“Wow! Why do we have to do this hard job when we’ve just arrived?! We were stuck in a rocky helicopter for hours to get here! I looked forward to our arrival, because I thought there’d be warm blankets!” loudly complained G11, dragging a sandbag almost her size as slow as a snail.
HK416, who was listening to her, coldly snorted and chucked a bag of the same size onto the pile of sandbags: “Tell me again who slept on my thigh the entire time on the helicopter. I really think I should’ve thrown you out while we were up there. Then, you could sleep forever.”
“Whatever you say. I’m done! Not doing this anymore! I’m sleeping! And don’t wake me!” raged G11, as she lied down on the sandbag.
HK416 sighed. She went up to G11 and hauled her off, not in hopes of changing G11’s mind but solely due to UMP9 and UMP45 coming over with sandbags. G11 really was quite a nuisance.
UMP9 still brightly smiled and UMP45 accepted it for what it was without any complaints unlike G11 and HK416. UMP45 wasn’t discontent with having to carry out labour work upon arrival. She described the situation as awfully dire, but she wasn’t nervous.
I, to the contrary, frantically set up automatic grenade launchers, sent out drones to set up minefields and reloaded the guns. Meanwhile, I had Team 404 fortify the base’s defences immediately after they arrived… Even Kalina had to lug around chests of gunpowder.
I had no intention of abandoning Strategic Area S09’s command centre. Miss Helian didn’t give me the order to abandon the base. Most importantly, if I left, then M4A1’s squad wouldn’t have any backup. Sangvis Ferri would swarm them.
“Commander…” Springfield came up from behind with her rifle on her back.
I took in a deep breath and loaded a grenade launcher before looking over to Springfield: “Springfield, you must be careful.”
“No, you are the one who needs to be careful,” stated Springfield. She gently pressed a hand on my chest. Voice tender, she said, “Do not forget that you are human. This battle is too risky. You will get hurt. Leave the fighting to us. You only need to give us directions. We will never retreat.”
“Springfield, it’s not that I don’t trust you. If I hole up now, what would Team 404 think of me henceforward?”
“They will not disparage you, Commander. Do not forget that we are T-Dolls. We will never criticise humans.”
I admit that I considered them humans, again… especially after Springfield kissed me. I couldn’t stop viewing her as a woman instead of a weapon. I wanted to touch her hand whenever I saw it… I was shy, however. Head down, I said, “Springfield, you back us up as a sniper. I’ll machine gun them.”
Springfield nodded: “Roger.”
Suddenly, a loud explosion went off outside. Presumably, it came from the minefield. I looked at Springfield one last time before jumping down the cement bunker. I ran over to the heavy machinegun I had set up. Kalina came over to my side and frantically aimed an AK74U toward the sound the explosion came from. She rambled, not knowing what to do. I heard hasty footsteps approaching. UMP45 grabbed a few smoke bombs and hand grenades. UMP9 grabbed a few guns. HK416 slapped G11 across the face to wake her. I turned around to see Springfield up on high ground with her rifle.
“Springfield should be safe behind a cement bunker, right?” I prayed.
Countless small ant and bee robots emitting red lights charged through the mine field. When the front row blew up, the ones in the rear put up their red anti-explosive shields and got into formation to encroach upon us. It was my first time seeing so many robots.
“How the hell does Sangvis Ferri have so many robots when they’ve cut themselves off from humans?!” I wondered.
Nervous, I gulped. Ideally, I’d like to have had a cannon and air support. But alas, Griffon was just a private military consisting of commoners. They wouldn’t have such firepower. At most, they had explosive drones for support. However, I already sent all of ours to support M4A1…
I prayed, “M4A1… hurry back, team…”
Sangvis Ferri laid siege to us. We had countless rays of red representing death aimed at us. A tall and elegant Sangvis Ferri T-Doll stepped out from behind their formation. She taunted us with her smile: “Griffon’s fodder, I have reluctantly brought you your death sentence. You have been too rowdy for too long. This is our hunting ground, not your playground. True hunters never give themselves away, running around the way you do; true hunters choose to remain silent. We’ve found your nest. Now it’s time for you to learn what being a true hunter means!!”
I had no plans of listening to her lecture. I fired back at the T-Doll. She was a female and pretty, but bullets don’t discriminate between genders. A heavy machine gun that had been used for almost two centuries howled. There was so much smoke that I couldn’t hear the damage it inflicted.
I had no way out. I did have a choice when UMP45 first posed her question, but it was too late to change my mind at this point. Who cared, though? I fought even more lopsided battles in the past.
Thanks to the bunkers, the base managed despite our weak firepower, albeit barely. UMP45 continued throwing a barrage of smokebombs to inhibit their sniper and firepower. UMP9 conducted a concerted barrage of flash bombs alongside her sister. She didn’t do much to hinder the enemy but for the sake of staying alive, G11 did her best to hold back the enemy. Springfield took out the enemy sniper, mortar and automatic gunner, while I provided suppressive fire.
Team 404 certainly were elites. They weren’t flustered in the slightest. They provided effective support under UMP45’s lead, controlling the enemy’s advance speed with impeccable teamwork. There was never a moment where they allowed the enemy to catch their breath. None of them panicked or showed fear. They didn’t lose their formation despite being hit with bullets.
“I wonder if we can last until we ran out of ammunition,” I questioned.
A T-Doll caught me in my moment of distraction. I had never seen such fast movements before. She threw several smoke bombs followed by hand grenades. The last thing I saw was an object moving in an arc.
Relying on my intuition, I dropped my machine gun and leaned backwards. Next, the T-Doll with silver eyes hurled the heavy machine gun aside as if it was a toy gun. She pulled her handgun and fired. Her bullets almost grazed my head.
Missing didn’t bother her; she turned to fire at Team 404. Before HK416 could retaliate, Hunter had blasted a hole in her. She grimaced and fell over. UMP45 threw a smokebomb, but that didn’t slow Hunter down whatsoever.
Hunter went to kill HK416! I grabbed Hunter’s clothing. Hunter turned her head and delivered a side kick to my chest. I felt myself glide through the air. I felt my heart and breathing stop before feeling the pain of smashing into the cement bunker. I couldn’t see anything in front of me. Still, I drew my handgun at my waist. Before I could fire, I was disarmed.
“You were the one who defeated Executioner, correct? You’re just a weak and filthy cowardly human who hides behind things. You’re as repulsive as rats. I don’t like working in pest control. That said, I won’t hesitate to kill you,” stated Hunter.
Hunter drew two bayonets from her gun. She lifted me up by my neck. Team 404 was swarmed by the ocean of Sangvis Ferri robots. G11 desperately dragged HK416 out of danger, while the latter forced herself to sit up to return fire. UMP45 and UM9 gave it everything they had to hold the enemy back, but it was in vain.
“Is this it?” I wondered.
“Die, Human. You humans will never understand what courage is. You will never understand what pride is!!”
I felt the bayonet creeping into my chest and toward my heart. I was defenceless. I was no match for professional killing machines. I guess it wasn’t such a bad ending. At the very least, I didn’t run. I died defending the grounds I was supposed to defend.
The T-Doll suddenly jolted. She threw me aside then spun around and returned fire. Springfield, who had a bayonet in hand, ducked her head under the bullet. She thrust her bayonet toward Hunter’s chest. The latter took the attack with her left arm and caught it with her right. She capitalised on her control and yanked Springfield toward her. Then, mercilessly impaled Springfield with it.
Springfield juddered. Hunter then ruthlessly booted Springfield out of the way. I struggled to my feet, but I had nothing besides my weak voice and a worthless hunting knife.
“See now, human? You’re forever weak. You’re cowards. You’re filthy, noisy, sickening and detestable objects. You don’t deserve what you have. You deserve to lie cold in the cement.”
Hunter slowly walked over and coldly stared at me. She aimed her handgun at me. I grabbed my chest and panted heavily, but I couldn’t fire a single retort.
“See you, Rat.”