Tihmar’s Last Stand
“If we allow them the control room, we give them the right to consume human flesh, the freedom to take away our life and spirit. We can not let that happen. Grab your rifles, seal the door, and when they come we don’t stop firing until every last one of them is dead. You flee, I will kill you, you fight and we all might live another day.”
Bolstered with newfound confidence everyone in attendance gave a resounding “Yes Ma’am!”
Jussie ordered four soldiers to seal the doorway. Screams sounded through the hallway as a team of soldiers started to seal the door. The sound of mulching bones and flesh meeting mandibles was becoming increasingly audible. As the four welders frantically went about sealing, the rest pointed their weapons toward the breach. In the middle stood the Captain. The determination on her face was only matched by the revolution of nanites swarming in her bones. Jussie looked at Tihmar. He always wondered, who was more monster, a human born of machine, or the swarm that preyed on them? The cold dark husk, or the bloodthirsty animals? The only difference Jussie saw was that one was on his team.
The welders backed off, racing to pick up their weapons as they darted back into the formation. It would give them a few minutes of preparation, which was sorely needed.
Sensing bodies in the last living section of the ship, the insects attacked the breach with murderous enthusiasm. The flesh and fluid bubbled off their razor sharp claws and mandibles, the toxic spit leaving holes in the newly sewn door. Their bulbous eyes and hardened carapace gleamed with delight at the bodies that still dwelled beyond the vale. Finally, they broke into the Captain’s cabin with a bang as the door slammed to the floor.
Everyone seemed to scream but Tihmar as the soldiers concentrated fire on the opening. They flowed in like ants, their legs chittering on the metaled floor as they sought out their victims. Unloading everything they had, the soldiers felled tens of them at a time, the bodies becoming a wall as more and more insects crawled over their dead brethren to get a piece of human meat. The wave of black shells almost upon them, Tihmar tossed her charge rifle to the floor and bolted into the chaos of bug and bullet.
“Keep firing!” She yelled as she swung her vibroblade, bullets being absorbed by her skin. Bullet marks exposed brown skin as they shredded her clothing to bits. Claws and legs targeted her, but were ripped and sliced with precision. Still the insects flowed with almost no end. With an incredible display of strength, Tihmar thrusted her sword into a torso, lifting the bug up, then slammed it on another, crushing both. A swipe should have taken her head off, but instead she ducked under, spun in a 180 and stabbed the beast between the eyes, fluid sputtering wildly as the blade was released and recovered. Jussie watched in half fright, half amazement as Tihmar flipped and dipped through combat, seemingly invincible to both the bullets and deadly claws.
The floor slippery with their waste, Tihmar glided and slid in and out of slashes while soldiers valiantly defended the line until finally, one got past her. It lunged in with its spear-like arm and stabbed a soldier through the chest skewering her as it ingested her body while being shot to pieces at the same time. Blood of insect and human sprayed in all directions, disorienting and confusing the vulnerable group.
Tihmar fought tooth and nail. Already taking damage from the melee, she was slowing down, her nanites working at their maximum to repair the damage. She remembered her training, but that alone was nothing compared to the real thing. Exhausted, she was brought to one knee trying to defend against a crushing blow. She slashed upwards, severing the beast’s arm and biting deep into its midsection spraying liquid in her eyes. Fighting blind she retreated toward the line, yelling to her sergeant.
“Jussie! My eyes!”
Jussie moved quickly producing a bottle of liquid solvent. He sprayed it on her face and watched as the yellowish fluid fell. Tihmar swiveled back, fully expecting the insect horde to be descending on them. Instead, she slowly stood and told the rest of the group to ceasefire.
“Captain… I think you killed their leader.” Jussie said with shock.
In the center of the room a large insect was bleeding out on its back. It wiggled it’s six appendages in one last dying skitter. Once fifteen, now twelve, the soldiers cheered as insects hurriedly ran away. Once everyone had quieted down the Captain spoke.
“We need to get out of here and use the life-ships.” She pressed her watch and three ships deployed outside, four seats each. Putting on their exosuits, the soldiers quickly piled into the ships while exiting through the emergency airlock. Though, one stayed behind, a perplexed look on their face.
“Ma’am. A word?” Jussie addressed her commanding officer.
“Shoot.” Tihmar said.
“Well, Ma’am, I couldn’t help but notice that there are only three ships, with four seats each. There are thirteen of us. How will we all fit?”
Captain Tihmar smiled.
“Well…” She said as she unsheathed her blade. Jussie closed his eyes, there was no fighting her. When nothing happened for five seconds he looked around confused as he saw the Captain walking away toward the other end of the ship. Before she left the room she gave a passing glance at him with one final order.
“Get them home, sergeant.” She said as she turned around and disappeared into the darkness.
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