Finally, read through it. Don't see why I didn't start earlier!
Finally, read through it. Don't see why I didn't start earlier!
[Fan Fic Writers Support Group]
Blood, death, carnage? Sounds like heaven to me
Oh boy, yep you does...
[Fan Fic Writers Support Group]
Blood, death, carnage? Sounds like heaven to me
Ok, new chapter broskies! R&R plz!
The small convoy of Junkers slowed to a stop at a makeshift Stranded camp. Thor’s flag flew proudly over the camp, its pole swaying from the constant tremors. A man stepped out from one of the Junkers, a ‘Mad Dog’ by name and reputation. He made his way into the camp that was literally set up overnight. It was to be the staging area for the assault on Gary’s camp. Thor’s “Moment of Greatness” as he called it. Mad Dog rounded a row of Junkers and came upon Tick, who was loading a Hammerburst.
“I trust the ‘Rat’ made his way onto the roof?” Mad Dog asked. Tick nodded silently and handed Mad Dog a hand radio from his belt. Mad Dog took it and pushed the ‘Talk’ button.
“Hey Rat? Rat. Answer dammit!” Mad Dog called into the radio.
“Yes B-boss?” came a scared voice form the other side, definitely Rat.
“What’s up buddy? You in position?” asked Mad Dog.
“Yes Boss, of c-c-course Boss. Everyone’s in p-place and Boomshots l-l-loaded.
“Good, good. ‘Cause failure is not an option. Understand?”
“I have my complete trust in you, Rat. Not an easy thing to procure. Do you know who has their complete trust in me?” asked Mad Dog.
“Tha-tha-thor, Boss,” Rat replied. His voice started to break from fear. He was a man who had loyalty beaten into him, and was terrified of making Mad Dog angry.
“Exactly. If you fail, you don’t just piss me off, you piss off Thor. If you piss off me, you only get your ass kicked and you don’t eat for a week. You piss off Thor, and well, you’ll be dining down with the Grubs in hell. Are we clear?”
“One hundred p-percent Boss!”
“Good,” Mad Dog put the radio on his belt and walked off.
He wasn’t joking when he said he needed Rat for this. Thor’s plan involved the Junkers plowing straight into Gary’s camp, but that’s nearly impossible with a gate and a sniper in the way. So the best option around that obstacle was to blow it away, literally. Rat and about five other guys were stationed on the roof of an adjacent building with Boomshots. When Mad Dog gives the signal they fire their rockets and destroy the gate and its keeper. Then the Junkers rain hell on Gary. Well, that is if everything goes according to plan.
Mad Dog continued into a more open area of the camp. It was an intersection with Junkers parked in a circle around one man, Thor. He sat in his throne with servants all around him. When he saw Mad Dog, he got up to greet him.
“What a glorious day for bloodshed, wouldn’t you agree Mad Dog?” Thor asked in his booming voice. It was a wonder that Gary’s camp couldn’t hear him from a few blocks away.
“Of course sir. You’ll have Gary’s head before lunch.” Mad Dog replied in a stale tone. He’d been kissing Thor’s ass for seven years. That’s how he got the prestigious position of ‘Second-in-Command’. Personally, Mad Dog was sick and tired of brown-nosing Thor. He was a tyrannical, cruel, old bastard, and Mad Dog prayed for the day he’d kick the bucket. Hell, Mad Dog just might help him there.
“Haha, indeed. If there’s anything left of his head!” Thor laughed. The sound echoed through the street, even louder than the still shaking ground. Once his laughter died down, Thor’s expression changed. “Where the hell is my Hammer!”
A small man, another servant, came running out of one of the empty buildings. He carried Thor’s illustrious sledge hammer. Thor apparently wanted it polished before his big victory. However, the weak frame of the servant and the shaking ground makes running a bad idea. The small man lost his balance and tripped head over heels a few feet away from Thor. Thor snarled and picked up his hammer. He brushed the dust off, then drove the head into the servants skull. Thor beckoned another servant to wipe the blood off while the previous one gargled and died.
Mad Dog just looked on in disgust. Sure, commanding through fear was a great tactic, but your men won’t respect you for it. Mad Dog wondered when Thor will consider him just another servant whose last thought was a hammer.
“Not gonna happen,” Mad Dog said silently under his breath. “Not if I have a say in it.”
The servant cleaning Thor’s hammer finished and handed it back to him. Thor climbed into the back of a Junker and raised his sledge hammer above his head.
“Failure,” He boomed. “Is unacceptable! But fear not men. The ground may shake, but it is only the Locust making room for Gary’s corpse in Hell!” Most of the Stranded cheered at the speech. Mad Dog just stood there with his arms crossed. Thor pointed to him. “Give the signal! Start the assault!”
“Hey Rat,” said Mad Dog into the radio as he climbed into the back of a Junker.
“Yeah Boss,” Rat replies. Mad Dog smiled.
“Light ‘em up buddy.”
10 Minutes Earlier - Gary’s Stranded Camp
Gary slammed the gate shut and bludgeoned his fist against it. He didn’t know how, or why Mad Dog got under his skin the way he did, but it was extremely frustrating. Mad Dog had a way to anger Gary in a way nothing else could. A useful tactic. How can people look up to you as a leader, how can they have their complete faith in you when they see you loose your cool at the words of another man. Gary wanted nothing more than to completely destroy Mad Dog, but by that, he’d fallen into his trap. Gary took a deep breath and tried to comprehend what just transpired.
“Garza! Sh*t, Garza!” Gary called. He turned and ran from the gate. Dizzy and Henny had put the bodies down in the center of camp. People started to gather around, asking questions, wondering what happened outside, and why the two men thought lost were laying destroyed at their feet.
“Garza!” Gary yelled again. The Stranded moved aside and made room for Gary. “Garza! Come on, please!” Garza slowly started regaining consciousness.
“G-gary?” Garza said quietly. “Is that-AHG” He yelled in pain and rolled onto his side as to not lay on his wounds.
“Garza! Oh god, Garza, what happened to you?” Gary asked, on the verge of tears.
“Caught us,” he said panting, barely able to breath. “Tom! What happened…Tom. Where…AH” Garza winced in pain again. Gary glanced over at Tom’s corpse. His head was split open and charred. Only a sick and twisted bastard like Mad Dog could do that to someone.
“He…he didn’t make it.” said Gary in a somber tone. “What did they do to you, Garza?”
“Horrible things,” Garza responded. He grabbed Gary’s shoulder and pulled himself upright. He looked Gary in the eye. Even though he’d been gone for two days, he looked like he’d aged ten years. “You can’t imagine the pai- AH, Damn!”
“You’ll be fine Garza. You just need Rest. Come on, I’ll help you up.”
“No…No, I don’t want it. Not anymore.”
“What? Garza, I don’t understand.”
“Rest won’t stop it. Nothing’ll stop it. Please, make it stop.”
“No Garza. It’ll heal! We’ll get some medical supplies from the COG, we’ll do something. You will be fine.” Gary sounded like he was in complete denial.
“Please Gary, end it. End it all. Ima scarred man. It won’t end as long as I’m still breathing.”
“Garza no!” Gary pleaded. His voice cracking, a large lump forming in the back of his throat. “The scars will heal, I promise!”
“Not the ones I’m talking about. You weren’t there, Gary. You can’t imagine the pain.”
“No Garza. Please no. I can’t-”
“End me! God dammit, Gary. Make it stop!” Garza pleaded.
“Garza, I-I…” Gary looked down to his Snub pistol on his belt. He upholstered it. Tears ran down his face. “I’m sorry.”
“C’mon girls.” Dizzy said quietly to his daughters who were standing next to him. “We don’t need to see this.”
The three of them walked away without a word. After about ten paces, Dizzy heard a loud gunshot. Dizzy turned to look at Gary. His eyes were dark and his face wet from tears. Henny walked up to him and put a hand on his back The crowd slowly dispersed . Dizzy saw Teresa eyeing Bob walking away, looking as down as everyone else.
“Go on,” Dizzy said quietly. Teresa left, leaving Dizzy and Maralin behind.
“What did they do to Mr. Garza?” Maralin asked. “What could they do to make him like that?”
“Sweetie,” Dizzy replied. “I don’t think you wanna know.”
Dizzy looked back to the scene. Some Stranded were carrying both bodies to the cemetery. Another woman grabbed a rag and started cleaning up the blood. Henny helped Gary up. Gary left his pistol on the ground as if afraid to touch it. He looked like he’d been hit by a truck, and for good reason. Dizzy had known Gary a long time, but not once had he seen him like this. He didn’t blame him either.
Gary had a thing going with a girl a while back. A few years before Jasmine died. She was killed by some other Stranded gang, possibly Thor’s. He was devastated. Garza helped him through it, however. That, coupled with the fact that Garza helped Gary start a Stranded camp in the first place, and well, the two were the best of friends. Dizzy knew it was up to Henny and himself to get him through, for they were all the man had left.
Henny helped Gary walk up to Dizzy and Maralin. When he got there, everyone was quiet. Dizzy put a hand on Gary’s shoulder to let him know he isn’t alone in this sh*t-storm, but something caught Dizzy’s attention. Joseph, the sniper at the gate, was running from the gate screaming his head off.
“Everyone get down! Away from the gate now!” he yelled.
“The hell?” Dizzy mumbled, trying to figure out why he was yelling. The realization came too late, however. Within an instant, the front gate exploded. Gary seemed to snap out of his depression in that exact moment, his true leadership kicking in.
“What the f*ck just happened? What did you see?” he yelled at Joseph, who finally got to their position.
“Thor’s men.” He panted. “On the roof. We’re under attack!”
“That bastard!” Gary yelled. “Henny, with me. We’re getting the Junkers out. Dizzy, Joseph, get people to the garage ASAP!”
“You got it. Henny, take Maralin. Get ‘er on the Junker!” Dizzy said in an urgent tone.
“But Dad, I want to-” she protested, but Dizzy cut her off.
“No buts Missy, Go! Now!”
"Don’t worry Diz, I’ll keep her safe.” Said Henny. He handed Dizzy his Gnasher. “When have I ever let you down before?” Right as he said that, the gate exploded again, but this time a large stream of Junkers poured through. The Stranded occupants fired indiscriminately into Gary’s camp. Screams filled the air as people were mowed down.
“Ya don’t want me to answer that!” Dizzy yelled back to Henny as they split up. Dizzy and Joseph ran toward the center of camp. Through all the noise, it was impossible to notice the tremors getting stronger. One final jolt from the ground sent Dizzy and Joseph to the floor. The ground under them started to split open.
3 Minutes Earlier - Down the Street from Gary’s Camp
“Hey L.T. we there yet?” Pvt. Mendoza called form the back of the APC.
“Yeah. About a hundred yards up the road, we should see the gate to the Stranded camp.” Lieutenant Garret responded.
“I’m telling you, this whole Operation is a mistake. We’re wasting our time.” said Cpl. Marx.
“Dammit Marx, how many times-” said the Lieutenant, but he was cut off by a distant explosion. Somehow, the gate to the camp erupted in a fireball. Garret hit the brake.
“What the hell just happened?” Mendoza inquired.
“I don’t know, but we’re checking it out.” replied Garret. Suddenly a column of Junkers came down the opposite street filing into the camp. One split off from the group and charged the APC head on. Small arms fire bounced off the hull.
“Hostiles!” Marx yelled. “I’m on the gun!” He climbed up and opened the hatch to the roof-mounted chain gun and opened fire. The bullets shredded most of the Junker’s passengers. The two vehicles passed each other and kept going. Marx opened fire on the rest of the Junkers. He took out a couple, but one slammed into the APC once it entered their line. The vehicle spun out of control, even against the LT’s attempts to right it. The spinning APC crashed into the side of a building.
Garret’s head was ringing from the crash. Over his disorientation he heard Marx’s chain gun roaring at the Stranded. He heard something else, however. A loud cracking sound from under the vehicle. He looked out the window and saw the street cracking in a spider-web pattern.
“Sh*t, get out of the vehicle!” Garret ordered.
“Damn,” Marx cursed as he descended from the hatch. He and Garret piled out of the APC. Marx started firing his Lancer at passing Stranded.
“Wait, where’s Mendoza?” The LT cried.
“In here Sir!” He called from inside the ‘Dill. “My armor’s stuck. Something broke in the crash, and I can’t move.”
Garret cursed under his breath and moved to help Mendoza. Before he got to the APC, however, he was floored by a massive jolt. The ground jerked violently. A massive fissure opened under the APC stretching across the street. The back end of the ‘Dill fell in, stopped by the top of it hitting the other side of the gorge.
“Mendoza!” Garret screamed. He reached his hand into the APC, not stepping inside because he knew the slightest touch could drop it. “Grab my hand! Come on!”
“Almost got it, Sir!” he cried. He was desperately pulling at his leg armor. A piece was wedged into a crack in the APC’s interior.
“Pull your damn armor off and grab my hand!” Garret ordered.
“Wait Sir, Almost-” Mendoza was cut off. Another massive jolt sent the APC into the ravine. Garret felt a sense of weightlessness once the vehicle started moving. He saw the fear in Mendoza’s eyes. Suddenly it all fell into the abyss, but Garret stopped moving. Marx had grabbed the back of his armor at the last second. Garret could tell Marx was pissed, even under his helmet.
“Mendoza,” Garret said somberly. “What the hell is going on?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Marx stated. “Tollen is going to sh*t.”
Was that done on purpose?“I trust the ‘Rat’ made his way unto the roof?”
Change that. Makes no sense there... something like "switched off" would work.“Good,” Mad Dog out the radio on his belt and walked off.
Replace the 'h' with a 'w'.Mad Dog has sick and tired of brown-nosing Thor.
Add that in there.“C’mon girls.” Dizzy said quietly to his daughters who were stand[ing] next to him.
Add that in there.Dizzy had known Gary [for] a long time
Don't need the slash, replace it with a period.That, coupled with the fact that Garza helped Gary start a Stranded camp in the first place, and well, the two were the best of friends/
You know what to do.The realization came to[o] late, however.
Add that in there.["]Don’t worry Diz, I’ll keep her safe.”
The author shouldn't describe it in such a way. Leave that cussing to the characters.but this time a sh*t load of Junkers poured through.
No 'e'.“I’m one the gun!”
So..... I gotta' say, I'm loving this. Four way war! You've got Stranded vs Stranded and then a Gear unit and then the Locust sinking the whole city of Tollen. Nice way to end the chapter, keep it up, Grub!
You better, or otherwise I'll have a strong word with your mother and how she raised you better!
Ok, so to keep this bumped, I has questions.
You may answer one, or all three. Whatever, I guess. Lol.
1. What was your favorite scene of the last/previous chapter(s)?
2. What do you Speculate will happen in chapters to come?
3. Does Thor wear Boxers or Briefs?
1. Torture scene... so far, thats be a lot more "dark" compared to the other bits. That isn't to say that the chapters have been bad, no, its just that scene really brought out the other Stranded camp. It showed what Thor and his like were and what Stranded warfare was like.
2. Gun shall be shot, people shall be hit, blood shall be spilled. A massive fight is going to break out between the two stranded groups. The Gears are going to walk in at the last moment, save everyone, Dizzy etc. Henny'boy might perish. Dizzy will join Op Life Boat as the camp will be completely destroyed due to stranded/Locust attack.
3. Breifts... he's a small dick trying to make a big impression.
1. Thanks. I thought experamenting with a more dark scene might of had a chance to backfire and suck, but I'm glad you liked it. You know it had an effect aswell, cuz it made a guy like Gary shoot one of his best friends in the face.
2. You are close, very close. Although I doubt the Gears can save much when their down a man...
3. I was thinking the same thing.
Also, one more tiny question, is the four transitions in this chapter too much?
For me, I kept along. I don't know about the others, but I guess having read the last chapter and it being fresh in my mind, I understood what was going on better. So, for me, it was alright.
Don't worry, Gears don't die, they multiply!
Riiiiiiight. Marx 'n Garret wil just rip their arms off and plant them while the city slowely crumbles into nothing. Then, at the last second, new Gears will sprout out of the ground and decimate EVERYTHING!!!!!!!
They won't die... come on, you know it, I know it, even he knows it! *points at statue of a rock*
Stop bumping, I demand a chapter, otherwise, damn you!
Make some chapters, or I blow this damn thread outta' the water!
Son I am proud.
You've done this Forum and this fiction JUST ICE!
I came up with the Bag 'N Tag idea. No really, check the date. (proof)
Fanboy of Gears since GameInformer's 2005 cover-article
Speedtest - my internet is slower than yours
"Tommorrow" - short story..................................................Games as Literature: Aspho Fields podcast
Change the two “t’s” to “th’s”, because no one says “Tuh-Tuh-Thor”. They say “Thhhhhhhhhh-thhhhhh- thhoooooor”
“One hundred p-present Boss!”
“present” should be “percent”.
“When Mad Dog gives the signal they fire their rockets and destroy the gate and its keeper. Then the Junkers rain hell on Gary. Well, that is if everything goes according to plan.” “Mad Dog continues into a more open area of the camp.” “Sure, commanding through fear was a great tactic, but your men won’t respect you for it. Mad Dog wondered when Thor will consider him just another servant who’s last thought was a hammer.”
Put these sentences into passive tense, to match your tense elsewhere.
“However, the weak frame of the servant plus the shaking ground makes running a bad idea.”
Replace “plus” with “and”. “Plus” is unprofessional in written work.
“He brushed the dust off, the drove the head into the servants skull.”
The “the” after the comma should be “then”
“Mad Dog wondered when Thor will consider him just another servant who’s last thought was a hammer.”
“who’s” should be “whose”.
““Garza! Come one, please!””
“one” should be “on”
““C’mon girls.” Dizzy said quietly to his daughters who were standing next to him. “We don’t need to see this.”
The three of them walked away without a word. After about ten paces, Dizzy heard a loud gunshot. Dizzy turned to look at Gary.”
I like this. You can just see Dizzy herding away his children and wincing at the gunshot, turning around to look at Gary. Though, I would have liked a little more of what his daughters reacted to it.
“Something broke in the crash., and I can’t move.””
Got a mysterious period there.
I like. I like this chapter a lot. You really put this chapter into a slow buildup followed by everything turning to sh*t in an exciting way. My only real complaint is lack of Dizzy, overall. I hope to see him more in the coming chapters, as opposed to every now and then.
Thank you Cros, much appreciated. Most of those were Typos(horrible typest). Although I agree, I should have broadened that scene with the girls and the gunshot. My bad. :/
Anyway, thank you for the read. Next chapter will be started soon, and released soon after starting. And don't worry, I hope to have more Dizzy in coming chapters. I just felt like he recieved the spotlight early on, and I wanted to make sure other characters got the attention they deserve. Even though the story is mainly about Dizzy, the other characters in his life are equally important.
But they all gonna' be dead... right?
Yep, read chapter three and I liked it. Dizzy felt like "Dizzy" and Jasmine's death was well done. Funny thing is, I think I read this before, but just never got round to commenting.
Couple of minor spelling errors, like creator instead of crater, which actually made me lol, but then I'm easily amused sometimes. Umm, yeah guess this chapter could be stretched out a little more, but then I remember someone saying once that action requires fast pacing, so maybe the brevity is a good thing?
By the way, what's Dizzy's real name? Does anyone know?
And I don't rightly know, but I don't plan to elaborate on it either. If I go out on a limb and say his name is Jason, or William, or Zeke, it wouldn't feel right. We've come to know him as "Dizzy". Anything else just wouldn't sound right.
Hell, maybe his name is "Dizzy". I've seen weirder names. Lol at "Pad" as a guys name, for example.
Aha at last I have gotten round to finish reading this up to date. I've really enjoyed it so far, I find Thor and Mad Dog quite evil - the bad guy you really want to hate. Even with servants with names like Rat as well.
Really good, obviously there is the odd spelling mistake, but it didn't detract a vast amount from the overall enjoyment of the story. Keep it going Grub, me likey!!
Ok, first *facepalm* I just re-read some older posts and it turns out you're right. You did read it before. You left off at chapter 4.
That's where you'd be at, if you want to continue. You wanna hit me now, or later for making you re-read something?
Pow - pow-pow - pooow...
Come on man, not a lot sooner or something?
Ok, only half of the chapter. I figure I'd ride with the current trend of posting half at a time. Yeah, its short, but the second half will be out before Tuesday at the latest, although I may have it up as early as tomorrow. Just going to have to wait and see.
“Hell yeah!” Gary yelled as the Junker's engine roared to life. He threw the massive vehicle into reverse and backed out of the garage faster than he probably should have. Henny followed suit in the second one. “Got to get my people out, the get the hell out.” Gary said to himself. It was impossible to take the gang out alone, so picking up sticks and running was the only option.
While in reverse, the Junker slammed into something hard. Gary hit his head on the wheel and thought he hit one of those pre-war parking breaks. He looked down and saw the street had split open and one side jutted above the other.
“Dammit, not now. Henny, we got Locust coming!” screamed Gary as he changed gears and rushed forward. The two Junkers split up at the intersection, encircling the devastation. Gary took the left.
It was horrifying to see the people he had sworn to protect being gunned down and slaughtered like livestock. A couple of guys were fighting off the gangster stranded and protecting a group of Gary’s people. Gary drove up to them and beckoned them to get in.
“Come on, come on, com-” A sudden impact whiplashed Gary’s head against the seat and the wheel. Quietly, under his breath, Gary said “Huh, damn. That’s gonna leave a mark.”
A thunderous roar snapped Gary out of his daze. He looked up to see a humongous, Boomer sized man leap from the object that rammed into Gary, one of Thor’s Junkers. The living mountain charged into the group of Gary’s people as they made their way to the lifeboat. The first man was too busy shooting to notice the sledge hammer coming for his head. The impact sent his corpse into another moving Junker. The people scrambled, and the giant took his pick of prey. A woman carrying a young child made a dash for Gary’s Junker, but sadly was too slow. She took a large downward blow to the shoulder, crushing them both. The behemoth looked up from his kill and saw Gary. Gary recognized him instantly, the man who has caused him grief for the past six years. Thor.
“HA, now your existence comes to a pitiful end, Gary! HAH-” automatic fire pierced his left arm. Gary turned to see two Gear soldiers rushing toward the scene. Gary’s hatred for them took to the backburner for now. Help was help.
The helmeted Gear rushed Thor with his Chainsaw bayonet raised, yelling an insane battle cry all the while. Thor looked ready to swing, but he hesitated and raised his hammer’s handle up in defense. The chainsaw clashed with the metal sending a cascade of sparks over the two men. Thor used his superior height and strength to push back his attacker, putting his Lancer up to his chest. Thor realized the chainsaw’s purpose a second later and sent a mighty kick into the Gear’s gut, but not before the Lancer cut through the hammer’s handle. Even while being sent backward, the chainsaw’s teeth cut across Thor’s chest, leaving a long, bloody gash. Thor roared in anger and bloodlust. He swung the business end of his broken sledge hammer at the stumbling Gear. The blunt head made contact with the Gear’s helmet making a loud crack and sending the Gear into the side of Gary’s Junker.
Gary had been so engrossed in the battle that he hadn’t noticed the other Gear who had climbed into the back of Gary’s vehicle along with the rest of the Stranded. The Gear fired a stream of bullets into Thor’s leg, crippling the beast, then pulled his comrade into the Junker.
Gary took the hint and floored the gas. Thor bellowed in rage as his prize drove away. His roar was drowned out by a very loud rumble. The ground around the front gate sank about fifteen feet and the building that housed the garage toppled toward the gap, blocking the only means of escape. Through the plumes of dust and debris, Gary saw the southern blockade. He took his chances and zoomed toward it.
“Hang on people, this might get a bit bumpy!” He yelled as the Junker plowed through the wall of abandoned cars.
“Aw, sh*t.” Dizzy said, facedown in the concrete. The latest tremor floored him and he was still reeling from the effects. A stray bullet impacting with the ground a few feet away form Dizzy’s head snapped him out of his revere. Dizzy was able to push himself up, although with some difficulty.
“Gettin’ too damn old for this sh*t.” he exclaimed as he triad to get his bearings. He was near the north blockade, out of the way of the major action. Joseph was nowhere to be seen, though he probably ran into the fray to help as well as he could.
The intersection was the kill zone, most of the Stranded were there already from the confrontation with Mad Dog earlier. A team of over ten Junkers circled the intersection, killing most who fought back. There were a few who held their own, however, although with the city crumbling more and more, it was futile.
Dizzy hobbled toward the action, favoring his right leg. He must of tweaked it during his fall, but he felt no pain. Adrenalin was funny like that.
Out of the crowd, Dizzy could make out a familiar face, Joseph. He was leading a small group of people toward Dizzy, making effective use of his Sniper Rifle at close range.
“Diz! Hey, Diz!” Henny’s voice rang out. He came rolling up in one of the Junkers. Maralin was in the passenger’s seat, alive, but scared out of her mind. She had every right to be, too. Then it pinged in Dizzy’s mind.
“Teresa. Teresa!” Dizzy called. He scanned through the writhing mass of people and vehicles. No dice.
Josephs group finally got back, and they all got onto Henny’s Junker. Suddenly bullets whizzed past the group of Stranded. A Junker of Thor’s men came speeding toward them. Joseph fired, and the vehicle slid to a stop about thirty feet away, the driver with a nice new hole in his head. Before Dizzy could raise his shotgun, a second of the three gangsters succumbed to Josephs sniper. Dizzy aimed at the last guy with his Gnasher and fired as he disembarked from his Junker. Most of the pellets missed, but enough connected to make him stumble back and scream in agony. Dizzy walked closer and fired again, ending his life in a shower of buckshot.
“And stay down, hahaha.” Dizzy laughed. Through all the gunfire and background noise, a small scream echoed in Dizzy’s ears; his daughter. Quickly, Dizzy turned and through the mass of Junkers, he saw Teresa. She was with Bob, who was fighting for his life against one of Thor’s men. Dizzy had no time to think, he just acted. He bounded toward them, ignoring the pain in his ankle. The pain could wait, his daughter’s life couldn’t.
Dizzy ran through the crowd, ignoring the bullets that narrowly missed his person. Like a train on a set track, he pushed forward to meet his target. As the gap closed, Dizzy could see the scene unfold. Bob was wrangling with the gangster. Both had a grip on a Hammerburst, trying to pry it out of the others hands.
Dizzy was in spitting distance now, but it all changed for the worse in front of his eyes. The Stranded punched Bob in the face, which bought him enough time to pull the Hammerburst away. Teresa screamed as the gangster fired a single bullet into Bob’s head. The blood splattered back, spraying Teresa’s face. The Stranded then forcibly grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her away.
Thinking was no longer an option for Dizzy. Rage, pure animalistic rage filled his every fiber as he steamrolled toward the bastard. He raised his shotgun above his head and smashed it into the man’s temple without missing a beat. The gangster stumbled and fell, releasing Teresa along the way. Dizzy dropped his knee into the fallen man’s groin and hit him across the head again. There was no fighting, no war, no Stranded, no Locust, nothing at all during that moment. Just Dizzy and this man who tried to hurt his daughter. After Jasmine’s death, Dizzy would never, ever, let something hurt his family again. Dizzy brought the butt of his Gnasher down on the man’s head again, and again, and again, and again. Not relenting, unmerciful, it was a frightful sight to behold. An urgent hand on his shoulder broke him out of his zen-like state of rage.
“Dad, come on!” Teresa screamed in his ear. Suddenly a Junker pulled up beside them.
“C’mon, get yer asses in here now!” Henny yelled. Dizzy got up, adrenalin still pumping hard. He boosted his daughter into the Junker then climbed in himself. Before he could sit down, Henny floored the gas, and Dizzy saw why.
A building, the one housing the garage, crumbled and fell. A roaring dust cloud washed over the camp.
The Junker veered toward the south end of camp, to the blockade.
“Hey, Henny! The hell you doin’? Exit’s on the other side, dumbsh*t!” Dizzy yelled.
“Quit yer bellyachin’ I’m followin’ Gary.” Dizzy hadn’t noticed the second Junker in front of them. It plowed through the southern blockade and kept going. Henny followed in its tracks.
“Hahaha, Ol’ Thor mus’ by runnin’ with his tail ‘tween his legs now, ha! He’s gonna have to change his drawers!” Dizzy exclaimed, still shaking and panting from his rage fit as the Junker fled the devastated camp.
“Bow down, b*tches! Aha, bow down to the big, bad Dog!” Mad Dog yelled as he fired his Hammerburst into a crowd of Stranded. “How’s the dust taste now that you just bit it, huh? Ahaha!” He fired the semi-automatic Locust rifle until the mag was spent.
As he was reloading, a thunderous rumble echoed through the intersection. A building to the east of camp toppled down into the street, blocking the exit. Mad Dog shielded his eyes from the wall of dust and debris flying his way. All the shooting stopped as everyone struggled to adjust to the haze. Mad Dog’s sunglasses were caked with dust, so he threw them to the side. He picked up his hand radio from his belt and spoke into it.
“What the f*ck is going on, Rat? What do you see?” Rat was stationed on the rooftop of a building adjacent to the camp and had a birds-eye view of the city.
“Holy sh*t Boss! It’s gone! It’s f-f*cking gone!” Rat screamed frantically through the radio.
“What? What the f*ck are you talking about?” Mad Dog yelled back.
“The middle of the city! It’s f*cking gone! The towers, the highway, all g-g-gone! Just a hole! All other buildings around it are sinking too. The entire f-f*cking city is sin-AHH” The building Rat was on fell downwards. Not like the previous one, but straight down.
“Sh*t!” Mad Dog yelled. He dropped the radio and ran for the nearest Junker. Mad Dog wasn’t the only one with that idea, however. Thor was hobbling toward a parked Junker, who’s driver was freaking out while waiting for his leader.
There, in front of him, Mad Dog saw his supposedly fearless leader squirming like a wounded animal. Saving himself above all else, even his own men. There, the man who had given Mad Dog hell for the past seven years was wounded and cornered. This was the opportunity Mad Dog had been waiting for. This, was the moment of truth. So, he took the shot. Not at Thor, but the driver. The beast was truly cornered now. Thor turned in surprise.
“Mad Dog? What-what do you think you’re doing?” Thor asked, his voice not nearly as intimidating as before. For the first time, fear gripped his voice. Fear of the inevitable. Fear of death.
“I’m doing what I should of done a long time ago, old man. Now you have two choices. Step aside, and we all live happily ever after, except you, of course. Or, you could do something, and make this a lot more interesting. Either way, you die. Pick your poison, Thor. Its over.”
“You bastard!” Thor boomed. “You wait until my city crumbles around me to slit my throat? I hope you rot, Mad Dog. I hope you rot in the darkest pit of hell!”
“I’ll see you there, then.” Thor roared and charged Mad Dog, but he wasn’t nearly fast enough. Mad Dog parted with three bullets, all shredding into Thor’s skull. The mountain fell at Mad Dog’s feet. He spit on Thor’s corpse, the ran for the Junker. He pulled the dead driver out of the way, and drove off like a bat out of hell.
“And who ever said Gods can’t fall? Hehaha.”
The two Junkers barreled down the road, side by side in a dual effort to escape the city’s quick demise. The massive tremors culminated in what could only be described as an apocalypse. Building supports buckled and snapped, sending their loads down to the still shaking ground. The road cracked open any chance it got, making the trip very turbulent.
“Go faster, go! Left. Left! Lookout!” screamed Maralin from the passenger’s seat to Henny as large chunks of masonry and architecture fell around them. She had a white-knuckle grip on the door and roll cage, bracing for the worst.
“Dammit, I know! Stop side-seat driving!” Henny snapped while simultaneously trying to avoid pieces of building matter.
Dizzy say quietly in the back with about six other people. He couldn’t help but feel frustrated at the moment. All this devastation and death around him, and he was just a simple passenger on this rollercoaster ride from hell. Henny had to have felt worse, for it was his job to get everyone out.
Dizzy looked down to his other daughter, Teresa. Her face was covered with blood and she seemed to be in a state of shock. She was hyperventilating and desperately hugging her legs while staring wide-eyed into the distance. Dizzy had to comfort her, his paternal instinct kicking in. He put a hand on her shoulder.
“It’s ok, sweetie, Daddy’s here.” He said. She seemed to ease a little. “Now, I know yer scared, hell, I’m scared too. But Darlin’, I’m gonna need you to stay strong, ok? Yer gonna need to be strong enough for both of us. Here,” Dizzy took off his dusty, old hat and placed it snuggly on her head, “Keep that safe, ya hear? I ain’t plannin’ on loosin’ it. Remember, stay strong.” She grabbed the sides of the rattan hat and pulled it down tightly, then nodded in agreement. Dizzy gave a weak smile, but was interrupted by gunfire ricocheting off the Junker’s chassis.
Dizzy flinched, then turned to see where they originated. One of Thor’s Junkers had followed them in a desperate attempt to flee the crumbling city. The Junker was full of gangsters firing Hammerbursts and other small arms at the two other Junkers. The gangsters pulled up along Gary’s vehicle, raining hell in a pirate-like fashion. The two Gears in Gary’s Junker returned fire, taking out a few of the Stranded. One Gear ducked down to reload. The other helmeted Gear took a shot in the arm and ducked down as well. Thor’s posse continued to shoot. Dizzy pulled out his Boltok, but could not get a clear shot with Gary’s Junker in the way. Joseph, also in Dizzy’s vehicle, seemed frustrated at not being able to get a shot off. One of Gary’s men took a bullet to the chest and fell backward out the side of the vehicle, rolling when he hit the concrete.
Suddenly, the non-helmeted Gear popped up. He was swinging a miniature ball-and-chain like object. He lazily tossed it into the enemy vehicle. A second later, the Junker exploded in a spectacular fire-ball. Both cars erupted in a wave of excitement, but they weren’t out of the woods yet.
“C’mon baby, almost there. Keep on chuggin’! Ah, sh*t!” Henny yelled. The ground lurched one more time. A shockwave flew under the Junkers to the outer limits of Tollen. The ground began to tilt at a thirty degree angle. The Junkers struggled to climb uphill.
Dizzy dared to look backward, but he regretted it. About a mile down the road, there was nothing. All the buildings they passed were gone. Camp was gone. A huge hole lay in their place, and it was widening every second. Building after building fell into the ever-growing sinkhole.
“If yer waitin’ to gun it, now would be a damn good time!” Dizzy called to Henny. The Junkers sped along, trying with all their might to push up the steep incline.
Another loud crack made Dizzy look forward, although again, he wished he hadn’t. At the source of the incline, the ground had shifted downward about two feet. Henny must have though he could drive over it, as did Gary, but that was not the case. Both Junkers slammed headlong into the small ledge. Henny’s came to an abrupt, although violent stop, but Gary’s flipped over the ledge and landed on its side.
“Sh*t, everyone out! We gotta get the hell outa here!” Henny barked, still reeling from the crash. Getting out was a definitely a good idea, Dizzy thought. Everyone piled out of the Junker and took off down the road. The sinkhole growing every second, consuming more and more of Tollen. The sound was deafening as it grew closer.
As Dizzy ran, he looked back and saw Gary, the Gears, and the others from the other Junker following on his heels. For a second, Dizzy thought it futile to run from their impending doom, but he stowed it away and kept running.
Then a small yelp sounded to Dizzy’s right as someone tripped. Dizzy turned to see Maralin on the ground, trying to get back up. Against his every survival instinct, Dizzy turned around, toward the roaring mass of sinking earth. He grabbed his daughter by the arm and took off, faster than he had ever ran in his life. He could have been dragging her, but comfort was not the idea, getting out alive was.
His heart was pounding as hard as Thor’s hammer as he kept running. The sinkhole had just engulfed the Junkers, and was steamrolling toward the group of Stranded.
As if things weren’t bad enough, the ground in front of them sank again. Everyone at the head of the group were easily able to jump over the raise in concrete, but when Dizzy got to it, it had raised, or sank, a good four feet. Henny stood at the top, begging Dizzy to hurry. Dizzy grabbed his daughter by the waist and hoisted her up. Henny grabbed her and pulled her to safety.
Dizzy made a grab for the ledge, but the ground sank again. He barely caught it with one hand as the ground fell out from under him. The sinkhole was moving closer at an alarming rate. Dizzy swung his other hand to pull up, but to no avail. Just then, Henny grabbed it and tried with all his might to pull his friend up. Henny was never a particularly strong man, and now it showed. Dizzy tried desperately to pull himself up, but he had almost no leverage to do so. Then, surprisingly, a second hand grabbed Dizzy’s arm and pulled. It was Gary. Their combined efforts lifted Dizzy out of the hole, but there was no time to rest. The remaining Stranded had a good lead on them, and the sinkhole was less than a hundred feet away.
The trio gunned forward, faster than any of them thought possible. The ground sank and split again, in a final attempt to stop them, but they jumped over the gap with lightning speed and continued on.
Suddenly the thunder stopped. The ground stopped shaking. Dizzy turned back to see that the sinkhole had stopped. For the first time, Dizzy slowed down. He could finally hear again as they caught up with the rest of the group.
Dizzy fell to his knees and gasped for air. His lungs were on fire and his heart was pounding in his head. Henny and Gary were equally exhausted.
Dizzy was barely able to push himself up, before his daughters nearly tackled him. They wrapped their arms around him and cried.
The rest of the group was speechless apart from the regular “holy sh*t”s and “God damn”s. The Gears were looking confused, the one without the helmet had his finger in his ear, trying to contact Command. Dizzy turned his head and his heart sank into his stomach.
Tollen, the city where he married Jasmine, where his daughters were born, where he buried his wife and spent the last fourteen years, was gone.