It was the third day of mission. Another day patrolling the slums like some underpaid security officer doing detective work on the side. This place was depressing, with its gray-brown muddy roads that go everywhere and nowhere in a nearly impossible-to-navigate maze. Stalls with tired old men and women selling junk on the left, teenagers and kids selling nearly spoiled fish on the right. Every once in a while, a prostitute came up, tried(and failed) to be subtle in offering their services. This place felt like an abyss, everyone tried to make due but the surroundings, atmosphere and attitude made it impossible to escape it. So everyone goes with the flow until their dying breath. A place where outcasts live until they don't. Jim was honestly surprised there wasn't a stack of corpses to burn every other day.
"Will you get off of my ass ? You know I'm not comfortable like this."
"All you have to do is look around for her. Can't be too hard, right? Hell, you've got a situational advantage. You're taller than anyone of us."
"Yeah, which makes it easier for her to spot me."
"We're tapped into every camera feed in this place. If she spots you, we'll notice."
"It's a fuckin' slum. There's not even a camera on every corner, let alone every angle."
"Will you stop being a bitch about this and just keep going ?"
Jim sighed. Out of all the people who had to go out into some stupid bounty hunt, it was him of course. Jim Alogne, better known as 'Slim Jim', amongst comrades, had seen combat in many different ways. From dropping titans on the hull of enemy ships in space to brutal guerilla warfare. It fueled him. It made him feel alive to be in the action, bursting with excitement. Almost as much as the stim. God, he missed stim.
Jim had been sent to collect a bounty for the ACES he was with. A pilot named Orillia, a veteran of the Titan Wars and currently in the employment of Vision Dynamics, was spotted here. Dead, she was worth 10000 credits. Alive, 15000. Jim had a personal grudge against her as well. He'd worked with her for 2 years with the Predators. She'd turned sides when she got herself captured by Ash, the simulacrum in charge of VD.
Jim's lifelong partner, Bubba, was killed because of her. He made a promise to his dying friend he'd carve Bubba's name on her face, but Jim never knew if Bubba heard it before he passed.
"Look alive, Jim. I'm getting some strange images on your ten." He was fully armored and ready for an engagement. He could feel his blood pumping harder through his body in anticipation. A quick peek to his left, and he saw it. A shimmering figure, not really there, running over the rooftop. Towards him.
Jim took a left into a dark alleyway and cast a holopilot as he calmly walked forward, diving into an empty shop as fast as he could. He waited. 5 seconds. 10 seconds. Thick, loud footsteps racing towards him. 15 seconds. wrrrruum 17 seconds. She dropped to the floor, clumsily, nearly dropped her gun.
She was dressed in thick black padding with a fur cloak and orb shaped helmet. Her Hemlock was covered in dirt, but she she swiped it off as much as she could as she stammered onto her feet. Jim could hear her gasps. She was running long and hard, before she even saw him.
An angel on his shoulder told him something was wrong. Orillia stopped dead in her tracks as she saw the holopilot making his way down the alley.
"Overlord, what is going on here? Target was on the run before I spotted her. Advise."
Jim took his P2016 out of his holster, clutching it in his right hand.
"Target appears to have been chased by other parties," Overlord drummed in his helmet, "scanners indicate a squad of spectres."
No pilot runs like this from a squad of spectres…
Orillia reached out to the holo and grabbed it by the shoulder, causing it to dissipate. Before she could turn around, Jim had snuck up on her, kicked in the back of her knee and forced her in a kneeling position with his pistol pressed to the back of her head.
"I'm going to give you five seconds to say what I want to hear."
"Eh, I love you?"
"Look, I'm in deep shit. I don't have the time to sit here and explain myself to you, Slim. I have to get out of here."
"I'm tempted to get you out of here, really. In an airtight box."
A distant sonic boom, from above. Jim knew what it was, but he didn't call it. Orillia scrambled as he looked up to confirmed what he suspected. He made way as fast as he could, and a split second later as 50 tonnes of death machine crashed into the place he just stood. The earth shook, the dust settled. A matte black Legion arose and readied its weapon.
"Overlord, they dropped a titan. Where the hell did it come from ?"
"It only just popped up on our scanners, must have been a warpfall. We believe it originated from a fre-"
"I don't give a fuck about where it came from! Drop me a Tone on my coordinates, and hurry!"
A powershot blasted a several stalls apart, turning some of the stunned residents into mush and the housings into collapsing debris. The hulking death machine stomped his way towards where Orillia had ran off too.
"We're spooling up the pod launcher, pilot. Watch your tone in the future."
"I'll watch it drop from the sky, Slim Jim out."
Jim sprinted after the Legion, wallrunning on the sides of the buildings adjacent to him to get as close as he could. The Legion waltzed through the slum in its pursuit, but this slowed it down enough for Jim to catch up to it. He cast another hologram to sprint straight towards it, but the Legion ignored it as it stepped on a coop of chickens and used its Predator Cannon to swipe a motionless car out of the way. Local law enforcement had gathered up and opened fire with pistols and stun grenades. The Legion spooled up its gun and fired away at them, shredding them to pieces before they could finish their reloads.
"Your titan is ready Jim, call it in."
A quick tap on his helmet placed a marker right in the Legion's path. Jim did a quick prayer as he approached the Legion, drew out his MGL, started pelting the Legion as he casted another hologram. The Legion instantly summoned its shields, turned around and showed its glowing barrels. Jim already found cover in the form of a torn up wall nearby.
5 seconds before the drop.
The Legion didn't fire. It held the shot as long as it could. By the time it fired, Jim's cavalry arrived. A red and orange Tone dropped with a dome shield, giving him plenty of time to haul into his machine and link up. But as Jim hauled into his trusty Atlas, he couldn't help but wonder why the Legion didn't fire.
As soon as he got vision in his cockpit, a comm request was made. It came from the Legion. Jim opened a channel.
"Sorry bud," Jim said as he checked the ammo on his 40MM rounds, "But that lady's mine."
"You have no right to her." A sombre and robotic voice droned in.
"No more than you do, I guess."
"I'm going to give you one chance, Slim. Leave her to me, and we'll pretend we never saw each other. Go back to your commander, whoever that is, and tell them you lost your target. Or maybe I'll leave some pieces of her around for you to hand in. But this is personal. Walk away."
The pilot in that titan knew him. Someone must have spilled. Old colleagues, perhaps. Didn't matter now.
"Not a chance in hell, my friend."
The dome shield dissipated. Jim kept his finger on the particle wall switch.
"So be it, brother."
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© Post "[#2] Orillia" for game Titanfall.
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