Featured: Ittei no izoku no ken (A certain survivor's sword)
Keep the Engine Running
Gwendolyn Groane flipped up her welding mask and set her tools down on the little stool beside the engine she had been repairing. She stood up and looked around. The cavernous basement-slash-garage-slash-workshop was littered with machines in various stages of disassembly, but one glance was all it took to know what she was looking for wasn’t there. With a sigh she stomped up the stairs, her heavy boots sounding like a stampede.
The basement was huge, but the building above it was deceptively small. Mittens & Groane was a small company, so a repurposed farmhouse was all the headquarters they needed. Martin J. Mittens Jr. was in the main office, watching a questionably-legal rooftop race on the vidscreen. He had left the door open, but she knocked anyway just to get his attention.
“Oh, hey Gwen. What’s up?”
“We’re out of dimmer switches. I’m driving into town to get some more.”
“Hang on, I’ll come with
Ittei no izoku no ken (A certain survivor's sword)
The flashing red lights of his heads up made the hydraulic fluid on his visor sparkle like thousands of stars bursting with fire. His left leg had almost two seconds of control delay and no primary joint pump, greatly reducing his walking speed to a hobbled limp on the already rough terrain of the city streets. Raze, an Sk-203b Shortsword combat frame, had seen better days, but it refused to give up. The war torn streets of New Thermopylae were one of the most dangerous places in the sector, and undoubtedly the most deadly on the planet. Tucked behind a gas giant in a small, otherwise uninhabited star system, Oberron became a lucrative planet when scavengers came across the mineral deposits there. The pure strudium that runs abundantly in the mountains near the equator could be used as an efficient fuel source for almost any frame, and more of the stuff could be found there than in the entire Theta sector.
“Raze, locate the LZ and clear my HUD.” Lt. Cmd. Wilson ordered his