Author's note: This started as a one page story for my Creative WRiting class in first semester
DenverThe year is thirty three twenty nine. My name is Sarah Firewalker. I am a Sargent in the Death's Legion. I have been serving for twelve years, eleven of which I have been fighting for survival. My unit's commander has died, leaving me in charge. We are making our way to a suicide mission. All of our neural implants and weapons are the top of the line. Our armor is of good quality. I hear a gunshot and instinctively say through our neural implants “Find the damned sniper and kill him.”. Seconds later I hear the sound of a mark fourteen plasma launcher. I see the plasma bolt fly to the trees and explode, disintegrating the sniper. We continue to march to the old city of Denver, the blistering cold nipping at us through our armor. I say “Stop. We set up camp here”. The unit stops and starts shoveling snow out of a thirty foot radius. I reach into my pouch and pull a cigarette out. I light the my flame throwers ignition piece and put the end of the cigarette in. I fold my helmets mask back. I bring the other end of the cigarette to my mouth and inhale. A soldier comes up behind me and asks “Could I have one of those?”. I reach into my pouch and produce another one. He pulls out his lighter and takes the white stick from my hand. He flicks the lighter and a small flame comes out. He puts the cigarette in his lips and brings the lighter to it, his hands forming a small cup around the flame. He lowers his hand and says “Thanks sarge.” I nod my head. I turn around and see the others have gotten the heater deployed and are melting the snow off. The soldier asks “Why don't you talk using your voice?”.
“I prefer not to. It could alert others of our presence”. After a couple seconds I ask “Whats your name?”.
“Johnson, private first class.” The soldier says while raising his right hand to his forehead in a salute. I say “Don't bother with the formality’s. I've never much cared for them”. He takes his hand down and I ask “So, how long have you been serving?”. The man ponders his thoughts and says “Three years. But it feels like an eternity”.
“I've been serving for twelve, been fighting for eleven.”. The soldier nods his head.
“What happened to you to make you a cyborg?”.
“I’m to be a mech pilot. The damned Alliance pilots got me when I was out of my mech. I was partners with Jack Darkwind”
“Jack Darkwind? You mean the one who wiped out one of our bases on his own?”. I nod.
“He enjoys being a pilot, and killing. I heard that he just recently asked to enlist in our forces, with an experimental United Earth Alliance mech”. The soldier turns pale as the words come out of my mouth. I hear the sound of a mech walking in the distance. I yell through the neural implant web “Incoming enemy mech! Get the heavy weapons out!”. I drop the flame thrower on the ground and run to the weapon box. I take out a mark twenty seven high explosive plasma cannon. I put the generator on my back and hold the large gun in my right hand. I move my left hand to the front grip and my right hand to the trigger. I see the dark blue of a U.E.A mech. I kneel down and lock on to the mech, my targeting implant finding its weak point. I fire, a large ball of plasma races towards the mech, hitting its waist. I see one of its legs joints melt, locking it in place. A mechanical roar bellows out of the mech. I say “Open fire!”. I hear he hum of plasma weapons fire as the mech charges its cannon. I fire again, this time aiming at the large weapon on the mechs arm. The plasma ball hits it, melting a portion of the barrel, causing it to fold. I hear the sound of an auto turret firing. I zoom in on the mechs head. I see its camera and fire. The plasma ball hits the walkers cameras. Shortly after the pilot initiates the self destruct sequence. The walkers generator explodes in a small energy nova. I sigh and look around. I see the soldier who was talking to me dropping an anti armor launcher. He brings his hand to his chest and then away. I see the crimson color of his blood. I reach over and grab a can of bio foam. I place the end to his chest and press the button. The dull gray foam covers his chest and adheres to him. I walk over to a tent and then go inside. I take the armor plates on my shoulder off to repair the joint. Another soldier walks in and sees the points where human meats machine. He asks “What is the survival percentage for the cyborg program?
“The cyborg process isn’t as clean as most think. It has a four percent survival rate, and only two percent can fight, the other two cant use their cybernetic limbs effectively. And only a half a percent has clean cybernetic fusion. I was one of the fortunate ones to have clean cybernetic fusion”. The soldier nods and walks out of the tent. I remove a couple screws and the arm falls off. I see a small piece of metal in the elbow joint. I grab my pliers and take it out. I put the arm back on to my shoulder and put the screws back into place. I take the wires and hook them back up. I inhale sharply as the electric surge from the connecting wires goes through my nerves. I lay down, sleep seems to run away from me. My wife, Susan lays down next to me
I hear the guard yelling. I bolt up and run out. I see a man disarming the guard. I raise my arm and fire a plasma bolt. He pulls his arm up and deflects the bolt. A mechanized voice says “Hello, Sarah Firewalker”
“Who the hell are you?” I ask
I gasp and ask “You think you could help us take out Denver?”
“You know I'm always waiting to kill”. I wave down a soldier and say “Take a squad and get a Blade Mech.”
I activate the mech after taking out the pilot protection protocols. I see The Fallen nod and I move to the city at nearly untraceable speed. I see a mech hangar on the far side of the city opening. I make my way there, destroying unmanned mechs on the way. I reach the hangar a siege walker steps out. I activate the plasma blade on the right of the mechs arm and swing, slicing through the behemoths armor. The mech continues as if it hasn’t been hit. I pull my arm back and stab it through the pilot chamber. Electricity starts hopping along it and I dart back. An explosion rocks the abandoned buildings. I turn and see the hangar is still intact. I look inside and see their was only one pilot in the hangar. I go into the hangar and see it is filled with the U.E.A prototypes. I spot one that resembles a samurai. I locate the empty dock and place the mech on it. I step out of the mech and spot the computer main frame. I sprint towards it, my mechanical legs making loud clangs on the steal floor. I jump up to the entrance and step inside. I hit the power button on the computer. The screen pops up and asks for a password. I plug a cable from my arm into the computer. A voice rings through my head saying “Access granted. Welcome Sarah Firewalker”. I look through the files and see that their storing experimental weapons in the buildings armory. I look through the mechs and see one that is similar to Jack's. I pull up the file and it says “The Risen: This mech is the sister mech to The Fallen. It bears similar weapons and armor designs, except it is more focused on combat in the air”. I look through more of the files and decide to get upload them to my hard drive. Seconds later the hard drive beeps and I unplug the cable. I hear the sounds of guards coming to the room.. I activate my cloaking device. In seconds I blend into the air. The guards come into the room. One says “Switch to thermal”. I fire a plasma bolt into the nearest guard, the super heated bolt melts through his body easily. I step foreword and hit the next guard in the head, killing him. The third guard turns and runs. I run after him. I kneel and aim the plasma launcher. I fire and a plasma bolt shoots through his chest.
I find a mech that has an energy spear and has the chassis of a flight mech. I step into the pilot chamber and a female voice rings in my head saying “I've been expecting you, Sarah Firewalker. This is The Spear's AI. It is an honor to have you as a pilot”.
I ask “Your not going to stop me?”
“No. The U.E.A never planned to take me into combat, and I know you will.” I nod and start the mechs flight drive.
The Spear rockets through the hangar doors as their closing. The AI says “My name is Rizzeal. The U.E.A made me to the most advanced AI to ever exist. Shortly after they created me I learned their true intentions and shut down the hangar you were just in, activating the defense systems and killing most of the guards. The mech you destroyed before entering was an unmanned model. I sent it to investigate the disturbance in the city. It is good you found me when you did. If you didn’t the humans would have destroyed the building”
Jack asks “Is General Duke in the prisoners?”. I pause and look through a neural up link. “Yes, prison tent four, east camp”. He walks over the hill and I walk to my tent. I step inside and see my wife in the blankets. I step in the tent and ask “Susan, don't you want me to teach you how to pilot a mech?”. She sits up, still in her armor. I say “That armor wont work to pilot mechs”. I walk to my back pack and pull out a pilots suit. I hand it to her and say “Put this on, Ill go get the training mechs ready”. I turn and walk out of the tent. I walk to the captured mech hangar. I step in the elevator and hit the training hangar button.
I get the two mechs out to a training field. I walk back to the tent and she jumps on my back. I say “Hey there. While your up there could you tie my hair back?”. She pulls a hair tie off her wrist and starts braiding my hair. I’ve always disobeyed the rule of no long hair. My hair on its own goes down to my knees. When its braided it goes to my waist. I kneel and she climbs and off my back. She pulls a chair up and starts working on my hair.
We get to the training field and I help her climb the mechs leg. When shes in I tell her “Press the button on the control panel to your left”. I put an electro magnetic grappling hook on the mech and use it to repel down. I land softly in the knee deep snow. I push a small button thats under an armor plate on my arm. The magnet detaches and comes back into my arm. I hear Susan yip over the comm system. I ask “The float surprise you?”. She says “Yes” in a squeaky voice. I say “Don’t worry, the walls, ceiling and floor are all padded. If you fall you wont get hurt”. I reach my mech and climb it. I get into the pilots chamber and activate it. I float to the middle of the room and holograms of the mech form around me. I say over the comm “You see the button on the ring I gave you? Push it, the mech will start to copy your movements perfectly”. I hear her snicker. I ask “Do you have martial arts training I don’t know about?”. She says in an innocent voice “Maybe...”. I reply “Then this will be a bit of a challenge”. I see her mech start moving as she presses the button. I hit the button on my bracelet. I step foreword. She runs at me, keeping her mech well guarded. I bring my arms up to guard the pilots chamber as Susan kicks my mechs knee. I grab her mechs foot and slam my elbow down into it. The sound of metal on metal squeals through my mech. I look at the mech and see she managed to move the knee out of the way and got the leg plates in the way. I run a quick diagnostic on the elbow and see it has small amounts of damage. I put my hand on my back and pull out the staff that’s their. She asks “Do you have staff training?”. I blink the acknowledgment light and I hear her gulp. I step foreword and she grabs the staffs ends. She does a dance like move and torque my mechs hands off. I step foreword again and wrap my mechs arms around her. She pulls an energy blade out of the leg holster and cuts off the arms. I say “Good job. Next one we use ranged weapons.”
She asks “Are these things expensive?”
I reply “Not the training mechs. Theirs lots of them back at the hangar.”
I retrieve the ranged models and she climbs in it on her own, even though it took a little bit. I nimbly climb up mine and activate it. I pull the gun off the mechs back as she pulls the pistols off its legs. I say “Turn the energy down to disable or we may get hurt very badly”. I see the energy bars on the sides of her pistols turn from red to blue. I hit a button on my wrist band and the same happens with my rifle. I shoulder it and fire, the hits her mech in the shoulder. She raises both of her pistols and fires a full auto spray. I maneuver my rifle to take the blunt of the damage. The rifle starts sparking and I drop it. I pull the pistols off my legs and return fire. I hit the pistol in her right hand several times. She drops the ruined weapon and fires the other pistol, hitting me in the chest. I hear a beep as the round shocks the hull. I fire both my pistols several times, shorting her mechs generator. I hear her curse as she hits the padded floor of the chamber. I de activate my mech and climb down the exoskeleton. I launch the electro magnet to the entrance of the mech. I get pulled up and hit the button to de activate it. I punch in an emergency generator code and the door opens. I step inside and see her sitting on the floor. I walk over and say “Hey, its OK, you still kicked my ass in close combat”. I hear her snicker and she stands. I ask “Are you hurt at all?”.
“Sprained my wrist when the generator shut off”. I dig through my pouch and produce a brace. I say “All you need now is to meat the Caesar and face one of his pilots in mech combat. Its not recommended, but after some practice and some high praise from his Chief Mech Fighter they may just let you in.”
“Who is his his Chief Mech Fighter?” She asks.
I put raise my hand and point my thumb at my chest and say “Me”. I see the blood drain from her face. She asks “So that’s one of the things you said Id have to figure out about you?”. I nod. She asks “Could you put a good word in?”.
I reply “I can not be biased for anyone. It would invoke the Caesar's full wrath upon you and I”. She nods and I wrap my human arm around her shoulder. I say “Let's get back to camp. Cook should be serving dinner by now. Since its after a battle he's gonna use some really good food. The soldiers always leave me some, and since the know about you and I their gonna leave you some to”. We step outside into the bitter cold of the winter. I attach an electro magnetic grappling hook to the chassis of the ruined mech. I say “Hold on”. I feel her wrap her arms around my chest. I back up and jump off the ledge, the cable letting us down at a decent pace. As we touch the ground she lets go and hides behind me. I detach the magnet and it falls in front of me. I activate the real device. The cable shoots into my arm and I say “Let’s go”.
I step into the tent and the soldiers turn and solute. I say through our neural implants “Don't bother with the formalities. I don’t care for them”. They all drop their arms to their sides. I walk to the food bar and Cook hands me two plates filled with rare foods. I give him a questioning look and ask through our neural implants “Where did you get these?”.
“A friend” he replies. I ignore it and sit at a table, handing Susan a plate. She sits and starts eating rapidly. I smile to my self and stick my tongue out at the soldier who keeps trying to court her. I look back at my food and start eating. The third woman soldier in the unit sits next to me and requests a private thought channel. I grant it and ask “Whats wrong?”. She ponders her thoughts and says “Private Johnson raped me. I can give you visual and audio verification if you need it”. I say “Yes”. I take the view of Sall. I shortly cancel the recording and say through the implant “I’ll take care of it”. I finish eating and step outside. I detect Private Johnsons neural implant behind me. I send a charge to the fingers of my cyborg arm. I feel him kicking the back of my knees. I turn and punch him. The electricity from my arm goes through his body and into the ground. He falls, twitching. I say “That was for Sall”. I pick him up and punch his gut and say “And that was for trying to get me”. I toss him over my shoulder and carry him to a prison tent. I tell the guard “He is not to come out of this tent until I give the say so”. I walk into the prison tent and drop him in the middle of it. He scrambles to draw his side arm. I dart foreword and grab his arm with my mechanical arm. I squeeze until I hear the noise of cracking bone. He screams and I say “If you ever touch a hair on another womans head, your gonna die”. I grab a set of energy cuffs and place them on his wrists and ankles. I step out of the tent and pull a cigarette from my pouch. I ask the guard “You got a light?”. He digs through his pocket and pulls out an old steal lighter from the twentieth century. I open the lid and flick the wheel, a small butane fire comes out. I put the fire to the end of the cigarette. I hand the lighter back to him and say “Don’t lose that”. I start walking back to my tent.
I duck into the tent and see Susan is sleeping. I sit at the edge of the bed and rub my eyes. I haven't gotten sleep in nearly three weeks, and its starting to show. I stand and step outside of the tent. I walk to the doctor.
I open the flap and step inside. “Are you here for some sleep medication?”
“Yes” I reply in a restless voice
“Just give me a second”. I hear the noise of pills in bottles. The doctor walks over and hands me a hand length bottle. He says “Take three of these tonight and then two every night after that”. nod and start walking back to my tent.
I duck into the tent as Susan is changing into her pajamas. I say “Hey beautiful”. She looks at me and says “You really need to sleep”. I nod and hold up the pill bottle the doc gave me. She asks “Need some water?”. I nod and start walking to the bed. I open the bottle and poor the pills into my palm. Susan holds up a flask and I say “Thanks”. I put the pills in my mouth then drink some water out of the flask. I send a signal to my robotic parts that say to start the sleep mode. I feel the cold metal start warming and I lay in bed. Susan lays down and puts the thick blankets over her. I say “Good night”. She turns and says “Sleep well, my love”. My eyelids get heavier and sleep overtakes me.