His Mountain of Death

“Alright squad we’re just going through the numbers, just like training, if you keep your head you’ll get to sleep in your bunk soon enough.” The sergeant’s voice came in clear over Simon’s headset, everywhere he looked a virtual hud was displayed with data feeds and gauges superimposed over the vid feeds from outside of his battlesuit. He was in a trench peaking out over a no-mans land of razor wire, mines and craters along with the other dozen troopers in his squad. He was wondering if any of the others were quaking in their boots.

The battlesuit was a standard model, he had a rocket pod and a rail gun and a good inch of super advanced armoured alloys and artificial muscles between him and the toxic smog of the battlefield, apparently someplace in what was once China. He checked the gauges for his ammo again, then the o2 scrubbers, and then the generator, it must have been the thousandth time today. All in the green. Besides the occasional uplifting speech from the sergeant, the troopers exchanged jokes and begged for the enemy to hurry up. How long had they been waiting for some action?

Then his recon gear lit up, his heart skipped a beat, then. “Sergeant, seismic just went off the chart.” his eyes flicked from menu to menu.

“Distance soldier.” The sergeant’s voice level and professional with a slice of lemon and ice.

“Two klicks, closing fast, they’ll be here in moments.” His voice had a tinge of panic to it, slightly to shrill, he focused on the readouts to drown out the doubt in his mind.

“Well troopers, time to test your metal.” As the sergeant spoke the blinding white flash followed by deafening booms of tactical nuclear mines erupting in no-mans land. Cheers went up from his squad mates, chatter about the awesome might of the nuclear detonations. A second past as his vid feed regained clarity, another few moments passed, he began to smile, was that it? Then they began to emerge, probably ones from further back who had avoided the full blast of the mines.

Grotesque insect-like things, all claws, teeth and muscle.

“Raptors!” One of his comrades shouted.

“Let them eat tungsten kids.” Sergeant commanded. Everyone let loose, he wasn’t short on targets and fired into the swarm. Screeching sounds coming from the armoured monstrosities as they sped towards them at blistering speed. His could hear the roar of the rail guns and support Gatling cannons. The shouts and whoops of his team members. He glanced at the recon gear, 500 meters, laying down more fire, 400 meters, still firing, 300 meters, the hundreds had seemed to become thousands, the sounds of spent cartridges being expelled from cannons, the boastful shouts becoming more concerned, less chatter. More firing, 200 meters.

“Recon bring in fire on the line 50 meters!”

“Yes sir, fire support requesting fire at marked location, overwhelming swarm.” He shouted into the comms on the support channel.

“Fire support incoming trooper.”

Suddenly a blast of red and gore exploded from Anderson’s helmet, he twisted and could clearly see the gore oozing from what had been Anderson’s skull. He felt his trousers go damp and warm, the fear clenched around his every being.

“Fuck me.” He exclaimed to himself. Whizzing sounds were all around him now, the beasts were firing razor disks. He poured fire into the mass that was almost at the line, raptors leapt over the pilled corpses of their fellow beasts, bloodthirsty shrill screeches. Then the whistling of shells overhead and more blinding explosions. Peterson screamed a raptors claw wedged through his torso, its jaw closing over his battlesuits head. Simon turned and fired shredding the creature. Dozens more came over the top, he pulled out his powered chain sword, another beast landed on Peterson’s corpse and opened his suit like a can of tomatoes, guts, blood and shit spraying over the trench. The melee became a gruesome affair that they were sorely outmatched in, raptor gore oozed and mixed with the eviscerated remains of his comrades, limbs strewn left and right. The red mist of battle rage, he’d not noticed as the syringes sunk into his neck filling him with an uncontrolled bloodlust.

“KILL” was the only thing that flashed through his throbbing chaotic mind, beast after beast fell into the pit with him and he tore them limb by limb like a crazed child with a crane fly but the swarm didn’t slow. From his mountain of death, he turned to look out over no-mans land once more where he saw monstrous giants like titans of legend except formed of twisted flesh, faces of men and women in twisted agony across their bloated torsos. Then as the beasts fell upon him in a hateful frenzy the world went from red to white, then to black.