Ch8: Leather Clad Soldiers

Chapter Eight: Leather Clad Soldiers

Everyone moved in as Thorim undid the mask from the figures head. Four buckles traversed down the front side of the mask which he had to undo individually before pulling away the leather flap. A lifeless face starred at them, but it lacked the familiarity of the planets traditional inhabitants. Or at least it failed to match the description of what they had been lead to believe the inhabitants looked like.
The figures face carried a resemblance to the planet’s inhabitants, but it looked mutilated and deformed. It wasn’t necessarily due to deformity at birth, but rather due to battle. This creature carried battle scars which would have left most beings Arius knew of incapable of combat. An incorrectly healed jaw, butchered nose, and plenty of scars added detail to the face.
“He’s been through a lot,” Brockumus commented.
“Is it a native?” asked Ruekrow. “Or is it the biological entity that our intel mentioned?”
“I’m going to take a guess,” replied Thorim. “It’s probably not the original inhabitants of this world. Rather, it’s the thing responsible for throwing this world into a dystopian age.”
“What do you think they are?” asked Dueson. “Where did they come from?”
“All I know is what our intel gave us,” Thorim replied. “We should find our contact. He will be able to give us more answers.”
“We’ll have to move fast,” Jayvolni said. “This place will be brimming with these things as soon as they discover them dead.”
“Then we head for Gray Tower now,” Thorim said. “Take their weapons and any ammunition you can carry.”
The group broke off and began to strip the bodies. Arius grabbed several more clips for his newly obtained rifle and placed them into his bag. Moving back to one of the bodies down the hall he grabbed a handgun from its side as well as its leg holster. He had lost all his supplies except for his bag during the crash, so he found a certain kind of relief once he was armed again.
They left through the front door and past the cruiser with only a moment’s glance. Cruiser would provide fast transportation, but it would also be easier to spot. They would continue on foot as they had been; keeping to the shadows where they could easily hide.
By noon they were following the forest line across the hills which swell up from the earth east of the building. The map they had seen earlier depicted Gray Tower toward the southeastern corner of the island which couldn't be more than a couple miles away. The island was small; the building being at its highest point had revealed the entirety of it. As soon as these unknown entities discovered their dead team, there would be hardly a place to hide. Arius realized the seriousness of the situation, and knew they would have to find a way off of the island soon.
“Sir,” Grem called, from ahead. He pointed to the building which lay far behind them.
They looked to the west where the sun now bore straight upon the house. Shadows would be short at this time of day. A distant hum began to roar across the distant hill where the building sat as a large aircraft settled past the house. Arius could see the grass under it dispersing outward as the gust from the double rotor machine neared the ground. It looked heavily armored, a rotor disk was to either side of it, and a door slid open upon its side. A dozen leather clad soldiers hit the ground and hurried to the building. It would only be a matter of time before the island was overrun by them.
Across the next hill the group found themselves in a shallow ravine. The building could no longer be seen, but over the next ridge the tip of a Gray Tower emerged from the distant trees.
“There it is,” someone announced.
“Make haste,” Thorim returned.
They started over the ridge before descending back into the trees, and only Arius halted at its edge. He peered toward the Gray Tower which was now visible. Could their contact really be there?
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Dueson said, coming up from behind him.
Arius glanced toward him before returning, “As do I.” 

Thanks for reading this weeks chapter, and be sure to stop by next Saturday for Chapter Nine. Also, check my book, Ground of Oam.

Buy Ground of Oam on Kindle here, 
Buy in paperback here.


Post a Comment