Friday, April 20, 2007

Not Completely Insensible

As Lieutenant Parris regained consciousness, his eyes blinking uncontrollably in the daylight that was so quickly replacing the blackness of his concussion, he became aware of a deep hum resonating through the earth underneath his arm. Eventually sounds of higher frequency reached his ears, and he realized his teeth were chattering, cracking out a surprisingly loud cadence that matched the throbbing tempo of the tone. Slowly the strange hum softened and seemed to move away. He clenched his jaw and concentrated on his immediate surroundings. He swept his head around in a half-circle, his vision lagging behind, and saw his men lying scattered around a blackened crater. His arms tensed and he perceived his weapon, intact and ready in his hands. How had he come to this battle? It was battle, to be sure, evidenced by the distant sounds of las weaponry and krak explosions echoing off of the wide wall of the alien building to his ten o’clock. Suddenly, his eyes caught a glimpse of movement, directly ahead of the crater. As five sleek metallic forms glided around the far side of the building, answers came flooding back into memory. The archaeoforest. The magnetic signal. Necrons. And most recently, the destruction of his transport by a bloody enormous floating pyramid.

He crossed the crater to the far side, dropped to the scorched earth, and peeked over the rubble. The flying Necrons were approaching slowly, sweeping their heads from side to side, looking for survivors among the scattered wreckage of the Chimera. As Parris watched, a missile streaked out from behind him and exploded into one of the enemy, sending its smoking hulk smashing into a nearby pile of rubble. He whirled to behold trooper Tyus, apparently the only other survivor of the wreck, throw down his empty rocket launcher and dive to pick up an abandoned lasgun. The resolve of his subordinate filled him with pride, and he turned once more to the enemy, aiming and firing his boltgun at the flying Necrons. Already the mechanized horrors had quickened their pace and his shots either went wide or harmlessly ricocheted off their carriages. As they leveled their weapons in his direction, mesmerizing beams of green neon lanced through the air around him, tearing holes in the fine smoke rising lightly from the ground. As their impacts finally caught his body, his vision fell and he saw trooper Tyus sprinting away from the crater, back to the main battle line. He was a brave young man, but not completely insensible.

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