Winter in the Eastern Highland was never warm, but tonight with the rain and the wind, SFS Henry Oakes was freezing. Earlier that day, he'd been informed that intelligence was expecting a raid on Outpost 1 that night, and his unit was being sent to reinforce the position.

Nex, as he was called when deployed, had spent several hours of that afternoon standing in the rain, looking for any sign of enemy movement. Unfortunately for him, the Hector gear was not waterproof, and he'd quickly been soaked. When the attack eventually came, Nex was actually relieved. Relieved that he hadn't been standing in the wet for nothing. Relieved that he would have something to warm him up.

The bullets were flying at him before he'd seen the enemy, the first three hit him square in the chest, winding him, and knocking him back. One shot was uncomfortably close to the vulnerable armour gap, where his helmet met his chest-plate. Over the years, the enemy had learnt taking a Hector soldier front on was not a good move. Now, their main tactic usually took form as a surprise attack, with a high focused assault aimed at the small weak points in the armour.

As Nex sucked the wind back into his lungs and bounced to his feet, he noticed Lint, the newest member of his unit, lying in the mud. One of the reflective eye lenses in his helmet was broken, and blood was ebbing out of the wound and pooling beneath the now still soldier. Nex knew now was not the time to think about that.

With a roar, projected at three times its natural volume through the speakers in his helmet, Nex threw himself into the air with a mighty jump, powered by the strong machinery that bound his legs and core. At the peak of his jump, he engaged his jetpack just for a moment to gain a little extra height over his enemies.

He was death from above.

Landing with a sickening crunch, Nex broke his fall with the body of one would be conqueror. 

He was Hercules.

The closest attackers didn't have time to respond. In a heartbeat, the enraged defender was upon them. The fight didn't last long. He shoved his open palm into the chest of the first attacker, sending the poor man flying back into the dark rain with several shattered ribs.

He was Death.

The assault weapon at his waist, built to used by the suit with one hand, made short work of the remaining attackers. One, two, three they fell where they stood (or ran) under short, concentrated bouts of fire. Dimly he was aware of the other members of his unit making similar progress at their posts. The assault was broken.


In Radford's office, SFS Oakes stood at attention as he finished his report. "In total sir, 20 attackers were killed, however, we lost 6 of our guards, and one SFS." Oakes' expression hadn't wavered as he delivered his report, and Radford hadn't expected anything less.

"A costly victory," the commander said simply, "but I thank you for your report."

A brief silence fell over them, but before long, Radford cleared his throat again. "However, that's not why I called you here; please, have a seat."

The End

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