Two Worlds – Chapter 245

Mark “Coop” Cooper

Location: Argo, United Commonwealth of Colonies

{On your right!}

Coop’s breath was ragged as he finished off one opponent. He was lightly armed in something similar to Dragonscales. It would have been simple enough to put a few plasma-tipped rounds from his Buss into the guy, but the shields made that a non-starter.

<Fucking shields!> Coop was still pissed as he rotated as fast as he could. He had only enough time to see a wall of red, set his feet, and bring his arm up before it felt like Atlas dropped the world on his shoulders. <Son of a …>

Even in the newly improved LACS V4A, the biggest individual war machine in the Commonwealth’s arsenal, the Windsor’s mech still towered over him by a few meters. With the disparaging mass difference, Coop was just glad his arm didn’t snap and allow the mech to cleave him in two. He still had to put all his augmented strength behind the block, and if the angle was worse, the mech would have easily overpowered him.

The ground still cracked around him from the force of the blow. Pain radiated through his shoulders, down his spine, and into his knees. Coop knew he needed to move fast, so he reacted based on training. He used the mech’s height and mass to his advantage. He twisted, which caused a painful pop in his back, but it allowed the mech’s giant nano-blade to slide off his own sword and into the ground. Using his core Coop spun and chopped at the mech’s midsection. His blade sang through the air, but came to an abrupt stop a few centimeters from the mech’s rust-colored armor.

“Fucking shields!” Coop repeated as he pushed against the flashing blue barrier. The shield gave under the pressure, but not enough to pierce the armor.

Thankfully, the tech wizards at Gold Technologies had studied the recordings they had from New Lancashire, and the recent offensive mounted by the Windsor’s, and they’d come up with a counter. Coop activated that counter through his IOR a second after his nano-blade made contact with the shield.

The developers called it the chainsaw feature. Coop didn’t get it, and when they explained how the devices were used to cut down trees centuries ago, Coop still didn’t get it. He hadn’t seen a tree for the first time in nearly two decades, and he didn’t see the point of a cutting instrument when you could just fire a clear laser-burst and cut it at the base more efficiently. His comments sufficiently rained on the engineers’ parade, but they eventually explained the gist of it to him, and he got to see it himself while testing his new V4.

Through some mechanical process utilizing the power of the LACS’ miniature gluon power plant, and some grav-tech, the molecularly-honed edge of the nano-blade had been configured to spin. The high-speed rotation created the sawing motion that sought to disrupt the integrity of the enemy shields. It was a pretty sweet technique, and he had quickly fallen in love with it.

A slight whirring noise filled the air as Coop activated chainsaw mode through his IOR. The mech’s shield sparked brighter and there was infrequent resistance as Coop applied pressure. The shield still held for about three seconds, before the new and improved nano-blade made it through. Of course, the mech didn’t just lie down and take it up the ass while Coop was trying to fuck up its day. Coop’s blade had barely eaten a centimeter into the mech’s armor when the behemoth swatted at Coop like he was an irritating fly. Since Coop was holding the blade with both hands to maximize the power he put into the chop, all he could do was duck his head and raise his shoulder to avoid his skull taking the brunt of the blow.

It worked, but it felt like God bitch-slapped him. He lost the blade, which was still wedged into the mech’s armor, but he was able to execute a combat roll and look somewhat graceful. In doing so, his mind whirled with possibilities. He liked to think he was quick on his feet, and this time, he had a plan just as he got his feet back under him.

<The IOR might be a pain in the ass while walking down the street, but it’s good for at least two things: porn and quick decision making.> Since the IOR basically recorded everything you ever did, unless you subverted the settings, Coop had a wonderful first-person recording of his trip to pound town with Eve. Since they were on opposite teams, opposite shifts, and opposite anything else the SGM could think of, it had kept him sane for the last few days.

At the moment, it was the quick decision making aspect that he was referencing. Using the IOR, Coop toggled to his weapons system, activated his spine-mounted 250mm cannon, and had a round chambered when he came out of the roll. He braced himself upon completion, which made him look like a kneeing man offering up his neck to the mech’s sword, but what it really did was angle the cannon right on target. Through the LACS sensors interfacing with the IOR, Coop didn’t have to look where the face of his suit was directed. He could have been aiming out the ass section if he needed to.

The mech had wheeled on Coop, and wasn’t bothering to take Coop’s blade out of its side. It knew the real threat was Coop, with him out of the picture, the mech could take the blade back to its armory and learn the secrets of the chainsaw function.

<Maybe another time.> Coop sent the command to fire, and the HE round shot from his cannon. At the same time, he activated his ES shielding. The nanites of his armor fused on a molecular level just as the HE round impacted the mech. Due to Coop’s position, and the height difference, an inferno erupted right around the mech’s crotch area.

“Endex!” the voice of God announced.

The dusty plain Coop had been fighting in dissolved around him to reveal a black VR station. Coop took a deep breath and squeezed his fists tight together. He’d just gone from mortal combat with a Windsor’s mech to sitting alone in a quiet space. The VR crash was unavoidable, but he had found ways to cope over the year since he’d been in the infantry.

He flexed and opened his fist a few times before shaking his whole body like a wet dog. Once his breathing was back under control he got up and exited the cube. There were two in Argo’s grunt country, and the SGM had battle buddy teams rotating through them to test their new LACS features since they couldn’t do it in the real world.

“Cooper!” GYSGT Cunningham’s voice cut through the adrenaline that was slowly fading from his veins. “What the fuck was that?”

“I was staying alive, Gunney,” Coop replied a little harsher than he should have to his team leader.

“The exercise parameters stipulated you were only to use your new nano-blades.” The Gunney crossed her arms under her impressive chest and glared at him. “We want to get a good baseline on where you are with your swordsmanship, where you need improvement, and the new weapon’s effectiveness against the enemy.

Coop thought the last one was a stretch since they were doing it in VR, but he knew they were loaded with the latest and greatest data the Commonwealth had on Windsor tech. What he’d just been through was the closest he was going to get to a mech without facing off against an actual one again.

<I’ll pass.> He had no intention of doing that again if he could help it.

“I can help you with that,” Coop continued. “The chainsaw feature is good, but unless three other team members are holding the guy down, we’re not going to have time to saw through his shield and armor. It’s a good try by the Gold tech weenies, and it’ll fuck up the Windsor’s regular troops, but the mechs are still going to be a tough nut to crack.”

The Gunney scowled back at him, but her eyes unfocused for a minute before she sighed in defeat. “I’ll give you your formal review later. You have bridge guard duty in ten minutes. Get suited up and hit the armory.”

Coop didn’t need to be told twice. It would have been nice to get a shower, and not stink up the place, but there wasn’t any time. He walked the short distance to the armory where SSG Hightower was on duty. He signed out an oversized Dragonscale vest to him, and then an M3. The guard duty was largely a traditional, ceremonial deal. If shit really went down, the rest of the SRRT team would have time to suit up with their specialty gear before the enemy arrived.

“Ma’am,” he passed the LT in the corridor and greeted her with a salute. It was the first time he’d seen her today, so he’d just give her respectful nods from here forward.

“Good morning, Sergeant.” It was only a little after 0900 shipboard time. Coop had been up since 0400, but the officers didn’t keep to the same schedule. If anything, the LT looked like she hadn’t slept yet.

The SRRT’s new mission, since dropping off the diplomats at Thurgood Station, was a recon of an enemy occupied system. Harper’s Junction was one of the systems taken in the Windsor’s latest offensive move, and it was the SRRT’s job to go get up-to-date intel on ship disposition as well as troops on the ground, and civilian resistance efforts before the Commonwealth Fleet showed up and fought to retake commonwealth soil. There was no word on when the counterattack would come, but Coop hoped the warring politicians in the midst of election season could put their differences aside and come at a mutual enemy as a unified force.

<Might as well wish for a blowie from the Gunney.> Coop thought he had a better chance at that, despite the GYSGT batting for the other team, than politicians getting along.

He reached his post next to the bridge hatch and settled in for the next few hours. He slung the weapon across his chest, muzzle down, and made sure a round was loaded but the weapon was on safe. He did the same for the sidearm on his leg holster. Both were good to go.

That left Coop alone with nothing but his thoughts. The bridge was pretty quiet. Argo was taking a roundabout route to where they would portal out of the system and to Harper’s Junction. They’d portal into a nearby system and then jump with their Alcubierre Drive into Harper’s Junction because there was no QE signal to lock on to. Gold Technologies had sent one of their buoys, but they’d received a self-destruct message before losing the signal two days ago. That added days to their timetable, but it didn’t affect their mission much.

Once they arrived at the edge of the enemy-held system, they’d spend a while coasting in ballistic at maximum stealth. They knew the Windsor’s ship had state of the art tech, but with Argo’s own upgrades, and the extra precautions, LCDR Gold thought they’d be able to pull it off. Once they were close, the SRRT would beam down to the planet and link up with the local resistance. They’d gather intel from the ground while Argo did the same for the space surrounding the planet.

This was the part Coop didn’t like. It was the LT and LCDR’s call if the SRRT team came back to Argo or stayed on planet and worked with the resistance until the fleet showed up. Coop didn’t want to be on an enemy-held world one second longer than he had to. It didn’t matter how fancy his gear. He’d read up on Harper’s Junction once he learned that was where they were going. The population wasn’t overly fond of Commonwealth governance before they got annexed, and he sensed they wouldn’t be fans now.

He just shook his head at no one in particular in Argo’s empty corridor. <Well I might as well have a little fun,> he thought as he pulled up his IOR, subverted some of the settings with the code he’d been working on for a while, and pulled up some recordings of him and Eve from memory. To anyone checking in on him, it would look like he was religiously scanning the corridor for hostiles. When in actuality he was watching Eve’s tits bouncing beneath him as they made ferocious love to one another.

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3 thoughts on “Two Worlds – Chapter 245

  1. Since next Monday is Christmas Eve there will be no post. I will post the next chapter of Two Worlds on Wednesday 12/26.

    If you haven’t yet, I highly encourage you to check out my published works. They’re easily viewed from my Amazon Author’s Page. What I earn from those helps to go into editing and artwork costs for future books. So please pick them up, and just as importantly, leave a short review and let everyone know what you think. Every review is greatly appreciated! It’s the best form of advertising for an indie author like me, and i like to hear what people think.

    Once i get the hospital bill from the birth of my kid, i’ll be looking at getting my next book edited and published. Always open for suggestions on what you want to see next

    Also, vote for Two Worlds on topwebfiction here and help bring attention to the series

    You can also donate to my indie writing career either by becoming a monthly patreon or donating for bonus Two Worlds chapters. Both links are on the right side of my Home Page.

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