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Nick A Braker
Galactic Satori Wars
Book 2 - Kron
Earth - Washington, DC
October 05, 1987 - 11:55am
Chasing a being from another planet in the noon day heat of Nicaragua was not on Magnus' bucket list. However, it did include killing one. Magnus had several and this Omarii was also on that list which included every other member of her race. They were called the Kron and someday, he would find a way to purge them from the universe. His only challenge lay in finding this planet, traveling there and killing every single one of them.
This Omarii currently controlled the mind of the leader of the Nicaraguan people, Miguel Norina, and it had used Miguel in a plan to destroy Earth, this time with a pandemic substance. Using his own desire for power, Miguel had unknowingly allowed an Omarii to control one of his scientists that claimed to have found a way to grow food in nearly any environment. The lure of an unlimited supply of food was too great and Miguel had funded the research blindly. That was the ruse. The real goal of the Kron agent was to create a virus that would destroy the world's food supply. According to Grep, the virus was as aggressive to plants as the measles were to humans.
WSO had contained the pandemic substance but the Omarii and her unwitting human followers were now the problem. These humans had no idea that a being from another part of the galaxy controlled their leader. In their eyes, Magnus and team were assassins who had to be stopped at all costs. While Earth might be safe, Magnus and team were not.
Magnus wiped the sweat from his face with the back of his sleeve, taking stock of the building's interior. Magnus had ordered his team to take cover in a warehouse, hoping to regroup. There were only eight of them against Miguel's military guard which consisted of a rough estimate of fifteen, well-armed and trained men. Miguel's men had already stormed the warehouse and were moving into better positions. They had laid down suppression fire as they moved into the building. Magnus had ordered his team not to fire back, hoping to keep his position secret.
"They're going to attack again, and soon," Grep whispered.
Magnus nodded at Grep. Grep sat with his back against a concrete wall, grime covering his face. From the several smears of sweat and dirt, Magnus noted Grep was favoring his left arm which meant his right arm or hand was injured. Brock was dirty too and covered in blood, but, at least it wasn't his.
"Hell, Mag. Let's just rush them with guns blazing," Brock said.
Brock pushed Magnus' shoulder as if suggesting they rush them right now.
"Even as good as you are, there are too many, bro," Magnus said. "We need a better plan."
When Brock was on, he was a killing machine with his Aliri augmentations. Unfortunately, Brock vacillated between an above average human and an Aliri augmented human. None of them knew why and Magnus couldn't handle another friend's life forfeited on his watch. Too many people had died already saving Earth.
Tens of thousands of human beings. Warren. Beth.... Not now, contain the emotions.
Six forklift trucks were neatly lined up on the left, just inside the warehouse's rear bay door. They had used them as cover to get deeper into the building under the assault of Miguel's guards outside. The warehouse's bay door was completely open and since it was wide enough for a small jet to fit through, Miguel's troops had pressed their attack, pushing Magnus and team farther into it. They had taken up positions deep within the warehouse behind several concrete office buildings that lined the side walls. Behind Magnus were row after row of triple tiered storage racks reaching well over forty feet to the ceiling. Various sized cardboard boxes lined each row on all three tiers.
Those boxes offer visual cover only but we don't have a choice.
"Fall back," Magnus ordered. "We need to keep moving. You agree, Grep?"
"Always," Grep said.
"Mag," Brock said, "we don't have much time before reinforcements arrive. Miguel has an entire army protecting his country."
"WSO is on that," Grep said. "World leaders are actively in contact with Miguel's military commander, apprising him of the alien attack on their country's leader. Now, whether this commander believes it, is another matter."
"Enough talk," Magnus said. "Move."
Magnus motioned the five WSO agents to fall back to the storage racks. He would send them along the rows down the left main aisle. They had visual cover but if they were spotted, the cardboard boxes wouldn't protect them.
Brock and Grep moved back next, followed by Magnus. The WSO agents, whose names he didn't know, covered them. The group repeated the process, moving back, row by row. Miguel's men might try to flank them by moving around the warehouse from the outside, but Magnus had factored that in. If they did, they would have to split up and that was Magnus' intention. Tactically used, separating the enemy gave his team a better chance to survive. He just had to make sure Miguel didn't fight Magnus' team on two fronts.
"Allí están," one of Miguel's men yelled.
"Run-" Grep ordered.
Bullets shredded the cardboard boxes, sending pieces of plastic and packing foam into the air. The group bolted down the left main aisle. Magnus pushed two WSO agents along, forcing them to run faster.
"Move, move," Magnus ordered. "Brock, cover fire."
Brock, still on the run, fired six times toward the source of gunfire. Brock couldn't possibly see his targets but Magnus intended to slow the enemy pursuit, give them pause. Ahead of his team, a twenty-foot-high wall stood at the end of the aisle. Its dull, metallic shine screamed cover to Magnus. He had to get his people behind it. More bullets sprayed the area as Miguel's troops fired randomly through the cardboard boxes. They reached the metallic wall. Magnus' team had no choice but to cut right down one of the rows but that path would take them closer to the opposite aisle. Magnus knew another group of Miguel's people were already covering the right side main aisle and they would mow his team down in the open.
More gunfire scattered dust and debris into the air. One of his agents dropped, sliding left into the metal wall. The agent was hit. On the run, Magnus sidestepped left toward the man and wrenched him up by the belt, pulling him along. At the end of the metallic wall, on the left, was a door. The door was part of a large walk-in freezer. He had two choices. Run to the opposite aisle where certain death waited or take cover inside the freezer. Both options were bad.
"Inside," he ordered.
They had no choice. Miguel's troops might be split but they still had the tactical advantage. He had to get them cover first. Magnus shoved Grep through the doorway, slamming the metal door closed behind them. The impact of multiple bullets followed. Several ducked but the bullets did not penetrate the freezer walls. Exhausted from the run, their breathing puffed out in steam-like clouds after each gulp. The icy air felt good compared to the noon day heat but they couldn't stay. They were not safe here either. His men were exhausted and uncertainty lined their faces. They didn't believe they would make it.
"You, check this man's injuries," Magnus ordered. "Is anyone else hurt?"
One of the agents Alexandria had assigned to the mission assessed the fallen man. The rest patted themselves down, nodding that they were fine.
"Alright, we need a way out of here," Magnus said.
Brock disappeared through a wall of clear, flexible plastic strips. They hung from the ceiling, separating this small section with the rest of the walk-in freezer.
"He took a hit to his lower leg, sir," the man said. "He has a nasty bump on his head too. He's coming around though."
The wounded agent groaned as Magnus leaned down to him.
"You're going to make it... agent?" Magnus asked.
The man's eyes focused on Magnus.
"Davidson. Pete Davidson."
"Pete," Magnus said, "you're gonna have to walk. We're not leaving you behind. Can-"
"I'll run if I have to," Pete said.
"Good man. Bind his leg. We have to move now," Magnus ordered.
"Mag, we got another exit out of here. It's a big ass'd door on the far side of this place."
Magnus pointed at several of the agents.
"You, you and you," Magnus said, "put down some suppression fire through the door we entered."
"Yes, sir. And the name is John, sir."
"Thanks, John," Magnus said.
"Where are we?" Pete asked, still trying to clear his head.
"It is an industrial sized refrigeration room or more precisely, our coffin," Grep answered.
Magnus glared at Grep, who held up a hand, continuing.
"If they get a grenade in here, we're all dead. The concussive force would paint the walls with our blood and entrails. We are the paint cans."
Several more bullets hit the door.
"Go," Magnus said, motioning them into the next area.
Magnus lifted Agent Davidson to his feet, putting one of the man's arms around his shoulders. John flung open the door and fired blindly through it, keeping cover on the right side of the doorway. The other two stayed on the left, firing as well. Miguel's men returned fire. Several rounds hit the back wall within the room and around the doorway. Their gunfire paused. John stole a glance through the doorway and shot back. Magnus helped Davidson into the next room, leaving the four men to protect their flank.
"I count around twenty, sir," John said, yelling over the impact of bullets.
Damn it, there are more than I thought.
The three returned fire, this time John had two weapons in his hands.
"Three down," John yelled.
"I can't believe you're letting him have all the fun," Brock said.
Brock glanced several times toward the other room where John and team were keeping the enemy at bay.
"This shit ain't over, yet," Magnus said. "Get that rear door open-"
Miguel's men fired back. The bullets pelted the wall in the first room, forcing the agents to take cover. Magnus set Agent Davidson down carefully, wrinkling his nose at the air around him. The room smelled like freezer burn tasted. Boxes lined the shelves on both sides, covered in frost. This section of the freezer was colder. The icy temperature seeped into his clothing and the gun leeched the heat from him as the cold burned his hands.
"Keep your head down, Magnus," Brock said, getting into position to the side of the new door. "I'm gonna open this thing."
One of the agents hasn't returned fire.
"Move now," Magnus ordered. "We're losing men."
Gunfire from the first room continued.
"We can't continue like this," Grep yelled.
"Then come up with a better plan, genius," Magnus yelled.
Grep's comments irritated Magnus and if it weren't for his self-control, his reaction would be much worse.
"Two more down," John yelled. "Zach is hurt. He's bleeding bad."
Magnus clenched his teeth. People were dying. He had to do something.
"That leaves about 15," Magnus ordered. "John, shut the door, grab Zach, and-"
"Grenade!" John screamed.
The grenade bounced inside the far room.
Tink, tink, tink.
"Zach. No," John screamed.
The concussive wave rippled through the two rooms. The blast knocked them to the floor, slamming Grep into the far wall.
"-coffin," Grep managed to say.
Magnus lay on the floor, barely hearing the last part of Grep's comment. Grep put his hands over his ears. Magnus shook his head, trying to force his ears to hear again. Magnus rolled to his feet, running to the front section. He staggered but managed to stay standing. The four men in the other room were down and they were likely dead.
"Help me get them to safety," Magnus yelled. "Grep, cover fire."
Grep unloaded on the enemy, firing through the rear door. Magnus grabbed the only man still moving from the room and pulled him through the now blackened and shredded plastic strips.
"Davidson is dead, too," Brock said, pulling his hand from the man's neck. "No pulse."
Brock pulled out a second pistol, pushed past Grep and dove through the first doorway into a roll.
"Brock, no," Magnus screamed. "You stupid-"
Brock came up on one knee and fired. Someone screamed. Brock's head snapped left. He fired his right pistol, aiming his left at the same time. He fired three times in rapid succession. Miguel's men fired too. Brock jumped right and rolled again into a kneeling position behind a small crate. Brock fired again, his head making quick movements left, left and then right. Each time he fired multiple shots. Brock didn't move. The warehouse grew quiet.
"What-" Magnus started to say to Brock.
Brock held up his index finger at Magnus, his guns still in both hands. Another gunman slipped out from behind one of the tiered racks. The gunman aimed. Brock's arm snapped around to aim at the man, firing first.
"Okay," Brock said, giving the all clear.
Magnus' mouth dropped open.
"-the hell," Magnus finished.
"That was alien enhanced reflexes and agility," Grep said, "thanks to our friends the Aliri. Combine that with two high capacity 45s, giving him 26 shots. I would call that, not bad."
"You can call that, fucking awesome," Brock said, "and follow that by saying, Thank you, Mr. Stone."
Grep shook his head.
"Oh," Brock continued, "and I find your summation quite accurate, Mr. Egghead."
"You stole that line from me, jack," Grep said.
"Damn it, Grep, Brock." Magnus said. "We have five agents dead behind us and-"
"I ain't got time to grieve. The world is still in danger," Brock said. "Besides, there is still one more out there. It's probably Miguel."
"Mag-" Grep started to say.
"Come on guys, let's get this fucker," Brock said. "I'm ordering toasted alien for breakfast and I'm very, very hungry."
Magnus and Grep exchanged glances. Once again, it was down to his team. The Aliri had changed each of them. Some changes good, some bad. Right now, Grep and Brock's callous behavior surprised even Magnus. These were not the friend's he remembered. Five human beings just died and they both appeared to care little about it.
They had changed, almost a year ago, during Magnus' time in the hospital, only a week after his car accident. That was the night he lay in the hospital with a large metal fragment in his head and the next day, it was gone. The Aliri must have healed him and had augmented the four of them, taking their natural gifts to supernatural levels. He hated the Aliri for using him like a lab rat but Magnus tolerated it knowing it was the key to getting revenge against the Kron who had killed Beth.
Brock took off, heading to the warehouse's rear exit.
"I guess you guys are just going to have to catch up. Miguel is getting away," Brock yelled.
Magnus slapped Grep on the shoulder.
"Let's get going," Magnus said, "or Brock is going to get himself killed."
"Don't tell him I said this, but that was bad ass," Grep added.
"Augmented or not," Magnus replied, "that little stunt had stupidity written all over it."