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28 May 2017 @ 07:41 am
_Scrambled_ part 31  

Chapter Battle

Zombie was breathing hard and dripping sweat when Nick pulled her to a halt in the wrecked ground of the no-man's-land in between the walls.

The Earthers were in ranks, ready to flank and support the single tank they'd gotten back in working order. Something that looked like a tank's main gun sat atop a concrete bunker.

I wonder what they've jury-rigged to aim it?

Nick turned and eyed the Oner soldiers scrambling to get into place, augmenting the on-duty soldiers who'd—this time—been paying attention to the enemy.

If the Minister was planning on having the initiative, he's going to be disappointed.

Back to the Earthers. General Fu stalking up to the wall and glareing at Nick. Two soldiers behind him were supporting a staggering figure.

Fu raised his voice. "My good friend Major Atzee here has told me all about you. A mass murdering eunuch. And a damned good sniper—if only you had that gun with you.

"And he says you have magic shields. We don't believe in magic, so we'll just see how good your tech is.

"I invited you to join us once, this will be the last time. And as an added inducement . . . you can save the life of one of your magic people." Fu grinned nastily as his soldiers brought the staggering bloody figure forward. "So, do you actually care what we do to Major Atzee? Or will you enjoy watching us butcher him?"

"General Fu . . . " Nick paused and brought up a magical apmlification spell to broadcast his words. "Before this disaster, I was in contact with an exploration party from a near split of my world, who claimed to be working with a dimensional organization, studying the odd behavior of the local multiverse. I suspect there is a lot of attention aimed this direction, just now, and that we will be found. Perhaps not soon, but soon enough that brutal treatment of prisoners, and blindly attacking the enemy for no good reason will be an unfortunate thing to have to report to one's superiors.

"I will not be surprised if you and the Oner minister and his officer find yourselves charged with war crimes. Or just cold blooded murder, since there aren't enough combatants to really call this a war." Nick looked to the other side. Minister MacU and Captain Ijje were standing on a platform of piled rubble. Poe was climbing up to join them.

That's not good. The priest was starting to show signs of maturity, of thinking, not just following orders. This will either make him or break him.

And I may have to kill him.

"So why don't you stand down and find something to build, instead of destroying what little we have here?"

Sneer. General Fu drew a knife and put it to the Major's throat. "So you don't care?"

Sixty meters, not too much power . . . watch the background . . .

The tiny punch hit the edge of Fu's ear. He jumped.

"If you murder Major Atzee, I will kill you." Nick shrugged. "Your choice. Frankly, I suspect that both of you dead would save me a lot of trouble in the future."

And that moving patch of rock . . . is that Dipper using an illusion? Bloody hell, don't get yourself killed. However useful you might be, right there.

Fu shoved the major toward the soldiers.

Nick gave Atzee a hard kinetic pull and he staggered, collapsed over the wall and slid over to flop to the ground on this side.

Fu laughed. "Come get him if you dare. Or just watch him die on his own." He turned and walked away.

The moving illusion changed directions, easing toward Major Atzee.

Nick snorted and looked back at the Oners. Snugged down in defensive positions. The tank will take them out easily.

He turned, bringing up a physical shield. What shape will work best? I'm not sure I can take a tank round flat on. What angle . . . or a curve? He looked northeast. No one lives there. Let's see if I can do this . . . two canons at once.

Two curved tracks. Long thin shields. He anchored one to the bunker the canon was built into. Slanted, curving . . . it wouldn't take much. He held it in his mind and formed the second shield, as the tank's canon dropped, swiveled toward the south end of the Oner's wall. With the apartments beyond the wall.

Nick threw the shield up fast, slight angle up, tipped slightly further south.

The canon roared. Nick hit the ground hard. Scrambled to get the shields back in place. Anchored.

The bunker canon roared. Nick stumbled as his shield flexed . . . held. The round shot past the ministry area and exploded over the grasslands. He took a deep breath and dared look to see where the first round had gone. No obvious damage.

The tank was backing up a pile of rubble, turret depressed and turning . . .

"Oh, Shit!" Shield above the turret angling down in front of him to muffle the explosion against the ground . . . WHERE IS DIPPER!

He was flying through the air, a muffled boom . . . he hit the ground and rolled.

"That is enough!" He rolled to his feet and ran straight at the tank. Staggered as his personal shield started taking hits. Threw a narrow slice as hard as he could. Too far away. He vaulted the wall, gathering power. Threw a fireball at the nearest vehicle. Time to get a shield up and curved for the bunker canon . . .

Two booms. Vehicle and canon. A rain of debris, from the burning wreck. He dodged a falling door, stepped further aside and scooped up a crowbar.

Let me show you how to use one of these babies!

Slice, and the tank canon crashed to the ground. Then he was in among the troops, and swinging with a will. Plenty of gunfire and screaming. Riccochets from his shield probably accounted for most of the damage . . . there was Fu.

Fireballs, soldiers fell away, screaming. Nick raced across the open ground . . . pulled power, head aching . . . One last slice, vertically through bunker and canon.

Two swings took out Fu's bodyguards. Two more to ensure Fu wouldn't be running anywhere soon.

(Anonymous) on May 28th, 2017 01:20 pm (UTC)
Canon, the conceptual material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base.

Cannon, a piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellants to launch a projectile.
matapampamuphoff on May 28th, 2017 02:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Canon
Picky, picky, picky . . .
(Anonymous) on May 28th, 2017 04:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Canon
Picky would be mentioning, that the main armament of a tank is usually called gun or maingun and not cannon (or canon). ;-)
matapampamuphoff on May 28th, 2017 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Canon
That's why people like me have beta readers.:)
mbarkermbarker on May 29th, 2017 11:42 am (UTC)
Hate to ask, but what happened to Zombie in the middle of all this? Hate to think he let the horse get shot...
matapampamuphoff on May 29th, 2017 12:41 pm (UTC)
She ran away. Despite all training, when her rider got knocked off, she panicked and ran. Dipper tied her horse up before she started sneaking around. He's probably still there, and Zombie may be sticking near her herdmate.

I do occasionally kill a named animal, but only when it is a plot necessity, as in _Bad Karma_.
mbarkermbarker on May 30th, 2017 12:52 am (UTC)
I think what caught my attention was that this segment started with Zombie, but then we didn't get any further mention. Even a short "Zombie skittered out of the firing range" or something would clear it up. Fix it in revision! On with the battle!
matapampamuphoff on May 30th, 2017 01:22 pm (UTC)
The cannon roared. Nick hit the ground hard. Scrambled to get the shields back in place. Anchored.

Fast movement at the periphery of his vision . . . Oh, Zombie getting out of here. Smart horse. What the hell am I doing, standing here like an idiot? Other than being glad I've also got a personal shield I raised as a reflex?