Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nala Prime and the Great Bug War-14

The Bug defense turned into a relentless onslaught. Now in close-quarters, the range advantage turned to the Bugs. Only with the superior skill and experience did Nala Prime, Special Team 1 and their copies—those still alive—withstand that assault and blasted, hacked and slashed their way through and penetrate deep into the Hive. Once they broke through, quickly did they rush out of sight and away from the still-converging Bugs; once satisfied as to their distance, the band paused.

“What’s the plan now, Nala Prime?” Red Prime asked, “Because I doubt that splitting back into sections will work.”

“Correct.” Blue Prime said with a nod, “But staying together like this invites continued Bug attack that could jeopardize the mission.”

“You’re both right.” Nala Prime affirmed, “So here’s what we’re going to do. Yellow Prime will take the Greens and Blue 5; they’re going to sneak their way to the top of the Hive and prepare our escape route, where they’re going to stay unless called for. Red Prime, take the Nala 4, Reds 4 and 5 and the Yellows; go find and blow up their hatchery. Everyone else goes with me as we make for the Bug Mastermind and hack his brain.”

The others said, as one, “Understood.”

People shuffled around to their new assignments, but before the group split up the Nalas quickly conferred amongst themselves. Then Nala 3 handed off thumb-sized crystals to Red and Yellow Prime, who each sublimated the crystals and absorbed the contents therein. Comprehending what the Nalas gave to them, Red and Yellow Prime saluted Nala Prime before gathering up their assigned men and heading in different directions.

Nala Prime looked over his group. He knew he could trust his own copies, and he trusted the Blues to go along with what he had in mind. Getting the Greens and the Yellows out of the way, lest they screw up what’s to come, seemed sensible to him- especially after some of the Greens already got compromised by the events of the mission. Give the Reds military objectives, and they’ll be fine; they’re here to fight a war, not to quibble about philosophy.

“Red 2, take point. Red 3, bring up the rear. Nalas 2 and 3, go with them. The Blues, Nala 4 and Nala 5 will be with me in the center.” Nala Prime said.

Nala Prime and his copies led his group carefully through the Hive, crawling through its interior and swiftly removing those Bugs discovered that they could not avoid. The faint echoes of combat hit their ears, assuring them that Red Prime’s group indeed kept the Bugs busy by making noise and then doing hit-and-run engagements. Nala Prime’s tap on Yellow Prime informed him that, as expected, the Greens had no problem following Yellow Prime back out of the Hive; they also revealed that they too shared the thoughts of the other Greens- but were now too scared to act on them.

“Yellow Prime, no doubt, awaits their sudden—but inevitable—betrayal.” Nala Prime thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nala Prime and the Great Bug War-13

Furthest back, near the gateway, Nala Prime and Section 1 mounted up on their bikes and—in stealth mode—made their way through the ruins.

“Red Prime’s section carves a path through the ruins.” Nala Prime said, “We’re going to follow some distance behind them while Yellow Prime leads his section against the Fliers and ties them up.”

“Understood.” Section 1 said, and the five of them kept quiet as the other sections moved around them.

Nala Prime kept track of the other sections not visible to him through an overlayed user interface. By way of this monitor protocol, he tracked the deresolution of Yellow 3 as well as the death of Green Prime. He, along with the rest of Section 1, witnessed the impressive aerial displays as well as the ground combat. He saw Blue Prime’s section swiftly move after Yellow Prime’s section breeched the Hive, riding their bikes right up the pillar of the Hive. Then he saw Green Prime’s fall and demise when he smashed into the Hive from above.

“My counterparts are acting as I expected.” Nala Prime thought, “Are the other Greens also compromised?”

Then Green 1 spoke up. “These Bugs, aside from any possible ambushes, aren’t able to fight us effectively. This can’t go on.”

Nala Prime already suspected it, but Yellow got there first: “Don’t jinx it.”

“No, Green 1 is correct.” Blue 1 said, “I fully expect the circumstances to shift into the Bugs’ favor once we’re inside. Having made this much of a commotion, there is no way that we won’t meet stiff resistance once the battlefield shifts to their advantage.”

Red 1 nodded, concurring.

The group passed by the sight of Yellow 3’s deresolution, now another place piled up with Bug corpses and blasted environs. Ahead they saw Red Prime’s section grouped up similar to themselves, riding on bikes, now that Blue Prime’s section had achieved the breech. As they saw Yellow Prime’s section mop up the Fliers, both they and Red Prime accelerated and followed Blue Prime’s lead in riding their bikes straight up the side and gain the breech themselves.

Within, as Blue 1 predicted, the Bugs regrouped and counterattacked. Red Prime’s section immediately dismounted and opened fire with their blaster rifles. Nala Prime signaled to his section to follow, and they too dismounted; rifles resolved into their waiting arms, they added their firepower to the others and slowly drove the Bugs back. With Yellow Prime’s section landing behind them and joining the fight, Nala Prime felt that the next phase had arrived.

“All sections, status!”

“Section 5, down two: Lost Green and Yellow.”

“Section 4, down one: Lost Green.”

“Section 3, down one: Lost Green.”

“Section 2, all present.”

“Section 1, all present.”

Greens 1 and 2 could not help but feel put upon at that moment, but neither them knew about Section 4’s mutiny against Green Prime or how Section 3 deliberately sacrificed Green 3 to ensure that the mission’s next phase would go ahead by slapping some bombs on him and kicking him at a hulking warrior Bug form blocking their way to a vital access shaft. However, they couldn’t avoid feeling that they—more than anyone else—were utterly expendable.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nala Prime and the Great Bug War-12

Green Prime resolved his copies and inspected their integrity.

“I am Green Prime. This is Section 4 and the mission is go.”

Green Prime saw Nala 4 smile. “Wipe that smile off your face. I don’t like what’s happening, and after this is over I’ll see that your original gets dragged back before a committee to account for all of this.”

Red 4 scowled. “What’s our status?”

“The other sections are in motion. We’ll soon follow. We’re to make a direct run on the Hive, but not the fastest one. The other sections will clear a path; we slip through during the commotion.”


The others did not say so with the conviction of the other sections, but Green Prime failed to notice as they took to the air- not in light jets, but instead launching high into the air via teleportation. Once at top altitude, each man activated a glide-pack resolved from their backplates and controlled their descent down upon the Hive.

“Once we’ve breached the Hive, we’re to fix beacons to guide the other sections to our position.” Nala 4 said, “We then hold position until we meet up with the others.”

Nala 4 noticed that Green Prime did not share the others silent consent; Green Prime’s body language gave away the man’s dislike of the situation, and Nala 4 saw that it now affected Green Prime’s judgment significantly. He suspected—but did not know—that this would spread to his copies, and he looked over to Red 4. Their eyes locked, and in a moment the two most assertive of the five concurred on a decision. They saw, similarly, that Blue also concurred; Yellow, they knew, would go along with it.

As they descended, they saw that at least two other sections engaged the Fliers patrolling about the Hive and then launching from within the Hive. They knew that one stood about the base setting the demolition charges, confirmed as they saw a group of light bikes racing straight up the Hive’s pillar after the airborne section breached the Hive and opened a hole. Nala, Red and Blue 4 looked at each other and nodded; Red and Blue 4 seized Green Prime by the limbs as Nala planted explosives on him, and then tore off Green Prime’s glide pack.

“What are you doing?”

“Ensuring the success of the mission.” Nala 4 said, “You’re compromised.”

“You can’t do this!”

“The First Founder and I already accounted for this contingency.” Nala 4 countered, and he signaled to Red and Blue. Green Prime plummeted in uncontrolled freefall, blowing up upon impact with the Hive.

Yellow 4 looked on, but did nothing. “What you do mean, Nala?”

“Remember what Blue Prime said before we started?”

The realization came over them, and they looked at Nala once more aghast.

“That’s right, brothers.” Nala said, “He and I have this all figured out. We can’t fail.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nala Prime and the Great Bug War-11

Yellow Prime resolved the copies of the others and checked them for integrity. Satisfied, he said “We are Section 2, I am Yellow Prime and the mission is go.”

Nala 2 smiled.

“What’s our status?” Red 2 asked.

“We’re going to attack the Hive from the sky, provoking it to release Fliers and providing cover for the other sections as they move to breech and infiltrate the Hive. Once they’re in, we to break off and rendezvous with them inside to continue to the mission.”


Section 2 drew their batons from sheaths on their bodies and leapt into the air. In one smooth motion, they split the batons and—anchored in those baton sections—resolved their light jets as they fell to earth. Once fully-formed, the engines ignited and the quintet swiftly ascended into the sky- and in perfect formation.

“Time to poke the nest.” Red 2 said, and he accelerated to attack speed. The others followed and they unleashed a series of strafing runs against the Hive. At first, no response came from the Hive; instead, Fliers on patrol moved to intercept Section 2.

“That’s disappointing.” Yellow Prime said with a sigh.

“Wrap them up in a cocoon.” Red 2 commanded, and as one Section 2 flicked on the light walls in their wake. They carefully coordinated their movements against the Fliers, covering each other’s tails in an aerial acrobatics display that seemed more like the choreographed performances of the Old World than practical dogfighting. When a Flier got too close to one of the section, another of the section shot it down without hesitation. The light walls became the weave of the cocoon, against which Fliers would crash in greater numbers and then fall to Earth where the impact would kill off those not slain by their mid-air collision with the light walls.

More Fliers launched from the Hive, and in greater numbers, but they—like the others—lacked any ability to return fire. Numbers themselves being easy to counter, Section 2 exploited their superior armaments and mobility to make a mockery of the Bugs. Colliding into airborne walls, shot down by blaster fire or tricked into crashing into the Hive itself- all this and more resulted in the risky move by Red 2, whereby he affixed a set of potent demolitions charges to a pursuing Flier in a deft aerial move and then Nala 2 shot it down near the Hive. The resulting collision detonated the charges, breeching the Hive and opening a hole for another section known to be below.

“This is too easy!” Blue 2 said, “None of these Bug forms are armed with anything that’s useful in our way of warfare.”

“Don’t jinx it!” Green 2 shot back.

“Clean these Bugs up.” Red 2 ordered, “We’ve got a rendezvous to keep.”

Section 2 did jus t that, and the skies soon belonged to the Sky-Blue Republic. One by one they flew into the breach and landed to continue the mission.