75. The Unnatural City, Part X   Leave a comment

Meanwhile in Space…
Episode 75: The Unnatural City, Part X: Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Timmy quickly went to work on figuring out how to free Sundance and the others. There were computers next to each pod that relayed information to the mother computer. She already knew that Timmy was free, what is she going to care that a few more were freed? He didn’t doubt that he could open all of the pods, he doubted the amount of time he had before the robot reinforcements came, and they were coming. There had to be an easier way of doing this.
He approached the computer that sat next to Sundance’s pod. He looked at his hands and wondered if he could make his special ability work one more time. He placed his right hand on the computer and watched as the computer screen fuzzed up. A rush came over Timmy like a wave of water crashing on him. There was so much information that was running through his brain. He was surprised by how quickly he was able to read the robots’ language without needing a book for translation. He found the functions for the pods in the electronic sea of information and activated the opening sequences.
Timmy jumped at the sound of hissing as the hundreds of pods depressured. Sundance’s pod opened behind him. Timmy let go of the computer and watched as the lid of the pod slid open. Sundance coughed as he came to. He looked up at Timmy and smiled.
“Welcome back to the land of the living, Captain,” Timmy said. He helped pulled the tubes ciphoning blood from Sundance’s bare chest.
“What happened, Timmy?” Sundance asked, getting to his feet and shivering. “Where the hell are we?”
“That’s a long story,” Timmy shouted over the loud alarm. “Help me get the others out of their pods. We don’t have much time!”
Sundance looked down at himself and cried out. “Where the hell are my clothes? Whose underwear is this?”
“Captain!”
Sundance snapped back into the moment and tried to make sense of what was happening. He followed Timmy and helped Astralyn and Colonel Graves out of their pods. Once they were safely disconnected from the tubes, they stood up and tried to catch their bearings admist the chaos that was happening around them.
Timmy saw that while all of the pods were opening, not everyone was getting out. He took a deep breath and sighed. He had been hoping that he would be able to save everyone. He couldn’t dwell on the dead; he had to find a way to get the living out and keep them that way.
The kidnapped scientists were beginning to get upset. They were cold, mostly naked, and had no idea where they were. Timmy tried to comfort the ones that were near him. He pushed his way to the front of the crowd and got everyone’s attention.
“Can I have your attention, please? I can only say this once because I don’t know how much time I have.” Timmy stared into the scared faces of the scientists and friends. He wanted to tell them what was going on without freaking them out too much, but he was right, there wasn’t much time to sugar coat. “We’ve been kidnapped by the flesh eating robots that laid dormant under the city for years. They were harvesting our blood to feed themselves. We are currently locked in one of their factories.” Timmy heard the murmurs from the crowd of twenty scientists and tried to talk over them and the alarms. “Don’t worry, we are leaving right now. I need everyone to stay close together, don’t push, and follow us!”
Timmy pushed his way back to Sundance who had found their laser pistols.
“Ready for this?” Sundance asked.
“Of course,” Timmy said, smiling at him. He looked to Astralyn and Colonel Graves and saw that they were ready to get out of there. “Captain and I will lead the way out. Astralyn, Colonel, you take the rear and hold off the robots as much as you can.”
“I thought we killed those things,” Astralyn said. She gripped her laser pistol and nodded her agreement. “Let’s kill ’em again!”
Timmy found the door and the group followed closely behind him. There was a control panel just to the right of the door. He pressed his hand on it and waited for it to open. It refused to acquiesce so Timmy shot it. The door slid opened and granted them access to the outside.
Sundance and Timmy led the way into the dark underground tunnels. “You do know where we’re going, right?” Sundance asked.
Timmy just looked at him and nodded. In reality, he wasn’t all that sure. He had accessed a lot of information when he freed the remaining scientists from their pods. He might have seen schematics of the underground base, he might not have. He just hoped that they would pass another access panel on their way out, then he could put his new talent to the test.
With laser pistols set to “KILL”, the two moved down the tunnel to the east, or what they thought was east. The alarm gave no signs of stopping. The people closely followed with Astralyn and Colonel Graves bringing up the rear. Everyone kept their eyes open for robots and jumped at every corner they turned, expecting the worst.
Timmy found another access panel. “Watch this,” Timmy said to Sundance. He pressed his hand against it and it momentarily turned pale blue.
Sundance’s eyes widened as he watched this. “Timmy, what are you doing?” His first instinct was to shoot the panel, but Timmy stopped him. Sundance didn’t know what else to do, so he watched.
Timmy closed his eyes as his mind fell back into the electronic sea. He searched around for the information he sought. He found codes for locked doors. He committed them to memory and hoped they would come in handy. As he searched, he felt a malevolent presence come at him. He immediately knew it was the Mother Computer coming to stop him. He decided the time for showing off was done. He found the plans for the tunnel and mapped out exactly where they needed to go. He opened his eyes again and grinned at Sundance. He waved his hand and flexed his fingers. “I know where we’re going now.”
Sundance looked confused. “What did you just do? Wait, you mean you didn’t know where you were going before? But you said…”
“Ahh, guys!” Astralyn shouted from the back. She looked behind her and listened to the sound of hard footsteps. The robots were coming for them. The scientists started to get antsy and panic. “I think we’re going to have some company!”
“Now would be a good time to move,” suggested the colonel.
“This way,” Timmy commanded. He ran ahead of the group to scout out the way. The tunnel led to T section where they could either turn left or right. Timmy thought back to the images he saw in the mainframe. He turned left and the group followed. He followed the tunnel until it led to a dead end. “What? But there’s supposed to be a tunnel here.”
Timmy turned around and saw the group rounding the corner. “Go back, this isn’t the way!” He motioned for the group to turn around. Sundance started to look irritated.
“Timmy?”
“Just a wrong turn, Captain,” Timmy explained, dismissing Sundance’s concern. He didn’t want to think about the possibility of Sundance losing faith in him. He had to lead them to freedom, their lives depended on it.
Timmy pushed his way to the back of the group and joined Colonel Graves and Astralyn. “Let’s go down this way and see if we can’t get out of here.”
“Are you sure you know where we’re going, Timmy?” Astralyn asked as she helped usher some of the scientists down the tunnel.
“Yes, I have the map in my mind,” Timmy replied, but he didn’t tell her that he was starting to doubt the validity of the map. He continued to lead them past the T section and travelled where they would have made a right. He prayed that this was the correct way out.
The tunnel turned left at the corner. Timmy felt his heart beat faster. “Please, don’t be robots. Please, don’t be robots,” he chanted. He told the group to stop and wait for him while he checked out the way around the bend.
“We can’t wait too long,” Astralyn said. “The robots are right behind us.”
Timmy had not forgotten. He ran ahead and cautiously turned the corner. He stopped short when he saw that the tunnel was full of robots. He instantly raised his laser pistol and fired. Nothing happened. They didn’t move. It was then that he saw that the robots’ eyes weren’t red, they were black. They were deactivated. Good news there, but the bad news that Timmy was sure that the way out was past them.

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Posted July 29, 2014 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction

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