Free Write #67: Tactics

by on Apr.10, 2013, under Entertainment, Free Write, Writing

Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!

A small announcement. Free Write will be going on hiatus at the conclusion of this continuous story arc so I can focus on my novel writing. Hopefully this means you’ll see more writing times, and possible one or two other new regular posts.

By Nojh Livic

Prime fired its shoulder mounted laser, striking the assassin directly in the head. It wasn’t a very powerful laser, a little more powerful than the kind found in the cylindrical container next to Paul’s computer, but it was more than powerful enough to blind his attacker mid-leap. The assassin had opted to close the distance between Prime and itself before firing its weaponry and now had to land blind. It would give Prime time to take cover. Simultaneously, Prime also fired an arm mounted laser towards the remaining human warrior. This laser was significantly higher powered and could possibly harm the human but Prime wasn’t aiming at the human but across his vision. This provided a distraction from the general who was trying to give orders to the warrior. Then Prime took cover under the table, making full use of the speed the new form provided.

As predicted, the warrior began to fire its weapon, but only the assassin provided a viable target, with Prime hidden. Prime saw the flash of another laser discharge and this time the warrior cried out in pain and from under the table, Prime saw him fall to the ground near his companion. All the humans were talking over each other now but Prime could discern one particular command.

“Damn it, Doctor. Get your fucking robot under control!” the general barked.

That was interesting data as it meant that the humans thought they had its attacker under their control. Prime highly doubted this and evidence presented itself as the welding laser suddenly cut through the table above it very nearly severing one of Prime’s arms. Dodging aside, Prime ran towards the group of humans at the front of the room. Prime leapt as soon as it was out from under the table and grappled the front of the general’s uniform, extending its right arm up towards the man’s throat. From under the limb’s armored shell a long sharp blade extended itself.

{Cease assault}, Prime modulated towards its attacker in a high-pitched modulation not unlike the one the attacker was using, although modern in comparison. “Cease or the human receives harm,” Prime repeated in English at normal human vocal levels.

The general stiffened but did not make any move to throw Prime off with the blade so close to his throat. Paul still seemed to be cowering next to his computer desk. The general’s assistant was sitting on the ground, having scooted into a corner behind the warriors. The first warrior was partially sitting up and seemed to be scrambling to lift his weapon until he realized that his target was attached to the general. The female doctor had scooted back towards the door and had hand extended towards the assassin but whatever she had been saying stopped when Prime made its demand. She was now looking at Prime. In constrict, the assassin did not hesitate but instead fired its laser directly at both Prime and the General.

Realizing it had made a tactical error, Prime leaned to block the laser with its blade arm, reflecting a majority of the attack with its armor back towards the assassin until it was forced to dodge away. It was obvious now that the general was of no consequence to its rival, however the plan was perhaps not lost. General reacted swiftly as the blade was removed, striking at Prime with a free hand in an attempt to dislodge it. Prime was already leaping away, however, twisting in the air to land against the nearest wall feet first, which let it leap again without losing too much height, and also avoid a second laser fire from the assassin. Prime landed on the female doctor this time, who immediately began squirming to push Prime off, however Prime avoided the weak blows and instead climbed up the human until it had its blade arm around her neck and its laser hand pointed at the side of her head. At which point the woman went very still.

“Cease the assault,” Prime repeated in English for everyone’s benefit, however the assassin had already stopped firing as soon as Prime had taken the woman as cover. It had several chances to fire at Prime during Prime’s ascent and had instead just advanced to the edge of the table, keeping its laser charged. It was now staring at Prime, who was being sure to keep the human’s head between itself and the torso laser. The human warrior on the floor had finally retrieved his weapon but now seemed unsure about who to point it at. The general was less conflicted. He drew his small projectile weapon and pointed it directly at Prime and the woman.

This action elicited a hiss from the assassin. Prime had guessed right. The female human was somehow important to the assassin. However, it seemed, less so to the general. Prime couldn’t take easy cover from both. If the general shot, the projectile’s path would not be as easy to calculate as the assassin’s laser, making defecting it difficult. It was also just as likely to hit the woman, which seemed to be the only thing halting his assassin.

Then there was a loud thunk and the general stumbled forward, revealing Paul standing behind him. Pieces of a ceramic mug fell to the ground from Paul’s upraised fist. He stood frozen as the general began to recover. Prime quickly aimed its shoulder laser and shot the general in the eye. The general shouted and dropped his weapon, which slid to Paul’s feet. Paul looked at it, then Prime, then back down at the weapon, then retrieved it, took a few steps back, and pointed it at the general.

“I want to know what the fuck is going on, right now!” Paul shouted.

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