This is a slightly different version that what is posted at Fanlib. Originally written for the "Wings to Fly" contest, which had a restriction of 10,000 CHARACTERS, this version is slightly over that. ;) Note: I do not own Mighty Orbots, nor will ever make a profit on it. No infringement on copyright is intended.
A bird sang an unfamiliar harmony nearby. Rob opened his eyes and blinked in confusion at the partial darkness around him. Through a ragged canopy above him he spotted two moons in the sky, filtering the landscape around him in a soft light. Large flowers tipped with iridescent colors and trees with long tapered leaves draped and dipped towards him.
Why was he flat on his back on the ground? Where was he? Hadn't he been on a shuttle heading for high orbit where the Galaxy Patrol ship Cosmic Horizon and Mighty Orbots waited? He closed his eyes, trying to pinpoint his last memory...
...the sound of stressed metals and alloys creaking, moaning and snapping.
Rob's eyes snapped open and he stared at the songbird, its bright red plumage showing up in the faint moonlight against the dark sky behind. Bluish eyes glowed in the darkness as it looked back at him, cocking its head and trilling out in song again. Slowly Rob turned his head in the other direction and saw the twisted and mangled wreckage of the ship sitting not far from him. The movement of his head seemed to be the trigger for his body to come fully awake and suddenly Rob became aware of numerous aches and pains, the worst coming from his legs.
"Anyone in the ship?" Rob tried to shout in a voice that cracked and wavered. Only the songbird answered him.
The shuttle crew and diplomatic delegation were surely near, if not still inside. He couldn't smell fumes coming from the wreckage, but that didn't mean something wasn't leaking. Somehow he needed to find help.
Slowly, He lifted his left arm, bringing the wristwatch near his face only to find the face smashed. Raising his right hand he tried pressing one of the buttons. No light illuminated the display. Considering the state of the watch and ripped gloves and sleeves of his uniform, he was lucky his arm wasn't smashed as well.
Rob let his hands drop down to rest on his chest as his head swam. Perhaps he should add head injury to the list of problems. As he blinked his eyes in an attempt to stay awake, he wondered if any of the communication equipment in the ship would still be functional. If he could find a way in, if he could repair any damage, if he could restore enough power. He didn't like that many 'ifs', especially in his present condition.
A roaring slowly filled his ears. Even so, for a moment he thought he heard another noise from the direction of the ship.
A voice, a moan?
Which meant someone else could still be alive inside. Experimentally he pulled up his left knee.
Pain shot up his leg and rippled up his spine, causing his body jerk sharply. His right leg instantly sent another jolt of pain through him at his movements. His breath caught painfully in his chest. As sweat formed on his face and his eyesight dimmed, he quickly decided that both of his legs were most likely broken.
The world around him faded and he found himself wishing: Oh, for a pair of wings right about now, if only long enough to find the Orbots. He had to find help...
"Rob should have been here by now!" Bo complained.
"We should have gone with him. Who knows what kind of trouble might have come up." Bort said as he paced in front of the portal framing the white and green planet below.
"I'm sure it's nothing." Oh-No said, although her worried voice belied her words, "Diplomatic missions are often delayed. Besides, with how the Wish World works Galaxy Patrol couldn't risk us being on the planet."
"Too bad you didn't know all about that not too long ago, squirt." Tor said with a grin. Oh-No glared at him and Tor waved his hands in front of him to ward her off.
"But not without word." Boo said from where she sat, her elbows on her knees and chin supported in her hand, "Rob would have called. He always lets us know."
A Galaxy Patrol officer dressed in a smart white uniform entered the room, "We have received word the shuttle launched two hours ago. All contact was lost soon afterwards."
"Oh no! Where is our Commander?" Oh-No asked, jumping up from her seat.
"I knew something would happen!" Bo said.
"You are ordered to remain aboard ship ready for deployment, as the joint Wish World and Galaxy Patrol search continues." The man then quickly stepped back through the door, his face showing relief to escape the room.
The Orbots stared at the closed door, momentarily stunned.
"No way I'm staying here when Rob needs us!" Tor suddenly said forcefully.
"Gotta go help!" Crunch agreed.
"I think we all agree!" Oh-No said, "But just remember, Orbots, the Wish World can grant wishes but they can be permanent. Keep your thoughts under control! Orbots, head out!"
A warmth on his face stirred him. Rob cautiously cracked open his eyes to see the sun peaking through the trees at a low angle. He moved his head slightly to the right towards the ship, but even with the light he couldn't see anyone else. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a mass of white. Slowly bringing up his hand to touch it, he realized it was a portion of wing with white feathers. And he could feel his touch on them!
Rob jerked away, almost coming into a sitting position and the wings caught at the slight breeze. He closed his eyes at the sensation. He could feel the wind!
Before he could form another thought, he was in the sky, the full warmth of the sun hitting his cooled skin, the wings moving with muscles he had never felt before but instinctively knew how to use. The crashed ship, partially hidden by a copse of trees, receded below him.
The sense of freedom, the glory of the wind rushing over the wings, through his hair and over his skin. Rob had never felt anything similar. Caught in the sensations he dipped down, then glided back up while banking to the right. Catching a draft of air, he spread his wings wide to catch as much it as he could. In response he rose higher. Then the draft died away, and he banked to the left as the sense of lift dissipated. Did the Orbots feel this sense of euphoria when they flew? Swinging around his eyes took in the multitude of colors of the landscape below him.
A glint off metal caught his eye, and the rational part of his brain kicked in. The shuttle! He needed to find help.
Looking around him, he tried to identify a landmark but nothing seemed familiar. Come to think of it, he hadn't been looking out the windows, but instead talking to the crew of the ship. He glided down over the ship, observing the direction the nose pointed, but knew that might not be an accurate indicator of what direction they had come from.
On his right he spotted a thread of glistening reflections. With several hard flaps of his wings he was speeding towards it. As he hoped, the reflections turned out to be the surface of a slow moving river. The spaceport sat on a rocky spur of land along the coast, and the river could lead him to that same shore.
Knowing time was of the essence, he worked to gain altitude so he could follow without having to follow every turn of the river. As he did he made a point of looking around for landmarks so he could relay where the shuttle had crashed. With the sun to his back, Rob headed down the river.
"Rob, is that you?" a faint female voice asked.
With a smile, Rob turned towards the voice of Boo, seeing the Orbots and the beam car slowly taking shape from the distance. "Finally!"
Tor flashed forward, flying around Rob with an astonished look on his face, "And you were worried about us!"
Bo groaned as she came to hover next to him, her arms crossed over her chest, "Great, I suppose this means another visit to the Emerald Nebula. My circuits finally recovered from the last time!"
"If it works a second time." Boo said worriedly.
"Oh Rob, how are you going to fit into the beam car with those wings?" Oh-No asked, bringing the beam car up to him.
"Don't worry about me. The shuttle, I think there's someone still alive inside. Oh-No, call the Galaxy Patrol. Get a rescue ship down here, fast!" Rob said, swinging around to lead the way back to the ship, "It's this way... whoa!"
The moment he banked, Rob knew something was wrong. Where was the lift? He flapped his wings harder, only to find he was still losing altitude. The next second he was falling.
"The wings are disappearing!" Bort shouted as Rob found himself in free fall, the sensations of the wings on his back quickly disappearing.
Tor dove down towards him. The next moment Tor had him safely in his arms. Rob started to laugh. Oh-No brought the beam car next to them, "What happened?"
Tor helped him into his seat and Rob noticed the pains in his legs were gone, "My legs were broken. I remember wishing for a pair of wings so I could find you guys and get help, but I didn't wish to keep them. My wish was fulfilled!"
Oh-No smiled at him, "Good thing, or we might have had to redesign Mighty Orbots!"
"Here comes the rescue ship!" Bort said, pointing behind them.
"Then let's see about finding other survivors." Rob said as he leaned back into the chair, letting Oh-No take the controls while he pointed her in the direction of the ship.
GALAXY SECURITY TRANSMISSION
Encryption: Top Secret+
ATTN: Commander Rondu
With the aid of the Robotic Components of Mighty Orbots, the rescue mission to recover survivors of the Wish World shuttle was successful. No deaths reported. Nine survivors, of varying medical conditions, were transported to the Galaxy Patrol base-ship Cosmic Horizon.
Mighty Orbots Commander is receiving treatment for remaining injuries. Note: A Wish World 'event' occurred with the Mighty Orbots Commander, however the effects of that 'event' seem to have disappeared. Further medical review is recommended.
Cosmic Horizon Earth ETA: 21:20 hrs
NOTE: Robotic Components of Might Orbots disobeyed a direct order to remain on Cosmic Horizon and entered the search without authorization.
Rondu nearly snorted to himself as he read the last line of the message, and then muttered to himself with a smile, "Of course they did."