Franz had perhaps spent too much time thinking on when to introduce himself yet he couldn’t help but prepare himself mentally as he thought of what he had to in order to survive. Life or death he would push forward. The words of the lieutenant simply let him know that death was knocking at the door. It rapped with fury and screeched the names of so very many. It was true that he had never taken a life but he was a thug who wasn’t unfamiliar to making someone bleed. Still, this was different. Now he was being prepared to leave and in this time he thought of the only thing that could stir his blood more than anything else. He thought of that miserable Gallian who dared infect his mother. He thought of that town of depravity that dared call itself civil. He thought of his blood and of his impurity. He would fight in this war even if it meant fighting that great empire he admired. He had found himself on what he might have considered the wrong side were it not for the people he cared for. What few friends he had lived in the Federation. If not for anyone else, he had to do it for them. The end of the war would mean the beginning of a new dawn and he had every intention of living to see it come.
He fixed his bayonet, the remark about Imperials being bastards immediately burned his insides further, his teeth clenching as memories of being pushed around surged. While possibly unintentional, the lieutenant had sparked blood lust within the body of that young man. He had half a mind to fire at his officer as he finished but instead redirected his energy to the front. He turned for a brief moment to the side to check his surroundings as he vaulted over the ladder and felt his heart sink for an instance. Blood. The spray and gore of rapid fire tearing and ending the lives who had just moved to do his job. His eyes dilated as something ungodly opened inside of him. It was a moment when he truly realized where he was. This wasn’t going to be as bad as he thought war was beyond the propaganda. There was absolutely no hesitation to end them. Those poor souls were extinguished as soon as they were seen like a response team to a fire just beginning. There wasn’t even so much as an attempt to preserve their lives from his view. In that state of blood lust all he could register was that they had just killed people who would never see their homes again. As much as he adored that empire it sunk in deep that they were the enemy. They would not hesitate to do the same to him.
“If you see those fucks come at you just hit the god damn dirt with everything you’ve got. You bolt your ass to safety and take them out. You gotta look out for yourself, Franz. Nobody else will because the moment all hell breaks loose all people are going to do is look out for themselves. So fuck em, if being alive means you gotta do the same then all for it. Just come back alive.”
Franz clutched his rifle, roaring with seething rage as he turned to face the enemy and pressed forward harder than he had ever done in boot camp. He felt invincible, like nothing could hurt him from his immense emotion. The deaths of those around him only fueled that fire to avoid what he could and take down what he could see. Something triggered yet inside of him. He checked behind him as he broke rank to race ahead, seeing his squad leader lagging behind. As much as he believed he could break through with caution he was still rather aware of what would happen if Jean died. At this rate he was a sitting duck and a man had died trying to push him along. In the end Jean was more important than he. Jean could lead people, Franz had no officer training and as such was incapable of using tactics to their advantage. He noticed something that only drove him to this task further. Darscen. He was just like him. He had realized it earlier but deep within now that everything was breaking apart did it strike him as a duty beyond belief to keep one of his kind alive. Were it not for other Darscen such as Markus he would have given up. He would be damned if he let one of the precious few be allowed to join the fallen.
Dashing to the lance corporal he took in heavy breaths, feeling a bullet graze his arm as he stopped in his tracks to grab the man and practically screamed in his ear as he tugged him along. “Corporal! Get your ass moving! You want the rest of your squad to drop like him? Then let’s go! We need you and we need you right fucking now!” Franz hoped that would be enough to get this man pushing forward, keeping to his side and watching the gun fire. In his head he screamed the same thing, his mind a one track mind as he maneuvered to the objective. “It will not be me! It will not be my squad!”
The world had turned into a cesspit of death and destruction with the perversion of man twisting the fabric of reality itself. Teeth grit together as he thought of the mess he lived in. The murder, theft, abuse of the common man, exploitation of all things without a government badge. Here they were all equally monsters capable of tearing through those too weak to take life. There was no longer complex personalities and the understanding that things could be negotiated. Now there was simply predator and prey.
All the while that he tried to get his lead to press on he checked the rest of the squad briefly, roaring encouragement in his fueled state. “Our leader will see us through! Don't forget what you fight for!” He felt his blood slamming into his brain, adrenaline rush pulsing through his body as they dragged through the mud and rain. He was a stark contrast to the quiet man from earlier. Where before he had simply listened to the storm now he sought to fly straight into it. Beneath all of that desire for death he hoped that this battle would be swift. He clenched his teeth, squinting slightly as the light wound began to feel its way around his arm. The damage, at least, kept his fear of death suppressed underneath layers of anger and adrenaline.
He watched Daniel race past them slowing down briefly to shout before watching a bullet hit the ground right in front of him. In an odd way that man just prevented him from taking another hit but it wouldn’t deter him. He simply pressed on, yelling once in an attempt to draw him back. “Your squad!” He didn’t have time to worry about some red head charging straight into death when the rest of the squad was still in plenty danger and in a way he had no right to even begin to criticize him because he was just about to do the same. In truth they needed to get to get out of the hell storm as soon as possible but what then? If they arrived scattered then would they still be organized? Or would they pause to regroup and get mowed down by a shocktrooper waiting in ambush? Ideally they would stay spread enough to avoid making the squad a pile of gore. All he knew was that the moment they hit they had to do it at least partly coordinated. They beat it into them enough that the squad moves as a unit. For now he would leave it be.
Ears began to feel irritation at all the noise, but it would be alright. Of the group it seemed that Michael had drifted further back and for a brief moment he screamed out his rank, waving him closer as he returned to trying to keep Jean and himself alive. He didn’t know how he was going to make it or even his squad for that matter but he didn’t waste time worrying. He just kept moving, the only thing that kept him alive before. He had to keep moving, waiting for Jean to tell him what to do as he prepared himself for the tidal wave.