Recon Plane

Recon Plane

A Story by WriterSki7

An Excerpt. Characters are the grizzled soldier Victor, and the naïve native child Kihal. Includes the preliminary to the action sequence, as well as the aftermath.


                The search for the crashed recon plane took most of the morning, which annoyed Victor more than anything. A recon plane in a jungle should have stood out like a red balloon in a bright blue sky, easily visible and easily found. So as they spent hours looking around tree after tree, easily going in circles by Kihal’s reasoning, Victor grew more and more frustrated. Eventually he took his anger out on a large dead brush, chopping it into little pieces and setting them aside to be used for firewood later, though with Victor’s temper rising it could easily have been target practice for his rifle or axe. Fortunately they found the plane first.

                “Over there over there!” Kihal shouted from atop his perch in the tree, pointing. Victor knifed through the brush, noting the broken trees and singed foliage. Finally! He mentally remarked as he stepped through the dense vegetation between him and his quarry. The site that greeted him on the other side was less than rewarding.

                The plane had crashed through three or four trees, splintering the wood and the scorching the undergrowth with burning fuel. The vehicle itself had been severely mangled, left engine blown to pieces and wings broken into tiny metal ribbons. The half a body that was left was charred and shattered, and from here Victor could see the lifeless body of a crewman half-through the window. “Damn,” he remarked, approaching the wreckage with axe in hand. No extraction for the dead, he lamented, shaking his head in sorrow. “Sleep well, young soldier,” he whispered. “May your soul find its way home.”

“Is . . . he dead?” Kihal asked.

Victor only nodded.

Kihal didn’t say anything at the moment, allowing Victor a moment of silence.

                Victor started to examine the wreckage. It was a medium-sized recon plane, not so much focused on hiding as it was looking. How did you crash? Victor couldn’t help but wonder. Turbulence? Engine malfunction? Anomaly? He glanced uneasily at the dead crewman. Pilot error? He sighed, thinking for a minute. Glancing around, he noted that there were boot marks in the dirt. He glanced inside, noting the spare equipment shelves were empty as well as the weapons rack. Only the pilot died, he concluded. The copilot and the navigation officer are out here somewhere. He glanced around, trying to find clues as to where they could have gone- His eyes locked onto a painted black face on the side of the wing. “Kirandi,” he muttered under his breath.

                “Victor . . .” He could hear the rising tension in Kihal’s voice. Bring it on. He spun around, sending his axe flying straight into the black figure perched behind the tree. He fell over with a wailing scream as more of the dark-skinned savages jumped from the trees, spears and bows in hand. Victor cursed under his breath; wishing, not for the last time, that he had a proper suit of armor or spell on hand for the battle. The cunning soldier ducked into the plane’s interior, drawing his knives as arrows rattled off the mangled steel skin. Out the back! He stopped short when he noted the back end of the plane was a mangled heap. “S**t!” He remarked, drawing his knives. “Help! Help!” Kihal cried, again bringing back memories of Victor’s Michael. Not today!

                The first Kirandi warrior to dash into the plane had his throat slit from the side. Victor then grabbed the second warrior by the arm and twisted his foot around the man’s leg, forcing him to his knees. Using him as a human shield Victor blocked spears from both the third and fourth warrior moving in, all the while being peppered with arrows from the not-so-hidden archers. One.

                Victor grabbed the dislodged door from the plane and stepped outside, arrows rattling harmlessly off the steel as his human shield slowly bled to death from friendly fire. A spear thrown into the face of one archer neutralized him for the remainder of his short life, letting Victor take a second to size up the situation and react accordingly. Two.

                Five archers, two warriors left. Victor spun forward, throwing a knife into the throat of one while he slammed another into a tree with his door. Three arrows nailed him in the back, but Victor didn’t feel it. Instead he whirled around, crushing the pinned man’s jugular as he threw the steel door at archers three and four. A swift hand block and spin disarmed Warrior two of his spear, which Victor then crashed into the face of warrior one, knocking him out and breaking the wooden haft in two. Good enough.

                Victor flung the pointy end of the broken spear into the chest of the fifth archer, then locked his right arm around warrior two’s flimsy club. With a twist he ripped it out of the man’s hands, dodging an arrow as he grabbed the man’s arm and spun him around. The poor warrior caught an arrow in the chest as Victor rushed the remaining two archers, smashing one across the face with his newly acquired club and breaking the man’s jaw. The blow carried through to the other, hitting him lightly across the brow. But by then, Victor had dropped his human shield and drawn his knife, sheathing it deep in the poor man’s stomach. With a cruel twist he pulled it out, spilling innards as he turned to see the final archer get shot with an arrow. Three.

                On the other side of the plane were four more Kirandi, three with arrows and one with a primitive axe. Fair enough. Victor threw his club at the archers, taking two arrows in the chest as he charged. The warrior with the axe charged him back, but Victor just lowered his knife and knifed him across the thigh as they passed, forcing him to drop his axe as blood poured from the wound. Next were the archers, all of whom had ducked to dodge the incoming club. Victor capitalized on this, jumping onto the nearest one and planting his knife deep in the back of the man’s skull. Instead of stopping he spun past to the next archer, using his momentum to dislodge the man’s jaw with his elbow. Finally came the last archer, whose life was ended when his throat found it’s way between a tree and Victor’s fist. Four.

                “Help!” Victor spun around, obsidian knife drawn and ready. The last warrior had Kihal by the scruff of his neck, evil glare as he raised his dagger high. Victor quickly spun, picked up momentum, and sent his obsidian dagger flying through the air and into the man’s right eye with a sickening crunch. Five, he counted, grabbing the remaining archer’s head and easily snapping his neck. Kihal just cowered in the center of the clearing, shaking in fear.

                The initial fight had lasted no longer than two minutes, but in those two minutes Kihal had seen Victor as he had never seen him before. The fight with the crocodile had seemed graceful and lithe, but this fight; it was simply brutal and fast. A coldness had entered the stranger’s eyes, as he moved about the dark ones like a whirlwind of death and destruction, breaking bones and slitting throats like he washed his shell and cleaned his axe. No banter, no glory, just snap and it was done without so much as a word. For the first time in his life, Kihal felt truly afraid.

                Now the stranger stood before him, cleaning his knives on the corpses of the dead and sheathing them. He recovered his axe, wiped the blood on his pants, and then glanced at Kihal. “Come,” he stated simply, reaching out towards him with an open hand. Kihal instinctively pulled back, shaking in fear. The stranger shrugged. “More will be here soon,” he stated simply. “We need to keep moving.”

Kihal just shook his head, making Victor sigh. He got down on one knee and looked the little lion-child in the eyes. “I’m not going to let anybody hurt you,” he said simply, like a father comforted his child. “But if we don’t keep moving more will come. I can’t save you from them all. Not like this, at least.” Kihal looked at him, shaking, but finally nodding in agreement. “Y-your bleeding.” Victor looked down at his chest, noting the five arrows sticking out of his armor. He could feel the arrowheads lodged in his flesh and grimaced. “It’s only a flesh wound,” he muttered, grabbing the arrows and pulling them out. The body armor was too thick and heavy for any of them to hit his vital organs. But the wounds hurt, none the less. Peh, he grimaced. I guess we can spare an hour to take a breather or two.

For the better part of an hour Victor tended to his wounds, making sure the arrows weren’t lodged in place or leaving little pieces in his body. Afterwards he tore his dead comrade’s shirt and began bandaging the wounds, using disinfectant from a half-crushed first aid kit to clean the wounds. For the most part Kihal kept his distance, coming over once to smell the disinfectant before retreating to a small crevice on the other side of the clearing. After Victor cleaned out his wounds and bandaged himself up he turned his attention to the plane. Two men couldn’t have taken everything, and the Kiranda wouldn’t know the first thing about what’s useful in this wreck. There might be something I can use in here.

© 2015 WriterSki7

Author's Note

Any suggestions for making it more gripping would be appreciated. Removal of some details, addition of others. Most likely going to rewrite it using more active voice, to keep the reader [better] enthralled throughout the sequence. Goal is a strong, fluid action scene that flows. It should be as easy to read as it is to watch a similar scene from a movie of game, if you understand what I'm getting at.

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Added on November 27, 2015
Last Updated on November 27, 2015
Tags: War, survival, alien, sci-fi, action, adventure, battle, fantasy



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