Part 3: The most stressful patrol of my life.
An Update at last!
A thousand bucks doesn't go far. But selling off the hunk of junk I'd been dragging out made me enough to make an XV-88, voted "Best Strike Wanzer for Under $3000" in "Pilot's Interest."
A couple of light machine guns, a nice little rocket launcher and some good suspension and you're halfway towards fighting to win.
Olson (we always called him Jimmy behind his back) led me to the airfield with my wanzer on a flatbed. Nice rig they had set up.
And then I had a blast from the past.
I thought he'd died. I remembered Driscoll blowing him away, but what happened next wasn't clear. I thought he'd ejected, but I was never sure.
And here he was.
Along with one hell of an NCO. Where do they get them?
I'd have liked to make her acquaintance somewhere private, but how could I explain the picture of Karen on my dashboard?
Apparently there were two others, but they were off scouting.
And we'd been sent to relieve them.
You don't expect a hot-drop on a patrol mission, but here we were - and here they were too. Surrounded was an understatement from a first glance.
I rolled my eyes. Designs for glory got out of hand, and we'd been sent to clean up.
They didn't realise bickering like that made them an easy target. A unit has to work together.
Natalie began to rant at them, but they just ignored her. Professional slackers, it seemed. Just my luck.
Being pushed out of a plane is fracking scary. But kind of fun too.
Oddly it was when we turned up the enemy decided to attack. Perhaps they have some honour, or perhaps they were just stupid. Looking back on it, I'd say the latter.
My allies weren't totally useless. Perhaps I could tolerate them.
Natalie missed her first salvo. Nerves? I don't know, but I didn't bail her out. For an elite unit, they were sadly lacking.
JJ, big brute he was, just punched things. But it worked, so I didn't complain. Keith on the other hand was a sneaky type and not a half bad shot. Sakata still loved the big slow-firing autocannons, but I'd discovered a dangerous taste for explosives. Stay safe and contribute? Sounds fine to me!
I made sure I let their idiot officer know who he'd messed with.
He pissed himself when his reactor lights began to blink. Stupid fool hadn't checked his eject system, and was stuck in there.
I didn't stop firing until he exploded. Every dead USN officer was one less fool wasting lives in a pointless war.
Keith saw my hard edge and was concerned about my loyalty.
He didn't need to be. I only culled animals.
JJ knew where I stood, though. He accepted me for what I was. A man with a job.