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Brian J. W. Lee is a writer. When he's not writing, he's plotting to plunge the world in a deep chasm of terror, darkness and screams. Sorry, did I get carried away?

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

An Except of 'A Model Son', Interquel to 'The Keeper of Pulau Purba'

Disclaimer: Brian J. W. Lee will not be responsible for any injuries, loss of sleep, limbs or sanity as a result of the following story except.

Also, the following is just draft 1 and does not represent the final product. Have fun:

A form, grey and barely human at first because nearly no light could reach it. For a split second, he took him to be one of his lost colleagues, but that perspective didn't last very long, for the form from the shadows came closer.

And he could make out a helmet, tank goggles, and an armour vest otherwise known as an LBV. From grey, colour filled it as more white light bounced off of the marine. He became green, and black, and mud brown as he should be. And he had a rifle in hand, holding it by the muzzle, dragging the SAR-21's butt on the ground.

Details unheard of from before darkness fell came into the picture. The lenses, no, windshields more appropriately, of the marine's tank goggles had shattered some time ago, leaving sharp edges around the frame. This… Thing that used to be a soldier blinked with shredded eyes. Boon Teck could see glass shards sticking out of its eye regions, its eyeballs a mess of blood, cuts, and glass. Blood that pooled in the water-tight space between windshield and flesh had overflowed long ago and the remainder dried out.

Boon Teck froze, for some reason hoping, despite all that he saw, that there had to be some mistake, that there were no monsters coming out of the absolute dark, that this marine was just a wounded man in need of medical attention.

But then Goggles-Marine pulled his gun up. The technician's eyes widened at the gesture. In the bright gaze of Will's L-torch, he could see through the magazine's shell, which was made of translucent polymer. Years upon years of experience flowed through him from mind to eyes, and he saw: there were bullets in the magazine.

Without thinking, Boon Teck gave a shout, more frightened than brave, and charged forward with his own gun up.

Goggles-Marine had meant it, he was pointing his SAR-21 at him. With just mere metres between them, and this soldier slowed for some reason, Boon Teck was able to cover the distance and-
Explosions cut into his ears, deeper into his left than right. He could feel his body shake from the shockwave alone.

But the old man had swept the changed marine's gun aside with his left forearm, and on summoning perhaps what remained of his strength from his youthful days, drove his bayonet one-handed into the kidney of Goggles-Marine.

Silence, dreadful silence; Boon Teck's ears had gone deaf, where he had thought he couldn't be anymore hearing-impaired. The hostile marine had ran out of ammunition, Boon Teck knew this for sure. The magazine was nearly empty before he unloaded, from the explosions he heard, everything he'd got.

The technician kept pushing, driving his bayonet deeper in. The rot-eyed soldier wasn't discouraged, quite the opposite. He'd squirmed, tried to push him away with his elbows, and yet was fighting to maintain a grip on his emptied rifle. With the way Boon Teck had wrapped his right arm around the rifle, with it going underneath his armpits, there was no way the changed marine could wring his gun free.

But Boon Teck's grip and strength were failing. He knew this, and so he drew back his bayonet. With a shout, his voice broken and wavering between high and low, he thrust his rifle upwards, through that sweet spot between chin and neck. With no stab-resistant material to go through, the blade had plunged deep, all the way to the point of the muzzle of his gun pressing into the pale flesh of his opponent.

He's supposed to die. He's supposed to fucking die! Boon Teck could not help but to curse inside, with a swear word of the ang-mohs he hated, when Goggles-Marine would not stop.
The soldier, a conscript from his age, continued squirming. The only thing letting up was his attempt to elbow him in the chest and solar plexus, to gain back control of his rifle. In fact, his arms had become useless, flopping sticks of flesh.

For how long they had stayed in that position, Boon Teck did not know; with him pushing his rifle upwards and deep, twisting and thrusting his blade and maintaining his advantage, while Goggles-Marine was trying with futility, with pitiful stubbornness even, to retake even a shade of the power it had when it used to have five bullets more than the old man.

Both their strength diminished, but the marine more so. There was little room for Goggles-Marine to get free, especially with that spike of a bayonet buried into his lower jaw. His head had been tilted upward, he couldn't even see what was happening. Seconds passed, each feeling like a minute, and the changed marine could only jerk against the bayonet in him.

Soon, the soldier went limp, and even then, it took a further few eternity-seconds for Boon Teck to withdraw his blade, and let his body fall backwards.

The old man stepped back, still gasping for breath, his entire body feeling weaker as adrenaline left him. Taking a look at the fallen soldier, he thought that he looked somewhat like Stefan, might even actually be Stefan. Thinking back, he had been about the same height, towering over him, half a head taller. The chin was round, lips soft. Limbs toned but not too muscular. Shades of femininity, which Boon Teck hated.

The corpse had looked too much like Stefan. Boon Teck's eyes remained fixed on the face; he thought it to be uncanny. If only I can see his face… he thought, and that thought was quickly translated into action.

Getting down on his knees, the aging technician laid down his rifle, had to pause for a time. He had come up close to the Goggles-Marine (or his son) before, and he didn't really want to do it again. The smell of death, of rancid rot and dried blood wafting up to his nose while they struggled against each other wasn't pleasant, and there was something else. Something Boon Teck could not quite put. He thought that the marine was a revenant, a Ziangshi that would keep rising up; he'd appeared before him all wounded, and what was supposed to be an instantly fatal stab took far too long to put him down…

But I have to know…


Boon Teck reached for the fallen marine's goggles.

Took hold of one side of the frame. In his obsession with the identity of the marine, he'd slit his finger upon the broken glass. But he wasn't going to be distracted.

With a quick tug, Boon Teck pulled the tank goggles off.

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