Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta mission. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta mission. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 9 de agosto de 2016

The ninja (Part 2)

  The ninja covered his face again, being able to stand up after being smashed against the ground. Kevin was still in shock, almost paralyzed, very close to were he had stood when that familiar face had looked at him with the eye that had gazed upon his so many times in the past. The ninja did not stay to chat; he was agile enough to open the wind and exit through there. How did he not fall to his death? Kevin had no idea. To be honest, he wasn’t even thinking of that.

 That night, he wasn’t able to sleep. He decided to go to work early and check on the records again for the incident that had taken the life of his husband almost two years ago. As he drove to work in the middle of the night, he remembered that day clearly. They had been fighting a lot, the reason been that Paul wanted to have more missions on his own. He didn’t want to be paired up with his husband every single time. Kevin took this the wrong way.

 For a week, the tension in their home had been very high. They would only spoke to each other if they had to, avoiding each other completely at work. However, they were assigned to the same mission once again and Paul wasn’t up to complaining about it with his superiors. He knew it wasn’t a good way to try to start his own thing as an agent so, in order to win everybody’s trust as a capable guy, he accepted the mission without asking any questions.

 It was a very straightforward mission: they had to infiltrate a very secure compound where a very wealthy businessman kept his private documents. In them, he supposedly had proof of the existence of several chemical and biological weapons that had been sold illegally to countries that wouldn’t know how to manage any of that. Their mission was only to copy the documents and come out as soon as possible.

 Entering the compound was very simple. The three agents they had sent were able to step in undetected, all very well trained in martial arts and everything needed in order not to make noise or activate any of the alarms of the place. They were able to reach the library, where the documents were being kept. It was Paul who took the pictures of what they needed and finished just when Kevin stepped in the wrong direction and activated an alarm.

 They had to knockout several of the businessman’s thugs, which was easy at the beginning. But on their way out, one of them was able to take hold of Paul and Kevin was sure he had heard the snapping of his neck and his body falling to the ground. He was sure he had seen his body hit the ground just as his body went numb and the other agent had to help him run faster.

 The information was lost that day. However, they were able to retrieve all of it months later, in a raid the special forces of the state had been authorized to do in the compound. Of course, they had no opposition of any kind. They didn’t find any bodies on the premises or recently dug areas. Even like that, it was very unlikely that Paul had survived that. The guy that grabbed him was taller and bigger in every sense, his hands being larger than Paul’s face. He had to be dead, that’s what Kevin had to convince himself to believe

 There was a funeral for Paul and everyone in the agency attended. Kevin got to meet his parents, which he had never met before. He didn’t get close to share his grief, instead looking from afar and realizing that, despite having gotten married in secret, they still didn’t know a lo about each other. The fact that he had no idea what Paul’s mom looked like before the funeral made him feel awful.

 And that was two years ago. As he drove into the office building, he realized he had no idea what route he had chose to get there. He had barely paid attention to the road and he felt bad for that for a second, before returning to those days once again, before Paul disappeared and they were happy, back when they had decided that they wanted to live together forever and ever.

 It had been a very easy thing to decide. They had been dating for a little more than a year after the relationship had started in the strangest of ways: not four months before commencing their love story, Kevin had finished another one with a former girlfriend with which he had been engaged to be married. He decided to call off the wedding when he realized he couldn’t deny that he felt different inside and needed to process that. Beside, work had been hard, as usual.

 Paul had been working with them for a while, not too long. He barely knew him well and the truth was they didn’t really like each other. Paul saw Kevin as the typical guy that thinks he’s better than everyone else at anything, form his physical appearance to anything he could do with his body and his mind. And Kevin thought Paul was a very smug guy, never really accepting his mistakes or accepting his obvious flaws.

 It was on a mission that took several months to complete, where Paul had saved Kevin from a bomb, practically using himself as a shield in order to protect his partner. From then on, they gained a certain respect for each other that enabled them to form a relationship that grew to be a very stable friendship. But even then, they felt something was off with all of it.

 At the same time, Kevin began his problems with his girlfriend. They got worse as the date of their wedding got near and, after another intense mission where he and Paul single handedly completed the task at hand; he realized she was not what he wanted from life. So he cancelled the engagement and tried to think about everything for a while. Just two weeks after that, he kissed Paul for the first time. And another two weeks after, they had sex. It was then when Kevin realized that he had been very close to making a very big mistake.

 The guard at the office building recognized him and he was able to enter without any problem. Outside, the first glimmer of the new day could be seen very far into the horizon. As he sat in his office, he looked for the files of their last mission and checked every single paper the Special Forces had submitted about their mission there, when the whole place had been swept.

He couldn’t understand what was missing, what had happened. Paul was dead; he had heard his neck snap. He was sure of it. He had been convincing himself of that for years. But now he was alive. Even with that scar on his face and those wild eyes,  it was still him beneath that ninja outfit. He looked in the computer again and discovered that a similar ninja vigilante had been reported before, in a couple of missions by the agency. It seemed he was very skilled and worked both against and with them.

 It was difficult for Kevin not to think about the guy with whom he had slept so many times, kissed so often and felt so close during so many nights. During their life together, they had slept in the nude and Kevin had learned to love to wake up and feel Paul just by his side. He would often hug him tight and kissed him softly. It was difficult to understand why and how he loved him so much but he did. Maybe that’s why it was so hard to see him alive.

 A stack of papers fell from a nearby table. Kevin woke up from his daydreaming and looked in all directions. The papers had been stable moments before and there was no window opened. He got near it in order to check out the exterior but they were too high above the ground. He knew it was stupid to be worried. He decided to grab something to drink from a machine, unaware that the picture he kept there of the two of them had been taken away.

 In the rooftop, Paul removed the cover over his face, revealing his very pale skin and the scar across the side. He looked at the picture, without any particular expression. He seemed to be on the edge of tears for a moment but then he threw the picture from the rooftop and put on his face cover again. The shadow of a soul that had been visible for a moment, was not there anymore.

jueves, 28 de abril de 2016

The cube

   Jessica walked carefully over the edge, barely having enough room for her feet to move around. The mountain that she was in dominated the jungle below and, in any other context, she would have been able to appreciate. But being just millimeters away from death, the least of her interests were the magnificent views. She grabbed herself to the dirt and the rock of the mountain and could finally pass the tricky section in a matter of minutes. She decided to rest a bit after that, and she only had a small space to do so as the mountain was not kind to any visitors.

 As she rested, she noticed a big bird-like creature raising from the jungle. It appeared to be fighting something off but the other creature, or whatever it was fighting, could not be seen. After a couple of minutes, the bird appeared to be toppled from the ground and disappeared from sight. Jessica knew right then that this planet was definitely not a good one for life in general but she had no choice in the matter of visiting it. After all, her mission was there.

 A couple of days earlier, a skinny man going by the name of Renzo Uto, contacted with her team in order to ask for an extraction. Normally, that meant rescuing someone from some horrible place, most often jails or some kind of internment camps. There were lots of both of those in the galaxy and they had a vast experience getting people out of both. But instead, Uto wanted them to rescue an object.

 They almost had to torture him in order to get a basic drawing of the object he wanted to retrieve. Well, torture is a bit extreme. But Jessica’s companion Jimmy, a very big and tall Glafarian (species with the appearance of a dog) was asked to make the client talk fast or to expel him immediately from the ship, by any means.

 Of course, Uto was so scared he did a drawing in less than thirty seconds but he clarified that the object could change form whenever someone attempted to grab it by force. The drawing he had made showed a very simple cube but he said it only looked like that when at rest. If someone when near it, the object would change into any type of thing that would lure the person into a false sense of security and then it would kill them.

 They really wanted to ask Uto why someone would want that type of object. But their motto was “We don’t ask questions” and they couldn’t just violate that. Bounty hunters had to keep a little bit of their dignity and, if that meant seeking for an object hey didn’t really know existed, they had to do it. But Yera, the ship’s pilot, reminded Uto that the team only worked for days. So depending on his pay, they would determine the number of days they would look for his weird cube.

 Uto, of course, had no tons of money. So he was able to pay them for only three days worth of work. The team then agreed on setting course for the jungle planet, which didn’t really have a name and now Jessica was on her second day looking for the damn object. According to Uto, she wasn’t that far away now. After the dangerous mountain pass, she had to go through a razor sharp field of rocks between that mountain and the next one and then descend a bit to find a cave. The cube was supposed to be there.

 The razor sharp field of rocks, a straight line that united two summits well above the jungle level, was easier than the pass but still a horrible experience, mainly because some sorts of animals paraded around the site and launched themselves at Jessica. She had to use her ray gun several times but the little creatures were very fast and attacked with some sort of liquid that smelled really bad. It didn’t hurt or anything, just smell really awful. She crossed the field just before nightfall.

 At the other end, she found a suitable place to sleep and decided to pull out her sleeping bad and protective shield from her special belt. The belt had been an old gift from her mother, a former bounty hunter herself. Now she lived at peace in a farming colony where she could just relax and not worry about someone blowing her head off. Her mom was a legend among the people Jessica knew and she was proud of her.

 The belt had been created by the most advanced civilization in the galaxy. They were able to construct things like that, were size and space and even time did not matter. She could fit an endless amount of things in there and only had to press a button and think really hard about whatever she wanted from her belt. So that night she was protected from the creatures by the shield and slept warmly in her sleeping bag.

 The next day she woke up screaming. Her face hurt, as well as her arms and some of her chest. The stinky liquid had transformed, somehow, into something that had apparently burned her skin and was now penetrating more and more into it. She felt a horrible burning sensation and tried to pour water over herself to feel better or look for something else in her belt, but it was useless. It hurt and she could barely move.

 It was the last day for Uto and could have been the last day for her if she hadn’t decided that the liquid might actually be the best weapon she could ever have. To put it simple, the cube supposedly transformed into something false, in order to kill the person that wanted it. So it would transform into a cure for the liquid if Jessica showed up. But then, it would be obvious to her that the cube was there and she would just fire away.

 Thinking the plan was far simpler than doing it. Her body really hurt, as if she had been very badly burnt by the sun. Her legs though, had been left untouched by the creatures, so they still had their agility intact. She started trembling halfway down the mountain but she focused on the prize, which was something she could have never imagined. Although Uto had almost no money to pay them for their days of work, he did offer something else if they actually gave him the cube he wanted.

 There was an information network called the Omen. It was a very big and important piece of information as it had records on every single living creature in the galaxy intelligent enough to do stupid things. It was like a criminal record center for the entire galaxy and, of course, Jessica and her group were in there. What Uto had told them was that he could be able to remove every single one of their names from he list permanently. Not even erase the crimes but their names altogether.

 At first, they didn’t believe what he was saying. Jimmy threatened to eat his hand and Yera told him it was impossible. But then he simply asked of them to look for his name in the Omen. Everybody could access the network so it was easy for them to see that Renzo Uto did not appear in any part of the Omen. They even scanned his head to look for him, but it just wouldn’t work. He wasn’t there and that was more than enough proof that what he said was real.

 The cave was only a few meters away when Jessica collapsed. She was trembling too much in her upper body and felt really sick. Not even her healthy legs could get her away from danger or from the pain. She stayed down for a good while and, once again, she gazed at the jungle and saw the trees moving and what looked like tentacles rising above the treetops. She only thought about how insane that planet was before she fainted.

 She woke up hours later in a nice room. A beautiful nurse came to her bed and asked her if she was ok. Her face and body didn’t hurt anymore. She touched her skin and every single centimeter was normal. Then, the nurse smiled and told her she was going to be all right. Se turned around but Jessica had recognized her. And the only thing she could do was pull out her gun and shoot right in the center of her body.

 The illusion fell to the ground like a house of cards and so did the cube, a rather normal transparent cube that fell to the ground and Jessica put inside her belt. Her face still hurt horribly and she was sure she was in a worse state than before. She turned to the jungle one last time, watching the tentacles and the moving trees, as she pressed another button for her ride to come pick her up.

viernes, 19 de febrero de 2016


   The Bont islands expand from one continent to the other, forming a natural bridge that connected the biggest landmasses of the planet. On one side, there was the port of Ventura, one of the largest and most populated cities in the world and the destination of Captain Kimura, better known to her friends as Feisty Flo. She had been one of the main colonists of the Dharma expedition but things had gone horribly wrong: creatures from deep within the jungle had destroyed the colony and killed every single person in it. She had been the sole survivor of the attack and was now attempting to cross the Bont islands to get to Ventura and tell the authorities what had happened.

 There were five hundred islands or so from one side to the other. Some of them were only a few meters long but others were large enough to have their own forests and volcanoes. As the continent she was leaving, he islands remained mostly unexplored except for he one closest to Ventura. She had to wait to cross during the day, as the moon prevented crossings during the night. For security, she would only sleep on the beeches and would keep a small inflatable boat she had known in the destroyed colony close to her. She had collected some items and put them there, including footage of what had happened.

 She would cross the thin sand bridges between island and have the small boat, the size of a lifesaver, attached to her waist by a rope so it trailed behind her at her own pace. The first few days and islands were nice enough. The weather was very warm and without wind. Finally, on the fifth day or so, so was caught in a small storm but didn’t sought shelter, instead gathering water from the sky in various flasks and thermos she had found back in the continent. The boat was beginning to feel a bit heavier but it was for him own good.

 She would food from fish she caught between the islands and when there were none she would eat coconuts or whatever plants seemed good to eat. What Flo didn’t eat were small berries or strange leaves. She didn’t wanted to have to endure a stomachache or food poisoning in such a journey. In one of the islands she found enough wood to make herself a spear (with a pointy rock from the beach) and a bow and arrow with part of the rope she had around the waist. It didn’t really work much but at least she was able to get the occasional sea bird for dinner.

 At night she wouldn’t eat anything, fearing the jungles of some islands to be infested with the same monsters that had killed her friends. Flo was afraid of them and the possibility of luring him into the inhabited continent. She would hate to be the one to bring them there. The idea was to warn them, not to condemn them.

 When she reached the island called Jall, the biggest one on the chain, she knew she was midway to her destination. The island was very large and would require several days of walking and certainly a more intelligent way to cross it as the beaches were blocked and it could only be traversed through the jungle. She slept the night she arrived on the beach of the neighbor island and crossed and first light. She wanted to take advantage of every single second of light during the day and was even prepared to go hungry for whatever time was necessary in order to cross the island as fast as she could.

 The jungle was thick and the environment was very humid and thick, as if it was possible to actually touch the air and even take a bite out of it. The scents were generally sweet but after two hours of walking, the air turned heavier even and it started to smell awful. Flo had to pinch her nose for a straight hour, only breather through her dried out mouth. She wanted to wait to have some water but couldn’t as she fell she needed it badly, not being able to wait longer.

 She stopped pinching her nose and the scent of sulfur invaded her nostrils. She grabbed the closest flask on the inflatable boat and drank fast but when she finished she didn’t kept walking. Flo realized that the smell came from small holes and gaps in the ground and that it was the ground itself that smelled like that.  She looked up and between the trees a volcano as majestic as any other feature of this planet could be seen and a plume of heavy smoke, pouring ashes onto the other side of the island, was coming out of it.

 Flo had to keep walking but then she heard a noise she had heard before, the sound of pincers opening and closing and before she realized one of the large animals that had attacked her village launched itself towards her. Her legs were apparently faster that her head because she had already begun running when the creature attacked. She escaped by a thread and ran towards the other side of the island, hopefully reaching the opposite beach soon. But she could only see jungle and more jungle and huge trees rising from the ground. They looked like palm trees but much larger and with lots of branches.

 She only stopped running when the ground around her began to shake. The volcano was causing an earthquake and it was better to stay still. Far, beyond some plants, she saw the creature that had gone after her being devoured by a hole in the ground. It squealed horribly and disappeared as the tremor subsided and the island calmed down. Flo was sweating a lot and could only think about her boat and seeing if she had everything. After that, she kept on walking.

 The other side of the island could not be very far but the more she walked the more it appeared the island was expanding or maybe she was walking in circles. She decided to climb one of the tall trees, leaving her boat at the base, in order to check out where she was and if she could see the ocean and the direction she needed to go to be on the good route home. She climbed with ability, having done it many times as she had built the village. She had done so with so many great friends and people that wanted a second chance at life, trying to begin again in a new place. But that had just been a dream and she was the residue of that nightmare.

 When she got to the top she realized that she was very close to her objective, having only change course a bit. She had to start walking to her left because if she kept doing what she was doing maybe the volcano would consume her too. Talking about the volcano, she saw that the ash cloud had grown bigger and was spilling ash all over the passage she had to cross. But that wasn’t the most awful thing she saw from there. She noticed something like rocks on the side of the volcano, big black rocks. But then Flo realized they were moving and were coming down the mountain. She had little time.

 Fast, she always broke a leg getting down and tying up the rope to her waist. She ran to the left as she had planned and didn’t stop until she reached a rocky beach and saw a blackened ocean. The light of the afternoon, red as blood, didn’t help to the image of the place. It looked like hell, as simple as that. And the demons were coming behind her so she just swam. The natural bridge had disappeared so she propelled herself hard with arms and legs and was soon tired but because the water felt thicker and she couldn’t even breathe properly.

 Behind her, she heard dozens of pincers opening and closing and that made her try even harder to reach the other side and when she did she realized her body was covered in ashes and was black as the night that was beginning to fall. Tired and breathless, she saw how the beasts attempted to cross the water but something prevented them. The ashes were apparently more toxic to them than to her. One of the creatures, the bravest no doubt, launched itself to the ocean and tried to sweet but it got turned into a big white lump that floated away into the open sea.

 The others were mad but not for long. Flo had felt the ground shake again and then saw fire pouring out of the volcano. Lava, just like water, bathed every single side of the island and she could feel the heat on her face. The creatures tried to escape but they had nowhere to run. She saw them die and she felt bad for them and didn’t know why. The lava slowed down and she decided to cross the island she was in and sleep later.

 Florence actually crossed three small islands during the night, her fears having been also consumed by the lava. When she looked back, two days after the disaster, she saw only that the volcano had stopped and nothing more. She then had the silly idea that maybe, just maybe, that island was the natural toll booth of this world and maybe that other continent had never been one to settle a foot on.

 She then turned around and headed on to Ventura, pulling her small boat with her and hoping for the best for the future of the human race.

miércoles, 8 de abril de 2015

Afternoon in the museum

  The place was deserted, except for the small team of scientists that roamed the debris and walked tightly together, as if they were a single entity. They approached a square, where two members of the team that had guns stepped forward and escorted the others inside a big hole on the floor. There was glass everywhere and the stairs to go down where missing some of the steps. Everyone was very careful not to fall. When they reached the bottom, they reunited again. One of them, a woman, lit up a screen where she had a map of the place.

-       There.

 She pointed at a hallway and they all began to walk a little bit more relaxed, although some of their breathing equipment started making wheezing sounds. Yes, they had masks and tanks on their backs because the air had been deemed unbreathable. This was the consequence of the bombardment the city had gone through many years ago, during the Dark Wars. These battles and skirmishes had attempted to destroy every single trace of civilization in the world but it had been stopped just in time for that not to happen. Unfortunately, not every place in the world had been spared and cities such as this one lay empty and in ruin.

 The team followed Calista, the woman with the map, through the hallway. They did steadily but not in a run, but fast anyway. They saw rooms in darkness but didn’t enter any of them. After many other dark hallways and a few stairs, they reached a long corridor, lit by the sunlit coming from the outside.

-       This is it. The rooms by this corridor.

 They entered a door to the left and they all did the same expression of amazement. The room seemed to be stuck in time as all the pieces where still exactly where they had always been. Their state, besides some dust, was just perfect so Calista and her time started unpacking everything they had brought with them. There were bags and plastic and some boxes. There was also a rod that could be extended and had wheels, to help with the transportation of the objects. In a little while, they had all the small objects wrapped in plastic and into small boxes. They did the same thing with two other rooms until the two armed men told them they should here if they wanted to leave the city before dark.

 The team was too amazed with everything to worry about time. Shiny little objects, aged thousands of years, where now in their hands. They had been ordered only to grab the smaller things, the ones that came from far away countries now to far to reach. The Hive needed every single thing to be rescued in order to preserve it forever in the fortress in the mountains. Cities like this one were toxic and people would not be able to live there for many decades or more if they weather kept being as unpredictable as always. They had actually decided to go for the objects during summer, as the other seasons were very unpredictable. In summer the only danger was the heat but the city was now covered in clouds so that wasn’t much a thing to worry.

 The rooms they were going through had objects brought fro m the Middle East, some parts of Africa and Asia. They had been taken away from tribes and other cultures so many years ago. Violence had made many museums great at some point in their history. And now, many of the cultures that had done those pieces of art had been dead for some time. One of the helpers was not only amazed by the small sculptures but by the paintings. Some were European and others where from across the Atlantic. Walking away from the others, he stared at an especially vivid portrait of a young woman, who seemed to be looking straight at him. Then, the eye moved and a whistle was heard.

 Calista’s assistant fell dead to the floor, bleeding heavily on the marble floor. The armed men told everyone to stay down but there was no use as they now so what the dead man had seen before dying: the eyes of the young woman where not there anymore and there was a hole in her mouth. Someone behind the wall had shot the assistant. But who was it? Then, more whistles were heard. The person that was shooting was using silencer. The armed men made everyone crawl out of the room and stay down as they stayed by the door and shot down some of the paintings with their guns. The whistles stopped but then, they heard steps moving away. Whoever it was, he or she was escaping.

 They all ran towards the sound and Calista took out her map and checked the corridors. There were no secrete passageways on the map but there was a service door by the next couple of stairs. She yelled this to the armed men and they ran for the door. They did so just in time, as a shadow stepped out of it and they shot it down. Calista screamed. She realized it was a bad idea to kill someone who had probably survived the nuclear holocaust. Although, the person might not be right of the head. A medic they had brought with them came fast and checked to body. The person was dead. The men pulled the body towards the corridor and then, not only Calista but everyone screamed in horror.

 The creature had been a human. That was obvious because of his body but his face… He was gravely disfigured. Everyone’s breathing machines were working at full, as terror had required much more oxygen for them to breath. Calista and the doctor grew closer to the creature to check on the details of their attacker. He had a gun with a silencer on his belt and some other gadgets that they didn’t know what they were for. He also had a handful of keys in a chain. He was wearing normal clothes, although he was visible bleeding from open wounds on his legs and arms.

 His face was striking because there were no eyes there anymore. He had a mouth but the body seemed to have grown over it, making it small and disgusting, oozing some foul odor now he was dead. Then, they all pulled back. His hand had moved. In a second, one of the armed men show the creature several times on the chest. When he was finished, everyone looked at him, as if he was mad but he said he had seen some of the movies in the archive and dead always return before they really die. Calista smiled and stood up. She asked the doctor to do every analysis he could in a short time as they were leaving soon.

 An hour later, they had put several small boxes in three large boxes that they carried on the wheeled rod. When they reached the pint where they had entered the museum, the armed guys grabbed one end of the rod and three of the assistants grabbed the other end. They were careful not to fall down with it but that plan failed when several creatures appeared on top of them, looking down through the hole on the ground. The doctor and Calista replaced the armed men on the rod as these started shooting at every single creature they saw. They were all like the one they had gunned down inside: no eyes, some extra limbs, no mouth, … All mutated from the nuclear blast. These people had survived only to be transformed into something less than the most despised animal.

 The team finally reached the top and was able to create a circle. The men gave everyone a gun so they had even more chances to get out alive. The hovercraft that had left them there could not land so near the museum so they had to make a run for the nearest bridge. After passing it, they could as the pilot to bomb the bridge to prevent the mutants from crossing. One of the armed men called the craft as they ran with difficulty, both carrying the boxes and running and shooting at every disfigured face they saw. Then, they saw the hovercraft above them but this distraction cost the arm of one man, as one of the creatures grabbed him and broke it with ease. The wheeled rod fell on the ground and they had to put it up fast, kicking and shooting like crazy.

 No one knew how they really did it, but they ran across the bridge followed closely by the mutants, that moved incredibly fast. Of the armed men asked the pilots to shoot a missile at the bridge to blow it up. He did exactly that  rocks flew all over, making everyone fall to the ground. The hovercraft landed in front of them and opened the ramp. Shooting some mutants that had been on their side when the bridge exploded, they almost dragged the boxes into the craft and left fast. The machine went fast into the clouds and far from the city. Inside, they realized the assistant whose arm had been broken, was bleeding too much. The doctor tried to stabilize him went they realized his breathing apparatus had been broken in the run. They were both put in quarantine in a small room as they flew back to the Hive.

 Calista fell onto a seat and took off her mask. She was able to breath in calm, at last. She saw the clouds through the windows and asked herself if the mission had been worth it, if they the dead assistant had died for nothing and if both quarantined men were going to be ok. And then she fell asleep, never answering these questions.