As alarms blared, and the passenger compartment filled with smoke, Steve heard the pilot’s voice come over the 1MC, “BRACE FOR IMPACT!”
Despite the stress, the humans and hellhound complied, bracing in their jump seats, as the Blackhawk plummeted. Despite the dire situation, all was not lost, as while magitech had impacted various aspects of human society differently, and with varying degrees of acceptance, one place it was almost universally loved was safety.
The Army Black was no exception, as various runes and spellwork flared to life around the interior of the helicopter, and they slammed into the ground with a hollow CRUNCH. Magical reinforcement or no, the crash still was hard on the occupants, but it was at least far far more survivable than it would have been in an earlier era.
With a groan, Rachel unclipped her harness, and patted herself down.
“You two ok?”
“Yeah… no more battered than usual.”
“GeeeeZUS, any idea what the hell that was?”
“Nope, but I’m gonna find out.” The hellhound said grimly, as she checked that her sidearm was still in its place on her belt.
Grimly following suit, the two humans did so as well, before checking on the pilots.
Fortunately, magitech safety extended to both passengers and operators of military vehicles, and the pilot and commander were groggily unstrapping when Mark poked his head into the compartment. “You boys all right?”
“Not a boy, but I’m fine, thanks for asking,” the craft’s commander commented acidly, as she removed her helmet, allowing her antennae to spring free. “Son of a BITCH, I swear I’m gonna gut whoever shot us down!”
“Easy Kendra,” the pilot responded, doffing his own helmet, and reaching for the MP5 clipped to the bulkhead behind his chair. “We’ll get ‘em.”
“We’d frikkin’ better! I had less than an hour left on my qualifications!”
Any further grousing was put aside as Rachel shouted back into the damaged airframe, “Got hostiles comin’ in from the west! Looks like some sunny-boys!”
“Aww, hell,” Steve groaned. Fanatics.”
The Order of the Unconquered Sun was a terrorist group that was not only violently xenophobic, but also technologically backward, eschewing modern conveniences in favor of barely any technology at all, walkie-talkies being the most sophisticated equipment members of their group ever used.
While attacks like this weren’t common, the group had been surprisingly pernicious, often attacking targets of opportunity either entering or exiting military bases, and other government facilities. Despite such attacks being nearly always suicidal, there really was no reasoning with the zealots.
Drawing her pistol, looking like a cross between a Hudson H9, and an MG6, Rachel toggled the smart scope function on her weapon, slaving its optics to the holographic sight projected into her helmet display. “Got 7 of the buggers. Usual mix of pot-metal and plates. The tango in front looks like the leader, got a bucket helm on. I’d put money down that his gear’s a bit nicer.”
Despite their anachronistic appearance, the terrorists usually backed up their armor with Lvl III or better plates, Kevlar, and other protections, although to a man they carried the universal weapon of terrorists everywhere – the AK-47. Cheap, reliable, and with limited AP capability, it was unsurprising that the most ubiquitous automatic rifle of the 20th century still found battlefields to fight on.
Sighting up on one of the flanking heavies, wielding what was probably the same launcher that had downed their ride, the hellhound got ready. “Steve, take the one on the far right.” She ordered.
As they came within range, Rachel’s sensitive ears could hear the pilot communicating with local control. “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Creech Actual, this is Packet 2-5, currently down 15 klicks due east of base primary, hostiles inbound, requesting immediate assist.”
Any response was lost on her, as Rachel returned her focus to the approaching tangoes, picking out what was probably their tech support, a bulky backpack with antennas sprouting from it strapped to an armored figure three over from the far right.
“Steady, steady…” Mark said, sighting on his own target.
Just as the approaching group brought their weapons to bear, Steve squeezed off the first shot. His weapon shaving a sliver of metal off its internal ammunition block, and accelerating it through several thousand gauss of magnetic energy, before the splinter slammed straight into the center of his chosen target, plates and Kevlar useless before the might of the pocket railgun that was the standard PDW for army pilots.
The impact was enough to fold his assigned target instantly, dropping him in a heap of clattering armor, and pulverized flesh.
And then it was on, the hostiles engaging the defenders in a flurry of rattling AK fire, bullets *spang*ing off of the downed Blackhawk, while they answered back with precise fire, each *CRACK* signaling their approaching doom.
After two tangoes went down hard, their leader gestured them to rush, not anticipating the flanking attack from Kendra, the hornet swooping in from the left with a fierce “COME GET SOME!”, neatly decapitating an unsuspecting terrorist with one sweep of her superheated spear, before switching to her M1911, and riddling the next closest target with bullets.
She ducked back as the leader swung at her, his sword clanging harmlessly off of her spear’s haft, before incoming fire ricochet off his back armor. With a roar, he swung back to the trio at the Blackhawk, only to have his legs swept out from under him by the furious hornet. “Didn’t they teach you mongrels to never take your eyes off the target?”
Meanwhile, the three at the chopper had taken Kendra’s flanking move as a the signal to charge, rushing the remaining three tangoes with a fierce battle cry.
The terrorists never had a chance, precise shots blowing out the rears of their anachronistic helmets in a welter of blood and brains, toppling them to the sand. One had managed to get off a lucky shot at Mark, the round plucking at the right shoulder of his fatigues, creasing the flesh below, but not seriously impacting his execution of his chosen target.
And then all that was left was the terrorist leader, who had been uncharacteristically silent during his fierce exchange with Kendra, the hornet ruthlessly battering him back with a flurry of blows the man was barely able to block with his sword, before she sliced off both his arms at the shoulders, and stabbed him straight through the helmet, letting out an angry his as his corpse slumped to the ground. “And that’s how that’s done.” She said grimly.
“Damn girl, got some anger to work out?” Rachel asked, coming over to regard the corpse.
“You could say that… This useless waste of oxygen just cost me my perfect flying record.”
“Well…” Steve said, approaching the aftermath as well, “Cleanup’s gonna be fun for this one.”
“Yep,” Mark agreed, as he arrived “Seriously ma’am, why aren’t you in a spec ops division?”
“Who says I’m not?” came the reply. “Let’s just say that those who ferry the black ops boys around need to meet certain standards.”
“Duly noted,” the human replied.
When the rescue squad arrived, the crew was found drinking from their canteens, and watching the beautiful desert sunset from the door of the downed Blackhawk, the bodies of their enemies neatly piled up, awaiting disposal.
To pass the time, they’d connected up Steve’s speaker once again, and were listening to the dulcet tones of Marty Robbins’ Big Iron.172 Views