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Dropside Paradise and the search for the liquor wagon.


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Blackjack one one looked like a turtle that had been caught under a lawnmower. His pod had failed to deploy its chute and was now a burning, macabre mess of person and metal that twisted down the slope into the deep ravine below. The heated metal of the destroyed HEV glowed like the coals of a dying fire and illuminated much of the bare canyon. Blackjack 1-2 averted his gaze from the rending cliffside, and shoved that mental picture deep into his guts for processing at a time when his life wasn't at stake. The poor Corporal had no idea where he was, even if the mass produced and heavily out dated helmet /had/ survived the jolting stop of a pod that nearly broke his back. A hard slap knocked something back into alignment, and his night vision activated. A Single orange waypoint had been placed. Somebody from command was still alive. 'Yay, at least the Lunar Academy movie junkie survived', his inner monologue regurgitated with extreme sarcasm, 'Maybe Oxide Actual could read his fucking map right this time'. He briefly thanked whatever passed for God in this strange section of space and began to lightly step his arching legs over the hard caked dirt. 

Warm drops of rain ran down his vest and helmet visor, and he pulled his weapon closer to his chest. The last thing 1-2 wanted was to clean muddy bullshit out of his Battle Rifle. Movement was slow going--as he checked his immediate area each step of the way for potential ambushes, mines, traps, or even environmental dangers that might leave him with some strange wound on a world he couldn't begin to guess the vaccinations for. He found himself moving steadily up a ridge line, crawling close to dirt so that he could peak over the top with minimal exposure to--

"FRIENDLY ON YOUR THREE", somebody called out. 1-2 about shit his pants at the sudden noise as he instinctively jerked his head to look in that direction. 

"Jesus Christ Malloy, you fucker,  could you make any more noise?", he whispered angrily. 

"I didn't want your jumpy ass putting a round through me Locklin.", the other black armored fellow replied with a snide laugh as he plopped into the dirt and set is sights down the groups rear exposed area. 

Locklin didn't dwell long on that. "Sergeant Murphy ate shit on impact. Figures the Dumb AI would live up to his name.", he joked--shoving that mental image down once more as it threatened to crawl up into his brain meats. He focused on the task at hand, and pulled his head up briefly to scan the valley beyond their ridge point. "You have any idea where the fuck we are?" 

"Nah. I got the waypoint from Moonman and figured you knew what was going on.", Malloy responded. The man rolled his shoulders a second, getting more comfortable in the firing position.

"Well lets see what he wants. Maybe we got lucky and this place has a bar or something the aliens missed.", he says, giving an audible grunt as he gets to his feet and begins to head down the slope in front of them in the low ready position. He carefully finds his footwork in the quickly moistening soil.

"I heard that grunt. When you gonna retire old man?", Malloy asks. 

"I'm only thirty, asshole--and would you believe I volunteered for another eight years of this shit?"

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