A/N: I'm trying to challenge myself to get back into writing by releasing a chapter a day so these things will be short. ID 908697 if you want some support on the EN sever.
The man who is not a man pulls himself forward, one arm at a time like climbing a mountain side. Arm out, dig in, pull, repeat. A steady rhythm builds in his movements like a pacemaker as he does so. He thinks about various different things as he follows the trail, he knows he's looking for someone other than that kid but doesn't remember who. He knows he's not a normal human if the metal bar in his forearm he has in place of a radius bone is anything to go by but he feels no pain from missing large chunks of flesh or even entire limbs as is the case with his legs. He knows he is a soldier at war but for who and what was he fighting for he doesn't know. He knows the voice in his ear when he "woke up" but doesn't remember who. All he knows is that he needs answers and to find someone important, and that kid is the best shot he's got.
If she doesn't shoot me again…
So with no real reason the man follows the trail in the dirt left by a strange toddler and her pet to parts unknown in a world alien to his own.
Today is such a nice day…
SV-98 thought to herself as she gazes out to the wilderness around her, the gentle breeze makes the trees dance to nature's song, the tall grass waves to and from this way or that and the birds chip adds a soothing melody to the choir of the forest. She feels so out of place in the beautiful scenery around her as the only thing not part of the harmony of the woods, if humans ever set foot in the area Mother Nature erased all traces of them. The Doll looks up to the distance to a black grey pillar of smoke many miles away. Where she used to be stationed the night before.
I hope Kalina made it out…
Sangvis Ferri had launched an attack on the base in the middle of the night catching everyone off guard. The enemy was at the walls before most of the Dolls could gather their weapons and cut down under the might of not one but three ringleaders. The Commander had only ordered the rest of the Dolls to hide into the wilderness and evade S.F until they could regrouped before escaping. The Doll has not heard from the Commander or any of the others since then.
Except for Junior and her pet…
SV-98 honestly couldn't make head or tales of that strange mini doll that Anti Ran had with them when they landed at their outpost for resupply before going on a series of missions. M4 SOPMOD II had straight out threatened SV-98 to take care of her "child" and it's repurposed degenerate when she found the mini in her bunk or She will become her next "play mate" after the SF Doll she captured. The Doll smiles as she recalls all the trouble she had with handling the mini doll and her little steed for the days that followed, causing no small amount of problems around base for her to the amusement of the commander and the other Dolls. The Doll frowned as she recalled the events of the prior night. Jr was clinging to her back as she fled the base with her pet hot on her heels.
She fought tooth and nail through the forest throughout the night, battling Vespids and Prowlers left, right and center as she escaped from the base. The deadly game of cat and mouse she had with a squad of Jaeger that ended when Jr started ripping off their heads as they tried to shoot the mini's temporary guardian. The closest she felt to fear was when a platoon of Aegis Mechs with Manticore support unknowingly marched past her in the undergrowth, narrowly missing her head as they marched on by and was nearly impaled by a manticore's leg. She remained there for half the night before moving on. It was near sunrise that she was ambushed by a pack of brutes. Jr and her steed was able to take one down while SV-98 was able to kill two more before the last got in melee range and impaled the T-Doll with her sword. Jr's degenerate was able to stun the brute while Jr herself ripped off the arm that impaled her guardian. Once she no longer attached to her assailant SV-98 was barely able to put a round through the core of the Brute as she swung her other arm. The brute missed by mere centimeters as all the damage it did with that swing was cut part of her hair and headband. She started running with Jr on her back again before more SF arrived. The degenerate following close behind. She ran until she was in a large field when something snapped and the T-Doll collapsed. Unable to move her legs she pulled herself to a small dune overlooking the field at the tree line.
SV-98 looks down to the blade lodged into her "stomach" that critically damaged her frame's lower motor systems. In layman's terms she was paryized in her right leg and could barely move her left because of damaged circuits. She hopes Jr could bring some scrap metal so she could repair her left leg to be able to function somewhat. SV-98 worries about the mini as SF could still be lurking around. The Doll looks over the clearing of the woods she was facing. She crawled herself here for the slight elevation of the ground allows her to see above the tall grass for any deformities, allowing for a wide field of fire and the concealment the nearby branches ensures she won't be spotted unless she fires her rifle. She hopes Jr will get back soon or SF is going to find her eventually if she can't get mobile.
Speak of the Devil and he shall appear…
That old world saying rang true as she raised the detached scope of her rifle to see… something sticking out of the waving grass. Three barrels in a metal triangle stick out of the wavering grass and travels off to her right to the tree line. She can't really make out what it is as she knows it isn't a Striker's weapon, the profile of it is all wrong. The Doll grabs her rifle and re-attaches the scope to level at the potential threat. She hopes it's Jr as she only has 4 bullets in her current magazine and one fresh mag left before her rifle becomes a crutch and a club. She sees it nears the end of the high grass and a square box darts of the grass.
If she had been human she might've shot the degenerate but seeing clearly that it was Jr's steed she breathes a sigh of relief and whistles to get their attention. As the pair approaches she sees they are dragging some sort of mini gun by some vines tangled all around them. The pair are eccentric at their haul of potential scrap jumping up and down like a dog fetching a stick. SV-98 lifts the heavy weapon with a grunt from where she is sitting and drops it by her side with a heavy thud as she examines it.
It is a Gatling Gun as far as she knows the three rotating barrels are an obvious give away in that regard and it seems to be a vehicle mounted weapon as if she were to guess it weighs over a hundred and fifty pounds. Though the barrels seem off, the barrels themselves are thicker than her thumb with room to spare between the edge and center where the ammunition comes out but the actual hole is so tiny that it's hard to think of this gun as anything but a literal pea shooter. At the base of the tri barrel formation are to two half hexagons. The Doll removes some vines and leaves tangled up with the weapon before adjusting the weapon again with great effort. She sees an engraving of sorts with unknown glyphs before the words "RD;B. D.0.1.8. Walker." plated near the trigger handle. SV-98 shrugs off the strange weapon and tried to rip off one of the half hexagons to use as material for a field repair with her enhanced strength.
Even in her less than prime state her hydraulic strength has enough psi to break titanium armor but try as she might she just couldn't get a single bolt to move. From the shield to the barrels to the handles and triggers it would not break, bend or fold. Stubborn as a gun could get. Jr and her steed is off to the side of the tree she was laying on watching her guardian struggle to break a gun with childlike wonder.
"What is this thing made of?" She groans out of frustration before receiving a response of.
"Turul Steel with some Spartan Titanium."