76. The Unnatural City, Part XI   Leave a comment

Meanwhile in Space…
Episode 76: The Unnatural City, Part XI: Journey’s End
Timmy left the hallway containing the slumbering robots and walked back to his flock. Astralyn, Sundance, and Colonel Graves were trying their best to keep the scientists under control, but they weren’t succeeding too well. The scientist wanted to know why they hadn’t been led to safety yet. Where were they going? Did Timmy really know where they were going? Were they all going to die? These were questions that Timmy hoped he had the answer to.
Timmy thought he knew where he was going, but the way the map told him to go led to a dead end. How was that possible? He could read a map and as far as he knew he was going the right way. He remembered the Mother Computer’s presence in the mainframe. Was it possible that she interfered and changed the map? If so, that meant that he could no longer trust the map, he was now flying completely blind.
Astralyn looked up at Timmy and saw the look on his face. She knew that he didn’t have good news. “What’s going on, Timmy? Is there something wrong?”
“The next tunnel is full of robots,” Timmy said dramatically. Astralyn and the scientists gasped. “But they’re turned off! Or at least I hope so.” He gauged the look on everyone’s faces. Sundance and Colonel Graves looked a little irritated and disappointed. Timmy gulped as he entertained the thought of them slowly losing their trust.
“Are you sure they’re turned off?” Colonel Graves asked.
“I shot one of them. They didn’t move.” Timmy looked back at the corner where the tunnel of robots began. “I don’t like it, sirs. I have a bad feeling in my stomach about this, but I think the way out is just beyond them. Yes, I’m sure.”
“Then the only thing we can do is move through the robots as stealthily as we can,” Sundance suggested.
Colonel Graves looked at Timmy with great concern. “I don’t like the sound of this, but if you’re sure the exit is beyond the robots then we have no choice.”
Timmy thought about Mother Computer. Is this what she wanted them to do? “Sir, I think it’s a trap!”
“Trap or no, we have to try,” Sundance added. Colonel Graves and Astralyn agreed.
“Let’s do it,” Timmy said.
The sound of marching mechanical feet came up behind them. The robots that were tailing them were getting closer. The scientists grouped together and muttered things like, “We’re all going to die,” and “I don’t want to be eaten on a Wednesday,”. Timmy did his best to comfort them and let them know that they were just moments away from freedom.
Timmy hastily led the large group to the tunnel where the robots slumbered. They were lined up against the walls with their heads facing the floor. He ignored the sound of his stomach gurgling its usual warning. He prayed that it would shut up for fear that the robots might hear it and wake up. He looked back at everyone and signaled to Astralyn that she was going to cover the group from the middle. He signaled to Sundance and Colonel Graves that they would bring up the rear.
Now that everyone knew the plan, they slowly began to walk down the tunnel. Everyone that had laser pistols held them in the battle ready position. The scientists did their part by keeping the murmurs of despair to a minimum. They made sure that every footstep was as silent as the last. They traveled as one huddled mass with Astralyn tangled up in the middle.
Timmy tried to focus on the end of the tunnel. He saw that it curved to the right. He couldn’t see if there was a big door leading to the base above ground. He was shaking. He knew that everything depended on this plan of action, even though he didn’t like it one bit. He never felt more scared. He never had everyone depending on him this much. He didn’t know how Sundance did it.
A scream! Everyone flinched and dropped to the ground. Timmy whipped back around to see if anything happened. One of the women scientists was on the ground crying hysterically. Timmy and Astralyn quickly crawled over to the crying woman.
“What happened?” Timmy asked.
“One of them moved!” she sobbed. “I swear it! One of them moved!”
Sundance and Colonel Graves raised their laser pistols at the inactive robots. They looked back at Timmy and shook their heads. None of them appeared to have moved.
“Doctor, we’re going to need you to stand up!” Astralyn said. “It’s not safe!”
The doctor refused to move. Timmy gave Astralyn the signal to do whatever was needed. Astralyn pulled the doctor onto her feet. The other scientists followed suit. She continued to swear that one of the robots moved. The rumour spooked the other scientists into a frenzy.
“Come on, people,” Timmy said sternly. “We’re almost there.”
“Timmy, look,” Astralyn said, still helping the doctor up. “Look at their eyes.”
Timmy immediately looked at the robots’ lowered heads. He looked right into their eyes. It was slight, he could barely make it out, but there it was. The eyes had a faint colour of red to them. Timmy immediately stepped back and pointed his laser pistol at it. The robots were warming up. He knew it was a trap.
“We need to get out of here, NOW!” Timmy shouted. “Get it together and move!”
The scientists didn’t need to be told twice. They all took off in a panicked run. Timmy tried his best to stay ahead of the crowd so that he could field any other obstacles. As they neared the end of the tunnel all they could see were robots booting up. With each robot they past, he could see their eyes getting brighter and brighter. This inspired Timmy to run faster than ever.
They reached the portion of the tunnel where it curved to the right. Timmy prayed that something good would happen at the end of the curve. Timmy’s prayers were answered. The curve straighted out into another long tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was a wide concrete ramp with two large, closed metallic doors. Freedom was so close Timmy could taste it. The best thing about it was that there were no robots guarding the doors.
Timmy stopped running when he heard the sound of shots being fired. He looked back and saw that all of the robots were warmed up and ready to start feasting on human flesh. Sundance, Astralyn, and Colonel Graves shot at them, but much like they expected, it didn’t do much to stop them. He debated whether to stop and help or run on ahead to open the doors. He wasn’t too far away from the doors, but the robots were beginning to overwhelm his friends.

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Posted August 4, 2014 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction, Sci-fi

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