Hope

Metropolis lay in ruin. Not even a single structure stood untouched… from the run down suburbs to the high rise, the city was in the middle of hell. Only the center of the city remained under control, where N.E.X.U.S battalions barricaded off their precious tower.
The rest of the city was done for. No one kept order there; no one to say when enough was enough.
Even some of the toughest veterans of the war didn't dare set foot in that sector of the city.
Once, a heavily armed patrol was sent out to capture a radar station… only one returned… one out of fifty.
From the helicopters above the city, it looked like a volcano had erupted near by, incinerating all in its path.
Buildings were still alight, fire spreading throughout ground zero.
A small group of soldiers sat in the helicopter, all silent… all still. They all wore black combat gear, the uniform of Barret's 'Cowboys'.
Mike Reaver peered out of the window, catching a glimpse of the chaos below.
He couldn't believe they were off into all that.
But one thing filled him with hope. Getting out would be easier. For on the way out, they would have help… much needed help.
"Alright…" Mike started speaking as he turned back round, looking at his fellow Cowboy's.

"I know you're all nervous guys… It's natural. We've got to meet the contact in ten minutes, or he's leaving. Without him, it's going to be a hell of a lot harder."
Some of his men checked their watches, keeping in time.

"This isn't going to be easy, I'll have to give you that."

He smiled kindly,
"I want as many of you out alive as possible. If I say retreat, I meant it… minimal casualties."
The helicopter lurched violently, turning.
"Sorry… nearly got hit by a building." The pilot spoke out over the communication links…
"Jesus Christ…" Mike peered out the window, seeing the skyscraper topple over.
Mike could have sworn he could see someone banging against the glass.
He turned, eyes open in shock.
"Drop off in two minutes!"
Mike stood up after hearing the Pilot's message.
"Alright guys! This is it!"
The cabin became full of life, the rebels gearing up.
Mike stood at the front of a forming line, repelling line strapped to his belt.
After a nervous few seconds, the cabin door started opening.
A red light illuminated the cabin, although more red light flooded the cabin as the door came down.
Even from up here, Mike could still feel the intense heat from the fires below.
The light turned green.
Mike shot forward, hooking the end of the line onto a steel clasp.
He jumped, suddenly feeling the emptiness of the air.

He plummeted down, suddenly slowing thanks to his safety line.
He gripped it, feeling the friction heating up his glove.

He slid the final few feet, before feeling the secure ground beneath his feet.
He unhooked the line, bringing his rifle up, scanning the area.
Nothing moved.
Mike gestured with his hand, signaling for the team to move up.
Then there was a loud 'clunk' behind them.
Mike turned in shock, but not surprise.
A large, mechanical figure stood, hunched down.
It straightened up, revealing the pilot.
Keith McNally smiled at Mike, standing up in the suit.
The machine copied him, standing up in the same pose.
The huge suit walked towards them, Keith strapped into the cockpit.
"What now captain?" The Scotsman asked, grin slowly disappearing from his face.
His hand was above his shoulder line, so was the robot's… that was carrying a hulking gun.
"Some of us will go ahead… You need to stay here, protect the rendezvous point."
As much as Keith didn't want to hear it, he knew Mike was right. If they lost this area, they would be stuck here… then getting out would become a lot worse.
"Aye Captain… You off to meet the contact?"
Mike nodded, gulping.
He knew the contact. He had never met the man, but he knew the name… he knew the tales.
The man's name was Darrau. Darrau was a hooded assassin… he killed ruthlessly, cutting through N.E.X.U.S officials like a chainsaw through chocolate.

Mike turned, starting walking.
"Come on guys! Keep your eyes peeled…"
The Cowboy's advanced, heading towards a half decimated building.
When they heard they would be helping out in the cause… raising hope… they never thought the place would be as depressing as this.