"Convoy, Six four, you are to take the next left turn!" The co pilot spoke into the mike. "Turn left now!!"
"Shit!" The co pilot smacked the side of the cockpit. "They missed the turn again! The damn comms keep getting messed up by the storm!"
"-ix Fo-, Conv-, -y aga-? -urn n-?"
"Damn!" Peter cried out as something bounced off his side. "They are shooting at us with bows and arrows!"
The gunners swiveled the door guns and engaged at a small group of crazed armed with crossbows on a nearby roof, painting it red. "SPELL! ON THE LEFT ROOFTOP!" The left gunner suddenly cried out as he saw the telltale signs of a magic spell being charged up.
"FUCK!" Peter jerked his controls, tilting the sluggish helo away from the threat just as a bolt of lightning energy cracked underneath the CH - 1 Griffin just barely a few centimeters away. "Lit up that roof!"
The Marine manning the door gun compensated for the movement of the helo and fired, using the tracers to guide and adjusted his aim. The tracers glowed brightly under the gloomy skies and the Marine ensured the rooftop where the mage was had a good dose of lead.
"Damn crazies!" Peter cursed again as he dodged another barrage of arrows. "Six Two, this is Six Four. Taking a mix of ground fire. Watch your tail!"
"-ix -o, -ger."
"This problem with the comms is giving me a really bad feel," Peter commented as he kept his eyes alert for any movement on the nearby rooftops. "There! Two o'clock! Movement on the roof!"
That set off another heavy burst of fire from the door gunners and Peter saw the roof disintegrate into pieces. "SPELL SPELL SPELL! Five O'clock low!"
Peter instinctively jinked the helo to the side but he was a bit too slow, the magic missile hammers hard against the rear rotor housing, denting the armor. Almost immediately, blinking lights and alarms went off in the cockpit and Peter skillfully brought his helo under control and breathe out a relieved sigh as his co pilot checked their systems.
"No major damages," His co pilot said. "Think we are good still!"
"-ix Fou-, -is is Six Tw-, are you alrig-?"
"Six Four, just some red lights on my panel, controls are still good," Peter replied.
"Si- -wo, - see so- smoke on yo- tail. -ou sure -rything is ok-?"
"Six Four, roger. Think I better return to base to have it checked out," Peter said. "Alright, let's get out of here."
As he turned the helo's heading back towards the base, Greg suddenly yelled, "SPELL CASTAS ON OUR BUM BUMSSS!"
Streaks of arcane energy blazed past the Griffin as Peter tried to weave the fat and ungainly helo to dodge the spells but the Griffin was a huge target and flying low. Pongs and pings of spells and arrows shook the hull of the Griffin as Peter pushed the throttle to the max to exit the hostile area.
Earlier, the magic missile strike on the housing of the rear rotors had actually damaged the swash plate assembly of the rotor. A couple of the ball bearings of the rotor were broken up by the arcane attack which was easily grounded into metal dust by the rest of the ball bearings. It shouldn't affect the rotor much as the rotor shafts were built to be tough, but it was a different story when dozens of arcane spells were randomly hitting the Griffin's hull and casting the armor plating to crack and splinter off.
The stressed rotor assembly suddenly failed as a piece of debris from the hull plating slammed into it. The rotor shaft overheating from the damage simply shook loose, the whole spinning rotor folded in and ripped the rear of the Griffin off, making Greg sitting at the rear hatch yelp out in fear as the hull above him disappeared.
Instantly, the Griffin started to spin in the air as it lost its rear rotors that counter rotated. Peter quickly powered down the forward rotors and tried to feather the falling helo. "Shit shit shit shit shit..."
"HANG ON TIGHT!" Peter yelled. "We are going down!"
"May day, may day!" His co pilot spoke in a surprisingly calm voice into the comms. "Shepherd Six Four going down. Repeat, we are going down!"
The helo came to a slow spin as the forward rotors lost power. Peter pulled the helo nose up, to use the remaining thrust from the forward rotors to reduce his falling speed and control his landing. Luckily they were not too high up in the air, and the Griffin slammed at an angle against the side of a building, toppling it down.
"Command, Six Two, we have a Griffin down. I repeat. Shepherd Six Four is down."
Mills patted the shoulder of the driver to stop the vehicle when he heard the report. "Raider Actual, Six Two, Say again?"
"Si- Two, Shephe- Six Four is dow-"
"What the hell?" Mills tried to peek out from the window of the jeep. "Raider Actual, Six Two, any survivors?"
"Six Tw-, stand-"
"This is such a fuck up!"
Shepherd Six Two came over to the crash site of the Shepherd Six Four, and the pilot did a slow circle around. "See any movement?" He asked the crew.
"I see some movement!" One of the Marines yelled. "There's someone still alive there!"
"Roger!" The pilot replied. "All Stations, Six Two, we have confirmed survivors at the crash site, over."
"Put us down," Corporal Drake said. "We hold the crash site till rescue comes!"
"Command, Six Two," The pilot radioed back. "Marines requesting permission to secure crash site till rescue arrives, over."
"Comma-, -egative, area is too h-, -rovide aerial support. Rerout- Convoy to crash -ite."
"Command says no," The pilot relayed back to the crew. "We re route the convoy over to them while we provide air cover."
"Goddamn it!" Drake hissed as he vented his frustration at the crowd starting to appear at the fringes of the crash site.
"They better get there fast!"
Another whizz followed by a loud bang rocked the jeep on its suspension. Mills leaned his M2 carbine out of the side window and fired at the whoever that cast that spell at them. The streets were like a maze, made worst by made shift barricades made out of dead bodies or burning furniture which forced them off course.
He fired at a naked female who suddenly lurched out from a side alley holding a large piece of masonry. His shots sending her crumpling backward as the Jeep rolled past while the gunner on the turret constantly fired in short bursts at any large gathering.
Suddenly the roof of the Jeep shook as something landed on top and the gunner cried out in shock before he dropped down from the turret with a broke knife blade stuck on his neck. "CAR ONE, CAR ONE! CRAZIES ON YOUR VEHICLE!"
"Shit!" Mills twisted his body and saw a leering face peering down from the turret opening. He ripped his revolver out and squeezed off two shots and the face disappeared from view. The driver yelled out in pain as the loud reports of the revolver beside his ear deafened him and he jerked the steering wheel, ramming into the side of a building.
"You okay?" Mills asked on the driver. Thankfully, they were not traveling at a very fast pace. He climbed behind the seat and checked on the wounded gunner who was gurgling in his own blood. The rest of the convoy came to a stop and the men deployed out, creating a perimeter and the medic climbed into the Jeep to assist the wounded marine.
"This is a FUBAR!" Mills came out of the jeep and said to Tyrier who was observing their surroundings. "They blocked most of the street and we can't get to where we want to go!"
"The crash site is that way," Tyrier said. "It will be faster on foot to reach the site."
"Fuck," Mills spit out a mouthful of saliva and blood. "You want to go on foot to the crash site?"
"At this rate, we are moving, the crazies will get to them first," Tyrier said. "My men will move on foot, while you get the convoy over to us and we link up at the site."
Mills looked around his surroundings as he considered Tyrier's suggestion. He ignored the whizz of a spell that blew a fist sized hole on the wall next to him and finally said. "Ok, you take your men and go by the streets. I try to unfuck this situation here and get to you ASAP."
Tyrier nodded and gave a sharp whistle. "Alright, Claymore One. We are moving on foot to the crash site! Grab water and ammo! Let's go, let's go!"
"You watch yourself out there!" Mills gave a thump on Tyrier's chest. "You still owe me a drink!"
Tyrier grinned and followed his men down an alley. "See you when I see you!"
"Command, this is Six Two!" The pilot radioed again. "Large gathering of crazies approaching crash site! Convoy is still stuck in traffic and Marines onboard are requesting permission to drop and secure the site, over."
The circling Griffin could see lines of people moving among narrow streets and side alleys as they converged towards the crash site like sharks sensing blood. The door gunners barely have a line of sight to fire at the crowd as the small alleyway provided cover for the crazies.
"-ommand, -rmission granted, -ay the gods prote-!"
The smoking CH - 1 Griffin laid on an angle on the collapsed building. There was a small square barely the size of a basketball court before it with a small sad fountain that water barely trickled out from the decorative fixture.
Greg the Great moaned as he shook himself awake. He felt his bum and feet hurting and saw sharp piece of metal piercing through his left leg. He yelped in pain as he removed his safety harness and tried to stand up.
"Oh, noes! God machine!" He wailed in despair as he saw the broken wreckage of the Griffin. "NO! Boss Pilot?"
He half dragged himself through the warped cargo hull, finding both Marines manning the guns dead, crushed into a bloody paste. He reached the cockpit and found the remains of the co pilot underneath a massive slab of masonry but the Boss Pilot was still alive, barely.
As he tried to drag the Boss Pilot out from the cockpit, he heard the familiar roar of the other God Machine and he climbed out of the cockpit and waved madly at the circling helo. "ALIVE! GREG AND BOSS PILOT ALIVEEE!"
A rope dropped from the side of the helo as it came over to hover and two figures fast rope down one by one. The two Marines ran up to Greg who had tears of joy in his beady eyes, "Never thought Greg the Great will be happy to see dumb Mar eens!"
Drake rolled his eyes at Greg's words before he asked. "Who else is alive?"
"Boss Pilot at the cockpit!" Greg said as he sat down while the other Marine took out his medkit to treat his wounded leg. "The rest all... dead! God Machine too!"
"Stay here," Drake said and he climbed into the wreckage. He found the pilot barely conscious in his seat and he checked him for injuries before giving him a dose of painkillers.
"Hey, I need some help to move him out," Drake called out to Kont outside. His buddy quickly joined him and together they as gently as possible carried the pilot out, putting at the rear of the collapsed building together with Greg.
Peter coughed and blinked his eyes as his conscious returned and asked. "Where's the rescue team?"
"We're it!" Drake asked, "You alright?"
"Yea..." Peter tried to move his legs but couldn't.
"You are locked and loaded!" Drake handed over a shotgun and a pouch of ammunition.
"You watch our backs, and crazies come from the rear, shoot them!"