Abandoned Outskirts, Free City of Foundry
Thursday, February 23, 2051
The firefight continues unabated. The Sergeant, once thought out of the fight, has just crawled to his feet, his augmentations revitalizing him and keeping him in the fight. One Texan Rough Rider has already died, but two others remain at large, both secluded in their cover downrange.
The Lazarus team hasn’t escaped injury, either – Mac’s eyes remain shot, while Wormwood lies upon the ground, cradled by the Amur’s upside-down frame, his legs blasted out from under him. Saranya is still off-line, Pacoy having deactivated her prior to the crash, and Eris lies unconscious with a compound fracture in her arm.
Pacoy scurries over to Wormwood, rifle in hand, triage options running through his head the whole while. Mac hunkers down behind the rubble, holding his breath, straining to hear anything that’s going on. This couldn’t get any worse… between all of us, we’ll be lucky to walk out a whole person..
Pitbull looks grimly in the direction of the hulking figure of the Sarge, his Reaper auto-cocking in tandem with his fury. Wormwood sees Pacoy on his way and grimly tries to ignore his injuries as best he can, rolling on his stomach as he tries to stay in the fight.
Pitbull’s Reaper bursts into carnage again, sending another full auto salvo at the Sarge. Though two shots get him in his abdomen, they don’t even slow his methodical advance, as the vengeful Sergeant stomps onward to his wayward student, grievously wounded but not even close to defeat.
The soldier by the Sarge pulls up to the cover, setting his sights down the field of fire, though he holds his shot as he lines up his target. Mac begins muttering to himself in Russian, counting off the number of rounds he’s fired and comparing them to the number of rounds he has left in his pistol.
After a quick probe-and-peek, Pacoy decides his best option is hitting Wormwood with a topical anti-shock drug and a heavy dose of spray-bandage. I’m going to need to find a splint for this one, Pacoy says to himself as he looks around the wreckage for something clean enough to pass. As Pacoy works on his legs, Wormwood grits through the pain – now blessedly reduced by the additives in the spray-on dressing, and frantically tries to fumble a fresh magazine into his big rifle.
The Rough Rider at the back of the pack starts moving forwards, firing wildly to keep the team’s heads down as he runs out of cover. Finally in a position it’s AI finds suitable, the Harpy Drone unleashes a flurry of high impact rounds into the militia-man, blood bursting from his left leg and foot, but the trauma-plates stopping most of rounds that struck.
Mac leans his head back against the rubble, his hat tipping upwards as it encounters an ancient spike of rebar. He sinks further into his mind, letting his ears begin to augment his memory of the battlefield, building a new picture with every minute sound. “This reminds me of one of the old talkie films, but in reverse… you guys ever seen one of those?” He idly shifts his grip on his gun, waiting until he has a more concrete idea of where he’s going to put his bullet as he feels the cold steel of the Prowler’s slide press against his nose. He lets the muzzle push the brim of his hat up slightly as he begins taking deep breaths.
The Sergeant lifts his body up just a bit, barely enough for him to secure a solid grip on his rifle; then his head snaps up, and a feral grin appears on his blood-soaked face. He darts forwards like a sprinter off the starting block, accelerating to a dead sprint that would put a world-class runner in the old, pre-augmentation Olympics to shame. The Sarge sprints straight from his current pile of cover to a new position, fifteen yards closer in, and just as sheltered. He’s out of cover for just under a second.
Pitbull’s implanted targeting system tracks the Sarge’s movement into cover, marking the likely location that he would hide behind on his HUD. Pitbull takes his chance with the targeting system’s estimation, and unloads the last of his clip on full-auto. Of the salvo that Pitbull fires, two rounds strike him in the abdomen, but find no purchase.
The Rough Rider near the Sarge’s position fired off a short three-round burst as he went running, the bullets landing precariously close to Mac’s head. The only clue he has to their arrival is the thunk-thunk-thunk of bullet against concrete mere inches from his ear – and the passing of air by his face. Mac barely budges as he listens to the rapid impact of the rounds, his grip tightening on his pistol and eyelids screwing themselves shut the only outward sign that he heard anything. “How many are left standing, guys? Having trouble painting a picture here. Nice breeze we’re having, though..”
Confident that the spray bandage is the best he can do under the circumstances, Pacoy hunkers down and aims his rifle at the injured militia-man he’d shot earlier, intent on finishing the job.
“We’ve still got the Big Bad and two flunkeys out there, Mac!” Wormwood sends over the comm-net as he finishes reloading.
The Rough Rider in the back makes it to the same position the Sarge just vacated, sliding into position beside his fellow trooper. The Harpy hovers above its target, adjusting its aim and compensating from the changes in the situation.
Mac takes a deep breath, then wheels out of cover, using his mental map as a guide – his ears keen to the servo whir of the Sarge’s augmentations and his pistol snaps to follow them. His eyes still shut, he fires off two rounds, mentally tracking the trails they make in the air as they spiral through space like the sport-balls of old-America, stopping only when they jam into the metal of the Sarge’s left arm, eliciting sparks of ricochet. Mac ducks back to cover with a smug smile on his face. “Tagged the bastard!” The smile dissapears. “Did it even do anything? What is he made of, metal? Is this thing a cyborg? Would shock rounds do anything to it? Damn, my shotgun’s in the Amur.”
The Sarge flees his temporary cover, crossing the next dozen and a half yards like it’s nothing, sliding in like a baseball player making home to hide behind a small bit of rubble twenty yards down range from the Lazarus team.
Pitbull weighs his options of using the underslung shotgun for only a split second before deftly yanking out his clip of APHEX/standard mixed rounds, as he ejects the spent clip from the Reaper with an impulse.The Rider takes aim again, intent on finishing someone off before his Sarge gets to have all the fun. Pacoy takes a deep breath fire off a burst from his rifle as he exhales, scoring a hit near the pelvis and one in the chest.
Having reloaded, Wormwood fires off three rounds at the Sarge as he hits cover, but his target is just too fast for him.
The Rough Rider that just slid into cover reaches into his tactical vest, fumbling with something round and black.
With its AI satisfied on the targeting situation, the harpy unleashes another burst from it’s chaingun, tearing into the soldiers limbs.
Langy: The Rider screams out in pain, his hand releasing the object he had just pulled from his vest, which goes careening down, solidly placing itself between the two Texan soldiers.
After a few quick breaths, Mac pops up out of his cover, sending three more rounds towards where the sound of sparking metal came before. He hears the distinct ‘squish’ of a round hitting the flesh of the Sarge’s hand, ignoring the impact sound the other round makes. He collapses back to cover, desperately wishing he could see the status of his friends.
The Sarge yells in pain as the bullet penetrates the light armor on his hand, becoming lodged within his flesh due to lacking the energy to penetrate both layers of armor-skin. In retaliation, he pops his head up out of cover to fire a burst of fire at Pitbull. As he does so, he can be heard yelling out at his fellow Texan. “I’m coming for you, boy! You’ll wish that sweet ass of yours was dead by the time I’m done with you!”
Mac rolls his eyes, temporarily disabling his subvocal mic and shouting over to Pitbull; “Hey pal, it looks like your old sarge developed a thing for you! You never told me they allowed pipechasers into the Texas military!”
Pitbull fires off a pair of shots from his underslung shotgun at the Sarge, only for the metallic old coot to duck back into cover before the rounds hit. “The same goes for you, you mangy ol’ bastard! I’ve been to rock-bottom, and I’ll be fuckin’ pleased as punch to take you there too!”
The Rider yells out as he hears the familiar ‘thunk’ of something distinctly unpleasant landing nearby. He bends down to scoop it up, disappearing under cover for a moment. Gathering his calm, Pacoy aims for the crippled Texan, hoping to finish him off.
Pitbull considers his tactics after his outburt, before finally switching to the comms. “Right everyone. My last statement is now just optional. If you can get him, take his Viagra-popping tin can-ass out.” Pitbull growls, his bitterness bleeding into his words.
Wormwood grits his teeth and again aims through his HUD and scope links at The Sarge. He squeezes off three rounds which hit his target in the foot, leg and arm. “Gotcha, mofo!” he exults.
The Rider jumps out of cover, scrambling to get away from the fallen live grenade in time while the Sarge groans – though you’re not sure if it’s in pain or just anger. The Harpy again sets itself to adjusting its aim and adapting to conditions.
Mac counts to himself before he wheels out on one knee, firing off three shots into the dirt around the Rough Rider that leapt out.
The Sarge, ignoring the pain in his limbs, takes another shot at Pitbull, firing a burst long enough to drain his magazine. Pitbull swings into a duck as three rounds strafe over his shaven head.
The Rider pops back up, holding the grenade in his arms. He poises to throw it wildly, but just as he pulls his arm back there’s a bright flash – and when it clears, his arm’s gone, and the Texan lies on top of the concrete he had been using for cover, half of his ribcage blown outwards by the force of the blast. The second Rider took a heavy chunk of the explosion, as well as a big piece of shrapnel that cut straight into his right arm, damned-near severing it at the shoulder. He goes down, bleeding out – but just barely still able to move.
“What was that?” Mac starts swearing unintelligibly in Russian. “What is going on?!”
“Grenade, Mac. The idiot grenaded himself like a clumsy jackass. I remember the Rough Riders being a bit more… competent.” Pitbull growls aloud, as much in reply to Mac as to himself.
“Oh, that’s… a relief…” Mac winces and does his best not to think about the scene, suddenly glad for his blindness. Pacoy puts a trio of perfectly placed rounds into the wounded militia-mans limbs, completely immobilizing him.
Muttering under his breath, Wormie puts yet another three big bullets downrage into the Sarge – both legs and his abdomen this time. Still, the Texan cyber-soldier doesn’t die, although by now he certainly should be.
Making another strafing attack, the Harpy sends another full-auto burst into what’s left of the rough-rider, the rounds chewing into the armor of the soldiers limbs and chest. Mac hefts his all-too-light Prowler and levels at the the Sarge’s breathing. He fires off three more rounds, silently calculating trajectories and ducks back into cover, confident that they’ve connected with the Sarge’s limbs.
The Sarge tosses his rifle to the ground with a crunch, his powerful cybernetically enhanced arms breaking the rifle in two. He runs forwards, his legs pushing him forwards even faster than before as he reaches behind his back, pulling out a blade the size of a small child from its sheath at the small of his back. His charge is taking him directly towards Pitbull’s location.
“It’s do or die time, Private, and it’s time to see whose gonna be doing the dyin’!”
Pitbull’s shotgun roars with two shots just after the Sarge utters those words. They turn out to be his last, as one blast strikes true right into his skull, painting the desert with his brain matter, metal bits and his wine-dark vitae. As the Sarge’s metal chassis finally falls to the ground, Pitbull stalks up to his smoking remains. “Looks like it was you doing the dying, huh?” Pitbull let’s out potentially the single most chilling sound he has ever let escape his lips in front of the Lazarus Team: Laughter. Cruel, maniacal, rasping laughter that reverberates in the now quiet desert lands.