RJ Lawber – The Fight Over Launch Station

Brady looks at the clock; it was 2:00am in the morning, about 100 miles off the shore of the mainland. It was very cramped in small flying aircraft, there was barely enough room for Nick, Jerry, and Brady. Brady yells; “we are 2 minutes out”, they are crawling over each other trying to get ready to jump. Jerry opens the back hatch and they all jump out. You can see the tumbling smoke off in the distance of the launch station. Nick pulls his shot, then Jerry and Brady follow up behind him. Nick shouts, “we are 1800 feet cut the lines”. They drop out of the sky and land in the Atlantic Ocean. Their suits protect their bodies from the pressure of the impact, as well as giving them enough oxygen to swim to the rig. Nick is in the front, then Brady and Jerry are really close behind Nick. Nick says over the coms, “we are coming up to the rig, you know the drill. Brady cut the lights, and Jerry loaded the foundations with explosives. I will meet you at the landing pad.” They approach the rig Brady shoots the hook to the 3rd floor, Nick & Brady climb the rope. Brady goes to the electricity room, trying to avoid all the scientists. He makes his way down the side of the 3rd floor, passing the workers’ dorm rooms and hears someone yell “HEY, STOP RIGHT THERE” *Brady turns around* notices that there is a drunk mechanic yelling at him. 

The AI in his suit says “no threat, move on”, so Brady keeps walking quickly and sees the electricity room up the stairs and to the right. Brady steps back around a pillar to think. I found the room, but it’s in the middle of the rig. Floors 4 & 5 can see right down to it. Nothing is surrounding the room and there’s 3 scientists patrolling around the room. He then pulls out his python, turns it on, and slowly aims down the sights and walks up the stairs. The three scientists walk around to the north side of the rig, in the triangle pattern, one in the front and two behind the leader. Brady walks briskly up behind the back 2 he shoots both in the back, and then shoots the one in the front. Brady *talking to himself* says “this new tranquilizer gun is pretty handy to have”. He pulls the scientist’s body over to the railing and pushes them off.” While this is happening, Jerry swims around the base pillars of the rig and pulls up his map on his forearm. J looks at the map to see the crumble points of the rig’s foundations. J notices that the coms’s silent, which isn’t normal. Brady normally is asking stupid questions and Nick hasn’t checked in to see what our progress is. He finishes placing the explosives on the crumble points in the pillars and heads back up to the surface. Jerry told the team, “I’m heading back up. Everything has been placed and ready.” The coms were still quiet, no response. . . Brady says “I’m ready to cut the electricity”. Nick says “cut the electricity and meet at the helipad”, J and Brady replies “aight.” Jerry and Brady meet at the helipad on top of the rig, Brady asks J “where’s Nick?” J *shrugs his shoulders and then points behind Brady*.

Nick is coming up the stairs quickly. Something is wrong. The rig got really quiet. They can’t hear any of the scientists walking around making noise. The dorms are all quiet. Brady looks around and sees a group of heavy scientists. Heavy scientists are in heavy armor and carry m249s and SPAS-12’s, they’re no force to be reckoned with. Heavy scientists are people born and raised for one purpose: to follow orders no matter the cost may be. They don’t have emotions. Some say they are no longer humans, they’re just empty souls being used to protect the government’s secret projects and terminate anyone that gets in their way. Brady asks Nick, “did you get the box?” Nick replies, “yes, now let’s get going.” Nick puts the box in Jerry’s backpack and seals it. Jerry commands Brady and Nick “jump in 3, 2, 1”. They all jump off the rig into the water, they head to shore, Nick says “we are 20 minutes out”. The three soldiers have self repelling jets they hold on to, to increase the speed at which they can reach destinations underwater. 

The three soldiers arrive on the shore 2 miles out from the launch station. The sun is rising and the morning shift workers are arriving. The launch station is a heavily guarded structure as it is 1 of 6 in the world, they are meant for commercial flying to the moon. The company that’s building these stations is destroying the planet, so people will think their only option is to leave the planet and go to the moon. In which most people would have to sell all their belongings to get enough money for a ticket. However, when people reach the moon, they lose all their freedom and become poorly paid workers. The moon civilization has been going on for around 50 years. Citizens on the moon never come back down to earth as they get worked to death, and some get experimented on to become scientists.

Nick, Brady, and Jerry head to the station, but they are going to stay low till night rolls around. They approach station 6 as they are traversing the terrain; they notice as much security there actually is. So they waited for the daytime workers to leave and they will go in with the night shift workers. It’s been 2 hours, the daytime workers are leaving and the night shift workers are arriving. They walk towards the truck. Loads of people waiting to gain access to the station and end up taking 3 of the workers out. Then putting their clothes on over their suits, that way they are less noticeable. Once into the station, they split up. Nicky heads to the control tower, while Brady and Jerry head to the launch pad. Brady and Jerry rig up explosives all on the underside of the launch pad. While they are doing this, Nicky is destroying everything in his pathway going to the control tower. Once in the tower, he sets off the evacuation alarm. Nicky watch’s all the workers run for the exits and the scientists are running up to the control tower. 

Over the coms Nick says “I’ve gathered their attention and it’s not looking so good for me guys.” Brady replies “we are finishing setting everything up, this place will blow in 2 minutes”, Nick replies “Alright”.

Nick ties a rope around a pillar in the center of the tower, then ties it around his waist. Nicky then jumps out the window, repelling down the side of the tower with the strong wind blowing against him as he repels. As he reaches the ground, he heads over to the launch pad. But he sees a group of scientists heading right towards Brady and Jerry. Nick is unsure whether he should fight them to get to the launch pad or if they should abandon the mission and head out. There’s no time to think about it. Nick pulls out his damascus karambit and m92 from his waistband as he charges towards the group of scientists. Nick yells over the coms “BRADY LOOK OUT!” *Brady turns around* There is a heavy scientist standing face to face with Brady. The heavy scientist punches Brady in the face. Brady falls backwards but is quick to get back on his feet. Brady notices that this heavy scientist doesn’t have a gun like the others. . . Brady asks over the coms “What’s with this guy, he’s different from the rest, as if he has light armor which allows him to move faster.” Nick replies, “We have been fighting them for years. We would know if there was another kind of scientist or even if Blue Origin had started a recent development of scientists.” As Brady is getting the stuffing beat out of him, J says, “Brady, I see you are pulling your punches again.” Brady angrily snaps back “shut up, I could just let him past so you could fight him.” Nick interrupts their childish argument. “Would you guys like to act like adults for once, this is a serious matter.” Brady & Jerry snap back “fine”. 

As Brady and Jerry were having their minor scuffle during the midst of the battle, Brady was losing and by the time Nick finished fighting his group of scientists, another would appear from all sides. There was no chance Nick could get to Brady. Jerry looked over his shoulder and saw Brady on the ground, getting beat. J turns around and mumbles, “damn it Brady, you clumsy big boy.” He turns around, grabs this mystery scientist by the neck and knees it in the face repeatedly. Brady scrabbles back to his feet with a frightening look while he watches Jerry fight this creature. Jerry and Brady are giving everything they got at this monster who keeps getting back up even after getting shot, stabbed, and beaten. It’s almost as if it can’t feel pain, Jerry yells to Brady “we can’t kill this thing, we have tried everything!” Brady yells back “what if we puncture the heart no one can operate without their heart!” And so they did. Brady backed up and picked a straight piece of steel rebar and Jerry was fighting the creature with hand to hand combat. Brady throws the piece of steel to J. J grabs it in the air as if they were in some action movie, then stabs it right through the heart and out the back. The monster pulled it right out of itself and then looked at the guys as if it was going to eat them. Then it fell over and died. 

The guys high fives and said, “Great work. We are a great team” Nick screams from about 30 meters away. “There is no end to these guys. I can only fend for them for so long. J are you anywhere close to being done?” J responds “yes mom, we are ready.” *Jerry pushes the count down* Jerry tells Brady “let’s move out,” Brady questionably asks “why, the timer on the bomb hasn’t started?” Jerry doesn’t know what is wrong. He set everything up correctly. What could be wrong? There’s no time to think Nick is getting overwhelmed by scientists. J calming tells Brady, “I will stay here and set it off manually. My suit will absorb the blast if I can get far enough away. Brady grabs Nick and heads for the southeast exit. I will meet you on the outside.” Brady shakes his hand and says, “no, we don’t leave each other behind.” J says we don’t have time to argue about this, I will be fine just leave, I will see you on the other side.” Brady runs over to Nick and says “we gotta get out of here something is wrong with the bomb and it needs to be set off manually. J is going to meet us on the outside of the southeast exit. We have a minute after he sets off the bomb. Nick says “I don’t have a good feeling about this, but it’s the only option we have and we cannot fail another mission.” Brady nods and gives J the thumbs up. J starts the countdown. As he sees Brady and Nick run for the exit. As Jerry was starting to leave, he got overwhelmed by the scientists. They flocked to him like moths to a bright light. He fought for his life to get out of there, but he realized there was no chance he could get out of there. Jerry says over the coms “Sorry guys, I won’t be joining you on the outside. Thank you for being my friends and family. I will cherish the wonderful memories of our missions. J out!” Brady screams as he runs back into the station and Nicky tackles him as the launch station blows up in the ground.

As Nick and Brady look through the rubble of the destroyed launch station for Jerry, who wasn’t able to make it out of the range of the explosives. Brady has found Jerry and yells out to  Nick. Once both of them were there Brady said in a quiet, broken voice, “his heart beat is slowing.” As the tears run down Brady’s face, he is remembering all the good fun and annoying times they had together. They started life without each other but acted as if they had been friends since day 1. Nick puts his hand on Brady’s shoulder and says “let’s get out of here”, Brady picks up Jerrys’ body as they walk out of the crumbled compound that used to be a launch station. They walked to the shore that they swam in on, Brady laid Jerry down, and dug a hole with Nick. They gently laid Jerry in the hole and covered him in the grainy sand as they said their goodbyes. Brady looked at Nick. He saw vengeance in his eyes, as well as anger, hate, and knew what was to come. The both of them said nothing to each other, just sat down on the sand next to where they buried J and listened to the waves crash loudly, the dark gloomy clouds fill the sky, and the strong winds that could tear down a whole mountain. There was a storm coming that couldn’t and wouldn’t stop for anything or anyone.

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