:: Dibs on the big gun now departing the warehouse. :: He scrambled over the ring of debris to the floor blown clean and ran for the tracked gun.
:: No prob, we've got three of our own. :: Murphy sounded busy and a bit worried.
He galloped up and jumped, a bit of levitation to get himself up far enough to not slide right back off . . . He grabbed the wrenched hatch, two slices and a heave and it tumbled off to the side. Most of the driver was slumped over the controls. Axel grabbed his shoulders and hauled him out, dumped him over the side.
Hard shields and step in . . . but the gunman was unconscious on the lower deck. A quick look . . . armored guns both direction, both pointed way from him. Axel slid in behind the controls.
His gun was approaching the other side of the street and in danger of ramming the building in front of it. Axel hauled a lever and put the right track in reverse, swiveling the whole vehicle around. He could see the gun to the south, at a slight angle. Enough to see the tracks. He took it out of gear and dropped down to the lower deck. Grabbed the driver's head and tossed it up and out. Opened the breech. Grabbed an armor piercing round, slid it in and locked the breech. Depressed the gun . . . aimed at the tracks of the other AGC and . . . dragged the moaning gunner over to apply his hand print to unlock the controls. A deep boom as he hit the "fire" button.
Back up to the drivers seat, and rotate the gun the other direction. Stop. Drop back down. Boom. Frag round, slightly to the side. Boom.
He laid a hard sleep spell on the gunner, climbed out and stood on the ragged rim of the hatch to look around.
Still fighting to the south.
Then the Boss. :: I want some live mentalists. Capture any you can. ::
A mental snicker from someone. :: If Igor's left any alive. ::
:: We'll need to check satellite records and see if they sent out any scouts before we got here. :: Axel slid off and trotted north, around the hulk of the other armored gun. Spotted Cyborgs picking themselves up and staggering away from the debris. A man in armor who was not a cyborg . . . A good glow . . . Axel hit him with a stun spell. Trotted past and climbed up their barrier to look down the street.
It looked like his four were still on their feet. He aimed a narrow thought. :: What's the situation on the cross street? ::
A tangle of mixed thought that amounted to mostly good.
The kids need training.
He turned to the Cyborgs behind him. "If you would like to surrender, toss all guns over there." He pointed. "Kneel with laser pointed down and right arm raised."
A few guns were tossed. One Cyborg raised his . . . hesitated . . . tossed it to the side and knelt. The rest of them followed his lead.
To the south . . . silence.
And then the late arriving troops got clean up and prisoner round up duty.
Axel stayed long enough to point out the gunner in the armored gun carrier, and make sure the stunned Mentalist got special treatment, then went in search of the Boss.
Big triage area, looked like First Squad had two injured.
Murph and the rest of his squad were still patrolling, the battered Second Squad was reporting in, seriously short on people.
Axel spotted, God save us! News reporters and flying cameras. He unsealed but kept his helmet on.
The Boss tossed him a grin. "Scared of the cameras, Igor?"
"Smart man. So by way of keeping your name secret, go haul your now-experienced field agents back up the hill and show them the tedium that comes with the excitement."
Axel tossed him a salute and headed off.
He dropped west a block and came up behind the AGC on the cross street. Guys with red lightening bolts were trying to get in.
Axel scrambled up with them . . . the semiconscious driver . . . he reached in to the man's brain, grabbed control of one arm and made him open the hatch.
He felt the gunner; deeply unconscious. "Huh. I didn't think I could slap them that hard from so far away." He slid back down and walked back to the car. Cyborgs littering the street. Three dead, four injured. And three more behind the car. "All right children, you have successfully completed your very first field assignment." He scooped up his clothes, which looked a bit like they might have been trampled. "Except, of course, for cleaning up, cleaning weapons, and writing reports, recovering from bruises and, hmm, a few laser burns I see . . . and then finding yourself back in training."
He let himself grin, since they couldn't see it. "You can carry your rifles as we drive, sling them and walk in armed and smelling of sweat and gunpowder, when we get there. Your co-workers will be green with envy." And you'll be on the news, looking like tough dudes.
They gave him rather shaky smiles, coming off the adrenaline.
"And if anyone asks you what Igor looks like, you shrug and say 'sort of ordinary, you know, brown hair, we thought he was just another suit getting in the way of a minor field exercise, until . . .' And then you can tell all the tall tales you can get away with."
A hover cam came zipping around the corner. He swatted it away. "Newsies, in case you were wondering why I'm still wearing the helmet. Let's go."
And since no one on staff had seen him with red hair since he was twenty, he kept the helmet on, and showed the kids where to dump the weaponry to clean it, then led the way to the showers and locker rooms.
"Get cleaned up, go see the medics about those burns, then meet me back in the work room to clean the guns and turn them back in, and yes, you will hear me get reamed for losing a rifle on the battlefield."
He waved them off into the juniors' area and kept going to the teams' territory. Where he got sideways looks and snickers from the servants. "There's nothing wrong with red hair."
Which evoked more snickers and he very definitely ignored the "Igor can't be that guy who murdered his uncle."
And speaking of coming down from adrenaline, what had he done to get that beaut of a bruise though a physical shield and his body armor. He picked up the chest plate. The internal crush zone was completely crushed on the left side. "Huh, been awhile since I've done that."
He hit the shower, then combed brown dye through his hair. Dressed in the casual not-quite-a-uniform the civilian staff adopted here, and went to clean guns.
The armsmaster glared. "Bad enough you lost a gun, but look at this armor! Do you have any idea how much this armor costs?"