62. The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part IX   4 comments

Meanwhile in Space…

Episode 62: The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part IX: Batteries Included

Sundance, Astralyn, and Ben stood at the tunnel entrance and stared into the dark void. The idea that there were two sets of tunnels astounded Sundance. He was starting to get an idea. If his assumption that these tunnels also led to another robot was correct, his plan was going to work out great.

Ben led the way through the tunnels until they reached a dead end. This brought Sundance down from his inspired high. “Are you sure you know where you’re going?”

“Of course I do!” Ben said confidently. “Whenever I wasn’t cleaning the gears in the exhibit, I was down here exploring the tunnels.” He shined the flashlight along the wall and studied the rust on it. “Everyone thinks that there is only one set of engines, but I recently found these. I’ve been keeping it a secret ever since because I didn’t think I could trust the others with this information.”

“Well, yay for that,” Sundance replied. Ben just rolled his eyes and continued examining the wall. He was looking for something, a crack in the wall. He felt his way along the wall as he moved to the right. When he finally found it, he handed the flashlight to Sundance. “Could you shine it here, please?”

Sundance pointed the flashlight where indicated and saw the crack. He then panned upwards and saw that it went all the way up to the ceiling far above them. Ben cleared his throat and Sundance returned the light to where he needed it.

“How long do you think these tunnels have been here?” Astralyn asked. “What were these robots built for?”

“I think that these robots were built to attack Old Earth,” Ben replied. “And Old Earth would have never seen it coming.”

Ben pulled out what looked like a big metallic pen out of his robe and clicked the end of it. The ground started to shake. The wall made a loud popping sound. Sundance and Astralyn gasped as the crack in the wall started to widen. The wall was, in fact, a giant door. It opened slowly to the left with an eerie moan.

“Welcome to Chez Ben!” Ben stepped through the ever widening threshold. He held out his hand for Astralyn to step through. She gracefully accepted his hand and followed him. Sundance waited for the door to finish opening before he stepped further into the unknown.

“I haven’t fully exploded most of these tunnels because I had few moments to get away, but I’m pretty sure that this will mirror the other set of tunnels,” Ben said.

“So, if that’s true, then that means that this can turn into a giant robot as well?” Astralyn asked.

“That’s what I’m hoping for,” Sundance replied. “I have an idea.”

“Do mine ears deceive me? Could it be that the captain has a plan?” Astralyn did a mock gasp and placed her hand on her chest as if to have a heart attack.

“News at 11.” Sundance looked back and winked at her.

Ben continued to lead the way through the dark corridors. His assumption was correct. The layout of these tunnels were identical to the other exhibit. He was able to map out where they were and where they needed to go.

“Captain, you’ll want to pay attention,” Ben warned. “I’m taking you to the room where they have your friend.”

Sundance made sure to pay attention. He planned on somehow getting to the other robot. He didn’t know how, but he was jumping ahead of himself. He smirked at his cleverness.

Ben stopped in front of a door that didn’t look particularly important. Sundance studied it and wondered how he was going to recognize it from the rest when he does make it to the other robot. Ben tried to pull the handle to open the door but it refused to budge. Astralyn tried her hand at it; it remained closed.

“If you’ll allow me.” Sundance took his laser pistol out of its holster. Astralyn knew what was coming and moved out of the way. Ben was still trying to open it when Sundance fired. Astralyn pulled Ben out of the way in the last second. The red laser beam hit the door and burrowed through the ancient steel. The door unbolted just as the ceiling shook.

Ben stared at the door and saw that the lock was sizzling. He then looked at Sundance, who was posed triumphantly with his laser pistol in the air, and shook his head angrily. “You have to warn a person before you go shooting things! I suppose that’s your solution to everything!”

“Pretty much,” Astralyn said.

Ben pulled open the door and allowed the others to go inside. He made sure that the door wasn’t going to shut behind them before he entered. Sundance was already shining the flashlight in every corner of the room.

In the center of the room sat an old rusted chair, much like a throne, that was planted to the floor. There were wires all along the sides of it and along the floor behind it. Ben approached it with reverence. Astralyn and Sundance stared at it bewildered.

“This is the Heart Room,” Ben said, breaking the temporary silence. “This is where the power is supplied to the engines. This is where your friend is located. If you can get here…”

“I can free Timmy and stop the machine.” Sundance clinched his fists as if it was a vow he was making with his body. “How do we power this baby up?”

“We obviously need a power source,” Astralyn said. Ben and Sundance hummed their agreement. Ben and Sundance were looking at her, she knew it. She shook her head and held her hands up. “I don’t think so, boys!”

“Oh, I have something else planned for you,” Sundance said. He chuckled excitedly as he lowered and raised his eyebrows at her. Astralyn wasn’t sure if she liked this plan Sundance had.

Sundance walked behind the chair and saw a large black box seated nearby. He shined the light on it and saw that there were all sorts of plugins on it. He then shined the light back on the chair, and then back on the box. “What is this?”

“It’s a box,” Astralyn said sarcastically.

Ben walked over and looked at it. “It’s a battery!” He sounded excited. “They must have built this one to run on a battery instead of a human energy source! How fortuitous!”

Ben bent down to pick it up. Sundance handed the flashlight to Astralyn and he bent down to pick up the other end of the battery. They both picked up the heavy box and brought it in front of the power chair. They rested for a moment before they hefted it into the seat.

“It fits perfectly,” Ben said. “The question is why this isn’t on the first one?”

“Who cares about that?” Sundance picked up some of the cables on the ground. “The real question is, ‘Will it work?’. He chuckled. He immediately started plugging the wires into the battery. Ben and Astralyn did the same. When they were finished, they stepped back and admired their work.

“Make it work,” Sundance commanded.

“Yes, sir.” Ben searched the box for a switch. When he found it, it flipped it. The box shuddered in the seat for a minute before it started humming. The electricity in the cables caused them to glow. Then the whole room lit up. The battery charged and as it did, the engines started to churn to life. “There you go, sir! They’re all powering up! Though, I’m not sure for how long. These things are quite old…”

“Perfect!” Sundance patted Ben on the back. “I’m beginning to like you! Now, let’s get this thing on its feet.”

“Then the control room is where you need to be!” Ben took the flashlight from Astralyn and led the way out of the room. Based on memory alone, he was able to guide the three of them to the control room. Sundance estimated that they were nearing the head of the robot.

The three of them finally reached the control room. Ben unlocked the door and allowed them entry. “The control room, lady and gentleman!”

The room was shaped like a V. The main controls were located at the front of the room while the secondary systems were all on the sides, with the main pilot seat in the center. On the sides of the chair were several long levers. Ben looked around and marveled at it all. He looked at the pilot’s seat and then at Sundance.

“I think I know your plan now, Captain,” Ben said. “You’re going to pilot this robot and take the other one down, correct?”

“Almost,” Sundance replied. “I’m not going to pilot it, she is.”

Astralyn whipped her head and looked at Sundance in surprise. They both were looking at her. “Oh, hell no!”

“Would you rather sit in the Heart Room?” Sundance asked jokingly. Astralyn shook her head. He approached Astralyn and held her hands. “I need you and Ben to pilot the robot while I try to get close to the other robot. I know you can do it!” He gazed into her eyes and smiled. “Do it for Timmy!” He knew that Astralyn would do it now. “Benny here will help you.”

“Ben.”

“Who cares?” Sundance replied. He never took his eyes off Astralyn. He gripped her hands softly. “You told me that your father was a pilot.”

“Is a pilot,” Astralyn corrected.

“You also told me that he taught you to pilot next to anything! You can do it!”

Astralyn was touched by this and she closed her eyes. She steeled herself and reminded herself that she could pilot close to anything. When she opened her eyes again, Sundance saw nothing but determination and pride in them. “Let’s do this!”

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Posted September 25, 2012 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction

4 responses to “62. The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part IX

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  1. I feel like singing some System of a Down karaoke with an old friend without anyone having to know about it. Wanna talk about how I would go about doing that?

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