A Tale of The Monsterpocalypse
Fiction by A.G.M.
THE WORLD IS (KIND OF) NOT ENOUGH
Craghill had been asleep in the Fox JAW’s cab when Yarur and Morgan came knocking. Bleary-eyed and yawning he climbed down the narrow ladder leading down the two-story height of the truck. “Man! It’s still dark and you wake me up?” he complained.
“We received a message from Keith and Coco.” Said Yarur.
“Oh, good. Where do we pick them up?”
“That’s it. They didn’t say. Looks like they might be staying beyond the accorded time.”
“That might be a problem. Did they say anything else?”
“A lot, but the bandwidth of the satellite feed he was using was very narrow, so much of the data was lost. Hannah here saved what she could in the Jammer’s computer. The message came through while I was sleeping.”
“They have one of those giant robots shaped like monsters. Brought over this very week! And they are involved in some sort of land grab,” explained ‘Doc’ Morgan. “They offer a town to rebuild its infrastructure and supply them with electricity, then move in and before long, everyone’s indebted to UberCorp.”
Craghill was still groggy from sleep, but got most of it. “Yeah. That’s bad all right. We have to tell this to the Old Man. How many towns have they taken over doing this?”
“Two in the last few months. By this time next year, they could be controlling the whole region!” Said Yarur.
“Including Lawton!” added Morgan.
Cletus was understandably crankier than usual about being woken up with, but listened to the news anyway. By then, anyone who had not been on watch joined them to listen.
When Yarur finished his summation, the arguing began in earnest, which Cletus had to shout down to be head. “Thing is, what do we want to do about it?” he asked the whole gathering.
Another wave of babbling voices arose as everyone struggled to be heard, with Cletus having to shout the mob down once more with his potent voice. “Enough Jawin’ from all of you! Talk one at a time! Let’s start with the Trucks and then go down to the Van Folks! Amy! You were saying?”
“We need to stop ’em of course!” said Sterling with passion. “Keith has told all of us what the Syndicate and UberCorp did back East! We don’t want that!”
“All I know is I was lousy at punching from nine to five! But what really worries me is what could have happened to Keith and Coco in that city!” fretted Olivia.
“I am also concerned about them!” Said Yarur. “That transmission was incomplete and they failed to call for pick up time and place.” Said Yarur. “Besides, all of Green Fury’s dealings with that Company have been hostile. What will they do to us when they get to Lawton? By definition we are all Outlaws and squatters, so the Authorities will automatically side with any publicly traded, legitimate Business in any dispute that might arise!”
“I’d rather take my chances with the Swarm or the Martians than let those guys take over!” Said Avonelle Wing with passion.
“Companies like that foreclosed on my Home and forced my family into the street when The Tritons came from The Gulf! We were Homeless when the city flooded and that’s how I lost them! Had they been in one of the shelters with the rest, instead of wandering the city, they might have made it! I say payback’s a Bitch!” shouted Zimmer in his best preacher voice.
“I think you all have good reasons to hate these Corporations,” said Morgan, “But UberCorp is not just a Bureaucratic Creation. It’s a living, thinking entity. Vaster, stronger and with more powers than any single Monster can muster. I know ’cause I was raised in a Company Conglomerate. I can’t say I had bad experiences while growing up there, but I never quite fit in. Not until I met you guys! I could never go back to that life, that is even if I didn’t have to go to jail first!”
“Hell. I am Native American. The principle alone is more than enough reason to thrash that place!” said Matanzas shrugging. Almaira Plata only nodded in agreement.
“So we are agreed then? Even if means risking the Specimen?” said Cletus heavily. Then they all looked expectantly at Craghill, who oddly enough hadn’t said a word. He leaned casually against one of the vans, surrounded by Sapient Apes, including Le Sauvage.
“You must be sick, Gordon. Haven’t heard a pip from you the whole while. What do you think?” asked Cletus.
“We already went over this last night.” Craghill said dismissively. “But I can add to that. This already happened once in the past, when Robber Barons clashed with free-ranging ranchers over Water and Land Rights. The Ranchers had the right to the land, having been there first, but that did not stop the Land-Grab from fencing-in the whole of the Old West. Those that dared resist were shot or worse, so I am not going to sugarcoat it or you guys. If we resist, it’s all-out War. And we can’t afford losing. Whatever we do next, we have to commit in full! No half-assing! We have to risk using our Pet, and sacrifice all we have to shrink their Profit Margin to nothing! Only when their finances suffer will they pull out from this Land-grab!” Then, he indicated the Apes at his side. “The gentle sirs here suggested that strategy. These Corporate Monsters are motivated only by profit. By removing that profit with an attrition campaign, they are halting profiteering ventures into their Homes in Africa, and they say they can teach Us how.”
Cletus nodded and sighed, then looked with longing at the spiky, ovoid shadow of the Specimen, framed in the early morning, lightening sky. “So what you’re All saying is we attack this Town and destroy it.”
“We are talking mostly collateral and infrastructure, but yeah… that’s pretty much what this will take.” Explained Craghill.
The Crew looked down, Grim-faced.
“We’ve never done anything like going into a place that wasn’t being attacked by some Beastie. If we were in trouble before, this will turn us into full-blown terrorists!” Clarified Cletus loudly. “I just want you All to understand the stakes here! We do this, we are for all time Bad Guys!”
Reluctant nods from all around assented.
But Yarur could never just go along with the group without playing devil’s advocate. “Well, if we are all agreed, the message from our… recon team says also Waurika has formidable defenses, and not just the giant robot. A minefield surrounds the place with a defense perimeter of laser battery emplacements, plus the town has a contingent of syndicate cyber-ninjas and vehicles, backed by a trained, Mercenary force using additional robotic defenses. Plus half the town is inhabited by technical and scientific geniuses who will see us as a threat and not as liberators! This will be one hell of a fight!”
“Don’t worry!” drawled Craghill. “Our friends from the Empire have been fighting these corporations longer than we have, and have developed some tricks to facilitate a full scale attack! Plus… I have a Plan!”
Everyone in the Crew groaned and/ or rolled their eyes.
“C’mon! It’s a great plan! You’ll love! We even have access codes! I just need a couple of hours to rig up some sort of transmitter!”
The Crew became very attentive after that.
Next week: part 6 “FROM HERE TO WAURIKA”