Christmas Ceasefire, Part 2: An OWS Round Robin
If this is your first time reading the story, you can start here. Katheryn J. Avila moves the story forward today with part 2.
(From last time) “In here,” Johnson cried out, diving into a dark hole in the side of the trench. O’Leary followed after, crashing down into the darkness below.
Their chests heaved with the effort to breathe, and for a long moment all they could hear was their ragged breaths and the sounds of destruction above. The trench shook with the next impact, but it was a blind shot – the mech pilots didn’t notice where they dove to hide. Moments later, still hidden, they watched as the mechs rushed passed them. Johnson and O’Leary pressed as far back into the hole as they could, flattening themselves against one side.
“Okay. Now we just have to-” Johnson turned to address O’Leary, but her words dropped off at the sight of him. He held his leg, the injury gushing more blood than Johnson was comfortable with.
“I’m fine. Go.”
“No, you need medical attention.” In moments Johnson ripped the sleeve off her uniform to create a makeshift tourniquet. Unfortunately, that’s as far as her medical expertise got her. If he didn’t get real help, O’Leary would lose his leg. “I need to get you to a medic.”
“There’s no way we can both make it passed the mechs. Not with my leg like this.” O’Leary didn’t bother trying to stay on his feet, allowing himself to slide down the wall into a more comfortable position.
“I have a plan.” Johnson shifted her weapon to rest against her back. Now that her hands were free, she pulled out a pair of magnetized blades. “If it doesn’t see me coming, I can take it out. Then I can come back for you.”
O’Leary had been fighting alongside Johnson long enough to know that arguing with her wouldn’t change her mind. Johnson didn’t give him a chance to respond, anyway. A second later she slid out of their hiding place, staying close to the walls as she stalked the nearest mech through the trench. Her mech training was okay at best, but she knew enough to know its blindspots. If she timed it right, she could get on the machine and act fast enough to disable it.
The mech rounded a corner and opened fire, giving Johnson the chance she needed. Pumping her legs as hard as she could, she bolted for the mech, using its own bullets to cover her footsteps. The guns began to wind down just as she reached it, climbing on some wooden boxes to reach the back. She jumped, stabbing both blades into the machine’s large back. Under her, the mech hummed with electricity as she triggered the tazers in the blades. The malfunction was almost instant as the body sagged to the ground. Fire spewed from its clawed hand without direction, and its guns jerked back to life.
Johnson had to jump off the mech and out of the trench to avoid the weaponry. Behind her the mech exploded in a thundering blaze, setting fire to almost everything in the vicinity. Parts of the machine rained down around her, and she had to scramble out of the way to avoid being crushed by one of the arms.
Damn! O’Leary. Unwilling to give the fire time to reach the other soldier, she rushed back in the direction she came. She was so focused on her own survival and reaching O’Leary that she didn’t notice the mech’s pilot made it out of the deadly weapon. Before she realized what was happening, the pilot descended upon her – armed only with a combat knife.
He knocked her forward into the trench, his enraged cry filling her ears. Her head thudded against the ground, dazing her, and costing her precious recovery time. Johnson did her best to shake it off, managing to turn in time to dodge a swipe of the pilot’s knife. The next one came faster than she expected, the blade grazing the bullet wound in her arm.
Her arm erupted in pain and she cried out, unable to contain it. Warmth dripped down her skin, and her hands shook. Johnson’s grip slacked, and she dropped the knife on her injured side. This time, she lunged, trying to throw the pilot off.
In the distance, a series of sirens started going off. Johnson hesitated a moment, and that’s when the announcement echoed through the destruction.
“Ceasefire! By order of the Supreme Emperor, in agreement with the rebel forces, all soldiers are to cease fire for the next 24 hours.”
To be continued…
[bctt tweet=”Warmth dripped down her skin, and her hands shook. @katherynjavila #amreading #shortstory #roundrobin #ourwriteside #fiction” username=”OurWriteSide”]