A Tale of Adventure Beyond The Stars!
Last week’s chapter left Lawson Fuller and his mercenaries newly landed on Xoshana. First setting out on their mission to find the lost colonists they split into three platoons with air support, and sweep the area, only the find Lawson’s main unit approached by carnivorous reptiles.
Without hesitation Lawson grabbed the receiver from the radioman who still stood beside him. “Sky Capt. Fuller,” he said quickly in an undertone, hoping not to arouse the beasts by loud shouting. “Platoons two and three flank from the north west and north east! Carnivorous lizards are approaching us from the river! Air support, assist!” He dropped the receiver and turned to his men. “We’ve come to fight for honor, glory, and the lives or the vengeance of our fellow countrymen! If we are here to die, then let us die with honor! But if to conquer, then let us do it in glory! For you brothers!”
With this last cry they opened fire upon the beasts. Lawson spewed bullets from his Lancaster submachine gun with a smile playing on his lips. He loved nothing better than the adrenaline of action. Knowing the fighting tactics of these heinous reptiles, the men attempted to keep them at bay with bullets to avoid disastrous hand-to-hand combat. The beasts would rise on their back legs to a size of nearly ten feet and could easily crush a man in their forearms.
“Bayonets!” Fuller called as the reptiles charged forward.
The first several minutes of battle were exhilarating. Lawson had fought more dangerous brawls than these, but the heat and the intensity of noise soon crashed over his initial pleasure. A beast charged strait for him as he continued to fire, but it came even against the bullets. As it rose over him he rush forward, lunging his bayoneted gun into its stomach and whirling to the side, in hopes to skirt around it. The beast however, lashed its tail in agony and swept toward his legs. He jumped and rolled over the ground.
The whirr of aircraft pulled him from his daze of personal battle with the beast and he rose to rally his men back. But the lines were confused. Reptiles and men were entangled in battle at every turn. The air support would be of no help to them now. He turned to survey the rest of the field and saw even more reptiles coming from the deep foliage towards the river. If he could radio coordinates to the aircraft he could let them know the location of the enemy, but his radioman was nowhere in sight. The jungle completely blocked the coming enemy from the sight of the men overhead.
Lawson had little time to stand and think. Lizards were coming from all directions and he found himself again embroiled in ferocious conflict. He threw down an empty magazine and pulled another from his belt, again working as much damage without coming into too dangerous a range of his adversaries.
Loud shouts from the northeast and northwest alerted him that platoons two and three had finally arrived to his aid. An hour of desperate fighting found them finished hammering the vermin to the anvil and they broke the spirit of the beasts. Lawson beat his chest and shouted cheerfully to his men as they broke through the lines from the opposing hills. Now only a few vermin remained, the rest of them running helter-skelter for the jungle.
As Lawson panted and wiped sweat from his forehead, he glanced upward, and watched the fleeing reptiles. Tracing their movements up hills in the east and through the jungle he glimpsed white cloth. His slowing pulse again quickened. On the high branches of a tree stood the nameless girl. Her white gown was now stained and darkened from long wear and her shadowy tresses were caught lightly in a breeze. He thought that their eyes met, but she was so far away that he could not tell.