Small Snippet From The Code Of Armor Sequel

Here's a small snippet from the sequel to Code Of Armor, which is tentatively titled "Code Of Armor: Breakthrough."

Helpful hint: Some people might call an unplanned chapter ahead of the main story a tacked-on prologue.  I call it a "Chapter Zero!"  Heh. ;)


     They were the last survivors of their unit, but the contract was fat, and the completion bonus even fatter.  A pressing mixture of greed and bloodlust urged them deeper into the target facility.  This was an ugly situation, but they'd pulled through worse.  On the upside, with just the six of them left, the split would be enough to quit the merc life for good.

     “'Nice, easy rescue job,' right, Boss?  'Double rate, because the client wants it kept low-profile,' right?” one of them complained over the comm network.

     “You shut yer yap, Snim, and cover that airlock.  You make any more noise, and I'll tear yer tentacles off, and leave you behind as a meal for those things to eat, wrigglin' and raw,” the leader of the unit said, pointing his environmental suit's main claw while his smaller manipulators topped off his rifle's magazine.

     The mercenaries huddled up in what was left of the facility's cafeteria, surrounded by scattered chairs and overturned, blood-splattered tables.  They gathered in the center of the breached environmental dome, weapons pointed outboard as their commander consulted with the glowing map display on the outside of his claw.  Something stirred, and their rifle muzzles zeroed in on a motion from the far end of the dome.

     “Oh, void, Boss, it's another one!”

     A shimmering black form, about the height of a standard human, emerged from one of the frozen piles of corpses.  Trooper Snim opened fire with his laser carbine, and the pool of darkness staggered under the assault of heat and light.  Its gelatinous mass rippled in gray waves as a scab formed across the laser strike.  A slug rifle's projectile found its frozen form, shattering it.  It toppled, splitting into two smaller shadows, and closed in on them.  The divided pair of lethal puddles sprinted towards them at a freakish pace.  Snim panicked as he saw the ebon blobs try to flank them, and broke formation to seek cover behind a table.

     “Snim!  Get back here!”

     The pools of darkness flowed across the floor, skimming and bouncing as bullets and photons ricocheted around and through them.  The shape closest to Snim vaulted up, forming a spike-like penetrator as it hurtled towards his faceplate.  Despite his efforts to avoid it, it speared into his visor, and the comm channel was filled with screaming and liquid, gurgling noises.




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