05 December 2011

MHI Alaska: A Dish Served Cold (chapter 2)

(Chapter 1 is here)

Chapter 2

"Hey, Rick, listen to this: the state's looking for a 4,000 tons-per-hour mechanical snow blower. Isn't that what Earl used down in Michigan recently?"

"Down, Tom. It might be nice to have, but our budget's been pretty tight lately. Maybe if we had the PUFF from a few of those undead like he ran into, we could afford it. It's been too quiet here, and you know how Owen is about special requests." Rick grinned. "Besides, he's bigger'n me, and I don't want to upset a guy his size. Now, can someone please tell me why this place looks like an explosion in a munitions plant?

The Hunters were in a large cabin in the mountains outside of Juneau. Outside, the snow was falling thickly enough to muffle sound, although it had been raining just a couple of hours before. The main room was littered with parts of rifles, pistols, grenade belts, magazines, ammo boxes, and tool kits.

"Keep your shirt on, Rick. We'll have all these back together in just a bit. Gotta keep 'em cleaned, lubed and ready to rock and roll." Sandy stuck his head into the room from the kitchen door. "Beside, if Jamie makes it here, we need to have all our stuff finished & ready to load."

"Don't worry about Jamie, guys. You know she's a better pilot than most. And if she cleans those wolf guns of hers, they'll take up most of the room here ... so get a move on, slowpokes!"

A flurry of wadded up cleaning rags, used patches, laughter and rude remarks followed Sandy's abrupt retreat into the kitchen.

Rick just shook his head. These guys were experienced Hunters, and the long spell of inactivity made all of them a little itchy for action. Well, no matter. If the reports are accurate, he thought, we'll have plenty of action pretty soon.

* * * * *

The first calls started coming in about an hour later. Val, the secretary in the Palmer office, was forwarding messages but was quickly overwhelmed. She finally started texting them to him, rather than taking the time to call. Using her internet "messenger" program, she was able to send lengthier messages in SMS format to his phone. Most of her messages now described several reports, attacks and sighting.

"Okay, guys, listen up. We've got some major activity reported on the south side of Juneau, a documented attack at Angoon on Admiralty Island, and another report from Sitka, although it's not clear what's happening there."

Dusty said, "Heck, Rick, we're going to need both planes then. Is Jamie here yet?"

"Yes, she just landed in Juneau. I think the tower tried to wave her off, but she told them something about not being 'a balloon that can float indefinitely' and landed anyway."

Everyone laughed. "That's our gal," Sandy said.

* * * * *

The boat harbor at Sitka, normally a picturesque place, resembled a slaughter-house floor. There was red everywhere they looked: fishing vessels were wrecked, some were capsized, and all were smeared with blood. Most of the team moved cautiously, patrol fashion, down the longest pier. Rick and Tom walked along the breakwater, hoping to catch ... well, whatever it was ... in a cross-fire.

Rick keyed his mic. "You guys seeing anything over there?" Jim answered, "Nothing yet, but whatever it was, was BIG."

It would have to be big, to capsize all those fishing boats. "Okay, everyone stay sharp."

* * * * *

Jamie and Sandy were getting a good look, from the air, at the carnage around Angoon. The village below them looked like the aftermath of a tornado.

"Sandy, don't move around so much. With the gunracks mounted, we're barely in the air as it is. If you weren't a shrimp," she grinned at him over her shoulder, "we wouldn't be in the air at all." He grinned back. "Lucky for you, Ms. Look-at-me-I'm-taller-than-anybody, I'm a medium-sized guy. Hey, wait. What's that?"

Jamie swiveled her head. "Where? I don't see ... oh, crap. What IS that?"


DISCLAIMER: I do not own MHI or any of its characters; those are owned and copyright Larry Correia. I only claim the ones I've created here. And a BIG h/t to Mr. Correia for creating such a wonderful universe in which to play, and for his kind permission to use his concepts here.

Another h/t to Jenny S., who contributed a couple of crucial ideas to improve this short story. Her help has been invaluable, both here and in my first book.

Headlines appearing here are actual stories from the Anchorage Daily News on the dates cited.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

I can see a BUNCH of fanfiction coming for Larry's stuff! These are good!