(NOTE: A Round Robin fic is where one person starts off, then more people add on to the story as it progresses. The total amount of people that worked on this were Washer, Silth(Vail), Beastbot, JW%(JaggedWing), Skycat, Enforcer, Architeuthis, Mirai_Cyborg17(Hailblaze), Hitchhiker, Mako, Scaleblade, JEDI, Skidz(Skidplates), and Matrix3. Also, a ARGO Conquest looks somewhat like a jeep, with tank treads instead of wheels. Hope you like this fic!)
It is the year 2005 (hey, I like the preface) many people have diverted their lives to come to an event known as BotCon. This will follow a trip from Orlando to BotCon in Dallas.
In a crowded airport, at about 8:00PM:
PA: Would the pilot of flight 177 please report to the control center.
*runs off to find the office*
At gate 9, in row K:
She looked up and around...
No one nearby.
Good, now would be the perfect time to do it...
Walking quickly, she crossed the hallway, the years of experience hiding much of her limp and allowing very little of the pain that came with it to reach her face...
JEDI: Mental note, next time I ride an airplane, I remember to bring asprin... Those jets ALWAYS give me a head-ache...
She sits down near the gate and pulls a book on aviation out of her back-pack, wishing she could do somehting else...
JEDI: (muttering under breath) Okay, so that goes there and that goes there.... *sighs* This is the last time I agree to take a plane to go hunting with my uncle... I HATE these things, rather drive... Only time I like being up in the air is under my OWN power, thank you... *mutters a rather impressive (even for an Irish) stream of curses under her breath as someone slams their luggage into her knee as they walk by*
In the office:
Head of Outgoing Traffic: There was a computer mix up, instead of flying a medium class jet you will be upgraded to a Boeing 777.
Pilot/17- What, you need a whole different crew and you need a navigator. Isn't there a spare plane, you usually have one around, I mean after the bomb threats 2 years ago?
Head of Outgoing Traffic: There are no others, your navigator will meet you at the gate. I don't think you know him. You take-off in minutes; you better get to the gate.
Head of Outgoing Traffic: The gate changed. you are now at gate 17.
*as she runs out the door she barely hears him,but she has a plane to catch*
At the gate:
Pilot/17- Charlotte, have you seen the navigator? Some new guy.
Charlotte- I didn't see anyone. I think he'll be late.
Pilot/17- Not if I have any thing...
*she is cut of by a sudden increase of the volume of the airport monitor turned up*
Announcer: Hurricane Daniel just hit Tallahassee, all north bound traffic is closed.
Pilot/17-Looks like we'll have to evade that storm. I'll be in the cockpit; send the navigator straight there.
Gate 94, about 8:10. There is a crowd of about 15 standing outside.
Official- Attention people, there has been a slight....problem, please, anyone who is bound for the BotCon conference, you have been moved to gate 17.
Official- Calm down, you have 10 minutes to get th-
Lady at the back of the crowd- CHARGE!!!!
(Crowd charges off, leaving the rather stunned-looking official.)
Scene- Gate 17, about 5 minutes later. The entire crowd converges on the doorway, and charges onto the plane.
On the way to gate 17:
A sturdy young lady is charging along the
passage to the plane. Her disheveled brown hair is tucked under a brown
khaki hat(Forgot what ya call those things).She is wearing a white tank
top and cut-off jean shorts. Staring at a notepad with a pen clenched between
her teeth, she doesn't notice the guy ahead untill....
The lady screams and flies back into
a wall. She stands up, dusts herself off, then quickly takes off her knapsack.
Lady (Staring intently into the bag)- "Zip!"*Whistles* "Zip!?!?"
Guy-"Uhhhhh...what are you doing?"
Lady-"Calling my squirrel. Why do you ask?"
Guy- "Look, lady, I'm afraid we cannot have wild animals on this plane. You will have to restrain him."
Suddenly, a small red squirrel climbs out of the bag. The lady speaks up- "Oh, silly, Zip can't be packed away! He will sit on my shoulder during the flight."(She looks up at him and fixes him with a friendly, but commanding stare.)
Guy (Shakily)- "Don't you think it's cruel to....keep an animal like..that?
Lady- "Oh, I have tried to set him free, don't think I haven't. But I raised him from an infant, and well, he just won't leave."(The squirrle climbs onto her shoulder and starts to play with her hair.)"Oh, by the way, I'm Mariel Thorton."(She holds out her spare hand.)
Guy(shakes her hand, then looks in the bag, as if to see if there is anything else.)-" Ah, yes, very nice. Watch that animal carfully during the flight though. We don't want to-"
Lady-"He'll be FINE."
Guy- "Ok. OK! Good day."(Walks hurridly into the plane toward the front. The lady boards.)
Lady- "WOW, all the space in the world!"(Walks to first class and sits down. The plane takes off, and is now very high in the air. Zip suddenly jumps off her shoulder, and charges up towards the cockpit.)" Zip! What are you doing?!?"(She charges after him).....
*In the mens' room,a brown-blond haired adolescent of 17 years of age splashes cold water on his face.Next,he proceeds to remove a white plastic container from his jeans pocket.Opening it,he removes a contact lense,and attempts to insert it.At the same time,out of the corner of his eye,he tries to watch his carry-on duffel bag,as to ensure that no one steals it.*
Skidz: *mutters* "Darned contact...I've almost got it..."
*He's got the contact lense one inch from his eye,and success is almost within his grasp,when,suddenly,the bathroom door opens,then slams shut loudly. Losing his concentration,he drops the clear lense onto the white tile floor!*
Meanwhile, in first class:
*The stocky, dark-haired woman with the steel-rims boards the plane and finds her seat. She then stows her day bag under the seat ahead of her, pulls it out slightly so she can get Circuit of Heaven out. After shoving the bag back under, she glances around the plane.*
Back in the restroom:
The adolescent fumbles around on the tile floor,scrabbling to find his contact,and muttering to himself about how he'd better not miss his flight because of this. Finally,he gives up the ghost,and decides to go without his contacts,despite the fact that the eyestrain will probably kill him.Glancing at his watch,he gulps...five minutes until launch! Grabbing his duffel bag, he dashes out of the restroom,closely missing smashing into several people. Reaching the gate at last call, he runs down the passageway to the plane. Finding his seat in coach,he pulls out a "Star Wars" novel,and settles down in his window seat. Luckily,no one is seated next to him. Stretching out his legs,he tries to read,but is soon distracted by a commotion in first class,directly in front of his seat. Shaking his head in distaste,he turns his attention back to his book.
A moment later in the cockpit:
Nathan: Sorry I'm late, I had to change into this uniform, and I had a run in with a squirrel. I'm Nathan, your navigator. We better get on the runway and take off.
17: We're late, come on!
Nathan: You know we have to fly south to avoid the storms.
17: Yes, it will be bumpy weather.
Nathan: I'll plot a course. Straight south.
17-ED!!!! Don't touch that!
Ed (co-pilot), in a shaky voice- we are all going to die...I know it....(turns pale and lets out a blood curling scream).
17-Idiot! Take your stupid pills! Elain! get the tranquilizer!
10 minutes later....
Flight attendant over loud speaker-
Ladies and gentleman, we will be taking off in 5 minutes. Please put your seats and tray tables in the upright and locked position and please fasten your seat belts.....(all that junk you here before plane takes off).
The 777 taxis towards the run way. 5 minutes later, it is in the air.
Pilot (co-pilot snoring in the backround)-Hello. This is your pilot speaking, this flight will take aproximently 5 hours. We will be cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet. Thank you.
In coach, but sitting in the front of coach and sitting alone:
She stretched, glad that the person
that was supposed to sit beside her had never shown. It meant that she
had a LITTLE free room.
*something in her pocket crinkles*
JEDI: Huh? *she pulls out a now well crumpled letter. It's still sealed and it has an Irish return address* oops, forgot to read this... Maybe I'd better, knowing Uncle James, it's a letter telling me to walk to the cottage AGAIN.... *she opens the letter and scans it, reading the important stuff out loud* (Yeah I know, it's a bad habit of mine...) Will be waiting at the air port, gliding weather's been great, got your glider via mail, it all checks out, hunting season starts a few days after you arrive, hunting should be better than last year, you out shot me again and I'll make you eat haggis agian... *she chuckles at that* With love, Uncle Jake, hope to see you then!!
JEDI: *sigh* Ya gotta love faimly...
JEDI stands up to go the the restroom when the plane suddenly bucks, she scrambles back to her seat just as the 'seat-belts' please sign comes on...
JEDI: NO DUH!!
Plane settles down and pilot explaines that that was just some minor turbulance...
Plane hits another batch of turbulance and JEDI lets loose with a listing of the pilots partenage that does not once include homo sapiens...
JEDI : *after finishing list*...pilot!! That does it!! From now on I drive to New York instead of taking these bloody planes!! I'll WALK if I have to! But I will never get in a plane again unless I'm FLYING!!!
(The plane is now very high in the
air. Zip suddenly jumps off her shoulder, and charges up towards the cockpit.)
Mariel: " Zip! What are you doing?!?"(She charges after him).....
Meanwhile in the cockpit(yes again):
In the cockpit,the navigator and the
pilots are working very hard at maintaining proper altitude. The co-pilot
has just come round and is freaking out again.
Co-pilot-"Don't touch that!!!!"
Pilot-"Shut up, Ed."
Navigator-"Shut UP Ed!"
Co-pilot-"AAAAAAAAGGGHHHHH!!! We're losing altitude!!"
Navigator and pilot-"SHUT UP E-"
A squirrel suddenly charges into the room. Ed screams.
Ed-"A RAT!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAA!!" (Picks up a bit of piping and begins to chase it around)"AAAAAAAAAA!!!!"
Mariel suddenly runs in-"ZIP!"(Sees what Ed is doing and and begins to hit him with her knapsack. All the time, the pilot and navigator ignore them)"You*Whap* Stupid*Whap*freak!!!*WHAP*.(She stops her attack and continues to yell.) "Thats my squirrel you stupid jerk!!!" (puts Zip in a cage and leaves. Ed faints.)
Pilot-"Elain! Put him in a straight jacket!!!!"
Nathan: Is that squirrel FAA complain?
Elain: We're out of straight jackets.
17: Now what are we going to do?
Nathan: Elain, get us one of those free sample belts, you know, the kind they show at safety time.
A moment or two later(I am far to
lazy to count):
17: Elain, bring the duct tape.
Back in first class:
Classy well dressed businessman: Is that a rat?
Mariel: No it is my squirrel. Now, if you'll excuse me.
*she walks off to the bathroom*
Classy well dressed businessman: How are you doing little fella,*sticks finger in cage* Ouch... Hey... That's not a nut... Owww. Stop.
Once again in the cockpit:
Elain: I found the straight jacket.
Meanwhile in coach:
*JEDI picks up a magazine and throws
it at her snoring neighbor*
JEDI: I though you were an out of control piece of farm equipment.
Half an hour later, in the cockpit:
Ed is finally let out of the orange life jacket and duct tape.
Ed-Ed hates duct tape!
Pilot-Well, if you don't act like a psycho, we wouldn't have to tape you up like that.
Ed-I AM NOT A PSYCHO!
Pilot-So you claim.....
Ed decides to ignore that comment.
He settles down a bit and tries to focus on something
else. Those pills can do wonders, he thought, but I don't like how I have to take it....His anal area was still sore from the experience.
Ed scanned the cock-pit with his bloodshot eyes. The navigator caught his attention. Something about that man bothers him...
What Ed thinks-....that man is evil...evil....evil......strange.....even stranger than me.....evil possessed alien man.......
What Ed sees- A shiny glow, a glow with a face, surrounding Nathan
What Ed thinks-I must save the plane and all its passengers from this evil alien!
What Ed does-He crouches down on his
seat, preparing to leap.....
But at that moment......
Nathan getting up- Man, I really have to go to the lav. I'll be back in a minute.
Ed pounces at the so-called alien...
*Ed misses completely and instead crashes to the floor with a thud.*
*Nathan continues onto the rest room unscaithed.*
Pilot-Edward! Do you want the pills and duck tape again?
Ed-No not that! Anything but that! NO no NO no! Please!
Elsewhere, but still nearby:
"Hehheheh... did you see the look on that farmer's face?"
"He was sooo ticked," a grey alien, aka XFiles, takes out a strange can of liquid and drinks.
"Get outta my corn ya' dang aliens!" another, this one at the helm, throws back a drink of his own. "HAHAHAHA!!! Oh man..."
"Woah, guys, I don't feel so good. Too much corn and beer...."
"Shut up, Frank! You don't need to yell!"
"Dude! Shut up!"
"Um...no, you!" the alien says, spilling some of his alien beer, "or maybe I'll tell Susan what you really do to all those abductees!"
"What?! It was supposed to be a prank! It wasn't supposed to go so far!"
"Yeah right, Mitch, you've got strange taste, man. Locking them up in the outhouse...that was nasty!"
"Will you two shut UP?" the driver says, turning back to yell at his buddies, "I'm trying to drive here!"
"Stuff it man," one of them says, passing out, "oh man.....ughhh..."
"Heheh," Frank laughs, looking forward, "HOLY SNARF! BOB! LOOK OUT!"
"WHA!?" Bob turns to see a 777 right ahead, "Oh, great."
-----C R A S H------
( Let me say right now that drinking and flying an alien craft while intoxicated, no matter how fun it may seem at the time, is a recipe for disaster. Accidents like Roswell, involving three or more intoxicated teens, are beginning to become a frequent occurance among some species. Please, to any aliens out there, who may, even now be planning a fun Labor Day weekend on Earth, CHOOSE A DESIGNATED DRIVER. It saves lives. Thank you.)
Back on the plane:
17: We are going down, all power to engines 2 and 3.
Ed: We're all going to die. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!
Nathan: No we aren't just you. 17, change course, 2 degrees starboard.
17: Why, nevermind.
Nathan: We hit the up-draft, that will let us glide and soften our landing
17; Good, but now tell the passengers; we need to calm them.
Ed: I'll do it.
17: I said calm, not urge to commit suicide. Nathan, you do it. Nathan... NATHAN!
*Her calls go unheard as a sudden burst of energy hits the plane*
Ed: What was that?
17: I don't know, it was like a wall. I've lost GPS and stablization readings.
Ed: I can't reach the FFA control, and my cell is down. I am going to die.
17: You know, you're right, if you continue to bother me and not fly the plane.*to passengers* take emergency positions and brace for a water landing. Oh... that was the captian speaking.
Ed: Has anyone got an asprin?*he passes out, just then*
17: No, not now, not now. Nathan... Nathan, what are you doing over there... Nathan!
*As like a dam opening, the force of a brillant light is shown through the plane, cascading to cover the plane from nose to tail, a brillent yellow light without a single source. And then, all was dark*
The next morning:
*The shores were bleached and pale as the waves crashed opon them. The sun slowly rises, revealing sands forgotten by civilization, the kind of whitish uniform sand no one sees anymore. The tree-lined beach is quiet and undisturbed, lying upon a alcove in the water. The water, pristine and calm, made a light sound as the shore seemed reflective of time, slow and fast at the same time. The quite rustle of the waves seemed soothing, and left no traces of greens on the white landscape. A large being sits on a rock at the edge of the tree line, there is where we begin.*
*Bodies lie peacefully on the ocean
shore in a rest-like state, almost asleep. Confused, the large figure sits
on the rock. One could see his height , if standing, would almost out shadow
the trees. A shadow, with barely a shape, glides between the trees at the
edge. It was roughly 6 feet tall, with grayish black throughout, and a
slight shimmer effect to the armor-like skin. A long cloak flowed from
the shoulders, and waved slightly in the moving wind.
Two thought patterns.
How odd. Mako looked through his armor's listing of past events. One moment he had been in first class, the next, he was in another body, on an unfamiliar place. Looking down, Mako carefully broke off the door to the wrecked space craft.
Composition- Tilanuim crystal composite- molybenduim durton substructure.
I'd never heard of these things before, yet I understand the words. Again, odd.
Inside, Mako could easily make out three bodies in the half light. All dead. Small, childlike, alien.
Why doesn't that shock me like it should?
Species- Sectiod. Nuridia Sectoida
Technological Level- Class 6. Galactic Power.
Genders- Juvenile Male
Time of Death?
...Death occured 6.123 standard Hours ago.
Log, what happened on record 6.123 hours ago?
...cronoton pulse detected.
...Quantum spikes detected
...Quantum surge detected
...Atmospheric pressure lowered .0001%
...Flux reversal detected
...Phase polarization shift recorded
Well, this IS a most unexpected turn of events. Mako again looked upon an outstretched arm. At his beckon, his shimmering, almost organic armor melded away and dissappeared. closing his eyes, Mako felt the tingle of his armor folding away around his other arm as well. Then, just as easily, it came out again, this time blue. Smiling, Mako turned the armor around his arm from blue to green to purple and back to gray.
Then, it became invisible.
A cloak. How... useful.
Turning again to face the world around him, Mako was hit by a sudden wave of emotion and memories...
"Alex, are you going to stay out here all night? You're missing the party."
"Just enjoying the sunset, my dear. Its so good to be back on Earth," Mako could hear himself say as he turned to face a young woman, "This Earth. You know, Andrews is almost done with his Earth 2 project and I was thinking..."
"Alex, you always thing about work," Mako could feel an arm around his own, "tonight is for... other pursuits."
Mako could remember putting his arm around her waist and pulling her closer, "Indeed it is."
Woah. Where did THAT come from?
Mako frowned. His thoughts were not his own, and that, more than anything, angered him.
I have to seperate this body. I have to find a way.
Out in the distance, Mako could see forms on the beach, and in the trees, standing around in shock.
I will have my body back.
No matter the cost.
Near the shore several yards, on the open shores away:
She regained consciousness slowly....
*Faces she had never seen before, voices that were unfamiliar... A bright light, then darkness....*
She carefully opened her eyes, and closed them quckly. The light was still there, still as terrifying as ever... Suddenly, it came to her that she definitely shouldn't be wherever she was. She sat up slowly and looked around her. She was on a beach. But there were bodies everywhere. Bodies that were metallic! She placed them as robots. Things that were only in TV shows. Why were they here? And dead? How did she get...here...She remembered the plane...The plane. That she, Mariel, was on. It must have crashed. She was dead. Everyone was. But she could still feel? And where was everyone else, if they were dead? And why were there robots everywhere? She shook herself, and made a mental note to check out these mysteries later. Right now she had to figure out what was wrong with her. She had decided that she was not dead. But then, why she feel so...so strange? It was an odd feeling, but something inside her told her that it was not dead. Not the same as living, but definitely not dead. She could still feel fear, though, like a cold hand gripping her tightly. She looked down at herself and gasped. Her entire body....was...different. She stood up on shaky legs, and stumbled to the shore, sobbing with fear and tripping over the fallen bodies. She crouched at the edge of the water, and peered tearfully onto the surface, still as glass.
"Good God,"Was all she could manage, touching her now metallic face. Suddenly, a body beside her stirred. She stood paralyzed with fear as she watched the robot slowly rise and come to life.......
Architeuthis: (groggily)"Wha' happen'? Did
the plane crash? Must'a, since this is a beach." *She is laying down in
a prone position and starts to push herself up with her arms--only to find
they are no longer arms, but tentacles.* (shrieking) "OH MY GOSH! I'M A
*Horrified, she examines the rest of her body, finding that she has ten tentacles altogether, and that her whole body appears to be a deep maroon. Most of it looks...metallic? She then looks around the beach and sees other creatures, many of which also look like robots or cyborgs.
(curious, and somewhat calmer)"Who or what are they? Did they all get changed like me, or did some of them do this to me? Looks like I'm going to get my answer--one's awake."
*She sees the silver and red-gold robot standing near her, obviously frightened, either by the situation or by Architeuthis' frightful appearance or both. She stays where she is, not wanting to scare the other any more than she can possibly help.*
(Awkwardly, trying to appear unthreatening) "Ummm, hi. I'm not the enemy. Are you okay?"
Beastbot awoke to the calming sound of the
tide line splashing against the uniform, white sand.
*Beastbot shakes his head, then stands up*
Beastbot: Oohhhh.....I hate flying.
Beastbot: Where am I? Last thing I remember, the plane was experiencing malfunctions, and....oh no. Don't tell me I'm stuck on Gilligan's Island! Ah, well, might as well scout for some food or something. Looks like I'm gonna be here for a loooong time...
Beastbot started to walk away from the shoreline, but he stopped as he heard a clanking sound when he put his foot down.
Beastbot: Wait a minute....I don't feel anything around my foot...what could be that clanking noise?
*looks down, sees the Transformer Beastbot's robot legs there instead of his normal human ones*
Beastbot: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! *falls to the ground*
Meanwhile,approximately one mile away:
A figure lies on the bleached white sand, his body a study in black and tan. Sunlight shines down, glimmering and shining off of his black metal skin. The beach on which he lies is practically isolated,and almost completely silent,save for the gentle lapping of waves upon the shore.All around him lies twisted metal wreckage from the plane crash,razored shards of white steel poking up from the sand.Suddenly,the near silence is broken by a calm,male voice:"Internal repairs complete-decommensing stasis lock." Suddenly,the robotic body begins to quietly whir and whine.As darkness recedes from the adolescent's vision,he cannot shake the feeling in the pit of his stomach that something momentous has happened.However,along with that feeling comes a healthy dollop of cold fear. He remembers the crash,the screaming of wind and people,and the millisecond just before impact..and then nothing.Suddenly,the young man's vision returns,as if a light were switched on.He could swear that the sudden nature of the light was almost...mechanical.As he reels from the shock of sudden vision,he realizes that the world around him is tinged in crimson!"Blood!"is his first,panicked thought,as he claws at his eyes.But instead of finding his usual,frequently strained eyes,his fingers instead come into contact with a hard,smooth surface.That's when he notices them....his fingers...are metallic.
Shock grips the youth as he stares, transfixed,
at the black mechanical armature that is affixed where once was his arm.
Dazed,he slowly rises to his knees,his body whirring. Letting his arm fall
slack,he examines the rest of his body in amazement. Primarily black and
silver,his legs are coated with what appears to be course, tan fur, caked
with more of the ubiquitous white sand.He still hasn't adjusted to the
red tinge of his vision,but now,far greater puzzles and fears are entering
his mind.Once again,he stares at the hand,almost unbelieving.Experimentally,he
flexes his fingers,listening to the barely audible mechanical whirring.Even
more frighteningly,he discovers that he can no longer feel the tickling
of sand betweeen his toes,or the chill frigid wind which has begun to blow
in from offshore.His mind is a jumble of conflicting emotions as he staggers
among the bizarre garden of wreckage which decorates the beach.Finally,he
makes an effort to understand the situation."Somehow...",he thinks,"Somehow...my
body is gone...I am myself,and yet...I am someone different.But...how?"
As more and more times passes since his awakening,the youth's naturally sensible,logical mind begins to reassert itself. "The crash...the impact..this strange place..all are somehow...related."As he scans the horizon,all he can see is ocean in all directions."We must be on an island..." As this thought enters his mind,he notices that the wind is increasing in intensity,and the tide is beginning to crash violently against the beach,staining the white sand a deep brown."Shelter...I need time to sort this all out...if I can." Gingerly,he begins walking toward the low outcropping of Eucalyptus trees at the top of the beach,always unsure whether these new,mechanical legs will suddenly cease to function.As he nears the stand of trees,he can smell their unique scent,wafting toward him."Smell?...but...",he thinks,as he runs his fingers over the smooth,silver metal plate where once his mouth existed.The plate had at first terrorized him...he feared that he would suffocate-but soon,he realized that he did not require a mouth to breathe...
Returning to the shore(should I # the beaches?Nah):
She forced herself to calm down and regain
her composure. She extended her hand, smiling.
Mariel- "Names Mariel. But.... I think.....(Looks down at herself. ) Damn, this is weird..........Uhhh... call me... Vail......"
Architeuthis- "Call me Architeuthis."
Vail(Shaking hands)- "Glad to meet you."
Architeuthis- "Rest assured, the feeling is mutual."
Vail(Sitting down)- " Sooooo... what do we do now?"
Architeuthis- "Wait, I guess..."
Vail- " Oh, great. Might as well try to figure something out...."
Architeuthis- " Like what?"
Vail- " mmmmm.... Like where the heck we are, for instance. "
Architeuthis(Also sitting down)- "Suppose it couldn't hurt...."
Vail- " Right."
Architeuthis- " Right."
Vail- " Hey, Architeuthis, can I ask you a question?"
Architeuthis- " Sure. Go on."
Vail- " Out of curiosity, How DO we figure out where we are...."
Architeuthis- " I have absolutely no idea."
(5 minutes later)
Vail- " Architeuthis?"
Vail- "We're doomed."
About 500 yards up the beach:
*A lone figure lies on the sand, curled up in a ball. A few pieces of twisted metal from the plane lie scattered around the figure. Suddenly, she groans and starts to uncurl.
Figure: *groans* Ow, can't be dead...hurt too much to be dead.
*tries to stand up, but collapses back onto the sand.* Damn. My arms hurt, my legs hurt, even my wings hurt! *suddenly registers what she just said.* Wings? WINGS!? I have wings?! *examines her body, sees a lot of black and silver metal with yellow, black-spotted areas that are rather furry. Her wings are yellow with black spots where they join her back and the spots get bigger and blend together until the ends of her wings are solid dark chocolatey-brown.*
Figure: *trying to calm down a bit.* Okay, now what the heck happened here? I'm on the plane, it takes off, flies for a bit, there's turbulence, then...nothing. I can't remember what happened next. Crud. *she sits there for a while, trying to think and waiting for the pain to go away a bit. Finally she manages to get up off the sand and starts wandering unsteadily down the beach.
Figure: Wonder where everybody else is... hope they're all okay...
Both heads smapped to the left as another
metallic form groaned and shifted.
JEDI got up and stood, feeling quite woozy....
JEDI: That's it, next time I drive...
She muttered a bit more, then practically leaped out of her skin when she heard someone scream.
JEDI: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... Hello? Who are you?
At that moment, she glances down...
JEDI:*staring at her hands and then at the rest of herself rather blankly* Oh my.... Oh my... What in the name of Saint Pete is going on here!?!
She begins to pace back and forth, having momentarly forgotten about the people staring at her.
JEDI: (remembering what her uncle told her) Come on, keep it together, if you're gonna panic, panic constuructively!!! Or at least panic later...
She suddenly stoops and looks down at her right knee in shock... She completely forgets the fact that she's got giant silver wings, white cat legs, a bird head for a helmet and she's made completly out of metal for as she suddenly realizes that her knee doesn't hurt...
JEDI: Wow. Okay.... Well, it's a start... *She sees a bit of movement to her left and stares as another robot walks up, whoever this one is, and her also has wings and is colored in blue, yellow, black and brown... The animal legs having cheetah spots on her as do the wings....*
JEDI: Ummmmmm.... Not to be rude, but have you been a robot long?
Returning to the sandy shores:
Vail and Architeuthis were walking along
the beach, picking their way between bodies, checking to see that they
were still alive. At least that's what they started out for. But they fell
into deep conversation. Thus being so, Vail did not see the body that had
been standing, frozen in fear as they approached, till she ran into it.
Vail- "Dangit, that's the second time in twenty four hours that I... Oh my-"
She was cut off by the other.
Vail- "What the?"
Vail- "Sir, if you just..."
Vail(Grabs him by the shoulders and begins to shake him)- "CALM DOWN YOU STUPID--"(Without thinking, Beastbot slugs her.) " --why you little!!"
She leaps on top of him, and they begin a fist fight. Architeuthis stands back in mute horror. But before she could intervene, Beastbot slugs Vail under the chin, knocking her out. She falls to the ground with a groan. Beastbot stares. "What have... What have I done? I... I killed her...."(Begins to panic)
Architeuthis(Walks up to him and smacks him)- "CALM DOWN YOU STUPID FOOL! GET A GRIP!!!"
Beastbot- "Whhhooo are yyyyyoouuu....."
Architeuthis- " Ny name is of no importance." (She sees just how shattered he is)" Oh, calm down!!"
Beastbot- "But I--I-I killed her."
Architeuthis- "No, you didn't. You just knoked her out. Now sit down, and calmly, tell me who you are."
Beastbot- " N-nnnnames..I'm Brad. Bu-but I think that you should probably call me Beastbot."
Architeuthis- " Very good. Now, my name is Architeuthis,and that, on the ground, is Vail."
A few minutes later.....
Vail(Beginning to stirr)- "Ooooohhhh, thats gonna hurt in the morning.. Where am... I.... ohhhhhhh."
Architeuthis- "About time you woke up."
Vail(Suddenly very much awake)- "Where is he?!? Where is the big jerk? Why I oughta....'
Architeuthis- "You really do have to learn to control your temper. Now, Vail, I want you to turn around slowly. I want you to stay calm."
Vail(Turning, grumbling to herself)- "Of all the stupid, lousy, freaking-- Oh my gosh, its him!!!"
Returning to the scene a mile away:
As the adolescent robot loped toward the welcoming grove of trees,he noticed an unusual form lying on the sand,some meters away.At first,he dismissed it for a piece of wreckage from the plane.But as he focused upon it,he realized that it was of far too unusual a shape to have been torn from the aircraft...in fact,it was almost...humanoid!Breaking into a dead run,the young robot charged across the sand,heavy metal feet thunking against the tightly packed strata,concealed under the powder.As he neared the prone form,its true size began to dawn on him.A massive humanoid,apparently as robotic as the youth,it lay propped against a shattered palm tree,limbs splayed in multiple directions.A strange,brown fluid oozed from a wicked gash in its powerful-looking leg,staining the sand.In addition,the youth noted that the large,fearsome looking creature seemed to be unconscious.Suddenly cautious,his common sense taking over,the youth circled the large body,insuring that it was,indeed,completely unconscious.As the youth eyed the stranger's prone form,a curious word drifted into his mind..."Stasis lock..now where have I heard that word before?" The youth's thoughts were disrupted as a gale-force wind blasted past,causing the nearby trees to bend and sway."I...I can't just leave him here...",he though,as the storm built in intensity."But what..what if he comes alive?!"A cold dagger of fear pierced the youth,as he pondered the horrors that the fiercesome monster could inflict upon his body.And yet...The youth made a snap decision,based upon a muddled combination of honor and guilt.Grabbing the creature's clawed feet,the youth began,with much strain,to drag the body into the shelter of the eucalyptus grove.He'd think more on the strange hand that fate had dealt him after a bit of much-needed rest.
Once more, back to the beginning:
*After Vail didn't kill Beastbot and was quite perturbed by it, the party scowering the beach looked around, seeing something that was previously hidden from sight.*
Architeuthis: What is that, next to the trees, on that rock? *pointing at the large blocky robot*
Vail: I don't know, but I intend to see.
*Vail begins to walk toward the forest and the rock that sits at the edge*
Beastbot: Wait up!
At the rock:
Vail: Who are you?*she called in a stern voice, one that a scared person would use to say they were not scared. She was not scared, but she wanted to prove that to Architeuthis and Beastbot*
Washer: I don't know.*he stood up showing his height, one that did, in fact, stand up to the trees.*
Architeuthis: That plate on your chest says Washer, is that your name?
Washer: I guess, so you can call me that.
Beastbot: Look, there is someone waking up!
Washer: Are you going to greet them?
Vail: Yes, we are.
Over by the awakening body:
*A figure with a pair of small bat wings and wolf-like legs lies face down in the sand, struggling to get up*
Washer: Hello, I am Washer.
*The figure looks up*
Ed:AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Monsters get away!!! *He looks around to find something to defend himself, but finds nothing on the shore* I... I... Ed doesn't like monsters, not one bit, not at all.
Architeuthis: We're not monsters.
*Ed screams as he puts his hands in front of his face*
Ed: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I am a monster!
*Ed sits down and begins rocking back and forth*
Beastbot: Maybe we sould leave him alone for a minute.
Vail: Yes, we sould give him his space.
A mile away, in the other direction:
Matrix3 awoke from unconsciousness, and quickly sees that he is on the beach of an island.
Matrix3 (out loud) : Huh? What happened?
He realizes that when he said this, his voice sounded weird, and also that when he said it, his mouth didn't seem to move to go with the words.
Nervously, he touches his face and feels that he has no mouth, and that he seems to have a helmet on his head.
Getting up from the ground, he also notices that he is taller than he was previously. He couldn't feel anything, like the hot sand below him, or the wind that was blowing at the time. He also noticed that he was in some kind of white and black metallic body suit, which he tried to take off, but couldn't seem to.
Matrix3 (scared) : What happened to me?
He quickly runs to the water nearby to see how he looks like, but couldn't quite get a good look in the reflection, since the water was muddy.
Matrix3 (To himself) : Got to get a grip, losing it right now won't help.
So, trying to hold the fright back, he decides to look around for someone else who might be able to tell him what is going on.
This wouldn't be happening if I had taken
the bus there but nooo, I just had to go on a plane to get there faster.
I guess that's what I'll do next time. That is, if there is a next time.
Ok, stop scaring yourself and concentrate on the matter at hand, he thought.
Matrix3 (shouting as he walked) : Hello, Anyone else out there?
"Freaks. All of them," Mako hissed sliently,
as he watched the small group of 'bots gathering near the beach miles away,
"At least I'm still human."
Unzooming his vision, Mako stood up and disengaged his cloak. It had taken hours, but he had moved all the remains of the alien craft here to his cliffside. It would provide effective shelter... for now. Water and food apparently weren't a problem- his encounter suit, he quickly found out, fed and maintained his body to the point that food and water weren't essential. He hadn't even felt hungry while working. It was almost an empty feeling; empty, though somewhat comfortable. As if his body had always been this way.
Looking out, scanning through dense foliage, Mako could make out several other smaller groups of bots. Arbitrarily choosing the closest group, he cloaked and took off.
"Dude," one of them said, "what ARE we?"
Another bot, dull green, with prominent shoulders and a visible missle rack on his arms answered, "Robots, man. We're robots. Like the Mechwarriors in that show."
"You know, THAT show."
"I don't follow."
"Ah, forget it. Regardless, this IS pretty awsome."
"No way, man. My mom's gonna be ticked!"
"Oh, get off it," the taller one with the missles said, making a fist, "Check this out. I'm packing some major heat, man. I could take on a whole army, man!"
Mako watched the two banter and test their strength by picking up and breaking several pieces of driftwood in half with ease. They still hadn't seen him. Excellent. Time to test these... things. Concentrating, Mako probed one of the bot's minds- it was confused, a little angry, but prideful and ...human.
Interesting. Human thoughts.
Then the only real change is in their bodies.
Another though crept into Mako's stray thoughts. Did they still have souls? Mako had never believed in such things before... but now... hmm... he needed to see them in action. He needed a specimen for study.
"Holy- look!" one of the bots pointed, as a form emerged from the air and landed.
"Who are you?" the other asked the stranger.
Mako narrowed his eyes and activated his helmet. It instantly unfolded and grew- covering his head and face, meeting behind his head in a wedge. He could feel the suit powering up and his psionic implant activating.
"My name..." Mako paused, was it Duran or Mako? "My name is Mako. I need you for a study. Come peacefully."
"Hold up, pal. A study?"
"Yes. I intend to undo the damage done to us... to restore our humanity."
"Uh...nah. I like this body," the tall one said, a smile on his robotic, artificial face.
"I... I'd like to be human again, Mr... Mako, is it? I just wanna be normal again."
"Good, you may yet be saved," Mako crossed his arms, his cloak billowing in the cool wind as the shorter bot want to his side,
"But your friend here... I shall only ask once more."
"No," The tall one said, his smile gone.
"Then your humanity is truly lost then. I cannot save you," under the helmet Mako sneered in disgust. Raising an open palm, Mako could feel his suit channeling psionic energy into his gauntlet. His hand began to glow white hot.
"Hey, what are you- oh, I see.," the tall bot braced himself and fired off his missiles. The guided rockets shot forward, exploding on and around Mako, dirtying the air with burning sand and smoke. The shorter bot by his side was thrown off his feet.
"Die," Mako growled, releasing the energy in his hand. The blazing white beam lanced out, the impact of the hit blowing the tall bot into the air and ripping him almost in half. Before blacking out, the tall one could see his entire left side was gone, a trail of ash and mechfluid where half his body had once been. His body landed with a thud half in and half out of the water, the sea waves washing over it putting out the fire as mechfluid stained the calm blue waters.
"Is he... is he dead, Mr. Mako?" the shorter bot got to his feet and looked over to the body.
"Very, now come. We have tests to run."
"Leave him," Mako floated into the air, his helmet unfolded and face visible, "We have more important matters to attend to."
The two left the beach for the heart of the island.
"Soon enough, I shall be in my body again. Soon enough, I shall be free of these bloody thoughts. Soon..." Mako frowned, wondering who, exactly, had conjured up what he was thinking.
"I HAVE to get out of this body. And soon."
Unseen, a few feet from the big rock:
There was once a girl named Anna Chant.
However, there was no longer a girl named Anna Chant.
The creature who had formerly been called Anna Chant was feeling very peaceful. She was staring at a clear sky, save the sun at its peak--namely, directly in her eyes. For a moment in which she is not like herself, she takes for granted how poetic it is to awaken staring at a clear blue sky. Instead she wonders why she is staring at the sky, and rolls over.
That didn't feel quite right, she thought. She thought over the situation. She had last been on a plane. Now she was on a beach. She did not remember leaving the plane or coming to the beach. She doubted amnesia, as she could remember everything about--oh. About Anna Chant. She didn't feel like Anna Chant had always felt.
She came to the conclusion that she didn't really know anything about what was going on. Having that settled, she checked for broken limbs, as she had felt all wrong when she had rolled over. Heavy.
There were no limbs to check for. She screamed quickly, but then shut up. She could move arms, she could move legs, she could move a tail.
Horrible suspicions ran through her mind. She put them in order.
#1) She was going insane.
#2) She was a basket case; all of her extremities were gone, even her body was gone, she was nothing but a head. She could only feel them, and the phenomenon of ghost limbs was very famous.
#3) She was, contrary to her deepest dreams and beliefs, incapable of prophecy. If she was a true prophet, she would have foreseen this.
The creature who had formerly been Anna Chant felt very blank. She wasn't up to screaming or crying. She didn't even feel particularly like being curious. She was apathetic.
Poor Anna Chant, she thought. She's gone, and I'm not much of a replacement.
She stood up on her ghost limbs and walked away from the water, deciding that perhaps she was a brain in a vat. Maybe she was a movie, and she didn't really exist. Maybe she had no free will, she was just doing what the script--
The creature who had formerly been Anna Chant stopped thinking. She was frightening herself.
Back to the scene with Ed:
Architeuthis, Washer, Beastbot, and Vail
were gathered around Ed, staring in mute horror while he lay screaming
on the ground, waiting for him to regain his composure. (Their efforts
seemed to be in vain.) Beastbot had crouched close to Ed and was trying
to "talk some sense" into Ed, though Beastbot's last experience with such
psychology had proved quite painful. He was staring intently at the body
when he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder.
Beastbot: "Oh my gosh, something's touching me!"
Architeuthis: "Don't be so paranoid, Beastbot. Nothing's behind you."
Ed: *momentarily calming down* "Yeah, get a grip, man." *Ed resumes screaming.*
Vail: "I am sick and tired of people screaming, OK? If another person screams, I swear I will kill them!"
*A short, shrill scream is heard from behind Beastbot.*
Vail: *Moans and glares at Beastbot.* "I told you no more screaming! It's giving me a headache!"
Beastbot: "It wasn't me! And whatever it is, IT'S TOUCHING ME!!"
Vail: *Calmly walking up to Beastbot* "There is nothing behind you, Beastbot, do not worry, I can even check myself.*
Creature formerly known as Anna Chant: *Steps out of Vail's way* "I am so here, people! Don't tell me I don't exist! I don't think I could deal with that on a day like this!"
Beastbot: (in a tiny, not triumphant voice): "I told you."
Vail: (uncertainly) "Show yourself to us...or, uh....feel our wrath." *picks up a stick* "I have a stick, see!"
Creature formerly known as Anna Chant: (exasperated) "I can't show myself. I seem to be walking around on ghost limbs."
Architeuthis: "How do you move then?"
Vail: "Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist! ....where'd that come from?"
Creature formerly known as Anna Chant: "You can't even see my head?"
Ed: "You think we'd be calmer if we saw a head floating around?" *Continues screaming, this time varying with dashes of shrieks, screeches, caterwauls and moans.*
Creature formerly known as Anna Chant: "I'm crazy then. OK, it's settled. I think I'm here, though. Don't tell me I don't exist!"
Washer: "I'm pretty sure you're here. You're talking."
Creature formerly known as Anna Chant: "Mind if I stick with you guys? You look like..." *glances at Ed, still prostrate and noisy* "...interesting company."
Vail: "Sure, I...uh..guess." *Looks around vicinity of voice, but can't see the creature* "What do we call you, anyways?"
Creature formerly known as Anna Chant: "Um...I don't know, it's hard to say, seeing as I CAN'T see myself. Call me a hitchhiker for now, I guess. Tagging along. Who are you guys?"
Architeuthis: *Curtsying, as she is a very well-brought up squid* "I am Architeuthis. Please don't call me Archie."
Beastbot: "I'm Beastbot. I think. Yeah. Hi."
Vail: "Vail." *Sticks out a hand, looking very surprised when the hitchhiker (presumably) shakes it.*
Washer: "My name is Washer." *Looks down* "Apparently."
Ed: *Stands up, smiles suddenly* "Hi, my name is Ed! Most people refer to me as 'Jerk', 'Weirdo', or 'That Awful Madman, You Don't Associate With That Kind of Person Sweetheart.'" *Throws himself to the ground and sets up a wail to rival any police sirens*
Beastbot: (angrily) "Aren't you sick of that yet?"
Ed: "Oh, I guess so." *Stops screaming and stands up*
The sun was obscured from view by the layers
of vegetation. Shadows dance across the floor of the dimly lit forest.
The bittersweet aroma of exotic flowers and leaves filled the air. The
silence of the forest was destroyed by the trudging of numerous metalic
feet and the shrill cries of tropical birds. In a small clearing, a figure
laid still. It rested on its presumed stomach with its arms cradling its
presumed head. The figure was of multiple hue. Violets, blues, whites,
and silver. A pair of large wings and feathers covered the figure.
From the depths of the forest more figures appeared, six to be exact. The standing figures surrounded the figure resting on the ground.
The stupid airplane, she thought, the stupid
navigator, the stupid co-pilot, and the stupid screaming passengers.......the
thoughts drifted off....
OW! The thoughts are returning.
The voice with the thoughts-STOP IT BUTCH! I'll feed you later.
OW! The thoughts returned and so did the pain.
The voice-BUTCH! Quit it! BAD!
OW! The pain keeps returning even when the thoughts do not.
The voice-WHAT DID I JUST FREAKING SAY?!
The figure with the voice abruptly turned over onto its back and grabbed the stick that was causing the pain that brought back the annoying thoughts. The figure with the voice and the thoughts looked up at the figure that was poking it with the stick.
The figure with the voice and the thoughts screamed.
The Figure- AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
The figure with the voice and the thoughts jumped to its presumed feet and swung the newly attained stick around it.
The Figure- STAY AWAY FROM ME!
The figure with the voice and the thoughts stared at the strange metallic creatures surrounding her. They looked like something out of a science fiction movie, the figure with the voice and the thoughts thought.
One of the creatures spoke.
Creature- Don't panic!
The others joined in.
Creature #2- We're not gonna hurt you!
Creature #3- We're your friends!
The figure with the voice and thoughts- Sure you are (sarcastically)! Stay away from me you creepy looking *******!
Creature #4- We're creepy looking?! Look at yourself, bird lady!
The figure with voice and thoughts glanced down at the arm. The arm was metalic! And it reflected her face, which was also metalic.
The figure with the voice and the thoughts faints.
Hitchhiker: (disgustedly) "How idiotic.
Fainting. I never understood that. It might be fun to faint at will..."
Vail: "Why does everyone scream when they meet us?"
Hitchhiker: "Should somebody hit her?"
Ed: "Why don't you, you vicious phantom weirdo?"
Hitchhiker: "I can't see my hand. I'll probably miss."
As the hitchhiker had lumbered clumsily through the land, falling often and hard, that was a believable excuse.
Ed: "Let's poke her with the stick again. Hehe, that was fun."
All: "Shut up, you sicko!"
Architeuthis: "That might be a bad idea."
Beastbot: "Seeing as how she fainted the first time...."
Vail: "Why don't we calmly go up and ask her her name? That always seems to work a little bit better."
Beastbot: "Not always."
Vail: "Shut up."
Hitchhiker: (cheerfully) "Yeah! Both of you!"
Most of the group was diverted by this little disagreement, so no one noticed that Washer was talking quietly to the unconscious creature.
No one noticed when the creature's state shifted from very much asleep to very much awake. They only noticed when the creature stood up, grabbed Washer by the neck, having to put it's arms completely around his neck to reach, and squeezed.
Washer: (softly) "A little help please!"
Beastbot, Vail and Architeuthis: *step forward to help Washer* Noooo!
Hitchhiker: *Materializing suddenly, flickering into visibility with the shock of it* "Noooo!"
Creature: *mighty frightened, but with the sudden materialization of the hitchhiker, she squeezes harder.* "Aaah!"
Washer: *Says nothing, but puts up a fair fight, but when you are that big you can't reach a person on your back, so that when the creature puts him down, she is quite dented.*
Ed: "Oh my God! You killed Washer, you idiot!" *Takes the stick and begins beating the creature with it*
Kenny: (suddenly appearing only to Ed) "No, Ed! Don't! Not for my sake!"
Ed: (in rapture) "Oh Kenny! After so long I've missed you! Thank the good Lord you're alive!" *Puts down the stick and goes to embrace the spectre, which appears to the others as Vail.*
Vail: "Let go of me, you...! I'm not Kenny!"
Ed: *Weeps on her shoulder*
Washer: *Wakes up, undazed, and looks around* "What just happened?" *Sees the anonymous robot* "You!"
Hitchhiker: (with great cheer) "Quit it, Washer."
Beastbot: "Well, she DID try to strangle him."
Hitchhiker: "There's that...but really, Washer, don't terrorize the--AAAH! I'm a ROBOT!"
Washer: Oh. OK then, sorry" *Smiles blissfully*
Vail: *throws Ed off of her, much to his dismay, and walks up to the stranger bot, standing in silence* "Look, just what is the big idea, trying to choke my friend? Now sit down right where you are and explain your disreputable conduct."
Stranger: (meekly) "You WERE prodding at me with sticks."
Vail: "That was A stick, and that was Ed. I'm Vail. THAT'S Ed."
Hitchhiker: *Enjoying pointing with newly visible hands* "And I'm a hitchhiker, and that's Architeuthis, and that's Washer who you tried to kill, and that's Beastbot, who thought I was going to kill him. Have you picked a name yet?"
Stranger: "Give me a minute to think up something very clever, OK? Just what am I supposed to be, anyway?"
Vail: "A bird."
Architeuthis: "A plane."
Washer: (smiling forgivingly) "No, you're Superman! I have no idea what that was but it sounded awfully familiar"
Ed: "I think she's an Ice Phoenix."
All: *stare at Ed in surprise and say variations of "How did you know that? How the heck did he know that? What's an Ice Phoenix? and Oookay then." Ed smiles charmingly and bows, then offers tea to everyone.*
Stranger: "An Ice Phoenix then. Okay...give me my minute to be clever..." *All wait* "Hail Blaze! Hahaha, best I've come up with yet! If I danced in public, I'd be dancing now!"
Hitchhiker *begins to dance wildly.*"Yeeaah! I am no longer Anna Chant! Yaaaa! This is amazing! Whoooo!"
Beastbot: (mumbling to Washer) "What a weirdo."
Ed: "What an interesting crowd I've fallen in with. More tea, Dierdre?"
Beastbot: Is it just me, or is the wind picking up?
Vail: The wind's picking up--and so are the waves. It looks like we're going to have a storm, guys.
Architeuthis: The safest place to be in a storm is in a shelter on high ground. Maybe there'll be something on that hill.
Beastbot: If not, we lie on the ground. That way, we won't be as likely to get hit by lightening. Either way we'll be safer up there than down here.
Ed: Safe?! SAFE?! There's NOWHERE safe here! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!
Hitchhiker: Not if we get to that hill. Calm down, willya? There's seven of us here. If we stick together, we got a chance.
*Ed does seem to calm down a little, enough to meekly follow the others up the hill. Once there, they look for shelter, and find nothing but a pile of rocks. It's better than nothing, so they all lay flat on the ground near the rock pile, and away from any trees, since trees sometimes attract lightning.*
Vail: This is so weird. How did we get into these robot-monster bodies, and why do we all seem to have a compulsion to use these weird names?
Washer: I seem to have amnesia; I don't remember who I was before.
Hailblaze: The only one who uses a NORMAL name is Ed, who is completely whacked.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, you're right. That's really weird. I wonder why that is.
Architeuthis: Speaking of crazy, I've been feeling this really strong urge to swim out in the ocean--and it's gotten stronger since the storm began.
Beastbot: Swim during a storm?! Are you NUTS?!
Washer: Maybe Ark got hit on the head.
Architeuthis: Maybe, but the idea of being in the water seems...RIGHT, somehow. I REALLY wish I knew what the heck was going on. I do know one thing: that plane crash was NOT an accident.
Beastbot: You think we were brought here? I want to think you just got hit on the head REAL BAD, but...I think you might be on to something.
Vail: You guys mean that this is a CONSPIRACY, like in that old show, "X-Files"?
Ed: YES! There's a conspiracy! That's why none of us are safe! The navigator was part of it; he brought the plane here, so THEY could crash it and turn us into these THINGS!
Wind screams through the massive trees like
a howling demon as the young robot trudges through the overgrown jungle.He
has absolutely no way to judge how far he's been walking...or how long.All
he knows is that he is fatigued,confused,and more than a bit frightened
.This thick,murky mass of biomatter is almost completely blocking his vision,and
the massive,and still quite dead to the world, form of his newfound companion
isn't getting any lighter.To add to the growing mountain of problems arrayed
before the youth,the behemoth's wound is gradually oozing out more and
more of the viscous,oily, dark fluid.The youth fears that if the pair don't
reach shelter soon,the large creature might die...and with him,perhaps,some
clues as to exactly what had happened to them.
Suddenly,up the wet,slippery path,a clearing in the trees,perhaps a hollow of sorts,can be seen.The youth nearly cries out in relief.
The small glen is surrounded on all sides by towering eucalyptus trees.Their tremendous height,combined with the great weight of their canopies,has,over time,caused them to sway inward,almost like desperate hands grasping for each other.Over hundreds of years,the upper branches of the trees have fused together,growing into a sort of natural ceiling.As the adolescent lugs his weighty companion into the darkened hollow,he quickly scans the area,wary of unseen dangers.He has always been more than a little afraid of the dark,after all,and in an unknown,strange place like this island,the term "overly careful" no longer has meaning.Still,despite the phantom shock and discomfort which still lurks at the vestiges of his mind,the youth is slowly becoming more confident in his capabilities,his naturally level head taking over.He is discovering that his newfound robotic body,discomfitting as it is,functions in much the same manner as his human form had.However,he still has yet to adjust to the reddish tinge of his vision,which tints everything in a slight crimson haze.Quickly,the youth pushes down thoughts of panic,fear that arises whenever he wonders whether his human body,the form that he has possessed for seventeen years of his life,still exists."Later...",he thinks."We've greater worries at the moment." Propping his heavy robotic cargo against a rock,he finally gets a decent look at the creature...and immediately wished that he hadn't.Imposing and dangerous looking,the monster's hands are tipped with savage looking claws.Its face is that of a demon,a horrid,monstrous mask.And on its chest,much like on the youth's own,is a large,felinoid head."Decoration?",ponders the youth,as he studies the seemingly decapitated head.It is a strange fusion of bat and tiger...saber-toothed tiger."But...those have been extinct for thousands of..."The youth almost chuckles at the absurdity of the thought,its sheer triviality.Here he is,stranded in the middle of the ocean,in someone else's body,and yet,he is pondering natural history?
The creature's wound looks savage-the metal flesh is rent open,in a long, jagged cut.And it's oozing out an increasing amount of...mech fluid? "Hmmm...another strange term..but how did I?" The youth pushes away this thought,though,as he searches his mind for a possible way to staunch the ebon flow.In desperation,he dashes over to one of the trees,almost slipping on the slick, precarious ground.Reaching out,he tears away a particularly large,green leaf from an unknown type of tree,one that has insinuated itself into the venerable grove.Running over to his companion, a thick,green leaf clutched in his metallic hand,the youth wonders if the mech fluid is at all like blood.Dropping to his knees,the youth hefts the creature's weighty leg,and proceeds to wrap the massive leaf tightly around the wound.Luckily,the leaf is highly durable,and will hold.Carefully laying the leg down,the youth stands and observes his work.To his satisfaction,it appears that the flow of "blood"is stopping...for now.Suddenly,as the youth stands there,a wave of exhaustion crashes into him like a tidal wave.The fatigue is not physical...but mental.He's had a harrowing,incredible day,he thinks,as he settles down against a dull gray rock,opposite his new friend.He'll think more on his problems in the morning,after the storm has passed...but for now...rest.
Hours pass in darkness,as the youth's mind
hovers in a sort of psuedo-sleep.Bizzare images race through his head at
the speed of light...ancient wars,massive armies...and the robot in which
he is trapped,embroiled in conflict...caught in a web of deceit and betrayal.And
through it all,a mysterious voice,whispering,just at the edge of perception...With
a start,the youth awakens.He has yet to become acclimated to his mechanical
functions.Systems activated and deactivated suddenly,with an inhuman measure
of precision.Inhuman...quickly,the youth snaps his head up,then sighed
with relief.His monstrous companion still lies,splayed out,facing him,its
head slumped,staring at the ground.The once verdant green leaf which comprised
his temporary bandage is now soaked a deep brown.But fortunately,it seemed
that the flow of mech fluid has ceased.Standing up,the youth stretches,his
servomotors whining.As he emerges from the grove,he notes that the flash
storm has ceased.All around him,insects buzz and chirp,and primates scream
in shrill,piercing tones."Hmmm...",thinks the youth,as is his usual custom."The
storm may be gone,but it won't soon be forgotten."All around him,massive
tree branches lie,snapped by the fearsome gale.A knee-deep mass of vegetation,ripped
from the towering trees,now decorates the jungle floor.However,despite
the raucous tones of nature all around him,the youth realizes how acutely
alone he is."The crash site...I'll have to find it...and see if anyone
else survived.",he thinks."But..." The youth turns back to the sheltered
grove where he has set up residence."What in the heck do I do with him?"
Through the small entrance,a clawed foot is visible."Well,it looks sheltered enough...and he's too heavy to drag.I'll have to leave him here...scout the area,then return for him later." Reluctantly,the youth sets out,in the rough direction of the beach,the crashing of waves his only guide.
After what seems to be an interminable period of time,the youth finally emerges onto the beach,approximately one half mile away from where he'd first awakened.The only difference in scenery is a large,dark rock,jutting up from the sands,a hint at the island's volcanic origins.However,as he rounds a staunch palm tree,the youth sees a sight which sickens him to the core.A massive,army green robot,torn nearly in half,lies upon the bleached sands,his body splattered with mech fluid.The robot is armed with what appear to be missle pods,loaded for bear with vicious artillery.The robot is also huge,towering over even the adolescent's imposing companion.Suddenly,the massive machine lets out a low,rumbling groan."My God...It's still alive!",thinks the youth,as the mutilated body begins to stir.Cautiously,wary of attackers,the youth dashes over to the huge green robot,dropping to his knees and examining the wound...the damage is horrendous...almost unspeakable..and yet,the warrior still lives." "Hello!Can you hear me?!",asks the youth urgently,as he stares into the large,metallic face of the injured robot.To the youth's amazement,the robot slowly nods,his servos groaning.And then,the robot's face twists in a snarl,and he spits one word,his voice dark with menace and hatred..."Mako."
The large dark form that the youth had so
dilligently dragged to safety awakes. Its massive form does not move, and
no outward signs of consciousness exist yet, but it is indeed awake.
The creature's head spins with half remembered dreams, memories and phantoms of thought. The optics come online, but the visor hides this fact. Trees? Why do I see trees? Where am I? More questions flood its mind. It tries to sort out who it is and what it is doing in this place. The task, however, becomes far too daunting, and is set aside for a later date. It decides a simplier question is in order. Why am I awake? I don't think I want to be awake. Sadly the thoughts had already started to enter, and once one came, more flowed in like a burst dam. Even the thought of wanting to return to slumber maked that goal impossible to reach.
And why does my leg hurt? Finally the figure stirs. The head tilts down and studies the body in a vain hope that the cause of discomfort could be found externally.
Okay, something is NOT right here. Thoughts are still comming fuzzily, but the being did not remember it's body being like this.
Black fur, silver and aqua metal wrapped in a monsterous frame.
I don't need to see my face to tell me I'm wearing someone else's body.
More movement and the motion becomes easier. A large clawed hand is brought into veiw. On the wrist is a leathery pouch, as the hand and wrist are flexed, the two bony spikes on the sides of the pouch move as well, disconnecting itself from the arm, and flaring like a small sail, or a wing.
"Ooooooohhhhh man, this is not real. This is NOT real." The creature whispers quietly to itself. The whole situation was so surreal as to be unbelievable. This could still be a dream, and he might not be awake yet.
The clawed hand is brought forward and it gingerly touched the face, feeling all around.
A full face mask, flat and solid covers the lower half of the face. A solid visor covers the eyes. The truly odd thing is, that when feeling with the finger, the face feels the fingers as well. This is not just a mask, but the face itself.
Running the hands back, the rest of the head is like a stylized helmet. No hair, but two large, mostly straight, with only a slight curve, horns project backward from behind.
The being lets out a tortured moan again at the unreality it is being forced to face. Deciding it is better to give up now the figure slumps back down, into a light cat nap. Its thoughts a buzz, but its body inert.
It waits there, in the body that it remembers as not being its own, but still oddly farmilar as well. Waits, senses fully alert, pondering it's situation.
So they were lost and alone. Did it really
matter? Of the memories lost, of the families they left behind? Was it
all of any consequence? No. No, not to the aliens.
I should have fought it. We wouldn't be like this if I had fought it.
His world swirled around him in a mass of colors. All went dark, then phantom images floated before him. Of the Hitchhiker, Of Hailblaze. Of Vail. People, who under normal circumstances, he hardly knew, and therefore was not very attached to. But they suddenly became very precious. He saw all of them, fighting a battle that he knew, for some reason, that they couln't possibly win.
He saw each of them fall, one by one. With each death, a fire burned stronger inside. A sort of insane, blind rage. Something new, but something strangely necessary. Finally, it was down to Vail, Beastbot and Ed. Beastbot fell, screaming, as a beam of energy cut through his chest. Ed stood, transfixed, as another beam charged toward a distracted Vail, killing her instantly. Then Ed stood, alone and crying, as the scene faded. He heard his last despairing cry and suddenly couldn't take it anymore. He charged forward, towards the image in front of him. As he touched it, it turned to dust and he fell through, onto his knees, as the image disintegrated to nothingness. He sobbed brokenly, gasping, tears streaking his face. He could not rid himself of the nagging voice, the words.
You could have saved them.
Could he? He screamed his pent-up rage, asking for it to all end, when a hand began to shake him. He opened his eyes, squinting at first. Early dawn light flickered in the sky. Architeuthis, was shaking him. Perhaps a bit hard.
Architeuthis- (Concerned)"Are you okay? You were screaming."
Washer- (Shakily) "Well, I-(thoughts)I can't possibly tell them. They wouldn't ever believe me. They would never forgive me!(end thoughts)-I'm fine. I'll be okay."
Architeuthis- "Ya sure?"
Washer gave her what he thought was a reasurring smile- "Me? Hurt? Nah. So where do we go today?"
Architeuthis- "More exploring, really. Vail
and the others already left. We better catch up....
Vail was walking alongside Beastbot, scanning
the wreckage of last night's storm, and thankful that they had found shelter
under some rocks nearby. Suddenly, in the distance, she spotted a figure.
Beastbot had also apparently seen him. They both began to run forward,
and came upon a young robot, desperately trying to revive a huge green
one. Vail ran forward.
Vail-"Who is he?"
Youth- "I don't know. I got here, and it looked like he was dead. Then, he woke up and said a name. Mako. Whoever he is, he apparently did this to him. I was talking to him when he went back into stasis lock. I don't know how to bring him back. Do you?"
Vail- *Studying the situation carfully* "I'm not sure, but we have got to do something..."
*Vail desperately tries to save the mech, but system after system keeps failing. The youth notices that Vail works with great skill but didn't want to interrupt her concentration*
Vail: Get me a bi-polar heat sync.
To which the Youth replied: What is that?
Vail: *stands up and gazes at him* I don't know, but I need one.
Youth: Will this do? *handing her a piece of scrap metal*
Vail: I guess, magnatize it though.
An hour later:
Vail: That is all I can do.
Youth: I see, but will he live?
Vail: I'm not sure, but I think it is up to him.
Computer voice: Systems error, Core memory damaged, brace for reformat and restore. *The two look in awe at the robotic body begins to move*In 5...4...3...2...1. Stasis lock in place until systems are at tolerable levels.
Vail: Thank goodness.
Youth: Well, I think...
*no one had noticed Beastbot searching the beach*
Beastbot: Hey, over here, we got another injured!
*Vail runs, followed by the youth*
Youth: There is another injured aways down the cove.
Vail: What!? Why didn't you tell me?
Youth: It isn't serious, I couldn't drag him all the way here.
*They stop at the site. It is devastated.*
Youth: What happened here?
Beastbot: I don't know, but on the way back to camp, I saw this hand sticking out of a pile of ash.
*The group begins to unearth a robot*
Washer: Hey, we didn't know which way you went! *running towards them with Architeuthis*
Vail: We need help uncovering somebody.
Architeuthis: Coming...*as she said this Washer tripped over debris and fell down, transformimg.*
Washer: What happened? How did I change and why can't I move?*now in his street sweeper form*
Vail: I think you transformed, I can't tell you how though. And about that moving- I think you have to shift out of park.
Washer: How do I do that?
Beastbot: Just do what ever you did to transform and do it backwards, we don't have time for this right now!
*Washer transforms back*
Beastbot: We have little time!
*Uncovering the damaged bot, they found
him in working order, but in stasis lock.*
Enforcer wakes up, head throbbing. He looks
up, and finds himself stranded on a sandy beach. Then he notices that his
height grew a couple of feet, and he is made of metal.
"Whoa!" "This can't be possible, I'm not metal!" Enforcer squints in the sun and notices wreakage. "Hmph. We must of crashed."
He bends over and picks up a piece of scrap metal. "Now I remember." Enforcer walks down the coast, looking for others. He sees more people farther on down the beach.
"Hey, who's down there?" Vail yelled.
"It's me. Where are we?" Enforcer asked. "You....Your metal too?"
"We all are." replies Architeuthis
*as he approaches them, he hears a rustle and a loud metallic chattering*
Beastbot: What is that?
"I don't know, but it didn't sound happy. Weapons, online!" Enforcer said, not knowing what he just said. Two cannons came out of his arms, while another came out of his chest. The missle pack on his shoulder scanned for heat.
"Bad. How'd you do that?" (someone) asked.
"I don't know. Something like "Weapons online"." Enforcer said. Zip comes out of the brush. Enforcer locks weapons on the
beast. "Prepare to be scrapped!"
Vail: "That's my squirrel, you idiot!"
"What?" Enforcer accidentally fired a missle.
Architeuthis: Hey, Enforcer! What're you doin'?
Zip came jumping out of the way as the missle detonated, sending sand everywhere.
"Oh. Sorry Zip, I thought it was a fierce enemy." Enforcer said, retracting his weapons.
"Well, next time you go 'shoot 'em up', tell us first." Beastbot replies.
*Zip then proceeds to bite into Enforcer's armor*
*A few minutes later*
Beastbot: Calm down.
Enforcer: It bit me!
Vail: He bit you, but you shot at him!
Enforcer: Now I am probably infected with rabies or something.
Washer: You're just as bad as Ed.
Architeuthis: Nothing is worse than Ed.
Vail: *pushing though the conversation* There is no such thing as cyber-rabies.
Vail: Now, er... you, show me where the other person is and after that pick out a name.
Vail: Come along, Zip.
Enforcer: Yes, go you flea infested...*no faster then he said those words, Zip bite him once more* Weapon System online!
*Someone shoots and Enforcer falls like a rock.*
Vail: *blowing the smoke from her pistol* Never shoot my squirrel. Now come, Zip.
*Zip refuses to let go.*
Architeuthis: Don't worry, we'll pry him off. You go on now.
(Scene opens on: Sleeping form of the figure that Skidz hauled into the grove of trees.)
Vail:(off screen) "Well, where is this other wounded?"
Youth: (peering through the trees) "It's right here. I don't know what I did, but I think the leaf stopped the bleeding."
*Vail comes in and kneels down looking at the figures leg. Youth also enters.*
Vail: "Hmm, this seems to have healed up
on its own. It might still need some..."
*The moment Vail touches the wound, the figure's arms lunge out and grab both of them.*
JW%:*holding both of them off the ground* (very darkly)"Who are you!? What do you want!? Did you do this to me!?"
Vail: (strangled)"M-my name is Vail. I just
*JW% turns to Youth*
Youth: (also strangled)"I'm... I'm Skidplates. I just found you on the beach and dragged you undercover. I... errr.... I bandaged your leg too."
*JW% tries to put them both down, but looses strength and lets them both drop*
JW%: (much weaker)"Then you're friends. Sorry about that, I didn't know who you were. I still don't. Thanks for fixing my leg. It feels fine now."
Skidz: "What's your name?"
JW%: *thinks* I'm Jed. Jedidiah Warrick. At least I think. I don't know. I... *slumps back* don't feel so good. (softly to himself) Oh man, this is not real.(back to them) I don't seem to be in my right body at the moment. I'm not sure if that means you should use my name, or this bodie's name."
Skidz: "Your bodie's name?"
JW%: "Yeah, I... I'm not sure really, but I think it's called JaggedWing, or Jag for short."
Vail: "Can you walk, JaggedWing? We should get back to the others."
JW%: *gets up unsteadily* "I guess I can. Who are the others?"
Vail: "We'll introduce you."
"This is bad. Very bad," Mako looked over the readouts that flew past his eyes. According to his scanning equipment, each bot was built around a single unified neural net, with a core "Spark."
"A Spark? Whaat- what do you mean?"
"It is... a Durantian Cybertronic Web. An incredibly complex piece of self-replicating technology- far advanced over the usual fare we've detected among Them. I suspect, it may, in fact, be alien in origin. None the less, all you need to know, is that is forms the basic, essential processes of your programming. If it goes, you go."
"So, I could die? That easily?"
"Fear not, I have taken precautions against that happening. Now, return to the simulator. We have..."
"...Work to do," Mako mumbled to himself as the memory faded.
Hydra. Back on Earth 4. So long ago...
"You look troubled. I was just wondering if anthing was wrong."
"No. No, I have the situation under control now," Mako forced a smile, "Really."
"Ok, then. What do we do now?"
"I have detected a disturbance near the center of the island. This is also, I suspect, where our plane crashed."
"So... the bodies?"
"Exactly. Our human bodies are out there. Somewhere. And I MUST find them as soon as possible. However, this e-band fluctuations are... disturbing," Mako looked out into the distance, "and there's something out there. A localized field of some sort."
"A force field, maybe?"
"Perhaps. I wouldn't discount it," Mako reached down, and picked up a long, slender pole of silver metal. Squeezing the end, it enlarged and unfolded into a staff-weapon (like those in Stargate SG1). Looking at it, he threw the weapon to his assistant, "here."
"What is it?" the bot asked, catching the staff in midair.
"An alien weapon I found. It shoots plasma bolts. Good for sniping."
"Shoot any who near this location. I won't have alien technology falling into ...corrupted hands," Mako took to the air, "I'm trusting you. Do not hesitate to fire. I'll go to investigate the island, I expect to return in a scant few hours."
With that, Mako floated into the air, and was gone in a flash. The bot raised the staff to eye level, and felt it charge to fire, flicks of fire and heat gathering at the end of the weapon.
He's trusting me.
My only hope of becoming human again.
(back with Vail, JaggedWing, and Skidz, they have trudged most of the way, and are now on the beach. Each had been alone with their thoughts since Skidz' last words.)
Vail: "Okay, the camp should be just around these trees."
JW%: "Um, guys... could we take a rest?"
Skidz and Vail suddenly realize that they have traveled almost two miles over rather rough terrain, and don't feel any more tired that they would be from taking a few steps.
Skidz: "But we're almost there..."
JW%: "No, I think I really need a rest."
*They look back. JW% takes one more step and collapses*
Vail: "Is it your leg?"
JW%: "No. I'm not sure. I feel strange."
Skidz: "Um, I don't have to carry you again, do I?"
JW%: "No, no, thanks for asking. I just... well... I don't know. I've been seeing these bars and graphs through my visor. When I think about a part of my body, one comes up and I guess it tells me how that part is doing. Trouble is I can't read the writing. At any rate, I started to feel weak, so I checked on my energy supply. I'm at full, and not loosing any. I guess I'm solar powered or something. That means I'm not really hungry, but I feel... empty... like I need something."
Skidz: "Like what?"
JW%: "I'm not sure. I have plenty of energy, but it isn't getting to my systems."
Vail: "You lost a lot of mechfluid. That is what carries energy around in your system. You need to get more."(thinks to her self: "how did I know that?")
Skidz: "So, how do you get more?"
JW%: "I guess by eating."
Skidz: "Um, what do you eat?"
JW%: "I don't know. Probably just about anything that could be transmuted into extra mechfluid. *gets up* I can make it to your camp, and think about it there."
Vail: "You sure?"
JW%: "Yeah, I feel fine now, I'll just get weak again if I try to do to much."*They start walking again*
Skidz: "We could get some fruit or something from the jungle."
JW%: "That might help. *thinks a moment* Or I could simply try taking some of your mech fluid. *they look horrified* Just kidding. Honest. I don't even know how I would do that. My mouth is blocked by this face plate."
Vail: "Can you take it off?"
JW%: "Hmmm. Don't know... *feels around on his face* It's like a mask, and you can take masks off... maybe there is a catch some where... *works around alittle while, until he realizes it is totally seamless.* Or not. You know, it is possible that I would need a main line or something. Don't think a needle would penetrate... *looks over his arms for something that could connect to an IV.*"
*Skidz starts doing similar searches on his own body. Vail isn't worried, she has a mouth.*
JW%: "Hrrrrmmm." *A seam appears down the middle where there wasn't one before, and the mask snaps open, vanishing into the sides of his helmet. His lower mouth is almost human(aside from it being metallic). A small bit of black facial hair in the form of a moustache is even apparent on the aqua 'skin'*
Vail: "Hey, how did you do that?"
JW%: "Do what? *feels his face again* Hey, it's open. I... I just tensed my jaw muscles. Just like how I control my wrist wings.*flexes his wrist, causing the small bat-like sails to flap* Oh, man, this is cool. This is soooo unreal."
*Meanwhile, Skidz has figured out how his
work as well..."
"Mech fluid...," thinks Skidplates..."Sustenance.." It was at that moment that Skidplates realizes how truly hungry he is becoming."Hmmm...JaggedWing's mask was retracted by jaw motion...the problem is,I don't feel like I've got muscles to clench.Well,guess I'll make an attempt at this,though,",he thinks."Okay,guys,here goes..,"begins Skidplates tentatively. All of a sudden, as if it were an almost natural impulse,he jerks his head slightly back. His silver faceplate splits down the center,along a previously invisible seam,revealing a visage none could have ever expected to see.His lower face is composed almost entirely of a seething,gelatinous mass,pitch black in color.Somehow,it is kept suspended,in the vague form of a jaw."Hmmm..does anyone have a straw?",quips Skidplates,his voice seeming to vibrate and warble through the liquid.Suddenly,twin,silver metal tubes spurt forth from the mass.Open at the ends,each writhes about spastically,like a serpant...it is a most disturbing sight,indeed.Then,as quickly as they appeared,the tubes snap back into the fluctuating mass,and the faceplate hisses shut."Obviously..,"begins Skidplates,"This...will take some getting used to.."
JW%: "No kidding? I might get away with keeping my mask open, but you...*wonders how he can put it delicately* ...please just keep it shut. It makes me queasy."
An awful, ill feeling filled Vail. The appearance of those.....those...THINGS, stirred something in the back of her mind. unthinkingly, she reached up to rub her neck. Then she looked at the youngster across from her, and immediately disspelled the thought from her mind. 'He can't have THAT sort of dark recesses', she thought.'He's just a poor lost kid, like me.' She shivered again, remembering his dark words.'Then again, there are sides to people you would never believe......'
Back at camp, Enforcer recovers, sitting on a log with his arms crossed.
Enforcer: " Man, I can't believe I just
got scrapped by the Medic!" *Looks over at Zip* "It's all your fault. I
should of locked onto you, and destroyed you when I had the chance." Enforcer
stands up. He started pacing back and fourth, thinking about revenge on
Mako. "Oh, he'll get what's coming to him. When I see that freebirth, I'm
gonna... *blasted a tree in half with gauss rifle* ...do just that." All
of a sudden, some gears inside him began to shift. "What the slag...?"
Enforcer falls to the ground, transforming. Eight large, black wheels popped
out of his side, while his head tucked in, and revealed twin headlights.
With a SWOOSH, a clear windshield came out of his back and moved forward.
A greenish canvas on metal bars slid forward, giving the machine a top,
then, last of all, treads covered the black wheels. He had turned into
an Argo Conquest. "Whoa! Sweet!" Enforcer tried to move. Nothing happened.
"I must be in neutral. Maybe if I..." The lever inside slided into high
gear. Enforcer took off, headed for a tree. "AHHH!"
"BRAKES!" Enforcer slammed the brakes, almost flipping the tank-like vehicle over. "OK, let's try it in low gear." Enforcer thought about the lever shifting, and amazingly, it went into low gear. He took off with ease, spinning circles and making burn marks. He decided to try the winch. It unrolled, but needed another person to drag it out to hook it up to something. "Wonder if I have any weapons." Enforcer said, "Weapons on-line," and two huge auto cannons slid out of side plates, revealing a pair of very dangerous autocannons. He tried firing them. A few shots fired off, busting holes into trees. "This is way cool, but how do I get out of it?" Enforcer tried to transform back to robot. Nothing happened. "Oh no. No way I'm stuck."
It has been sometime since Matrix3 started to look for others, and so far he wasn't having any luck. Earlier he was forced to postpone his search due to a storm that had drifted in, and had to find shelter.
After the storm had passed, he once again started his search.
Matrix3 (To himself): I can't be the only
one? Can I? I hope not, because I think I am going crazy, due to the fact
that I have already
started talking to myself.
Just as he said this, he saw a group ahead of him.
Deciding to go ahead and introduce himself, he went forward, while also being cautious, since he didn't know how they would react once he reached where they were.
As he got nearer, he saw that they too seemed to have metal skin, but unlike him, they seemed to have animal characteristics.
Matrix3 (Nervously): "Um...hi.",begins the
armored creature tentatively,shattering the uneasy silence that has hung
over the group like a cloak,ever since Skidplates' disturbing revalations.As
the tone reaches Skidplates' audio sensors,he snaps his head up,his reflective
stupor broken.And,as he sees the metallic figure approaching from down
the beach,he feels a pang of recognition...and a white-hot needle of hate
stabs through him."But...",thinks Skidplates,"I've never seen him before
in my life...""Fool.",whispers the voice,the phantom at the edge of his
conciousness."He's the obstacle..one who stood in the way of the great
plan..he must die..now. "NO!",exclaims Skidplates loudly.At this point,he
notices that his two companions are staring at him with increasing fear
and concern...and the newcomer seems intimidated,on the verge of fleeing."Uh..well!",begins
Vail,in false cheer,attempting to lighten the mood."I see you've met Skidplates
here.And this...",she continues,gesturing to JaggedWing, "Is JaggedWing.I'm
Vail. Are you..like us?",she asks. "I'm not sure what I really am..,"says
the newcomer, looking himself over."Well, I'm not sure that any of us really
do," replies Vail."But we're learning!" "Incessant cheer...she must be
removed...permanently.",speaks the voice in Skidplates' head,this time
its tone more frighteningly firm."No..you're not me...I don't know what
you are,but get out of my head.This is my mind..it isn't yours...You have
no right!",thinks Skidplates,in desperation."On the contrary,my dear,naive
neophyte..I have all the right in the world..," says the sinister voice,now
reverberating in Skidplates' head."NO!",exclaims Skidplates,in a devastating
psi-scream...and the voice seemingly withers,then fades away. The party
starts along, heading back toward the camp, with the rest of their companions.Skidplates
walks up to the newcomer."I'm..sorry," he says,his voice deeply apologetic."But
I'm afraid that I haven't been myself lately. Can you forgive me?"
I do not know why he acted that way when I said hi, but I don't blame him, because this experience has made me edgy. So, I must assume it has to him as well, Matrix3 thought.
Matrix3: No need to apologize, we're all a little edgy because of whatever is happening here. Speaking of which, do you have any idea of what is happening?
Skidplates: I don't know, but I have theories on it.
Matrix3: You wouldn't mind sharing them with me?
Skidplates: Actually, I was planning not to share them until we meet up with the others.
Matrix3: Makes sense to do that, so we can share our ideas and thoughts on what could be happening.
Skidplates: That's the idea.
After this, they walked in silence for sometime, until Skidplates broke it so that he could tell Matrix3 he had something important to mention.
Skidplates: Oh yeah, and I think it would be advisable for you not to go anywhere by yourself.
Matrix3: Why is that?
Skidplates: The reason is that there is a maniac named Mako out there that you wouldn't like to meet.
Matrix3(Sarcastically): Oh great, this just keeps getting better and better.
Back to Multiauthor