Thursday, November 29, 2012

Miltary Sci Fi Snippet

Just thought I would post a snippet of something I am working on.  This started off as three different beginnings to the same story, before I realized that I could re-work the plot and combine them all into one story.  It's pretty raw, and will most likely see a lot of editing later.  But I think you get the idea.  Hope you enjoy!


Hausen ran. He had run for much of his life; in play as a child, as an athlete in high school, and as a soldier in the Coalition Defense Force. But never in his many years of running had he felt so free, or moved so fast. The metallic thump-click of his footfalls carried him across the artificial turf at approximately seventy-five kilometers an hour. His stride with his new cybernetic legs was nearly twice what his natural one had been, and his cybernetic arms matched the pace in wide swings.

Despite the speed and kinetic energy he was producing, his heartbeat was strong and rhythmic, his breathing just above resting. His biological parts were barely moving, and thus burning much less oxygen than he would have six weeks ago.

Six weeks. The thought crossed his mind for the umpteenth time. It had barely been a month and a half since the Ixil smart bomb had deprived him of his natural limbs, and nearly of his life. It had only been the tenacity of his squad mates that had saved his wrecked body from the crater. The guided mortar fire had indeed come in, just a moment too late. The bomb that had nearly killed Hausen had been the last to be launched by the hidden Ixil bunker.

A week in intensive care at the CDF Med Center, followed by a week in the Regen Tank, and now a month of rehab and training, and Hausen felt like a new and improved version of his old self. All of his memories were intact (save for the moment when the bomb had impacted two feet behind him), and all of his skills and knowledge had returned in full. That was key, and it was why the CDF was investing in cyborgs rather than robots or androids.

“You can’t train a robot.” Dr. Sybon had said. “You can only program them, and hope that their learning algorithms function properly. But with cybernetics, we give a person improved abilities to apply to skills they already have.”

“Not to mention a second lease on life.” Hausen had laughed.


As he approached the final obstacle in the course, Hausen slowed to a trot, reaching back to pull his rifle from his cradle behind his right shoulder. The course was ten kilometers long, and involved several sprints, jumps, climbs and swims. These last were the hardest to deal with. The weight of his limbs threatened to drag him under, but if he remembered to deploy the aquatic enhancements first, he did fine. He was starting to learn to do this without thinking now, and it was much easier to handle.

The course was also a combat simulation course, wherein he had two stations of hand-to-hand with combat robots, and four stations of shooting in various positions and at various ranges. This last one was the final station before the sprint to the finish. The range was just over five-hundred meters, through thick (artificial) foliage. There were three targets, each at different locations, and he was required to shoot each from a different firing position. There was a large, “L”-shaped barrier here, allowing a shot each while standing against a wall, standing free, and crouching behind a low barricade.

Hausen braced himself against the wall, and brought his rifle up. The M-931A3 is a magnetic rail gun that fires explosive-tipped, 3mm projectiles. The impact is deadly to say the least, and would make short work of the plasteel targets downrange. Through the integrated multi-spectral scope, Hausen placed the cross-hairs on the largest target and squeezed the trigger. There was a pop as the round left the muzzle, and an instant later a hole the size of a man’s fist appeared center mass. Without a pause, the cyborg immediately stepped to his right and sighted in on the next target. To a normal person, this would have been a difficult shot, as the body’s tendency to move slightly, even when standing still, would have made the cross hairs waver. But Hausen was perfectly balanced, and his machine parts did not move but microns. Thus within two seconds of his first shot, his second round was sent downrange to the same effect. As soon as the shot was fired, Hausen immediately crouched and rested the weapon on the barricade. The third target was not much more than a silhouette of a head and shoulders, barely visible through the brush. With a flick of his thumb, Hausen switched the site through the various spectrums until the entire target was lit up, the intervening foliage a mere shadow in the background. With a third squeeze of the trigger, the head of the target was neatly removed.

The cybernetic soldier immediately stood and, without even slinging his rifle, sprinted the last few hundred meters to the finish. He crossed and came to a dead stop, looking at Sergeant Keelrod, who had been keeping time and score. After entering a few bits of data, he read the results.

“Time: fourteen minutes, twelve seconds. Accuracy: 100%.” He looked to Hausen. “A new record, Corporal.”


J.M. Martin said...

Well done, Cpl. Hausen! I suspect it's all downhill from here. :-)

Keith said...

Good opening. Looking forward to what you're going to do to this guy.

Tom Doolan said...

Thanks, guys. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Good stuff. Promising start.