Premise: Response to the challenge posted by MiaHoneyDo:
MIA'S MICRO MATCH:
~Minimum 666 word count.
~Post-Judgment Day or the eve of it.
~MUST include Martin Bedell of Presidio Alto or/and Marty Bedell as an important feature.
There will be an award for the winner.
Dominic is screaming his name; he can read it in his lips every time he manages to squeeze a peek. What else is he saying though? The deafening ring in his ears doesn't let up for a single moment, even when the metals stop swinging those damned mini-guns around, cutting their cover like paper.
The concrete behind his back starts shaking and he knows he has a few seconds before it gives under the endless lead barrage.
Just that place across the street is left, but it will ultimately lead him away from the battle. That would mean abandoning his men, and that just isn't right in his book. If Dominic was calling him, maybe some of them are still alive in that position. It's one hell of a gamble, but how different is he from the machines if he doesn't value life?
One, two, three deep breaths, then he rolls to one side and breaks into a frenzied sprint. There's Dominic, still laying some cover fire from time to time, still alive, and his tension ebbs for an instant. It is short lived though, as he rolls to take cover alongside the other man, a dulling dread invades his nerves. Dominic's legs are almost torn to shreds from the knees and down.
"What the hell are you doing here, Bedell?"
The voice manages to pierce through his deafened ears, and shakes him out of his stupor.
"I came to save whoever is still alive, we need to retreat now!"
"I'm in no shape to move, as you can see. You need to get the hell out of here, I will cover you!"
Bedell simply stares into the other man's eyes. He knows Dominic is right, but he can't just let him die. "You can still work a desk! I'm not letting you die here!"
Suddenly, he is greeted by the barrel of Dominic's HK-416. "Now you start running the hell out of here, or I will fucking shoot you myself Martin!"
There is no discussion to make against that argument. Besides Dominic has been right all along, even if he could be saved, the chances of getting out without any cover fire are practically moot even for a single one of them, and more like impossible for one man carrying another.
With a quick and strong handshake, the men part ways, no words are needed. Martin runs without ever looking back while Dominic smiles and peeks around the concrete slab that protects him to provide cover fire.
He turns sharply to get into the still mostly intact building. From it, he will be able to jump across some roofs to put some distance away from the battle, and then come down through another building down the street. While he tries to remember the exact paths to take, he nearly bumps into the back of a T-600 that is just standing around a corner. The sudden stop he attempts, makes his feet slide and he falls a few feet away from the metal. The sound of servos and compressed air gets to his ears and Martin gets up as if propelled by springs, he then starts running up a stairway just in time to avoid being riddled with bullets.
The damned machines are getting smarter. They are starting to learn about their strategies, their tricks and escape routes. That's how they managed to outmaneuver them today and cut down his entire team. Twelve less good men to fight for the cause. Every day there are less and less, whoever doesn't fall to a bullet, falls to some nasty disease, hunger or exhaustion. Better not to think about those who fall by their own hand.
It's dark inside the building even though is the middle of the day. Martin knows the machine can move around with more ease than he can, and frustration overcomes him for an instant. Just long enough not to notice a protruding steel rod at the height of his calf. The thing tears through his flesh leaving a jagged slice that starts bleeding quite a bit not a second later. As he drops to the floor –teeth clenched to hold back the throat-ripping scream coming up- Martin Bedell curses his own stupidity. This is it, he will die because of a fucking mistake and it will all be in vain. No difference has been made yet; no light has started to shine in these utterly dark times they survive through.
Heavy metal steps close in on him, and he prepares to meet his final fate. A lumbering skeletal silhouette appears around the corner, and he takes aim with his carbine, prepares to make a last stand. At the very least, the machine will have to work for the next number in its headcount. When the machine starts walking toward his prone form, starting the spin of its mini-gun that announces his moment of reckoning has arrived, that's when he sees her.
The young woman walks nonchalantly, almost elegantly behind the machine, and his surprise turns to sheer astonishment when the only weapon she pulls out is a gleaming sword from a sheathe on her hip. She hits it once against the floor and a sharp ring fills the air instantly. The metal takes notice, turns and starts unleashing hell on her. All in a single smooth motion she makes a small graceful leap forward, falls short a few feet from the T-600, rolls the remaining distance and ends up ready to stand. And stand she does, not only that but with a swift spin of her lithe body she drives a gleaming arc across the machine's neck, severing its skull in a single strike.
For a moment, before her gaze finds his, she just stands there. There is nothing in her face, not disdain or disgust, not triumph or even anger. There is nothing there, the machines have finally met their match. What draws his sight the most though is not that fact, or the contrast of her lively tresses of red fire with her impossibly stoic face, nor is her beautiful alabaster skin in contrast with everyone else's dirty and ill colored one. It's that damn sword. What the hell is that thing, what the hell is it made of?
She notices. Lifts the weapon and smiling looks at it with a somewhat wistful expression, perhaps even something akin to love.
"Oh, this? Hyper-alloy, once you make the proper indentations, it retains a high frequency vibration for a few seconds, and it can cut these metals like butter."
Her expression darkens for a moment. "Once we get to the eight hundreds it will be practically useless though." She shakes the blade, turns it around in one hand and with deadly precision sheathes it without even looking.
Suddenly the foreboding future seems brighter, there finally is a sliver of hope, whoever this is, she must be together with that guy he met at Presidio alto.
The girl smiles and in his eyes, it lights the room. Her hand reaches for his.
"Come with me if you want to live."
- TSCC fanfiction: Savior rising.