The six of them moved out, cutting the town into sectors and pairing up. The townsfolk were asleep, only the ore grinders making any noise as the churned 24/7 or whatever sidereal period this little dustbowl went through between day and night. Grey could pull the data up on his HUD, along with weather reports, topographical maps and every other bit of intel the UN geo-probes collected, but right now all he cared about was the thermal overlay.
Each hut, fabricated from bits of the original descent ship and cannibalised into walls, floors, tables and everything else a family would need, were painted on his visor, their outline tagged with the number of heat signatures found inside. He followed Blue to the first hut, a lonely one painted above it, and carefully opened the door. No one locked their door on a foreign planet, when the nearest human you didn’t know was a dozen lightyears away.
Blue paused and for a moment Grey contemplated putting the muzzle of his rifle against the base of the kids skull plate and letting a tungsten-carbide round shred through the armour. But the kid got himself squared away and his rifle burped in the quiet night, barely above a whisper, as he shot the sleeping form of a colonist, safely tucked away in their bed. The thermal signature started going cold straight away and soon the body matched the ambient. The one changed to a zero.
The HUD was a constant stream of data as each fireteam worked through their sector. Blue and the others would see only the most relevant data but Grey, as second in command, got the full flow via Red. Ten minutes in and Gold screwed it all up.
The shout came from the Western sector. Gold broadcast an alert. Grey pulled up a livestream from the soldiers helmet-cam and watched a colonist scramble behind an old style kitchen, the kind with a little fire and an old pot on top bubbling away. The pot shattered as one of Gold’s rounds passed straight through it, biting into the dirt.
The colonist popped back up a moment later and Grey had a perfect first-person view as he watched the shotgun clutched in the mans arms unload both barrels at once. Gold took both blows to the chest, the gel in his suit hardening in an instant, spreading the blast out across his upper torso. Grey pulled up a map.
“Stay here kid,” he said, setting off at a sprint.
By the time Grey made it to the prefab kitchen, Gold was back on his feet, the colonist missing half his skull. The twin blasts had echoed throughout the town and Grey’s map showed movement in the thermal signatures. The sleepy town was awake.
“Get to the mine entrance,” Grey said. “Don’t let any of them get underground. If they dig in this’ll turn into a clusterfuck real quick.”
“Aye aye Sir.”
Grey saw a comm request from Red, working in from the East, and blinked it open.
“What the fuck did that kid do?” the squad leader asked, the rage audible over the line.
“Wasn’t him Sir. Gold spooked a local.”
“Gold? That’s his bonus gone. We’ve got two dozen left. I’m authorising full force.”
As the order was relayed across each man’s HUD, Grey felt his rifle come alive. The suppressor utilised a quarter-charge. The slugs moved barely slower than mach one. Grey sighted through his scope, the thermal data and his HUD combining to show a shape moving in one of the buildings. He locked the target in and pulled the trigger. His rifle bucked and a gram of metal came hurtling out at supersonic speeds. It passed through the metal walls, the target, and back out the other side without slowing.
“Blue, on your six,” he announced, catching up with the kid and weary of being shot by a round himself. “What the fuck?”
The kid was kneeling, his helmet lying next to him on the ground as held a young girl to his chest. He was rocking back and forth. The girl was bleeding out, her left arm missing from mid-shoulder onwards. Blue just sobbed, his armour and face covered in her blood.
Grey grabbed him, lifting the kid in one easy swoop as the servos in his legs and arms whined with the load. The girl fell to the dirt, rolling unto her eyes looked up at the sky.
“You better get your shit together real fast,” Grey whispered, making sure his comms were offline. “Put your fucking helmet on and get back to the LZ.”
“She just came at me Sir. Wouldn’t stop. I told her to stop. Wouldn’t. Couldn’t. I shot her Sir.”
“Boo fucking hoo, you shot a kid. Get used to it because otherwise the next dumb fuck lying in the dirt will be wearing your dog tags. Do you get me private?”
Blue nodded dumbly and Grey let him fall to the ground. The kid scrambled to get his helmet on and took off, sprinting back towards where the dropship would come in for exfil. Grey looked at the girl lying in the ground, the blood mixing with the off-coloured dirt in his night sight, and shot her in the head.
Prompt originally posted by Wilthywonka on reddit and received 1 upvotes.