Pirate Colours

This is the last of the lead-up to the short battle sequence. Short, you ask? On the first hand, I’m not very good at them. On the second hand, this is a raw MS so there is plenty of time to make changes before I put this under the nose of my copyeditor. On the gripping hand, recall that this part is through Jimmy Burns’ eyes. So, a human with little or no tactical experience is about to observe a genetically modified woman stab some stimulant into herself and move faster than his eyes can track. Thus, I can only write the parts where Aurie pauses for a split second to kill someone close up.

What does she inject into herself? Next time, friends, next time.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

They were walking to that bunker’s front door when an older man came out to greet them.  While he might be base security, he was dressed no differently than Burns was:  jeans, shirt, NS Rocketry vest.  But with a sidearm.  He had his hand out.

“Morning, Jimmy,” he said.  “Brought some visitors, did you?”

“Indeed.  This here is Mrs. Colour Jansen, from just west in Maine,” they shook hands, “and this is Miss Aurie Hardt, from Texas, if you can believe it.”

“Miss Hardt, I’m Ben Alvis.  I’d say head of security here but as it’s just me…”

“A pleasure, Mister Alvis,” Hardt smiled at him, holding onto his hand just a little too long for Jimmy’s taste.  “You carry yourself like a military man.  Is that your background?”

“Quite so, Miss Hardt.  Eight years, Canadian Army.  They tried to talk me into staying longer but I didn’t want anything to do with, well…” he trailed off.

“The occupation of the old US Midwest?” she prompted.

“Yeah.  I didn’t think that was any of our business.  But now then,” he brightened, “I’m sorry I can’t offer you two any shiny guest badges, but as you’ve already snagged one of our best techs to show you around…”

The phone in his office rang.

“Excuse me, I’ve been expecting that.  See everyone later,” he said, turning about quickly.

“He seems nice,” Colour said.

“You get lubricious around cops, Friend?” Aurie said with her head tilted to the right.  “You smell horny right now.”

“Anyway,” Jimmy said, taking a shoulder in each hand before a catfight broke out, pushing them in the direction of the assembly building, “since we only launch into low-earth orbit, the boosters and payload arrive via truck.  And yes, we’ve pleaded with both Ottawa and Halifax about the condition of the road but so far, nothing.”

“Short-sighted,” Aurie said, reaching her left hand up to take his and hold it between them.  That was almost like a little shock.

“I thought you implied you were the first through the gate?” Colour asked, noting the four men performing some kind of maintenance around the outside of the building.

“These guys?  Some of them just crash here in cots in some of the empty buildings,” Jimmy explained.  “That only happens when we have a launch coming up.”

“Looks like y’all have the brush burned away from the pad,” Aurie said, releasing his hand and turning completely about.  “I guess to make sure nothing catches fire and spreads?  And the sea is just, what, about five hundred feet north and east?  Seems a little further south, though.”

“Yeah,” Jimmy said after doing the math.  “About one hundred meters north and east.  “The low trees were uprooted and we do one controlled burn each year.”

“What’s that?” Hardt pointed due north.  “Out in the water?”

“Well,” he shaded his eyes with his right hand, “it looks like a goodly-sized commercial fishing vessel…  Not sure why it’s so close in Sherewink Cove, though.  What the…?”

From the stern of the ship came three black rubber boats with outboard motors.  At the same moment, a siren began to wail from the top of the assembly building.  Jimmy turned about to see Alvis running toward them with a bolt-action rifle over his shoulder, waving his arms.

“This is just what the Constable of Sidney, up on Cape Breton Island, warned me about last night!” he shouted to all of them, workers and guests.  “Pirates!  Up from one of the coves on Long Island, no doubt!  We have to evacuate!”

The workers were already in motion toward the parking lot.  Hardt took her eyes from the rubber boats, about three minutes from making land, to Alvis’.

“Why?  There may be, what, two dozen of them?  Just shoot them.  You must protect this outpost of civilization.”

“Miss,” Alvis said, now next to them, “I told you:  it’s just me here and – ”

“No.” She pointed to Colour’s battle rifle and her own.  “It is us.  And, more to the point, it’s me.”

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