Dane Posted The Girl With The Big Gun at DaneMorgan.com:
As the cloud of smoke blew back into her face she strained to hold her place. The temptation to move was almost overwhelming, and were it not for her extensive training would would certainly have bolted already.
They said the GCCF Union tanks couldn’t be penetrated. The molecular diffusion armor, when charged, was the most advanced armor system devised in the whole scope of humanity’s sweeping experience with warfare. The GCCF had risen to power, not through superior tactics, strategy or access to resources. They were running the show precisely because no one could kill them.
She would change that. She would teach the factions that the union was as mortal as they were. She would peel back the armor like a herring tin and the GCCF would be devoured in quick order. They could not stand against the combined forces of the factions without the armor. She held her breath as she watched for some sign that it had worked. She watched, she prayed and she counted.
She was surprised that her thoughts could stray from the singularity of this moment, but the thoughts of her father weren’t really that far out of place. She hadn’t thought of him in quite some time, but it seemed appropriate, somehow, that he came to her now, in the moment when she put his very being to the test. She could never have developed the compression chamber of the penetrator without his work. She would never have had the drive to come test it without his sacrifice either.
She thought she detected a slight variation in the charge field around the vehicle she had hit and brought the field glasses to her eyes for a closer look. The shimmering patterns that played across the armors surface did seem to have a dark spot in them, but she didn’t think it was in the right spot for where the penetrator had struck. It should have been a little further aft. If she had hit it in the wrong spot, the whole exercise might be compromised.
The turret had swung around nearly to her position now, and every cell in her screamed one simple word in unison. “Run!” there was now way the camouflage would hide her from the advanced active field sensors in the GCCF vehicle. They would definitely see her like a bright shining flare if they pointed the array right at her. But if she ran, she would never know, and if she ran, they would see her even from the periphery. It was safer now to stay but, but mitochondria doesn’t understand such logic.
The sun was brighter now than it had been when she had fired the penetrator. Had it been just a few seconds ago? It seemed like weeks had passed as the lumbering hulk bore down on her position with a single minded intent to destroy the source of an attack it still did not believe could actually harm it in any way. That was part of the drive behind the factions. The completely over the top response the GCCF made to any perceived opposition. It was like hitting a child with a gigawatt laser for blowing bubbles at you.
There was definitely something happening now. The turret had stopped traversing and the vehicle had come to a stop. The dark spot seemed larger, though calling it a dark spot was probably overly generous. Less shimmery, maybe? She wasn’t sure she would ever get to write an after action report on this mission, but if she did, this was going to be hard to put on paper. maybe, just go ahead and call it a dark spot and let everyone else argue about the details. They were good at arguing about details.
They were still arguing about the details of this mission. She wasn’t, technically authorized to deploy her device, because they were still arguing about the details. No doubt, by now, someone had noticed her feed and they were watching the video. Maybe they had even stopped arguing while they watched, but she wasn’t sure even this would give them pause. If it worked, though, that would have to change things.
The turret jerked back to life, traversing in the opposite direction, then ground to a halt with a shrieking sound. A purplish arc danced from fore to aft so briefly that she almost doubted her eyes, but the hud delay verified it. A distinct arc of energy flared out about three times the size of the vehicle itself, then collapsed back into the armor near the dark spot. She realized she had been holding her breath since she had lined up the shot and exhaled as she piped a multi-field sensor feed into the hud and the signal feed to read the real time analysis.
Glancing up from the data array, she saw the light field shimmer freeze in it’s pattern. That was unexpected and her mind panicked at the thought that the field had simply hardened into an even more impenetrable solid. Perhaps she was wrong and had miscalculated the nature of the energy field. Had she just improved their armor and secured their place as the tyrants of forever?
Something was wrong. It hadn’t worked. The field should have shut down by now. It shouldn’t have frozen. How could that even happen? Energy didn’t freeze. What did that even mean. She had to get closer and get more data. She knew she would die now, but if she could get closer she could get better readings and maybe someone would be able to detect the flaw in the detonator and fix it, or develop another device that did work.
She stood, and realizing she still held the launcher, dropped it in the snow. She grabbed the data field array and ran at the vehicle. She had only taken six steps when the vehicle shattered. It didn’t explode. It simply shattered and fell to the ground in an incalculable number of shards. It certainly didn’t fit her expectations, but dead was dead.
She stood there for a some time, ignoring the incessant chiming of her comm and staring at the spot where the vehicle had been. When the first faction response team arrived, speeding to the remains of GCCF vehicle, she removed the photograph from her shoulder pocket, dropped it in the snow and started walking down to meet them.
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