Difficult Life Choices

Today’s #RichardWrites features October Kohl, right after he’s jumped out of a perfectly good spacecraft (the Tyche) and landed in the middle of a warehouse that is on fire. Let me know what you think 🙂 It’s from the second book in Tyche’s JourneyTyche’s Deceit.

The side of the warehouse had been carved in with what looked like God’s own baseball bat, a nice straight line bored right through the middle. Plasma burn, looked like, or a couple of ‘em. Roof was off, hole in the side: not much of a warehouse anymore. He jogged into it anyway, carbine held low and ready, taking in the sights. There, one of the guys that looked like Abel, but with his arms cut off, which looked like Gracie had been through here and hadn’t been happy about the process. Next layer deep, there were … pods, or some such thing, people who looked like they were being sucked dry. Hell of a way to go, but not quite as bad as having an insect eat your brain. Or maybe it was? Difficult to know for sure.

Kohl kept pushing forward, finding no one alive. Dust or smoke or an even mix of both was thick in the air. It swirled around him, covering his armor in a fine grit. It’d need a clean after this, that was for sure, but his armor usually did.

He arrived at an empty room with four dead Ezeroc, or what looked like four. One was cut up the middle — Gracie, gotta be — and three lumps of char that were probably the cap’s work. And a doorway. Closed, but in a way that suggested a man was supposed to open it.

Kohl figured on being that man. He kicked the door open, the damage to the warehouse meaning it flew off its hinges to land in the room itself. There, another Ezeroc cinder — which gave even odds of the cap still being alive — and a doorway into hell itself. Kohl had never been much for religion, invisible friends in the sky not being his jam, but he knew what hell was. He knew what it smelled and tasted like, and those damn tendrils going down into that pit of despair sure looked like hell to him. The dust and smoke wasn’t helping any, but that’s what war zones were like. Nothing worth complaining about.

Time to get to work.

He was about to saunter over to the edge of the pit, except it sprouted a human head, and then a torso, and another head beside. People were running up out of the pit, and he grabbed a man in passing. “Hey. You seen the cap?”

“Run!” said the man, and tore free, rushing away.

“Fuck running,” said Kohl after him. “You just die tired.” He snared a woman’s arm. “Cap?”

“He’s dead, or as good as,” she said. “Save yourself if you’re smart.”

“I promised myself I wouldn’t kill anyone else today,” said Kohl. “You’re making that difficult.”

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