IRON MIGHT

A day in the life of the Resistance. NOTE: In no way is Iron Fist Corporation glorifying the material presented here. It is a work of war-fiction created by public relations personnel in order to give people a full idea of the kind of adversary the Corp. is up against. Any similarities to real people, events or situations is entirely coincidental.

The brisk, cool air intermingled with the smell of dried vegetation. It being the middle of October, the leaves on the surrounding trees still clung to the safety of their branches, in bright golds and vibrant reds. Oranges and flaming yellows. The lowering sun could be seen just above the jagged peaks of mountains, casting a rich golden light upon the earth.

Jordan really did like this time of year. Ever since a small child, his long walks in the colored forests of Fall seemed to breathe creativity and vibrancy into his soul. There was just something about the feel of the air, the smell of the leaves, and the colors that reminded him of times past. Times of castles, knights, kings and queens. Bandits and robbers of the forest. Festivals and feasts. He smiled to himself.

Turning away from the golden colors of the sun, striking the millions of dust motes like pixie dust, he walked in no hurry along the dirt path in the thick forest. Above, a few birds cried and the wind gently stirred the upper branches of the trees to send a few leaves fluttering downwards. Magic.

A clearing made itself evident to Jordans deep, crystal like blue eyes. A rusted reinforced sheet-metal shed rose up from the weedy cove, and very nearly looked abandoned. Dried branches and barrels were piled here and there. A hulk of a broken down car from 50 years ago sat along one edge of the large building. Admittedly, it was quite a contrast from the beauty of the woods, but it was the way it was intended.

Looking up to the ridge of the metal roof, a flurry of movement from a brown squirrel could be seen. The small furred animal carried a walnut in its cheeks as if it were a precious commodity to be stored away for the upcoming winter months. Indeed, Jordan surmised that the hurried collecting of food for the squirrel was quite vital and necessary. Preparation for survival. Much like the object that was hidden away in the metal building.

Rounding a corner, Jordan had to swing wide so as not to step off a ledge. The ground had been cut away sharply so as to expose a bit of a primitive weedy road bed that led out away from the building for a short distance. As he met the road, and his pants brushed against the weeds, he drew up close to the secure looking metal doors, chained and padlocked shut. They were quite large doors to be sure.

He gazed up at the doors for a moment, inspecting of them and saw that a hornets nest was seen near the top under the eaves. He reached into his pocket as he looked and retrieved his key-ring while slipping it into the lock of a smaller door off to the side. Pushing it open with a protest of metal against the concrete floor, Jordan stepped into the dark, but cool confines of the shed. One third of the shed was sunk into the ground, allowing for added height but not so much that the building jutted above the tree-tops. It was necessity that kept it hidden far from population and prying eyes.

The natural light of the outside disappeared as he shut the door, and darkness bathed him for a moment. He could appreciate the peace, and quiet. He tried to pick out the thing which stood stiffly through the dark, but could not. Reaching to the side, his leather gloved hands felt out a power box, and a main switch. A simple flick of the wrist, and a bank of lights near the back flared to brilliant existence. So bright, that Jordan had to shield his eyes for a moment.

The light raced around the tall, giant shape of a humanoid individual. It stood proudly, firmly and full of strength. It's eye gleamed, and its metal armor shone with the clear special heat resisting ceramic plating. Its black hand was held tightly into a fist, while its other bore a weapon of barbaric design. Shard of metal on a blade that could be prompted to life with just a command from the giants head. A chain cutter of immense proportions. Stenciled on the front in faintly seen yellow letters was its designation numbers, and the words: -Iron Soldier- Prototype Unit. Property of Iron Fist Corporation-

Jordan gazed with quiet respect at the metal man, a mechanized robot of immense height and strength. It stood an impressive 42 feet in height, nearly scraping the rafters of the roof above. Looking up at the glassy -eye- embedded into the flowing lines of the head, a cock-pit of advanced design could be barely seen along with a seat. It had not been long ago, and it was that very place where Jordan had sat frantically trying to learn the controls while piloting the captured unit into an area where it could be picked up. Ahhh. That was an experience he would not soon forget.

It was three months ago in mid July that a small team had set out on a Òdo-or-dieÓ mission. No longer just harassing the Corporate police here and there, or hacking into Iron Fist computer networks to cause trouble, this was now the big league for the small Resistance.

-Pappy- LaGrange was one of the first to form the Resistance group. 12 years ago, the grizzly bear of a 60 something man took a stand against the Corporation and its spreading ideals and force. The Iron Fist Corporation had been around for more than 40 years, starting out small and growing so large that it eventually encompassed nations and governments. Almost as if out of a sci-fi novel, the Iron Fist became the military, the industry, the government and the rulers of millions of individuals. The propaganda and media would have you think different, but Pappy LaGrange knew the truth. Organizing a small group of people, and meeting in abandoned ware-houses, the tiny band of friends and co-workers plotted out simple ways to vent their frustrations against the Corporation. Hopeless odds, and even more hopeless plans from the pitiful resistance, it did little more than make the handful feel a little in control of their destinies.

A hapless hack into the Corporate database was the first real break of the Resistance group. The knowledge arose of a new type of urban control device known as the Iron Soldier that had recently been developed by Iron Fist scientists. This prototype mechanized robot of sorts would put a stop to rebellious citizens and trouble-makers just like them across the globe, and ensure the power of the Corporation.

Sissy Burbanks -a friend of a friend in the resistance- was another such key figure in the Resistance group. Her knowledge of computers and familiarity with Iron Fist networks allowed the knowledge of the location and time that the Iron Fist prototype was to be tested. Tested on an unsuspecting suburban populace.

And so, perhaps out of sheer genius, or sheer stupidity, the Resistance embarked on a mission to destroy the Iron soldier.

They were very nearly successful.

Except, that there had been a BIG change in plans, and the mech ended up falling neatly into their hands. Damaged quite severely albeit, but intact. The robot was air-lifted to its present location (another wild story), and repaired to the best of the abilities of the jobless techs in the Resistance.

Jordan stood with his muscular arms folded across his chest. He chuckled, and continued to stand quietly as he looked at the large robot. So impressive, and so terribly dangerous had the Corporation been allowed to test it out on the populace. As it was, it merely stalled the Iron Fist, and left people like Jordan and the Resistance group scratching their heads about what to do next.

His foot-steps echoed against the dusty concrete as he walked up to the place in which the Iron Soldier stood. Standing on the edge of a pit which dropped down five feet, and allowed yet more space for the IS to stand comfortably, his eyes passed over the ladder which strung down from the cock-pit.

His eyes furrowed, he ran a hand over his short cropped hair. Jumping down into the shallow pit where the robot awaited , he raised a hand to polish at the ceramic armor plating over the metal. Displeased, he thought of the media and how it had been full of articles on the terrible terrorists who stole away priceless technology from the Iron Fist Corporation. Little did the general population know was that the technology was designed for killing and keeping order, not helping them like the Corporation made them believe. It was the articles and attention that drove the Resistance into deep hiding, a quietness to wait and see what happened next. Yes, how he wished that he could make his mother and father understand that their son was not really a vile terrorist, but a freedom fighter. He sighed quietly, and knew that others in the Resistance were paying the price of public shunning as well.

It was this waiting around that made Jordan frustrated as well. Just a few days ago, he had talked with Pappy LaGrange, and tried to convince him that it would not take long for the Investigative Teams from Iron Fist to track the location of their missing Iron Soldier prototype. But Pappy was from a different time. He was a good man, and a good leader, but he didnÕt really understand the ruthless natures of the Corporation. He simply seemed to think that luck would be with them as it had in the past, and that their tracks were covered quite well. After all, the Resistance was not a military unit. The Iron Soldier was something, but it wasnÕt enough. It would have to be kept quiet, hidden away in the hopes that its missing presence from the Corporation would be enough to slow them down for a while.

Sissy Burbanks sat quietly in the dark confines of a plain cinder block walled room. A single lamp in the corner cast a dull glow in the corner, and high-lighted a few posters, a book, and a transistor radio. A wire frame bed was tucked into another corner, as was a rack to hang clothes upon.

Leaning against the hard, cool surface of the all in the simple chair, she contemplated and chewed her lip. Occasionally, a glance would be passed to the thin wood door as the occupants of the apartment would clamor about noisily in the long, echoing hall. As there were no bathrooms or showers in the rooms themselves, but down the hall for all to share, noise was a common occurrence at all hours of the day. One got used to it.

She missed her family. True, Pappy was like a father to her, but she still missed her biological family that was half the world away. She didnÕt know when she would see them again, as travel was only for the politically important or extravagantly wealthy. She would be reluctant to admit it to anyone else, but she knew that running away was a bad idea. Yes, her parents were perhaps a bit too over-protective, which caused her to become quite angry and rebellious in her later teen years, but she knew they loved her like no-one else could. And now, she was involved with this Resistance. In many ways, she wished she could pull out of it. . .if the cause wasnÕt so worthy. If she should be caught, the public slaughtering of the supposed Terroristic acts would be a harsh thing to face. She could not bear the thought of her parents being deceived to think that their daughter was a -supposed killer-, a -disruptive force in a peaceful global corporation-. But if they, and others could only know the truth, and not the lies that were force-fed them like baby food, then things would be different. Much different. It was such a big thing, such an almost nearly impossible dream of freedom from the oily deception of the corporation that it made her head hurt.

Pappy LaGrange tinkered about in a cluttered garage in one of the few houses that were allotted to civilians. It was not his own house, but he rented it from the Bureau of Living. It wasnÕt much, just a few rooms and of flabby construction to boot, but it was much more than many had. Certainly very much more. If he had not been a war-hero from ages past, he would probably be living in one of the myriad of prefabricated apartment buildings cluttered through-out the town.

The house shuddered under the rumble of a dull thwacking sound. Peering out of the cracked and dusty window, PappyÕs wrinkled eyes fell upon one of the incessant helicopters that patrolled the city limits. Everyone else thought they were simply the police going about their law-keeping duties, but Pappy knew they were cleverly disguised as Iron Fist military. He went back to work repairing a broken walkie-talkie.

He hummed an old tune, slipping on a pair of glasses so that he might see the intricate circuitry better. As he reached for a screw-driver, his eyes passed over a faded yellow picture of his son. His dear son. The thought of the young boy who wanted to be just like his dad when he grew up. The boy who grew to a young man, and then whose life was taken away like a flame extinguished from a bright burning candle. If only Pappy could have made things different. If only he could have been there when to watch his sons back. To warn him of the Iron Fist helicopters that were coming, missiles and machine guns ready to quell the rioting group. But no, it could not be changed. His son, and fifty others were dead. Buried under twenty years worth of papers, files and stories that covered the entire incident up to never be known or remembered to the masses. Just to him, an aged man who wondered if his guidance and leadership of a rag-tag group of people was really enough. If he was really doing the right thing, or if he was simply leading a useless crusade against a unconquerable foe. The last thing he wanted was blood on his hands. The blood of all the young people who agreed to trust him, to join and help his cause and shared the same beliefs. But he could not shake the imagery of the blood on a large Iron Fist smashing down into crowds of people.

A week later, Jordan was once again hiking out into the mountains on his routine inspection of the hiding place where the Iron Soldier was kept. Actually, it was just an excuse to get away from the polluted air, the masses of people and the continual grind of machinery. The air out here was so good, this part of the country almost untouched for the last 50 years. But, Jordan had to wonder how long it would last before the strip miners and lumber-men of the Corporation would come. How long before perhaps a survey team stumbled across the shed where the mech was kept. How long before it was found. It made him nervous.

If he could, he would love to stay out here for perhaps weeks, months at a time. Staying as a look-out. But it was impossible. Arranging for the few days to come out here was almost too much to ask for from his boss. Asking for a week, or a month off would certainly arouse suspicion, no matter who it was that asked. Passing over a bubbling brook, a few colorful leaves floating down the clear water, a scream of jet engines broke through the trees and serenity of the surroundings. Quickly, he ducked almost with instinct as he looked through the trees to see the craft.

Almost immediately, he noticed that there was something not quite right. The aircraft was a half moon shaped scout design, and flying very low to the ground in circling, swooping arcs. Passing over-head, Jordan could very nearly make out the pilot riding in the clear bubble of a canopy. His heart beat fast, and he hoped that perhaps it was simply on a practice run, having no particular intentions. But there were no air-fields close by. It was useless for him to try to believe that the pilot was simply out here for the fun of it, especially when the shed that contained the Iron Soldier was only a few miles away. Iron Fist always had a purpose, a goal.

After a few moments of swooping and skimming the tree-tops, the scout ship rose in altitude and disappeared into horizon. Jordan continued to stay hidden in the shade of the trees, lest the craft come back. Justifying the situation as enough of an emergency to alert the resistance unit back in town, he thought it wise to ask their advice before proceeding. Only in dire circumstance was the radio unit to be used, as it was a possibility that the radio signals could be traced. Unhooking the hand-held transmitter unit from his belt, he clicked it to the right frequency and spoke nervously into it.

He waited for a moment. Static.

Again, he spoke more insistently. His heart continued to beat. Why did the pilot have to fly out here? It most certainly discovered the shed just a short distance away. Quite likely the pilot reported it back to his superiors as of being large enough to conceal things. . .perhaps illegal items? There were many other trouble-makers and criminals who operated in the area, not just the Resistance.

Finally! A female voice broke through the static. He could barely hear it. He lifted it to his ear, and checked the frequency again. Yes, it was the correct one. Using as few words as possible, he reported his situation.

A pause, and then the female voice spoke back. Ahh, good. Pappy would be informed. He was in the neighboring city of Durgensburg. Jordan would have to wait while Pappy was contacted and given time to respond back.

Continuing onwards, Jordan flicked the radio off,walked the last two miles to the shed and disappeared inside. Nervously, he waited for Pappy to respond. . .and hoped that there would be enough time. Enough time to perhaps move the Iron Soldier before the probable investigative forces arrived.

To Be Continued in the second installment.....

Copyright 1998-Matthew Silber

Click to go Back

For comments or questions about this web site, contactmrs27230@cmsu2.cmsu.edu