Monday, May 11, 2009

The Siege of Tokyo, pt. 2, 467 words

Their first military appearance outside of North America was in, of all places, Australia. Nobody knew how they got there. All passage out of the Contaminated Zone – the new official name for Denver and its environs – was neutralized, or so we’d thought. No flights made it out, and the region had been ringed with men and materiel in a larger force commitment than Iraq and Afghanistan combined during the height of the War on Terror. Spy satellites watched movement in and around the CZ as if it was the Cold War all over again.

Yet somehow, a significant force got out, more than mere sleeper agents could account for. The only anomaly in activity at the time was a huge spike in power consumption, detectable mainly by thermal imaging of the power plants caught in the CZ. They went into dangerously high outputs in the few days shortly before the Australian incursion.

Their first appearance was near Ayers Rock, reported by those who escaped to the nearby town of Alice Springs before it, too, was overrun. Eventually, a sizable portion of central Australia was overtaken. The Australian Army surrounded the region, but the invaders didn’t budge from their position. Spy satellites and reconnaissance flights showed a massive metal shell being built up around Ayers Rock within days, with no signs of either the equipment or the materials necessary for its construction. Within a week, Ayers Rock became the center of a new Contaminated Zone, while the invaders held back every attempt to dent their lines.

Once Ayers Rock was secured, the invaders went into overdrive. The North American Contaminated Zone expanded outwards in a sudden burst of frenzied activity and battle, finally encompassing the entire state of Colorado and carving chunks out of the surrounding states. New forms appeared, invaders that resembled nothing seen naturally on Earth. Most prevalent after the humanoids came a line of massive, six-legged creatures twice the size of adult tigers. They struck swiftly and mercilessly, used to make huge gains in short amounts of time as they plowed through the perimeter around the NACZ and tore up whole units of American soldiers.

After the giant six-legged warforms came the walking gunpods, which skittered across the ground on their three legs and dug in deep when they came to their designated place. They settled into the ground and then opened fire on anything non-invader that came nearby. They never seemed to run out of ammunition, and whatever their shells were composed of, they were resistant to anything less than high explosives. Conventional arms had no hope, and their range made most man-portable anti-tank and RPG weapons untenable. They had the range of high-end sniper rifles, but could fire at the rate of a fully automatic machine gun. They made the perfect perimeter guards.

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