by thefourpartland

The next installment in the Jenny serial, where we meet the rescuer.

Of course, things could be looking down. That thing at the cavern mouth was a Devastator. They were legend in the human army, a rumour that even the newest and dumbest recruits new. Devastators were never acknowledged by command, and JNY-35197 had heard enough to piece together why. Every Devastator was a genetically modified criminal, turned into a cyborg, and given enough firepower to level an army. And they were insane. They’d had every remorse stripped away, and killing wired right into the pleasure centres of the brain. This particular one had arms that ended in repeater nests, and a high explosive mortar poked over the right shoulder. Yeah, it might have saved Jenny, but he wasn’t going to hang around. Devastators were notorious for friendly fire.

Command had other ideas. Jenny and the other few survivors tagged along behind the Devastator as it wandered towards an alien juggernaut. The Devastator cocked the sensory nest that replaced its head, and a support leg whirred out from its back, settling into the ground. The mortar rose over the shoulder to point in a straight line at the juggernaut. Oh dear. Not a mortar, a rail cannon. The grunts dove behind rocks as the cannon fired. Electricity belched backwards, charring the ground. One organ replacement screamed. He had been too slow.

The shot smashed through the juggernaut, and was still moving when it punched out the back. The Devastator capered. Jenny felt sick.

He stayed behind the rock. Command ordered Jenny up. He stayed put. Then his suit sent pain into his arm, and command told Jenny to move. Jenny moved. Six humans followed the genetic wreck. Another juggernaut, another rail cannon, another electrical burst. The organ replacements dived for cover.

Jenny felt strange, an observer wandering through Hell. Another Devastator appeared, leading another group of refugee soldiers. He forgot his training, his stealth, his raiding, and wandered dazed behind the Devastator. It wiped out an alien patrol. Aliens were more common now, thicker on the ground. Some of them shot back. The Devastator chittered, and killed. It had been hit, and there was a tiny scratch in the armour. Jenny shuddered. He would have died.

The grunts looked at one another, and hung back. More Devastators appeared, leading organ replacements. Ahead, a mass bulked. Alien dropships. So this was an assault. Why bring the humans? The Devastators were having fun.

A dropship attempted to lift off. Rail cannon pierced it from all around. It fell from the sky, bleeding. Other vessels chose to fire. Devastators were hit, and these weapons hurt. One lost an arm, grinned stupidly, and put a rail cannon into the turret that shot him. Some went down, but not before unleashing torrents of fire. Jenny stood at Hell’s gate.

Jenny and the other survivors hid, looking at one another. What where they were for? Command crackled over the radio. Jenny shouted back. Command insisted, and Jenny crumpled in pain. The grunts stood, weapons out, and prepared to charge. Command is a bitch.


  1. Joanie on 05.11.2010

    What are they there for!? I can’t wait to find out. 🙂 The action in here is well-written. Nice short descriptions – I could see it all happening in my head. I hope Jenny makes it out okay! 🙁

  2. The Four Part Land on 05.11.2010

    Well, there’s always the story ‘Clone’. If you go look at that, you’ll see where the idea for Jenny came from. And some of the background on the name. And a (possible) ending for Jenny.

    Part of the hope with the short, choppy sentences would be that the story telling made the strangeness of Jenny’s situation more apparent. I hope it worked.

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