|The Space Watch|
Chapter 4 - The Battle Begins
Two of them carried nets. "They must be the containment webs," thought Kevin. Two carried spiky crystals that pulsed and glowed. "They must be the Energy Grenades." The last two were standing beside a stack of pieces of heavy equipment and tools. "Oh no! That must be the Lunar Battle Tank. At least I'll get some time to deal with them before they assemble it."
The weapons menu faded from the screen and it's place was taken by a graphic of an old man with a long white beard and a blue star, studded cape. The graphic became 3D and floated off the surface of the board. He turned and looked Kevin in the eye and said in a whispery dry voice, "Hot Dog. Are you ready to do battle?"
"No. I'm not. I need time to practice the joy stick positions and the button controls and what can this shield do?" said Kevin with an edge of panic to his voice.
"I am sorry," said the old man. "The rules do not permit practice time."
"Ah what are the rules?" said Kevin and he nudged the joy stick with his thumb and pressed down his first finger button as he did so. Immediately his Captain moved forward a metre and raised his laser sword to a striking position.
"You have just broken the first rule. As Lunar Battle Master I may penalise you for doing so." He raised his long staff and pointed it at Kevin's Captain. A green light flashed from the staff and Kevin's Captain dropped his laser sword to the ground. "Ten seconds immobilisation penalty, whispered the Battle Master.
"I'll need to protect him from attack for those ten seconds," thought Kevin.
The Battle Master whispered, "I shall state the rules as you are obviously unaware. Rule one - I decide who wins. Rule two - Only three combatants from each team may be active at any time. Rule three - The Air Supply Module must be reached within the time limit of five minutes."
"Ah. Where is the Air Supply Module?"
"That information is not permitted. Prepare to battle. Five, four, three, .."
Steven lifted his Power Shield into position, tightened his grip on his joy stick and scanned the control menus as quickly as he could.
"Two, one, Commence Battle!"
Three of the red robots and three of Steven's blues disappeared with a hiss as the Battle Master ended his countdown and sank with a whirling whoosh into the game board.
There was still some seconds left on his Captain's immobilisation penalty so Kevin ran forward and placed himself and his shield between the inert robot and his opponents. It was just as well because although two of his opponents had begun assembling their Lunar Battle Tank the third had raised his red robot arm and thrown one of the pulsing Energy Grenades. Steven's left hand tightened on the grip of the shield and as he did the shield expanded out to the sides and turned black as the grenade exploded with a roar. The shield seemed to absorb the shock of the explosion and as it's view port cleared Steven jiggled the joy stick in his glove and moved his number two combatant towards the grenade throwing opponent.
There was no time to practice any of the joystick movements. Steven just had to do it. His number two robot lifted his laser sword and brought it down towards the second Energy Grenade the opponent was beginning to lift towards throwing position. Steven couldn't explain how he knew it but he knew that it would be awfully wasteful to simply destroy that grenade so he jiggled slightly and held the laser sword to the opponent's shoulder. The laser energy hissed and the metal shoulder glowed red and started to melt. A jiggle of the joy stick and his number two stepped back. The grenade thrower's shoulder was welded into place.
"Yes! Yes! Hot Dog!" said Steven. He jiggled again and this time the laser sword swung down and across the grenade thrower's knee, the metal melted and it stopped moving entirely.
"Stay there till I need you, dumbo!"
Steven's Captain came to life again and saluted, "Immobilisation penalty completed. Suggest you immobilise the tank assemblers before your opponents realise their danger."
Steven made his number two grab the energy grenade from the immobilised robot but before he could throw it they disappeared! "Another two or three will reappear but where and what weapons will they be using?" thought Steven. The answer came to him "They'll try to throw a containment net over us while they try to finish assembling the Battle Tank."
Steven flicked down the Weapons Control Menu on the Power Shield till he came to the Containment Net, clicked it's icon and quickly scanned the report.
Kevin manoeuvred his two blue robots into place on either side of him. He pointed their swords upwards and turned up the energy to high. He took a second or two to look around the game room. "Where could the air supply be?"
|Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
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Last update: 26th August, 2003.
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