Disclaimer: I own nothing. Enjoy the depressing first chapter!
I found him crumpled on the concrete floor of the dark warehouse, lying in a sticky pool of blood. His face was curiously enough, covered in the repulsive red substance. His lack of it evident in the way his face was impossibly pale. His empty eyes stared, motionless, at a spot on the ceiling. Stuck staring in that direction, as I now realized, for what would be the rest of time. Cutting off this weird train of thought and moving on. I suddenly became fully aware of what had happened, and immediately felt an intense pang of guilt and sorrow.-He'd gone in alone, assigned to the same mission I was attempting to carry out now, expecting the information to be easily retrievable, guarded by a few small autobots, simple. He must have been caught of guard by the sheer size of the robot army that we now know was enormous. We had sent more Rangers in to help him out, but it must have been too late. Once they had successfully wiped out the larger robots, the more immediate threat, they sent me in, saying the previous attempt to retrieve the info was a bust and I was to finish the job-. I looked back down at Up, who had been my best friend-only friend-for years, who was now dead, gone, no longer able to fight beside me. I concluded that there was nothing I could do now to change that fact, and chose instead to ponder what I could do about the current difficult position I had just accidentally landed myself in. I had definitely seen way too many dead bodies in the duration of my time as a Starship Ranger to be bothered by his. And so, I watched him for a moment longer, still debating whether to pick him up or leave him there, when suddenly it hit me. I facepalmed for the time wasted thinking when I realized it wasn't even a choice. Hadley, my superior officer, would not take kindly to the information that I had left one of her best men to rot in an old warehouse located in the middle of nowhere, on enemy territory no less, the honorary Commander Up, with no chance of later retrieval. And even though this was not meant to be a rescue mission, rather just the simple extraction of information and a quick escape, I knew I must bring the Commander back safely, with me, even at the risk of my own safety.
I dragged the lifeless body of my ex-Commanding Officer into a standing position and hoisting him over my shoulder, begun to lug his dead weight up the rickety winding staircase, leading up to the catwalk above. Reaching the top, I adjusted his weight so as to be more comfortable and my foot creaked a little on the old, unsturdy catwalk as I quietly as possible started to make my way over to the air vent through which we would be escaping. Even in the dark, I had to tread lightly, carefully on the noisy surface, the only other noise being the constant howling of the wind outside. And though the robots were unable to see, they would be able to detect any movement within a ten foot radius, noise in a twenty foot one. If I was quiet enough, they would just shrug it off as the normal creaking of the catwalk, rocking side to side from the constant gush of wind flowing in from outside. This made the catwalk even more unsteady. Hadley definitely owed me one for this.
As expected, my foot creaked again, and I was jerked out of my thought process by the telltale mechanic whir, beep, and click, that signaled they had heard me and were tracking my location. As I stood there, frozen, motionless, reprimanding myself for my own clumsiness, a robot left it's post near the warehouse door and begun to move, blindly and with loud footsteps, in my general direction.
I stood there another moment, then sighing, making up my mind, and knowing I had little time, dragged the heavy-ass lifeless body of my old Commanding officer towards the air vent that now was, as it happens, our only chance of escape. I propped my used-to-be-Commanding-officer up against the wall next to the vent, head lolling on his chest as dead peoples heads normally do, and reached my shaking hand into the camouflage pocket of my standardized G.L.E.E issued uniform pants, grabbing ahold of something plastic and screwdriver shaped. I pulled out the tool, and got to work quickly on the first screw. This all happened in a few short seconds, and I was just hearing the first robot reach the stairs. It's slow, heavy, mechanical footfalls echoed around the warehouse, sounding ten times louder than they normally would, and making my death seem more and more imminent with every step. The shaking became more violent as the robot got closer, and I dropped the screwdriver. My heart stopped. The brief sound of metal clanking against metal, and the screwdriver fell through one of the perfect rectangular apertures of the catwalk, making the situation seem impossibly worse. The footfalls drew closer, grew louder, more imminent, more intense, the robot closing in, I was was engulfed in the darkness of it's shadow, the reality of the situation becoming more and more clear with every deafening step that echoed off the walls. I daren't look at this foul mechanical being, because I did not want it's ugly metal mug to be the last thing I ever saw. So I squeezed my eyes shut and clung tight to Up's lifeless body, bracing myself for what I knew to come. A brief, painful, almost instantaneous death by the metal hand of a robot.
Now, had this particular event occurred on my own planet/ship, my body would have been retrieved, the robot killed, a brief funeral service, the parting ceremony, and my body shipped out into space in a rectangular metal box. The protocol procedure for any Ranger who has died in action with a retrievable corpse. And though I would die in action, unfortunately since the mission was being conducted on enemy turf, our bodies would not be retrieved. From now on, Up and I, would be but a memory, forever preserved in the databases of the G.L.E.E headquarters and Starship 15b2. Our legacy, left behind for future generations to discover and awe at.