Part IV – Damnation

The battle stops. The enemy has fallen back, without any doubt they are trying to regroup. They will come at us with armor and air support next time. We are at the crossroad, we replenish our ammo from the supply drop left there by some other unit. There is sparse cover but we will have to make it work. There is a civilian shelter less than a kilometer down the road, it’s still not evacuated. We have to hold the line.The enemy will hit us soon. As far as I’m concerned, this is not over until they are all dead or we are.

Two is the first to die. Overrun, she detonates her flammable tanks. One last act of defiance in the face of certain death. It’s one of the doctrines of the Titan School. The moment you graduate and get your suit, you know. You know that you are probably going to die that way.

The shelter is getting evacuated, but it’s slow. I can hear the panic over the radio. We can’t help them. We can only hold off the attack for as long as we can. It’s a losing fight, we are going to die on this world.

The barrel of my chaingun glows orange from the sustained fire. The area is way too open and they are left with only one option of assault, a charge. Their weapons can’t pierce through our shields and we cut them down without mercy. Soon I stand among a pile of spent casings and dead vanduul.

I see it. A shadow in the sky. I call out, but it’s too late. One and Four get shredded by the Scythe’s strafing run. The power packs of their gatlings go into violent meltdown and cook any nearby vanduul. Even in death the titans kill.

I’m all alone.

“Chaingun dry, reload.”
“Chaingun dry, reload.”

I let go off the chaingun, detach it’s ammo pack from my back. It’s time for my own last stand.

“Reaper 6-3 to evac units. I’m all that’s left, I’m going to hold them off until the end. Good luck.”

I unclip my sidearm from my hip along with a metal shaft, its end extends into an axe blade. My shields finally collapse under the volume of incoming fire. I don’t care, soon they will be in range. I will fight until the end. Which is when they are all dead or I am.

Reaper 6-3 held the crossroads for additional 12 minutes before self-destructing their titan suit in the face of overwhelming Vanduul force. The sacrifice of squad Reaper 6 will not be forgotten by the 5000 civilians saved by their heroic last stand. All members of the squad were posthumously awarded the Terran Cross for extraordinary valour.

Courage. Honor. Sacrifice.

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