Twenty-Seven: Falling Stars

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Nine missiles streaked towards their target.

“I'm sorry, Jackson!” Daewi shouted.

The first shot missed entirely, streaking off into the night.

“Help is on the way! Friends of mine!”

The second shot fell short, pummeled aside by pounding winds and snow.

“I should've told you-”

The third shot.

“I’ve been working with-”

THUMP-BOOM.

One of the tracing trails of light reached its target and detonated in a concussion I could feel a kilometer away. The shockwave to my chest felt like I’d been shot.

Not Daewi. Not energetic, fearless Daewi.

The capsule, smoking, streaked upwards through the air, tumbling, pieces breaking off. Its ascent slowed, gravity taking its toll. Finally, it reached its unintended apex and began to fall, fire trailing behind it like a falling star. The other homing missiles missed the target, detonating midair. The pod fell beyond my view to the other side of the mountain.

Daewi Park was dead.

General Fisk merely scoffed unhappily.
“One hit out of nine?”

He held up his radio.

“Recalibrate the weapon before firing again. That was suboptimal.”

Someone on the comms was panicking.

“This can’t be how it ends! It can’t!”

“Get a hold of yourself, man!”

The voices hurt my head. I fumbled with the earpiece, wishing to shut it off, but my entire body was numb. I merely scratched my own ear trying to turn it off.

“I can't hold it! I can't hold it!”

“Fire.”

Another shout on the comms, another command, another nine streaks of light racing to their target.

THUMP-BOOM!

Three shots hit. Nothing was left of the capsule this time.

Draco nodded, pulling a small recorder out of his pocket.

“Note to self,” he murmured, “decrease homing missile range to six-hundred meters for greater accuracy.”

“Jackson!”

Someone was yelling over the comms. It was Martin! I stared at the monitor as it panned to reveal one small brown mech had broken free from the group and was making a break for my location.

The Prowler.

Commander Telbus was in my Prowler.

“Continue firing, soldier," Draco growled over the radio.

“Someone, anyone, please intercept our uninvited guest before he reaches my location.”

THUMP-BOOM!

Another capsule down.

A Erebus broke off from the captured circle of mechs and charged at the Prowler as it flew past. The Erebus was equipped with three plasma launchers, none of which could hit Martin at all as the Prowler’s radio deadener lifted out of the mech’s chassis. Both mech's had stealth, but the Erebus had more firepower. I could only hope the TCC’s pilots were less experienced than Martin was.

THUMP-BOOM!

Another ally gone.

Telbus spun the mech’s head around and unleashed hell with his shotguns. At once the Erebus entered stealth mode, the change only made visible by the activation of several hidden engines. Unlike the Prowler, the radio deadener didn't even need to be exposed to work. Draco had done a respectable job with it's design.

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