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Phersu's Pile O' Junk

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24 / M
Posted 11/11/13 , edited 10/13/14
Hello. This will be just a collection of short stories I've written. If you'd like me to continue of them, feel free to ask. No guarantee I will. Most of these are shorts I've done for college. Feel free to criticize.


The world she lived in was one of black, white, and various shades of gray. All other colors had lost their vividness. Perhaps if she had met a doctor they could diagnose her with achromatopsia, a type of colorblindness, but they were rare now a ’days. But she didn’t mind these dully colored world she lived in. She found it fun. She always had her balloons to chase even if she did get bored.

She was chasing her balloons across a grass field, following paths already trampled into the ground. Occasionally she would see men laying in the field, sometimes blocking her path. She called them the broken men, because they were busted open with gears and cogs everywhere. Some of them still made ticking sounds, like that of a clock, and in the distance she could hear the sound of metal grinding upon metal.

The sound of the broken men! She thought. That sound was the sound of the broken men, she knew. They made such horrendous, vile noises as their gears squeaked against one another, forcing them to move forward. To her it was music to which she danced, her balloons in hand. She loved the sound the broken men made as they moved. This was the sound that signified they were broken, though, which always left a bittersweet melancholy in her heart.

The scene was an odd one, as the girl danced among the battlefields that had pitted the amazing clockwork-driven machine men against one another in war. They were broken now, and their creators long gone, but still she danced to the saddening tune that was their slow death.

The girl was not alone on her path, as one of the broken men was following her from a distance. Whenever she would turn around he would hide himself, playing dead on the ground if need be. This broken man made no noise like the ones that were still struggling for life nearby. He made no noise at all, in fact. He was one of a kind, specifically designed for only one purpose. Sometimes he would look at the words carved into his clockwork heart by his creator.

Protect my daughter. He couldn’t remember who had carved these words, this command, into his chest. He couldn’t even remember his own name. All he knew was that he had to protect the girl with the balloons in front of him, and this was enough for him to continue existing. He adopted a new name to signify his duty. Guardian. Occasionally Guardian would stop by his fallen brethren, scavenging for working gears and cogs to replace his own. He was about to pluck the mechanical eye from one such body when it twitched, grasping his arm.

“W-w-w-what are you doing?” the machine asked, its voice sounding like two pieces of metal scrapping together. The vocal portion of the machine was intact, it seemed. Guardian, however, couldn’t talk. He broke free of the machine’s grasp and reached up to his left eye, pulling it out. He showed the wires attached to the back of it to the machine, hoping to communicate that his eye was broken.

“T-ta-ta-….” The machine garbled, its voice box failing. It attempted to shrug, gears grinding at the effort. Guardian understood it, nodding thankfully and removing the eye. He attached it to his own socket, feeling it connect after a moment. He blinked a few times, and patted the machine. Now he could see with both eyes. He could protect her better this way. He stood up and continued to follow her.

The girl was unaware of this exchange going on behind her, still in her own little world. She had no need for worry in it. Hunger wasn’t a concern. Food would always show up in front of her when her stomach growled. Sometimes, in her more lucid moments, she would wonder why it showed up out of nowhere, but she never suspected that it was her own guardian angel who scavenged around and fed her. She merely continued on, and some distance behind her so did Guardian.

Guardian was glad to have a new eye. He had been looking for one for a couple of weeks. Next he would try to find a replacement vocal box. He wanted to talk to his ward. To tell her she was safe, and that he would protect her and provide for her. He hoped he would find one soon.

And so the two continued through a destroyed world, one broken and the other oblivious.
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Posted 11/18/13 , edited 11/18/13
Another short story for college.

The Gray Cat.


"Tick tock goes the clock," Gray said, playing with an old antique pocket watch. He was messing with the dials, setting the time to random hours before resetting it back to twelve, and then repeating. He was an odd sight, if anyone could see him on his perch at the top of the clock tower. Wrapped in a dark gray shroud, even his face covered by a hood. One could barely make out his stylish black goatee from the shadows of his face, if they looked closely. Two eyes as yellow as a cats would be watching the entire time if you did, however, making the whole adventure entirely unsettling.

"And the cat waits for the count," Gray added, pausing his pointless machinations with the watch to peer down below him. A carriage billowing steam was nearing the tower, about to cross in front of it. Gray let a smirk play upon his lips for a brief second, twisting the dial on his watch once more. He set it to three minutes after twelve. Plenty of time for a heist. Then he placed his hands to either side of him as he sat, making a small grunt as he lifted and pushed himself off the tower. He let out a rather happy laugh as he plummeted to what seemed to be his death, down towards the carriage that was now almost directly below him, pocket watch still in hand.

Gray stretched his arms out, his gray cloak billowing out around him. His leather ensemble was visible now, although it would look more at home on an underpaid and under-equipped soldier. It was as dark as the rest of him, with blotches of a lighter coloring in spots, designed to break up in shadows. A metal harness was wrapped around his torso, attached to a backpack that was previously hidden by his cloak. He reached up to the harness and yanked at it, a large white cloud billowing out from the backpack as soon as he did. It continued to surge forth until it was much bigger than Gray, dragging in the air behind in and slowing his descent. It was some sort of cloth, it appeared.

The carriage below Gray had stopped in front of the tower, the man inside unaware of the descending threat until he had stepped outside and Gray was practically on top of him. He looked up in time to receive a foot to his cranium, forcing him back at the carriage as Gray landed where he was just standing.

"How exhilarating!" Gray shouted at the top of his lungs, seemingly unaware of the startled man and the guard coming out of the other side of the carriage with a flintlock pistol. He tugged at the metal harness again, this time causing it to detach the white cloth that had slowed his fall, as he reached for his waist with his other hand. A flash of metal came out of his hand, striking the barrel of the guard's pistol.

"Hello, Count. I'm here to rob you."
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Posted 12/2/13 , edited 12/3/13


"What is this place?" The young man asked, looking around him in wonder and bemusement. All around him were giant gears and cogs of all shapes and sizes. They didn't seem to be attached to anything. They just floated and spun in the air. Even the ground he was standing on was a giant gear, rotating as he stood on its side. He didn't really feel any swaying movements as he continued walking on it, making the entire scene seem like a dream instead of reality.

"This is my realm!" A booming voice answered his question, bouncing off the gears and echoing around the young man. He spun around, trying to locate the origin of the voice. It took him a moment before finding the speaker. It was a man about his age, around twenty, sitting on a cog as it twirled. The odd thing about it was that he wasn't spinning with the cog. Well, one of the odd things. He was visibly aging as well, both forwards and backwards. He alternated between a twenty year old slowly to an old man with a gray beard, and then reversed all the way back until he was a small child.

"Very explanatory. Where is it? Who are you?" The young man asked sharply, hiding his confusion and fear with anger. The aging man shrugged, hopping off the cog. He landed with quite some dexterity, despite the fact at that point he had already went back to a snow white beard.

"I am Tempus and this is my home. Where it is might be a bit tricky to explain. It everywhere. Or nowhere. Or both simultaneously," The man said, clapping his hands together and showing a satisfied look as if he had explained everything. The young man's sigh and prompt action of slapping his own head showed that he really hadn't.

"O-kaaay. How about something where is the exit?' The young man asked, gritting his teeth and forcing himself to be patient.

"Uh....up, maybe? Or down. Sideways, perhaps? Maybe you should just try all three together," Tempus said, scratching his chin. The young man was starting to get the impression that Tempus had no idea how to leave wherever this was.

"Look! I need to leave, alright? I have a date later tonight," The young man said, raising his voice pleadingly.

"No you don't. You had a date. Rooooooughly......three years ago?" Tempus asked, unsure of the time himself. He squinted his eyes at the young man as if he was an old geezer. Well, he sort of was.

"What are you talking about?! It's tonight! January 14, 2014!" The young man shouted, waving his arms angrily.

"I was wrong, then. Four years. Oh well. Time's pretty confusing, eh? Well, I'll see you later, Vlad," Tempus said, shrugging nonchalantly and smiling like he didn't have a care in the world. He waved goodbye, and the surroundings started to collapse. The gears and cogs started to groan and fall apart, and Tempus started to fade. Vlad tried to shout, but he soon too faded.

Vlad woke up with a start, a cold sweat on his forward as he stared up at the ceiling above his bed.
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Posted 12/20/13 , edited 12/31/13
Having some fun with first person. This one is a bit more somber, intentionally.

Reflection and Contemplation of a Full Spectrum Sinner


As some time has past and I am beginning to become an adult, if only in the eyes of society and not in mine and those of my family, I look back at the past. Perhaps some nostalgia is there, among melancholy and other somber feelings. It hasn't been long since I have been claimed by the title of boy, or child, but I feel like it has been ages since I could have claimed to be a innocent boy. How long, I wonder? Certainly enough for the exact memories to fade, which is to say it has been a while. Enough for bitterness to have left a small mark upon me, and for me to adjust to the realities of life. Since I've discarded my glasses that were tinted the color of roses, replaced with darker colors that seem to become more dense every year.

What stains them, I wonder? Oh, lots of things, undoubtedly. I suppose the first would be greed. Almost every child experiences greed. Selfishness, possessiveness, anger at having things taken away. This one was rather common, I suppose. I used to be rather possessive of the things I believed I owned. When that illusion of ownership was shattered, I suppose my greed went with it.

Wrath should be next. Perhaps even more common than greed. Anger, fear, revenge. What is greater than the wrath of a child? Oh, many things. But is there any more cruel for all parties involved? I used to be violent at times. Hitting my sister's head against a wall a couple times at once would probably be the worst of my wrath. No actual injuries, as the strength of a child isn't particularly fearsome, but later there was guilt and remorse. My wrath seems to have faded as well, replaced with patience. Patience. It sounds great, like a virtue. But I suppose that depends on what you're waiting for.

Oh, what next? Envy! I am a bit grateful that while I am stained with past envy, it never amounted to much. Sure, I wanted that which other possessed. Looks, grades, objects. All without earning them. But, resorting to ill means to gain these things was never something I practiced enough to get good at it.

Gluttony should be obvious. I always liked to eat my fill, and then some more. Sometimes it was to fill in my boredom, or to suppress something. Other times it was because I liked the taste, the feeling of being full. Of course that feeling is fleeting, and once I grasped a hold of that concept, my eyes wandered to more lasting things.

A prideful child. Like envy, pride was a bit fleeting with me. Sometimes I could be as proud as a conqueror, where as other times I felt as low as the peasant that is trampled in other's conquests. This one can come and go, like envy, but it doesn't stay with me long. It passes by as if it is an old friend, only soon to leave due to old wounds. This can be easy to fight. I have little of which to be proud, but do I really have so much to be laid low about as well?

Lust can stay much longer, and visit more frequently, but it doesn't stay past it's time. It can be a fun experience. Addicting. The rush of emotions, the thrill. It catches you up and tosses you around as if it was a tornado, fading away quickly and leaving you to fall back down to earth by yourself.

The most stable, and long-lived, would have to be sloth. Laziness of every variety, as well as apathy. It is addicting in its own way. Comfortable. Sure, you don't feel the good things like happiness, love, and excitement, but the painful things like anger, fear, and sadness do not come around either. The numbness is very comfortable. Perhaps even soothing. You feel so safe, locked away in your shell, much too far away and solid to be breached by unwelcome things.

Now, as I reflect upon the past, I suppose I must shift my attention to look forward once again. The past need not devour me if I want it not to. The ties from the past that continue to corrupt your future can be cut. So many people have done it before, so it must be possible to do so again. While I might never become the color of a rose again, with my look so positive, I might still become a lighter color than I am now. Still dark, but not as dark.
Posted 12/20/13 , edited 12/21/13
Great work, Phersu. Very creative.

My favorite has to be Monochromatic. It was a captivating story that left me wondering of what was to become of the girl. I would like to see the follow-up of that one IF possible.

I also enjoyed Time. I do feel like the dream could have been extended but it was nonetheless intriguing. I liked the setting of that one.

Overall, terrific job. I look forward to reading more of your stories.
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24 / M
Posted 12/30/13 , edited 12/31/13
Letter to a Roman.


Dear Vitus Dalmatia Priscus,

Hello, dear friend. It has been sometime since we've last communicated. I assume your immortality has been treating you well? It must be, otherwise you would have fixed it already, you abomination. Hah, I kid. Sorry, did that name bring up flashbacks from the witch trials? I must say, the whole wooden stake and fire did quite suit you during your 'emo' period. Very chic.

Anyways, I have other things to discuss. Mostly musing. Do bear with me, old man. Try not to fall asleep or go off into a suicidal depression. It is quite annoying when you do. Thank you.

People are quite hypocritical. You know, if you're noticeably depressed, people will oft act sympathetic and ask you 'what is wrong.' Oddly enough, this question might as well be rhetorical, as most people only want to receive one answer. 'Nothing is wrong.' Even if you have to lie, you should give them this answer.

You see, if something is actually wrong and you share it, then the other person feels guilt. Why guilt? Well, simply put, they aren't doing anything to help besides muttering half-baked nonsense to make you feel better. You know it. They know it. Now that they know, they can't just turn away their eyes and pretend that they don't without that feeling of guilt.

But if you keep silent? Well, that gives them plausible deniability that even they believe. 'I didn't know anything was wrong.' This phrase that they can now say somewhat truthfully absolves them from feeling any guilt at all. Ignorance is bliss, after all. What silly things humans are. How fragile they and their words and their feelings are.

Now that this observation is out of the way, I want to explore other things. Perhaps my philosophy next? Well, I am somewhere between Nihilism and Extropianism. I don't particularly know if the world has a point or not, nor do I know if man should continue advancing. The thing is, I don't particularly care.

Whereas most people have hopes and dreams, I merely have the present. Sure, there are things I want. Things that would be nice. But that is more about convenience or distraction than a true, burning desire to obtain these things. No real motivation to chase them. Ah, don't mistake me when I said I only have the present as in I live for the present. It's merely the time I happen to live in, so it is the only one I have. My view of time is simple. 'I can't change the past, I do not know the future, and the present is boring.' Well, these aren't my only abnormalities.

Fairly much every creature has a 'survival instinct.' A genuine desire to survive. I seem to lack that. Living is just kind of a default setting for me. I seem to be shockingly okay with the idea of my own demise. Being hit by a car or stabbed or the like just doesn't seem that much of a big deal. Sure, I suppose I would avoid such things because pain is unpleasant, but that's about it.

My survival instinct comprises of that sentiment. 'I don't want to die because I dislike pain.' It's not even a really strong sentiment. Few people enjoy pain, but it doesn't bother me to a great extent. Pain is passing. It will fade away eventually. So I don't mind pain that much. That's it. Pain is inconvenient. My distate of death is motivated by my dislike of pain. This can be seen in one way, such as my view of death being summed up with one sentence. 'Death is inconvenient.' 'I don't want to die because it would be inconvenient.'

Maybe I should start my own philosophy. The School of.....something.

Yours truly,
Gus of Lethar, Founder of the School of Apathy.
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Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14
Those three story(Monochromatic, The Gray Cat and Time) are very hard to understand especially Monochromatic i have no idea what i have just read.
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34 / M / New Jersey
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14
First of all thanks for sharing these with us Phersu, I enjoy reading what creative people like yourself come up with. For feedback I'm mostly in Bunn's camp. I noticed a few minor things that I'll also include, but I don't consider myself an expert so if you disagree please feel free to disregard them, and note my appreciation instead.

Monochromatic would also be my favorite story so far, and like Bunn I'd enjoy reading more about that world/setting. I was briefly distracted though by how often the word broken was used, I would possibly suggest using a few different descriptive words to help with the flow, but I also realize that it could be purposely used by you for the girls perspective.

The Gray Cat was an interesting little piece, I was really itching for more with this one. For example you did a good job of making me quite intrigued by Gray's pocket watch habits. My only criticism besides wanting more would be a few sentences that tripped me up, which I could point out if you wish.

Bunn's opinion mirrors mine with Time.

I actually enjoyed Reflection and Contemplation of a Full Spectrum Sinner quite a bit. Yes it was somber like you said, but the first person perspective is something I really enjoy and you picked a neat subject to talk about, so I'd definitely be interested in reading another first person entry.

Letter to a Roman was good but for me it was the most difficult to connect to. I think my biggest issue was it's a tough conversation in the letter to just jump into as a reader, especially when we don't know very much about the participants. However by the end of letter I did start to get a feel for Gus which is good. I like the idea, it was just hard to grasp everything that was going on.

Anyway that's what I have for now, I hope some of the feedback can be useful, and please keep writing! I certainly enjoy the things you come up with.

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23 / F / Dat place up Norf...
Posted 1/6/14 , edited 1/6/14
Phersu, I am not a very good critic. I've always been more of an editor. But my favorite is "Letter to a Roman", followed closely by" Reflection and Contemplation of a Full Spectrum Sinner." Your use of comparison and description is captivating, especially evident in your use of the word "sloth." One comment I'd have to say is that you seem to change from omniscient point-of-view to first person on occasion. "Maybe I should start my own philosophy. The School of.....something." Yes, this is true. You have several views that humans going down the drain as they are need to be informed of. Keep on writing!~
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23 / M / Denmark
Posted 1/6/14 , edited 1/7/14
I really liked your first story, it reminds me of an anime titled 'Rainy Town' an independent animation made by by Hiroyasu Ishida, the animator of 'Fumiko no Kokuhaku'. I recommen you to watch it. That was just a little comment for your first story, but I honestly liked all of them, great work!
Posted 1/7/14 , edited 1/8/14
I loved Letter to a Roman. It was probably one of the best short stories I've read in a long time. "death is inconvenient."and "the present is boring." Damn Dunky, you are good for something afterall.
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Posted 1/13/14 , edited 1/14/14

"I can't change the past, I do not know the future, and the present is boring."

read more >
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Posted 1/13/14 , edited 1/14/14
Little teaser prologue for a story I'm writing.~


Those who create. Those who add to the world. They possess the ability to form things out of their imagination.

Those who destroy. Those who take from the world. They possess the ability to erase anything that exists.

Those who manipulate. Those who alter the world. They possess the ability to change the things around them.

Those who balance. Those who restore the world. They possess the ability to reverse things back to their natural state.

They who create. They who destroy. They who manipulate. They who balance.

Create. Destroy. Manipulate. Balance.

If this was a typical story, it might follow a hero who creates for the greater good, or restores things to their natural balance. It could even follow a hero who manipulates the bad to bring good. This is not a story about a hero. This is not a story of creation, manipulation, or balance.

This is a story of destruction.

And I am the villain.
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Posted 1/14/14 , edited 1/15/14
Never try to torture somebody with practical immortality.


"Interrogators always resort to pain. Why pain? Obviously pleasure would be better. More effective. Or some addicting substance. Get your interrogatee addicted to something and they'll tell you anything for more after the withdrawals start. Look at you. Pain is pointless, because you know you'll get better in no time, and your body will never know the suffering of addiction," The man said, talking mostly to himself. He kept droning on and on. He always did during this sessions. Virgil would shoot his own brains out if it would stop the man's constant nonsense.

"I apologize. I get sidetracked. So! Back to the point," The man said, clapping his hands together before going to metal table screwed to the ground near them. It was a lifeless room they were in, made of stone and with the table and the chair Virgil was tied to being the only permanent decorations. Lots of blood to color the bland stone, to be sure, but someone would clean that after it got really bad. The man didn't pay this any mind, whistling cheerfully as he picked up a scalpel from the table. The blood on it was probably Virgil's, but he didn't care enough to remember if it was.

"Information first. Then we'll see what causes you to tick," The man said eerily as he moved over to Virgil, pressing the scalpel against the light skin of his mostly hairless chest. His pale gray eyes focused on the naked blade, showing a coldness that even steel couldn't hope to possess. The man torturing him could see this look and had to suppress a shiver. Those eyes were inhuman. He had been working over Virgil for at least a week, and still they gave him goose bumps. He was about to cut into him in attempt to overcome the primal fear before a knock came at the only exit, a solid steel door. The man stood up and moved to the door.

"Do stay still," he said before opening the door and exiting it, letting out a sigh once it shut. Virgil didn't react until the door shut, moving quickly once he heard the slam. His head finally looked up, his short night black hair barely moving. His hands squeezed closed and opened rapidly a couple of times before he started to jerk them against the steel that kept him locked to the chair. His feet started jerking too. Sick sounds started to fill the room, the sounds of bones cracking. He was breaking the bones in his hands, and the effect could be seen soon. Eventually they slipped through the restraints, grotesque monstrosities of their former appearance. He did the same with his feet.

"Five. Four. Three. Two. One," Virgil counted down. His broken extremities started to act oddly, the skin squirming as if something living was crawling inside. The bones stitched themselves together as he counted down, until after he hit one they were whole again, as if they hadn't been broken in the first place. He stood up and moved over to the table, picking up a particularly wicked looked jagged blade. His fingers clasped around the blade as he turned towards the door. Now Virgil waited.

"Now where wer-" The man started as he opened the steel door and walked back in, unable to finish his sentence before the jagged blade Virgil had picked up seemed to materialize in his chest. Virgil was behind it, slamming a palm into the hilt to drive it forward.
"You wanted to know the operation plan. Simply, step one was to cause trouble, grab attention. Step two was get caught and let them take me to their base. We just finished step three, escape. Now is step four," Virgil said calmly to the fallen man, his cold eyes examining the blood that was seeping out of the wound.

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Posted 1/14/14 , edited 1/15/14
Hurray for war.~


"Echo 2-1, this is Echo 2-2. East Corridor is clear. Moving on," The soldier whispered into his radio, an M-16 Carbine held at the ready in his hands. He moved just like he was trained to, his center of gravity low and steady as he moved quietly. He was a newcomer to the base, having been transferred in only a couple weeks ago. He didn't like his new home, with the constant humming of machines in the background, causing the entire base to vibrate with the movement, but he hated the way it was now. There was no humming or vibrations. The machines had shut off as the power just stopped.

"Copy that Echo 2-2. Keep your head on a swivel," the static filled response came back. The soldier nodded, having to remind himself that the movement couldn't be seen anyways after doing so. He almost let out a sigh, but held it back as soon as he heard the thud of metal. He stopped, holding his breath as he listened closely. He needed to confirm that it wasn't just his imagination. It wasn't, as the sound came again. His eyes moved to the left, a corridor a few meters in front of him. He shifted to the side, pressing himself up against the wall as he started to creep towards the corner. He released a shaky breath every time the metal sound came again, his entire body tense with nervousness.

The soldier reached the corner, swallowing as he readjusted his grip on his rifle. He counted to three mentally before sliding out from the corner, his eyes meeting the person who was waiting for him. He let out a yelp and fell backwards, his rifle clattering across the floor.
"You scared the crap outta me!" He said, letting out a breath of relief. The man standing in front of him was wearing the same uniform. The soldier on the ground didn't notice the fact he was missing his rifle, or that blood was slowing creeping down his face in the lack of lighting.

"Hey? What's up?" The soldier asked, standing back up and grabbing his rifle off the ground. Just now he was starting to feel something was wrong, as the bloody man's knees started to buckle and he fell. Something large was behind him in the corridor now, covered in what appeared to be metal armor. A hissing sound could be heard coming from him as vents opened on his back and steam poured forth into the hall.

"W-what the...." The soldier stammered, raising up his rifle out of instinct, since his mind had started to abandon rational thought at the sight of this monstrosity. It was much bigger than a man, and it was slowly lumbering towards him. The metal around his chest glowed with the light of extreme heat, illuminating a symbol carved into it. The symbol of the Empire. Which meant that this inhuman figure was probably a Generator. Inhuman monsters, fueled by energy. Their entire body was a living, breathing reactor, supplying them with enough energy to blow up several city blocks.

The M-16 roared, spewing bullets at the thing with as much spite as it could muster. They didn't even give the Generator pause. The soldier might as well have been flinging a slingshot at the thing for all the good it seemed to do. He still fired, however, backing up as he did so. He ran out of bullets about the same time his back met the wall. He even had time to let out a scream and alert the others before the metal giant raised a hand and smashed it against the soldier's head, leaving a spray of gore against the walls before it turned to the right and starting moving forward once more. The dead soldier's radio was starting to light up, chatter coming in as somebody was asking him for a status update. They wouldn't receive one.

"Echo 2-2, this is Echo 2-1. We have heard gunshots from your proximity, give us a sit-rep. Repeat, this is Echo 2-1 to Echo 2-2. We request an immediate sit-rep, over."

The metal giant ignored the radio, instead lifting up his left hand. The back of it was covered in some sort of interface. He tapped one of the buttons on the interface.

"Two tangos down. Going loud," The giant's voice came out from behind his helmet, as deep as a grave.

"Copy that. Beginning operation."
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