I’m trying something new here on Hero Reviews and News. For the past year, I’ve reviewed movies, comics, and have written pieces covering a myriad of topics in comics. Today, I want to share a different side of my writing. I enjoy writing reviews, especially when it’s a film or comic I love, but I love writing my own stuff more. I love world building and creating characters that people can relate too. This short story I’m sharing today is completely my own. I decided to write some fan fiction and set it in the world of Titanfall 2.
Titanfall 2 is a video game that was released by Respawn Entertainment last October. To me, it’s the best First Person Shooter to come out in a long time. It’s unique but overall it’s so much fun. The game has a bunch of elements to it, but the main, and probably most popular, are the Titans. They remind me of Transformers, but in this game, each Titan is special. They have their own abilities and weapons that make them stick out. Titanfall 2 is a great game to me because it’s all about how you play. There is no one way to dominate the game. You want to lay low and pick people off with a Hemlok and an A-Wall? You better be a good shot. You want to fly around the map with an alternator, phase-shifting every five seconds? I hope your sensitivity is set right. It’s all about you and how you want to play.
So, that’s all well and good, but why write a Titanfall story? Well, the game has a special cinematic feel to it. I can’t explain it, but the way the games play, the way they start, the time they take, all of it to me, has felt like a story unfolding in front of my eyes. With chapters that came before and depending on the outcome, chapters that will happen after the game. It reminds me of Halo in a way, but on a grander scale.
Don’t know what Titanfall is? Never seen it? Wondering why you haven’t gotten to the story yet? Stay with me. Below, you’ll see two videos. The first is the official cinematic trailer for Titanfall 2. If you have NEVER played or even seen the game, watch this and you’ll get that same epic story vibe I get from it. The second video is from a YouTuber named Tony Mo. He walks through the map which I’m writing about today. It’s called Crash Site. The video isn’t essential to understanding the story, but I recommend watching it because he does a good job detailing certain areas in the story that I cover. Both videos aren’t my own and all credit goes to Respawn Entertainment, the Titanfall Official YouTube page, and Tony Mo, Gaming YouTuber.
So, now that you are somewhat caught up on Titanfall and it’s crazy world, enjoy the first part of this short story. Simply titled, Crash Site.
“The fuck you mean status report? We just got shot out of the sky. Why didn’t anyone tell us there were IMC forces down here?”
“I don’t think anyone knew. Not the first time the Frontier received bad intel. This was supposed to be a stealth mission. Retrieve the battery cells then leave.”
“It’s looking like a survival mission now. I can hear the IMC aircrafts hovering. We have to move. Daniels, you with us son? Daniels!”
Ernest Daniels, who was called Slick by his friends, wasn’t used to hearing his real name. So, when Captain Anderson, leader of his division of the Angel City Elites, said it, Slick always took a moment to answer. This time though, he heard the Captain with the utmost clarity. No, something else was bothering him. Their ship had been shot down by IMC turrets. While their ship was going down, Slick noticed the turrets were at the top of the hill, or rather the canyon. The turrets were located next to a base. There must have been something important here. Or maybe someone. Either way, Slick knew this might be his last mission.
“Our ship is stuck at the bottom of the canyon,” Slick said. “And that’s for a reason. Look around, nowhere else to go. We shouldn’t have survived those turret blasts, but since we did, we’re sitting ducks.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, son. We’re ACES. We’re never sitting ducks. I’ve already called in support troops from our nearest station. This wasn’t the plan, but if we can survive long enough for friendly pilots, reapers, and titans, we’ll be alright.”
Slick looked around at the crew they were with. He didn’t know them too well. The Angel City Elites were a rogue group of fighters who agreed with the ideals of the Frontier, but their leader, Barker, knew of the corruption within the IMC. He knew the tactics big government and corporations were willing to utilize if needed. Barker, being convinced that the Frontier, while being true in their beliefs, lacked the will and training to take out IMC posts across the galaxy. That’s why Slick signed up. To most, Barker came off as a drunk fool, but Slick saw the methods behind the madness. He understood why the ACES were important. He wished Barker was here now, instead of these three young recruits.
“Well, looks like we can start heading up the northwest side of that mountain. Let’s use the trees and rocks to our advantage, we don’t know what we’re dealing with yet.” The soldiers, the three recruits and Anderson acknowledged what he was saying, one though seem uninterested in what their second in command was saying. That bothered Slick. Because he noticed this kid had that same arrogant look on his face before they left home base.
“Something wrong with you, pilot?” Slick asked.
The kid snickered.
“What’s your name, pilot?” Slick asked.
“Oh, now you want to know my name?” the kid said.
Is he serious? Slick couldn’t believe that out of all the things that could be bothering this pilot, Slick not knowing his name was one of them. Oh well, he understood every soldier was different. And he needed all of them on board because without teamwork, they’d be dead in minutes.
“Look, we haven’t been together that long. The Frontier contacted me and Anderson because I’m guessing they thought this would be good training for you. Obviously, they were wrong, but none of that matters now. I apologize for not formally introducing myself when we first boarded. My name is Ernest Daniels. I left Earth at 15 to settle the frontier colonies. I’ve been a part of the Angel City Elites for over ten years now. Captain Anderson outranks me, but I’m the best strategist the ACES got and they know it. I guess in my mind, I didn’t see this as anything special either. That was my first mistake. Never become complacent. Still though, we’re all men here and the only way we get out of here alive is if we trust each other and trust our skills as pilots. You three may be inexperienced, but I’m told you’re some of the top at your base. So again, and with less teenage attitude, pilot, what’s your name?” Slick asked.
There was no hesitation in the young pilot’s voice now.
“I’m Reggie,” he said. “Reggie Powell.”
“How old are you, Reggie?”
“Eighteen,” Reggie said.
Damn, he’s so much younger than me when I started, and I was considered young.
“How about you two? Names and age?” Slick asked.
Reggie was black, same complexion as Slick. The other two looked Hispanic though. The more Slick looked at them, he noticed they looked alike. They were brothers. He was ashamed of himself. Not only was he neglectful in his duties as a mission leader, he didn’t even take the time to examine even the slightest details of his small squad.
“Juan Gonzalez,” the first brother said. He was shorter. “Eighteen as well.”
“Hector Gonzalez,” the second one said. He looked more seasoned. “Twenty-one.”
Slick nodded. “Okay, cool. Well, let’s get moving. Remember, there’s so much emphasis on Titans, but a pilot is more dangerous. If a pilot knows how to use his abilities well, nothing can stop him,” Slick said. All of them nodded. Their eyes lit up too. Slick had gained their trust and they knew he meant what he said.
“We done, now?” Anderson said. Slick didn’t mind him. Instead he replied with a joke.
“Watch it, Anderson. Today, the minorities outnumber you,” he said laughing. Anderson laughed too. They didn’t always get along, but they had been through too much to hold resentment towards each other for too long.
The journey began. They suited up, put on their helmets, activated their jetpacks, and began scale up the side of the mountain. The jetpacks could get them up about halfway before they needed to walk the edges themselves. The pilot suits always amazed Slick. The more he used it, the easier it became to maneuver. Running on walls, landing from a 200 feet fall, all of that seemed impossible when he first signed up. He remembered one recruit didn’t activate his boosters in time on his first mission. Broke his legs the second he hit the ground.
They were about halfway up the canyon when Slick noticed a couple of IMC soldiers. As far as he could tell, they weren’t supposed to be there. One of them was relieving himself. There was a waterfall to the right of Slick and his team. The violent rushing water combined with the shrubbery, hid them well, but he didn’t want to take any chances. His suit didn’t have the cloak though. It was Reggie’s time to shine.
“You’re up,” said Slick. Reggie smiled and activated his cloak. It lasted for almost a full minute and as long as you were moving, you were almost undetectable. Reggie took out his pistol, shot the first soldier in the back of the head. The second one caught on quick, but Reggie was quicker. He threw the soldier down and pulled a knife from his shin guard. The soldier tried to scream, but the roar of the waterfall shielded all noise. Before he could move, Reggie plunged the knife directly into the soldier’s face. Blood spattered on his suit, his cloak went away, and the IMC soldier was lifeless.
“Not bad,” Slick said. They continued to move. As they got closer to the turrets, Hector and Juan got their chance to shine as well. Both using their abilities to take out IMC soldiers. Slick couldn’t believe how prepared these three recruits were.
“I might need to call off that support,” Anderson said laughing. Slick wanted to agree, but his complacency made him lose focus last time. He was determined to not let that happen again.
They had to move extremely slow through the rocky canyon. Slick figured they could get up to the turrets in a couple of minutes using their suits, but slow and steady was the name of the game.
A couple of minutes passed. They were about to make their final push when the hovering sound of IMC aircrafts became a thunderous roar near Slick and his crew. This wasn’t an ordinary aircraft though. Slick knew what was coming. And he wasn’t sure he, or his team, were prepared to deal with what was coming. There was a loud impact. Slick saw the smoke trail in the sky. There was only one type of pod that left that type of smoke trail.
“They just dropped a Titan,” Slick said. The younger members were silent.
“Here comes two more,” Anderson said. “They’re oddly round. Those are Legions.”
“Damn,” Reggie said. “Why did it have to be Legions?”
“I’m not worried about those,” Slick said. “What was that first one they dropped?”
Slick had an idea on what Titan they were expecting to see, but honestly, he was scared. Terrified actually. As powerful and dangerous as pilots were, there was no denying the force of a Titan. They could crush pilots with one punch. Crunch their organs just by stepping on them. And their weapons, their weapons were something that Slick thought no man, Frontier or IMC, should possess. Still, they existed and he had to prepare his squad. As he looked at the young men he was leading, he couldn’t help but feel sad thinking about all the friends he had lost. All the friends who gave him the name Slick in the first place. Barker’s crazy ass was still around, and so was Anderson, but no one else. There was no guarantee, especially given the situation, that Slick would lead these men to safety. He thought about their families hearing the news of their deaths. Receiving the news that there was no body because a Scorch had burned him into ash. Or because an Ion blasted him into nothing with its laser core. In his sadness, it came to Slick. Thankfully, before it was too late.
“Move!” he yelled. Their position didn’t matter anymore. He was 100 % positive what was coming after them. And they had seconds. There was an entrance to a cave that dug into the side of the canyon. Slick led everyone to the cave. Just as they entered, the loud slashing noise of the Titan pursuing them could be heard. Slick had never faced one of these as a pilot before. In a Titan, they were enough of a challenge. It was quick, could teleport, and had two weapons that turned pilots to jelly on impact.
“Ronin!” Slick yelled. He began to fire and the Titan charged at him with insane speed. Luckily, he and the rest of his team were far enough in the cave, the Ronin’s sword couldn’t reach them. But just the sound of it swiping through the air made men weak. Slick could see it on the faces of his men, including Anderson. He felt it himself too. Ronin’s were terrifying because they killed in an instant. One moment you’re killing pilots left and right, doing your job, assisting when possible, when a Ronin comes out of nowhere and with one swipe of its sword, you never existed. It was a terrifying thought.
Slick decided to do something though. He still believed they had a fighting chance if Anderson’s reinforcements came. So, he found an exit out of the cave. The exit took him to the beginning of the trail they just took. He could see their crashed ship at the bottom of the canyon. He activated his jetpack and ran on the side of the mountain. He needed the Ronin to pull out its Leadwall, an energy based shotgun. When Slick was as high as he could go, the wind pushing his body in mid-air, he took out his grenade launcher. It was a simple magnetic grenade launcher. Some of his friends, and Anderson, preferred fancy energy based weapons to take out Titans. Not Slick, he preferred a more reliable, engaged approach. The grenade launcher landed two rounds before the Ronin turned. It was faster than he expected. A sword swipe barely missed his legs. Two more rounds landed, except he didn’t land on the Ronin like he wanted to. Instead, he was standing in a stream, at the bottom of the canyon. The Ronin took another swipe, but missed by a mile this time. Slick fired a couple more rounds, but he knew he would have to reload at some point too. There was a pile of rocks next to him and a path that lead back up to the level of the cave his team was in. Slick ran up that path and was looking directly into the eye of the Ronin. He used his grapple to latch onto it. Ronin’s teleport. They enter a different dimension, but can only do it for a moment. Since Slick was attached to the Ronin, he traveled with the Ronin and appeared near their crashed ship still attached after their inter-dimensional journey.
At first, Slick thought this Ronin was on auto-pilot. But he figured since they were in undocumented IMC territory, the IMC would want this problem solved immediately. If that was the case, this was one of the dumbest pilots Slick had ever come across. He didn’t noticed Slick was still attached to him. Slick climbed on the top of the Ronin and began to take his battery. He knew electric smoke was coming once the battery made it’s clicking noise, alerting the pilot it was being removed. Slick got the battery and as he suspected, electric smoke exited the Titan. Slick knew he had only one chance to get away with the battery. He had to angle the jump so that he landed directly on the edge he jumped off to scale the wall. If he timed it poorly, the electric smoke would suffocate him. During all of this, Slick could hear the spinning up of the Legion’s machine guns. They had moved from their spot by the turrets.
Slick counted to three and jumped as high as he could. At first, he thought his timing was off, but his hand grazed the edge of the cave and that was enough. With all of his strength, he used his jetpack to do lift him up, where his team was waiting for him.
“That was awesome!” Reggie said. Slick was panting too hard and was still too scared to say anything. He was exhausted, but smiled faintly.
“They don’t call him Slick for nothing,” Anderson said.
Will Slick and his crew get out alive? What about those two Legions? And where the hell is that support that Anderson called in? Part 2 of Crash Site will be out this week. Remember to follow me on Twitter @Hero_Review for updates and as always, Peace, Love, and Comics!!!