Chapter 7
Lost Hero

Four hours past since they took the installation. The Tiagardis had arrived with 70 warriors strong. "With the 70 additional soldiers along with our original 58 marines and special operations that brings our total strength to 146 strong. Plus with the Tiagardi mobile armor along with our 12 operational MAWs and 5 Juggernauts we should be able to take the next installation quite easily," Eneire analyzed.
"Let's hope we take it quick," said the Tiagardi captain. The Tiagardis were an interesting race. They were tall and slender, yet their arms and muscular structure was nearly 4 times stronger than most Juggernauts.
"Yes. The Anubians know they cannot lose this installation. If they lose this system they will not have a base strong enough to prevent any further human expansion. But if we take it we can stop them from reaching any colony for several hundred light-years," Hilary noted.
"Sir come quick!" a marine cried from a few yards away. As the officers in the meeting immediately rushed to the marine's aid they followed a short distance to where a single trooper could be seen. His armor was a bloody wreck and he was bleeding visibly.
"Soldier what happened!"
"Scouting ahead with a patrol of 16. Anubian warri.Anubian warriors ambushed. The reinforcements have I arrived. They killed all. Strung the others on poles to rot. I'm sorry, for I have failed you."
"You stay put, and wait we're getting you aid."
"Sorry sir," he screamed in agony, "don't, I'm lost. The sun, it feels so warm, goodbye." Eneire lowered his head as he closed the dead soldier's eyes.
"Send Yuhon, Jak, and Nyeta out to scout. MAWs for each of them. I want them back here to report in half an hour" Eneire barked.
"Yes sir," the marine answered and dashed to the repair bay.
"Send four of our warriors. I want them in Xeriad tanks to assist the humans," the Tiagardi captain ordered to his first officer.
"That won't be necessary. My men are very capable," Eneire said.
"When we signed for this mission we are supposed to aid you. Your men may be capable but they will need help. My assistance should do. Let's reconvene or meeting. The situation has changed drastically," the Tiagardi captain answered. Eneire marveled at his calm attitude.
The trio having received their orders boarded their MAWs. "Hey Jak a bit of help," Nyeta requested.
"What? You haven't been trained in a MAW before?"
"We only use the SR-5 models. Those don't have psi-links."
"I'm no good at explaining ask Yuhon."
"Yuhon help?"
"Move your hand over the sensor panel. That will grant you access. The moment you enter it you will be plugged into the system. The computer will then brief you. The controls are very simple. The two joysticks control forward, backward, and side-to-side movement. You can remain forward facing by moving left or right with one side while holding forward. The upper trigger is for missiles, and the gun triggers are for the cannons. If you hold the trigger you can charge," he replied while climbing in. Nyeta was amazed that he could tell her how to work the thing so simplistically and yet be doing two other operations. Multifaceted she thought. Soon after Yuhon's briefly long explanation the Tiagardi armor rolled in to assist in the scouting patrol. Their tanks were of jet-black chrome, like black space. They were armed with a rotational turret along with automatic cannons for anti-infantry. Running on magnetic anti-gravity rails they were the perfect scouting unit.
"I am armor captain Vice Delfgri of the Tiagardi fleet. We will be your support. We are to patrol north to Northwest for 26 human miles, and then we are to sweep back and return to base. If we receive resistance we are to report it immediately," the stern face said.
"Damn it they're everybody's miles. I don't know the Tiagardi ranking system, so my group will be following," Yuhon answered. "Jak, Nyeta, let's move."
"Aye."
The convoy began to move slowly along the terrain. It was total silence lest any Anubian drones noted their communication activity. Fortunately the human craft have psi-links. They could talk all they want without detection. Yuhon chose to talk to Jak without Nyeta knowing. "Jak when you gonna ask her?"
"What are you talking about?"
"You know damn well what I'm talking about."
"Know I don't."
"Goddamn! Don't play stupid with me you know what I am talking about."
"Let's just leave it alone."
"You know how she feels. I want you to do this before we die."
"Guys."
"Lyle if we don't live you will regret this. You know how she feels about you."
"Guys."
"I don't want to talk about it okay."
"GUYS!"
"Shut Up!" they both cried.
"We've got enemy armor closing in. However much I want to listen to your conversation we have work to do. The Tiagardis have been trying to reach you but you shut off your com-link," she demanded.
"Primary Lieutenant Yuhon. Anubian armor is closing in. We are going to engage," the Tiagardi captain reported. As Yuhon turned to see the threat the Tiagardi already began firing on the Anubian armor. A beam of energy out of nowhere hit Yuhon's armor. As sparks flew of the composite armor and reflective energy layer his computer compensated from the force of the blow.
"Yuhon!"
"I'm fine," he said punctuating it with a direct hit on an enemy tank. As the shot connected, showers of sparks shot into the air like a rain of deadly fire. "They're coming in fast, prepare for their second volley!"
"Everyone brace for impact!" Yuhon cried over the broad channel.
"We've lost one of our tanks."
"Yuhon I'm taking some heavy fire here. My armor is going to fail," Nyeta cried. Yuhon turned his head as he saw Nyeta's MAW lose an entire leg. If she took another shot she would be defenseless. He turned and charged toward her. As soon as he reached her he turned to take her fire. The armor of his MAW began to heat from the reflective energy. "Nyeta get out. I can't hold their fire for long!" He strained against the blows from the energy raining upon his mech.
"Elden I can't move."
"Lyle get your ass over here. I'm getting pummeled. If I take any more I'll overheat!"
"Hang on!"
"My patrol is losing our structural integrity. We'll be overwhelmed soon," the Tiagardi captain Delfgri cried.
The air was full of heart rending cries as the once patrol of seven was cut down to four. The Tiagardi, having weaker armor were being cut down faster. But Jak and Yuhon were not willing to die without a fight. "DIE!" they cried and surged forward. He unleashed every single weapon he had and charged like a swelling tidal wave. "Everyone get your sorry butts back to base now!" Yuhon ordered as fire constantly peppered his mech.
"We're not leaving you," Jak cried.
"You don't have a choice. I'm a lost cause. But you can get out," he smiled, "sorry. I failed your parents Lyle. I was hoping to be best man at your wedding. I'll be seeing you."
"Yuhon," Jak and Nyeta said with tears in their eyes.
"Take care of him Nyeta, take care of him." That was the last they heard of him. As he ran toward the Anubian line he scattered their units. Then he triggered self-destruct and died with one last war cry. His last words were what impressed upon all there. "IF I'M GOING TO HELL YOU COME WITH ME," he roared defiantly. The blast from his mech destroyed what remained of the line. "No," Jak said in a stunned voice.
"Yuhon," Nyeta whispered.
"Nyeta there's no time to lose. Board my mech so we can escape. Delfgri are you guys all right," he asked.
"I am all that is left of my squad. My warriors were brave to the end. And your commanding officer was brave as well. Remember, he did what he had to. This is a reality of war," Delfgri replied.
"Well maybe it is but I hate it!" he said angrily.