Don’t skip ahead! Click Here to start at the beginning! Trust me, it’ll make more sense that way.
Yanin bellowed as he swung his maul. The heavy weapon smashed into the side of the Roxolan with a satisfying crunch. The enemy mech staggered under the blow but did not fall. Its pincer arm flashed forwards, grasping Yanin’s extended arm.
“Oh no.” He murmured. He tried to step away, but the pincer closed tighter, shearing through the armor and steel. He wouldn’t let this bastard get him so easy. He brought up his cannon to fire point-blank, but his mech lost its footing on the icy ground and the shot ricocheted off the enemy’s side. With a sickening squeal, the pincer bit through the rest of his arm, severing it just below the elbow. Exposed wires sparked from the stump, and the Roxolan mech tossed the severed limb contemptuously to the side.
Free from the Roxolan’s grip, Yanin backed away from the enemy again. “I’ll give you the arm, but you’re gonna have to pay for it.” Yanin gritted his teeth and leveled his cannon. He squeezed the trigger and felt his mech rock in time with the shots. The shells smacked into the Roxolan’s frontal plate, deforming the metal but failing to penetrate. The enemy’s engine roared as it surged forward through the barrage, using its useless cannon arm to bash his ride. Yanin screamed as his mech teetered on its right foot, leg servos whirring as they attempted to correct. He worked the levers. If he fell, it was over.
“Come on, you stupid thing! If I can stand after 3 pints of Kroshev’s moonshine and a friendly brawl, the least you can do is keep upright after losing a measly arm!” He spun his mech on its right foot, using his momentum to bring his other foot down on the ground with a crash. He was still standing, but now he was facing away from the enemy.
Better than being on his back.
His radio crackled again, but Yanin couldn’t make out the words. As he struggled to bring his ride around before the Roxolan could land another blow, he grabbed the swinging receiver. “What was that? I didn’t copy.”
“I said, ‘do you always fight with your backside pointed at the enemy?’” Yanin laughed with joy to hear Dimitri’s voice cut through the static.
“It’s about time you showed up, you sonofabitch. Where are you?”
“Staring at your dance partner’s ass.”
Yanin scoffed. “Same as always. Always jealous of what old Yanin’s got, eh?” As he completed his turn, he saw the enemy had raised its pincer arm high in the air. It was about to bring the large steel claw smashing down onto his ride’s face. He raised his right arm to deflect the blow but remembered that it wasn’t there anymore.“Ah, hell.”
With a whoosh, a brace of rockets slammed into the Roxolan from behind. The mech juddered under the roiling explosions. Yanin whooped as the enemy’s arm flashed harmlessly to the left of his view-port. Yanin was still laughing when its return swing smashed into his flank. He cried out in pain as the metal wall of his cockpit dented inwards, crushing his arm against his vehicle’s controls.
“Kill it Dimitri!” Yanin yelped as his ride shook with each step. He could feel things in his arm grind that he was pretty certain were not supposed to grind. He gritted his teeth and fought back another cry of pain. Great, now I’ve got no weapons. His right hand controlled his ride’s severed stump. His left hand refused to move, and his cannon arm hung uselessly at his side. Through the view-port he saw the Roxolan turning toward the new threat. Yanin thought he saw Dimitri’s ride darting through the snow, but he couldn’t be sure. Why didn’t Dimitri just stand still and hammer the bastard.
Wait! He hadn’t told Dimitri about the Roxolan’s cannon! With his good hand he clicked the send button. “Dimitri, its turret is jammed! It can’t move its cannon!”
“Really? Well, lucky break for me!”
In the snow, Dimitri’s ride came to a halt and braced to fire. At the same the Roxolan’s cannon traversed to face him. Yanin’s jaw dropped. Time slowed and his mind raced with questions.
A trap? Had the impact freed the jam? Or had the enemy chosen not to use it when he had the chance?
He began to shout a warning when the Roxolan’s cannon barked.