Two other women had taken the opportunity offered by the brief distraction to circumnavigate the mimetic hunter and reach Tara. The situation was quickly spiraling out of control, but both women maintained good discipline, firing in controlled bursts and careful not to risk hitting any of the emplacements.
"Fall back!" Tara screamed at the remaining women, knowing that they were blocking heavy weapons fire from the emplacements. "We'll cover you!"
Tara had a fully automatic Glock in her shoulder holster and she used this to add whatever she could to the covering fire provided by the two women with her. Their shots had nothing more than a momentary cosmetic effect on the mimetic hunter, but they did succeed in drawing its attention. Bob Barker gazed at them balefully and began walking quickly in their direction as if the bullets rippling across his body were merely irritating insults. Tara paused to reload and in her head offered up a silent prayer to no particular deity that the emplacements would have a clear shot before Bob Barker came down on them like a Plinko chip.
It turned out that neither happened. Instead, a 500lb smart bomb dropped from one of the Raptors actually struck Bob Barker in the shoulder. It sliced through him in an instant, detonating when the contact sensor in the nose slammed into the dirt. To Tara the world seemed to jerk, dust rising up from the ground in every direction and a bright nova of fire enveloping the mimetic hunter. Then the sound and concussive force hit her and she was thrown backwards. There was a sickening crunch and a shooting pain. Tara's arm had been broken in mid-air by the helmeted head of one of her companions. The third woman sailed away on a slightly different trajectory, a piece of shrapnel from the bomb blasting through her skull. Amazingly that woman would cheat death, spending the rest of her life being referred to as "wonder woman" for her miraculous survival of such a massive head wound.
The mimetic hunter was a robust killing machine designed to survive some of the most hostile environments and punishing attacks. Most projectile weapons passed harmlessly through it. Focused energy weapons could be diffused. Each tiny component nano-machine was shielded from a powerful electromagnetic pulse. The mimetic hunter was not designed to survive 500 pounds of tritonal explosive detonating within its surface.
The mimetic hunter could theoretically reassemble itself if more than ten percent of its component nano-machines survived intact within a five meter perimeter. They did not. A fine silver dust of mostly inoperable nanites were scattered by the blast over a hundred meters in every direction.
Tara regained consciousness several minutes after the blast. Her face was sticky with blood and she was woozy but she could see a number of medics working on her and a Legacy Team camera crew filming from nearby. With an incoherent cry she pushed the medics away and rose unsteadily to her feet. The camera crew swooped in on her like a vulture.
Tara straightened her scorched and dirty top coat and smoothed down her dust-caked hair.
"Flame," the word came out garbled. She cleared her throat and tried again.
"Flame teams up," she choked. "Burn every inch that might be contaminated. I don't want that fucker coming back."
She looked down at herself. She glittered with the dusty silver remains of the mimetic hunter and her left arm was throbbing and dripping blood from a compound fracture. Mustering her last reserves of strength Tara looked into the camera and smiled.
"That was...what a huge cock."
Then she unceremoniously blacked out.
I was betrayed by the bernio bros, the cougars, and this guy from back page I hired to keep me from jumping out a window at the DNC.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Featured articles and columns that don't fit anywhere else on Something Awful.