I leveled my rifle at the door and turned on the laser sight. I delayed on the light, though, as I didn’t want to alert whatever was out there. The growling continued. It sounded like whatever it was communicated that way, and were trying to be quiet. Oh no . . . the aliens. How the heck did they find us?! And where the heck is Arnold?! Arnold had been on watch, but apparently they had overpowered him already.
The noises suddenly stopped, and I tensed. Suddenly, with a deafening crash, the door exploded off its hinges. It shot across the room at lightning speed, hit the bed, and cart wheeled over me, smashing into the wall with a loud crack. I ducked and flicked on the light as several shapes burst through the door.
My light illuminated creatures not of this world.
The creatures were tall, lean, and humanoid. Their skin was a dark green and mottled, and they had sharp teeth like animals and yellow, feline eyes. Their ears curved backwards around their skull like the way a cat’s do when it’s angry, and they had multiple digits on each hand. They were wearing some sort of blue-gray camouflage jumpsuits, and in their clawed hands they were carrying humming bullpup silver rifles.
My brain noted all this in a detached sort of way, as my gun came up of its own accord and fired on full auto. I emptied the entire magazine in a second and two aliens fell. Rather than reload, I fired a grenade and then flattened myself behind the bed to avoid the blast.
Rather than going into the hallway like I meant it to, the grenade struck the wall over the doorway. The concussion was deafening. The explosion rocked the room and tore a gaping hole in the wall, and a mutilated alien body landed on the bed.
My hand went instinctively to my thigh for my Warrior, but I quickly realized it was on the other side of the bed. Darn it.
I reached for another handgun I had, a Kimber Target II in 10mm, which was in a holster on my vest. I had liked this weapon for its large cartridge, but couldn’t find enough magazines at the time to justify making it my primary piece. I seized it, flicked the safety off, and popped back over the bed.
Another alien was in the doorway. It snarled viciously when it saw me and raised its weapon. Before it could fire, I shot it seven times in the gut, and it fell backwards into the hall, shrieking.
I shoved the handgun back into its holster and reloaded my rifle, my hands in a blur. I worked the M203 action and shoved another grenade in it, and then moved towards the door. As I came around the end of the bed, an alien from the hallway fired a burst of gunfire at me, the projectiles making silver streaks in the air. It shots missed and hit the wall, and I fired ten rounds in its general direction, somehow managing to hit it twice in the neck.
Before I entered the hallway, I threw a flashbang, yanking the pin out with my teeth and chucking it into the hall. Seconds after the blinding flash, I leapt into the hallway.
I couldn’t see any more aliens, but I could hear them. They were roaring and growling as they sprinted up the stairs at the end of the hallway. I knew I only had seconds. Planting a foot on the chest of the snarling alien I had shot with my handgun, I emptied my magazine into its head, splattering its brain tissues all over the walls.
An alien from the stairwell poked its head around the corner, and I fired my second grenade. This one went straight into the doorway and exploded, and I heard loud shrieks from the blast zone. Backpedaling quickly down the hallway, I reloaded my M4 and M203, and then slammed back first into Keisha’s door, the closest one to my room.
“Keisha!” I bellowed, firing down the hall. I had no cover and it was only a matter of time before they stormed me. “Keisha! Open the dang door!”
Keisha yanked it open, and I fell backwards into her room. “What’s going on?” she shouted, already fully armed.
“Aliens!” I yelled back, “All over the freaking place! They’re everywhere! Where’s the radio?”
Keisha looked frantically around. “I can’t see it!” she cried, “Arnold or Steve must have it!”
Darn . . . the detached part of my brain remarked calmly, And they’re probably already dead.
There was loud crash from the hallway. Before I could even get out a good curse, Keisha’s door exploded as well. She was standing right in front of it, and it catapulted her across the room and into the well. Roaring with fury, I emptied my magazine with one hand and fired my grenade launcher with the other, mowing down three aliens and undoubtedly injuring more with the grenade. Thus reprieved, dropped my rifle and pulled two flares off my gear and threw them into the hallway, where they began to belch clouds of yellow smoke. Good, I thought, Cover.
Grabbing my rifle, I sprinted back to an unconscious Keisha. “Keisha!” I shouted, kneeling next to her and dropping my empty magazine. “Wake up!”
I grabbed for another magazine, and was stunned to find every single one of my pouches empty. What the heck?! Where did they all go? I thought frantically, chucking the useless rifle aside and going for my handgun.
Another alien jumped into the doorway and I dropped it with three rounds before my slide locked back. I reloaded without looking and opened fire on another, shooting it twice and making it stagger into the far wall of the hallway. Click.
The gun didn’t fire. “Dang it!” I screamed. The beast was still moving; it would take at least one more round to kill it. I racked the slide to, I thought, eject the bad round, but to my horror it didn’t happen.
I frantically racked the slide again and again. I could see the round in the chamber, but it was just sitting there, why wouldn’t it eject? Terrified, I tried to drop the magazine to load another, but the release was stuck. I cursed Kimber and threw the gun aside, snatching Keisha’s Glock.
The pistol barked as I put round after round into the alien. I could see the bullets hitting, I could see the wounds they made, but the alien would not go down. I fired again and again, and then the slide locked back. Helpless, I watched as the alien raised its weapon, bleeding from wounds that would have killed any other being. It seemed to smile mockingly as it squeezed the trigger and fired.
I felt the whole burst enter my chest and stomach, and I collapsed back onto Keisha’s lifeless body, blood covering my shirt, unbelievable pain filling me. It’s all over, I thought dazedly, unbelievingly, It’s all over.
Why? Why did it have to end like this?
I couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything as the monster entered my field of vision over me and leveled its rifle at my face. There was a flash of light and pain which seared me down to my very soul and I was gone.
I sat bolt upright in bed, sucking in deep, gasping breaths. I could feel my heart frantically pounding, so hard I could see it just by staring at my heaving chest. I was dripping sweat, and the bed was soaked with it.
Just a dream, I tried to console myself. I got out of bed and grabbed a towel from the bathroom to dry my wet hair. It was just a stupid dream . . . Nothing else.
But no matter how I tried, I could not shake the image of the alien leveling its rifle at my face. I ended up sitting in an armchair in full gear, clutching my rifle in one hand and wrapped in a blanket, staring fixedly at the few still-functioning lights of the big city.