Mad Sniper

Assailant trampled through the scrapyard, searching for anything of use. He knew it was a longshot, but to get some sort of Xeno tech…. Well, that may be able to help the Core out a little bit and get him payed. And that was ALWAYS a good thing. So far, it all looked to be junk. Not junk as in ‘maybe useful’ either. This was plain old junk. Seth examined each and every scrap of metal he could through the screens in Assailants cockpit. Nothing. In fact….

Were those bite marks!?

“Deitrich,” Seth said through the intercom, “Did you ever find the bogey?”

“You could say that..”

Seth sighed. “Can you be more clear?”

It took a minute to get a reply. “There are dozens of… well, SOMETHING, watching my movements.”

Alarm rose in Seth. Maybe a security system? “Send me your coordinates. The closest unit should back you up.”

Seth sighed and waited for a reply. He really wished he could already be home. The jazz music called to him. Sadly, Norse had taken his mp9. Apparently, it was a hazard. Yeah, a hazard to the boredom. What could these creatures be any-

“Dammit!”

Seth opened his comlink once more. “What’s going on? Dietrich, do you read?”

“I have his back,” Tillie’s quiet voice answered. An ear-piercing sound came over the intercom immediately after. A sniper rifle. Model no. H-76 to be exact. Well… At least Dietrich was taken care of. Seth could worry about….

The dozens of figures now surrounding him…

They came slowly at first, masses of metal and strange tendrils combined into random assortments. Most of them were in the shapes of pods, but a few looked to be small mechs. Only… corrupted. Was that even the right word?

“Contact!” That would be Jack. “What the hell….”

“I have your back!” And that is Joey.

“Joey, Jack,” Seth commanded over the intercom, “Stick together and move to these coordinates-“ Seth sent coordinates for a nearby spire “- as soon as you can. The same goes for you two as well, Tillie and Dietrich. I will join you as soon as possible. I have some company as well.” Seth calculated his next move, then rethought. No… the best action would be his first plan… “Also,” he added to the others and sent his own coordinates, “Avoid this area.”

“Roger,” came Jack’s voice. Joey said the same. Figures. They were two peas in a pod.

“Welp, I am kind of busy, so don’t worry about me getting near you,” Dietrich said through sounds of blasts and thrusters.

Seth was reminded of his own predicament, not that he had forgotten in the first place, and flipped a switch. “Alright, Assailant, are you ready for some missile fun?” Two up front, three at 3 to 7 o’ clock, eight more at 9 to 11 o’ clock, and a few dozen at 6 o’ clock. Great. Seth readied the vertical thrusters and missile pods 3 through 18. It was more than he wanted to use, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

On command, Assailant thrusted hard into the air. Seth nearly slammed his head on the dashboard. Such power! Well, it wasn’t like he was surprised, but it was something easily forgotten when most missions were dull and uneventful. Seth activated the leg thrusters to move Assailant parallel to the ground and aim the missiles. Seth smiled. He always did during these moments.

“Annihilation,” whispered Seth.

The missiles were released upon the abominations, which had moved in for the kill, and exploded on impact. Seth’s ears and vision were filled up, sending him into a state of unawareness. The only thing that DID cross his mind was a feeling of accomplishment. It took forever, or at least it seemed like it did, for his vision to come back. He was falling from a distance higher than the thrusters had taken him. Below lay an uneven crater. Perfect shot. None of the beasts seemed to be near either.

“That was some blast!” Jack’s voice said, “Saw it from over here!”

“You still with us, leader?”

“Yeah, I am here, Joey,” Seth replied, activating thrusters to land Assailant safely, “What’s with the leader? I am not the appointed leader in this mission? In fact, there was none.”

“You might as well be,” Jack said.

Seth would have replied, but the the sound of Tillie’s sniper rifle came over the comlink. BAM! BAM! “Hahahaha! Take that! I’ll get you all!” Was that really Tillie?

Assailant landed safely in the crater and started its movement toward the spire. “Dietrich, what’s going on with Tillie?”

His voice was audible immediately. “She… is killing them all.”

“OK?”

“I swear,” Dietrich said, “I have never seen someone take out this many enemies at once. She seems like a different person as well.”

Seth nodded, despite no one able to see it. “Keep me updated and stay low.”

A shuffling left of Assailant’s massive body brought Seth away from his conversation. More of them? Well, that couldn’t have been all of them. Might as well deal with them. Two mangled pods came over a pile of scrap and lunged. Seth activated three missile pods along Assailant’s body and started to fire, but stopped. In front of him, where the enemies had crawled, were now just explosions of metal and tendrils. Was that… A sniper rifle.

“Tillie, watch it!”

Three more shots came by and hit three more of the creatures behind Assailant. What was she doing? Where was she, anyway? Seth checked his coordinate grid for his fellow pilots. Seth was just under 200 kilos south of the spire. Jack and Joey were about 100 kilos to Seth’s right and Dietrich was right at the base of the spire. Tillie was…. Wait, how had she gotten up there.

Seth activated his Farsight Scope and looked along the spire as two more shots came from the black tower. There! Tillie’s mech was positioned on the side of the spire, shooting everywhere along a 500 kilo radius. Impressive, but not unexpected for a girl of her origins. The only thing that did concern Seth was her constant laughter over the intercom. She sounded… truly happy.

 

The End

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