Wasteland Chronicles: Zero Blade

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#5

My name is Zero. I am a successful escapee from the Mechanian empire.

My dreams are vivid. I dreamt of the most terrifying days of my life in the Mechlosseum Maximus, when all of my opponents faced me in a deathmatch. I roared and howled, using my every last bit of strength to fend off the suicidal attack of my enemies. I was kicking and swinging my arms when an opponent’s mouth slid open, maybe to deliver a scream of despair or a cry of agony. Instead, the voice sprang forth as Miki’s. My eyes snapped open and I found the familiar face of Miki, whose arms were crossed and was standing over me. She wore a uniform found from the storage room, believed to be left from the previous residents of the fortress.

I sat up, ran to the restroom and changed out my clothes for some fresh ones picked by Miki herself. I was wondering how I looked in this outfit when I saw Ned roll a stack of computers into the room. On the other side of the room Miki pressed her thumb into an access panel and the beds retracted into the floor. Before I could reattach my fallen jaw, Ned rowed the computer to a port, which had just emerged out of the floor. The computer lighted up to life as the plug entered the port. Ned wasted no time as he continued rowing stacks of computers into the room and connecting them to the main system, and then a holographic map lit up in front of us, a green triangle stood out sharply, indicating the location of the salvager’s sword. Ned pumped his fist in absolute excitement and finally calmed down to work on the systems and his projects.

Then, Miki leaned over to another panel and again pressed her thumb on the upper part. A green arrow pointing upwards appeared on the panel. Outside the windows, Metal plates started shutting upwards, blocking off unwanted sight from the outside. Just before the metal plates completely shut off the view, I saw something going very, very wrong. Mechanian soldiers swarmed as they formed ranks, holding out their shields at the front. They were coming back to retake the fortress.

Enemy fire crackled on the metal plates as we raced to the elevator and assembled. Danson was first seen holding an assault rifle in his arms and was loading it. Jayson was checking the systems and functioning of the rogue walkers. A shocked expression appeared on his face when he realised there is an invading party from our enemy, the infamous Mechanian empire. Miki found Gonzo and Gwen, who were polishing the weapons. They sprang to action as the gang rushed to engage the enemy. I was informed that Anzo, Bowman and Kayson were on the watchtowers, already firing on the enemies as we speak. With no time to lose, we opened the gates and rushed outside and hid ourselves under cover objects. Gonzo activated his new weapon, the power-axe claimed from the fallen enforcer, Metallic Doom.

Miki, Gwen and Danson emerged in their walkers, and we advanced with our heavily armoured walkers for protection and fire support.

I gazed across the field and recognized the leading enforcer, known for his two vicious green power-blades that can switch to two guns. On top of his void black torso, visual sensors blazed brightly green in the blood-red evening - a sign of impending deaths. I fired at him with my friends following my example. However, he seems undamaged, standing behind the shield wall raised by his fellow soldiers. I cursed under my breath and hopped onto a walker brought out by Travis.

On the other hand, my friends on the watchtowers had shot down the frontline and some of the tanks, and the other tanks held their position, unable to fire at us due to range. I jumped out of my walker and drew my power-blade. I also activated my power-shield, which I hope can shield me from the Hellhound’s dual heavy blasters. I advanced, and nearly got thrown off by the impact of the bullets. The hellhound stood on his ground, his guns smoking and cooling down to fire again. I took the chance and closed my distance with Hellhound, then swung my power-blade at him. To my horror, the two guns, still smoking from the blast, suddenly changed into two power-blades, glowing green as it made contact with my blade. I nearly dropped my blade because of the impact, but the Hellhound wasn’t waiting for me to recover. He slashed his other blade at me and I blocked it with my shield. I was going to retreat when Gonzo --- in his XL armour, slammed his power-axe into the body of the Hellhound. At that moment, I brought down my power-blade and lopped off the Hellhound’s head, sending sparks flying. The hellhound’s decapitated form limped lifelessly to the side, the once intimidating enforcer now rendered nugatory.

I retrieved the fallen enforcer’s blade, and we retreated to the fortress’s main entrance. Danson and Kayson called through the intercom that they needed more manpower on the watchtowers. Gwen and Anzo ran up, carrying rocket launchers used to destroy the tanks. I told my teammates the plan: seize control of the tanks when the watchtowers paralysed them with shock energy bullets. We waited for an opening, and when a shock bullet hitted a tank, we rushed to the tank as a group and seized control of it. The second group grabbed another and retreated. I closed up on the last tank and plunged my power-blade into its armour, and the watchtower guards destroyed it with a rocket. The battle is over.

We assembled at the entrance when Steven dropped his gun suddenly. I turned to see a mechanian soldier, who must have survived in one of the tanks, reloaded his rifle. I raised my pistol and with two shots he was destroyed. Danson and Ned were pressing a piece of cloth on the gun wound, but Steven, writhing in intense pain, was clearly about to black out. His eyes began to lose focus. Heartbroken, I knelt beside him --- my childhood friend and a brave warrior --- now lay at my feet, walking towards the doors of death.

He muttered his wish in my ear, and finally closed his eyes.

I rose, drops of pure sadness slowly formed in my eyes, as I trudged on the field to find the defeated mechanian soldier. The sadness slowly turned into intense anger as I tore the battery away from his body, took away the gun and reloads, and walked back to the fortress, joining my friends to get back to our fortress.

That night I opened the maps and things on the main control center and programmed it to give instructions for the next operation. I turned to see Miki and Ned - in their own bunks - snoring away, and I continued my work.

I am sure Miki was surprised to see me with my tired look. She had stared at my face for a whole minute, and asked if I stayed awake the whole night. I told her it’s okay, but she seemed to worry more about everything.

I packed my gear --- pistols, a rifle, three power-blades and daggers --- and assembled my hand-picked team on the day’s operation. Danson, Kayson, Gonzo and Anzo - the vicious and formidable members of our team assembled at my request, and I told them about the mission: find the Desert Hogs and make an alliance with them, then head back to an all-out rescue operation.

We are going to do it this time.

For Steven.


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