Genre: Drama, Gen
Prompt: #87 Courage
Characters/Pairings: Melanie Bronson, a few OCs; no pairings
Warnings: Spoilers and character death. That, and lots of swearing.

Fortune favors the Brave

Fuck the aliens. Fuck TriOptimum. Fuck Anatoly. Fuck Diego, and most of all fuck every single one of those traitors that had helped those monsters make themselves right at home in the Von Braun.

Fuck. Them. All.

Every single atom in Melanie's god-forsaken body cursed their very existence as she and her men were more and more forced into a corner by those fucking monsters. Those sons of bitches had taken over entire the security system, up to and including to hacking a supposedly un-hackable AI like Xerxes.

And now, the robots that were supposed to protect them were shooting everyone and everything that wasn't allied with those damn aliens to pieces. Goddammit, goddammit it all.

Her men were dying all around her and she could do shit about it. There was no way out of this, she knew that all too well.

But Melanie Bronson would not lie down, roll over and let them kill her. No. She was not going down without a fight.

"Take cover!", she shouted as the assault bot send a missile flying in their direction. Meyer, Dorian and Hassan got the memo. Rodriguez didn't. She was too far away from anything that could serve as cover and too close to the robot. The missile tore her apart.

There was no time to mourn her, only to let her death fuel their rage.

"Don't slow down. Keep shooting. Make sure that she did not in vain. We need to reach the Reprogrammation computer. Keep. Shooting."

Almost there. Almost there, they were in the short corridor now that led to the computer room. Their bullets didn't deal any significant damage to the robot but it slowed him down, gave them some room to navigate. They would have needed some decent energy weapons to destroy the robots.

The sound of a guttural howl echoed across the corridor.

"The Many sings to us…we are, we are, we are."

Wonderful. Just wonderful. Now the robot was getting reinforcements from those things.

Sweat rolled down Melanie's face.

Think. Think.

Just a few meters more, and there would be two doors between them and the assault robot whatever else was coming for them. Melanie still had her access card. She could lock the doors. It would not keep them save for long but it would give them enough time to reach the Reprogrammation computer and maybe, just maybe wrestle some control over the ship back from those things.

At least then they would die doing something useful.

"Men, I have a plan" she screamed, ceasing fire, pointing at the door with one hand and looking for her security key with the other,"When I say run, you'll run through that door, understood? If you don't make that run, you are on your own."

They nodded, understanding perfectly what she wanted to do without her having to spell it out to them. She was so proud of them.

"Run!"

All of them ceased fire and sprinted to the door, but the robot and the hybrid were right behind them. But she and her men were faster for once, and the moment Melanie had come through the door, she had already slid the key-card through the lock mechanism.

The door closed down just in time to block the next missile.

It wouldn't hold out for that long, not with the way the assault robot kept shooting at it, but it gave them some room to breathe.

"Chief, the area is clear," said Hassan, wiping sweat from her brow with her sleeve.

"Good," said Melanie, still tense,"Stay alert."

There was nothing but another door left between them and the computer, and that was a problem that was easily solved. Key-card in hand she opened the door, wordlessly signaling her men to follow her.

They didn't let their guard down for even one second, but even that couldn't save them from the thing that came next.

The cyborg, wherever he had come from, was inhumanly fast. One moment, she was about to start the computer and in the next one she was surrounded by the corpses of Hassan, Meyer and Dorian, with agony spreading in her abdomen and the cyborg's head blocking her field of vision.

Instinct took over. She raised her gun to its head and emptied an entire clip of bullets into it. It sauntered backwards, its claws slipping out as it fell to the ground, destroyed. The gun slipped out of her hand, her legs gave out under her and she fell against the computer behind her, sinking to the ground.

She looked down at her stomach and was greeted with the sight of her organs slipping out of it.

"No," she thought, gritting her teeth, "not like this. Not now. I can still…I must-"

She tried to push herself up, to stand up, to turn around and use what little time she had left by sheer willpower. But her legs refused to obey her. All the willpower in the galaxy was not enough to change that.

Her fists hit the ground in frustration.

"Shit, shit, shit."

So close. So goddamn close.

This was not how it was supposed to end. Not like this. They – she and her men and women – had known from the beginning that this was a suicide mission. And that was fine. Their success would not have been measured by their survival, but in how much they would have managed to screw those monsters over before she and her team were killed.

Death was acceptable. Failure was not.

It was just so unfortunate that what they were up against happened to be far, far smarter than any of them could ever hope to be.

She took a deep breath, trying to ignore the pain. The assault robot had ceased to waste its ammo on the door. Those bastards were probably well aware that she was done for. Figures.

But she wouldn't be Melanie Bronson if she was just going to lay back and die. She wouldn't do them the favor.

With one hand clutching her bleeding mess of a stomach, she reached for her recorder, setting its frequency to everyone. The whole ship was supposed to hear what she had to say, survivors and those bastards alike.

Not willing to waste anymore time, she steadied herself and spoke loud and clear.

"They've killed my men and now they've killed me. "

A pause. Steady, soldier, steady.

"I'm holding my guts inside of me with both hands. I'm almost done... ,"she said, looking at the light above her, clenching her jaw.

Her vision was fading fast. Not good.

"Resist. This is bigger than my little life, the lives of my men and the lives of the people I was forced to kill," the faces of the men and women in the mess hall flashed before her eyes," Resist."

Her hands shook, the pain faded.

She gathered all her strength one last time not to speak, but to shout-

"Humanity demands it!"

-to outright scream to make sure that on every deck, on every floor, in every room, every single corner -

"Resist!"

-her words would be heard.

The recorder fell from her hand-

Resist.

-the pain was gone-

Resist.

-her world had gone pitch-black-

Resist. For me. For you . For humanity.

-and her body-

Resist.

-went very, very still.