The computer read-out flashed a new number across the heads up display. 2,999,997 was just three shy of the three million man mark. The battle armor machine robotically trudged across the old streets of Chicago; over the burning ash and remnants of what was. The machine’s eight foot tall stature and thick layers of aging steeluride plating lumbered toward the next kill zone. Inside, Hap 759 stared ahead with dead eyes at the destruction. He scanned the computer assisted holographic interface. He mechanically operated the walk controls while simultaneously keeping a look-out for the rebels. He’d done it for 10 years. He didn’t really need to think about it. He was focused on the last three. He would be the first Razor Knight of the new age to reach three million and he wanted it.
Hap 759 paused the giant robot and took an environment reading. The air was putrid with rot but was breathable still. So many people had been crushed under the new War Masters in the New Age of Man. It seemed hard to believe that people had once gone to the moon and now they barely eked out an existence hiding from the Razor Knight Corps. People were vermin and they needed to be eradicated, especially the rebels and their cries of human decency and something about unalienable rights. It made Hap 759 laugh, if he knew how to laugh. He’d never really learned since he was dropped in his razor knight I-4200 as soon as he could be hard wired into the main network.
The motion warnings lit and Hap 759 turned his Razor Knight around. His sensors picked up the faint traces of a human moving through the rubble. Small clouds of gray ash were kicked up and left lingering in the sour air. Hap 759 tracked the human form as it moved across the dilapidated downtown structures. It was moving quickly, it was likely a small human, a child. No matter to Hap 759. He was ordered to cleanse this quadrant and he would follow his orders without fail. He stepped forward and the giant legs of the death machine started toward the scurrying human.
“Three more kills,” thought Hap 759. Three more kills and he would be awarded the Magna Cross and would be able to enter his first breed cycle. He’d heard the breed cycle was only for the best of the best and it was an honor to be chosen and granted access to the Holy Number.
He trudged forward, hoping the little human would lead him to other humans and make it easy for him to reach the three million mark. Hap 759’s proximity sensors sounded to his left and he made a quick scan of the area.
“Tactical display,” said Hap 759 and his war grid activated over his eyes.
He could see the one human he had been tracking was standing still on top of an out of production Armega Drone. The human was pointing at something. The human was point straight up into the air. Hap 759 angled the Razor Knight and looked up. It was a difficult task in the hulking metal machine. He looked up just as a concrete block dropped off a building above him. Hap 759 quickly activated the evasion protocol and his boosters came on-line. He started his leap to the right. It was too easy to avoid. He was actually startled when another giant block of concrete and steel swung out from the corpse of a burned out building to his right, directly into his escape path program. He attempted to adjust his controls to gain altitude but the block overhead came crashing down onto his leg, knocking him to his robot knee. The block on his right then smashed into his front and he was doubled over from the weight.
Hap 759 did not panic. He was trained for this. He was skilled in Warcraft. The Razor Knight was stronger and tougher than concrete blocks. The humans were only delaying the inevitable. He activated his shoulder mounted 100 caliber saw rifle and began firing at the concrete blocks, chipping and breaking them into dust. He turned to the block on his leg and smashed through it with the Razor Knight’s powerful arm. The debris was strewn all over. Hap 759 re-engaged his human target, but his heads up display no longer showed the little vermin in the area. Hap 759 started to reacquire a standing stance when his contact alarm started sounding. His computer directed exo-shell alerted Hap 759 there was an explosive device attached to his Razor Knight. Hap 759 activated the exterior shield and surface rumblers but the explosive device did not detach.
Hap 759 looked for a structure he could smash against to dislodge the electro-magno-bomb from his armor shell. The humans had distracted him with the blocks and the little one, the one that scurried, had managed to stick the device to him. He located a suitable structure that could knock the device off and he started for it. It was too late. The electro-magno-bomb detonated and Hap 759 was blown up into the air through the gravity well shockwave. His Razor Knight exploded out and his arms, his real arms, were exposed to the air for the first time in 10 years. Hap 759 was unfamiliar with the feeling he was having. It was an out of control, worried, sweating feeling. He was scared for the first time.
His giant death robot spun in the air before tumbling back to the surface. The electro-Magno was pulling his machine back down at a high rate of speed. Hap 759 tried to activate the emergency defense systems but they would not come on-line. His power reserves were not functional. He looked through the cracked display and felt the rush of air, a truly new feeling, flowing through his armor. Hap 759 smashed into the broken ground and a giant plume of smoke and ash flew upwards. It was like a technological volcano had erupted sending tons of electronics into the air. The suit exploded in a blue fire ball. Hap 759’s torso was thrown out of the machine and he came to rest at the feet of the small human. The display chip over his eye blinked, 2,999,997 and then faded out.
The small human brushed the ash off her face and took out a small knife. She lifted the butt of her weapon and carved a small hash mark into the stock.
“That’s five,” she said.
The smoke drones started gathering above her head.
“Christiana,” shouted one of the elders, and he motioned for her to follow him into the underworks.
She kicked Hap 759 and ran off to join the other survivors.