The veetol screamed overhead, flying low and slow, and then the rapid response team hit the ground with a bang.
Well, a rapid response officer would be a more precise term. JACK was a Venezuela veteran, a semi-decommissioned medium assault squad. A full Marine squad consisted of six heavily armed assault drones, but during the pacification of Macaraibo JACK had a total chassis turnover of more than 300% and has suffered some kind of a mental disorder which prevented him from operating on more than four bodies at the same time. They couldn’t just scrap him because of the recent Veterans With Disabilities Act, so he became a one-mind SWAT team.
The sniper rifle fired again, but the combat drone scuttled sideways and the bullet ricocheted off its composite armour, disintegrating in mid-flight in a cloud of tungsten fragments. This time, the shot was triangulated instantly, and another drone fired once. A threat icon appeared on my HUD and then went from red to black right away.
“Move it, Gary.” JACK had a rather grating voice, an affectation common amongst soldier AIs, but now it sounded like sweet, sweet music. “I’ll cover you with Bubbles.”
I moved cautiously forward. Bubbles was closest to me, JACK had obviously placed it there with cover in mind. The combat drone with the painting of Bubbles over the ammo hatch was the oldest and most used up. Its programmable camouflage was a thing of the past, it only had enough juice left in batteries for two hours of combat operation, and it had one faulty leg, but it still scuttled faster than I could run in full gear.