Minimised or not, Lin was still taking a big gamble with the livelihoods of everyone around him and his lackeys had still killed a local sheriff. One way or another, he had to go down.
Penny turned to the constabulary. “Alright everyone this is it. As soon as we reach the station at the other end I want MacDonald, Toyota, Jenkins, Rasskazov, Hamilton and myself to stand either side of the monorail doors and lay down covering fire, the rest of you follow Sergeant Mohammed to…” Penny looked out across the refinery and found a spot behind a storage shed large enough for the rest of the platoon to take cover behind. “…There.” Penny said and a waypoint marker appeared in everyone’s nanoputer next to the shed.
The robots out in the refinery continued their work, either the mine proper hadn’t heard what had happened at the hangar yet or Lin wanted every last gram of kerium he could get.
Penny felt the monorail reduce speed as it pulled in to the platform and she took her position beside the door with the constables she’d called for.
Once the train came to a stop the doors opened and Penny rushed out into the refinery.
“Go go go.” Penny yelled, swinging around the doorway and moving two person-lengths away from it so MacDonald and Jenkins could take up positions beside her.
Penny put the nearest robot she could find in the middle of her sights and hit the trigger.
The whole refinery went into action. The rest of the platoon rushed towards the storage shed while Penny and the others maintained their hail of fire.
Penny’s first target, a droid with a cutting laser, dropped from the first shot. Immediately Penny sighted up on its companion with the sealant gun and put a spear through it as well.
The tail end of the platoon left the train and dashed across the clearing.
[MacDonald, Jenkins, maintain fire.] Penny pointed out across the refinery. [Toyota, Rasskazov Hamilton, get behind those benches and shoot from there.]
Some androids off in the distance opened fire. Their simple programming leaving them with only a full-automatic option.
[Down!] Penny went to ground as the hail of bullets crashed against the monorail train. Jenkins saw Penny dive and followed her down. MacDonald hesitated, he looked up where the shooting was coming from and in the next moment the wall of lead hit him like a star freighter.
Sergeant Mohammed saw MacDonald drop. [Covering fire people. Get them out of there.]
From where she lay on her belly Penny sighted up on one of the androids up on the peak and launched a spear-shot. She saw the three constables she’d sent to the benches take up positions and added their fire to the volleys.
[Jenkins.] Penny transmitted. [Grab MacDonald, we’re leaving.]
Jenkins and Penny got up, grabbed MacDonald by an arm each and rushed over to Toyota, Rasskazov and Hamilton’s position.
Once they were back in cover Penny got on the horn. [Sergeant. Find a better position from where you are, fire and manoeuvre just like we did. We need to keep up the pressure.]
Bullets tore up the benches around them as Penny opened the remains of MacDonald’s chest plate.
Hamilton hovered nearby while Jenkins took over his firing position.
“Is he going to be alright?” Hamilton asked, her voice shaky.
Penny ripped open his uniform under the armour and looked over MacDonald’s body, while only the odd bullet here and there actually penetrated his armour, plenty of rounds slipped between the plates. He was covered in blood.
“He’ll be fine.” Penny lied. “You got spray-skin?”
Hamilton nodded quickly.
“Clean him up and get to sealing his wounds, If you’ve got a plasma pill get him to swallow that as well.”
With that Penny took the opportunity to dump her empty barrels and feed in fresh ones from the bandolier.
[I need a volunteer to stay here and cover Hamilton and MacDonald.]
Toyota raised his hand, but didn’t take his eyes off the battle. [I’ll stay.]
[Good. Hamilton if he looks hopeless help out Toyota and try to regroup with us. The rest of you follow me, we’re linking up with the Sergeant.]
Penny didn’t like splitting her forces like this. In the Rangers a casualty would be left until the battle was won and proper triage could be organised. That way she didn’t lose two people every time they took one casualty. But with civilians who had worked with each other for years she knew she couldn’t ask them to be that ruthless.
Penny finished loading and got back to the bench. [Toyota and I will cover you. First two people to the shed stop and provide cover for me. Go!]
Toyota slammed out three spears in quick succession and Penny added her fire to his. The rest of them bolted to the storage shed.
As Penny had asked the first two constables to the shed stopped and got behind the corner, one kneeling, the other reaching over the top of the first. As they threw out a volley of spears Penny got up and sprinted after them. When she reached the shed she tapped the standing cop on the shoulder to let him know she’d made it and the three of them got back behind cover.
She found Sergeant Mohammad by the other side of the shed, providing covering fire for his people out in harm’s way.
[Jenkins.] Penny called. [Take over from the Sergeant. I need a sitrep.]
Jenkins followed Penny’s example and tapped the Sergeant on the shoulder. When he turned Penny beaconed him her way and Jenkins took his place at the corner.
[How we doing?]
Sergeant Mohammad took a deep breath. [I got two down out there. The boys at the earthmover are trying to provide cover. But they’ve got something out there. Take a look.]
Mohammad swapped with Jenkins again and Penny aimed her gun around the corner.
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