The Attack of the June Bugs - A Short Story
Note: This story is not for the faint-hearted. The story you are about to read contains scenes of violence, kidnapping and creepy bug things. Viewer discretion is advised (but nobody reads the disclaimer anyways, so who cares?)
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Attack of the June Bugs - A (Not So Short) Story ©
Chapter One Prologue: The Procedure
Out of a crack in the wall, a head peered out. Large black eyes quickly scanned the scene. From its perspective, one might say there was not much to view. There was a typical kitchen, a typical coffeemaker chug-chugging through the process of making coffee, and a woman standing beside the stove, making scrambled eggs. A very ordinary scene.
The bug scampered back into a safe spot in the crevice of the broken cabinet. Behind him were his fellow comrades - june bugs armed and ready to strike.
"Mission control, James here. Do we have orders to complete our mission? Over."
"Take the subject out. Caught completely unawares, she will have no choice but to give in." The voice was harsh and raspy - combined with the static from the radio, it was almost incomprehensible.
"Affirmative. Move in."
As the woman - Destiny is her name - opened her laptop, she didn't notice the small, grimy stains that littered her keyboard and screen. These were remains of a successful infiltration by Combat Team B - Operation Night Owl - to learn more about the woman's habits. The bugs knew her schedule, her routine, her daily activities.
They knew about what she had done.
So absorbed in her daily task of reading last night's feed, Destiny didn't notice the stealthy line of bugs that slowly made their way across the hard tile floor. Another group came from a crack in the windowsill, and a Combat Team slowly inched across the floor and below the table at which the subject sat, unaware of what was happening.
The whole procedure, however complicated took less that thirty seconds. First the ambush. Then the sedative. Finally, the march toward the back door, in which the bugs easily escaped.
The only remains of this unlucky woman were traces of her coffee, spread over the counter as if an invisible hand had knocked it over.
Chapter Two The Accomplice
Molly was driving back home from her night shift. Cruising at 40 MPH in a black Honda Accord, she was surprised to see her phone ring. Glancing at it, she read the caller ID.
Molly's heart began to pound. They were both good friends since grade school, and both of them had agreed that calling Molly's cell phone was used in last-resort emergencies. Recently, they had communication was between a pay phone every week to ensure privacy.
Ever since she uncovered the truth.
Hand trembling, she answered the phone.
"Nice to meet you, Molly. I trust you know me?" The voice was grating, and made Molly's spine tingle. The car swayed dangerously to the left, but she recovered it and pulled to the side.
"What do you want, Arjun?" She shivered.
"I have your friend."
Molly closed her eyes. She knew it would happen one day, and she and Destiny had been preparing for it. Nevertheless, she suddenly felt an ice-cold dread enter her body, as if an ice demon was making its way through her body, her brain, her very soul.
"L-let her go! She doesn't know anything!"
"She doesn't?" scraped the voice. "You disgust me. You were there when it happened!"
Silence. "Please. Don't do this. Where are you?"
"Oh, nowhere important. I called just to hear your voice for the last time. It was nice knowing you." Click.
Mind racing, Molly jolted out from her reverie and stared in horror. A large U-Haul truck had swayed out of its lane and now barreled towards her, headlights blazing. The last thing Molly saw was the face of a menacing bug - Team Beta, she supposed - before she heard an easplitting crash.
The world went dark.
Chapter Three The Headquarters
When she came to, Molly was lying in a hospital bed. The doctor (Mark, according to his hospital badge) was above her, adjusting levels and taking samples. Having her right arm in a sling and her head bandaged, she looked exactly as if she survived a horrible car crash.
Still a bit light-headed, she looked at Mark. "How long have I been here?" Molly searched her memory, but nothing seemed to jog it. She stared, lost in thought.
"Not long. About a half hour or so. Cops picked you up from Interstate 64. The crash with the U-Haul truck?"
"Oh. Right." The memories came flooding back like a torrent of water. "When can I be released?"
Mark smiled. "There's nothing we can do for you now. You're technically free to go. Remember, no heavy exercise and operating heavy machi-?" He looked up.
A bundle of bedsheets were the only traces of the patient in Room 24.
Outside, Molly pulled on her coat as a Shamrock Cab pulled up. She got inside, thankful to be out of the cold.
"Where you too, miss?" The driver - Nathan - spoke with a cowboy accent. Authentic or fake, it was hard to tell. Anyways, Molly couldn't care less.
"The corner of Pitt Street and 34th Avenue, please."
"Sure thing." He pronounced it Shoo-ah.
The headquarters of the june bugs, Molly knew, were in the bottom level of an abandoned clothing factory. The june bugs didn't know that Molly and Destiny knew, so it was most likely that the bugs had taken her friend there. It was a decent place to start with.
As the taxi pulled up to the curb, Molly stepped out. She felt very weak, as if she had run there herself. There was a piece of long, broken pipe on the ground, and she hefted it. It might be a useful part of this daring mission to rescue Destiny.
She was about to start searching for a way to get in when a bug emerged from the shadows of the alleyway. Molly involuntary gasped and hid behind a Dumpster bin, but to no avail. The bug had seen her and was crawling straight toward her, its legs skittering on the concrete pavement.
Chapter Four Caught
"Who's there? I saw you - show yourself!" The voice, Molly thought with a shiver, was identical to the one of the bug - Arjun? - that called her.
She tensed. Slowly, she removed the sling and clutched the pipe with white knuckles.
As the bug turned the corner and peered at Molly, she brought the piece of plumbing down on the back of its hard shell. It stunned him, and Molly struck again. This time, it fell to the ground, unable to get back up.
Oddly, it didn't seem the least bit surprised. His face showed something like ... pleasure?
"I knew you would come here, Molly. And I know you will never leave this place."
Molly turned around, just as another bug grabbed her face and spread a cloth over it.
For the second time that day, the world went dark.
Destiny woke up with a start, laid out inside a small, concrete cell. As pieces of the past came together and formed a clear picture in her mind, she overheard two voices outside.
"Well done, James. Put her in Cell 2, next to the other girl."
"Yes sir. Thanks for helping me out with that. She can pack a hard punch."
"No problem. We need to know what she knows. We need to know what she knows. We have perhaps six hours before the cops pick up the scent of a missing person. Then we have to remove all evidence immediately."
Destiny buried her head in her hands. She had been foolish to trust the june bugs. She had cared for them, nurtured them, tendered them. How was she supposed to know she accidentally killed the leader? That the leader had revealed a deep, dark secret about the june bugs?
They were right. She knew too much.
The one flaw for them was they wanted to know what she knew. She wouldn't perish immediately; maybe someone would notice her disappearance and find her.
Destiny held on to that hope, a small beam of shining brightness to guide her.
Time Remaining: 6 hours
Chapter Five Scout Team Six
Nathan stared, aghast, as he watched the two bugs drag Molly inside through a small side door. He knew he should alert someone, but who? The cops didn't seem right. Besides, he was a retired Army soldier, trained to handle these types of combat situations. Who to call?
A ghost of a smile tugged on his lips. He reached for his cell phone.
The phone rang, and Pup rushed to answer it. "Hello?"
"Hey, it's me, Nate. Listen. Could you gather up the team and meet up at the corner of Pitt Street and 34th Avenue? Thanks." Click.
Pup stared in dismay at his cell phone. He had known Nate since the old Army days, where their team of 6 had fought in twelve battles and survived unscathed. Hence the team name, Scout Team 6. It had been so long since they had all met for another mission. Were they ready?
Still shaking his head, he dialed the first number.
An hour later, the team arrived. Driving a battered Pontiac, it would not seem as if these men had traveled the globe many times, and encountered warfare and deaths like no other.
Pup, Lil' B, Bunny, Ulfy, Jayden and Nate. Members of the Seal Team Six.
There were no emotional moments (Ulfy and Nate hadn't seen each other in years). They all knew there was a job to be done. And fast.
"Alright boys. We have two hostages in there, currently guarded by large, mutant june bugs. We don't know where they are in this clothing factory, so we have to split up. Can we do this?"
Faces looked at each other. Heads nodded.
Nate smiled. "Well, let's get going."
Time Remaining: 4 hours 45 minutes
Chapter Six Splitting Up
The clothing factory was a big place. It covered four floors and a basement used for storage, and it was the tallest building in the area surrounding it. To make the search go quicker, the team split up. Pup covered the roof and the fourth floor, Lil'B scoured the third, Ulfy searched the second, Bunny stayed on ground level, Jayden went down to look in the basement, and Nate stood guard, pistol in hand and watching for any enemies.
The whole process took about an hour and a half. Slowly, word came down from the team's radios, and Nate was able to piece together some clues. he had recieved word from three of the five members - no word from Bunny or Jayden yet.
Suddenly, Bunny burst out of the door. His eyes were wild, and he was drenched in sweat. Torn clothes suggested that he had been in a fight with someone - or something.
"I caught one! It tried to attack me - and succeeded a bit -" he indicated a deep gash on his left arm "- and I stunned him with a taser, long enough to chain him and lock him up in the mail room."
Nate's face was grave. "Lead me to him. I'll call out the troops."
Ten minutes later, Lil'B, Ulfy and Pup came down from the top floors. No word from Jayden.
"He probably got caught up in following a lead or something. Don't worry, he'll come soon" assured Nate. "Now, let's focus on our new - target."
Everyone looked at the june bug in captive. It wasn't as big as they expected - four feet in length when measured - and it didn't have very sturdy legs. What made it grotesque were the face. Up close, the team could see the individual cells in its eyes, the miniscule hairs on the face, and the ugly disposition of the nose and mouth. Not a very comforting sight.
"You must leave. Now." the bug gasped the words, as if it were short of air. "They are in the basement, waiting to attack. You only have about three hou-"
Before Nate or anyone could respond, another june bug came in and saw the scene. This momentarily surprise allowed the trapped june bug to blast through the open doorway. Severalshots were fired, but they bounced harmlessly off the bug's big shell.
Seconds later, both of them were gone, leaving only a trail of dusty footprints.
Time Remaining: 3 hours
Chapter Seven The Basement
The pieces fell together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Jayden had been ambushed while scouring the basement. Caught, hurt or possibly worse. NOw it was up to the team to try and rescue him. They had three hours left, according to the bug. Was it lying? Telling the truth? If so, why?
Pup was lost in thought, he didn't realize they were inside the bottom floor until it was too late.The door swung shut behind Lil'B, clanging as it did so. The loud echo rang through the halls and vibrated off the walls.
It was only a matter of time before they were discovered.
"What should we do with Taurus?" James asked. He indicated the june bug trapped by Bunny, motionless on the ground. "Where should we dispose of him?"
The clanging echoed through the air. The head june bug - Arjun - smiled.
"Wake him up. He's as good as dead anyway, that filthy traitor. Tell him he has one last job to do."
The team knew that the bugs had set up their base here. When Nate stepped through the first door in the hallway, gun and flashlight in hand, he led his team into a large, loftlike space. Sunlight streamed in through the windows, illuminating everything in sight. There were rows upon rows of dense, green foliage. The tangle of plants were so thick that they couldn't make progress, let alone see what was on the other side.
"Well, they must grow and store food in here. This is just some sort of storage space." said Bunny.
"Let's go. Jayden isn't in here, and we don't want to wait until the june bugs show up." responded Ulfy. The five team members promptly exited the room, gently closing the door behind them.
They were wrong. Had they peeked over the wall of dense greens, they might have saw something quite different. Very different.
Time Remaining: 2 hours 40 minutes
Chapter Eight Rigged
As the team scoured the first hallway, they noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Most rooms were still occupied with old desks and filing cabinets, remnants of the ancient clothing factory that once lived here. The closest clue they found to where Destiny and Molly were was a bottle of chloform and a shoelace, discovered by Lil'B when he examined a small medicine cabinet. Inside were bottles of different mixtures and concotions used by the june bugs.
The team trudged on, uncertain about where to look first. Nate, Pup and the others knew the risks of splitting up again; too risky. Then again, the captured june bug said they had three hours left - only about two and a half hours now. How should they proceed?
Finally, they agreed to split up into teams of two and three. If there was any trouble, or if they located the hostages, they would radio for help.
"Well, let's go guys. Time's running out." responded Ulfy. He began to walk quickly towards the two remaining hallways. He and Nate - the tougher ones - would explore one, while Lil'B, Bunny and Pup would look through the other. Ulfy began striding into the hallway, and was almost to the first door when he saw the bug.
He looked worse than before. The look on his eyes was wild and deranged, and one of his legs was twitching slightly. He looked as if he had not slept in a week.
"I'm...sorry...have...do....this..." his voice was cracked and dry, like his outer shell.
Transfixed, Pup was the first one to notice what the bug was holding in its hand.
The next seconds happened in a flash. Pup, Bunny and Nate sprinted for the exit, Lil'B hot on their heels and screaming at Ulfy to get out. As Ulfy started running, Taurus closed his eyes.
There was a blinding flash. A wave of energy. People, bug and concrete were flung out of the halls and into the main path as the sound - a deafening, roaring sound - took the team's ears away.
Humans fell. Concrete fell on top of them. Debris and dust loomed in the air.
Chapter Nine Garbage and Sacrifice
Nikki was outside collecting the garbage in the alleyway when she heard the explosion. Immediately, she turned her head up and looked at the towering building, but there was nothing to be seen. Maybe it was on the other side?
Her partner - everybody knew him as Vader - pointed to the ground. "Look. The cracks!"
Sure enough, cracks were appearing hthrough the concrete. The center of the explosion was about three feet away from her. Strangely, there was no movement beneath. She didn't even feel that the ground had shook.
"I'm going in. What if there were people down there? We need to call the cops."
"Sure thing." Vader took out his cell phone and followed Nikki as she entered the side door of the clothing factory, not aware of what she would discover.
Pup groaned. His back was on fire, and his leg was covered with sand. Wincing, he brushed it off to reveal a raw calf, blanketed with cuts of all shapes and sizes.
He groaned again. "Nate? Bunny? Anyone there?"
Pup sat up and took in his surroundings with increasing horror. The blast had destroyed much of the roof and walls, and pieces of rubble as bug as a beach ball were strewn about. His breath caught in his throat as he spied Lil'B. He was on his side, stirring, but luckily there was no debris that had fallen on him. He wouls survive.
A flash of color caught his eye. Amidst the sea of brown and gray, Pup spotted Nate's light-blue pant cuff peering out from beneath a large filing cabinet.
He stood up, braving the pain from his back and left leg, and summoned the enrgy to lift the large piece of debris. Beneath was Nate's leg, slightly torn up but miracously unharmed.
"Ulfy knocked me out of the way in the air, landed somewhere under a cabinet." Nate sighed, then pulled himself up. "A few scratches, but I'll live. Where is Ulfy?"
Bunny was thrown a bit farther than the rest of us, and he was already scanning the wreckage. Wordlessly, he motioned to Nate and indicated something by his feet.
Ulfy was dead.
Chapter Ten Cops
"Just recieved a call from some garbage collectors. Explosion, down at the abandoned clothing factory. Get your stuff, let's head on out." Logan was making some last-minute changes on his paperwork while Jennifer grabbed the keys to the police cruiser.
Ever since there was new evidence from a recent drug cartel, most of the police force had been investigating that lead. The station was stripped down to the bare minimum number of units, which mostly included night shift and some tax filers. Logan and Jennifer were both aspiring to become cops one day, so this call presented a grand opportunity to earn a badge.
Because of this lack of security, a guard bug lay hidden beneath a clutter of desks and memos. Wedged into a space no more than 6 inches wide (june bugs are very flexible, and can squeeze into very small spaces; these evil ones have also had practice at Destiny's house), the big took out a radio.
"Arjun, we have a problem. They're going over to investigate."
"James, she's not talking. Both of them. The Destiny and that Molly girl."
"So ... we have to dispose of them?"
"Yes. How long do you think it will take for the police to arrive?"
"About an hour or more. I slit most of the tires on the cruisers, so they might have to wait."
"Okay. We'll use this hour, then we get rid of this evidence."
Nikki and Vader stared in horror. The sight that met them told a grisly tale: four men, standing around a body, next to an area that would not have been out of place at a war zone.
"C'mon, let's go help them!" Vader whispered, and then cleared his throat.
Ten minutes later, both parties had cleared up everything. They were now working together to find the hostages, rescue Jayden, and get vengeance for Ulfy's death.
If only it were this easy.
Time Remaining: 50 minutes
Chapter Eleven A Traitor in the Midst
Logan and Jennifer arrived at the scene to see an incredible sight. The concrete floor was webbed with intricate cracks, all potruding from the same focus point. The cracks circled outward, in no apparent pattern, until the whole piece of sidewalk looked as if a giant spider had weaved a delicate web of beautiful string.
However, there was one section near the epicenter where a boulder-sized piece of concrete was jutted out. It seemed to have been displaced during the explosion. Jennifer went over and, using a shovel and a pipe wrench, pried it out of the slot. Below, they could make out debris and some areas of blood. The cops were in the right place.
Logan went to the taxicab (someone slit all the cruiser's tires) and retrieved a climbing ladder.
"That won't work! It's too small!" protested Jennifer. She watched as Logan wrapped it around a sturdy pole, climbed down, and suddenly shrieked. He clambered madly back up to the surface.
"What's wrong?" She took in the sight of her partner's distress.
"Bugs. Giant, mutant bugs!"
The explosion that Taurus rigged had obliterated one of the hallways, so the enlarged team began searching through the far doors in the corridor still standing. There weren't many that were not impacted by the explosion, so it became an easier job.
Vader was the first one to find the prisoners. He peered through the window of a door and spied several cells inside. Along with them, he saw a group of june bugs discussing how best to make an escape. The door was locked from the inside.
They had found the bugs and the hostages. But where was Jayden?
The astonished team soon found out.
Time Remaining: 35 minutes
Chapter Twelve Trapped
It took five minutes for the team to work out a plan. Vader would distract them, and keep them distracted until Nate and Pup radioed for him to come back (the june bugs, albeit big, were somewhat slow for their size). The rest of the team would go in, rescue the women, and come out before any bug saw them. After that, they could slowly search for Jayden.
Jennifer spent time trying to get Logan to calm down and stop hyperventiliating. Even though he kept arguing against going back, she eventually convinced him.
"Remember that badge both of us want? We can get it here, today! We just have to defeat them!"
Eventually, Logan nodded. The two cops went back to the opening in the ceiling, guns in hand and fingers at the trigger. They peered down, into the unknown depths below.
The plan worked perfectly. When Vader started peeking through the door and acting surprised, the bugs dropped their discussion and began chasing him. When the coast was clear, Pup grabbed a piece of concrete and began severing at the lock while Nate and Lil'B searched for the keys.
Destiny and Molly, still speechless, were freed using the keys that Bunny found. The seven people raced out of the room and began sprinting for the exits. Destiny tugged on Nate's bloody sleeve.
"Excuse me. Do you know Jayden? He is - "
Nikki screamed and grinded to a halt. The rest did so as well, staring openmouthed. Destiny stopped, midsentence. She had now confirmed the fact with her own eyes.
The armies of june bugs, armed with weapons, were blocking the hallway towards the exit.
They were trapped.
At the head of the bugs, grinning wickedly, was Jayden.
Chapter Thirteen The Fort
"Jayden? I-is it really you, the traitor?" Nate gasped in disbelief. "Ulfy died because of you!"
"Correction: Ulfy died because of Taurus's foolishness. Now, judging by your two faces, you did know the secret our ailing leader slipped to you." He talked smugly toward Molly and Destiny, as if seeing their faces made him an evil prince, about to bewitch the princess into a deadly spell.
The girls looked at each other, confirming the horrible fact. They were frozen, afraid to move. "Oh, don't worry. None of you are leaving this hallway alive. Boys!" Jayden sneered, then stepped back.
Three june bugs stepped forward.
"Arjun, James, Skyler, end them."
Slowly, menacingly, the bugs began to walk forward, weapons in hand. Arjun held a gun and a makeshift axe; James wielded the broken pipe, aiming for the terrified Molly; Skyler lit a small cannon.
There was no time to hide in one of the rooms. They were done for.
Bunny was pressed up behind Nate, hidden from sight. Slowly, carefully, he picked up a large piece of cement, shaped like a basketball, from the explosion. As the cannon fired, he tossed the ball in front of the ball; it contacted and the cannonball broke.
Now it was all-out war. That moment of distraction allowed Pup to reach into one of the doorways and grab two pistols. He tossed them to Destiny and Molly, who started firing at random.
Nate pulled off his belt and began cracking it in the air; the article of clothing doubled as a whip and a small sword. Nikki began pelting small pieces of metal from a filing cabinet in the far corner, which seemed to hold bullets for the june bugs.
The team was surviving. For now.
Chapter Fourteen Man vs. Mutant
The bullets hurt. But they didn't make any headway through the flesh, and were still bearable compared to the human ones. Molly found that using small pieces of concrete and metal worked in the bug's guns as well, and bug after bug fell, stunned. Real deaths were rare; however, James was killed when he carelessly advanced too far to take a shot with the axe, and Nate cracked the whip on his skull. Slowly, they would make it out of this trouble.
All of a sudden, the bugs began retreating. There was only one - Skyler - left, versus the seven exhausted humans. The bug grinned maliciously, and dumped a gas can onto the floor while shielding itself from the bullets and metal hazards. It stood, still grinning, and struck a match.
The humans watched in horror as the flame was drawn closer and closer to the flammable liquid. The bug watched, satisfied, and when it was about five inches from the gas, it -
- droppped like a stone to the floor, match extinguished.
Logan was right behind the bug, clucthing his gun. "Direct hit!" Fennifer was right behind him.
Now, the battle against the bugs became very easy. Police training was no match for them, and within ten minutes the bugs were either wounded or dead.
The humans had won the battle.
Chapter Fifteen Epilogue: Reunition
Ulfy was mourned as a hero who died on the battlefield in honor.
Vader was saved when Jennifer arrested him for trespassing on private property. He was later released from all charges and he and Nikki were given a promotion from garbage duty.
Logan and Jennifer got their police badges when they brought in Jayden, who eluded the FBI six months ago and had gone off the radar. Promoted by Stellan, head of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, they were now officially cops.
The june bugs - most of them died, but some of them, like Arjun, managed to escape. They would need time to heal, before they could plan to strike again...
Destiny went back to her house and made herself a nice, large cup of coffee.
Whew! That didn't turn out to be a short story, did it?
The second part of the story can be found here. It's finally out!
Anyways, although this is a purely fictional story, the people in it do represent people on Chess.com:
@JunyJuneBug - Arjun @VicountVonJames - James
@Destiny - Destiny @Endapuppy - Pup
@MollyWood - Molly @LilBoat21 - Lil'B
@staminapoints23 - Nathan / Nate @CuteBunny123 - Bunny
@YaBoyJayden - Jayden @Fennifer - Jennifer
@Chessguy1012 - Skyler @Logan - Logan
@LHK_Nikki - Nikki @LethalRook_1892 - Vader
@Starboystellan - Stellan @Destroyer_Mark_1420 - Doctor Mark
@Ulfhednar1234 - Ulfy @Taurusmale67 - Taurus
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If you want to be a part in the next story, comment below, leave a note on my profile or message me, @FlashyFerrari, and I will try to include you in my next, not-so-short short story.
Until next time,