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Knife in the Back

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They capture Simmons on a Tuesday.

Of all fucking days, a Tuesday.

The odds aren’t good, Wash tells Grif. They probably don’t need him alive, they say.

Grif stares at the ceiling and tries to think it through, tries to understand. It doesn’t make sense. Simmons isn’t the one who gets captured. That’s Donut. The whole danger thing is Donut’s, why would they take Simmons?

Three weeks later, a man in maroon armor appears on the field, in the midst of the sea of grey pirates, and Grif runs towards him.

“Simmons!” It’s stupid, it’s risky, but Sarge and Donut and the Blues have his back, and he makes it to the side of the man.

The knife finds its way through the cracks in his armor, sinking right into his chest.

“Grif!” Sarge howls, and hits the maroon soldier hard. He doesn’t go down, which means it can’t be Simmons—Simmons would never fight Sarge, Simmons wilts if Sarge looks at him wrong.

Grif gets to his feet, ignoring the knife wound. This fucking bastard stole Simmons’ armor, and Grif is not about to let that slide. He charges, and he swipes at the other soldier with the Grifshot, seeing… well, red.

Donut manages to throw a sticky grenade, and it sticks to the side of the helmet, and the soldier rips off his helmet without blinking, not even faltering as he continues to fight Grif.

Grif feels his feet stumble as he stares into Simmons’ face.

Something’s wrong—something’s changed with his cyborg parts. The color of the lights is wrong—bright green instead of the maroon glow that Sarge had designed specifically to match Simmons’ armor. And his human eye is blank, and his expression is perfectly calm, instead of the normal expression of mild panic that always accompanies Simmons into combat.

Simmons slams the butt of his pistol against Grif’s helmet, and Grif goes down like a pile of bricks, as much from shock as from the force.

The last thing Grif sees before everything goes black is the barrel of Simmons’ gun and a blank look on his face.

The last thing Grif thinks is that Sarge is probably going to give Simmons a freaking medal for this.