Greg tried to remain focused as he followed the others back into the armory, but he found it exceedingly difficult.
That display on the bridge had rattled him. He didn't want to admit it, but it was obvious that it had rattled all of them. Well, except for Keron, he seemed like he always did. Putting on his armor should help, he rationalized. But the feeling of creeping dread and slow, ominous horror refused to abate even as he opened up his personal crate and began pulling on his power armor. He tried to focus on the armory itself. He'd ended up destroying his old armor while investigating a research facility with Enzo, right before the man had betrayed them. Eventually, Hawkins had let him redesign a new suit and here it was.
He liked it. It was black with blue patterns across it and electric blue running lights. The visor was the most interesting of all. Like the previous one, from the outside, it looked like three Vs stacked on top of each other, although the lights had changed from red to blue to match up with the aesthetic. He thought he looked fairly intimidating and it helped in his job. Well, whenever he had to deal with human antagonists.
Or people who annoyed him.
He spent several minutes getting into his suit of powered combat armor. There was no banter, no chatter, nothing spoken as the others got into their own suits. Not a good sign, but how the hell did you break the ice after something like that? Greg finished suiting up by getting his helmet locked down. Once the suit was fully on, he ran a suit-check to ensure that all his systems were fully functional. While it ran, he grabbed his gear.
He'd settled on a big, mean pistol that fired pretty heavy bullets as his primary sidearm and for his primary weapon, he'd grabbed a modified basic issue rifle that came standard with laser sight, silencer, scope, fire select and, most importantly of all, armor-piercing rounds. After all the shit they'd been through, he didn't go fucking anywhere without them. He checked both weapons out again, (he'd already done it once before after he'd familiarized himself with the material and had a bit of 'downtime' with Vanessa), and then loaded himself down with spare magazines of ammunition and a few fragmentation grenades for good measure.
His suit-check came back positive. All of his systems were fully functional, he had a topped off supply of oxygen and power, pressure and suit integrity were intact. The suit was one hundred percent and ready to go.
He was about as ready as he was going to be.
"Five minutes," Vanessa said through his radio. The ship was starting to rumble now as it entered the atmosphere.
"Affirmative," Greg replied.
He was at least somewhat convinced that something terrible was going to happen to them on the way down. That atmosphere looked so...corrosive. So evil. But the ship seemed to be holding up on its own without any problem. The atmosphere disturbed him for many reasons. One of them was that it was clearly a new development. If the Marines or whoever else they sent here had noticed it, (how could they miss it?), they would've reported it and it would have been forwarded to Hawkins along with the other relevant information.
So, whatever it was, it was ongoing and getting worse.
"Everyone ready?" Greg asked.
They all said they were. He had them do suit-checks and radio checks. When those came back positive, he led them out of the armory and back towards the cargo bay. The walk back was silent and the next few minutes were passed in equal quietude as they checked over the jeeps and waited for the Viper to finish landing.
All at once, landfall was achieved and all was abruptly silent.
"We down, Martel?" Greg asked.
YOU ARE READING
The thirteenth novel in The Shadow Wars. At the edge of explored space sits a desert world known only as Ash. It supports a minuscule population of miserable soldiers, technicians, and scientists. Why are they here? A year ago, a deep space governme...