Abandoned Outskirts, Free City of Foundry
Thursday, February 23, 2051
The dazzler grenade falls to the ground, its charge spent. The blind eye stumbles as the sudden loss of vision sends his secretly cybernetic brain spiraling into a null-feedback loop, his bloody tears dropping to the ground like rain. Ahead of him and beyond a makeshift barricade made up of the smoking hulk of the Lazarus team’s rented ride, the Texan Rough Riders are advancing with military precision upon their position, three soldiers all firing short bursts to push Lazarus heads down while the fourth leapfrogs ahead. Currently, their leader, a massive man of flesh and chrome is in the lead, sending bullets downrange that skip off the surface of the Amur’s twisted frame mere inches from Pitbull and Wormwoods faces.
Pacoy stands a bit behind the other two, having tended to Wormwoods burned hands and now above Saranya’s immobile form, only a few feet from Mac. He scrambles for cover and draw his rifle as he activates the Harpy.
Mac cowers behind his chunk of concrete as bullets whip around him, almost sobbing in fear, one hand clutching his hat to his head as through it were a helmet made of diamond, smearing blood all across it’s crest. “What’s going on? How many of them are there? I can’t see a damn thing! What did they do to me?!”
Panic constricts Pacoy’s chest as he worries about Mac, then he lets the tension flow out of him in the best way he knows how, with sardonic wit:“Hell, Mac: didn’t Angie warn you you’d go blind if you didn’t cut back? Hold Back, well get to you as soon as possible!”
Wormwood yells, “Use the Force, Mac” as he checks the status of his big rifle. Mac grabs his gun, hoisting it above his head, squeezing the trigger in anger three distinct times, sending wide shots into the air, not really suppressing a sob and laugh combination as he does.
Pitbull growls, his Reaper auto-cocking as he speaks. “Four of ’em, Mac. The Sarge is in line with ’em. Looks like we get to die like heroes today, eh Mac?”
Mac wipes away tears and blood from his mouth, smoking gun still in his hand. “Ain’t never been a hero, Pitbull – you know that. Be a nice change of pace. Give the bastards hell for me, bub. Show ’em the sunlight.”
The lead Texan soldier continues his barrage of fire, ripping off five rounds in a single long burst all over the area Pitbull and Wormwood are holding up in. The bullets strike the Amur, bouncing off the surface and deflecting just past Wormwood’s head as he ducks back under cover. The last Texan in line jumps up, running like a madman down the road, obviously attempting to get in front of the lead Texan in order to set up at the next spot of cover, a turned-over taco truck whose better days are probably thirty years in the past.
Pitbull imagined the moment the Sarge would finally catch up with him, and honestly, this moment wasn’t too different from his imagination. The only noticeable difference was the lack of fear. Having a super-tonne vehicle flip end-over-end kind of takes that from you. What he had was a solid internal wall of fury, as he began strafe the Sarge’s position with a full-auto salvo from his Reaper.
The full-auto barrage sings through the air, passing by the Sarge’s position as he sits calmly in the storm, not flinching. The hail of gunfire leaves the Sarge untouched until the final bullet comes crashing down upon his left boot, blowing a big hole in his chrome-covered flesh – but making no noticable dent in his ability to function. The second Rough Rider in line behind the Sarge continues to pour fire upon the Lazarus position, firing a steady drumbeat of bullets.
“Are these guys being nice enough to get out of their armored vehicle for us?” Pacoy sounds surprised through the comms “What gentlemen!” He shifts his position and takes aim at the leader as he gives the Harpy the command to initiate it’s Rules of Engagement software.
The bullets whizz over the Lazarus heads, only serving to remind them that they’re under fire. Mac spits out some fluid that’s managed to get into his mouth, finding he’s been holding his breath. “Is everyone okay? Please tell me you’re all still alive.”
Wormwood grits his teeth, then pops up and fires off three shots from his Valkyrie at the running Texan soldier. The three big 10mmCL bullets stich across the texan trooper, one fails to penetrate his chest trauma plate but the others take him in the guts and the left arm, wounding him badly. The soldier stumbles as the slugs tear his insides apart, setting blood flowing freely and crippling his arm, but he continues to trudge on – slower, but still capable.
The Rough Rider nearest to him grabs the wounded warrior and pulls him to the ground behind his cover – a broken street sigaling light and its accompanying pole – and begins doing something to him that you can’t quite see.
Pitbull huffs, after the abysmal results of his torrent of fire. “Yes, Mac. No one dead yet, and that’s the problem.” Mac throws a smile in the direction he remembers Pitbull to be in. “That is a problem, isn’t it? I thought the lot of you still had working eyes!”
Identifying the key threat, the Harpy lets loose a barrage of 40 low caliber/high-velocity rounds from it’s chain gun into the Sarge, but most of the rounds ping harmlessly off of the surrounding cover. A single stray bullet finds the fleshy part of his skull.
“Yeah well, I was including the assholes shooting at us. None of us have been hit, and Worm’s hit one of the Rough-Goon’s pretty bad, but that’s about it, besides me giving the Sarge the ol’ hot-foot.” Pitbull replies, rethinking trajectories and shots as he talks.
Mac mutters something under his breath in Russian. “As long as we’re including those assholes, I might as well see if I’m a better shot than you two, huh?”
“The Harpy scored a headshot, Mac! Unfortunately, We’re shooting at Texans, so headshots don’t mean kills!” Pacoy Grins.
The stray Harpy bullet finds its target, almost perfectly slotting into a weakly-armored space on the Sarge’s skull, worming its way straight past his chromejob and into the soft gray matter underneath. The Sarge rocks backwards, hitting the ground flat on his back, his gun falling from his fingertips.
“Not promising I can match the robot, but I’ll give it a go. Where should I aim for, Pacoy? Where’s the ego located on a Texan, Pacoy?” He counts internally, focusing on his surroundings before twisting around and bringing his pistol to bear at the sudden commotion, firing off three shots that all slam into the concrete behind which the Sarge had fallen.
Wormwood exults, “Yay, get some!” Pitbull comms the entire party in a low, angry growl. “Leave the fucker where he lays. I got some shitty plans for that sumbitch, and anyone who finishes him will be the new… erm… ‘recipitant’ of those plans. Everyone comprende?”
“Utterly previous, Pits – let’s survive the rest first, eh?” comms Wormwood in reply.
Mac looks back at Pitbull from his position. “You know I can’t tell what the hell I’m shooting at, right? I’ve got about as much vision as an owl rolled up in a blanket covered in mud in an oven.” There’s a roar of sound from behind the cover the Rough Rider had pulled his comrade, and the whole traffic light, pole and all, go flying forward about five feet as the injured Texan comes to his feet, shoving against his rescuer and starting an all-out charge towards the Lazarus lines, moving even faster than he had been prior to his injury.
Pitbull spots the running Texan drug-crazed soldier, just before he looses another full-auto blast. His salvo misses for the most part, but a serendipitous shot blows out his left leg. The man, grievously injured, is just too frenzied to register anything other than total loss of limb as he continues his psychotic rush the Lazarus Team.
The Rough Rider closest to the Sarge does a quick scoot-and-shoot, moving forwards to the Sarge’s position while firing off his rifle at the Lazarus position. The bullets, a hail of suppression fire, find no targets, however.
Calm and Cool, Pacoy fires a burst at the charging Rough Rider, scoring a hit on the chest, left leg and left foot. The Rider goes down like a stone as his foot is blown apart from under him, his assault boots not even starting to protect his shattered bones. His leg fares a little better, but it still has a heap of a hole in it, and the rider falls to the ground near his Sarge, screaming.
Again, Wormie pops up long enough to squeeze off three rounds, this time hitting the charging berserk soldier in his right arm. He cripples the limb, but the trooper comes on doggedly, trailing blood from his multiple wounds and with both arms now hanging uselessly at his sides.
The farthest Rough Rider stays under cover, doing something that can’t be seen by any eyes – except, just barely, the Harpy’s lenses. They show him dropping his rifle to hang at his side, grabbing something from the tactical vest covering his armor – something long and skinny.
Shifting targets, the Harpy unloads a hail of rounds at the Rough Rider as he pulls the object from his vest, but the rounds chew up the cover he’s hiding behind without scoring a hit.
Mac brings his breathing under control, spinning up out of cover, cool, calm and collected, his unseeing eyes flitting about like hummingbirds as he draws a bead on the screaming berserker, pistol ensconced in both of his hands. He ducks back into cover almost as quickly as the bullet finds its home in the man’s already lifeless arm. He readjusts his grip as he shouts over to the group, “Have we killed any of them yet?”
Wormwood comms back, “No, but they haven’t killed any of us either, and they’re bleeding more!” Mac’s face drops into an even more somber visage. “We’re bleeding? Someone got hit?”
Wormie laughs, “Yeah, you ya doofus!” – then instantly turns serious again as he concentrates to his front.
A sudden hush seems to descend upon the battle as a groan echoes across the roadway. Mac’s minds eye begins to reflect reality, as he almost thinks that his eyesight is coming back he’s so sure of what’s happening out there – the believed-defeated Sergeant of the Rough Riders, rising like a phoenix from the headshot that laid him low to stand high and proud, a line of blood and gray matter draining from the hole in his head that the harpy’s chaingun made. He racks the bolt on his M-16X before raising it to his shoulder, aiming the rifle straight down range as his hand reaches forwards, grasping the forward trigger – the one Pitbull knows is connected to the attached grenade launcher. And the big, 40mm barrel is pointed straight at him.