Here's a touch of On The Way to New Isosceles. Please remember this story is for mature readers only.
On The Way to New Isosceles, Chapter 1
It was Iowa, twenty years ago. The wheat fields were golden, the sky aqua- but JJ knew it was just a dream again. Every night Earth-luscious with life, vegetation, water-returned to JJ as it once was. The powerful atmosphere blew an ever so gentle breeze through JJ’s astral red hair. Her younger self walked knee deep in the swaying grains. It was hot; the sun shone its mid day summer brightest. Her little dress billowed-she was bare foot, and the seeds itched yet tickled her soles and bare arms. That morning it had rained, and beads of water still trickled from the budding grain and dropped between little JJ’s toes. Her feet would get dirty, and her mother would send her to the hose before JJ was allowed to enter the house.
Just as it had then, a shadow slid over the glistening grains. Not simple wisps of clouds, but a sudden, massive blanket of darkness. The golden sunlight vanished from view. A red glow lit up the afternoon, the horizon streaked with the colors of sunset and wildfires, and a fiery red meteor smoked across the sky. Hot coals rained down on the twelve year old, and JJ ducked below the equally defenseless grains. Lava like fire smothered the ground, and sulfur filled JJ’s lungs. The girl tried to turn and crawl home, but the ground was hot and quaked. It was dark, and the burning grains cast the dim flickering light of a thousand little candles. Iowa submerged into Hell. The comet fell to earth, and all that humanity knew of Gaia was gone.
JJ sat up in her bunk and hit her head on the solid deck plating. There was little room to breath on the Mother Ship, but better inside the hearty old ship’s cramped walls, then out in cold, black, oxygen-free space. Of course, JJ had chosen the top bunk.
“Another nightmare?” Her bunkmate’s concerned feminine call came from beneath the top bed.
JJ pulled her hair from its messy bun and wiped the sweat from her chest. Her heavy breathing calmed. Her hair was still red, but shorter and darker. She wasn’t flat chested, but her boobs weren’t as big as she would have liked. And of course, earth was still unable to sustain life. Well, it had been when what was left of humanity left ten years ago. How her home planet had faired since JJ hadn’t heard.
“As you were, Private,” JJ finally acknowledged. She laid back down and listened to their spaceship rumble. She was a Lieutenant in the Combatant Brigade, she needn’t give explanations when she wasn’t ordered to by her Captain. Ten years of space faring and fighting their rival human factions didn’t give time to go soft. Not that JJ was ever soft. She would, however, drift off to sleep again if she was left alone. Sleep was necessary to her business, but alarms stirred JJ again.
“Combat Teams to your drop ships,” The intercom echoed. “All Combat Teams to your drop ships.”
“That’s us!” JJ’s bunkmate jumped up and pulled on her gear. Her perfect uniform was on and her backpack ready before JJ slid off her bunk and carelessly tossed away her sleep shirt. The tall, fit Korean was a proper soldier, and as strict as JJ was, sometimes Ina Wu’s no nonsense attitude irked her. But JJ had little time to be irked, especially now. Her uniform was on and in tip top shape. Gear? Check. Backpack-JJ halted at the sight of a third, empty bunk. Their quarters were small for one, inconvenient for two, but their third roommate was not interested in bunking with other women.
“Wu, where is Kimmie?”
“I believe its been Private Lucas for awhile,” Ina informed.
JJ buttoned her top and locked her gear into place. “If she’s not at the drop ship, Captain Westmayer better not chew my ass.”
The women jogged down the shaking corridor with other combat specialists in rustling dark spacesuits, helmets, backpacks, and jiggling space gear. The team had been to the weapons lock up and took up their spacesuits with their rifles. The hefty doors of the Mother Ship beeped its warnings and opened before them.
“Let’s move it!” JJ rushed into the Lift Off Zone. Shuttles and drop ships waited for their personnel as the Mother Ship shook and echoed.
“Zone Doors Opening in two minutes. All Combatants to your drop ships.”
Combatants marched onto their drop ships, and Ina climbed up the rumbling ramp of Drop Ship 69. The swift Asian strapped into her designated seat, but a tall shadow prevented JJ from entering the transport.
“Lieutenant Johnson, I’ve told you before about the need for timely deployments.”
“I know, Captain.”
Where Ina’s severe stature and jaw line deceived about her dry wit and sometimes impish personality, Captain Scott Westmayer meant to look menacing, even if he was warm at heart. Although JJ had known Westmayer on earth, so maybe his warmness was for her and her alone. Not that there was time to really know people while hurling through space.
“Jess, you’re the best hand to hand combatant in the unit, but you’re lead by example attitude only goes so far.”
JJ wasn’t a leader. She was a fighter, but the Combatants needed leaders, and she didn’t argue with her superior. At least, not when there was a mission to be had.
“I know, Captain.”
“You’ve got to show more authority, Lieutenant.”
A disheveled private approached the ramp, and both her superiors glared. Her uniform was mis-buttoned over her lacey bosom, and what gear she did have was tangled around her shoulders. JJ was a bit jealous of her friend’s lust and carefree attitude, but sex doesn’t last. Combatants were fighting for their very existence, and this private was not doing her share. It wasn’t her fault. Everyone on earth had to choose a side. Kimmie couldn’t fly a spaceship, and she didn’t build nuclear weapons-she hadn’t the brains for those.
“Kimmie Dejonaire.” The Captain sighed with slight bemusement at the messy blonde, but he entered the drop ship. “Let’s go, Private!”
The Mother Ship was old-scorched on its hull, and rather clunky as spaceships go. The Combatants didn’t exactly get first choice in spacecraft, but this Mother Ship had been JJ’s home since she left earth. It was easy to personalize the old broad. Still chugging after all these years in her routine. The girl’s belly opened smoothly, and the Mother Ship’s doors released the drop ships one by one. JJ looked out the tiny window beside her seat. Cramped rows of jury rigged chairs carried the Combatants as the smaller crafts fell into space. Captain Westmayer stood by the controls in the drop ship and braved the descent. Never seemingly disturbed by anything, Ina smoothed her cropped dark hair and snapped on her helmet.
“Who is it Captain, Shitters or Nukes?” The man next to her asked.
“We’ve seen no signs of the Shippers,” The Captain stressed the proper nickname, and several of the boys laughed. Westmayer remained business. “We’ve learned the Nukes may be building more weapons on Asteroid 891X726.”
Westmayer put the information on the ship’s small display screens. The images shook and jumped with the jittery ship. Maps and pictures of the asteroid rotated before the team. All business as well, JJ studied the data.
“That’s a pretty big asteroid,” She cut in. “Still, all our drop ships won’t make the landing.”
“It will be tricky, but we have to land as many as possible.“ Westmayer focused on the material, not his personnel, as was his usual custom. “You’re objective when we land is to take their weapons facility by any means necessary.”
The Captain pointed to the proposed facility’s location, but the drop ship’s screens flickered.
“If we land.” Kimmie found her headgear and held onto her jiggling helmet. Their tiny ship shook more as it descended nearer the asteroid.
“When we land,” the Captain repeated. “If it cannot be taken, we will abort for an aerial assault.”
JJ frowned. “Why not an air raid first? Our lasers were up to 87 percent. The Mother Ship could be done before we…”
“Those are my orders, Lieutenant.” Westmayer turned away from JJ and fiddled with the controls.
A hearty Latino man looked squashed in the locked chair beside Kimmie.
“What’s going to stop the Nukes from releasing those pretty little bio hazards they like?”
“Shut it, Miguel.” Ina snickered. “You're always afraid a biological weapon is going to ruin your libido.”
“The Sergeant has a point,” JJ intervened, still perplexed at their unnecessary risk. “The asteroid could be flooded now. What guarantee do he have?”
“None.” Westmayer was grim. “They've used chemicals against us in the past. You all have your current inoculations.”
“We’re five years behind them!” Kimmie grumbled to Miguel.
If Westmayer heard, he did not let on. “Take them by surprise and get to that facility before the Nukes can push any buttons. Good luck."
“Don’t lay it on all at once.” Miguel crossed himself.
The drop ships fired their thrusters and descended slowly and evenly toward the asteroid. JJ felt the rumbles and quakes, but she was used to it. When they first took to spaceflight, they all became ill and nauseous ascending, descending-every time a ship shook. JJ turned from the tiny window and looked up and down her team. This was old hat now. Some of them even slept, but no one turned green.
“Check your comms,” JJ ordered as she adjusted her headset. Already there was ships’ chatter.
"Drop Ship 73 your coming in too fast!"
A drop ship zoomed passed the others and skidded over the rocky terrain. It deflected off a rough peak and crashed onto the asteroid’s abysmal surface. JJ blinked at the brief flashes outside her window. Pieces of hot metal slammed against the other drop ships, and Kimmie jumped at the echoes and clangs. More drop ships overshot the asteroid.
“57 shorten your thrusts.”
"Drop Ship 34, we’re trying to circle back for another go."
"Negative," Captain Westmayer ordered. He looked at the fritzing monitors and sensors. "Stay off as reinforcements. 41, 83, you’re on call as well."
"What number are we again?" Miguel turned to Kimmie.
"Drop Ship 69."
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