He watched the village burn with rapt attention, a smile slowly forming on his lips. Perhaps it was overkill, using such advanced technology on a defenseless group of primitives, but it would be worth it once the footage went online.
His smile grew as three fighter jets flew overhead, flawlessly following the order to return to base. After a few more demonstrations, he would be open for business.
"And business," he grinned looking at the strangely colored and alien shaped sidearm he held in his hands "will be booming."
A Classic Story
Part 1: First Encounter
Winry Rockbell was used to being asked by her friends and family "what she was on" (sometimes followed by "where can I get some?"), and her answer was always the same:
A corny answer to be sure, often greeted with a laugh, but in her case was true. She truly loved life. Life that consisted of taking things apart and putting them back together better than new. Can openers, cars, VCR, HD DVD and Blu-Ray. She was yet to encounter a device she couldn't master.
Now, however, she felt if she was coming down from her high.
It had taken forever, and was much more difficult than she could have ever imagined, but she had finally done it. She had opened her own automotive garage and repair shop. The grand opening was a month ago...
...and she hadn't had a single customer. Not one person had come in except to use her bathroom, make a phone call, and/or blatantly drool over her.
That's what really got to her. OH sure, people had no problem with barely legal, well-endowed blondes posing on the hoods of their cars for their precious calendars and pin-ups, but let one actually pop the hood and work on one? Forget it!
Grumbling, she escorted the latest pervert out and began to close up shop for the night. She could barely wait for tomorrow. Guilt trips from her mother, harassing phone calls from the bank, more stupid teenagers...
She stopped as she passed the main garage.
There was a car.
There was a yellow and white compact car with a jet-ski hitched to its rear bumper that she had never seen before, sitting in her garage, almost as if it were patiently waiting to be serviced.
"Uh..hello?" she called out. "Anybody here? I'm closing up now, but I'd be more than happy to look at your car tomorrow. Seriously, you have no idea how happy I would be to look at your car..."
There was no reply, so taking her trusty wrench from her tool belt, she slowly began to make her way toward the vehicle. She reached it without any interference, and finding the doors unlocked, she opened the driver's side and stuck her head in to take a look.
"Nice interior...leather seats, automatic...ugh, one of those stupid GPS systems...whatever happened to people just driving their cars...God, I sound like Dad."
Scratching her head through the bright pink bandanna she was wearing, she closed the door again. "Guess I call the police about it in the morning. See if anyone's reported a stolen--"
She stopped when the car's radio suddenly came to life, the Beatles' "Help" playing with heavy static.
"I'm officially freaked out now," Winry whispered.
Not sure what else to do, she opened the door again and reached to turn off the radio. As she did, the screen of the supposed "GPS system" sparked to life as well, giving her a start. She then watched in frightened amazement as words began to form in the electronic snow:
Dr. Tran was used to being thought of as crazy. Ever since he was child, he had heard voices. Harmless, but voices none the less (and very annoying ones at that). Eventually, he came to accept that no one would believe him, and learned to keep his mouth shut.
Unfortunately, the stigma had somehow followed him into his professional life as a scientist. While he was willing to admit some of his ideas and methods were unorthodox, he never meant any harm, and most of the time, they worked. He never once believed that he was actually crazy.
Until now, where he found his lab destroyed, his body bleeding and broken, and staring up at a giant, mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The monster roared, and Dr. Tran began to cry.
"Now-now Doctor," came a voice as a man stepped from behind the Tyrannosaur. He was dressed in a black body suit, leaving only his hands and head uncovered. His black hair was thin, and a scar was cut into the right side of his face, going through his eye. "That's no way for a man of your prestige to behave."
"L-Lazarus?" Dr. Tran stammered in disbelief. "What's going on? What is this thing?"
"Magnificent, isn't it?" Lazarus said, turning toward the robotic dinosaur and stroking its leg with some twisted affection. "A bit stubborn, this one. I tried to convert it into a tank, even a Mustang, but this was the only form it would take."
"I...I don't understand..."
"No, you wouldn't," Lazarus spat, turning back toward the Doctor. "You with all your thoughts and ideas. Keeping your mind closed to any voices but your own. You never thought to look to the stars, did you?"
Dr. Tran tried to crawl away, but found that his legs would not move.
"But I did. I always looked to those glorious, gleaming stars, and they rewarded me, Doctor. They saw fit to make me God."
"I'm sorry, I didn't want to fire you. It was the board...oh God...please..."
"Oh, you misunderstand me, my good friend," Lazarus grinned. "This isn't personal. Oh no."
He then pulled the strange, alien sidearm from behind his back and pointed it at Dr. Tran's head.
"This is business."
Winry had no idea what she was doing. Literally no idea.
While from the outside, the car had appeared more or less fine, once she looked under the hood, she was 90 sure there was something wrong.
Not only was it unlike any machine she had ever seen before (and that was saying a lot), she could somehow tell that it wasn't the way it was supposed to be. It somehow looked like someone had gone at it with a chainsaw.
However, not really sure what else to do, she began to work on it, doing her best to interpret the strange musical ques the car gave her as she worked.
So not only was she working as good as blind, but she didn't know why she was doing anything at all. Who knew what this car/thing would do once it was all fixed/healed? She somehow doubted included being paid for her services...
"Maybe," she sighed. "Maybe I just miss having work..."
Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" began to play, so she moved the wire she had in her hand "to the left" and plugged it into what looked like some sort of computer jack.
Instantly, the engine roared to life causing Winry to shriek and stumble backwards. With eyes as big as saucers, she watched as the car began to move..to shift...
To transform right before her eyes.
Soon, where there had once been a car, stood a fifteen foot tall robot with a silver face and golden horns.
As she stared, awestruck and unable to move, the robot looked down at her, and with a smile, spoke:
"Bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong!"
At a bunker in an undisclosed location, Lazarus rode atop his Tyrannosaurus as it entered the base. Following a command, the beast took its place in a line of other machines. Machines that included a white compact car, a bullet train, three F-15 Eagle fighter jets (one silver, one black and one blue) two modified F-15 Eagles (one white, one blue), a rust-colored VTOL jet, and a futuristic grey and silver plane with what appeared to be additional engines on its back.
Climbing down from the dinosaur, Lazarus stepped back and took in the full view of his assembled machines.
"It's almost time," he said to apparently no one. "I have footage of each and everyone one of them doing my work, and it will be online within the next 24 hours. Then they will come. They will come and offer me everything they have so that I will destroy their enemies for them."
He placed his sidearm on the floor, turned and began walking away from it.
"The fools. I'll take from them until they have nothing, and when they're no longer of any use, we'll dispose of them. You're going to help me take the world right from under their feet."
He turned back to face the gun, only it was no longer there. In it's place was a thirty foot tall robot with demonic wings on it's back and a massive cannon on its arm.
Lazarus smiled up at the behemoth. "Isn't that right, Unit 1?"
To be continued...