Sunday, July 7, 2013

Metal In The Moonlight - Episode 17.



Episode 17

The armory was proving to be one disappointment after another as Vedia combed through every potential resource they had available. Their standard issue pulse pistols had been found to be a complete waste in their last encounter, and most everything else was looking to stack up likewise. Why couldn’t they have even a few pieces of powered armor around here, or even a light mecha or two? Some armor plated firepower sure would be a welcomed sight right about now.

Instead Vedia was only finding riot staffs, stun grenades and other common gear. Not one single weapon that would be of any more help in their task than their sidearm’s already had been. Vedia kept replaying the events in her head and looked for anything that she could use. Their projectiles had pierced the target easily enough but to no effect. It hadn’t felt any pain nor did it have blood to lose. However when Gabriel had stepped in his claws had shredded the creature like it was made of paper. Its flesh could be torn to pieces and indeed destroyed. But it had taken the furry fighter time to rend it to ruin before it fell before him. Perhaps if they could inflict damage on a more massive scale they could provide a similar result.

Vedia cursed her own weakness in the field; she had failed them with her own lack of tactical judgment in the face of their adversary. She had also walked out into a dangerous situation without a more effective arsenal of options to draw upon. Never again, Vedia swore as she redoubled her efforts. Where had Oliver gotten off to again anyways? The rookie had offered to help her in her hunt for more potent weapons. But now he was nowhere to be seen.

“Don’t tell me you have decided to run off and hide again Novius,” Vedia warned as she turned to look for her fellow squad member.  Instead of focusing on where he might have gone to search for further gear she decided it wiser to direct her attention to areas of the armory that were isolated or out of sight. “The impound section,” Vedia declared to herself with a grimace.

As expected she found the phobic patrolman nestled into a nook with the sounds of what could only be sobbing. Her nerve was already failing her before she could even approach her apprehensive peer. The sight stripped her of every agitated word she had considered loosing his way.

“Come on, Oliver, everyone has trouble their first time out,” Vedia tried to console him but instead she discovered she didn’t really even know what to say. “You have to forgive yourself; the Chief is counting on us. We have seen one of these things; you and I know what they can do. It is up to us to come up with some way of fighting them before nightfall.”

“Why,” Oliver spat the question out at her like a bullet, catching her completely off guard. “I would just end up running away again like the coward I am. I’m not cut out for this Vedia; I’ll just let everyone down and probably get you killed.” As Oliver confessed his own self doubts it was Vedia who seized on a singular notion with which to object to the matter.

“Who was it who spotted the monster first,” she asked simply. “Which one of us was it that fired off the first shots only after issuing us a warning? It was you, Oliver, you did that. So you were a little jumpy at first, this isn’t exactly the kind of thing they train you for in the program. But when we were facing that creature you did your duty and again during the report you backed me up. You could have told the Chief everything that was omitted but you didn’t. I wasn’t exactly perfect out there either you know. I marched us out there with complete disregard for any backup gear or for the squad.”

Vedia reached out with her hand to awkwardly place it upon Oliver’s still trembling shoulder. “We all deserve a second chance, and Gallu is going to need its Night-Watch Squad. So what do you say Officer Novius, you willing to help me give it another shot?” With a sniffle Oliver wiped at his nose briefly before he could nod his head in agreement. “I suppose I could give it a chance, but we are never going to find that kind of firepower in here. Vedia, you are talking about some heavy artillery and we’re just a backwater world. We don’t have access to that sort of stuff.”

“Actually,” Vedia interrupted with an upturned finger. “You have given me an idea or two. Do you recall that group of petty freelance thugs that passed through a few months back?” “Yeah,” Oliver admitted somewhat confused at where she was going with this. “And do you think we still have those confiscated guns locked up her in impound,” Vedia continued. “Well, I would imagine…” Oliver confirmed before being cut off again.

“I’d wager that that PR-17 Phoenix and the Thunderbolt would work nicely at devastating some fiendish flesh,” Vedia explained as she rubbed absently at her chin. “But Gabriel did warn us that the beast that attacked him could close in on you deadly quick. So we best make sure to scrounge up something a little handier for close quarters. I’ve got it,” Vedia crowed with excitement.

Turning to bolt off, the plotting protector paused to ask her dazzled cohort another question. “You’ve had the training for maintenance, repair and emergency rescue right?” “What has that got to do with this,” Oliver snapped back at her before deciding to just go with whatever mad plan she was forming. “Yeah, I have had it,” he acknowledged finally.

“Good, then you’ll be comfortable operating a fusion torch,” Vedia exclaimed. “I’m going to get my hands on one and the Heat Axe from emergency response, they should prove more than sufficient. You open up impound and break out that Phoenix and Thunderbolt. See to it their both in good working order and gather everything up to meet me in the squad room.”

Once Vedia was long gone Oliver found a quietly muttered ‘but’ slip from under his breath. “No use in arguing with the air,” Oliver decided. “I better get to work, maybe if I am lucky she will explain what she expects me to do with a torch.” At least she wasn’t ordering him to go find himself a hammer!