A group of stranded soldiers struggles to survive and regroup with lost comrades.

White Shadow, Commando-436, everyone called me that, but never by my actual name. It had been so long that even I’d forgotten it. Off in the distance I saw one of my close friends Paradox discussing something with one of my other best friends, Void, probably about which kind of explosive was best to use. We were all best friends, brothers forged in fire I guess… They loved this place, stranded on an unknown planet after our ship was blown out of orbit, obviously only the Commandos and Special Forces Marines, or SFM’s, with their power armor had survived… Everyone else was slaughtered on impact, even some of the Commandos that had been near the impact area. We’d only encountered small forces of Zairtek, an alien species hell-bent on the destruction of humanity, on the planet, which was why they were so happy. We hadn’t suffered any other casualties and had won every engagement with the enemy. They didn’t realize that the more we decimated their forces the more they would send after us and the harder we’d have to fight to survive. I knew that not all of us would make it, but as the current ranking officer until we can link up with either the Commando or SFM commanding officer, it was my job to ensure as many of their survivals as possible.

“Sir, small Zairtek patrol, five hundred yards from your location, they haven’t spotted anyone yet, should I eliminate them with sniper rounds or see if I can get behind them with one of their special blades?” Echoed throughout my helmet speakers as Aisu reported his find over the private channel directly to the ranking officer, which happened to be me.

“Use the ammo with extreme caution, don’t take any chances. Line up your shots and pick them off carefully.”  I ordered.

Three high-caliber shots rang out in the distance; I noticed Void stop moving and look in that direction.

Clicking my COMs on, “Stand down everyone, just Aisu taking out a patrol, Void head over to his location and help him police the bodies, double time soldier.” 

He sighed audibly started jogging off towards Aisu’s position as Paradox started heading in my direction. Popping the pressurization seals on my helmet I pulled it off and gently laid it on a small boulder next to me and scratched my short hair, which hadn’t been cut in weeks and was starting to grow out, which I didn’t like, I’d have to have Aisu cut it later with one of our combat knives. I sat down and watched as Paradox slowly walked over and sat down on the boulder next to me and took his helmet of as well then proceeded to set it down next to mine.

“You know you’re not supposed to have your helmet off in possible combat zones.” I blankly stated to him.

“I could say the same to you boss.” He jokingly replied.

I quietly laughed and stared up at the sky letting the sunlight wash over my face, a feeling that one doesn’t get often in the life of a Commando. Sitting there we just gazed into the sky, relishing in the peace we hadn’t felt since before we exited light-speed… right into a Zairtek battle fleet, a flashback ripped through my mind and damn near sent tears down my face as I watched the girl I’d cared about more than anything for years was ripped out of the ships safety when the corridor we were sprinting down exploded from an enemy laser rocket and opened up a hole in the wall. I didn’t even know if she was dead or not… she had her helmet on when the vacuum sucked her out, but there was nothing I could do. Nothing except hope for the best and carry on to keep the rest from being killed or worse, captured. I put my helmet back on and scrolled through the team roster down to her name, she was listed as MIA; I closed the seals to my helmet and stood up.

Shrugging off the raw emotional pain I looked to my brother, “Paradox. Get up; we need to move out, we’re going to take the falcon we salvaged up to that plateau and set up camp for the night. Tomorrow, we need to try leave the safety of this gorge, hopefully scout out the area where we’ve seen all those ships heading towards.” 

Looking shocked, he stared at me “White, that’s crazy man! Remember the Caltz? The one that almost cut you in half, it would’ve if Aisu hadn’t nearly emptied a sniper clip between those three jaws of his. It even gave you a nice green paint job for awhile!”

Glaring at him I whispered, “That’s not going to happen again, I won’t let my guard down anymore. ”

He muttered something I couldn’t hear while he put his helmet back on, slinging his rifle he began jogging towards Raider and Dragon. Bringing up the TACMAP I found Crystal, Moon, and Dub’s locations on their scouting mission. It showed their icons heading back in our general direction. Good, and they’ve probably found something. Our first target hopefully. My motion sensor pinged something off to the left, it didn’t show as the red of an enemy but it didn’t show the green of a friendly. I spun around bringing my rifle up, to see absolutely nothing. I looked again, and the thing that had been picked up was gone now, lowering my rifle I still scanned the area and upped the range on the motion sensor. Whatever it was had vanished like a phantom.

“Hey Cappy!” Came one of the SFM’s over the radio as they neared our position, it was Crystal.

I sighed loudly, “Crystal, you know my name, my armor color, and my ID number, why do you repeatedly call me ‘Cappy’?”

The End

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