They are doing an orbital insertion down to the planet…here we go!
At this distance the descent suit did not block out the visual yet, and each prepared differently for what was coming. For Raist he was always struck by the strange sensation of his appreciation of beauty in nature, even as his job was often to kill without remorse. There was just something in the divine perfection of how color and motion came together. He sounded stupid when he talked about it, so he tended to keep that part of his thoughts to himself. It was easier to joke or swear than to be philosophical, or far easier to talk about banging Philira than wonder about reality with those around him.
All five of them had small micro tethers that kept them connected for the duration of the drop, and within the tether was an advanced processor that regulated each motion of their descent suits to keep it descending evenly and without problems. With no warning the visual went black as spheres enclosed each of them, protecting them as they first hit the atmosphere and to prevent them from catching fire.
He hated this part the most, as nanites were blocking out the sound ever since he launched out of the ship, and now the black provided no distraction for his mind. It was the questions that bothered him the most. It was never doubt because he didn’t have any. More like if his life could have been different, if it should have been different. Unlike a lot of classes like Scouts, he had choices many of them never did. With choices came responsibility, and the weights of deaths were weighing on him even if he did not overtly show it.
Did he think too much about things? His previous Scout, Laiun, told him as much.
He knew above him the descent suit would have streamers deployed to slow their velocity, whipping violently based on the speed they were coming in with. He knew underneath him the landscapes might now start to be visible, but all that was around him right now was darkness.
Light filled the void as the surrounding sphere melted away above and beyond him. The planet had changed a lot since he last saw it from space: he could see clouds, the green/purple of plants, even mountains in the distance. The melting of the sphere reformed into parachutes that variously reformed themselves with the synchronization orders of the rest to ensure the perfect descent of the team onto the planet.
Get through one jungle, a river, more jungle, and then the base of the mountain. Sounds simple in premise. Not too far to cross at all. That mountain didn’t look too far away; he could get there by a single planet cycle. This was going to be the easiest ‘hard’ mission they ever took. He could ‘retire’ pretty quick, as he was burning out as a result of the destruction he caused.
That was before something went wrong with their descent system and Ziko suddenly fell out of the pentagon formation. The rest of them went crashing into the strange upper-story plant life that ripped their advanced suits apart as if they were paper.
As Raist went tumbling to the dark forest floor, his only thought was that he had never felt this much pain this early in a mission before. He had never lost someone before it even started.
“Ziko!” He screamed before his head impacted something hard and he blacked out, still falling farther down.