I guess this a move the raiders like. Attacking right after a thunderstorm. The travelers that you want to murder huddle up to get out of the rain and then you swoop down on them before they get back on their killer go-karts. I’m no military expert but it seems like a solid move to me. Although it didn’t work out so well for them this time so maybe not. They should have listened to Jah Youth and gotten right at this time because there may not be no next time.
There’s a stupid shot they always do in action movies or war movies where everyone is standing around dialoging and then suddenly someone’s head explodes to signal that the fight scene is beginning. I hate it because it’s pandering. Come up with some new shit directors.
But what I’ve learned in my new life in hell is that is pretty much is how an ambush starts on when you’re the ambushee. One minute your attention is locked on a disappointing spaceship and then you see a dude’s head explode Scanners style. You’re just glad that it was someone else’s head and not yours. That’s why I always stay in the middle of big groups. The gazelles know what they’re doing.
The only thing that’s different is that in the movies after the head explosion there’s beat where all the main characters stand around emoting. That doesn’t happen because that first shot is followed less than a beat later by all the others. The ambushers are working together you see. They set up a whole ambush together. They’re not just as shocked as you are when the first guy snipes someone’s melon off their shoulders. They’re on the move.
When everyone started getting shot I noticed something interesting. The renegade plainspeople were not getting shot. In fact they were taking out long knives (short swords?) and other killing tools and they were going to town on the water people. I guess they’re not renegades so much as spies and double agents.
I shot one of the non-renegades in the chest and then kicked him off the hovercraft with my foot. S/He looked pretty surprised. I wonder if not all of them were in on the scheme or if they just forgot that we have guns.
I’m pretty sure on an episode of the Rifleman they said that the best thing to do in the case of an ambush is to go on the offensive. Or maybe it was Mannix. It could have been China Beach. There’s an outside chance that it may have been Party of Five. Or it could that Martialla told me that going on the offensive is the worst thing to do in case of an ambush, that when you get bushwhacked what you need to do is survive the first few moments as best you can with the goal of GTFO.
It was one of those.
I jumped down out of the hovercraft into one of the non-renegade kill-buggies. I don’t know who was more surprised by our collision, me or the person trying to slither into the driver’s seat. Probably me since I don’t think dead people can be surprised. My foot got tangled in whatever you call the upper structure of a buggy and I came down with my leg out like it was World Wide Wrestler and I was doing a legdrop. The guy leaning in the side got it right across the back of the neck. A neck breaking doesn’t make as much noise as foley artists would have you believe. It’s more of a pop than a crack.
That’s a thing I know now.
I was trying to roll and kick and get into the seat and get the dead guy out at the same time when the machine rocked backwards on account of Paul jumped on the back and macheted a guy that was just about to skewer me from behind with a pointed stick. I won’t call it a spear because it was too short. It was like a sharpened baton. The guy was split from shoulder down to the hip like this was a Friday the 13th movie. Paul’s machete was ripped out of his hand and he tumbled ass-backwards, getting caught up in whatever the back part of a buggy is and hanging horizontally.
I got to return the favor one second later but shooting a guy who came to hack him with what looked like a T-square. I shot him until my pistol went click. Martialla would be very disappointing in me for shooting myself dry. Which sounds gross.
Unlike us townies these plains nomads don’t seem to be worried about theft because the buggy started up with just a kick pedal thing instead of complicated ignition sequence. I hauled Paul up and we took off, swinging around to try and come at the attacker’s vehicles laterally.
As we lurched and almost flipped I saw Paul struggling to get his machete out of the two-thirds of a person hanging in the buggy between us.
I gestured upwards frantically “The gun Paul, man the gun!”
I could barely hear him over the wind and the engine “I don’t know how!”
“Just point and pull the trigger!” I heard a rattle and saw some dirt fly up ahead of us and I started waving frantically at the rapidly approaching enemy vehicles “Point Paul! Point at the enemy damn it!”