Drick watched the seconds flicker past on the internal comms screen of their left eye and was about to give the prayer to take out the tank when there was a small flurry of action. The foam on both sides of the vehicle decayed rapidly from a solvent hastily applied. Then five weapons, two from the left and three from the right, were tossed out of the vehicle.
They came out hands and feet clearly visible and both knelt down on the ground. As instructed they placed their hands behind their heads and lay down. Then one of them, the one on the right, raised their face, helmet mask still shielding their looks, and spoke. “What do you want to do now? You have made a clear assault on our vehicles.”
“Well, have I?” Drick replied smoothly. “I think you will find that you were attacked only by some street punks. I never touched any of you. I personally have not fired upon any of your vehicles or assaulted them in any fashion. Yet I have clear footage, that is already being uploaded to the hire company, of you firing on their property. Not only that but you were outside of your assigned protectorate area when you did that. So even if you could prove just cause, which you cannot, you have no jurisdiction.”
The two helmeted people exchanged a glance at each other, unconsciously confirming they were using a tight beam channel to continue conversation. Thank you, thought Drick, and gave a little prayer to have a canister of Glass thrown in the area. Drick waited a few seconds until there was a small flash and the area was flooded with a rainbow of colours.
“What the hell was that?”
“Prismatic grenade,” Drick said calmly. “It is a fine mist of ultra-reflective particles. Makes light beam weaponry and communications devices virtually inoperable. It will prevent your infrared comms and also disrupt the small laser pistols you both have hidden in your gloves. Why do you people continue to act like I am an amateur or a rank outsider? It often astonishes me. Surely you are smart enough to realise that you are facing a talented enough opponent? Capturing you both was the work of about thirty minutes of avoiding your unprecedented assault while you dug yourself into an untenable position and maybe ten seconds of forward thinking.”
“You set us up.”
“You cannot prove that I did anything but protect myself and trust me everyone here who is willing to talk will tell the same story. There were plenty of witnesses at that market that saw you firing at me.”
“Who’s going to believe them, a bunch of lowlifes and biker scum. No one will listen to them. No one cares.”
“Well normally I would see your point of view, but I did happen to fly across a market that had a medical truck, a union recruitment station and a mobile tax collection facility. These people may be the lowest in society but a lot of them do the work that you people wouldn’t risk a robot on. They are employed, they get medical cover and they have to pay government stipends. So there are always a few official vehicles in these areas and they always have all their outside monitoring turned to maximum sensitivity. So your little escapade is recorded somewhere. I wonder if I know where?”
Drick watched them squirm for a few more minutes and then dropped the bombshell. “You know, and I know, that we could have done this conversation via radio. But I wanted you to be out of your vehicle.”
As Drick finished the sentence they signalled another prayer and Boomer shot a high yield shaped tactical charge into the centre of the tank through the open hatchway. There was a satisfying ‘crump’ sound and the vehicle bounced into the air a few feet with flames spewing from any openings in the shell. The armour and hull integrity held but the inside was an inferno for a good forty seconds.
“Now then, looks to me like that was a fire hot enough to vaporise the type of low impact armour and headgear you folks are wearing along with pretty much the entire inside of that assault craft. Since we can easily do a torch on your weapons before artfully placing them back inside we can assume that anyone investigating these remains will presume, correctly, that you two have moved on. Now will it be physically or spiritually? It will all depend on the quality of the information you are about to give me.”