A Bat on the Way to Hell!


As the newest member to Hellskull’s outlaw gang Bat was eager to prove his worth and this wasteland fight over the downed helicopter was his chance.

They already know that I’ve got the stones for this job, he thought.

He had proved his daring on the day he first approached the gang. He had heard that Hellskull’s mechanic Torx had just finished building a motorcycle and the gang was looking for a rider. That was all the invitation that Bat needed. He left Zeke’s that minute and went straight up to the decrepit mansion that Hellskull’s gang used as a hideout. He had braved three warning barrages of machine gun fire and stood in the open with his arms out. After a pause two shots rang out and dirt flew onto his boots.

He kept his position and a third bullet passed so close to his head that he heard the whine of it’s passing.

He looked straight at the machine gun nest on the mansion’s third floor balcony and started walking forward.

Bat was allowed in that very day; and it was a good gig. Except for taking orders from that uppity witch Helga. Hellskull ran the gang through her and she acted like her words were the very words of the devil himself.

I don’t care how great looking she is, he thought, I wouldn’t put up with her attitude.

And it was obvious that Hellskull liked Bat. It was the gang leader’s idea to have the bike’s front armor retooled to resemble a bat with spread wings. Bat patted the top edge of that armor as the gang pulled up at the battlefield.

There was a lot of radio chatter amongst the gang about how close Ducky’s gang was to them. Helga was saying something about a change in the battle plan but Bat wasn’t listening. His eyes were focused on the far side of the battlefield where Havok’s gang was riding up safe and sound by themselves in great position to loot the field.

I sure as blazes ain’t going to let that happen, Bat thought.

He kept in his clutch and gave the bike a little throttle, revving the power plant.

He glanced right, at the others repositioning to face the advance of Ducky’s two vehicles and accompanying helicopter.

He looked back to where a group of Havok’s weird man machines was offloading from a van and running for crates that had spilled from the downed helicopter’s ripped open belly.

I’m not going to let that happen, Bat thought. The others can take care of Ducky’s men by themselves.

He let out on the clutch and gave the bike plenty of throttle. Dirt flew up from his tires as he sped across the battlefield. He left the rest of his gang behind and cut left to face Havok’s gang. The cyborg leader’s big black car was just ahead, flanked by two bikes.

No problem at all, Bat thought. I’ll shoot the gap to their right and be on those guys on the ground before they know it. And I’ve got enough rockets to reduce them to broken parts while the rest of my gang takes care of Ducky’s crazies.

Helga’s voice cut in on his intercom.

“Bat, what in the wasteland are you doing”, she yelled. “Get back on the plan and get back here with us!”

Bat ignored her and straightened out his bike to get a good line of sight on the bike closest to him. He needed that bike out of his way to get to the man machines running amongst the downed helicopter’s rubble.

“Bat, get back here!” Helga shouted in his ear. “You’re too far out. You’re going to get yourself killed!”

Bat leaned left to race by a broken crate that was spilling out belts of machine gun ammo. When he was past it he eased his bike back to stable and saw that the cyborg biker was coming at him now, ready for a high speed shoot out. Bat took as many details of his opponent as he could in the short seconds left before the shooting started. The cyborg rider, he noted, was actually a woman machine with long dirty blonde hair streaming out on the side of her head that was still human. Her body was covered in plates of smooth plastic armor and her right forearm was too bulky. He didn’t have time to take a better look to see why though.

It was time for the killing.

“Sorry, chickie”, he said. “I never did like killing women but then you aren’t really a woman anymore.”

He reached out with his left thumb for the launch button of the rocket pod on the front of his bike. Helga started shouting at him again but the sound of the rocket leaving the pod drowned out her shrill voice. His front tire had bumped a rock that he hadn’t seen though and his rocket was off target. It flew high, missing the woman machine’s front armor by a foot and blazing by her half metal head so close that it’s exhaust blackened her Flexisteel forehead.

The cyborg woman didn’t seem bothered by the near miss and triggered her forward mounted Holland .303 machine gun to much better effect. Fast flying lead rained into his bat shaped front armor. He handlebars shook as both wings were blasted away. The screaming head of the bat shaped armor was sawed off by bullets. A piece of it bounced up and hit Bat’s helmet.

I can’t take another hit like that, he thought. But I won’t have to!

He steadied his handlebars and lined up his next shot. The distance between the two bikes was diminishing fast. The cyborg woman’s bike loomed much larger before him.

You’re dead now, he thought, his thumb on the launch button.

But then there was a different voice in his ear piece.

“Bat, get back here right now or I will sacrifice you to the Dark One myself!”

Wait, was that Hellskull’s voice, he thought even as his rocket left the pod on a fiery trail toward the bike ahead of him.

The rocket sailed wide, passing through the ranks of the cyborgs on the ground far behind his target.

That can’t have been Hellskull’s voice!

The barrel of the oncoming bike’s Holland .303 lit up and Bat’s handlebars rocked as the last of his front armor was battered away.

Was that really Hellskull’s voice? It can’t be!

His puzzlement at his leader’s identity was cut short by the sudden realization that his bike was on it’s side. He was sliding sideways in the dirt and he didn’t remember falling over. His left hand still gripped the handlebars but his right hand was no where to be found. That side of the handlebars was covered with bright crimson blood.

That’s my blood, he noted with his characteristic calm in the face of danger. There’s an awful of it. I didn’t know that I had that much blood in me.

His head lolled up while his limp body was dragged along by his skidding bike and he saw the woman machine on her bike as she passed him by. She looked down at him and reached out with her too bulky right arm.

Oh, he noted. It’s a gun. That’s what on her arm.

That gun barked and Bat was dead before it’s muzzle flash burned his forehead.

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