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Authors: William C. Dietz

A Hole in the Sky

BOOK: A Hole in the Sky
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B
Y
W
ILLIAM
C. D
IETZ

Resistance: The Gathering Storm

Resistance: A Hole in the Sky
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

A Del Rey Mass Market Original

Copyright © 2011 by Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC.

Published in the United States by Del Rey Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

D
EL
R
EY
is a registered trademark and the Del Rey colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.

Resistance is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC.

eISBN: 978-0-345-52295-5

www.delreybooks.com
www.bioware.com

© 2011 Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC.
Resistance is a trademark of Sony Computer
Entertainment America LLC. Developed by Insomniac
Games. “PlayStation” and the “PS” Family logo are
registered trademarks and PS3 is a trademark of
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

v3.1

For Marjorie with all my love

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank President and CEO of Insomniac Games Ted Price, as well as Chief Creative Officer Brian Hastings, Creative Director Marcus Smith, Writer Jon Paquette, and all the rest of the folks at Insomniac Games for their help and support.

Thanks also go to Sony Computer Entertainment America Senior Producer Frank Simon and my editor, Tricia Pasternak.

Contents
CHAPTER ONE
BACK ATCHA
Friday, July 3, 1953
New York, New York

It was 0836 in the morning, but so dark it might have been evening. Purplish clouds hung low over the snow-shrouded city as if to smother it. And when they parted, it was to allow the upper reaches of an alien structure to pass through a black-rimmed hole and touch the sky beyond. At its base, the tower wasn’t so much a symmetrical obelisk as a muscular tree trunk that had driven its angular roots down through New York’s outer crust into the subterranean flesh below.

The very sight of the brooding tower and the dim lights that glowed within served to reignite President Thomas Voss’s hatred for the Chimera. He was lying prone on the roof of a half-gutted warehouse, looking across the half-frozen Hudson River through a pair of powerful binoculars.

The top third of the Empire State Building had been sheared off, leaving an ice-encrusted stump to poke up out of the hills of drifted snow surrounding the tower. Voss knew that thousands of such structures had been excavated across the surface of the planet. All working in concert to cool Earth’s atmosphere and make it comfortable for the Chimera.

The rotten bastards
, Voss thought to himself.
Damn them to hell!

Although the truth was that the Chimeran forms weren’t so much individuals as functionaries. All controlled by a hive-mind that was better described as an “it” rather than a “them.”

But the hive-mind could manifest itself in more than a dozen different forms. It landed in Russia, and then exploded out of that country in 1949 and overran Europe. The luckiest humans died. The less fortunate succumbed to the alien virus and were transformed into Chimera.

Within a year most of Europe had fallen, leaving only Great Britain to carry on. But after a desperate struggle, England fell as well, and the Chimera attacked America in 1952. American towns and cities were overrun, and millions of citizens were transformed into monstrosities. And, with the exception of a top-secret organization called SRPA (Special Research Projects Administration), the government had been slow to react. Voss, then Assistant Secretary of the Interior, admitted as much. The result was a vast Chimeran-dominated wasteland that stretched from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico.

They could not conduct a census, or do any of the other things governments were supposed to do, but Voss and his staff estimated that most of the country’s 160 million citizens had been killed by the Chimera, rampant disease, or starvation. The 10 million or so people who remained were hiding from alien hunter-killer teams and trying to eke out whatever sort of living they could.

But if Voss and a force of volunteers could enter New York and destroy the Chimeran tower, the victory would not only slow the systematic effort to cool the planet’s atmosphere, it would send a message of hope to the citizens of the United States.
And
cement his position as President, a responsibility Voss had assumed after the VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing aircraft) carrying
President McCullen and the surviving members of his cabinet had been shot down.

An Army general assumed the presidency after that. He was subsequently killed by a Titan at the battle of Phoenix, leaving the nation rudderless until Voss stepped forward. “So, Marvin,” Voss said as he lowered his glasses. “What do you think?”

Rather than scan the New York skyline, Captain Marvin Kawecki’s binoculars were focused on the problem immediately in front of them and off to the left. And that was the approach to the Holland Tunnel. Kawecki had a shock of dark hair, squinty eyes, and a weather-seamed face. “I can see half a dozen Hybrids. All of them are inside the central toll station. I think Chu could nail half of them—but we’ll need a second sniper to get all six. Can you handle that, Mr. President?”

“I’ll sure as hell try,” Voss said as he secured his binoculars. “Let’s go down and take them out.”

Kawecki thumbed his mike. Like most members of the team, he wore fingerless knit gloves. “We’re pulling out. Lang, find a path to the brick building that fronts the toll plaza. We’ll clear the center booth from there. Over.”

The other soldiers, all of whom had been providing security up until then, seemed to materialize out of nowhere. All were veterans, experts at urban warfare, and had accompanied Voss on the long three-month journey from Freedom Base in the Ozark National Forest.

There had once been sixteen troopers, but a long series of battles had taken their toll. The remaining soldiers were dressed in whatever manner they preferred and armed with a wild variety of human and Chimeran weaponry. No orders were given, nor were any required as a man named Lang took the point position. He had a long, lugubrious face and the manner of an undertaker. Kawecki was next, followed by Voss, Private Mason,
Corporal Rigg, Private Venley, Private Chu, and Sergeant Alvarez, the last having been promoted to second-in-command when Lieutenant Hopper took a projectile between the eyes just east of Louisville.

Lang led them around a large hole and down three flights of switchbacking stairs to the ground floor, where he paused just inside a shattered doorway. The Chimera were called “stinks” for a reason, and Lang had an extremely acute sense of smell. Just one of the reasons why he was on point.

Once he was sure it was safe, Lang slipped out through the door, took a left, and made his way down a sloping passageway. From there he led them through a half-burned factory to a door on the north side. Waving the rest of the men into cover, he went forward alone.

Voss and the others could do nothing but wait as Lang crossed an alley and disappeared into the one-story brick building fronting the toll plaza. Finally, his voice hushed, the scout invited the snipers to join him.

Chu had the sharpest eye on the team. But Voss was pretty good too, and proud to have been chosen for such an important task. Because he knew that the title “President” didn’t mean very much to the men around him. Not anymore. Their respect had to be earned.

After entering through the back door, the men made their way past a row of looted offices and into the lobby beyond. Lang was waiting for them. He pointed to the shattered windows that bracketed the front door and looked out onto the toll plaza. Voss chose the window on the left, Chu took the right, and Lang turned his back on both of them in order to watch the back entrance.

Chu was armed with a scope-mounted government-issue L23 Fareye. Without a sniper’s rifle of his own, Voss had to rely on his carbine. Though equipped with an open sight, in the right hands the weapon was very accurate and capable of firing a lot of rounds in a short
period of time. Voss thumbed the safety off, eyed the toll booth, and saw the stinks lurking inside. In a perverse sort of way, their presence was a good sign. Because there was no reason to guard a tunnel that was closed. Voss kept his voice low. “I’ll break the glass and wait for you to take two of them out. Then I’ll hose the rest of the bastards down.”

Chu kept his eye glued to the scope as he spoke. “Sounds good. I’ll start with the stink on the far right.”

Voss chose a target of his own. Even though his task was to break the glass, he hoped to nail one of the aliens at the same time. His right index finger tightened, the rifle jerked, and the bullet made a flat cracking sound as it passed through the air. Glass exploded, and the stink spun halfway around as half of its head disappeared in a cloud of blood. Then Chu fired. Both of his shots found their targets—they dropped as if they had been poleaxed.

But by then the toll booth’s front door had flown open, and in typical Chimeran fashion, the surviving stinks charged straight into the human guns. They were horrible-looking things with no hair, low foreheads, and needle-sharp fangs.

Chu dropped one of them. But since the Fareye’s rate of fire was relatively slow, it was up to Voss to put the rest of them down. The Hybrids were not only fast, but firing Bullseyes as they came. Voss had good reason to be concerned as a volley of homing tags stuttered past his head. Because if one of the tags hit,
all
of the subsequent projectiles would strike him too, no matter where the stink aimed its weapon.

So Voss forced himself to concentrate as he put two rounds into the first ’brid and saw patches of blood appear on its chest. The Chimera staggered, but still managed to take three more steps, before a final bullet took the top of its head off.

But precious seconds had been lost. The next alien was only ten feet away and closing fast when Voss pulled the trigger and held it back. Brass shell casings arced away and a row of bloody divots appeared across the stink’s muscular chest. Such was the creature’s momentum, however, that it slammed into the window frame before it finally came to a halt. Then, like a just-cut tree, the six-eyed monstrosity toppled over. Voss reflexively jerked on the carbine’s trigger, heard his weapon click empty, and hoped his fear didn’t show.

The sound of sustained gunfire brought Kawecki and the rest of the team forward. “Good work,” the officer said approvingly as puffs of lung-warmed air drifted away from his lips. “Maybe some of the other stinks will hear the shooting and come running or maybe they won’t. Let’s enter the tunnel as quickly as we can. At least they won’t be able to nail us from above.”

BOOK: A Hole in the Sky
2.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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