I'm getting more satisfied with the product as I keep running it through the hard copy editing process. In my opinion, it's the only real way to truly edit, because you look at the page, and things stick out more there then on a computer screen for some reason. Ah, well, to each his own.
She tore onto the landing field; freedom just feet away.
Her athletic shoes slid across dry, burnt orange ground before they gained a purchase, the sudden stop causing her to windmill both arms to keep balance. She spun on the balls of her feet, blonde and red hair following the motion before reversing course. It flopped over her face, a golden colored shield, and the girl raised a hand, blood running from several deep cuts on the back of it, pushing it out of the way with a growl.
The girl squinted her eyes after spending so much time indoors, licking suddenly dry lips as she kept looking over her shoulder and then back towards where she came. A young man, burly shoulders rippling, sweat plastering his brown hair to his head, struggled with an older man. He gave up five inches to guard, fighting to keep him at bay, before looking over at her. His rounded, chiseled face making her heart flutter for a second, the strain contorting his high cheeks into a grimace of pain, and she looked helplessly at his battle.
“Katie, run!” He shouted. “Go! Get to the shuttle!”
Another voice chimed in.
“Almir! Run, damn it, run!”
She glanced over a shoulder at the tall man, standing on the shuttle’s cargo ramp, his long, thin face scrunched in a snarl. The backwash from the shuttle’s turbines lifted his short, salt and peppered hair as he looked at her, eyes imploring her to run. Dust thrown up from the turbines turned his black uniform an ugly shade of brown and he kept a hand to shield eyes.
Another cry drew the girl’s attention back to the young man’s plight.
“Katie! Go! Get the hell out of here!”
Tears ran from her green eyes and down curved cheeks, and through the channel on both sides of her small nose. Kate took a couple steps, chest tightening as Thomas, best friend and lover, sacrificed himself for her freedom. Rear Admiral Claudio Reyes, head of Fleet Intelligence, screamed at her, her mind racing with conflicting thoughts and emotions.
What the hell do I do? I can’t leave Thomas-what would I do without him??
“Goddamn it, Katie!” Thomas shouted again as the man started to gain the upper hand. “Move your ass!”
The guard pressing his greater leverage, and his muscular arms rippling, starting to gain an advantage as He shoved Thomas down to the ground, pulling a long, shiny knife from a sheath on his belt. Thomas, helpless to stop the events about to unfold, looked at her, tears in his eyes, silently begging Kate to run.
Kate ran towards him, right arm extended as if she could prevent the events about to happen. “Thomas! No!”
A quick flash of steel in the orange sky, and the man drove the knife deep into the side of Thomas’ throat. Blood spurted as the guard pulled it back out, and the younger man brought a hand up to his neck. The red liquid, his very life, flowing between the fingers of his hand, and he looked over at her, eyes full of love, starting to visibly weaken.
She fell backwards, legs buckling, barely feeling the impact with the hard ground. “No! No!! NO!!!
Thomas seemed to shrivel, and he fell to the ground face first and didn’t move. Sobs, deep and wrenching, racked her body as Kate pushed herself backwards with both feet.
“Almir! Come on! He’s gone!” Reyes shouted.
She pushed herself back upright, the move mechanical, staring blankly where her best friend-and lover-lay. “Thomas!”
Kate ran backwards, never taking her eyes off the guard. A sneer, combining joy over the kill and disdain of her, pulling the corners of his lips upwards, and the man looked up, seeing the shuttle, eyes narrowing and he spat on the ground.
He reached onto his belt, pulling a grenade off, and yanked the pin. The guard tossed the grenade, moving quickly backwards, as Kate spotted the tumbling weapon. Behind Kate, Reyes stepping forward, arm outstretched, his face contorting in rage.
“Shoot that bastard!” he screamed.
Multiple gunshots filled the air, but Kate never heard them. Her mind moved on overdrive, the world around her, moving at light speed moments before, slowed to frame-by-frame. She stopped shy of the shuttle, watching the pineapple tumble through the air, every detail crystal clear. It’s ovular; armor gray exterior contained many round protrusions, each containing its antipersonnel shrapnel, with small squares covering the remaining surface.
“Almir! No! Get down!”
It started to angle down at her.
“Almir, move! Run!”
She looked at him, blonde hair flying, and then back to the grenade. It was already too late, and Kate closed her eyes waiting for her inevitable death.
The explosion, blinding her even with eyes shut, shook the air and she opened her eyes as a mighty fist slamming into her chest. Explosions of pain raced up the spine as Kate’s chest collapse the sound of her heartbeat dying. A spray of needles tore into the bottom of her face, which burned as if someone poured burning oil on it. Hot steel, rushing outwards at great speed, ripping through her arms and legs, adding to the agony until the crescendo overwhelmed her.
Kate slammed into the ground, the impact brutal and adding to the pain filling her consciousness. Pain spiked and raced into her overloaded brain, the burning agony increasing to levels she’d never experienced before with each attempted breath. Screaming didn’t work, because her mouth wouldn’t move, which left Kate screaming in her mind, the horrible sound tearing deep into her consciousness, ripping sanity away.
The agony reached a peak, and darkness grabbed her feet, pulling her downwards.
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