A/N: Sorry for the late arrival of this chapter. Schoolwork as well as the dreaded writer's block contributed to that. Anyway, here it is; chapter five! I hope you enjoy, and please keep those reviews coming. Thanks.


Davis blinked, overcome by a murky mental pool of despair, shock and disgust. He lead there, motionless, for a few seconds – his new-found, Riga mort friend laying on top of him, as a kitten slouches on a sofa. 'This was the end' he kept reassuring himself, 'I'll die. But I won't have to live through these… things… again.' He shook his head to clear the admittedly ever-more-depressing trails of thought he had adopted, and he sat in blankness, silently counting the subtle yet melodic drip of the creature's turquoise blood.

Twenty-Five, he calculated, twenty-five drips of blood. It didn't seem like much, just a number based on completely irrelevant data. But for some reason, it empowered him. He felt new hope, a new sense that he had to survive; though how? He couldn't put his finger on it.

Davis grunted, as he shook and swayed violently in a (futile) attempt to get the hulking, lifeless blob of muscle off of him. He pushed, he pulled, he kicked, he spasmed. Nothing would work. Davis' empowerment had decided that it didn't really like helping a marine in such a bad position, and left him as abruptly and suddenly as it had arrived. He gathered one thing from this ill-spent few minutes; Riga mortis is a bitch.

That was when he heard it.

Clank, thump. Clank, thump. The sound thudded through his ears. At first, Davis thought it was just some random din; a patch of debris giving way, or perhaps a corpse falling lifeless. But it couldn't have been; it was in-tune, harmonic, almost. It soothed his ears, and he suddenly felt a welcomed, yet misplaced sense of calm. His confusion was answered soon after; he heard voices.

Human voices.

'Stop stalling, marine. Is there, or is there not, anyone else?' A monotone grumble chimed, shattering the ominous silence – much to Davis' delight.

'Well- erh… I think so. But-erh… he can't have made it.' It was a woman's voice; recognisable yet distinct. It was broken, shattered by a sense of shock and horror. And it was Chyk's.

'And where, would he be. If he was alive?' The unchanging, yet calm, voice retorted. Its calmness should have been a good sign – a leader. Someone to get them out of here, perhaps. But it had a cold, depressing ring to it. It felt forced, almost. As if this was the desired perspective. Whatever it was, it was artificial – at least partially.

'Underneath… underneath one of the big ones, sir; a blue one.' Chyk replied. Well, replied would be an over exaggeration – it was a gob-smacked chirp.

There was a brief pause, and then the rhythmic, somewhat surreal 'clank' of boot-on-gravel resumed. It was growing heavier and lasting longer, at intervals of a few seconds. Whoever he was, he was getting closer. Davis closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable death he assumed would catch up to him shortly. He was out of luck. A few seconds later, he felt the pressure lift abruptly from his battered torso. His eyes flung open with a start, and he stared; partially blinded by a beam of intense light. Light, at midnight? What the hell… was the splutter that ricocheted in-and-around his mind.

When he could see, what he saw didn't exactly subtract from his fear; much the opposite. It was a hulking machine. It had a Brick-orange visor, and Foliage-green armour. The armour, from the looks of it, was at least a few inches thick. Might's well have been a walking tank! The armour clicked and ground into a different position as the thing's thick, plated arm reached forward; tearing Davis' dampened body off of the saturated floor with inhuman ease.

'Harm?' The robot suddenly grunted. The abrupt, unprovoked nature of its query only added to its mechanical aura.

'Uhm… who? What are-'Davis groaned, his voice shattered by shock.

'On your feet, marine. I've been ordered to get you back to your IC – and I will get you back.' The robot retorted. The ever-serious twang in its voice made Davis feel childish, useless.

'Wait, wait. What happened to Chyk? Avens!?' Davis yelled after the thing turned away. He wasn't about to be taken for granted now; especially not by a robot. He couldn't help but notice th thing's back; a large circular console, rimmed with blue, and two exhaust ports sprouting and curving steadily upwards from the shoulder blades. This thing was advanced; it'd make the base medics salivate.

'The Lieutenant is back at base. The fuel rod hit him har-'It started.

'Fuel rod?' Davis muttered, suddenly feeling yet another negativity coming on; stupidity.

The robot grunted, blatantly not used to being interrupted; strict military doctrines, and regimental-level discipline, had such an effect. 'The alien anti-tank weaponry, with a lime-green explosion.'

'Oh,' Davis spluttered, betting on his life that he was blushing, 'right…'

'Pelican transport is inbound, ETA 20 Minutes. Anything else?' it started, with the straight-to-the-point twang of monotony ever present.

'Yeah, if you don't mind; who – or what – are you?' Davis queried. He felt that the question was fair, and so his previously nervous tone did not linger.

'Calculus; call me Calculus.' It replied quietly, turning away.