As Commander Kilfry and Lieutenant Badmoo prepare to take on an alien menace, tensions are running high.
How long can they hold out before turning on each other?
Not very long...
A short, humour-based piece of flash-fiction.
Commander Kilfry descended to the rocky, barren surface with sweaty trepidation.
The meteor had little to no gravity, and Kilfry had to rely almost solely on his armoured suit’s artificial gravity field to keep himself grounded.
He had never operated in such a low centre of gravity before.
One powerful blast would be all it took to shuffle him loose from the ashy crust of this deserted rock…
Kilfry shook his head, and laughed loudly in an attempt to distract himself from the imminent peril at hand.
To the casual observer, he might have appeared mildly crazy.
“You know, you sound kinda crazy when you laugh like that,” confirmed Lieutenant Badmoo, as he touched down next to Kilfry with a flourish.
Kilfry smiled wryly at Badmoo, though the gesture was sadly lost beneath his cavernous helmet.
“Fear not, my trusty sidekick,” Kilfry lauded, slapping Badmoo playfully on the back. “It’s all part of the plan!”
Badmoo’s eye twitched angrily.
“Oh, really?” he drolled sarcastically as he played with the scanning computer on his arm. “What plan is that, exactly? The one where you laugh loud enough to attract the alien’s attention, thusly making a sneak attack completely and utterly impossible? And I told you, I’m not your sidekick! You just… outrank me…”
Kilfry studied Badmoo with cool derision.
“Well…” Kilfry cooed thoughtfully. “Since I outrank you, I order you to be my sidekick.”
“I hate you,” he declared bluntly.
Badmoo’s personal scanning computer whirred to life, echoing a series of electronic beeps around the barren crater they’d landed in.
“We’ve got four bogies to the north…” Badmoo reported concernedly. “And… oh my god… it looks like… a queen…”
“If anything is going to get us found out,” Kilfry pontificated distractedly. “It’ll be that stupid recon computer. What kind of a stupid scanner beeps as loudly as that anyway?? I don’t know why you brought it… Can’t you turn the sound off?”
Badmoo growled under his breath as he shut down the scanning computer.
“Yeah, right…” he intoned angrily. “Because my scanning computer is nowhere near as useful as that lame alien artefact you spent all our money on at the last space port… It doesn’t even do anything!”
“The space oracle told me it would help us, Lieu-ten-ant!” Kilfry shouted back shrilly, sounding out Badmoo’s rank in phonetic accusation. “What was I supposed to do?? It’s obviously important…”
“Oh sure, it’s obviously important!” Badmoo screamed back. “That cult of crazed space mutants that jumped us back there seemed quite interested in it…”
“Well, they wouldn’t have been able to jump us, if your stupid computer hadn’t beeped so freaking loudly!!” Kilfry bellowed, spraying spittle across the inside of his reflective face guard.
Badmoo screeched piercingly as he unholstered his photonic pistol from his hip.
“Oh yeah…” he hissed through gritted teeth at Kilfry. “Well, here’s a beep for you…”
Badmoo fired from the hip without thinking, straight into the armour around Kilfry’s stomach.
The crisp flash of oxidised photonic particles flooded the air, as the life support system in Kilfry’s suit whirred to life.
Kilfry stood in muted shock as his suit’s computer moaned at him.
“You shot me!” he exclaimed in shock.
“Yeah, I did!” Badmoo shouted back. “What you gunna do about it, Com-man-der??”
Another photonic flash illuminated the grey silt of the crater, as Badmoo’s pistol struck Kilfry in the leg, causing him to stagger backwards.
“Stop it!” screamed Kilfry. “My shields! We’ll need them at full power, if we want to defeat the aliens…”
Badmoo’s pistol fire seared through the air a third time, thwacking Kilfry in the face-guard of his helmet, and knocking him on his arse.
“You are so dead…” Kilfry growled grimly, as he unclipped his silicose particle rifle from his shoulder.
With a flourishing roll and a quick burst from his stabilising jets, Kilfry rocketed through the air like a deranged albatross with an energy weapon.
He unloaded a clip from his rifle into Badmoo’s head as he gracefully twisted and pivoted over him, landing lightly on the far side of him.
“Those zero-g acrobatics lessons aren’t looking so bad now, are they?” Kilfry said smugly, as he replaced his rifle clip while circling Badmoo predatorily.
Badmoo slowly rose to his feet, a seething anger radiating from his being.
“I…” he panted heavily. “I… am going… to kill you…”
Badmoo whipped his second photonic pistol out from its holster, but Kilfry was ready this time.
Simultaneously, Badmoo and Kilfry began unloading their weapons into the fore of each other’s armoured suits.
Their internal computers flashed red and interjected polite warning messages as the air filled with the flash of high-tech weaponry.
Both staggered backwards, the physical pressure of the laser barrages taking its toll on their low-gravity forms, as they were pushed grindingly against the dirt towards the edges of the crater.
“Shields… fading…” Kilfry moaned through gritted teeth as he continued to fire on Badmoo’s shadowy form.
But Kilfry wouldn’t back down, just as he wouldn’t ask for quarter.
He’d pinky-sworn to himself that it would never come to that.
“Die…” came Badmoo’s raspy voice over the intercom as darkness closed in around Kilfry.
He rolled to the side, as Badmoo’s pistol-fire cascaded through the air around him.
“Lietuenant Badmoo!” Kilfry barked ferociously before the photonic blasts came upon him again. “Administer your plasmic nano-inhibitors! Now!!”
Badmoo froze, halting his attack.
He eyed Kilfry suspiciously as he watched his friend and nemesis panting in the dirt down the barrel of his guns.
Then, Badmoo holstered the firearms.
He cursed under his breath as he initiated the nano-injection sequence from his suit’s computer.
“Of course…” Badmoo lamented. “Space fever…”
Kilfry nodded concernedly as he rose to his feet, and administered the inhibitors to himself also.
“Yup,” Kilfry told Badmoo as a mild euphoria washed over him with the release of the nano-inhibitors into his bloodstream. “We must have picked it up from those space-mutants. Filthy animals.”
Badmoo sighed, and sat down on a nearby rock.
“Commander, do you ever feel like this has gotten too easy?” Badmoo complained as he hung his head. “I mean, even if the space fever had gotten the better of us, and our shields had failed, you and I both know that our suits will compensate, repair, and eventually they will revive us before a permanent cease-function of our vital systems renders these bodies useless. And even then, we know that we have cloned-bodies waiting for us back at the base-ship, ready to receive our consciousness-pneumonics when they’re retrieved.”
Commander Kilfry tapped his poly-carbonate sun-visor with his index finger thoughtfully.
“So you’re saying…” Kilfry intoned pedantically. “You’re saying that you don’t like the fact that the two of us can subvert an entire alien attack force, by ourselves, without having to call for backup? You… want more of a challenge?”
Lieutenant Badmoo shrugged.
“Well…” he said thoughtfully. “Not exactly… It’s just that… Technologically, we’re at a level where life might as well not matter anymore. I have absolutely no fear of dying, did you know that? I feel like my life has become a computer game…”
Commander Kilfry nodded sagely.
“You sound like a dick,” he informed Badmoo. “Come on. Whoever kills the alien queen gets to keep her pointy hat…”