Hell Squad: HolmesBy: Anna Hackett
The vehicles, buses and trucks were parked around in a large circle, forming a protective wall. Adam thought it looked like a modern version of the wagon forts of the Old West or the laagers of southern Africa.
Only it wasn’t anything as easy as hostile tribes or lions from which they needed protection.
It was aliens.
He scrubbed his face, his eyes gritty from a lack of sleep, and watched his band of survivors waking and starting their day.
Another day on the run.
Their underground base, the one that had been their sanctuary since the alien invasion a year and a half ago, had been raided and blown to pieces. Now, for over a week, they’d been on the run from the dinosaur-like aliens who were intent on taking over the planet.
He remembered the first wave of attacks like it was yesterday. Hell, he still saw it in his dreams. As a general in the United Coalition Army, he’d been in those early planning meetings, as they’d fought to find the best way to defend the Earth’s population and retaliate.
It hadn’t mattered. Their military forces had been decimated by the aliens’ advanced technology, along with the sheer numbers of the raptors, and the various alien creatures they’d brought with them. Soon, Adam had found himself at Blue Mountain Base, a secret underground facility, welcoming the few who had survived… He’d been the highest ranking officer left alive.
He shook off the memories, focusing again on what was left of his survivors—the Swift Wind Convoy. He wished he’d been able to get a coffee, but he hadn’t had time to make his way over to the kitchen truck. He needed to brief the squads on the plan for the day, take a quick walk around camp and reassure any panicked people, and then check in with Doc Emerson and her medical team to see how the injured were faring.
Adam sucked in a deep breath and tugged on his plain white shirt. He really wished he was in his uniform. He wasn’t accustomed to the more informal dress, but at the moment, the only options available were clothes that were clean and hadn’t been torn to shreds or splattered with blood.
“General Holmes, the squads are assembled and ready for you.”
He turned and saw Elle Milton waiting for him. The pretty brunette was one of the squads communications officers—and not just any squad, but Hell Squad. His roughest, toughest, and most efficient group of soldiers.
“Thank you, Elle. On my way.”
The woman nodded, then hesitated. “Can I get you anything? Some breakfast?”
He managed a smile. “No, thanks. Let’s go talk to the soldiers.”
He spotted the squad leaders and a few of their team members leaning against various vehicles. Most were wearing their black, carbon fiber armor on the bottom half, while on top they wore well-worn T-shirts that clung to hard, tattooed muscles.
Adam allowed himself a wry smile. If he’d seen this group of men and women in his ranks in the Army, he’d have been horrified. But the alien invasion had changed everything, including his views on some things.
He’d had to scrape together the members of his squads from remnants of the country’s devastated military and police forces, and—his gaze fell on a few of the Squad Three men, also known as the berserkers—former mercenaries and possibly criminals, but these men formed the most courageous, toughest, and fiercest group of fighters he’d ever known.
It was because of these people that the survivors had even made it this far.
“Good morning.” He nodded and exchanged a few looks with the squad leaders as he moved to the head of the group. Elle was now tucked under the arm of Marcus Steele, the rugged, scarred leader of Hell Squad. Adam had been as shocked as the rest of the base when sweet, pretty Elle had somehow tamed Steele. But Adam was damned pleased to see the two of them so happy together.
“What’s the plan for today, General?”
Roth Masters was leader of Squad Nine. The rest of his squad stood beside him, all—apart from the tall, broad Theron—deadly, capable women.
“We’ve managed to escape the aliens and have survived our first night out of the mountains.” He glanced at the silhouette of the tree-covered peaks to the west. They’d barely survived the week-long dash out of the Blue Mountains, and they still had a significant way to go. “Now, we stay alive and get to the Enclave.” He nodded at Elle, who moved over to a portable comp set up on a folding table.