Juggernaut (Walkers on Evac Pt.4)

The first hostile bound just to the crest of the hill, ambling on four gangly limbs, a fifth branching out from its back shriveled and clasping wildly in the air. With an elongated, grotesque head shaped more like a lima bean, it reared back on its hindquarters and screamed in primal rage to the sky.

Three resounding shots cut the mutated creature off, fifty caliber bullets throwing it backwards down the far side.

“Nice, very cinematic,” Davis commented. “How about the rest?”

Several other mutated creatures bound up to the crest, screaming in fury down at the walker and her entourage.

“Think a show of force will back ‘em off?” Alicia mused, raking the hillside with her coaxial just beneath the forming line. The withered and warped abominations leapt in the air, hooting and screaming.

“Hell, maybe?”

Alicia hit the horn, a deep and thunderous call that challenged even the main guns of her rig. She tagged the hillside for targets and alerted Moira-One to their new situation. Better talk to the CO, she added in text, getting busy. The abominations continued to rally at the crest of the hill, so Alicia stomped with the mech, shaking the earth like some tremendous prehistoric predator in a threat display and sounded the horn again. Even at a low estimate, she doubted she had the ammunition needed to win this fight.

“Shit,” she muttered, keying up the loudspeaker. “Commander, get out of here, we'll draw their attention. McCormick, go with her make sure you get her and Kyle out of here.”

”Affirm Gunny, send ‘em to hell.” McCormick responded. On the rear cam, she watched as McCormick pulled Kyle onto her shoulders, argued with Mendez for a brief moment, and started running, with her and their civilian coming in close behind her.

“We really goin' down swingin', Reyes?” Davis asked, his voice somber in the still before the tidal wave.

“I was thinking,” she struggled to remove her personal device from her pockets, “probably not, but I do need some space to maneuver.” She held the device over her head for Davis to take. “But since we are looking at that possibility, and we want to be seen and heard over everyone else, mind putting something on the speakers?”

She felt the device leave her hand, returning to the controls just in time to see what the little monsters were waiting on. A mountainous, lumbering assimilation of bodies turned into something singularly out of a nightmarish necrophiliac’s evilly twisted fantasy, its distended gibbering jaw lined with irregular, jagged teeth befitting that of a deep-sea carnivore, with bulbous eyes to match on its similarly elongated skull. It lumbered to the crest of the hill, measuring almost six meters high according to her sensors, which was almost as tall as her mech was. It reared back and howled, revealing an inner set of mandibles that served as the finishing touch on the giant horror that sought to escape its terrestrial prison, and consume all in its path.

“So… any- ah- any music in mind?” Davis sputtered, watching through his own camera.

It took her a moment to process. “Something with confidence… and volume.”

Outside their vehicle, she could hear the loudspeaker begin to play, guitars supported lightly by drums, and the music cry of Led Zeppelin that was over six hundred years old. She added her foghorn to the display, and let the guns roar as she fired a salvo into the massive lumbering target, the two sabots ripping through like rocks through wet tissue, while the high explosive shell impacted just high and right of center mass, delivering a tremendous blast that threw scorched flesh across the valley she was about to turn into a killing field. The monstrosity staggered under the volley and toppled back behind the hill, but the tidal wave of smaller abominations had already begun to close in, racing down the open terrain in a mad rush to rend flesh from bone.

The colonist being held at gunpoint was forgotten, and she could see on her monitor as Davis went to work, cutting into the densely packed hordes with machine gun fire as she started the coaxial up. Her guns cycled, chambering a white phosphorous marker and two high explosives at her command, and the fired in cadence. Fire was consumed by ejected earth and smoke with each impact, while the phosphorous left a glaring white light in its wake, the densely packed abominations running into the glow quickly being consumed in the most excruciating heat any living thing will experience.

As the next salvo cycled, she got the walker moving laterally, away from where her gunner and the Navy officers had fled to. She sounded the foghorn again, which she was convinced now only drew their attention further. The first of the little beasts caught up to her as the next salvo showed ready, and had the opportunity to be the first to be squashed underfoot by her mech as she maneuvered on the horde.

Davis' auxiliary had gone cyclic by this point, and was now punishing the closest targets that chased after them while her coaxial continued to mow down sections of the horde ranged about fifty meters from them. Some of the faster ones were able to leap at the legs, clawing for a hold that at most would last only a second before being shaken off by the impacts of the massive metal legs. The guns roared, and bodies were flung in random directions, most dismembered or so critically damaged that they rag dolled back down to the crawling masses, their bloodthirsty screams drowning under the chaotic sound of guns and guitars.

Were they not mere moments from a horrific death, that timer reset every time the legs propelled them forward, she would almost be having fun.

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