OPERATION SECRET CALM
“Move to flank, move to flank!”
Paddon and Leon dashed across the open floor of the store as the rest of the squad fired at the Mechtoid, drawing its attention as the two soldiers circled around, trying to get the drop on it. The Sectoid Commander had run out the back door and out of sight, but the Mechtoid was the more immediate threat. Paddon hid behind a flimsy advertisement while Leon kept circling around, the squad’s lasers piercing the alien’s armor and slowly it wearing it down. As he watched Blacksmith rush forward and engage in hand to hand combat with it, he felt a sharp pain in his temple. He shouted and clutched his head, when Leon yelled, “You OK?”
Paddon felt something invade his brain, followed by another sharp stabbing pain. He shouted aloud, dropping his weapon, and Leon shouted to the rest of the squad, “I think Paddon’s hit! Something’s wrong!”
Paddon fell to his knees, feeling the pain invade his head, when someone else shouted, “Cyberdisc incoming CONTACT!”
He felt the pain worming its way through his head, seeping into every crevice, until it suddenly vanished entirely. He tried to stand up, but found himself entirely unable to control his body, his legs ignored all commands he gave. He saw the boots of Leon approach him, and he felt something move his hand to his pistol and pull it off his hip, aiming it at Leon. He tried to say something but couldn’t as Leon froze in place and asked, “What the hell are you doing?”
“Paddon, get to cover! Cyberdisc inbound!” shouted Ravenshaw. He heard her, but kept advancing towards Leon with his pistol out. After a brief moment of indecision, Leon tackled Paddon to the ground and attempted to pin his arm to the ground, shouting, “There’s something wrong with Paddon!”
He could hear the sounds of lasers being fired all around him, and desperately tried to talk but couldn’t. He quickly overpowered Leon and managed to reverse their positions, getting him on the ground. His muscles already felt exhausted but he was unable to stop attacking Leon, who was just barely keeping the pistol from his face. Vincent cried out, “Rocket out!” and Paddon heard the rocket detonate somewhere in the shop, showering him with dust and debris. He felt another burst of pain in his head, much quicker than the previous, and the presence that had been in his brain suddenly vanished. He stopped moving, and feeling exhaustion overcome him, he fell off of Leon and hit the ground. The squad was still in a pitched battle with the Cyberdisc, and he struggled to pick himself up. He looked up and saw the disc flying through a barrage of laser fire before finally succumbing to the squad’s firepower, falling to the floor and detonating. Blearily, he looked up and saw 2 drones flying the store, but were rapidly cut down by lasers.
Paddon struggled to his feet and stood up shakily, and Leon shouted, “Gray! Gray, we need you over here right now!”
Feeling his strength return to him, Paddon’s vision started to clear as the squad’s medic ran over to him. He started to ask Paddon a lot of questions, but all Paddon could do was mumble responses. His vision started to get blurrier and his strength started to drain out of him before he collapsed to the ground, his vision rapidly growing black.