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 MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 8

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Emperordmb
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PostSubject: MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 8   Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:12 am


Dylan sat in the briefing room as Walton, the communications officer of his squad listed out the various missions overall command had yet to assign. All of them potential missions for Dylan’s own squad. One of the benefits afforded to him as the Prince of the Shadikill was the privilege to pick and choose their own missions, which was why Walton was running through the list of potential missions as he and the rest of his squad sat there.

It had been a few days after their party at the Battle Bar, and they all felt ready for another mission. With their warrior instincts they couldn’t stay away from a fight for too long. They longed for battle. They craved it. They longed to shoot, stab, cut, and blow up the Lightor along with their elite combat droids. His men cried for battle, and Dylan felt obliged to give it to them.

Normally Dylan was very intent and focused about picking their next mission, but today he was distracted. Something was vexing him, but he couldn’t quite figure out what. It seemed distant and far off, almost like a whisper in the wind, a nameless voice telling him what was to come, only it wasn’t quite loud enough for him to make out the words.

Dylan had experienced things like this before, but they usually felt clearer, he could usually make out at least some vague impression of their intent. Here however he could make nothing out, and it managed only to confuse him. His mind felt clouded right now, something akin to how he felt after blazing up, only less pleasurable and more purposeful. If only he could understand that purpose.

Walton kept listing off the various missions with Dylan only half paying attention, perplexed by these strange feelings he was having. One mission description after another whizzed by as Dylan feigned attention. Reinforcement missions, sneak attacks, full out assaults on Lightor bases, securing resources, and some fortification missions that would normally seem boring to Dylan. This time however, there was one that drew his attention.

As Walton read through one fortification mission in particular, an assignment to provide an additional squad to a Shadikill base near the coast, Dylan snapped into focus, suddenly and without warning. It was as if a sudden surge of adrenaline raced through his body. His mind felt awakened as a newfound sense of purpose filled him.

He stood up and announced, “That is our mission!” much to the surprise of his men, which was evident in their facial expressions.

Sergeant Barre was the first to speak up. “Sir? Why this mission? It doesn’t seem particularly interesting or exciting.”

“I can’t quite explain it,” Dylan replied. “But something very important is about to happen there.”

Dylan could see in the faces of his men that they still didn’t understand his reasons for choosing this mission, but after years of fighting together, they had learned to trust Dylan’s unique instincts.

“My friends,” Dylan announced after a brief silence. “Prepare your weapons and equipment, we have a mission.”

——————————————————————————

They were no closer than five miles away from the city when they realized something was wrong. The communications unit picked up several Lightor transmissions and a few Shadikill transmissions coming from the base. It was under attack.

This news surprised the rest of the squad, but not Dylan. Dylan didn’t know that this was going to happen, but for some reason this turn of events felt as natural to him as breathing. Almost as if it were destined to happen and he in turn was destined to be here. In a flash, he knew just what to do.

“Alright men!” Dylan spoke up. “We are going to take back this base and rescue any potential survivors! But to do this, we must do this as we always do things. As a team!”

Dylan could see his friends looking at him, looking up to him, respect and admiration in their eyes.

“As such we all have our parts to play in this unexpected mission,” Dylan continued as he turned towards the Stealth Leader.

“Sullivan, I need you and your men to scout ahead and infiltrate the Lightor perimeter. Do your best to find out how many they have, but wait for my command before you engage the Lightor in combat.”

Sullivan nodded as Dylan continued his briefing. “Once I give the order, the stealth unit will eliminate as many Lightor soldiers and droids as possible with the intent of confusing them. Catch them off guard, drive them into a frenzy, get them to spread out.”

Dylan turned towards Sullivan to make sure he understood his orders and got a nod in affirmation.

“Very good,” Dylan said before turning to Barre. “As that’s happening, I need you and your unit to set up an EMP field to deactivate their droids. Your window of opportunity will be when the stealth unit is confusing the hell out of them and making them run around like drunken animals. You know, kinda like me on the weekends.”

This of course incited quite a bit of laughter from Dylan’s men, as they enjoyed a temporary reprieve from the stress of an upcoming battle.

After the laughter died down, Dylan returned to his briefing, and turned to the tactical unit. “Tactical, as soon as Stealth blows that EMP, I need you guys to charge in from all directions and converge on the center-point of the outpost, systematically eliminating any scattered resistance you run into along the way. I know things have been rough ever since the death of your sergeant, and though I have not been able to find a suitable replacement for them, I need you guys to pull through this battle for me, and for the rest of the squad. Can I count on you?”

“Yes sir!” every soldier in the Tactical Unit cried out unanimously and without reserve.

“Okay now, once Tactical begins their attack, I need Comm and Tech to move in behind them, and I need Stealth to . Now remember, it’s a safe bet that these Lightor droids have a mechanical failsafe that will reboot them relatively quickly after an unexpected deactivation, so we’ll need to take them out quickly before they reboot. Sergeant Barre informs me that the mechanical failsafe will take a full minute to reboot them, so you guys will have that long to destroy them.”

Pausing for a second to let that message sink in, Dylan could not help but anticipate the upcoming battle.

“Sergeant Walton, I need your unit to keep their communications blocked and our communications up and running right from the start, meaning as soon as Stealth starts to advance on the base. Keep their scanners jammed as well. I don’t want them detecting this dropship.”

“I can do that easily,” Walton replied.

“Comm, when you guys go in after Tactical, your objective is to maintain battlefield coordination, and to locate possible survivors,” Dylan continued. “Stealth, your objective is to place yourselves in key positions and take out the Lightor when they present themselves as a vulnerable target, while at the same time relaying information on Lightor positions back to Comm whenever possible. And Tech, you are responsible for the clean up of any droids that manage to successfully reboot, and the defense of wounded survivors.”

“And where will you be in all of this?” Sullivan chimed in.

“I will pilot this ship out of the atmosphere, towards the edges of the barrier, and airdrop right in the epicenter of the battlefield, right before Tech blows the EMP,” Dylan explained. “With my assault turning the attention of the confused and scattered lightor back towards the center of the base, Tech will have the perfect cover to set up the EMP field around the perimeter.”

“It’s a solid plan Dylan,” Walton began, “but once that EMP goes off, your comm will be down, and you will be trapped behind enemy lines with no means of communicating with us.”

“I know it’s risky, but I’ve been in my fair share of risky situations and pulled through,” Dylan said, knowing his men would not challenge him on this point. “With me taking everyone at the center of a scattered army, and you guys pressing from the outside to the inside, we will have them cornered and surrounded from all sides, including from within.”

“The Lightor have control of the base, and they vastly outnumber us, but we have the element of surprise, and we have something they can never have,” Dylan said before taking a brief pause and spreading the corners of his mouth into a grin. “We have each other.”

——————————————————————————

Shorya was crouched behind a few crates, cradling her automatic blaster rifle in her hands, with only a corpse to keep her company, and the walls painted all around her in black blood, almost taunting her as she drew nearer to the gates of death.

Physically she was unharmed, much like the other soldiers in the base a few hours ago. But that was prior to the Lightor attack. The attack had come swiftly and without warning or prelude. The blaring of alarms could be heard throughout the entire base, but no cry of the soldiers could be heard by any other base or the rest of the Shadikill army. Any distress signal sent out for help was quickly silenced by the Lightor as they jammed the Shadikill communications.

Mentally and emotionally, she was not in such good shape. In the past half hour, she had witnessed several of her fellow soldiers get mercilessly slaughtered by the armies of the Lightor. Some of them were adults, some were around twelve years old like her, and some were her friends.

Though she had sustained no injuries, she was no further from death than she would be if she had lost a limb or taken a blaster bolt to the face. She was trapped, hiding behind a cluster of crates right in the middle of the overrun base.

After everything she had just witnessed, after watching several of her friends die in front of her, wondering if her friends in other parts of the base had any chance at survival, Shorya was on the verge of tears. The only thing that kept her from breaking, the only thing that kept her focused, was the knowledge that if she made one sound, if she slipped up once, she would alert the enemy to her presence and she would subsequently die.

The fear of death was all that kept her resolve from crumbling and failing her completely. The one thing standing between her and death was her fear of it, and only by holding onto that fear was she able to survive.

But soon her fear and her state of mind would not matter. She could hear a set of footsteps, and the servos of mechanized limbs moving as they drew closer and closer to her. From behind the crates, she raised her blaster and drew her sword, before standing up and turning to face her enemy.

Ten meters away from her stood a man clad in bone white armor with an escort of several lightor droids fanning out around him, surrounding and trapping Shorya. As the Lightor commander raised his large railgun, took aim at her face, and smiled with satisfaction, Shorya prepared herself for death.

——————————————————————————

Dylan stood alone, inside of the dropship up in space, coasting the border of the mysterious barrier. The rest of his squad had exited the ship at their starting positions twenty minutes ago. Now Dylan was up in space alone, waiting for the confirmation signal that all of his men were in place for the operation.

As he awaited the signal, Dylan stared out of the window, marveling at the large land mass far down below that was the Shadikill nation. One day, he thought, all of this will be mine. One day, this entire world will be mine. Dylan did not consider himself a selfish or greedy person, but ambition was one of his greater points. Having been raised under the notion that he would one day be the most politically important and powerful person in the entire history of Innamorta, it would be difficult for one not to emerge in the world expecting a lot out of life.

Dylan pondered the future, considered the power he would one day wield. Though he had no plans to abuse his inherited power, he knew it would feel absolutely exhilarating just to hold that power in his grasp. And once he held that power within his grasp, he would purge the pretentious Lightor from the edges of the map, and the world would indeed be his.

Dylan’s self reflective thoughts were interrupted by the faint beeping of the comm channel coming from his helmet. He placed his helmet on his head, secured his weapons to his back, and stepped into the airlock before joining the communications channel.

“We are ready sir,” Dylan heard Walton say.

Instead of giving some long morale boosting speech, Dylan merely said “Begin,” before slamming his hand on the big red button, and feeling the airlock shoot him out into the cold depths of space.

He felt weightless as his body flew towards Innamorta at incomprehensible speeds. As he felt himself entering the atmosphere, Dylan noticed a shimmering field of energy around him. This was no doubt the orbital drop field the Tech Unit had put together just the other week.

It functioned on simple enough principles. The field itself shielded the user from the vacuum of space, and the heat of reentry, and once the user came within a certain distance of the ground, the field would release tractor and repulser beams to slow the user’s descent, while generating a field of energy to keep the mass in the user’s body aligned to prevent trauma from a sharp decrease in velocity.

As Dylan began to quickly plummet towards the ground, the view of the path he would take appeared on his HUD for guidance. As he twisted and turned through the sky to align with the path, he could feel his body accelerating as he came nearer and nearer to the ground.

Finally, as he could begin to make out the details of the overrun base, he could see his descent slowing drastically. Now about fifty feet up from his destination, he could make out a gathering of Lightor battle droids with the Lightor commander standing in the middle, his gun outstretched as something else drew his attention.

Dylan grinned as he unfastened his rocket launcher from his back and took aim at the commander. They’re just making this too easy for me.

Now at thirty feet away from the ground, he watched the trail of smoke as the rocket soared through the air, illuminating the area around it as it found its mark and scattered bits and pieces of its armor and body all across the area, before fastening his rocket launcher on his back.

As he finally entered his final second of descent, he drew his sword, and held it in front of him with both hands, cleaving an unfortunate Lightor battle droid in half as Dylan’s feet struck the ground.

Rattled by the impact of the fall, Dylan stayed crouched for a second before regaining his composure. Fortunately for him, the droids were two confused to take advantage of Dylan’s brief moment of vulnerability. Just as fortunately, a moment was all Dylan needed.

Dylan quickly sprang up, and severed the head of the nearest droid from its body. As he spun around to avoid a grenade launched at him by one of the droids, he grabbed his rocket launcher with his left hand and removed it from his back. Now facing the droid after completing his spin, Dylan stepped to the side and turned his left shoulder away to dodge the next shot, before firing one of his own straight into the droid’s face, and showering the area with sparks, fire, and what was now scrap metal.

Not missing a beat, Dylan charged towards the next droid, plunging his black bladed Katana into its chest as he fired another rocket, this one at a cluster of droids a few meters behind the one he had stabbed. Not willing to take chances, Dylan yanked his blade upwards, ripping through the droids armored chassis, and drawing his blade straight through the front of its face.

With another group of battle droids approaching, Dylan brought his gun around and fired off several concentrated laser blasts at the droids legs, then fired a single rocket at them as they collapsed and tripped over each other.

By this point, a few more droids were beginning to arrive, to see what the commotion was all about, and to affirm whether or not their commander was still alive. One droid in particular charged Dylan from the front, and Dylan extended his blade forward, ready to engage the droid. At the last second however, Dylan felt something wasn’t quite right, and he quickly ducked as an explosive projectile he couldn’t have possibly heard flew right through the space his head had been a moment ago and struck the droid in front of Dylan in the face, stunning it. Dylan threw his left arm behind him, blasting the droid behind him apart with a rocket and a myriad of laser blasts, as he carved his katana in a circular motion in front of him, slicing through the arm of the droid in front of him before bisecting it at the waist.

Suddenly a burst of blaster fire sounded from his right as several shots whizzed past him and struck a droid coming up on his left that he had failed to notice. The droid collapsed with its face completely scorched and eroded from blaster fire.

Dylan quickly turned his head to see where the blaster fire had come from, and when he did, he saw a girl about his age with long dark hair and dark brown eyes. She was wearing armor holding an automatic blaster rifle in her hands.

——————————————————————————

When Shorya though her head was about to be blasted open, when she thought there was nothing else she could do or would ever do, when she thought she would die, she was wrong. At the last possible second, the Lightor commander ceased to exist as his body was blown apart by a sudden and unexpected explosion, with Shorya immediately throwing herself to the ground for safety.

She raised her head just in time to see an unfortunate droid look up at the source of the explosion, prior to being cleaved completely in half. In the droids place stood a soldier encased in black spiky armor, holding a black bladed katana in his hands.

Before the droids could properly assess and react to the situation, the soldier drew a rocket launcher from his back and began to fight the battle droids. Something seemed different about him to Shorya. It seemed like he somehow fought faster than almost anybody else she had ever encountered. He fought with a certain sense of intuition, in a way that almost seemed as if he could see his opponents’ next move before they even made it. He never missed a beat, never fell out of the rhythm of battle as droid after droid fell before him.

At one point, it looked as if he was about to get taken out from behind, and he would’ve, had he not ducked at the very last second. Despite not getting caught off guard by that droid, there was a droid charging him on his left that he failed to notice. Suddenly regaining her composure and her will to fight, Shorya raised her blaster, took aim, and fired a burst of blaster fire right into the droids face, causing it to collapse a second before it could’ve done the soldier any harm.

The soldier suddenly turned his head in her direction, and he paused for a second, before jerking his rocket launcher upwards and shooting a droid that had come up behind her. As more and more droids and soldiers converged upon them, she moved closer to the other soldier and began to work in tandem with him. They were back to back, one firing and holding off droids in one direction, and the other one in the opposite direction. they often maneuvered past each other to switch roles.

She saw him drop to his knees as a grenade struck him in the chest and exploded. It blew him back, but after a second she saw him immediately spring back up to his feat. He seemed fine for now, but more and more droids continued to arrive.

Finally, when it seemed as if they could not hold out any longer, all of the droids stopped firing and collapsed to the ground as a wave of energy swept over the landscape. Immediately, the soldier pulled his helmet off over his head, revealing the face of a boy around her age, perhaps a little older. He had dark wavy hair and a faint hint of facial hair beginning to grow on his upper lip. Her eyes met with his beautiful brown eyes for a moment before he quickly turned away from her, and tossed his rocket launcher to the side.

“We have to destroy them before they reboot!” he shouted. Shorya nodded as the boy pulled a magnum from a holster on his side and began to fire at the heads of the fallen droids. Shorya too got her blaster and began pouring rounds of blaster fire into the prone vulnerable droids that lay before them. Several more Lightor soldiers ran in their direction, and they got shot and cut down by Shorya and her mysterious new ally in short order. It was apparent to Shorya however, that they weren’t running at them, they were running away from something.

In a matter of minutes, there were no more droids or Lightor soldiers to shoot or cut down. As several other Shadikill boys made their way over to where they were, the boy and the rest of his squad began to celebrate. His squad… something Shorya no longer had. Something that was taken away from her.

“How many survivors did you find Sergeant?” she saw the boy ask one of his fellow soldiers. The response that came after left her feeling completely crushed.

“Only two.”

She couldn’t hold back the tears any longer, and she no longer wanted to. She started crying, weeping in sorrow at the loss of her friends. Her squad was like her family, and almost all of the people she had learned to love had died in a bloodbath an hour ago. The pain she felt was such that she had never felt before, and it could not be alleviated through medicine or bandages. It felt as if the very breath had been knocked from her lungs, and any air she attempted to breath in felt like fire in her throat, and tasted like poison in her mouth.

As she was crying, she felt a warm embrace around her, and she looked up to see the face of the boy who she fought side by side with, and she felt his arms around her.

“What’s your name?” he asked, after a couple of minutes.

“Shorya,” she managed to choke out in between tears.

She looked into his sweet brown eyes as he responded, “My name is Dylan.”

After a pause of a few seconds, Dylan said “I’m sorry about everything that happened to you today. Losing your squad can feel like losing your family.”

He was right, she had just lost almost everybody her squad, and she didn’t know what to do from this point on. The feeling was absolutely horrible and painful beyond measure.

After leaning against him for a few more seconds, she slowly withdrew from his embrace and asked, “Could I ask you for something?”

“Anything,” Dylan immediately replied.

“I’d like to join your squad,” Shorya said.

“Of course!” Dylan replied even more quickly than last time. “You and anybody else from your squad is welcome to join us. You aren’t alone. We’re here for you.”
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