Author: bloxxerman PM
A complete rewrite of the series, with new good guys, new bad guys, and a new mystery... In 2011, a secret network of spies are on a mission to defeat the evil Dr. Inferno. When their best spy is killed, and their leader vanishes, do they care about 2350?Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 5 - Words: 8,882 - Reviews: 2 - Updated: 09-02-12 - Published: 10-10-11 - id: 7452289
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The next day, Caleb came in and spoke to Power. He hadn't left his room since the morning before. "Power?" asked Caleb quietly. "I've got something to tell you. You can still save her."
"How?" asked Power.
"Roboid machinery doesn't fully take over the body for 48 hours. There may be some of Crystal left in that thing. You just have to find one roboid out of 5 million… I'm not helping by saying that."
"Certainly not," grunted Power. "But if there's a chance. What have I got left to lose? And by the way - who is this?"
He held up a robot shaped necklace. It opened up to reveal a smiling girl and boy - no younger than fifteen at least.
"I - I don't know. Where did you find that?"
"Down in those hollow caves beneath Futuregate where you told me to get drinking water."
"Power - don't meddle with things that were never meant to be found."
Later, Caleb was tapping at his computer, poking around the Cycon archives. He was desperately trying to dig up some information on that name, Sente… he knew he'd heard it somewhere before.
"Password protected," beeped the computer.
"Oh, shut up, stupid machine," yelled Caleb at the computer. "OK, how about: Roboids suck?"
"Password accepted," beeped the computer.
"What the… OK. Cool! Someone must have been against the roboids." But the voice that came out was far less cheerful than Caleb's.
"You're all doomed," came a voice from the computer.
"Who is this?" demanded Caleb.
"You can call me a friend," replied the voice. "You should never have brought those two kids here. They should never have brought that necklace up from the caves. You don't know what you've uncovered."
"Uncovered? Uncovered what?"
"A mystery that should have remained hidden. The truth behind the roboids. The real mystery… has just begun.""
"Hey Caleb!" came Power's voice, as they searched the lower deck. All roboids who were not fully converted were stored down there. "Check this out! I think this might be Crystal!"
Caleb ran over, and checked the roboid plate. CR8STA1. "It certainly might be."
"CRYSTAL!" screamed Power.
"Don't be an idiot," said Caleb. "She's powered down. But remember - it might be too late." He fiddled at the back of the red roboid, and its eyes glowed red.
"You have been identified as humans. Prepare to be eliminated," said the roboid.
"No!" yelled Power. "Crystal! I know you're in there! You have to fight it Crystal, you gotta fight it!"
"This does not compute. Prepare to die." said the roboid.
"Crystal! Remember who you are. Who we are. Heroes to the core!"
"Get ready to run, Power," said Caleb. "I think it's too late." He still hadn't told Power of the mysterious message.
Power refused to give up. "You're still in there Crystal. You're still my Crystal. I LOVED YOU!"
The roboid froze. The glinting red eyes began to flash. The laser began to lower. "Power?" came a lot less threatening, but still robotic voice. "Do you really mean that?"
"How charming. What a heart-warming way to wreck a roboid."
"Neuros," growled Caleb. A long tube with a brain inside came in on four robotic legs.
"In the brain," sneered Neuros. "I've been waiting a long time to meet you in person. And - who are these two? Did you finally get that pathetic time machine of yours working?"
"I did, actually," replied Caleb angrily. "And what are you going to do - blow the whole place up over it?"
"Yes," said Neuros bluntly, as a voice from overhead said, "Self Destruct in 10 minutes."
"Goodbye Caleb," said Neuros. "Enjoy the fire."
Caleb turned round to run, and ran slap bang into a Guard. "Power!" screamed Crystal, as the world turned black.
Caleb and Power woke up in a small room with a chair, and a timer counting down. The timer was on 4 minutes and 47 seconds. "We gotta blow this joint," said Caleb, and tried to fiddle with bomb to turn it off. The timer went blank. "YES!" cried Caleb.
"Caleb, where are all the roboids?" asked Power. "Neuros wouldn't just leave them all to die. And - where's Crystal?"
"Let's answer those questions AFTER we don't die," said Caleb.
And then he smelled it. Seeping through the floorboards, coming from somewhere deep in the heart of Futuregate.
Even though the bomb hadn't gone off, they had set fire to Futuregate. Caleb knew it even before he saw the first grey wisps of smoke creeping under the door. They suddenly heard a huge explosion as the engines exploded, then a jolt under their feet. Futuregate was sinking! They had set Futuregate alight and left him and Power nailed inside! For a moment he felt panic - black and irresistible - as it engulfed him. More smoke was curling under the door. Caleb sprang to his feet and backed over to the window, wondering if there was some way he could knock out the glass. But that wouldn't help him, or Power. He forced himself to slow down, to think. He wasn't going to let them kill him. A year ago, he was on death row. But he was still alive. He wasn't easy to kill.
"Caleb?" asked Power cautiously.
There were just two ways out of the room: the door and the window. Both of those were obviously hopeless. But what about the walls? They were made of hardboard and plaster. In the room next door, the roboid containment facility, they had been knocked through. Maybe he could do the same here. Experimentally, he ran his hands over them, pushing and probing, searching for any weak spots. His throat was sore and his eyes were beginning to water. More and more smoke was pouring in. He stood back, then lashed out in a karate kick, his foot smashing into the centre of the wall. Pain shot up his leg and through his body. The wall didn't even crack.
That just left the ceiling. Caleb remembered the corridor outside. It had been missing some of its ceiling tiles and he had seen a gap underneath the pipes and wires that ran above. The ceiling in this room was covered with the same tiles.
And they had left them a chair.
"Power! Help me drag this over to the corner!" he yelled to Power.
They dragged it over to the corner nearest the door and Caleb stood on it. The floor had almost disappeared beneath a swirling carpet of smoke. It seemed to be reaching up as if it wanted to grab hold and devour him. Caleb checked his balance, then punched upwards with the heel of his robotic hand. The tiles were made of some sort of fibreboard and broke easily. He punched again, then tore at the edges of the hole he had made. Dirt and debris showered down, almost blinding him. But when he next looked up he saw that there was a space above him. If he could reach, he could haul himself up, over the door and jump down the other side. If they could reach his time machine on the engine level at the very bottom, they'd be safe. Time…
"THAT'S IT!" cried Caleb. "Power, the power crystal, roboid mechanics… they've built another time machine! We've got to go back in time and stop them. According to the time tracer they're in 2012! They're going to cause the end of the world!"
"Caleb?" asked Power. "Could we talk AFTER we're in 2012?"
He ripped out more tiles until the hole was wide enough to squeeze through. He could hear something a few floors below him - a faint crackling. The sound made his skin crawl. It meant that the fire was getting close. He forced himself to concentrate on what he was doing. The chair was wobbling underneath him. If he fell and twisted an ankle, he was finished.
At last he was ready. He tensed himself, then jumped. He felt the chair topple and crash to the floor - but he had done it! His hands had caught hold of an old water pipe and now he was dangling just below the ceiling, his arms disappearing into the space above.
"Come on!" he called to Power.
Power lifted the chair back up and prepared to follow him.
Gritting his teeth, Caleb summoned all his strength to pull himself up into the cavity. His face passed through a cobweb and he grimaced as the fine strands laced themselves over his nose and mouth. His stomach touched the edge of the hole. He was half in and half out of the room. The crawl space was in front of him. Dozens of wires and insulated pipes ran inches above his head, stretching into the distance. Dust stung his eyes. What now?
Power jumped up after him, and Caleb realized something - his time machine was on the next boat along! He could either take the underwater tunnel, or the leap of faith up above. He decided the tunnel was a safer option - but not by much!
Caleb dragged himself along the pipe, bringing his feet up into the ceiling recess. He kicked down with his heels. More ceiling tiles fell loose and he saw the corridor below. There was a drop of about four metres. Awkwardly he swung himself forward, then let his legs and torso hang. Finally he let go. He dropped down, landing in a crouch. He was in the corridor, on the other side of the locked door. With a sigh of relief, he straightened up. He was out of the room but he was at least seven floors up in a huge boat that had been set on fire. He wasn't safe yet. Neither was Power.
The crackling of the flames was louder out in the corridor. The boat had always seemed damp and musty to Caleb but it was going up like a torch. He could feel the heat in the air. The end of the corridor - where the roboid containment facility was - was already shimmering in the heat haze.
Which way? They only had two choices - left or right - and they decided to head way from the containment facility. They hadn't seen a staircase when they went there but there might be one in the other direction. Power took a cautious glance out of the window, and saw half of the boat was already underwater. Smoke trickled up through the floorboards. It hung eerily in the doorways. Very soon it would be impossible to breathe.
They sprinted past the first room where they had been held and continued down the corridor, passing a set of lift doors. He didn't even think about trying the lift. Nothing in Futuregate was working and the doors were welded shut. But next to the lift he found what he was looking for: a staircase leading up and down. The steps were made of concrete, zigzagging round behind the lift shaft. He rested his hand briefly on the metal stair rail. "Come on!" he called to Power, who was close behind. It was hot. The fire was near.
But they had no choice. They began to run down. There were twenty-five steps between each floor; he counted them without meaning to. He turned a corner and saw a door leading into a smoke-filled corridor. Definitely no way out there.
The further down they went, the worse it got. Twenty-five more steps and he came to another door. The corridor on the other side was well alight. There were brilliant red and orange flames, tearing into the walls, leaping up through the floor, devouring everything in their path. Caleb was shocked by their speed and elemental strength. He had to put up a hand to protect himself, to stop his cheeks from burning.
They continued down. The roboids had started the blaze on the engine deck, allowing the air to carry the flames upwards. As Caleb reached the third floor and began the next flight of steps down, he could barely breath. The smoke was smothering him. He wished he'd thought - or Power - to soak their shirts in water, to cover their eyes and mouth. But where would they have found fresh water in a huge abandoned boat? Another twenty-five steps. Then another. They were both choking. He could feel the sweat dripping down his sides. It was like being inside a giant oven. How much further?
He saw the underwater passage; the hollow caves leading to the other boat.
And that was when the roboid appeared, a nightmare creature, stepping out of nowhere as if in slow motion, his gun raised in front of him. Caleb saw the muzzle flash and threw himself backwards, taking Power with him, as a laser beam shot past centimetres above them. They landed awkwardly on the stairs and were already rolling as a second laser beam spat into the concrete, sending fragments of cement flying into the sides of their faces. Somehow they scrambled to their feet and began to climb up again. The roboid fired twice more but for a brief moment, the smoke was on their side, and the lasers missed. Caleb and Power turned a second corner. They didn't stop until they were back on the first floor.
Caleb felt sick - a mixture of fury and despair. They'd almost made it. What was the roboid doing there, waiting for him? Had Neuros guessed that Caleb and Power might somehow manage to escape? It made no sense. But he couldn't think about it now. He was still trapped inside a burning boat and he was rapidly running out of options. The fire was of course only on the inside, if it was the outside the sea would have put it out immediately. He looked along the corridor. It was a furnace. They couldn't go that way. They couldn't go down. That only left up.
Wearily, they started to climb. They made to the second floor with just seconds to spare. As they continued up, there was a sudden rush of flames and a crash as part of the ceiling collapsed. Burning wood, metal and glass cascaded down. The fire had reached the stairs: now the way down was permanently blocked. They would have to try to make it to the roof. To his base. His home. There he had his own little teleporter to secretly teleport from one boat to the other.
They kept climbing. Their hands were black; their faces were streaked with tears. But they didn't stop. They kept climbing. The fire kept chasing them, lapping at their heels like it was afraid of losing them. Then… they were there. They'd done it. Caleb was coughing badly now, his cybernetics beginning to be horribly distorted by the heat. Power put his arm round him and helped him on to the teleporter. After Caleb had got them his far, Power wasn't about to leave him here.
There was a flash of green light, and then Power and Caleb were looking out of the window at the burning ship that they had just been on. Caleb watched sadly as what had been his home for 30 years gave a mighty groan and collapsed into the ocean. His home, everything that might give him clues as to what the roboids were doing, what they were… gone forever. He watched as the last spark flickered out. His chest plate was sparking, his cyber-brain felt like it was on fire. Caleb blacked out.