Haven, United Nations Testing Grounds
"Fark!" Corporal Clove cursed as he hammered his gloved fists against the controls. "This. Piece. Of. Shit!" He tried fruitlessly to wrestle control back.
Despite the gyro balancer installed inside the Manned Armored Walker, the dancing spider tank made Clove sick as he wanted to puke from the jerking motions. The Unit 02's commander cursed from his seat at Clove's shoulder as he gripped the hand bars to prevent being tossed off the chair.
The MAW 02 Bushmaster was currently doing a violent tap dance with its six legs. Its heavy padded feet churning the earth up around it as it danced madly on the spot.
"Shut it down!" The techs yelled at the Clove as they watched helplessly at the mech going haywire. "SHUT IT DOWN!"
Unit 02's Commander, Third Sergeant Sath reached to the side and pulled the red emergency shutdown bar and the MAW suddenly collapsed downwards as power was cut off from all its magical circuits to the systems. "Fark this shit!"
The test crew slowly crawled out with shaking legs, helped by the techs who checked them for injuries before hooking cables onto the MAW and prepped the MAW for transport back into the mech bay.
"Damn thing just acted up all of a sudden!" Clove rubbed the bruise he had on the side of his head as he complained. If it wasn't for the helmet he wore, he would be suffering more than a mild concussion now. "I was putting it on the obstacle course and its controls suddenly went crazy!"
Senior Spaceman Tae Joon Pak and Spaceman Hideo Koichi both sighed at the same time as they carried their equipment over to the downed mech which had been recovered and was now sitting docilely inside the mech bay. They flipped open the access hatch and climbed into the cockpit before hooking up their laptops to the Bushmaster's system.
"Running system diagnosis..." Koichi said as he rapidly tapped on the keypad. "Retrieving logs from the system database..."
Tae Joon on the commander station was unscrewing the 'Black Box' out from under the seat before he hooked his system to the Black Box and copied all the system log files over to his laptop.
After a while, they both exited the Bushmaster and climbed down the ladder while its anxious crew approached them with questions. "Alright, we can't tell you guys anything now till we run a full system diagnosis and recheck all the logs for any bugs in the system!"
The crew looked disappointed while Sgt Sath asked, "So when will it be fixed?"
"We don't know yet!" The two IT specialist shrugged. "Might be a day or a week. We need to check all the lines of code and see if there are any conflicts in the programming that we missed."
"Damn!" Sath cursed. "Now I got to go write a report on why 02 is down for repairs!"
"Yea, you go do that," Tae Joon sighed. "We go find out what is wrong and I think I know what is the problem!"
Haven, Research and Development Lab, Basement 3, The Cave
Tae Joon swiped his access card before thumbing the scanner and the armored door slid open. Koichi followed behind, carrying several stacks of boxes and they entered into a darkened room.
"Hey, Mike!" Tae Joon called out before reaching out to the light switch and flicking on the room lights. Instantly the room lit up brightly in harsh white light. "MAGIC MIKE!"
"RAAAAWR!" Three Trolls in various poses appeared in the lights roared in anger. "MY EEYEEEEEESSSSSSssssSSSS!!"
"Gods!" Tae Joon sighed as he flipped off the lights leaving only one set. The Trolls quickly calmed down and crowded over, sniffing at the boxes Koichi was holding. "Magic Mike!"
The Trolls parted and Tae Joon saw a huge Troll, easily the largest in the room laying on the several mattresses and cushions with several monitors surrounding him. Tae Joon and Koichi ignored the rest of the Trolls and they walked up next to sprawling Troll and found him naked, his huge genitals dangling out and they could hear moanings and cries in the background.
"What the fuck?" Tae Joon frowned as he turned the monitors over and saw porn was being played on the monitors. "Why are you watching porn?!"
The Troll called Magic Mike gave a shrug as he picked up a small barrel of Rootbeer and took a swill. "Wat puny hoomans wan with Magic Mike?"
Tae Joon dropped several data sticks on the table and said, "These codes, I want you and your gang to run debugs on them, check for any issues or conflicting lines of code."
"Sure, wat you give?" Magic Mike scratched his tummy while eyeing Tae Joon. His dull grey skin had several stains of sauces and spilled drinks.
"Pizza," Tae Joon gestured to Koichi who dropped the boxes down on the side. "How long you need?"
The Trolls hearing the word pizza suddenly became very excited and they stared crowded closer, their greasy hands reaching to the boxes when Magic Mike gave a growl, which the rest of the Trolls quickly retrieved their hands back.
Magic Mike sat up and plugged in the data sticks and quickly glimpsed through them, "One week."
"Three days," Tae Joon shook his head. "You guys have no other projects now and are so free that you can watch porn!"
"More pizza! If not, one week!" Magic Mike shook his pudgy head slowly.
"Deal, I will bring the rest of the pizza in three days time!" Tae Joon replied before he turned and walked off with Koichi in tow. "I expect the debug to be done by then!"
As the door to the Cave closed, Koichi let out a breath of relief, "That place stinks!"
"Yes!" Tae Joon shook his head. "Let's get out of here."
"Why do we need to use the Trolls as debuggers?" Koichi asked they walked towards the elevator.
"For some reason, it seems that the Trolls are natural in 0s and 1s," Tae Joon explained. "They can read code faster than what we or computers can do."
"So they are geniuses?" Koichi said as they entered the elevator.
"It's kinda like those people with autism," Tae Joon replied. "I dunno how to explain it but they have some kind of savant syndrome. They have significant mental disabilities but can demonstrate certain abilities far in excess of average. The skills at which savants excel are generally related to memory. This may include rapid calculation, artistic ability, map making, or musical ability. Usually, just one special skill is present and in this case for the Trolls, it appears to be programming."
"But don't think they are stupid and simple minded," Tae Joon warned. "They are pretty cunning."
"Anyway, we still need to do our part," Tae Joon sighed. "We still have to double check all their work and also ensure there are no backdoors installed."
"And also the intra network they worked on," Tae Joon continued. "We have to ensure that the whole intranet is safe to use for the masses. After seeing them watching porn... I don't think I feel safe letting them work on it."
Koichi suddenly giggled, "Well they are intranet trolls!"
The puttering engine roared out as Mills applied throttle to the dirt bike, its wheels kicking a spray of dirt as he skidded across the terrain. "Woooo hoooooo!"
Behind him, followed the rest of the Team, including Private Slow, riding on his modified ASAG. They had spent several days learning how to maintain, repair, and riding the dirt bikes.
The elves slowly gained more confidence as they rode and familiarized themselves more with the bikes. As they were training themselves outfield, the UAV and dragons assigned to Orwell's Point flew reconnaissance all over the area, heading from one suspected location of the Planeswalker Clan to another.
They returned to the city and no longer drew looks of fear and shock from the locals as they did the first time they rode the bikes out. Some of the local kids even ran happily alongside the soldiers as they return back to the Stronghold.
"CO wants to see you guys in command," A Marine called out when the Team parked their bikes inside a shed. "It's urgent!"
Tyrier nodded and got the men to quickly stow away their gear before they all trooped into the command post.
"Good, you guys are back!" Captain Joseph gestured them over to the map table. "UAV has spotted what appears to be an Orcish Clan at one of the suspected locations. I want you to go in and check them out."
Tyrier and his men crowded over the table and took a look at the images taken by the UAV. Dozens and dozens of circular tents sat spread out around a water hole in the plains while animals were corralled in a makeshift fence nearby. "This just came in an hour ago."
"Take your men out and gather intel," Joseph ordered. "If evidence is found that they possess firearms, try to grab a High Value Target for interrogation. Clear?"
Tyrier and the rest of his men nodded as they pondered over the UAV images. "Private Slow and Sergeant Mills will be your liaison for this mission."
"Alright boys," Tyrier said. "Check your gear and service your bikes, we will move out in five hours when it is dark!"
With that, the men left the command post and headed to prep their gear for the coming mission. The men packed weapons, ammunition, rations, medical supplies, fuel for bikes and loaded them onto the saddle bags on the bikes.
When the skies turn dark, the Team of eleven rode off from the side gates and guided by the UAV overhead, disappeared into the darkness.
They rode in silence, their headlamps lighting up the terrain before them as they rode at a speed faster than the full gallop of a war dragon. It took them four hours of riding before they stopped and made camp before continuing in the morning.
When morning came, a shadow in the sky slowly resolved into a dragon and it beat it wings furiously as it landed on its hind legs next to the camp. "Hot damn!" Mills whistled as he looked admiringly at Blue Thunder.
The men quickly unloaded the cargo on the dragon. Canisters of fuel were used to top up their bikes tanks before the remainder was buried into the ground. Blue Thunder helped by digging the hole with his forearms.
They left a beacon hidden at the cache and rode off again and the process of having the dragon to resupply and making a cache repeated. By late evening they finally arrived at their destination. They covered their bikes up with camo netting and hid them before proceeding over two kilometers on foot towards the Orc camp.
Drake grunted as he leopard crawled his way over the green sprouts of the plains and reached the top of the crest. He carefully peered out with his binos as Kont joined him and the Orc camp jumped up to his eyes.
A simple wooden stake wall surrounded the camp, with dozens of guards walking the grounds. Torches lined the walls and outside the numerous circular tents inside the camp while large shadowy shapes laid inside the pens which they had identified earlier was the wind wolves and livestock kept by the Orcs.
"Overwatch in position," Drake activated the throat mike and reported.
Somewhere below, members of the 101st ATI were making their way stealthily towards the camp. Their plan was to sneak in and do a quick search of the camp and see if they can find any clues to the firearms.
Drake kept his binos and snuggled his customed M1S against his shoulder as he looked over the guards with his powerful 12x scope. He laid his crosshairs over a walking sentry and was about to move the scope to another when he jerked his scope back. "Well, well..."
"Kont! You see what that guard is wearing?" Drake asked Kont next to him who had set up an observer binoculars on a tripod.
"Wait... Oh, yeah I see it!" Kont replied excitedly.
"Overwatch to All," Drake quickly reported.
"The guards are armed with firearms!"