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I’ll be providing the entire story here for free for a limited time.  In return, I ask that you tell a friend about Chapter 1!  The only way others find out about my work is through word of mouth.

Chapter 73

“Slow down!” shouted Airomem as the crowd collapsed in on itself. “Three porters, I need three porters now. At the front, we have to decelerate!”

Tom and two others scrambled forward at her call, throwing their weight into the door as the Lear cleared away. There was only ten feet left until the entryway to the departure vessel, and the Lear were flooding into it, waiting just beyond the opening with stun guns at the ready. The hallway beyond was empty – anyone who had yet to leave had now missed their chance.

“Prepare to pivot!” shouted Airomem. “Pivot and turn, keep the door between us, maintain the barrier! We want it sideways across the entrance. Lear soldiers, you must defend above and below the door! We can allow none through. The more you stun, the more bodies will be in their way, and the more difficult it will be for them to advance. Porters in the back, keep pressure on their backs so they can fight. Here it comes!”

Airomem and I slipped within the entranceway, Lear soldiers meshing around us and pushing us backwards. Then the back of the first porters holding the door appeared, and Airomem shouted as loud as her lungs would allow.

“Pivot! Pivot now!”

Tom sidestepped from the far end of the door, releasing it while the other two porters held it in place. It rotated on its axis as hands reached out of the freshly created space, groping and grasping the air, swiping mere inches from his shirt. Then as the door gave way more the first body squeezed through; teeth yellow, eyes wide, and frame bony. He screeched as Tom’s free hand caught hold of his neck and threw him down the hallway, cartwheeling end over end until out of sight.

But now that the space was open, others started to flow through.

“Pivot the entire way, now!” commanded Airomem, and Tom completely released the door, allowing it to slam into him and drive him back into the opening of the departure vessel.

“Turn before it is too late!” she yelled, her voice frantic, knowing that unless the door was horizontal, it would be too difficult to defend the hands jabbing from around the outside.

Tom reached a hand above, gripping the top of the door and throwing it downwards, roaring from the bleeding bite marks that had appeared on his fingers after only a moment of exposure. Then he was thrown backwards as the door slammed into the opening at waist height, held there by the struggling mass of Agrarians, and blocking about a third of the bottleneck.

With Tom behind him, the Lear started to jab forward into the Agrarians, flashes of blue intermingling in the mess of flailing limbs and howling faces, striking any movement as fast as possible. The soldiers were six wide on the top and bottom, covering the entire surface area of the opening, each region appearing above and below the split of the door. Twelve moving parts in total, far more than their typical bottleneck, and far more difficult to maintain.

With far more places to break.

And the Agrarians before them far more hideous than last I had seen.

This first wave was weaponless and coated with blood, their own blood, from injuries due to the forward surge of those behind them. Multiple within immediate view had an arm snapped at the elbow, their faces contorted in pain, trying the escape down the hallway rather than attack. Their faces were patterned with black eyes, the bones on their cheeks pinching their taut skin red after rubbing against the door, their clothes ripped from stretching.

They fell over themselves as the electrical shocks fell in, scrambling to avoid the stun guns, yelping as they tumbled down the hallway. With each stun, another body ricocheted away, cast aside by their comrades as more came to fill their places. More that, with each layer, had less injuries. Had more energy. Had watched the Lear defense as they approached.

And then a true bloodbath began when the Agrarians with knives arrived.

****** 

Chapter 74

Don’t forget to vote for  The Bridge!  It takes 2 clicks and really helps!

I’ll be providing the entire story here for free for a limited time.  In return, I ask that you tell a friend about Chapter 1!  The only way others find out about my work is through word of mouth.