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[Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
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Taeryn Leir Offline
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Post: #1
[Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
TIME: 08:24. November 19, 2018. PLACE: 36 km east of Seattle, Washington, USA. The sun seemed to barely rise some days- lurking behind clouds as though ashamed to cast light upon the cratered ground. Once people lived here in teeming millions...living , laughing and growing. Now, it was a smashed wasteland of broken machines and dilapidated ruins. SKYNET had brought about the destruction of most of the human race in a single day of fire and death. No one was really sure why, but they eventually learned that SKYNET figured to finish the job. At first it was small machines: delicate things of ceramic and wire that skimmed the ground almost silently as their passionless lenses watched and reported. A guy with a shotgun and birdshot could easily swat them from the air...but even in death the little spies told their mother where to look...and where to hunt. Soon the guys with shotguns were on the endangered species list- birdshot does nothing to chromium armor and plaid workshirts offer no protection from chainguns and plasma weapons. Men had to learn anew what it was to be the hunted...and how to turn the tables against an implacable foe that offered no quarter to man, woman, or child. They built new weapons, or stole them from their enemy. Slowly, after resting on the brink for years, the tide began to turn: A rumor of a man named Connor...one that knew how to fight the machines and exploit their weaknesses. Another rumor said this man was building an army from the smashed remnants of the militaries of the world. A bright spot in the day of any human that heard it....but this army sure as hell wasn't anywhere near Seattle...

Darius shrugged to resettle the weight that rested on his powerful shoulders as he slogged through the snow, praying that the white camo and thermal blocker he wore would keep any inquisitive machine from coming along and ruining their day. His legs burned terribly from the effort, but he pushed on like an icebreaker on a frozen sea. A soft moan came at his shoulder as his burden stirred. " I told you to leave me, you big dummy." He chuckled a little, doing his best not to jar the bandaged leg of the woman he carried. "No, Kat. End of discussion."

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

A delicate japanese woman of 25, Katherine "Kat" Ishioka weathered Judgement Day in a San Francisco Bay Area subway tunnel. She'd always griped that a skilled woman mechanic should have as much a right as the next person to work in the yard instead of in the dark tunnels screwing around with frozen switches and balky lights...but the day the earth heaved and the power went out, she thanked her lucky stars for her solidly built underground lair. Over time it became her own personal bunker and garage, where she became a real resource for anyone that had a much-needed machine break down. Cars, trucks, radio equipment...the list was endless. She even fixed a helicopter once, before the machines started taking issue with humans flying around. She heard a lot from her customers -Mechanical horrors hunting for people day and night with guns and lasers... people moving around the choked streets of smashed cities like rats in the walls of an abandoned house...rumors of safe camps or places the army still protected. Most of the rumors turned out to be false...and usually got someone killed finding out. Sometimes she thought it was this SKYNET thing starting the rumors to lure people into the open where they could be more efficiently slaughtered. Finally, a band of people with a clapped out truck that needed fixing brought the news she had feared: the machines were in the city and spreading through the ruins. She plugged the leak in their radiator and then made the decision:It was time to go. Gathering her tools into her old van, she left the city behind and spent the next six months moving-mostly at night on little used roads. Eventually she found her way north, meeting up with a group hiding outside of Seattle. So she kept her head down and survived, trading work for food, clean water and parts while she waited for the next sunrise.

One late night, while bent under the hood of a Ford and casting forth a fluent stream of invective on a starter that just would not come out, she felt a stinging pain in her posterior as someone slapped her hard on the backside. The sheer surprise made her jump, banging her head on the hood and knocking over half her tools. She swung around with a snarl, a quickly snatched wrench in her hand ready to teach someone some manners. A vaguely familiar man stood there, a leering smile on his face as his eyes roamed her trim figure. " I was right...your ass is real firm." She saw red and lifted the wrench." Dirty sonofabit-urk!" The man was fast and had a grip like a wire snare as he grabbed her throat and wrist. He stank of whiskey and sweat, and she cringed inside when she saw the drunken lust in his eyes. He had shown up a few days ago, not really having much to do with the locals beyond some desultory trade in rumors. She remembered his eyes following her the few times she'd seen him, but being an attractive japanese woman with a nice figure tended to make men watch her, so she just shrugged it off. She'd called it wrong this time for sure, struggling and kicking as the wastrel dragged her towards a nearby work table. He slammed her up against the edge of the table, taking her breath away in a rush of pain as he tore off part of her shirt and jammed it into her mouth. She clawed and kicked and scratched... but all he did was laugh as he held her down and tried to smother her with the kind of disgusting sloppy kisses only drunks can perfect. " C'mon, baby. Its the end of the world...why not have some fun, right?" Her mind raced, trying to find anything she could use to get this bastard off of her...and then the unexpected happened. Her attacker froze as a huge hand clamped around his throat from behind, cutting off his air. She wiggled loose as her assailants' grip relaxed, holding the scraps of her shirt closed with one hand while she gained some space from her would-be rapist. Her rescuer was one of the biggest men she'd ever seen...tall and heavily muscled. The smaller man strained against her towering savior, then let out a squawk as he was lifted bodily and thrown into a nearby toolrack. Clawing his way to his feet, he produced a knife from somewhere under his coat. " Gonna have to cut you, hero...put my blade in you and let out some red." The big man simply waited, assuming a weak-side forward stance as the blade-wielding weasel advanced. The larger man seemed strangely calm as the man approached within knife range. She knew she should be doing something...either running for help or finding her biggest wrench to beat that guys' head in, but it was almost hypnotic as the weasel and the bear faced off. Like lightning, the smaller man went to work, the blade flicking in and out in a pattern a street thug would know from long practice. Strangely, the big man was never where the knife was...either batting it away or simply stepping aside as though he were fighting a child with a spoon. Suddenly, a big paw shot out and smashed the smaller man in the mouth, knocking him down. In a voice like faraway thunder, the big man finally spoke. " You're good with a knife. Shows you only fight people instead of machines. How many women have you crossed paths with, I wonder?" The smaller man rose, spitting a mouthful of blood onto the ground. " Plenty, hero. I take what I want, when I want. The world is dead...why should I care about stupid shit like laws? Those are dead too...just like you're gonna be!" The knife came up as he darted forward, and she gasped as the big man...moved. All she really saw was a blur as his left hand captured the other mans' knife hand, twisting it up and to the side as he closed with his opponent. A quiet grunt came as the big mans' right hand shot out to strike the smaller man in the throat ...and the smaller mans' face began to turn purple. Dropping the knife, the weasel put both of his hands to his throat as if trying to remove something there. Sinking to his knees, he clawed at the flesh of his throat while he gaped like a landed trout. The big guy straightened and let out a long breath as his opponent thrashed at his feet. Slowly, the smothering man grew still. Another rumble of thunder came. " See you in hell, pal." He suddenly seemed to remember her presence, and turned to look at her. He raised his hands in a non-threatening manner. Blue eyes in a tanned face checked quickly to see if she was hurt. "Um... Hi. My name's Darius. You ok?"
(This post was last modified: 11-06-2012 06:49 PM by Taeryn Leir.)
05-26-2012 10:20 PM
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Taeryn Leir Offline
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Post: #2
RE: [Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
Kat nodded once, quickly. Then the shakes started. Her anger and frustration at being manhandled and her sudden realization that she probably would have been murdered after being raped all combined to make her limbs almost useless with shaking. She backed away from the newcomer until her back touched the wall, where she slid into a crouch. Something seemed to occur to her visitor, and he stripped off the leather vest he wore. Moving slowly and with his hands in full view, he placed the vest on the floor where she could reach it. He didn't seem like the kind of man who smiled a lot, but he had an encouraging look on his face. " Here. Cover up while I get him out of here." With that he backed away, and turned to deal with the cooling corpse across the room. Holstered at the small of his back was a absolute cannon of a pistol-its presence shocking her out of her funk. " Jeez, mister. If you were packing that thing, why didn't you just blast him?" He paused, then reached back to touch the grip as though ensuring it was still there. " Couldn't. This is loaded with AP rounds. One would have gone right through him and hit you, so....." He shrugged. ".... I had to do it the hard way." That almost drew a chuckle out of her, despite the past ten minutes. Reaching forward, she caught the collar of the vest and pulled it to her. Discarding her torn shirt, she slipped it on and buttoned it. It hung on her like a tent, but it covered her well enough. Even now it was warm from him wearing it, and she clutched it to herself as she willed away another bout of shakes. " Thank you...for...for.." He nodded, cutting her off. " You're welcome. Glad I came in when I did, although earlier would have been better." With that he bent and grabbed her former assailant by the belt and heaved him up onto his shoulder. " I'll take out the trash...maybe see if he had any friends with him." She simply nodded as he left.
He returned about twenty minutes later, carrying three bags and nursing a rapidly swelling black eye. After seeing him fight, she marvelled that anyone could lay a hand on him. " Good Lord, what happened?" He dumped the bags on the floor and shook his head-apparently at himself. His voice was half humorous as he recounted what happened as he sat down. " He had friends-two guys half a block west. They seemed...put out...when they saw me lugging their buddy out of here. Fisticuffs ensued, followed by lots of running. They cut around a corner, and when I did the same....bang! Right into the end of a pipe sticking out of the wall. Those little buggers probably didn't even have to duck." The look on his face- one of perplexed bafflement- drew a giggle from her unbidden. She clamped her hand over her mouth, shocked that he might think she was laughing at him...then he snorted with amusement. The merriment grew into chuckles...the chuckles grew into more. Before too long, the underground workshop echoed with something rarely heard in SKYNETs' world: Laughter. After a time, they both calmed and wiped eyes wet with tears of merriment. Kat examined his eye inexpertly, making him chuckle again at her "ew"s and "ick"s. The skin wasn't broken, just bruised enough to make it swell. She shook her head. " I'd say just put some ice on it, but with the weather like this I'm sure you don't want to think about ice." He grunted. " Every year the winter comes earlier and leaves later. Makes a guy want to move south for the winter." He poked gingerly at the skin around his eye." It'll be ok in a few days...I'll just have to move my head around more until then." He regarded her with renewed interest- his voice lowered as if to keep from spooking her. " You going to be ok?" She nodded after a moment. " Thanks again...Darius...was it?" He nodded in turn. " Darius Nilsson, at your service, Ms...?" She chuckled quietly. " My, its been a while since anybody called me 'miss'." She stuck her hand out. " Katherine Ishioka...or Kat to my friends." He smiled widely, looking absuredly boyish as he swallowed her small hand in his. " Glad to know you, Katherine." She shook her head with a smile. " Please... call me Kat."

" Suppressive Fire: When you absolutely, positively have to keep the bastards' heads down long enough to call in an air strike." Big Grin
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2012 08:42 PM by Taeryn Leir.)
06-11-2012 10:17 PM
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Taeryn Leir Offline
Good Hearted Mercenary
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Post: #3
RE: [Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
Kat thought things worked out rather well, considering her rough treatment. Her newfound friend had retrieved three bags of very useful gear from the companions of the man that had attacked her. One of them must have been military once, since the pistol buried at the bottom of one bag had " Property of U.S. Gov't." stamped on the frame. It had been empty, but with most of her work being paid in barter, she had a small stash of ammunition tucked away...part of which was the proper caliber for the .45 pistol. She wore it now, feeling quite the proper gunslinger with the heavy pistol resting comfortably on her hip. A pair of extra magazines balanced the pistol, although one was only a seven round mag instead of an eight round like the other two. Next to the two extra mags rode the knife her attacker had tried to use on Darius. He'd given it to her without hesitation, even after she tried to argue that he was probably better with it than she would ever be. " I don't like using knives." was his only comment, but the tone told her it was a sore point with the big man so she let the matter drop. New boots for her, a decent pair of field pants of an odd camo pattern she'd never seen before ( Darius called it 'flecktarn'..must be something foreign). Three grenades had been confiscated by Darius as soon as he found them. Two were what he called 'frags', and looked a lot like the kind she'd seen in war movies as a kid. The third was painted white and had some numbers stenciled on it ( Darius had made an 'Oooh' sound and called it 'willie-pete'. Must stand for something) Also among the usual water bottles and field tools they had found a small field radio of the type used by American soldiers. It was almost new, but the battery was dead and an oddball voltage not readily replaced. Darius looked it over with an expert eye. " Hm. That might be handy to have...if there is anyone out there to talk to."
A week had passed since the incident and neither of the men that had fled from Darius had been seen around, so she began to relax. It helped to have the giant man around... she felt well protected whenever he was there. He'd made his way into the city ruins looking for parts...his truck had broken down on him a few miles outside of town, and he had been hoping to find something useful. Stumbling over some survivors that knew of her expertise in things mechanical, he had followed his nose to her hidey hole, just in time to save her bacon. Now, he was her able assistant. It was a shame, really. If you showed him something once, he had it memorized and could do it flawlessly. But ask him to diagnose a problem? Instant disaster! He was a fighter beyond measure, but the automobile was a mystery to him. Of course, having a friend who could lift a chevy transmission into place without a ounce of strain made up for his lack of mechanical knowledge. As did her sudden acquisition of what most women would call 'man-candy'. Granted, he wasn't Johnny Depp pretty, but there was a handsomeness to his strong features....and what girl could ignore abs and shoulders like those? She shook her head, banishing the thought as they sweated together under his stranded truck. She didn't like being so far from the jumble of buildings and tunnels that she had hidden in so well, but she knew Darius would never fix his vehicle on his own. They couldn't tow the behemoth back to her shop (What is it with guys and the masculine need for huge powerful trucks with big tires and armor and a big gun on top? She'd never figure it out), so they had to fix it here. He'd broken a universal joint, which wasn't bad at all to fix...the problem was after he broke the joint the driveshaft had dropped and wedged against the high rubble he'd been trying to cross, bending it. That was a problem, but after a day and a night they were almost finished- a replacement had been robbed from a forlorn U-haul overturned on the broken highway a few miles away, and all they needed was another ten minutes and they could drive back to her hideaway in style. He held the light, while she made the final adjustments before tightening the last bolts. She torqued the last bolt, then beamed at her companion. " Done. Now how do you plan to drive this beast ba-" She jumped as he covered her lips with his fingers at the same time he flicked the light off. " Shh." She was instantly cold at the taught readiness of Darius' limbs. He laid the worklight aside carefully so it wouldn't 'clink' as it touched the ground. She was about to ask him what was wrong when she heard it; a faint whine of impellers- the kind that small HK's used. They were tucked under a partially collapsed overpass...the truck looking like another victim of SKYNETs' treachery from years ago. The HK was a small one...probably no bigger than a childs' toy airplane. The bad part was what kind it was...some were recon birds,covered in scanners and cameras... others were armed with autoguns, rockets, or even beam and plasma weapons...and then there was the kind that flew into small spaces where people hid and exploded...it was a tense moment. Darius barely breathed into her ear. " Stay still. Might be tracking magscan instead of infra." A slither of steel on leather, and that big pistol of his was in his hand. She was scared. She'd hidden from overflights, and had stayed ahead of the infestation of SKYNETs cybernetic minions until now. She didn't know what to do...didn't even know where the weak points on such a thing were, if there were any at all. All she could do was lie still and hope the clockwork murderer poking around out there didn't see them and toddled off somewhere far away. Darius crawled silently over her, easing himself out from under the truck on the side opposite the approaching mech. She could see his boots slowly moving away from the truck towards the tangle of smashed concrete and rebar of the overpass, until she couldn't see him anymore. She waited...and waited...hearing the whine of motors doppelering off the surrounding concrete. Some HK's used spotlights...possibly tied into their fire control or simply as a psychological weapon against humans. This one ran dark; just a shadow among shadows as it sought its prey. Had it sensed them? Was it just following some predetermined map some computer thought was relevant? She shivered, knowing death was nearby...and was searching for them.

" Suppressive Fire: When you absolutely, positively have to keep the bastards' heads down long enough to call in an air strike." Big Grin
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2012 11:24 AM by Taeryn Leir.)
08-28-2012 11:42 PM
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Taeryn Leir Offline
Good Hearted Mercenary
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Post: #4
RE: [Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
Darius breathed slowly, letting the solidity of the pistol in his hands focus his mind. Somewhere just out of sight floated a head of the Hydra...and he was going to enjoy blowing it off. He regretted exposing Kat to the dangers inherent in wandering around out here, but she was such a wiz with a wrench that he'd hoped they would have fixed his van and been gone already. "Oh well," He thought. " At least the durn van is fixed. Now all I have to do is nail this little bugger and we can be on our way." He eased the hammer back to half cock- stepping lightly over the skeletal remains of a man clutching a rusty hunting rifle. An idle part of his mind noted the damage...probably from an early model plasgun from the hole in the chest cavity and the wall behind...typical overkill from the earlier model HKs. The surrounding concrete and burned out vehicles made the engine sounds shift back and forth in odd ways, making him sweat a little as he played hide and seek with a flying killer. It sounded like it was over there...but now it sounds like its over here. "Dammit, where are you, you sneaking hunk of junk?" Just then, a flat disc bulked out on its bottom with small attitude jets and singing fans rounded the husk of a minivan, slowly pivotting as it scanned its surroundings. Before it could pick him up, he brought the big pistol to full cock and swung it up to center on the hovering shadow. Smoothly squeezing the trigger once, he rode out the recoil as the pistol roared and bucked in his hands. His target spun snake quick at the flash from the muzzle of his gun, but the AP round struck it squarely before it could employ even the simplest evasive maneuver. The bullet bored through the thin armor and ceramic backing, before tunnelling through the main processor and lodging in the battery bank. With a hissing roar, said battery pack shorted explosively, blowing the recon scout to pieces. The blast made Darius' ears ring, but to have chopped off another one of the Hydras' heads was always a thrill. He made to step forward and make sure the thing was finished, when a bright spotlight pinned him in place, accompanied by the high pitched whine of a second drone as it cleared the tumble of jersey barriers behind him. All he could think of as the drone swung an underslung plasma weapon to point at him was a line out of a movie he saw as a kid...a man hunting a deadly animal in thick brush, only to be flanked and eaten by a second. He looked up at the hovering machine with a grim smile. " Clever girl."

" Suppressive Fire: When you absolutely, positively have to keep the bastards' heads down long enough to call in an air strike." Big Grin
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2012 11:25 AM by Taeryn Leir.)
09-03-2012 06:21 PM
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Taeryn Leir Offline
Good Hearted Mercenary
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Post: #5
RE: [Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
WHAM! Darius threw himself flat as a large piece of concrete came hurtling down from overhead to smash the drone to the ground. Impellers screamed, trying to move the pinned machine from under the chunk of stone that had miraculously saved his life. Raising his pistol again, he pounded out another shot into the main scanner 'eye' in the front of the machine. The screaming motors spooled down to a whisper, then shut down completely. Climbing upright from where he had thrown himself, he looked around quickly, realizing the second drone had to have passed the rear of his truck to have gotten to its current position. " KAT! You ok!?" A moments' silence made him fear the worst, but a scattering of gravel above him made him bring up his gun again...only to lower it as Kats' worried face popped over the twisted railing of the highway ramp above. " Did I get it?" Darius had to laugh. " Did you ever. C'mon, lets get out of here before any more show up." She hopped down a jumble of broken concrete that spilled from the overpass, ending up just a jump from the ground. Her eyes were bright, and she was breathing fast with exertion and what suspiciously looked like excitement. " I think you should tell me where the weak spots are on those things...next time I might not have a boulder in my purse." He laughed, stunned to still be alive. Reaching up, he caught her around the waist and spun her in a joyous circle before lowering her gently to the ground. " Just as soon as we get back. I promise. "

She could feel his hands shaking, probably adrenaline from his close call. She stilled them by covering them with her own small hands. She looked up at him archly, " I knew you wouldn't keep your hands to yourself." The look on her big friends' face was priceless; a sudden mixture of denial that he had intentions towards her, and shock and dismay that he might have reminded her of her almost-rape the night they met. " Kat, you know I would nev..mmph..." She relented then, silencing the avalance of words with a light finger finger on his lips. " Hush." Her hand moved up to gently touch the side of his face, gently caressing his cheek with her thumb. " I know a good man when I see one." Their eyes met...and for a moment time slowed, and they said volumes to each other without ever making a sound. " Kat...I.." Darius lifted his own hand to mirror hers, but only got about halfway before her nimble fingers tweaked his cheek hard enough to make him wince. Smiling sweetly up at him, she lifted an eyebrow. "Now, can we get the heck out of here before something bigger comes along?" He chuckled down at his diminutive friend. " Yes, dear." Without further ado, they mounted up. Sitting high off the ground, Kat thought the metal monstrosity mirrored Darius perfectly...big, powerful, and....as she looked into the back of the van at a fortune of weapons, food and equipment...full of surprises. He flicked some switches, then pressed a button on the dash. The big motor turned heavily, then fired with a surprisingly quiet rumble. Darius winked at her. " Can't play Road Warrior with open pipes when they can track you acoustically." He pulled a set of NVD goggles on and handed her a set, showing her how to turn them on and get them adjusted. That done, he backed out smoothly from the rubble that had stranded him, and chose a more sloped route that soon had them motoring quietly down the deserted freeway towards the distant ruins they were both beginning to call home.

A few hundred yards off the freeway, a shadow moved. A long, slender barrel tracked the blacked out van while the holographic gunsight adjusted for range and point of aim for the squash-head shell that sat ready within the weapon. Designed to smear a wad of malleable explosive on dense armor, the shell would go off a moment after impact- detonating the plastique and spalling off a chunk of armor on the inside of the target to wreak havoc on anything within. However, this shell remained quiescent as the big gun tracked the distant vehicle until it was out of sight. With a quiet whisper of ducted fans, a lowslung silhouette lifted into view from its hiding place. Turretted, with antennae and weapon ports in abundance, it exuded a cold perfection of the killing art as it faced about in the direction the erstwhile drone hunters had gone...and slowly followed.

Meanwhile, in a near-silent alcove of computer equipmentin what used to be a NORAD command bunker, a monitor came to life. There were no human eyes to see it, but it had been originally made to keep its human overseers updated on current mission events.
SKYNET:SUBNET::sector 221907alpha
drone hk2898-0982.....nonfunctional.......drone hk39817-8876....nonfunctional...
The final moments of recorded information from both drones played back in a fast loop. The first showed only a hulking shadow and a flash, but the second showed a large human male armed with a heavy pistol- his face clear in the white light. Grid vectors analyzed that face, measuring and adjusting for time. A picture came up beside a stream of information, pulled from a file buried somewhere within the network that now ruled the world. It showed a younger man in a military uniform, the gold oak leaves of a major on his shoulderboards. The machine could not see or understand the determination and confidence in those younger eyes, but it could confirm that an old enemy was still alive.

Deploy sensor drones to area 414/sector221907alpha <break> HK-989 reroute to forward depot 21099/ assist with aerial surveillance.....

The lines of code and communications continued on for some time...soulless machines calmly plotting murder as they moved their chess pieces across the board that once was a living world. If they could have computed what would come of their efforts, the machines would have nuked the place instead.

" Suppressive Fire: When you absolutely, positively have to keep the bastards' heads down long enough to call in an air strike." Big Grin
(This post was last modified: 11-04-2012 02:38 PM by Taeryn Leir.)
09-04-2012 10:38 PM
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Taeryn Leir Offline
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Post: #6
RE: [Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
Kat came awake suddenly. She quickly looked around without moving, trying to discern where the unfamiliar sound had come from. When it came again - a breathy rasp of sound that echoed off the walls of their underground hideaway. She reached up to the bunk over her head. " Darius...do you hear that?" She prodded the mattress, which moved far too easily to be supporting her oversized friend. She stood up then, pistol quickly snatched from where it hung by the bed. " Darius...?" Darius' bunk lay empty...she was alone. Her mind raced. Maybe he had already gone to discover what was making the strange sound? When it continued, she moved silently to the doorway and looked around the outer room. Darius' van sat quietly, filling up an eighth of her available shop space. After the short drive back, they had shoehorned the big vehicle into a corner out of the way. Nothing moved there..then the sound came again, from farther across the room. It might even be coming from the ramp that led up to the street from the way it sounded. She stealthed forward on bare feet, the heavy pistol pointed generally in the direction she moved. Once she got to the bottom of the ramp, she was certain the sound came from above. Inching forward, the sound became clearer, although she couldn't figure what it was coming from. Easing her head above the scattered rubble that camouflaged the entrance to her underground workshop, she finally saw what was making the strange noise. Part of the building her workshop was in had collapsed due to some kind of structural failure, exposing several floors to the outside all the way down to street level. One office of sorts extended from the ramp all the way to the street corner a half block away. There in the middle of the ruined office sat Darius;perched on a half ruined desk wrapped in his blanket. He stared straight ahead- slowly rocking back and forth as another strange gasp escaped his lips. Alarmed now, Kat popped up and looked around. If she could hear him down below on this quiet night, then the sounds he was making must be carrying halfway down the street. She whispered fiercely, " Darius! What are you doing?!". When he didn't reply, she went directly to his side. On closer inspection, she saw he was sweating heavily, and his eyes were glassy as they looked right through her. Now she really was worried. She grabbed his shoulders and tried to shake him out of whatever funk he was in, but as soon as she touched him he became absolutely still. His eyes, bloodshot and strained, focused on her at last. He blinked. " Kat?" She bent down to look at him eye-to-eye. " Yes, it's Kat. What's wrong? What are you doing up here?" He looked distressed as he stood. "I'm sorry. It happens sometimes." He shook off the blanket wrapped around his shoulders and looked around. "Damn. I didn't want to wake you, so I came up here. Should have gone farther upstairs." Kat clutched at his hand. " Darius...I'm up here in a t-shirt and panties, its cold, and you're scaring me. If you don't tell me what just happened I'll beat you with a wrench, so help me." He saw the alarm and concern in her face-his lapse had truly frightened her. " Downstairs first. I made too much racket up here." They went back underground quickly, leaving the wind to make the only sound...until a pair of stealthy shadows eased from the wrecked storefront across the street. The bulkier shadow could have passed for Darius' twin- tall and wide shouldered. A deep voice spoke softly. " What do you think? PTSD?" The other shadow, more lightly built and shorter, nodded an agreement. " Yeah, like we all don't have it. I thought for sure he'd noticed us and was keeping a lookout. Get back to the Anvil and relieve Rand...I'm going to keep an eye on our neighbors for a while longer."

Unaware of the distant watchers, Kat led the way back to their hide. She was freezing- the weather would probably take years to return to normal after the violence done to the earth...so it was always cold. She couldn't really think why she went charging out looking for him in such a state...Even in the dorms at school she never ran around in just a shirt and her underwear. Yet here she was; almost bareass in the middle of the Apocalypse in front of a man she barely knew. She looked back at Darius, half expecting to see him staring at her backside. Instead, his eyes were downcast- like someone who knew they had screwed up. Once she got the door shut and locked , she turned on him and poked him squarely in the chest as her dark eyes locked on his. "Ok, hon. You've been a rock for me all this time...now this happens. What's wrong?" He tossed his blanket down on the spare bunk and sat, folding his hands while still looking down. He sighed deeply. " I'm sorry Kat. Its been a while since I had a fit like that." She crouched down in front of him and took his big hands in hers. " Was it that close call?" He nodded. "Partly. Something similar happened once, and it took me back to then." She nodded. "That would have given me nightmares too. That one drone blew dust on me as it flew by...it was that close before I heard it." She shuddered a little at the thought, but it got away from her and turned into a full on shiver. She let his hands go and rubbed her arms. " Damn. Winter isn't supposed to be this early." A big hand engulfed hers. " You're freezing...come up here off that concrete." He guided her up beside him and tried to draw his blanket over the both of them. It was a funny moment, because he was so big there was a shortage of blanket to cover everyone involved. She chuckled at the look on his face as he tried to rearrange things...he really was a sweet guy. She stopped him with a touch. " Wait a sec. Sit over here." Once she had him sitting where she wanted him, she curled up in his lap and laid her head against his solid shoulder. It was only seconds before she began to feel warmer. She looked up, and had to laugh quietly at his expression. "If your eyebrows go any higher, they'll fly off your face." He grinned almost shyly. " I don't often get beautiful women planting themselves on my lap, thats all." She smiled at that, but said nothing. Darius put his arms around her...it was just more comfortable than sitting rigidly against the wall. Enclosed within his circle of protection, Kat sighed quietly. She lifted her head to look at him again. " So what happened?'

He let out a deep sigh. "I screwed up. Badly." He settled back against the wall as he thought about the event that had cost him so much. " I had rank, once. Doesn't matter now, but I was in charge of an excellent group of soldiers." Kat looked up at him curiously, thinking back to the way he fought and how accurate he was with that cannon he always carried. " Special Forces?" He grinned a little, shaking his head. " They have to jump out of airplanes, which is something I will never do. When you want something crushed utterly in a face to face fight, you call in the tanks. Armor...that was us. Hand picked from the best the U.S. had to offer. Brought together to test a brand-new concept in armored warfare: Project SABRE." She frowned. " Wasn't that an airplane? " He chuckled. " Yep, sure was. The Air Force pukes that ran most of the test gear never let us forget it, either." He smiled at a few distant memories, of comraderie between soldiers cut from the same cloth. " The SABRE was our first delving into new power sources. A tank running on gas or diesel only gets about a mile a gallon depending on terrain...but not the SABRE. Cold fusion was the core of the project...with it, we could use ducted fans with enough power-to-weight to actually move the vehicle without staying in ground effect." She gave him a blank look and he caught himself. " Ever see a hovercraft? The kind with the big rubber balloon looking skirt?" At her nod, he explained. " Fans blow air into the skirt and inflate it, while more blow air into the space under the hovercraft. The air lifts the edge of the skirt to escape, allowing the vehicle to float on a captive cushion of air. That is what we called 'ground effect' because the skirt has to be almost in contact with the ground for it to work. With the new hull planoform, we discarded the whole concept and actually got a useful amount of armor and weapons into a fast, hard to hit platform that could actually get to treetop altitudes." Kat saw the pride in his eyes as he recalled his teams' accomplishments...then a wearyness clouded over them. "But... they were godawful expensive. For one of them you could buy six of the latest Abrams designs...and I'm sure some crooked bastard in military acquisitions had a buddy in Congress shoot down the project so he could keep getting his kickbacks from the regular supplier. " He sighed. " Anyway, we were to mothball the project...which is an easy way of saying 'box it all up so we can dismantle it more easily after election time.' About this time, we heard from some of the tech-weenies that there was a lot of electronic interference- not jamming per se, but a lot of computer equipment was acting up. We just shrugged...if the Air Force had screwed something up, why should the Army worry about it?" He shook his head. "Little did we know...Anyway, we started our demobilization; disarming the weapons, unloading ammunition, shutting down the powerplants, etc. We were about three days into it when a FLASH urgent message came in. It was a shock, really. We didn't even belong to an existing armored unit. Its the kind of thing you see in those old submarine movies...a sub gets the order to launch its missiles and there are all sorts of protocols thay have to follow...." He shook his head. " We were to RE-mobilize with all speed and move to an assembly area in the Mojave desert...a nothing spot far from everywhere. 'No problem', we said. We had those SABREs locked, loaded, and ready to dance in three hours. Coded communiques' came in every ten minutes after that...some meant for us, others batched in just because we shared freq's with other units. There was some muttering from the Air Force guys that things were up in arms at NORAD...something about the new SKYNET system acting up. The fear was that so many strategic assets were tied into the new system that if it went down we would be defenseless. It was the kind of confusion that had everyone scared...but we had a mission. We moved out en masse- no time for sneaking around in the dark or under camo nets on flatbed trucks...we had to GO." He chuckled. "We blew out of there like the Hells' Angels on the way to a strip club. There were other units in the area, of course...we called back and forth to co-ordinate because we didn't want some jumpy bastard to shoot at us because he didn't recognise the vehicle. Out of the list of units designated for the rally point, only one helicopter outfit beat us there. Poor rotor jockeys thought we were invaders from outer space when we came whistling in at them." He chuckled once, then grew silent. Kat saw his mind working over something distressing, and laid her hand on his chest. The touch seemed to bring him back. He sighed. " Thats when they nuked Edwards Airforce Base...it was about thirty miles north of us. Huge flash...then the thunder. It went on for...well, it never seemed to end. You could see other detonations...flickering lights on the horizon. The radios were useless-even the hardened encrypted ones were dead. Not EMP, either. Our tanks were insulated against that sort of thing, but not against the ghost in the machine." Kat looked into his eyes. " SKYNET?" He nodded. " Yup. A lot of our gear was Cyberdyne manufactured. Probably exclusion codes that killed our commo...to keep us from forming any kind of plan or even finding out who was in charge. The last orders I received from a recognised superior officer were to move to the middle of nowhere; orders that turned out to be false anyway. While our cities burned, that damned computer had military units strung out all over hell and gone with false orders to make it easier for the hunters. Drones mostly, strafing convoys and raising general hell. Did you know the HK flyers we all hide from were originally meant for the Marines as assault landers? " She shook her head. " Well, they were. Cyberdyne to the rescue...bastards. They took time to make themselves known. They were cagey-almost like a sneaky pilot that got his rocks from flying low and fast. You'd be minding your own, then -bang- they'd pop up and hose you with a plasgun." Kat nodded at the memory of the occasional HK hovering in the distance, sniping at some poor wretch in the ruins. They always seemed to possess an arrogance as they flew in plain sight well within rifle range- as if they knew there were no weapons around strong enough to damage them. It was odd to think of them 'lurking' or 'sneaking' in any way. Darius continued. " Anyway, there we sat. Intersection of Nowhere and Else. The officer in charge of the air unit seemed to have his head on right, because he had a couple of his birds have a look-see around...especially to the north. Helicopters don't move without fuel. After about 10 minutes, one came roaring back to report smoke to the west and south...close. Turns out some conventional units that were on their way to our location were locking horns with somebody. Naturally, we went to help." His eyes got a faraway look as he rested his head against the wall. " It was about as thumbnail an operation as you could get...."


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" Suppressive Fire: When you absolutely, positively have to keep the bastards' heads down long enough to call in an air strike." Big Grin
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2013 09:22 PM by Taeryn Leir.)
09-17-2012 12:02 AM
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Taeryn Leir Offline
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Post: #7
RE: [Terminator Fanfic] -Cold-
JUDGEMENT DAY + 4 HOURS/ MOJAVE DESERT:
With no radios, He had to rely on his voice to carry above the high whine of fans as his detachment mounted up and readied for battle. Drawing the attention of his subordinates with a shrill whistle, he made the hand signal for 'rally on me' and marshalled his thoughts as the two officers dismounted and rushed over. He crouched down and made an impromptu map in the sandy dirt. " With no commo this is going to be a clusterfuck, but what else is new. Frank" -He looked at the lean captain from Montana on his left- " You take your flight down the right side, echelon right. Rand" -The female major from Alaska grinned at how he never used her first name when he had his officer face on-" Take your flight down the left, echelon left...I'll go down the slot. We'll orient on the enemy once we figure out exactly where they are...My flight will lay a base of fire, and you guys flank the sonsobitches. Questions?" -they both shook their heads- He nodded once, clapping both of them on the shoulder."..Then why are you two still standing here?"

A few miles away, Staff Sergeant Taeryn Leir was having a bad day. Tranferring into a new unit was a pain most days, but when you had to deploy without even knowing names it was guaranteed to be a mess. First came mid morning mobilization orders, followed by a gradual loss of communication. He panned it off as a typical exercise...everything goes wrong, nobody sleeps, things get broken and then some general nods and goes "Well Done, men." It was now getting towards evening, the sun shining in their faces as they rumbled west. Just another live fire exercise....until Bravo-seven took a round. He tried the radio again, trying to get a sit-rep. Did some idiot just accidentally fire a round? Nothing but hash came from the set, and he cursed as secondary explosions blew off the safety panels on the burning tanks' ammunition. Everyone had stopped-some fanning out to avoid collisions in the dust cloud following the lead tanks- a momentary pause as the shock of the explosion and the deaths of the crew of the burning vehicle sank in...then the shooting started in earnest. Muzzle flashes in the near distance were a precursor to heavy rounds screaming in to smash armor and take lives. Leir screamed over the intercom- " Get us off this bullseye! GOGOGO!" The M1a5 lunged forward, dust churning as the battalion reacted to an enemy. Leir used the command scope to mark targets. The vehicles showed clearly: M1a5 series tanks...but they had odd protuberances on hull and turret that bulged their outlines and were painted a uniform grey with black numbers on the track skirts. Prototypes perhaps...or automated? It didn't matter. A single round might have been an accident, but these bastards were blasting away as fast as the guns could be reloaded. He called a vector, his training calming him as the litany took over. " Load Sabot." The loader hit a switch that opened the door to the ammo racks. Withdrawing a heavy shell, he deftly spun it and rammed it into the waiting cannon- the breechblock snapping shut as the big round seated. "UP!" "Gunner, tank in the open. Ten o'clock." The turret whined smoothly to the left, his gunner checking the turret-to-hull position indicator with a glance. He peered through the sight, making an adjustment as the distant killer fired at someone to their right. " Identified." Leir nodded. "FIRE!" The laconic gunner squeezed the trigger. " On the way." WHAM! The big gun recoilled, the breech snapping open to disgorge the empty casing. In the distance, the target shuddered as the depleted uranium dart smashed through the side of the hull and imbedded itself in the fuel distribution system. Like any tank, it burned quite well as the red hot spike touched off the fuel. Taeryn gave a wolflike grin of satisfaction. " That's a kill!" The breech rang shut behind another shell, and Taeryn hunted for another target. The litany was repeated again and again, each time damaging or destroying an opponent. The hatch over his head was still open, and he could hear the crash and rumble of tanks fighting and dying around him, but those bastards over there were taking a beating as well. If they could hold them here, one of the following units could swing around their flank and stomp the snot out of them. He was about to try signalling to his C.O. behind him when a bright bolt of blue white light lit the sky overhead. Chancing a look, he saw a gleaming aircraft of an unfamiliar design lift from behind a rocky outcropping...then another...and another. All he could think was they'd walked right into a well laid ambush, their flank open to what had to be some kind of gunships. "Oh Jesus! Traverse right! Gunships!" He climbed up behind the .50 caliber machine gun mounted in front of his hatch and yanked the charging handle. Laying the sights on the closest flyer, he pressed the butterfly trigger and held it down, gritting his teeth as the big gun shook his arms. The flyers began firing then; bolts of light of a color so pure it didn't belong on a battlefield. Everywhere they hit, secondary explosions were inevitable. Leir had heard about the new 'plasma' weapons, but he thought they were only in the prototype stage- one step removed from science fiction. The turret rotated under him while he fired, but he kept up, beginning to score hits on their adversary. The barrel shaped pod on the right side(some kind of jet or ducted fan, he guessed) began smoking and sparking, and the aircraft seemed to notice them then. A slender wand of a weapon swung towards them, but their main gun lined up first. There was no time for the usual commands. Taeryn grabbed the override grip and eyeballed the shot before they all were roasted. He swung the muzzle up and yanked the trigger, yelling "ON THE WAY!" The muzzle flashed out a ball of flame 40 feet long, expelling another DU arrow with a clap of thunder that stunned his ears even under his helmet. The dart punched through the hovering aircraft from one end to the other without slowing, smashing delicate electronics everywhere in its path. The flyer staggered, then yawed wildly to the side, colliding with one of its brothers and bringing them both crashing down in flames. Other vehicles had begun to notice their predicament...well trained veterans reacting to a terrible situation the best way they knew- finding cover, protecting their own, and fighting back. It was still shaping up to be an ugly brawl that would make Kursk look like a picnic...when a cloud of dust to the west drew his eye. Something was coming...and it was moving fast.

With a high pitched howl like a Stuka divebomber, the newcomers were upon them. Leir shouted into his mic to move out, move over, move anywhere but in front of the madly charging....things. Shaped like a double-headed axeblade laid flat, with a lowslung turret that mounted some sort of light cannon. One flew directly over his position, its commander -plainly visible in the turret hatch -locking eyes with him for a split second before the vehicles' main gun fired at a distant drone that had somehow flanked the column. PUM-PUM-PUM.....PUM-PUM-PUM... the silvery aircraft blew apart like a kids toy stuffed with firecrackers. Other flyers slashed across his field of view, taking shots at anything that wasn't marked 'U.S.A.'. One took a round from somewhere, staggering for a moment before plummeting to the ground where it crashed in flames. Taren spun in his hatch, searching for the killer. Things were definitely hairy out here...tanks fought and burned everywhere it seemed...Billows of black smoke hid the sky and tinted the muzzle flashes. A furtive motion drew his eye; a heavy vehicle...but not a modified Abrams. It looked more like a heavy recovery vehicle from the doubled tracks and long, wide hull...but the turret on it wasn't anything he'd seen before, and that black spot in the middle of it was the muzzle of a gun he didn't want to see fired. " Holy! Back up! Back up!" The driver crammed on full speed, praying they didn't throw a track from the way the sarge was making him drive. He couldn't see behind him at all, but when an absolutely huge shell blew a divot of sand and rock the size of a minivan out of the ground where they had been, he realized he didn't care who he ran over at this point to stay among the living. Taren grimly hung on to the hatch combing, calling maneuvers to his semi-panicked driver while he coached the gunner onto the target. " Gunner, when you get the shot, take it. That big bastard wants us bad!" A nearby friendly vehicle blew up with a roar, showering them with debris. He was just about to give an order to slow their wild progress when another prodidgious muzzle flash came from the distant monster. With a sickening lurch and a BANG that almost made him black out they slewed around, accompanied by the cacaphony of sound associated with a thrown track. The driver came over the intercom; His voice sounding concussed. " We're screwed..off the track...there's road wheels and shit everywhere..." the tank gave a lurch again, and Taren saw the broken track snake out from under the mudguards in a useless pile. " Shit." It was then that the gunner, concentrating on the distant machine with a fixation usually attributed to snipers, squeezed the firing button. The big gun recoiled savagely, sending a depleted uranium dart downrange at just under a mile a second. The big machine reacted, but not fast enough; the penetrator punctured the side of the turret, yawing wildly as it smashed through dense steel and tumbled through important electronic controls. Loss of mobility or fire control would have been disastrous for the machine in the long run, but the loss of containment on the small fusion bottle it used for power was instantly fatal. A bright flare of white light blanketed the battleground as the miniature sun devoured the vehicle with a roar like continuous lightning. Stuck in a deadlined tank was a sure way to get killed, so Taren took a quick look around their immediate area. " Everybody out! Before some bastard gets lucky!" He grabbed his personal weapon from where it sat clipped behind his seat and climbed out the hatch. The loader unassed through his own hatch, and had the presence of mind to unhook the M-240B machine gun from its' pintle mount there. The gunner followed Taren, and the driver came scuttling around the front of the tank to join them. He looked dazed and his nose was bleeding, but he was on his feet. Taren counted noses, then nodded. " Head for those rocks! Keep your heads down!" With that, they broke away from the tank and ran full tilt for a nearby rockpile.

" Suppressive Fire: When you absolutely, positively have to keep the bastards' heads down long enough to call in an air strike." Big Grin
(This post was last modified: 12-18-2012 12:55 AM by Taeryn Leir.)
11-15-2012 12:07 AM
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