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Dunbar

To Hell with Robots, chapter 1

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I've been meaning to write something and post it for a while now... but I've never gotten around to it. But tonight, I cracked open notepad and just started typing. Thanks to DJ Haruko, as well, for liking my story enough to inspire me to turn it into a series and put it up here.

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To Hell with Robots - Chapter 1
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It was sorta like watching a watermelon being punched in half. First there was the green outside, then a fist burst through sending red goo and chunks all over the place. It woulda been easier on me had that actually been a watermelon, but sadly it was my commanding officer. His green combat armor now had a giant fist slammed through it, and his organs were splattered all over the barricade we were attempting to hold. Goddammit, I forgot to check the rear entrance. I should've known better than to trust gold squad's skill in barricading vital passageways. But right then I wasn't thinking about how Gold leader was going to catch hell from me after things calmed down. Right then I was worried that another giant fist would make its way through my own abdomen. As the other troops fell back, overwhelmed and overpowered, I just stood there stupidly holding my autorifle, mouth gaping open inside my helmet.

My CO managed to look down at me from being impaled on the minotaur's fist and I could see utter dispair in his eyes. He was already dead by the time the beast that had slain him had raised the body above its head for the rest of us to see. I gritted my teeth and started to back away from the barricade to join my squadmates. The beast I had my gaze fixed on was enormous. Had to be well over fifteen feet tall, and enough muscles to put an olympic weightlifting team to shame. It had the legs of a goat and a head to match, but with an upper body of a man. It looked down upon me, this cowering marine looking up at it, and it bellowed this roar. It was like hearing a brass band from hell playing the lowest, most sinister note I've ever heard in a duet with a pack of haunted lions. And by christ, did that get me moving.

Soon I was sprinting down the corridor that my comrades had been in not a few seconds earlier. My gun was clutched tightly in my hands, and the sound of the creatures overrunning the barricade booming behind me. I had never been that scared in my life. I had served in the marines for years, seeing attrocities all over the known world, but I'll be damned if this invasion wasn't the worst thing I'd ever had to live through. And while civilians were fighting for their lives across the globe, the UAC had me and my platoon guarding their godforsaken laboratory. I wanted to be up topside, helping my fellow man possibly stave off the demons for just a little bit longer. But no, some greedy UAC fatcat had decided that their millions needed protection as much as any given person on the street.

An angry scowl was on my face as I rounded the corner and bumped into my squad. We were down to seven men, and one robot. The UAC's latest in security, a bipedal automated guard capable of holding and firing any of the UAC's fine firearms. It understood voice commands, and cost millions. I wanted to punch it in the face, but it would break my arm and report me. I hate the UAC. While I glared at the robot, the Seargent gathered his wits and addressed us.

"Men," he began, "Now that Lt. O' Grady is dead, I'm in charge. Gold squad is out of commission, and we're all that's left of Zulu sector. We need to fall back to the elevators and establish another barricade, just like we went over in the plans. Remember, those demonic bastards won't make it a step farther than that!" The soldiers, and myself, were suddenly reassured by the confidence that our new leader had. Hell, we were all about to piss our pants (except for the robot) but at least we knew that we were gonna do our damn job while we did it. Sarge pumped a fresh round into his twelve gauge and gave the signal to move out. We kicked open the double doors that led to the elevators and began to overturn desks and soda machines, making more futile makeshift barriers against this unstoppable horde.

I crouched down behind an overturned RoboCola machine and slid a fresh clip into my rifle. Next to me, I excpected my buddy Rick to kneel down with me and gear up, but I was irked to hear the hydraulic hiss of the cybernetic guard crouching. It flipped open it's assault rifle (top of the line, like the kind they had on mars when the demons first appeared) and popped a clip in, then turned to me and held out the ammo pack it was carrying. I grumbled and ignored it, going back to reloading my equipment with my own damn ammo, leaving the bot to sit there confused for a second before going back to setting itself up. Rick gave me a thumbs up from accross the room, and I just shook my head slowly. Things weren't gonna be alright. Hell, for me I was already in a horrible spot, what with the damn manifestation of UAC's bottomless funds sitting next to me. I sure hoped that it would be the next to go.

It's not that it was faulty or anything. Hell, it worked better than any of the rest of us did. It's just that the UAC was able to spend a few million on that thing instead of increased security or something up on phobos back during the initial attacks. Now, they suddenly got all the money in the world to protect themselves. I don't see any of these walking suits of combat armor up in the streets fighting those beasts. No sir, all I see is another UAC fatcat saying to himself 'Gee, maybe now is a good time to invest in not dying.' What makes it worse is they made it look like a marine in full combat armor, with an opaque visor on the helmet hiding any sign of life. Of course, it's arms and legs had exposed hydraulics systems and you could see through the holes in the machinery in some spots, but for all intents and purposes it was a cybernetic marine. The idea that some exec thought so low of other people that he decided not to bother even training or arming them, that he could just whip up some robot who could-

My reality check was suddenly cashed in full by the sound of the robot's assault rifle opening up a can of fully automatic whup-ass on an imp that had made the mistake of opening the double doors we had neglected to lock. As the imp fell to the ground riddled with holes, we could see more coming up behind it. The robot chugged out more rounds and yelled out in it's crackly synthetic voice for us to open fire. Not that we needed to be told, but it's programmed to say things like that pending the situation. Raising my own rifle, on my own damn will and not by the order of some tin can, I proceeded to pop some of my own armor peircing rounds into the shadowy figures making their way into the lobby we had fortified. The Sarge's shotty belched out spread after spread of buckshot, splattering demon blood all over the damn walls. Our little squad was kicking serious ass, but it was looking like our ass kicking shoes were gonna be a couple sizes too small when we saw the minotaur rear it's ugly head through the doors.

I heard the men cry out in terror at the behemoth pounding its way in, and the sound of guns frantically reloading sounded like mechanical raindrops. I was the first to open fire, beating that cybernetic asshole to the punch. The beast didn't seem to care it was being shot, and proceeded to advance further in the room. As we all blasted away at it, it decided to pull one hell of a mind game on us. It cocked its massive arm back and threw a body directly at the Sarge. The corpse knocked him over, and a horrified scream punctuated the bizarre moment as we all saw exactly whose body it was. The eviscerated corpse of Lt. O' Grady was splattered all over a good four foot radius around the Sarge, and in his lap lay the mutilated head, commando beret still attached. The Sarge stammered out some unintelligible words, and couldn't seem to regain composure. The minotaur stomped another step closer and roared another of its horrible roars, and I heard Rick shriek out a call for a hasty retreat. I honestly couldn't say I was opposed to the idea, myself.

As we all got up and ran for the elevator doors, I saw Rick run over to the shell-shocked Sarge and attempt to snap him out of it. I ran into the elevator and started firing my rifle into the throng of demons in a valiant yet superfluous attempt at covering fire. I watched in horror as the men I had fought with were cut down, one after another, but waves of fireballs and zombie-produced shotgun blasts. I felt numb inside as friends fell dead where they stood, and as soldiers ripped apart but still alive yelled out for me, trying to crawl to the elevator and save themselves. I felt sick, but at the same time I felt nothing at all. Slowly, still dry firing my rifle at the horrors that had poured into the lobby with a gun that had long ago run empty, I backed into the elevator and let the doors close. The last thing I saw was Sarge and Rick getting pulverised by the minotaur in one swift-yet-powerful swipe, Rick still shaking Sarge's shoulder and telling him to snap out of it. As the doors shut and the elevator began to rumble down to the lower levels, I slid down the wall into a sitting position grabbed my head with my hands, then began to rock back and forth. I couldn't beleive what just happened, that the men I had stood with and marched into utter hell with were now all dead. But the thing I was especially having trouble beleiving right then was that standing in the opposite corner of the elevator, and being the only other survivor of that attack besides Yours Truly, was a certain UAC robot holding a top-of-the-line assault rifle.

End of Chapter 1

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Great work Dunbar. The chapters stands well on it's own, but I wouldn't say no to another one:)

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