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This is the way world ends (Chapter art)

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Chapter 15 - This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners (3024)[]

Wolf Skinners bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
1753 Local Time
25th July, 3024

Sergeant Andy Ludak was sweating despite being a good three meters in the shade at the end of his shift. He was alone in the short tunnel. Digging had been his idea, and he wasn't willing to let anyone else share the risk. Just like his insane free fall from the crashing Mondez with a literal ton of food tethered to his exoskeleton. THAT had been rather more exciting than excavating shelter for the survivors of that crash. His thought was interrupted by a loud crack from the stone above him. His reflexes kicked in, and he jerked back as fast as the exoskeleton allowed him. Unfortunately, it wasn't fast enough. After a brief space, Andy blinked his eyes open to find himself flat on his back with rather a lot of loose rock pinning his legs.

"Ah, a little help here, please!?" he called back toward the light. His makeshift digging tool was mostly free, and the exoskeleton still had power, but he was hesitant to move. The stone had already proved less stable than predicted, and the last thing he wanted was another ton of looser than expected rock on the upper half of his body.

"Don't move!" came the call from the opening of the tunnel.

"No shit!" he shouted back, maybe a little more vehemently than he intended. He could feel his heart beat in his legs, and he decided that wasn't a good sign.

Not long after, he could hear chains being dragged, and Doc Ozora was by his side wearing a helmet. "Just keep talking, Sergeant. We'll get you out of here," he said, attaching a monitor patch to Andy's arm.

"Roger that, ssir..." Andy slurred. His breathing was starting to get hard.

Salvaged cargo doors appeared to Andy's left and right, with bracing made from who knew what. Someone attached hooks to his suit's shoulders. "Ohh good..." he breathed, fighting to keep his eyes open.

"Sergeant! Andy! It's just shock... stay with me, son..." he heard the Doc say just before the chains took the strain.

He was thankfully out cold as he was dragged from the mess in the tunnel by the 'mech with the other end of the chains in its hands.

His eyes fluttered open to the Doc lightly slapping his cheeks. "Say something, Sergeant!"

"Ow..." he managed through the haze of pain.

Doc Ozora gritted his teeth. His assistants were slipping two of their dwindling supply of preserving sleeves on to Ludak's legs as he was gently lifted out of the exoskeleton's frame by a team of troopers. The blood loss wasn't as bad as it could have been, but that didn't mean it was "good". Damn this planet! Seventeen dead and now THREE critical care cases.

Athena Fury was as close as she could get to the scene, whispering under her breath, "Please be ok, please be ok, please be ok..."

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