Magda McFarlin (part three)

The Magda McFarlin posts are written by Bruce Arbuckle, posting as BritInFrance, on the RPG Project Zero on writingforums.org

Click here to read Part One

Made up of several short posts, the quotes in bold are written by other writers. * indicates the end of each individual post.

_____________________________

Magda saw the look in the general’s eyes as she approached. He looked enthusiastic.

“Yes, how can i help you?” he said in a rough voice. He had been drinking, she could smell it on his breath.

“General, Magda McFarlin,” she said, saluting him. “I see you’re looking for volunteers, Sir. I was up here on a hunting holiday, and wondered if I could be of assistance? I was due to meet my cousin. But he hasn’t shown up. Maybe, you know him. Joe Kirk: he works up at the military base.” Magda thought she saw something flicker across the general’s face, at the mention of Joe’s name.

*

Summary of others posts: The general has told Magda that Joe has gone missing, that he has been taken alive. Another person has joined the group. The general has shown the group a deep wound from the escaped creature. He has also claimed the government have spent several billion dollars preparing the creature for war. He tells the group the best thing to do is to head for the Military Base.

Magda kept pace with the general as the group headed out of the town. She was confused, and not a little alarmed. Since when did the military start recruiting like this? This general was a little bit free with secrets, too. Like he didn’t expect anyone to be around to give anything away at the end. Was he really organizing a hunt, or was he planning to use this group as bait? She cleared her throat.

“Sir,” she said. “What exactly happened up there? I mean, where are all the soldiers, the reinforcements, helicopters and the like? Why are you recruiting,” she looked around at the others. “No offence to you guys: I’m sure you’re very skilled,” she looked back up at the general. “A bunch of amateurs to do the job of a trained unit?”

*

Magda thought for a moment, the general hadn’t heard her. She was about to repeat her question, when he spoke.

“McFarlin, there are two things that can disable a well-armed unit. And those things are a loss of morality, and a lack of numbers. Every man that has gone out alone to try and catch this thing has vanished. With no one else to try and recruit and the rest of my men scared as rabbits, where do you think that leaves me?”

Jesus, this guy was madder than she thought. Did he have no control over his men? She looked around at the rest of the group, to see if anyone else could see how close to the edge he was. They all avoided eye contact. Perhaps it was better to quit, while she was ahead. Perhaps this guy wasn’t even in charge – perhaps he was an escaped nut-job.

Magda was about to run when the general made a noise. A hiss like a snake being run over by a punctured tire. She followed the general’s eyes. The bloodied carcass of an animal – a deer – hung from the trees. Blood dripped down onto the white snow. Magda saw the creatures head, a few feet away.

“Bloody hell,” she said.

*

Magda checked the two hand guns she had under her jacket in the twin shoulder holder. Looking around her, she swung her rucksack off her back and removed two more clips of ammo, and the thermal imaging scope. She slipped them into concealed pockets, in her specially designed jacket. She put the rucksack on, checking it did not impede access to her weapons.

“Well, General,” she said. “It seems your expensive pet is around here somewhere. Maybe he just has an aversion to Bambi’s head remaining attached to its body, but my guess is that your missing men haven’t been asked round for a cup of tea and a friendly game of Scrabble.” Magda looked around at the others, “Any of you guys good at tracking animals?”

*

“I have tracked animals before.”

Magda turned to see a teenager dressed in a camouflage jacket and a hat. She signaled for him to come over to join her.

“You ever seen an animal that makes tracks like that, kid?” she said. She pointed out the claw marks in the tree and the snow. “I can’t tell which direction it went in, but maybe you can. By the look of that deer, it was here recently.” She looked around at the others and gestured at the youth. “Unless anyone has any better ideas, I suggest we follow this guy.”

*

Magda followed the young man. She couldn’t see any tracks in the snow, but he seemed to know where he was going. She looked behind her. The general had dropped back. He drew his weapon. He muttered something to himself, but she couldn’t hear a word above the noise of snow being crushed under foot. She really didn’t trust this guy.

A roar, snapped Magda’s head around. Something dropped from the trees, in front of her. She gasped and instinctively drew both her handguns. She crouched to the floor, and took aim. What the hell was that thing?

She couldn’t get a clean shot. The boy stood in the way.

“Jump!” she thought, her finger on the trigger, as the creature’s tail swung round towards the youth.

*

Magda was surprised at the boys speed. He jumped out of the way and shot at the beast before she could fire a round.

“It’s imprinted on us damn it -shoulda hit it in the eye like i wanted to. Damn you Doc -why make something like this that can turn against you?”

The dragon-thing took hold of the boy. It steped right over Magda. She thought she saw something in it’s eye when it saw her weapon.

It’s eye. Perhaps the general wasn’t so useless, after all.

Magda took aim at the reptile-like eyes and pressed the trigger.

*

Please read the whole story here: http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=58906

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