It might surprise you to know that before I came to the future present I never shot anyone. Not one single person. Weird huh?
Now things are different. I’ve shot a lot of people. A hundred? Could it be that many? Could it be more? How many of them that I did shot that have died I don’t know either. Some of them for sure died right on the spot. Others were killed later by my allies, you know once the battle is over and the traditional killing of the wounded starts. But these future present people are very hardy, like the mighty yaks of the Himalayas, it wouldn’t surprise me if a goodly number of the people I’ve shot survived to die in some other horrible way. Falling in a ravine, getting sat on by a sloar, hacked to bits by the brain collectors, heart disease, etc.
The guy in the plastic pants? He’s for sure dead. I shot him right in the mouth. I wasn’t aiming for the mouth but that’s where I got him. I know because teeth flew out of his face like I had broken open the world’s worst pinata. If I wasn’t already nauseous all the time from the unclear water and filthy food around here that would have done the trick. I’ve seen a lot of death these past few months (how long has it even been since we woke up?) but that got me. I guess it’s good to know that I’m still capable of feeling . . . something?
I don’t know if he thought that the sound of a gunshot was something being dropped in the machine shop, but the guy who came through the door next was curious, not concerned. Then he was dead because Martialla blasted him in the chest with one of the Cheyenne shotguns. Actually, she shot him in the back too because the first shot spun him around and she blasted him again.
The nine other guys in the next room had guns, and swords for some reason, but they didn’t put up much of a fight. Another thing I’ve learned here in the future is that it’s much better to be the ambusher than the ambushee. It doesn’t matter how much of a badass you are, when you’re not expecting trouble and then suddenly people around you are getting blown away your odds of turning things around are poor. Throat Punch managed to get himself killed in the process anyway even though we had the advantage. I didn’t see what happened, for all I know he finally keeled over from the head wound he got a few days ago finally.
Dirt Tooth opened the door leading outside from the new room and wasn’t immediately riddled with gunfire so that was good. I could hear the people in the guard towers shouting gibberish either at each other or someone else.
“What’s going on out there?” I demanded as the rest of the crew was looting up weapons and ammo.
“The back of the sky machine is open, more clones are taking boxes out of it, and a car.”
Using Dirt Tooth as a human (?) shield I came over to take a peek. The nose of the plane was flipped up like it was a Transformer (is that how cargo planes unload?!) and a couple very alarmed looking women were pointing and yelling at some bumpy-heads who were looking confused and annoyed. The women weren’t “clones” like Old Ela claims to be but they did look like modern (you know, from the past) ladies. They weren’t bumpy-heads and they weren’t shrimpy uggos either. They were like Martialla and me. Well, none of them were as pretty as me but they were like Martialla.
They weren’t wearing uniforms but they were dressed uniformly. Actual clothing, like clothes that someone made, not stitched together hides and burlap sack-pants. What really struck me though was their shoes. They looked like good solid hiking boots or the like, they were easily the best shoes I’ve seen here in the future.
There was still a lot of ash flying around in the air but I could see that they had driven down a truck of some kind (Martialla’s note – looked similar to a militarized Mercedes-Benz G-Class to me) out of the plane, one of the women was still behind the wheel, and some of the local schlubs were in the process of unloading crates when ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.
I waved back toward the machine shop “Mar, we’ll keep them busy, you go around and see if you can take out the pilot!”
“How am I supposed to know which one is the pilot?” she shouted as she ran off, passing Asmuda the shotgun and swinging around her hunting rifle into her giant man-hands.
I waved the rest of them out the door “Go! Sally fucking forth already!”
They didn’t want to go out there. Why would they? It’s easy to feel safe when you’re in a building with nice thick walls where no one is shooting at you at the moment, but there were no windows so we couldn’t fire out or see what our enemies were doing. What could we do in there but wait for them to bring in some dynamite and blow us to Hell?
Martialla had guessed (risking our life on a guess is mostly what we do now) that the tower-guns didn’t have a field if fire inside the perimeter and she must have been right because the guards in two of the towers were climbing down and in a third tower the guards were dismounting the machinegun from its yoke thing, one assumes to turn it around and kill everyone inside.
We shot down the pair from the closest tower as they tried to come down the ladder and then did the best we could to put fire on the airplane people from around the corner of the machine shop. Cresha tried to run to the tower for some reason and was cut down before she made it two strides. Just when I was starting to think that Martialla must be dead or pinned down and was considering displacing (that’s military for running away) before the other tower people got us in crossfire mode two of the bumpy-heads that were firing from the cover of the truck went down and I heard the bark of the hunting rifle.
I had Dirt Tooth stick with me and sent Slurk and Cerna around the other way to make sure nobody came up on us from the other side. I was torn between the feeling that we were all about to die and the feeling that I was starting to get the hang of this combat thing.