Friday, August 17, 2012

FFF: Nest Raider


Every Friday Kurt is posting a new bit of original Flash Fiction. This week...

Nest Raider
Word Count: 598


“Skies are clear,” said Davis’s voice in the headset.

Fletcher climbed up from his perch on the fire escape and hoisted himself onto the building’s roof. He rolled into a crouch and looked around for sentinels. The beasties always left a few behind to guard the eggs.

He saw them at the far end. There were three of them, leathery wings folded around their sleek purple bodies. They were alert, but looking for threats from above and hadn’t noticed him yet. Fletcher switched on his rifle’s laser and pointed the small beam of light at the creatures, shining it on a monstrous talon.

“Three bogies,” he whispered into his headset. “Painted.”

“I see them,” said Davis. “Deploying nerve agent.” In the distance, Fletcher could hear a tiny foomp. After about fifteen seconds, a canister landed among the creatures. A cloud of smoke burst from it, and almost immediately the three creatures had fallen over and begun to twitch violently.

“Bogies are down,” said Fletcher.

“Roger that,” said Davis. “I’m on my way. Extraction in three minutes. Good hunting.”

“Three minutes, check,” said Fletcher, running along the target area. The smoke had already cleared enough that it wouldn’t hurt him, but he planned on avoiding that section of the roof, regardless. Those monsters could cut a human in half without trying. Even incapacitated, they made him nervous. He unfolded a sack from his backpack, large enough to carry four or five people. He went to the nearest clutch of eggs and began stuffing them into it. When that clutch was empty, he went to the next. Each egg was about the size and shape of a basketball, but they were as heavy as a pitcher of water and stank to high Heaven.

“They just took down the last decoy,” said Davis through the headset. “Bogies incoming.”

“That was quick,” said Fletcher. “Are we going to make it?”

“It’ll be tight,” said Davis, “but we should be okay. Just don’t waste any time when I arrive.”

“ETA?”

“Sixty seconds,” said Davis.

Fletcher looked west and could barely make out a Chinook gliding over the dead city. He finished loading up the clutch at his feet and started binding the sack of eggs. It was important that no smell escape, or else the beasts would be able to track the helicopter.

Davis’ Chinook approached, two lines dangling from underneath it. Once the lines were within reach, Fletcher hooked one into the sack of eggs and the second to himself. Fletcher checked the skies. No sign of the creatures. They were in the clear.

“Attached,” said Fletcher. “Let’s get out of here.” The helicopter rose gently. Fletcher’s line tightened, pulling him towards the body of the craft. He took off his outer layer of clothing—which had soaked up a great deal of the eggs’ scent—and tossed it down to the roof below.

Within a minute he was in the Chinook and they were out of the city.

“Welcome aboard,” said Davis. “Thirty-six minutes to the target.”

“Which is it this time?”

Davis paused. “Denver,” he said at last. They would fly over the heart of that city and drop the eggs. The eggs would break. And then the creatures would come, and that city would die.

Fletcher nodded, his eyes empty.

“You got people there?” asked Davis.

“No,” said Fletcher. “I just hate losing another city to those things.”

“Me too,” said Davis. “But don’t worry. This war will be over soon. After we finish killing each other, maybe then we can figure out how to kill the monsters.”

Edited by Carolyn Abram

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