One thing I’m trying to do for myself is think about the good aspects of waking up in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. For example, in the before time I dated a guy who would use the expression “all fucked out”. Such as, we’d be at a restaurant and we’d be out of bread and he’d say “Ela, can you grab the waiter next time he comes by, this bread is all fucked out.” Or I’d ask him to get me a beer and he’d say “Sorry, the beer is all fucked out”. I told him that I hated this expression but he still kept saying it. In his defense I don’t think he was doing it to be a dick, I think he was just used to saying it and he didn’t make an effort to change.
One time he said “all fucked out” at brunch with my friends and I wanted to stab him in the forehead with a fork. But I couldn’t because pre-apocalypse you got in trouble if you fork stabbed someone. At the very least, people would be upset. At worst I might go to jail. Can you even imagine? Me? Ela? In jail. Martialla will tell you that I was in one of those “caged heat” type movies but Certainty of Debt wasn’t like that. They did add in a shower-fight scene post-production but that wasn’t me, they shot that with a body double. They really screwed that movie up in editing. Anyway, my point is that now I can stab whoever I want and it’s fine. So that’s a good thing about my current predicament.
Even though he was just accusing us of being part of the attack, Mr. Codpiece scooted off after his friends a second later and left us standing there. We heard more bells ringing and some of the bug people tending the fields ran and jumped into little tunnel-holes in the ground while some of them ran towards the northwest. We saw a bunch more of the non-bug warrior types coming out of the woodwork too, on horseback, on those stupid scooters, and on foot. They didn’t seem to have much in the way of sturdy vehicles or firearms. Some of them did have bangsticks, I learned all about those when I was in Shark Huntress 2: Blue Eyes. Fun fact, I got warm water hypothermia working on that movie.
In retrospect, going towards the sound of fighting was not a wise thing to do. Martialla and I probably should have just driven the other way as fast as we could. When I jumped behind the wheel of our borrowed buggy though, I knew where we were going. Martialla did too because she didn’t get in the seat beside me, she jumped on the back thingy where you go when you want to shoot stuff and unlimbered the rifle we took from the traders that tried to kill us for no reason.
I know why I did what I did. I was desperate to see what was going on at the doctor’s lab and figured this was a good way to curry favor. Not the research, I don’t care about that, I mean does she have power? And maybe therefore air conditioning? Refrigeration? And maybe therefore real food instead of smashed-up worms fried with mud? Are there beds? Showers? Could I shave my legs? I know a lot of women hated shaving their legs but I like it. And all the feminists who gave me shit about it are all dead now so there’s another good thing.
But why did Martialla immediately jump into battle mode? Despite her churlishness did she realize that making nice with the doctor was our best chance for survival and she didn’t want the place to burn just like I did? Was she merely backing me up, falling back into the old pattern of following my lead? Or was she simply in the mood to shoot something? Ever since she found out that her husband was super duper dead along with all her friends and family (except me, her best friend) she’s been in a mood. Maybe I’ll ask her later.
War movies have told me that after a battle, soldiers have to write a report about what happened in that battle. Maybe that’s just the officers. I wonder if they learn how to do that in soldier school because it seems impossible to me now that I’ve done it. There’s a lot going on in a battle. It would be like trying to write a report about what happened when a three-ring circus exploded because a train hauling dynamite and bouncy balls and hookers collided with an airplane carrying some of the worst criminals living and the US president. I was supposed to be in Con Air you know, but my idiot manager double booked me and I was on set as a corpse on ER the day I was supposed to shoot my Con Air scene.
Broad strokes are the best I’m going to be able to do here. The main thing I can tell you is that being in a battle sucks. And yet it’s kind of easier than the couple of scrapes Martialla and I have been in so far. See when you shoot a dude in the neck and then just stand there and watch him bleed out/suffocate, that’s troubling. On the other than when you’re zipping around all over the place shooting at dozens of people, you can kind of ignore the results. It’s like the difference between hitting a raccoon with your car and having to beat a raccoon to death with a sharp rock. As long as it’s over quick you can go back to listening to the radio and put it out of your mind.
The attackers were Invincible. I saw those fucking stupid red and blue fists they like painted on a bunch of their shit. I think it may have been the same crew we saw attacking those people outside of Bosstown. Some of the vehicles looked familiar. It’s hard to say for sure but I think there were a lot more of them. I saw a couple bigger armored things that I never saw before, they were kind of like tanks but maybe more like garbage trucks with armor bolted on them and some platforms. They build some top-heavy shit around these parts.
The Invincible opening move was a bunch of truck/bus type things that came forward and offloaded dudes on foot who charged forward. They all had blades and clubs, I didn’t see a single firearm in that first group. After wave one was engaged with the defenders, the Invincible bikes and buggies moved in to attack. I’m no military strategist (obviously) but that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Isn’t the idea behind armor that it goes first and punches a hole for the infantry to exploit? (phrasing) Maybe it’s a cannon fodder scenario. Maybe the machines are more valuable than the people.
The bigger vehicles stayed back out of the fray which makes even less sense to me since they seem like they’re the ones that would be the hardest to damage or destroy. Some of them had cannons or harpoon launchers but a bunch of them had, I shit you not, catapults on them that hurled jagged scraps of metal and rocks into the fight, but a lot of them just sat there and did nothing other than offer the people in them a good view of the battle.
The defenders were outnumbered badly I think. The Invincible seemed like they were everywhere. When the guys trying to fight them stood their ground, it didn’t go well. Things worked out much better for them when they hid in the rows of crops and jumped out with their bangsticks to attack the wheels of the attackers’ vehicles. I don’t know why they didn’t do that more. The worst was the little bee-people. They had no weapons, they ran forward and threw themselves at the attackers like suicide bombers – only without the bombs. They were just trying to gum up the machines with their flesh. It was nauseating but it worked a couple times. More than once I saw one of the leech guys grab one of the little people and “bite” onto them with their hideous lamprey-mouths and then toss them aside like a crushed soda can. I don’t know if that actually did anything to make them fight better or if they just liked doing it.