Digital Stories: Titanfall

Crouched, leaning with my back against the low wall, I ejected my magazine and put a fresh one in. Brick crumbled away next to me as a sniper bullet pierced through the wall. I take a quick glance at my wrist, a full diagnostics readout displayed graphs and various information. I found the data that was important at that time. Cloaking engine: 1 second. Before it read zero I had already push the button and I watched as light began to bend around my body leaving behind a faint glimmer of my silhouette. A bead of sweat dripped off of my brow as I took a deep breath and ran faster than I ever had before. A 3 story office building was my destination. The gap closed quickly but the sniper must have caught on. Bullets flew by me and dust danced around my feet leaving behind holes where the large caliber bullets met the ground. I jumped towards an open window on the second floor. With the press of a button I was launched higher into the air with the aid of my standard issue jetpack. I misjudged the timing though, soaring above the open window. My training kicked in and I immediately, subconsciously, began running alongside the wall of the building. I braced my legs and pushed off of the wall, my stomach sank with the though of mistiming this jump as well. Leaning towards the wall I pressed the button for the jetpack once more, praying it actually went off. The quick change in direction jerked me towards the open window as the jetpack pulled my body to safety. I may have missed my target but I still made it into the building, just a floor higher than intended.

Adrenaline was still coursing through my body when I remembered where I was, a room that I had no intel about. My cloaking device had faded just as I had entered through the window and an enemy could be anywhere. The room consisted of 3 floors, all setup in a rectangle with two small rooms in the middle of the longest walls. Staircases descended to the ground floor and an opening in the ceiling led to the roof. Before I could even hear it, a bullet grazes my shoulder and I drop to the floor. “I guess that sniper can still see me,” I thought to myself. A voice comes over my comm unit, “Enemy forces are taking Charlie.” Things weren’t looking good for us. The enemy were wiping us out and had begun to gain majority control over the battlefield. Running to a window I begin to peak out slowly, attempting to find the sniper who has me pinned down. Instead of the the sniper I find I am face to face with an enemy Titan. I call to base, “I need an immediate Titanfall. I am pinned by enemy sniper and Titans.” I hear back, “Your Titan is in the queue for drop soldier. Hold your position for a while longer.” I see 30 seconds appear on my wrist unit. I decide to head to the ground floor. As I approach the staircase 2 enemy Specters are proceeding up the staircase. Fortunately my reflexes were better and, with two swift shots to their head out of my assault rifle, they dropped. I began running down the stairs. 1 floor….2 floors. I hear over my comm unit, “It’s your lucky day! Your Titan has shipped out quicker than expected. Titanfall in 10 seconds. I head to a door, aim at the road outside the building, and upload the coordinates. The familiar low rumbling and high pitched whistling are accompanied by an object falling from the sky. My titan lands, the ground breaks beneath it while cars are thrown aside from the shockwave. I reach for my wrist unit, set my Titan in follow mode, and run towards Charlie sector.

Charlie consists of a turbine that generates electricity for the city. While I’m sure it is overrun by now I have to at least try to take it back. As we round a corner I realize my Titan has brought more attention than I had thought. An enemy Titan was firing in our direction before we were even in sight. Armor piercing bullets filled the air as the Titans fired on each other. Two enemy pilots were running towards us, not far behind the enemy Titan. I panicked. With options running thin I ran towards my Titan and initiated manual override mode. The Titan squatted a bit and reached a hand out to me, still firing with the other. It grabbed me and it’s chest opened up to reveal a cockpit complete with several monitors, joysticks, and buttons. It shoved me in and closed the doors. Several monitors flickered to life, asynchronously, and my body was drowned in the warm, familiar hue. I activated defensive measures, jets protruded out of the back of the Titan and propelled me to the side. I opened fire on the pilots killing both quickly. A glowing green button alerted me that the shoulder mounted rockets were active. I slammed my fist down on the control panel and watched, through my view screens, several missiles launch towards the enemy Titan. A rocket, not one of mine, hits the head of the Titan. Looking up I see a fellow pilot helping from the roof of a building. I should have been paying attention to the Titan though as the next thing I know it is pummeling me with it’s gigantic iron fists. The small cockpit begins to shoot sparks and the screens come and go, static and interference spacing out the view of the battlefield. Another announcement over my comm unit, “It looks like we lost this fight. Head back to HQ to prepare for another attack.” I don’t see it, but I am hit by a rocket somewhere in the back of the Titan. Critical Damage alerts flash across the screen. “I always hate this part,” I think as I flip the cover off of the eject button. I take a second to prepare myself and flip the switch. The Titan opens up and I am launched hundreds of yards into the sky. The parachute deploys and I hear another message, “No time for retreat this time. A dropship will be at your location in 30 seconds. It’s time for evac soldier.” Looking down I see the flaming wreckage of my hulking robot. I glance at the overlay in my visor and see that the evacuation point is several buildings to the east. I attempt to aim my descent in that direction to no avail. Actually landing on the roof of a building at all was blind luck, but I’ll take being lucky any day. I run towards the edge of the roof and leap with every ounce of strength I have left. I quickly engage the jetpack gaining a boost, making it to the roof ahead of me. I look to the left and see a teammate heading towards the same destination, leaping between buildings. Looking forward again I see the dropship making its decent. Two more teammates are shown as blips on my radar overlay. They aren’t too far behind me. I begin to wonder about the last two teammates as I jump across another alleyway but quickly dismiss the idea that they didn’t make it. I’m on the roof with the dropship and notice an enemy pilot running towards it unloading her assault rifle at it. She doesn’t see me. A quick three round burst takes her down quickly and I see my three teammates entering the dropship. As I begin to board I see two enemy titans getting into position to fire upon the dropship in hopes of destroying it. I don’t know what came over me but, instead of boarding the transport, I leapt off of the building to ground level.

Mid-fall I threw my rifle and grabbed the Anti-Titan Missile Launcher off of my back. Locking on to the first Titan I unleash a homing rocket that takes down three-quarters of its shields. “That should have gotten his attention,” I thought. Readying the launcher for another shot I dodged into an alleyway and tumbled into a building through a window. “Dropship, ready for warp leap,” I hear over my comm unit. I run back out into the street and send another rocket soaring towards the Titan. The shields drop leaving its exhaust open. It’s too late though. Several high caliber machine gun rounds begin to hurtle towards me. Time slows down and I look up to see the dropship become enveloped in an energy and slowly disappear. A warm sensation fills my body, starting from right arm and drifting throughout my body. A bullet, the size of baseball, has torn my arm off at the bicep. One of my legs is swept out from under me and my body collides with the concrete. “We may have lost the battle, but today I was a hero,” I thought. Who knows if the dropship would have survived the assault from the two Titans if I hadn’t interfered. That doesn’t matter now though. I made sure those soldiers made it back alive. “I was a hero…I…was a hero.”

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