Chapter 17, The Final Fight, part IVMature

Chapter Seventeen

The Final Fight, part IV

September 5th 2134, Moscow, Russia

9:59 A.M.

            "Hold them off!" James shouted. Hundreds of RL soldiers were surrounding the hospital. James and the rest of the DMs that stayed above ground were fighting hard to defend the perimeter. James was behind a desk facing large glass windows and double sliding glass doors on the front of the hospital. The windows were long since blown out from the first moments the battle began around the hospital. James aimed left, then right, taking down soldier after soldier with the legendary accuracy of a Designated Marksman. The Red Legion was getting closer.

            "If we don't get any help soon, they'll be inside the hospital and we'll be overrun," Nellon pointed out.

            "Have some faith Major," James said. Another minute passed and the RL forces were almost inside. Suddenly, Dale's voice sounded on their helmet coms.

            "Hey Major, did you miss me?" Dale asked playfully. James and Nellon glanced out of their cover to see the RL forces turn and face down the street, then frantically scramble on to the sidewalks. They heard an increasingly louder droning sound of heavy machine turret fire. Out of nowhere, RL soldiers started getting torn apart and pushed down to the ground by turret fire. "Haha! Get some assholes!" Dale called out.

            Finally, the CTV with John, Dale, and Luther came sliding down the street. John threw the CTV in to a power slide that cause the passenger side of the vehicle to meet with the broken sliding doors on the front of the hospital. Luther, still in the passenger, had passed out in pain. John and Dale wasted no time once the CTV stopped. Dale jumped down and rushed to the passenger side of the vehicle. John pushed Luther in to Dale's arms and exited on the passenger side as well to avoid getting shot. Bullets pinged off of the body of the vehicle and whizzed through the hospital. Dale carried Luther behind the desk with James. John rushed inside and noticed the hole in the middle of the hospital floor.

            "Take care of him as best you can, me and Mist have to save your friends' asses," Dale said as he laid Luther down at James' side.

            "Got it, get down there, and thanks for the assist," James replied to Dale. Dale turned around to see John already dropping in to the hole. He ran to the hole as well and dropped down too. James continued to fire at the RL soldiers who were picking themselves up from the surprise CTV attack. "Haha, easy pickens now," James remarked as he shot dead tens of disoriented soldiers.

*

            Arden waited motionless behind a large crate for one the Elite Blade soldiers to get close. Both sides of the battle were about evenly matched. Arden had counted at least twenty Elite Blade soldiers had stepped out of the elevator. Finally, one of them was right behind his crate firing at a DM in cover behind him. Arden decided to take this one simple for once. He rounded the crate and blasted the Elite Blade soldier right in the side with his shotgun, taking him out, then rolling behind another crate to return to cover. Both sides of the battle had spread out to consist of fighting in the entire hangar instead of just in front of the elevator.

            "Come on," Arden muttered, frustrated at fighting the Elite Blade again.

            Connor had tried to make his way over to the DM that got blown back by the grenade, but he was too far out of cover. Connor feared the DM would quickly bleed to death if they couldn't finish the battle soon. Connor peeked out from his cover behind some sort of attack vehicle. He noticed a few DMs in cover in various places in front and to the sides of him. He also saw a couple of Elite Blade soldiers turn and aim their guns on his position. Connor quickly leaned back in to his cover.

            "Dang," Connor whispered to himself. The fight was actually rather quiet. Both sides preferred to conserve ammo when they knew they wouldn't land a shot on the other. There was more time spent in silence than conflict, at least until Dale showed up.

            "Let's make it more interesting!" Dale shouted from a hallway at the end of the hangar. "Hit it Mist." Suddenly, all of the lights in the hangar turned off. John had snuck his way in to one of the booths on the catwalks above and hit a master switch for all the lights.

            "Ah, shadows," Dale spoke in a low voice. Both sides had one soldier say "night vision" seconds after the lights went out. A reshuffle of where everyone was position occurred too in the confusion of the lights turning off. Everyone turned on their night vision and stopped where they were in a standstill once again except for Dale.

            "No no, let's keep this moving," Dale proclaimed. His voice was now very close to them, though no one had actually seen him yet since he and John arrived. Just five seconds later and they all heard the sound of a punch being blocked, and then the sound of a blade sinking in to flesh. Dale had snuck right around the crates and vehicles in the confusion and caught an Elite Blade soldier slightly off guard.

            "He's right there!" an Elite Blade soldier called out when he noticed Dale holding one of their own in his clutches with one of his blades in his neck. Dale pulled out his pistol and suppressed the hostile soldiers that were in sight. Some of the Elite Blade soldiers reshuffled their positions only to reveal themselves to John. John aimed his sniper rifle at one and shot him dead. After three seemingly easy kills, the rest of the DMs began moving up and firing upon the Elite Blade as well. Their morale was rising while the Elite Blade's was weakening.

            Connor rushed from cover to cover and ended up shooting an unsuspecting Elite Blade soldier in the back of the head. Then more and more gunshots sounded. Arden was hiding behind cover when an Elite Blade soldier snuck around him and tried to strike Arden with his knife. Arden noticed just in time to duck and the knife stuck in the side of the crate he was hiding behind. He elbowed the soldier's arm away from his knife and raised his shotgun to fire, but the soldier grasped it. The soldier raised the shotgun high above them and attempted to hit Arden's gut with his knee. Arden let go of his shotgun, leaving the soldier with his hands in the air holding only the barrel of the shotgun. He grasped the soldier's incoming leg and took him to the ground. The soldier lost grip of Arden's shotgun and it went clinging on the ground behind him.

            Arden held the soldier's arms down with his own and bashed the soldier's head with his own head. The soldier's head slammed in to the metal floor under him, dazing him only slightly. Arden lifted off of the soldier's arms and pummeled his gut with lighting fast fist strikes. The soldier desperately grasped Arden's sides and tried to push him off of him. Arden clenched his hands together in to a double fisted ball and came down on the soldier's visor so hard it shattered it. The soldier's face was cut up severely by the broken visor bits. Arden pulled out his knife and finished him off with a quick slash across the soldier's throat.

            Connor jigged around several crates until he came upon an Elite Blade soldier trying hiding behind a crate. Connor raised his PMR and fired, but the soldier noticed Connor and quickly rushed around the side of the crate to avoid his shot. "Whoa, so that's what missing feels like," Connor remarked with his PMR still focused on the crate. One second later and the Elite Blade soldier was sent back in to his line of sight and on to the ground by John's sniper rifle. The soldier was shot right in the head.

            "I wouldn't know," John replied smartly. Before long, all of the Elite Blade in the hangar was finally dead.

            "Status?" Arden questioned.

            "Night vision off guys," John spoke over the hangar, then turned the lights back on. Everyone looked around the hangar for a moment to take in the situation.

            "Damn," They heard one of the DMs mutter. "We have eight casualties," the marksman said slowly. Dale stood for a few seconds, then began to walk and check the perimeter of the hangar. John found his way down to the rest of them. Arden stood speechless. Connor slowly walked to the Marksman with his arm missing. He was dead. The DMs spread out around the hangar and found their fallen comrades. Each one of them knelt by their sides and took the barrel of their PMRs in their left hands and set the butt of the rifle on the ground so that it faced upward. They took their right hands and placed it over their hearts, then laid it on the bodies of the dead marksmen they were beside.

            "Rest in peace, brother. You will be honored in our hearts forever," their voices echoed off of the hangar walls. A few seconds went by and they finally stood back to their feet.

            "Let's get on that elevator and go as low as we can," Connor said. Vapor Team and the remaining twenty-one DMs piled on to the large elevator.

*

            "Keep pushing!" Corpus ordered. He and a very large group of around six hundred FK soldiers were proceeding down a very large eight lane road that cut through the middle of the city. They were moving at a steady pace while the RL forces were either retreating, or hiding behind cover. Two RL attack choppers flew in from the sides in front of them and started spinning their guns to fire. "Take them down, take them down!" Corpus desperately commanded. Several tank busting FK soldiers fired their rockets and missiles at the choppers. The choppers only began firing for three seconds before erupting in a bright blaze of fire and falling right on top of their own RL forces.

            "Haha, yeah!" Corpus shouted with glee. "Move forward, we're winning this battle!"

            "Distress call to any units in the Krietchner Hospital vicinity, this is Designated Marksman James Ikangwonu, we need assistance. We are being overrun by Red Legion forces attempting to gain entry to the above ground hospital levels and we won't last much longer. Please provide assistance ASAP!"

            Corpus heard the distress call in his helmet com and glanced around him. Krietchner Hospital was actually in sight, just one and a half miles away down the road on his right. He noticed an STV parked behind a large semi truck where FK soldiers had recently exited to help fight on the street. Corpus ran to the STV, tapping just a handful of soldiers on their shoulders and motioning them to come with him as he ran. He and a group of seven FK soldiers made it to the STV and piled inside with Corpus driving.

            "Listen up soldiers, I want this entire street locked down, as well as the adjacent buildings. Keep pushing and show no mercy, oorah?" Corpus ordered.

            "Oorah!" answered all of the soldiers on the street. The roar echoed off of the buildings surrounding them. Corpus backed up the STV to get clear of the semi truck, then turned and sped down the street toward the hospital.

            "Marksman Ikan-however you pronounce your last name, this is Colonel Corpus. I'm on my way to assist with a small squad of soldiers. Is Vapor Team alright in there? I'm wondering why you're the one issuing the distress call."

            "I believe Vapor Team is okay, they went down in to the subterranean levels of the hospital while me and a handful of other DMs stayed above ground to cover their backs, but we are getting overrun. No casualties up here yet though, but I am on my last three mags," James replied.

            "Roger that, ETA thirty-five seconds. Standby," Corpus informed James. The group of soldiers in the cab and in the passenger seat fired at scattered RL resistance as they raced down the street. They turned on the hospital square and spotted dozens upon dozens of RL troops with the hospital under siege. The RL troops were only a few feet away from entering the hospital. "Let's secure the rear first, then make our way to the front and help from there," Corpus said as he jerked the STV to go around the back of the hospital. They drove between an empty alley and slid to a stop near an emergency exit. Only a handful of RL troops were behind the hospital with them, and in less than five seconds, were shot dead by Corpus and the FK troops.

            "Everyone, read a grenade and toss it at the door," Corpus ordered. They all pulled the pins on one of their grenades simultaneously and tossed them at the emergency exit. The exit exploded, bending the metal door in different shapes and sending building bricks in different directions. "Inside!"

            Once they were inside, they proceeded to the front of the hospital. RL troops were finally inside the hospital and had James and the other marksmen pinned down. They weren't expecting extra reinforcements, when Corpus and the seven FK troops entered the lobby and gunned down a few. Their surprise allowed the DMs to rise from their cover and finish them off. Corpus and the others ducked behind cover. James made his way over to Corpus.

            "Thanks for the assist sir," James thanked Corpus.

            "No problem, I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting you. I know that Smoke speaks rather highly of you."

            James chuckled and replied, "he's said a few things about you too sir."

            "Really?" Corpus questioned, intrigued. "You must tell me after we win." They both rose from their cover and continued to fend off the Red Legion forces.

*

            The elevator dinged when it reached the lowest level it would descend to. Vapor Team and the remaining DMs readied their weapons to breach the other side. The large elevator doors slowly opened, but no resistance was behind the doors. Only a very long hallway the width of the elevator itself, that stretched to a set of heavy double doors.

            "This ain't right," Dale proclaimed.

            "This is a little sketchy," John said.

            "Yeah, this could easily be a trap," Connor suggested.

            "Bring on the trap then," Arden remarked as he pumped his shotgun and began slowly walking down the hallway. The rest of them followed. Once they were all off of the elevator, the elevator doors slowly closed behind them. They made it halfway down the hall when a voice boomed over an intercom system.

            "Assassins, prepare for audio induced target assignment, code 39122," the voice echoed back and forth down the hall.

            "Shit," Dale mumbled. "Prepare yourselves guys. We are about to fight some robotic assassins."

            The voice continued, "everyone you see in that hallway is now a target added to your hit list. Prioritize the ones in the differently colored armor too."

            "How flattering," Connor joked.

            "Now, deploy!" the intercom clicked off. Five seconds passed and a single DM chuckled slightly as if to call a bluff on the man on the intercoms' part. Just as he began to chuckle, all of the ventilation covers in the hallway were knocked right off of their seams. The FK forces knocked the vent covers away from falling on top of them. Suddenly, android assassins, just like the ones that Vapor Team faced earlier, dropped down from the vents and took out four DMs with combat knives, using the sheer element of their surprise as an advantage. However, Vapor Team and the DMs quickly regained their composure and fought back. As systematic and ruthless as the assassins were, they were still sloppy in their intense combative performance. They fell quickly and inflicted no more casualties than the four they initially accomplished.

            "Just a bunch of dumb pieces of hardware," Dale remarked as he kicked one of the dead assassins on the ground. The DMs once again gathered around their fallen brothers.

            "Rest in peace, brother. You will be honored in our hearts forever," they recited.

            "Let's waste no more time in this hallway," John suggested. They all ran down the hallway and breached the doors at the end. On the other side was definitely a command center. The room was very large. In the middle of the room was a huge rotating holographic map of Russia. Catwalks lined the sides of the room and exited in to different hallways and offices. Computers and other tech equipment was found all over the place. A handful of RL soldiers stood on the catwalks and around the room. A few civilians were also scattered, standing or sitting motionless in front of computer screens. The soldiers were dispatched quickly and easily by the Designated Marksmen, while Vapor Team focused on four individuals standing in front of the hologram in the middle of the room. There were two Elite Blade soldiers standing on both sides of the Red Legion General in blood red colored armor, and an unarmored man next to the soldier in red armor.

            The unarmored man began to slowly clap his hands in a false applause. "Congratulations," he said in a Russian accent. "You made it down here. You're capturing the city. It would appear you have bested us."

            "I like this guy," Dale remarked. Arden smacked Dale on the back of his helmet to scold him.

            "You're Leonid Aptekar, aren't you?" John questioned. "You're the Red Legion dictator."

            "Correct," the man replied.

            "Well then in the name of Democracy and the Freedom Knight Army, I'm placing you under military arrest," John ordered. Leonid raised his arms in the air. The Elite Blade soldiers next to him, as well as the General, dropped their weapons and did the same.

            "That was easy," Arden said.

            "Now come with us Leonid, you too you three," Connor demanded.

            "After you explain to me, what the new Democratic world plans to do after our surrender," Leonid requested.

            "Shouldn't that be a question for someone more important than a mere soldier?" Connor asked.

            "Ah, but you fellows are more than just mere soldiers aren't you? I've now seen your combat skills first hand, and it breaks my heart that your government officials and high ranking officers treat you like expendable pieces of war. Am I wrong?"

            "You don't know how dead wrong you are?" Dale growled.

            "Oh really? After this is all over, what are you going to do? You certainly won't be fighting again anytime soon, I can promise you that. So after the world is united and the Freedom Knights owe the largest portion of their victory to you, will you receive and kind of a hero's welcome, or lavish treatment? Of course not."

            "Get to the point," John demanded.

            "My point is, why fight for a side that offers no supreme benefits to its most prestigious and deserving group of individuals? I can offer an escape to that impending hell."

            "Go on," Arden requested.

            "Just join us. Here we will rule with military authority, the kind of authority that is invested in the ones with the true power, the ones with military strength! The citizens have the power? It's the biggest lie that Democracy has ever produced. As a military centered Communist society, we will be the masters, the rulers, and the ones who receive the fame and glory and respect of all the citizens of the world! You will be unstoppable in your positions granted in our government, and will not be cast off like Democracy would have you after your 'service' is up. You will live the life that you deserve, over everybody else, for you are the superiors in our world now. What say you, bold soldiers?" Eight seconds passed in still silence before anyone spoke.

            "Can I shoot him right now?" Dale asked. "This guy is mental."

            "I thought you liked him?" Connor replied smartly.

            "I'd like to shove his head up his own ass so he can witness a light level brighter than the one in his own mind," Arden added.

            "You're joking right?" John asked.

            "Please Vapor Team, and fellow soldiers behind them, I implore you to reconsider," Leonid tried to sway them.

            "How about you reconsider before I let Shadow here carve your head off of your shoulders and accept that as your unconditional surrender," John replied.

            "You will regret your decision," Leonid said. "Elites! Finish them off!"

            Vapor Team shot the Red Legion general and the two Elite Blade soldiers in front of them, but left Leonid alive. A few seconds passed. Finally, soldiers proceeded on to the catwalks around them from the several different exits and hallways that lined the perimeter of the command center, but they were not Elite Blade soldiers. They were FK soldiers, the DMs that remained on the ground floor, Corpus and Nellon. Leonid looked around him frantically, take by surprise that his stalling only allowed Freedom Knight forces to take down his ambush before he could even issue the order.

            "I don't think so," Corpus remarked. He jumped down to Leonid's level and casually walked over to him. Corpus punched Leonid across his face when he reached him. "Now you heard them. You are under military arrest. Time for you to follow us out of here."

            "Da, you have won," Leonid replied slowly. Then he suddenly rushed to the computer terminal next to him and pressed a crimson colored button. "Or have you," Leonid said with a crazed look in his eye. They all heard several muffled explosions and the whole command center shook. The lights flashed on and off randomly and sparks shot from power outlets and generators. Finally, explosions shot out of the walls and ceiling in the command center. Several FK soldiers were sent across the room by the force of the explosions. Rubble and debris began falling from the ceiling.

            "He's bringing down the whole subterranean facility!" Arden pointed out.

            "No shit!" Dale added.

            "Freedom Knight soldiers, get back to the ground level as fast as you can in any way you can!" Corpus shouted.

            "Designated Marksmen, follow me!" Connor ordered. Vapor Team, Corpus, and all of the remaining DMs rushed down the hallway and back to the large elevator. Corpus was in the back as they all ran. Explosions rattled the hallway and fire shot from the vents and out of the walls. Suddenly a very large explosion blew up right above them. Rubble and debris bombarded the hallway and ended up cutting off the command center. Everyone was on one side of the cave in, except for Corpus.

            "Corpus!" Vapor Team shouted, enraged. They tore at the rubble in hopes of digging Corpus out in time.

            "DMs, keep going! Up the shaft and out the way we came!" Connor demanded. The DMs did as asked and opened the elevator doors, then used their jetpacks to fly through an emergency hatch in the ceiling and up the shaft.

            "Get out of here Vapor Team," Corpus calmly ordered them over his helmet com.

            "Negative sir! We aren't leaving you!" John denied.

            "Damn it! I gave you an order Vapor Team now move it!!! Forget about me. It was an honor serving with you," Corpus replied. "Now get out of here! All of you! Live on and protect the peace that we all have now achieved!" Vapor Team stood speechless for two seconds.

            "Yes sir," they finally responded in a dismal voice. Vapor Team turned around and sprinted as fast as they could down the hallway and in to the elevator.

            Corpus leaned on the rubble in front of him, knowing there was no way he could get out of the collapsing underground facility in time. He raised off of the rubble and turned around. Six of the android assassins were standing in a semicircle in front of him, ready to attack. Corpus chuckled and pulled his six shooter revolver off of his hip. He opened the cylinder and checked his bullet count. Corpus smiled and muttered, "perfect."

*

            John clung to Connor since he had no jetpack. They all ascended through the elevator shaft, dodging falling rubble and debris left and right. Explosions sporadically blew up all around the walls of the shaft. They finally exited the shaft on to the hangar they were previously in. Scattered all around the hangar was piles of rubble. Explosions still blasted all around the walls and ceiling and floors. Vapor Team glanced around the hangar and noticed all of the exits were blocked by rubble.

            "How are we supposed to get out of here!?" Connor asked. Dale looked at the large blast doors on the far end of the hangar, then at a troop transport that was still intact. The chassis was similar to the Freedom Knight Shepherd Transport model.

            "Get that transport vehicle running!" Dale ordered. "I'll get the blast doors open. It must be a way out of this hangar." Connor and John rushed to the vehicle. Connor hotwired it and the engine revved up. John hopped in the passenger seat and Connor gave it a little gas and positioned it right in front of the blast door. Dale punched a button on a console next to the blast door and it began to slide open, but slowed down drastically after one second.

            "It's damaged, Fog, help me out," Dale commanded. He and Arden grabbed both of the doors and pulled as hard as they could. The doors slid a little faster until they jammed and stopped entirely.

            "That's good enough!" Connor yelled to them. "Now get in, we're getting the heck outta here!" Dale and Arden piled in to the back of the vehicle. Connor floored the gas pedal and sped through the narrow opening between the doors, taking off both of the side view mirrors as he went through. On the other side was a very long corridor that was pitch black. The explosions had cut the power in the corridor. Connor switched on the high beam headlights. Explosions still rumbled through the Earth and across the walls of the corridor. Finally, the explosions ceased for just a few seconds.

            "Is it over?" Arden wondered. Then the whole corridor rumbled violently and threw the transport vehicle in to a swerve. Connor reacted quickly and turned in to it, hardly losing any speed.

            "What was that?" John asked. Dale looked behind them and his eyes grew wide.

            "SPEED UP, SPEED UP, SPEED UP, SPEED UP!!!" Dale yelled out desperately. The corridor began to glow a deep yellowish orange that got brighter and brighter. Behind them was a large cloud of flame speeding toward them, engulfing the entire corridor as it went.

            "Move move move!" Arden demanded.

            "I'm going as fast as I can!" Connor assured them. The fire was slowly gaining on them until it passed over them and swallowed the vehicle. Vapor Team felt the searing heat even through their temperature regulating armor suits. None of them yelled out. They were too gripped in fear that they would end up roasted in a few seconds. Finally, they felt the transport vehicle angle upward gradually until it reached what felt like a thirty degree angle. They couldn't see a thing through the fire that was engulfing them, but they suddenly felt weightless. The transport vehicle shot out of the fiery cloud. Vapor Team only had one second to take in the situation around them.

            They had exited the corridor through a subway stairwell facade that was actually the exit to the corridor. At the speed they exited from, they knew they were easily at least forty feet in the air. The vehicle was headed straight for an apartment building's fourth story. Arden and Dale launched themselves out of the vehicle turned their jetpack and thruster pack to full blast in the opposite direction to slow them down. Connor dove across the driver's seat and grasped John, taking them both out of the passenger side. He activated his jetpack as well and they both slammed in to the wall of the apartment complex, just barely not hard enough to injure them. The transport vehicle smashed in to the apartment and exploded on impact. Connor lost his grasp on John's body and ended up somehow holding on to his hand with his own hand, and grasping a window seal with his other.

            Dale and Arden flew over to John and took him in their own grasp and brought him and themselves down to the ground safely. Connor activated his jetpack again and descended to the ground as well. They all glanced at each other for a few seconds, then laughed heartily.

The End

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