Welcome back folks. Its been a busy week! Ally reached her funding goal on kickstarter! Check it out and help her earn some more, recording and all that jazz is expensive!
I’ve been working on getting Here Comes the Reaper available iTunes. Currently you can get it on Amazon for your kindle! It will probably take a few days for Apple to go through the necessary hoops, but soon it should be up! Then maybe I’ll consider the Nook. It all depends on how difficult their publishing process is.
But now back to the story! Read the archives if you’re lost!
Frozen Dreams Pt. 2
Fedor’s thoughts were interrupted by a heavy, rhythmic pounding. He turned his head to see a machine trodding its way into the village. It lumbered on reverse joint legs, the squat body rolling slightly with each step. Villagers hurriedly cleared the street as it approached. Children came rushing out of doors to watch the war-machine. They jumped up and down and pointed, whispering to each other excitedly. Fedor shakily got to his feet as it approached, crushing the frozen mud beneath its feet.
The sound of its feet was familiar to Fedor. He instinctively moved his feet in time to their beat, the motions of piloting his own ride ingrained into his head. Of course, these new rides no longer used foot motion to control speed. In his day, their rides had been lumbering beasts of iron which walked unsteadily on pillar like legs. Simple tubs on legs they were, with large crews running the hissing engines and manning turrets. They had been more like little castles, completely different from the agile rides that had replaced them. Fedor scrutinized this new machine. It had been in a fight. Fedor had seen the signs hundreds of times before.
The teeth of its chainsaw were bent and some were missing altogether. He could see the scrape marks along the side that came with thrusting the weapon into unyielding steel hides. He saw the dents and scratches which spoke of shrapnel damage and close calls. Fedor reached a hand out to steady himself on the steps railing as the machine stomped past. It had fired its weapon recently, the muzzle was black and the barrel was slightly warped from being fired too many times without maintenance. He guaged that the 37mm’s barrel would have to be replaced or the pilot risked a misfire.
As the machine presented its back to him, Fedor saw the scorched wreck of what must have been a rocket launcher hanging from its shoulders. Hydraulics in its legs hissed with each step. Fedor squinted as the machine marched off down the street towards the sun. It moved quickly, too quick to be on a normal patrol. No, it was in a hurry to get where it was going. And it was alone. Fedor knew that they never sent rides out alone. The thought of what was inside that cockpit made him shudder.
The machine pounded out of town and began to disappear into the trees. A few other curious villagers gawked after it as it left. Images of cockpits turned into abattoirs and rides which had leaked blood from their seams flooded into Fedor’s mind. He had spent most of his life fighting in those machines. He had seen many of his friends die in them and he had killed many enemies while riding his own. Fedor turned to go back into his house. His arthritic knees ached as he climbed the stairs. He closed his eyes and prayed for the life of the crew in that machine.
In the street, a pack of boys and girls played war, imitating the loping steps of rides and mimed the actions of cannons and mechanized blades with their arms. They fell in the mud with dramatic flourish. They feigned the stillness of death for a few moments before getting up laughing. Fedor watched them for a moment before closing the door.