by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
Zelda’s Android hordes have been thrashed in a stunning defeat at the hands, er…spheres, of the Terrahawks’ Zeroid battalion.
Sergeant Major Zero, the Zeroid in command of the operation exclaimed, “I’m very proud of my troops today, the finest body of men in the world. If it were up to me, they’d be fixing medals on each and every one of them.”
The conflict took place in the middle of the Tuttle Badlands, an inhospitable desert region. Zelda had raised an army of Android combatants, armed to the gears with laser guns, missile blasters and an array of terrible jokes. Following in their wake was the largest force of Cubes ever assembled on Earth. Such was the size of the amassed force that Spacehawk detected it from high orbit and Lieutenant Hiro initially mistook the gathering for one colossal entity.
A 10-40 was swiftly called and the Terrahawks manned their battle-stations. Hiro returned from space in Treehawk and as he joined Dr Tiger Ninestein and Captain Falconer in Battlehawk’s control room, Kate Kestrel and Lieutenant Hawkeye were already blasting clear of the base in the Hawkwing fighter.
As Sergeant Major Zero supervised the boarding of 100 Zeroids into Battlehawk, Dr Ninestein decided to take no chances and added Groundhawk and the Battletank to the mighty freighter’s inventory. Engaging the powerful McKinley-Thor boosters, Battlehawk blasted through the open space in the White House and headed straight for its objective.
Arriving on the scene first, Kate and Hawkeye could barely take in the sight that greeted them. Heavily armed Androids camped out in fortified positions across several square kilometres of desert, reinforced by Cubes positioned in every nook and cranny of the rugged terrain. Knowing their odds of successfully defeating the vast enemy army were beyond poor, Captain Kestrel nevertheless reported back to Tiger, who began to formulate a plan of attack.
Landing the huge ship away from the line of fire, Ninestein remained in Terrahawk as Mary transferred to the Battlehawk’s auxiliary control deck. Separating Terrahawk from the mother ship, Ninestein put the craft into hover mode as he spoke commands coolly to his team.
Radioing affirmatives, the Terrahawks forces took up positions. Sergeant Major Zero led his battalion to the shelter of a small hill near the enemy force. Hiro boarded Groundhawk and drove it out and away from Battlehawk while the Battletank, piloted by the Megazoids, drove out and began moving in the opposite direction. With the payload clear, Mary lifted off again, hovering close to the small Terrahawk aircraft. The stage was set for an epic confrontation.
At Tiger’s command, the entire might of the Terrahawks power was unleashed. The Zeroid army opened fire with a hailstorm of energy bolts, raining lightning-fast shots down on the opposition. As the Android aggressors began to return fire, Hawkwing buzzed along their front lines, tracing its Fireflash hyper-cannon along rows of mechanical foes.
Several groups of cubes formed into devastating weapon structures known as Guns and proceeded to fire at the advancing Zeroid soldiers. From high above, Terrahawk and Battlehawk targeted the Gun formations and fired a volley of laser energy, weakening the Guns defences enough to allow Groundhawk and Battletank to pick them off from the sides of the fray.
Even with these early tactical victories, the Terrahawks remained hopelessly outnumbered. It was time to even things out. Ninestein ordered the Zeroids to lay down covering fire to allow the ground vehicles and aircraft time to withdraw, while Kate and Hawkeye prepared for the next move. Transferring from the sting-wing segment of the Hawkwing fighter, Hawkeye boarded the main craft behind Kate. In seconds they lined up their shot, targeting the most concentrated mass of enemy Androids.
The touch of a button sent the sting-wing hurtling free from the rest of the craft and as Kate pulled up sharply, a devastating explosion ripped the battlefield apart as though a great fist had pummeled a huge ants nest and smashed it to pieces.
There was no time to take in the scene, as the remaining Androids were now more than a little determined to strike an equally powerful blow in return. They began to charge the Groundhawk, firing at it mercilessly. Hiro fought valiantly, swiveling the vehicle’s cannon this way and that, picking off the enemy one by one, but there were too many. The laser bursts and electro-rays began to penetrate the armoured hull and with no other option left, Hiro activated the self-destruct system. Shooting free of the vehicle in the reinforced escape-pod, Hiro watched as the prototype craft was destroyed in a huge blast, which took many Androids with it.
Piloting the escape craft into Battlehawk’s cargo bay, Hiro joined Mary in the auxiliary control deck. Tiger’s voice sounded grim when he reported in. There were still hundreds of Androids and Cubes on the loose and very little firepower left to slow down their advance. Then Sergeant Major Zero stated that he had an idea. Tiger knew that Zero wasn’t the kind of Zeroid to joke about such things at such a critical moment, so he listened. Then a thin smile flickered across his lips. It had never been tried before, so it just might work. He quickly briefed the others.
Sending out a call on an open channel that the Terrahawk was losing power, Tiger staged a crash close to the Battlehawk, which landed beside the smaller craft. The Androids saw their chance to destroy two targets at once and charged as though possessed, firing bolt after bolt of energy.
They never stood a chance. With a noise like the Earth was trying to tear itself apart, Sergeant Major Zero and his remaining Zeroid force came thundering over the low rise between the downed aircraft and the enemy. More than 60 steel spheres glinting in the sun, travelling at speeds of over 200 kilometres an hour. With every passing metre, they increased their mass again and again. It was as though a great cluster of shining Black Holes was travelling across the desert.
“GERONIMOOOOOOO”, yelled Zero at the top of his electronic voice. The Androids barely had time to pause in their tracks. One Android, a huge, hulking creation dubbed “Crusher” was just able to mutter “Oh…” before the first Zeroid turned him into a pile of scrap metal. Then the rest of the Zeroid army struck, tearing through the invaders like hot knives through tinfoil. The sound of metal on metal was deafening. The echoes continued to ricochet off the high rock formations long after the last Android had fallen.
On returning to the Battlehawk, Ninestein congratulated Zero on a job well done. Zero replied modestly, “Thank you, Sah. I suppose I was on a roll.”