The Grim Reaper


Vjegoslavian Battlefield Integrated Recombining Transportable Harvester (aka the Grim Reaper)

During the late stages of the Great War, pitched battles across the steppes of the Declined Eastern European Collective raged back and forth. In many ways, the combat hearkened back to wars of centuries
before: on both sides of the conflict, materials were in desperately short supply and troops were kitted out with any available equipment which could be found.

In such straits, all materials: clothes, guns, ammunition – had to be rationed, recycled, renewed and of course… recombined.

Recombination (literally: “to put together again”) was the term used to dress up the grim task of picking up every possible item of use from a battlezone, repairing it and putting it back into active service. In the aftermath of a firefight, personnel were mobilised across the battlefield in order to collect every last piece of serviceable equipment. It was a dangerous, distasteful task – crews were exposed to further enemy action and the psychological damage of stripping dead or mortally wounded comrades of their gear and clothing.

To expedite the process, the Vjegoslavian Government, with typical pragmatism, commissioned a new machine. Its function was simple – scour the field of battle for any and all equipment which could possibly be recombined. But in operation the machine was the stuff of nightmares.
Grinding across the battlefield at a steady 5 mph (8 kph) toward equipment, bodies, and any wounded who were too slow to move…
everything was scooped into the machine’s cavernous innards to be sorted, catalogued, and either recombined (in the case of equipment) or disposed of (in the case of the dead and wounded).

Designated as “Battlefield Integrated Recombining Transportable Harvester” or BIRTH: a painful irony for everyone involved in its grisly task, the horribly appropriate nickname “Grim Reaper” was soon in frequent use.

Shown here is the Mark II version: the addition of a large detritus chute can be clearly seen at the side of the Harvester. This addition was a brutal brainwave from the designers. Human remains were liquidised and pumped at high velocity toward enemy encampments. Combined with the horrific noise the machine generated and the screams of the wounded as they were pulled into the grinders, it was initially intended as a purely psychological gambit. However it was in fact far more effective than imagined: numerous diseases and parasites developed over time in the Harvester’s holding tanks and in the end the machine proved to be an effective weapon of biological warfare.

As it may be imagined, the crew of such a machine was composed of “unique” individuals to say the least. Styling themselves as Angels of Death (or Psychopomps) it was a fearsome commander indeed who was able to control and lead such a group of psychotics.

One such commander…

3 Responses to “The Grim Reaper”

  1. p3lb0x said:

    Someone HAS to incorporate this machine in a RTS

  2. mouser said:

    A Codex Transportica computer game would be amazing.

  3. Dr Smilax said:

    I have heard a rumour…