AN:

We never actually saw NOS-4-A2's attack. It must have been painful.

XR is scared of NOS from the very beginning. And it's not just a typical "scream-and-run." It's terror. Pure terror. I think it's instinctual. As a robot, he just knows to be afraid of the energy vampire - even though he didn't know that's what NOS was. XR doesn't even fight. He doesn't even try to fight. He tries so desperately to get away from NOS... I feel bad for him.
I was trying to imagine what NOS's attack must have been like, and what XR must have been feeling before and after.

This fic is dedicated to ab103, who said it was scary in a good way. (I can't believe it... I actually made something scary!)

Hope you enjoy!

Oh, and I also have a picture to go along with it; go to eternallyoptimistic.deviantart and click on "Pain."
Yes, "Fear" and "Pain." Those are the two emotions I tried to explore in this fic.


The chute opened into the cargo bay. XR shot into the room, the chute closing behind him with a soft whoosh. A microphone extended from his body.

"Ranger log. Operation Check on the Mystery Cargo," XR said in a low, dramatic voice. He rolled into the room, circling the strange box. It was blue-green in color, with various stripes across its body. Wide at one end, it tapered to a point at the other. Red characters spelled out NOS-4-A2 on the side. "Mystery cargo status: still here, still mysterious."

XR began to wonder what was so great about this box. As far as he could tell, it did absolutely nothing. It just sat in the middle of the room, completely unassuming. It didn't move, it didn't even make a sound. No sound at all. It was quiet.

No… the room was quiet. Unnaturally quiet. He could barely even hear the ship's engine. The only sound was the soft whirring of his treads.

XR stopped. The silence was overwhelming, almost eerie. He glanced back at the box. Was the room quiet? Or… was the box making it quiet? Did the box perhaps possess some sort of power? Zurg had tried to steal it, after all; he wouldn't want it without a reason. And that reason couldn't be good.

Not good at all…

This was a box, anyway. Boxes were meant to hold things. Maybe Zurg was after whatever was in the box. A weapon, maybe? That would make sense…

It bothered XR that he didn't know what was in the box. Just considering the various possibilities of its contents was unnerving. Though the box didn't move, though it offered no clue as to what may lie within, its very presence was unsettling. It seemed sinister in its utter stillness… like it was mocking him… taunting him… enticing him to come closer…

He considered checking the box further, but something about it sent shivers through his circuits. And the silence pressed in all around him.

"Still… well, that… that about does it."

The microphone retracted into his body as he headed toward the transport chute, a little faster than when he had come in.

Behind him, a beam of light appeared on the box, running the length of its rim. The lid tilted upwards; a strange red glow emanated from within, filling the entire room.

The glow caught XR's attention. He turned and jumped, whimpering in fright at the scene before him.

A mysterious creature was emerging from the box. It was a robot, it seemed, but unlike any robot XR had ever seen. A dark cloak covered the creature's blood red, metallic body. It had long, clawed fingers, and glowing red eyes. It hovered over the box and spread out its arms, throwing its head back with a wide, maniacal smile.

XR gasped. He backed away from the figure, shaking against the wall. He knew nothing but fear – the deepest, most instinctual terror. Something inside of him simply knew to be afraid of this creature.

And something told him he did not want to be alone with it any longer.

He jumped up onto the transport platform and rolled over to the chute. But the chute did not open. In a panic he pulled at the rim. He jumped up and down, trying to force entry into it. Frantically he typed the manual override code into the transport system's control panel. Nothing worked. The chute remained shut.

The creature drew closer and closer, advancing ever so slowly, prolonging the assault as long as possible, savoring XR's terror.

XR wheeled across the platform to the only other exit.

"Door, door, door, door, door…" he stammered, pounding his fists against it in desperation.

The creature's shadow slid over him. XR flattened himself against the wall.

"Resist me not, little one," the creature whispered in a voice that chilled XR to his very core, "for you are mine."

XR screamed, holding up his hands in protest, shivering in fright. The creature smirked down at him, its piercing red gaze searing through him. The creature lunged forward and seized XR by the arms, pinning them to his sides, lifting the little robot off his feet.

XR kicked wildly in midair. He knew he should be fighting back, he knew he shouldn't just let this creature take him. He tried to summon his weapons, any of them, but nothing happened. Like the transport system's control panel, he seemed to have ceased functioning.

The creature let out a low, disturbing laugh. It tilted its head back, opening its mouth wide to reveal two razor-sharp silver fangs. It suddenly dawned on XR what this creature was about to do. His eyes widened in horror. Somehow he found his voice.

"No no no, no, please! No!" he begged, thrashing in the creature's grip.

The creature thrust forward, driving its fangs into XR's body.

XR cried out. Fear gave way to pain. Unspeakable pain. Absolute pain. He was no stranger to pain, but this was different. This was pain unlike any he had ever known. This was pain that reached into every chip in his body, pain that ran through every circuit in his system…

Pain that seemed to sap away his very life force.

He let out a long, low, agonized moan. For a moment it seemed he would never again feel anything but this pain. His body tensed against it. He couldn't take much more of this, surely it would drain all his energy… The pain coursed through him, making his head spin, increasing with each passing moment, engulfing his senses… He felt it rise to an unbearable pitch…

And then… nothing.


Hope you enjoyed.

Reviews and critiques welcome.