(aka The Adventures of the Losers)
by Miles Rost
Their makeshift hideout was compromised.
They knew that there were going to be many enemy agents and mercenary troops outside waiting for them. Their only way of getting out of there was to fight there way to a vehicle that would be waiting for them in camouflage, and try to make it to the edge of the city. If they could make it to the bridge on the far end, they could trap the troops inside the city and make their escape.
Former Gunnery Sergeant M.D. Parkinson, known to everyone as “Park”, was an expert shot with rifles, shotguns, positronic rifles, direct energy weapons, and the occasional acerbic pun. He was in the corner of the building nearest to the door, “suiting up”. Each part of his body had some sort of name attached to it. Beretta on his right arm, Ruger on his left, Claymore on his belt, just to name a few.
Claire “June” Fujima was a Chinese-trained Japanese militia member, who had emigrated to this part of the United States to help out in getting people out of tough situations. She was in the other corner near the door, using lasers to sharpen both katana. She would carry shurikens on her belt and mini stun grenades on in her hair, in her earrings, on her necklace, pretty much anywhere you could put jewelry. Her skills with the katana, a dual wielder, were considered lethal to those who knew her.
Combined with computer technician and resident media Simon “Skullcap” Ramsey, the three were on the run. They were charged with crimes from the murder of military officials and bail jumping, to treason and crimes against the empire of the new Western Government. In reality, the reason they were being pursued so heavily were due to their tendency to expose multiple nefarious schemes of the Western president and members of his military.
The Western Government stretched from the Mississippi and the St. Croix rivers all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The bombed out hideout where they were located was right on the border at Clinton, Iowa. If they were able to make it across the river, they would be in safe territory with the Canadian-American government, which held territories from Alberta on east to Ontario, and all of the Eastern United States.
“Ready to go with this, June?” Park asked, as he moved to the door.
“Run like hell, attack when we can, and do what’s necessary to keep Skullcap going,” she replied, putting the newly sharpened katana in her sheath with a “sh-tick”.
Skullcap, with his iPads strapped to the front of his body and covered with protective armor, looked a bit green. Park put his hand on his shoulder and whispered to him.
“You’ll do fine. Remember, you’re with us. We’ve taken on the Western forces before, and we’ve come out on top. You’re safe with us.”
“I wish we could just teleport there. You know how I hate dealing with violence,” he said, the green slowly creeping up his neck.
They all stood on one side of the door, getting themselves ready to run.
They counted slowly, waiting for the right possible moment.
Park’s grip on the door handle was tight.
June’s hand was ready to push Skullcap out the door.
Park pulled the door open quickly, and flew out the door. Firing off a few rounds from his Baretta, he provided cover for June and Skullcap, who bolted out from behind him.
All three ran quickly down the stone and rock path, the groomed low hedges allowing them a view of the mercenaries that were positioned to take them down.
On Park’s side, he ran with all the force that his feet could take him. The one-two marching sound of his shoes crunching under his feet was only punctuated by the rounds he fired off. As the opponents came forth, each one crumpled into a heap at the hedges, blood oozing from each of the wounds. He pulled a grenade from his belt with his free hand and put it in his mouth, his teeth holding the pin. As the mag emptied, he discharged it and slapped in a new one, without skipping a beat.
On June’s side, she unsheathed her katana and kept running behind Skullcap. With a sickening look of glee on her face, she spun both katana around like fan blades, chopping and slicing the approaching mercenaries with reckless abandon. Occasionally, when the katana wouldn’t work, she would punch the offender in the nose, sending bone fragments into their brain and them flying into the bushes.
A break in the action allowed them a chance to gain speed and run as fast as they could towards the end of the property and a small bridge that crossed a small gully. At the end of the bridge, however, stood 15 armed mercenaries who were looked like they weren’t having any of it. Skullcap slowed down, allowing June to pass him and jump high up in the air. At the same time as she jumped, Park pulled the pin from the grenade and tossed it in the air towards the 15 guards.
The grenade sailed past June and into the face of one of the guards, who had a millisecond to react before it took his entire head off. As the fragments blew through some of the guards, June’s fan blade attack shredded those who happened to be near where she landed, the bullets that were fired against her bounding off the katana like armor.
Of the 15 at the bridge, only one would make it out alive, and he couldn’t do anything as his arm was sliced off. Skullcap kept running, with Park helping him along with a burst of speed through the gore that was left over.
They looked ahead, noting the absence of mercenaries or troops. They kept running down the greenway until they heard a “beep beep.”
“Benny’s here!” Park yelled out to June and Skullcap.
For the first time in the entire adventure, Skullcap’s greenness started to subside. As they finally reached the car, Benny smiled.
“Ready to head for East Clinton, Illinois?”
They jumped into the converted 1971 Oldsmobile 442, it’s top cut off and the back and trunk gutted for ease of munitions storage. As Skullcap lowered his head under the dashboard and proceed to hide from view, Benny jammed the gear and punched out. The old car tore out of the park area and headed straight down 8th Street.
“If we don’t encounter civ traffic, and we can keep the Westies off our back for the next three miles, we should be able to make it into Illinois,” Benny called back.
“Just drive. If something gets in your way, run it down. You’ve got pure steel in your grasp.” Park barked back, as he readied a mounted gatling gun on the back. June sat on his right, ready to mow down any foot patrols with her katana.
They tore down the street, accelerating into high speeds. As they approached downtown, three or four jeeps full of mercenaries pulled in close behind them. Park aimed the gatling gun and proceeded to fire in a spray at them, gritting his teeth all the while. The 10 second long spray of bullets took down three of the jeeps in a short time, with one of them being able to avoid the fire.
Cursing himself, he bent down for a few seconds. Grabbing onto a large cylindrical object, he pulled it up and extended the barrel. With a missile already loaded and ready to go, he aimed at the jeep. Bullets flew from the jeep towards Park, and whizzed past his head. Park took a steady breath, and with an exhale, he mashed down the button.
The missile flew straight out of the chamber and went flying straight into the windshield of the jeep. The Jeep exploded into a firy mess, tumbling end over end behind the 442.
Park pulled another rocket out and loaded the launcher, sheathing the cylinder quickly in case something else came forth.
June looked back, smiled, then looked forward.
Only to see a line of gunmen on her side of the road.
She grinned a sickly grin, as she stabbed her Katana through the side of the door, the blade sticking out in front of her. As they passed by the line of gunmen, they all topped to the ground, bodies sliced in half and their innards falling out. She laughed maniacally as she pulled the katana out and she wiped the gore off the blade.
“3rd Street! 30 more seconds!” Benny cried, as he punched the accelerator to the floor. The car lurched and sped up, Park nearly falling out the back. Park, annoyed as hell, would smack Benny for that after they got into Illinois.
They sped onto the approach to the Gateway Bridge. Park poked June, and gave her some cloth.
“Give it to Skullcap. It’ll indicate the Can-Am to let us through. It’s their flag.”
June gave the flag to Skullcap and told him what to do. He smiled as he proceeded to hold up the flag in front of his face as he stood up.
They approached the middle of the suspension bridge, where the Can-Am forces had a major checkpoint. As they approached the checkpoint, a Western helicopter surfaced from the right side of the bridge. It was too close to call, and the modified Bell 222 had it’s guns trained on the Olds.
Park took out a small grenade from his belt, pulled the pin and fired it at the helo. The helo broke it’s concentration on them to avoid the grenade, giving Park time to pull out the RPG. He extended the barrel and pointed it up at the helo. Not even bothering to take a breath, he fired the rocket. It sped at the airborne gunship, looking like it was about to miss. The rocket blasted it’s warhead into the tail of the helo, shattering it to pieces.
The helo and it’s crew were helpless as to what they were going to do, and within moments they crashed into the side of the bridge, making the Iowa side of the bridge unstable.
As the Olds zipped past the checkpoint, the Can-Am troops waving them through and giving a salute, the Iowa side of the bridge suddenly collapsed. Any chance of the Western army coming across at Clinton was unlikely to happen now.
Park sighed, and dismounted the gatling gun. He sat down in his seat and looked over at June. June looked back at him, and gave a bright smile.
“Where do we go next?”
“Let’s report in at Milwaukee and see what happens. They may want to hear about what we saw in Iowa.”
He then pulled June over and gave her a long kiss, his way of saying “We’re safe.”