My mechanic stood on standby as we awaited my Mech's systems to come online. He'd just finished a full systems reboot on the computers, the old girl was glitchy and worn; old and neglected. As we waited for the computer core to cycle he told me a bit about the systems I'd soon be going out into battle with. Before my time as the pilot this machine had once worked like a top of the line machine, a single man had wrote every line of code in the machine and had tended to the computer with pride. But as the years past they stopped making the parts for the outdated computer and the programs began to degrade and deteriorate. The old girl wasn't what she used to be and everyone knew it, the ages it felt like it took for this heap to boot up let everyone know it. One of the female Engineers stood behind us briefly as slowly the machine began to boot up. Once the Mech started showing signs of life my Mechanic quickly stepped back, leaving me alone in the cockpit in that single chair gasping the joystick in my right hand and the loose and wiggly throttle in my left. The sorry condition of the throttle had concerned my Mechanic when I pointed it out to him, but there wasn't much either of us could do now. I needed to deploy, the sooner the better; and taking apart the cockpit to fix throttle was time that we didn't have. I trusted my Mechanic deeply, his work with other machines around the base was nothing short of impressive. I'd call him a prodigy, hell I'd give him a medal for getting this thing back into fighting shape.
I felt the chair surge beneath me as my Mech deployed, finding its footing and rising from the rocky surface of the moon. Green buildings stood in a small gully in the horizon, the starts of a city or small colony I assumed as I quickly scouted out the cliff covered landscape. I was boxed in. The heat outside was blistering, but the air inside my Mech was cold as ice; I was no stranger to getting shot at by multiple hostile Mechs. You see, I've always been a fighter; I've been jumped by division after division of hostile Mech Warriors with machines that out weighted the Mechs I was given by multiple tons. I've taken some of the worst beatings a man can Mech Warrior can take; stuff that'd be called inhuman. But you see, I'm not the one whose burnt out corpse is laying out in some godforsaken nameless desert planet in the shattered remains of my Mech. I'm a survivor. I might have taken some beatings that could break lesser men, but I was no stranger to beating the odds. The hell I took I dished back out in spades, and I had become known for it; I didn't need much, as long as I had a Mech that could fight I'd do just that regardless of the opposition.
The old Mech I had been given for this assault was a Thor; I hear that the technical name is a Summoner but I grew hearing them called Thors so that's what I always called them. I know there's eggheads out there who would give me hell for it if they had the guts to stand up and look me in the eye; but outside of a database or a report it doesn't matter what the hell you call your rig. Hell if I had a mind to I'd call it a Philip, it'd still fight the same. I have no idea what it's technical details and loadout consisted of; I don't know how many Heat Sinks it had or how many of them worked, and I didn't know how many or what kind of weapons it had I just knew it had guns that worked and that was good enough for me.
My chair rumbled and shifted back and forth with each step, even sealed away in the cockpit you could get a real feel for the weight of the machine beneath you that slowly stomped across the landscape. This thing was a beast, and it was the only one on our side of the field. It only took the hostile Mechs seconds to figure out that I was the only one between them and the colony and it took them even less time to start making their move.
I didn't bother to count the number of enemy forces, they'd burn and die laying across the landscape just the same as any other; I didn't need details to know what I needed to do. Streaks of blue and green fired within inches of my Thor, the enemy group was charging in droves thinking they could overwhelm me. The obviously weren't familiar with my work, and I didn't give them a chance to reconsider. With my firing controls all set to the joystick in my right hand I opened fire; missiles, bullets, and lasers screaming through the air and striking savagely at the cores of my enemies. I can imagine if I could have seen their faces that there would have been shock almost more than fear as they realized the single Thor in front of them wasn't going to go quietly into the night. Their fear didn't delay them long and within a split second their entire legion was charging at me. One by one they each fell as I hammered down on the throttle, my chair bouncing and shaking as my Mech bounded across the battlefield. It didn't take me long to exploit my foes' poor planning and kill them all, but I knew this wasn't it. You get a sense for these kinds of things, this was only the first wave, the initial raiding party. And within moments my assessment proved true.
A second time wave this time even large charged forward into my assault, they thought they could take me. One Mech can't mow through hundreds; one of them would be able to take me. At least they thought so. This wave wasn't playing , within seconds an Atlas was stomping towards me. A shot caught me and my Mech flinched hard to the side, my seat nearly flinging me out as the cockpit rocked. Some fancy footwork pulled me back in time to deal with the attack who had managed to land his shot, and a shot of all my lasers and guns firing at once followed up by a healthy spread of rockets caught my Atlas piloting foe right to his Mech's gut as we squared off to face one another. A lucky shot to his core offlined the enemy machine quickly. I was electric, no body could even touch me as I danced around that battlefield. Those other Pilots weren't even in my league, one by one I slaughtered them like dogs before they could even reach their prize of the city. Before I knew it I was cutting apart the last Mech standing before me, his fallen brothers' attempts of circling around me and flanking me only resulting in their quickened deaths.
However I noticed a problem as his Mech exploded into a brilliant dance of fire; my throttle was malfunctioning. My Mech was starting to walk forward without my control, it took me throwing the damn thing in full reverse just to get it to stand still. No matter, I could deal with it; I've made due with worse. This side of the city was safe and after a quick request I was quickly redeployed in the desert on the other side of the colony limits.
I wasn't even rightly in place before I was jumped by the battalion that was trying to force their way in from this side. I was thrown this way and that as I forced my Thor to dance around the smaller lighter Mechs as I zeroed in on the heavier hitters first. They ran and swarmed me from this way and that while others tried to make a run for the city but none of them ever got close. A few more rounds hit my Mech and rattled the cockpit as I fought, but a quick burst from my jump jets ensured that they couldn't even track me let alone keep up.
A bad throttle, glitchy computer, and parts old enough to vote and I was slaughtering these Mech Warriors like they were standing still. There was nowhere they could run that I couldn't find them, no cover that would hold me back, and I was fighting at a disadvantage. Soon it was just me and the last of their third attack force, and within seconds we were squaring off and exchanging fire. However something went wrong; BADLY wrong. My upper torso and my legs soon became badly misaligned and soon I was struggling for control of my Mech trying without success to right the misalignment with my throttle continuing to wain. Soon my throttle died all together leaving me motionless as I continued to free my Thor from it's awkward twist as the remaining enemy Mech stomped over the hill towards me seeing it's chance. My Thor wasn't going anywhere, I violently hammered the throttle forward and then into full reverse trying desperately to get my Mech moving or something! But no, my Thor had taken her final steps I wasn't going to be running around and doing circles around my last foe this time. Using the torso controls on my weapon's stick I managed to spin the torso around just enough so that I was looking at my attacker and would-be murder. It wasn't my time to die yet, and as I stood there motionless and cried out in fury as I fired everything I had left in my Mech at the oncoming opponent, standing still as a statue we began exchanging fire.
But something was wrong.... however I didn't dare stop firing. I wasn't going to die. Not by the hand of such a novice pilot.
Weren't my hits registering?
As I continued to hammer away at him I noticed that his attacks didn't seem to be landing either. Looking up in the corner of the screen I watched as the timer went back to zero within a few short seconds before the prompt appeared on screen. Please insert 4 more tokens. Without any additional tokens I climbed down out of the hydraulic chair that had given me the feeling of actually sitting inside a Mech as it shook this way and that and gave me the feeling of walking around in a massive machine with unmatched power. As my feet reached the carpeted floor of the arcade my skin was electric. I have never had so much fun!! The X Box 360 and consoles of that sort are fun and may have better graphics but this was far more fun by a long shot. For people who say arcades are dead they have obviously never sat in machines like that. It wasn't just a game that you sit and fiddle around with a controller while you look at a tv screen; this was a full body experience. The chair threw you around when hit and swayed this way and that as you walked making it all feel real. This was no video game, but a full body experience. Even as glitchy and buggy as it was I still had so much fun today at the Arcade on Mech Warriors 4 AND I got the highscore so my name will will be up there for all others to see ^^
I really needed something like this today. I had great fun. After my problems sleeping, busy schedule making it hard for me to talk to my girlfriend as much as I wanted to the other week, and the selling of my favorite vehicle we owned and a Van that has been with my family ever since I was just a little child I needed something to make me Happy.
On the whole Van note I know it'll sound strange to others but I loved it like a member of the family. I even named him Bert ^^ That van moved all of our worldly possessions when we moved PLUS an 8000 pound travel trailer over the Appellation Mountains. Bert was unbreakable, and while he had a few problems that slowly began to compile over the years he'd still turn on and take you where you needed to go whenever you put that key into his ignition. My girlfriend was nice enough to talk to me and help me try to feel better, and my awesome friend
was there for me every step of the way when I figured out that we were eventually going to trade him in to get a new Van to go back up to PA this year to visit. Ian. I want to thank you for the massive help you were over this period. I know I must have talked a tin ear on you but you were there each time offering advice and I'm really thankful that I have you as a best friend ^^ I'm sure you would have liked Bert.
I do realize that to a lot of people it would have just been a car, but I've always been the sentimental sort and this has really been bothering me ever since it happened. It badly upset me to see him go and my problems sleeping haven't been helping me at all either.
My computer is still in the shop so there won't be any new Glitchbound until I get it back. And some of my other stories and rps are on hold until it's Hard Disk is replaced and upgraded. But just so people don't think I dropped off the face of the Earth I decided to include that little story up above based on my fun today because I was hopeful someone who enjoys Mechwarriors would enjoy it. Truth be told I've always wanted to write a Battle Tech story and this was the perfect opportunity ^^
As for everything else I have been working on my various writing projects and for those of you who are interested in Infinity Quest I'm aiming on trying to get it published and the first episode released this year ^^ So here's to hoping that all of you out there who watch me and are reading this are having as good a day as I am today ^^