Redemption: Snippet 7

Here it is again. Boris #4 should be out before the New Year. Sorry for all the delays. Again, this is presented as is. ENJOY!

 

It was his third day patrolling, and they were about to head back. They’d found a few places that showed and smelt of recent human activity. The smell of anyone in the area ahead of them should have been brought to them by the wind that was blowing towards them. Olaf called time.

Though they had found tracking sign, the Weres had been universally thwarted in tracking anyone by scent. They kept encountering patches of strong ‘woodlands’ odor that had overwhelmed their sense of smell.

Olaf was reasonably sure the hide they had found a half mile back was a day old or less. Still, even in his other form, the human scents had been faint. They were the smells of people who were taking extra effort to smell like the environment. Rubbing dirt and strong smelling plants over themselves.

They headed back to the camp, the wind at their back, relatively unconcerned. They had patrolled the area only hours before, and apart from the hide they had found no new sign of other humans. None of the telltale vampire scent on the wind.

Still, his patrol moved cautiously. Overconfidence in the shuttle was what had gotten them into trouble in the first place. They were halfway back, and the breeze went still.

Olaf’s nose twitched, as did Andre’s. “Cover!” He shouted out the order. There was a human odor in the air now the wind wasn’t blowing it away from them. His patrol quickly dived behind rises, trees and whatever else they could find. Olaf himself took cover behind a tree.

He heard rustles in the brush ahead that confirmed his suspicions.

“It would seem that we are at an impasse,” a voice from the woods said. “We have all five of you located. A firefight was not what we had planned, but we will take it if that’s all that is on offer.”

Olaf thought quickly, then decided provocation was the best option if they were the enemy. “That’s all you have! We will not surrender to a blood drinker’s lackeys!” He shouted back. He loosened the straps on his patrol webbing, preparing to shift if he needed too.

However, he was not convinced they served the vampire. He thought he’d be able to smell what Danislav described as ‘old, off blood’ on a vampire’s troops. Especially if it had kept to one lair for some time, as many did.

There was silence for a moment, then a snarling feminine voice answered, “We have nothing to do with that bitch! Most of us are survivors of attempts to ‘cleanse’ our homes with some of her monsters.” That sounded more like this vampire was nearby and directing the Nosferatu. That was a small relief.

Olaf hesitated. If he took it at face value, then he risked looking a credulous fool in any event. Either that or arousing their suspicions about his motives. “I guess it is a standoff then. I sure as hell can’t trust that you are not working for the blood drinkers!”

Boris Chronicles snippet #5

Leaving the bodies to be destroyed by the blast had been too disrespectful for Olaf. Maybe it wasn’t the battle wise decision. Maybe it would improve the enemies chance of tracking them, if there was enough of a trace to track after the blast.

Either way, it was still the right, the respectful, decision. Besides, while the digging was going on…

Everything paused as the sound from the earth shattering explosion  hit them. Even at this range, sheltered by a hill, the sound of a catastrophically failing etheric reactor was impressive. The shaking of the earth as the shock wave passed was less so. Most of the energy would be directed up, even with the containment of the alloy hull.

“Andre, Richard, test those railguns. Aim for the blast site. Breaking it up will make investigating harder.” Olaf ordered. He’d known about half of his bodyguard most of his life. He was more comfortable going by first name with them.

An Amazon and two of his bodyguards were the dead. Nestor he knew, but he’d needed dogtags to identify the others. Marina and Timothy. He bowed his head, anger and grief mixing. If he’d not been so confident in the security of the shuttle, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.

Of course then it could have happened to others. No-one had really expected someone on planet to have a weapon that could take out a shuttle. At least not outside of Japan. Any other officer he could have sent would have only had a squad with them. Their chances of survival even if they had taken no casualties would have been lower still.

It had been the right choice to come. Or at least the best choice available.

There was a single whipcrack from the hilltop as one of the railguns fired.

The tears of grief and regret flowed down his face as he dug the grave. Slowly other started to help him. Within half an hour they had it as deep as it would go, about four feet.

Even with all their technology, even relative to life before the fall, certain injuries were truly fatal. A crushed skull. A charred hole through the chest. A bolt of energy through the eye. At least it would have been quick, Olaf consoled himself.

He carefully placed each body into the battlefield grave. Anatoly, one of the Weres, handed him a hip flask of vodka. Nodding, Olaf carefully poured some over each corpse’s lips. They would reach Valhalla with drink on their breath.

Then he threw the first spadeful of dirt into each grave before letting others complete the task.

He saluted as the three rocks were placed to mark the graves, the earth was stomped back into place and the turf put back over to hide them from casual sight.

Olaf would forever remember this moment as the moment he learnt a core soldiers truth. That loss and grief are at the center of war. He was coming to realise fast that glory was no balance to them.

He took a swig of the vodka before he handed it back to Anatoly, who took a swig himself before he put it away in his gear.

Olaf made an oath that moment. He couldn’t stop people dying to protect him because of who his father was. Either out of fear or respect. But he would become a man worthy of any who died for him.

One of the railguns was working. The other would still have to be lugged with them. Olaf would not let it fall into the enemy’s hands. For now, carrying it was better than slagging it with one of his few thermite grenades.

He had a feeling he might be happy for every weapon he had.

It was why the only weapon he’d left with the soldiers to arrive at Valhalla with had been their Tomahawks.

He knew they’d understand when the doorkeeper asked why they were so poorly armed.

Their comrades would put their other arms to good use.

Evacuation

The Russian Mercenary known as Boris has always been a conundrum for governments the world over. His visage never changes, his capabilities never understood.

The Russian government gets word he has been killed on a mercenary mission in America, allowing agents to come in and attack the villages Boris has been protecting. Using a fanatical military sub-group in the Russian military, the atrocities start.

The only problem? Boris isn’t dead, and now he has help.

Boris won’t allow his people to go unprotected, and now the Queen Bitch herself has accepted his oath of fealty.

Russia doesn’t have a clue what they have started when this Bear comes back from the Dead.

***

**Please note, as mentioned in a review on a book in the main series, there is flagrantly foul language in these novels. The main character does not have a problem with cussing, just uninspired cussing.