“Hodges, you can do the honors,” said Brackett.
Corporal Kenneth Hodges strode back up the ramp, climbed into the first camouflaged vehicle and slid carefully into the driver’s seat. He punched the four number code into the control panel and started the ignition. The groan of the six large fans increased to a soft whine and slowly lifted the death dealing battle car off the deck.
Hodges guided the vehicle down the ramp and drove it to the far end of the perimeter before setting it gently in the grass. Brackett sent Cortez, along with Maia, next for the troop transport that contained all of their weapons and equipment. She parked it next to the battle car.
Hodges, untying a tarp in the bed of the battle car, looked up when Renita Cortez and Maia strolled up from the troop transport. The battle car, designed to hold a driver, a passenger and a gunner in the bed of the vehicle, was the newest weapon in the freelancer arsenal.
Cortez watched with interest when Hodges climbed into the bed of the battle car. He reached down, grabbed the end of the tarp and removed it from around the pulse cannon.
“You’re kiddin’ me, right?” asked Cortez.
“Not kidding,” replied Hodges and grabbed the handle on the top of the weapon, turning it upright. “Help me with this.”
Cortez climbed into the back of the battle car and helped Hodges lift the pulse cannon and secure it to the crossbar of the gun support.
“We coulda used this a couple of days ago,” said Cortez.
The painstaking job of unloading the transport ship continued until the slow descent of darkness caused Gordon Miles to call a halt to the day’s activity. The soft hum of the security fence and the methodic patrol of the freelancers soon surrounded the flickering fires and makeshift shelters.
Charlie Two Sons stopped and looked out into the darkness when the familiar bellowing roar pierced the night air. Gordon looked over at Brackett sitting next to him around the fire.
“Some of the planet’s wildlife?” .
Mike Brackett looked over at Gordon Miles and smiled.