Katarina screamed as she was pulled from the wreckage, her entire body on fire as if her skin was being peeled off, and her bones feeling like everything might rattle apart. Most of it was imagined pain and some of it was real, but the young girl of only 8 couldn’t tell which was which and the very notion of being in that much pain only furthered to make everything heighten from there.
“Honey you gotta calm down.” Which never worked on anyone being told and the medics on sight struggled to try to keep the girl still enough to get a syringe of a relaxant into her. Finally it worked and the girl stopped moving at all and just slumped, her face holding all of the distraught feelings that were still welling up inside of her like nothing would ever make it better. The other crew members were still working as fast as they possibly could in order to pull her mother from the wreckage. They had hooked her up to a few different units and already had her plugged into an IV. Another medic crawled in from where the glass had been gbroken away to pull Katarina out and outfitted the ex mech pilot with an IV and began to use a second skin gun to try to start healing some of the abrasions.
The real issue however wasn’t in the abrasions, or the fact that she needed blood and fluids but with the shard of metal that was still pinning her to her seat.
The medics worked as diligently as they could and soon enough they were cutting away chunks of the skiff in order to try to move the ex pilot as safely as they could. All the while Katarina stayed, in a paralyzed state due to the relaxant they had given her. Her eyes looked on and her brain tried to make sense of it all. Unfortunately unlike most 8 year olds who would have had a hard time processing everything she was having the exact opposite problem. She knew everything that was going on and understood all of it on a very acute level.
Her mother had sustained deep and grievous injuries and had then gone without medical aid for at least 10 minutes, all of which was crucial time.
“Get her out of here.” A man barked and pointed in her direction. Arms were around her instantly and she was lifted into the arms of a large broad chested man.
“Come on sweety, I gotcha.”
The man said in a voice that was kind and soft, in stark contrast of the firm build tat she was leaning against.
“Mom….” She said quietly, her voice not wanting to work. The girl repeated herself, trying to call out to her mother even as she was carried all the way across the large flight deck that was now fast filling with other units flying in. All with families, All together. Her family was broken, separated… her mother… “…Momma.”
The medics and crew worked as hard as they could to get the ex pilot out of the skiff with as little damage as possible. The shrapnel had cut wide and jagged, making an absolute mess of her shoulder and most of the left side of her chest above her heart. Where it had sliced in had barely missed nicking her arterial vein and was the only thing that had kept her alive thus far. But drastic measures were needing to be taken if she was to remain this side of the veil.
Katarina’s mother was taken to another medical ward that was on the same deck as the flight unit, separating the two of them so that they could work and make the necessary procedures without the girl seeing or being anywhere she could happen upon them. It was also closer as it was on the flight deck. Once stabilized, a medic patched through to Alfred.
“Alfred… bring Goldwing on the line please.”
“Absolutely. Sir, news of your wife.”
Rockett had been absolutely beside himself and had thrown himself into battle once he had known the skiff was safely landed. The battle was still raging on in the skies as more and more unites started to come out of the heavens and down on top of them. Their casualties were still at a minimum, largely in part to the three boys, his boys, his son, and his friends, that had come to join. The three were a slasher unit. Making everything that came up in front of them absolute char dust and metal to fall out of the sky. They were still young enough and had the pleasure of this being their first battle. None of the casualties were real to them yet. Just numbers like a game. They hollered, and hooted and digitally high fived one another.
Rockett had to admit to himself that their energy was contagious and he encouraged it. Anything that could get them through this battle and get their people off of the planet was what was ultimately important.
“Goldwing here. Tell me about Dastra and Kat.” Rockett spoke through, not paying attention to the screen, which Alfred quickly took note of and turned it off. Best to not have additional distractions.
“Sir, we’ve pulled your wife from the wreckage. She’s stable but we are going to need to make some tough decisions before we can proceed. There was heavy blood loss and a massive amount of damage that was done to her left arm and shoulder. It was a wonder how your daughter and her managed to even land that thing as well as they did.”
“The Rocketts are fighters. All of us.” Was all the Pilot would allow himself to say, feeling the choking sensation at the back of his throat. The news wasn’t trending in a good direction.
“She’s alive and doing well. There were only minor cuts and bruises, two that needed to be stitched, the rest will heal on their own time. Her psyche is of some concern, but we also have her sedated currently. There’s no reason for her to be in pain as she heals and we can’t have her wandering off with so many come on board and men and women that we have no idea about their credentials.” The doctor proceeded hesitantly.
To know that Katarina was alive and for the most part unharmed was all that Rockett needed. He was confident that she would make a full recovery from there.
“Goldwing Sir, we need to discuss the medical condition of your wife. Her shoulder is completely ruined as are the muscle and bone from being cut off from any new blood flow. At best she may have minimal movement and almost no use of the arm.” The Doctor paused to let the words sink in, and that they did, almost causing Goldwing to take a hit from an enemy Mech.
“BLAST it man! Do what you need to! Take her arm, don’t take her life! FUCK!” Rockett slammed his hand down on the com unit severing the connection and immediately slamming his fist repetitively into the closest metal part of his ship. His knuckles erupted into pain and blood started to well to their surface. Placing his now battered hand back onto the movement panel he tried to compose himself and let the killer that needed to do his job take over once again.
“Target unit at 50 degrees off your port!” Alfred rang through. The best AI unit that was in existence and anticipating exactly what his commanding pilot was going to need in order to get through the battle.
“Don’t you DARE….” Rockett fired at the enemy mech and it exploded in a golden light washing over his own Mech as they flew through the debrit, “Tell Thomas about this. Not until we’re all safe… if we get there.”
“I’ll have none of that negative tone.” Alfred cut Rockett off from continuing through further and instead started to play the communication units from the boys. They were still safe, oblivious, and blowing things up almost quicker than they should have been able to.
“That’s right you Malstari Shit bags!” Carbon hollered, his voice gone guttural, completely lost to what he was doing. The heavy hitting unit was the solid back to the two smaller units that Asher and Thomas rode in. He was a beater. Someone in a suit meant to take the heavy hits and the damage. The unit he flew was outfitted with an extended almost secondary wing like unit over his arm that acted as a large shield and battering tool. The others had much smaller weaponry. Asher’s focusing on incineration and Thomas’s suit having two blades made from some of the hardest material in the galaxy, its blades almost never needing to be honed.
The other men in their suits gravitated towards the boys and fed off of their enthusiastic energy. Many of the men who were there in the mechs had been at the first encounter with the Malastari and the situation had been largely turned against them in space. Even though this was an escape mission and not one that would have a solid victory, there was less of an air of panic and more of an air of vengeance that hung around them all. If they were going to have to leave their home, they were going to do it giving the Malstari as much damage as they could.
“SHIT! Goldwing come in!” a frantic pilot was being chased by a Malstari mech and it was going to make quick work of him by the looks of it. Goldwing banked and flew head on at the two mechs that were now spiraling, one nearly out of control. Locking on the Malstari, Goldwing charged his Solar Canon and launched it. The explosion was timed perfectly in between the two and the Malstari fell through the full brunt of the explosion, coming out the other side as not but a fireball falling towards the earth and impacting it with enough force to leave a small crater.
Goldwing tried to not think about all the destruction that was being caused by the falling mechs and metal chunks from the sky. Not to mention their own fire that was hitting the ground.
“Sir there’s confirmation that the ship your wife and daughter are on has officially escaped the atmosphere. Two other units have as well. Four ships remain Sir.”
“We’ve got to make sure they all get off planet.”
“With all due respect Sir,” “Don’t use my own bloody words on me Alfred!” “Apologies, Sir we need to start moving closer to the ships that are already in space. No ones out there to protect them.”
It was enough. Rocket turned the com units to list all in his fighting wing, and all of his ground crews.
“All crews, mechs, pilots, and anyone who wants to live, you get the hell into those travel ships. I want EVERYONE out of that bay in the next 90 seconds. Leave everything you can’t carry.”