Grün Engle Gegnerin

The green streak landed like a meteor in the middle of the caravan. Dirt and rocks were hurled up with the impact. For a moment, there was a quiet calm, but then the sound of hyper-metals clanging broke the pause. As the mists of chaos parted, all hearts were quickly stilled, for in the pit was moving, something made of wicked will.

Jim saw a devil from his past; a Mena/Morgan military, sky-breaker class, war seraph.  It looked like a metal plated, winged demon rising from the fall. It was one of the deadliest weapons mankind had ever built.

These war machines were older than the Ice War, older than NorCal. These were from before the collapse. Powered by the most advanced Higgs Array, guided by cloud generated slave consciousness, and impossible to be here in Blythe.

They were never made to have a pilot, but after the collapse, no slave consciousnesses survived. They sat in silos and orbital facilities for years until someone figured out how to hook a human into one. No mind could command the mech for more than a few flights. It always ended in madness and massacre. The seraphs only stopped killing when the pilots died, or the mass reactor overheated and melted the mech.

Grey and Jim rushed under the deck again, and Kendrick spun up and circled with Celerus.

Several of the caravan vehicles were damaged by debris, and fires were started to ignite. Many vehicles were equipped with ancient flammable hydrogen cells. The fires needed to go out or cars would start to pop. Jim put his hand on Grey’s shoulder, holding it long enough to remember it, then stepped out from cover.

“Alright everybody, we need to move into Blythe!  Leave the vehicles, we’ll come for them later. Take nothing but a gun and let’s move! We ain’t bulletproof or fireproof!”

“Kendrick, Grey,” Jim called out, and with a deep swallow, he did what he knew he had to do, “Keep it occupied so we can get out!”

“We got a plan! C’mon Grey, this is it, sticky icky-icky on big green instead of the jellybean,” Kendrick said as dirt and rocks flew up from under his tires.

Kendrick spun his bike around, fired off two flares at the war seraph, with no fear, and precision skill. Both were a direct hit and lodged in the green war machine’s shoulder joint.

It tilted its head and visually confirmed that the heat of the flares caused no damage. Then, it dug in its heavy metal foot and there was a series of snaps and several missile ports opened across its back and chest.

Jim knew this was it. He ordered everyone to take cover. He stepped forward, grabbed Grey, and held him tight, not even the boys could stop this. He remembered the first time he saw the two in the gene factory. They were naked, starved, and ready to fight him with nothing more than a jagged metal pipe. They were always defiant to the end, despite the odds.  He had chosen them well.

Grey pulled away and flicked at his HUD, waving his arms vigorously as Jim struggled to bring him in.

“Stay down boy!” Jim shouted; hiding was the only hope.

“Do it Grey!” Kendrick screamed.

‘Sticky Icky-icky’ was a plan they used a year back when they were dealing with a hot reaction heavy-armored spider turret.  It was fast, mobile, and armored. Abe’s cannon was the only thing that would stop it, but his targeting optics died years ago, all he could see was infrared. They had duct-taped 6 mini flares to “The One”, Grey’s fastest drone, and made it crash into the mobile turret. Abe could see the heat and brought the fire with a fat magnetic pellet.

As it was then, so it was now.

There was a sound, a ringing like a crisp series of tiny bells, but louder. Every car was nudged, every iron bearing rock shook, and then a crack of thunder. The sound was so loud all were dropped to their knees, the static blast and atmospheric compression wave so heavy that everyone was thrown back. A streak of fire and heat blasted off the war seraph as Abe Vigoda’s rail gun nailed the fucker right in the chest where the flares had been.

Grey silently chuckled as he confirmed Abe’s Cannon directly hit the war machine.

“Grey, what have you done?” asked Jim.

And like that moment that he met them, like that maddening memory in the ice, he saw the thing those boys brought him; the very thought that they could win.

The war seraph, now missing one of its arms slowly rotated in disbelief. Then it cocked its fat metal head and focused its electronic eyes on Grey as if to say; ‘I know it was you.’

Before a response could be had the red airframe came screaming in with micro missiles and gun pods roaring.

The War Seraph, braced for the onslaught, now vulnerable from the damage. The red jellybean’s bullets and mini missiles furiously pelted the green giant. The seraph turned its wounds away as steel and fire rained over the caravan.

Jim forcibly pulled Grey under the deck again as red-hot shrapnel poured from the warring mechs. Grey’s eyes were focused on one thing. The war seraph’s arm was twitching on the ground. His instinctual desire to fix it, ravaged him like emo-junkie needing a high.

The seraph turned sharply and swatting the red jellybean away with its operational arm. It then launched into the air as quick as it had arrived. Multiple sonic booms echoed across the valley as it retreated into the blue sky.

The red jellybean struggled to stay in the air. It began to move away from the caravan and then, with a bright explosion it dropped from the sky. It’s burning husk tumbled to the ground, spitting flame and metal and ending in a pathetic rolling puff.

Jim looked at Grey, then to Kendrick on his bike, and disapproved. Grey clapped his hands and smiled, still glancing and the arm.

“We did it!” shouted Kendrick.

“Everyone could’a died!” shouted Jim.

“But they didn’t. Nobody’s dead Jim, everybody lived!”

“I told you no Shenanigans! That thing didn’t come out of nowhere. Whoever sent it is gonna be pissed, and they’re gonna come back.”

“Let’em. I take out mecha like you take out the garbage!”

There was pause between the two, as fires crackled and smoke wafted around, there was a calm and sober response from Jim.

“Yeah, you did,” he said with a deep breath, a half smile.

“I’m sorry,” Kendrick said, “We’ll set up some defenses, Abe’s got two more loads.”

“We need to get moving,” Jim said to the boys, then ramped up the volume, “Let’s get the injured to the meat wagon. Kirkov we need your skills ASAP.  Everybody else, get the degaussers out and let’s get the vehicles back online. We need to be moving within the hour!”

“I’ve never seen a mecha like that. What was it?” asked Kendrick.

“Nothing good. We got lucky; next time we might not…” Jim stopped in the middle of his sentence.

Jim’s eyes squinted north, and a single solitary figure emerged from the smoke and debris of the red airframe. Warily, it stumbled forward, pistol drawn, but not raised.

The red pilot then collapsed.

“Medic!” shouted Jim as he and his boys ran to the fallen pilot.

Kirkov, a young refuge from the Moscow Displacement, rushed from the caravan and dropped by the pilot’s side. He quickly dialed in his combat med-suite. It was a forearm mounted version of the med-gun with better diagnostics and tools. 

He carefully unsnapped the locks on the pilot’s helmet revealing a young Asian girl, far too young to be riding the sky. He pulled a med pen from a protected slot on his forearm device and placed it on her neck. It hissed as it deployed its diagnostic swarm. He dropped a pair of retro glasses that had been setting on his forehead and began to review the data that they showed him in their mini holo-screens. They were ssimple red circular lenses but held a vast array of visual depth and device connectivity.

“She gonna be alright,” said the young man in a thick Slavic accent.

Jim didn’t see a pilot; he saw another child soldier. He had hoped the wars had ended, that they could start to rebuild, that the past had burned itself out. Men never tire of killing, never exhaust of making machines of war, no matter how much blood is spilled, especially when it’s not their own. It had only been three years, and it was going to start again. Children made to kill, soulless machines of war. Abominations of life.

Kendrick watched the diagnostic display over Kirkov’s shoulder. He didn’t understand most of what he was seeing but it gave her approximate age as 16. If she was from the gene factory, that meant NorCal was building soldiers again, violating the treaties, and preparing for war. She was dangerous. He could think of six ways to kill her before she woke. He looked to Jim, who shook his head ‘no’ at Kendrick. He suppressed his feelings, his thoughts, he wouldn’t kill today, but instead he would drink.

Grey quietly gasped as his body weakened in response to her face. His teenage hormones notifying the young engineer that he was surely in love. There was no question about it, because he knew he wanted to talk to her more than he wanted to look at the broken mech arm. He looked back towards the severed techno-treasurer and then surrendered to the pilots spell.

NEXT ISSUE!

Fine young cannibals!

There’s a bomb! There’s always a bomb, and the team must get to it before it blows up. It’s a sci fi adventure so you know it’s a big fucking bomb! Who’s the teen pilot? Will Grey get the girl, will Jim confirm his fears, will Kendrick start every episode off drunk? All answered on the next exciting episode of BFA!  

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