A Night In The Western Wastes (Short Story)

Here's one I wrote today since I got a bit of time to sit down with a pair of headphones and get some writing done.

This is going to be a multi-part story, and this is the first part of it.


       "Come on, it has already started," Mari said, as she impatiently started banging on the side of the open-top transport ship. "Get in! Get in!" She shouted a few times through clenched teeth as her eyelids started to flutter. Her head fell back, and she slowly tracked some passing lights of the ships overhead.
       "Yeah, get in. We're late as it is," M'Trada said, as he turned back to glance at Mari before letting out a light chuckle. "She's ready to tear someone's throat out."
       "Just point me at them," Mari mumbled to herself, too busy staring up at the ships to make eye contact. "We're just streaks of light passing through every obstacle." She whispered to herself.
       "Hah! Good one. You should make that a song," the Trisken responded with a shrug. "I wouldn't listen to it, but I'm sure someone out there would."
       Andron Vidu continued to stare at the scene without mouthing a single word. He was nervous and could feel that tingle in his stomach that made him want to puke. The thought of being flown by people under the influence of whatever they'd taken didn't fill him with much hope of making it to the venue in one piece; not that Andron actually wanted to go. He heard stories about the place, but none of them made it sound very welcoming.
       "I don't know about this," Andron said as he inched his way closer to the vehicle slowly.
       "Come on! You said you were going to finally come and check this place out with us," Mari replied fervently. She gritted her teeth so hard at the end that Andron thought they'd shatter. They didn't, but she was shaking slightly from the force being applied.

       He stepped ever closer and placed a hand on the side of the vehicle. It was cold, and as he touched it, the driver - M'Trada - revved the engine, which spluttered aggressively and spewed out some grey smoke that blew away in the wind. The dockyard was disused and mostly empty, bar a few broken-down ships that had been torn apart for spare parts. Cracks in the concrete allowed weeds to peer from the muck beneath. Overlooking them were a few old buildings; to the left was an old smashed-up factory the three of them used to hang out in when they were younger, to the right were towering rows of apartments and flats, and ahead was some waste ground with little more than foundations of what used to lay there.
       The west of Talirda was mostly the same as this area but on a larger scale. Nobody chose to come to this part of the city unless they were looking for cheap housing. But, that was all it had going for it. M'Trada, Mari, and Andron had been friends most of their lives and grew up in the 'Western Wastes' as most people called them.

       "Have we ever steered you wrong before, Andron?" M'Trada asked with a sly grin.
       "Yes. Numerous times." Andron replied softly.
       "Name one time!" Mari shouted as she jerked in her seat causing her dark hair to flick wildly.
       "Well, that time you picked me up, only to get stopped and searched by the TPD." He shook his head. "I wasn't even a part of whatever you two got up to, but still got in trouble."
       The other two started laughing, and M'Trada sighed as he tilted his head back as if remembering the 'the good ol' times' but they weren't good times. It just led to Andron getting a criminal record for nothing.
       "Yeah, well. That was different. We all make mistakes." M'Trada said and glanced around the empty dockyard. "Better get moving," he whispered as he gestured lightly to some figures in the distance walking their way.

       Andron stared at them for a moment, as they wandered from the waste ground. At first, it seemed like they were just two, but soon, two became four, and more movement behind indicated there were more than that.
       "Nothing to worry about, it's just a few people hanging around," Andron said lightly.
       As he finished speaking a shot was fired in their general direction, and it made him flinch. The others in the transport ducked down too, and another shot was fired at them as a couple of cheers of drunken laughter sounded. He waited for a moment, and another shot came at them and pinged off the vehicle.
       "Get in, Andron!" M'Trada shouted, which prompted him to dive into the passenger seat and duck once more below the steel of the ship.
       "You think you're tough!" Mari shouted as she fumbled in the back of the vehicle as M'Trada revved the engine and started to slowly ascend. "What? You scock eye'd or something?! This is how you shoot!" She screamed like a wild animal as she threw herself up from the seat; as if being resurrected. Armed with a light machine gun she nicknamed, 'Nippy' which she flicked the switch on and leaned over the side of the transporter.
       "Don't!" Andron shouted, but as he called out, his voice was drowned out by a flurry of shots that sounded like a giant winged insect.
       More shots came back, and she continued to spray toward the instigators.
       "Hah! Got you!" She started taunting them. "Anymore? Come on," She continued to shout, even though they were far above and beyond the small dots in the distance.

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