Chapter 10 - The Wing Riders rescue
Watching the high definition screens, James and Alanov saw anomalies on the far corner of the dune ridges.
Peering at then as they appeared to close on the stranded bikers, James said “What do you make of them, Alanov?”
Trying to get a definite impression Alanov said “I can't be sure from here, but it's either four Wing Riders or four Sky Hawkers. We'll know soon enough, James.”
Down at ground level, with the dust of the dunes clogging their noses and the smell of the Caradone still hanging in the stillness of the air, the biker squad were trapped with no ammo and no escape. It was looking as if the rescue of 501 was going to be their end...
Aria stood up and called to Jeff and Frankie “This is it guys, the end wont be long now. We did our best, but it wasn't good enough.”
Jeff replied “Yer, guess we'll never know who 501 was or even if it was for real.”
Walking over to the others Frankie said, “I know we all trusted James, but I think he got this one wrong. Since we left the base, I've had the feeling that somebody is watching us and trying to pick us off.”
Looking around Jeff said to his friends “Do you mean in the dunes? I've been noticing strange movements too.”
“I can't pin it down, Jeff, but I feel somebody is following us.”
“Okay, we now you are out there! Come and get us, we wont go without a fight though, ammo or no ammo.” Adria yelled at what appeared to be the empty dunes.
Laughing, Jeff said “You tell em, Adria.”
The air was filled with rifle and Melta gun fire, as balls of flame tore through the air. The balls from the Melta guns could burn a whole in all but the thickest iron. Fortunately, they were used for short range fire and just heated the air. The Boltrun guns were a different matter as the shells ripped through the air and bounced off the bikes.
Jeff yelled out “Make for the gates,we can't hope for more than a few minutes now but that is something. It's been great knowing you.”
Looking for a quick route Adria yelled “Nice knowing you guys, hope to see you on the other side.”
Nobody said any more as the ran for the gates, bolter shells whistling passed them. Adria was felled by a short burst from the left and fell to the ground. Her knee ripped apart and bleeding on the hot sand she crawled through the sand, her trail clear to follow. Hearing her yell in agony, Jeff turned to try and help, but was driven back by the volume of shells that the Demons were pouring on them.
Fading in and out of consciousness, she called to Jeff “Am I seeing things? Look to the skies!”
Jeff, curious as to the comment took out his magni-glasses and focussed them to the area of sky that Adria had pointed to, “I can't be sure as we never can tell about them, but it looks like Wing Riders on the way. Hang in there, Adria.”
Frankie took out his goggles and had a look “I have to say, I think it is them now. I can see them.”
At this moment, the air was shattered by the tumultuous sounds of ten auto-cannonades firing at full volume and tearing the Demons to shreds. Caught in the open, the Sand Demons tried to turn back to their tunnels, only to be met by a fast approaching vehicle firing Promethium blasts their way.
“It can't be!” yelled Frankie.
“Yes it can and it is!” called Jeff, “good old Padraig to the rescue!”
“What is he up to now? He can't possibly drive so soon after that crash. I saw his wounds, there was hardly and flesh left.” Frankie replied.
With a quick fiery blast, Padraig hit the gates. Jeff and Frankie turned to see the smoudering remains swinging on burned hinges.
“You go and get 501, I've one thing left to do,” Padraig called to the bikers.
Turning the vehicle, Padraig fired a shell at one of the dunes. On cue the Wing Riders circled and swooped in, blasting the area with auto-cannonade shells and ripping the sand to pieces. Underneath lay the lair of this Sand Demon squadron. Without hesitation Padraig revved the engine and drove through the burning hole created by the shells, Promethium ablaze as he raced through the tunnels. Demons screaming everywhere as the air exploded around the stockpiled shells, there was a series of explosions then …
Jeff and Frankie heard the explosions, shock waves knocking them off their feet. Turning to see what had happened, Jeff said “He wouldn't have wanted it any other way, Frankie.”
With tears running down his smoke covered face, Frankie replied “I know, hero to us even at the end. He knew there was nothing he could do and wanted to leave a final message for anybody to
remember him by.”
“Well that he did, Frankie. We wont forget him, always willing to sacrifice himself for anybody and now he has given us a last hope. All we can do, is make sure his effort wasn't in vain and get to 501.”
“That is if they exist, or if this fire fight hasn't drawn attention to the gate.”
“James has been watching this area for weeks, for some reason patrols don't cover it.”
Frankie replied “Do you think because the Demons patrolled outside ? And they thought nobody could get in or out.”
“You may have a point there. Anyway, we need to get to 501,” Jeff commented.
Outside the gated area, the Wing Riders circled in honour of a brave fighter. With the Promethium still burning the air, it was hard to find a safe landing spot. One rider saw a small area of sand slowly moving over the previously burning area and swooped down. On landing he dismounted his raydrian and ran to Adria. By this time, she was unconscious and delirious with pain. Gently taking her in his strong arms, he put her on his mount and took to the skies, heading back to the base.
Inside the citydrome, things were about to turn nasty for Jeff and Frankie