The Fiction Issue #2

The Fiction Issue #2
Gears of War: Aspho Fields

Karen Traviss | 30 Sep 2008 12:12
The Fiction Issue #2 - RSS 2.0

     He fell back to reload. Dom jumped clear and carried on firing. Shit, those things really did take some stopping. Not even chainsaws did the job on them.
     Ordinary grubs, though . . . that was another matter. A drone came at them out of the rubble just as the Boomer sank to its knees, riddled with rounds. Dom turned to fire, but the grub jumped Marcus first.
     "Shit - " Dom couldn't get a clear shot as Marcus struggled with the grub. He revved up the chainsaw instead. Down through the shoulder, right through the main plumbing. Get off my buddy, you bastard. "Marcus, hang on."
     But Marcus was already doing some carving of his own.


His chainsaw screamed and stuttered against armor. There was a precise technique to the saw: you had to put your weight behind it, or else the blades skidded and didn't bite. The best action was a downward slice, leaning into the target, but Marcus was pinned on his back, cutting upward, and the grub was still thrashing around, even though it couldn't use its weapons close- in. Dom sliced into its shoulder - and still the thing kept moving.
     But the Boomer was out of the game now, just a shaking mound of meat on the floor. Somehow, Dom kept it in his peripheral vision as he sliced into the grub on top of Marcus. He was sure it was never going to die until it bellowed and threw back its head, hurling him clear. As Dom scrambled to his feet, he saw a spray of arterial blood, Marcus rolling clear, then everything ground to a sudden, silent halt.
     The Boomer was down. It still wasn't dead - how could it hold out like that? - but it would be very soon. The things bled out like any other creature.
     "Any more?" Marcus said, jumping up. "Is that all of them? Baird? Cole?"
     "I'm mopping up, baby."
     Cole rose up from behind a shattered column and opened fire almost casually, aiming his Lancer onehanded. Dom turned in time to see a drone falling backward a few meters away, still firing in a neat arc that tilted up to punch into the vaulted ceiling.
     "Nice." Marcus wiped his chin and stared at his palm. "Shit . . ."
     Cole looked down at the dead grubs with faint distaste, and prodded one with his boot to check for movement. Then he inhaled.
     "I hate that smell." He sounded muffled, but it was just Dom's ears recovering from the noise. "It ain't putting me off my dinner, though. Are we done here?"


From the upcoming novel Gears of War: Aspho Fields by Karen Traviss, in stores everywhere October 28, 2008. Copyright © 2008 by Epic Games Inc. & ® or ™ where indicated. All rights reserved. Published by Del Rey, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.


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