I’m not a warophile. I don’t think you could even say that about Martialla, she’s more of a casual war fan, by which I mean a fan or war not the kind of warfan my character was a master of in Kung Fu Fighting 2 – Survival. War lust is mostly a dude thing. Probably because of men’s innate propensity for dominance, gratuitous violence, rape, and murder. There’s a whole channel devoted to capitalizing on it. They called it the History channel but it’s really the World War Two channel, and honestly it’s mostly the Hitler channel. Old dudes really have a hard on for that guy.
That having been said, I’ve seen some war footage, documentaries and the like, researching roles or shown to me by clueless guys who don’t know what makes a good date. One image that has stuck with me is a giant battleship being broken in half by a tiny little airplane dropping a bomb on it. It’s one of those things that your mind has a hard time accepting. How can something so massive be taken down so easily? It’s like watching a grizzly bear be body slammed by a bumble bee. Technology, it’s a hell of a thing.
That plane-battleship film is what I thought of when I went to the door and saw our ride split in half before my eyes. I didn’t see what hit it, just heard a whistling sound, and suddenly it was in three pieces and I was on my ass with my feet in the air. When the united forces of non-Invincible peoples presented me with that land whale of a car I thought that at least it looks sturdy, like nothing could really hurt it. Wrong again.
Sidenote, looking up at my feet made me think that I used to have really pretty feet, like really pretty, any number of freaks would tell you so. I had to get a restraining order again second unit DP working on the movie Hostage Heat because he saw me without shoes on once in my trailer during a break in filming and he started busting into my apartment to steal my socks. My feet aren’t pretty anymore. I make fun of Martialla for having gnarled hooves instead of human feet but mine aren’t much better currently. I don’t remember the last time I had any toenails to speak of and half the time I can’t even feel my feet below the ankle anyway. Which really screws up my balance. I probably have trenchfoot.
My ears were ringing from the screeching of the steel ripping apart but not so badly that I couldn’t hear shouting and weapons fire. I spun-crawled my way back to the door and I saw three Invincible vehicles whizzing past clattering away at what was left of our vehicle with what looked like those old timey guns you see on World War One planes. The car-truck was already dead, I don’t know why they were bothering to shoot it more. I suppose they were trying to make sure any people that had been inside were good and dead too.
I was shouting at Old Ela’s guards to get into the bunker at the same time that another Invincible machine pulled up to the north-wall hole and leveled a stubby tuna-can shaped barrel at us. An aperture of some kind opened up like a cyclopean eye and Martialla hurled in the thing we found at Cheyenne that we thought might be a grenade. There was a very brief scream and then a “hupt” noise like whoever was screaming was suddenly smothered and then nothing happened. I was hanging in the doorframe like you do during an earthquake not sure which way to jump. Nothing came out of the tuna cannon. No flames, no gas, no rain of bullets. Nothing.
Martialla had crawled onto the tuna-cannon machine and was firing with her dumb plastic rifle, shouting orders until a dark shadow passed overhead and she slipped, dived, fell, tumbled off the side onto her head and then rolled-squirmed back inside.
“They have fucking planes out there!”
I moved away from the door and stood in the middle of the room helplessly “You know, I’m starting to think that this trip was a bad idea.” I shouted towards the commotion outside “Robot, transform and attack! Air defense mode!” I shrugged at Martialla “It’s worth a try.”
She pulled our other souvenir from Cheyenne, the curling iron looking thing, out of her shirt “Do you have any idea what this thing does?”
“No, I told you I didn’t.”
Martialla was up against the wall edging towards the wall-hole “Yeah, but you lie a lot.”
As timid as a newborn skunk Martialla haltingly looked out the hole and I could see her eyes tracking something in the sky “Get ready”.
She put one hand over her crotch and then pointed the curling iron at something and pushed one of the many buttons on the handle. If anything happened I couldn’t discern it, I could hear the craft whir above us with the chatter of gunfire and I hear someone on the roof being turned into salsa. I laughed, not exactly hysterically, but close to it, not because someone just got bullet chopped apart but because in that moment I became convinced that I had looted a futuristic sex toy and that’s what Martialla was trying to fight with.
Not wanting to be outdone I drew my ‘laser’ and stepped out into the fray. I fired at the Invincible aircraft as it sluggishly limped through the air and struggled to come around for another pass. The purple-red beam hit the plane square on the side and seemed to do absolutely nothing.
It felt like someone grabbed my other hand and yanked down hard, but there was nothing there, nothing except a bunch of blood where my pinky finger used to be. Must have been a ricochet. Before I darted back inside I got a view of the battlefield. There were two planes and five big Invincible trucks zooming around. Our people that were still alive were hugging cover and trying to return fire but it was clear that we were fucked.
I was about to hurl the god damn laser to the floor and stomp on it when a blue light flashed on the handle and it made bee-boo sound, followed by the stupid curling iron in Martialla’s hand making the exact same noise. She opened up her hand and looked at the handle for a moment, holding it up, even though she was too far away for me to see anything that small.
“It says device locked.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
She waved at me frantically “Get over here”
I moved to her side of the room and she grabbed me around the shoulders with one arm like we were high school sweethearts in the back of a Buick and she was about to try and feel me up. I tried to shrug her off.
“Get off me, what the hell are you doing?!”
“Shut up, I’m trying it listen” she tilted her head like a dog “It’s coming around again, get ready to fire when I say.”
My instinct was to tell her that it was useless but there was no harm in trying so I choked down those words. After a few seconds Martialla stepped out the hole beside the tuna-can carrier and pointed her vibrator at the sky like a magic wand. At her signal I stuck my arm around the corner and fired the laser at Invincible plane number two.
I tried my level best to aim the damn thing, but it didn’t matter, the beam, which was now rainbow colored for some reason, bent at like a fifteen degree angle towards the cockpit and the pilot was gone. Just gone. There was a flash of multi-colored light and then where there had been a person there wasn’t anymore. No bang, no boom, no blood, no body, just a bright light and then gone.
“Jesus Christ” I gaped.
Martialla dropped to the ground and rolled under the stationary Invincible truck “Get ready!”
The Invincible trucks attacking us were bigger and better constructed than others we’ve seen. They looked like real vehicles that hand been built intentionally rather than being a bunch of junk Frankensteined together from the wrecks of other things they found lying around. They’re the first vehicles I’ve seen so far that had windows instead of metal plates with holes. The whole front of the things was a big window just like a real windshield.
One of my main frustrations with driving these future cars is trying to see what the hell is going on with just a tiny tank-slit to look out of instead of clear class. These Invincible trucks didn’t have that problem. I have to assume that the glass is bulletproof, although where the hell does that come from now, but it still lets in light. That’s what glass does. That’s the whole reason it’s there.
Their bad luck.