Disclaimer: This is the start of a Book that I am working on. I you want to comment any other titles then please do, Dark Side is a dumb name, and probably copyrighted.
He quickly climbed up the side of the former shore, now a steep hill. He had seen the very tip of a tribal Romulus. The six legged platform would be a great base of operations for his enciclopedia. The glowing white cylinder was heavy and clunky on his back as he climbed.
Forty more metres, he thought, his head was pounding, the sun boiling his armour, only the Numa kept him alive.
Thirty five he was counting in his head, the cylinder was constantly hitting the backpack sized protrusion of the Numa sticking out from his back
Thirty he could barely think straight. Even this had been a lot more physically demanding than shuffling through the salt flats.
Twenty five The soft cloak rubbing against his helmet caused an ear-piercing sound akin to the sound of his ancestors' fingernails rubbing on a chalkboard.
Twenty he was only half lucid, this climb was near impossible. Am I hydrated? he couldn't recall if he had ingested any fluid in the last days, but the thought wasn’t able to ground itself and stick in his foggy head.
Fifteen he thought Why am I climbing, I guess I’ll find out once I reach the top.
Ten he thought So close, I can see, Romulus. His arms were sore, the cramps made anything more than the slightest step a daunting task.
One He was there, and now he remembered why he had started the climb, even with so little water. He quickly laid down the cylinder, and twisted a valve on his Numa. Water poured into his mouth, but none reached his stomach, it was all absorbed by his parched throat. No water had passed his lips in, at least two, maybe two and a half days. The concept of rations on water disappeared, once water made contact with his tongue, there was no stopping him.
After basking in the sudden relief that the water provided, he unpacked the cylinder with a reverence rarely seen in the salt flats. To most, here nothing was sacred, but the thing in this cylinder was the most important thing for his survival. Thus hee treated it as god.
Then he loaded in the shells. Small, no bigger than a shotgun shell one of his ancestors may have held, these shells packed a deadly punch. One in the top barrel, one in the barrel to the bottom right, and finally one to the bottom left. He pulled back the charging handle, aimed the massive two metre long artillery rifle, and pulled the trigger.
Nothing. Then a whistle, as the shell ploughed through the air. Almost at the speed of sound. Then a massive explosion erupted from the side of the Romulus. The light travelled faster than the sound, then, like a wall, the roar of the explosion. The guns on the Romulus answered.
Fools. He thought. He jogged fifty metres to avoid their attack. Then loosed another. Silence again as the top of the Romulus’s frontal leg on the starboard side was dislocated by the blast of the shell, the Romulus could no longer walk. Fifty metres behind him, down the hill the shells from the Romulus landed, tearing up the ground.
Miss. he loost one more before they could retaliate, it found its mark. Landing right next to the artillery that had fired on him. The surrounding area erupted in explosion, he had hit an ammo cash.
Nothing too serious, but enough to make the Romulus uninhabitable for a group as large as they are, but for me, a single individual, it’s perfect. They'll run, and, if i see fit, I can repair it.
Tripods dropped one by one from the Romulus. As they hit the ground they began dashing. He jogged through the sands and dry clay. All but one tripod was left. Trying to gather their water, smart.
Once he made it to the Romulus he grappled up to the platform, the rest of the tribe was gone, all except for that one tripod. Opening up a hatch where a tripod had been docked he came upon something he had not been expecting. A group of tribe’s people trying to enter the tripod. Oh, a malfunction. They immediately noticed him and silently, as to hand over the Romulus, they left, dropping out the hatch, into the desert.
He locked the hatch, and sauntered over to a control panel. He ran a diagnostic. The Ancus had some major damage, the hull was wide open on the starboard side, but most of the defence system was intact. The damage to the Ancus was bad enough to render the Romulus unlivable unless you had a Numa on. He got straight to work fixing that. After a time, he couldn’t count how long, maybe ten or twenty hours, it was done. Next he repaired the damage to the hull. He estimated that that took forty hours. Yet the sun hadn’t set.