• Newton Webb

R.A.Ts // Flash Fiction // Complete

Updated: Apr 20

2612 AD, Output Minos-12:

A howling crescendo built up around the orbital deployment pod as it hurtled through the atmosphere. Marcus looked at the unfamiliar legionnaires surrounding him. The claxons had sounded, and he’d barely had time to don his armour and get to his pod before the deck had decompressed. He’d witnessed his squadmates disappear, pulled away by vacuum as his pod had launched. A medic sat in the corner nervously, clutching his gauntlets together. A gnarled man with a pulse cannon held to his chest sat stoically like a statue. He actually recognised one of the Legionnaires in the pod. His red armour denoted him as deck crew, Ensign Hydros he recalled his name being. His final pod mate was a Legionnaire holding onto a scoped pulse rifle.

Marcus heard the pod’s defence turret open up, a constant deafening roar that indicated that either enemy craft or munitions were being directed at them. The pod’s ammo would hold up on full automatic for under a minute, but by the time it had been exhausted, they’d have either landed, or they’d be dead. The gun would cover them for as long as it could. Within his armour, a holographic countdown began giving the time until impact. He gripped his pulse carbine tightly and waited. The jets would fire at the very last minute to prevent getting caught in the flak screen that the ground batteries would be throwing up.

It was at that point that the already messed up situation became truly FUBAR.

Marcus’s helmet was flashing warning lights as he came to. The gel layer inside his armour had cushioned him from most of the impact. Symbols representing his body flickered as the gels secondary function to stimulate his own healing ability struggled to deal with the massive bruising. He looked over at the smoking remnants of the pod wall. One side of the pod had cracked right open letting in the purple light of Minos-12’s atmosphere. He grunted as he pulled Ensign Hydro’s corpse away from the breached hull, and shouted for the survivors to form up behind him. The FleetWeb showed them as being the only survivors of GSS Alepou. Glancing up, he could see the wreckage as a flaming comet overhead. Cannons from the surface still tracked it with pulse fire.

The rest of the fleet would be turning around now. They couldn’t risk leaving a hostile colony behind them. Icons flickered across his visor, identifying the telltale signatures of additional powered down turrets hiding from the fleet's sensors. The fleet would be riding into an ambush when they came to rescue the survivors unless he could access a long-range communications tower.

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