SNOW KINGDOM SYNOPSIS:  Two soldiers from the United Northern Alliance, Colonel Castille Tasca and Master Sergeant Rambika Maseru, have undertaken a clandestine mission deep into Snow Kingdom territory to test a new agent designed to kill coca plants, the source of the Snow Kingdom’s cocaine, the very foundation of its power and wealth.


IU: ACRONYM FOR: Infiltration Unit


INDENT LIST: Identification list




“How many Scavs do you think are above us, Colonel?”


“How many Scavs do you think are above us, Colonel?”


“Judging by the number of dead plants we’ve seen, I’d say ten, possibly eleven on each side.  Once the thopter picks up their movement, we’ll have an exact number.  Based on the distance they’ll have to cover, I estimate it’ll take them a few minutes to reach gorge floor.”



If that holds true, it should give us time to empty the container and target both lines, sir.”


“It should, Sergeant.  Based on my earlier encounters with the Worlar, two men won’t be seen as a threat.  If I’m right about this, they’ll attack us head on.  Once we’ve engaged the first line, the second will come at us from behind.  The more we kill before they move on us, might make them think twice.  If nothing else it will even the odds a bit.”


“Colonel, if we can bring down four HK’s and kill five stalkers, we sure as hell can pick off a few goddamned Scavs.  If they’re within three-hundred meters or less from the site, they’ll be an easy kill.”



“I’m counting on it, Sergeant.  Once we’re behind the outcropping, we’ll drop our rucksacks.  You’ll take a defensive position on the left side of the outcropping, facing up the gorge, keeping one eye on the thopter’s feedback. Questions, Sergeant?”


“Yes sir, one.  When do I get to kill them?”


“Patience is a virtue, Sergeant.  The time for bloodletting is near, so be careful what you wish for.  All right, it’s time to separate the men from the boys.  Ready?”


“Yes, sir.”




Laser rifles in hand, they rapidly crisscrossed the hundred meters until they were behind the outcropping. Taking deep breathes they dropped their rucksacks.  “Sergeant . . . position yourself, now.  You’ll continue tracking . . . all movement.  Once you’re satisfied . . .  there’s no immediate threat, set the accuracy range for both rifles to three-hundred meters.”


“Yes, sir.”  Maseru grabbed Tasca’s rifle and made for the left side of the outcropping.  “All right, let see what we’ve got.” Detecting no increase in the number of Scavs, he activated the laser rifles’ scopes and locked in the distance.  “Both rifles are accurate up to three-hundred meters, Colonel. Thopter shows movement above us on both sides.  I count twelve Scavs on our left with nine more on our right.  Neither line seems to be in a hurry, sir.”


“Why should they?  The Scavs know we’re outnumbered by at least twenty-to-one.  No, they’ll wait until they’re at full strength before they attack.  Now, what about our friends ahead and behind us?”


“From behind, I’ve eight Scavs moving slowly towards our position, distance four-hundred and ninety meters.  I have another twelve ahead of us, distance three-hundred and thirty-five meters and closing.  Neither line appears to be in a hurry.  I wonder how close they’ll come before they stop?”


“Since their standard weapon fires lead projectiles, I’d say between fifty to sixty meters.”


“Lead projectiles, Colonel?”


“Bullets, Sergeant.  It’s the only type of weapon the Kingdom allows the Scavs to have.”


“Humph, I’ll be damned; you learn something new every day.  Does the Complex know our location, Colonel?”


“No, I don’t think they do.  About forty hours after our escape, Command sent four IU’s to Manaus to start an insurrection against the local government, knowing the Hydroponics Complex would send all available craft and stalkers to help end it.  The complex’s human trackers can’t reach us because we’re well beyond their capacity to track us.”


“But won’t the Scavs alert the Complex, Colonel?”


“Again, no, or at least not yet. Though they’ve pledged their loyalty to the Kingdom, there’s no love lost between them.  They’ll study us until they’ve decided what our intentions are.  Once they have, they’ll kill us, then contact the Complex, trading our bodies for snow and supplies.”


“I’m not so sure, Colonel.  I don’t think the hydroponics complex will give up so easily, especially once they’ve discovered the dead stalkers.  I know if I was in charge, I’d sure as hell find a way to find my enemy.”


“They might want to, but without any resources, they simply can’t.  The one remaining resource they had, we destroyed.  My concern now is when will the Scavs attack?”


“Yours and mine both, Colonel.  When they do, I hope it’s after we’ve secured the supplies.”


“Affirmative, Sergeant.  Any change in their numbers?”


“No, sir.  The numbers remain as is.  Movement in both lines has stopped.”


Tasca knew they did to allow the remaining Scavs to join their ranks.  He held no illusions, that once they had, they’d encircle their position and attack from all sides.   “Let me know when the Scavs above us reach both lines.”


“Will do, sir.  It shouldn’t be long before they do.”


“I’m stepping on the crystal, so be ready for anything.”


“Yes, sir.”  You’re positive they won’t attack from behind once they see the container?”


“No, at least until I’ve emptied it.  Once I’ve unloaded the supplies, they could focus on them to where they’d risk an attack.  Damn strange, the Worlar.  Depending on the circumstances, I’ve seen their curiosity override their logic.  It wasn’t pretty.”  


“I guess we’ll know soon enough how they’ll react, sir.”


“No doubt, Sergeant.  All right, I’m raising the container.”  Tasca stepped on the crystal, the crunch followed immediately by the whirl of hydraulics.  He stepped back and watched the container rise with some difficulty.  “Now what the hell’s wrong?”  He kicked the left side of the container, and to his relief, it continued to rise without further complications.  Now waist high, Tasca used the stock of his rifle to strike the container’s lid release.  It opened slowly, stopping once it touched the ground.  Seeing a small, white indent list, he took it and shoved it into his shirt pocket. On top of the supplies, in the middle of the container, lay a small, black cylinder with the mission’s new orders.  Tasca took the cylinder, unscrewed the cap and removed a small, brown disc.


“Colonel, the thopter’s shows no movement on either line, but I’m detecting movement behind each.  Based on the distance the Scavs have to cover to complete the link, I’d say we’ve about five minutes before they do.”


“Let me know the number of Scavs in each line once they’ve completed the link.”


“Yes, sir, exact numbers.”


Tasca took the brown disc and placed in his mouth until it was coated with saliva.  Cupping his right hand, he let the disc drop from his mouth onto it, lifting his hand until the disc was centimeters from his ear.  Coded only to his and Maseru’s DNA, and activated by body heat and salvia, the disc’s micro energizer activated, giving him the new orders.  Its purpose finished, the disc began to dissolve.  “I don’t believe it,” Tasca muttered.


“Believe what, sir?”

© 2017, Raymond Tobaygo. All rights reserved.
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Author Notes


Raymond Tobaygo


Good morning, Craig

Thank you for the read and for commenting on the post . . . both are appreciated.

Take care and stay safe,


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