McKinley stared ahead at the tunnel ahead of him, racing past as once again he was travelling in another of what seemed like many hyperloop conduits. It had been a hard choice to split the team up, but it seemed the best and safest option. Seanna was taking charge of the science and technical teams back at the control centre. They were going to wait for his word before going back to the core platform. McKinley had taken Blake and his four Marines to find and activate the mechanoids. If it was still possible. The great thing about Blake and his Marines was that they we’re more than the armed force he needed for backup – they could make things work too.
“Do you know how to activate them?” Blake asked McKinley.
“Endevin gave me this.” McKinley replied. holding up what seemed to be a circle of gold, with perfectly flat surfaces. McKinley could swear he saw tiny lines or perhaps circuits if he looked at it in different angles, but he wasn’t sure. “I’m not sure what it is, but Endevin told me to keep it safe and that it would be useful!”
“We’ll soon find out won’t we?” Blake went to sit down with his team, they had been checking their equipment and were now ready , hopefully for whatever was going to come. McKinley sat down and tucking his feet under the seat he heard the grunt of someone in pain. McKinley shot up, drew is plasma rifle and aimed it at the seat.
“Get out! Who are you?” McKinley shouted. Blake and his team were up in a shot, all rifles drawn to the seat.
“It’s ok guys! It’s only me!” McKinley couldn’t mistake that female voice “Seanna?” McKinley wasn’t at all surprised to find his second in command had sneaked on with them, but it didn’t make him happy. She climbed out from under the seat, dust covering her, she swept herself off.
“I thought I told you to stay with the others? McKinley barked at her.
“What? Let you go and find these mechanoids on your own with these guys?” she replied, holding her ground
“This isn’t a joke Seanna – we in it up to our necks and if the rest of us make it out of here alive it will be a miracle. You being rash isn’t going to help things!”
“There’s no chance of anything rash happening with you in charge!” Seanna retorted sharply.
“That’s why we’re still alive!” McKinley was shouting now, Blake and his men and sat back to watch the argument take place, it wasn’t often it happened but right now neither of them were holding back.
“It’s why we’re still here you mean?” Seanna was now shouting too!
“I knew I should have known better than to put you in a command rank!”
“Command?!?” Seanna shouted back “This is supposed to be my mission and since you turned up I’ve not had any say about what’s going on!” Seanna disarmed her rifle “Here you go! Take it – if you don’t want me about or in command, fucking take this and leave me here. I’ll see you when you get back – if you do!” Seanna was wide eyed – staring McKinley down. McKinley was about to take the rifle, then taking his hand away.
“You’re right. I did give you this mission Seanna” McKinley replied “I know I need you Seanna, but I just want to get everyone safe. Including you. I’ve always told you you’re your own worst enemy!” McKinley told Seanna calmly.
Seanna smiled “I know you do – I just don’t know how to stand and watch – you know that!”
McKinley handed Seanna her rifle “C’mon, let’s do this. But I do need to be able to trust my first officer to follow instructions.”
Seanna nodded, the small vehicle suddenly shot into a tunnel and the , the half light meant they were going to arrive at the place where Endevin said the mechanoids would be. In a few moments they had come to a stop, Blake and his team left first – their rifles raised and ready. Ahead was a corridor, dimly lit with a blue light from floor panels. The Marines led the way, McKinley and Seanna followed a few metres back, looking ahead to the black end of the corridor.
“This part isn’t meant for much human use!” Seanna whispered.
“How do you know?” McKinley asked
“It’s damn cold!” Seanna replied.
“That’ll teach you to keep your suit on!” McKinley smiled
Seanna rolled her eyes “Yes Dad, I’ll keep that in mind!” Seanna grinned at him a fake, teasing grin.
“Good! I’m glad you’re..”
“Will you two shut up back there!” Blake barked as loudly as he could while whispering. “I think they’re in here!”
Without a word McKinley and Seanna stepped forward to see. Ahead of them , were dark shapes in what seemed to be a round shaped room, perhaps fifty metres round. In the middle was a flat control panel, about two metres long and a metre wide, standing about a metre high. Lights and indicators blinked on the control panel. Looking round McKinley looked around, Blake and his Marines were looking around at the mechanoids in their individual chambers.
After a few minutes Blake returned to McKinley and whispered “They seem to be inactive, there’s no sign of them attached to any umbilicals.”
“They probably don’t need them Blake” McKinley replied. “Now, keep an eye out and let’s see how this works.” McKinley looked around the panel for a clue, then on the centre he saw a circular cavity, thinking about the device Endevin had given him he took it from his pocket and placed it into the cavity. Immediately he did so the light turned on, the panels on the control activated and a blue holographic face appeared.
“Please state the problem and requested action!” The face asked, in a neither male or female robotic voice.
“Core damaged – diagnosis and repair needed immediately!” McKinley stated to the face.
“Acknowledged” The face answered.
At that moment the walls around them started rising – faster and faster. It stopped and two mechanoid cubicles went black and the human shaped robots stepped off and walked towards them. The walls lowered this time, again it stopped and two more robots walked off.
“Seems to be doing something – let’s hope it’s right!” Seanna mused.
“Seems to be, let’s hope they can do what we need them to!”
Four more stepped off went to a bunker, draw some aggressive looking tools and then stood behind the others. The floor stopped a last time and one single mechanoid stepped off this time – there was something different about this one, bigger and had perhaps more function to his form.
“Look like he might be some kind of leader of central controller.” McKinley thought out loud.
“So – your found Endevin then McKinley? Well done you! Now you can listen to me and do what really needs to be done. Give me that device!”
At that point everyone’s blood ran cold, that voice was well known – it was McKinley. But meaner, badder! Seanna and the Marines all raised their rifles and looked around, nothing could be seen. McKinley went to the control and pulled the disc from the cavity and put it away.
“Not a chance!” McKinley shouted. Seanna got closer to McKinley, ready to defend them both
“C’mon McKinley, let’s go!”
“Not without all the mechanoids!” all the mechanoids had begun filing out towards the hyperloop vehicle, one by one they all walked through with all the tools they had picked up, oblivious to what was going on.
“I’ll have to kill you all for it then!” the voice came back. At that moment a figure came out from behind the command mechanoid. Blake and his Marines had their backs to it as he lept out. Seanna instantly saw him, bringing her rifle to bear she yelled out out to Blake. A lance of brilliant light suddenly shot out towards Seanna as Blake and his men spun round, with no hesitation they found their mark and blasted it with with their rifles. Blue plasma bolts shot into the figure over and over. The creature melted between the gaps in the open frame floor into whatever was below.
“We got him!” Blake shouted to McKinley. He turned around to face McKinley. ” Where’s Seanna?” He asked. McKinley had been knocked to the floor, motionless and in shock he lifted himself up.
“She’s gone!” McKinley replied. Looking around one thing was obvious, McKinley was right – Seanna was not there!
©Simon Farnell 2016
No ownership claimed on images