The colony. Chapter 23: Test Drive

    Barney located on the spot of the co-pilot and actively turned his head, not ceasing to whisper something excitedly under his breath. The helmet to control the plasma gun located on the roof of the rover, sat on his head like a glove, and the joystick was located in the hands of Barney. Gordon looked at him sternly from time to time.

    “You see, there is justice in the world,” said Barney, as if noticing the look of a comrade on himself. - You are the first and main pilot, the commander of the rover. But I can shoot. And do not be distracted, watch the road.
    “That's for sure,” Joe said from the back row. He and Scott also put on their helmets and got used to controlling the side cannons.

    The rover was not far from the exit of the hangar and was still in the dome's action zone. Four titans are quite interested in them, but did not fit. Another titan wandered a little distance away, as if suspecting something.

    - Well, what are you guys? - Raytnov's voice came from the speakers. - Mastered?
    “I, yes,” Gordon replied deliberately seriously. “But boys need some more time.”
    “Accepted,” Alex replied, and a muffled laugh was heard in the background. - Tell me how you will be ready. The dome is at sixty percent, the titans will not suit you.
    “And if they do,” Joe held the scope on one of the predators, but did not hurry to pull the trigger, “then we will have something for them.”
    “Something hothearted,” Scott said, and he and Joe roared together.

    The whole team was in awe of anticipation, because the moment of truth had come - a test drive of the new rover and a test of weapons on real and formidable targets. Barney first volunteered, claiming that "this job is for him." Gordon supported him, claiming, as usual, the role of first pilot and squad commander. Raytnov wanted to join them himself, but he reasoned that it was better to send Joe and Scott to the raid in case something went wrong and would require skilled assistance from mechanics. The rest remained in the command post and watched what was happening with the help of the projection.

    In proportion, the rover was almost as large as the titans. Despite the fact that they were taller and their torso was longer, it was obvious that they would not under any circumstances be able to turn a powerful and massive machine.
    Emilia carefully watched the projection, especially she was interested in rotating in different directions rover cannons - it was obvious that Barney and the guys were actively controlling them.

    - How is the interface responsive? - Asked Isaac, who also closely followed the projection.
    “Very,” said Barney’s contented voice after a second pause. - There is a sensor in the helmet - it catches eye movements and moves the sight to where I look. Accuracy is perfect.
    “Try to squint your eyes and look at your nose,” Raytnov advised.
    - You underestimate me. I did it a minute ago.
    - So what?
    - Nothing. The look must be focused, otherwise nothing will come of it.
    “What if a person has poor eyesight and cannot focus on a goal?” - asked Emilia. “Then he can't shoot?”

    Gordon laughed and answered for his friend:

    “And you think it's better to let him shoot at a blur, what does he see?” Then he blows everything around.
    “Well, you never know,” Emilia was a little embarrassed, because her own question now seemed silly to her. - There are different situations.
    “With poor eyesight, the troops are not allowed,” Gordon replied with a smile. - Do you want to serve - be kind, pass the adjustment, it is completely free and takes a minute.

    Barney looked at one of the titans, smoothly looking from one part of the body to another. The sensations were strange, as if a sight had been drawn somewhere on the retina of the eye, and wherever you looked, it was always exactly in the center.

    - How to shoot? - Again asked Emilia. - Do you just blink or what?

    There was a silent silence for a few seconds. That the question came out stupid again, Emilia understood a moment before a friendly burst of laughter shook the space, and because of this she even blushed.

    “No, friend,” Barney said deliberately seriously. - There is a button on the joystick, right under the index finger.
    - little red? - I decided to play along with Emilia, busting laughter.
    “Little red,” Barney said. “So that you know that if you click on it, something will happen.”

    Scott lifted his helmet to look at the joystick and make sure that the button is really red. Then he glanced at Joe - he was sitting almost with a stony face, only the corners of his lips were slightly raised. He firmly gripped the joystick, and his finger lay on the button.

    “All right,” said Raytnov, brushing a bead of sweat from his brow. “And what if you need to turn 180 degrees and hit a target behind the rover?”
    “Everything's well thought out,” Barney replied immediately, as if waiting for a question. - The gun works in four planes - front, back, left, right - and they partially overlap. For example, now I look forward and cover a 180 degree angle. To see what is behind my right shoulder, I need to turn strongly on the spot. Or, I can use another plane, - he pressed a button on the joystick, and the gun sharply turned 90 degrees to the right. - Now I work in the right plane and also cover an angle of 180 degrees. Similarly, I can turn the gun in the back and left plane.

    Turning the gun back, Barney caught the window of the canteen in his sight. Glancing over the night base, he returned to the starting position and again saw the titanium in the sight.

    “In principle, nothing prevents me from simply taking and turning my head back,” said Barney. “But this is inconvenient, I'm not a dove.” And with the planes they came up with a cool.
    “I don’t have one like that,” Scott replied from the back row in a resentful voice. “This is because I work with a side cannon, and it always works in the same plane.”

    Gordon nodded in agreement, although no one in the cockpit saw him because of the helmets he wore.

    - So, let's start? - He asked calmly.
    “I'm ready,” Jo said first.
    “And I,” Scott said confidently.

    Barney was silent, attentively examining the titanium, who stood closest to the others. For a moment, it seemed to him that their eyes crossed.

    - Barney?
    - You ask! - The face of the latter stretched out in a wide smile, and Gordon regarded it as an agreement.
    “Base, we are ready,” he reported. - Give good?
    “Good luck, guys,” said Raytnov. - We are following you.
    - Good luck! - poddaknula Amelia.

    Gordon looked at all the monitors in search of any warning messages. Not noticing those, he nodded again with satisfaction - all the systems were working properly, and the rover was ready to go.

    - what are the orders, chief? - Joe asked.
    “Wait for me,” Barney said. - Have a plan. Gordon, can you take a bit more to the right? Drive along the base.
    “Got it,” he answered, and began to turn the steering wheel.

    Barney moved the cannon to the left to catch the titans in sight again.

    - Stop! - He ordered.

    Gordon stopped and turned the rover so that both Joe and Scott, who ran the front and left cannons, respectively, could also fire. One titan obediently repeated the trajectory of the rover, without entering the dome's action zone, three more remained standing still, but were alerted and were ready to attack. The fifth titan, who was standing at a distance, moved further away.

    “Come on,” Barney whispered. - Dawa-ah-ah.

    Gordon's gaze slid to the joystick in the hands of a friend. Barney’s index finger moved up and down the button, as if caressing her, and then suddenly stopped dead. The next second, Barney pulled the trigger.
    A bright flash for a second disoriented Gordon - although the windows of the rover had light filters, the plasma was too contrasted against the black sky. A deaf sound slightly laid ears, and Gordon had to open and his mouth take a deep breath.

    Raytnov carefully watched what was happening on the projection. The flash on it was drawn not so bright, but it was clear that the shot was made from the main gun of the rover, which decorated it like a cherry on the cake.

    “Well, mama,” Joe drawled and whistled in addition.
    “Oh ... oh, oh ... oh ..." Scott could not squeeze out his words of admiration.
    “Fuck,” said Barney, who was also struck by the power of the weapon.
    “My colleague was referring to another epithet,” Joe remarked, just in case, but he did not specify which one.

    Immediately, two titans collapsed dead - Barney perfectly caught the moment and fired just when they stood in one line. Their breasts turned into gaping black holes, scorched around the edges.

    “Three, two, one,” Barney quietly counted out. - That's all, the gun is ready to shoot again.
    - recharge? - clarified Gordon.
    - Yeah, sort of. Cooling.

    Another shot - and another titan collapsed dead. The remaining two, who seemed to be in a stupor and shocked by what was happening, suddenly became more active and began to pick up speed with a loud roar. True, for some reason they fled clearly to the rover.

    - What's up with the dome? - Gordon raised his voice. - They ignore him!
    “The dome is working,” Angus replied with emotion in his voice from the command post. - I swear he is working!
    - Barney?
    - Another three seconds to recharge!

    The distance between the titans and the rover was quickly reduced. The observers from the command post suddenly diminished their confidence that two enraged powerful creatures could not harm the rover.

    “I won't cool down,” Barney warned. - Gordon come on ...

    He didn’t have time to finish it because Joe interrupted him.

    - Try my balls now! - He yelled and pulled the trigger.

    The gun, which he controlled, was much weaker, but had a much higher rate of fire.

    - C-Shoot the legs! - advised Scott, also opening fire.

    A few shots were enough to bring down the titans to the ground, and then it was no longer difficult to aim better and finish the job. Joe noticed a warning message at the bottom of the helmet display: "Heat: 66%."

    “I'm ready,” said Barney, although he clearly understood that there was no longer any need for his gun. With titans coped well and auxiliary.

    For a while, everyone was silent, comprehending what was happening. Everyone understood what had just happened, but no one was in a hurry to break the silence - it was a moment of little triumph.

    “Officially, we are unraveling these creatures,” said Joe, unable to sustain a prolonged pause.
    - Yes! - Pleased Scott poddaknul, and Emilia began to applaud the loud and joyful hum of comrades.

    “To set aside grimacing,” Gordon wanted to put in, but instead he just smiled and relaxed his eyes.

    “Now we know what this little one is capable of,” Barney slapped him on the shoulder, taking off his helmet. - Now it's time for dinner.
    “But before that, a lap of honor,” Joe suggested. - I would like to see how she runs - I'm a mechanic, not a military man.
    “Be it your way,” Gordon gently pushed the gas pedal, pushing it more and more into the floor, causing the rover’s engine to pick up speed and show what it was capable of.

    Having made two circles around the base, the rover returned to the hangar, where he was already met by Raytnov and Angus.

    - Well, how did it look from the center of events? - Alex extended his hand to Barney and Gordon for a firm handshake. - Was it scary?
    “To be honest, the only thing I was really scared of,” Gordon slightly embellished, “so this is the moment of the shot.” I have already laid my ears.

    Raytnov stretched out in a smile and headed towards the command post, but suddenly he stopped and turned over his shoulder. Joe and Scott went down the ramp and discussed something among themselves.

    “Good work, guys,” Alex went up to them and extended his hand again, looking Joe in the eyes. With a smile, he extended his hand in response.
    - Thanks, Alex.

    Isaac and Emilia also congratulated them on great success, and then they all went to the dining room together to celebrate a significant event for a little strong glass.

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