1.62 - Language of Pain

1.62 - Language of Pain

I’ve taken up position on top of a shipping container; there’s hardly any wind resistance and light won’t be an issue for my scope. The bigger issues are the massive size of the docks and this old rifle I was given to cover them. It took a minute for me to even get eyes on them down there. Edan and Nastas are carrying a red box and making small talk over the radio. Still, this rifle is, odd if nothing else. It’s not a human or Ghuk build, probably Revrell. The bigger issue is how terrible it is. I’m fine with nonlethal rounds, but you can only fire five shots before reloading. Each magazine is a different type of ammunition but doesn’t specify which. Edan assures the one I have loaded as an electric charge. It could also be some kind of gas, or a net. A net fired from a sniper's perch is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. It’s no wonder Revrell are terrible at warfare. Instead of innovating the basics, they’re trying to do something new. I wish I knew who came up with this idea because they should be publicly shamed. I hope Enyolo is having better luck on the ground. She’s supposed to be tailing the people with the money to make sure they don’t try anything.

Efrem and Nastas come to an opening where they’re face to face with two more Meterorians. The others are carrying a briefcase, cliché. Probably old bills, just as good as credits but it’ll take a long time to convert them without raising any red flags. There doesn’t seem to be any actual worry and they almost seem friendly considering the tradeoff. Things get tense when we all seem to spot Enyolo sprinting across a set of shipping containers. I struggle to keep the sights of the scope on her. Almost effortlessly she leaps from the stack of containers into the air colliding with some kind of large...blueish colored man, with a beak. I’m so confused here. The two quickly slam to the ground in what I can only imagine is a thud before Enyolo quickly rises.

I don’t have time to process what’s going on before another of the blue people rushes in and stabs the Meteorian carrying the briefcase. Soon the meeting is overrun with them and it’s clear they aren’t friends. They’re odd to look at, almost human, but large beak like shells that cover most of their faces, extremely long limbs, red markings across their bodies and some kind of tentacle or hair jutting from the back of their skulls. If I was down there I can get a better view, but I’m here and there’s only one thing I can do. I line up a shot on one of them approaching Edan from behind and fire. An electric round quickly causes it to drop and convulse on the ground. Enyolo engages one in a fist fight, she’s easily winning until an arrow pierces her shoulder. I didn’t know archers were still a thing. I spot the culprit on a shipping container slightly lower than mine across the docks. My next shot quickly drops him. I switch back to the mayhem and the second of the Meteorians is down. Another quick shot, this time on one of the creatures approaching Nastas. Two shots left before I reload, need to prioritize. I watch as Edan quickly dispatches one of the creatures through some kind of martial arts I don’t recognize. I spot another bowman and take him out. Before I can take my last shot a cloud of smoke appears at Nastas’ feet covering the area. There’re still enemies around but I need to get down there. I’m not about to lose another brother.

The cloaking tech on this armor mixed with the chaos of the smoke makes for great cover. I follow the tracker signal of the others to meet up with them. Along the way I can hear what sounds like predator birds screeching while gurgling water as my translator tries to decipher the language. I take the opportunity to clothesline one of the creatures who couldn’t spot me. Up close their flesh is slimy, as if covered in some kind of mucus. I dodge two others, as more approach. It almost seems like they’ve got an endless number of them on the docks.

“Open the door, it’s Efrem,” I reach a shipping container they’re all hiding in.

“Glad you found us,” Nastas begins before Edan cuts him off.

“Nice shooting, really glad we brought you,” Edan says.

“Yes, I am grateful,” Enyolo says picking at the raw and bloody wound from the arrow.

“We should get that checked out,” I say as she sticks her finger in to measure the depth.

“This is nothing, I can pull spikes from my flesh. I am simply checking for any blood clots or barbs,” Enyolo responds calmly, wiping blood from her hand onto her shirt.

“Who are those guys,” I ask.

“Staiv’al,” Edan sighs.


“Think Ponarians but instead of insects, they look like a combination of dinosaurs and squids.”

“I was thinking slimy flightless birds.”

“Dinosaurs were birds.”

“Not all of them.”

“Silence,” Enyolo interrupts Efrem and I. “What is the plan.”

“They hate fire, we set a fire,” Nastas finally speaks up. “It’s the reason they have such a hate for us as Meteorians. Legend has it they once ruled the skies until we burned their wings away.”

“Please save the story for later, the smoke won’t last, and is fire a good option? We don’t know if any of this stuff out here is explosive,” I argue.

“It’s stuff, not people. We chose a dock that’s not in service today,” Edan responds.

I try to argue about the damages and how we can probably wait them out or lure them into a trap fighting one at a time. My concerns seem to be falling on deaf ears as Nastas produces several small objects from beneath his robe. Even if I’ve never seen any like these before, I’ve seen enough grenades to recognize them. One a bright red color, the other two a dirty yellow.

“On three,” Edan suggests.

“Three,” Enyolo agrees.

“We don’t really need to do it this way,” I argue.

“One,” Nastas starts the count.

“Seriously, a lot of damage could be done,” I argue.

“Two,” Enyolo actually smirks at me.

“You want to be a swashbuckling space pirate, act like it,” Edan laughs before shouting “three!”

Enyolo kicks open the door to the container, alerting our enemies of our location. The screeching picks up immediately. My translator sends me a notification that it can’t identify the language. Nastas tosses the two yellow grenades high into the air between us and the Staiv’al. The two grenades smash into each other raining down liquid. It confused them for a moment, before he tosses the red. It smashes to the ground flinging sparks in every direction. The drops of liquid immediately catch fire when coming into contact with the sparks. A wall of fire separates us from our pursuers as we escape with our lives and nothing else. Even without understanding the language I’m sure they’re shouting in pain as their flesh is burned away. Pain is universal, and shouts of the pain sound the same in every language.


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