"Lay your head here my, boy."
This was it. A cold unwarranted fear washed over him as he lay to rest upon the body shaped casket. It was white and soft to the touch. As he looked up all he could see was the remainder of the old guard.
"Will it hurt, grandpa?"
"Not at all," He turned to Ida at his side. His weapons instructor. She fetched a needle and some gauze. "Now I'm going to inject you with amoxsophine. Do know what that is?"
"Yes, it is a muscle relaxant and dehydrant. This is to prevent any injury during the cryophase of my homeostasis." He understood the process, but he still wasn't sure if he agreed with what was happening. It all felt so sudden and random.
"And afterwards..." Lieutenant Tanner Goulle gestured to Ida who gave him an IV which he attached to the inner elbow of his grandson. A tinge of pain creased the old man's eyes as he looked upon the only remnants left on this world of his daughter.
"I will be placed into my Hunchback Mecha Unit IV. To continue the resistance ten years from now. After the fall of humankind."
"That's good my boy. Now I'm going to insert the anesthetic followed by the cryo formula." He had the same soft features and assured look in his eyes as Alice. Deep brown matching the color of her hair. Young David, or Davies as he was called, was the pride of their division. A pilot as well trained, spirited and skilled as his mother.
"Fly fast and true, David."
"Thanks you grandpa, for everything."
The 'casket' was then lifted from the medbay. And beneath him Davie saw the base from far above. He was lifted high by a Hippo chopper. People were scrambling for the last assault or rather the last defense in Seattle.
"So how you doing there, Davie." The Hippo's pilot came through on comms.
"Ust pine. Ant Alk Uhch."
"It's all good, we are on approach to your mech right now. Charon will be happy to accept you. Neural link will follow as usual. You'll be given your last briefing from there and then it'll be treasure hunting time." Pilot Gibbens advised, gently maneuvering past the ruckus below to an aside were his Hunchback was waiting.
"Anhks ibben" Davie tried to say.
"It was nice knowing you, kid."
They lowered the casket into the open maw of the Hunchback's cockpit. His mech was being sprayed down with sealant. The men preparing his mech were wearing heavy gear and masks to avoid the toxic fumes.
The casket fit right into place as the command center had his whole setup refitted to accommodate a sleeping beauty. Tears begin to blur his vision as he looked to the sky above. He would not see his friends again, he would not see his grandfather or any of the people he grew up with.
People like Thomas, the blind cook, who despite his vision impairment made the most fabulous meals. And was ever one to crack a joke and make you belly laugh.
Ray, the mechanic, who kept his mech safe and sound. Hard headed and overprotective. His head rubs would be sorely miss. Emphasis on the sore.
Then Jen his one and only true crush. He'll never see her again. He won't have the chance to confess how he felt about her. She was part of the Armored Core. A tank driver with a heart of a lioness.
There were others, but the sudden spraying sound of sealant against glass knocked him out of his revery. A hissing shhhhhh as if telling him to quiet his mind.
You seem heavily weighted by your thoughts today, corporal.
"It's a big day for the both of us, Charon."
Indeed, would you like to hear your briefing?
"Maybe in a bit."
If you fall asleep corporal, you will not be briefed until 10 years from now. Is this still advised?
"No... Fine. Tell me what I'm looking forward to."
His thoughts still lingering on Jen and the others.
High command has issued this contingency plan as of September 5 2330. The last remaining human outposts have been discovered and destroyed save for Seattle's Last Bastion [SLB]. All efforts are being placed to evacuate and disburse the Coalition Resistance Movement in the area.
You, Corporal Davies of the 9th Division of the Mecha Core, have been chosen to be placed into Cryostasis. To later rendezvous with Earth's last remaining human forces. Re-establish communities and attempt a second strike.
Before this can be accomplished please follow instructions provided by Commander Rikor Vauss."
Dr. Vauss voice comes online for a portion of the briefing.
Once regaining consciousness be sure to remain still as the defrosting period takes several minutes to fully completely. The effects of the anesthetic should still remain and reduce any or all pain. As well as the muscle relaxant stopping the body from fighting the next phase of cryo defrost.
Liquids will be pumped into your body that will add some needed nutrients to establish healthy working muscles and heart rate. Once your AI , Charon, deems it suitable. Then you will be released from cryo state and gain control of your mech.
The coordinates for all fellow soldiers will appear on screen and a rendezvous point will be placed at intervals to avoid full losses in the event information was leaked in regards to this operation.
Any questions, Corporal?
"What are the chances that humanity survives in 10 years? Say we are all that's left Charon. The Cyborgs wipe us out with their AI drones and superior mechs. What will be the reason for fighting at that point...?
I cannot answer that inquiry, Corporal. It is beyond my comprehension.
"As well as mine Charon. Forgot the rest of the briefing I'll listen to it when I wake up. And Charon, could you send a message to Jen for me.
Of course, Corporal. What would you like to say?
"Hey Jen, this is Davies... I just wanted to say that I hope you stay safe out there. Don't let them jarheads get to you. And... Well... I'm really going to miss you. I hope you survive this war and that one day, maybe ten years from now, we can meet again. This is CD signing off."
He paused for moment he wanted to say more, but it wouldn't make a difference. Content with the message he ended the recording pressing upon his holo display. His thoughts lingering on the sign off. She gave him that nickname because he had trouble with memory and easily forgot things.
It's odd how small things like that can put a smile on your face.
Message sent corporal. Your vital signs are slowing. Have a good rest and see you topside.
With that Davies eyes began to grow heavy. He could no longer feels his body. And then darkness flooded in. Only the sounds of the Hippo dropping him into the Pacific Ocean remained.
He now belonged to the Last Wave.