The punk kid had good technique, Gun had to give him that. Toes pointed and turned just a hair outward, to better absorb the impact. Back arched for greater, like, thrusting power. Knees together. Hips straight. Thing of fucking beauty or whatever. Technique like that would get you the first place blue ribbon gold medal grand prize at a diving competition, if they had diving competitions for giant robots.
It didn’t matter. Gun had him on the ground with six broken joints, servos screaming like the hungry babies of teen mothers on prom night. Gun ripped off the wheels that extended, mollusk-like, from the bot’s insides. The punk kid would have to walk home in the scarring acid rain, probably lose half his hair, face get all dissolved and ugly. If punk kid wanted tail from his peers, punk kid’s looks wouldn’t do it anymore. Punk kid would have to rely on his charm and pleasant demeanor to woo the gender of his choice. Gun was pretty sure the kid’s skills in giant robot combat wouldn’t get him very far, either.
Gun loved the rain around here. After a hard day’s jump, there weren’t nothing in the world that’d wake you up like a good stroll in East River rain. Gun liked the sizzle of it, the kick. Made him feel alive again, or at least like a serious badass. ‘Course, Gun wouldn’t be making “best of” at HotOrNot, but whatevs. His significant and sexy battle expertise made up for it with the ladies (Gun’s choice). When Gun wanted to tap that, he just oh-so-casually dropped his jump standings and the square footage of his bedroom into the same paragraph of dazzling flirtation. His peers would practically be throwing sexual favors at him, if they could. Besides, Gun believed that real beauty was on the inside.
Why did Gun win so awesomely? First, Gun’s bot is totally great, and all custom, baby. Line assembled bots like punk kid’s have mechanical whatsits for all the necessary limbs, but not much more. Gun’s bot has servos that can flex. Turbo charged everything. Civilian Hummer diesel engines powering each one of Gun’s forty-four finger-knuckles. Gun’s bot has gears for robot orgasms. You ever heard of gears for orgasms? Gun didn’t think so.
Second, Gun watched, and learned, and practiced. Every damn day, like the dickens. Back in the day, when most kids were out aching for a little net-famous, thumping away aimlessly at Formerly-Known-As The World Wide Web, Gun was out on the scrape, watching the first giant robot pilots crash about amongst the levees of Formerly-Known-As Lower Manhattan. When everyone was lying low, when there wasn’t any action in sight, when the scrape got just too frayed and electro-crackly even for Gun, he would be locked in his bedroom naked, learning jiujitsu from old MMA flicks. And when Gun finally saved up enough to buy his first bot, he tugged the thing down the coast in his grandmama’s fishing boat to practice, day and night, on the glorious platform husks of the gulf drilling reef.
In the end, though, Gun liked to credit his philosophy of war. When asked Gun always said the same thing: “Everything equal, it is who gets the jump on who.” Doesn’t matter so much what weapons you got, how double jointed your bot is, whatever. If you don’t have that one little grain of element-of-surprise in your hand, and if you don’t nurse that seed to fruition with speed and power and ruthlessness, well, then it’s curtains for you, bub. ‘Course, it isn’t always the one diving through the air, toes pointed and back arched, that actually gets the drop on the other guy. Gun knew this last bit very well, and he worked very hard to make sure he always saw the other guy coming, always knew the jump was coming before the fact.
Still, even Gun was pretty surprised when, a few blocks later, manhole covers popped like champagne corks, the street started to crumble, and a screaming mob of Teslas swarmed out of buildings to drag him down to darkness.