November 05, 2013

Trying To Get This Story Out Of My Head

They used to call us "the PDI".  Poor Dumb Infantry.  Yeah.  That was before they wrapped us in a battlesuit, armed us with gauss rifles and micronukes, and watched us dominate the field of combat again.  Sure, that was close to 80 years ago now and tanks and other armored vehicles have taken the field back again, but the PDI is still a force to be reckoned with.

Which is why Mama Murphy's little boy is where he is right now, in a ferrocrete trench emplaced near the top of Hill 400 somewhere in the middle of a frozen Hell.  No, seriously, it's friggin' cold.  These battlesuits are great things, really... I'd have been dead a half-dozen times in the past week alone without mine... but I've had mine for six months, it's taken a helluva beating, and while Sparky over there tells me it's fine, the heater in this thing is on the fritz.

Now, I don't know why I'm here.  Hell, none of us know why our squad is perched on Hill 400, except that we were told to stay here and keep the bad guys from taking it.  We also don't know why the bad guys want it.  Herk over there says they want it because we've got it and they don't.  Herk's kind of a jerk.  Anyway, they do want it, awful bad it seems.  Down the slope of the hill, you can see just how bad... lot of scrap iron that used to be tanks sitting out there.  There's a whole battalion's worth of not-powered-infantry out there, too.  That makes me glad it's not summer... the snow means I can't see 'em, and the cold means I can't smell 'em, either.   Stupid, sending squishies against battlesuits... hope the idiot that came up with that idea is out there in the snow too.

This position is pretty sweet, considering that it seems to be Target #1 for the bad guys.  I mentioned the trenches already, right?  Six inches of... special... concrete, set into the side of a hill, so there's multiple feet of dirt and rock in front of it, too.  Pretty much proof against anything they've thrown at us so far.  When we get to go off duty, the... let's call 'em barracks, for lack of a better word that I can use in public... the barracks are even farther under ground, and it's warm, too.  The LT came by when we first moved in here, he said a nuke could go off over us and we'd be safe in there.

I don't want to find out.

LT moved on after saying that, haven't seen him since.  For that matter, haven't seen the rest of the company, either.  Still got plenty of ammo, though, so I guess we're still Ace Nifty.   We haven't come off scott-free, mind.  Brinks took a tank round to the chest; we're still finding bits of him around here, four days later.  The Newbie panicked and tried to win the war on his own.  Didn't work.  Hell, even Sarge got his armor opened up.  He's mostly unhurt, but he can't leave the barracks... too cold for an unprotected squishy up here.  Plenty he can still do, though his cooking leaves a lot to be desired.

All in all, if I have to be shot at, being a PDI in this defensive position is probably as good as I can hope for. 

Yeah, me and my big mouth, right?  No sooner did I write that than Sarge said that there's something big moving out there, out in the dark.  A few moments later, I could hear it, all squeaking metal and humming electric motors.  I poked my head up to look, and immediately wished I hadn't.  The built-in night vision viewers had kicked in automatically, so I got a really nice view of the something.  50 feet tall at the top of the tower.  About 120 feet long.  Guns.  Lots and lots of guns.  Herk said it first: "Ogre.  It's a bloody-bedamned Ogre!"

The fluid reclamation system in my armor got a workout just about then. 

Sarge was on the comms, trying to get permission to withdraw the squad, even while the rest of the group was getting on the firing line.  There wasn't enough ferrocrete in the world to put between us and it.  Jimmy was laughing like a crazy man... he couldn't believe that they were sending one of THOSE at us.  To be fair, it did seem like a bit of overkill to me, too.  And then it fired, and I realized we were doomed... it was a good two klicks outside of our longest-ranged weapons.  When those rounds hit, it was like a hand came down from the heavens and scooped out a chunk of the hill.  A big chunk.

The next rounds took out the top of the hill, three squaddies, and the barracks.  The rest of us scattered to the four winds... except for me.  Because I'm an idiot.  Because I never did like running very much.  But mostly because half of my left leg is gone, and that's a helluva limp to deal with.  The built-in medkit in the suit shot me up with joy juice and locked down the stump awfully quick.  Not gonna bleed out, in any case.  Yay for me.  I'm just gonna be run over by a giant self-aware unstoppable war machine.  Well, if I'm going down, I'm going to go down in style.

When the top of the damn thing's tower crested the edge of the trench, I was there, flipping it off.  It actually stopped moving, like it was either confused by what I was doing, or it was expecting me to do something else.  So I flipped it off with my other hand.

And the top of the tower, where a lot of an Ogre's sensors are located, exploded.  As did a lot of the rest of the thing.  I know now that it was a combination of bombs from a squadron of fighters, big shells from Divisional Arty, and the rest of the company finally showing up... but at the time, I just sort of stared at my fingers, wondering why I'd never managed to do that before.  The painkillers, y'know.

Anyway, it was the company Intel guy that took my picture.  You've seen it: one guy, flipping off the Ogre, better known than that Iwo Jima picture now.  Yep, that's me.  Luckiest bastard in the world.  Mama Murphy's idiot son.  The limp isn't too bad, all things being told.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:36 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 1102 words, total size 7 kb.

1 Nice.
Any relation to the reprinting of the board game?

Posted by: HC at November 05, 2013 11:26 PM (Yyzy6)

2 They're reprinting OGRE?  SWEET!!!

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 06, 2013 06:54 AM (GE6XS)

3 Very, very well done. *wild applause*

Posted by: GreyDuck at November 06, 2013 08:22 AM (CUkqs)

4 My copy arrived yesterday.  It's....satisfyingly large.  Ogre-sized, in fact. 

Love the story!

Posted by: Doug O. at November 06, 2013 01:10 PM (sdWdc)

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 06, 2013 10:42 PM (GE6XS)

6 "The fluid reclamation system got a workout..."  I laughed out loud.  A fun read.  My copy of the second edition of the microgame is somewhere in the attic of the old homestead, I hope. Worth digging for.

Posted by: Vaucanson's Duck at November 06, 2013 10:48 PM (OFJiW)

7

I have only one thing to say:

Fnord!

Posted by: cxt217 at November 06, 2013 11:12 PM (s+NCW)

8 Apologies.

Posted by: HC at November 07, 2013 12:32 AM (Yyzy6)

Posted by: muon at November 07, 2013 05:55 PM (jFJid)

10 I got about halfway through before I figured (incorrectly) that you were bragging about your copy of the new edition arriving.

Aside: are you going to send this to Steve Jackson? It's on a par (both in quality and length) with most other Ogre-verse fiction he's published.

Posted by: Ranger Rick at November 09, 2013 06:27 PM (G1HTO)

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