[Flashback Week] - Bugging Out

"They're coming out of the God damned walls!" The marine said, firing off a burst of heavy laser fire at the crawling beasts that slavered and chittered. The lights flickered in a stacato bursts of broken electronics and crippled systems.

"Suppress the corridor! Suppress theaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrguurhl!" The second marine was lost to a gurgling cry, his flamer uselessly impotent against the giant insectoid monster that ripped his body apart.

"I've got one! I got one left!" Came a shout of joy from further back.

"Make it count Braton!" The first soldier said, pointedly marking out his words with more laser fire, cutting down the beast that had savagely slain his comrade.

"Lager in the hole!" Braton hollared and a glass grenade, shaped like a pint glass came sailing overhead. It hit the deck and shattered, its contents spraying out over the insectoid monsters. They screamed, an alien sound that was like sharp nails down metal as their carapaces melted.

"Medic! We need a medic here!" Came an alert from further up now the carnage had ceased.

"Legs... Legs and claws!" The medic was attending to a man who was shell shocked, clutching a bleeding arm.

"Shh... It's ok, they're all gone now." She paused, mottled steel grey combat fatigues blending in with the space ship's walls. "On my way. Someone sit with this man." She said in response softly as she tied off the bandage, her place taken by another marine.

"Captain Black. Get him fixed up, lets get out of here before those insectoid bastards return." The first marine, name tag reading Major Hek ordered to the medic.

"Sir, yes sir!" She barked and scurried over to the next wounded man, patching him up as best she could. It has been a long and bloody battle to retake the SSS Espaniola, the insectoid Hymenopterra had mounted the savage attack on the Space corps vessel and nearly taken it out. The Corps troopers thought they had finally won the battle for the ship. That was when the man being treated by Captain Jade Black had begun to change.

He began to laugh like a man on the edge of sanity. A maddening insane gurgle as his limbs began to crack and twist, new ones sprouting out of his buckling torso in a seemingly random arrangement. He screamed in agony as his body morphed and he transformed into a grotesque half-hymenopterra creature. He stood, limbs looming over Jade and screamed something that had a basis in human language, but was now beyond recognition. Spittle flew out of its oversized mouth, teeth clashing together as it lunged to bite Jade's head off. She tipped her balance backwards, taking a step out of the way and tripped over one of her fallen comrades.

"Fire at will!" The lead marine hollared. Bullets and laser fire errupted over Jade's head and the creature roared in agony. It took an ungainly few steps forward towards the nearest marine and swiftly eviscerated him with a sharpened limb. A second fell as the beast decapitated him amongst the hail of fire. The bullets bounced off the hardened carapace and the laser fire barely scorched it.

It turned back towords the woman on the floor, struggling to get to her feet in the slippy gore that the monster had spilled onto the ground. Bellowing, it pounced on her, preventing her escape. Sharp talons and limbs flashed at her skin as she tried to escape. Her leg blossomed into a bright fiery pain as it finally pinned her down with several sharpened claws through her upper thighs.

"Get off me!" She screamed, terror etched on her features. Between the dark and the monsters her mind had begun to unravel. It had been one thing to fight the monsters, but when your own turned into the enemy, her mind snapped at the thought that anyone in her unit could be 'one of them'. In a blind panic she fumbled for her combat knife. Her fingers felt the tip of the handle as she tried to roll out of the way of the massive jaws. She was just beginning to get a firm enough grip on her blade when the creature crumpled and fell limp ontop of her.

She continued to scream.

"Get it off her." Hek said, resigned. "We need to fall back to extraction."


When she came to, the world was slightly duller and fuzzy around the edges. It was soft, and dimly lit with a comforting smell of medicine permeating the air. She sighed and relaxed back into the bed, suddenly feeling the restraints tying her down. She was trapped, pinned and helpless. She struggled against the bonds, the straps pulling tight and cutting into her skin. She tried to scream, but her throat was dry, raspy and tight. Her legs exploded into new waves of pain as she twisted to try and escape.

"Sedate her before she rips out the stitching." A voice said, seeming distant. A quick, sharp pain stabbed at her neck and the world went soft and fuzzy before it all went dark again.


The weeks of recovery went as well as could be expected when your legs had been lacerated as badly as Jade's. Especially when you combine the mental damage done. She was shakily on her feet and up in front of the Commanding Officer to see if she could be returned to duty.

"Your psych file is revealing, Captain Black." He said, peering over a pair of metal rimmed glasses at Jade.

"Yes Sir." She said, out of habit. The man was a larger figure, a desk jocky who ran the ship from his office or the bridge, his rank giving him privilege to not be on the front line.

"I do not feel it would be safe for your mental fortitude given recent events, or for your comrades safety to return you to the front lines." He folded his hands into a steeple, thinking as he spoke. The news wasn't unexpected to Jade, she knew she'd failed all of the return to duty tests. The best she was hoping for was assignment to some forgotten asteroid back home where little ever happened.

"Yes Sir." She said, a small resigned huff escaping her lips.

"I have decided that given the recent events within the JMC, to side with Captain Chrysler." Jade let out a small gasp. A Space Corps ship siding against the company was unheard of. "As a result, and a token of goodwil, several staff exchanges are occuring. I expect you to be packed and ready to go in the morning by 0700. You will be working with a Doctor Keto in their medical department." The CO said with a smile.

"I... Thank you sir." She said, a small smile escaping her lips. It was more than she had hoped for.

"No requirements for active duty, just a normal job as a member of a medical team. It's perfect for your situation." He smiled at the woman. "It was an honor serving with you Ms Black." He stood, heaving his bulk out from behind the desk and saluted her. She snapped to attention and saluted back.

"Thank you Sir, it's more than I had hoped for." She replied, not quite sure what do do.

"Go! Pack. Get over to that Blue Monstrosity and enjoy the rest of your life." He made a friendly shooing motion to her.

"Thank you Sir." She said, and left to pack for her new quiet life.

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