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Chapter 2

Andrew stood waiting in single file with the other soldiers. As he stood, he heard other soldiers chatting. He did not listen, but a couple of words caught his attention. "Stolen blueprints."

"What about stolen blueprints?" he asked.

"Haven't you heard? There was a break-in at the weapons bunker back at the home base."

"How is that? It's heavily-guarded!"

"If you ask me, I don't think it was any normal thief."

"Oh here we go" said another soldier.

"Someone knew the code. It was a traitor. He got in and stole prototype blueprints for the Perseus armor."

"When did this happen," asked Andrew.

"A couple of days ago. Anyway, the Perseus armor is complete and should be heading our way in a couple of days, so looks like they'll have some catching up to do."

Andrew stepped away and entered his own thoughts. "My armor," he thought. "What if they get ahold of my armor? I should be at the home base right now on patrol!"

"AttennnTION!" the Pegasus-armored staff sergeant said. "As you know from, the maneuver from yesterday caused Southern forces to retreat! Now it's time to advance. There is an enemy base about 30 minutes East, and it's time we take it down. Now," he reached into his HYD-00-IX backpack brought out a weapon. "This here is the R100-RAILGUN. It is the finest electromagnetic weapon there is today. When we are close enough. Our sniper team will use these weapons to take down the security system. Then our explosive specialists will use grenade launchers to rile them up! While they're busy getting to safety, we will burst through the walls and wipe the perimeter clean. Do I make myself clear?" 

"Sir, yes sir!" they say in unison.

"Good! We will advance in 15 minutes. Get to your assigned vehicles!" 


The soldiers spread out. Andrew gets into the assigned 4x4 truck and takes a seat. As he waits, his helmet's built-in radio receiver goes off. *KZZRT* "Hey Andrew, it's Vincent."

"Hi. Do you need something?"

"Nah, I just wanted to say good luck on the battlefield. Also, I may have an idea of that 'special something'."

Andrew takes a look around to see he's the only one in the vehicle. "The armor is supposed to be discussed in discretion, but okay. What's the idea?"

"Well, you know how the Thunder armor has that booster?"

"Yeah, you've said it's your favorite part of that armor. What about it?"

"Well, maybe your armor could also have some sort of ability. You know, to give it a little kick."

"I see. That's not a bad idea. Do you have any sort of specialty in mind?"

"Well, no. But it could be a frame of reference."

"Hmm." Andrew reaches into his STK-06-ZZ backpack and pulls out his binder. He writes down the idea of an ability and puts it back in. "Thanks for the info, Vince. I got to go now."

"Be seeing you on the battlefield!" *KZZRT*


Before Andrew knew it, there were other soldiers by him and the back door was closed. The vehicles take off into the field. About 25 minutes of silence, followed by a transmission. *KZZRT* "Okay, soldiers. We are nearing the base. Sergeant Smith, do you read?"

"Loud and clear, sir."

"Good. Get your railguns ready!"

"Roger." *KZZRT*

"Brace yourselves, men. This could get-" *KZZRT* A rocket strikes one of the 5 4x4's. *BOOOOOM* "What the Hell!? They knew we were coming! Sergeant Smith, NOW!" 

A hatch atop one of the trucks opens. Sergeant Smith rises up in his Atom armor. He points his R100-RAILGUN steadily and fires. *PEWWWWWWW* Suddenly, the alarm stops. Two sentries atop the guard towers fire their grounded machine guns. *POWPOWPOWPOW* Sergeant Smith ducks and switches to his NOVA27 laser rifle. *PEWPEWPEWPEWPEW* A sentry goes down and a siren sounds. *WEEEEEEEEWWWW* Smith gets his railgun ready again and fires. *PEWWWWWWW* The siren then stops. *POWPOWPOWPOW* He points his railgun again. *PEWWWWWWW* The second sentry falls down. The 4x4's surround the base and come to a halt. Troops burst out, among them the explosives crew. They fire their grenade launchers. *BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM* "Nice and easy, men. Annnnd cease!" They stop. "Now!" Three 4x4's burst through the gate. Troops burst out, but see themselves in a rut. 10 enemy soldiers carrying RPG weapons, pointing at them from a higher floor. "Drop your weapons!"

"Damn it! Do what he says", the staff sergant says. They lower their weapons and put their hands in the air.

"Good, now I want you to take about twenty steps outside, and we'll go ahead and take these vehic—BLUR!" The enemy soldier is dead. The other 9 soldiers look around frantically. *PEWWWWWW* Three others are killed. Four more lasers strike towards the remaining 6. "FIRE!" *FEEWWWWWW* *BOOM* "Did we get them—GAH!" "FIRE AGAIN! FIRE IN ALL DIRECTIONS!" *FEWWW FEWWWW FEWWW FEWWW* *BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM* "*PEWWWWW*" Two more are killed. "COME OUT AND FACE US LIKE REAL MEN!" *FEWWWWW* BOOM* 

No more sounds. "Silent treatment? Bull!" *FEWWWW* BOOM* Andrew kneels over to get his weapon. The other soldiers see his action and do the same. "Alright", one of the remaining 4 enemy soldiers says. "I got you now!" *POWPOWPOWPOW* *FEWWWW* "GAH!" *BOOM* 3 left. 

"Okay, I've had enough of this!" a remaining soldier says. "Say hi to your-" *thud* *PEWPEWPEWPEWPEW* All remaining enemy soldiers dead.

"Got-dang, Sergeant Smith! That was pretty damn impressive!"

"*KZZRT*" "Thanks... Sir, I'm all that's left. My squadron is down."

"Heavy casualties, yes. Now let's raid the rest of this base!" 

The other soldiers raid the base, only to find no other persons and no supplies.

"Empty. They left those heavy grunts to deal with us while the rest of them got away. But how? How did they know exactly when we'd be coming?"


Late at night now. The remaining soldiers rest. Andrew wrote more into his binder. "Heavy duty", he thought. "Slow, but can take a lot of hits. At that rate, the user would be writing his own will. Hmmm ability. Speed, as an emergency ability. Maybe something extra. But what?" He writes the ability ideas and puts his binder away. He steps outside the barracks to see Sergeant Smith standing in the distance, holding a cigarette. "Great work there. I really thought I was a goner."

"Oh, yeah you're welcome", Smith says.

"Are you alright? What with all your squad being dead."

"Yeah, I'm fine. It IS what I signed up for anyway. Just glad to have my head on my body."

"Aren't we all?"

"Yep." Smith inhales his cigarette and looks up at the sky. "The Andromeda Constellation is shining extra bright tonight."

"Ah, yes. Especially Alpha Andromedae. Ruling over all the other stars. I tell you what, that star always lifts my spirits."

Smith clears his throat.

"Anyway, one of the guys was talking about a traitor among us. Early blueprints for the Perseus armor was stolen a couple of days ago."

Smith froze. "A traitor... Can't say I'm surprised. That bastard will pay."

"Well, I gotta go now. Talk to you later, Alan."

"Mmhmm."

Andrew had trouble sleeping that night. For thirty minutes, he worried about the traitor stealing his armor. His anxiety eventually tired him to sleep.

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