PC load letter?

Martialla was punching buttons on the Vibrator of Death and scowling at it.  I could tell that she was holding back from whacking it against the wall like your dad used to do to the top of TV when the picture when out during the big game. 

“What are you doing?” 

She held it up “Trying to get rid of this.” 

On the tiny little screen, which I swear wasn’t there before, was a blinking message “registry key not found”.   

I jerked a thumb at the Tron cycle sitting outside “While you’re at it can you get that thing to shut up?” 

After the battle it became noticeable that the maybe robot car maybe tron cycle had started saying in a very smooth non-robot sounding voice “Device activated” over and over again.  Before she got struck in registry land Martialla said that there was a message on the curling iron thanking her for activating the Achilles Defense System and stating that there were twenty-seven linked devices in range.   

With my “laser” pistol we had downed both Invincible aircraft and vaporized the drivers of one of the trucks.  At that point the rest of the Invincible retreated.  Once the dust had cleared aside from Martialla and me the only people left alive where Dirt Tooth, old Ela’s guards, two of the Lady Jesus people and one of the randos that had literally taken a bullet through the head and didn’t die.  I believe s/he goes by the name of Throat Punch. 

In theory trading nine lives and one combine for two planes and two ground attack vehicles would be a good exchange for our side.  But when we looked inside the truck with the tuna can gun we found everyone inside frozen solid.  Literally, they were like icy statues.  More importantly even after we chipped the bloody ice chunks that used to be people out of the way the dang thing wouldn’t start.  I guess the liquid nitrogen grenade or whatever the hell that thing was that Martialla threw in there wasn’t good for the engine either. 

So that vehicle was out of commission and since the Invincible truck with the lasered driver kept on going and fell into a ravine and we can’t get it out we’re left with no means of transport so instead of being a good trade it seems like we’re all going to die anyway. 

We had all huddled up in the CDC bunker to gather our wits where Dirt Tooth was glaring at the computer balefully, like it said something bad about his momma “So we’re all going to die anyway?” 

“Looks like” I said while savoring a sip of what little water we had left. 

“No we aren’t” Martialla said stuffing the murder-dildo back into her shirt “or at least we’re not going to die not that way.  We may very well die attacking the Invincible.   We’re too far into the Yellowstone Deathzone to make it out on foot, but we’re only a few miles away from the Invincible base.  We still attack, now we just have to win.” 

“We already had to win” I pointed out.   

“Yeah, but now we really have to win” she said pointedly to my point.

We couldn’t get the Invincible truck out of the ravine, but we did kill the other guys riding in it and grab a couple of their rifles.  They’re slow and shitty is my analysis, but Martialla said they were designed for durability in the field and ease of manufacture rather than rate of fire or accuracy.  She made a big deal out of how they were manufactured, not relics from our time or junk-piles slapped together in the present day either.   

When she was examining one of them she all but smacked herself on the head, which is my job of course “I should have snooped around more when we were at Defcon City, that’s why the Invincible attacked there first thing I just fucking bet.  I bet Defcon City was the only other weapons manufactory they don’t control and that’s why they destroyed it.  And I just let them!” 

“Well, to be fair to yourself Mar you didn’t let them, you tried to stop them and failed miserably as I understand it.” 

“Thanks” she said sourly. 

I smiled at her pleasantly “No problem.  What about Gunmetal City?  And Scrapbridge?” 

She shook her head again at herself “Those are just craftsmen, that’s not manufacturing.  They can’t supply arms for everyone on our side, not even close.  Not to mention that the Invincible have cut off Gunmetal City too.  We did just about everything wrong that we could in this conflict so far.” 

“Well it’s our first time, you can’t expect to be good at something right away.  Don’t beat yourself up about dooming the entire world to tyranny and oppression.” 

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