As you may know over on the 2000AD forums they regularly have story writing comps. The theme of the last one being “Tales from the Citi-Def”. The top three winner have all given permission for their stories to be shared on here so lastly the 1st place winner, Smiffy with….
(Set during the Apocalypse war)
“The last bullet?”
“Yes,” he said.
“But you said you’d save that for me,” she replied. “Big romantic gesture, remember, sir?”
“I know but—”
“—but we’ve a job to do, right?”
“Right.” He had tried to kill her a week earlier but now the former shuggy hall waitress in the Richard Widmark Citi-Def helmet was the only person he knew who was still alive. He patted his pockets for more bullets even though there weren’t any there before looking through the sight of his rifle.
“I used to batglide from here when I was a girl, sir. Bad crosswind over there, above the pedway. And I’d land in the playground next to the Bedford Square parkarama”—she zoomed her scope in, focussing a mile and a half down—“where those Sovs are.”
“Four Sovs, one bullet—who gets it?”
“The one on the left—the tall one—the one who’s standing right where I used to stand, sir, when I was waiting for my daddy to collect me after I’d landed.”
“So this is personal, then?”
“Consider it done.”
“Try not to blow his brains out over the carousel. Juves’ll never play there again if there’s been brains on the carousel.”
“Are you serious?”
“Never been more serious, sir. That’s why I joined Citi-Def—to protect the city.”
“One moment. My eyes are tired.” He rubbed his eyes with his palms. He’d only joined Sidney Poitier Citi-Def because he liked holozines featuring women with big bazookas. But to be confronted by real women with big bazookas when his platoon stormed the foyer of Widmark was a different matter—it was all a blur—screams, explosions, the wet, slapping sound that half of his corporal made as he landed next to him, the churning in his stomach and the dryness in his throat when he realised that he was the only one who retreated when he gave the order, the stench like rotten Munce when he skidded on someone’s spilt intestines—and what made it worse was that he couldn’t remember why they’d attacked in the first place.
“And,” she went on, “I know the cavalry aren’t coming—we’ve not seen a Judge in two days—but we can’t give up; not now, not ever. It’s our city down there. Citi-Def’s all that left, sir. We clear the playground first, then—” She shrugged. “We have to hold out until the Texans or Brits get here—and they will, trust me, because we’d do the same for them.”
“We’re fighting a war with one bullet between us.”
“I know, sir.”
He looked back through the sights. “Call the shot.”
“Wind speed: eight knots. Distance: 2,657 yards. High humidity. Aim high and to the left. No, farther to the left.”
“We run for cover as soon as I fire”.
He pulled the trigger.
He was running before the Sov fell but she waited to check that there was no blood on the carousel.