Alea: Part One

by inkslingersagency

“Stupid piece of crap!” the man in the white coat yelled, kicking the machinery in front of him. “It always waits until the worst moment to break down. What a pile of fucking junk! You would have thought this mission would warrant equipment that actually works! Fuckers!” Climbing on top of the machinery, he proceeded to jump up and down on it, muttering under his breath.

“Crazy fucking Russian,” one of the soldiers commented, chuckling to his squad mate.

“You know, he’s not actually Russian. He’s from America,” his companion was staring up at the crazy man in open wonder.

“It’s a saying, dipshit!” the soldier retorted, butting him in the chest with his gun. “Now come on, let’s go and find something useful to do. I’m bored of standing around watching this lunatic. Someone else can take over for a while.”

The two soldiers wandered out of the room, through the security checks, and into the corridor beyond. They were bumped on all sides by people running past them, yelling things to their companions. They were trying to build some semblance of order, and it was failing impressively. After 24 hours of activity, the place was still far behind schedule. They had been given strict orders on how to proceed after arrival, which had gone straight out the window with the first of the ‘technical difficulties’.

Making their way through the maze, they headed inwards. It got quieter and quieter the closer they got to the central hub, with security checks and guards manning the entrance of each station. Peace and quiet was needed here, so that those in command could concentrate and try to drag everyone out of the bad situation they had just found themselves in. They nodded a greeting to each fellow soldier they met, but were too wrapped up in their own discussion to really pay much attention to anyone else.

“A second chance they called this. A second chance to what? Live out our days in endless hunger and confusion? Because you know that if they don’t get this sorted we’re going to die right. If those machines don’t start running again, we’re all going to die!” The soldier was a nervous man, alternating between ringing his hands and checking his weapon holster. He darted his eyes this way and that, as if expecting trouble to leap out at him. It was his first mission, and it was supposed to be a safe one.

“Oh shut up Jitters, we’re not going to die. This is just a minor setback, and it will soon be sorted. The crazy fucking Russian will sort it out, he always does. These things never go to plan, you’ll soon learn that. Just keep your head tight on your shoulders, or someone’s going to take advantage of the easy snipe.”

“What?! There’s snipers?!” Jitters dived behind a bin that was less than half his size and wouldn’t have been able to protect him from a flea bite. Sticking his head out the side, he frantically searched in both directions.

“No, you imbecile. It’s just another saying. Come on, get your ass in gear. We’re off to see Control. They’ll have a job for us. Maybe we can get off this stinking ship.”

“Off the ship?! But isn’t that dangerous?! There could be anything out there!”

“You’re right, it is, and there could. We will probably die within the first couple of minutes. That’s if we even make it out the door. Dude, come on you’re a soldier. Get your act together. Nobody is going to die. You’ve seen all the logs, they’ve swept this planet god knows how many times, and found nothing that could be seen as a threat. Would they really have sent us here with civilians if they thought otherwise?”

“Sure thing Sharkey, whatever you say. If I die I’ll just blame you.”

Sharkey and Jitters made their way down the final corridor to Control, each muttering under their breath about how they wish they’d been given better partners.

 

For Part Two, click here.

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3 Comments to “Alea: Part One”

  1. A very enjoyable piece, captures attention and holds it; but the swearing feels ungrounded in most cases.

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