McKinley and the others had nowhere to go, they all stood around the capsule with their weapons raised and ready to attack. Even with Blake and his Marines there would be no hope of surviving their assault. McKinley looked across at Blake.
“This is going to be tricky one to get out of!” Blake scoffed in a sarcastic manner.
The figure of Jearo walked towards them, then stopped in from of the capsule and shouted “Please don’t resist commander, you and your men are surrounded with no hope of escaping!”
There was an arrogance in her voice that McKinley found disturbing, even if he hadn’t known about these creature overtaking human form, he would have know this wasn’t the science officer that he had spent several years working with.
“Please come out and leave the weapons behind!” She shouted, McKinley looked across at Blake again.
“Have you managed to warn the others?” Blake nodded.
“I sent them a coded message as soon as I saw them approaching.” The door to the capsule swung upwards. Resigned to the control of these creatures McKinley, Blake and the the other stepped off and walked towards the Jearo creature.
“Stop there!” she commanded, the others walked around to surround them, kicking their legs to get them to kneel. They then backed off behind Jearo again.
“I suppose you’re going to kill us?” McKinley asked defiantly.
“Yes, but first I need the key!”
“Key?” Asked McKinley.
“Yes, the key that activated the mechanoids! I will find it anyway, so there is no point in resisting!” The look in this Jearo creatures eyes was angry, fiery and without remorse. Despite his fear he wasn’t going to give it up – he couldn’t!
“You better find it then, because I don’t know what you mean!” he answered stubbornly.
“Do it the hard way then!” she screamed. With that one of the others came forward with a scanner of some kind. He was a large man, McKinley was picked up by his arms, the scanner was hovered over him.
“It’s not on him!”
“Check the others!” she yelled with increasing agitation. One by one Blake and each of his men were man handled to find the small disc.
“It’s not on any of them!” he shouted back at her. “You said they would have it!”
“He’s hidden it in there!” the Jearo monster screamed “Go and find it!”
“Why do you need it?” Asked McKinley
“You don’t need to…” Jearo was screaming at McKinley in pure rage. Until someone else interrupted.
“Because then, they can control us! But I cannot let that happen!” All the human disguised monsters turned at once. Dave was standing in front of them, with mechanoid flanking him on each side. Blue flashes of plasma were launched at the three mechanoids as they started running towards them. Blake pulled down McKinley flat to the floor.
“Stay there sir!” he ordered him.
The mechanoids were taking heavy damage, but were blasting back at the attackers. Dave picked one of them up and threw them off the platform. McKinley looked behind him to see Blake pulling one of them out of the capsule with them help of two of the others. Gerrad was holding him down, not that he was struggling.
The Jearo monster cam up to them Gerrad rose to meet her and was thrown aside. McKinley pushed himself up and rammed into her, sending the both of them down. She had clearly been injured by a blast, but was still very strong. McKinley smashed his fists into her face, cracking it and making fractures. Her arms flailing wildly she gripped McKinley’s face, tearing at it. McKinley yelled out as her fingers dug in, with the shot of a plasma bolt McKinley felt the grip release, then he was pulled away. Opening his eyes and trying to focus his vision cleared and Blake was standing over him.
“You ok there sir? She had quite a grip on you!”
McKinley got up and looked about at the carnage. One of the mechanoids had been smashed badly and was being repaired by two others that had appeared. Dave was strutting about making sure the threat had been neutalised. Gerrad was out cold, murmuring and groaning,all about the molten bodies of the enemy were dripping through the floor plates.
“I’m getting sick of these things Blake!” McKinley’s face was red with rage and injury “We’re just trying to get back, we’ve lost three people including Seanna! What’s it going to take to stop this?”
“I don’t…” Blake started.
“I know!” McKinley shouted, he marched over to Dave. “What’s it going to take to get this repair work started?”
“Repair work to the core will start immediately sir!”
“Good!” McKinley shouted back at him, he stormed off to find somewhere to be by himself. For hours McKinley didn’t move, staring out over the vastness of the Titan he was lost in his thoughts. Blake had summoned the rest of the team back and repair work had started on the core. From where McKinley was sat, the flashes and laser drilling were vaguely distracting to him. Still lost he hadn’t seen Blake approaching.
“We’ve got the rest of them over sir” Blake told him. He stood there for a moment, waiting for a response. He got none, Blake turned to walk away.
“How long?” McKinley asked.
Blake stopped and turned “How would I know sir? Dave and his droids are doing what they do. It all seems pretty messed up, they’re telling us to keep out of the way!”
McKinley didn’t look at Blake, his focus still elsewhere “Do you think we’ll get off here?” he asked.
“You tell me sir. You’re in charge, it’s up to you!” Blake replied ironically.
McKinley allowed himself a smile at Blake’s humour “help me up will you?” Blake held out his hand, McKinley took at it and pulled himself up. “It might be far in the future, but they still don’t make comfortable floors!”
The pair of them walked through into the core control area, down below the mechanoids were working away, flashes of reworking tools were lighting up the place. The crew were going over the re-work plans, Jearo was talking with Dave. McKinley was in awe at him as a machine, he imagined him as the best of a human mixed with the best of a machine.
It was only as he was looking down again that he realised something, the flashes were coming from a different part below them. Images of past actions from both on and off the Titan were flashing and disappearing in an instant. He turned to Dave.
“What’s that Dave?” he asked.
“That’s our sighting portal, in order to configure the core to the right time and place we need to…”
“Can we use that to access any time an place Dave?”
“Yes sir! But it is not meant for that purpose and we mustn’t interfere with the natural timelines.”
For a moment McKinley was thoughtful. “What is it sir?” Asked Jearo.
“A plan, my dear Jearo – a devious plan!” McKinley winked at her.
“What kind of plan?” she asked.
“I’m going to go and get Seanna!”
Copyright 2016 Simon Farnell
No Ownership claimed to images.