Calhoun strode into the base, Felix following behind more cautiously.
“Alright, ladies, listen up!” Calhoun demanded; immediately, each soldier in the room stood at attention. “Kohut and I will escort the civilian to the top of the tower. The rest of you are on containment. Don’t let a single cy-bug out of this game, y’hear?”
There was a collective “Yes, ma’am,” and the soldiers saluted.
“Now!” she snapped when the troops continued to stand at attention, presumedly awaiting another order. The soldiers got the message, drawing their weapons and marching into the fray. Left alongside Felix and Calhoun were too armored soldiers, almost completely identical save for the wear of their armor.
“You still around, soldier?” Calhoun asked of the Kohut who she knew wasn’t technically hers to command.
“Yes, ma’am. You’re not exactly my sergeant, ma’am, but I still owe it to Hero’s Duty and to Game Central Station to do my best to protect them. And Fix-It is my friend, and I owe it to him to come along. If you’ll have me, of course.”
“Glad to, soldier,” the sergeant confirmed with a nod.
Kohut smiled. “Gotta admit, it feels good to be in this armor again. Feels like home.” Calhoun and the other Kohut nodded, and then they all became serious.
“We’ll move in one unit up the tower. Reaching the beacon is top priority. Kill as many cy-bugs as ya’ can if it’s on the way, but ignore ‘em if they aren’t.” Calhoun spoke with confidence and authority, and no one thought to argue.
The original Kohut picked up a pistol that had been left in the base and tossed it across the room at Felix. He was both surprised and alarmed, but he caught it, holding it in front of him like it was a venomous snake.
“Keep it, Fix-It. Might come in handy.”
Felix decided that it wasn’t worth arguing over- and that he probably wouldn’t win that argument, anyhow. He slipped the pistol awkwardly into his tool belt and looked up to see Calhoun and ‘her’ Kohut already starting for the tower; he glanced up at the other Kohut warily.
“You’ll be fine, Fix-It. C’mon.” Kohut gave Felix his best attempt at a reassuring grin and started after the others, Felix sticking by his side more closely than his shadow. They caught up to the others quickly and kept pace; Felix was just slightly behind the three soldiers, shaking nervously as he walked.