Chapter 9

Barreling out of the entrance they hurtled across the open deck eyes hawking for their quarry. They didn't have to search too hard.

Up ahead a towering metal monster gleamed.

"There he is!" Lexa yelled, battle joy coursing through her. Kicking up her speed she outstripped Caleb as she ran for the droid.

"Prepare To Fry Toaster Face!" she war-cried.

Arkon turned at her shout, the sunlight catching his armour plating. 2ft above it. Wait. Reflecting above? That could only mean...

"LEXA!" Caleb screamed as horrible realization dawned, "STOP! HE'S GOT A SHEILD!"

Too late.

She was already firing off a huge charge of energy. As she heard him she turned back to face him.

"GET DOWN!" He hollered. Too far away to reach her in time. The horror on her face told him she knew. She'd heard him. But there was nothing she could do about it. Still running she faced back to the huge Roboid to witness a shimmer of energy reflect back towards her. The path was vast. The charge immense. Nowhere to run. No time to think.

The wave slammed into her, knocking her off her feet, cartwheeling her backwards across the deck in a storm of blue sparks. She landed heavily in an unmoving, crackling heap.

"LEXA!" Caleb cried, horror struck. Already altering course to dash for her prone, smoking form.

"CA-LEB" came an metallic roar.

He skidded to a stop. "What?" or should that be "WHAT?"

The Damn thing could SPEAK Now?

Turning slowly about Arkon was standing as triumphantly as an animated heap of metal could. The fact that he looked proud at causing even more destruction boiled Caleb's blood. Something in him snapped. The weight of everything he knew about the Droidz and their evil deeds suddenly exploded inside, galvanizing him. So many losses. So many people. The army of 2067, the resistance, the recruits, his mother and now Lexa. His heart seized glancing over at her still form. Too many good people. This had to stop. Right now. Clamping down on the horror that was threatening to choke him-now was not the time. He instead let the rage thunder through him. He would use it to his advantage

"ARKON!" Caleb hollered, raging like a bull he charged the Droid throwing down his cannon as he ran. It would be of no use. And if he really was the chosen one then he'd find another way. Right now though, he wanted to rip him apart with his bare hands. He leapt for the Droid, his right arm reaching out to try and catch a hold on the metal monster.

It was like hitting a brick wall.

Caleb bounced off the shielding, crashing through a collection of barrels. Winded he tried to gather himself as Arkon turned his back to him.

"PU-NY HU-MAN." It sounded like he was laughing.

Caleb's fury, momentarily knocked out of him was instantly re-ignited. Pulling himself to a crouch he readied to spring at Arkon's back when he noticed something. A red triangle locked in place above his bio rod. None of the others had had that. What could it...Clarity struck him like a bolt of lightning, Yes! It must be! The shield source!

Though how he'd get to it he had no idea. He was painfully aware the shield was impenetrable. But he'd reached for it with his human hand. What had Lexa said? About his implants? He shuddered as he recalled what Neuros had said all to clearly-they were alike. His cybernetics WERE like the Roboidz technology? Maybe like technology would work? Match up to sync? Well, currently there was nothing else he could do.

With a roar he leapt for Arkon, left hand outstretched. He didn't care if it was a vain hope. He was out of options. He would stop him somehow. By his flesh humanity demanded it.

Impossible! His gloved hand passed through the membrane closing in on the geometric source, latching on with all his might.

His hand clamped onto the offending triangle as his other hand braced against the shield. Arkon realized where Caleb must be and what he was trying to do. With a holler of indignation he began to twist and wrench determined to throw Caleb from him.

Caleb, in response, gripped tighter. Planting his feet hard against the invisible casing.

"Oh no you don't!" He growled through gritted teeth, "I'm not making it that easy."

Arkon, in growing frustration began to shake violently. Caleb clamped his jaws tighter trying to time his exit right before he lost his hold.

3...2…1!

As Arkon swung right again Caleb pulled with all his might, kicking off from Arkon as the swing gained strength. The combined momentum succeeded in throwing the man-machine from the Droid with something approaching terminal velocity.

He slammed into the ground like a lead weight. A decidedly tenderized lead weight. All the air was forced from his lungs as he rolled to a stop, an aching bruised heap.

That clutched a solid red triangle in its left hand.

He coughed out triumph as a dazed smile attempted to form. He rolled onto his knees. He had to get up. Get up and stay fighting. Get up. Get up right now Caleb! Get UP! As his eyes rose his vision was filled with the sight of Arkon boring down on him.

Metal Menace Incarnate.

He staggered to his feet, his beaten flesh complaining at the continued demands placed upon it. A large bolt-studded hand slammed into view. He tried to duck left. Too Late.

Too Slow.

Vicious metal fingers clamped around his throat lifting him high off the ground.

"THE LAST HU-MAN. SUCH A PATHETIC SPE-CIES. THIS WILL BE A PLEASURE."

Caleb kicked out hard at the Droid as the fingers tightening crushingly. He was powerless against him. Was this how the war would end? NO! He couldn't even scream his frustration. He kept kicking in the hope of breaking something off the Droid. At least he'd go down fighting.

"Arkon," Cried a ridiculously familiar voice, "Can't even kill the last girl on earth properly? You're losing your touch." Lexa had crawled to her knees clutching her side and an old iron hook. The latter of which she hurled with everything she had, the force pitching her flat into the deck still and silent.

But she caught Arkon in the face as he turned to see the source of the noise.

The distraction was enough. The surprise impact loosening Arkon's grip a fraction. Enough for Caleb to get his own grip on the hand. His metallic fingers, fuelled by raging adrenaline managed to pry himself free.

Her last action was for him. He wouldn't waste it

He dropped to the ground with thud. Rolling clear the instant he hit the deck, he staggered safely to his feet. His escape pouring strengthening courage into his aching body. He was ready this time. Now the playing field was a little more even.

"What's the matter?" He taunted, "Butterfingers?" he teased jumping clear of the swinging arm of retribution.

"I HA-VE SERCHED LONG FOR YOU HUMAN"

"But you never found me did you? All those years I was right under your can head nose!"

More violent swipes, getting closer as Caleb, fuelled by his own thirst for vengeance, danced nimbly from his clutches.

"I WILL CRUSH YOU HU-MAN."

"You couldn't then and you can't now!" Arkon lunged for him. Caleb saw it coming. Ducking low he rolled under and clear from the hulking monster.

"Now so clever are you now? Can't even catch me! Where's your terrible vector beam? You can't use it can you? You've used the power for the shield! You're a coward Arkon. A Coward and a killer. You couldn't even face me without protection!"

"I WILL DESTROY YOU CA-LEB, ALL HU-MANITY WILL BE E-RADI-CATED." He came at him again.

"NO! YOU WON'T! Roared back Caleb, "We WILL survive! Face it Can-head! Your army lies in ruins. We HU-MANS did that! We. Ended. YOU!"

"NO! YOU ARE IN-EF-FIENCENT!" He bent his cybernetic head uttering a horrible steel-edged bellow & charged flat out.

Caleb stood his ground, hand ready by his right thigh pack. The thundering tank of metal hurtled towards him. Caleb leaned forwards lips curled back in a viscous snarl.

This was going to finish, he was going to end this all now. After all, he was the chosen one. With a primal bellow he surged to meet Arkon head on. The mouse had certainly turned. The awful game of chicken seemed to have only one, inevitable conclusion. Strength and size were not on his side. At the last possible second Caleb ripped a spanner from his right side pocket, jamming it up into Arkon's face as he dived left and out of the juggernaught's path. Rolling neatly he was back on his feet in seconds.

"Now normally I hate violence," He sounded almost cheery, nonchalant even.

Arkon, half blinded, wheeled about. Caleb was stood looking incredibly self-assured, a piece of piping resting on one of his boots. Maddened by the fact that this insignificant organic pest was besting him, Arkon howled in cybernetic rage determined to squash Caleb into the deck. He began to advance, stomping menacingly. His working optics told him Caleb was standing rock steady. His infuriating smile vanished as Arkon came in range twisting into a grimace of vengeful determination.

"But for an overgrown toaster who's organized the almost extinction of my race," Caleb spat, "I'm prepared to make an exception."

In a sudden, fluid movement he kicked up the pipe catching it in both hands. A solid pole arm. Locked and ready. With a guttural war cry he smashed the pole into Arkon, left, right then dropping down he slammed it home hammering into Arkon's core unit he speared him like a warrior of old. He kept running, using all his force, all his boiling rage driving them on as he shoved the Droid backwards, the momentum pushing him towards the barrier.

"For everyone who died, everyone who fought against you! For HUMANS! Time to offline."

With one final effort he rammed the impaled monster up and over the edge of the ship. He leant over watching the splashing subside as the gargling beast slowly sank beneath the waves.

"And that's mission over."

He threw down the pole with defiant disgust. He'd finished it. Now he could feel the pain in his chest properly, over his bruising and breathlessness. The Roboidz, Arkon had managed to take one last human with them. His human. His friend.

He clung to the guard rail, it was the only thing preventing him from collapsing to the floor. To exhausted even to cry, he shook with the grief as it clawed it's way up his chest. "It's over Lexa." He spoke solemnly, "We did it. We won." His gaze washed over the now empty sea, "We're free."

He never thought those words would ever sound so hollow.

He pulled himself up. At least she'd died fighting for what she believed him. That was the important thing. Taking in a breath, he gathered up the rest of his courage. He'd have to tell Cybele what had happened. She'd know what to do, what the right thing would be. All he had to do now was bring himself to go over to her, see what he could do for her, see her with her sparkling green eyes closed for good.

The thought locked his ribs solid. 'Snap out of it Caleb!' He mentally shook himself. 'She needs you now! Go and help her!' His cast one last bitter look across the water and gritted his teeth, steeling himself for the next ordeal.

A galloping of feet had him turning just in time to witness a staggering, slightly singed, Lexa.

She was stripped of all her EMP equipment as she threw herself at him, wrapping arms and legs about him ecstatically.

"You DID IT! YOU DID IT!" They're Destroyed! They're all GONE!" She craned her head over to gaze down to the water, "GOOD RIDDANCE!"

Caleb was shocked stupid.

Eyes almost starting out of his head he gaped. What had just jumped at him? It certainly couldn't be who he hoped it was, who he knew was lying in crackling heap half the deck away. It couldn't be.

But he better check. Just in case.

Smiling face was there, albeit a bit paler and more grimy. Chaotic crimson curls? Check. Sparkling emerald eyes? Most definitely.

She faltered a little at his dumb reception. "W-w-hat?"

The information sunk in properly, downloaded and then uploaded into his frontal lobe.

She was here. Full, bouncing and breathing. Living.

The transformation was astonishing, it was like a spot-light had been switched onto his face.

"YOU'RE ALIVE!" He bellowed joyously, arms clamping her to him in vice grip.

She was actually floored by his reaction, he'd really thought she was dead? It was only an EMP wave, a very painful wave, but a wave all the same. She was just horrified she'd been so foolhardy, losing herself in the heat of battle-it went against all her training!

But it had been a very long time since someone had been that concerned about her.

She responded in the only way her stunned brain could think of.

Limpet style.

After a few moments of silent, lung crushing reunions Caleb managed to process what she'd said as she'd leapt to him.

"You're wrong Lexa," Said Caleb quietly face adopting a somber expression.

"What?" Worry filling her voice, what could possibly be wrong? She climbed down from him keen to meet whatever new problem with feet solid on the ground and ready to run.

His face cracked into a huge, beaming smile, "WE DID IT! TOGETHER! US AND THE RECRUITS! The HUMANS have taken back THE WORLD!" He took her hands.

The Joy. The indescribable joy of being triumphant of having back the freedom of life. With a whoop he caught her up in his arms as they whirled about the deck with unabashed delight.

It was over. They'd done it. They'd survived, they'd lived, the world was theirs.

They swirled together, till, exhausted, they collapsed into each other's arms and sat leaning against one another, hands clasped, watching the sun set on the reign of the Roboidz.

It was a beautiful sight.

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Epilogue

The rest of the evening passed by in a blur. They knew they must have got back to Cybele to tell her the good news. And she'd been pleased. Really Pleased.

She'd even turned a different colour.

Caleb had been overjoyed to have gotten such a reaction, to prove, finally, that he had been everything she believed he was (with a little help of course!) His chest had swelled at the thought that he had made her happy and finally earned her pride.

Lexa, originally quietly mortified at her own carelessness was quickly reassured as she blushed pink under Cybele's warmth.

They had done well she'd insisted, better than well, they'd been Brilliant! They'd saved the world. Now they could start afresh without the threat of mechanical tyranny.

Their adrenaline began to ebb as they stood side by side under Cybele's gaze. She sent them off to rest, this time without interruptions. In a daze they reached the command post, exhaustion fogging their sight, strength leaching into the floor they all but fell onto Caleb's bedspace. Slumping against each other they were asleep before their heads even touched the bedding. Wrapped around each other, the subconscious need to know the other was there they slept entwined, unmoving till the morning dawned high and long.

AN;

And there we have it! The conclusion to this story! Hope you all like it!

Reviews, comments, critiques all welcome!

This is the first story I've ever published, and it's complete! Yay! :D

I would like to say a MASSIVE THANKYOU! To LokiLover who has stuck with me through the entirety of posting and encouraged me to keeping going with it! You've been wonderful,(I'd msg you-but you don't have a link for me to send to!) your reviews have kept me going through the writing/editing process and been little highlights to my weeks!

This is, unsurprisingly, the ending of the programme's storyline for series one. However as I said I would be expanding into the online game information and as such I have a sequel in progress that might just answer a few more of their (and our!) questions!

Let me know if you want to see it up!