Rushing over to the radar screen James shouted out "What's wrong Freddy?"
Looking shaken and rather scared, Freddy said "You'd better come and see for yourselves!"
James and Marcian looked down at the high definition screen, able to detect the ridges in the dunes. While looking, James saw something that he wished he hadn't "Was that what I think it is Freddy?" He asked.
Looking at his friends faces and seeing thee look of anguish on them, Freddy replied "I'm afraid so."
Marcian asked Freddy "How far are they away from the bikes?"
Looking at the viewer Freddy replied "No more than about four hundred metres."
As the group were watching the screen, the door opened and Alanov returned from the ward with news for Freddy. "Padraig has something he wants to tell you, Freddy. He said he wanted you to know first. I have no idea, what he could want."
Freddy looked at the gathered friends and told them "I have a good idea, Alanov. I knew this day was soon and the last fall really took it out of him."
"What was all the commotion about as I came in?" Alanov asked.
"Come and see. The bikes are heading for trouble."
Pointing to the screen, Marcian said, "Seriously heavy weapons we think. Have a look about four hundred metres ahead of the bikes."
As he looked at where Marcian was pointing, Alanov could see what they meant, the ground ahead of the bikes was rippling as if the winds were moving the dunes, but this time the ripples were from a set point in the dunes. Watching the dunes ripple like golden waves, one cold be entranced by their beauty, but on this occasion it meant something totally evil was about to burst forth.
"There are few things that cause that effect on that scale," Alanov said " one is a fleet of Sand demon hunter class bikes and the other is a desroyerbot factory. Either way, the bikes are as good as gone."
At this point the sand erupted and fifteen motorbikes shot from under the dunes, melta pistols blazing. The heat from the nozzle so hot even only a tank can withstand it.
"Break to scissors!" Yelled Jeff as two bikes split left and right and turned back. Leaving Adria to go ahead.
"We don't have much chance against them Jeff," Frankie called out over the melta gun fire.
"I know, we only have Bolterin pistols so aim low and try to take the lead bikes down. Every second we buy for Adria is vital, Frank."
The lead bikers were hit with a hail of fire and the shock of being pounded by a fist like shell finally took its toll ans the riders span out of control, bringing down the ones immediately behind them in a pile of broken motorcycles.
Watching all the action from the relative safety of the tower at their base, Alanov, James and Marcian were horrified to see the carnage as the Demons reined krak grenades at the bikers. The grenades capable of breaking any man-made fortification were being launched from the new Molotovor launcher pads. Fortunately, they were just too far away too do real damage.
Freddy was walking slowly down to the ward, he knew what was coming and made a detour to stop to refuel the last of Padraig's cars with Promethium 2. A most volatile substance, so lethal it has to be diluted four parts to one to be usable in any form.
Opening the doors to the ward, he gestured to the orderly to leave the room.
"Hi, Freddy," Padraig said as Freddy sat by the bed. "You know why I asked you here, don't you."
"Yes, my old friend I knew your time was near when we got hit out there. The tissue is all but dead now."
"Docs give me months, Freddy. I don't want to go this way, I need honour at the end."
"Man, there is nobody with more honour than you for about a hundred miles, but I know what you mean. Lying here in a bed is no way for a hero to die."
"Did you do as I asked you? Three part to one not the usual four."
"Yes, that was my last port of call as I came here."
"Thanks, Freddy you and I have been through the mill in the last fifteen years. We've had each others back on so many occasions, and I have taught you all I know. It's up to you to help these guys now. One last request, Freddy."
"Anything you ask is done."
"At the end, tell my story and tell it well."
"You can rest assured on that."
"Okay Freddy, let's do it. You can take me to the car and get me locked in and tubed up and I will be on my way."
Freddy carried his old friend down to the car for the final time, tears rolling down his hardened skin, knowing this was the trip he had no hope of coming back from. Closing the hangar door behind him as he heard the engine start up, Freddy crossed himself and stopped for a minute to say a prayer to the bravest man he knew. As he heard the car move slowly out of the doors at the other end he said "Goodbye, old friend. I hope you get the end you deserve."
Then he left the garage and went back to the others.
"Okay. I'm out of ammo now Frankie!" Jeff called to his friend as he looked around to see Adria still about a hundred feet from the gates to the sector.
"Me too!" called Frankie, " I guess this is it for us, we did our best and got this far."
"Only one thing for it then."
"Got ya back, my main man. Ride on and cause a distraction."
They were just about to get on the bikes when the ground around shook violently and threw them off.
"What the hell!" Jeff yelled as he got up.
In the tower, James was watching the battle going on and said "They must be out of ammo soon, that will be it once they run out. The Demons will pick them off."
Out of the corner of his eye, Marcian caught a sight of something, but it was gone before he could see it properly.