Solstice Gloves (Resplendent)
Shoulder the weight of time and keep going.
Pain. Just… just pain. The word banged around his skull, crept down his body, echoed through his bones. There'd been a time before the pain, but Kalumet Ziv couldn't remember it now. He leaned harder into Aiza-3, who nearly buckled at the unexpected weight shift. She steadied herself quickly, and they carried on.
"Do you need help up there?" From behind them, Ivola's footfalls were uneven, owing to the hole in his right thigh. Ziv wasn't sure he could help if he wanted to. Aiza must have felt the same way.
"No, just had to readjust." They continued in exhausted silence toward the extraction point, staying among the rubble as far from the road as they dared get. They'd traveled this way for hours—the only survivors of a Cabal ambush—and had covered almost no ground.
Far in the distance, a familiar sound—vehicles. Several of them. A Cabal convoy appeared over a far-off ridge, and the last granules of hope Ziv had been hoarding away left him. They had no chance like this.
Not if he stayed with them.
He let go of Aiza and slid to the ground. The Exo reached down and grabbed his arm. "You have to try, Ziv. We can't stop here. Not now."
He twisted out of her grasp. "YOU can't." Understanding, Ivola shook his head. Looked about to speak. Ziv interrupted. "I can buy you time."
Aiza and Ivola looked at each other. Back at the convoy. They knew he was right.
A brief goodbye, an embrace, and they were gone, ducking behind debris and rubble at already twice the speed.
Crawling closer to the road, pain screaming through each movement, he waited for the others to be far enough that he could draw the Cabal past them.
From there in the dirt, he shouldered his rifle and started shooting.