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Into the abyss

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"Pilot I require assistance" 

 

"What? Why?! What's wrong" Quinn says, mouth shifting into a tight line under her mask, turning her head she sees BT being flailed around by a giant mechanical arm. Her eyes bulge in fright, "BT! shit no!" She dashes down the entrance hallway, wall jumping to gain more speed. "I am unable to break free" her titan beeps Quinn jumps using her dash pack and breaks through the door vaulting over railings and gaps on the small metal bridge, "hold on, I'm coming" panic tinged her words. She just got BT up and running from near deactivation after losing her mentor, she hasn't even had time to grieve yet and someone was trying to take the last part of her teacher away from her. The titan releases a volley of missiles, hoping to get himself free.

 

She doesn't make it. And he doesn't free himself

 

"Pilot, I cannot free myself…- lancer" BT's singular cyan eye seems to squint, right as Quinn's eyes widen in terror. No nonononono. She pushes herself to go faster, it sounded like his voice had an alarmed tinge to it. Which made everything ten times worse. BT was a machine, was never scared, and most importantly he never said her name. Any of her names. Her and Lastimosa were always announced as pilots or rifelman with BT, hearing him say her last name scared the living shit out of her. 

 

Another arm appears from her left, managing to smack her into a wall. Her vision momentarily goes black and when she comes to, her side of the neural link is full of static.

 

 

She had run through the majority of the factory, dodging enemies and the mechanical arms putting together what seemed to be fake houses. Was this a simulation facility? The thought runs through her mind quickly. Running into an open area Quinn stops and hides behind a bright white pillar, she peeks around the rounded wall counting how many enemies there were. "2, 6, 14, in total guarding the area." She sucks in a breath "ok I've dealt with more enemies before- maybe not so close up but I have done it nonetheless" she whispers attempting to hype herself up. She was distracted.

 

She could usually feel BT through the link they had, and now she couldn't feel him at all. Maybe something was blocking the connection, or BT was powered down. She honestly didn't know and was slowly starting to descend into a panicked fit. This was war, and she was a brand new pilot with minimal training and no titan. She hasn't slept, or had a sufficient amount of food in days.

 

At this rate she was going to lose her mind.

 

Gritting her teeth Quinn comes out sliding, pistol drawn and taking down several IMC grunts slowly wilting their numbers down with what little focus and precision she had. Her pilot helmet lit up her enemies in a bright red outline through walls and cover, giving her a huge advantage and a couple seconds to prepare. After reloading her pistol she pulls out a shotgun, checks the chamber and cocks the pump back. She breathes in, then snaps her hand into a fist setting off her gear's invisibility cloak and charging head first into a shielded grunt and blowing his chest to bits; she was a rifleman and a sniper before she ever became a pilot. The years of training and muscle memory taking over her movements with the added bonus of a jet pack and invisibility. She tore through the IMCs forces, crushing whoever she couldn't shoot with steel-toed boots. She did this numerous times until she reached a lift, and got some reprieve from battle. 

 

Now that she was thinking about it, it probably wasn't a super good idea to sit down… her head bobbed with the effort of trying to stay awake. Her thoughts momentarily going to her mentor, Tai Lastimosa. One of the greatest pilots of the militia, was one of the greatest pilots of the militia and BTs first, and original partner. What would he think of her now? She got him killed, and lost BT. Somehow she already knew the answer to that question, he would be disappointed. 

 

Static boomed through her comms, and a strong push through the link connecting woman to machine dragged her forcefully out of unconsciousness. Making her body lurch and a ragged gasp leave her throat in slight pain. "Connection reestablished" Her comms once again crackled to life "Pilot do you copy?, your heart rate has dropped dangerously low. State your condition. repeat, Pilot, do you copy?" The mechanical baritone of her titans voice brings her closer to wakefulness a little quicker. Unfortunately she isn't able to say anything back due to the lift violently lurching to the left, throwing her off and onto another fake home which was also lurching back and forth. 

 

She yells clawing at the tile holding the fake home together and gaining the attention of a good number of IMC troops. The mechanical arm holding the house rotates a full 360 degrees throwing her off with a scream, She hits the ground with a loud "FUCK" feeling something bend or break in her side. Quinn blearily blinks at what feels like concern and panic washing over BTs side of the link, that was new. Picking her head up she rolls just in time to dodge several bullets aimed straight for her face. Setting off the invisibility on her gear again she quickly hides behind several crates, hearing the grunts yell that they lost sight of her. She grabs her gun "BT?" Her voice was quiet, almost breathy with hope. Her comms scream with static before a voice comes through again "yes, I am here. State your condition Pilot lancer" relief crashes through her. And something makes her eyes burn, "I'm fine, where are you? How do I get to you?" She asks, taking a few shots over her stacked cover, "I have been taken to this facility's substation, you must follow the pipes to the lower levels" he says. Quinn nods and throws an arc grenade over her shoulder, "my readings say that you have multiple fractures on several of your ribs. I advise you to seek medical supplies as soon as possible" she snorts "will do BT, after I get to you" she takes down three grunts, "that is not a safe option. You should seek medical supplies" comes his curt reply "we have a medkit in your cockpit, I'll get what I need from there. I don't have anywhere safe to stop and register the supplies I need. I'm coming to you first" she states moving past blinded soldiers and jumping into another moving platform. She hears the bot actually grumble, "if that is the safest option. Stay cautious pilot" he says. 

 

She doesn't know how many grunts she's killed or how many platforms she's jumped across by the time her comms go off on the enemy's lines. "Blisk, this is ash. I have a vanguard class titan, what would you like me to do with it?" Quinn pauses, "I don't bloody care, destroy it. What about its pilot?" A man with an Australian accent asks. Her heart drops to her stomach and the feeling of ice water shot down her spine. "She is being dealt with. This facility was built to kill, I am sure I can take advantage of that fact if I have to" ash says "ash, that place is not your bloody playground, I'm not paying you to be clever! You scuttle that place if you have to eh? Blisk out" he says and the comms shut off. Quinn growls, "Pilot, I'm being taken down an assembly line. There may be a common exit, I recommend you follow the flow of the platforms" the titan suggests. She sends an affirmative ping over their link, and takes off towards him.

 

Her ears were ringing, pupils held within a sea of crystalline blue the size of pinpricks in fear. Adrenaline flowing through her veins keeping her going, keeping her alive. Ticks; explosive kamikazing spider-like robots, chased her. Lighting the surrounding area on fire. She stumbles on her feet, an explosion from one of the few hundred next to her shaking the ground she ran on. Her lungs ached, and her legs grew more and more tired. This mercenary, Ash, was a simulacrum only interested in money and having her turned to a fried corpse. She beat her game, taking down spectre after spectre and even some reapers. Apparently the female bot had not expected that, and has now sent the entire building of troops after her. 

 

Quinn was not pleased. But to be fair, neither was ash…

 

 

She launches herself over a broken part of the dome, using her jet pack for a more graceful landing and then starts sprinting again. Finally making it to a large gap, where pieces of the broken simulation were being carried down another assembly line for repair. An idea comes to mind. Backing up Quinn takes a leaping start at the broken concrete, using her booster to keep her upright and on the makeshift wall and leaps the rest of the way avoiding the other hundred ticks. She hits the ground and rolls to avoid any sting to her legs, and quickly takes a look around scanning the environment for BTs signature. She finds it straight away about two-hundred feet in front of her and starts a mad dash for the mildly damaged titan. When she gets into the simulation room BT is cornered by enemy titans, her heart jumps to her throat at one of them getting a lucky shot in at the Titans chassis. Anger grips her and she takes off towards them with a war cry, boosting as hard and fast as she can at the turned Northstar closest to her. Explosions and gunfire echoed around her, but her red tainted vision had only one target. 

 

Quinn snarls and starts tearing into the Titans armor with her data knife, and pops the battery powering the IMCs titan out and hooks it to her back. Pulling a grande out she dodges the large metal hand swatting at her and throws it down the charging port, she flings herself off of it, watching as the titan bursts into flames and crumples to the ground with a sick sense of satisfaction. She jumps and lands on the arm of another enemy titan that had tried to grab her, shoving a firestar into the joints of its arm causing it to lock up and giving her a chance to run up it and to its battery. Where she repeats the process of ripping it out and blowing the titan up with another grenade. Shifting out of her enraged state she makes her way to her titan with renewed vigor, reaching him and putting the stolen batteries in their compartments along his side while he twirled around a ronin in a deadly mechanical dance. BT with all the grace a twenty eight foot tall robot can muster, dodges every attack the melee based titan throws. Keeping his pilot safe and out of harm's way while she worked, and killing off any grunts and reapers he could aim and hit. When Quinn locks the set of two batteries in, she jumps into BTs awaiting hand to embark. Her helmet lights up with the Titans 3 main protocols.

 

Protocol 1: link to Pilot

 

Protocol 2: uphold the mission

 

Protocol 3: protect the Pilot

 

The pilot grits her teeth and takes full control of the vanguard class when he announces that the link is authorized again, moving into the offensive smoothly. She throws a right hook, knocking the ronin off balance, and uses BTs gun to blow the arm carrying the Titans sword clean off. With savage strength she tears the Titans cockpit door open, reaches inside and crushes the pilot effectively ending the battle. 

 

 

Panting she relinquishes control to BT, eyes still wide and brows deeply furrowed. 

 

"Well done Pilot, that was a difficult battle. You held yourself well. I recommend you rest" he says striding over the smoking battlefield, Quinn shakes her head still trying to breath "can't relax yet, one of those predators, Ash, she's hot on our trail. We want out, we're gonna have to go through her" she says staring up at the camera that allows BT to see inside his cockpit. "Very well, we keep moving, but once finished I advise you to take a rest. You have been in active duty for approximately 13.25 hours with little to no nourishment" he stated and Quinn nodded.

 

 

"Oh shit!" Taking full control, she dodges ash's ronin's sword ducking and skidding to the right of the simulacrum. She uses one of BTs boosts missing another attack and uses the large gun in their hands to knock her off balance, she gets in a hard hit right on the left side of the ronin's cockpit hearing ash grunt through the enemies comm line. Quinn takes the moment of distraction and barrels full force into the enemy duo, grabbing and tearing the sword out of their hand. She hears ash scream on the comm lines as BTs hands tear them both apart and they are set ablaze. The pilot jerks the titan back, steering clear of the flames as the roaring battle around them goes quiet and all the extra forces the mercenary pilot had for backup ran. Both titan and pilot, simultaneously agree on one thing.

 

There will be no mercy.

 

Finally, fresh air. She closes her eyes in relief, unbelievably happy that they were no longer in danger, or in pain (thanks heavy duty pilot medicine) At least for the time being. Quinn leans back onto BTs shoulder, fully intending to rest there. She lets out a startled yelp as she is casually plucked off and put gently back inside the darkened cockpit of BTs chassis. She blinks, "while I understand you were stuck in that facility and want fresh air, the outside of my hatch is not the safest place for rest" BT says with the same tone as usual. Quinn snorts "but if I'm out there I can wake up quicker if we are attacked again or stumble onto hard road" she hears a small bleep come from the titan "Protocol 3 pilot, my cockpit is the safest place of option for you to rest" his tone gave no room for argument, making the white haired soldier grunt. She didn't want to relax, last time she did that BT was snatched by a giant arm and a homicidal robo chick, she was terrified that if that happened again she wouldn't be able to get to him again.

 

 

BT must have felt the tinge of panic, as his strides become more smooth and his voice softens, the change in tone is just barely noticeable. "I concur that we no longer take any shortcuts" Quinn smiles a little, "but we have a total of six hours before we reach our rendezvous with commander Anderson, please rest, I will need you in full functionality to assure our survival" he says quietly noting the way exhaustion pulled at the back of her eyes, she huffs still fighting "And you'll wake me up if anything comes up?" She asks, speech slurred "yes. Trust me" he replies softly. Quinn saggs fully against the pilot seat, and it doesn't take long for sleep to pull her under.