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The Bull and the Genie
- Chapter 34 - Works of Angels and Demons
[]

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Taking Cover[]

Toland City - Toland, Lyran Commonwealth


The first sign the Warship was in range was when the sky turned to fire, bolts of energetic particles searing down. Two high-rises were caught by the bolts and shattered, even as the buildings on their sides caught fire, even normally non-flammable materials bursting into flame.

Thomas' radio went out for a second, then came back.

"What were they targeting!" he shouted.

<<"Unknown, none of our people were in that area, possibly a miss.">> the scratch voice came back. <<"Confirm three NPPC strikes.">>

"Jesus." he muttered. Smart thing would be to leave.

Smart thing would leave that warship and its ground troops to run rampant over the entire planet. At least here they were killing an empty city. "All units, start pushing forward. They don't have accuracy for shit and they might not be willing to call it in on their heads."

Then more bolts of energy seared down from the ship, these going for some point outside of the city.

<<"General, fire support is going to have to pack up and move. They're trying to hit the Long Toms.">>

"Understood."

Shit, but on the other hand, the long-toms had done a tremendous amount of damage. Better to get them to safety to shoot again.

While he'd been giving orders, Thomas and his companion turned to face a street with several pirate galleons on them, behind them a crew looting…

Dragon Mech (City scape - Papercraft version)

Dragon Heavy 'Mech

An art store? Probably not the main band. The entire street dissolved into chaos as the light tanks exploded with dreadful regularity, three dying at the cost of carving rents in the armor of the two mechs. Then the pirates and the last tank were zipping down the road. Thomas put the arm of his Dragon out to stop the Zeus.

"But we can get them."

"Or run into an ambush. Besides, they're heading back to the park. I want them to go there."

"Why?"

"Because even with everyone we've killed, I think we put enough Dropships out of action so that they have more pirates than seats. Far be it for me to get in between their arguments. Also, we have two mechs a block over."


Frustrations Above the Skies[]

In Orbit - Toland, Lyran Commonwealth


Fucking Bulls! The bridge of the Potemkin was full of noise. Morgaine and Ryan couldn't organize an orgy in a whorehouse! The plan had been simple. Scare them, hit the city and leave with enough loot to make everyone rich, then take the ship and maybe sell it to the Dracs or just keep it, the kind of risk that would make every world more likely to just give them what they want.

The Bulls hadn't read that plan. Better than a third of their forces were dead, vanished, or running, Morgaine was in the lead still going for the fucking central depository, while Redjack was pissed that there weren't any civilians to kill. He'd actually sent a Firestarter to torch some of the apartment blocks, which were now burning, but the Bulls hadn't cared. They'd just pulled out and turned the next street into a deathtrap.

"Firing!" the FCO called and Wilson stared at the four NPPCs blew up a school… six blocks away from the target.

"What the fuck was THAT!"

"The fire control isn't like a DropShip." the FCO said. "Also, remember we were never able to get the flutters fixed."

Only a few tenths of a percentage, but that builds up over range.

"Morgaine's pissed, boss. She has new firing coordinates."

"Right." Then there was a shower of sparks. "What was that!"

"NPPC 4 failed, overload." The FCO (Fire Control officer) looked unrepentant. "I told you we couldn't just use dropship systems on those guns."

"Get back to work, and give Morgaine her fire!"

We've already been here too long. Morgaine and Ryan had this idea, not me. Wilson had wanted to stick to lighter targets, and Morgan had agreed with him. But Morgan was back at Star's End and safe. And Morgaine and Ryan would murder him if he…

Wait a minute.

"What's the status of the dropships."

"Six are disabled, they might be able to get two of those ready."

"How much material do they have?"

"The medical warehouse, a couple of banks, about 200 merchandise." People who hadn't been able to, or who had refused to get out.

"Start bringing them up." he said.

"That's not the pl—"

"We can't be certain we get that fucking artillery. Do you want to risk more getting knocked out? Get the loot and any injured and start bringing them up. We'll put them down to pick the rest up when they're done."

Unless we can't… And if he had to leave Ryan and Morgaine, well, the Lyrans and Bulls would probably solve the problem of what they'd try to do to him…


Trama Team[]

Toland City - Toland, Lyran Commonwealth


"MEDIC!" the shout came as some ambulance workers charged into the deep subbasement with a woman in a police officer's uniform. Her hands were bound so she couldn't reach up to the ruin of her face.

"Get her over here!" Fuck, third degree burns, eyes gone, nose—"Okay, get me some burn cream and we'll run a tube, then put her to the side."

"What—"

"She won't die in the next hour," Michael said. "and we have people who will if we don't get to them." Michael wasn't with the Taurians, but he'd done his time in the Lyran Medical Core fighting the Dracs.

When I went to pediatrics, I figured this shit was behind me. That was why he'd gone into pediatrics, but the kids were all out of the city. Well, legal kids. The girl on the stretcher couldn't be over twenty-five which made her a kid compared to him. Then the room shuddered, some of the light fixtures swinging back and forth.

"They're shooting at us!" his assistant said. "From orbit!"

"Yep."

"Shouldn't we leave?" the man asked, face white.

Michael shook his head. "We're moving all the ones we can't move out. Most of this lot wouldn't make it through the subways." He glanced back at the crowded room, medical beds full of moaning or quiet forms, bloody bandages tossed around in a way that would have a hospital shut down for health violations, Taurian and Lyran medics, doctors and nurses moving with the kind of fast organization that saved lives.

Wonder if my hospital is still there. Lord, if they burned it, it's going to take a while to get the records fixed.

"Besides, we're awfully deep," he said. "I bet even a direct hit wouldn't get us down here."

His assistant nodded. "Yeah… Yeah, you're right."

Good thing you didn't ask about how likely it would be to just entomb us. Then there was a another litter.

Fuck. Inferno. Michael stared at the charred form, the remains of Taurian battledress literally melted into the flesh. Back in the hospital they could save them, if there was nobody else, if they had all the gear, if they had a week…

"Black tag him. We can't do anything."

"The tag says she's—"

"Black tag, son." Sorry that I couldn't even tell your sex. "Give her a shot of sedative, enough to put the pain out. Don't worry about overdose."

"Yes, sir."


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