Chapter 3

All soldiers were called out immediately to the main area this morning. As they waited, they saw a large metal cargo container. The container was opened and was filled with wooden boxes. "This here is a delivery of fresh supplies from the home base." the staff sergeant said. "Among these boxes are also units of state of the art Perseus armor. Take what you can." The soldiers discarded their previous suits and equipped the Perseus armors. Andrew was excited as he left his Draco armor and STK-06-ZZ for the Perseus armor and HYD-OO-IX. "Don't you want a new suit, Vincent?"

"Nah, I'll just stick with my Thunder armor."

"Suit yourself."

"Sergeant Smith!" said the Staff Sergeant. Alan stepped forward.

"Sir, yes sir?"

"Given your outstanding performance at the enemy base, here is a suit of Mithril-powered Phoenix armor. You've more than earned it."

"Sir, I'll cherish it sir!"

The other soldiers whispered to each other as Alan switched from Atom to Phoenix. "Mithril-powered, Mithril-powered. Mithril-powered."

"Yes, Mithril-powered. Just as my Pegasus armor's Mithril contents will protect me from attacks 15% of the time."

Andrew wrote into his binder as the Staff Sergeant continued talking.

"Now, as some of you know, the enemy knew of our raid ahead of time. This explains the low amount of forces, the missing supplies, as well as the sentry's timing with that rocket. I am becoming suspicious that the enemy has some sort of trick of their sleeve, which is giving them notice of our moves. We will be performing maintenance at this base, so we will not be advancing today. The enemy was repelled and this area has been secured. Think of this as your day off. Any questions?"

"Sir, no sir!"

"Good. Enjoy yourselves."

Andrew spent this time working on his secret project. He called a friend back home via his helmet's HUD.

"Andy! What can I do ya for?"

"Hey, Koji. I've been working hard on the armor, and-"

"Working hard? Hah! I've been the one building this thing for you. And it got real scary after that break-in during the night. Anyway, this thing is pretty much good to go."

"About that, I've been working on that 'special something', and someone suggested that it be an ability."

"Now THAT'S how you use the old noggin. So what did you have in mind?"

"Well, I'm thinking of multiple things. For one, I think a speed overdrive will be useful."

"That's a good idea, because this thing is as slow as a Tank... no pun intended, hehehe. Anything else?"

"No, but if you have any ideas, feel free to experiment."

"Will do."

"I must go now. Let me know how things work out."

"Don't you worry. This beaut' will outshine all the other armors!" *KZZRT*

The hours went by fast. Before anyone knew it, sundown had come. Andrew still sat indoors writing in his binder. Suddenly, his concentration was interrupted as a siren sounded. *RRR RRR RRR RRR* He equipped his Perseus armor and bolted out of the building. As he opened the door, he saw something he did not expect—Southern soldiers attacking. He got out his TB10-LW and began aiming, only to be rocketed in the air by an explosion. All he heard were high-pitched pinging sounds. "Meta!", he heard. "Andrew Meta!" He opened his eyes to see Alan and Vincent standing over him. "Get up" Alan said as he held out his hand. Andrew got back on his feet.

"What are Southerners doing here!?"

"I don't know" said Alan.

"Maybe they're smarter than we think" Vincent said.

"Let's see how smart they are when their heads are filled with bullets!" said Alan again. "Gentlemen, spread out!"

They do so, off to help in any way they can. Andrew hid behind a vehicle as he shot several enemies unnoticed. Eventually, someone saw him and opened fire. Andrew took cover, standing near a different part of the vehicle. "Hahaha, you Northern cowards!" the soldier said as he fired from his gun. "Always hiding and hoping."

"What are you talking about? You're the ones who have been running off! The repell? The incident regarding your base? What about that?" 

"Oh, our army is just getting warmed up! Just you wait!"

"Enough!" he said before piercing the enemy's armor in the chest. 

"GAH!" He fell to the ground and Andrew approached him. Suddenly, a grenade falls off his body. "See you in Hell!"

"NO!" He ran about 10 feet before the grenade exploded. *BOOM* He was flung to the side of the vehicle. "Ugh, my ass!" As he got up, he heard machine sounds. *SOISOISOISOISOISOI* 

"Helicopter!" a soldier said. "TAKE COVER!" Andrew quickly hid behind the vehicle once more as bullets were shot in bursts. Other soldiers shot at the helicopter as it flew over the base. *PING PING* The sounds of the metal being struck. *POWPOWPOWPOWPOW* In seconds, the attacking soldiers were a pile of mush. Andrew rushed to the nearest building. Inside were Vincent, the Staff Sergeant, and four soldiers in Cygni armor. "Where's Alan?" Andrew asked.

Vincent said "Probably still out there, the poor bastard."

"Corporal Sullivan" the Staff Sergeant said. "That chopper will not stop until every last one of us are dead. I managed to get this before getting to cover." He takes from his backpack, the mighty RPG-31. "This thing is a monster—just the thing that will take down that chopper."

"Sir, you don't mean..."

"Yes, I do, Corporal. I am trusting you to destroy that sonuvabitch. Get behind those tattered walls in the distance, then go in for the kill! These four brave men will escort you to the safest point. Any questions?"

"Sir, no sir!"

"Good luck" he said as he saluted Andrew.

"Give em' Hell" said Vincent as Andrew left.

Andrew and the Cygni guards ran out of the building. The Cygnis shot their Lightbows at all nearby enemies while Andrew ran carrying the heavy weapon. He ducked as the chopper pointed in their direction. "*POWPOWPOWPOWPOW*" Fortunately, it was not aiming at him or the guards. An enemy soldier then attempted to shoot Andrew in the head, only for a blue shield to suddenly appear in the way. The Cygni guards immediately shot their arrows at the enemy soldier. The guards looked confused as to why a shield appeared, but then noted the HYD-OO-IX attatched to Andrew's back. A safe spot is now in the distance. Andrew and the guards ran with all their might to the tattered brick walls. Andrew took a few steps up the broken stairs and aimed his rocket launcher. "*POWPOWPOWPOW*" He waited for the chopper to fire again, as it would most likely be still for that moment. "*POWPOWPOWPOW*" *FFFFSSSSHHHEEEEWWWW* The rocket missed. "Damn it!... oh no." The chopper then began flying toward his position.

"They've spotted us!" A Cygni guard said. "It's now or never!"

They hid as the chopper flew their way, searching for the rocket's source of propulsion. He reloaded a rocket and aimed. *FFFSSSHHHHEEEEEWWW* *BOOM* 

"YES!" the guards cheered. Andrew did not, as he saw what was happening. "Oh crap" they said as they now saw what happened. The helicopter did not perish. It shot as it flew past them. *POWPOWPOWPOW* Andrew reloaded another rocket and aimed. *POWPOWPOWPOW* His armor was struck and he ducked again.

"Come on, Meta!" he said to himself. "You gotta get in the zone." He took a deep breath and stood up again. He fired another rocket as the chopper fired more bullets. *FSSSHEEEEWWW* *BOOM* The vehicle exploded into pieces while the soldiers once again took cover. As the pieces fell, so did a body—the body of the pilot. When they looked around, they saw the enemy retreating once again. "Yeah", said Andrew. "Who's the coward now!?" A voice was heard nearby Andrew's position. "Uuuugh!" It was Alan as he dug himself out of a pile of rubble. "What was that sound? Was the chopper blown up?"

It is now night time. The soldiers were patched up and rounded up once again. "Listen up!" The Staff Sergeant said. "I would like to ask you all a question. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW THE ENEMY KNEW DEFENSES WERE DOWN!?" 

"I have an idea" a soldier stood forward.

"George, this is crazy" another soldier said.

"Not now, Kent."

"Silence, Kent!" the Staff Sergeant shouted.

"Sir, yes sir!"

"As I was saying, I have an idea. It's the traitor! He's telling the Southern Army what we're up to. That's why there's so many problems!" The other soldiers began mumbling to each other. 

"I support this idea" Alan said as he stood forward. "We should do a check up on everyone here and search for clues."

"That is a great idea, Sergeant Smith! We will do that right away."

"Sir, you're welcome sir!"

Searches were made for a few hours. Now the time is 03:00. Andrew wrote into his binder again. "In addition to speed maybe the ability would also heal. A large supply of nutrients, to increase the state of health by 20%" He closed his binder and saw Alan out in the distance again, wearing his Phoenix armor without the helmet. "It's a shame that they didn't get any lead." Andrew said as he approached Alan.

"This traitor is not someone to underestimate. That's for sure." He cleared his throat. "Great fighting, by the way. I'm surprised we're all still in one piece. You, me, Vincent."

"Yeah, you've really lived up the the name of your armor."

Alan seemed confused. "What do you mean?"

"Uhh, never mind." Andrew chuckled. "I was about to die when I fired that rocket. I got to say, I'm starting to get used to this."

"Used to what, facing the unexpected?"

"Yeah, that. I mean, who would have known the enemy would be coming here?"

"The traitor."

"Right... besides him." Andrew cleared his throat. "Well, I'll see you in the morning."

"See ya."

Andrew walked back to the barracks, far from Alan at the point. Alan took out a cigarette and took his first puff. "Man, I really gotta quit these" he thought to himself. As he inhaled, a crumple was heard. "Who's there?" He looked around and saw no one. *crumple* He looked around again, only with his NOVA27 now raised. "Show yourself! This isn't funny!" He stood still in anxiety, waiting to hear or see something. Suddenly, a shadow ran past him. "Not this time!" he said as he fired his NOVA27. *PEWPEWPEWPEW* Three minutes have passed, and no sounds or weird movements. However, Alan was not quick to give up. He walked carefully around, NOVA27 still at the ready. He fired again, but nothing seemed to be there. He walked up to a bush on a small slope and checked carefully around. Suddenly, a large blade stabbed into his head. Alan fell to the ground and his body was kicked past the bush, down the small slope. A match was then thrown onto Alan's corpse, setting his face on fire. The sounds of the footsteps began to fade as the corpse's face was ablaze.

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