Contra Felicem (v.2)

A science fiction story. I got a few chapters in on my last account, stumbled into writers block, and gave up.

With renewed vigour, and some improved writing skills, I'm starting it again!

<Orders Begin>

8th Day of the 10th Moon2304 After Pilgrimage

Archangel One is to storm the slum housing-complex, known as the "EDEN GARDENS" at 0200.

Command reports unholy taint.

Purge the living.

Terms of Combat: Level 10. No restrictions. All people encountered, civilians or not, must be purified. Exceptions must be cleared with Tactical Operations.

Weapons Restrictions: None.

God Is With You.Slay the heretic, and may God guide your weapons.

<End Orders>
-Tactical Operations Headquarters Briefing, Exodus Army

The squad of men made their way down the crumbling hallway, the flickering lights granting glimpses of the men in their dark-blue armour. With their weapons raised, they came to the last door, at the end of the last hallway, and stopped.

The man taking point raised his left hand, and the communicators inside the other men's helmets crackled to life.

"Everybody on me. I'll take point. I want breachers with me at the front, and covering fire from the back. Questions?"

One of the men from the middle of the group nodded.

"Permission to speak, Lieutenant Ross?"

"Go ahead, Mills."

"Recommend Intel Ops- see what's behind that door."

Lieutenant Ross nodded. "Affirmative, Sergeant. Defensive positions, everybody. Communications?"

Another man, this one in the back of the group, nodded and knelt down, leaning against the cheap, tin walls of the apartment complex. After a few moments of silent searching, he threw Lieutenant Ross a communications-patch, which Ross stuck to the side of his helmet.

"Intel Ops, Intel Ops, this is Archangel One. Requesting satellite feed, how copy?"

The communication pack glowed slightly as it boosted Ross' wireless signal, and his communicator came to life.

"Archangel One, this is Intel. Negative on sat feed, all units busy. Feeds online in two minutes. Continue with operation, how copy?"

Ross sighed. "Affirmative. Moving out."

"All right, men, we're not getting any more intel. Command says to just continue with the op," Ross spoke, tearing off the patch.

"Break's over. Mount up! Breaching positions!"

The men took up positions in front of the door, guns raised. Ross tapped Mills on the shoulder, and the sergeant crept forward.

Placing an explosive charge on the door, Mills motioned for the rest of the soldiers to step back.

"Everybody ready?" asked Ross. "On point! Three! Two! One! BREACH!"

Mills yanked on the explosive's cord, and a fiery blast ripped the door open.
"GO! GO! GO!"

The men sprinted into the dark apartment, their night-vision turning turning the rooms into a sea of green.  

"MOVE IN! MOVE IN!"

The entire complex shook as grenades exploded and a hailstorm of bullets ripped their way through the walls of the apartment.

"FAN OUT! DOUBLE UP! MOVE AND CLEAR!"

The men split up into teams of two, making their way through every room. Gunshots rang out, mingling with the sounds of panicked screams. After several minutes of continuous gunfire, an eerie silence overtook the building.

Ross broke the quiet. "REPORT!"

Shouts of "CLEAR!" rang out from every corner of the apartment. 
Moving through a torn-open wall into the living room, the

Lieutenant began to yell. "FULL REPORT! REGROUP!"
The men moved into the living room, the room filling with the smoke of heated guns. Sergeant Mills lifted his visor, his eyes watering from the smoke.

"No casualties, sir. Four civilians purified with holy ammunition, one with regular."

Ross lifted his visor and shouldered his shotgun. "Stay frosty, gentlemen. Somebody get me a communication patch."

A murmur rippled through the men, and out of the crowd, a man handed another patch to Lieutenant Ross. Slapping the patch onto his helmet, the patch began to glow and Ross again spoke into his helmet's comm.

"Tactics Operations, this is Archangel One. Building clear, confirm fifty civilians purified. Cross-check with apartment records, how copy?"

The patch continued to glow as Ross's headset crackled to life.

"Archangel One, this is Tac Ops. Copy negative, Intel Ops report fifty-one civvies recorded on Satellite One. Repeat, confirm one extra kill, how copy?"

Ross cocked his head, and turned to his men.

"Boys, we missed one. Check your guns, and let's find the heretic."
The men looked around in confusion, and a murmur began to rise through the ranks.

Suddenly, a sharp crack resounded through the apartment. Ross shut his visor and grabbed his shotgun.

"STAY FROSTY! DEFENSIVE POSITIONS!"

The men placed their backs to the window of the living room, and aimed their weapons at the entrance to the living room. Several seconds of silence  lasted- then footsteps.

Click.

Clack.

Click.

Clack.

Mills, who was at the front of the defensive line, lifted his rifle.

A shadowy figure, garbed in rags and skeletal in appearance, slowly made its way to the living room.

Ross lifted his hands. "MY SIGNAL! ON THREE, OPEN FIRE!"

The figure got closer, its face still obscured by the lack of lights.

"THREE!"
Close, close, closer.

"TWO!"

The figure stopped just in front of the living room.

"ONE!"

Barely stepping into the light, the figure's emaciated mouth, twisted into a skeletal grin, appeared.

"MARK!"

The End

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