Season 1:11 ‘Air War’

by P WIlliam Ross

It’s now or never.

I spend the first few minutes calming the agent down to get a better grasp on his memory.  Watching five people die is a tough experience.  He’s bilingual, so some of his thoughts are useless to me.  If a person thinks in French I have no way of deciphering it.

Their squad was ambushed on one of the side streets near the museum.  He was riding in a surveillance van when it was halted and then flipped onto one side.  Three agents managed to scramble out before the engine was detonated.  Then there are images of a woman approaching the wreckage.  She’s not wearing any clothes, but her body is covered in metal plates.  The sight of her confuses and horrifies the agent.  He remembers seeing her fight the Guardians Society a few years ago.

“Guys, the robot is actually a cyborg,” I say.

“But that means,” Ingot’s voice trails.

“It’s Cougar.”

C.O.U.G.A.R stands for combat optimized user-guided assault robot.  She used to be the leading expert on biological technology before she got carried away with her work.  After disappearing for five years, she returned to show the world “the next stage of human evolution”.  Criminal activity is a display of superiority for her.

“Well that means this isn’t related to Progenitor Labs,” Mach says.

“Not necessarily.  She’s kind of been down and out lately, this could be a contract job,” I say.

“Whatever.  We should be able to track her down easy,” Ingot says.

We thank the INTERPOL agent for his time.  It’s up to us to avenge the deaths of those five agents.  And bring the hurt on the psychopathic robot lady.

Our search brings us to a small town on the French-German border.  Sunlight gleams off of the fountain in the center of town.  It looks like a scene out of a postcard tourists would buy on the streets in Paris.  A few people are out shopping.

I think Jason tried to warn me, but I failed to hear him.  He was on my left side.  All of a sudden I’m looking up at the sky and heading for the cobblestones at my feet.

“Think you could sneak up on me?” the voice has a hint of modulation in it.

My head smacks the ground.  There’s a bright flash in my vision before everything goes blurry.  When I wake up, I’m propped up against the side of a shop on the edge of the square.

“Dude, thank god you’re not dead,” Jason says.  I may as well be dead, my head is pounding.

“Where’s Cougar?”

“She’s got the girls pinned down by the fountain.  Her hands are like machine guns or something.  And there’s this sonic screech she does.  Did mom and dad ever mention having to fight this many robots?”

Chase zips up alongside us.

“I can’t get close to her.  She’s got some sort of warning system or something,” he says.

“Did Ingot try crushing her?” I ask.

“Yeah but she says it’s some sort of alloy or something that’s too strong.”

“We’ll just have to crush her with our fists then,” Jason says.

I can feel a bad move coming on.  He charges out from the side of the building and launches himself into the air.  Cougar dodges him with ease, sending Jason crashing into the fountain.  She tries spraying him with bullets, but it fails.  Jason and the girls are out in the open now that their source of cover has been destroyed.

Dragonette opens up with a fire blast.  It looks like it burns the parts of Cougar which are still organic.  Jason runs to follow through with a punch.  He gets within a few feet of her, but then she unleashes a sonic screech.  It knocks him and the girls back.  They lay still on the cobblestone.

“What happened to them?” Mach asks.  He’s looking more jittery than his usual self.

All of their thoughts are empty.  I try to wake Jason up; it’s like getting a car engine to turn over.  No use, my head hurts too much to give them enough juice.  Her sonic blast knocked them out cold for who knows how long.

“She shut their lights out.  We’ve got to think of a plan, and fast.”

Mach looks around in a frenzy.  I expect to find very little in such a small town to defeat the world’s most powerful cyborg.

“Come along little ones, it’s nap time,” she calls out.

“Dude, I don’t know, I can’t find anything,” he says.

“And I’m fucking useless right now.”

The wall in front of us is ripped away by the blast of another sonic screech.  Cougar has her sights locked on the two of us.  It’s now or never.

“Wait, wait, I’ve got it,” Mach says, “the power line, there’s got to be one here somewhere.  Maybe we can short-circuit her.”

He dashes off and returns a few seconds later.  Cougar runs straight for us, machine gun hand blazing.  Mach grabs my arm and drags me toward the north side of town.  Sure enough, there’s a telephone pole and power line running in from across the border.

“How’re we supposed to get it down?” I ask.  As if on cue, the blast from another sonic screech knocks the pole over.  It also knocks Mach onto the ground.

I’ve only got one shot at this.

“Hey Cougar, missed me.”

“You doubt my accuracy?  I was aiming for your friend,” at this distance any of her weapons will kill me.  “And loading my next magazine.”

I roll forward on the grass, grab the fallen wires, and drive them into her foot.

Next Chapter.

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