" -- Foxtrot!" I shouted into the radio as I felt the ground shake around me, the explosions and impacts so close together it felt like one undulating wave of earth and sound.
"Roger," the tinny voice of IRIS responded. "We see your beacon. You have rabbits inbound, we are responding with thermobarics. Advise insulate and SIP, immediately."
Even before IRIS cuts the transmission, I can see them cresting the nearest hill. 6.5 tons of steel, with an elevated commander cupola and com links on each side, they sort of did look like huge steel rabbits on tracks. Rabbits with, y'know, machine guns and rocket launchers aimed and firing at us.
Now I knew why IRIS advised SIP. There was no way in hell we'd get away from those things, and even if we did, the blast would get us. She was trying to give help us live through it. Maybe. If those Eggheads got their math right. Shit.
"Copy, IRIS! Roughnecks! Shelter-in-place and sound off!'
One by one, I hear my squad sound off before digging in and activating their SIT packs. Only Garza is in visual range for me to be able to watch as the nanite foam envelops his armour, turning from grey to black as it spreads. Satisfied my squad had no issues, I activated my pack and felt mildly disturbed as I watched billions of robots crawl across me. I'd had the hypno training, of course, and it stands to reason I can't be scared, but it's just like dropping. Everybody gets the shakes. Like a horse at the starting gate.
My vision was totally obscured, but I still saw the flash through my visor and felt the ground rip apart beneath me. I was picked up and thrown through the air, where I met a few small boulders that tried in vain to stop me. I finally landed almost half a kilometer from my last position, and tried to regain my footing. I couldn't see or hear, and every attempt to stand put me back on my ass.
Hm. This isn't turning out at all like I started... I wanted it to be some sort of crazy 'Tales from the radiation age' staged story, instead it's turning out like Starship Troopers meets Monty Python's rabbit.
I'll try to fix this later. Maybe.