Captured by the Eastern Faction allied with the Nazis, Jet and Harry are in great danger! Doctor Zombie. A Rocketman Story By John Pirillo.
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
Harry struggled against the maglocks that kept him chained to the wall. Jet watched him from across the cell, straining against his own as well. Finally, they both stopped.
"Well if that doesn't take the cake." Jet finally said in a blast of exhaustion and frustration.
Both men had been strung up to the wall now for two days without food or water. Their pants were soiled and stinking and their arms hurt like hell as well. Their wrists and hands were going number. Their legs were about to buckle, which meant they would probably collapse, causing their wrists to dislocate and the loss of both hands.
"Yeah. War stinks." Harry cursed. "And so do we?"
"Well, the way I see it, pal, is that if the Nazis don't turn us into Zombies to kill our friends, then these Eastern Faction crazies going to rip our skin off to see what makes us tick."
"Or both." Harry added.
"You had to say that, didn't you? Didn't you!." Jet shot back.
"Hey! Someone's gotta keep up our spirits!"
"War is still hell."
"And it stinks!" Harry said sniffing the air in a comical manner.
"Now, now Harry. Just look at it as a little manly fragrance to pass the time away with."
"This is serious." Harry insisted.
"And it's never not been?"
Harry sighed, and then looked to the solid wall that opened up to allow their captors inside. "What do you think they want from us?"
"Maybe a chocolate malted and fries."
Harry laughed despite himself. "Jet!"
"Yeah man. Thinking. Thinking." Shakes his head. "Nope. No thoughts. You?"
Before Harry could reply the door in the wall slid open, revealing a very beautiful oriental woman clad in a doctor's smock. Her hands were covered in gloves.
"This don't look good, Harry." Jet said, eyeing the gloves.
"Losing your touch with the ladies, Jet?"
"In this case I'll make an exception." Jet quipped, again his eyes not leaving those gloved hands. Finally, he looked up. "I hope those gloves have got useful purposes...like letting us out of our prison, feeding us, arming us."
The oriental woman neither smiled, nor responded. She came into the room, plucked a thermometer from her smock, stuck it in Harry's mouth, then went to the other side of the room and did the same with Jet.
Jet smiled at her. "My favorite flavor. None."
Her eyes flickered for a moment, but she still said nothing. She left the room.
Harry looked over at Jet. "I think your charm is making headway."
"Yeah. Like an airplane crash."
They both laughed.
Several minutes later the door opened again and the same oriental woman entered the room, plucked the thermometers out, made a note of their temperatures, and then exited again.
"What the hell?" Jet asked no one in particular.
"You have to admit, it does help pass the time between getting nowhere fast and possibly being tortured next."
Jet perked up. "You think?"
Harry didn't respond. He didn't want to think about it. He knew what kind of tortures the Orientals on his own timeline had used during World War Two; he could only imagine what the ones in this crazy cocked up would do.
The door opened again a large man, also in a doctor's smock entered. He was glancing at a notepad in his hands. He was escorted by what appeared to be Samurai, except that instead of swords they carried these wicked looking rods with barbed tips that emitted sparks every now and then.
Jet swallowed. The torture was about to begin.
The large man gestured to Jet.
The guards headed for him.
"Don't worry, pal. I'll be there with you when the time comes."
Jet looked back at Harry as he was removed from the maglocks. "You're kidding? Right? Right?"
As the guards walked past Harry, he suddenly jerked his entire body upwards, straining against the maglocks with his hands to hold on, and kicked the nearest Samurai Guard. It swung around and shoved its rod at Harry, who managed to dodge the blow to his chest. The rod glanced across his shoulder and struck the maglocks over Harry's head, emitting a shower of sparks.
Harry slumped against the wall.
"Damn! Harry! Harry!" Jet cried out as the Samurai Guard gave Harry a second blast from his rod in his back, then grunted happily and followed the first guard and the large man out. The doors closed.
Harry's body hung on the maglocks for what seemed like forever, but then a strange thing occurred. A smile slid across his lips.
Jet was hauled into a large warehouse with an open door at the opposite end, where Japanese Soldiers were marching. Rows of odd looking tanks lined opposite walls. The tanks cannon all appeared similar to the rods the guards carried. He was marched to a large table where his and Harry's jump suits lay stretched out. A scientist with a Nazi band on his right upper arm, with its red deadhead on it, looked up from his examination of the suits.
"Ah, I see you have accepted our invitation to join us." The scientist said. He nodded to the large man and he walked off. The two guards fell back from Jet, who began rubbing his wrists to bring life into them again. He hadn't had a chance in the grip of the guards.
"I wasn't invited." Jet said, his voice growling and low.
"Come now. Surely you can appreciate a bit of humor in light of what we could alternatively choose to do?"
"You mean like hanging me on a wall and torturing me?"
"Oh no, that would be too uncivilized."
The scientist gestured to the right and then Jet saw the silent men and women in uniform that stood at perfect attention. Their faces rigid and immobile, fists clenched against their hips. They wore Nazi armbands.
"Zombies!" Jet uttered, the horror of what he was seeing gripping his heart and soul.
"Ah. I see you have fond memories of the good old days."
"How could you know...?"
The scientist came closer to Jet and looked into his eyes. "Do you not recognize the one who made you?"
Jet's horror grew even more. "Doctor Zombie"
Doctor Zombie smiled at Jet. "Oh, I'm so much more than that!"
Jet actually managed to shake off both his guards for a moment as he rushed the Doctor, but their reactions were faster than his and they snapped him back against them again, locking their hand tightly about his arms.
The Doctor smiled. Their grips relaxed.
Jet tensed, ready to spring again for the Doctor, but decided to see if a better moment should arise.
"Yes. A curious name your fellow zombies named me and one I've grown affectionate of. And I have never forgotten you, Jet. You always were the one that got away. Both figuratively and literally in the end. I look forward to inspecting your brain to see how that happened." He clapped his hands.
The guards gripped Jet by his arms again. He tried to shake them off, but was too weak to do so. Their strength was immense.
"I see you have noticed the superior strength of my new generation." The scientist said.
"You're mad." Jet swore. "No good will ever come of this!"
"Oh, but it already has. I expect you to talk excitedly about these..." He pointed to the jump suits. "And very loudly."
One of the guards quite unexpectedly broke Jet's left pinkie.
Jet screamed in pain.
"Am I making myself quite clear, Jet?"
"But how, how did he know to..." Jet uttered despite his growing pain.
The scientist tapped his head. "Here. I have found a way to connect myself to all my creations."
And upon those words every single zombie in the lineups turned and saluted the scientists with a Nazi goosestep to boot.
"Damn!" Jet muttered, a smile coming to his lips. "Busby Berkeley could sure use these guys!"
Jet screamed even louder when his left pinkie was broken.
"What the hell you do that for, man?" Jet hollered.
The scientist tapped his head. "Because I can. Now, shall we talk as peace loving men, or shall we continue our little game of sticks and stones."
The scientist started to smile and then grimaced and made a very, very ugly face as his forehead sprouted a blossom of red. He tumbled to the concrete floor and lay there unmoving.
Jet broke away from the guards, expecting them to stop him, but they were frozen in place. Alarms began to ring.
Harry came running from behind a tank, tossing a Japanese rifle to the ground as he dashed Jet's way. "Suit up!" He screamed.
Jet didn't wait for another invitation. He hurriedly buttoned up as Harry scrambled to do his own. Both men finished as the troops arrived. A barrage of bullets zinged about them. They didn't wait for further encouragement.
"Rockets away!" Harry hollered.
"You got it!" Jet cried out.
Both men ran towards the exit, where the massive doors were beginning to close with a loud groaning sound. They leaped into the air and their rockets cut in and propelled them faster and faster towards the diminishing exit opening.
Soldiers outside were running to cover the exit, firing at them as they came closer.
"Ever had a close shave before, Jet."
"Yeah...every day with you!" Jet cursed.
Then both men in perfect sync turned as one sideways and shot out the closing door exit, making it just in the nick of time. The soldiers outside spun around and aimed their weapons at the fleeing men, firing round after round.
"Ow!" Jet cried out as they shot over the encampment and the vast warehouse they had been held captive in.
"Where you shot, Jet?"
"My damn pinkies, they're both broken and I forgot that and tried to use them."
"Next time, use your middle finger." Harry joked.
Jet did. But not on his controls.
The two rocket men shot upwards and safely into the high clouds overhead.
Fighting Nazi Monsters! "Storming the Future" A Rocketman Story by John Pirillo. Would he ever be able to return to the woman he loved?
Storming the Future
"A Rocketman Story"
by John Pirillo
Harry stood before the Rocketman suit, which was hanging by its arms in a clench of metal clamps that held it at a perpetual 12 inches above the pressed concrete flooring that covered the interior Swiss base of the Resistance. Behind it hung a second version, and behind that a third and so on through about ten versions. Each version was smaller than the last, but still far too big.
He then looked at the smaller jump suit, as he called it, that was slung casually over a work bench where Einstein and Tesla were clucking like mother hens over their new babies. It looked similar to the old movie serial he had seen in the States before he had been transferred to the Allied front in Britain It was, however, powered differently, and modular. Each part of it could be replaced by simply removing the entanglement field that kept it in place.
The entanglement field was something that Edison had come up with on a whim. He had been researching electromagnetics in hopes of finding a way to automate the building of his cars...and now the war effort's weaponized vehicles more rapidly, with them being easier to fix when things blew up. Which was often. It was based on some law that Harry didn't have the slightest comprehension of. Science was not his forte. Flying was. He frowned, but flying a ticking bomb had never been on his list of flying objects when he woke up in the future, or in the past and was drafted into the war on the Nazi regime.
"Don't worry, Harry, they'll work it out." Jet told him from the side.
Harry, startled from his reverie, and turned to eye his friend. "It's getting worse."
Jet put a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. "I know, brother. Believe me I know. I'm the one that has to listen to you scream at night, remember?"
Harry sighed, then dug his hands into his uniform pockets, letting his frustration drain away. Jet was right. He always was. It just fretted at him that he had so little control over what was happening.
Al, perked up, probably feeling Harry's upset and nodded to Tesla, who gave Harry a wave, then returned to probing the jump suit with a tiny tool that had headlights on it. Al brushed his hands off, wiped them carefully on a dirty cloth, then on a cleaner one, and came over, all smiles and perky. "Harry, my boy. So good to see you. And so bright and early."
Jet gave Al a cockeyed grin. "As if anyone could sleep in this hole in the wall anyway."
Al clapped a hand on Jet's right arm. "Always shooting from the hip."
"Just be glad you're not the one in my sights."
Al laughed, patted Jet's arm, then gave Harry a more serious look. "You had them again?"
Harry adjusted his flight attitude and zoomed in a descending arc towards the newly reconstructed Eiffel Tower. It was late at night and only a few guards stood there, but they were Sturmgiganten. The giant, genetically enhanced soldiers cooked in Hitler's massive genetics labs buried somewhere in Asia and out of the reach of the Resistance.
For now. Harry thought grimly. One day. He let the thought subside as he dropped lightly onto the semi-lit platform at the top of the tower. It was similar to the one he remembered from his youth, when his father and mother had taken him to Paris for part of an European vacation. Those had been happier days. For Harry. But they had ended badly for his parents. His mother had contracted cancer and went through what seemed like an endless series of tests and remedies, which left her weaker and weaker over time.
A stomping of a boot.
Harry snapped out of the past to the present. This present. Not the one he had been born to. Which was in late twenties. Not this one which was a thousand years later and the hollow shell of the world it had once been. Its peoples decimated by a constantly warring faction of Nazi soldiers and Eastern Global warriors and weapons. The Second World War had ended with nuclear strikes at all the major western capitals of the world. The Eastern Block and Nazi Germany had divided the planet into two zones. They lived an uneasy peace between them, which was enforced locally by zombie soldiers...citizens whose minds were preempted by electronics...and Sturmgiganten...huge genetically modified soldiers that stood over eight feet tall, had muscles as thick as tree trunks and fists the size of hams. No, it wasn't a pretty future, or past as he remembered it.
Harry slid in a sliding curve with his left foot and the other one jacked up and caught the Nazi giant in its right kneecap. It grunted in pain. They had no voice like normal, but spoke in a kind of apelike grunt. Harry knew the one on the opposite side would be coming fast. For some reason these creatures always knew what was going on with the other. Knowing that, he swiftly followed the kneecap kick with a double punch into the giant's privates. The giant grunted even louder, the pain of its crushed testicles...thank God it had something normal...being so excruciating that it doubled over. That brought its chin into Harry's reach. He slammed his right elbow into its throat, then shoved with all his strength and sent the giant tumbling against the railing, where its giant yellowed eyes glared at him angrily, promising hideous torture. It wasn't going to happen. Harry drop kicked the giant in its stomach and it flew head over heels from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Its grunts grew louder and louder with pain as it fell into the large metal struts holding up the massive tower.
Harry never got to listen to it strike the bottom, because even if he could have heard it, the second giant was on him. He spun around powered his suit and flew like an arrow of destruction into its chest, sending it falling back against the railing. Harry didn't wait to struggle with it. He clasped one of its arms, gave his suit a power surge and lifted it off the platform, dangled it over the ground below and let go. He didn't listen for any grunts. He had a mission to do. He lit on the platform again and went to the strange device that topped the tower. It was, according to the Resistance informants, a death ray, that once activated. That one and a score of them about the city. That once activated, would create a lethal dome of blazing energies which no living thing could survive.
His mission. It's not going to happen.
He set the charges he carried in his side flaps, planted the timers carefully on all of them, set them for sixty seconds and leaped from the tower.
He flipped on his jump suit and waited for the rockets to kick in.
Harry's face was flushed and sweating by the time he had completed the retelling of his dream. Jet looked at him, his jaw hanging down. "God, Harry, I never knew. Man!"
Al took out his pipe, which he always did when he was considering something weighty, or something that bothered him deeply, proceeded to tamp tobacco in it, then light it. He took several puffs, then said. "We're going to find out what is causing these time loops, Harry. I promise it."
He said nothing more, but he gave Harry a quick side hug, then stepped back to rejoin Tesla, who looked up then, saw Harry's face, gave him a worried look, then returned to his work, with Al whispering words to him so Harry and Jet couldn't over listen.
Harry slumped against the work table behind him and wiped the sweat from his face. He felt like crap. Probably looked like it too.
He and Jet went to the small eating area that was allowed the base, took out two mugs and filled them steaming black java. They plugged the liquid with dabs of sugar and milk, then sat down, eyeing the activity going on, even at such an early hour.
A platoon of Resistance Forces were training in one corner, their Squad Leader, hollering at them to stay trim, stay in line, be quiet, get down and all the other nasty things those guys did to save the lives of those in their command.
"It's like I'm unhinged in time, Jet." Harry finally said, lifting his eyes from the activity in the base, to Jet's.
Jet nodded. He waited for Harry to go on.
"I never feel the death, but it always ends up that way. Why do I only remember the deaths?"
Jet laughed. "God's keeping you humble, man. God knows you need it, Flyboy."
Harry laughed despite the sadness and dismay he felt. He took a long sip of the hot java, the coffee streaming down his throat and igniting the nerve endings in his body, bringing some semblance of reality back to him again as he got further away from the dream.
Then he remembered. "Jet, it's been happening to me when I fly the suit."
"Yeah, man, we knew that."
"Yes, but it only happens after I've been in battle."
Harry jumped to his feet and dashed off.
Jet set his coffee down. "Now, I know why they call him Rocketman. He never keeps his feet on the ground long."
Jet sighed, threw the rest of his drink down his throat, then ran after Harry.
Harry struggled into the Rocketman suit while the Techs helped him lockdown. It was like squeezing a soft tomato through the top of a wine bottle. It had to get inside without bursting. At least that's what it always felt like to Harry at first. He eyed the jump suit and wished it were stable. He needed the flexibility it provided. No use living in the past, he thought, then stuffed his arms into the arms of the Rocketman suit and waited as he was closed inside.
Jet tapped on his faceplate. "Reading me, Harry?"
"Only too loud and clear, pal."
"Good, next time you run out on me like that I'm charging for the time."
The Techs about them laughed too.
Harry and Jet were base favorites. Their humor and stamina were well known, as was their battle readiness.
Harry activated the controls in his suit with his chin, tongue and nose, then dropped lightly to the floor as the overhead clamps released him. He turned towards the rising hanger door. He twisted slightly to look at Jet. "Make sure Al and Tes are monitoring my flight this time. It's important."
"Not telling me why, pal!" Jet exclaimed in aggravation.
Harry smiled through the face plate. "No time. Just tell them. Please!"
"Gotcha!" Jet dashed off.
Harry turned the Rocketman suit towards the opening to the Swiss air, then ignited his suit's rockets. He kept them tuned low so the radiations didn't backwash into the crew scrambling to clear his path, then punched them into full gear when he reached the opening. They could never leave it open more than a few seconds for fear of the Nazi Fume Fighters catching wind of them. So far they'd been lucky.
Harry launched into the clear blue skies of the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne below him as he angled towards the clouds. He checked his radar and spotted a Fume Fighter. They had won that name from the ugly black smoke they emitted as they tore through the atmosphere, leaving a smoking trail of black fumes and stench.
"Closing." Harry said into his communicator.
"Gotcha, Harry." Jet said.
"Be careful, Harry." Al told him.
"My middle name." Harry chuckled. "Except when it's he who drops like a rock."
Jet whooped with laughter. "That was good, brother. Really good."
"Here goes!" Harry warned, then accelerated the suit, closing in rapidly on the Fume Fighter which was high above. Obviously, the pilot had his attention forward, instead of below, for Harry was able to launch a series of rockets into its exhausts before the pilot awoke to the Rocketman behind him.
Harry didn't give him a chance to warn anyone, not even himself. He launched a deadly one, two whammy salvo of rockets which sent the Nazi pilot back to Valhalla.
Harry circled the area he had struck the Fume Fighter in, waiting for his theory to be proved. Nothing happened.
"Well, Harry?" Al finally said, his voice sounding a bit worried.
"Nothing. Not a damned thing." Harry groaned.
Realizing he had just shot down his own theory, he headed back to base. He shot through the entrance, backed off on his rockets, then lit like a dandelion on his favorite spot. He waited impatiently for the Techs to unlatch him, then thanked them, and raced to the back where Al, Tesla and Jet were standing next to the jump suit, which was still in pieces.
Al gave Harry a searching look.
"I thought the weapons somehow triggered the response that threw me between timelines."
Al nodded and turned to Tesla, who had been jotting notes in a small tablet in his hands. "I think you're wrong, Harry. "
He held the tablet up. Harry squinted at the mathematical symbols on it.
"What's it mean?"
But the words that left his lips seemed hollow, empty, as if he were in some kind of deep echo chamber. He jerked his eyes towards Jet, who was reaching for him and then...
Harry was falling and falling. The rockets had failed. He would die if he couldn't fire up the engines. Finally, he did the only thing he had left for him to do, if he hoped to survive. He jettisoned himself.
He watched the jump suit smash into a building and explode, sending scores of storm troopers from their quarters to see what was going on.
And there Harry was, dangling from a parachute high above their heads, but plainly visible if any of them looked up.
"Harry!" Jet screamed.
Harry shook his head. Jet shook his body.
Harry snapped out of the vision he had been experiencing and realized he wasn't falling anymore.
Tesla wrote more notes in his tablet. "You were gone for..." He looked at his pocket watch. "Three seconds."
Harry let out a whoop of joy. He hugged Jet. "It worked. It worked!"
Al smiled comfortingly. "Yes. It did. Now..." He sighed, as he and Tesla exchanged glances. "We have to figure out why you are disobeying every law of physics known to man."
Jet patted Harry on his back. "That's because he's Rocketman."
Everyone laughed, except for Harry, who secretly wandered if someday he would be able to use the new knowledge and return. Return to the woman he had left behind. He had loved and was stricken from his life forever by a quirk in time.
Hunger. Pain. Food. Must have food! "Food," new Rocketman Story. Not all monsters are made that way! Some will stay that way no matter what!
"A Rocketman Story"
By John Pirillo
The thought was like a hammer on its stomach and its mind.
It raised its snout and sniffed the air, drawing in the cold scents and the warm ones. The warm one was sweet like the food it loved to eat the most. Its tongue swept across its sharp fangs, which began to wet in anticipation of a fresh meal.
It leaped to the top off a rock about fifteen feet high and clung to it like a spider, its clawed hands holding it firmly in place. It sniffed again.
The scent jerked its eyes towards the horizon. It couldn't see anything clearly. But every once in awhile it seemed as if something glowed against the ground over the gulley that ran down from the mountain and to its side.
The thought drove it mad with frenzy. It was starving. It had eaten its full a month ago and lain in a kind of deep coma filled with strange memories and faces...small faces...ones it should have felt something for...something besides hunger. But it couldn't remember them that well anymore and the thought of food overwhelmed its memories and drove it in a great leap from the boulder it clung to.
It drove towards the wide, surging flood of water.
The fire crackled warmly in the bowl of rocks and dirt they had piled together in the deep gulley that lay at the foot of Rishikesh, deep in the heart of the Himalayas. The Ganges spun its surging song of joy happily as it crashed and splashed over the shoreline and boulders strew in its path to the sea. The stars were like sharp pricks of light ripped through a velvet cloth in the sky. The moon hung over the nearest mountains like a Guardian Angel keeping its babies safe. The high embankment that ran into their gulley kept the light smoke and flickering fire safe from the eyes of any passersby's.
And there could be some. But not the kind you would want to welcome with open arms. Unless you wanted your neck shredded and your heart torn out. That's what happened to the careless here. Hearts sold for extremely high prices in the Black Market of Delhi.
Harry felt a great sadness descend over him as he thought back to the old days when he and his best buddy, Jim, would hike these ranges, looking for challenges. They weren't mountaineers, or rock climbers, just very young kids happy to explore regions that were forbidden to them. Both their parents would have been horrified to know what they were doing, risking every day. But such is the folly of youth that never dwells on death and dying, and thinks it's immortal and above danger.
"Yeah, Harry." Jet answered drowsily from a blanket on the opposite side of the fire. "Do you ever miss the good old days?"
"Since when were they ever so good for me?" Jet asked, his voice steeped with fatigue, but also a latent anger.
Harry looked at his friend. "That bad?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
Harry waited. Jet always wanted to talk about it.
Jet rolled over, propped his head on his hand, and then looked through the fire at Harry. "My school teacher beat me for looking at a white girl. My father beat me for me getting caught looking at a white school girl, and my mother disowned me for looking at a white school girl. I was damned and kadoodled by everyone."
Harry grinned. "Was it worth it?"
"Hell no!" Jet cursed. "I nearly got away with it, but Mister Kinder, my teacher, caught me again. I darned near got hung when he brought me to the Principal. Both of us didn't know he was the head of the KKK back then."
Harry stiffened. "That bad?"
"Yeah. Harry, that bad." Jet rolled over onto his back, his thoughts reliving those years. "Black kids got a burden on them by just being born. You wouldn't know anything about that."
Harry nodded. "Maybe. But being Catholic has sure got my ass kicked a lot of times by those who hate us."
Jet rolled over to look at Harry. "That bad?"
Harry nodded. "But I'm sure that getting beat up every day after school for being Catholic, spit on by grown-ups when you passed them on the way home, and having cops throw you in jail for looking at them cross-eyed. I suppose that's not as bad as what you've gone through."
"Nope. Nowhere close."And that was the end of the conversation.
Harry lay down. The Rocket suit was a new model. It laid to his right. Jet had one too. They were testing them out. So Harry had suggested a long flight. To India. Jet had smacked the ceiling at first, telling him that they might get eaten alive by Abominable Snow Men. Harry had laughed. "There are no such things."
Jet shook his head. "Harry, maybe not in your timeline, but this one..."
Harry felt a cold shiver run up and down his spine. He was afraid to ask, but he did anyway. "How?"
"One of the first things Hitler did...after blowing up half the world's capitals with nuclear bombs was to experiment."
"Yeah. Lots of experiments. That's how the Sturmgiganten got born. Genetic manipulation and a few other...more gruesome things."
Jet sighed, throwing an arm over is eyes as he remembered.
"One village my team was sent to clean out, had a whole pen filled with werewolves."
Harry sat back up. "You're kidding? There's no such things!"
"Timeline...yeah, I know. But werewolves?"
"Harry, you got a lot of catching up to do."
Harry lay back down. "Jet."
"Do you think we're actually making a difference?"
"You mean by blowing up all those arms depots and destroying Sturmgiganten?"
Jet sighed. "I just don't know anymore. Ever since you brought me out of that hellhole of a life I had been stuck in, I've given that thought a mangling in my mind almost every day."
"We're only two people, Harry."
Harry was silent.
They both fell silent and the warmth of the fire and flickering of the flames sent them into a deep sleep.
Harry fell into a world of has beens and might have beens. He saw a nurse, whose name he couldn't remember, but who he needed to find again so badly that his heart was breaking, and then she would vanish and he'd find himself struggling in the arms of this gigantic soldier, whose face resembled a gorilla's, but with pointed teeth and eyes sparkling with intelligence driven mad by pain and disfigurement.
He woke up with a start.
"Jet, wake up!"
Jet leaped to his feet, reaching for his service weapon, which he had left on the ground. He dove for it the same time as something huge leaped from above and landed where Harry had been lying.
Harry spun around and drop kicked the beast in its chest, tumbling it head over heels, nearly into the surging waters of the Ganges which would most likely have sucked it down to its death, but the creature was quicker, more nimble than that. It landed on its toes and sprung at Harry, claws reaching out for his throat.
Jet's weapon sent a single bullet into the chest of the beast. It fell to the ground and lay there. It didn't move.
Jet and Harry stepped near it, but not to near.
"It's one of those damn hybrids!" Jet cursed, raising its gun to fire again.
Harry gently rolled over the creature. It had a woman's face, but her face was distorted, skin pulled back into the snout of a wolf. "Damn!"
"Double that." Jet snapped.
"She might have been a looker once."
"Not any more. I wouldn't date her if you paid me." Jet cursed.
Harry looked at her skin. He felt it. "She's starving."
"How can you tell?"
Her skin is loose. No fat. Probably lost most of her muscle."
"This probably saved our butts."
"What do you mean, maybe?"
"Just..." Harry didn't like what he did next, but he was going on a hunch. Something flashed across his memory. A face peering into his. "Should we kill it?" The face asked.
"No. It's not a threat. It only appears to be."
"But it's our enemy."
"Haven't we killed enough in this war?" The voice had asked.
Harry had survived, brought back to life and succored b the rebels who had survived Hitler's devastating nuclear blow against the world. Everyone mistrusted him at first, but in time they came to know him better, and when they realized he was fighting for the same cause, they became friends.
Harry looked to Jet. "Help me tie her hands behind her back. Quickly."
"She's not dead?"
"Hell, Jet, you know you're the worst shot I've ever known."
"Saved your butt enough times."
But Jet helped him truss her up and sit her up against a rock. Harry went to the Ganges and soaked a hanky in the water, then came back and gently pressed it to her forehead, then her cheeks and her throat.
She made a low growling moan and her eyes flickered open. Then she tried to claw him, except her hands were tied behind her and around the rock she sat against. She struggled a long time, but both men said nothing and waited.
Finally, she settled. Harry held up a stick of jerky. "Hungry?"
The she creature's nose sniffed the air and she went wild again.
Harry waited. She settled down again. Harry came closer. "You behave and it's yours."
She looked into his eyes and they narrowed a moment, then she relaxed. He nodded. "Good." He pressed the jerky towards her mouth and she nearly took his hand off too. He let go and she ravaged the jerky, swallowing it in seconds.
She growled at him, and then sniffed the air, looking around.
"Damnit, Harry, you might be onto something."
Harry got out a bigger piece of jerky. "A bit at a time and I'll let you have even more."
The she creature considered him a long time, as if weighing whether to eat his hand or the jerky, then she nodded her head slightly.
"Damn!" Jet cursed. "She has some brains left after all."
The she creature howled at Jet and he dropped back. "No offense, lady. But I'm not used to good looking dolls trying me out for a muffin meal."
The she creature looked back at Harry and he slowly eased the longer jerky towards her. She didn't try to snap at his hand this time. She nibbled on it, and he pushed it gently all the way into her mouth. When she was through, he repeated the process.
"Yeah. I know." He sighed. "Ante up!"
Jet grabbed his own jerky and tossed it to Harry and continued to feed the she creature. Her eyes lost some of their ferocity and her snarls lessened, and finally her head drooped forward. She began to make light dog sounding snores.
Harry picked up his rocket suit. Jet did his.
Harry dumped all their food at the foot of the she creature. Jet did the same.
"It's going to be a long empty stomach home, Harry."
"Yeah. Ain't it always, pal?" Harry asked with a smile.
They went behind the rock and loosened the rope.
"She'll be outta that in ten." Jet said.
"And we're outta here in five."
Harry threw on his rocket suit, adjusted his helmet as Jet did the same and they ran for the Ganges. They leaped into the air. Their feet barely touched the waters before they were airborne and roaring into the air.
The she creature's eyes snapped open on the sound and she growled angrily, and then noticed that her arms and hands were loose. She snapped the rope free, and then jumped to her feet. She was about to run after the men, when she felt the food at her feet.
She looked down, confused, surprised. Then her nose got the better of her. She dropped to a squat and began shoving the food into her snout, as her eyes watched the two men arc upwards and then blast across a full moon.
When she was through eating, she threw her head back and howled at the moon, giving thanks to her luck...and maybe, just maybe a little thanks to the men creatures that hadn't really hurt her when they could have.
Puzzled as she thought about it, she shook her snout, and then loped off back into the hills.
Food! She thought. Maybe. Just maybe. Friends!