Ranger lets down her hair and takes off her uniform. She wears a sensible white shirt, but a crosshatching of scars and cuts adorn her arms and back with some of the more severe ones smoking as they heal themselves.
As you talk to her, Bruiser returns to the camp with some provisions: take out from a local Chinese restaurant. He gives Ranger an entire bag all to herself. Along with her giant size, she seems to have a giant appetite finishing off the “Meal For Four” in no time at all.
She leans back on a log and adjusts her laser rifle. She looks over to you and beckons you to sit a bit closer to her.
“We’re taught at the academy that whoever finds the Chosen One first gets possession of them for the duration of the mission,” Ranger says. She winks at you.
“Makes me feel a bit possessive at times, but it’s just part of my programming. I’m just happy I found you first. Warrior would have tried to thrust one of his swords into your hand before you even had a chance to get an idea of what was going on.”
Ranger pulls out a small locket and puts it into your hand. You open the locket a small photo appears before you.
Ranger, Bruiser, Tech, Soldier, Warrior, Sniper, and someone else are standing together in the picture. They look a little a younger, but Ranger is in the centre and still has the same steely expression while she was fighting.
The inscription below the photo reads, “Squad X24.”
“I was assigned squad leader of the group,” she says. “Typically the Warrior or the Bruiser are given the command protocols, but I was given control after the incident.”
During their time at the academy, a false alarm sent them running into the real world. When they arrived on Earth, a squad of demons were waiting for them and ambushed.
“We were surrounded,” Ranger says looking down at her feet. “I wasn’t the squad leader at the time, so I followed orders and we retreated. Most of us managed to escape to a safe distance from the demonic forces, but Medic was captured.”
She takes the locket back and looks at the picture for a short while.
“When the commander is captured or killed, the second in command receives their protocols,” she says. “Medic was the best of us and we were sure she was going to make it out, but when I received the protocols we knew something was wrong. Tech was able to monitor her condition, but by the time we had made a rescue attempt she was dead.”
There’s a long pause before Ranger starts to talk again.
“We managed to get her body back and we were recalled to the academy,” she says. “We’re not like humans. The bodies we leave behind dissolve into code and there’s nothing left to mourn. Before she died, part of her code seeped into all of us infecting our bodies with the nano machines that heal our wounds. She’s still with us even now.”
Ranger squeezes the laser blaster and holds it up to her chest.
“I can feel her in this,” she says. “The other group, the other squad… their medic is still alive. We have to find her and figure out if she’s with us or against us.”
You continue to talk until late in the night before you decide to head to sleep.
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