Chapter 1: Rachel

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574th sol- 7:59

"OK guys," I said, "We've been in first place since we got here and we aren't going to get knocked down by the lions."

Dragon squad has been the best since we've arrived at Ceres. We are the smartest and most capable soldiers on the base. We have been here for a year and a half and have won every test and competition held at the base.

The battleground was a section of the asteroid belt that the teachers had sealed off. It changed every battle so there was no such thing as "home field advantage" and any squad that had been on base longer didn't get any advantages over the new squads other than experience.

"Alright everyone, the sun should just be coming up." I said. "We can use that to our advantage. We'll split into 3 pairs. John, you're with me, then we'll have Lily and Matt and Tom and Seth. Me and John will go high, Lily and Matt go low, Tom and Seth through the middle."

"What about guarding our flag?" Asked Tom

"Don't worry, once we get to the middle line, Lily and I will go get the enemy's flag while everyone else will guard the boarder and give us cover fire." I said.

"Squads, take your positions and we will begin in 30 seconds." Said the communications speaker in our helmets. Our battle suits have a helmet with a HUD, a plasma rifle, a side arm, and a jetpack to help them menuver around the battlefield. Our suits, when shot don't kill us but knock us out for the rest of the battle.

"30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24....." Counted the voice in their helmets.
"OK, everyone know their parts?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm ready!" Said Lily.
".....7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, start!" Said the computer in our helmets.
"LET'S GO!!" I yelled.

As we advanced towards the middle, blaster bolts started whizzing past our heads smashing into asteroids next to us.

"Everyone get to cover and push towards the middle!!!" I yelled.
"The fire is heavy in the middle!!!" Yelled Seth.
"Lily!!! You and me go NOW!!!" I screamed. "Everyone else, COVER FIRE!!!"

I turned on the asteroid I was hidden behind and pushed off towards the middle to meet with Lily.

"OK, see that clump of asteroids over the?" I asked and pointed. "That's our first checkpoint, we'll decide our next move from there."

"OK." Lily said, "On three,"
We chorused "One, two, THREE!!!" We both pivoted and pushed off towards the asteroid clump. As we moved, bolt after bolt whizzed past our heads and ricocheted off of the asteroids next to us.

Then, just as we reached the first cluster of asteroids, a stray bolt came out of no where and hit Lily in the leg!

"AHHH!!!!!" Yelled Lily, "I'm hit!!"
"Don't worry, I'll get you a little further, then you can set up as a sniper." I replied.

I grabbed Lily's arm and started pulling her towards our second checkpoint. As I did, I talked into my com-link.

"Lily's been hit, I'm gonna set her up in sniper position then push forward!"
"Wait!" Yelled John, "Let us send someone to help!"
"No time, Stay where you are and hold the line!!" I replied.
Then to Lily I said, "You stay here and give me cover fire!! I'll pick you up on my way back!!"

As I turned looking for the flag, I noticed it a few clusters away but I was suspicious. It looked way to easy. I started to move to a cluster a bit to the right of the flag. Then I thought noticed a flash of yellow (the color of the Lion squad) but it was gone before I could get a good look at it so I wasn't sure. Since I knew that each squad has 6 members, I radioed John.

"John!! How many lions do you count on the line?!"
"I see 5!! Why?!" John responded.
"I thought I saw one back here by the flag and I need to be sure before I charge in!" I replied.

I knew that one of their men unaccounted for so I started to move in. That's when I saw them. They were sitting with their back towards me, at first it looked like an easy shot, but as I looked closer, I saw that there were a bunch of tiny rocks that would block any shots at them from behind. I knew they hadn't seen me yet so I pulled back to cover and had to think.

As I was trying to come up with a solution, a rock about the size of a softball floated right in front of me and I had my idea! I reached out and grabbed the rock. I took it in my right hand and floated out from behind the cluster. I turned and threw the rock as hard as I could and just as I let go, John started yelling in my ear.

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