The Roxolan mech charged Yanin, firing its 57mm as it came. Its heavy feet kicked up snow as it charged through the drifts. Its exhausts expelled dirty, black smoke in angry puffs. Dimitri saw Yanin’s halt and pivot to face his attacker. He spat 37mm rounds from his gun, but they bounced off the slanted armor in showers of sparks.
“Yanin, fall back! Don’t let it close with you!” Dimitri’s mind raced as he tried to think of a way they could lure the beast into a trap where they could pin it between them. In his mind he visualized the battlefield, the trees, the rise and fall of the ground, searching for something they could make use of. Dimitri’s ride stumbled slightly as he covered a rough patch of ground. Dimitri shook his head. He had to concentrate on what he was doing. He wouldn’t be much help face down in the snow. He fired a few futile bursts from his arm cannon, hoping to distract the Roxolan, but his shots went wide, exploding against a large rock. Even if he had hit it, at this range his cannon wouldn’t do much against the mech’s armor.
He pushed the throttle higher. His ride’s metal feet slid dangerously as he loped through the snow. He had to get closer, or Yanin was a dead man. And if Yanin bought it, the Roxolan would come after him next. They had to do this together. The only chance they had of killing it was by hitting it in its thinner rear armor. Dimitri gritted his teeth and willed his ride to move faster.
* * *
Inside his ride, Yanin was cursing Dimitri, the weather, and himself for joining the Army in the first place. His ride groaned as he pushed its hard-worked legs to their limit. The gyros fought to keep him upright as he backpedaled away from the rampaging Roxolan. The ground shook with each pounding step, loosing snow from the trees. Yanin glimpsed a flash through the vision slit and braced as another shell whipped in. With a deafening clang the shell ricocheted off his right shoulder.
“’Let’s split up,’ he says. ‘We’ll surround it,’ he says. ‘Get away from it,’ he says.” Yanin grumbled and returned fire with his arm cannon. “If I die out here I swear to God I will haunt that bastard for the rest of his lonely life.” Glancing through his port slit, he saw he was approaching a dilapidated stone house. It looked abandoned, its roof caved in by snow. Yanin looked for Dimitri in the blizzard, but saw only distant muzzle flashes.
Coming around the house Yanin ceased his backpedaling and turned his ride around. For the moment he was hidden from the enemy. With a grind of gears his ride began to move forwards, churning the snow. He began to pick up speed, intending to put as much distance between him and the Roxolan as possible. He flicked the radio. “Any time you felt like joining in?”
“Going as fast as I can.” Dimitri’s voice sounded like it was coming through a tunnel. It echoed and warbled strangely. Maybe that near miss had damaged the radio. Great.
Behind him, the house exploded as the Roxolan slammed through it. Chunks of stone pinged off the rear of his cockpit and Yanin swore under his breath. He couldn’t run with his backside completely open like this. He skidded to a halt and turned to face the enemy. The Roxolan shook debris from its hull like a wet dog. It took a menacing step forward, the great pincer clacking in anticipation of a kill. Steam hissed from the pistons of its legs.
The 57mm cannon was pointed at an odd angle. Yanin grinned. It must have jammed the turret when it busted through the house. “Got a little too eager, did you?” At least now the fight wasn’t so lopsided. With a roar of its diesel engine, the Roxolan charged forwards. Yanin brought up the heavy maul on his left arm. The earth shook as the two steel giants closed with each other.
Stay tuned for another update next week!! Thanks for reading!