“Ten minutes to drop. Check your gear people.”
The drop ship was coming down fast, the thin atmosphere letting it ride the chop with ease as the pilot brought them in at a steep angle. She’d drop them on the ground, a hundred metres above the LZ and ease back up into low orbit, close enough to provide air coverage.
Grey checked his webbing one last time. Around him, the other men in the cohort were doing the same. The bay was dark like the ship, but they all saw perfectly. You didn’t get to join special forces without the Navy making you a bit more special.
“Blue, you better be ready for this. No more of your bull.”
“Count on me Red,” the youngest member of the group said from behind his visor.
The pilot swung the engines, the ship decelerating so hard the inertial compensators whined at them, before the bay doors slid open, revealing a shanty town below them, lit by a strip of glowlamps along the only road worth naming.
“Dermal beacons say there are sixty-eight colonists down there,” Red said. “I want it clean and I want it fast.”
They dropped into the night. The ship’s engines were silent as they hit the dirt, the exoskeletal legs absorbing the impact as each man fell to the ground and quickly moved off to take cover. This was just another world, one more clean-sweep.
“Grey.” It was Red’s voice, echoing in his ear. The icon in his HUD let him know it was on a private channel, just the two of them. “I want you to follow Blue. If he fails to clear out a sector you need to do it. Understand?”
“And I want you to clean him out as well if he does. We don’t have any room for soft hearts. Clear?”
This was just another world. Grey had said it to himself so many times it had lost meaning. Somewhere, someone, something, had tripped the defence algorithms, shown signs of ‘infection’, and now they had to come in and make sure it didn’t spread. Clean it all away. Make it quiet so the panic didn’t spread.
Because the only thing that spread faster than a plague, was fear.
Prompt originally posted by Wilthywonka on reddit and received 5 upvotes.