Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Violent Heart

Previously: The Beginning of the End; The Good Soldier; Me, I'm Not

As the sun went down completely, the jungle air cooled. Reese, Andrew, Simon and I all had flashlights, and turned them on in order to see where we were going. Kyle had a flashlight as well, but did not use it. It seemed that he didn't need it to know where he was going.

Soon we came to a clearing that was covered by a large fallen log. Kyle stopped and we watched in awe as he simply lifted the tree, revealing a metal door built into the ground underneath.

Kyle pushed the log a few feet away, then knelt down and grabbed the handle of the door. He pulled, and the door swung open revealing a short drop to a linoleum floor, which led into a darkened hallway. “There were Mim-cha here,” Kyle stated.

“Were?” Andrew asked, glancing around nervously. He had drawn his weapon again, and was pointing it at various locations in the woods.

Simon, meanwhile, was nodding enthusiastically, while consulting his handheld device. “This place,” he said, “is definitely what we were picking up on our equipment before the planes went down.”

I glared at the machine and through gritted teeth asked it, “How do you know all this?”

It considered me momentarily and then said, “Mim-cha can sense one another. A sort of echolocation inside allows us to know when there are others of our type around. It ensures that we don’t attack one another.” He paused, and then added, “Normally.”

Simon joined in. “Pinging! It’s like in the days before the bombs, when computers wanted to speak to each other, they would send packets of information to each other in order to determine if they were hooked up to specific networks. I suppose with the Mim-cha, that it could…it could very well be like telepathy, if they were able to send and receive enough information.”

I cocked my gun. “Which means that any of the ‘bots that are around here know that he,” I nodded in Kyle’s direction, “is here. So much for the element of surprise.”

Kyle shook his head. “You needn’t worry, Connor. I am the only Mim-cha in a two mile radius.”

“Bull,” I spat. “You mean to tell me that this state-of-the-art building, which took down two of our planes, is empty of bots? How stupid do you think we are?”

Kyle chose not to answer my rhetorical question, and focused only on the first. “I can not explain it. However, there were slight ‘pings’, to use Simon’s terminology, when I first came back online. And now they have vanished. Perhaps we should investigate.”

Reese put her hand on my shoulder. "Connor, listen. Things are tense here, and I can sense that you are upset. I think maybe you should step back away from Kyle for a bit. It's obviously not good for you to be around him. We discussed this back at home."

I took a deep breath to calm myself and turned to address her. "You're right, Reese. I'm overly stressed, and you know that seeing his face on a daily basis is not allowing the wounds to heal. But for now we are stuck with it." I looked over her shoulder at the robot. It was currently staring out into the jungle with extreme interest. Simon and Andrew were both looking restless, waiting for a decision.

"Let's put it to a vote," I announced to the group. "Do we enter the Mim-cha facility that may be empty, or do we head back to the plane?"

Simon said, "We could see if there is equipment we can salvage in there. It could help us contact headquarters and/or make repairs on the Vulture."

Andrew nodded adding, "It might very well be a trap," he glanced nervously at Kyle when he said this, but the bot was ignoring all of us at the moment, "but what Simon said makes sense. And we do have our guns ...and Kyle on our side."

I looked at Reese. "Well?"

She simply nodded silently.

"All right," I said, resigning myself to fate. "Let's do this."


The hallway opened to a large room, with three separate doors. The walls themselves were barren, but above each door was a few numbers and some symbols. I assumed it was Mim-cha language. "Kyle, what do those signs say?"

He pointed at the one to the right, "That one reads, 'High Voltage'." He turned to the one on the left, "That one reads, 'Emergency Exit'."

Andrew took a step toward the center door. "And this one?" he asked.

Kyle said, "It reads, 'Temporal Displacement Room'."

"Temp..." I was unable to finish that sentence, because we were no longer alone in the room. I could see five forms standing near the entrance. I shouted to the others, "Ambush!!" and began to duck and fire my gun in their direction.

Gunfire erupted for several chaotic moments. In the flashes from the guns, I saw glimpses of madness. "Pablo?" I thought, before Kyle removed the man's head with his bare hands.

Reese opened the door that Kyle had said was labeled "Emergency Exit". At the same time, Simon had opened the "Temporal Displacement Room" door and ducked into that room. I followed, as did Kyle, who shut the door behind him, blocking out the din from the other room.

Before I could even yell at Kyle for leaving Reese behind - and for evidently leading us into a trap of some sort - we were scanned by some sort of red laser light.
I turned to focus on what was in the room we had just entered.I sawter row of large metal balls. They looked like oversized hamster balls. As soon as we entered the room, a laser beam scanned over us, and three of the hamster balls dropped and rolled toward us, stopping just a few feet in front of us.

"What the hell?" I asked, before I felt a strong push and fell into the ball. There was a loud buzz, and a lot of crackling electricity, and then I lost myself.

Next: God Given

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