*this is Mark (Martin Oakshaft)*
Um.. Yeah. Sorry.
Been ages since I have written anything, longer still since I have posted.
I hadn’t realised that I never posted more of my Dark Mark story - or Resurrection, for that matter - so here is another "bit" of Dark Mark and Hardcore Sam.
it does not follow in sequence because unlike Resurrection, I am writing chapters (or "parts") as I think of them, with the thought of putting them in some kind of order and "filling in the blanks" as I finish the story (if I ever do!).
So ill shut up now and let you get on with reading it. Comments/critique gladly accepted. Praise even more so
Mark dragged himself painfully to his feet and stared mournfully at his bike. It lay on its side, battered and warped. The front wheel had buckled slightly and was slowly spinning, making a tortured squeak as it scraped against the forks.
With a resigned sigh he slowly turned and looked back at the way he had come. A massive dust cloud swirled through the heat haze of the plain. The vehicles were gaining rapidly and Mark realised that he was going to die. The rabble that had chased him definitely would not let him live now, not after all the mayhem he had caused. His only regret was that he wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to Sam. He hoped with all his heart that his distraction had helped her to escape.
Grunting painfully, Mark searched for his backpack. Like him, it had been thrown clear and was lying several feet away. He limped towards it and unstrapped his rifle from the side of the pack. After checking that his gun wasn’t damaged he rummaged within the pack and took out the last of his ammunition and the rifles powerful scope... Dark Mark was determined to go down fighting. He owed Sam that much, at least.
The dust cloud was getting closer and Mark could see vague blobs at the head of it. Not much time left. With a calmness that he did not feel, Mark attached the scope to the rifle and took position behind his bike. He knew that it would not provide much protection as the pursuers could simply run right over him and turn him into a thin red smear on the plain. The bike did, however, provide a stable platform for his rifle to rest on and should protect him from returning gunfire. Mark stared down the scope and forced himself to relax. He wanted to take as many of the bad guys out before they squished him.
“I’m sorry I failed you, Sam” he whispered to himself. The image in the scope blurred briefly as the thought of losing his best friend brought a prick of tears to his eyes. Sniffing, he wiped them away and peered through the scope again.
As the mob came closer Mark realised that one car was accelerating way ahead of the others. It would be his first target. As it came closer, details became clearer and despite everything, Mark thought that it was a rather cool looking vehicle. Like all the others on this cursed planet, it looked like a jury-rigged machine, cobbled out of whatever scrap that could be found. It was very basic in shape, and looked like a massive dune buggy. It had a short, low oblong body and seemed to have a roll cage made up from bent scaffolding poles. All of this was supported by a truck-like chassis and it rode on massive balloon tires that stuck out on either side.
Taking a steadying breath Mark tried to aim at the driver. The buggy was bouncing wildly and he had to wait till it came closer to be sure of a one shot kill. His rifle twitched in his hands and he gasped as he saw who was behind the wheel.
“Sam!” he cried.
With her plaits streaming in the wind Sam was driving like a demon possessed. Overjoyed, Mark leapt to his feet and waved. Sam saw him and altered course. In true Sam-like fashion she waited till the last moment before slamming on the brakes and power sliding to a halt, kicking up more dust. She looked up at Mark and shouted over the burbling V8 engine “hey handsome, want a ride?”
Choking on the dust Mark managed to croak “you are alive!!". I thought that they had killed you!”
“Well I… we… wont be alive for much longer keep standing there gawking! C’mon lets go!”
Mark hastily grabbed his rifle and backpack and leapt into the buggy.
“Hang on!” yelled Sam as she revved the engine “this is going to get bumpy!” Mark had just enough time to grab the side of the roll cage before Sam floored the accelerator. Mark nearly swallowed his tongue as the buggy surged forward.
Sam was not lying, the ride was bumpy and Mark desperately hung on. He risked a quick glance behind and saw through the dust that the other vehicles had gotten a lot closer. He could make out the sneering faces of the driver and passengers of the lead vehicles. They all had guns but were not even aiming them. Confused, Mark tried to tell this to Sam, but the buggy was bumping so much over the rough terrain, all he could manage was “Garrrk!” glancing back again, he briefly locked eyes with the driver of the lead vehicle and saw a huge grin appear on his face. The driver nodded to him and pointed ahead. Mark whipped his head round and stared in horror at what was rapidly approaching.
The shoreline of a massive lake.
Sam had seen it too. She had been hoping that it was just a mirage caused by the heat haze on the dusty plain, but as she got closer, her worst fears were realised. She looked left and right and was dismayed to see that the lake stretched for miles in both directions. They were trapped and there was no way they could turn left or right without being flanked by the horde spread out behind them. There was only one option left and Sam grinned to herself. She had a cunning plan.
As the buggy sped onto the floodplain of the lake the ride became a lot smoother. No longer flung about like a rag doll, Mark turned to Sam and yelled “what are we going to do?” Sam just smiled at him and reaching out she flipped a switch bolted to the Spartan dashboard of the buggy. Confused, Mark looked at the dash and saw a wire leading from the switch. The wire trailed down and disappeared under his bucket seat. Mark stuck his head between his legs and peered under the seat, only to sit bolt upright with a hiss of panic. He had seen that under his seat was a big fat cylinder of nitrous oxide.
He noticed then that there was a dial on the dashboard. It was simply labelled `NOX`, its needle was rising through the green section and making its merry way towards the red. Eyes wide with fear, Mark started to gibber incoherently.
“Oh don’t be such a baby”, laughed Sam. “I know what I’m doing”
“Bu… bu… bu…” Mark stammered pointing to the dial and then to the lake ahead.
“Yes, dear,” replied Sam patiently “we are going to drive across the lake”. Seeing Marks expression she continued “I saw a programme on it once. There were a bunch of crazy Icelanders who raced their buggies across water. It seems rather simple, really. These kinds of tires…” Sam pointed at the blur of black rubber “… have treads that almost act like scoops, a bit like what you see on a paddle steamer. Only smaller. Obviously”.
She briefly glanced over at Mark and saw him staring at her with utter horror as what she was planning to do sank in.
“No, really.” She continued encouragingly and pointed to the gauge on the dash “the nitrous oxide should give us more than enough power and this baby will simply aquaplane over the water, no problem!”
Saying that she reached out again and her finger hovered over a big red button. Before Mark could stop her she screamed “Here we go!!” and jabbed the button. Mark thought that the engine was loud before, but as soon as Sam hit the button, it shrieked. The buggy lurched forward and almost doubled its speed. “Warp 10, captain!!” Sam yelled hysterically.
The buggy’s massive tires dug in to the soft earth and sprayed a massive “rooster tail” of dust and grit into the air as it hammered towards the waters edge. Sam’s eyes remained focussed on the opposite shoreline, almost half a mile ahead. With a sudden jolt the buggy hit the water.
“It’s working!” Sam screamed over the brutal roar of the engine.
If Mark wasn’t half crazed with terror he would have agreed with her. As it was all he could do was to hang on and pray. His knuckles turned white as he desperately gripped the roll bar. Sam was screaming with pure exhilaration. Mark was just screaming.
The crossing took only a minute but it was one that would remain in Marks memory for the rest of his life. As soon as the buggy hit opposite shoreline, Sam slammed the brakes on and with a flourish skidded the buggy round 180 degrees. Shielding her eyes against the sun and peering across the lake, she could see that the pursuit was over. She could just about make out the vehicles on the other side. It looked like a few had attempted to copy her mad stunt, but it was obvious that those other vehicles were nowhere near as powerful. She cheered as one by one the vehicles that attempted the crossing sank in a plume of spray. Mark and Sam had finally escaped.
Sam cut the engine and let out a jubilant yell. “What a rush!” she cried. Marks groan caught her attention. She looked over to see him trying to climb shakily out of the buggies cockpit. She had to bite back a laugh as he disappeared over the side and flopped to the ground.
“You ok?” she enquired innocently.
Marks hands gripped the side of the buggy and his head came into view as he hauled himself to his knees. He stared into Sams face. Saw her flushed cheeks and shining eyes and managed to mumble “You…. You….”
“Yeah, wasn’t it awesome!” Sam cut in. her nose suddenly wrinkled “and... what’s that awful smell?”
Mark stared balefully at her for a few seconds. He reached into the foot well of the buggy, hauled his backpack out and simply mumbled “M`spare clothes. Need to wash in the lake”.
“Oh my” Sam said to Marks retreating back as he stumbled
drunkenly to the shoreline “you were
a bit frightened”
once again, editing, punctuation and tenses are probably not correct, but i hope you liked the story.