The officers shift uncomfortably in the gloomy chamber, the hostile glow of the strip lights drawing harsh shadows on their faces. Battle report holograms flutter across the expansive circular desk in the centre of the room, rising and collapsing like sandcastles made of light. The men and women study them intently, or at least they pretend to, avoiding the prospect of having to make conversation.
The door slams open and General Huss enters, flanked by two low-ranking blank-faced goons. The assembled officers stiffen to attention as the diminutive leader approaches the desk, the garish gold braid on his jacket gleaming, copious amounts of medals clinking conspicuously. The General leans forward on the desk, eying the people surrounding him with hateful distain.
“Status report.” He spits the words out of his mouth like a curse.
The room is silent. The officers glance at each other, passing the buck around the room with their eyes.
Colonel Avar steps forward. Her jagged features give her a haughty look, a kind of insulted beauty. Her lips are tight, grim and full of bad news.
“The eastern quadrant has all but fallen,” she states impassively. “We are holding the line across the valley region, but we have outrun our supply chain.”
“What of the north? Are you failing there as well?”
“Arteria is under fire but we have a barrage trained on the Mercury Pass,” replies Col Avar, ignoring the barbed questions. “Nothing can get through, but only whilst supplies last…”
The General grips the edge of the desk.
“This is unacceptable,” he yells, throwing back his head in a snarl. The officers flinch at the sudden outburst. “What is your excuse? How is the enemy making a mockery of you? Explain. Now.”
“It’s the armour,” stutters Major Weeking, a ghostly thin man. The General peers at him. Weeking shrinks back, clearly regretting his utterance.
“If you’ve got something to say, spit it out,” says General Huss. Maj Weeking moves forward, hands quivering as he operates the controls on the side of the desk. The holographic battlefield focuses in, displaying a dry canyon, desolate except for a couple of gnarled trees and some wiry bushes. A column of troops move cautiously along the canyon, armoured Rapytr support vehicles trundling along beside, turrets rotating, scanning the terrain.
A shadow looms over the soldiers. With a whooshing crunch, giant metal feet slam into the dusty ground. The troops scatter as the G-Armour unit straightens up, a metal humanoid machine, towering above them.
Before the soldiers can regroup, the G-Armour unleashes its firepower. Shoulder-mounted cannons spray out bursts of energy, scything indiscriminately through the fleeing men. The Rapytrs and some of the more battle-hardened troops return fire, but to no effect. The G-Armour brandishes its phase blade, the melee weapon extension bursting out of its right arm, cutting the nearest Rapytr in two.
The image freezes, the scene flickering on the desk in front of the officers and their leader.
“The voy-bot was knocked offline by a stray shot,” explains Maj Weeking in a sheepish voice. The General stares at the image, scrutinising the enemy armour unit.
“We dont have anything that can match this tech,” Weeking continues. “In terms of firepower, defences, manevourability; well, you can see how it cut through an entire scout battalion. Put two or three of those on the battlefield and, well…”
“I know you don’t want to hear this, sir,” says Col Avar, taking the lead, “but these G-Armour units could cause a situation as desperate as the Sun God campaign.”
“Enough,” screeches General Huss, plummeling the desk with his fist. “Do I have to do the thinking for all you clowns? Are you all too simple to comprehend the one clear weakness of this armour?”
The officers avoid looking at the General, shuffling their feet and glancing at each other nervously.
“The pilot. Without the pilot, the armour is useless. Infiltrate their training centres and sabotage them. In fact, launch strikes against any target that is identified as a centre for education, military and civilian. Attack their launch bases; don’t give them a chance to get a man into G-Amour. Link up with the propaganda ministry and develop a campaign decrying the use of this technology. Undermine it with accusations of unethical practice and crimes against humanity.”
General Huss looks around the room, awaiting a response. The men and women nod their heads vigorously. Someone starts to clap halfheartedly, but falters into silence.
“You have your orders,” says the General, turning away from the desk and marching out of the room, his minders following.
The officers begin to discuss plans in mumbling voices, congregating into smaller groups as they determine their strategy. Although slightly bolstered by the General’s instructions, they all know the truth. No matter how many battles they win, or how many attacks they repel, the outcome of the conflict is written.
The enemy has already won.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I hope you enjoyed the story – please comment below with your thoughts and share via social media!