Nester - Anticipation

Avatar Author: Browncoatben At some point, that cave wall was a blank slate... Read Bio

Tara lay prone on the hull, peering through the magscope mounted on her rifle. The dots had grown larger in the last hour and she knew battle was minutes away. The readout on her helmet visor read 980 kilometers. 979. 978. 977.

Tara took a moment to glance around at her squad, their armor blending into the shapes and colors of the ship’s hull. Marksmen all, they were silent killers. They sent beams of invisible death across the void, one perfect shot at a time. They never missed. Missing would be unprofessional.

960 kilometers. Almost there…

Tara checked her U-cord one last time and flipped the safety off, vocalizing an order over the comm.

“Nesters, quadrant is E4. Assigned targets only.”

The vacuum of space concealed the sound of thirty safeties being flipped.

930 kilometers.

“Nesters, engage at 900.”


The computer chose a target, different from the rest of the squad. No need for two perfect shots on one target.




Tara’s trigger finger began to squeeze.



View this story's details


Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (4 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar Mostly Harmless

    What I love about this challenge is that it’s showcasing all the elements of movies that add together to make the blockbusters work -you’ve captured really well that old classic – the countdown!

    I would have liked to see some backstory or psychology behind the characters, but nonetheless you’ve got some great scene-setting in the second paragraph, and suitably techy language throughout… Good entry! MH :)

  2. Avatar John Perkins

    I love the “missing would be unprofessional” line. Very matter-of-fact, with a twinge of dark humor. However, that is offset by the completely unpatriotic use of the metric system.

    You may have run out of space here, but I would have preferred a mention of her holding her breath to steady for the shot rather than her finger squeezing. It’s probably more cliche, but I also think it’s slightly more dramatic.

    Overall, it has a good sense of pace and the atmosphere is pretty much spot-on. Well done.

  3. Avatar Browncoatben

    Don’t be hating on the metric system, John! They use it in Star Trek, and Star Trek is the REAL future, I tell you!

  4. Avatar John Perkins

    The metric system is unpatriotic and proves that you don’t support our troops.

    And the real future has been outlined by the great Robert Zemekis in his seminal documentary about the future, Back to the Future 2. Stephen Spielberg is currently working on Jaws 5 through 18 right now, so that he can premier Jaws 19 in the summer of 2015.