It had been awhile since Mylos had worn armor of any kind. Hell, the last time he really wore any was before he was transferred to pilot school. Not that this is really armor to begin with, he thought as he checked to make sure it sat on him right. In reality, this was just a mock up designed to look and ‘feel’ like the real thing, a type of outfit used in mock gun battles: laser tag, essentially.
The reason he was in this get up was because the Headmaster felt it was safe enough to not only lessen security again, but to have a mock battle in one of the major training fields a couple miles from the campus. It seemed that over the last couple of months or so since the attack, Ocri and his gang had basically disappeared from the area. The Headmaster guessed they had decided to move to a less hot territory, but Mylos wasn’t so sure: the way Ocri was obsessed with Lusca; he doubted that man would want to move far away from her.
Speaking of which, he and Lusca were practically living together now. Well, the best they could with the limited space they had. Sex was frequent, so much so that he was a regular ‘customer’ at the infirm for certain supplies. Plus Lusca did teach him her ‘foreplay’ technique, which now he was starting to use on her during their sessions. It was a good life and Mylos was happy, especially now that the security detail was lessened he’d get to spend even more time with Lusca.
“Look at you in your sexy armor,” Lusca said as he passed by the lobby on the way to the shuttle bay.
“Heh…I had forgotten what it was like to wear something like this, mock armor or not,” Mylos said.
“You still remember how to fight on a battle field?” Lusca asked as they head bumped.
“Eh…I’m going to be rusty as hell, but it will come back to me. So, what’s with you? Looks like you are heading out yourself?” he asked when he noticed she had her desk tidied up and secured.
“Bah, the Headmaster wants me to run some errands with him,” she said. “Said it would be good for me to get off campus for once.”
“Probably a good idea, considering I don’t remember you ever leaving the grounds since I arrived here.”
“I don’t like leaving the front desk unattended, though.”
“I’m sure everything will be fine.” Mylos reassured her with a nuzzle.
“Have you…ever thought about settling down?” Lusca asked softly. “Starting a family and such?”
The question startled him just a little bit. “To be honest…I haven’t really thought much about it,” he replied. “I was never really in a ‘position’ to, if you get my meaning. But…for you…I can start thinking about it.”
At this, she smiled. “That would make me very happy, Mylos,” she said. “I know it would be difficult…with you still training and all but….”
“We’ll figure something out,” he told her as they nuzzled. “We’ll discuss this more after I am done playing ‘war’.”
“Just don’t get hurt, Mylos.” He heard her say as he turned and headed off.
“Don’t worry,” he replied. “It’s only a mock battle after all.”
When he got to the shuttle bay he was given his ‘laser tag’ weapon and boarded the shuttle he was assigned too. “Hey, Visal,” he said when he recognized the pilot. “Going to see some action for once eh?”
“Ye-yeah…,” Visal said nervously. “Never transported people into a battle before…should be…interesting.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Mylos patted him on the shoulder. “No real projectiles are being used today.”
After the next few minutes more people loaded in, among them Faesus. Lieutenant Fathen was the last to load up and he gave Visal the signal to take off. “Alright troops,” the Lieutenant said. “Today we are doing an insertion into an enemy base, protected by the senior class. Expect them to pounce on us the moment we exit the shuttle so keep your wits about you. Since this is a mock battle with no real harmful weaponry to be used, biotics are not allowed during this battle.”
“Aww, can’t even use my barrier?” Faesus grumbled.
“This is laser tag, Faesus,” Mylos explained. “A biotic barrier won’t stop what is essentially a beam of light.”
“Good point. So…why lasers?”
“Safer for mock battles with more inexperienced troops,” Aertus said. “After you get a few battles under your belt, you will get to use paintball guns, which biotics can protect against.”
The trip was over after only a couple more minutes, a nervous anticipation building among the group. Once they landed, they all rushed up and took cover as they were trained. However, nothing was happening, there was no movement, no gunfire, anything. “Where are they?” Aertus muttered.
“Maybe their shuttle broke down?” Faesus offered.
“No…I got confirmation they were in place before we even left.”
“Perhaps they are giving us a false sense of security, Lieutenant?” Mylos asked. “To make us drop our guard?”
“That would be against the specific instructions I gave them…something is not right.” After a brief pause, Aertus said. “Mylos, perhaps biotics will be useful here after all…use that one trick Oneus taught you.”
“I’m not familiar with the area, so I don’t know how much good it will be, sir. I’ll likely get a lot of ‘false positives’.”
“If it gives us an idea of what is going on here, I’ll take that chance. Besides…it should give the seniors a bit of a shock if we know where they are exactly.”
Mylos couldn’t argue with that, so he closed his eyes a moment and concentrated. Immediately he got the impression of the area in his mind, every wall, tree and bush…and more. There was no movement that he could ‘see’, but he found some odd impressions, like turians lying prone. However, they weren’t in ideal positions for firing prone from what he could tell.
“I think I found them…,” Mylos whispered, giving Aertus the location. “But…something is not right: if I am reading it right, they are all laying down on the job.”
“Phfft…slackers…,” Faesus laughed.
“Quiet, Faesus,” Aertus scolded. “Decoy’s perhaps Mylos?”
“They had the proper ‘weight’ of a turian…so either they are very good decoys or….” On a hunch, Mylos used the technique again, looking more closely and stretching the limits of his abilities. Now he found movement, approaching them from three sides…and there were a lot of them. “Sir…how many were we supposed to go up against?”
“Ten, same as us. Why?”
“I detect twice that number converging on us as we speak.”
The Lieutenant’s mandibles dropped and his eyes widened. “Everyone, fall back to the shuttle,” he said quietly. “Biotics, prepare to use your barriers to protect those without.”
“Sir, what if they are doing this on purpose to scare us?” one of the students asked as they retreated. “They’ll mock us senseless….”
“I’ll take the heat if that turns out to be the case,” Aertus said. “And I’ll have a long chat with their squad leader.”
“Sir!” another student cried. “The shuttle is gone!”
“What!? Visal had instructions to sta…uck!” Aertus suddenly pitched backward as something hit him and he hit the ground hard.
“Lieutenant!” Mylos said as he rushed to his side to check on him. At that moment, more gun fire sounded, and one of the students was cut down before Faesus and couple other biotics put up barriers to protect everyone.
“Is he alright?” Faesus asked.
“No,” Mylos replied. “He got hit in the shoulder with a live round and it looks bad. Any non-biotics help me get him and any wounded into cover!”
After they got their wounded into cover, Mylos struggled to figure out what to do next while a couple of students worked to stabilize Aertus’ shoulder: unfortunately the other turian that was hit didn’t make it. That meant, out of the group, only three of them were biotics including himself: the rest were normal turians with little combat experience and no real weapons or armor. “What are we going to do?” one student asked.
“The…senior group…,” Aertus coughed. “Should have…a shuttle somewhere….”
“If the enemy didn’t disable it,” Mylos grumbled. With no choice, he used his biotics once more to scan the area, hoping the shuttle was close by. So far, all he saw was the enemy closing in, but he pushed himself further, focusing his biotics on the area’s beyond. “Got it…,” he gasped, feeling a bit exhausted. “It’s behind a building to the north west.”
“How far?” Faesus asked.
“Uh…about…42 yards away.”
“Fuck man…,” a student said. “With all the firepower out there gunning for us, we’ll never make it…even if we didn’t have any wounded. And the weapons we have are nothing more than glorified clubs….”
“Then we even the odds,” Faesus said. “Hey, Mylos…remember what you had me do when the Academy was attacked?”
Faesus didn’t respond. Instead, Mylos saw his biotic field flare and he heard a cry of alarm. Next thing they knew they had one of their attackers at their feet, whom Faesus knocked out cold with the butt of his laser-rifle. “Here you go,” Faesus said, tossing the unconscious man’s assault rifle to Mylos.
“Nice…,” Mylos said, pleased. “If you can do that a couple more times, we may have a chance to get out of here.”
“I’ll try, but I don’t know how many more stupid ones are out there….at least we know its Ocri’s gang up to no good again.”
“Yeah…,” Mylos said, noticing the man’s markings now. “Only this time they are not fooling around.”
Faesus was able to pull a couple more attackers, tossing the weapons to the others: Aertus insisted on having one, stating he still had ‘one good arm’ to shoot with. After that, the enemy seemed to get wise and kept themselves out of Faesus’ pull range. “That’s all I am going to get, Mylos,” Faesus said. “The rest got smart.”
“Should be enough to get us started,” Aertus said, struggling to get to his feet. “Mylos…what’s the enemy’s position?”
Mylos did a quick check using his biotics. “Holding position, sir,” he replied. “I think they know we are going to make a run for it. East flank is weakened thanks to Faesus.”
“Then that’s our best bet…,” Aertus said. “Let’s get ready. Biotics, focus on defense. Those without a weapon keep your head down.”
“Sir, you sure you are able to this run?” Mylos asked him.
“I’ll make it, or die giving the rest of you time to make it,” Aertus said grimly.
Aertus arranged them so that biotics were on the outside, followed by those that were armed with the unarmed in the middle. Since Mylos was both biotic and armed, not to mention he knew where the shuttle was, he was out in front. When they were as ready as they would be, they set off.
Immediately the enemy fired upon them, but fortunately the biotics were on task and were able to protect the group from most of the gunfire. Mylos alternated between firing his weapon and using his biotics. When they were in an area with sufficient cover, Mylos would have the group stop to catch their breath, especially Aertus, but not for too long. At one stop, Mylos took out an enemy with his omni-blade that was intending to ambush them and the markings on this one gave everyone pause.
“That’s not one of Ocri’s…,” Aertus said panting, trying to catch his breath once more. “I’ve never seen markings like that before….”
Mylos looked at the dark green cross marking and shuddered. “I know them…this is a Tryanor,” he said grimly.
“What?” Aertus said with a cough. “I thought they stayed on Digeris?”
“They are an anti-Hierarchy gang, Lieutenant,” Mylos said. “Which means they likely have men everywhere. That they are here…means it’s even more important we get to that shuttle.”
“But why would Ocri and his gang work with them?” Faesus asked.
“Sir?” a student piped up. “I-I think I found one of the seniors….”
Both Aertus and Mylos looked at where the student was pointing. There, lying in a pool of blood was a senior classman. Mylos looked closer and found a couple more bodies, along with a spent can of sleep gas. “They didn’t stand a chance…,” he heard Aertus mutter. “Cowardly tactics….”
“We best get going before we find out the hard way if they have another one of those sleep gas grenades,” Mylos said. “The shuttle is not much further, one last push….”
That last push proved to be the hardest, as the enemy became desperate not to let them get away. Despite the extra weapons they got on the way, they lost two students, including one of the biotics. This meant Mylos had to focus more on protecting the others along with Faesus. Fortunately, the shuttle looked intact.
“Umm…I just thought of something…,” Faesus said as he and Mylos covered those getting in. “Who is going to fly this?”
“I am,” Mylos said. “I was a pilot before I manifested. I just need you to put a barrier around the shuttle.”
“Because I would rather not find out the hard way if these guys have heavy weapons with them!” Mylos said as he and Faesus got in and shut the door.
“Why can’t you do it then?”
“Can’t fly and use biotics at the same time, idiot,” Mylos growled as he started up the shuttle. “Put up the barrier already!” Time to see if Oneus was right about barriers and flying being able to mix, he thought as he got the shuttle into the air. After only a moment, the shuttle shuddered violently, but Mylos was able to keep it in the air.
“Ooof….,” he heard Faesus say. “Whatever that was, it was big…I don’t know if I can handle another one like that.”
“So they do have heavies…great…,” Mylos grumbled. Just then, the missile warning indicator flashed. “Oh fuck, hang on!” He pushed the shuttle as fast as it could go. Time to put that fighter simulation training into use! he thought as he pushed the shuttle to its limits.
Unfortunately, the shuttle wasn’t nearly as fast a fighter, a fact Mylos quickly realized. He was going to be forced to try something very risky and not something a shuttle was meant to do. “Secure yourselves the best you can!” he warned. After waiting only one more moment, he pulled hard on the controls, forcing the shuttle into a tight loop.
There were a couple of screams from the students as the shuttle strained against the sudden force it wasn’t designed to handle. Thankfully, not only did the shuttle stay intact, but they lost the missile that was tailing them. Mylos breathed a sigh of relief. “I think we are in the clear, folks,” he said. “Faesus, you can stop now.”
“Thank the spirits,” Faesus said, plopping down onto the shuttle floor. “Where the hell did you learn to fly like that, Mylos? I nearly lost my breakfast with that stunt….”
“I’m a natural,” Mylos said with a chuckle. “Not to mention I was training to become a fighter pilot at one point.”
“And you are stuck here learning biotics…what a waste….”
“After that…I’d have to agree,” Aertus said weakly.
Besyr watched as the shuttle disappeared into the distance for a moment before calling in. “Boss, some of them managed to escape,” he said. “They are heading toward your position.”
~Just as well,~ Jorox said, unconcerned. ~They won’t be safe where they are going.~ There was a deep chuckle.
“Just to heads up, boss, but Mylos was among the escapees.”
There was a brief moment of silence. ~A pity, but I would have preferred to take him out personally anyway,~ Jorox replied. ~Any causalities?~
Besyr frowned in disapproval at the first statement. “We lost only one of our own, the rest were Ocri’s.”
~Ah, no big deal then. Join us at the primary target: it is time for the real assault!~
“On our way, boss.” Besyr cut communications and looked at his men. “We are joining the others, move out!”
As they loaded up into their own transports, Besyr couldn’t help but smile in admiration of that shuttle pilot’s skills. I have never seen someone make a shuttle do ‘that’ before, he thought.
There was a bit of confusion when Mylos called ahead to alert the medical team. Not only did Mylos have to explain why he was flying the shuttle, but why they needed medical in the first place. Fortunately, they decided to believe him and gave him clearance to land. It was a pity the flight had been so short: it felt good to fly again.
“We…ugh…need to arrange for a retrieval,” Aertus was saying as Mylos and one other helped him off the shuttle. “For the ones fallen….”
“After we request the military to go through the area to cleanse it of scum?” Mylos asked.
The medical team arrived then and started assessing injuries. In the meantime, Mylos hunted down the shuttle maintenance folks to tell them to give the shuttle he just brought back a thorough check over, considering what he put the thing through. Right after that, he spotted Visal, checking over his own shuttle. With a snarl, Mylos beelined for him: he knew Aertus likely would have preferred to talk to him himself, but considering his present condition, Mylos felt he would be the next best thing.
“Visal!” he barked, causing the other turian to jump.
“Mylos?” Visal said, looking surprised to see him. “You’re back early….”
“Yeah, we almost didn’t come back at all because you flew the coop!”
“What do you mean?”
“We were attacked by two gangs!” Mylos growled. “And the entire senior squad was wiped out before we even got there! If you hadn’t left when you weren’t supposed to, we likely wouldn’t have lost three of our own squad and the Lieutenant’s injures would be so severe!”
“H-how was I supposed to know!” Visal countered. “I had orders to leave you guys there until the exercise was over!”
Mylos blinked at him. “That’s not what the Lieutenant said your orders were.”
“W-well then, apparently one of us must be lying and I know it wasn’t me!”
Mylos was about to say that he doubted Aertus would lie either when the he felt the ground tremble suddenly. “Did you feel that?” he asked.
The ground shook again, this time more violent and he heard the sound of a muffled explosion. It was now the alarms started blaring and Mylos realized the Academy was under attack…again.