I wake up face down in the dirt, my armor cracked and plasma cannon five feet away from my hand. I get up on my knees and look around. I can’t remember my name. All I know is, my armor is cracked, my weapon is a few feet away from me and my mouth is incredibly dry. Where am I? Why am I here? What the hell happened?
I look around. The sun is up and the air around me is hot, at least to me, I have nothing to compare it to at this point. The ground is some kind of gravel; there are big foot prints in it with three toes. It must have been something big; you could fit a whole squad of marines in there. Wait… what are marines and how big is a squad?
I’m going to go ahead and guess marines are the corpses in silver and red armor like mine, impaled on support beams sprouting out of the ruined buildings or covered in craters from bullets. Some lay dead on top of piles of dead bodies. One, the marine closest to me has a heavy bolter and about thirty smaller bodies. He must have stopped in their tracks before someone got off a lucky shot with something big and did a magic trick where his head disappears.
I grab my gun. I don’t know if anything is still out there so I’ll be careful. I get up on my feet and something is missing. My foot. That can’t be good. I wonder where it went. I must have forgotten, just like everything else except that my armor is cracked and my gun was five feet away from me until I picked it up. I try to walk; this is the single most difficult part of my two minute long life so far. My right foot is alright, it takes me two feet forward but my left foot, or more accurately the lack of it, stops me half way through. I look down, expecting blood to come gushing out. It doesn’t, there’s only a little blood leaking out. But that doesn’t really give me a good feeling inside when the pain shoots up my leg.
I ignore the pain, if I give in to it it’ll only control me. I don’t need that at this point.
I look at my gun, a little panel above the trigger displays three green icons. I’m going to guess that’s a good thing. I don’t know what my gun does, all I know about it is what it’s called and the three glowing green icons that I really hope is a good thing.
I decide to test my gun; I aim at a building’s structure support beam. I take aim, somehow my helmet knows what I’m doing and a targeting array zooms in and red crosshairs center on what I’m looking at. If I had fired before this happened I wouldn’t have hit anything. I adjust my aim and fire.
The shot from the gun hits and disintegrates the support beam, the building lets out a groan and some chunks from the top begin to fall down. The chunks hit the ground near me and I stumble away, by lack of left foot slowing me down. I make good time, judging by the debris that hit the ground I was just standing on. Then the whole building begins to give, apparently that support structure I hit was important. Good, maybe someone will see and come to investigate. I’ve only been alive for ten minutes tops and I must admit I’m feeling a little lonely.
Now the whole building is falling, the ground around me is shacking and I lose my footing. I fall over on my back and watch as the building goes to the ground in slow motion to reveal another, stranger, building. This one has two support beams that end in three steel toes and arc up to its waist which forms the base of a torso. That’s when I realize that this isn’t a building.
The head turns to me and some horn located somewhere bellows out a loud blaring noise and I cover my ears and feel stupid when I remember there is a helmet covering them. The noise seems loud and it is, but when its over my ears aren’t ringing like I would expect, there’s another thing I would like to know why I know it.
The titan, my mind tells me the thing is a titan but I don’t really know what a titan is yet but I get the feeling I’m about to find out, turns to me. First the head turns followed by the torso and eventually it is completely facing me. I don’t know whether to be relieved or worried and there is a sinking feeling in my stomach.
One of the titan’s arms starts to whirl, speeding up by the second. My mind tells me it is a Vulcan bolter and I should be running five seconds ago. I drop my plasma cannon and run into a building a few meters away from me, shots flying through the space in the air where my head was moments ago and impacting a support beam which disintegrates in an instant. There are a lot of support beams jutting out of buildings around here I notice.
I duck under a window and two seconds later the firing stops. I creep up and look out the window and I see the titan’s head is looking left to right. They can’t see me and I hope I am right. I look out the hole in the building I came in through and look at my plasma cannon, it’s intact. That’s something at least. I’ll be able to fight back.
I slowly make my way to the hole in the building and judge the distance between my gun and I. Way too far for my comfort, especially with my lack of left foot. The titan’s head turns away and I take my chance.
Running lopsidedly through the gravel in the hot sun with one foot and a stub I couldn’t help but think my situation was a piece of the worst crap ever. Running with one leg to a gun that might not even help me in plain sight of a metal monster that fired bullets bigger than me? How much worse could it get?
Apparently a lot as I found out when a laser beam, another thing my mind supplied the name to, hit the ground behind me and set me sprawling into the air. I hit the ground with my plasma cannon five feet away from my hand. Apparently I’ve gone full circle in that department.
I pick up my gun and take aim, the targeting system in my helmet assisting, and fire. The plasma shots leave my gun and the three green dots turn to red. A couple seconds later the three shots detonate about fifty meters away from the titan and I learn a new name. Void shields. I may not know much, but I do know I need to get inside the shields if I want my gun to have any affect.
The titan turns back to me and starts to walk to my position. I scramble for cover, taking my gun with me this time.
Crashing through dilapidated buildings the titan is unhindered and soon reaches my position, or at least, general area. As it stands over me, I look up through the rubble covering me and look at it. It’s covered in symbols with eight points that make me want to hurl, I don’t know why but hating these symbols doesn’t really seem unnatural to me. I think its safe to say I can fire on the monster now.
I move my plasma cannon up, I don’t think whatever is controlling the titan can hear me, and fire up at the leg joint. This time the shots hit the titan in the leg joint and I hear a screech of metal on metal. I think I hit something important. Good. I don’t know why this thing is fighting me, but I don’t really care about the why at this point. I just want to kill it. I don’t care if the people in it have lives outside war, but I don’t care. It’s my life or theirs and I want to live to be an hour old at least.
The coils on my plasma gun are glowing red, so are the lights. I drop it, I have no idea what’ll happen if I use it again. I place it in a position where it is ready to be used again if I need it.
I sprint away from my position; I’ve gotten use to my lack of left foot by now and am making do. I find myself next to another marine, dead of course. Next to him is a gun, different from my plasma cannon. A melta-gun my mind tells me. Just as deadly but with not quite as good a range. Along with this is a bolt pistol, I take that to. It might prove useful.
I heft the melta to my chest, its about the same weight as my first gun. I charge the titan and as I’m getting closer to the foot small arms open fire on me. I drop the melta and draw my pistol looking up. There are about half a dozen men with smaller guns hanging out of holes in the titan’s hull. I aim and fire six times. Six men hit the ground, fist sized holes where their torsos used to be.
I pick my melta back up and continue on to the foot of the titan. There is a ball that the three toes connect to, I think if I destroy that the titan will have no way to move away from me as they’ll be wanting to before I’m done with it.
I fire the melta and the heat from the gun can be felt through the armor plating on my hands. The massive ball crumbles beneath the fire from the weapon and is soon reduced to molten sludge, or at least part of it.
The foot comes up to get away from me and I was wrong. This thing is no more hampered by its crippled leg than I am. This is bad. The foot is coming down again, I roll away dropping the melta and the foot hits the ground an inch from my face. That was close. The foot gets back up and as I grab hold of one of the toes rocks and dirt fall from the foot, as though the warped nature of this beast machine is bringing the terrain itself to bear against me. Ten meters into the air I take out my bolt pistol and unload the entire clip into a thick, important looking, wire. Sparks fly and the toe moves up and down erratically, succeeding only in throwing me off. I hit the ground and see what happened to the melta gun when the foot came down. It’s totally smashed, I can’t use it again unless I want to die, but it probably wouldn’t even work that well.
There’s a building next to me that I go into, mainly so the titan won’t know where I am than anything else. I make my way up the building, trying to get to a good vantage point I can look for weapons from. But I find something better than what I expected.
Slumped up against a wall next to a man sized hole is another dead marine wearing something I haven’t seen before and yet another new word is supplied by my mind. Jetpack. I strap it on and notice another thing, or rather, things. The dead marine has two plasma pistols at his waist along with a chainsword. I take the pistols, leaving the first one in an empty holster at my waist. I consider taking the chain weapon but decide against it. It would be of no use unless I entered the titan.
Gunning the jetpack I launch myself out the hole in the wall towards the titan. At this point I begin to think. What am I doing? Then I think my plan through again and I remember. I’m going to jump onto one of the weapon arms and shot at on the off chance it will blow up and reduce the combat effectiveness of the titan.
I hit the weapon arms that fired at me first and all of a sudden my plan sounds very stupid in my head. The Vulcan cannon swings from side to side but I hold on tight. I hold on with one hand as I reach to one of the plasma pistols and open fire at where I think the ammo is.
I was right. I engage the jump pack a second time and fly out of reach of the explosion, needless to say, the experience is very hot. But oh how satisfying. I hit the ground and look back at the titan, its right arm is on fire is splitting from the rest of the titan. It hits the ground and explodes.
It looks like I’m winning. Then the titan finds me and shoots again. Still one arm left, and this one might be more powerful. I fly out of range of the explosion land safely where I was before and I find what I was missing. My plasma cannon. The coils have cooled down and are green again. I pick it up and leap to one of the buildings.
I turn around to look at the titan, it is stalking closer and closer to me, the arm with the laser cannon is stretched out aimed at my position. It fires and I’m ten meters above the explosion when the beam hit the building.
I manipulate the controls of the jetpack, soaring up and gliding down, always getting closer to the titan. It seems to know what I’m going to do and whatever is controlling it turns it around. I keep going.
A flaring red icon appears in the corner of my vision; the jetpack’s fuel is almost spent. I won’t be able to get to the front of the machine; I decide to approach it from the rear.
Hitting the ground one final time I run to the titan. It’s damaged foot impeding its process, but its still faster than me on its feet. I try to get just a little closer before engaging the jetpack again. I switch the thruster on and off, getting a little closer each time.
At last I land on the back of the titan just as my fuel runs out. I lose the jetpack, at this point it’ll only weigh me down. Holding on to the cannon by one hand I draw one of my pistols and shoot a hand hold for myself. I reach for it and I feel the heat through the armor on my hand. I let it cool down a little.
The titan’s foot falls impede my progress but eventually I get to the top of the beast machine’s back and I can see its head.
I take aim, no easy thing on top of a moving vehicle fifty meters in the air, and fire at the head. The snout of the head disintegrates with the first shot, the second shot takes out an eye and the third hits the forehead, stopping the rampaging titan in its tracks altogether. I win.
With a groan the titan begins to lean forward, I stumble and roll down to the head-cockpit- and come to rest on the floor at the feet of something dead, something that had half its body taken way by the plasma blast. I lost my cannon but I still have my pistols.
I look at the body above me and the first thing I see is the dead body regrowing the lost half. A new word comes to me. Daemon.
‘You insolent little maggot,’ it says to me. The titan is beginning to lean forward even more, soon it will fall forward head first. ‘Who do you think you are, you little human, to kill my pet?’ It asks. I don’t know what to say. But that doesn’t matter, because it continues with ‘For centuries I have walked the war torn landscape of your puny little Imperium and slaughtered your armies and you have the audacity to strike my titan low, alone? What arrogance,’
I reply that ‘It is only arrogance if you can’t do it,’ Then the titan leans forward more and begins to fall down. The next few seconds are completely silent, all sound is blocked out by the sound of a god falling to earth. I see the ground rushing forth to embrace me with dry ground and flaming wreckage from the fight. The wind makes my short hair flow like cropped grass in a valley. The titan hits the ground and everything goes pitch black around me.
I wake up face down in the ruined cockpit of the titan, armor ruined even more and plasma pistol two feet away from my hand. What’s better is, for the first time in so many hours, I remember who and what I am, and what I have become.
The daemon is sprawled out on the floor, metal spikes sprouting from its body. It is dying, slowly, not fast enough for my liking.
‘What are you?’ The daemon snarls. I lift up my plasma gun and take aim. I look it in the eye and say ‘I am Gaius Mairus of the Dragon Slayers Eighth Company, third devastator squad. I am Titan slayer,’ and I fire on the daemon’s head.
Finished: Too Much Love Will Kill You (working title), an original fiction novel. Working on: Second draft of Too Much Love, and the first draft of A Winter's Tale (working title).
Last edited by Worldkiller; 06-24-10 at 03:54 PM.