Short Story

Humans vs. Machines

An explosion that shocked the ground beneath him silenced his voice.   Screaming and the high pitched screech of missiles overhead scoured into his skull.   Owen cuffed his hands over his ears; eyes shut, and fell to his knees to the ground.   A bullet whizzed past his head creating a path on his hair. Flames roared up into the sky; a cloud of scorching hot air slammed into him, launching him backwards. He yelped and rolled as a swarm of bullets sprayed the ground. Now he was looking up, away from the battle, the chatter of machine guns and screams as they found their targets all around him. He glanced to the left only to see glittering metal body with red glowing eyes staring straight into his.   He felt his mind fall, his eyes darkening over the terrifying events that raged on everywhere, all around, the sounds of battle fading away.

A dark figure covered over his face, a deep croaky voice shouting at him to ‘get up!’ ‘Get the hell up!’ He jumped to his feet, groping at his face, found only leather and Perspex goggles. Another mask looking at him, a solid grip on his arm, pulling him low and away from the gunfire. A burst of light and flames from the right; fanning out across the goggles then gone. There were no more men in that direction. ‘Get down!’ He dragged to his stomach, hands flying over his head as tiny glints of metal come over him.   He looked right: a uniform line of machines were spraying the battle field with bullets, killing and ripping apart anything and everything that was in the way. ‘Move!’ yelled the man with a croaky voice; he gripped Owen’s arm even harder.   Running again, keeping low, the world seeming like some bad dream through the goggles as something struck the ground nearby with a dreary thunk, exploding seconds later, throwing shrapnel right around and hurling the men forward.

Rushed up on their feet, they ran again, ducking under the bullets, stumbling and feeling the zip of shrapnel against his skin and the...