22 min read

новая Земля

A short story.
новая Земля
Stable Diffusion: "A spaceship in orbit of Alpha Centauri B, lomography"

"Novaya Zemlya"

Alice could visualize the nanospindles in the right arm of her combat suit popping under the immense pressure of the battleboot now planted there. A quick glance at the impact site revealed spidery hairline fractures webbing out, up to her elbow. It would take days for the bots to complete repair work on those. She remembered the schematics from the ACSIII operating handbook her cadre had to memorize back in flight school. Why, at this particular moment, was she projecting in her mind's eye those fine-lined diagrams of her suit? In the same microsecond she chided herself to get back to saving her own life. With her free left hand, she countered with a mech-boosted blow to the thigh connected to the offending boot. That force, she knew, would be like getting struck by an engine piston.

The boot, emblazoned with a red star, lifted. Glancing up, she saw the figure, man or woman she wasn't sure, the tinted orange face shield prevented any kind of identification. Her opponent's combat suit was extremely angular and, apart from its facial area and a few red stars in various locations, it looked entirely obsidian in color, glinting vaguely in the light. She'd never seen anything like it.