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Stag Beetle Solo

Exerpt from the diary of Colonel G. Himber

United Federation of Battle Bugs

Pill Bug Division

 

78 days into this goddamned bug war and I thought I’ve seen it all. I mean I’ve seen Rhino Beetles launch noxious napalm rockets into the night sky, I’ve seen legions of unmanned robotic Dung Drones blow mechs 100 times their size into smithereens. I’ve seen fire ants …I’m talking mechanized flame throwing fire ants that have a nasty tendency to live up to their name! I’ve seen mantises of horrific size and proportions that loom high over the battlefield and shake the ground and the hearts of human soldiers as they walk…and let’s not forget steam powered mosquitoes that had to have been concocted from The Devil himself! Nothing seems fair on the battlefield…everything that defies logic and principles happens just a stones throw away and with no warning at all!

 

Sure I’ll join your little war, I said. Sounds great, why not!? I had nothing going on except for a few recent run ins with the law and rumor had it that my loins have been particularly productive over the past few months so I figured this was a great time to join the Bug Federation and disappear for awhile. Plus the monetary compensation they promised me, should I survive this thing, was a little too good to refuse. They told me the Pill Bugs were heavily armored and nearly impenetrable so I signed on the dotted line, tested high in the preliminaries, climbed the ranks quickly and here I am inside the armored confines of a stinking bug mech hoping my ass will still be attached to my body an hour from now. My job is to roll my mech into a ball when the battle gets too hot and hope for the best…and God help me if I happen to be on a hillside. Pill Bug…Roly-Poly…I mean, seriously, what drooling moron thought up that idea?

 

And I thought I’ve seen it all. Just when I was thinking this whole bug war was some sadistic prick’s idea of a sick joke, the sky over the eastern horizon turns black with a swarm of dragonflies carrying stag beetles! Maybe it was my overactive imagination or my tendency for overblown theatrics, but I could swear I heard Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries as they approached! I found out later they were commonly called Dragon-Stag Dropships and their mission was to deal out…Death From Above. The stag beetles had a rear facing swivel cannon, two forward facing phalanx guns and powerful pinchers that could sever bug wings, limbs, even heads of much larger mechs. On their own they were fast…probably the fastest of all the bugs I’ve seen. They could run, even with the considerable weight of the dragonflies on their backs, but it was rare to see the dragons that close to the ground as they favored dropping the stags from a considerable height. Separately they were each graceful and formidable killing machines and together they looked to me like some weird interspecies mating ritual gone horribly wrong…but were twice as deadly in this configuration. Just when the stags were surrounded and all looked abysmal, the dragons would swoop in with guns blazing and lift the mechs out of danger and to unknown heights. I survived this interlude with the dragon-stags but I hope to never encounter them again. After seeing the horrors of insect war, we need ever more formidable bug mechs so please join The United Federation of Battle Bugs with your own creations. I need all the help I can get. The horror…the horror!

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Taken on August 12, 2009