The Viper Drone loosed another salvo from its rotary cannon, causing Grey and Cobalt to dive for cover. The shots thudded against the tough hull of the Maximum Security Vehicle. There was only so much longer their luck could hold and they knew it.
As the Viper sped away, readying for another attack run, there was a thudding from inside the overturned MSV nearby. Lieutenant Cobalt holstered her pistol and scrambled up onto the vehicle.
Inside, the two Spectrum security guards were on their feet. One was holding a laser bazooka, hammering the end on the jammed door. Cobalt opened the concealed security slot beside the door and inserted her personal authorization key-card. There was a rapid series of bleeps and the door swung open.
“Thanks, Lieutenant! Figured you could use this!”
“No kidding! You’d better stay put, there’s no cover out here. Captain Grey!”
She tossed the laser bazooka to Grey and jumped down from the damaged MSV to join him beside their own vehicle. Grey’s face was a mask of concentration as he worked the controls on the side of the weapon before lifting the sights to his eye.
“Think you can hit it?”, Cobalt asked, her voice edged with tension.
“It’s moving pretty fast, but I’m going to give it my best shot.”
The Viper reached the end of its turn and started swooping down at the wrecked convoy once more. Each second brought its lethal weapons closer and closer.
With nerves of steel, Grey waited for the right moment, then fired. The bolt of laser energy surged towards the Viper, just grazing the top of its obscene fuselage.
A second later, a missile whooshed from under its wing and struck the MSV behind which Grey and Cobalt were sheltering. There was a deafening explosion that resounded around the valley as the Viper screeched overhead.
The intense ringing in Captain Grey’s ear’s was matched only by the sensation of pain surging through him as his eyes jerked open and he coughed painfully. He was on the ground, ten yards from the burning MSV. With a will, he got to his hands and knees and then managed to get to his feet. He couldn’t see the drone for the smoke and couldn’t hear it for the ringing in his ears.
Then his searching gaze landed on the form of Lieutenant Cobalt. She was lying perfectly still on her back a few yards away. Her face was streaked with dirt and blood and an ominous pool of crimson was forming on the ground under her dark blue tunic.
Grey staggered over and fell beside her, feeling for a pulse. For a moment his own blood ran cold as he felt nothing. But then there was the faintest beat and then another. Cobalt was barely clinging to life. She wouldn’t survive the shock-wave of another explosion. Grey figured he probably wouldn’t stand much of a chance in his own weakened state either.
That was when he saw a glint of sun reflecting off a shard of silver in the sky. The drone was coming back. Grey looked about him for the laser bazooka. It was gone, probably blown out of his hands and lying goodness knows where. There wasn’t any time to find it.
Grey stared at the weapon-filled maw of the hideous instrument of death bearing down on them both. He’d often wondered if some fight in the war of nerves would be how he would meet his end. Now he knew the answer. In seconds, the Viper would fire and that would be that. Grey gritted his teeth.
Then, with a scream of jets, three aircraft roared low over his head, hurtling directly for the incoming Viper. A trio of missiles flashed from their brilliant white fuselages and struck the target in rapid succession. The Viper exploded in a shower of fire and twisted metal and plummeted into the river at the bottom of the valley.
The Angels banked hard left and cruised the perimeter of the area in perfect formation. The epaulets on Grey’s battered tunic flashed ivory and his cap mic folded down from the charred brim.
“Rhapsody Angel calling Captain Grey. The target has been destroyed. What is your status?”
Grey exhaled with a mixture of relief, exhaustion and the tension of cheating death, “Thanks, Rhapsody. Request immediate medical evacuation for Lieutenant Cobalt, all other personnel status SIG.”
“Confirming medical team already en route, Spectrum Helicopter and Doctor Fawn will be with you in less than a minute.”
Grey switched off the cap radio and set about trying to stop Cobalt’s bleeding. Her injuries were severe, but with assistance only moments away, Grey felt sure that she would pull through.
As the sound of the Helicopter’s motors came nearer, Grey took one last look around the valley. Despite the carnage around him, he had to admit the world was a beautiful place, one that he would continue to fight for against the Mysterons, no matter the cost.