The light shined through the small gym while songs of Old Rock accompanied the lone occupant using one of the weight machines. The sound of clanking metal resonated through the room, however the man couldn't hear the noise because he was stuck in his memories.
‘How many times am I going to relive these memories?’ Frank thought to himself. Ethereal voices and shapes moved past him, ghosts of people he once knew were now nothing more than imprints on his mind. As he pumped iron, his mind drifted into a trance as the sound of clanking metal slowly gave way to the impact of rounds striking a barricade, the panicked voices of civilians, and a young Frank barking orders in defense. Not bothering to turn off the music, he rose from the bench and moved to the shower.
A small mirror fashioned from polished metal with a noticeable dent in it rested in the far wall. The reflection that stared back was not himself but rather, the manufactured persona he dubbed "Wraith" to lock away the man he once was.
That man died along time ago. He won't come back, not ever.
You mean like her, or you referring to the group you could have saved? Wraith whispered.
Why do you torment me? I tried.
Not hard enough, Frank, Wraith pressed in a hiss.
“Fuck you.” Stepping into the shower, Frank let the warm liquid fall down his frame, cascading over his scars and washing away his pain- both physical and mental. He could almost swear he could hear a familiar sweet voice just out of earshot.
“Please, just go... I can't... I'm sorry,” Frank pleaded, softly sobbing as his tears were lost in the waters. He remembered Her. The faces of his wife and their child lingered in his eyes. He remembered her gentle touch of her embrace, the scent of her perfume and the taste of her morning kiss. “Please! I don't want to,” he brokenly pleaded as the memory of her was distorted by the boom of an explosion, the creaking buckle of metal, and the weightless mocking laugh of some space pirate as his life was torn to hell.
A knock on the bathroom door sounded so distant, so foreign but Frank welcomed anything to help him momentarily escape these memories.
“Frank, it's Sonia. The ships prepped and the survivors are on board. We're just waiting on you, bud.”
Maybe you can protect them better, Wraith jeered.
“Shut up,” Frank demanded through the the drone of the shower.
“What was that, Frank?” Sonia called back, concerned.
“Nothing kid, I'll be out shortly,” Frank replied, turning off the water.
[Frank and Sonia and Ecur detachment left the Edward Deeming leaving whatever Ecur squad wished to stay.]
Sonia began going through the necessary safety checks for launch, ensuring everyone was strapped in. Once she was satisifed, she rejoined Frank and took the pilot's seat. “Hey, we should be in Alliance space in a few days. I’ll take first shift and wake you up when I need to get some shuteye, ok?” Sonia stated to Frank as she manuevered their shuttle through take off.
With a nod of acknowledgment and a grunt, Frank shifted slightly to get comfortable and drifted off to sleep. All the chatter and shuttle fell away until the only thing he could hear was his breathing.
Frank Sat in the back of The drop ship with mixture of O.G.R.Es and other military units the Lt, drowning off to the pilot on how fucked the situation has gotten since the Blackout and informing everyone that they will be regrouping at the evacuation point and hold there as they try to get civilians out of this hell.
It happened so fast.
The Porthole on the side of the drop ship was cast in bright light as the drop ship next to them was hit with anti air fire causing it to erupted in a ball of fire and slag
“Shit left engine's been hit” the pilot exclaimed as the ship rocked and bucked from anti air fire
“Try to level this bird out “ the Lt stated in a calm tone loud enough to get over the worried voices of the ship. Just then the dropship on their other side was struck causing it to collide with them. Frank looked on to Viv as the began spinning out towards a nearby building of what used to be a bank.
When everyone came to Frank called out to Viv. “Viv, you ok?!
“Yah fuck you too frank” came the Sargent response as he began kicking around metal to free their gear. “Yah i'm fine honey” she gave a long pause before continuing “can't say the same for everyone else.”
After finding out that all that's left alive was Frank their Lt and Sargent and Viv they Grabbed their gear And regrouping outside. The ship had smashed through the side of the building killing the pilot on contact and tossing around everyone a few were thrown from the craft their body a little more than heaps of flesh and broken bones surrounded by body armor
Frank and the others began moving at half pace threw the area heading south of the meetup point. The sound of distant gunfire, screams and explosion made it hard to talk over its chaotic symphony.
“Well Lt what’s the plan?” Sargent asked holding his fractured arm.
“We move on the dugout that shot us down, if we don't others could meet the same fate as our group, past that we head to the meetup point”
Pulling out a map of the area he looked to the Sargent “if i'm correct they should be a few clicks from our crash si-”
Lt was cut off by a round from a plasma weapon colliding with the side of his helmet causing the Sargent to dive aside as two more plasma shots collided with the Lt burning off his arm and breaching his chest armor.
“Contact south 600 meters” frank called out heaving his Heavy Machine gun barring down on the forces that killed their Lt as rounds smack into the upper floors of the building the hostiles were in before Viv fired an anti vehicle launcher at were franks shots were landing. Giving them enough time to get the Sargent behind an abandoned vehicle they used as a barricade from the return fire. Between pain grunts the Sargent yelled “I think we found what killed the drop ships, Those damn Heise are dug in with a plasma launcher.”
Frank peeked from the rear of the vehicle firing another burst into the building as he nearly avoided another volley of plasma shots that slammed into the side of the vehicle causing frank to duck down from the heat of the shots alone “yah and how do you suppose we take them out were sitting ducks out here they got the high ground and a bead on us.” just as Frank would say this more gunshots were heard as the local militia followed the sounds of gunfire and began aiding their unit.
“Come on Honey, can't let the locals show us up, eh?” Viv teased. Frank smile slightly despite himself. Plasma rung out as it flung across the twisted landscape towards the militia men that stood their ground. A sickening squelch collided with lightly armored flesh, instantaneously killing them.
“You heard your wife! Frank, let's fuck em up!”
nodding Frank gripped his gun shouting “suppressing fire!” and unloaded a fury of rounds downrange to any stupid person in the dug in position stupid enough to peak out and engage them as Viv fired another anti tank rocket into the building as the flames changed to a blue color showing they defiantly ruptured the plasma gun putting it out of commission the squad cheered at the victory as short lived as it was.
If only you could have protected her better.
The sound of a stealth unit falling off caused franks stomach to drop as the sounds of its owners rifle firing everything seemed to flow in slow motion as all frank could do was watch as Viv’s back plate gave way to the ammo fired at her as flesh and muscle tore from the impact
She died before she even hit the ground as Sarge pulled his sidearm and mag dumped into their flanker “Frank we gotta go!, there is nothing we can do. Frank.!” “frank!”
Shaken awake as she called his name “frank, common bud your turn on shift.” frank looked around quickly for a moment. “....what” he asked meagerly. To which Sonia raised an eyebrow “its your turn to fly while I get some sleep. You OK?”
Frank sighed “No, but ill manage go get some sleep kid.”
Reason: Spelling, grammar editing. :) Nothing crazy. Still editing but plane connection is potato