Chapter 88: The Bug
30 Miles from New Springfield.
Peering through gaps in the haphazard pile of long-forgotten rust coated car skeletons, keen eyes focus on the fast-approaching convoy; HISS tank mark 1 at point, followed by a HISS mark 7, the middle made up of several transport vehicles, with three HISS mark 1 completing the group. The mission of those waiting is to, stop the supply of weapons from reaching New Springfield.
“Here they come.” The ground trembles as the heavy armored vehicles rumble down the road. “Almost. Hold. Hold. Ready...” The convoy stops suddenly. “What the...”
“What’s going on? Why’d they stop?” The man’s impatience clear in his voice.
“No idea.” Throttle scans the vehicles through a monocular. The column of dark vehicles sits, their engines angrily grumbling away. “What’re they waiting for?”
“I don’t know.” The ground in front of them explodes. “Holy shit! Fall back! Fall back!” The two freedom fighters scramble for cover as the Predator drone sweeps down and rains lead death from the sky. “No one said shit about air support. Call it in.” The two quickly fall into the open door of the brick building. The fallen sign reads, Jumping Jack’s Hardware. “Call it in!”
“I am!” GP hits his radio, “We’ve been made! We need backup!” The broken glass littering the ground inside the store rattles as the drone flies by unleashing a barrage of bullets. Pockmarks explode from the crusted tile as bullets tear into it. “Damn it! We need help now before this thing turns back around.” They hastily make their way for the rear exit. Throttle and GP had carefully picked this location for their assault as soon as the Intel came in. It allowed for quick egress should things go sideways, like they are now.
The radio crackles to life, “Hold your horses. The cavalry is coming.” The voice snaps and pops.
“Hurry!” Throttle shouts towards the mic on her shoulder. They make it to the back door just as a missile slams into the front of the building tearing it asunder. “Holy shit!”
“Keep going!” Throttle yells as the drone screams through the sky overhead. They cross the alley and launch themselves through the open door they had left ajar for just this reason. “We’ve gotta make it two more blocks.”
The front of the building erupts in an explosion. They drop to the ground. “What the fuck!” The Predator flies by, they know it will return as soon as the remote operator gets it back on their course.
Ears ringing, smoke filling the air, the taste of explosives in his mouth GP shakes Throttle by the shoulders, “What are we gonna do?”
Throttle shakes her head and points. They quickly cross the back room and open the door. They find themselves looking out into open air where once a storefront stood. Ears throbbing, Throttle motions towards the sky, “We’ve gotta move, that thing is coming back.” They make their way across the rubble and run across the street. Throttle looks back over her shoulder, “Let’s go!”
GP’s radio snaps, “What’s your location?” Through exasperated breaths, GP replies, “Second. Approaching third.”
“Copy that. I’ve got the drone on my radar. I’ll be clearing the air.” They look up just in time to see a blur of yellow leap from the roof of the building they’re running towards, over their heads, to land somewhere on the roof across the street. It quickly pops up and into the fast-approaching drone’s flight path. The blur intercepts the drone mid-air. As they crash into one another a mechanical grinding can be heard.
“No fucking way!” GP’s mouth hangs open as the two metal beings slam into the roof.
“We don’t have time. We gotta go now!” Throttle turns as the building gives way sending brick, dust, and debris into the air.
Throttle and GP cross the alley to the next building they hear the cannons of the HISS tanks fire. “He’s got this. Let’s move.” They turn and run. They make it through the last building leading to a garage, the door rolled up, skid marks heading out the door, all but empty except for two dirt bikes. They each grab one, quickly put on helmets, and check the internal mics, “Let’s go GP. We gotta clear the area before they find us again.”
They start on the first try. Throttle smiles. She silently reminds herself to thank Greaser when they get back to base. They launch out of the garage, tires throwing gravel into the air. Throttle and GP push the engines to their limits as the block they escaped is rocked by repeated explosions. As the road screams under their tires Throttle sees a cloud of dust coming up behind them. The yellow car easily catches them pacing the escaping duo. Throttle looks over, “I knew you could do it Bug.”
The synthetic voice made up of old radio clips replies, “How many times do I have to tell you, my name is BumbleBee.”
Throttle nods. “You got it Bug.”
The wall of monitors is the only light in the War Room. They cast an eerie glow on the TeleVipers intensely scrutinizing the scenes playing out on the screens. Standing behind the blue-clad tech soldiers, hands clasped behind his back, Cobra Commander watches the progress of the convoy. “Commander the mission was a success.”
“Good. We have the footage?”
“I want it ready to air tonight. The lead-in will be ‘Terrorists attack refugee convoy’ I want the world to see the lengths G.I.Joe will go to destroy the safety of our citizens.”