Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer
He made his way down a battle torn street, his T field absorbed multiple plasma blasts harmlessly while the chemical reaction ammunition bounced impotently off his reactive armour. Though better armed than the rebellious colonists, he did not raise a weapon against them. He had a larger goal in mind. He was a man on a mission.
Rounding what remained of one of the pre-fab houses, he walked directly into an ambush. “Oh Shit,” was all he managed to get out before a shoulder fired rocket screeched from its launch tube. He turned and let his back absorb the blast. Even as the fireball swallowed him, he turned towards his attacker. “Sword,” he yelled. At his command a searing blast of white plasma sheathed his right arm and enveloped the rebel, immolating him where he stood.
He continued on. His destination of utmost importance. He didn’t have long. He had first noticed the symptoms only an hour before. It had started with a slight discomfort, but was becoming worse. Incapacitating abdominal cramps were not far off.
He subvoked the com menu on his visor and pulled up the base comlink. “White One Bravo. This is White One Victor, over.” Static was all that greeted him in response. “Damn it. They whacked the relays in this sector.” His breathing was becoming laboured. The pressure in his stomach was beginning to build. The painful cramps, the beginning of an unpleasant end, were closer than he had expected. He had to hurry.
“I’ve got to get out of this armour.” Sweat was running freely downs his face and back despite the armours environment comfort level set to Earth Standard temperate. Again he jacked into the base comlink freq, “White One Victor to Vostok Base. If anyone is monitoring this frequency, I need a medevac on these coordinates immediately.” He shot his location along with the message, knowing that the cobalt60 blue sky would never allow his transmission to reach its destination. Soon it would be all over. The sardonic grin that had been plastered across his face only minutes before had been replaced with a gruesome rictus.
Time was growing short. He clutched vainly at the interlocking plates of armour that covered his torso. He stumbled and fell against a wall. He clutched the corner of a tumble down house. Looking up, a welcoming sight met his eyes. He could scarcely believe it. He shook the sweat from his eyes. The image remained fixed before him. A fuelling station. Battered by plasma bursts to be sure, but the structure stood. He prayed it held what he sought.
The building was small, not that it mattered. He quickly found the door he sought. “Locked. Damnit.” The keypad beside the handle of the sturdy steel door had been destroyed. He saw that it could also be accessed by a key. Antiquated, but not unusual in these far flung outposts. He made his way around to the buildings front office. His spirits fell as he saw that it had been ransacked. He fell to the floor scrabbling amidst the rubble.
He found the key surprisingly quickly. It hadn’t been overlooked in the previous search, it had been deliberately left. For some unimaginable reason it had been affixed by a length of nearly indestructible molecular cord to a large piece of scrap metal. Lugging it back to the door, he unlocked it and fell to the grimy floor of the cramped cubicle. He didn’t care.
He quickly stripped himself of his armour and with a relieved sigh, sat, as the door marked “MEN” swung shut.
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