INVINCIBLE, a short story

Just a little Flash Fiction…

INVINCIBLE                                                                                                                                                                                           by Paul Nevins

“You can’t kill me.  I am invincible.  I am a God!”

With these words I reaffirm my jihad against the Xerian Alliance forces advancing across the Martian landscape toward our position. We are secure on Mars Base One and are being led by Lieutenant Commander Devin Stark, a fine officer and legendary figure among us junior guards of the New Earth Defense Force.  Her presence here speaks to the gravity of the situation.  Our presence in the universe is at stake.  Should we fail in our mission to hold the MARS ONE geodesic dome we’ve called home for the past year, only disaster will follow.  Without a human presence on the red planet the Xerians would seize the opportunity to erect bases and colonies in Earth’s backyard.  We can not let that happen.

Not after the last time.  Not since they broke the HALF WING treaty.

Stealing a glance downward, I check my weapon.  My particle blaster is locked and loaded and I have enough charge left for one final burst.  I have to make it count.  I check my surroundings and secure the area around me.  I’ve left myself a fall back position, should it become necessary, and have rigged my current position to detonate upon my exit.

The enemy is coming.  Our advance scouts have acquired the target, just up over the ridge.  Twelve heavily armed hovercraft approaching at battle speed.   I hear all chatter through my earpiece and with each passing report my mission inches closer to being executed.

I step out on the ledge.

Through spec-scopes, I watch the enemy forces approach from the north.  Closer they come.   Red dust clouds swirl in the star-filled sky and if I had been anywhere else it would most certainly be a beautiful sight.  But, I am not anywhere else, I am here and I am anxious.  I have never been in a real fire fight before, but I have scored high on the battlefield simulators back at the Academy.  They tell me it is not the same, but I’m not worried.  When the time comes I am confident I will fight.

I watch curiously as a lightly armored scout vehicle breaks from the column, cutting a new swath across the barren landscape.  He speeds past the front of the Dome, kicking up the fine dust of the martian surface, announcing his presence like a spoiled child.  He drives in circles.  He mocks us.  I hope to kill him first.

Off in the horizon, through the dust and the glare, the remaining vehicles form a new line and present themselves in a semicircular attack position before us.

Once in position, the enemy approaches, a slow and steady approach.  Remotely detonated land mines explode under the armored Hovercraft, but to no avail.  Still, they come.  Slow.  Steady. Undeterred.

An unmanned drone approaches my position.  It is out of range, but still I fire.  If only to let them know I am here and I will not surrender.  Tracer beams follow the line of fire back to my position and I duck as the wall separating me from the outside elements is destroyed in a fiery ball of resin and titanium.  I struggle to my feet and make my way through the smoke to the opening in the outer wall left by the laser round.

Outside I can see ground troops exiting the heavily fortified transports.  One after another the other transports arrive and it is obvious we are outnumbered hundreds to one.  I lift my weapon and fire off my last salvo.  It is all that I can do.  I have trained for this scenario and am well prepared for its arrival.  It is a good day to die.  I look up and standing over me is Lieutenant Commander Stark, she has a mission for me. I know what it is.  And it is one I accept without reservation.

I leave the line and am escorted into a windowless munitions room.  Not a word is spoken between us.  There I am handed a vest.  Sewn into the vest there is a nuclear charge.  I put the vest on.  I know my mission and I know I won’t be coming back.

“You can’t kill me.  I am invincible.  I am a God!”

I walk the gauntlet between officer and enlisted man as I step solemnly to the front lines.  My instructions are clear.  I am to breach the entrance of the Dome and run at the enemy force.  When I am within range, the charge will be set off remotely.  It is a crude, but effective plan and one the Xerians would never expect.  They would consider such a tactic foolish.  Self-sacrifice is not in their code and we have never used this technique before, but then again, the stakes were never quite so high.  Mankind’s presence in the Universe is larger than any one man.

Ahead are the doors to the airlock, I will never pass back through this portal again, of that there is no question.  I stop at the breach.  Lieutenant Commander Stark is waiting for me.   I snap off a crisp salute as I stand before her.

“At ease, soldier.”  She commands.  I relax, but only slightly.  The Lieutenant is holding a syringe.  I know what is inside of it.  Unconsciously, the corners of my mouth raise in anticipation.

“Private!”  The Lieutenant barks. I stiffen.  “Did you volunteer for this mission?”

“Yes, ma’am”, I answer, “This private volunteered for this mission.”

Sweat beads and pours down my brow, yet I stand rigid, unmoved and unflinching, my eyes locked in on the syringe and my mind on the task at hand.  The medic moves forward and takes the syringe from the Lieutenant as I roll up the sleeve of my shirt.  I look down and watch the needle poke into my skin.  My eyes roll back in my head as the plunger inside the syringe forces the drug into my vein.  Instantly, I feel the rush of adrenaline coursing through my body and I spring forth.  I hastily refit my pressure suit and snap to attention.  I am ready.  Nothing can stop me now.

“You can’t kill me.  I am Invincible.  I am a God!”

I raise my head and look out over the opposition forces lined up outside the Base.  It is time.  I nod to the Lieutenant.

“Tell Mom and Dad I love them.”

“I will.” She says.  The airlock doors open and I run to meet the enemy.

“You can’t kill me.  I am Invincible.  I am a God!”

Laser blasts kick up the ground around me as I rush to meet my destiny.

I am oblivious to all as my time ends and I become one with the purifying white light.

“You can’t kill me.  I am Invincible.  I am a God!”

 

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About paul nevins

Fiction writer, reader and baseball fan.
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