Mort grabbed the guardrail and wheezed a moment. He hated stairs. Hated heights, hated these rickety, decaying messes of forgotten civilization...
“You need a moment?” Pixie whispered.
“Sure we can, nobody’s made a bloody screaming mess yet. Better to catch your breath now than when we have Casualties bearing down on us.”
Mort just shook his head and hauled himself forward up the stairs after Sarge. The big man and his comfortingly-large pistol were on the next landing, carefully scanning the path forward. Mort didn’t want to find out how Sarge would live up to his reputation for verbally taking the hide off of folks who pissed him off if Mort forced too much separation between Sarge and Pixie. The kid might not know it, or might just be keeping it professional in the field, but Mort could see the signs. Sarge was keeping his sanity together by watching out for the kid.
“Last time I go into the field...” Mort muttered, finally creeping up to Sarge’s position.
Pixie and Sarge snorted simultaneously.
“That’s what you said the last job Mort. And the time before that. Office door is 150 yards down the hall here. Pixie, rear. Mort, warm up your Ubiq specs.”