Chapter 3: Tom

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574th sol- 8:17

"John!!" I yelled, I hadn't seen what had happened. I had been trying to give cover when I saw the flash out of the corner of my eye. I swung down next to John and said, "We've got to go now!! Grab the flag, we'll cross the line and win, then we'll get help for the others!"

"You're right," he responded. I was relieved that he hadn't shut down on me. "I'll take care of the flag, you, Matt, and Lily cover me. Everyone got that?!"

There were nods from everyone and we started moving. John was the only one with any fuel left in his jetpack so he started moving while we have him cover. There were only two Lions left but since they had nothing to lose and they knew it, the fighting was intense.

We fought hard and threw out as many charges as we had but the battle was difficult. They had chosen a good place to attack from and were pushing a boulder in front of them like we did when we were pushing forward. When we were pushing forward.......

"MATT!!! I've got an idea!! Do you still have the sentry guns we picked up?!"

"Yeah!!" He replied, "But we turned them all off remember!!"

"Well, turn them on and fire at the Lions!!" I responded. I didn't get a response but I saw him start moving and guessed he was starting the guns. It took about 2 minutes for him to start the first turret and set it up but there was an immediate effect on the Lions. The amount of return shots decreased and then virtually stopped after Matt had one and two more turrets set up.

After they were up, we just stopped firing and kept a lookout. We didn't have to wait long because about three minutes later, our coms came on and the computerized voice said, "Game over, the Dragons have captured the Lion's flag. Please return to your gate and move for the medics to assist your injured."

There was a collective sigh of relief as we all started moving towards our gate. The med-ships pulled out with the giant scoops on the front and picked up the members who had been hit. I watched them move to grab Seth and Rachel.

574th sol- 9:34

Seth and Rachel were both still out. I went in to check on them and they had tubes sticking out of their mouths and IV tubes in their arms. Lily was in a bed as well but her leg was almost healed. "Hey." I said to Lily.

"What's up!" She said as her face lit up in a big grin. "How's the team feel about our win?" She asked.

"Worried about Seth and Rachel but happy we're still in the lead. I think they're watching the other squads though."

"Who's playing?" She asked. "Think they'll let me go watch?"

"Scorpions and Jaguars are playing and I can ask the doctors for you." I walked out of the room and found a nurse sitting at a desk. "Lily wants to know if she can go watch the other squads battle."

"That would be fine," said the nurse, "Please tell her she should be 100% in about an hour."

"Thank you." I said, turning to leave. I got back to Lily and told her the news.

"Great!" She said, "Let's go!"

We headed down the hall that we had walked in less than an hour ago and got to the observation deck. The deck was a walkway "above" the battlefield and you could walk around and see everyone. It was, of course, air tight so we didn't need our space suits. We walked in and could see that the Scorpions were in trouble. They were in a defensive circle and being quickly surrounded by Jaguars.

"Well, I think this game's almost over." Lily said and it looked like she might be right. As we spoke, the Jaguars started throwing charges at the asteroids that the Scorpions were behind.

"Not yet," I said, "Remember, the Scorpions are a tricky squad. We almost lost to them!"

"Yeah, but we were new sooooo, that doesn't count." She replied with a big grin.

"Wait, look!" I said as I pointed, one of the Scorpions had started floating up towards the observation deck and was using boulders as cover. He was twisting and shooting like crazy. He must have been an expert shot because he took out one Jaguar and made the others take cover!!

"Woah!! Do you see that?!" Lily yelled. As the Jaguars were all in cover, the one Scorpion hid and just stayed still. The other Scorpions kept firing until their man was covered then they stopped as well and things went back to as they were before. The Scorpion that was hiding slowly started to move around behind the Jaguars. They began picking them off one by one until there were none left.

A computerized voice that came on and said, "The Scorpions win by default. There are no remaining Jaguars." With that, the Scorpions started celebrating and moving back towards their gate.

574th sol- 11:55

We were sitting in the mess hall eating lunch. Rachel and Seth were both out of the doctors and were supposed to make a full recovery. We were catching them up on what had happened after they'd been hit when the Colonel walk on to the stage.

"Attention! All the assessments are over! From the top we have the Dragons, Panthers, Bears, Lions, Jaguars..." We cheered as loud as we could as did most of the other squads. The list of rankings was sent to all of our bands. It was probably a good thing as well because after the first few squads are called, the roar of cheering from squads and friends makes it beat impossible to hear the Colonel. "You all worked hard," the Colonel said, "the staff and I have decided to give you the rest of the day off!!" With that, the whole room exploded in cheers!!

It took about two minutes before I could talk to my squad. "What are you guys going to do?" I asked.

"Video games!!" Matt immediately yelled.

"Probably get some rest." Said John. "I'm tied after that battle." We all chuckled at that.

"I'm gonna head to the tech labs if any of you need me." I said, getting up to go.

"Wait up!" Seth called. "I'll come with you."

"Let's go!" I said, ready for the company.

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