Authors: T. R. Harris
Tags: #Military SF
The Human Chronicles
Copyright 2012 by T.R. Harris
Adam Cain is an alien with an attitude.
His story continues…
Adam Cain had an alien to kill.
Yet before he set out on the mission, his professional training dictated that he take inventory of his equipment and check his weapons…
Adam was in a pressurized hotel room in the Hildorian city of Jaxas, and spread out on the bed before him was a full array of energy weapons and other tactical gear. Although the tactics and strategies from his formal U.S. Navy SEAL training had very little carryover to his present occupation, the habits developed during his military years were hard to break. So with methodical precision, Adam went down the mental checklist and triple-checked his weapons.
His formidable weapons cache ranged from the standard MK-17 and XF Flash Rifle, all the way up to and including his prized MK-47 High Energy Bolt Launcher. The ’47 had cost him nearly an entire contract fee, but it was well worth it. Being the top-of-the-line for handguns, the weapon boasted a standard level-one charge of twenty bolts, and its targeting computer carried the fastest rating in its class. Personally, Adam never used the targeting assist, but just carrying the weapon often gave many who sought to challenge him second thoughts.
Honestly, Adam didn’t really care if they made good with their challenges or not. He would kill anything that walked, slithered or crawled in this god-forsaken galaxy. In fact, Adam often referred to himself as
, and every time he performed a hit, he felt about as much remorse as
The Orkin Man
did when he wiped out a colony of termites back on Earth.
Adam lifted the ’47, feeling its weight and the comfort of the grip. All his pistol grips were customized, as was the stock on his Xan-Fi Flash Rifle. With over 8,000 species in the Juirean Expansion, weapons manufacturers had to provide an extensive selection of grips and stocks to fit the variety of hands, tentacles and even robotic nerve attachments of their various customers. Luckily for Adam, human-style hands were quite common. Even still, each of
weapons had custom-formed grips, molded to fit his hands exactly, and providing even more control and confidence than he probably needed. But Adam was a professional, and nothing but the best would satisfy him.
For the past three days, Adam had donned the uncomfortable pressure suit and breathing attachment and scouted his target. His name was Kunnlar Bundnet, and he was a high-level gang leader who had offended an even higher-level gang leader – and now had to pay the price. As it was back on Earth, most gang hits were within and between the gangs themselves. Adam didn’t really care. As long as they paid, he would kill. After all, it was the only thing he was really good at.
Satisfied that all was in order, Adam packed up the tools of his trade and placed them in one of the backpacks on the bed, while reserving the ’47 for this oiled leather holster. He then strapped the clear plastic breathing cup over his nose, and scooped up the other knapsack from the bed. Lastly, Adam Cain placed the camouflage boonie hat atop his head – the trademark of his SEAL persona – and cinched up the cord under his chin.
It was game time.
His target lived in a fortified compound on a hill about thirty klicks outside of town. Adam drove the rented transport to within a kilometer of the house, and after applying streaks of black grease to his face, slung the flash rifle across his back and secured four slide grenades to the MK’s utility belt. Then with the small knapsack secured across his left shoulder, he set off for the compound, covering the remaining distance in about a minute, through a combination of jogs and long leaps in the weak gravity.
In fact, gravity was an integral part of his attack plan. Rated at just .69 of standard, Adam estimated the gravity of Hildoria to be a little less than half that of Earth’s. That was one of the reasons the atmosphere was so thin and the air pressure too low for him to function without the light pressure suit. It also produced natives who were all well-over two meters tall with huge, barrel chests. Apparently it required large lungs to inhale enough oxygen to survive…
The singular yellow sun had set by the time Adam reached the compound, and a deep darkness descended on the landscape of thick woods and bristled bushes. But the compound itself stood out like a beacon, illuminated by numerous floodlights, and with at least a dozen heavily-armed guards patrolling both sides of the surrounding wall. The place was hard to miss.
His sources had informed him that Bundnet may have been forewarned of the impending hit. This didn’t concern Adam too much – it simply came down to whether or not this would be a surgical strike or an all-out scorched-earth campaign. To
, either way would get him paid.
Crouching in a clump of bushes at the tree line, Adam watched as the first set of guards covered their route, flash rifles of their own held casually at their sides. Once they passed, he dashed off to a point at the wall he’d determined would be his best point of entry. Leaning against the warm stone surface, he estimated the height of the wall to be about five to six meters.
Here comes the fun part,
Adam thought, smiling to himself.
Then he jumped straight up, enjoying the brief sensation of flying as he easily reached the top of the wall with his outstretched arms – a move that would have made any NBA center green with envy. Then in a quick, fluid motion, he swung himself over the top and descended – essentially in slow motion – to the ground below.
Almost immediately, alarms began to blare as motion sensors along the wall were tripped. Adam scrambled to a dark patch of trees and vegetation and lay on the cool, moist ground as more guards rushed toward the clearing between the wall and the house. Each held flash rifles, and their size and huge chests produced a menacing, ominous scene.
Removing the small knapsack from his shoulder, Adam quickly released the binding cord and opened the pouch. With angry growls, two furry creatures, looking like large squirrels with spiked tails, shot out of the bag and ran off into the opening. The guards spotted the animals almost immediately and began chasing after them in a vain attempt to corral the elusive creatures.
As planned, Adam watched as one of the guards placed a communicator to his mouth, and a few moments later the alarms were silenced. The obedient rodents continued their flight to freedom across the opening and away from Adam’s position, with the guards following closely behind.
Soon Adam saw his opportunity, and in a low crouch took off for the house. Without breaking stride, he leaped to the top of a small pagoda-type structure, and then onto the roof of the main building.
He slipped in behind a towering chimney stack, and waited to see if anyone had spotted his movement. Satisfied that he was unseen, he proceeded along the roof until he came to a large skylight made up of numerous individual glass panels. A dim light filtered up from a single source in the room below.
Adam peered over the edge of the skylight and saw a large bedroom below; an expansive bed to one side, a set of dresser drawers against one wall and a wooden writing desk against another. And seated at the desk was Bundnet, leaning forward slightly, his arms on the desk.
Figuring that the skylight frame would be wired for security, Adam removed a roll of tape from his bag and quickly and quietly covered one of the glass panes with a large ‘X,’ leaving a rise of tape at the center. Next he took a pen-laser, a special one with a muted tip, and began to silently cut through the glass along its edge. Then holding the rise of tape at the center, he lifted the glass away from the skylight frame and set it to one side.
Next he stood, drew his MK-47 and took a deep breath. Then he stepped into the skylight opening, and began a slow-motion drop into the room below.
Landing with a muffled sound, Adam crouched on one knee and pointed his weapon at Bundnet’s back, fully expecting the crime lord to spin around in his chair toward the sound. But no movement came.