Machine Crusher Matarobos
Once Quimby delivered their supplies, they pushed ahead, beyond the devastated trees, following the tread marks of the devastated robots. Peter had no fear for Beagle's safety, as his was not the town's only militia, and while the other militias weren't as capable, they could stop a typical robot attack with few casualties, even at the current intense level.
After a long, hard slog, they finally reached an area entirely denuded of trees. Only grass grew there, and there was hardly any sign of man or machine.
"Check below you. Something might pop out of the ground," said Peter. Renard stared at the ground, rifle at the ready, while Quimby just absentmindedly looked, his hands jittering.
"What are you scared of? Stay focused!" Peter said to the young boy. Quimby got his jitters under control, but the still silence had everyone gearing up for an attack.
"Nothing over here," said a militiaman who went a ways out. Peter stepped on a kangaroo's skull and crunched the brittle bone. Peter couldn't see or hear any animals at all, not even ants. As he kept alert to his surroundings, he wondered if the groups back home really were equal to the task of fighting off the machines.
"Boss, fresh tracks!" said Renard. Now it made sense why there weren't any trees. The men grouped behind Renard while Peter took the lead. These tracks were standard rover treads, but they were larger than normal -- exactly what Peter wanted. They were hot on the trail of a robot production facility, behemoth machines which gathered raw materials automatically and assembled them into finished robots. The group followed the tracks, careful not to disturb them. Only adrenaline kept them going on their long march, waiting for the facility to rain artillery fire upon them. Of course, they now had rocket launchers of their own, but the enemy they were to face would still be far tougher than a typical machine.
When they got far enough, they didn't need the tracks; they could see the facility itself, a machine covered in reactive armor, its dull grey bulk rolling in their direction, belching black smoke straight into the atmosphere. However, its artillery lay dormant, and its machine guns didn't even aim at them, despite being within range of its 360-degree vision.
"Let 'im have it!" ordered Peter. They all moved in closer and threw their grenades at the massive machine. The explosions clashed against the armor, damaging some of the guns but otherwise not effective. Peter and the others got ready to throw again, but this time, the facility shot in their direction and forced them to scatter. Peter, however, stayed near his spot. Several doors on the side of the big, blocky edifice opened, but these weren't the usual rovers and flyers that the militias dealt with; these had a human shape, and they wore gray uniforms and carried assault rifles.
"Don't let those buckets of bolts through!" shouted Peter. He fired a rocket at the side of the facility. When it exploded, the human-shaped machines were blown to pieces with surprising ease.
They weren't machines. They were living humans.
Peter had seen public executions done by firing squad, but he never fired upon other groups of humans as if they were the enemy. He backed off and looked around him to see how many there were. Another facility rolled up, and this one spit humans in gray uniform out as well. Other humans advanced upon them from all sides. Something about this seemed so askew, so twisted, like a three-eyed dog or an eight-legged squirrel. The attacking humans leveled their rifles and sprayed into his group, taking down three of his men. Peter fired back and cringed as he caused blood to spurt from his unfortunate targets.
"Everyone, retreat!" said Peter. The stricken men were picked up and carried, while everyone who had hands free fired back at the advancing humans, who were becoming more numerous by the minute. Rifle and rocket fire shredded the advancing hordes and gave them the time they needed to retreat. As they had come equipped to take down metallic abominations, pulverizing feeble human flesh was no challenge at all. The men carrying wounded comrades fell behind, then fell to enemy bullets. Renard stopped to get one of them.
"Renard, leave them! We have to get back!" he said. Renard did as he was told and used his vantage point to shoot more advancing humans until he turned back and caught up with the rest. The retreating force managed to clear out their gray-clad attackers, buying them enough time to disappear into the forest. The facilities did not follow them, and that is what worried Peter the most.
Above image from the National Library of Scotland.
All my stories can be found here.
I'm Rawle Nyanzi, a professional author who seeks only to entertain. My blog is a convenient place where you can find all my writings and some of my opinions on various topics relating to politics, pop culture, and even gender.
Also, do purchase a copy of Sword & Flower, a story of a Japanese pop star and and English Puritan banding together to fight demons.