A group of drones and a sniper or two huddled around a short vicinity as they fired shots at their enemies. The gears fired bullets blindly in the direction of the locusts, but barely even hit one of them.
“Sneaks, flank them from the left, I’ll distract them and lay down covering fire. Rob, keep the sniper on the left busy,” spoke Julius, loud enough for the two others to hear him.
“Three… two… one…”
Julius stood up and began to spray bullets into the crowd of pale brutes. A good portion of his bullets pierced their tough skin, making an incredibly dark blood spew all over the place. Immediately, almost all of the monsters focused on the helmet-less Gear crouched behind a boulder.
The only one of the locusts that didn’t look towards the direction lancer fire was coming from was the one sniper on the left. Instead, the goggled beast aimed in Rob’s direction, periodically shooting at the Gear’s head. It was hit by five boltok rounds now, and its shoulders were bleeding, turning from a pale and dark white to a crimson shade.
The terrified Gear kept firing in the sniper’s direction, keeping it distracted. The noise of Hammerbursts and Longshots being fired echoed throughout the forest, turning silence into ruckus.
“Ugh, when is that Gear gonna flank them already,” muttured Julius under his breath as he fired some bullets at a weak-looking drone that had began to stumble and fall to the ground trying to strafe.
Seconds later, Lancer bullets began to hammer the mob of locusts from their left, making them roar cries of battle. A few of them looked into towards Sneaks once they noticed how much damage he was doing to their troops. Finally, one of the creatures let out a groan of agony as it slammed into the ground, blood spewing from wounds that were located all over its body.
Bullets were now occupying the area almost completely, flying in many various directions. All three of the gears had minor injuries, but they weren’t bad enough to stop them from battling their hearts out. Nor did any of the locusts that practically endlessly pummeled them with bullets.
Julius stayed focused, keeping a steady aim as he precisely fired bullets in the direction of the same drone that was on the ground but still holding its hammer burst.
Crouching back into cover, the gear reloaded then looked into Rob’s direction. The COG soldier let out groans of pain as he gripped his hand. It was bleeding heavily, staining the once blue gauntlet that covered the wound.
Julius was about to run over, then noticed that it would be an incredibly risky move, that could get him killed in a second. He popped his head up and glanced towards his enemies, that were firing in his direction, and Sneaks’.
“Sir, help me… please, the pain is killing me! I can’t do sh*t without-” Rob screamed in agony before he could finish his sentence. His hand was in tact, but a bullet had gone through the back of his palm, making a small gap that gushed a river of thick blood.
“Sneaks! Move back and get some more damn covering fire out! Rob got hit!” yelled Julius over the incredibly loud noise of guns unleashing bullets and bullets that pierced through the air.
“Will do!” responded Sneaks, screaming as he walked backwards laying down support.
Julius wasted no time, he quickly dove to his left, then sprinted towards the injured Gear.
“What the hell happened?” asked Julius as loud as he could, grabbing the bloody wound and closing it with his own two hands. He did not mind the blood leaking onto his gloves.
The warm, think liquid covered both of his hands in second as he tried to stop the blood from leaking out. The Gear looked for his satchel, which had medical supplies in it. Realizing it was back where he had been taking cover at, looked up quick. Seeing bullets being fired from close to him, he ducked back down, barely avoiding another bullet.
“Sneaks, I need a f*cking bandage!” cried Julius over the still-loud gunfire that engulfed and devoured almost every other sound that erupted in the area.
“A’ight! I’ll toss ya my med kit! Over here!”
Julius poked more of his upper body out this time, looking in Sneaks’ direction. A small white box with a faded red flew throughout the air, luckily not being hit by bullets. It landed a short distance in front of them, but before Julius could make a grab for the box, a bullet collided with his left shoulder and immediately pierced his body armor and skin.
Letting out a scream of agony, the gear clenched his shoulder with his left hand, wincing in pure pain
“F*ck!” Julius yelled, incredibly loud, staring at his wound. It felt as if somebody had shoved burning immulsion through his shoulder multiple times. The pain was so excruciating, the Gear collapsed to the ground. The bullet was still in his shoulder, it had ripped through multiple tissue and muscle. Slamming into the snowy ground hard, he closed his eyes, then opened them faintly. Two gears spraying bullets out of sight was the last thing Julius saw, as he blacked out.
Flames crackled throughout the burning building, creating an unbearable heat that devoured the oxygen in the air. Black smoke occupied a dark, brown sky as cries of fear and the sound of gunshots ringing out echoed throughout the scorching city.
Julius picked himself up, letting out a dozen hacking coughs, squinting his eyes at the heat. He looked around, seeing the corpses of his squad all over the apartment building. The mission to rescue his daughter and wife had been failed, they were too late.
The surviving gear’s entire right shoulder was incredibly burnt, the fire had turned the once tough skin to practical ashes, darker than a faint winter night.
Thick smoke clung to this throat, stopping him from speaking or anything, he also had a constant cough. The gear stared at his bad burn, searing with an intense amount of agony that paralyzed his once movable arm.
It was all his fault that he had gotten his squad killed. He begged his sergeant in command of three of their search squads to let them evacuate the building, since they’d already been there long enough. So they did.
Julius cursed in his mind, asking numerous questions to himself. He mouthed them, and finally he spoke one of his questions.
“Why’d… he,” the gear paused, letting out numerous coughs, then continued. “…have to make us evac… so-… many,” Julius knew the sergeant was making them overwork themselves since the other squad was doing a more important step in their mission. Apparently, evacuating the richer. Therefore, his squad had to evacuate the last two buildings on the block, and get as many civilians out as possible. Little did any of the gears know the locusts would have appeared so hastily.
Cracked and destroy concrete littered the ground, along with other items used in homes that weren’t wrecked in the attack. Not only were items on the ground, but there were two emergence holes surrounding the building.
Julius still wondered what the locusts were, and why they were attacking. So many unanswered questions swarmed the confused, and quite inexperienced gear’s mind.
He let out a sob, remembering his dead family, collapsing to the ground. Tears dripped from his eyes that glowed with sorrow. The gear figured he had no way of survival, since he barely knew where he was. The entire two-story building gave way without warning.
A loud roar echoed from behind Julius, making him spin around and gape at what was behind him, about to strike. It was a drone, carrying a light red hammer burst that shined in the flames. The brute’s pale white skin was slightly darker than the usual, and it had a scowl of evil engulfing its face.
The gear did not waste any time and began to sprint in the other direction. Hopping over the bloody and scorched corpses of his squad mates. The drone began to spray bullets in his direction, they whizzed by. Julius dove forward, almost being hit by a shot that would’ve killed him. He felt lucky, until he spotted a dead end short in front of him. Immediately, he took a left and began to get onto the road that was now cracked and full of huge holes.
Suddenly, he heard a noise that almost jolted his sorrowful and fearful mood to a pure joy. He heard a King Raven, above him. It was close, to him, making dust and other particles fly up into the air. The visibility diminished, making the gear pause. The drone was still firing, almost hitting Julius a few times, our of sheer luck.
The gear looked up and spotted the sergeant of his three squads. He could identify the old COG soldier by looking at his wrinkled, cocky, and pale face.
“Help me! Please!” Julius screamed, stumbling on concrete as the King Raven began to move away. He kept screaming, but got no response. Instead, the sergeant just looked at him, as the helicopter slowly moved away.
“No! Stop!” he screamed once again, but it was too late. The visibility returned, and the Raven vanished into the dark, burnt sky.
The gear kept sprinting, and was hit by a few bullets. They were absorbed by his body armor. But Julius knew that he was doomed. No more Ravens were in the sky, and the angered growl of the drone came closer to him.
But when he thought all was lost, a battle cry of a human, a gear, came from far behind them. Turning around, Julius spotted a gear with a lancer in hand. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, and had a fierce expression. The drone turned around as well, and tried to fire but was too late, instead, the mysterious gear shoved his chainsaw through the locust’s stomach. A scream of agony pierced the air, as the brute dropped to the ground with a loud thump. Thick crimson blood poured out of its stomach, staining the gray concrete under the corpse.
“Who the hell are you? Where’s ya’ damn squad?” spoke the gear, relaxing his battle stance.
“I’m Private, uh, Julius w- Warrdall,” he replied, looking back at his wound. “My squad is all dead, and that bird forgot to pick me up. My-, my sergeant was in there though. He was in charge of two other squads and mine.”
“Who are you?”
“Name’s Colt, I’ll tell ya more later, but I got a way to get us the hell outta here,” he paused, “Follow me.”
And so Julius did. They walked by destroyed buildings, collapsed and on fire. Suddenly, he spotted a small body on the ground near a fire, and it had blood all over the arms of it.
Julius ran over to the corpse as quickly as possible. He quickly identified it to be the corpse of a girl. He inspected the face, then realized something. It was his daughter.
The Gear began to break down crying. He didn’t mind that Colt was around either. He pressed his tough forehead against her body delicately and sobbed into it, hugging her as if she was still alive.
Her feet were scorched and there was blood all over her body. There was a single bullet hole on her upper and inner back. The area where her lungs and heart was. Her hands were also bloodied, but it didn’t look like it was from her wound.
Julius stayed sobbing, and cursing. He brought his head up and stared at Colt. The corporal stared in silence, honoring the death of his daughter, although he looked like he wanted his fellow gear to hurry up.
The sorrowful COG soldier looked up from his daughter’s corpse, and noticed a taller, female adult corpse about ten feet away. Practically in the remains of a burning building. After kissing his daughter’s dead body once more, he stood up and he cried, already knowing that it was his wife’s corpse. He jogged over immediately and hugged her.
“A...Amanda," he sobbed, clenching her body to his chest. She had three wounds, one in her arm and two in her back. Her shirt was a bloody mess and so was the concrete under her.
“Sorry man, but we gotta get going if we wanna get outta here in one piece,” spoke Colt, keeping his same expression.
Julius turned around. “I… I can’t…” he sobbed into her corpse once more, hugging it just as before. He didn’t even mind the blood that still leaked out of her body. The Gear felt as if he couldn’t leave her corpse behind, but he knew that both his daughter and wife had passed on. If he didn’t get out soon, he’d be dead just like them.
Kissing her cheek one last time, Julius stood up and looked at Colt, trying to stop himself from crying.
“Let’s… lu… lu… let’s go, we need to… to leave,” he sobbed, sniffling once then coughing.
The two wounded gears sprinted up hill as fast as they could, boots colliding with the broken concrete and kicking around destroyed items along with chunks of concrete all over the road.
After about fifteen minutes of jogging, they reached their destination. A King Raven sat on the destroyed road, as four COG soldiers loaded into it. Colt and Julius waved their hands to catch the attention of the pilot. Luckily, they did and quickly sprinted to the Raven.
“You guys see anyone else?” asked one of the Gears in the helicopter.
“You’re lucky, I’m thinkin’ this place’ll blow soon.”
“Damn, that’s a bad little burn you got there,” he added, looking at Julius’ shoulder.
Nobody else spoke as the King Raven lifted off and flew away from the small, destroyed city. Within seconds, an explosion went off and started a chain reaction. They could see locusts crawling out of emergence holes under them and firing, but it did nothing.
Back in conscience…
A hazy world entered his sights as Julius awoke, he was unable to move, and he could taste blood in his mouth.