Chapter 12 - Grace & Brutality

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Date and time unknown - The climb down the mountain had been difficult despite the use of the advanced technology housed in their suits to traverse the cliff quickly.

The wind had picked up since they first crash-landed on the planet and passing through the clouds had been perilous due to not being able to see further than two metres below them.

Jason's rib had started to become a nuisance. Now though, he was getting warnings every time he administered more painkillers. However, despite the continuous, frustrating beeping he received on each medication request, Jason knew that the need to be at the peak of his abilities negated the risk of complete heart failure from an overdose.

Or that's what he kept telling himself as he pressed the necessary buttons.

All three of the soldiers had made good progress. They had managed to get to the rendezvous in less than an hour and most importantly they had done it quietly. As far as they were aware the Ceti's had not noticed that they had reached the foot of the mountain.

Aurora was the first to reach the bottom and immediately got into a covering position for the other two.

Jason placed his feet on the ground eager to make progress after the nauseating feeling of the turbulent winds and vertigo-inducing heights. Placing his rifle in the air he looked around to confirm that there were indeed no enemies. At the moment they had the element of surprise.

Confirming that it was all clear, the three of them found the nearest defensible position and hid behind it allowing them to work out their next plan of action.

Jason looked at the arid land around a heavily defended facility that stood menacingly near the precipice. There were plenty of large anti-air turrets all facing into the sky ready to rip apart anything that came into view. Scanning the walls, he could count a number of Ceti's in view already, at least twenty, all at various points to make any large-scale assault very likely to fail.

That also meant that they were not really prepared for an infiltration unit.

"Westwood, I'll need you on overwatch for Aurora and I as we infiltrate the southern part of the facility."

Westwood frowned "I know that the two of you get on well but Aurora is our best marksman..."

"Marks woman!" Aurora interrupted.

Westwood was taken aback by the comment "Marks woman," he continued "she should be providing cover."

There was a sigh through Jason's helmet. "Yes but I also trust her implicitly."

Not wanting to make too much of a scene Westwood pointed toward Jason's torso. "I don't like you Jason, that has not been a secret. You're arrogant, reckless and have a family advantage."

Aurora held Jason's arm to calm him down from the final comment, she shook her head slightly encouraging him to listen to what Westwood had to say.

Jason took a long hard breath even though the words felt like a dagger in his heart.

"However," Westwood continued, "I take my commitment to the Crazy Tigers and the war effort very seriously. I also want to get off this planet alive, therefore, we need to stick to the most successful strategy."

"Westwood is right, Jason." Aurora agreed unconventionally.

That really took the wind out of Jason's sails.

He looked towards the both of them trying to make a decision quickly. The pain killers were not necessarily making that task straightforward.

"Fine, Aurora, overwatch, Westwood with me. We'll get in, plant the explosives on the facility power unit and exit. We'll then detonate on our climb back up." Jason confirmed.

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