Chapter 41: Coward

Energia: Titans of Verità
Table of Contents (For Catching Up)

Eitan watched the battle from his perch, knowing that he’d made a terrible mistake.

I’m an idiot. He thought as the Ragno casually smashed a warehouse roof in with one fist. Blood had stopped flowing from the wound he’d put in it with his sniper shot. The injury seemed about as deadly as a stubbed toe. All I managed to do was make it angry.

At least no civilians had been caught in the rampage. Whoever was fighting that monster was at least keeping it in the same spot. And whoever had been with them had run off. Eitan had wondered why until he remembered the shrill scream that had brought his attention to the battle in the first place. The larger Operative had likely pulled whoever had screamed to safety.

Please don’t be my sister. He plead. Please, God, not her.

That was only a small comfort, however. Someone was still down there, fighting for their lives against one of the most dangerous non-Titan class creatures of Verità. And he had been the one to provoke it.

He knew he should keep fighting. He was still in an E-Suit, still held a sniper rifle, and still had line of sight on the Ragno. He should open fire. It was his duty to fire!

But he couldn’t do it. His arms shook too violently. His fingers were stiff and cold. Panic strangled him, kept him from breathing evenly.

Words appeared on his visor. Warning: heart rate has increased to dangerous levels. Sending out distress signal now. Help will arrive shortly.

I’m a coward. Eitan realized. Even from up here, even in this armor, I’m scared.

A small part of him tried to rationalize his decision. If he shot, he’d attract the Ragno’s attention. If he did that, he might buy time for the Operative that was fighting it. But at the same time, he may draw it’s wrath and pull it away from the storage yard and into the city proper. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of civilians would be killed if he did that. Best not to risk it.

Besides, it wasn’t like his first shot did any good. It had barely scratched the monster! And with how quickly it was moving around, he wouldn’t be able to hit it anyways. Knowing his luck, he’d only end up hitting the much braver Operative who stood against it. Then he’d truly be responsible for their murder.

Nothing he thought made Eitan feel any better. Fear still froze him. That brought him guilt. And that guilt tore him apart.

Why did I choose this? He suddenly thought. I could have chosen anything. Construction. Weapons development. Research. And I chose this. Is the money really worth it?

He had thought so for a long time. No job pays better than an Operative of Order, people always said. And if there was anything his family needed, it was money. What those men never mentioned was how difficult it was just to get the job. Or how dangerous it was to have it.

The fight was getting worse. For a time, it had disappeared into one of the warehouses. Now, the Ragno had returned outside. It seemed to be looming over something Eitan couldn’t see. Probably the brave Operative. There was a dark sort of pleasure on its features, like a wolf bearing down on a rabbit.

Then, suddenly, it lurched to the side and crashed down into the asphalt as thought it had been struck by a cannon. Eitan barely had time to see what had happened. Something large and blue had collided with it. At first, he thought it may very well be a cannon ball. Then he realized that no, it wasn’t some shot from a weapon long since made primitive. It was a man in a bulky E-Suit. The same Operative that had left earlier.

For a moment, Eitan felt relieved. Someone had come to the rescue. But then, just as suddenly, he felt dread. Where’s the little girl? Did he take her some place safe? He can’t have gone far. Is she-

A hand fell on his shoulder. “Your heartrate is all over the place.” said a female voice in thick, heavily accented English. “Must be one hell of a show down there.”


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