A Not-So Quiet Drone Hunt

Jack materialized inside the walls of Fort Sisyphus, the desert heat blasting him immediately.  It was a base in the middle of nowhere, its walls a bulwark against both nature and the constant drone attacks that marked this as an area that was still largely in the control of the Robots; machines once built to make the colonization of Calypso possible now the greatest threat to its colonists.

A nod came his way from the CDF Sergeant-at-Arms standing by the depot building in the fort; it was normal for colonists to take duty shifts fighting the robots on a regular basis, to keep the tide of the machines back and the majority of Calypso relatively safe for its population.  Jack accessed his Omegaton Digital Inventory System, and after a few button pushes his Sollomate Onyxo materialized in his hands. Checking to make sure his crimson CDF-issue armour was secure on his body, he stepped out of the massive gates of the fort and into the open desert.

Per usual, the immediate area around the fort was clear; the fort’s auto-turret defenses kept the majority of threats around the fort at bay, although trouble happened when the dust and dirt jammed up sensors and other mechanical systems; it was not unusual for the robots to test the fort’s defenses during regular maintenance cycles.  As he crested the first dune, the robots came into view; drones armed with lasers, machine guns, and a lot of attitude. Shouldering his rifle, Jack took aim at the closest drone and opened fire.

Laser rounds started streaking toward the drone, and the drone responded in kind.  The heat from the drone’s laser splashed against his armour, and he could feel his skin heating under the barrage.  As the drone approached, his body lurched under a burst from the drone’s machine gun; two of the BLP rounds penetrated and he felt his shoulder burn from the injury.  He continued to pour fire on the drone until it dropped, flinching as a final laser blast from the drone seared his knee, the burn making him yelp.

Accessing his ODIS again, he pulled out his Fast-Aid Pack and hit its activation switch.  The FAP’s energy tendrils poured over him and he felt the bullet wounds from the BLP rounds, already reliquified, and the burn on his knee mend in the course of a few moments.  With the technology that Omegaton, and to a lesser extent Chikara and Genesis Star, brought to the Calypso system, warfare itself had reduced its gravitas and not only injuries, but even death had much less weight than it used to; after all, the activation of the Revival Terminal System meant that at death a colonist was rematerialized at the nearest terminal, alive, if injured.

Turning toward the next drone, a klaxon alerted him to a problem in his mask.  Sisyphus was undergoing a maintenance cycle, and the drones were already marching toward its gates.  As he looked up, the mass of drones before him started marching forward and he made haste back toward the fort’s gates.  As he approached the massive doors, he felt a burst of BLP rounds glance off of his shoulder armour. The gates opened for him as laser rounds streaked past him, and he saw the armoured faces of other colonists as they mustered to the CDF’s emergency beacon.

Twenty colonists had answered the call, and a barrage of laser rounds streaked out from the gate as it opened, drones dropping as he joined the line.  Bringing up his rifle again, he added his firepower to that of the colonists around him. The drones continued to push forward, and the first in the line dropped under a hail of BLP fire.  Two more quickly followed as he started to fall back with the line. The drones continued their advance as the line fell back, breaking through the gates and continuing toward the fort’s supply depot.  As he turned to check the integrity of the line, he felt a laser blast hit him in the side of the head, and he spun toward the blistering pain. A blast from his Onyxo took the drone down, but two of its companions hit him with BLP blasts that tore into his chest.  He felt blood well up in his chest and he coughed, blood spewing into his mask. His legs gave way and he collapsed onto the ground.

As his grasp on life began to fade, he felt his body dematerialize.  The pain was immense, but momentary. He rematerialized in front of the revival terminal set up in the wreck of a ship near the Fort; a fall-back position that the base used in an emergency.  He coughed heavily as his lungs, now emptied of the blood that had started pooling there, started breathing normally again. The pain from the injuries were still in place, though the injuries themselves were mended.  He pulled out his FAP and hit the activation switch. He felt the underlying injuries start to heal as he sat on the ground, taking a sip from the water-straw inside his mask. Moments later, his injuries healed, he took his rifle back out and marched back toward the battle.

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