Hell Beneath Clear Skies

A fallen world. Corrupt men staying in power. Never-ending wars. Circulating wealth and power amongst the uneven masses. Society has never been so blind. For some, paradise has been found. For most, Hell has been unleashed.
For two of the world's finest, Paradise is meeting again after annihilating Hell to rubble.


5. The "Bombshell Mistress"

     Russia looked at America's success in its empire, and wandered to its own. It was not enough to satisfy its Cold War-rivalry.

     The regions of Europe have been consumed by the jaws of the Russian Bear, but the newly formed "Insurgency of Vishvarupa", consisting of the Middle East and India, has prohibited access into Africa. China's alliance is not enough; the Indian region's "Sudarshana" artillery annihilates the advancing forces , the disk-like apparatus firing cluster missiles at foes of land and air. The strong will of the Middle Easterns to protect their nuclear reactor has pushed the Russian federation since 2030. After countless attempts to take the reactor, the Russian federation has decided to bring down the I.o.V's morale. Bombings, assassinations, any damage they can cause to the Insurgency.

     Amongst their tools are a favorite, a tool that America itself has promoted over the years: mercenaries. Thus far, they have hired varied backgrounds: assassins, demolition experts, expendable marksmen. Sometimes you get the occasional loudmouth, that one guy who talks too much and performs on the contrary. Their corpses are spat on at the coroner's office.

     However, there was one who they kept an eye on. This mercenary was the oddball of the bunch. An interesting one, the higher-ranked officers even whispered. A woman amongst the gritty faces at the hiring program. This was unexpected, even for the more liberal of the bunch. It got more unexpected when they found her strangling the daylights out of a 330-pound bodybuilder, whilst the others watched with pain-filled eyes.

     The three interviewers, suited men in glasses, asked her to sit in the interview chair, and she was in her own little world. Laughing around and joking with the other mercenaries, jumping impatiently, twirling on her boots. She eventually calmed down and sat down slowly. All eyes examined her from head to toe.

     They figured she had a strong personality, judging by the combat boots, the fingerless gloves, and the way her expression was shaped. The way her mouth stayed small. They way her eyes stabbed theirs They were such cold, intense eyes. That is, until she closed them and burst into an explosion of laughter. Such a laugh that her audience trembled in a paranoid fear at her juxtaposition of emotions.

   "I'm really, REAAALLY sorry!" She wiped the tears from her eyes as her sneer spread across her cheeks. "Everyone seemed so serious, I figured I try to do the same! It seemed fun, but...," she cracked her neck to the side. "being serious got boring after a while. Where can I blow this up?"

     The way she revealed the Semtex from her jacket didn't frighten her interviewers. Until she threw it. They pulled their guns and began to fire. The mercenaries in waiting ducked for cover, but this woman had something else in mind. She rolled towards the desk, lifted her leg amidst the bullets, and snapped the desk in half. A shoulder bone cracked, and a pistol fell to her feet. She lifted it, placed the barrel in her fist, and threw a straight punch into a face. With her free hand, she twirled towards the third man, and delivered a palm strike to his chin.

     As the men in the room lay squirming at their injuries, the Semtex never went off. It was merely a dud, a toy that induced fear into the hearts of three grown men. She laughed at this situation. Sliding a pen from her hair, she filled the registration form, signed her name, and stuck it into the drawer of the desk. Disemboweled from the remains of the desk.

     "Hope I get chosen! Byeee!"

     And with that, she skipped away merrily.


     "Strike-One to Strike-Two, Strike-One to Strike-Two. Is it clear on your end?"

     The helicopter loomed overhead, a recon report on the situation. Kyrgyzstan has been known for been a war zone for 3 years now. The weakest link in the Insurgency, it's suffered multiple casualties due to its separation from the mainland. Devised by the Chinese in collaboration with the Russians, a massive blockade of its finest "Firelance" weapon systems has torched the Insurgency's best weapons to smoldering steel. Not even airborne weaponry was safe from its anti-air backup. The lone wolf of a country has stood its grounds, however, and has proven itself time and time again.

     Unfortunately, the question was how long a lone wolf could stand on its injured legs.

     "No soldiers alive on our end, Strike-One. We're in view of the Capital."

     "Okay then," Strike-Two leader Aaron Stonlyde pulled up his armored jacket. "Strike-One to Betty, Strike-One to Betty. Is your sector clear?" The radio spoke in static.

     "Strike-One to Betty. Do you copy?" No response. They all sighed. Another talker, they told themselves. Not enough bite for the operation. The leader and his subordinate turned to the weapon supplies in the hut nearby their camp in the hills. Some high-explosive devices were taken. They scratched their heads. Who did this?

     The radio began to speak in that childish voice of innocence heard at the interview office. "Heeey, boys! This is a song called 'When the heads start marching in!' Gimme your honest opinion, is it good? Look at the building with the bell!" As requested, Aaron turned to the church near the Capital.

     The entire area around the Church was suddenly engulfed in a shower of flaming rubble. bricks and flaming limbs scattered about the area, surrounding buildings catching aflame. The radio boomed with a scratchy rendition of the explosion, so Aaron turned it off.

     Not before the sounds of maniacal laughter coming from the radio.

     "Ahahahahahaha- oh yeah, sector cleared, Mr. Boss man! I'm gooing in!"

      Aaron could not believe it. She was going to jeopardize the mission! Quickly, he switched to Strike-Two's frequency.

     "Betty is headed to the intersection before the Capital. I want you all to regroup there now!"


     The armored troops of Kyrgyzstan's Spec-Ops  fired upon the Strike-Two Spetsnaz Team with determination, a shared goal to protect their country. A battered bar was Strike-Two's asylum, and they fired through whatever holes were made in the firefight. "Where the hell is Betty?" A brown-skinned woman gritted her teeth as she gave a Spec-Ops a brain bust. "She was supposed to meet us here!"

     As she spoke, a lone cylinder flew past the bar. The soldiers turned to the blockade before the Capital.

     A fierce explosion rocked the blockade, sending troops flying in burning shambles. They scrambled to find cover amidst the ruined coverings, as another cylinder rained down. The metal sheets the Spec-Ops set up wasn't enough, and another ball of fire enveloped the troops. Peering through the holes on the side of the bar, Strike-Two caught Betty. Walking amidst the smoke from the Church, she held a modified China Lake in her hands, a sneer spread on her face. Her eyes lit up with the flames of burning bodies, and she quickly  fired another round one-handed.

     It flew into a Spec-Op's face, shattering his face and stumbling his balance. "Aww, it didn't explode." She performed a split and swiftly pulled out a Steyr M1912. "Let's change that."

     She fired at the lodged grenade, and it tore through the soldier's body. A standing pair of legs remained, smoking and collapsing. She sheathed the Steyr, loaded the China Lake on her back, and pulled out an Ultimax 100. Aiming at whoever was left on the Capital's doorsteps, she pulled the trigger, releasing streaks of light.

     Even after her performance, Strike-Two had to admit: they expected more than tracer rounds. They barely scratch armored troops; they resemble fireworks than actual bullets. They couldn't help but laugh.

     It was only until they saw the bullet hit its mark did they step back.

     The bullet tore through the armor of a Spec-Op, then exploded from within. The skin was ruptured and burned, smoke poured from the open wound, and the soldier hollered in pure agony. And he was suddenly blown to smoldering giblets in moments. The blockade was suddenly a mess of burning destruction as Betty began to walk forward, swinging the Ultimax around and shredding the survivors of the grenades. The firing of the gun only masked the giggling Betty created, a morbid song she composed on the spot.

     In all their years in the service, Strike-Two has never been more shocked at a psychopath like this woman.


     "The Capital is secured," Strike-Two leader Gordon Stryker radioed Aaron in the Capital's main office. "This country is now a member of the Russian Federation."

     "Excellent work, Gordon." A sense of fear was present in Aaron's voice. "And where... where is Betty, soldier?" Instantly, all members of Strike-Two, and the President of Kyrgyzstan, peered outside the window, onto the Capital's footsteps.

     Betty was lighting up firecrackers and throwing them up into the air. Watching them explode in beautiful showers of colors. Sitting alongside shattered remains of her victims, and laughing to them as if they were alive. Patting one on the back at a joke only she could hear.

     "She's with us, sir. She's definitely a keeper."




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