Rick's radio crackled to life. "... need help at ... biting ... crew. Rick, are you..."
"Say again, Dusty. What's going on?" He dropped the mic key and ran toward Tom. "There's something going on on the dock side. Move!"
Tom was already moving, having heard the same message. "Did he say something bit the boat crews?"
Rick just shook his head and ran faster, praying that his knees would hold out. Knees don't fail me now, he thought. This gets harder every year.
Tom kept calling Dusty on the radio, but didn't get a response. They could see smoke rising from the harbormaster's shack, and then heard gunfire.
As they ran toward the fight, they could see figures moving between buildings, but the smoke was thicker, making it hard to see details. Dusty waved them toward his cover position behind the hull of a steel fishing boat. "I'm glad you guys came. We may need the extra firepower."
"What have we got?" Tom asked. "They look like bears, but they have gills," Dusty said.
"I know, I know. So now we're fighting undead amphibious bears. This is making my head hurt."
Rick shook his head. "Kill 'em now. We'll sort it all out later."
Tom and Dusty both nodded grimly. "You got it, boss," Tom said. "Now who has the SAW?"
* * * * *
Circling about two hundred feet above Angoon, Jamie and Sandy were debating whether to seek a landing strip. "I still don't think it's a good idea to lose the mobility of flight," Sandy said.
"I understand that, Sandman, but we can't just strafe that ... well, whatever that is. There may be villagers down there."
"Are you saying you could miss a target that big?"
Jamie grimaced at him. "I'm not gonna shoot at it; you are. I'm busy with the plane."
Sandy grinned from ear to ear. "You line it up for me, and we'll see if it likes .30 caliber lead. I recommend we apply it hot and fast. And that reminds me: whatever happened to your plan to mount air-to-ground rockets on this thing?"
"Baby can only carry so much weight, and if I mount the rocket pod, the wolf-guns would have to come off. But there are three behind your seat."
Jamie sighed and said patiently. "Three rockets. Behind your seat. Do you need a map, or ya think you can find them by yourself?"
The Sandman rubbed his hands together. "Oh, boy, this is gonna be great!"
* * * * *
The growls were coming from their left. Keeping his cheek firmly welded to the stock, Rick pivoted in that direction, sweeping across the gap between buildings. The recent switch to ACOG sights was an improvement for close-in fire, but he was watching for movement in that direction. "You guys see anything yet?"
"No," Tom replied. "We can hear 'em, though. But while we're looking, Dusty, tell us more about these amphibious zombie bears of yours."
Dusty sighed. "We checked in with the harbormaster on arrival, and he told us that the first fishing boats of the day were just pulling out of their slips when the excitement started. He got some garbled radio contacts ... yelling ... but that stopped. Then he realized those first boats had stopped in the gap in the breakwater, blocking the others from getting out to sea."
"Are you telling me these things coordinated an attack on vessels that were underway, and deliberately blocked the harbor entrance to trap the other crews?"
"It sure looks that way, boss. I've never heard of that before."
"Vampires, werewolves and wights, maybe, but not bears. I don't care if they have gills or not." Something's just not adding up, here. I need to talk to Earl or one of the other team leaders.
"Over there!" Tom and Dusty fired almost simultaneously, and then again. "You know those target-rich environments you're always talking about, Rick? Looks like you get your wish."
Then it was time to fire, aim, fire, and reload ... and fire again.
TO BE CONTINUED ~
DISCLAIMER: I do not own MHI or any of its characters; those are owned and copyright Larry Correia. I only claim the ones I've created here. And a BIG h/t to Mr. Correia for creating such a wonderful universe in which to play, and for his kind permission to use his concepts here.
A h/t also to Jenny S., who contributed a couple of crucial ideas to improve this short story and the graphic team patch above. Her help has been invaluable, both here and in my first book.