If you ever change your mind

“This is it soldier!  Now is the time!  Those are the Russians out there!  Grab a weapon and get to fighting or get clear!” I said as I shoved her into the hallway.  She stumbled forward towards the sound of fighting.  I don’t know why.  I guess when you’re nineteen seconds out of bio-stasis you listen to whoever’s talking.

If I had been thinking about it I would have realized that she wasn’t a soldier.  She was a clerk or whatever they allowed women to do in the military in Nineteen Eighty-Two.  Maybe she was just there for breeding, which is gross but possible.  I don’t think there were even women in combat in my time let alone in the Eighties.  This non-time travel time travel gets confusing. 

Not that it would have mattered if I had been thinking about it, I wouldn’t have done anything different had I thought about how she likely wasn’t a soldier.  If she gets shot down in the hallway that’s one less bullet for us.  There aren’t that many bullets these days, it makes a difference.  Plus the shooting itself takes some time.  And she might not die right away, they might have to shoot her a couple times.  Not only that but whoever shoots her will probably take a minute to see if she has anything worth taking or molest her corpse or something.  Her death won’t be in vain.  And hey, maybe she’ll wriggle through somehow or she’ll pick up a bayonet and go nuts like that nude karate woman in Point Break.  Strange things happen in battle. 

Martialla was already at the next “bio coffin” dumping the plastic bag of medical slime on the next blue man in the group.  She had the Human Revival Initiation Sequence Manual stuffed into the waistband of her pants just in case even though we had already done it several dozen times and there wasn’t a lot to it really.  It made me realize how skinny she’s gotten since we’ve been here.  Martialla has always been a twisted rope of lean unwomanly gristle but this heron-addict skinniness scared me.  She looks like the kind of skinny where you’re losing muscle. 

Martialla injected the super-secret Canadian serum into the now slime-covered man and then moved to the next coffin in the line to start wrestling the lid off.  These things are God damn hard to open.  It almost takes longer to get access to the people inside than it does to revive them.  I moved over the coffin she had just abandoned and started massaging Private Archibald, T’s chest.  I don’t know why that helps but it does. 

“Come on, come on back now.  Your country needs you soldier.  Up and at them!”

Something came bouncing in around the corner from the hallway.  It looked like a wad of rags wrapped in tinfoil with whatever was inside having been lit on fire but there’s no way that there can be any tinfoil left in the world.  Whatever the wad was was it was puking out brown smoke in random puffs.  I don’t know if it was supposed to explode or if the smoke was the point of the thing but either way it didn’t do much.  I stopped my massaging and had my pistol trained on the doorway.

“Come on you fucking fucks” I remarked wittily.

A shape appeared in the doorway, holding a rifle in front of them crossways like they were offering it to the next person they came across as a present for some damn reason.  I could tell he was Invincible though, one of the real ones, because of the bumpy head.  Don’t fire until you see the bumps of their skulls boys. 

CLICK.  I swear to every God that ever existed or didn’t exist that I had just reloaded before we started messing with the last hydrated bio-corpse.  I also swear that this damn pistol those prickless Gunmetal toad fuckers made for me has a magazine that changes at random.  Sometimes it only holds four shots, sometimes as many was twelve.  If it wasn’t the only gun that shoots straight AND has the ability to not explode in your hand in the entire world I’d boot the thing into a ravine. 

Mr. Bumpy remembered that bullets come out of the ends of guns and started to swing the rifle down just has Martialla shot him in the chest, throat, and chin.  Those Invincible rifles we pilfered pull up.  He staggered forward for a few steps like he wasn’t going to die and then changed his mind and slammed head-first into one of the empty coffins.

There were more right behind him (or her) though.  I ducked down and squirmed between two the coffins in the stack, feeling like my pelvis and skull were in a vice for a second before I squirted out the other side as the intruders flowed around the stack.  Most of them did anyway, as I was crouched down trying to reload like life my life depended on it, because it did, an Invincible mush-face with an axe came down that row, kicked at me and sent me sprawling. 

I wriggled under the next bottom coffin in the next stack and he simultaneously grabbed me by the arm while slipping on the bullets I dropped (this thing uses round ones) causing him to jerk my shoulder out of socket.  You know what’s funny?  And I mean fucking hilarious.  I’m so used to my hip and legs hurting that the pain of my shoulder being wrenched back as he fell barely registered.  It was like someone pissing in a hot tub.  Barely even noticeable. 

I received my coat pistol with my non-mangled right hand and shot the axemen in the eyeball.  He didn’t die though, he didn’t even let go of me, all he did was he lurched backwards and drag me out from under the coffin as he was mashing at his bloody face with his fist while still holding onto the axe.  I was trying to aim for a second shot but the first shot, because there was no room under there, was made with my arm over my head like I was trying to scratch my opposite ear which not only made my ears ring and partially blinded me but also happened to catch my hair on fire.  Next time you’re at the shooting range try that. 

Private Archibald at that moment decided to lurch up like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction and just as quickly Fosbury flop over the side of his storage coffin onto the axeman’s noggin.  My second shot went right into the good private’s ear canal and into his brain.  At least I’m assuming it hit the brain based on the way that he suddenly lost all motor function and face-planted into the floor like a sloppy dead eel. 

As I got to my feet I managed to curb-stomp my opponent into the blade of his own axe almost simultaneous to shooting another guy coming around the bend three times in the chest.  That didn’t stop him of course, because why would it, and my gun-butt to the nose was probably about as effective as a punch with that little pistol.  It did give me time to pull a stupid knife with like a hook on the end off his belt and ram it into the side of his neck.  That did the trick. 

I after snuffing out my smoldering hair fire I finally managed to reload my other main weapon (seven bullets went in it this time) and crept out to shoot a fellow in the back who in the process of kneeling down to pick something up.  I didn’t realize it at the time but what he was reaching for was Martialla’s rifle.  I would have known that right away if we hadn’t just stolen a bunch of Invincible guns. 

I saw Martialla sitting against another rack of coffins and I was about to ask her if she got the wind knocked out of her when I realized that half her head was gone.  Like that Dick Tracy villain Two-Face.  It wasn’t quite down the line of her nose but almost half her face was fully intact and the other side was gone.  Like her head was made of sherbet and someone attacked her with a giant ice scream scoop because they were hungry and wanted sherbet.

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