The Battlemaster bucked and jerked spasmoticly beneath him as the griffin’s drilled slammed into it. Far below the cockpit in the heart of his metal beast Jackal could hear the drill doing its grim work as it ground up the internal structure and components there. Jackal and his co-pilot had been bathed in warning lights for a while now as the battle had come to its inevitable close. The heat alone was staggering; each man struggled to breath as their lungs were filled with the brutally caustic air, thick with the stink of ozone and electrical equipment nearing failure. Now as the mech lurched under the continued assault on its high tech guts, a new wail mixed with the standard alarms; the cry of Prometheus beset by eagles.
“EJECT! EJECT! CATASTROPHIC SYSTEM FAILURE, REACTOR CONTAINMENT MALFUNCTION, DEUTERIUM INJECTORS LOCKED, EJECT! EJECT!”
The Battlemaster’s automated warning system was doing its best to save their lives.
“I’m out Ed, It’s time to go!” His co-pilot reached for the black and yellow striped ejection lever beneath his seat. He paused a moment and looked back as Jackal sat still in his command couch “Ed, we have to go , Eject!” With a final lurch the Griffin pulled its drill out of his mech and the secondary systems in the Battlemaster lost all power. The primary monitors flickered and the holographic displays dimmed then extinguished. The mech was dying. Jackal looked up.
“You go ahead, that’s not for me. It’s not for me…”
The co-pilot reached down and yanked back hard on the handle beneath his seat. The plexisteel canopy exploded off the top of the mech and the co-pilot rode into the sky on a jet of flame. The Battlemaster continued it’s death cry, imploring him to eject. Jackal looked to the open sky where the mech’s canopy had been. The air that blew in was cool against his skin. Edwin Jones thought about his wife, his friends and what waited him next. He raised his arms to the sky and closed his eyes, breathing out slowly. A moment of peace graced his bloody and bruised face as he repeated his mantra.
“It’s not for me…”
The Battlemaster’s reactor flared into an uncontrolled state and the resulting surplus of plasma ignited everything it touched as it expanded and devoured the mech with an infernal hunger; a new star. Edwin Jones passed into light of a brief but new dawn.