Goliath and the Girl

The Weak Link

“Okay, they don’t have the construction drawings, but… yes.  This will work.  Three, take a look.”

The special weapons tech tapped at his console, as did the rest of the squad.  A gun camera video clip appeared and began playing.  “What’s this?”  It appeared to be from a missile drone, high above downtown New Corinth.

“A couple months ago, we were right at the edge of Toriyama Bridge.  Almost took it.”

We, 231 thought, meant Tower, the company that owned them.  His squad had arrived after the footage he was now viewing.

The drone came into view of the bridge.  It was swarming with soldiers engaged in a heavy firefight.  Several units of Tower combat androids were being turned back by withering fire from the separatists, who crouched behind permacrete barriers and mobile shielded turrets.

266 scoffed.  “Bots.”

“Yeah,” nodded 231.  “If they- uh oh.”

A telltale puff of smoke and glint of light on the ground signaled an incoming shoulder-fired missile.  The video clip, 231 noticed, ended in four seconds.  In its last moments, the drone banked hard and let loose a rocket, which streaked toward a pocket of soldiers, only to detonate against one of the bridge’s towers.  The surface-to-air missile arced toward the camera, and the screen was suddenly filled with static.

231 looked up to see 223 dragging his finger across the screen.  He was grinning.  “You see that?  Look at 2:34.  It hit the bridge.  Right where one of the cables comes in.”

I wonder where 234 is, 231 thought.

The clone soldiers backed up the footage to the moment of the drone missile’s impact.  The explosion centered near the top of the tower, on the north side, dangerously close to one of the giant steel cables holding up the structure.

254 nodded.  “I don’t think we can sneak up one of those cables without getting caught.  And even if we can get inside the tower…”

“The elevator could require a passcode or a manual key.  I dunno,” said 266.

The room fell silent once again, the four warriors scowling at the frozen image of the explosion.  In the dim light, in the same pose, they looked identical.

Wait.  “Six, you got any stats on the bridge?  How tall it is?”

“What you thinking?”

“Everyone got a grapple?”

254 grinned.  “There we go.”

“Aw, you’re gonna make me climb?” 223 griped.

231 shook his head.  “No need.  We can always get another grapple.”

223 cocked his head at the squad leader.  Then, he too smiled.

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