Gaining the Foothold

July 7, 2016

Wow, has it been a long time since I’ve had the time to write anything on here. News first, then the short story which is a snippet from my latest novel. I’ve titled this tiny little portion “Gaining the Foothold.”

  1. Fractal Space is basically complete. I received the proof today and now begins the process of reading through it to make sure the cover and pages look exactly the way I want it. If time permits, we’ll be just weeks away from publication!
  2. I’m 50,000 words into the sequel of Fractal Space. There’s no title yet but I’m excited to follow Brokk’s story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
  3. I’ve started to feel guilty about not returning to write the sequel to Trials. I’m excited to say that it’s coming; the prologue and first chapter are done!

I hope you enjoy this little snippet from the sequel to Fractal Space. If the text gives you an idea for a title, I’d love to hear it!!

 


Gaining the Foothold

 

Hatches hissed white plumes of oxygen and carbon dioxide as metal screeched against metal. Sizzling could be heard beyond the copper and lead shield that protected Masai and his company of Raiders from the immense heat of lasers cutting through the steel exterior of the space port. A heads-up display in his pressurized combat helmet indicated the breach would be ready to rush through in twenty seconds. A lot could happen in twenty seconds.
Masai felt a nudge against the back of his space suit and twisted his body awkwardly to look back. A fat red face, coated in sweat stared back at him through an amber tinted visor. “We’ve still got fifteen seconds before we do anything and you’re already sweating?” Masai joked through his helmet’s radio system.
“Give me a break,” panted Mayo, the number two man in the stack. “I don’t think my climate control is working well in here.”
“You better have my back,” Masai growled. He knew Mayo did. Masai was hot too and each of them were about fifty pounds heavier than the next biggest guy in the company. They didn’t get their position because of speed. The first two guys through a door or the hull of a ship were bullet magnets. The thicker the man going through, the fewer bullets traveled through him and into the next man on the team. Seize the foothold, their commander would growl. I don’t care how you die after the foothold, but you had better get us through that door and into the next room!
And they did, time and time again Masai and Mayo got their company into the next room, established a foothold to build up fighting power with the rest of the company and won the ship.
His heads up display blinked quickly. Five seconds. Go time. Masai gripped his rifle and took the weapon off its safety, selecting the fully automatic feature that allowed him to send six hundred and forty three rounds into the enemies fighting position before he had to throw in a new drum.
His shoulders ached, body rigid, slight rock back, work up the momentum. One second. The steal hull of the space station slammed down and his own lead and copper shield suddenly vanished. Push forward. He felt light as a feather running as fast as he could through the smoke that concealed the gap in the breached hull. Hot orange steal, melted at the frame still glowed around the edges as he pushed forward. Flashes of light and bullets from enemy defenders snapped past him, slamming into the metal walls of their boarding bay behind them.
Through the door, turn right. Follow the wall. His heads up display illuminated three combatants which he held down his trigger on until they fell to the ground. More shooting now behind and in front of him. A grenade rolled to his feet, which he kicked away just in time to watch explode in a flash of light. His helmet tinted black protect his vision and his suit blocked the concussive boom that would have left him stunned and disoriented.

Another target, another ten round burst, enough to penetrate the armor of the enemy suit and tear through flesh.
Hit the corner, swivel left, stay along the wall. The room was longer than he thought it would be and opened up into a wide bay that held boxes of supplies and wheeled vehicles to carry the equipment throughout the station. Smoke cleared and his helmet couldn’t find any more targets in his sector. “Clear,” Masai shouted, which was soon echoed by Mayo and about twelve other voices.
“Push to the next chamber,” his commander calmly said through his radio.
No time to rest, and suddenly Masai was aware of his heavy breathing and profuse sweating. His head felt clammy and his fingers were cold. He noticed a red warning light flashing at the upper left of his display. Suddenly the arm of his suit tightened and compressed against his flesh. A needle stabbed him in the leg. Adrenaline; he’d been shot. Losing blood. Keep going, take the next room, but he couldn’t, and before his left foot struck the ground he was falling backwards into his own induced abyss.

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