The screens of my mech slowly came back online, bringing the dark interior of the ship into view. We were packed loosely in the Ipabog, which was clearly made to carry far more mechs than our current squad had. Never did the hull of a transport feel so empty. We were suspended just a few centimeters above the floor by deployment harnesses that connected to our mech’s shoulders and upper torsos. They did little to keep us stable. They were in storage mode to conserve space, but they didn’t need to be. Their weapons were folded tightly to their mechanical arm assemblies. Their bird-like legs were collapsed in on themselves, giving them a blocky pod shape. Our mechs still rocked slightly in their suspensions, as the inertia dampeners hadn’t even been turned on.
I took a moment to look over my mechs HUD one more time. The screen showed a real-time display of the outside world. The camera could see in an eighty-degree range, for fifteen hundred meters; three thousand meters with the extended scope. On my left, was a grid display of my mech, showing its current state. It was currently operating at 95% efficiency. Beneath that was a set of applications built into the mechs computer. There were the options to open the com-links, adjust the sight overlays, there was even a built-in music app; though there were only five songs available, and they were state-sponsored propaganda. In the bottom corner, the armor's current charge life was shown. These scout mechs weren’t big enough to use the nuclear or hydrogen powerplants that the heavy mechs could carry. The charge was at 99%, with a charge life of forty-eight hours. The right side was mostly barren, except for the bottom corner. It would normally display a count of the ammunition for my weapons. Instead, my mech displayed an energy level of how much energy I was using for one of my powers. It had slowed down since we first entered the transport, however, I was understandably still on edge.
“Attention.” The transport captains voice called over the squad inter-com. “We are approaching the deployment site. Prepare to disembark.”
My heart skipped a beat as a loud ‘Clunk’ filled the hold. I looked down to see the floor beneath us slowly opening. The glinting greenish-blue ocean slowly replaced the shadow cast steel of the ship's floor. Once the door was fully opened, my mind began to warp my perception again. Making the open hatch appear like the maw of a monster. I shook myself back to reality. I would not give in to these illusions, no matter how real they felt.
My attention was drawn to the sounds of the engines. Its gentle hum had changed to a constant low drone as is entered a slow hover over the deployment area. He hadn’t completely stopped, but we were moving just slow enough for an accurate drop.
A sharp hiss suddenly filled my speakers. It was coming from Jax’s mech, towards the front left of the hold. His harness was coming undone. The metal struts attached to his mechs shoulders unscrewed with a hiss of pressurized steam; followed by the ones attached to the top of the torso. Finally, the cables wedged under his mechs arms disconnected, sending him and his armor plummeting into the water below. I saw him fall the fifteen-meter drop, and land with a loud splash.
This process continued quickly, each of us dropping in short order. Sek was the next to drop, followed by Manon then Silvia. They all disappeared beneath the seemingly calm ocean.
Finally, it was my turn. I gripped the arms of my chair as tightly as I could and swallowed hard. I heard the familiar hiss of the struts detaching directly beside me. My armored cage jostling as the shoulder came free. The struts directly above me came undone a fraction of a second later, making me think of teeth letting go of a particularly tough piece of meat. Finally, I was only being sustained by a tight jumble of cords wedged into the underarms of my mech. The feeling of just hanging there was awkward, to say the least. Like I was floating above a gate to hell. I tightened my safety belt, shut my eyes, and accepted the inevitable. The cords came undone, and I fell from the safety of the ship.
During my free-fall, my body began to tingle with anxiety. I took a quick peek at the outside world. For that brief moment, it felt like time stood still. I could see the starry sky of Tallinn VI, with Tallinn Prime just coming over the horizon. The shadowy gas giant loomed over ocean moon, keeping it just warm enough so it didn’t freeze like it did millions of years ago. Time went back to normal, and I hit the water hard.
I was shaken violently in my seat on impact. My war machine easily broke the water’s surface tension and started sinking. I quickly opened my mech’s position app to see how deep I was going. Within those few seconds, I was already 5 meters down and falling fast.
Seconds passed like hours as I waited to reach the floor of this damnable ocean. On the way down, I did my best to take in every sound and movement in my range. I constantly checked my flank cameras, sent out pings on my sonar, and kept a sharp ear out for any signs of the enemy. It was a bit hard, as the light of the stars slowly faded away. Occasionally, my mind would start playing tricks on me, mostly by showing me things that weren’t really there. A shadow off in the distance, blurs appearing out of the corner of my vision, and other such illusions. It wasn’t anything I wasn’t used to at this point, but they still gave me a jump.
Finally, after what felt like an hour, I could see my squad, their floodlights glowing like a beacon of hope in the dark depths. Due to the weak currents in this part of the ocean, the ground was mostly rock, with small patches of algae stitched around. My squad had gathered around Sek, seemingly awaiting my arrival. I checked my positioning app again. We were a little more than a kilometer down.
My mech crashed to the ground with a dull ‘Thud’. I quickly typed in my mechs unlock code, initiating its transformation. The thighs quickly slid forward and snapped into place, as the leg assembly unfolded like a roosting bird of prey. I rose to the same high as the rest of my squad, towering above the ground. My mechs arms unfolded as well. They almost looked like they were stretching after a long sleep as the claws extended and fell at my mechs side. With that, my mech was fully operational.
“Nice of you to join us, Aya.” Jax said playfully over the com.
I did my best not to snap at him in anger. I knew he was just being friendly, and I could appreciate that. However, my mind was more focused on the task at hand.
“Nice to see you too, Jax.” I said, join the formation.
“Alright team.” Sek said, immediately drawing our attention with her commanding and charismatic voice. “Form up on me. Jax, Silvia, you’re on forward patrol. Manon, you’re on flank protection. Aya, You’re on fire support.”
Without hesitation, we all moved into the familiar formation. Jax and Silvia moved fifty meters in front of us, scanning the area for enemies. I moved my mech a few meters behind Sek, ready to provide fire support in any direction. Finally, Manon moved her mech thirty meters behind our formation. When she reached her position, her mech’s torso spun on its waist gyro, covering our rear flank.
“Alright!” Sek said congratulatory. “Now, everyone, open your maps.”
We did as she said, finding that we were in the lowlands of a small mountain range not far from our position. The area beyond it was blacked out, showing it hadn’t been mapped yet. A small green trail appeared on the map, showing our scouting path. The mountain range was around six kilometers from our current position.
“Alright, everyone, follow the path, and stay on high alert.”
Sek was really trying to emphasize the high alert part. After the losses we’ve taken over these past four weeks, we could take no chances.
"Tamshi Ealaa!" She shouted, and our squad sprang to life, moving to the highlighted path.
We quickly marched through the lowland plain, the smooth rock surface not slowing us in the slightest. After the quick hike through the plains, we found ourselves at the base of a small mountain range. The base was reasonably angled, allowing us to scale it easily. The taloned feet of our mechs gave them unparalleled mobility over rough terrain, including climbing mountains. However, at the eighty-meter mark, it continued up too steeply for us to just walk up. At that point, we began to walk around the mountain, trying to see if we could get a good vantage point.
We eventually found a thin shelf that continued around the mountain. However, it was incredibly thin, making it so that we all had to cross in tight formation.
"It's too good of a vantage point to give up." Sek said, with a hint of hesitance in her voice.
We all knew that going down that path would leave us immensely exposed, but it would be a lot faster than going around the base of the mountain. With heavy hearts, we followed Sek's orders. Jax and Manon were the first down the path, followed by Sek, then me, and Silvia bringing up the rear. We kept the standard ten-meter clearance between us, but it wasn't easy. We heard the stone crack with every step we took. Bits of the rock on the edge of the shelf broke off and slowly sank to the bottom. We knew that one wrong move would send us falling into the depths.
After a few minutes of carefully placed foot-falls, Jax told us he had a visual on the other side. We all connected to Jax's camera and were floored by what we saw.
Just behind the mountain range, was a valley that stretched for about half a kilometer, before dropping into a massive chasm. Zooming in on the visible wall of the chasm, there were multiple tunnels and pockets that appeared to be covered in some sort of alien webbing. We had stumble across a Gorgon Hive, and we were in deep.
"Alqar!" Sek quietly swore, which was her way of saying "holy shit".
"Manon, send a message to base. Tell them..." She ordered, however before she could finish, she was interrupted by the familiar low growl of an all to the familiar threat.
Out from the ether, came a massive, bestial form. It writhed through the water like a serpent out of ancient legends. Its tail split into three whipping tentacles as long as a Bogatyr super-heavy walker. It's head was like that of a massive goblin shark, its long, sword-like snout easily cutting through the water as it went. There was no question. It was a D'yavol-akula, one of the most fearsome predators on this planet.
“Everyone, freeze!” Sek commanded.
Our entire squad froze in place. We know well what a D'yavol could do. They hunted primarily by sensing movements through the water, its large snout acting like a motion detector. The range of its senses was immense. They seemed able to sense things from hundreds of meters away.
Jax stopped his mech dead in its tracks. His camera was still locked on the behemoth swimming through the chasm. It slowly came closer, revealing more of its monstrous form. It was roughly thirty five-meters in length, with black and dark yellow markings to show that it was a full-grown female. It lacked any eyes, sight being unnecessary in a low light environment. It had two small fins on the side of its shark-like torso, along with a pair of small, primitive claws. Its mouth hung open slightly, reviling it's sharp tungsten-tipped teeth, each the size of an old greatsword. Along with its immense bite force, its jaws could easily tear through a scout mechs armor.
Just then, we saw something quickly dart across Jax screen.
"You see that?" he asked, clearly scared for his life.
Before any of us could answer, something slammed into his mech. In a flash, Jax's camera was taken up by the twisted and disgusting face of a Gorgon. Its gaunt features and skeletal grimace gave it the look of death incarnate. It's four, small, red eyes glaring at Jax, with what could only be described as unbridled hatred. It's bestial maw snapped open, it's lower jaw splaying apart like that of a snake. In the back of the monster's throat, where a humans tonsils would be, sat two small glands, with modified veins to act as spray nozzles. The Gorgon let out a hiss, before spraying a jet of Sulfuric Acid directly into Jax's main camera. The screen when to static almost immediately.
I heard Jax scream in terror over the comm. I immediately tapped into Manon's cam to see what was happening. He began flailing his mech's arm, trying to knock the Gorgon off his armor. It had a long, flexible, shark-like tail, that made it almost as long as the mech's torso and gave it unparalleled maneuverability underwater. It only vaguely resembled the human form from the waist up. It had four limbs, the bottom two where small underdeveloped arms, the upper two were massive raptorials, like those of a mantis. It had those raptorials latched behind the mech's shoulders, putting it in a veritable stranglehold.
Manon took a quick stride forward closing the distance between her and Jax in one short dash. She raised her mech's fist, extending the Thermal Blade attached to the forearm. With one slash, the burning-hot blade cleaved the Gorgon in half. The creature hissed in pain but maintained its death grip on Jax. Manon quickly grabbed the alien and attempted to tear it from Jax. However, it was too late. Jax's screams suddenly went quiet, as a blast of air bubbles erupted from the hole the Gorgon had burned in Jax's armor.
The machine stood motionless as Manon tore the alien from it.
"Jax!" she screamed, as she tossed aside the corpse.
Before she could do anything, our attention was immediately drawn to the roar of the D’yavol.
"Look out!" Sek shouted. "More Gorgons. Three o'clock!"
I turned my armor on its waist to see a swarm of Gorgons, descending at us from the mountains like a hail of arrows. Most of them were unarmed, but some of them carried primitive harpoon guns. Normally a harpoon wouldn’t do much more than scratch the paint on one of our mechs. However, their harpoons where tipped with an unstable psychic reactive crystal, that effectively turned it into a low yield torpedo.
We immediately opened fire upon them. Sek, Manon, and Silvia all fired their Laser Carbines into the descending swarm. Several of the monsters were killed instantly from the superheated shots. Others continued their charge with massive chunks of their flesh blasted off. I focused my psychic energy into my hands. I focused on my anger and negativity and projected it on the oncoming aliens. Bolts of plasma began to form around my mech's hands and I fired them into the fray. I saw a handful of Gorgons get fried or explode from my attack. However, many more of them evaded my attack with little effort.
One of the Harpoon carriers closed in and fired at the shelf we were standing on. There was a massive explosion beneath us. The rock quaked and crumbled away, sending us falling to the ground.
I recoiled in terror as the ground beneath me gave way. I caught myself, using my power to keep my mech upright. I knew that If my mech fell over, it would be a death sentence. The rest of my squad used there armor's jump-jets to keep themselves upright.
The Gorgons swarmed around us as we fell. They streamed past us, carving deep fissures in our armor with their acid and trying to knock us off balance. However, we continued to fire back, with laser bolts and slashes from our Thermal Blades.
We finally crashed to the ground. My armor had sustained some damage, but I was relatively fine compared to the rest of my squad. Silvia had suffered damage all across her armor, but her weapons were still usable. Sek had lost the hydraulics in her Thermal Blade, bleeding clouds of yellow chemicals into the water. Manon was by far the worst. She had lost her mech's left leg, leaving her immobilized.
“Everyone, fighting retreat! Run for the opening passage! Double time!” Sek commanded frantically.
As much as it pained me, we had to leave Manon behind. There was nothing we could do to help her. We also stood no chance against a D’yavol, or a swarm of Gorgons. The best chance we had to survive, was to outrun them.
We quickly turned ourselves around and ran to the opening pass of the mountain.
I risked a glance in my rear-view camera. I saw at least Twenty Gorgons swarm over Manon, her screams for help ringing out over the comm. I couldn't listen. I fought back tears as I muted her comm.
I felt like I was about to vomit. Images of them flashed before my eyes. They were such pleasant and loyal teammates. I almost admired Jax's optimistic outlook on life. Yet all he earned for his dedication and loyalty to us, was a shallow grave in the depths of this hell-scape.
“Aya, quick, snap out of it.” Sek shouted over the com. “Their coming!”
I came back to reality, setting my armor to top speed. As we raced out of the pass, I risked a look in my flank camera. I saw the disgusting forms of the Gorgons swarming behind us, their shrieks ringing through my speakers. However, the horror that drew my attention the greatest, was the knife-like head of the D’yavol bearing down on me.
It roared at me, it's mouth gaping open, ready to rip open my armor. I turned my armor on its waist, ready for what I thought would be my final struggle. Suddenly, one of Silvia’s torpedo slammed into it's pointed nose, blasting off a large chunk of it's flesh. It pulled out of it's dive, it's motion senses scrambled by the sudden explosion.
As my mech ran, I saw Silvia, and Sek firing into the swarm as they ran. Bolts of infrared radiation rapidly firing from their Photon-Carbines. The bolts left a handful of the aliens charred on impact. Much more where impaled by the blazing hot laser blasts, searing them from the inside.
However, it didn’t take long for the hive-mind to adapt. Within seconds, the Gorgons used their superior maneuverability to scatter and make them harder to hit.
I looked away from the D’yavol and returned my attention to the Gorgons, spinning around on my mech’s waist gyro. I saw three Gorgons charging me directly, with two trying to flank me to my right. I began to slow down and focused on my negativity. My anger at my superiors, my hatred for these aliens, and my sadness at the death of Jax and Manon. I extend my arms, the crystals in my mechs wrists glowing a dark red. With a quick snap of the wrist, two dark red plasma beams fire from my mech’s palms.
The super-heated plasma lanced down range. Searing through two of the approaching Gorgons. I quickly curved my mechs arms, scissoring the third one in half.
"Aya, behind you!" Sek shouted over the comm.
I quickly turned to my right, facing two Gorgons that where flanking me. They charged me, too quickly for me to fire another Plasma Lance. One of them fired a harpoon at me. I brought up my armor's hand, summoning a wall of psychic plasma. The harpoon collided with the wall, exploding in a shower of crystallized salt molecules, knocking me back a step. In my opposite arm, I formed an energy blade. With a quick pivot of my waist, I cleaved them both in half.
I took off running again, trying to catch up with what was left of my unit. The Gorgons were surrounding them, swarming them from all sides. They continued running, rapidly firing into the horde in hopes to deter the aliens.
I ran towards them, charging another Plasma Lance. As I joined the formation, I fired into the horde, vaporizing two Gorgons instantly.
“Aya, shield!” Sek shouted.
I did as she ordered. I raised both of my mech’s hands, focusing on my want to protect my squad. With these thoughts, I formed a small energy bubble around us, that we could fire out off, but the Gorgons couldn’t get in. They formed up around me, firing out into the swarm. The Gorgons pelted our shield with harpoons and acid spray, but I did all I could to keep the shield up.
"Firebase Pervyy!" Sek shouted. "This is Lieutenant Sek-Mah, of the First Recon Squad. We have come under assault by several dozen hostile aliens. Requesting immediate evac!"
Before she could receive a response, the D’yavol let out another roar. I looked up to see it coming back around for a second attack. The Gorgons scattered as the massive leviathan descended at us, it's maw gaping opening.
Silvia fired another torpedo at the beast. It collided with its upper torso, however, this time it was not deterred.
“Scatter!” Sek command.
I quickly dispersed the shield and dashed out of the D’yavol’s path. Sek did the same, however, it was too late for Silvia. She tried to fire off another missile, however, before she could fire it a Gorgon fired a harpoon at it. The resulting explosion threw off her aim, sending the torpedo screaming off into the distance. With her one defense against the monster rendered moot, the D'yavol sank its teeth into the mechs hull.
However, I had no time to worry about Silvia, as I quickly found myself surrounded by Gorgons. I counted at least a dozen of the shark like monstrosities. They circled around me like birds of prey.
I had no time to think. My fight or flight instincts immediately kicked in right as they began to close in. I formed energy blades around both my mechs hands and gave in to my rage.
I slashed wildly at the onrushing tide of serpentoid abominations, using my psychic power quicken my armor's movement. I slashed through the first one, splitting it from head to belly as it tried to grab me with its raptorials. I saw another coming at me in my rear camera. I spun on my armors waist and stabbed it through its head. It's skull splattered apart, splashing my main camera with its dark green viscera, rendering me blind to everything in front of me. Thankfully, I was so filled with adrenaline that my battle-scene had kicked into overdrive. I could sense where the next one would attack.
Another came from my right, while another struck from above. I made a wide arching swing. Cleaving the Gorgon above me in half, and forcing the other to dodge. With my other hand, I pinned it to the rocky ground with a plasma lance, then split it with an upward slash through its spine. I refused to let up. I slashed and stabbed wildly at my assailants, not missing a beat with my flurry of attacks.
This fight dragged out for what felt like hours until there was a brief lull in the fighting. I used those precious seconds to clean the gore splatter from my main camera. For a moment the oceanic hellscape came back into view, before being eclipsed by a shadowy form. I saw a Gorgon, that must have been the same size as my mech. It glared at me, lunging forth with one of its raptorials. In a split second reaction, I ignited another blade and burned it in the monster's chest. I shut my eyes in revulsion, as it hissed out a dying shriek. However, as it died, I noticed something strange in its voice. As it's alien wailes trail off, I noticed a slight familiarity to them. The death cry of a woman.
My stomach sank as I slowly lifted my eyes to see the source of the cry. The form of the Gorgon slowly warped away, reviling its true form, a Cossack-class light mech, with the symbol of the New Soviet Union on its right sholder, and my fist was buried up to the forearm in its cockpit.
I drew my fist from the mech's chassis, pulling along circuity and debris with it. I held back vomit as I saw the single thing that I never wanted to see in all my years of exiting, Sek's corpse, floating lifelessly in the water. My vision clouded with tears as all my most precious memories of her and I flashed before me. Every order she gave me that lead to victory, every word of positivity she told me, every kiss we shared and every night of long passionate loving. All of it was shattered before my eyes.
I extended my mechs hand, pulling her body closer. My body felt hollow and soulless as I saw her mech collapse to the ground. It felt like something inside me died along with her. I clasped her silver body with both hands, holding her protectively to my armors chassis. The silence of my world was suddenly broken by the distorted clicking communications of the Gorgons, a chorus of mocking cackles.
I felt disconnected from this world, my heart and mind filling with pure, unbridled despair. I felt it bubble up in the back of my throat, like the acid of the alien filth, who drove me to kill the only one I ever truly loved. The vile scum of this cruel universe who tortured me and my corp for weeks on end. This burning hate and sorrow erupted out of my mouth in the form of a psychically amplified roar. The powerful shockwaves rang out across through the ocean, shaking and cracking the very ground beneath me. My mech could barely contain my cries. My screens cracked, and my armor began to buckle and bend from the force of my roar.
I had no more restraints, nothing holding my psychic might in check, nothing binding me to this world anymore. Now I could cut loose and use my full power. I no longer cared about my own safety. All that mattered to me at that point was destroying every last alien in my sight.
I looked at my surroundings. Many Gorgons floated motionless in the water, either stunned or killed outright by the force of the blast. The D’yavol, hung around the mountains, chewing what remained of Silvia. However, my attention was drawn to Silvia's Torpedo gun, laying in a pile of scraped remains about a hundred meters from me.
I clutched Sek's body in my fist and made a dash for the rail-gun. In a few quick strides, it was within reach. With a heavy heart, I laid Sek down on the ground and picked up the rail-gun. Thankfully, the module joint was mostly undamaged. I quickly typed in the arm module access code. With that, I gave the order to detach the left arm. I felt a sudden jolt of pain in my arm, then it went numb as I heard the mech's arm fall to the ground. I strained myself trying to use my Telekinesis to haul the launcher into place. My head throbbed painfully before I heard a click, and the computer beeping as it accepted the new weapon system.
I turned to face the D’yavol, seeing that I had attracted its attention. It was charging me, its teeth bared at me. I rested my armor's right hand on the barrel of the rail-gun. I focused my wrath and negativity, channeling it into the round loaded in the chamber.
"Burn eļļā!" I screamed as I took aim, and fired.
The rail-gun kicked heavily as it launched its payload. The torpedo was writhed in a deep crimson energy and bolted out the barrel like a bullet. It sailed into the monster's mouth and detonated in the back of its throat. The back of its head erupted in a bright, burning, red flash. Viscera went flying everywhere as the vile abomination let out a roar of pure agony. It slammed to the ground before me, just barely hanging on to life.
However, my bloodlust was still not sated. I grabbed hold of its long snout and sent pulses of concentrated psychic energy across every nerve it could still feel, keeping its brain alive while causing it immense pain. I wanted this evil alien to act as my connection to the Gorgon Hive-Mind. I wanted them all to feel even the slightest fraction of the pain and suffering they caused me and my team. I took a quick peek at my flank camera. I saw the few remaining Gorgons, writhing in pain as D’yavol was still alive to transfer it to them.
For the first time in weeks, I cracked an actual smile. My rage and sorrow became mixed with a sense of sadism and damn-near Schadenfreude. I even began to laugh, growing from a low chuckle of the mad cackle of a woman who had clearly lost her mind. This was just the beginning. I forced more energy into the D'yavol, more hate, more misery, more pain.
"This is for Jax!" I shouted, as I charged up a massive pulse of energy, and released it into the creature.
It's body spasmed and released a muted roar from what remained of its throat.
"And this is for Manon!" I shouted as I released another pulse. "And Silvia!" I cried, letting another wave tear across its nerves. "And Sek!" I roared, letting one last pulse violently flash across its body.
I let go of the alien, taking a brief second to look over it. The D'yavol was barely clinging to life. It's gills flapped slowly, it's moaning was barely audible, and it has visible scorch marks all across its head and torso, from my torture.
I clenched my armors fist tightly, forming an energy blade. Walked over to the crown of the monsters head.
"And this is for everyone else your god damned kind have killed!" I screamed as I plunged the blade directly into the alien's brain.
My blade easily seared through the flesh and bone and jammed directly into the brain-matter. As soon as I felt I had pierced the brain, I flooded its cranium with psychic plasma, slowly vaporizing its brain, slaughtering it like the sub-human beast it was.
I stepped back, finally able to take in my surroundings. The bodies of Gorgons littered the ground and water. Clouds of green blood slinked across the ground like miniature thunderstorms. Bits of stone and metal debris hung in the water like asteroids. It looked like some sort of underwater tornado had just hit.
Just then, I remembered that the hive was still intact. Meaning, that there were potentially Gorgon eggs and resources that I couldn't let them recover. I took off running as fast as I could, through the mountain pass, and directly to the hive opening.
I looked down into the abyss, seeing the worker Gorgons and their pack-animals scurrying to gather their resources and clean up the victims of my psychic torture. I could even see the queen of this hive. I could tell it apart from the rest by its disgustingly bloated tail, filled to the brim with unfertilized eggs. It was only able to move thanks to the two massive membranous fins on its back. I knew I couldn't let any of them leave this place.
I lowered my rail-gun, took aim, and fired. The torpedo screamed down the crevice and collided directly with the queen, detonating in a radiant explosion of psychic energy. The ground quaked and the walls of the fissure cracked as the queen and many other of her workers where painfully vaporized by the blast. Before the first blast could clear, I fired again, raining death from above like an angel of vengeance. All the while, screaming the most vulgar obscenity I could think of.
As I fired, large chunks of the canyon walls collapsed, burring Gorgons beneath several tons of stone, and caving in the tunnels. I saw a group of Gorgons trying to escape on the other side of the canyon. I raised my other hand and fired a plasma lance at them. The leader was vaporized in an instant, halting the rest long enough to for me to fire a round at them. The explosion annihilated them in outright and collapsed a massive shelf on the right side of the canyon.
Within half a minute, the entire hive had been leveled, and every disgusting alien obliterated. I looked around at the destruction I had wrote. Much of the floor was buried beneath what must have been a few kilotons of rock and alien gore. Small clouds of stone and blood drifted across the scene. As far as I knew, none of the Gorgons had managed to escape, leaving my mission complete. Yet, I still felt so empty. My entire squad laid dead, along with my girlfriend.
I laid back, resting my head on my chair. My mind began to wonder, as I thought about Sek. I began to wonder where she was now. I was never a religious person, but I knew Sek was. I began to think of the stories she told me about the Bal-lio faith, namely their idea of heaven. They believed only great leaders and their followers would go to heaven and live in luxury and pleasure forever.
I was certain Sek fit into the standards of a great leader, and my squadmates were her followers. If they were up there with her, I knew they were in good hands.
"Sargent Vdokhnov." a voice crackled over my comm. "This is Zubr 6. We have found your signature. Requesting you move to embark. ETA: five minutes."
I shivered. I would rather die than go back and serve under their command again. I had no one left in this world, nor any desire to continue living, might as well get it over with. I lowered the rail-gun. Prepared to destroy the ground beneath me, sending me and my armor plummeting into the abyss.
I was just about to pull the trigger when suddenly, I felt a presence in my cockpit. It was a warm and powerful presence. I felt it touch my hand, stopping me from pulling the trigger. Then a thought came to my mind. My mission was not yet complete. If I wanted to avenge my comrades, there was still more to do. As long as The Gorgons still tormented my fellow soldier, I owed it to them to cleanse this world of this menace.
With a heavy heart, I turned and made my way to the Transport. Leaving the ruins of my past behind me.