Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Defense of Irkutsk

The last monster of summer had shoved its way through thin arctic ice, and begun its journey south. The hole in the ice had frozen-over before being spotted, and the tracks covered by wind-blown snow. The thing had wandered in its fugue of hunger and adrenaline for weeks before being spotted and called in by a militia outpost, already much too far south for comfort. The hunter-killer Hind squadrons were unavailable, protecting Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Valdivostok, or else receiving necessary maintenance, and so militia groups were hastily mobilized and assigned military officers.

Five tanks along a ridge. All had their hatches open with men standing in them. Most manning DShK heavy machine guns, but two have binoculars. Mist blankets the land.

The lieutenant had been gazing through his binoculars since dawn, as had the militia sergeant. The lieutenant was restless, occasionally taking his focus off of his binoculars to take in the landscape, or glancing at the sergeant. The sergeant was diligently scanning the fog, making a point of paying the lieutenant no mind.

"Silhouette, twelve o'clock" said the lieutenant .

"SILHOUETTE, TWELVE O'CLOCK" screamed the sergeant. The lieutenant winced in spite of himself, and the five tanks pointed their guns north. The lieutenant and the sergeant both focused on the shape in the mist.

The mist cleared briefly and revealed a tree.

The sergeants face remained carefully neutral. The lieutenant and the sergeant returned to scanning the landscape.

"Movement, eleven o'clock."

"MOVEMENT, ELEVEN O'CLOCK!"

The guns of the five tanks shifted left.

The fog shifted in the morning breeze. Nothing moved. The sergeant began to smirk. Then there came an echoing call, halfway between a scream and a trumpet, and the monster came charging at them.

"FIRE!" screamed both the lieutenant and the sergeant, and the call of the creature was met by the crack of the guns. The shells hit around the creature, some traveling too far, some coming up short. Shrapnel tore into its legs and belly and it began to bleed, but it continued its charge.

"FIRE!" the officers screamed again. This time the guns were loaded with APFSDS rounds, tungsten darts designed to pierce armor. They zipped through the creature as though nothing were there. It stumbled, and struggled to get up.

The lieutenant waved the line of tanks forward, and signaled the machineguns to open fire. The combined sound of five heavy machine guns is felt as much as heard. Fifty heavy bullets per second began tearing apart flesh, sending up eruptions of black blood.

Up close, it looked almost like a mammoth. Almost. It had too many trunks, and they were too long. It had too many tusks, and they were too sharp.And, as something tore its way out of the monsters belly and charged at the nearest tank, the lieutenant realized it had been pregnant.