The sky was quickly turning to the midnight blue that loomed like a malicious shadow. Already the bright white lights of the small complex spilled out onto the landing slip and the rest of the complex. Everybody had become beset on four sides by distorted shadows of themselves.
The chewed up metal that resembled a Spectre aircraft had hit the ground hard, breaking a landing strut. Holes the size of fists dotted along the armour, even stippling the cockpit and cracking the window. The cockpit was a mess for the one pilot whose head had exploded like a large, spoiled fruit. Their co-pilot was fine, as the medical team was seeing, and she weakly waved them away before climbing out of her own accord. Her independence was short lived, and she fell under weak legs, causing a nurse to try to catch her, wiping them in the blood that speckled the living pilot.
As for the other Spectre, it looked little better than its sister craft. Metal was torn and twisted but it appeared as if the armour wasn’t penetrated despite the paint that flaked away from the craters and dents made by the arms fire.
Sparek watched the individuals who came in dribs and drabs from the bird – the ragtag motley crews of bandages and plasters, crutches and makeshift splints hobbled and walked down the ramp. Before this two gurneys were trollied out and rushed away by the whitecoats who were on call this evening. From the sound of it, some were pulled off of their lieu time too. People were still picking themselves up and leaving the dropships when the colonel decided to leave for his appointed billet.
Sparek felt late as it was and could get the appropriate information on this from others when they’re not being seen to by the medical staff.
Voldojo, a sergeant and medic, was a long standing member of the 9th Marines and was a marine longer than either Sparek or Clara. Despite being a sergeant, he wasn’t always deployed in operations since he was usually stationed at a triage hospital that the 9th were attached to in preparation for any of the operations that they were involved in. This was why he was here. When not tending to 9th patients, Voldojo actively aided those personnel from other units who were wounded or ill.
Since the members of the 9th Marines who were a part of Operation Elanor were treated and seen to, he resumed his activity. Voldojo was once begrudging of Sparek for his climbing through the ranks, so when the colonel ordered the sergeant to tend to the wounded and to the aid of other regiments his irritation was obvious. Since then Voldojo continued with his orders with mysteriously decreasing complaint.
The medic strode over to the broken Spectre’s rear hatch, placing his wrists on people to deftly guide them out of his way as they walked towards him. He kept his hands tucked into his chest for the most part, with his palms inward. It was a curious trait which he’d developed from both being a surgeon and a developing arthritis. He told no one, but he imagined that it would become the end to his surgical career.
In a universe where bionics and augmentations were as common as dirt, anybody who knew of Voldojo’s insistence on keeping his original biology would find his lack of them unusual. Voldojo had his reasons and he wasn’t alone in this.
Reaching the end of the tide of people Voldojo had managed to find no patients for himself. The fifteen or so whom had come from the craft were all seen to by other medical staff and the ones who were walking were, as he’d deemed them, not severe enough for his attention. He stopped at the base of the ramp and peered into the space of the spectre aircraft.
What stood there was a silhouette, or at first he’d thought that, but he quickly became aware that the shadow itself was a humanoid standing before him in the rear hatchway. She, for her thin frame suggested female to him, was pure black in colour, from her skin to her clothing and from her hair to her lips and pupils. Voldojo squinted his sharp features for a moment, and in that space his eyes became smaller than the glasses on his pointed face. He saw the darker shades of the shadows on the black surfaces and the distinctly slender rifle slung from a feminine frame’s shoulders.
There was something different about this soldier. This human had undergone enough physical changes to appear so different than the others here. Their skin pigment – if it was even skin anymore – and the irises had been changed to a matt black. For all that Voldojo had known about them anything could be altered beneath that.
Voldojo drew back his upper lip, licked his teeth and flexed his fingers as the augment looked him straight in the eyes. He couldn’t tell if it was even doing that, for the eyes were jet black and just another three dimensional shape that was manufactured to replace the true, original appearance of the homosapien. The medic licked his teeth again, this time beneath his lips.
The humanoid angled its head to the side, not taking the stare from him, and gestured with the dull metal grey case in its left hand. The transhuman spoke quickly and matter-of-factly, and identified him quickly.
“Voldojo, sergeant, 9th Marines.”
The aug knew who he was, there was no mistake about that. “This package is for the attention of Colonel Nifelheim of the 9th Marines.” The tone wasn’t metallic but the subject spoke to the point, leaving no room for interpretation.
“Who’s the sender?” Voldojo made a disgusted note that the cog hadn’t blinked yet. His own squint could have been a scowl in that moment.
“Colonel Rengel of the 502nd Airborne.” There was brief silence as the androgynous one stood still, looking at the sergeant, still unblinking. The silence registered. “If they are not here then I will continue looking.”
“Colonel Rengel is your CO?” asked Voldojo, interrupting the aug’s departure. The reply was a curt, precise nod with silent hydraulics. His immediate instinct was to protest and be rid of the thing but the sooner that this was done the sooner that he could be rid of this mechanical monstrosity from the area. He sneered as he turned from the spectre, intending it to follow. Voldojo’s lips and nostrils twisted at the movement. “The colonel is in the western modules. I’ll take you there.”
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– by Kier Sparey
© Kier Sparey 2015