Of Thoughts and Swords

A blog about Science, Philosophy, Wargaming, Literature and other things, in three or more languages.

Story Time: Infinity A Caledonian Tale 2 (Descent)

I still haven´t come round to finish the third part, but I hopefully will soon. So for you enjoyment part 2.

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Descent

A single bird was circling over the site. Reflecting on the blue surface his shape appeared to be just another cloud in the sky, albeit a black one. Around the loch large mostly barren trees reached upwards, only the conifers still wore green at this time of year. Looking over the shimmering water Sorcha saw Dwayne moving up one of these. The old man moved up the tree with ease.

Below him she saw another shape moving through the bushes. According to Murdag this was her buddy Kenneth, he moved fast with the heavy weapon on his back.

 

Trailing her sight to the right Sorcha laid eyes on her enemies. Not far from the water there was a clear space within the trees. Inside she saw the boxy form of what Murdag had called a cloaked offworld transit shuttlecraft and two tents. She growled at the thought that these bastards have been stealing her clans Teseum.

“Bheil they there yet?”

Sinneag was eager to jump the intruders throats´, Sorcha didn´t blame her. Still she had kept her at her side instead of sending her with Aodhan, Neil and Muir for the flank march. There were only so many people Sinneag would listen to.

“Give ´em some more time. Liath ain´t much good to us without a good position.”

The Highlander acknowledged that grudgingly. Sorcha slid down behind the ridge and faced Murdag.

 

“Where again from did ya say these bastards came?”

Murdag did not take her eyes from the sight of her rifle as she answered.

“As far as we know they are citizens of Yu Jing and worked for a mining consortium called Terra Maxa, before they went rogue.”

“So these are something like professional ore stealers then?”

“Something like that, yes.”

“Well, they picked the wrong lode to steal from.”

No one argued that with the Highlander.

 

Sorcha took up her glasses again and searched for the other three. The first thing she spotted was Aodhans blond mane. Waiting behind a hill to the right of the thiefs´ camp all of them were ready to spring hell upon the intruders. Trailing back to her left she found Dwayne lodged in position aiming with his sniper rifle.

“Ready. Liath is in position.”

“Finally.”

Clipping two grenades from her belt Sorcha looked first at Sinneag, who had mirrored the move, and the at the Scots Guard.

“Don´t screw up.”

The first shot fell.

 

Flipping away the lever of her first grenade Sorcha waited two more seconds before throwing it over the ridge. Sinneag followed suit. The explosions were numb and the two of them jumped up at once.

Skidding to a halt at the first row of trees they heard Murdag firing. Screams, shouts and more gunfire came from before. She hurled her next grenade straight through the dark blotch of smoke before her. Sinneag did the same. They grinned at each other as some bullets flew past them through the screen.

She withdrew her blade from its´ scabbard. Once more the Highlander followed suit.

“Airaghardt!”

“Airaghardt!”

 

The smoke swallowed them. Everything seemed damper all of the sudden even the sounds. She could barely see the ground but she knew where to tread. A scream reached her ear.

With a rash movement she brought up her pistol and fired into the direction. The scream returned. Sorcha laughed.

 

Still laughing she emerged into the light again. A hail of bullets welcomed her. Some pain to the shoulder was all it brought her. Pumping bullets into the first shape before her Sorcha never broke her stride till she crashed into it. Falling she lost her pistol to grab the mans´ collar. Landing atop of him she hit him in the face. Blood splattered beneath Sorchas´ fist and he went limp.

Someone crashed into her going down in a clutter of limbs she cursed loudly. Something hard stopped their roll.

 

“Get a grip, Gorm!”

“What do you jump me for, Sinneag!”

Bullets filled the air.

“That for!”

“Well.”

More bullets impacted on the crates behind them. Sinneag laughed.

“What do you smile at?”

“They try to shot us throuch Teseum.”

Sorcha looked up at their cover. The incomparable gleam of the Caledonian gold was visible beneath the damage. Both laughed even louder.

 

The sounds of battle abated and where replaced by a whining noise. Curious Sorcha gleamed around the corner. The engine of the shuttle started to spit flames. Leaving behind the battered bodies of their fellow thiefs, the last ones tried to flee.

“Bastards!”

Loudly yelling she jumped up and fired her whole clip at the thing. To her right she heard the bellow of Aodhans shotgun but even that hardly left a scratch at the thing. Slowly it lifted itself from the ground.

A wave of heat washed over them, as it took to the skies. Sorcha started running.

 

Almost tripping over a body she ran around the loch, shouting at the top of her lung. A shadow fell on her as the shuttle passed above her. She cursed the damned fool, when he saw the Scots Guard emerging from his latest hideout. With a fiery flash he fired. Time slowed somewhat.

 

The missile impacted on one of the engines with a bright explosion.

The shuttle took a downturn, flames sprouting from the inside. It hit the ground shortly behind the lochs other shore. For a moment nothing happened than it exploded. Sorcha snouted satisfied.

Turning around she took a closer look at the battlefield.

 

Half a dozen bodies lay around on the small clearing, some of them still moving and moaning. Beside the tents there only were two bunches of crates and a small hole in the ground. Aodhan and the other two just were descending into the clearing. As planned the intruders hadn´t been prepared for a three way assault.

“Bàn, take Sinneag agus Neil to check the wreckage. Muir help me with these bastards.”

The Highlander nodded eagerly, she could see that he was upset to only have shot during this battle.

“You are bleeding Gorm.”

She looked at her shoulder.

“So are you Bàn, we take care of that later.”

He nodded and left.

By now the two Scots Guard and Dwayne arrived at the scene.

“Got some cuffs?”

Murdag held up a bunch. She proceeded to administer them.

Now Sorcha had a chance to look at Kenneth Daly, the second Scots Guard. He was the same height as Murdag. Not much was to be seen beneath his camouflage coat but his blue eyes sat in a gaunt face of about thirty winters.

“Good shot.”

“Well obliged Sorcha McLaoch. It took me a moment to realise you wanted them shot down.”

“Why wouldn´t I? The Teseum they stole won´t be scratched by such little fireworks?”

“There was the matter of tracking them to their base of operations though.”

Sorcha turned to Murdag.

“Well you can let them steal your treasure next time then.”

 

She walked over to one of the still breathing bodies and kicked. With a yelp the man returned to consciousness.

“Besides you have your prisoners.”

Sorcha kneeled down in front of the man. He still was bleeding from a wound in his arm and moaned loudly. Grabbing his collar she forced his head around. Looking into these slit eyes she saw fear. He knew what was in store for him.

“You despoiled the lands of the McLaochs agus stole our ore. You will stand trial for this. Anything to say?”

He blurted some long sentences Sorcha didn´t understand a word of it.

“Great. Did you understand that gibberish?”

“Nope, but back in Scone we have people who can.”

“So now you want to carry all of them bak to your place. Is that it?”

 

Murdag didn´t answer right away as Muir pointed to the hole in the ground.

“Gorm, there micht be more of them down there.”

Sorcha marched over to him.

“Hear anything?”

Muir just shook his head. She looked at the crates again.

“They sure have found a nice lode down there.”

“Micht even be larger than the one bak in the village.”

“Hmm, still we blow it up.”

Muir growled but went to find some explosives.

“Shouldn´t your father make this call?”

“My father is in Scone richt now, Sergeant Kipling. As long as this is the case the care of our clan falls to me. This is too far out agus too near the Antipode border to be safe for my people. Now grab your prisoners we return to our village. You are our guests for the nicht”

 

Sorcha could see how Murdag was weighing her options. Probably she could call in an extraction shuttle or something to be on her way, but you think twice before turning down Caledonian hospitality.

“Alright. Kenneth, let´s patch up the prisoners. We move out in one.”

“Understood.”

 

 The three others returned from the wreckage around the time Muir had found something to blow up the hole with. Dwayne took away the explosives from the Highlander and got to work. Aodhan was the first to speak.

 

“All dead, but several pounds of ore in the wreckage, Gorm.”

“Too much to carry?”

“Yes.”

“Liath!”

“A second, quine.”

 

With a loud crack the hole collapsed unto itself. Smoke and debris floated around for a moment.

Sorcha cleared her throat again.

“Liath. You take Neil agus Sinneag to guard this place. The rest of us head bak, we send the boys for you richt away.”

The old soldier just nodded and marched off to one of the tents. Neil and Sinneag followed.

She looked after them.

“How did he do, Bàn?”

“Well enouch. What about you. Still charging like a Wulver, I see.”

She raised her arms.

“I learned from you.”  “Did it work?”

“Yeah, they shat their pants.”

“Hmm, at least they learned one word Caledonian before coming here.”

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2014 by in Sci-Fi, Writing and tagged , , .
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