The Device scans the area for energy patterns as it walks into the valley. The valley is long and turns sharply in the distance, so that the other end cannot be seen. It’s face remains expressionless as it continues moving towards the energy blasts that it can detect at the front lines 30 miles away.
Captain Lucano is lying in the tall grass on top of the ridge, watching the figure in the valley below. “Jesus, I don’t know… You think we need a squadron of tanks to take this thing on, sir?”
Major Kerchenko lying next to him scoffs. “The reports we’ve heard say that this “thing” wiped out a checkpoint and several armoured carriers in the last few hours. We’re not going to take any chances.”
“No more than we normally do, sir.”, quipped the veteran captain.
“It’s closing up on the kill zone. Men! Get back to your troops and wait for my signal on the pulse radio.”
The group of battle hardened officers crawl off the hill until they are sure that their new enemy coming into the far end of the valley cannot see them. If they do have the element of surprise, none of them wanted to be the one to blow it by being spotted.
Once the last of the troop leaders is in position, it isn’t long until the signal is given. The Device had continued to move forward at a steady pace and is now in range.
Major Kerchenko gives his final order before the attack. “Alpha Troop fires first and holds position on top of the hill. Remaining units begin firing when Alpha opens up. Delta Troop, take the lead into the valley followed by Omega. Alpha, wait till the other tanks are in the valley so you’ll have time to recharge your guns”. With that, Major Kerchenko closes the hatch on his tank, unaware that the sun is shining on him for the last time.
As the device reaches the mid way point of the valley, the ground in front of it explodes when the first tank opens up. The device is thrown back, and into the air. Several more explosions follow in quick succession. The ground around the device is being blasted into the air by the bolts of energy from the tanks. The ground shakes as the six tanks of Alpha Troop roll forward up to the top of the hill. They are firing so fast, that the charging units inside will soon overheat.
The device lands hard, leaving an indent in the soil. Just as it stands up and starts to scan the Alpha tanks, it is ripped off its feet by blasts from the tanks of Omega and Delta Troops charging in from the flank. Sent sprawling again, the device halts the scan of the tanks, for a moment…
Major Kerchenko watches, and thinking that they have the upper hand, orders the headquarters group forward. “Delta troop swing left and open up your guns. Cover our approach.”
Amid fireballs of energy from the tanks, the Device rights itself again, and is quickly blasted again. This time, however, it holds its ground, and remains standing. As the group of twenty-two tanks fire enough energy at the Device to level a small mountain, it completes the scan of the tanks, locking onto over half of them. 30 seconds into the battle, the device fires back…
The Device unleashes a blinding white light at Alpha Troop, and four of the six tanks suddenly explode, splattering the two remaining tanks with burning, white hot, melted armour.
The Device fires on the tanks rushing toward it. Through the fury of fire coming from the tanks, it is able to destroy five more in one sweep. Major Kerchenko realizes that they are in grave danger and orders the full withdrawal of his dying squadron.
Captain Lucano’s tank rages forward tearing up the ground underneath its eighty-five tons of titanium armour. The gunner fires a final charge, dumping the entire energy reserve into one shot, causing the recharger to burst into flames. The shot hits the Device, dead-on. The back blast from the explosion blackens the tanks’ hull and rips off the antennas as it tears over the last few meters before ramming the Device. The ground is lifted all around the Device as it is ripped up from the blast. The Device is unharmed.
Its face blank, the Device reaches out and touches the hull of the tank speeding tank. With a blinding burst of light and fire, the Device melts into and passes through the tank that is trying to run it down. The tank, now ripped open and on fire, buckles and explodes into pieces. Its line of sight now clear, the Device continues to wipe out the squadron of heavy battle tanks.
In total disarray, the remaining tanks, fewer than half that had started the attack, are now retreating at full speed. Though firing wildly at the Device, trying to cover their own escape, the Device blows up the remaining tanks before they can get over the ridge and to momentary safety. Only one tank, Major Kerchenko’s, makes it to the ridge, only to be exploded into a fireball that can be seen for many miles.
The Device scans for any remaining enemy and drops out of battle mode. It takes a few moments to gather information about what it had just encountered. It walks up to a tank that has a large burning hole in its frontal armour. The Device pays particular attention to the symbols on the tank and the form of the tank itself. In the future it will not wait to determine the nature of such items before firing on them.
The Device turns, facing back towards the front lines again, and walks the remaining length of the valley and beyond, leaving the squadron of burning tanks and men behind.