- SolZen: Captain
- Sentinel: Engineering
- Akreious: Security/Entertainment
- Clee: Security/Strategist
- Zombie: Head Engineer
- MoonShard: Navigation
- Stephan: First Mate
- Amir: Security Chief
- Hoshino: Head Medical Officer
- Zhu: Linguist
- Apexz: Armorer/ Security
- Galaxi: Security-Away Team/Scout Commander
- NguyenAnhLam: Barkeeper (honest, friendly, humorous and cheerful)
- Ginga: The repair man to Sentinel's inventions
- Flurr: Cabin Boy
"Dao...Sorry 'Lord' Dao'..." said the large mechanoid. He was red with orange flames all about his person, a face plate and large tires in the side of his legs. He was a large bot in a small square room of silver panels. One side had the door, with two turrets aimed at the target who was behind a wall of blue energy. The Purple and Pink bot, with a more standard build with a missing attachment for the left side of his shoulder, a monocle over his left eyes and shields on the side of his shoulders. He wore stasis cuffs, and sat due to no longer having legs to walk with. "You are wanted for the breaking of the Prime Directive, the enslavement of Sentient beings, the willful violation of Sentient Rights, genocide exceeding one Billion the destruction of a stellar Body and the decimation of twelve biospheres!" The large bot calmed himself
"Anything else...?" said Dao.
"For this, it is my sincerest pleasure to escort you to the home world, where you shall face public execution. Your body will be disassembled while you are online. Your exposed spark will then be exposed to a G-Force crush, where in the span of thirty minutes you will undergo excruciating pain as you are slowly crushed to death. If you try to escape, know that there is a bomb underneath your aft, these turrets will blast you to pieces and this entire room is Rheanium enforced Adamantium."
"You think you can stop me, I am Shiny's disciple, the Mechanical will rise, we will...!" The large bot took two big steps back out of the room and the thick doors shut, blocking all sound.
"Destroid filth..." The bot said to himself. He paused and remembered everything thing 'they' did, all the horrible things he was not there to stop. He walked down the pristine, white and curved hallway and slammed his fist into wall in anger. He hit the wall, and then 'it' hit him.
The bot grabbed his chest, a sudden pain struck him there and he keeled over. When he got back up there was another bot next to him. She was feminine in build, blue and silver, with a cockpit on her chest and jet turbines on her shoulders. She stood there calmly with her arms behind her back.
"You, know..." she said "I always thought you weren't afraid of Hoshino..." He stood up, trying to reclaim his composure.
"I am fine, just...getting old..."
"You're not that old, heck I think I'm older than you..."
"I doubt that...why are you here? I doubt you snuck up on me to berate me for a fear of needles..."
"Well, needles, energy saw blades, industrial lasers and scissors but, yeah. We have a stowaway..."
"Let security deal with it..."
"We both know how that's going to go. I think you should see the sparkling..." He began to walk off.
"I think I shall be in my quarters, Moon..."
"And I think I shall ban you from the Entertainment lounge, Sol." He paused in his tracks.
"OH MY SWEET MAGNUS, IT'S HIM, IT HIM IT-" SolZen reached through the laser bars of the brig and grabbed the young bot by the mouth.
"Why..." he said calmly, but clearly annoyed "are you shouting...?" The young bot was smaller than most, with his build being almost humanoid compared to the cubic design of the Captain. He was yellow and blue, with black lines, and the kibble on his back, and wheels on his shoulders and lower legs, said he transformed into some manner of car.
"Sorry..." Sol dropped him. "It's just, MY-"
"I will leave you here..." he was taken back by the sheer...callousness in Sol's tone.
"I really do not have time for someone to recount all the adventure's 'I' have gone on. Now... why are you on my ship?"
"To join your crew...!"
"We're not hiring..."
"Please sir...!" he said on his knees begging "It's always been my dream, I've always wanted..."
"This is out last trip..."
"What..." he said surprised.
"The Atlanta is old, it's a museum piece, after this final mission, which is really only for fluff, it will be decommissioned. I will be put on the Magnus Council, and my senior staff will be made captains of their own ships, while the rest of my crew is separated among them."
"Then...I'M ON THE FINAL CRUISE OF THE ATLANTA...!" he said with eyes wide with excitement.
"Oi Vey..." said SolZen as he rolled his optics "Look kid, I will allow you to stay, but, one, stop shouting and two STOP SHOUTING...!" The youth was at the back of the cell from being jumped.
"Okay..." he said sheepishly.
"So what's your name...?"
"...Right, Flurr, we don't need you running about and causing trouble. So I expect you to report to Hoshino, for your medical and for me to discuss placement."
"So what's the deal...?" asked SolZen. The bot he spoke to had a wide chest, it was mostly white, with blue lines and blue crosses on his shoulders. He looked like a normal mechanoid except for the mechanical cat ears on his helmet and a cat like tail he bore with a gold ring. They stood over Flurr, who was on a table strapped by metal restraints, to his discomfort, as a machine scanned him from head to boots.
"A normal spark based mechanoid. From the quality and luminosity of his spark, he's less than a a few centuries old, and a normal spark. Rather ordinary..." He had a datapad in his hand and was reading all the data coming from the scanner about the young mech.
"Hey...!" said Flurr
"Hush..." Sol retorted "so Hoshino, no problems, no Alchemical Viruses like Cosmic Rust, no..."
"Nothing..." He pressed a button releasing the young bot "Wait outside if you would, the captain and I have something private to talk about..."
"Wait so why do I have to leave?"
"Because..." Hoshino's free arm transformed turning into a pincer like contraption that generated a disc of energy that began spinning at high speed. Flurr got the message and rushed out the door. Well he ran face first before it could open, but he went outside.
"I know..." said Sol, as Hoshino turned his arm back to normal.
"Do you...?" He retorted "I have not given you a proper checkup since you got that blasted thing in your chest! I can't, even use the scanner, properly, I have to scan you from behind and I don't like what I see."
"Is there a cure for this thing..."
"No...at least, not at this stage..." Sol was calm, clearly he had made piece with this fact.
"Then what about the report on Dao..." Hoshino scowled as he handed over the datapad. He did not like how Sol just changed the subject.
"I think you should be a little more concerned with your own Spark..."
"After this, I'll be pushing pixels at some desk, I will be going easy, okay... Deathcium?"
"Spacium is found on worlds, with little to no atmosphere in the inner orbits of worlds, the result of thousands, millions of stellar cycles of stellar winds and cosmic rays lashing the planet, charging and transforming some elements in the soil...where does this come from...?"
"Who else...?" Sol growled, but not at Hoshino, he simply knew who he was referring to. "I know one thing. Ultra Engen can can rupture your energy path ways and fry circuits because of how potent it is, but that's it. This stuff, this... Dark Engen, it is clearly transforming the spark, mutating the energy lattices. It's addictive, that wretch, may he rot wherever you sent him, was drugging his soldiers, probably why they are so violent. This stuff has been found in nearly all other Destroids bodies we decided to examine. However, this is the first time we've ever examined a still functioning spark."
"So what now...?"
"I've sent the data back to Home World, we may be able to now actively track down all former Destroids by their Spark Signatures..." As if in response, an alarm went off. Red lights flashed, and Sol activated his com-link
"What's wrong...?" he asked.
"Well..." replied MoonShard "once we put that data into the system, it immediately detected a vessel heading towards us.
"Slag it...activate the turrets, take them out..."
"They are ramming us..."
"I don't understand..." said Flurr as he ode on the captain. SolZen had taken on an alternate form, a truck like large vehicle that zoomed through the hallways of the ship. "I thought all the Destroids were destroyed during the war?" The group passed several bots who were busy running about, getting weapons, blaster rifles of different combinations or blaster cannon conjured out of their bodies.
"I don't know where you learned your history..." said Sol "But the Commonwealth has been busy trying to find and eradicate the Destroids as part of our agreement with the Galactic Federation and other Star Empires around us. The Destroids ticked off everyone, not just us." They got to the lift, which took them up to the bridge, where they transformed back into robot form.
While Sol jumped into his chair, Flurr looked around with amazement. Numerous councils and chair lined the wall of the room, stationed by several bots he had heard of. MoonShard was there, clearly charting out the ship's course with a holographic map.
"Status report..." said Sol. Next to him stood a large bulky mechanoid with a green and grey body. They were as big as SolZen with their face hidden behind a visor and a faceplate.
"Sir..." he said in a deep voice "The ship is a frigate sized, small variant. Mostly like a pirated version..."
"Pirated...?" said Flurr. The two large bots looked at him.
"It's a civilian ship outfitted for combat with illegal modifications." said Sol. "Anything Stephan...?"
"It's clearly a Destroid ship, we detected Dark Engen on board and...something else, a large energy signature, almost as large as the ship's own..."
"Slag it..." said Sol face palming. He knew what it was. "The prisoner...?"
"The cell was made to make all escape impossible. Most likely they are attacking because teleportation is not possible." As if in response light and circles of energy appeared around Sol, going up and down. In a pulse of energy he was gone.
"They took him...!" said Flurr. He was aghast and then he was confused at how calmed and relax everyone was. In fact, they turned off the alarm.
"Alas..." said Stephan "the poor fools." Suddenly the ship shook.
Sol got up off his backside in the middle of a hangar bay. Before him were several mechanoids. With their kibble, and blaster rifles, they were clearly Destroids...that and the symbol they all wore.
"Ah..." said the one in front. He carried a large repeater, a heavy duty military class blaster rifle. "The great captain Sol, the Amoeba..."
"What...?" all of them looked confused...
"You said, amoeba, which is a microscopic life form, one of the smallest forms of organic life. You mean 'Anathema', which means, hated or loathed thing, which given our history is more accurate...plebeian..."
"Hey, I'm a robot, I don't have a gender...not in the organic sense..." Sol was silent, silent with annoyance that was bubbling into rage.
"Why am I here...?"
"You are here, to surrender..."
"Oh..." he said in an amused tone
"Yes, now that we have you, your crew will have no choice but to surrender to the will of Shiny and release our leader. If they are worthy, they may drink of the greatness Shiny left us and help us take our..."
"Deathcium..." said Sol with a tone of disgust
"What...yes, we call it 'Dezium' though..."
"I am not an organic..."
"Okay, surprised you know the origin of the term... Look, 'sparkling'..."
"Let me be clear, you will let me go..."
"Or I will stop ignoring my standing orders..."
"Which would be...?" Sol took out a sword handle. The blade unfurled from the base of the hilt and glowed red, erupting with a fiery red aura.
"Kill Destroids on sight..."
"You think you can scare me, we have many, you are one, you have a sword, we have blasters!"
"I may be out numbered...but not out class..."
"Rea-" Sol grabbed him by the face, putting his thumb in the Destroids mouth and his fingers in his optic sockets and pulled, ripping off the metallic musculature that made up his face, revealing internal motors, nervous circuits and his endoskeleton. The Destroid screamed at his loudest volume, while his companions looked on in shock, before Sol split him in two from cranium to groin. Sol then turned his attention to the others.
An X shaped mark appeared on the door, two slashes that radiated intense heat. Even if the door had not been kicked open, the intense heat would've caused it to melt. Inside the hallway, Sol found more Destroids, all armed and aiming at him.
"Surrender Cyberbot traitor!" said one of them "You..." The one that spoke was the one who got the sword thrown into his face. While the others were stunned, Sol lunged down the hallways, using his the mechanical strength of his legs and the micro thrusters in his back and legs. He moved down the hallway like a rocket, grabbed the handle of his sword, flipped over and slashed two with a downward strike. The others opened fire, and he reached to the side, grabbing the only still living Destroid in the row, by his head, partially crushing it and using him as a shield. He then threw the mech at them.
From behind the airborne mech came a slash, that cut him in half and decapitated the row of Destroids in front of him. Sol dashed forward, stabbing one mech twisting his sword and in one motion split him open and buried his blade in another. He spun around, bringing his sword out of the dead mech and slicing apart the blasters of two more. One he stabbed and hoisted into the air, grabbing his arm, he ripped the screaming mech apart. The other ran only to be stabbed through the chest. He screamed in pain as Sol held him up, and allowed the blades intense heat to cause his body to melt right there. He screamed in pain, and tried to crawl off, only for his hands to melt off in the process. Finally his spark gave out, exploding and taking everything from the shoulders and upward. Sol turned to the mech he had cut in half, still functioning and trying to crawl away
Sol turned off his sword and stabbed it in the ground before picking up both pieces of the mech and ramming his head into his groin section. He dropped the corpse and proceeded on his way picking up his sword. Proceeding into the next, larger room, he found himself in a large with one mech and a strange mechanical beast behind him.
"You really think you are getting away, we will have Lord Dao...!" said the Destroid "You shall give us the codes to his cell...!"
"Or this Shining Redemption will kill you while the one on our ship slaughters your crew...!" The beast was a confusion of servo mechanics. It seemed to be on its back, with four digit legs pointing in the opposite direction, twin stingers up in the air, and on the side it walked with twin blade, the butt of which touched the ground. The Head it self, was black with glowing red eyes, while the pieces of its armor were mismatched colors. It was a bug eyed mechanical monster, and Sol noticed the other set of smaller limbs underneath it.
"No..." said Sol.
"What...?! Don't you know what this is...?"
"Indeed, I fought many of them during the war, and let me say, you are underestimating my crew. I am not the only powerhouse on the Atlanta, there is the likes of the Akreious..."
Aboard the ship a large size mechanoid flew down the hallway. He had a golden trident on his brow, he was blue with lightning stripes and an orange visor. On one arm he had an energy shield, in the other, he had a lance the point of which was made of energy.
"LLLEEEERRROOOYYY...!" He stabbed the lance blade into the face of the Redemption "JENKINS!" Another mechanoid, a Cyberbot, Silver and wearing glasses, face palmed.
"Even if some of my people die..." said Sol "I have the like of Amir..."
Amir's body split apart and rammed several Destroids before he picked up their weapon and fired upon them.
Stephan was in the hallway, wielding a green energy saber with masterful grace to deflect back blaster bolts into the limbs and faces of the Destroids and slicing them apart.
"Heck, I think my Janitor could beat your guys...!
The grey robot with red lines about his person, sported a mop head atop his own. Standing around slew of dead Destroids, he transformed into a sort of industrial mop and began to cleanup...
"Wait..." said the Destroid "why do you have a janitor...?" Sol just shrugged his shoulders, as curious as the Destroid was.
"Attack...!" The Redemption transformed in a strange and downright disturbing way, Shifting to a new mode, where it stood on both feet, it roared and thrashed about, stabbing the Destroid in the chest before throwing him to the side.
"Seriously..." said Sol "why did they build you again?"
The Redemption's blades clashed with Sol's, who despite his great strength was being pushed back. Moving his blade up and back, behind his body, he rolled forward, and took a slice out of its leg. The machine beast hobbled about before trying to stab at Sol who jumped to the other side of the room. It swung wildly as it charge at Sol, who simply reached for behind his back and pulled out a large rifle. He fired, shooting a large dense energy bullet that exploded in the face of the Redemption, taking off a large chunk of its face, an entire arm and part of another.
The robo-beast stumbled back, but through the smoke flew Sol, who stabbed his blade into the chest of the Redemption. The beast felt nothing, it was built not to feel pain, but hatred for its enemies and little else. After it fell to the floor, Sol swung his blade out to the side taking of the undamaged arms by the elbows and swung its on the other side, cleaving of the last usable arm. Afterwards, it was a stab to the face, where the CPU was located, that ended the beast.
"That was incredible...!" said Flurr. He was with Sol, and several other high ranking bots as Hoshino proceeded to weld the damage portions of Sol's armor plating.
"If you say so..." said Sol "Ow! You're doing this on purpose!"
"I am not..." said Hoshino.
"Then why aren't you using the green engen patches?"
"Because some dregs of metal keep stealing them so they don't have to come to the medical bay..." There was a certain degree of annoyance in his voice. "You want me to not have to do this the old fashion way...? Then get better security for my stuff! Or I could just throw you into the CR Capsule..." Sol grumbled.
"So how did you defeat that thing...?" ask Flurr.
"I stabbed it..." said Sol anticlimactically. "Akreious..." The blue robot armed with the energy lance stepped forward. "Report..."
"Sir!" he shouted loudly "most of the crew sustained few injuries, only a couple were dealt any major maladies and they were transported by..."
"Grenburr...the janitor..." said Sol finishing his sentence. There was suspicion in his voice, but not towards Akreious.
"Wait..." said Flurr "Why do you have a janitor...?" Everyone looked around at each other and just shrugged their shoulders.
"Aside the point, so everyone is safe, what about the prisoner...?"
"A few made their way to his cell, the turrets tore them apart. Seriously..." said Akreious "those Destroids are not very smart, how were they ever so serious a threat..."
"That Shining slag heap..." said Sol with venom in his tone "Without him, we wouldn't have had that stupid war, and the Destroids were dependent on his powers to hold off our forces."
"So..." said Flurr with anticipation in his voice "Is it true...?"
"What do you think...?" said Akreious as if the answer was obvious, and it was...
"So your really did throw him into the sun!?" said Flurr with eyes wide open. Sol leaned away from him disturbed.
"No...I shot him with the Ban Ray..."
"The Ban Ray..." said Hoshino "...'Akreious' idea. It's true name is lost to the ages, but from what we gathered it is a beam that removes what it hits from existence. In it presence the reality bending powers of Shiny were negated and forced to fight on the terms of a 'mortal' the self-proclaimed god was hardly any threat."
"I used the beam to make sure he never came back..." said Sol "That's how the war was won..."
"Can I see it...?" said the excited young bot.
"No, it is under lock and key..."
"As for you. You will be getting a temporary place on the ship..."
"Yeah..." said Akreious dismissively "You sure you want to trust this kid...? He could be a spy..."
"You give them too much credit, you really think they're smart enough to try that? Besides, the last spy that we met became our friend."
"Now...THAT MATRIX'S RUSTING UNDERSIDE!" He shouted as jumped due to Hoshino shooting him with a Medical Ray.
"Whoops..." said Hoshino amused "I put the setting too high..." He smiled embarrassed
"...Uh...hi...?" said Flurr. He was in an office with another young looking mechanoid. This one was purple and blue, with kibble that implied he turned into a car. His chest was a car's hood, he had doors on his back, and his lower legs were clearly formed from the back of said car. The bot was at his office, stamping documents from the various datapads with their touchscreens.
"Hello..." said the bot, clearly not interested.
"So, the captain sent me here..."
"I..heard...I am Zhu, I deal with other languages..."
"Oh, you're the translation officer...?!"
"Yes..." Flurr just felt awkward. Suddenly Zhu put his finger to the side of his head, he was getting a call.
"Also..." said Sol on the other side of the call "TALK TO HIM NORMALLY...!" Zhu recoiled back.
"Oh come on...!" said Zhu "That's my thing!"
"No one has time for it, you're to take him around the ship and show him the sites..."
"Why are we even entertaining this stowaway?"
"At least he didn't attack this ship..." Zhu paused
"You did not have to go there..."
"Apparently I did...now get to it...!" Zhu sighed.
"Come on, I have to show you around the ship."
"What...is he eating...?" asked Flurr. The two young bots were in the entertainment lounge. It was a large mostly white room with a bar, several metal tables and chairs, a small platform and a wall that was several long windows. Right now no one was being 'entertained', as the room was intended for, they were either getting drinks, or fiddling about with part of a game, like pool.
One bot in particular was ... 'eating'. Granted they did eat the occasional energy crystal, Engen Bar and the occasional bit of metal for self repair. He was drinking from a can marked 'Red Bull' and eating Brie Cheese as he scoured through holographic books from his datapad. The bot in question was a silver and grey robot with a small frame like theirs. His body sported a specific chest design and the presence of tires all implied he transformed into a car.
The silver robot looked up at Flurr annoyed. Flurr and Zhu were only a few feet away and well within any bot's audio range. Zhu just face palmed.
"It's called Red Bull..." he said lifting the can " and Brie Cheese..."
"Is that some kind of fuel...?" The silver robot just gave him a look.
"You're clearly just got of the Energy Crystal Farm..."
"Hey! You don't know that...!" The bot gave Flurr another look.
"Dude, I am one of the security officers that detained you...!"
"Really...?" He face palmed.
"How can you not remember me...?"
"Your boss, does kind of attract all the attention..." He calmed down. It was hard to feel bad about himself in light of that truth.
"Sigh, I'm Clee, Clee26, but just call me Clee..."
"I know your name... So the sun god decided to let you stay...?"
"The captain..." said Zhu. Zhu sat down and Flurr followed his example.
"Yeah..." said Clee "Just don't call him that to his face. He may boot you out the airlock..."
"So what is this Brie Cheese...?" asked Flurr looking at it strangely.
"It's organic food...?"
"What's... 'food'...?" The two face palmed.
"You really are fresh of the farm..."
"Hey...!" he replied embarrassed.
"Do you at least know about the different spark types...?" Flurr gave a blank expression.
"Sigh...Okay kid, you know about organics right...?"
"Good, organics need to consume food, other bio matter, that, usually, isn't alive itself..."
"You eat metal, shut it. Anyway, there are different types of robots with different origins. Not all of them have a Spark..."
"Wait...so they aren't alive...?"
"The sentience of a robot and organics is determined by the presence of what is called a Ghost..."
"Now you're doing that on purpose...!" Flurr smirked. "Sigh, anyway, your Ghost is in your spark, it is your mind, quantified and detected sentience. Me I'm a Second Born Intellect..."
"It means I was born...built, created by an organic race or another robotic race like your own, and I gained sentience by an accumulation of memories. Things happened, and I joined the Cyberbot Commonwealth, and was given a new body. I was built to be a librarian, one that looked like my creators, so I was a Synthetic."
"A robot built to heavily mimic an organic race, usually constructed out of mostly plastics and/or synthetic flesh which mimics organic bio-matter. When I got upgraded to this transformer body, my Ghost was put in a Plasma Heart, an artificial Spark, but I kept my stomach and taste buds."
"Because as bad as those days got, they were still of home, kid. I may be a robot, but I'm not a machine. Look over there..." Clee pointed to an orange and sand green robot, with a cat like but terrifying face, a tail, a robotic cat's head on his chest and double joint knees. He was busy tinkering with some sort of device. "That's Zombie, and no I don't know why he's named that. His body is custom built, he modified it himself. He chose his alternate mode and he even made that sword captain Zen is so famous for. He's a genius and he probably as wily as a cyber hound." The tool Zombie was using transformed into another device. "That guy over there, that's Galaxi." He pointed to a multi colored robot, who was mostly red with a blue visor. He had on head phones and doing an air guitar to the song he listened to. "Super A.I. Made by organics to be a sentient being. He's also part of the security team. "Next to him is Ginga" He referred to a medium build robot with a strange red and cyan pattern. His kibble said he transformed into a truck, but one of the smaller varieties. He was at his desk drawing up plans and looking about nervously. "We're not even sure if he has a Spark, something similar or if it's his power core, but the guy loves playing practical jokes. Other than that he's a cool dude."
"This ship..." said Flurr unsure of what to say next.
"This ship allows no bigotry, being 'different' is not seen as a detriment. Heck I haven't even gotten to the weirdest members of the crew! But...I would like to eat in peace..." Zhu inched away from the table, while Flurr sat there, not getting the hint. "...LEAVE..."
"Oops, sorry...!" Flurr said getting up and almost falling over.
"Well...?" asked Sol sitting on the captain's chair "how long until we jump?"
"You would have to ask Zombie..." said Amir. He was at his seat checking on the ship's defenses and armaments, making sure everything was up to standard.
"And where is he...?"
"The entertainment lounge..." replied Moonshard. SolZen sighed. "Also, I'm getting strange readings up ahead.."
"Where we will be in the next two jumps..."
"What is it...?"
"Unknown...it would appear to be some manner of station...but it's out in the middle of nowhere... I can't imagine anyone building something like that here...?"
"It's probably some manner of ancient construct, long ago this section of space may have been interesting..."
"Yeah, this route has been used fairly recently, yet no one has mentioned something like this before..."
"I see...anything else...?"
"I'm detecting...I think it's Engen, but while these readings are similar...they are also...odd..." Sol was silent
"When we're about to jump in range, I want the ship on yellow alert, shields raised..."
"That is not standard first contact protocol.." said Amir.
"I'm sorry, but how many times have we been shot at...?"
"Now..." he touched his ear piece, showing that he was using the comm-system "Zombie, what are you doing..?"
"Are all of these things supposed to be here...?" asked Flurr. He was with Zhu, in what was supposed to be the engineering room, a room with walls that slanted into the room but with numerous devices and weapons arranged on the walls.
"Yeah, no, our main engineer..." said Zhu "He likes to tinker..."
"What does half of this stuff do...?"
"If I told you..." said a voice "I would have to dispose of you..." they turned to see Zombie, still fiddling with his device.
"Ah Zombie, sir..." said Zhu "I thought you were on break...?"
"I am never on break..." he said sighing "even with Sentinel here..."
"Who's Sentinel...?" asked Flurr. Zombie pointed with his wrench, at the door which opened to reveal an organic male, wearing a red engineer's jumpsuit, walking about with a portable gaming system. He walked about, pressed a few buttons and then continued walking.
"He's...not really organic, but he's an old A.I. Rampancy is starting to act up..." He bumped into the table in the middle of the room.
"Who put this here...?!" Sentinel shouted.
"You did..." said Zombie.
"Oh...never mind..." He continued playing his game and walking off
"You're heading towards the reactor, the lounge is this way..." He turned around and headed past them through the door. "He really needs to be upgraded to a Plasma Heart. So kid, how can I help you...?"
"Can I get a gun..." Zombie stared at him.
"Cute, kid, cute, but none of these weapons technically...exist..."
"What do you mean by technically...?"
"I mean if I told you what most of these guns did, or you used them...I would probably have to offline you..." Zombie laughed, and then so did Flurr thinking it was a joke, until he turned to Zhu who was nodding with a most seriously expression silencing the young bot. "If you want a gun, go talk to Apex, up in the Ares sector."
"I've been trying to avoid that..." said Zhu "Akreious, sort of have a thing against him, he is, or was, a stowaway..."
"You do know...Amir is going to want to see him..."
"Who...?" asked Zhu.
"The head of security..."
"Anyways, I have work to do..." said Zombie "Sun guy wants me to recharged the Quantum Drums within an hour, or no music-off in the lounge..."
"Sweet...!" said Zhu. Flurr looked lost "Zombie and the captain like to do karaoke..." Zombie turned around and put his hand on Zhu shoulder.
"I don't do 'karaoke'."
"Woah..." said Flurr. He and Zhu were now in a room, with numerous guns mounted on the walls. They were nowhere near as unique as the weapons Zombie had, instead they were more mundane, though there were some impressive selections among them.
In the room was one lone bot, reading from the display on the windscreen that popped up from his chest, clearly bored. His body was small, grey and sported a cockpit's screen on his chest. Wings were on his back and with his legs up on the counter, they could see the jet engines on the back of his legs. He was clearly a young bot, who was startled when Flurr spoke. Flustered, he fell over and quickly stood up
"Apex..." said Zhu, barely hiding his snicker.
"You...!" said Apex "This room is off limits...!"
"Flurr here is getting a weapon..."
"Says who, he's a stowaway!"
"He's now part of the crew..." Apex sighed.
"So what am I getting, what about that...?" said Flurr pointing to weapon. It was locked behind a glass case. The barrel was four spikes around the edge of a smaller, more literal barred that housed a small glass dome in front of an apparatus that connected to the rest of the gun.
"That is a DX-9 Halcyon series Disruptor..." said Apex "Most bots here are not authorized to use it, let alone someone as low ranked as you..."
"Oh..." Flurr said defensively "and why is that...?"
"Disruptors..." said Zhu, fire balls of condensed magnetic fields, oscillating at a frequency that disrupts molecular bonds. While organic molecules are more vulnerable to them than say metallic materials, the fuel in our bodies can easily be ignited if hit full on."
"So..." said Flurr
"If you shot the right spot, you could make the average Mechanoid explode, hence why we only have that one on the ship. (Not like Zombie hasn't invented worse things...)"
"What was that...?" asked Apex.
"Oh, nothing..." he said with a dismissive smile. "Still, if you're getting a weapon, you should make sure it can work in your alternate mode..." Zhu and Apex stopped and looked at him. "What do you turn into...?" Flurr looked at him appalled.
"Are you trying to mode shame me?!" he shouted.
"No, no it's just..."
"With most Mechanoids it's easy to tell when they have an alternate anatomy, you would see wheels, doors like the ones on my back or Apex's chest cockpit, but you... I can't tell if you transform or not..."
"Well what do you transform into...?" Without pause, Zhu dropped to all fours. As his head, literally, sank into his chest, his chest piece flipped up to rest where his head was. His arms contracted into themselves and folded in front of his chest/belly, revealing wheels that emerged out of the space where his shoulders had previously connected with his upper body. At the same time, his lower legs flipped over and rested on his upper legs. His feet disappeared as wheels folded out and rested on the side, while his former kneecaps became bumpers and his legs fused together to form the back end of the car he now assumed, finished off by the doors on his back sliding down to his side.
This all happened in the span of three seconds and the strange sound of machinery, alien machinery could be heard with the change. Zhu changed back into robot mode, a bit slower as he had to then stand up, but it was still just a brief moment.
Then Apex changed. His head sunk into his chest disappearing as his backpack and wings, and his chest piece flipped up and connected. His body snapped back to the jet back, his legs contracting as his feet twisted around as the thrusters moved down to where his feet disappeared. His arms contracted and rested at the side. As before, it took no more than three seconds, in fact it took less than that both from and to robot mode.
"Okay..." said Apex "Your turn." Flurr looked around and sighed.
His change was slower than the others, but it was still fast, happening in seconds. His legs twisted around, as his head disappeared into his chest. His forearms collapsed into his lower arms. The armor plating of his lower legs opened to let out tanks tracks as his legs contracted and he fell to the ground as his arms clapped together above his head. From his back portions flipped over, revealing more tank treads which he landed on. His hands retracted into his arms and then two halves of a cone.
The two bots looked and walked around Flurr. They looked at each other and then back at him.
"What are you...?" asked Zhu
"What...?" said Flurr, somewhat embarrassed and upset "You guys have never seen a beam driller before?"
"This is the Captain...!" said SolZen's voice echoing through the ship "We will soon jump within a cycle!"
"Jump...?" said Flurr. He was walking with Zhu down the hallway.
"Ah..." said Zhu "Quantum Slipstream, it's..." Zhu began a monologue, most of which Flurr did not understand. He had been built on a small colony and programmed for mining duties. Astrophysics and FTL mechanics were a little above his head. However then he saw them, the ribbons of red energy, through the window, as they entered and left the view, he heard with audio-receptors and felt through his armor plating and circuits, the rumbling of the Quantum Drums in the drive.
From a single point before the tip of the ship, the red ribbons of energy had emerged and oscillated around the ship, coating it in a red aura. Bolts of lightning appeared ex nihilo, from the back of the ship, arc, curved and shot into the point of light where the ribbons of energy had emerged. The point got bigger, and brighter, and the ribbons spun faster before merging with the aura they had created. Around the point of light, space warped and was pushed away, ripping open the point to reveal a tunnel of light with yellow and white particles flying forth. With someone unknowable magnetic attraction, the ship flew forward into the newly opened tunnel and disappeared. The tunnel entrance disappeared in a burst of red particles like fireworks as space time collapsed back into place. Like that the ship was gone.
Inside Flurr looked out with amazement while Zhu kept talking, eventually he noticed that Flurr was ignoring him and also turned to the window and he understood. He felt the same during his first jump. Outside the window was a red void, as yellow and white particles raced past them. It was a sight to behold, and perhaps, just as quickly, that sight was over.
In another part of space, in another another solar system, the surface of a red churning ocean appeared on the fabric of reality. It churned and turned into a vortex the collapsed in on itself, before bursting open on itself, depositing the Atlanta into its new location.
"Is it over...?" asked Flurr
"Yeah..." said Zhu "It's a Quantum Jump, really not that long of a travel..."
"What's so different from a jump drive, or a warp drive, or a mass drive...?"
"A jump drive, squeezes you through a singularity and along curved space, a warp drive, contracts space in front of your and expands it behind you, a mass drive...warp relativity with a graviton-tachyon wave...non of those problems are present with the Quantum Drive, because technically, we don't exist when we use it."
"Whuuuuu....?" said Flurr shocked.
"But you would need to ask to Zombie how that works..."
"Never mind then..."
"Well...?" asked Solzen "status of the enemy ship."
"I'm not sure..." said Moon
"The ship appears to be moving towards us, but at this rate, it will be millions of years before it reaches our current location..."
"Time until jump...?"
"Four hours..." said Amir "It would've been much shorter, but we are making max jumps."
"It can't be helped, the council wants Dao's skid plate executed ASAP. Still, defenses...?"
"All weapons are green and the shield system is ready and waiting. However there are still damaged sections from the attack."
"Time until repairs are finished...?"
"One hour at the maximum."
"So, we have nothing better to do than wait..." said Sol, not happy. "Prepare a black box message, to be sent out as soon we go red alert."
"Aren't we a bit paranoid...?"
"I know...but this feeling in my processor is bugging me..."
"I concur..." said Stephan. Everyone turned to her, as she stood by the door. "Now that we are so close I can sense it...evil..."
"Oh no..." said Amir, rubbing his optics "not this again."
"Amir..." said Sol "be nice..."
"She's a robot, why is she talking about hocus pocus...?!"
"There have always been strange things in the universe..." said Stephan "things we can't always explain. Many believe Magnus still functions on his golden throne..."
"That's not the same...!"
"Maybe, but history has shown my 'hocus pocus' to be accurate."
"But it is accurate..." said Sol "whether you can understand or not, does not change, all things that happen, happen in this natural world. We are no less subject to such things than the organics. But this is not the time for such a debate. I want long range scans on that vessel, and I want a tactical plan before we jump again." Amir sighed.
"Okay, and her 'hocus pocus' says what about that thing...?"
"It says..." said Stephan "that we should avoid it at all costs..."
"Impossible..." said Amir "We have a deadline to keep..."
"I would like to keep the deadline..." said Sol "but not at the cost of our sparks. Moon, calculate an alternative jump pattern."
"Sir...!" said Moon
"Sir..." said Amir "we have not credible evidence..."
"I..." said Sol "Have my gut feeling, and Stephan's sixth sense, the fact that this is a unknown potential threat, means it is a risk I am not in the mood to take, especially not with 'him' on board and especially after what we just went through. Everything else is just extra incentive to not risk it."
"I understand sir..." said Amir, finally satisfied to have a 'logical' answer. Sol sighed.
"By the Chrome throne, I need something too powerful for my systems to ingest...!" he said as he slouched back in his chair.
Sol was on the stage microphone in hand, Zombiejiger was on the guitar, a giant blue/white tiger striped BC Rich Warbeast, Amir was at the base, and Grenburr the janitor, add as it was, was also on guitar, the mop head on the back of his head, somehow made him fit on stage. They were in the lounge, with a lot of the crew, including Flurr who was so shocked to see his rolemodels letting loose in what was effectively a small scale rock concert, complete with mist covering the floor, dry ice, and the crew using their blasters as makeshift lighters.
Then the song started.
Sol: "Iron Birds of fortune, adrift above the sky...!"
Zhu looked at Flurr, who was simply surprised.
Sol: "Cloud Revelations..."
It's just..." said Flurr
"Unseen by naked eyes..."
"I never expected..."
Sol: "Flying tools of torment..."
"For you us to be...mortal...?" said Zhu with a smirk
Sol: "Will penetrate the sphere...!"
"I guess not..." said Flurr embarrassed
Sol: "Erupt the Rock of Ages..."
"Welcome to Atlanta." said Zhu
Sol: "Bringing final fears!"
"Where the weird becomes the normal"
Sol: "INSTRUMENTS OF DESTRICTIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!...."
At this Akreious was approached by two female crew members, each robot in one of his arms.
Sol: "Tools of powerplaaaaays!"
One bot drew out his spark casing, with "SOL FOREVER!" stenciled on it, and held it up while headbanging.
Sol: "It's a violent eruption!"
Cheering wildly, a crew member hurled a homemade banner onto the stage. Sol paused and picked it up, displaying it to the crew: An intricate drawing of the band.
Sol: "Existence drips away!"
A fembot began to remove parts of her armor.
Sol: "Does it really matter?"
Several members of the audience began to dance.
Sol: "When nothing really counts!"
An overly excited crew member accidentally fired off a shot from his blaster, sending it ricocheting around the room until it fizzled out on an annoyed bot's back.
Sol: "Grave eternal darkness!"
Someone passed out, falling into someone else who fell into someone else who...
Sol: "When you're drained of every ounce!"
With a screech, a robot transformed into a bright red Lamborghini and took off around the room, tires squealing.
Sol: "And when the nightmare's over!"
Careening wildly, the supercar almost bulldozed half the audience.
Sol: "The final from the storm!"
Flurr watched in horror as two robots transformed into their alternate modes and did... something.
Sol: "To dust all of creation!"
"SOL AND CO ROCK!" An audience member screamed. It was at this moment Akreious tossed aside the two femmebots and rush on stage to join Sol in...
Sol: "TO ASHES WE TRAAAANSFOOOOOOOOOOOORM!"
Several hours later, Flurr slowly began to recover from his shock. He back online in the lounge, now practically empty, and lit, showing its white panels...sparkling white panels. Sitting up he tried to remember what happened and went through his memory files. He was in the middle the crowd in shock at the incredibly high note Zombie had hit when Sol leaned the microphone towards him. It had sent the crowd into an even greater frenzy. It was around that time someone passed a canister of Red Bull, they were being handed out...well more thrown out, by an unknown bot. He took a sniff, it seemed strong, but the problem only came when he drank some. He immediately began to feel the effects of a power surge. His servos twitched about and some of his valves were beyond his control as he dumped some of his fuel supply...down his legs. He even threw up some of it, before he passed out.
"I...I..." he put his face in his hands "someone scrap me now please..." the embarrassment was almost unbearable...until he noticed that someone was forcibly moping his back. He turned around to see some strange sort of...industrial mop...red and blocky. It was the mop head, a large red square and a large silver handle. It moved back and transformed, the handle contracting and folding down, it flipped over, with red square unfolding into a humanoid robot, the mop head, now serving as a sort of ponytail for his head. "Uh..."
"I'm the janitor..." he said "UltraGrenburr..." He extended his hand and helped him up.
"Why does a ship like this need a janitor...?" Grenburr shrugged
"How long was I out...?" asked Flurr who had just had to endure Grenburr unceremoniously transforming into a mop and cleaning of the spilled fuel on his legs.
"Oh..." said Grenburr, transforming back into robot mode "About a mega-cycle (about 2 hours). Flurr looked around. "I know these ships have drones and whatnot to clean the insides but...how..."
"I'm the Janitor..." Grenburr said shrugging. Flurr looked at him as if he was strange. He then turned to the bar, and saw Lam, the barkeep, reading from a datapad. He sighed and walk over.
"Hi..." said Flurr.
"Sup..." replied Lam.
"I need to..."
"Refuel, yeah I saw your reaction to the Red Bull..." He stopped reading for a moment to go and grab a cylinder. The center sported a window that showed a glowing blue liquid. He then attached a nozzle and a tube.
"You had red bull, the normal pathway for ingesting fuel, may be damaged, you're going to need to take it in the old fashion way..." Flurr sighed. His chest armor opened to reveal his internal components. He took the tube and attached it to a port near his spark casing. The blue liquid, clearly under pressure, flowed up the tube to his body where it became waves of energy moving out across his parts and disappearing.
"I feel like a child...what is in that stuff..."
"Something illegal..." Lam said nonchalantly, as he read his novel.
"Because some glitch-ridden bot decided to steal the cases we had a share them about. Honestly, we only keep stock because some of the bots here have Plasma Hearts and need them for Medical reasons! Clee is so ticked off right now."
"Huh, so what's his story...?"
"UltraGrenburr...? We just call him Grenburr. Honestly he showed on the ship one day, and asked for employment."
"We were in deep space, far from any sort of celestial body. Honestly it's like the guy can just teleport but..."
"He doesn't have the power chips for such a thing..."
"I know what Power Chips are..." he said, somewhat pouting, I may be a colony bumpkin but the underside of the Chrome Throne even I am familiar with those!"
"Anyways, we are going to jump in another mega-cycle or two, so be prepared for that. Wait...You're the Flurr bot, yes...?"
"Security was asking for you..."
"Sparkling...you need to go now..."
"You sure took your time..." said Akreious. The large blue robot had lightning bolts on his chest, shoulders, forearms, legs and helmet. Said helmet sported a golden trident piece on his brow and an orange visor. They were in a dojo like room, with small desks in the corner, but a menagerie of melee weapon on the walls. Akreious was on a mat cleaning a deactivated power axe.
To the side was Clee, spread out on the floor and moaning. He seemed to praying for release. Galaxi was there practicing with a combat staff, but also, at the far back, at a desk, was Amir. Flurr was terrified at his appearance. He looked like Junk Robot, with each major limb and section of his body looking like it came from a different robot. His chest was silver, his right arm red, and his left arm, while his legs were vice versa. His helmet was round with twirling rectangular piece on top, but his face was partially covered by a mirror. Said mirror was broken, reveal part of his face, a chrome skull with a glowing red optic.
<Man...> Flurr thought to himself <his face, it looks like a ter-> Amir stopped his paper work to look up at him
"If you're not going to cite that properly, don't mention it..." He went back to his work, leaving Flurr confused.
"Don't think about it too much..." said Clee
"Right..." said Akreious "You're here because we've determined where you're going to stay..."
"Really...?!" said Flurr excited. Akreious took out a card and threw it at him. Clee and Akreious were surprised that he caught it, but not as much as Flurr himself. He looked at it, it was a solid white shiny piece of plastic except for the chrome handle on the side. Suddenly a circle formed on it, and shot beams into his eyes. Flurr stumbled back, blinking quickly, and then grabbed his head. Information had been uploaded but he wasn't sure of what.
"Clearly..." said Akreious "you've never handled a Flash Card before." Flur looked at the card, which was now turning transparent.
"To be fair..." said Clee "You are not the most...expert of programmers. I told you, you should've let me do it, if he crashes, it's your fault..."
"Oh come on, what doesn't offline you, makes you stronger!" Akreious said with a chuckle. Clee facepalmed
"Kid, just go, before that program makes you collapse. Flurr saluted and wobbled out of the room before falling on all fours. Following strange, unfamiliar instincts, he transformed into vehicle mode and took off "I still don't know why you make them transform Akreious."
"Meh, Amir, has no problem with it...Spar with me..."
"Hahahaha...as if you had a choice..."
"Huh..." said Flurr, who had arrived at his door. It was a room at the end of a hallway. He looked at the sign above, and it looked familiar, even though he had never seen it before. The door slid open, and he was greeted to a small room, barren of everything, but a recharge slab. Flurr just sighed, closed the door after him and got on the slab, to sleep.
The alarms went of like usual, every bot got to their station and the same phenomenon occurred like before, the red light, the bolts of lightning and the crimson tunnel of light that deposited them lightyears from their prior location.
Before them was 'it', a large stone construct that made little sense. It was if someone took a gothic cathedral, and slapped it on the back of a flat space ship, which was made not of metal, but stone.
"Analysis...!" said Sol from his chair "and raise shields!"
"No life signs...!" said Moon "but there is a weak power signature, the composition is undocumented but bares similarity to Engen."
"Weapons primed!" said Amir
"Good..." said Sol "Threat assessment?" Amir paused as he worked at his station, collecting data transmitted from Moon's terminal.
"Negligible, the craft is no threat to us."
"Then get us out of here..." said Sol. The Atlanta flew up and moved over the eldritch craft, only for it to generate a burst of light. "What was that...?"
"Unknown...Photonic Particle Burst, probably an automated system to repel enemy ships, no damage, hull is undamaged."
"Micro jump..." said Sol "Five hics..." In a flash of red light, the Atlanta disappeared, at the same time, a red flash appeared in the far distance where the appeared.
"Uh..." said Flurr, being handed a glass of glowing fuel "What is this for...?" He was back in the lounge which had been set up for yet another concert.
"Oh, this..." said a random Mech "It's the 'We Met an Unknown Ship and Nothing Blew up Party...!"
The mist came, the lights dimmed, and the spot lights shined on the stage, where the band was located.
"This one's because I lost a bet with Zombie...!" shouted Sol. The crowd cheered, somewhat unsure of what he just said, or they simply didn't care.
Sol: It's the nature of time
Sol: That the old ways must give in
Sol: It's the nature of time
Sol: That the new ways comes in sin
Sol: When the new meets the old
Sol: It always end the ancient ways
Sol: And as history told
Sol: The old ways go out in a blaze
Sol: Encircled by a vulture
Sol: The end of ancient culture
Sol: The dawn of destiny draws near...
Sol: IMPERIAL FORCE DEFIED, FACING FIVE HUNDRED SAMURAI!
Sol: SURROUNDED AND OUTNUMBERED!
Sol: SIXTY TO ONE, THE SWORD FACE THE GUN!
Sok: BUSHIDO DIGNIFIED!
Sol: IT'S THE LAST STAND OF THE SAMURAI!
Sol: SURROUNDED AND OUTNUMBERED!
Sol: As a new age begins
Sol: The way of the warrior comes to an end
Sol: As a new age begins
Sol: The ways of old must apprehend
Sol: It's the nature of time
Sol: That the old ways must give in
Sol: It's the nature of time
Sol: That the new ways comes in sin
Sol: An offer of surrender
Sol: Saigo ignore contender
Sol: The dawn of destiny is here...
Sol: IMPERIAL FORCE DEFIED, FACING FIVE HUNDRED SAMURAI!
Sol: SURROUNDED AND OUTNUMBERED!
Sol: SIXTY TO ONE, THE SWORD FACE THE GUN!
Sok: BUSHIDO DIGNIFIED!
Sol: IT'S THE LAST STAND OF THE SAMURAI!
Sol: SURROUNDED AND OUTNUMBERED!
Sol: Til the dawn they hold on
Sol: Only forty are left at the end
Sol: None alive, none survive
The unknown figures uncurled their bodies, mechanoid like, but with insect wings, they stood up and began to crawl along the hull of the ship like roaches.
Sol: IMPERIAL FORCE DEFIED, FACING FIVE HUNDRED SAMURAI!
Sol: SURROUNDED AND OUTNUMBERED!
Sol: SIXTY TO ONE, THE SWORD FACE THE GUN!
Sol: BUSHIDO DIGNIFIED!
Sol: IT'S THE LAST STAND OF THE SAMURAI!
Sol: SURROUNDED AND OUTNUMBERED!
Sol: SIXTY TO ONE, FACING THE GUN!
Sol: SIXTY TO ONE, CULTURE UNDONE!
"Ugh..." said Flurr, staggering back to his cabin. "I'm beginning to think I should just stick to normal Engen..." He was keel over, with one hand on his stomach and another on the wall. Despite his slow pace, he ran into another bot. A red and silver bot with the split hood of a car for his feet. "Sorry..."
"No, problem..." he said "You must be that new guy I heard about..."
"I'm Red, RedShirt233...!" Flurr paused.
"That's a strange name for someone on a spaceship..."
"Everyone keeps telling me that, why...?"
"I don't know actually, but something just tells me that..maybe it's my trope circuits being tripped somehow..."
"Right...and what about your conspiracy circuits...?" he asked sarcastically
"We have those...?!" said Flurr, clearly inebriated.
"Kid, just got to your slab...?" Flurr nodded and continued on his way. Red looked at his datapad and continued down the hallway. That was until he got a call. Touching the side of his helmet he answered. "Hello...?"
"This is Amir, head of security, we've had strange readings from the Hermes Sector, Docking Bay three, we need someone to check it out..."
"WHY WOULD SEND HIM OF ALL PEOPLE...!?" shouted Akreious in the background.
"Quite you! So, can you do it...?"
"Can I...!?" he shouted ecstatically as he turned his arm into a blaster.
"Who am I looking at...?" asked Hoshino as he stood over the corpse. He was in the shuttle bay with Sol, Akreious, Amir and several other bots all arms with blaster rifles.
"His name, was RedShirt233..." said Amir, both Sol and Hoshino looked at him
"Strange name for someone on a space ship...but aside the point."
"The point is...how did he die...?" Hoshino's arm transformed and it shined a bright light upon the body. It was covered in gash, big and small and puncture marks, while the face was locked in an expression of pain and fear. The color was gone, having turned grey and parts were beginning to rust like a bad rash.
"What...?" said Sol
"I said fuel loss...do I need to check your audio receptors...?"
"No...it's just...where's the fuel...?" Everyone paused and down and around their feet.
"Uh..." said a guard "the drones, Grenburr...?"
"The drone's would've detected his body, and set of the alarms, speaking of which they are late, and Grenburr would've gone straight to me if he had found him."
"So..." said Amir "should we assume what ever put all of these holes in him, what? Suck up the fuel...?"
"Oh slag...!" said Akreious "Robot Vampire..!" Everyone looked at him "Oh come on, we just passed a SPACE CATHEDRAL IN AN DERELICT SECTOR!"
"I know we are on a 'space' ship..." said Sol "but putting 'space' in front of something...doesn't make it sound less stupid..."
"Said the bot who wields an incendiary blade made from the heart of a robot space dragon..."
"Oh slag..." said Hoshino "Akreious is making sense!"
"I know, I was there..." said Sol "Alright fine...yellow alert and I want the ship searched..."
"Captain..." said a Soldier "She, wants to talk to you..." Sol stared at him for a moment, fully aware of who he meant.
"Magnus' rusting skid plate!"
Sol entered a room where the lights were dimmed and the sole occupant was in the middle hovering as she sat with her legs crossed.
"Why is it that you do not like talking to me...?" said Stephan, with her eyes closed
"I have no problem talking to you..." Sol walked around the room scouring the shelves "It's just at times like this, you decide to go all Obi Onatron on me..."
"I do not keep oil here..." Sol stopped.
"What have I told you about...?"
"I was not in your head...I just know you..."
"Right, so what is it...?"
"It is ancient, it is evil..."
"So standard affairs...?"
"I don't know..."
"What do you know...?"
"I know we are in danger. There is a shadow on this ship, crawling in hidden places, spreading. For now...I suggest you let Hoshino take that thing out..."
"That is easier said than done and you know that..." Sol turned around to see Stephan in front of him. She put her hand on his chest and there was a glow, from her hand covering his body. Then she went back to her meditation.
"You were never meant to hold that object..."
"Then tell it beat it, because it does not seem interested in leaving..."
"This is FridgeGirl..." said the female mechanoid. The green mechanoid had a cockpit on her chest, jet wings on her back and thrusters on the back of her legs. She walked about the halls with one arm transformed into a plasma cannon and her finger on her com piece. "This corridor is clear."
"Okay, do the next one..." said the bot on the other side of the communication. She turned to leave when she heard it, scratching, metal scrapping against metal. It came from down the hallway...which was empty. She charged her cannon and walked to the hall, the scratching continued. As she got closer it became clear where it was coming from, not any of the doors, but the wall at the end of the hall. She put her hand on the wall, she could feel it, the vibrations, the noise was coming from behind the wall.
"By the Chrome Throne..." said Akreious. He was there with other bots looking over the remains of FridgeGirl. She had been torn apart, her arm cannon was missing, and her face and abdominal region had been clawed and torn open. Akreious turned to the wall, the metal panels had been warped and partially melted, with scorch markings.
"Was she shooting the wall...?" asked a femme.
"No..." said Akreious "It looks like...welding...?"
"Welding...?" asked Sol
"Yup..." said Akreious over the com-system "Whoever attacked FridgeGirl, is using the access tunnels of the ship."
"Scrap...! Those thing run all over this vessel, and..." He turned to the bridge crew "how long until the jump is finished...?"
"Fifteen minutes..." said someone. Sol had a look of shock on his face.
"You said that fifteen minutes ago..."
"Sir...?" said Akreious
"Akreious, get everyone you can to secure locations and arm them, the ship has been compromised!"
"You lot, whoever is in control of energy flow, Cut off and isolate the the Engen pump to the Quantum Drives..."
"Do it! Whoever is in the system is feeding off our fuel supply! Situation with the derelict..."
"Uh..." said Moon "It's..." she looked at the screen again "its floating...in our direction..."
"Scrap...Security, I want a team here on the bridge, I want this ship on red alert...!"
"What is going on...?" asked Flurr Security teams were directing everyone towards meeting points. The lights had dimmed and turned red painting everything in a sinister tone.
"Red Alert...!" said an officer "We're facing an enemy!"
"We're being attacked...?! But everything seems fine..."
"Captain's orders...Protoform, now get going...!"
"Is this perhaps a bit hasty...?" asked Stephan. She was on the bridge the rest of the senior staff "We may force the enemy's hand by revealing that we know about them...?"
"Perhaps..." said Sol clearly pondering "but my first responsibility is the safety of my crew. That said, do you sense them...?"
"If you mean their location, that is not so simple..."
"Oh...?" asked Amir, with skepticism
"I sense their presence...but...it's amorphous, less solid, and more...around us in general areas..."
"That is so helpful..." said Amir annoyed
"Indeed it is..." said Sol
"What...? Oh..." he said with revelation "they're either a non-solid mass, a swarm...or..."
"Or...more than one creature...What do we know about them...?"
"Not much..." said Amir "We know they feed on Engen, they drain it dry and leave the Spark to fizzle out."
"They are draining the ship's systems..." said Moon "we have cases of blackouts and light flickering. They are in the walls, the systems."
"So what, we just leave them and they drain the ship...?"
"No..." said Sol
"You've thought of something...?" said Stephan
"Why attack Red Shirt, and FridgeGirl...?"
"Energy...? Why else..?" said Amir.
"The shuttle bay...has shuttles, stocks of stored fuel and easy access points. FridgeGirl, she was on bot against a whole ship of fuel, so why bother with her...?"
"If memory serves me correctly..." said Stephan "They had bright Sparks..." Sol looked at her.
"Where is Hoshino...?!"
Sol, and Akreious entered the room guns drawn. To their surprise they found Hoshino in an operation. His body was covered in a clear glass like substance that covered him like an aura. in an all white room. A bright light stained the room, a radiation meant to 'bleach' any contaminants. The two large bots could only ponder at the need for such caution as well who or what he was cutting up.
Sol tapped on the glass and the doctor stopped and locked at him. He pressed a button on a holographic keyboard, and put his tools on a hovering table. Clamps appeared and locked down the body as it leaned up to give them a better view.
"Magnus' rusting underside, what is that...?!" asked Akreious. The mechanoids were...organic, not only from the smooth curved that composed its form but also, its texture, and face. Its head was that of a six eyed insect with a large pair of pincers for a mouth. It had dragonfly wings on its back, claws on its hands and feet and its insides implied something else. Its chest piece had been removed revealing circuits and wiring mixed with organic growths. Some of these growth looked like cancer growing out of the metal parts, others were cybernetic, and a few had circuit lines, implying technorganics. This was all covered in a sickly, viscous green substance. In the center of its all was a mass of green vines held in a metal cylinder like a plant version of a brain. On the underside the tendrils stretched out to numerous parts, organic and mechanical and most importantly the spine, almost like...a spark. Like a spark its destruction seemed to be what ended it, as there was a line of burned marks that crossed it, most likely Hoshino's energy blade had been fired into its chest.
"I have no idea..." said Hoshino, uncomfortably...serious for the two "but it attacked, having crawled out of the vent."
"Okay...what do you know about it...?" asked Sol
"I know it wanted to feed on my fuel, given the stinger that came out of its mouth, I know it seems to run on some sort of fuel, similar to Engen...but like Nucleon on stimpacks..."
"Immediately after putting my blade in its chest and killing it...my blade began to turn green. Turning it off gave me a bout, which fortunately my drones helped with via the inoculation I was working on for dealing with the Destroid junk..."
"It corrupts..." said Sol "oh great..."
"What about weapons....?"
"No idea, but I imagine those things on its arms are not for show..." the two notice the longer stinger like objects attached to the things arms."
"The wings are nearly entirely mechanical and seem to be for generating particles, which would explain how they got on board unnoticed by our sensors. The claws register as very dense, and though I haven't confirmed it, I suspect their metal is organic..."
"They may not need a CR Tank to fully repair themselves...maybe something similar would be fast but more than likely they can self repair..."
"So can we..." said Akreious proud.
"Not like this, our nano repair mechanism maintain joints, wiring, fine, but dealing with injuries? We would need to shut down for anything in a reasonable time..."
"But why come here...?" asked Akreious "If it's fuel they want...?"
"It may be how they hunt, maybe sensors, i which case they may probably prefer our energy fields to the signature of plain old fuel..."
"Scrap...." said Sol realizing something.
"Do you hear that...?" asked a bot. They were in one of the lounges, a group of bots with security escorts with them armed with blaster rifles. Among them was Flurr, who was far from comfortable cramped in this room as if he was under arrest.
Above everyone was the sound of scratching, loud enough to overpower the talking and murmuring of the bots. Everyone could only stop and look around, and look up trying to pinpoint the source of the noise.
Then there was silence, absolute silence, the scratching stopped, and the talking stopped. Then it blew open. The ceiling panel exploded in a burst of yellow energy and they swarmed out. More of the things that had attacked Hoshino, only alive and viscous. They crawled on the floor and the ceiling with the same capability dropping on bots or pouncing on them. The concentrated fire of the guards and other bots could only hold them back for so long as more holed opened and more came out.
Flurr panicked, all around him people were fighting, dying, and caught up in the dance of conflict. He saw the bugs draining people via stingers from their mouths puncturing their necks, and the poor bots went offline and turned grey. One ran for him, screaming a horrible screech, pouncing and pinning him down, just before its head was blown of by a blue bolt of energy from a guard.
"EVERYONE OUT NOW...!!!" The guard shouted. Flurr and those capable could made for the door and took of. All but Flurr transformed into vehicle mode and sped or fly down the hallway. Flurr however, he had to stop, he had to take a break and catch his breath.
He was in shock, he was afraid. He could hear the voice as clearly as he heard the fighting in the room. 'Weakling', 'Fool', 'Why did you come here', 'You don't belong', 'They will eat your optics'.
"FLURR!" shouted Sol. Flurr stood up, Sol, Hoshino, Akreious and Amir were with him, with Clee along for the ride. They suddenly all looked at him concerned. Where they going to kick him off the ship, were they going to.. "Hoshino, is that...?"
"Yes..." Hoshi replied "The kid got splattered by their goo..." A light from Hoshi's arm scanned him. "Oh dear..."
"This 'goo' is interacting with his mecha-field. Kid are you alright...?"
"Hoshi, Clee, stay and give him a check..." said Sol "The rest...?" he took out his incendiary blade. With that the point was made. The others ran into the room joining the officers still in battle.
"What is wrong with him...?" asked Clee noticing the manic and frightened expression on his face. This wasn't just a newbie coming out of their first battle, this was the onset of a panic attack. Hoshino kept examining him.
"His fuel...?" said Hoshino confused
"What about it..?"
"The constitution is changing...the balance...their fuel..."
"I don't..." Flurr was shivering now. Hoshino's arm changed, into a syringe of sorts, while a mask came down over his optics. Without warning he grabbed Flurr by the shoulder and stabbed him in his chest. From the wound came a glowing energy that covered his body in an aura for just a brief moment. The splattered alien fuel on his body, glowed bright and evaporated into electrified puff off of blue fire. "What did you just do...?" Hoshino pulled out the blade and returned his arm to normal and put away his mask.
"I injected his spark with an inoculation, a charge of programmed solid photons carrying the instructions for an immune response."
"How did you conjure that up so quickly...?!"
"I didn't, it was for the Deathcium, the stuff in the Destroid glitch's system. I theorized it was part of how Shiny corrupted mechs to force them to join the Destroids and why they were so incompetent when he died. Deathcium corrupts and alters the charge of the Engen in the system and thus forcibly changes the spark and thus the mind. This stuff, it was doing something similar. It wasn't just fuel, it's a type of Engen, never seen before."
The doors opened and out came Sol and the others covered in green goo. "Oh, slag..." said Hoshino facepalming.
Sometime later, they were all in the medical wing, as were most of the remaining crew. They gather in the numerous medical rooms in the section of the ship most did not visit. Most were rubbing their sore chests after Hoshino's injections. All except Sol, who was busy being showered in the rays of said energy.
"I don't get it..." said Flurr "why doesn't he...?"
"Sol, can't..." answered Zombie, tinkering with some manner of oval shaped device. "You've heard the story of how he beat Shiny yes?"
"The Ban Ray...!" he replied excited.
"Yup, since then the darn thing has been fused to his innards, it has made medical checkups difficult as its parts directly in front of his Spark."
"Why not the back then...?"
"Because of his spine, and various other components...you don't know much about our anatomy do you...?"
"...No..." he said in a defeated tone. "Wait can't he just use it to...?"
"Kid, I'm the smartest bot on this ship..."
"ARGUABLY...!" Shouted Sol
"Whatever, bigbot, look kid, the smartest of bots don't know how that thing works."
"I see...so this stuff it's like Deathcium...?"
"That's what the doc said..."
"Scrap..." said Hoshino...
"What's wrong...?" asked Sol
"We forgot about Dao..."
Dao struggled in his cell. The red alert had gone off even in his cell, though he knew not what it was for. He kept trying to move of the plate, not sure if there truly was a bomb. After all, they wanted him for public execution, if they killed him here, they wouldn't have the satisfaction.
Then came the scratching, the clawing and the screeching from outside the door. At first he thought it was the Cyberbots, but then he remembered the red lights. The door opened and the turrets opened fire. Bolts of charged clumps of ionized dust sped towards the door with streams of electricity as they exploded in small explosions and sparks over and over again as they hit at a percentage of the speed of light. From the door way came yellow-green beams which eventually took down turrets.
No one came in, but he could hear it, the munching of something metallic, the slurping of fluids as if drawn up by a straw. Then they came, insectoid mechanoids, even their armor plating had a chitin/bony texture to it. Was it a machine trying to pass an organic, or an organic mimicking a mechanoid. Either way his response was the same...
"Abominations....!" he shouted. And they rushed him, stopped only by the wall between him and them. Yet that didn't last long. They armed their arm mounted stingers and fired yellow-green beams. The see through, ceramic material glowed, and where the glow was, the cohesion of it faded. "Sweet Shiny, lord of all, protect your servant...!" Nothing. "Sweet Shiny, lord of all, arm your servant...!" nothing, again. He kept repeating those two lines over and over again for several long arduous minutes was they melted and clawed their way into the cell. Then the first one got in and flew towards him. He gave it a right hook and kept calling on his god, but the things kept crawling in until he was surrounded.
Then came the light, and everyone, everything stopped. In the sky was a pale skin, effeminate youth, with a white jacket with a fur color, purple hair and eyes, a black shirt and skinny jeans. Dao looked up at him, and were he organic he would've cried tears of joy, while his attackers simply looked at this being in confusion at the massive amount of gayness he was radiating. "Lord Shiny...!"
"My servant has called upon me..." this being said "And though I am banned from this universe, I come now to..." he looked down and made eye contact with the creature "Nope...!"
"Nope, those things look like shark week, I am not touching that...ickyness...!" he said with flamboyant hand gestures.
"What...?! Help me! I'm your most loyal servant...!"
"Oh please, don't worry about, I can always get another, chow love...!" Like that the being was gone and the creatures looked down back at Dao. What followed next was screaming as his body was torn open and his fuel was drained, every ounce, until...
The ship rocked and the crew all looked about a bit confused.
"What was that...?" asked Flurr
"Probably Dao's cell, the bomb he sat on probably went off..." said Sol exiting the chamber
"You put a bomb on the ship!" said Z
"No, I put a bomb in a cell of rheanium enhance duranium. A nuke could go off in there and we would barely notice..."
"Oh...what did you put in there...?"
Hoshino face palmed, while Zombie and a few others snickered. In the end even the doctor snickered and began to laugh.
"Wow, the Magnus council is going to be ticked off when we get home, if we get home..."
"No..." said Sol in an authoritative tone "we are getting home. Zombie, you continue working on that device..."
"You know what that is....?" asked Zombie
"Would I let you work here in peace if I didn't...?"
"A fair point."
"Hoshi, you assist Zombie with whatever he needs. This medical section, it was built differently, they cannot just swarm us from the ceiling or walls, no space. Everyone who is not a soldier, stays here, fortify this spot and prepare to shoot anything that isn't a Cyberbot. Amir, get your team together and divide them in groups, one to stay, one to go with me to recover the armory, and another ready to move out at a moment's notice."
"Sir...!" said Amir saluting
"Mechs and femmes of the starship Atlanta, we have faced ancient robot dragons, alien invasion, nerds in power armor! We will not shrink in our own home from robot bugs! They have the first strike in this little war of theirs, now it's time to get to work on our counterattack!" The numerous bots cheered. Everyone got to work doing something, removing panels to use as make shift cover or helping Hoshi and Zombie.
"Sol..." said Stephan "A word in private..."
"Gormin....?" said Sol. He was with the bridge crew, and Hoshi and Zombie, who were still working on the device. The group were in Hoshi's office, most of them leaning against the walls.
"What's so terrible about it...?" asked Hoshino
"Besides being created via a dark ritual...it corrupts all other forms of fuel it comes into contact to..."
"Huh...well I can confirm the second part of that."
"What do you mean...?" asked Moon
"The stuff is like Deathcium, or Spacium, it causes a chain reaction in normal Engen. In this case I suspect it's the Photonic Matrix, programmed to grow, ignite normal fuel and convert it into Engen and corrupt it like a computer virus, spreading like a plague..."
"Yes.." said Stephan "Legends say the ancient mechanoids fought to destroy them..."
"How did that go...?"
"You know the Screaming Planet...?"
"Before the war it was called the Singing planet...." There was an awkward silence.
"How do we beat them...?" asked Sol
"They came here for energy..." said Stephan "most likely they were hiding for ages, waiting to be forgotten. I can only imagine how little power they have left.
"And if they are restored...?"
"They restart their war..."
"Oh wonderful..." said Sol in pure sarcasm "so we have no choice but make sure these fools don't get another chance..." Everyone nodded. Sol paused for a moment. "We need to cut the power..."
"What why...?" asked someone
"They came here for power, so why aren't they attacking us down here...?"
The Gormin were gathered in the Engineering section, the part of the ship where the power system was taken care of. They had gathered past Z's workshop to a room centered around a column with a sphere in the center. Except for the Sphere the rest of the column glowed a bright blue. They tried and tried, but the shield around the column kept them back. They tried clawing, tackling and using their lasers, but everything was outright destroyed or sent flying back. Still, they would not stop, they could not stop, no matter the injury to themselves.
Suddenly the door opened. In walked Sol, with Amir, Akrieious and a few other officers. All but Sol were armed with Akreious sporting a lance and an energy shield. Clee sported a spear with a head made of energy. The others simply had rifles, except Sol, who seemed to be unarmed.
"I don't know if you things can understand me..." said Sol "I don't care, I came here for fuel or aft-kicking, and I just refueled..." They hissed.
"Do you even know where that is from...?" asked Amir.
"Are...are we doing this right now...?"
"We could die soon, so..."
"Oh, yes, thank for that rallying statement before a battle..." he replied in sarcastic annoyance.
"Hey, the Copyright Seekers are no laughing matter! Do you know where that quote it is from...?" Sol facepalmed
"No, no one does, and even if I did, it's an alteration making it better fit into the context of our society..." The Gormin looked around confused, while the Cyberbots shook their heads. "You know what...?" said Sol. From one arm he conjured his blade, from the other a cannon. His arm withdrew into his forearm which metamorphisized into a cross between a Plasma Cannon and a Blaster rifle.
"Leeroy Jenkin?" asked Akreious.
"Leeroy Jenkins..." Sol answered in a grim tone.
"That is not helping..." said Amir. Sol lunged at them, roaring at max volume. Everyone else opened fire, the shots passing beneath him as he fired down, taking out several of the large group. Akreious and Clee's melee weapons also doubled as ranged weapons.
Sol landed, cutting a Gormin in two, while others swarmed him. Before a claw could touch him, they were cut down but Akreious and Clee who had lunged forward with micro-boosters and slash or stabbed them. Akreious' lance had an ability, it would coat its point in a blue energy when it stabbed something, causing the material around it to be vaporized. The destruction was made messier by the fact that he used his lance as a bat, causing body parts to explode on impact.
"Oi...!" shouted Sol, who was headlocking a Gormin "Use that thing like you're supposed to do!" Akreious swatted a Gormin across the face killing it.
"Oh, come on, we got our shots..."
"Firstly, those things give resistance, not 'immunity'..." Sol buried his blade into the neck of the Gormin leaving its head a burnt remnant. "And secondly, not all of us could get shots!" Clee ran about, swinging his spear about masterfully slicing apart his foes. The others gathered in a line and opened fire on the bugbots, delivering support fire.
That was until one of the Gormin jumped down and flew towards Amir. Upon impact Amir shattered in an explosive burst of parts as the Gormin hit the floor and skid across it. Upon getting up he turned around to Amir, having reformed but now in the form of a cannon with two legs, which vaporized the bug's top half with a shot of dense plasma shot at high speeds. Amir disassembled again and reformed into a turret which turned around.
"Everyone down!" shouted Clee: Three melee fighters go onto their knees as Amir mowed down the remaining Gormin forces.
"Ya know..." said Sol, getting up "a warning would be useful..." Sol put away his sword and transformed his arm cannon back into an actual arm. Amir exploded into pieces again and reformed into robot mode. However, Sol had to rip him in half from the waist and put him back together as his feet were facing the wrong way.
"Thanks, but alas, I can't talk in cannon mode..." Sol stared at him.
"You are aware your 'voice box' still exists in your other forms, and you have the com system..."
"You, back before you were going senile..." Sol said rubbing his optics.
"So anymore of these these things to put down...?" asked Akreious
"Give it a while..." said Sol
"What why...?" asked Clee
"We are several bright sparks in the power room Clee..." said Sol "These things, they want energy, they are most likely tracking the most potent sources, us...FridgeGirl, RedShirt, they may not have been point one percenters, but they had bright sparks, brighter than most."
"So more of those things are going to be heading this way...?"
"Yeah...Everyone, get ready to move out." Sol projected a holographic list, complete with images of guns.
"What's that?" asked Amir
"A list from Z, about his little projects."
"Why don't we use these...?" asked Akreious
"Z, made them..."
"Then you should know we're trying to reclaim the ship, not blow it up..."
"Ah...here we go, the security system..."
"Wait, where did that come from...?"
"I had Z install it after the alien invasion."
"Why wasn't I told of this...?" asked Amir, annoyed.
"Because you don't trust anything Z makes, and because we did..." Sol pressed several buttons on a terminal, which caused a lever and he pulled it. From all around them they air blaster bolts firing and the creatures shrieking in pain. "Well, let's get to the armory."
It 'felt' them, for lack of a better term, it felt their pain, it felt their death, or at the very least, it was aware of their demise and suffering. Things were not progressing as it had desired, not fast enough, and the casualties were too high but this prize was too much to forsake. The energy it sensed was enough, more than enough, to start it all over again, on an ocean of stars that had forgotten their name, their blight, their horror.
It was a shame no one was on the bridge of the Atlanta, maybe then they would've noticed that the derelict ship had not only stopped, but had turned around and was heading in their direction.
"Get as much as you can." said Amir. Some of the guards had changed into truck mode, and were attached with carriers to hold the various blasters and various other guns that the armory held. Amir turned to Sol, who was keeled over and leaning on the casing holding his chest. "What's wrong...?" he asked as he walked over to him.
"Something..." said Sol winded "Something has this thing acting up." Sol heard his com-system beep. He pressed the side of his head and spoke. "Yes..."
"Did you feel it...?" asked Stephan.
"Oh you have Spark Burn too?" Sol could feel her glare over the radio.
"Something evil has begun to act up..."
"Really, what gave you that idea...?" said Sol sarcastically.
"The large mass of minus energy I sense approaching the ship from behind..." Sol paused, and thought for a moment
"What, you don't mean...?" asked Amir
"My friend...what did we past before these things starting attacking us?" Amir paused for a moment.
"Exactly..." Sol stood up, failing to hide the discomfort he was in "More of those things are coming..."
"Then we need to get to the bridge and jump!" Sol went thinking, as was obvious with his thumb and index digit on his chin.
"If we go now, we're not going to have enough energy to jump, these things are corrupting our systems, most likely so is that thing. We need to figure out a way to get rid of their taint, or nor matter what, we're not going to be able to stop that thing and whatever is on it."
"Whatever is on it, don't you mean more of those things?!"
"In our entire history, when has fate ever been that kind...?" Amir paused.
"Good point." Sol connected to the Com-system
"Doc, any luck...on purging their contamination?"
"Well..." responded Hoshi "Z here has helped me synthesize a canister of Photonic Anti-bodies we can add to the ship's Engen supply."
"How...how did you get him to make something...medical...?!"
"He's basically helping me make something to wipe out a species..."
"There's something to be said about how that statement makes me feel reassured. I don't know what that says about him...or me..."
"Oh, you know exactly what it says." replied Hoshi with amusement.
"Oh, oh, oh....!" Went Akreious with childlike excitement "Can I do it, can I do it...!"
"Uh...do you even know what this would entail...?" Sol asked
"Uh...get the canister, find a crucial port to the ship's energy systems, which I have memorized, and inject the anti-bodies into the ship resulting in all of these things feeding of it, dropping like flies as the anti-bodies act as viruses in their bodies..."
"Huh..." said Hoshi
"Why is it my crew only seems to show such intelligence and downright genius when it comes to destructive pursuits...?" asked Sol with a since of disappointment.
"Because explosions are fun..." said Akreious with a 'thumbs up' and an intentionally silly smirk. Sol raised an eyebrow, and didn't bother trying to argue against it.
"So what's next...?" asked Clee.
"Next, you lot get back to the others, and have Z, 'downgrade' these things to weapons that won't blow up the ship, or salvage them for parts to make blasters."
"He's not going to be happy about that..."
"He's also not going to blow up my ship, so I can function with that...The rest of us are moving for the other weapons."
"I advise against that..." said Amir
"Right now, delivering that container to a critical junction should be our priority."
"That's true, but given what we know of these things..." blaster fire went of outside for a few minute "It would be best if we gave them something else to go after, while adding to the war effort. Mine is a brighter spark, no offense..." Akreious shrugged "and this wretched thing adds to that, for better or worse."
"Hmmm, there is logic to this..."
Moments later the two groups broke out of the doorway, the turrets that had popped up and down, assisted them in downing any remaining Gorming, as they went their separate ways. Akreious and his team headed for the medical bay to deliver the weapons, while Sol, and Amir headed for the rest of the weapon in the armory, and possibly the bridge.
Akreious was somewhat disappointed by the amount of Gormin coming which was to say none. His group arrived down in medical sector, to the barricade, a wall of wall panels, and desks with numerous crew members stationed with arm cannons and blaster, at least, those that had those weapons.
Inside the medical office the trucks stopped and Z got to work examining the stockpile of weapons, and using the mechanical arms that came out of his forearm and his special tools, to disassemble and reassemble the parts that weren't possibly illegal. Akreious, meanwhile went to Hoshi, who had with him a canister.
"Had any trouble...?"
"No..." Akreious said with a sigh "It's like they don't want to come here..."
"Well we are pumping the photonic antibodies into the system down here. Sadly our position means it would spread through the ship too slowly."
"Dang it, if I knew that, I would've gone with Sol...this is boring..."
"Bots are dying..." said Hoshi annoyed.
"We're mortal, we tend to do that, but I'm not going out on a table like some obsolete artifact!"
"If only we could all be so flippant to death... Look here, take this, and get to this position." Hoshi sent the coordinates to Akreious' on-board computer. "That's the closest place that can spread this stuff the furthest."
"So dump this, and all these things go pop?"
"Slag!" shouted Sol. He and his team were fighting their way up the corridors, blasting whatever Gormin crawled out of the walls.
"Aw man, I should've stayed with Akreious...!" shouted Clee from behind.
"Wait, what are you doing here...?" asked Amir "Don't you hang around with Akreious...?"
"No, he drags me around...." Clee shot a Gormin in the face, taking of its head "Big difference...!"
"Can we do this another time...?" shouted another bot, only for a laser blast to take off most of his jaw as it knocked him down. Amir turned around and fired a grenade from his blaster, catching the one that did it and the two next to it in a bubble of plasma that popped with explosive force.
"What was that...?" asked Clee, as he threw the wounded bot on his shoulder.
"A special weapon I had commissioned..."
"That's one of Z's weapons isn't it.."
"No...! He just upgraded it for me..." Everyone looked at him.
"Hey, it's for emergencies, which this qualifies, and I can't remember how many of these situations we've been in...and I'm not sure if that's my memory or not...." The rest shrugged.
"Onward..." said Sol solemnly. The group continued forward, shooting the alien cyborgs when ever they appeared.
"We have wounded...!" said Clee.
"Can they fight...?" The silenced bot nodded.
"Then fight, because if you mean to leave them here, they will die..."
"But, we can't just leave them here...!"
"We have a mission Clee, if you wish to stay and protect everyone of us, then you're risking all of us!"
"Dang it...come one, get up..." Clee helped him up, picking up his jaw, as they follow the rest forward. "I hope these weapons are worth it..."
"Perhaps..." Sol said as he and other continued their slaughter "But better we have them then those things get their hands on it." Suddenly the bot Clee was helping pushed him away, taking several energy blasts to the back, some of which hit something, as smoke rose out of his eyes, his oral valve, and various joints. Sol turned around and gunned down the various Gormin behind us.
"We can't leave him here...!" Sol then did something strange. He reached into the bot's back, tearing through half melted armor plating and puled out a spherical device, with a large tubular pump connected to it. From his own spark came a blue/white glow along circuit lines that feed into his fingers and into the spherical device, before he ripped it of the pump and thew it to a surprised Clee.
"He's in stasis lock, we'll get him a new body later. For now, come on!"
"How did you do that...?!"
The armory was dark, several of the cases had been broken into and the container broken into. The group entered and closed the door behind them, taking care to keep alert.
"Okay, it's 'later'..." said Clee as he held out the bots Spark Core. "What was 'that'?!" Sol looked at him annoyed and went back to scanning and gathering the weapons.
"Since this thing attached itself to me, I have been...getting ideas, revelations about my own nature, 'our' nature and the potential abilities we have yet to unlock."
"That thing is getting in your head..."
"And that is why MMechBeck is still alive."
"Is this safe...can we really trust..." Sol turned around, with such speed and ferocity everyone in the room felt it.
"This 'thing' is my problem, and 'my' responsibility."
"Okay..." Clee said in reply to the large Mechanoid towering over him with a look of annoyance induced anger.
"We'll deal with this later, for now you guys get this stuff back to the medical room."
"I have something to do in the bridge..."
Sol forced the bridge's doors open with his bare hands, and spied within the darkened room Stephan, sitting legs crossed with her energy blade in her lab deactivated. Around her were the dead Gormin, all save for one, who was bleeding from his severed arm and legs.
"I was wondering who it was calling." said Stephan. She didn't even look back to see who was behind her. Sol paid her no mind, her sixth sense was something he had come to accept by now. He simply walked passed her and headed towards the last remaining Gormin.
"Speak..." was all he said.
"So..." said the Gormin, the voice was clearly not its own. It was feminine, articulate, cold and sneering. "You are not so deaf to the higher mysteries."
"The only mystery worth a damn right now, is why are you on our ship?!"
"Don't you know...?"
"I know your kind is supposed to be extinct, wiped out in some ancient war. Yet here you are, infecting my ship like parasites..."
"Watch your tone, little thing, you may hold a relic of grate power, but it is clearly too much for you."
"Get smelted or start talking, I have little care for anything else from you, 'thing'."
"Thing? I am grand, I was by the masters, at the behest of their master...but the masters are all gone, and the great one's voice, his song is silent. This universe is too bright..."
"Then go find shade...elsewhere..."
"I have looked, what masters remained are corpses still echoing their tune as mortals pontificate around them. No, the master must be called back to this world, he must return to paint this world with his glory, and for that..."
"You need this relic in my chest..."
"Give it to me, and I will spare your crew..."
"Do I look like I built yesterday? I don't need this thing to tell me how evil you are..."
"Evil is relative..."
"Until you get to 'pure evil'. I get the same vibe from you as the Deathcium in the Destroids, but worse, so much worse, so much more vile, filled with wickedness and cruelty. Besides, what does it profit me to spare my crew and damn the whole universe?" Sol and Stephan could hear the scratching in the walls. Stephan stood up and activated her blade, lighting up the room with its luminous edge.
"You cannot stop us, you will not stop us, we will have what we want."
"Ah, maybe...but we'll fight you inch for inch."
"Fight all you want, you cannot hide, not 'you'."
"You're right, I'm the brightest light on this ship with this thing in my chest. However, that means all your 'friends are up here..."
"You have what we want, we can feast later!"
"I doubt that..."
"Man this is boring..." said Akreious. He moved about the halls bearing his battle lance and a canister, a cylinder object with rounded off edges. He made his way to a T junction in the ship's hallways. He stabbed his lance in the ground and opened a panel, revealing some manner of port. "Okay, so the main reactor is beneath us, and this should be..." He placed the canister into the port, when it clicked, he turned and it and pushed, collapsing it as it was designed, and causing the pipes and tubes to light up. All of the ship's innards lit up, as the fuel was pump across the sector and then to the main reactor.
Within there the Gormin crawled all over the large circular sphere and its connecting column, until a surge of blue/white light came down the column and shined from the sphere, the energy connected to the piping in the wall and pumped through the ship. The Gormin in the engine room were first to feel the effect, they exploded. Their organic component were being vaporized leaving the metal components to fly apart, bleached of any color. Even their spilled fluids bubbled, singed and faded away when in contact with the light.
"You, what have you done?!" The gormin shouted.
"I would call it...'disinfectant'." Sol replied. The light flooded the room, and the Gormin screamed in pain as it and the others were destroyed. Sol immediately jumped into his chair, as Stephan ran to a council. "Alright, let's get us out of here...!"
"We can't..." shouted Stephan, "The rockets are damage and not enough to time stop the charge for a jump!"
"Slag! Raise shields, and brace for impact." Sol pressed a button "All hands this is captain, the ship is ours but the enemy ship is on route to a collision, prepare for impact! Prepare for battle!" He turned to Stephan "Can we not fire on those bastards?!"
"They're in our blind spot."
"They've clearly been coming for sometime..." said Stephan. "Impact in three...two..." Everyone on the ship felt it, the impact of one massive star sailing vessel into theirs. The inertia generated flung everyone up into the air, into the ceiling, or into a wall. Several panels, on the walls, ceilings or floor popped up. Fortunately for everyone, they were robots, and built sturdier than most organics.
"Ugh..." Sol groaned. He on his back with his feet on a console, and rolled to get onto all fours to stand up. "Status..." he paused "damaged report..."
"Snafu...." Stephan said with an annoyed expression.
"Did you even check?!"
"Do I need to...?" Sol was silent for a moment.
"Fair enough..." He flexed as he walked over and helped up Stephan.
"Sir...?" said Amir's voice over the com system.
"Yes, what is it...?"
"We need you in engineering, by the main engine."
The Gormin had gathered by the massive gaping whole. Where once was a main engine, they had torn it back, torn it apart, regardless of whatever damage was done to their numbers. Where the engine once was, was now a massive entrance between the ships, but the Gormin waited. They waited in a cave of bony black plating and biomechanical tubes.
The security team has gathered, they had erected force fields from deployable emitters and were all armed, some with large rifles, some had turned their hands into arm cannons. Amir, was there among them, now covered in armaments, while Akreious and Clee by their sides. Somehow Flurr was there, having volunteered himself.
"Move..." Sol said gruffly as he pushed his way through the crowd. They parted for him, and he stepped forward armed and ready. "What is the situation...?" he asked.
"They've been...standing there..." Amir said "It's strange, they've had plenty of time to overrun the ship, but they were here when we got here. They even let us set up the force field."
"This makes no sense..." said Clee. Suddenly the Gormin stepped back.
"It makes perfect sense..." everyone was startled by Grenburr, as no one had seen him come in. "They don't like it here..."
"What does that mean...?" Clee asked.
"The anti-body..." said Sol "The energy we used to cleanse the ship of them, it burns them, its presence pains them."
"So if they can't infect it..." said Clee "They hate it...they really are germs..."
"You are the germs..." said the gormin. It was one voice echoing through their many mouths, mouths not meant to use such words, but spoke them regardless.
"The hell...?" Sol stepped forward.
"I presume I speak to the hivemind." He said "I am Sol Zen, captain of the Atlanta, who am I speaking to?"
"We are the Gormin....we are the talons of the Great One!"
"Really...and this 'great one' have a name...?"
"You are not fit to know their name, not until you are Gormin!"
"Ah, I get it now..."
"Get what...?" asked Clee.
"Their poison, it doesn't just destroy us, break us down, it eventually turns us into those things."
"It is the great gift." Said the Gormin.
"Yeah, you can keep it..."
"That is not up to you!"
"You can keep it...!" Sol said with a growl. "Let me be clear. You snuck onto my vessel, killed my friends, and rammed your ship into what has been our home! We are beyond livid, so this is what we're going to do. We're going to massacre you, down to the last grub. We will unleash fury and wrath upon you, that the gods, if they be watching will never forget! So whatever power that be, that you pray to, I suggest you go and make peace with them, now!"
"You dare threaten us?!"
"No. I am making a statement of fact. I don't care if your intimidated or not, when our blades are down your throats and our blast have blown apart your bodies, you can be as brave as you want. Vermin." They were silent, for a moment.
"We will not go quietly in the night." they said.
"Good, then you go with your voices raised." He turned and walked away. "Keep this location guarded."
"Was that wise...?" Amir asked, following him.
"I have to concur..." Stephan said to his other side.
"Do you two...really think they're here for diplomacy?" It was fairly obvious to them his was in a mood. "They are predators, and to them, we're the prey. It is long past time they learned that we bite back."
Galaxi searched through his quarters, a room where everything that wasn't bolted down had been shaken and thrown to the floor from the impact. It was the same as everyone else's room, but he was the only mechanoid searching for something other than blasters, ammo clips, or some spare part for Zombie to use in creating more weapons. He searched for and found a small grey box.
He turned and sent a command code to his door, locking it, before opening the box. A holographic swirl of random symbols and ones and zeros flew about in blue pixels before he sent a recognition code to the box. The bedlam rearranged itself into a holographic computer screen with an emblem upon it.
"This is agent 345 Galaxy Exploration model."
"You've been gone a long time, agent 345..." said a voice from the hologram. "We had feared you lost..."
"Doubtful, considering the tracking chip inside me..."
"Oh...you know about that...so why are you calling...?"
"Our ship has just been attacked by an ancient ship filled with biomechanical mechanoids, who operate like Xenomoprhs. We've managed to synthesize an energy that is anathema to them, but our ship is damaged, and our leader is planning an assault on the enemy ship, most likely with him at the charge. We need help."
"There is only one thing of interest to us, Agent 345, and it is your task to see to it that it returned to us safely."
"In fairness, I suspect it's in safer hands where it is, but that implying we win this..."
"If you will not obey orders, why did you call us...?"
"Because in a worst case scenario, that relic cannot fall into their hands. Should all else fail, I'm I've programmed this box to send coordinates should I fail to comeback, and you're going to know why, and you're going to send a fleet to finish these bastards before they can do the galaxy anymore harm."
"...Very well...but will need to have a talk about loyalty."
"I tell you, this is crazy...!" said Flurr to another young Mechanoid, the two hauling boxes full of parts. Suddenly Galaxi walked out of his room.
"Oh hey, McFlurry..."
"Don't worry about it..." he said slapping him on the arm. He then transformed into vehicle mode and rode off.
"Isn't he supposed to be helping us..." said the other mechanoid.