I was sore.
Despite my recently acquired wounds, my malnourished bodily state, the searing pain from the stitches in my shoulder, and my general discomfort with the situation at hand, Colonel Wilde had immediately passed me on to training.
Training was grueling. I had spent the entire afternoon at a station learning the function of assorted weapons and gadgets, and how to perfectly prime, construct, care for, and occasionally defuse each. But this was not even the worst of it. During the monotony of training on several occasions, I was subjected to spontaneous masquerades of emergency situations, along with my fellow trainees. The most recent drill was the most terrible for certain, I had somehow ended up underneath the feet of several other initiates. I was abandoned, left dazed and bruised, but I was not alone for long. As the training area filled with a stinging poison gas, a hulking gas-masked “attacker” appeared without warning, ripped me up to my feet, and a struggle ensued. If it hadn’t been for the initiate that had scrambled directly into our conflict and bewildered the monster of a man assaulting me, I may not have slipped away.
My knowledge of the weapons seemed to please the drill sergeant enough to allow me to pass on to the next station: target practice. I was excited by the possibility of something I might enjoy, and had just reached the armoury when it happened. Nearby, an explosion rang out, nearly tearing me from my feet. The concussive force of the blast rattled me to the very core, sending vibrations echoing down my limbs.
This was no drill.
A cloud of dust extended from the cheaply built barrier behind me as it exploded. It was demolished completely. Without even looking back, I dashed through the entrance of the armoury, and stumbled up to the counter ahead of me. Behind it, a tall dark-haired man stood, eyes wide, weapon drawn, in full alert. He tossed me a rifle that had been pegged to the wall, and together we barreled towards the door.
An intense light dilated my pupils as I cracked the door open. The Guards had deployed flares to blind the rebel forces, making it simple to eviscerate the blind men through the filtered eyes of their helmets. It was a favorite tactic of their’s.
I was thrown from my feet, and fell to the floor behind me, shoulder jarred. Gunfire had struck the face of the metal door, and the force slammed it, putting massive dents in the surface, as well as one large gaping hole. Fresh blood covered the hard stone floor. The arms master spasmed next to me, and after only a moment, became very still. A large hole was drilled in his chest. His skin was now very white, his eyes glazed over, as if made of glass…
The door’s handle rattled, and I rolled to my feet, instantly drawing the butt of the rifle to my shoulder. I held my breath.
The alarm had been raised, and the armoury door had locked automatically. The rattling paused, and did not resume. I held my stance. There was a clang, and four sharp metallic clicks.
A directed explosion bent the large iron-wrought frame inwards, along with a portion of the concrete wall. In slow motion, I watched it bend inwards, sickening slowly, until it could bend no further. And – with a crack – it burst inward.
The debris nearly struck me, but I held my position unflinchingly and quickly spotted four dark shapes in the nearly perfect circle that had been ripped out of the wall. Four men were silhouetted by the settling dust that fogged my position.
I fired in spread, and four bodies dropped.
My fighting reflexes jumped to life, and I dove to the right, avoiding a new wave of gunfire. Leaning to the left, I fired at new approaching figures. My shots were accurate, but the group of assailants did not even hesitate as they steadily clamored forwards.
I took a moment to observe my attackers. A squad of heavily armoured Guards were rapidly coming upon my position. Cursing, I tossed my rifle aside, drew my wrist gun, and back peddled with inhuman speed towards the counter twenty meters behind me.
The bullets buried into the floor around my feet, whistling by me, screeching in my ears. They ripped through the concrete walls shielding the armoury as if they were paper, putting craters in the concrete walls behind. I fired the entire clip of my wrist-mounted weapon at them as I flew backwards, finally turning and diving over the counter, unscathed. I had made it.
I looked around in a furious panic, scrambling with intense vigor to find a solution to my increasingly urgent issue. Bullets were pushing through the solid steel counter. A smile lit my faces as my eyes fell upon the obvious answer.
The rifle weighed near half of my weight. It had a large rotating barrel, and under it was a mounted launcher of some sort. Near the box magazine at the bottom was a claw-like stand that would clench any surface in a death grip, resisting the rifle’s massive recoil with inhuman strength.
I slammed it on the counter, pulled the bolt, flicked the power-switch for barrel spin up, and my finger caressed the trigger.