Why Truscott Loved Gundams

By Jason Langlois


It started in a little town called Truscott, in Texas. Far from the beaten path, far enough away from what modern man calls "civilization" to have been forgotten by all except the IRS, it had little going for it. A farming community, a school, a general store, a church and two bars, and the brand new Shell station that barely made enough profit to pay its employees.


No one had noticed when the trouble started. The town was small, and everyone knew everyone, but it had its share of drifters, too. So it wasn't noticed that something was wrong, even when that bug-scientist guy disappeared. After all, bug-scientists came and went all the time. Something about the rural area being perfect to find specimen. No one wanted to ask what the "specimen" were, especially not Jed, the general store clerk. Bugs gave him the willies.

Come to think of it, the bug-scientists did, too.


So, really, it wasn't noticed, even when the Jenkin's farm dog went missing. He was old, after all, and even Zeke Jenkins said he probably crawled off to die somewhere. And certainly no one noticed until it was almost too late that the stray cat and rat population seemed to have dwindled to nothing.

No, it wasn't noticed until the Marling baby went missing. Just a toddler, that one, and prone to crawl off at the drop of a hat. It wasn't until they found the lad, wrapped in a gauzy, sticky substance, that people began to keep a watch out.


They noticed when the second Jenkins dog disappeared. They also noticed when Jed didn't show up to open the General Store one morning. And they really stood up and took notice when cattle started disappearing. But still, no one really panicked.

Not until Israel Mayor's outhouse was found crushed to the ground, with a drag trail leading to a large nearby cave.


So the remaining town folk gathered in the Town Hall, which was the sturdiest building around, and selected five large men with deer rifles, and set them after the thing.

None of them came back.


So the women cried, and the men drank, smoked, and swore (and not a few of the women joined in after a time) and the mayor worried that he was going to go down in history as the man who killed a town. That's when Molly Piper, a young red headed girl known for causing a lot of trouble in her youngest years, and also being smart as a whip as she entered junior high school ("As observant as a hawk, that one", spouted her teacher, who was credited with giving the girl a socially acceptable outlet for her wild ways when she introduced her to Parkour) tilted her head and asked "What's that noise?"


Naturally curious, people went to the door to look. Mrs. Patricks screamed her fool head off, seeing the great hairy leg of the ten foot red kneed tarantula outside the building, already rearing up as if to dismantle the building.

The Mayor crossed himself, said a quick Hail Mary, and fainted dead away. No one paid him much mind.


Molly called for quiet, and got it when she said "That ain't it! What's the NOISE?"

The people (save for Mrs. Patricks, who was holding on to her husband and sobbing for dear life into the poor man's best shirt) cocked their heads, and then they heard it.


A huge black leg had come down and squashed that spider clear to the ground, bathing the surrounding buildings on the street with yellow ichor and gore. A voice, tinny through external speakers, cried out in horror.

"Aw, man! What was that?!" The leg pulled up, and, curious, the townsfolk wandered out to see the odd site of a giant humanoid Mechsuit lifting its leg as if checking its shoe. It thrust it out with a loud whir of servos. "Heero, what is it. I can't see it from here!"

"Looks like a spider," said a dispassionate voice, also through external speakers. "Can we keep going now?"

"Crap!" The black mechsuit put its foot down, shaking the ground and causing Mr. Patricks to stumble. "That's going to gunk up the servo's, I know it."

A third voice, slightly effeminate, called out. "I didn't know they grew them that big here! I guess everything is bigger in Texas."

The voices, and resounding metallic thumps, faded into the distance as all four (the fourth pilot hadn't said a word throughout the exchange) clumped off, the black suited one still whining and mumbling until he was no longer audible.

The entire town cheered, and the mayor, when he was roused, promptly burst into tears, announced a party, and fainted dead away.

There was an emergency election of a new mayor that night.

So the town became warier, and a little more observant (because, after all, they hadn't noticed the great thumping of four huge mobile suits, either. Though no one would rightly blame them, having a giant spider to deal with).

Problem is, cats have started to go missing again, and there's a great big hill near the town dump that wasn't there before...