Just something I worked on some time ago.
Ellanabeth was guided out of the cell, her brother and sister held back by the security forces. She spoke, "The city's shimmering walls shall fall under the crimson stare of the guardian. All shall fall!"
From another cell, a voice called out, "Ah, shut up, you bloody fake girl!"
The four scientists who carried her frail form stopped at a steel door. They opened it, and the green light of the psychic technology network faintly lit the room from their screens around the room. Wires and pipes snaked from the walls to an adult-sized oval bowl, the inside emitting a bright, contained white light. The leading researcher, impatient to finish his task and return to his family, took Ellanabeth and laid her in the "bowl". Immediately a misted fluid poured from the pipes into the bowl, and a needled cord electronically twisted down from the darkness above. It plugged into the end of the bowl near the child's head, and an immediate wave of information flooded the surrounding screens.
Ellanabeth arched her back and froze into position as she was transferred into the computers. One of the four men then spoke.
"If the government's 'gene machine' prototype actually works, then we can assume the other two will be capable of this psy-link."
Another nodded. "This one has been talking of some strange 'guardian' who threatens the city. We did detect an old Peacekeeper satellite, but it appears to have been drained of its power. No threat there."
Ellanabeth began speaking as the psy-link translated the data stream she contained in her head. "Unidentified object approaching geosynchronous orbit with the city. Shield power consumption rate suggests ten percent loss of power within three hundred years. Unidentified object is now within surveillance range. Scanning. Scanning. Scanning."
All four men started walking towards the door, as the scanning process took about two hours when the last, less effective prototype had been used to scan a vessel that had been moving towards the city.
Suddenly Ellanabeth blinked. She spoke with clear deliberation as her message overrode the computer's other tasks. "Unidentified object has been successfully scanned. Cold fusion technology signs are present. Object is heavily irradiated and projects electromagnetic waves. Object identified as an imminent Level Five threat. Processing scan result schematics. Processing. Level Five threat has suggestive technology and architecture to support a Level Twelve Falling War weapon. Power surge detected. Increasing shield power for preparation of orbital bombardment. Projected city power time calculated as fourteen hours under full radiation stress."
The lead scientist ran back to the bowl, cursing under his breath. Such technology had previously vanished from the world, and now the very same level of weapons Chicago had used against Los Angeles and Paris was well within firing range of their practically weaponless megacity.
"Damn. I thought the NODE virus shut these things down in 2367."
An intercom crackled. "Apparently it didn't work as we expected. With a Brit weapon on our hands, we're screwed."
Ellanabeth then spoke again, a increasing storm of data beginning to flow through the computers.
"Initiating combat alert status. Opening Marine Executable Cryofiles. Processing. Subject chosen. Writing defensive executables. Stand by. City power levels suggest detachment of outer city area for immediate Orbital Airspace Collision Maneuver. Activating spacedock-bound transports. Power levels are too low for single engine launch. Processing. Processing."
Without sufficient power to fuel the electric propulsion system they had once used for the very same purpose this weapon was obviously for, they were helpless; they could not cloak the city and its signatures or fire up the engines and take off without abandoning the rest of the city's supplies. Their shield area had to be shrunk to only the populated zone of the megacity, and reduced to minimum strength to sustain power.
Suddenly a tremor shook the government building. Klaxons began sounding as the city shuddered under a sudden stress. Lights flickered as the scientists grabbed for the side of the bowl to steady themselves. A minute later an officer opened the door. "Sirs! You'd better come and see this!"
Their group ran down the whitewash halls, the glossy tan tiles reflecting their shadows. More and more people joined the group as they rushed to the observation deck of Floor 1215 of the Triple Axium Building. The black sliding doors automatically opened, revealing a panoramic scene of the last city of Man under their radiation shield. Red light poured into the deck, as their eyes adjusted to the sudden change of light source. A huge blaring crimson beam of light particles were burning against the dome of the city, as the ancient assault sirens wailed as they had when the manned aircraft of the Third War came close to entering the danger zone of the military city of Chicago.
Now, the only option left was to escape the city. The hostile object was (like all of the Falling War's satellite technology) very small, not even big enough to be one of the old sentinels capable of punching right through the shields of a city and letting the radiation pour in from all the previous nuclear wars. But because Chicago no longer possessed the quantum reactor they had when the city was the American front for the war, their shields no longer covered the spacedocks at the edge, leaving the single remaining spacecraft to its football fields of lead-lined rock protecting it from the instantly fatal radiation that now dominated the world. Almost immediately a small swarm of shielded vehicles passed through the city shield, rushing to the spacedocks. The beam shut off, and a single burst of radioactive waste slammed into the escaping convoy. The white glare from the burst blinded everyone, then, as the light subsided, they saw a burning dent in the city floor. Then the red beam threw itself against the shields once more.
Lieutenant Federorne waved a mortar rifle at the millions of crowding citizens. As the only surviving Apocalypse-class Marine with knowledge from the front lines in the radiated wastelands, he knew what Chicago was up against. The Thunder Cannon was the ultimate weapon of war in the European arsenal; their weapons had always had the upper hand because of their advanced programming. An old signal that failed to be sent fifty years ago probably managed to reach the inactive cannon, and it targeted the only remaining active nuclear power source on the planet.
"Everyone settle down NOW, before I find a good way to force you to!" he yelled, and immediately the millions of people shut their mouths and stopped moving.
"The weapon we are against targets only nuclear power sources. We have old gasoline powered anti-rad trucks in the bunker southwest. The weapon might not fall for it, and so we need to send aircraft at full speed in the opposite direction of the spacedocks. The Thunder Cannon will follow, trying to take the jets down. Unfortunately, they must be manned. This city will be gone soon anyways, but the spaceship will have enough space and power to take six million of us to the nearest habitable and safe planet. Volunteers for the aircraft mission?"
Everyone in any military city had to have some training with all the weapons and vehicles currently in use. Almost half of the devoted citizens raised their hands, not wanting to have to forget their grand city and leave it behind forever.
"Alright. Jet volunteers, break up equally and go to each of the hangars," Ferorne said as millions of people sprinted for the city hangars. His armored feet clanged loudly against the composite "Now for the psychic strike team. All those with psy-link implants who wish to stay should get to the Triple Axium building for a cyberstrike to disable the cannon as well as command the city in its final hours." Another large group moved off.
Ferorne then saw a small scavenger bot roll back into the city. He suddenly realized that the beam did not fire upon it. In fact, the weapon did not falter in its attack on the shield for even a moment. An idea struck him. "How many civvies are left?" he shouted to one of the city policemen. After about a minute, word came back. "Ten boroughs strong; twelve million tops."
Ferorne then pointed towards several robot control stations near a vehicle station. Several remotely controlled tanks and rocket carriers sat motionless, old functioning machines of war from the beginning of the end. "I want every remote-controlled vehicle and gun trained on the Thunder Cannon. Prep nuclear strike weapons for launch. Set Condition Two throughout the city."
A monotonous alarm began sounding as the city went one combat activity stage up. Old outer defenses at certain zones received power from their independent sources, bolts of energy flying up to hit the orbital. Rapid fire turrets let out streams of bullets after the first burst of energy weapons, and waited for the next burst. Then the obvious signs of a blocker field lit up to send the weapons off course. Suddenly the lights in the city went out. The outer city defenses were sending their power supply into the city, and sections of the floor plating outside the shield began detaching to create a hexagon area; the central core of the city with the Triple Axium in the center, its triangular bottom firing the central engine up to float on weapons power. Several nuclear missiles shot up and the beam altered course, destroying the missiles like turning off a light. Aircraft sped away from the city, their long trails of gas quickly altered by the other jets. With the aircraft emitting nuclear power, the beam shut off, and hundreds of radiation bolts shot down at the aircraft. A stream of the bolts followed the aircraft and their strong nuclear power sources. Then the convoy of vehicles sped out to reach the docks. More aircraft continued to distract the weapon, the occasional slow ship hit by a bolt of harsh radiation. The central hexagon of the city continued to lift up, long umbilical power cords keeping the engine alive. Then another stream of bolts hit the city shield, and it collapsed.
When the city shield fell, only the Triple Axium's armoring withstood the harsh radiation of the beam. The entirety of the irradiated city detached from the building itself, and it used its own power to reactivate several thrusters, holding it above the ruined city. Then a signal to the empty city caused it to initiate its self-defense program; the NODE virus.
The virus was composed of radioactive particles - these would overload the European technology, but shut off any electrically powered device in range.
One by one, transports entered the spacedocks. Only seven got in, and the solid lead doors slammed shut faster than their football-field length should have allowed. The NODE wave deactivated the hundreds of trucks attempting to get away, and then the virus fired towards the Thunder Cannon.
Like fireworks, the bright dot in the sky blew up with amazing ferocity. The rush of air being pushed away was like thunder, while the NODE field faded away.
Ferorne sighed, his suit visor hiding his tears from the five hundred civilians he saved. Inside the ship, the curves and ridged walls hid a gigantic quantum reactor, now the only active technology on the planet, and not for long. As the systems turned on for the first time, automatic-docking clamps clanged as they detached. The ship was turned slowly as it rose out of its cubicle, the shields fending off the essential elements of the last World War that ended Earth's life. The orange and grey skies were cloudless; a rare sight and a sign of good luck to the people as they hurried to the cryotube chambers.
"Let's go. There is no reason to stay now."
He walked to the cryotubes as the engines fired up. It opened as he approached, and he lay in the soft padding of the tube. He pressed the freeze key and closed his eyes.