"Taking heavy fire!!!" A trooper shouts as live ammunition and spears come flying past their head. "Damn it! I thought Legion didn't occupy these parts!" Helios One, a station known for designating power at the Mojave, was under attack by Legion forces.
"Shut up and keep shooting! Get me that fucking machine gunner up here now!" Cried the squad leader. As a the squad gunner opened fire on a tide of Legion troops. At one point, the NCR had fought to take this outpost. Now they were fighting to take it back. The gates that came before did little to halt their advance, the Legionnaires were zealous in their attacks, willing to risk being torn to shreds by minefields and gunfire if it meant bringing glory to Caeser. Even as their comrades fell beneath their feet.
"Retribution!!!" One cried out, before a sniper in the tower of the station turned his head into chunks. But even as many of them laid dying, it became clear the troopers stationed their were running low on ammo. As Helios hadn't been getting nearly enough attention as it needed. First the power wouldn't even come on, now this? Why did the Legion decide to attack now of all times?
"Low on ammo!" Screamed a corporeal. "Whose in charge of dispersing ammunition?!" Said the squad leader as more men came to reinforce the hastily built up sandbags. "We're running out sir! And Davis got shot by one of their snipers!" As they said that, rifle fire started coming from the ridge line. A pair of Legion snipers firing from afar.
"Christ alive since when did they start using their brains?" The machine gunner insulted, before finding himself pinned by sniper fire. "Damn it! They're on me!"
"Someone kill those snipers!!!" Shouted a female soldier, then, a body fell to earth from the tower. A loud spine shattering crack sounded as it hit the dirt. It was the NCR's sniper. And the only one at Helios. "Shit! They got Michael!" Said a younger soldier, morale was low, and panic began to set in. As a legionnaire charged the sandbag lines towards the squad leader, who barely reacted in time to put a round through his skull.
"On my last mag!" Said a soldier, they were having to pace their shots. But the enemy just kept coming. "Last mag!" This line was repeated by several other soldiers, including the squad leaders. They were outnumbered ten to one, and low on ammo. It looked dire...Then a flash of blue energy towards the ridge line, and the Legion snipers were silenced. The troopers looked to each other with a puzzled expression. Before the bright blue energy bolts began hitting the the charging legionnaires, with both speed and precision. " The fuck...what's that?" Asked a younger private.
"Gauss rifle rounds...someone's decided to help out." The rounds began thinning out the legionnaires in unison. As the legion centurion tried to rally the now fractured soldiers, he too was blasted into bits. This sent a ripple of panic within the Legion's ranks. "Our Centurion has fallen! Fall back! Fall ba-" Another one reduced to splatter. Whoever was using that Gauss rifle, they were a crack shot. And they weren't stopping. Not only were they a good shot, but the rounds were explosive, so every time they landed a hit, several others caught in the blast would either be wounded or killed outright.
The soldiers began to flee, but not even that was enough to save all of them. Even as they made their way to the ridge line, the sniper refused to stop shooting until they were completely out of sight. The troopers then cheered, just grateful to be alive. They then heard stomping. Loud, clanky, metallic thuds that began to get closer and closer.
"What the...is that....?"
"Power armor! Defensive pos-!" Before the squad leader could even say anything, he stopped dead in his tracks. Their it was, a full suit of T-45d power armor, carrying the same Gauss Rifle that no doubt decimated the legion ranks that were previously charging them. But...no insignia. Or if their was one, it had long since faded.
"Are you fellas ok?" Said the wearer, more like a pilot. The suit was practically a miniature tank given how it allowed the most average looking man to tower over the most hardened of soldiers.
The troopers looked to each other, confused. He didn't look like your standard NCR heavy trooper. Nor did he appear to be a Brotherhood Knight, let alone Paladin. And his accent certainly stuck out. He more then likely hailed from the Southwest USA, and the Brotherhood presence their was sparse at best. If their was one at all.
"Yeah...who are you?" Asked the squad leader, gesturing the soldiers around them to lower their weapons. After all, kind of rude to point weapons at the person who just saved your life.
"Me...? Uh...nobody honestly. I come from a Vault....if that means something. Been a while since I've been their though like...5 years now? Eh." The armor clad man shrugged. Clearly uncertain how to even handle this scenario.
"You a merc?" Asked the corporeal, still a bit on edge after they were attacked. Who wouldn't be after that?
"Something like that. I take odd jobs here and there. Speaking of which, kinda in need of some caps right now. If you got anymore work that'd be appreciated." Said the armored gunman. Banter went throughout the NCR ranks, they weren't sure what to do really. This wasn't exactly a regular scenario.
"Give us a second." Said the squad leader. They needed to figure out how to approach this. Now that he was here, they couldn't just send him off with the work he put in to save their sorry asses.
"Alright boys. What's our word on reinforcements?" The squad leader asked.
"They won't be here for another few hours at least. Legion has been stretching us thin with their guerrilla campaigns ever since the battle at Hoover Dam." Said the corporeal as he slammed a radio to the ground in anger. "Damn! I thought Helios was important to them! Hell they send us out here for if it wasn't!?"
"We're low on ammo to....we keep this up we'll be overrun if they attack us again.." Said the team medic as he patched up their gunner. "Yeowch! Watch it O'Brady!" The gunner cursed. "Quit moving and my hands will be steadier!" He retorted. Everyone was on edge. It had only been a few weeks since they were stationed here, and they had only been met with Legion attack after Legion attack. First it was small scouting parties that served to only be a nuisance.
Now? Now they were more organized. These guys in many ways were worse then when they had to take this place from the Brotherhood. A few of the soldiers stationed here actually were around when they attacked it. Even so, for those who survived that was beginning to look like the easy part now. As unlike the Brotherhood, the Legion were relentless. Unwavering in their fighting, at least armor clad soldiers had a tendency of being cautious despite being really tough to kill. It was nothing a sniper or rocket launcher couldn't fix.
But they had proper support then, now they barely had anything. Years since the Mojave had been occupied by the NCR, it was like everything was going downhill. At least it certainly felt that way at times.
"We really just gonna trust this guy? Sure he helped us but, how do we know he doesn't have some ulterior motives?" Said the female trooper.
"We don't. Even if he says one thing he could entirely mean the other. But we're not in a position to refuse help right now. And he's packing some serious firepower. You see what he did to those legionnaires? Man if we had more heavy troopers around here..." A private rambled.
"It's settled then. We're hiring him until reinforcements arrive. You said they should be here in the next few hours right?" The squad lead decided. "Rest of you check ammo and use what you can. Their should be some reserves back inside, but make it quick. With luck those rounds should be enough to last us until reinforcements arrive." The squad lead said, before heading towards their armored ally. Who was performing a weapons check on his Gauss rifle himself, whoever he was, he was clearly trained. By who, it didn't matter to the squad lead. What mattered that he was on their side, and that he was useful given their current situation.
"Alright tin man. Your in luck. Gotta job for you. Help keep lookout and defend this point if need be. You don't complain, you don't ask for anything, you only use ammo when you absolutely have to as we barely have enough as is. You get hurt, we got a medic. Otherwise you better be good at using that power armor." The soldier said firmly, he looked tired and exhausted. It was clear he was at his limits with the situation. And at this point they were just biding their time whilst waiting to be reinforced.
"That ain't no problem..." He then whistled through his helmet microphone, as a Brahmin with a huge pack carrying also what looked to be a infantry issue minigun. "Damn, you got her to carry that?" The soldier commented as the power armored man pulled the gun off the pack brahmin.
"Yeah, had her for a few years now. Believe me, she's carried much heavier then this. This? This is nothing to her." The armored man replied.
"Explains how you carry all your equipment, excluding the power armor itself of course. Alright, bring that metal ass over here. Your gonna be here for a while so I suggest you get comfortable." The squad leader instructed.
The armor clad nomad was already prepped for a long job. Too bad this Power armor didn't exactly have air conditioning. But hey, that's why he could remove the helmet to drink the occasional water he had stored within his armor. With....varying degrees of success.
The wait was long and grueling. A few minutes out here felt like hours. If he could, the armored mercenary would check the pip boy he had underneath his armor. But to do that he would have to exit the suit. And as of right now, that just wasn't a option.
A couple of hours had passed, and he was glad the armor did well to hide his emotions. As he was already getting tired. If he was being honest with himself he was beginning to really hate this job already. Wouldn't the NCR usually reinforce their men by now? He had been to other places with a huge NCR presence before, most of the time they were nowhere near this incompetent with their men.
Then again, those areas were far more developed in comparison. Over their, powers such as the Legion wouldn't even be much of a threat due to the disparaging differences in technology levels. The NCR had actual tanks while the most the Legion had was at the very least, literal horsepower. And they weren't even horses they were brahmins, as well as poorly put together vehicles that stood little chance in a conventional fight. Sure they were fast, but they just weren't tough.
If they ever tried to push deeper, their was a strong chance they would be defeated long before they could even reach the Hub. Even so, it looked like they actually would push deeper, but long before they did eventually fall, their would be lots of bloodshed before hand. Even so, that was not this mercenary's concern. For he had no ties to the likes of the NCR nor the Legion. Not even the other factions held much sentimental value to him.
After all, all he was, was a former vault dweller, a bit of a failed trader, now a gun for hire. But he still traded. Its just now he had the means to be his own security so much that their wasn't a point in not taking mercenary jobs. This old Power Armor worked wonders after all. And a single fusion core could last for weeks if not months without needing a change.
Even so, he still scavenged old military bases and power stations for more power units to stay ahead of his cores power rate. Sure they lasted nearly forever, but that didn't necessarily mean forever. Far from it exactly. And nor was his power armor exactly top of the line despite being pretty advanced.
It was nearly nightfall now, and still no NCR reinforcements. Least they were paying him per hour. If it wasn't for that, he probably would have left by now. Ironic how they had more caps then they did ammo right now. Then again, they couldn't exactly leave without risk of the Legion taking it. And risking a single runner to urge for more backup was even more risky.
As it was practically nearing midnight now, the soldiers were being forced to take shifts as some could barely stay awake. The EOD specialist of the group finally finished laying down mines. As the previous ones were destroyed in the attack. The funny thing about being alert for a possible attack, is that didn't always make you energized. Quite the opposite in fact. Even so, it was clear some troopers were getting more sleep then others. Some of the more veteranized soldiers, such as squad leaders and the few commanding officers that survived the last assault were willing to stay up past their limits.
Perhaps they thought they were providing a good example, in reality they put more weight on their shoulders and increased the likely hood that their men would have to take over for them should they pass out suddenly, or worse killed in action.
Even their armored friend was reaching his limits, as even though he had to stay up late before. This was beginning to push it. He sighed. Damn. Are they really gonna attack or this just a sign of post battle paranoia on their part? The mercenary thought. As it seemed their would be no attack tonight.
But oh how wrong he was quickly proven. As the sound of a war horn broke through the previous silence and crickets that were present before hand.
"For the Legion!!!!" A Centurion shouted as he stood atop a boulder, pointing his sword directly at the satellite station. The Legion had waited till nightfall to attack, knowing that most of the troopers would be running on fumes at this point. A underhanded tactic, but certainly effective.
"Their here! All units! Defensive positions! Johnson! Machine gun now! Tin man! Help out with the suppressing fire!" The armored man's gun then spun up, unleashing a stream of bullets that tore into the charging legionnaires, dozens dropping before they could even reach the gate.
But for every few dozen men they killed, troopers were beginning to fall like domino. Their machine gunner, due to being the highest threat was the first to go. As a round ripped right through his skull, killing him instantly as his body went limp against the sandbag before keeling over on the ground. "Shit! Man down! Man down!"
"Tin man! Cover Johnson's position! We need more firepower on the north side asap!" The mercenary moved as quickly as he could in the power armor, it loudly thudding as he sprinted as he if he was a living train. Despite it being old, he clearly had it modified to full capacity. As it was clear it moved significantly faster then the NCR's standard issue power armor. For whatever reason, it was clear he valued it more so then just what your average soldier would.
He kept the fire on for what must have felt like hours. Fighting was ferocious, officers being knocked down often as quickly as the regular soldiers around them. The merc felt a round strike his helmet, it was a powerful one too, it even dazed him. It didn't take long for some centurion to try and rush them with their bumper sword, as he was approaching the merc snapped out as he narrowly dodged out of the way from the first strike. But was forced to go on the defensive as the battle hardened commander was relentless. Having no shield he was forced to use the arms and fists to defend against the massive blade.
It hit like a truck as it clanged against steel, but did little to actually pierce the armor. Even so the frontline leader was swinging fast and hard. And he was good, real good. Luckily the merc had something else up his sleeve, as the sound of what was a chainsaw reved, before the Centurion could attack once more, he found a vicious motorized blade baring down on his neck, before completely decapitating it. A US Army issue ripper, in rough condition but nothing a well placed strike couldn't fix.
The merc breathed heavily as he narrowly survived that encounter. While he wasn't a complete stranger to close combat, it certainly was something he preferred to avoid. Unfortunately it didn't look like he was gonna get that luxury. As several legionnaires rapidly approached him, taking a moment to see one of their fallen commanders. They wielded spears, machetes, swords. And all they saw was a man in power armor, whose weapon and body was stained with the blood of one of their comrades. You would think they would be terrified, but instead it was the opposite. It was more akin to emboldened and enraged.
As one of the spearmen yelled and began charging the mercenary, before simply getting swatted away by his armor's powerful machine supported arms. So hard was the blow that it broke his neck. He probably didn't even know what it hit him. Another rushed with a machete hoping to face him in single combat like the centurion, instead he was brutally impaled by the Ripper as the motorized blade practically destroyed his innards. The merc casually dropped his now mangled corpse as if it were a bag of potatoes, blood sinking into the sand as their was so much.
Various legionnaires began charging him, most driven in by the lust to conquer a power armored opponent. Many fell regardless of skill. And the merc was cold and merciless in his slaughter. As this was nothing but another job. Only five minutes had passed, and he soon found himself surrounded by legion bodies. But even though he was in power armor, he was getting very tired. The medic of the group was practically overwhelmed with amount of wounded on his side, he was good. But he couldn't keep up with these injuries. The remaining troopers that could fight were also wounded in some way. Just not enough to keep them from shooting at charging legionnaires.
Suddenly a flurry of rounds began pounding against the mercenary, assault rifle fire! One of the Legion soldiers was packing serious firepower! But it wasn't just him, some others had appeared as well. Then one began charging at him with a flaming sword!
Barely having enough time to react, the merc brought up his Ripper blade to parry the attack. But as he did that, another round struck his helm. Too powerful to be a regular assault rifle, no it was a Winchester rifle they were using. As it dazed him the sword wielder began to open up on him with surprisingly speedy attacks. The armor was the only thing protecting him from the heat, but he could feel how quick he was with every terrifyingly fast scrape across his armor.
He had never had to deal with legionaries like this before. These guys focused more so on small unit tactics, and it seemed like they were trying to kill him specifically. Then rifle fire from the west flank came flying towards the attackers. It was the remaining NCR troopers, one well placed shot managed to kill the one wielding the assault rifle fairly quickly. But as a result, they now had their focused diverted to them by the rifle wielding one. Who was now putting down rounds fast and gradually approaching their position.
"Get to cover!" The squad leader barely tackled the youngest soldier out of incoming fire and behind a sandbag. As that happened, the female soldier, Olivia had several holes punched into her armor. Before one finally pierced her neck, causing her to kneel and grasp her neck. She gurgled and hacked as it squirted out like a super soaker. The 357. round no doubt hitting a vessel. She laid on the ground, dying in a pull of her own blood.
"Olivia!!!" The private shouted. "Keep shooting less you wanna join her!!!" Screamed the squad lead, as they did whatever they could to pin down the assassins and support their armored friend. Who was now in a duel with a sword wielding assassin. While his weapon and armor were immensely powerful, he struggled to match the speed of this assassin in particular. Who danced around him as if he were some skater on a ice rink. Plus their use of hit and run tactics proved to be quiet effective as all the merc could do was react too slowly to each attack. To make matters worse.....another war horn sounded. As another wave of legionaries had arrived to ensure their success.
The squad leader's heart sank as he lowered his rifle. This is it.....Margaret....I'm coming to see you...
As he prepared to accept his fate, the mercenary kept fighting despite clearly being put on the ropes, even possibly outmatched. But then, the sound of rotors pierced the sky. Vertibird rotors to be exact. Followed by a track of 'Ride of the Valkyries' as the whirring and blaring of chopper miniguns bore down on the attacking force. The pre war issue helicopters making a overhead pass as it rained hell upon them. Then they began to circle around them to ensure the retreating Legion soldiers got the full force of their pre war armament. A bloodbath would be a fitting term for the situation.
Noticing everything gone to shit. The assassin with a Winchester called to his friend with the flaming sword. "Helios is lost brother, retreat!" He said as he put a few more rounds towards the troopers to cover their retreat. The sword wielder scoffed as he dropped a flashbang towards the merc as a parting gift. It going off and temporarily blinding him, even causing him to fall over while in armor.
But luckily, said armor shielded most of his eyes from the blast. As he regained his senses, he looked to see what remained of the attacking force. Bodies, mangled, shredded, eviscerated bodies. Not a single soldier spared from this defensive move.
The merc then removed his helmet, dropping it to the ground. Revealing a man with blue eyes, but with short and unkempt hair. He had been on the road for weeks, no longer then that. One could even say months or years at a time. As he laid on his knees. All he could muster was one sentence....
"War never changes...."
Before collapsing from sheer exhaustion.
Merci pour la lecture!