Drake Squad – Mercenaries at Large – Part 2

by holojacob

Drake Squad Mercenaries at Large-small

Link to Part 1

“Great,” Twinkie said. “Get to cover, people.”

Twinkie ran over and put his back to a long slab of the Raspberry’s hull plating. Agnis crouched next to him. Jane and Shrike set up behind a ruined engine.

Twinkie peeked around the twisted edge of the hull plate. The ship followed the line of wreckage, hovering a dozen meters over the surface. Sunlight gleamed off its white, boxy hull. The side he could see was checkered in red and bore a gold crucifix.

“Crusaders,” Twinkie breathed. “Persistent bastards.”

“The dropfighter is sweeping the wreckage with active multitrackers,” Agnis said. “I don’t think we’re going to stay hidden for long.”

“Then let’s not keep them waiting,” Twinkie said. “Shrike?”

“I’ve got a clean shot on the nose turret.”

“Take it.”

Shrike fired. The heavy shatterback blasted out of his rifle and struck the dropfighter’s nose. The bullet slipped through a seam in the armor, right next to the barrel. Once inside, the shatterback’s micromind detonated its explosive payload.

A small fireball bloomed from the impact. The turret tried to traverse, but its barrel had been bent upward. A hatch on the back of the dropfighter opened.

“Here they come!” Twinkie shouted.

Two crusaders jumped out and landed in the crash ravine. They were giants in white armor, with enlarged torsos and bulging limbs. The crusaders sprinted forward with incredible speed. Layers of artificial musculature flexed underneath thick armor. They took cover behind part of the Raspberry’s machine shop.

“Only two,” Shrike said. “We can take them.”

The crusaders sprang from cover, their Gatling guns already spun up. They fired, spewing out a combined total of two hundred forty vari-shells per second. Explosive shells detonated against Twinkie’s cover. Incendiary rounds burst apart, spraying the wreckage with self-immolating gel. Lunar gravel blasted high above.

Scorched pebbles rained over Twinkie. None of the shots punched through the Raspberry’s hull plate.

“That’s my girl,” Twinkie said. He pulled out his shotgun.

“They’re advancing!” Agnis shouted. She fired her sniper rifle. The shot struck one of the crusaders in the shoulder and ricocheted off.

Shrike fired on the same target. The shatterback hit the crusader in the temple. The force of the impact threw the crusader’s head back. He fell over, shook his head, and stood up again.

Another two crusaders jumped out of the dropfighter. They dashed forward, joining the first pair.

“Not good,” Shrike said.

“‘Only two’, huh?” Twinkie shouted. “Next time, keep your big mouth shut!”

A burst of Gatling fire flew overhead. Several vari-shells hit Twinkie’s cover, throwing out a shower of sparks.


Jane aimed for the lead crusader and fired her railgun. The depleted uranium slug struck the crusader in the torso and threw him several meters back. He slid across the ground, clutching his chest armor. Jane’s shot had bent the front plate inward, breaking the man’s ribcage in the process.

Two more crusaders leaped out of the dropfighter.

“This isn’t looking good,” Shrike said, lining up another shot.

Twinkie fired three grenades from his shotgun’s underslung launcher. The grenades tumbled through a parabolic arc and landed near the advancing crusaders. They burst into scything clouds of shrapnel. The crusaders shrugged off the damage and kept coming.

“This isn’t working!” Agnis said, firing.

“You know,” Twinkie said. He pulled grenades off his bandolier and jammed them into his shotgun. “This wouldn’t be happening if you hadn’t got shot down.”

“Well, excuse me!” Agnis said. “It’s not like I tried to get us shot down!”

“I thought you knew how to fly.”

“I do know how to fly! I’m a very good pilot!”

“Uh huh.”

“And another thing!”

A crusader grenade landed next to Agnis. She waved her hacking glove over the grenade, picked it up, and stuck it in her bandolier.

“And another thing!” Agnis continued. “It was your idea to fly here in the Raspberry!”

“I thought you could handle it.”

Shrike fired another shot, hitting the lead crusader dead center in the forehead. The shatterback penetrated the crusader’s helmet and exploded inside. The crusader dropped to the ground, his head nothing more than red paste.

“We need to get out of here,” Shrike said.

Gatling fire shot over their heads.

“I’m open to suggestions!” Twinkie said.

“We retreat inside that dome,” Shrike said.

“No!” Agnis shouted. “Absolutely not! We’re dead if we go in there!”

A crusader grenade exploded against the hull plate. Glowing bits of metal shot past Twinkie’s head.

“Right now, I care about the threat I can see!” Twinkie shouted.

“You’re going to get us all killed!” Agnis shouted.

“What other options do we have?” Twinkie shouted.

Jane rose from cover and sprinted towards the dome. The adaptive material on her soles allowed her to charge flat out, even in the low lunar gravity.

The crusaders tracked her, cutting loose with their Gatling guns. Shots pounded into her, denting her armor. Incinerator rounds set her ablaze.

Jane crashed shoulder-first into the dome’s airlock, taking it off its heavy hinges. She disappeared inside.

“If you ask me, Jane’s got the right idea,” Shrike said.

“I’m not going in there!” Agnis said.

“Then stay out here!” Twinkie shouted. “Grenades at the ready!”

Shrike pulled a grenade off his belt. Agnis took an extra moment, but she grabbed two off her bandolier.

“Now!” Twinkie fired three grenades over the hull plate. Shrike and Agnis tossed theirs. The grenades landed amongst the crusaders and began detonating.

“Move it!” Twinkie shouted, dashing out of cover.

“We’re going to regret this!” Agnis said, racing for the door.

Shrike followed them, charging across the open plain. Jane, her armor still on fire, peeked out of the door and unloaded her railgun at the crusaders. Gatling fire whizzed past, exploding against the dome.

A vari-shell struck Twinkie’s hip from behind. He tumbled to the ground. Shrike grabbed his arm and dragged him inside. Jane shoved the airlock back in place and started welding the seams. Agnis pulled a mine out of her backpack and trapped the door.


Link to Part 3

Picture Credit – H.P. Holo at Holo Writing


4 Comments to “Drake Squad – Mercenaries at Large – Part 2”

  1. Ho-hum … when does the action start? 🙂

  2. I think Jane is my favorite. Very well done!

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