Chose your own adventure: Ranger’s Battle

“The red wire’s connected to the blue wire, the blue wire’s connected to the green wire, the green wire’s connected to the yellow wire, and yellow wire’s connected to the live wire, so we’re good to go,” Tech says in a sing songy voice over the com.

The tapping from Ranger’s boot had managed to put a dent in the corridor’s metal floor as her patience was wearing pretty thin. She took a tentative step into the room and reached for Soldier. His limp body sags in the chair as she cut through the restraints with her plasma knives. Bruiser walks into the room and they carry him out of the room.

He lands on the floor with a thunk and his eyes were rolled into the back of his head.

“I’ve had a chance to analyze the neurotoxin that’s invaded his blood stream,” Tech said over the com. “It’s packed full of adrenaline, but it’s reacting weird due to Soldier’s body chemistry. Normally he’d be frothing at the mouth trying to kill you guys right now, but prolonged exposure seems to have made his heart slow down. Best bet, carry him out, but be careful with physical contact.”

Demon language can be heard over the com and Tech’s line cut out.

Without saying a word, Ranger pulls down her visor and springs away. Soldier’s body weighs a tonne, but you pull your weight helping Bruiser to carry him to a safer location. Tech gets back onto the com and she’s panting.

“We’re bringing some company your way, get ready!”

Just then, Soldier’s body starts to twitch and his muscles begin to spasm. His eyes open. They’re bloodshot and filled with rage.

He pushes away from you and lets out a howl. His feet clunk and clank as he runs down the corridor right into the eye of the demon legion about to arrive on their doorstep.

Bruiser runs ahead and you ready your laser blaster. Outside, you find Bruiser, Ranger, and Tech sitting down on a small bench watching as Soldier tears through a horde of demon minions. Most are starting to retreat, but a few still attempt to attack the titan barreling down on them.

“He’s not really affected by the neurotoxin,” Tech says to you. “I think he’s just having fun, but at some point we’re going to have to get him to stop.”

“I’m not doing it,” Bruiser says dodging a flying limb. “If Soldier wants to get a little payback for being tied to that chair, I say we let him.”

“We need an exit strategy that doesn’t involve tossing Soldier like a living grenade at the fissure opening that’s now guarded by a legion of demons and some of the arch demons,” Ranger says. “I’ll scout it out.”

As suddenly as he began, Soldier stops his attack allowing the rest of the demon forces to retreat. He checks his watch and starts to laugh.

“I sent him a video of a dog who doesn’t understand what hiccups are,” Tech says. “He can’t ignore his social media feed, so it’s the easiest way to reach him sometimes.” She looks over to Soldier who is still laughing at the video on the holo display. “Get some pants on!”

***

Bruiser does a fly by of the enemy encampment and reports in with Ranger. Things don’t look good. Even with all four of them back together, the arch demons who stand at the gate are going to be a problem. Carved out of schist, the guardians are imposing foes and not easily taken down by energy blasts, subversion or brute force.

“While I was in lock up, the guards were interrogating me on the location of Tech’s fissure breakers,” Soldier says. “We have their locations on the map, but they’re partially out of phase making them pretty difficult to find. If we exposed a few of them near to one of the closer fissure sites and made it look like we were trying to retrieve the device maybe we could distract a few of the big guys, so a few of us could make it through to the fissure.”

“And we could close it behind us by having Ranger set one up just as we start to climb,” Bruiser says. “You don’t mind sticking around here a little while longer, do you?”

“You try spending a few days in one of those cells and see how much you like it… but it’s a good plan,” Tech says.

Ranger remains quiet on the subject keeping an eye on the forces. Much to the relief of the others, her camo suit ran out of energy, so she had to put her clothing back on. You ask her what she thinks of the plan.

“What about Warrior and Sniper?” Soldier asks. “Is there any chance we can get some support from them.”

They looked up into the underside of the Earth. Through the cracks in the ground, you could see the night sky above and the moon looking down at them. Somewhere up there, Sniper was sending lances of energy hurtling toward the enemy and piercing them right through the heart. Her targeting systems could cut the wings off a fly, but she wouldn’t because she never let an enemy suffer.

Could she see us too?

“We need to keep the Chosen One safe,” Ranger says sitting down with the others. “Our top priority is to get you to the top and our of harm’s way. We can run interference, so Bruiser can fly you out. I think we can all agree that we’ve only made it this far because of your powers.”

The four warriors look to you.

“So, what do you think?”

I’m the top priority | Let’s go with Soldier’s plan | Try to contact Sniper, maybe she can help

— Page 11 —

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