Twenty: Apollo Inbound

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They came down from above like raindrops from the clouds

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They came down from above like raindrops from the clouds.

Yellow shapes, streaks of light, craters in the sandy bottom of the riverbed.

Five, ten, fifteen of them. A swarm of Apollo. Unarmed. Suicidal. Dangerous.

"Don't let them get close!" I said, leaning over my controls. "Ideally, let them explode but be far enough away that you take no damage."

I grinned. This was a stupid plan.

"Trick them into using their overload early and they'll damage themselves and not us!"

Daewi chuckled over the comms.
"Feels like we're going to lose a game of explosive tag."

His mech resided nearly three-hundred feet upriver, tucked behind a large outcrop of reinforced grain silos that formed a shield around a nearby farm.

"Losing isn't an option," I responded, "we have to last until reinforcements arrive."

"You sure this plan's going to work?"

That was Karen, from her position in the city. She'd tucked her Lynx between two buildings for cover and waited, howitzer at the ready.

"Oh, ye of little faith," Kedrick replied, "it'll either work or we won't be alive to complain about it failing!"

"Hate to interrupt," Troy interrupted, "but they're getting a little close for comfort."

I grinned and swung my Galatine's shield into place. It was time.

"Open fire!"

At that moment Daewi appeared from his hiding place, a small shielded farmhouse that he'd been tucked behind, waiting. From his point he was a meager two hundred meters from the stampede of mechs. Seeing him as an easy target, most of the Apollo mechs turned and charged him, hurtling up over the dry riverbank like a breaching wave of yellow paint. Many of them engaged their overload and screamed forward, threatening to detonate.

Daewi was fast, but not as fast as the enemies that swarmed him. Running full tilt his Lynx darted into the maze of farming buildings. Seven enemy mechs plowed into the shielded farming complex, expecting to find one trapped and helpless pilot and were greeted by twin chains of missile fire from our two Veles pilots, Kedrick and Troy, that had hidden inside the farm.

The enemy mechs, having already activated their timed detonations, turned and attempted to escape the box they'd found themselves in and were greeted by covering fire from Karen's howitzer cannon.


Explosions rocked the enclosure.

"Karen, those trapped mechs should be heavily damaged," I grinned. "If any of them try to leave their cage, blow them away."

That left eight mechs undamaged. The remaining enemies charged forward, bypassing the shielded farm entirely.

"Into the city!" I shouted. "bottleneck them at the ramps!"

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