Catch a fistful of sky

Another bit of the story. | April 15, 2010

Kip frowned under his visor after Reaper severed the connection. “I think I may have just stepped on my dick there,” he told her as she turned about, toward the sound of Peacer jump jets.

“If they laughed its a good sign. Its when they’re quiet you have to worry about them,” Delah said, firing off a shot or two into melee ahead. It was more for the Rulonian’s morale than to hit anything, to let him know help was almost there. Kip didn’t say anything. He was focusing his will into molding his dreamblade into a curved blade, for slicing the delicate series of hoses and wires that were part of the enemy’s jump packs. It responded easily, having tasted fresh blood, and slid into the desired shape.

“They’re certainly not quiet, they scream into battle like meteors, and they blast the most ridiculous song when they decide to show up,” Kip observed, firing his pistol ahead at blue white targets.

“See, calling their song ridiculous is what would get you killed,” Delah said. “Gameface, partner.”

“Good thing I have your steadying influence,” he told her,  “Dismounting after the first pass,” he said as they entered the fray.

~

Commando-Sergeant Major Jersey laughed as he killed the com to the rider on the ground. “What the hell does he know about our type of mission?” The men around him laughed, their chuckled muffled by the helmets they wore. Painted with a skull patina, they glowed blue in the lights of the drop pod as it began its decent. They sat back best they could, the heavy plates of their battle armor made sitting for extended periods of time an uncomfortable experience, especially when locked into a drop pod. The rest of their armor was a glossy black, sucking up the light.  One commando was playing with a haptic hologram, working through personel files, and he gave a surprised grunt.

“What is it, Martinez?” asked al-Rayhd, the heavy weapons specialist.

“The rider is a FOSsil,” Martinez said. As communications specialist, he had heard of other forces being on the ground, and wanted to see who was going to die there, and who might need to be extracted, and who could be left behind. Being a Reaper for any length of time made you very pratical – otherwise you died.

This claim was met with a short silence, followed by several disbelieving grunts. “There’s like twenty FOSsils in the entire Terran Expedition Force now,” muttered Rasko, shaking his head. “They don’t just hand out dreamblades for showing up. Who the fuck thinks of these things? ‘Let’s get together a bunch of psions, who are already kinda fucked up, and make em even more fucked up by turning them into something we’ll call Frontal Operations Specialists.'” He went on in a gruffer voice, “Great job lieutenant. Here’s a medal, and a promotion for thinking that putting them on the backs of Old Bloods as soon as they can walk is a great idea too.”

“Well, at least we know he’s a killer, even if he is a bit of a goof, it seems” finished Fox.

“Yeah, and I’ve got some other bombs to drop on you. Ripper is down there too,” Martinez muttered, shaking his head.

“THE Ripper? Bladejaws have weird naming conventions, what with naming them after a famous ancestor, or someone who the family owed a favor, and so on. I have known several by the name of  Blood Hunter and a few Guards the Home,” said Jersey.

Martinez shook his head again. “No, this is Ripper, designator ST-R1. Where the hell did they find him? I heard he had retired to Pandora after breaking the line at Arcturus Gate,” Martinez said, swearing lightly in Spanish. “And get this, you’ve got Brokehorn down there. And before you ask, yes, it is THE Brokehorn. And someone suited him up for bear, and then some,” he said.

He patched into the cameras on Ripper and showed the Lancer tipping over a grav tank before turning and unloading on a armoured walker. The flaps of his armored carapace flexed back, and a dazzling array of focused energy weapons cut through shields and armor at several points, slicing the six legged machine into so much junk. The flaps closed again, and something jumped on his armored back as he charged into a group of Peacer soldiers that were trying to overwhelm a lone soldier in their midst.

“What was that?” asked al-Rayhd, noticing the 3 minute timer begin counting down as they plummetted to the planet below.

Martinez didn’t answer, only freezing the frame, focusing, and then pulling it aside. The imaging software did the rest of the work for him, pulling up a facial profile and revealing that it was none other than the Bastard Prince himself, Ianviur.

“No really,” Rasko said, still in some disbelief. “Brokehorn is dead, last I heard. Something about killing some incredible amount of Rulonians in one day and having to be pulled out from under their corpses.”

“No really,” said Fox, “he’s alive. You were on a four day bender when that bit of scuttlebutt was going around.  I’m surprised you even remember hearing it. But whatever, he currently holds the record for killing Rulonians, and is the only living member of the Order of the Fallen Lion because he DID die, they just managed to bring him back in time. ”

“Hah! So I was right!” said Rasko. Everyone looked at him, and gave a small chuckle, breaking the tension.

The men were quiet for a second, thinking about what actually might be going on down there and that possibly for the first time in their careers, they would be fighting alongside forces that were equal to them.

“Someone dug deep and found every single hero the Empire has to throw at this thing,” said al-Rahyd.

“So we’re heroes now,” said Rasko under his breath, giving a nasty chuckle that everyone ignored.

“Well,” Jersey said, “we’re about to join them. Operation: Save the Queen has just kicked off.” The retro rockets fired momentarily, and there was a sudden hard jerk right before the pod hit the ground and the locks holding the men in place disengaged. The Peacers on the battlefied felt a cold weight settle into their guts as they heard two things every soldier of the Peace Federation dreads. The sounds of “Canon in D” , and the hateful war cry of “Let none survive!”  rolling over the battlefield in tandem.

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Paratrooper. Correctional Officer. Federal Agent. Hello world, these are my thoughts and this is my story.

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