Chapter 1: Bravo squad

Another explosion went off outside and our ship shook violently. I grabbed the overhead straps and began to walk towards the drop doors. Below us the flaming battle-scape of Makuhero city. Raven undid the straps holding her in place and stood next to me

"You ok?" She put a hand on my shoulder. I brushed it off

"Why wouldn't I be?" I opened the door and wind blew in and around by bulky metal frame I lifted my arm to shield my eyes from the harsh sun, then lowered them after my optics adjusted. The other herocrafts were keeping pace well but the villain gun placements were giving us a real pounding I gestured for Dakota to join me and Raven.

"Yes?"

"What sort of artillery d'you suppose we're looking at here?"

"I'm guessing thunderfire mortars"

"Ok" I folded my arms and surveyed the battle unfolding below". Behind me I could hear Raven and Dakota murmuring something, probably about my foul mood. But foul didn't even cover it.

My name's Jack Bolter, and I'm leader of Bravo squad. A brave group of 5 heroes of the new design, all designed with intense combat in mind when we were constructed. Guns aplenty and no cuffs to speak of. We were all commissioned during the war, and we've been doing damage since the day we walked out of the assembly tower.

I closed the doors and walked through to the cockpit. Stalin was cursing under his breath as we weaved in and out of ruined skyscrapers

"How we looking?"

"Good comrade Bolter. We should reach the target in a few minutes"

"Just keep it tight"

"Will do". I re-joined the rest of the team in the cargo bay. Raven tapped her sword hilts impatiently. The ship shook again as something hit the hull and scraped along the length of the ship.

"That didn't sound good" Dakota whipped out her crossbow and looked up at the roof. There was a scuttling sound and Dakota fired blowing a small hole in the roof. Whatever it was it plummeted downwards in pieces.

"COMRADES!" Stalin shouted from the cockpit. Shepard stirred from her meditation and pulled out her sniper rifle. I rushed through to the cockpit. Stalin was pointing towards three big black ships

"Nebula" I growled. They opened fire and Stalin took evasive manoeuvres and took us down towards the streets below. We dodged in and out of the streets crowded with fire fighting heroes and villains. Shots peppered the hull and the ships started to peruse us. I yanked one of the Gatling guns off my back and kicked open the drop doors. I took hold of a hand offered by Shepard and swung onto the underbelly of the ship. I took aim and opened fire. Orange energy bolts pounded the nose of the foremost ship "ON MY MARK START BAILING!" I shouted over the roar of my gun. We baller rolled so that the ship was upside down and I stood upright and yanked the second Gatling gun from its holster and that too joined the fuselage. Shepard Raven and Dakota joined me on what was now a semi-stable firing platform. I signalled and the three of them jumped free of the ship, while I gave covering fire. Stalin climbed through the hole and tapped my shoulder

"I think it's time for us to go comrade". Rocket launchers flicked out from under the wings of each ship and they locked onto us

"I agree". They fired and we jumped just in time. The ship vanished beneath us in a burst of flames and we plummeted downwards.

CRASH. I landed on my feet and the concrete beneath me shattered. I straightened up and holstered my guns. The ships were coming around to check for survivors. Stalin glided down next to me and he deactivated his rocket pack

"We'd better get moving" I ducked down and ran inside the wreckage of some old transport Stalin pulled out his own gun and crawled beneath a hunk of metal. Blue searchlights formed large circles on the ground. My fingers curled around one of my guns. Von Nebula is on one of those ships. Staling caught my eye. He jerked his head to one side. A black clad henchmen sprinted down the road and gestured for the ship to land. One of the two smaller vessels set itself down. More villains appeared, four of them were carrying a large silver cube

"You guys see what I see" my radio crackled and I tuned in to the frequency

"Good to hear your voice Raven"
"Thank you sir". I crouched and tried to get a better look at what they were carrying. "Shepard has a clean shot at the pilot sir, awaiting your orders"

"Leave it, we follow them, no good attracting this much unwanted attention this early on. Remember the mission Raven". I released the grip on my gun and silently edged further away from the ships.

We met up with the others by junction 24. Raven's armour was slightly scorched but the purple still showed through. She smiled. Dakota was checking readouts from her helmet

"The target is a few streets away, might be tricky to make it on foot. We are after all in Villain territory"

"The plan remains unchanged. We take out the artillery emplacements to allow the other Heroes to deploy re-enforcements. Let's go". I broke out into a jog and the others joined. Stalin leaped into the air and took off soaring into the buildings that loomed overhead. Shepard activated her time field manipulator and seemingly vanished. We all knew that she was in a vantage point where she could do the most damage. I led the remaining team members through a variety of alleyways; having spent the most time behind enemy lines it seemed appropriate. Raven drew her twin katanas as we stepped out into another street. There was an explosion nearby. None of us even flinched. Dakota's holo-shield shimmered and she pulled out her crossbow

"Next street" she hissed. I pulled the two large guns off my back and nodded.