Spitfire

A post apocolyptic sci fi story that chronicles the adventures of Spitfire, a survivor of an alien invasion, a soldier for the imperial goverment her whole ideals are transformed when she meets the mysterious Mr Howes. Borrows heavily from the fallout series

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2. Chapter 1

Ace loved a good game, the thrill of gambling, the adrenalin rush of winning, and she always won especially when she was playing with human lives. The whole town lined up in front of her. This was a top secret mission so it didn't matter who she let live and who died. Ace brushed her long silver hair to one side and bit gently on her bottom lip. She stamped a high healed boot on the ground "we are going to play a game." She said with a smile "a kind of lottery if you will; only this will be a lottery of lives." She walked up along the line of townspeople; men, women, children all with their hands tied, totally defenceless, Ace signalled to one of her fellow soldiers, "torch the houses " she commanded the soldier immediately began dowsing the houses in petrol. "Right where were we" she said turning back to her captives "oh yes the game" she continued to pace along the line the trail of her long leather coat whipping up the dust as she walked "I have the numbers of our lucky winners, those who come first will be shot, the runners up will be burned at the stake, and the losers will be decapitated" she smiled again and began to draw the numbers.

*** Harold smiled "what a cunning bastard I am" he thought to himself as he poured a class of Scotch, he knew as he drank Ace was on a top secret mission framing the Texan Army for the mass murder of a whole town. An action he was sure would result in a high turnaround of followers, I mean who wants to be led by someone that slaughters innocent children. He knew Ace was dependable, she had stammered at first when given the order but when he had told her to see it as a game her eyes had lit up and she had run off to polish her gun. Harold lit a cigar and sipped at his drink. Harold heard the door open behind him “its Spitfire Sir just letting you know me and Gloria have returned mission successful” Harold spun round slowly in his chair to face Spitfire, she was alone, Gloria must have gone to get changed, it was so rare she spoke to him alone, as if she was scared or didn’t trust herself. Harold smiled “come over here Spitfire, have a drink, we will drink to our victory today and to future victories for the Imperial Government.” He said Spitfire walked over to his desk he could smell her perfume, sweet and citrusy, he remembered the first time she had stood before him, her pale white skin covered in dirt from her journey, her long smooth black hair matted and dirty, her pouty red lips dry and cracked from lack of water. He had known who she was straight away she couldn’t have been anyone else’s child with that body and those eyes, definitely her mother’s eyes. Harold handed her a glass and she sipped tentatively “will this be all Sir?” she asked “For now Spitfire, but there will be some important work coming your way soon, very important work, although there is one thing you could help me with in the meantime.” Harold said tilting the glass in his hand “Yes Sir?” “I need someone to go over to Camp Washington; they are having problems with one of the raid gangs in that area, I need you to speak to the camp commander and find out where they are based and deliver a message to their leader.” “I will set off first thing in the morning Sir if that’s ok with you?” Harold nodded and Spitfire excused herself and left the room.

***

I hate being alone with Harold, don’t get me wrong I have respect for the guy but I’ve seen the way he looks at me, that look a starving dog gives to a prime steak, he is a dirty old man at heart. I heard rumours he had his way with Gloria but it’s not the kind of thing you ask when you’re the new girl, and well by the time I wasn’t the new girl I didn’t really care to find the answer. 

The Camp Washington mission is nothing unusual or specialist. We have a lot of trouble with raiders but usually we manage to kill a few and they give up, unless they are one of the bigger more organised groups, then we usually make a deal with their leader, if the leader doesn’t want to make a deal, I deal a bullet to his skull, simple, they are usually a lot more cooperative after that.

So the next day I headed out, to the camp, it’s not actually too far maybe 10, 20 miles west of the “Imperial City” that’s what people started calling our base, it’s not what people would have classed as a city before the invasion but I suppose 20 miles wouldn’t be a distance any American was prepared to walk before the invasion either. I remember the first journey out into the big wide world from the underground shelter; they estimated I walked about 100 miles in a week. It’s not something I talk about much, I suppose it changed me, made me who I am today, I suppose there are only so many rotting corpses you can see before it stops shocking you, I think I stopped being shocked after 10, the smell still gets you though, even now, there isn’t too much to see in the wasteland between Imperial City and Camp Washington, occasionally a raider or two but usually nothing. I walk through the dry dusty earth, my boots not even leaving an imprint in the dry ground, occasionally covering my face as a gust of wind picks up the sand and blows it into my face.

 

***

Ace wiped off her machete, the blood stained made it appear deep crimson. “I think we are done here.” She said to her fellow soldiers “Just one step left” “What’s that Ace?” one of the soldiers asked “I think you just volunteered” Ace replied with a smirk “I need you to run to the next village, tell them how you are the lone survivor of a brutal attack by the Texan Army. Tell them exactly what happened here the game, the killing, tell them that you tried to get away and where lucky to escape with just a gunshot in the arm” “But I’ve not been shot” the soldier said nervously Ace drew her weapon and pointed it at the soldier “I’ll fix that” she drew back the trigger and fired, the soldier fell to the ground clutching his arm “I’d hurry if I were you, wouldn’t want you dying of blood loss on the way.” The soldier got up and started running “Don’t worry, if he fails there is a trade caravan due here Tuesday, they will find the bodies and evidence all pointing to this being done by the Texan Army” Ace said to her remaining companions “come on we must return to the Imperial City quickly.”

 

***

Harold waited until he knew Spitfire had left on her mission, he knew he was best not having her around for this particular meeting. Harold had been on the trail of Clark for years now; he had done a good job of hiding himself, it was a lot easier since the invasion to become invisible granted but Harold usually had at least one set of eyes in every village. He had only found Clark by chance; one of Harold’s soldiers had been off duty drinking in a bar when a man had entered who looked despicably like Duke.

Despite her dedication Harold suspected Spitfire wouldn’t be so loyal if she knew a lot of the truth about atrocities committed by The Texan Army in Simon’s name, in fact most of them had been committed by The Imperial Government in Harold’s name and set up, just like Miaplaza where Ace was, Clark could be used to convince her. Harold heard steps outside his office door growing closer “oh good he’s here” the door was opened by a guard and a young man was led in handcuffed to Gloria’s arm “has he been giving you trouble Gloria?” Harold asked seeing the handcuffs “You didn’t warn me he was quite so strong Sir, don’t worry I found a creative way to make him…submit” she said with a cruel smile. Harold walked over to his prisoner “I am sorry about this please let me introduce myself, I am Harold leader of The Imperial Government of America” he said extending a hand down to undo the handcuffs. “I can only assume this is about my father” Clark replied angrily his spikey blond hair looking even lighter against his now red face. “In a sense yes, it is, don’t worry I haven’t bought you here to kill you or torture you I simply have a proposition” Harold said. Clark itched his wrist where the handcuff had been and looked at his captives. He thought about running or fighting but realised there must be more women like the one who had captured him if not stronger waiting to recapture him if he tried. “I’m listening” he said with a sigh. “What do you know of your family?” Harold asked taking a cigarette from the packet he kept in his pocket and lighting it. “Not a lot, my father screwed everyone over, my mum died shortly after I was born, my dad had a sister who tried to stop the invasion and failed” Clark said “Well, your aunt had a daughter did you know that?” Harold replied puffing gently on his cigarette “What of it? I haven’t heard of her, I was happy living my life alone in my cabin until this girl showed up and tried to have sex with me, then when I said no, she uses some kind of death grip and I wake up handcuffed to her in the middle of nowhere!” Clark said there was anger in his voice Gloria smirked. “Your cousin is here; or rather she works here for me, so I can’t be all that bad, can I?” Harold said with a smile “Look, I didn’t want any family reunion, I don’t even know her, but I can believe she is a good person and that is the only reason I’m gonna stick around ok! Once I speak to her and find out what the deal is then I’ll make a move from there and figure out if I trust you” Clark said Harold smiled and put his hand out for Clark to shake “Your cousin will be back in a few days, she is dealing with some important business at one of our outposts. Gloria will look after you until then.” Gloria smiled sarcastically Harold knew she hated playing babysitter for anyone “I’ll make sure there is a new weapon in it for you Gloria, now play nice” he said before dismissing them both from his room.

 

***

 

I approached the makeshift chain-link fencing, it was constructed from old gates and billboards held together with mixtures of rope duct tape and tubing. I looked up at the watchtower and shouted up “Is someone going to let me in” an Imperial soldier soon appeared and opened the gate. The camp looked like a ghost town, several dilapidated shacks occupied the town square, and the only noise was that of the river that flowed through the camp. I looked around and turned to the soldier and said “Harold sent me I’m here to deal with your raider problem” the soldier looked at me anxiously through scared green eyes. It was then I realised the gravity of the situation, I slipped my hand inside my coat to the 9mm pistol I had holstered on my hip. I drew it out slowly and pointed it at the solider. “Who are you? I can tell you aren’t Imperial Government.” The young boys’ mouth flapped open and shut like he wanted to talk but was too scared, I felt sorry for him, clearly just another kid who had run away from home to join the local group of thugs, in way over his head. I should have known by the fact he didn’t even attempt to open fire as I got closer to the camp. “Take me to your leader and I won’t shoot.” I said, there was no point harming this one, hell he would probably shoot his own head off if he tried to use that gun of his. The boy lead me to the hut in the centre of town “now go in and tell your boss he has a visitor, I’m here to talk, I want to solve this with no violence if possible” I said to him.

The boy hurried inside and emerged a few minutes later. “He says go in” I nod and smile at the boy as I holster my gun and open the door, the hut is laid out with two long tables on either side of the room, there is a chair at the back of the room with a man sitting in it I can only assume this is some kind of makeshift throne, I walk towards him my eyes adjusting to the musty darkness of the hut. I can just about make out the man in the throne, he has thick shaggy black hair with flecks of grey, I can tell he is tall before he even stands. His clothes are those of the camp commander who I assume, from the fact that this man is wearing his clothes, dead, that or he’s naked, crying and smearing himself with Vaseline in one of the other huts, I know which one I’m going to tell Harold either way. The man stands up and walks towards me, I’m right about his height he must be at least 6ft 3 maybe bigger.  “I am Malachite Black, I control The Glass Bandits.” He says to me. “The Glass Bandits? Never heard of you, but if you ask me it’s a terrible name, sounds too much like ass bandits, unless that is what you’re into, in which case, well done.” I smirk Malachite looks more offended than angry he leans down to my level so I’m looking straight into his dark brown eyes. “Listen lady, you don’t just come in here and try make a fool of me in front of my men, I could have had you killed by now, easily, with the click of my fingers.” He snarled “Look I’m sorry Malachite, I actually came here straight from the Imperial city, I was told to offer you a deal” I reply, he looks at me intrigued wanting me to continue “The original deal was that you stop harassing our camp and I don’t harass several holes into your men, you understand?” Malachite laughed I  could see the cogs working in that dumb brain of his, he probably wasn’t used to women speaking like this to him “I think I understand, but you see, I already have control here.” He replied after a couple minutes in deep thought. “I do realise that Malachite, usually in this kind of situation I would be required to dispatch of you instantly, but as I can tell you are a man of….. Intelligence” I did my best not to laugh as I called him intelligent. “I will let you keep the camp as your own under the promise that you abide by the laws of the Imperial Government and respect Harold as the countries rightful president” I saw him thinking again, part of me wanted him to say no, there were at least 4 other men in this hut and I wanted some quick draw practice. “hmm ok, but only if you promise to keep this camp well supplied with food and alcohol.” Damn maybe he was cleverer than I gave him credit for. “I will send one of the men from our embassy to negotiate terms, give it a couple of weeks.” I said, I then turned to leave “Oh and if our man doesn’t return alive and well, I’ll be back, and I’ll bring an even bigger gun next time that’s a promise” I wink at him and leave. I suppose it was a victory, but it didn’t really feel like a proper victory as I headed back to the city. In fact it felt like the whole mission had just been a massive distraction from something.

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