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Here is more of the Hunted story.
Boxer told me to move to a structure to the west of our position that had a huge, gapping hole that I could back the ATV into. While I positioned the vehicle into the structure the rest of the team booted up their individual weapons systems. The structure looked as if it were some type of garage area for mining vehicles as there were various drilling rigs and mechs laying about in ruin. As soon as the ATV was in position I activated the forward facing, 20mm cannon that was mounted under the driver's position.
A few tense moments passed when the motion sensor once again changed tones. This tone indicated that whatever it was tracking was now within firing range of our weapons systems. The commander slowly inched the turret with the duel 40mm cannons in the direction indicated by the sensor. The turret clicked into place as the rest of the team did the same with their individual weapons systems.
That's when we saw it. At first it seemed nothing more then a shadow in the blowing sand, but then it began to take form. A form of a machine that looked more like an animal on the prowl than a weapon. The thing was massive as it rolled around on two monstrous wheels. It looked to be outfitted with a minigun, two main guns and rocket pods mounted on either side of its hull. The thing gave me the chills as it rolled towards our position.
Tin Man broke the silence and exclaimed that the vehicle had our markings on it and that it must be a friendly unit. He was about to break radio silence when Boxer told him not to. The commander would always have a certain tone in his voice when he was trying to figure something out and this was one of those times. Tin Man started cussing again, which the commander ignored for the time being. He was thinking out loud so the whole team could hear his thought process.
He told us that he had seen this type of machine before back at Home base. The machines were known as Nomads, a new type of autonomous, A.I. weapons platform that was undergoing test the last that he heard of. The machines were capable of extended patrols for months on end on planets with extremely hostile environments. Tin Man was still cussing wanting to know why we were hiding from our own units when it hit me. I knew why the commander was holding position. There was no transponder signal.
The motion sensor would have sounded a completely different tone if the unit was a friendly and was transmitting its code. The tone we were hearing was that of an unfriendly unit, and by the looks of this machine I would say that it was not far off the mark. Boxer was in mid-sentence, thinking out load when all of a sudden he stopped. I looked up and that's when I saw the second Nomad creep out of the sandstorm like a phantom in search of a soul to devour.
To be continued.
- November 22, 2008
- Science Fiction
- 221.9 kB
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