Lunarian Road Warrior

Chapter 1: Urban Battle Arena

Dr. Taben knows it would be hell outside because of the shootouts and riots in Glaston City but he grins nastily. It would be the perfect time for him to test his Imperator, an armored battle engine powered by a gas turbine. With two tracks and a motor connected to each of the drive gears at the track's ends, the Imperator could reach speeds of 120km/h despite its heavy 8cm thick steel plate armor. Taben climbs onto the fore section of the Imperator's hull and opens a sliding hatch on top of it.

He then climbs down into the hatch and inserts a key into a hole on the shaft of the machine's steering wheel. The starter dial connected to the keyhole has three settings, AC, Auto-Charge and Engine. When set to AC, the hybrid Imperator uses its lithium-ion battery pack for electric power and in Auto-Charge an energy sensor checks the power levels of the battery and starts the gas turbine engine automatically when the battery power is low, and of course the Engine setting is used for manually starting the engine.

He turns the key to Auto-Charge, knowing that the hybrid Imperator's battery pack got a full charge last night and then turns the transmission dial from Park to Drive. He then steps on the gas pedal and the motors make whooshing sounds as the chain tracks bite into the ground inside his garage. The Imperator quickly rolls out into the violent streets. Taben then pulls out a remote control and presses a button which closes his iron garage doors automatically. He then turns left into the dirt road and steps on the gas pedal, accelerating the Imperator to high speeds and kicking up dust in the process.

"Die you son of a bitch!" A man shouts firing his pistol at an enemy in the distance. The enemy hides behind a barrel which shields him from the bullets.

The man then ducks behind a wall and loads a paper cartridge into the breech of his pistol. The paper cartridge is an innovation borrowed from the Meg Belly Gang, a gang of mafia machinists on the Glaston East Side, it is basically a bullet and powder charge wrapped in a neat little paper package. This cartridge system thus makes reloading easier as the bullet and gunpowder could both be slipped into a gun in one easy step.

The man, a gray skinned goblin then comes out and fires another shot at his enemy, hitting him in the head and killing him instantly. He then reloads, cocks the hammer of his pistol then tries to fire another shot, this time at another man but his aim is thwarted and he ends up shooting a lamp instead. He is shot in the chest by a slow walking militia man from the Meg Belly Gang covered in thick 4cm iron bulletproof armor. The militia man of Meg Belly is the most feared of the gang warriors in Glaston, he may be a slow trotting warrior but he is bulletproof and armed with two revolver pistols, fearsome self loading pistols that fire six shots continuously before running out of ammo.

"Oh no, the Meg Belly's have arrived! Let's make a run for it!" The other budding Mafioso's are scared away by the armored militia man except for one group: the Pyromaniacs, arsonists who manufacture bombs, incendiaries and many other fireworks.

"Ready the frag grenade!" One of the Pyromaniacs listens to the orders of his boss, a gaudily dressed man in a red vest, beret, pointy boots and yellow breeches.

He then takes out a hollow iron ball and lights a wick inserted into its hole. He throws the ball at the armored militia man and the ball explodes, making a thundering shockwave and releasing shrapnel and smoke in the process. The militia man's armor is pierced and he falls to the ground, several pieces of metal are lunged into his chest coating it in red blood. Then suddenly several more armored militia men march into the town square. One of them armed with a multi-barreled mechanical gun called a Gatling gun, a product of the Meg Belly's 'Witch Works Industrial Sorcery TM'.

The militia man with the multi barreled gun turns a crank at its breech and the multi barrels, six of them all in all, rotate and in a few seconds each one starts spitting out bullets at a rate of hundreds of rounds a second, making noise that can be likened to a carpenter hammering thousands of nails into a plank of wood at lightning speed. The bullets of the machine gun bore hundreds of holes into the Pyromaniacs and ignite their stockpile of grenades causing all of them to be blown to bits.

"That's it for the Pyromaniacs. But now what about the Ogres?" a man who appears to be the leader of the platoon of militia men asks aloud.

"We'll know in a moment sir! They're coming!" a militia man says fearfully as he points to the monstrous beastly men being two stories in height and wielding axes.

The Ogres are massive creatures indeed and when they run towards their enemies they greet them with the ground shaking menacingly and the air thick with thumping sounds. The Ogres are barbaric and large but they have one weakness: they're dumb. They show no strategy at all in battle and count on raw force to crush their enemies. The Ogres clash with the Meg Belly's, the Meg Belly's though armed with rapid fire guns including a machine gun still have difficulty killing the Ogres as they have massive bodies that would take several gunshots to damage. Some of the Ogres manage to crush the armored men with their heavy axes while their own men are brought down by blood loss from the bullet wounds. In the middle of the violent clash, a heavy grinding sound is suddenly heard.

Taben rolls his Imperator into the town square and stares at the flat screen monitor in his driver's seat. He had installed this wonderful feature as it allows him to see the front and rear of his armored machine via CCTV cameras.

He sees the ogres and militia men staring at his creation and thinks. Behold my monstrous mechanical wonders you ignorant infidels!

He then sets the Imperator's transmission dial to Park and places his hand on a crank at the dashboard. He turns the crank counter clockwise while looking at a screen that displays the camera feedback from his Imperator's cannon turret. The video feed from the cannon is shown on a different screen which has a crosshairs painted on it that allows the gunner to lock onto the target. As the turret turns to face the cannon towards the brawlers, the video feed from a camera atop the cannon shows the ogres and militia men with the crosshairs trained onto them. The militia men and ogres are anxious, the armored men fire shots at the Imperator but their bullets ricochet off its tough plating. The Ogres try to shatter the armor with their axes but their own axes crack at the steel armor's sheer strength.

I'll take a moment and savor your ignorant fascination before killing all of you! Taben thinks excitedly as he decides what weapon to fire, the automatic cannon or the machine gun on top of it?

The automatic cannon and machine gun he designed are truly revolutionary. They both fire rocket propelled shells and bullets which are fed into their breeches automatically by belts of ammunition numbering up to 10,000 for the machine gun and 60 for the cannon. The firing mechanism is simple; it is a piezoelectric switch button that generates an electric current when depressed and conducts the current to wires that directly touch the rocket in the firing chamber. When the current hits the metal rocket, it is conducted to the powder charge within it which explodes and propels the conical projectile out of the smoothbore barrel at supersonic speeds. The bullets and shells then accelerate to Mach 14 and generate powerful shockwaves upon crashing into their targets, a one meter shockwave for the 20mm bullets and a twenty meter blast wave for the 120mm shells.

Taben then decides to press onto the button atop the crank's handle with his thumb and a burst of machine gun fire is shot out at a rapid rate. A buzzing sound fills the air as thousands of rounds per minute of gun fire sweep the ogres and militia men. The hypersonic speed of the bullets blow holes through both of the tough bodied adversaries. Taben turns the crank back and forth while pressing on the machine gun button to deliver a spray of rapid fire that kills off all of the remaining gangsters in the town square in mere seconds.

After all of the people in the square have fallen, Taben satisfied by his victory, drives the Imperator forward, crushing all the bodies to make sure they are really dead before stopping in front of a bag of money by the announcer's podium in the square. He then opens a hatch at the bottom section of the hull which covers the driver's cockpit and pulls in the money bag by his arm. He isn't stupid enough to get out of his armored enclosure, lest he run the risk of getting shot down by javelins thrown down by the Sirens, a gang of light blue skinned, flying maidens that scavenge for treasure at every gang battle.

This is how it is in Glaston, a town where the law looks the other way almost any day. The people struggle to survive amidst famine, disease, crime and catastrophe while gangsters settle their monetary problems and social grievances by battling to the death in the town square where all combatants leave their money by the podium and whoever is left standing claims all of it. In this case, the brown skinned, bearded and middle aged goblin inventor by the name of Taben is the winner, though he entered into the fight uninvited and crushed his enemies in a one-sided battle. He closes the lower hatch and drives through the podium, crushing it utterly before driving off to the next battle.

This day is going to be a field day indeed! Taben laughs maniacally as he steps on the gas and his Imperator rolls off into the bright sky-less morning of the Frontier.