Bronc - part 6He woke to the slow chirrip of crickets; and the huff and stomp of horses in a holdingBronc - part 6 by Penfury
pen outside his make shift bedroom. Anthony fished his boots out from under his bedroll,
tugging the stiff leather on with a groan. Stacked hay made a better bed than the
ground, but just barely. He shook whisps of hay from his blanket as he rolled it up. He
hitched his duffle bag onto his shoulder and headed across the parking lot. Morning dew
misted the air , setting a halo around passing headlights and the diner's windows. The
lot was deserted, stripped of last night's party crowd. He wasn't surprised. Blasts of
music and over loud laughter had spilled out with each bang of the doors, punctuating his
rest until the wee hours.
A lone semi-truck idled beside the diner, it's load tarped down against the morning
damp. The truck driver came out of the diner as Anthony reached for the door. Anthony
stepped aside to let the man pass.
"Hey mister, would you
Levi 501"Oldam, are you still carrying that blaster?"Levi 501 by Penfury
"Yeah, still hunting them Levis."
"You're a fool, Oldam. You keep that antique locked down while in my establishment. Tenacee, water back, yes?"
"Yeah, Simms. No worries." He caressed the blaster on his hip. "Ol Betz is just for Levis." Oldam found a seat facing the entrance and leaned back against the bar. Simbot 8000 rolled his ocular units and set the drink at the spacer's elbow. Perhaps the mixology program hadn't been his best choice.
"Have you considered you may be chasing phantoms?"
"You seen what I seen you'd be hunting them, too." Oldam focused on the group coming in, Patrol recruits, dismissing them with a glance across the midrift of each jumpsuit. They shouldered up to the bar next to him.
"What did you see, old man? Your bald knob in a mirror? Scary sight, that," said the leader.
"It's Oldam, Cyrus Oldam. I cashed out of the Patrol way before your mamma learned to tease snak
Day 1 : Last Man Standing"Time to suit up. Their ships have landed." Murka started into the access, hooking into the neural links one by one.Day 1 : Last Man Standing by Penfury
"Not going. It's a stupid, revolting device."
"So? It was revolting during practice and it will be revolting when it saves our hides. Come, Adol. It takes all of us to maneuver the thing. Cheng has the hard part. Cheng has to face Them."
"Something will go wrong." Adol hunched as far from the device as possible.
"What? It's created in Their image. They look alike, move alike, act alike. That's our salvation. Another thirty cycles and we wouldn't need it, but we don't have thirty cycles. They are here destroying our colonies now. We use the device or we perish."
"Cut the chatter. Murka, complete the locomotive neural net. Adol, assume your positions in armament or be terminated. Command is now integrated."
"Ready, Cheng." Murka felt a whisper of movement