Mako's Hell
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Literature of the Duchy of Skibbington

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Duke of Skibbington

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I am Lieutenant Mako. To this day, I am not sure whether I am an extraordinary man and soldier, or a man who got lucky. I guess I might as well tell you what I'm talking about. I served as a soldier on the Eel Hound Base on Titan. I was only a corporal at the time. My friends and I lounged around, enjoying our break.

A muscular woman with her brown hair in a bob walked past us, accompanied by many men. She was General Korra. We called her the Avatar for some reason. Must have been some high-brow humour from some ancient language on the long extinct home planet. No, not Mars, the original home planet, Earth. But yeah... General Korra walked past and we saluted. She returned our salutes. "Private Hasook, Private Fire, Delta Base is under attack, they have requested emergency support, ASAP."

Fire and Hasook picked up their rifles, fastened their bayonets and placed their helmets over their heads. "Right, let's kill some buggers! Someone's gotta teach them to stay away from our base."

Private Fire was a funny man. His massive beard, although looking fake, was not. I would know, I tried to pull it off.

I waved as they marched off, leaving me with Bolin. We stretched out and rested. Bolin was adjusting the knob on a radio receiver. "Hey Bo," I said, "what are you doing?"

"I'm trying to tap into Fire's communications, see what's going on." He didn't face me when he said it, for he was still fiddling with the system.

The radio finally cracked into life. Bolin immediately turned down the volume as ear-splitting screams and gunshots flooded from the speakers. Suddenly, the speakers fell silent.

"Must've broken," Bolin muttered to himself.

"Yeah," I frowned, "I hope so."

"Hello," Korra's voice crackled through the speakers, "anyone there? Hello? Is anyone still alive? Fire? Hasook? Sato? Can anyone hear me? Oh no!"

Before the transmission abruptly cut to static, Bolin and I could hear a few shots and a scream.

The static stopped and the lights faded to a red flash. The red lights started to hum. I could hear shaking through pipes and banging on doors. "Do you think that's the natives, bro?" my concerned brother asked me.

I cracked open my double-barrelled shotgun and slapped in two shells. I snapped it shut and placed it on the ground beside myself. I put a fresh magazine into my submachine gun and strapped it behind my back. My brother loaded eight shells into a standard shotgun and mounted a minigun, facing the door.

We heard an enormous screech. We heard numerous beatings on the reinforced door. "Do you think they'll get through, bro?" Bolin asked me.

I picked up my shotgun and levelled it at the door. "Yes."

"Do you think we will survive?" Bolin was growing concerned.

"Of course, bro. No way they can beat us!" Thankfully, my brother was naïve and was never terribly good at noticing lies.

We heard a rattling in the pipes above us. At the same time, the aliens pounded the door and caused dents. A large pipe burst open and something jumped upon us. I instinctively turned and pulled the trigger, popping its head like a fire cracker. I loaded up two more shells and examined the corps.

It was a strange creature. It was humanoid in so far as standing erect and being bipedal. It had the arms of a chimpanzee and the shrivelled head of a cougar (or so I could tell from the chunks). We'd decided to call them buggers, because that's as good a name as any.

The door split open. Half a dozen buggers jumped through the hole like the cougars they resemble. Bolin opened fire with the mounted gun and shredded them to bits. Another mighty roar and a bipedal goat swaggered into the room and threw a barrage of green fireballs. I swerved away from them and unloaded with my submachine gun. Bolin's minigun jammed and malfunctioned. Bolin jumped away from his gun as it was destroyed by a fireball.

Bolin grabbed his shotgun and prepared to pump this twat (or so we called it) full of lead. The door behind us collapsed and another twat staggered into the room, hitting me in the back with a fireball.

"Let's get out of here, Bo!" I yelled.

"But there's nowhere to go!" Bolin yelled. "We're trapped!"

I punched the wall beside us and a disguised door opened up. We rushed in and closed the door behind us. We slumped against the wall and started panting heavily. I opened a white first aid kit conveniently lying on the floor. I unscrewed the cap from a vile of blue liquid and swallowed it. I instantly felt much better. We proceeded through the dark passageway, keeping our guns ready at all times. The passageway opened into a corpse-lined corridor, filled with the stench of rotten blood. Although we felt terrible, we scavenged for whatever we could find, loose shells, clips, and food. More buggers and a few Eel Hounds littered the ground in roughly the same quantity.

"Wow, bro, look at this!" Bolin pulled a chainsaw from a boar corpse.

A big ol' chainsaw seemed just suited to Bolin. He was a big burly man, much stronger than myself, despite being two years younger.

The doors behind us opened and the two twats stood at a distance and unloaded on us with fireballs. Bolin pulled the chord on the chainsaw, and it burst into life. I snapped open my shotgun and checked the two shells. I slapped it shut. I nodded at my brother and we charged simultaneously. We side-stepped many fireballs and suffered some straight to the chest and arms.

We closed the distance quite quickly. I popped two shells straight into a twat's face and blew it to chunky giblets. Bolin crashed his chainsaw down upon its shoulder and ripped it down to the waist on its other side. He kicked the twat's torso, and it fell to the floor.

It gets pretty repetitive from there. Buggers, twats, and twits go splat. We found some new weapons and had unpleasant reunions with old friends. By the end, the only person unaccounted for was General Korra. Just as I thought that, we started to hear a voice in our ears, well, helmets. "Hello, is anyone alive? Can anyone hear me?"

I replied, "Yes, ma'am, we can hear you loud and clear."

"Listen, Mako, I need you to find the communications room and call for aid from Mars."

"Yes, ma'am."

We made it to the communications room with little effort. The trail was lined with corpses. Enemy corpses. Somebody made it there before us. I punched a few buttons into the panel on the door. A message 'security override' flashed on the screen, and the door flung open.

We heard another massive roar, and this time, saw its source. It was a giant Eel Hound, the native species after which we named our base. It tried to swipe at us, but we evaded it. We kept pummelling it with gunfire to no avail, no bullet pierced its thick skin. With a mighty strike, it broke my footing and flipped me. Bolin ran away to a bench.

The Eel Hound clamped down on my leg and severed the connection. I couldn't feel my leg, just a lot of pain above it. I cried in pain then found a black first aid kit. I opened it and found a syringe with a black serum. I had no choice but try the experimental drug. I rolled up my sleeve and injected the liquid directly into my vein.

My leg healed. Skin formed over my wound and my muscles repaired entirely. Bolin says my eyes turned a deep red. I jumped to my feet and ripped the leg off the Eel Hound. It fell to the ground. I flipped it over with little effort and plunged my fist into its chest. I could hear the ribs cracking. I pulled out its heart and shoved it back into place... via its mouth.

A body emerged from the Hound. It was General Korra. She staggered, and we supported her. We walked her to the communications platform.

"General," I asked, "how did they get in? This base is impenetrable."

"Nothing is impenetrable," Korra replied.

Korra was normally a warm, smiling person, but something seemed off.

"But there are shields... if they are touched, the natives die."

"They probably broke them down," Korra shrugged off my query.

"Someone must have deactivated it," I hypothesised aloud.

"That's preposterous. Who would do that?" Korra laughed.

"You're the last person I would have expected," I accused her, "the last person anyone would have expected. How could you do this?"

Korra reached the communications panel and started interfering with the controls, causing them to malfunction.

"Enough!" I ordered. "Are you trying to kill us?"

Korra laughed, "Of course I am. Humans have no place on Titan."

I realised that it was no longer Korra standing there. It was a native wearing her skin as a puppet. A native is just a native, and a human is just a human. One shell should kill either of them. I took the risk and shot her in the face. I threw her body off the control panel, and we called for transport to safety.

We were returned to the home world, and the debate went on about the Titan colonisation. In the end, we went ahead with the colonisation, but Bolin and I refused to take part. At first, we were threatened with court martial. After lengthy debate, we were given honours, and I was promoted on Mars security. Far away from that filthy moon.

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