Preparations are made to return the artifact in Dayton. Where it was originally stolen from. I consider this plan a waste of time. Who am I to argue. Jon is inexplicably ill. Local doctor is worthless. This justifies the trip to Dayton.
No medical scanner unit installed for my own monitoring. Should be an eventual upgrade.
Jon and his equipment is secured with Cross. A man named Hastings asks to accompany us. We accept. He rides with Cross as well.
Voice modulation is functional. Ultrasonic frequency transmittal satisfactory.
Uneventful trip to Dayton. Very little radio chatter. Begin internal life support systems diagnostic.
Diagnostic completed. All systems functioning normal.
Arrival at Dayton. As expected there is a large Coalition presence. We leave our vehicles and heavy weaponry outside of the town. Inside the town we meet a Coalition Psy-Stalker. He identifies himself as Nert.
Voice is a positive match to previous conversations.
We drop off John with CS doctors for care. Nert brings us to the Museum. Statues line the walkway. They are town heroes. One of them…
One of them…
is of me…
It was cold out, and Andrew could feel the cold even through his standard-issue deadboy armor. Like the rest of his team he had his weapon at the ready while lying prone, facing the trail. And like the rest of his squad he was bored out of his mind. They had been assigned to watch the supply line to this town two months ago and nothing had happenned since they arrived. He shifted around a bit to prevent cramping, and to induce some movement to keep him warm.
The “supply line” they were guarding was little more than a dirt trail leading out of some nearby town and towards the grand Coalition city of Chi-Town. Every few days a small convoy of Coalition vehicles would arrive, load up with whatever cargo they were carrying, and drive back out. Andrew’s group was under orders to observe if anyone else came to this town and loaded themselves with the same stuff the Coalition was buying.
“Ammunition,” Smith told him one night, when he asked what the Coalition was buying. “This little dung heap town is selling ammunition to the Coalition.”
“Why would the CS deal with poor trash as these?” Asked Barker, coming over to join the conversation.
“Because they’re humans, and don’t like Dee-Bee’s much more than we do.” Smith explained. Barker spit at the mention of Dee-Bee’s. Smith continued, “Humans have to band together if we’re going to survive and take back our world. We can’t just look down on this town because they aren’t as advanced as us. We need to befriend them and bring them fully onto our side, as allies.”
“If we’re trying to make them allies then why are we here, spying on whether or not they’re selling to anyone else?” asked Andrew.
Smith smiled. “Because if we make sure we’re their only friend, then they’ll have no choice but to become our allies. And humanity will only become stronger for it!”
So far the only supply vehicles using this road were Coalition ones. The team they relieved had only ever seen Coalition vehicles. As had the team before them. And the one before them. And likely their replacements in 22 months as well. A sudden burst of static over the radio interrupted Andrew’s thoughts.
“Frakkin’ shit! We got trouble at ten o’clock!”
Hearing Smith shout that warning, Andrew turned around to look and saw a flock of what appeared to be ugly women with bird wings and legs. They were screeching horribly and several of them were carrying what appeared to be people in tattered body armor. They were flying straight towards his direction, and there must’ve been at least 50 of them. While he was still taking in the horror of it all laser fire started blasting into them. Over the radio he heard the voices of his comrades.
“Are those people they’ve got?”
“Aim for the wings!”
“What in the Emporer’s Name are those things?”
“They’re heading for the town!”
“There’s too many of them!”
“We should regroup at camp!”
“Hold your positions!”
“We’ve gotta save those people!”
“Just shoot to kill, people. This is just like target practice in basic training.”
“They’re swarming all around!”
“Logan! Wake up!”
Andrew snapped out of his daze just in time to see several of the creatures about to fly right into him. He snapped his laser rifle up and squeezed off a few wild rounds before barely managing to dodge out of the way. The things flew right through where he was sitting and turned around to make another pass. A quick survey of the area showed Andrew that his teamates were all dealing with their own groups of these monsters. He turned back to the group after him just in time for them to rake him with their claws as they passed by a second time. He fired off another wild volley of his rifle, striking one of the creatures. She plummeted to the Earth, screaming.
On the third pass of the creatures Andrew was able to get some shots off before they got close enough. He injured one of the girls but they still came at him. He tried to dodge out of the way when they got close but waited just a little too late. Instead of raking him again, this time two of them grabbed him as they passed and carried him off the ground with them. As he was pulled up in the air he was attacked by the others that were flying around him now instead of towards him. He tried to fire his gun but they managed to pull it from him and start hitting him with it, as if it were a club. Higher and higher they climbed, then they all turned around and began to divebomb the ground. Andrew started screaming as he was pulled through the sky headfirst towards the ground. The bird-women let go of him about fifty feet from the road and banked away, leaving him to fall the rest of the way. He hit the ground with a loud crunch, bounced twice, and stopped moving.
Internal clock shows only 11.7 seconds has passed.
Some of my companions seem to notice the resemblence between me and the statue here. I don’t say anything about it, only answer some basic questions. We continue into the museum. Hastings also had a package to deliver. Our item is returned. Hastings begins sniffing inquisitivly.
Molecular analyzer detects the chemecials associated with decaying bodies in the air.
The museum person who was with us disappears. I aid Hastings in determining where the smell is coming from. There is a large noise from the next room. I investigate. The others follow Hastings to find the dead bodies. I encounter a suit of power armor destroying its way through the museum.
All my heavy weapons are back at my bike.
It fires a missile at me. I dodge it. I engage the power armor in close range combat using my vibroblade. I can only slow it down, not stop it. I attempt to give my fragile human companions time to get clear of this thing. The power armor pilot responds to my attacks with point blank rail gun fire. I don’t dodge all the shots.
Armor integrity down by almost half.
The power armor blasts through the wall and outside to escape. SAMAS’ engage it. I stand back. Josh joins me. My companions seemed to have gotten into a firefight but emerged victorious. And with less damage than my armor sustained.