Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tales of the Rancid Blade: Part 22: a fury rarely seen

She watched it in slow motion. The view cams on her robotic armored suit had captured the entire event and it had been a massacre. After the battle, when the sun had risen, she had rewound and watched it several times, slowing it down. There was no good in this. No greater good. No long term benevolence to be found here. To see warriors, any warriors, cut down like that was a horror. Humans were a lost people and they fought for a lost and wasted empire, and they didn't even know it, but even these people didn't deserve this kind of slaughter levied against them.

She recalled that the drop pod had landed with a suddenness that had surprised her. It had appeared out of the night sky like a fireball from the heaven. Her memory saw the screech of engines and the impact. She was well used to the Marines sending this kind of distraction behind her main firing line. A strategy to throw off the Fire Warriors. But this one had been a surprise because the massive armored beast that had come from within the pod had come directly for her. It had ignored the lightly armored warriors. A massive robot, an entombed parody of itself, had lunged from the rapid deployment vehicle. It's massive flame thrower spewing gouts of liquid fire toward her. The warning alarms sounded in her head as she and her bodyguard pulled from the flames, their jet packs taking them above the beast of a machine. Their protection drone absorbed the flame into its shield, overloaded and exploded. She pitched into the sky and the tower of flame moved to follow her. The smoke from the flame trailed from her suit as she arched upward. She moved through the dark sky returning toward the walker below. However, as she decended she saw that this new strategy had not fully played out. Above her more more units were descending. She tapped orders on her console for all forces to converge on her position. She reassigned all available units. Returning toward the earth she saw the crackle of a teleport event. The air riped apart and the huge forms of heavily armoured marines began to appear. Blue fire seemed to surround them. And as they appeared they began firing. The forms from above quickly reached the ground. More of her enemies with jet packs. As they dropped their weapons began sounding also. She turned toward her body guard and saw that he was readying his plasma rifle. And she did the same.

The Tau pulse rifle fires a solid rod of adamantuim along a charged rail. The charge forces the rods to reach sub atomic speeds as they move along the rail. The speed of the rods when they leave the barrel is such that can punch through most armor with ease. There are few barriers that oppose might of the larger rail guns. The many marines had begun firing before they hit the ground, however, within moments, virtually all her Fire Warriors had heeded her redeployment call, deploying from Devilfsh gunships, they were returning fire with a fury rarely seen. Rank upon rank of pulse rifle fire slew into the Marines, the rods punching through their armor like egg shells or scattering across the cracked pavement. The sound of the rods clattering to the pavement sounded like unbroken bottles bouncing on the ground. The marines were clustered about the large drop pod and their only cover was the flesh of their battle brothers. She watched as the cavalcade of fire tore into the Marines. One shot hit the jet pack an assault marines. One of the jets exploded, the other jet, now unbalanced launched the Marine in a tight arch headlong into the side of the drop pod. She watched another shot slice through two Marines who stood beside each other. They both slumped sideways, dead but still standing. They lent against each other in a grim embrace their brothers falling all around. The large form of a Devilfish caught her attention. It floated just behind a band of warriors, moving sideways. Its nose mounted Burst Cannon fired a rapid stream of slugs at the Marines. The hail of fire was brutal and cold and in the watching of it she regretted it.

The moments it had taken to slaughter the marines had seemed like an age to her. She watched the last of them back toward the pod. A slug hit him under his jaw and the Marine dropped after the back of his head hit the side of the pod. She directed her Fire Warriors to resume the advance shedding her cares for her foes. She archived the video file and uploaded the battle recording to her off site logistics drone. It was not often that she agreed with her Water kin but in this case she did. These humans should have abandoned the city days ago.

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