn't really pictured herself sniping rioters and would-be insurrectionists out of office windows when they didn't even know she was killing them.

    Those reflections drifted through the back of her mind, like koi floating weightlessly just above the bottom of their pond. The front of her brain was busy with other things, monitoring her surroundings as she advanced steadily into the blackness her helmet systems and enhanced vision turned into daylight.

    She moved onward for another dozen meters, then paused once again, waiting for Bergerat to leapfrog up the other side of the street and for Gregory Hilton to close up on both of them from behind. She could hear the distant clank and snort of the militia's obsolescent APCs grinding up Capital Boulevard well behind her, and she checked her map coordinates.

    They were making pretty good time, she decided. They'd covered almost a third of the total distance back to the spaceport, and while they weren't moving as quickly as they had on the way to the Mall, they were moving a lot faster than they would have managed with the President and the Delegates walking it. Now, if only --

    Her reflections halted abruptly as she detected movement in front of her.

    "Three-Alpha, Bravo-Five," she said quietly. "I've got movement."

    "Five, Three-Alpha," Metternich's voice came back instantly. "I don't have it on any of my remotes. What does it look like?"

    "Three-Alpha, I can't say for certain yet. At the moment, it looks like one person. He just stepped out of an apartment building and sat down on the front steps. Right about here."

    She dropped a blinking amber icon onto Metternich's HUD through her synth-link. She wasn't too surprised that neither Metternich nor Bruckner had spotted the unknown. The platoon's supply of remotes was stretched knife-thin covering the flanks of the extended column. They hadn't had an unlimited number of them to begin with, and they'd lost quite a few of them -- mostly to the sorts of accidents that happened in combat zones, rather than to anyone's deliberate effort to destroy them. A thin shell was still sweeping ahead of them, but without the sort of multiply redundant overlapping coverage The Book called for, and the fellow she'd spotted had stepped out of cover only after the shell had passed.

    But that was why each of the riflemen probing ahead of the column still had his or her personal remote assigned.

    "Five, Three-Alpha," Metternich said, "proceed at your discretion."

    "Three-Alpha, Bravo-Five copies."

    Alicia stood for a moment, her mind ticking coolly. As far as her remotes and her helmet's sensors could determine, the individual she was observing was unarmed. He might have a sidearm, but there was no sign of any shoulder weapon. He did have several power sources scattered about his person, more than most civilians would normally carry, which was certainly suspicious. On the other hand, simply shooting someone out of hand on the possibility that he might be a Bad Person was something command authority frowned upon.

    She thought about it for a few more seconds, then shrugged and made up her mind.



    Karsang Dawa Chiawa was vaguely surprised by how good it felt to simply sit down.

    He laid his helmet down on the step beside him and ran one grimy hand's fingers through his sweat-matted hair. The sharp, acrid tang of smoke drifted in the air even here, but the night was cool, the continuing occasional crackle of small arms fire was several blocks away, and he was so tired.

    He rested his elbows on the step above him and leaned back, inhaling deeply. There was no way for him to be sure he'd guessed right about the Marines' probable retirement route from the Mall. Or, for that matter, that the Marines were actually coming at all. And just sitting here in the dark wasn't exactly the safest thing he could have been doing, no matter what might or might not be coming down the boulevard towards him. Still, it was --

    "Don't move."

    The two words came out of the darkness in a soft contralto. An off-world contralto. A very young one, he thought for some reason, with just a trace of pleasing, almost furry, huskiness, but one which expected to be obeyed.

    And one whose owner was entirely prepared to blow him away if it wasn't obeyed.

    "All right," he replied, as calmly as he could. He even managed to not turn his head -- mostly -- in an effort to locate the speaker. The visibility wasn't good, but he'd deliberately selected a position where some of the light from the fires, reflected off the overhead smoke and the slight haze of overcast, provided at least some dim illumination, like pallid moonlight. Despite that, and despite the fact that from the sound of the young woman's voice, she couldn't be more than nine or ten meters away from him, he couldn't see a single sign of her.

    "I presume," he continued, "that I'm speaking to one of Major Palacios' Marines. If so, I have some information which I believe you'd be interested in."



    He was a cool customer, Alicia thought. He'd hardly jumped at all when she spoke.

    "And just what information might that be . . . Captain Chiawa?" she asked as her enhanced vision read the name and rank insignia stenciled on his militia-issue breastplate. "And, if you don't mind my asking, just what is a militia officer doing sitting out here all by himself?"



    Despite himself, Chiawa was impressed. He'd known the Wasps' equipment was enormously better than that of the militia, but if she could read the low-visibility name off his breastplate under these conditions, even his estimate of its capabilities had been low.

    "To answer your second question first," he said, "I've been waiting for you -- or someone like you. And, to be completely honest, I'm not entirely alone."

    "Good answer, Captain." There was a slight, unmistakable note of amusement in the youthful contralto. "According to my sensors, there are at least four more people sitting in one of the first-floor apartments behind you. Unlike you, they all appear to have shoulder weapons, as well. Somehow, I don't think that they 'just happen' to be there any more than you 'just happen' to be sitting out here."

    Chiawa fought a sudden urge to swallow as he realized how lucky he was that the voice's owner hadn't decided he was simply bait for an ambush.

    "They're with me," he confirmed. "We were at the Annapurna Arms when this whole nightmare began. We were also with the attempt to retake the hotel. When it came apart, we managed to hang together, and decided to try to make it to the spaceport and your perimeter."

    "Which no doubt explains why you're clear over here on the other side of town," the contralto observed almost politely.

    "We kept getting pushed sideways, and after a while, I decided our best bet was to try to circle around to the north, avoid the mob," Chiawa admitted. "Then, earlier this afternoon, we heard your mortars -- or, at least, I assume they were yours -- from the direction of the Mall. I figured our best chance then would be to join up with your column, but we couldn't find you in time."

    "And now?"

    "And now you need to know that there's a major force of what I believe are GLF irregulars with heavy weapons dug in on both sides of the Boulevard about two blocks ahead of you." Chiawa shrugged. "I suppose it's possible your sensors have already picked them up, but they've been in position for almost two and a half hours, and they've got really good overhead cover."



    Alicia frowned. They'd picked up no indications of any such ambush force, but if the militia officer was correct about how long the prospective ambushers had been in position, they might well not have. They certainly hadn't had the time -- or, for that matter, the reason -- to concentrate their dispersed reconnaissance assets to give that section of the Boulevard the sort of microscopic examination they'd lavished on the area immediately outside the Mall perimeter. Which meant it was entirely possible that this Captain Chiawa was giving them good information.



    "That's very interesting, Captain," the voice out of the darkness said. "I'll pass the information along. And while we're waiting for someone to get back to us, why don't you just invite the rest of your friends to come out and join you on the steps?"

    "That sounds like a very good idea," Chiawa said, and turned to flash his infrared light at the window where he knew Corporal Munming was watching him.



    "So, the good captain knew what he was talking about," Lieutenant Kuramochi said.

    She was speaking to Sergeant Metternich, but she'd deliberately included all of Third Squad, as her most advanced unit, in the net. And she was also indulging in some fairly extreme understatement, Alicia decided.

    Alerted by Chiawa's warning, Sergeant Bruckner's lead remotes had swung back, thickened by some diverted from the flanks, to take a very, very close look at the indicated area. And Chiawa's numbers had been low. There were over three hundred armed people in that stretch, and the remotes had picked up heavy calliopes, rocket launchers, what appeared to be at least one honest-to-God hyper-velocity weapon launcher, and over a dozen SAMs.

    "I've been on the horn within the Old Lady," Kuramochi continued. "She says that Lieutenant Beregovoi believes we've probably got the majority of the GLF's remaining hard core strength waiting for us up ahead. Battalion lost track of their leadership cadre early this afternoon; apparently, this is where they were headed, and Major Palacios' best guess is that Captain Chiawa is right. They figure the last chance they've got is to get their hands on President Shangup and the Delegates to use as bargaining chips, probably for starship tickets off-planet.

    "Needless to say, that's what we think of in the Corps as a Bad Idea."

    Alicia surprised herself with a chuckle. Not that she felt particularly humorous at the moment. The opposition ahead of them was much heavier than they'd faced during their breakout from the Mall perimeter. Still, they knew where it was now, and they'd already demonstrated that what they could positively locate, they could kill.

    On the other hand, if Beregovoi was correct, then these were probably the best trained, most disciplined adversaries the Marines had yet faced by a considerable margin. They also had enough heavy weapons to lay down enough suppressive fire, even shooting blind, to make things dicey, and the presence of that HVW launcher suggested that they might well have better sensor capabilities, as well.

    There was no doubt in her mind that the Platoon could still take them all. The chance of their doing it without suffering friendly casualties was a lot lower than the one they'd faced leaving the Mall, though. And even if that hadn't been true, Alicia was grimly certain that the other side's casualties would be even heavier before they broke. These people were much more highly motivated, in addition to their training and discipline. They weren't going to run easily, and the longer they stood, the more of them would die.

    But they're also the leadership elements of the people who started this entire thing, she thought. The Empire wants these people, and here they are.

    "I'm a bit tempted to go right in after them," Lieutenant Kuramochi continued. "Especially if this really is the GLF's surviving leadership. However, our primary mission is to get the President and the other members of the local government to safety, and not to run any unavoidable risks on secondary missions in the process. Major Palacios has confirmed my interpretation of our responsibilities, and she's also reminded me that we're not really in the business of killing any more people than we have to. So instead of going through them, we're going to go around them."

    Alicia drew a deep breath of relief. Relief, she was a bit surprised to note, which owed far more to the chance of avoiding killing any more other people -- even GLF separatists -- than to apprehension for her own safety.

    "We're going to shift our route," Kuramochi said, and a fresh green line appeared in the map graphic of Alicia's HUD. "We're going to have to swing fairly wide if we want to stay far enough away from these people to keep them from hearing the APCs. If they do hear them, and they want to come out after them, then it's going to be up to us to discourage them -- permanently. But I think that if we backtrack to this point --" an intersection blinked on the map " -- then cut still further north, we can get around to the far side of the river and approach the spaceport through the suburbs. Frankly, it's better terrain for our purposes, anyway. But it is going to add at least another three hours to our transit time. Probably more like four hours."

    Alicia studied the new route projection and felt herself agreeing with Kuramochi. They'd have another couple of blocks of heavily built up office and apartment buildings to get through, but then they'd be into individual one- and two-family dwellings, each surrounded by at least a small plot of grass. Sightlines would be longer and clearer, and there'd be far less cover for nasty surprises like the ambush waiting ahead of them. Tired as she was, four more hours of hiking -- or even twice that long -- struck her as a minor price to pay for that.

    "I know we're all tired," Kuramochi said, almost as if she'd just read Alicia's mind. "I'll probably call at least a brief rest halt once we're on the far side of the river. In the meantime, go to Mode Three on your pharmacopes."

    Alicia obediently accessed the software of her built-in pharmacopeia and raised its enabled mode from Four to Three. The pharmacope computer considered her new commands for a moment, and then she felt a wash of energy and enhanced alertness sweep through her as the pharmacope administered a carefully metered dose from its drug reservoirs.

    "All right, Abe," the lieutenant continued, "you know where we need to go. I think we'll go ahead and pull First Squad and the APCs back now. I'll take Second Squad's Bravo Team with me. You and Clarissa put your heads together and decide how you need to reorient. Let me know when you're ready to proceed."

    "Yes, Ma'am," Metternich replied. Then his voice changed slightly as he turned his attention to his fire teams.

    "Okay," he said. "We'll stick to the same basic playbook. For the moment, everybody turns around where they are and falls back to the intersection. César, that means that you and Alley are going to become the back door until we get there. At that point, Alley, I want you to --"

    Alicia continued to gaze eastward, with her own augmented vision as well as her assigned remote' sensors, while she listened to the sergeant's voice.



    It was two hours past local planetary midnight when Second Platoon, Bravo Company, Recon Battalion, First of the 517th, recrossed the perimeter into Zhikotse Spaceport. With the exception of Gunnery Sergeant Wheaton, who was expected to make a full recovery, it had not suffered a single serious casualty.

    Which was more than could be said for the city of Zhikotse, Alicia thought wearily, watching the flames still painting the skies above the planetary capital.

    But at least the situation's coming back under control. Maybe it's just because it's burned itself out, but it's still happening. And the planetary government is still intact, and we haven't killed any more people than we had to.

    She was still gazing out at the flames, listening to the APCs rumbling past behind her, when a hand smacked her on the shoulder. She turned her head and found herself looking into Leocadio Medrano's homely face.

    "Not too shabby, Wasp," he said gruffly, then nodded and headed off, heavy plasma rifle over his shoulder, while the ex-larva gazed after him.

Home Page Index Page




Previous Page Next Page

Page Counter Image