"Let's say hypothetically, there are two doors you can walk through. One leading you out of this hell hole never to see it again. Where you return home to your wife and children and live a long, prosperous life. And the other, keeps you here. In the dirt, with a bunch of assholes you have to call comrades fighting off an enemy that has little to no conscience.
What would you choose?" Will asked, as he absently held to his rifle.
The two of them were in a foxhole waiting for further orders. Night raids were scarce lately but someone had to keep watch.
"There's no other decision to be made, but stay here with you, Corporal. Cold, tired and hungry. I don't think I'd have it any other way."
Will smiled through the phase glass of his helmet as he fist bumped Rua.
"That's what I like to hear, private. But seriously, I can see a door two clicks from here. Might have a working toilet. Mind holding up fort while I check it out?"
Rua got up and leaned into the crest of the foxhole to see what Will was talking about. And, just as he said, there was a broken down building in the distance with two doors on either side.
"Doesn't look like much, I doubt there'd be a john left standing in there. But I guess it's worth a shot. I'll keep watch in case Casey comes back this way. Wouldn't want her shitting on us both for abandoning post."
Will nodded and patted Rua's shoulder as he climbed over the foxhole.
Rua watched him go for a few moments before sliding back down. He rubbed his hands together trying to fight against the cold. His homeostasis regulator was desperately trying to keep the planet's cold temperatures at bay. But it wasn't quite winning that fight.
Meanwhile across the gap. Will approached the building. A sign had been hanging above the two doors. But it was no longer legible. Blast impacts had scarred it's surface and half of it was missing.
"Left or Right," He pondered as he reached for his rifle at a ready position. His need to piss rising, he reached for the right door. It was deathly dark within. Touching his temple, he activated his infrared scanner. The garish green highlights blasted like sonic waves across the surfaces of the hallway within. There was a staircase to the left that led the second floor and two rooms down the hall. At the end was a table with a portrait above. Colonizer homes.
"Ckkkch You good in there?" Rua's voice asked through internal intercoms.
"Peachy. Just have to find a loo and I'll be straight back, honey."
"Well don't take your time, I'd hate to be reprimanded for the fifth time this drop."
"Ya, ya whatever." Will cut coms and continued to search the rooms. With his free hand he pushed open a door and swung his rifle to bear as he surveyed the first room. Inside was a bunk bed, a doll house, a rocking horse and a light carousel. Probably galaxy based. A tinge of eeriness was left in this room. As if at any moment a ghost would rise from the floor.
Hastily, Will retreated back to check the other room.
There he hit payload. A bidet in fact. Shouldering his rifle he walked into the bathroom. But before he could unzip his suit another crackle came across through comms.
"Fuck, patrol coming from the east by your building. Which door did you go through Will."
"The right one."
"Shit, they're on your roof."
Blinding lights shone through the doorway. Turning away, Will disabled his infrared and watched as the rays danced through the cracks of the bathroom door. A loud rumbling was heard above. Probably a P30 transport. Meaning a squadron or two landing right on his location.
"Rua, hold your ground."
"Will, your screwed without backup."
"Radio in for support, Cortez or Casey has to be nearby. Maybe even Fei Yun."
"This is Private Rua requesting armored support at my location. Identified targets breaching front lines. Possible core on it's way. Over."
A few moments of dead silence... Before a reply came through.
"This is Fei, rerouting to your location. Over."
"Thank fucking God." Muttered Rua as he turned back to the building Will was held up in. Above was a hovering ship shining lights down on to the building, bathing it in a ghastly glow.
Inside, Will was hugging to the back of the bathroom door. He could hear foot steps descending from the second floor. By the sound of it, he could make out five or four troopers. They made no other noise.
A hand pressed against his door and a white suited soldier leaned in. Armed with a plasma rifle. He knelt down and placed a disc upon the ground.
Before the disc could rise and scan the room. Will stepped out of the shadows and rifle butted the soldier in the back of the head with so much force it crashed him down to the ground. Before he could rise, Will emptied a burst into his body. Perforating his suit and spilling oxidants from the animatronic body.
"I'm gonna need some back up." Will admitted as he engaged thrusters punching him from the floor into the ceiling above where he sprinted at a wall leading to the upper staircase hallway.
Behind him the scanner went through the same hole and red lasers shot out in an array around it starting from the bottom then spreading as it penetrated the whole building.
"SUIT COMPROMISED, ENEMY DETECTED. HOSTILE HACK INITIATED." His suit warned him as he slid across the ground kicking through dry wall to the other side. Two soldiers turned towards him from either side. But, Will's heightened adrenaline and experience won out as he blasted both in the head leaving their corpses to fall to the ground. At the bottom of the stair case three soldiers began unloading plasma shots to the upper floor.
Running laterally across the wall then jumping off the ceiling, Will thrusted his way into a dining hall. Tables were laid out parallel to one another. Great big windows at the end of the hall shone brightly from the P30's search lights.
Gunfire was heard downstairs.
"Will are you good."
"So far ya," Will had an ill feeling though. Seven troops for a building clear seemed odd.
Rua came up the stairs and checked the rest of the building. The buzzing sound from the engines of the P30 still overhead puzzled the radioman. A static comms came through on their squad channel.
"Get out of there Rua!" Fei's voice rang desperately.
Before either of them could register what that meant. The whole room shook and shattered around them. An unmanned military robot with a heavy payload and even heavier armour had walked right through their building, smashing everything in sight.
Will rolled and gunned his thrusters narrowly avoiding flying debris. Rua activated a personal shield vaporizing tables, shattered glass and chairs before punching down into the ground to drop to the first floor.
"It looks like a Viper class, Will." Rua said as he ran across the bottom floor narrowly avoiding the stomping feet of the behemoth.
Will crashed through a window just as the top floor collapsed upon the rest of the building. Beyond was a courtyard and more apartment complexes. He turned back at the rubble.
"Rua did you clear?"
"Ya, ya. I'm alive. But pinned down though."
"Shit, it hasn't detected you yet. I have a few minutes before my suit is useless. Stay put."
"I ain't going anywhere corporal." Rua replied.
The Viper honed in on Will quickly. Firing a volley of seeker rockets at him. Deftly the Corporal ran across the side of the apartment buildings, vaulting over balconies and jump jetting gaps across rooftops. Behind him, explosions bursting with every missed rocket.
"Fei I could use your help." Will spoke through gritted teeth.
"Nearly their Will, hold your ground for a just a few seconds."
He flipped 180 degrees and jump jetted the other way as the Viper punched through the apartment wall he'd been heading towards.
Suddenly flashing before his phase glass over his HUD display was a warning. SUIT UNDER HOSTILE CONTROL. Will rolled to the ground and ejected the control chip. Shutting down his vitals and jump jets. With a deep breath he stood up.
Before him the Viper held its main cannon that opened up, emitting a greenish light. The plasma blast strong enough to vaporize him where he stood.
But Fei's blade came crashing down onto the cannon, exploding plasma in all directions as she maneuvered her mech between him and the Viper. She ejected out of her own mech as it grabbed him and placed Will into the pilot seat.
The chassis collapsed around him, sinking him into an abyss. Before the interior lights activated with a display of his surroundings. Deftly navigating the controls of the mech. Will put "Joan of Arc" aka Arcblade into combat ready stance.
"Took your time Fei, I thought I'd have to take it down on my own."
"Shut up Willie. I just saved your ass. Rua are you okay?"
"I'm fine Fei, just pinned. My suits not responding, but vitals still operational."
"Do you need help with this Will? Or can I get Rua out of here."
Before he could respond the Viper retaliated with force. It had an auto cannon at its hip that it brought to bear blasting more green plasma at him while pulling out a proton whip. It sparked and burnt the ground it touched, setting fire to the courtyard.
"Goddamnit!" Will yelled out as the Arcblade's arm shot back with the force of the plasma shots that melted against the alloy armour. Will was used to artillery mechs. Fei's mech was a melee unit with a long range rifle. Nothing he could bring to bear against the Viper at this distance.
"Press the attack! Will, you're getting pummelled." Fei hook shot a nearby window and midflight let loose a stinger missile. It exploded against the Viper's pistol hand. The smoke cleared as it turned its attention to Fei. Bullets raining down on her from the blackened hand.
Will press the blade into the ground, leveraging the mech onto it's feet. A whip lashed across his mecha's face, then cracked and lashed again across his leg.
"Is that all you got!" Will yelled as the Arcblade mimicked the movements of his katana strike. The blow severing the Viper's arm from its torso. The enemy core slumped over as Will continued with a knee to its midsection. Lifting it slightly off the ground before letting it crash down amongst the flames.
The P30 observing from above retreated away, leaving the courtyard lighted by the whip's flames. Fei jumped down from the rooftop to stand before the Arcblade. It's leg heavily damaged from the whips searing blow. Barely able to maintain balance.
"You two owe me big," Fei taunted over the comms. "Rua you still pinned."
"Will, you okay in there?" Fei asked as she tried to triangulate the beacon emitting from Rua's damaged suit. Shortly thereafter, She found him buried beneath a slab of concrete, wedged luckily by a vending machine.
"Worse for wear, but I think I can manage." Will replied as he drove his blade through the Viper's skull. "Just one problem."
"What would that be?"
"I really have to go for a piss..."