Which story do you find most gripping

Number 1
4 (80%)
Number 2
1 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 4

Voting closed: June 14, 2007, 01:48:06 PM

Author Topic: Voting. Challenge 29  (Read 1773 times)

Offline bob414bob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1901
  • Learn to spell, it helps!
Voting. Challenge 29
« on: June 10, 2007, 01:48:07 PM »
Number 1


Jordan breathed in – hard.  The harder he sucked, the less air he seemed to get.  Like a Chinese finger trap, only air.   He looked at the dial … 2,000 millibars.  That wasn’t good – not good at all.

“Can you still hear me Jordan?”  The voice came through his helmet, tinny sounding – concerned and yet reassuring all at the same time.

”Yeah…” that was enough. Save breath.  Don’t talk, listen, keep breathing – keep breathing!

“We’re switching now – you are going to feel a bit odd…”  Oh yeah, that was for sure!

Jordan could feel the liquid climbing up his suit – the pressure rising.  Oh god oh god oh god!  Why had he agreed to this?

“You know this is the only option, don’t you?  No need to speak Jordan, we can see you, use the hand signals we taught you.”

Jordan made the signal for ‘OK’ – finger and thumb circled, to show he could hear - then put two fingers up, to show he understood.

A light laugh came over the intercom.  “We know how you feel Jordan.”  Like hell they did!  He closed his eyes, breathing, breathing, spots dancing in his vision, his upper lip tingling.  The water closed over his head and he floated.

“OK Jordan, you are in suspension, we are ready for stage two… you still with us?”
All they could hear was his rasping breath, his struggle to live, but they saw him nod slowly.  He didn’t have much time, they’d have to do it now.

“Jordan, it’s time to hit release.”  No response – no movement, no sound.
“Jordan, you can do it.”

Inside his head Jordan was watching the last ball game back on earth.  In his head Jordan was tall, strong, proud and bipedal.  In his head Jordan was still human.

“Jordan…” the voice was now cajoling.  He opened his eyes, waved to signal his understanding.  This was it.  With what felt like his last ounce of strength he flipped the release on his suit.  The suit dissolved and the helmet visor flew open, he took a huge, gasping breath and the liquid poured into his lungs.  He tried not to swallow, not to take this last, desperate step for survival – instincts battling.

His head swam, his vision blurred, and he breathed in deeply – the fluid entering his mouth, exiting his gills.  As he reoxygenated, clarity returned to his thoughts. He shoved the last remnants of the helmet from his head and shook himself free of the last vestiges of humanity.  That was better!  As the helmet tumbled slowly to the bottom, he heard strange noises emanating from its transmitter.

“Jordan, it worked!  It worked!  Can you hear us still?”  But the sounds were just noises to him now.  He felt his muscles ripple, felt his skin absorb the fluids around him and felt his body changing.   He swam to the steel door.  With what looked a little like hands, he turned the huge wheel on the airlock and opened it to the ocean beyond. 

Pushing his body through the portal, he left. He swum expertly, feeling no distress whatsoever at the great pressure at this depth.  He left the pod behind.  Jordan was gone.

“It worked – it really worked – but we lost him.”
“Oh yeah, it worked.  But now what are we going to do?”
The experiment, which had neared total failure had, spectacularly, succeeded.  But they’d no way to prove it, no way to follow up on Jordan’s progress as a new species. 

“Now what?”
“Let’s try again.”

And, unconcerned, they returned to work on their next “volunteer”.

Number 2

“You know your firing drill” the Corporal said “The trucks will pull them to the exit roads, you start firing at five hundred yards, no more”
“Yes Corporal!” we chorused
“This is a nasty one” he continued “That’s why we’re spread thin today.  I want maximum concentration and accuracy”
“One shot one kill!” we said
“Target?” he asked, looking up and down the line
“Where else?”
“No other target!”
The sound of the truck drifted towards us, a looped message put through the speakers on the top
‘If you can hear this message’ it said ‘Stay in your homes, do not come out into the open, the Army has the situation under control’ repeated on an infinite loop
“Everyone hear that?”
“Yes Corporal”
“Then why are you all standing there?” he roared, trying to sound like the Sergeant “Firing positions NOW!”

We settled into prone firing ranks and looked down the road.  I brushed the trigger guard and risked a look behind me.  The loaders were holding magazines, looking around and shifting their weight quietly.  The evacuation trucks faced away from us, the backs open for fast embarking in the case of an overrun.  At the end of the line the Corporal pointed down the road, I turned back and looked where I should be.
The bait truck rolled slowly towards us.  Our line was split by the road to let the truck through.  Behind it shuffled a horde.
No one knew where the Zombie virus had come from.  Some said it had come down from high atmosphere on the shuttle, others said it was a bio weapon released accidentally or deliberately, the wrath of God was popular, as was the work of the Devil.  The origin was no longer important to us ordinary soldiers, containing the outbreaks was.  I lined up my sight with the five hundred yard marker and waited for the first zombies to reach it.  Slowly, but inevitably they did.

Twenty men with specially designed semi automatic rifles can make a lot of kills at five hundred yards, if you can count a zombie as a ‘Kill’.  You need a semi automatic to conserve ammunition and help your aiming, the last thing you want to face a zombie horde with is an empty gun.  We made a lot of kills.  Men, women, children.  Butchers, bakers, teachers, drivers.  Loaders walked forwards, bringing fresh magazines as we called for them and took the empties away to be reloaded.  The radio operators murmured in the background, keeping communication between all four positions, updating each other, listening for disaster.  At four hundred yards the horde had thinned considerably, behind it the ground was thick with corpses.  Unmoving ones.  The last zombie fell at about three hundred yards. 

We lay in our positions , waiting for the Corporal to confirm that the other three positions were secure and watching for any latecomers or any survivors that couldn’t handle waiting in their homes.
“All Clear!” the Corporal shouted.  A sigh of relief went through the line.
“Form up into sweep patterns” he said “House to House clearance time”
House to House.  Looking for zombies that couldn’t follow the bait trucks.  Zombies in dark places, tight places, hidden places.  Zombies shut in buildings or in vehicles.  In cellars, barns and garages. 

House to House, the worst part.  I pat my sidearm.  Another specially designed gun for zombie outbreaks.  Large calibre, single shot, no magazine.  For use in a no win situation.  Not something you need in a fixed position with transport trucks ready to go.  Something you need when you open up a school gymnasium and find a class of zombie children at the doors overwhelming your squad.  A weapon to use when you’re surrounded, when they’re too close, when you’re trapped.  Put it under your chin and pull the trigger.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 09:24:08 AM by CarrieSheppard »

Offline bob414bob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1901
  • Learn to spell, it helps!
Re: STICKY: Voting. Challenge 29
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 05:11:48 PM »
And the winner is ....... Carrie Sheppard. Well done Carrie, not bad for something you just bashed out. ;)

Offline CarrieSheppard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4271
  • All it took was a visit to AZ...
    • My blog pages
Re: STICKY: Voting. Challenge 29
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2007, 05:33:04 PM »
Eeek!  I guess I'd better set challenge 30 then...