Mills dozed off with his head resting against his helmet, sprawled off at a corner of the bunker walls. He was having a good dream about having a buffet feast, gorging himself with the free flow crustaceans and shellfish, drinking wine and champagne.

"Lance Corporal Mills!" He heard someone calling him in his dream and snapped awake, instantly gripping his Magelock and alert.

"What?" Mills stared at the dark figure squatting next to him, "Damn, I was about to start on that lobster." He wiped the drool off his cheeks.

"Lob-star?" The Marine elf cocked his head in confusion. "Huh?"

"Nevermind," Mills stood up and stretched, "What's up?"

"We heard something coming from the slopes," The elf reported. "Shhhh, here is it again!"

Mills leaned against the firing slits of the wall and listened hard, but he couldn't really hear anything. He looked at the intent look his fellow elven Marine was having as he twitched his long ears, and wondered if their ears can hear at a higher frequency than humans, like a dog. "Nope, can't hear nor see shit."

"Shhh... there it is again!" The elf insisted, pointing out to the darkness. "Sounds like many hands scratching."

Mills concentrated again and caught a sound like a piece of rock being kicked. "Wait here." And he activated his comms. "Thunderchief, this is Alpha Four, come in over."

"Thunderchief, send."

"Alpha Four, reporting possible night probe at my location, over."

"Roger, standby."

Mills turned back to outside view, "Eh, think we better close our eyes first," And just as he said that two stabbing beams of white light cut through the darkness, illuminating the terrain in front of the Alpha wall. "Ow." Mills flinched as the bright lights killed his night vision.

"OH MY GOD!" The elf next to Mills, cried out, the elves having better eyes than the humans, and using a phrase they learned from watching movies and dramas.

Mills blinked his eyes to adjust to the sudden brightness and looked at the passage, "Fuck me, what are those?" The passageway appeared to be crawling with shadowy figures, and some even appeared to have climbed up from the near vertical slopes next to the passageway.

"Undead! It's the Oerkin's vile dark magic!" The elf said, his eyes looking unnaturally large in the reflected like. The two spotlights swung downwards and lit the ground in front of Alpha Wall and a whistle blew.

"Contacted!" Mills shouted out finally after he got over his surprise at seeing bodies missing limbs and skeletons crawling and shambling towards the wall. He keyed his comms to Drake's connection, "Hey wake up! It's CoD ZOMBIE MODE! Woohooo!"

The Marines around Mills looked at him like he was crazy, "What? You guys didn't play zombie mode in CoD? Damn, I need to let you guys play some later." Mills promised them, leaning his Magelock out of the firing slit and taking aim, "Go for headshots!"

A whistle blew in the distance and jets of flame from Magelocks from other sections stabbed out into the early hours of the morning as the Marines prepare to defend against the new threat. The smoke from the guns was carried away by night winds howling through the Pass, allowing the men and elves to fire rapidly with any smoke obstructions.

Mills fired as fast and accurately with the Magelock as best as he could. He personally found the Magelock fun to fire, the kick of the recoil, further bruising his shoulder. Mills's customized Magelock comes with a 2x magnified red dot sight he personally installed and built into the frame of his Magelock. He aimed the red dot at the chin of a slow walking rotting corpse and squeezed the trigger, feeling the butt hammering against his shoulder and smelling a hint of urine smell from the gun smoke.

His bullet entered the upper jaw of the dead Orc, shattering teeth and bone, before blowing out the upper spinal cervical, dropping the Orc, like a puppet with its strings cut off. "Headshot!"

"Aim for the heads!" Mills yelled as he noticed the shots placement on the bodies of the zombies. "Come on, you are Marines! You can shoot better than that!" And he put his words into action, dropping another zombie with a headshot. "They are just standing there for you to shoot! How great is that? How can you miss!"

At this point, more spotlights had lit up, turning the passageway as bright as day, the undead appeared in many kinds, from fresh Orc corpses to rattling skeletons. Even dead animals could be seen in the mix. The fresh corpses moved faster while the rotted skeletons moved slower, and a bullet in the head ended all life regardless if it was living or dead.

"How many are there!" Despite the slow jerky movement of the undead, the defenders were not killing them fast enough, as normally a bullet wound would have incapacitated anyone, maybe not an Orc but the undead, short of destroying the head, continued in their determined relentless approach to the walls.

As the undead hit the walls, they found no way to enter nor climb. The concrete walls were angled in 25 degrees outwards with the tops of the walls rounded and topped off with barb wire. The undead tried to climb on the smooth concrete walls but their hands and fingers could not find any purchase.

The undead hammered their rotting fists and bony hands against the heavily armored cargo doors in a vain effect to break the gate. Those still with functioning vocal cords growled and moaned, while the skeletons rattled their loose jaws.

"Thunderchief to All units, cease fire, cease fire!" The call came in through all the comms.

"Cease fire! Cease fire!" Mills yelled at his men, as only section leaders worn the comms gear. They were thinking of equipping the rest of the men with simpler comms units, but they did not have the time to research and develop anything yet. The men ceased firing, rubbed sored and bruised shoulders and checked their ammunition.

Some of the smarter elves, bounded the rifle butt with soft hide or cloth to lessen the impact from the recoil, yet still from the constant firing for the past few days, everyone's shoulder turned blue-black from the impacts.

"What now, Corp?" The men asked, watching more and more of the undead massing at the bottom of the walls.

Mills removed his helmet and scratched his head and rubbing the soot stains off his face. "Well, no point wasting ammo on those things since they can't come in." He peered down the firing slits and looked at the wriggling mass of arms reaching upwards, and spit down. "Headshot!"

"Wait," Mills held his hand up, gesturing the men to keep quiet as he listened to his comms. "Oooh, sounds fun."

"Alright, there's gonna be something interesting happening soon," Mills grinned, looked at the undead. "Just watch the show."

The men looked at each other and shrugged, knowing their section leader weird quirks and followed suit, gathering at the firing slits and watched the undead, waiting for stuff to happen.

Not long a sudden explosion of flames ripped through the massed undead, setting some on fire. One after another, balls of fire erupted among the dead, turning them into char. "Holy smoke, is that what happened to me?" Mills laughed, "Damn, I am tough to survive that shit!"

The spells cast by the mages reaped havoc among the undead, and before long most of the gathered undead was once again properly dead, and the rearmost creatures turned and retreated back to the night.


Sawtooth Mountain Defense Command Center

"Well, that was new and unexpected," Master Sergeant Pike puffed out his cheeks. "I totally wasn't expecting that."

"Me neither," Major Frank responded, as both of them stood next to the tactical table, staring at the displays in the command 'Pit'. "Damn, are they really undead? Like zombies and skeletons?"

"Every time my brains adjusted to the shit this planet has, it throws a curve ball at me," Pike sighed, "I really like to get Magister Thorn here to consult on all these voodoo and occult shit."

"Roll sanity check please, in the words of Dr. Sharon," Frank grinned, "I can only imagine this planet like some fantasy game. And yes, I think we need Magister Thorn's expertise here." Frank turned to one of the communications operators and inform him to contact Thorn and bring him over asap.

"Do you wanna call Joesph over? He might have some insight on this?" Frank asked Pike as he leaned over the communications operator's shoulder.

"Nope, let him complete his officer training course," Pike shook his head, "We can still handle this."

Frank nodded, and returned his attention to the operator, giving his instructions. "How is the new task force doing?"

"Looking good from the screens, Sir," Pike responded as he focused on a screen displaying the front of Alpha Wall. "Looks like the undead is getting barbequed nice and crisp."

"And the rest are retreating," Franked chipped in, watching the remaining undead retreat away from the glare of the spotlights. "Seems like they are under control of someone."

"Or something," Pike added, "What's that thing called? Negi something?"

"A necromancer," One of the operators helpfully gave the correct word. "I think that is what you are thinking off, Top."

"Yup, that's the word, thanks," Pike snapped his fingers, "A necromancer, I read that on that book, the Captain is forcing everyone to read."

"Hmmm, if there is as you said a necromancer than this will be a big problem," Frank frowned as he leaned over the map. "Look, we are here, the enemy is roughly here," he pointed a location in the forest, "We know the Empire buried their dead here," He pointed to another location roughly west of where the Pass is.

"I don't know how are they reanimating their dead, but from the looks of things, it appears they took the Empire dead and raised them, including their recent dead," Frank folded his arms as he continued his analysis. "Now, that means they can reanimate any deaths no matter the timeframe, and the numbers will favor them greatly, as they can bring back those that died in assaulting the walls."

"Not only that," Pike interrupted, "Look at Screen Six." The view on the display showed a dead clearly rotting carcass of some sort of deer-like creature. "They can bring back animals too."

"Oh fuck, wait what about the flying dragons we shot down?" Frank exclaimed out. "And the dead Orcs we retrieved?"

"We retrieved the bodies of the dragons, remember?" Pike reminded him. "We beheaded the Orc bodies to prevent them from playing possum, so that should prevent them from raising. Dr. Sharon gonna get into a fit when she sees the headless corpses."

"Oh right, damn, I have forgotten all about it," Frank shook his head. "At least we know that destroying the head, will permanently put them back to being properly dead again, while fire, works as long as you burn them down completely or if the head is destroyed in the process."

"We need to build us some flamers," Pike grinned, he loved this kind of shit. "Issue is what to use for fuel. Damn, I am feeling like making some napalm now!"

Frank grinned along at Pike's excitement. "Well, one thing at a time. We will need to rely on the new task force to handle the zombies, no point in wasting ammunition on them."

"We had stockpiled over nine hundred thousand rounds for the Magelocks in various ammo dumps." Pike said, "It should be more than enough for our defensive needs."

"Good," Frank nodded, "Keep to the daily rotation schedule, let the relief force take over in the morning and brief them of the new threat."

"For now, let the undead cluster fuck together than get the 101st ATI to nuke them, why waste ammo when we have unlimited fireballs?" Frank pointed out. "Also get the post-combat recovery detail to behead and burn all the corpses from now on."

"True, now we need Thorn to find a way to stop this," Pike agreed and added.

"Also one more point, whose magic is it? The Orcs or the Empire?"

A note from neo Koh

A sneak peek at what the UNS troops look like!

Support "Out of Space"

About the author

neo Koh


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