Hunting Miracles and Boots

Day 8

Joint post between Andrew Stuart and Jaisa Benjamin

Andy

We assembled at the base of the rapids. “Get the ‘bots connected and meet me at the top of the ridge.” I wanted to see how they went up the ridge. Jai, Summer and Ryu quartered their way across the face of the rise, while the dummy’s fought straight up the slope.

“Now that we are all here, the project is this. First, put a slab Dam across the North Face of the rapids. Then dig a diversion Channel down to the big ass hole in the side of the slope you have to dig. Check your e-mails! The Specs are there! Then you have to dig in a covered exit channel away from the Plant site. Then we will build the Hydro Plant and run the Distribution Wiring. Anybody here think this was going to be easy?” The faces I saw were stunned. “There used to be an old Military Group called the Seabees. They were the Combat Engineers of the Navy and Marines. Their unofficial motto was ‘First we dig ‘em, then We Die in ‘em.”

“Dig it people! Sgt Benjamin, Front, and Center! Post!”

Jai’s eyes widened, but only a hair – her version of shocked. She knew how to keep her reactions to herself, that was for sure, which was good considering she’d already proved that she knew how to do the opposite. And she didn’t waste any time moving either – another good sign.

“Nice 7.62 you have, here are a couple of shells for you.” I pulled a bag of 20 HE rounds out and handed them to her. I could tell she recognized the red tips. As she was shuffling them into her ready mags I told her, “We are going hunting Slizzard! I want at least a 20 Footer. You game or what?”

As Jai looked up, she saw a face she had never seen before; the warm Brown Eyes were those of a Teacher. She had expected the cold Black Eyes of a killer. “Looks like it’s time to learn the rest of this game,” she thought.

The warm eyed stare caught her eyes and the low whisper caught her ears only, “Learn LT., First you Teach!”

I motioned for her to follow and moved till we were out of hearing range of the others. “OK, couple of levels here. First, I know you can organize. Question is can anyone else in that crowd; this construction is a great training exercise. Second, we really do need to find a big Slizzard and not for the boots I owe Travis. There was a Science Fiction series of books based on the old Starfire game series that had an off world creature called a Doomwhale. It was the source of endless medical miracles. According to Mariana the Slizzard could make it look like a second rate piker. If I let this one bleed out on the ground I am going be walking funny for weeks. If you get first shot at a big one put two of those HE’s right between its ugly eyes, don’t hesitate. If I get first shot, get a pressure tie around the neck as fast as possible. I have point, let’s go!”

Jaisa

We had not gone 100 yards when I realized that this man was almost as quiet as Chavez. I watched the way he moved; it was not Sin’s smooth flowing grace, it was hard taught care and control. Uncle Gabe had told me once that killing was not all there was to being a Warrior; I was watching a real Warrior in action. He would beat you with his mind, with his training or his beating bleeding heart if necessary. That mountain called Angel had told me, “I will never be more than the top NCO; I hope someday you can meet the real Officer!” As I concentrated to move as quietly and as fast as the Chameleon clad figure in front of me I thought, “Oh, I have Gabe; I damn sure have!” We moved for about a mile when he suddenly stopped and his left hand waved me forward. He gestured with his gloved hands at the claw marks on the tree in front of us. Indicating the vertical size he mouthed, “Bigger!”

As he motioned for me to un-sling the Tavor we moved forward with him on the right and me on the left. We had only gone about another 250 yards when the brush erupted with the biggest set of teeth I had ever seen. I was already fast slinging the 7.62 to my shoulder when I saw the thing, but had only just started to pull the trigger when the world exploded. I am here to tell you that being 20 feet away from a .50 going off was not my favorite experience.

The Slizzard’s head just disappeared in a cloud of vapor, and I was running forward. Grabbing a piece of strapping off of my pack, I tried to pull a tourniquet type constraint on the open neck. I was unable to get it tight enough till a big boot landed on the neck and grabbed the end of the strap.

Slamming his boot down and grabbing the strap Andy pulled for all he was worth. He grunted as he pulled, “Dammit Gabe, where are you when I need you?” With one last jerk the liquid flow stopped.

Andy

I looked at the figure grasping the improvised stop and said, “Not bad Candidate, you were about 2 milliseconds from getting off a shot. Best I’ve seen since your Uncle. Now I am going to get this sucker back to Mariana. Gonna have to steal R. Nug to help me get this sucker back, he’s 26 feet if he’s an inch. Get the troops home before dark. Be ready to work up here for several days. You will hit some rock in your digging; Joe or I will come up here and use the rock removal as an Explosives Training Class. I have to get the clinic extension started. You think you are up to it Candidate?”

She looked me right in the eyes and replied, “Yes, but why this push?”

I grinned and replied, “Right Question Young Candidate, I just expended something we can not yet replace. Tell me, what does a modern Ammunition Plant need to exist?”

Jai stared for a moment and said, “Power, right?”

“Logistics, Young Candidate are what makes the world go around. Remember, first, you have to build it. See you at Hanna’s tonight.” With that, I started giving orders to R. Nug over the wrist comp.

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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