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Old 2013-03-19, 04:31 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Ghodere's Avatar

This was my entry into the Reachcast Podcast's 'Tales From the Battlefield' contest a few weeks ago. Kept it relatively short, to be able to be read on a timetable.

by Ghodere

In the turret, Heel was reading a book. Lowe lounged in the driver’s seat, cradled in the belly of the purring Prowler, smoking a cigarette he’d rolled and half-filled with tobacco. That, he decided, taking a pull of the thin, weak smoke, was one of the greater tragedies here, a real casualty of war. The Conglomerate had held Allatum Bio for a week straight now, and rations had been slashed to unreasonable levels. He’d managed to trade a few frags for a quarter tin of the stuff, but it hadn’t lasted long; this would be his last smoke for the trip. Lowe flicked the spent cig expertly into an ashtray and lazily roamed his eyes across the camera-fed displays arranged in front of him.

The salt flats rumbled by on all sides, flat out to the hazy horizon. Every now and then the autopiloted tank would run over a small rock, and there would be a tiny lurch. Bump, bump, bump. How glorious, the war. Lowe really wished he had another cigarette. There was another bump. The top-mounted turret’s motors whirred as it swung around, and a moment later Heel’s reedy voice came down from the turret seat.

“Hey, Lo, man, we hit something.”

“It’s called a rock,” Lowe drawled. “They’re indigenous to this area.”

“No, man, it’s a body, looks like an infiltrator.”

“Aw, hell,” he grumbled as he cut the engine and let the tank drift to a stop. “Friendly?” He could already feel all the paperwork he’d have to file for this. Now he really wished he had a smoke.

“Nah, looks NC. I’ll check it out.” The hatch popped, and Heel’s footsteps echoed inside the hull as he jumped off the tank and jogged towards the body. A moment after reaching it, he radioed back, “Hey, check it out-“

Lowe wasn’t listening. He’d just seen the enemy.

It was in terrible shape, battered, dented, and spotted with plasma burns, its armor punched clean through in a few places, a survivor of some heavy skirmish with the Vanu limping back to friendly territory. But as it rounded the rock outcropping, the Vanguard still had a very, very big gun. Lowe frantically brought the turret around, but it took a crucial half-second to align properly.

Heel had bent down over the body; it almost saved his life. Almost. There was a terrible roar, and dust rose from the ground for a quarter mile around when the 150mm gun fired. The AP round barely nicked Heel, but it was enough to tear out his back and disintegrate most of his body.

Lowe was a good shot. His first 120mm HEAT round hit the turret straight-on and wrenched it back from the hull for a moment; his second hit the exposed turret ring and penetrated, finding the Vanguard’s hidden fuel tank. Even before it began to burn from the inside out, the top hatch stuck fast by his shots, Lowe had flung himself out of the Prowler and lurched towards the remains. Most of Heel now existed in a long red streak that coated the area, including the untouched, crushed infiltrator.

A hand, just a hand, Heel’s hand, lay upturned. It clutched a pack of NC-manufactured cigarettes; Heel had plucked it from the body’s belt. Lowe felt like he was going to be sick; he turned away, and was. When he straightened, he kicked away the pack of smokes and walked back to the Prowler. It was going to be a long, lonely ride back, but somehow he didn't feel like smoking anymore.

Last edited by Ghodere; 2013-03-19 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 2013-03-19, 07:29 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
First Sergeant
Re: Armorcav

Hi Ghodere,
That was really well written, I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks !
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Old 2013-03-19, 07:25 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: Armorcav

Originally Posted by Sonny View Post
Hi Ghodere,
That was really well written, I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks !
Thanks! It was pretty fun to write.

Also, a bit late, but congratulations on having your work featured on ReachCast!
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Old 2013-03-21, 05:26 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: Armorcav

It's amazing how well written this is , you gave me a feeling after, that I get after watching or reading a good war story. Unfortunately those "feelings" were quickly replaced as i remembered that there is no death in this. ha ha that sucks
Although it must be terrible to see comrades being torn apart and shot through time and time again.

Loved the tobacco link with the bio lab being held by the NC , which is totally what happens because of the hacksaw maxes.

Please do write more.
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