RoachMature

They shot down the half-stone turn-pike at a thousand miles per hour, hot-swapping cables that led to cooling banks on the back-ends of their Dozers, eyes weary despite the caffeine coursing through their veins like hot lava. They set a trail towards Kellass, blazing down valleys and over dunes the Neural-shamans once called “Hell-scape”, blowing hell out their tail-pipes as they neared the gate, nearly ripping it in half. It propelled itself using a rail-gun, opening quick, and they shot straight down another highway towards a market place, scattering the people like bugs under a rock.

“I don’t get it” Helman said. “I really don’t. This cargo we’re hauling don’t need to be nothing special. It ain’t. ain’t at all. They’re corpses for fuck sake. they rot, that’s all they ever do.

He paused, hands shaking, eyes bleeding fluid as he turned towards his co-man Heras.

And then was slapped, not out of anger but probably out of an inability to control his finer motor skills.

“And they’re paying us more than we make in twenty years each. Shut the fuck up and dr…drive!” he said between spasms.

“Christ look at you, you look strung out. Holy shit you’re going to kill yourself.”

“You’re just as bad Helman! You’re just as bad! Always trying to screw me! Look at what we’ve done! I need that money shut up and drive faster dammit!”

Helman ignored the drug-addled outburst, jammed a stick forward and kept going. Special clearance was given to these “Dozer blades”, they could hammer out hell and not catch it given they didn’t rip someone’s head off in the process. Lucky for them too, they’d have been shot to pieces by now, ripped in two by thirty millimeter.

“They said those corpses where Roach-bait. I saw em’, mashed like potatoes. Dunno what they need with the damn things, Just bury them, El would take ‘em just fine.” he said to himself, wiping spit from his shoulder as he dimed another corner. “And I sure as hell don’t wanna haul ‘em. It’s none of my business, I haul steel, not fucking Junkie-mix. It isn’t ethical. The dead should be left to El.”

On Waste the one most important thing ever was corpses. Fueling the Gun-junkie trade with new genetic material was Oasis-wide mandate. It’s how the war was fought, war with the Roaches is one where you either die and are born again as a shining knight or thrown into the meat-grinder behind the steering wheel of a Duster. It was a cyclic process, one that let Waste’s inhabitants jerk it in peace for untold thousands of years, having pushed the Roach back to the borders of the Oasis.

They scratched their collective temples when they where stopped by a line of robots pointing rifles at them. They where surrounded, a wall of chrome humans standing ten feet tall. Kellas’s finest Dusters. They where bulky with shoulders topped in sharp edged pauldrons, heads shaped like flattened rectangles hoisting stoic face-pieces porcelain in color. Helman peered out, prepared to shake a fist and was torn in half by the first volley of gunfire, brown gore exploding from the back like a rotten fireworks display.

Something moved when the dust settled, at first a tired flinching, then a violent seizure as the corpse puree began to stir. It bulged, then from ruptured bodies a humongous metal framework emerged. It stood a head and half higher than the metal warriors. Beefy arms housed muscles of sturdy adamant primed for killing, lanky legs and metal rib cages hugging the beast’s carapace like a frightened child. It let loose and unearthly shriek, sent tendrils flying towards the closest Duster as sparks began to erupt from the Roach’s flank. The first duster fell with it’s head caved in, exploded along with the second and third. The fourth skating backwards kicking up pavement, pocking holes larger than fly-cars in the sides of buildings in a crazy spray of gunfire that just showed how fucking terrified he was of dying. A blade arced out, split him in two, ripping a commercial district in half when it’s Malentz-reactor went, mushroom cloud rising over Kellass like a bad Monday morning.

The End

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