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Until The End: Part 12

On the far-flung planet of Hayveon Blaze, a plucky army commander, is fighting a seemingly hopeless battle.  In a universe where empires span solar systems, a great war has split the galaxy into three. UCEF, the Union of Creature Energy Force, is an alliance of aliens fighting for freedom and justice. But set against the Cosmaratic Empire and the Barrens, an empire with mind-controlled citizens, UCEF must achieve the impossible in order to win peace.

Part 12

“I hope it is… if so it may provide an interesting possibility,” Blaze retorted, his mind already racing.

“Well there’s no record of any caves,” the Dino said, studying the computer in front of him.

“This could be useful, we might be able to hide the wounded in the caverns. It would at the very least buy us a little more time,” Blaze continued, heedless of the Dino’s doubt that the caves existed.

“Sir, with all due respect, there can’t be any caves.”

“If R112 said there were, then I trust him. Check it out as soon as you’ve finished issuing orders here, two of you go and investigate. If they exist, tell me immediately,” Blaze instructed. The Dino frowned but nodded his compliance.

“If you say so. Where should we look?”

“I don’t know, R112 wasn’t clear. I’d check the basements and any storerooms on this level; I doubt the entrance would be any higher up. The note just says ‘caves situated beneath command complex, found five days ago by a digging team’ but there’s no location given,” Blaze answered.

“Very well, we’ll go and have a look, what are you going to be doing?”

“I’m going back to where I belong, at the front leading our troops,” Blaze replied, straightening up, his mouth hardening into a line.

“Then sir, can I suggest you take R112’s armour? If you’re going to take over the role of bastion commander you should look the part.”

“His armour? Was he not wearing it when he fell?” Blaze asked in confusion; he had wondered how the previous bastion commander had finally met his end.

“No sir, R112 was on board the small orbital station when the Barrens arrived in system. He oversaw the defence, but a fluke shot from a Barren cruiser caught the orbital station before; before R112 could get out,” the Dino replied, trying to keep the pain from his face.

“Then he died fighting the Barrens, a hero to the end,” Blaze announced, banging his right paw against his chest twice in the standard UCEF salute.

“Indeed sir, if… if only he were still alive. But… now, yes well, as I was saying, you should take his armour,” the Dino continued regaining his composure; clearly R112’s death was still a raw wound. Blaze himself pushed such thoughts aside, there was no time to mourn the dead… and they would all be joining their ranks shortly anyway.

“I would be honoured,” Blaze said.

“Follow me sir,” the Dino instructed and led the way from the command room to a side chamber. The door opened automatically and took them to R112’s personal room, where, under normal circumstances, he would have held meetings and conducted any work of his own in privacy. A desk and a number of chairs occupied the centre of the room, along with a couple of computers and a stack of datatabs. The prime object of interest however was against the far wall.

Blaze’s eyebrows shot up in surprise like startled birds, for, resting in its cradle, was a SHAS, a Super Heavy Armour Suit. SHAS were the most powerful forms of personal armour available, incredibly thick plated suits made of a rare metal known as Zarnk that made the user practically immune to small arms fire. SHAS Dinos were more or less walking tanks. However very few Dinos could wear such suits as their weight was considerable and it took phenomenal strength and training, even for a Dino, to wear one. These SHAS Dinos were hand picked out of military training courses early on and would be taught how to use a SHAS from a young age. They would then focus their whole lives on mastering them until they could fight and run with ease inside the cumbersome armour. Blaze however had not received any such training.

“I… I’m sorry but… I have no SHAS training, I’m not strong enough,” Blaze admitted sadly. He looked forlornly, longingly, at the armour; opened up as it was like a mould with half the plates swung open to allow somebody worthy to step inside.

“Not a problem, this is a PASHAS,” the Dino countered proudly, with a knowing smile. Blaze did a double take, his heart skipping several more beats.

“Power Assisted?!” He exclaimed incredulously, that was brand new technology! Similar in design to a SHAS, but with inbuilt motors and drives to power each joint. It used cutting edge technology to mirror the user’s movements perfectly, so the suit could respond to the wearer and move with them. It meant he would not have to bear the weight and strain of the armour himself, he could just walk in it like any other battle gear. He thought PASHAS technology was still in prototype form, an exciting rumour whispered around Dino Industries.

“Yes sir, R112 was amongst the first to trial them, now the honour is yours.” Blaze grinned madly like a child granted their wildest dreams, his smile stretching across his face like a maniac. This was unbelievable! He, a lowly legion commander, would walk in the armour worn by the greatest generals of UCEF! Even if he was to fall in combat in only a few hours time, it would be glorious!

As if in a daze Blaze walked over to the armour and ran a paw down the cold, red, painted metal. It was a work of art and technology melded together to make a fantastic creation; flawless pieces of metal that would interlock perfectly to leave not a single weak point. His heart raced; the peril of his current situation and the impending doom momentarily forgotten. The Barrens were going to have a fight on their hands now Blaze thought, a wicked gleam in his eyes, for the gift he was about to receive would make him considerably tougher…

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Look out for Part 13 of Matthew Gill’s story!