Yay, this story is not dead. Granted, this installment is shit, but I'm going to post it before falling into another months-long writer's block.
As his pod raced towards the station, Almos could see the torus’s lights blinking on and off, before settling for darkness dotted by red emergency beams. As much of a bastard as Kajet was, he really had to admire the man’s hacking ability.
The head of his SIBAS suit once again met the drop pod ceiling as Almos remembered the ramifications of the time integral of force- only this time, the door opened and afforded him a view of the fighter bay he had crashed into. The small, primitive RT-powered planes would be no match for a Scythian Katana squadron.If we had one, that is...
he thought, before stepping out and examining his surroundings. To his sides were massive glass walls that looked out towards space and the planet below. Directly in front of him stood a towering structure of girders and cables that connected to the central hub above his head. If only he could reach that elevator without resistance, it would...
He ducked instinctively to the characteristic sound of an RIN rifle discharge, before the RT-particle beam seared a crater in the fighter to his left.
“Careful where you aim, rookie, those fighters don’t grow on trees,” he heard in the distance.
“I can’t, all I have are these red emergency lights” another voice carped.
Almos straightened the grip on his rifle- he had already forgotten about the current darkness of the station thanks to his SIBAS’s wonderful night vision. He scanned the area and highlighted the two targets with his HUD, syncing the aim with his rifle and dispatching the nuisances.
Having gained a moment of calm, he took the opportunity to contact the rest of the team while heading in the general direction of the elevator.
“This is unit 3 reporting in, I would like confirmation that the rest of the team has successfully landed.”
The faces of his other five comrades materialized on the side of his HUD, each replying affirmatively. The pilot of the Titanus mech reported some damage from landing, but fortunately landed right next to one of the elevators. The stern Katzenberg silenced the other channels to inform Almos of Kajet’s whereabouts and intelligence.
“He is currently in the vicinity of building A-14. As you will likely be the last to reach the elevator, you are to assist the Titanus in obtaining as many canisters of LCL as you can. They are clearly marked, and the fluid resembles viscous orange juice. You two are to congregate in building A-8, where Kajet reports the majority of it to be stored. He also warned of the possibility of light resistance.”
“That’s reassuring,” Almos replied, before closing all channels. He had reached the elevator while listening to Katzenberg’s report, encountering no other soldiers. He guffawed at the incompetence of RIN forces, before remembering the virus they had earlier implanted on all of the station’s systems. With no way to communicate, a pathetic defense was only to be expected. He entered the selected elevator and pressed the button for the inner ring.
This mission was too peaceful, lacking the typical adversities and predicaments of a SONI assignment. As the elevator glided towards the inner ring, he anticipated flurries of RT beams and mobs of angry soldiers. He was instead greeted by silence and desolation.
He went to the small warehouse labeled “8”, finding several strewn RIN bodies and the towering red Titanus mech dutifully loading a hover-cart with the steel LCL canisters. This specific model had been specially modified to have usable hands, the railguns instead moved up behind the shoulders.
“C’mon Lieutenant Almos, this cart ain’t gonna push itself. We’ve got to get to the one cargo elevator we didn’t disable.”
Almos grabbed the handles of the cart, somewhat reluctant to put the technological marvel that was his SIBAS suit to such a menial task. The exosuit did negate much of the effort in impelling the load of dense canisters, however.
Motioning to the Titanus, Almos decided to make the report to the rest of the team.
“Well that was an easy mission, Colonel Katzenberg. We have secured the LCL and we are heading towards the designated cargo elevator. We will take the first shuttle we see and escape the station.”
The colonel’s countenance remained stern.
“We have not completed the mission, Lieutenant Almos. Although we have secured both objectives, there are many things that could go wrong before we manage to leave this...”
Before she could even finish, the ambient red emergency lights of the station gave way to brilliant bad fluorescent overheads, basking him and the Titanus in a kind of unfocused spotlight.
“Oh shit,” Almos thought to himself, before hearing the signature sound of an RIN rifle discharge. Not an individual noise this time, but a chorus.