Fly me to the Moon Chapter 9
[A/N]: Sorry for the long wait. College workload has been…yeah…*brain deflates*
Alright, so let's review. So far I've sent Astro into the Sun, partially blown him up, burned off the skin on half of his face and arm, sent him halfway across the solar system, got him stuck in a satellite, had his power source converted, kept him stuck on the Moon to avoid a 'dead spin' if he tried to re-enter Earth's atmosphere, and to top it all off, I had Dave magnet him to a wall for his own safety.
I've really abused the poor kid haven't I? Let's have this chapter feature him, it's the least I can do.
Astro did all he could to free himself from the magnetic grip of the wall.
"I can help you!"
Why was this so difficult? Astro had been stuck in magnets before, but none of them ever like this. He looked around frantically for something he could use to get down. The lever across the room! Of course! If he could manage to hit it with his arm cannon, the wall would lose its magnetism!
But that required peeling his arm off the wall first. He had to try.
With all the effort he could muster he pulled up with his arm. Just a little bit more, a little bit farther! Astro began to feel his arm lifting off the wall. It was working! It was…
Astro sighed with frustration. Why was this magnet was so strong? He looked closely at the words underneath the wall's lever.
Designed for…zero gravity? That seemed a bit much for a repair shop. Even though the Moon's gravity wasn't as strong as the Earth's, a regular sheet magnet would have worked just as well. Seemed a little suspicious.
Astro started to worry; he knew where Dave was going, to confront that ship. But what about Rusty? The valley? This station? Dave had said something about this base being bigger at one point. If Christoph had been the one to destroy it, what did he have in mind now? One man couldn't stop him alone.
If only he could help. He closed his eye sadly. There had to be a reason Dave stuck him here, he was a good person after all, Astro could tell. Suddenly his ears picked up a faint sound, the faint sound of even footsteps. Someone was coming this way! With a powerful tug, Astro turned his head towards the door, which opened to reveal…
"You've got some nerve coming back here." Dave muttered under his breath as he approached the ship. He had been dreading seeing the Populuxe again, but old memories would have to wait. He probably hasn't even changed the security codes. His mistake… Dave thought darkly.
Sure enough he hadn't, getting through the airlock was simple. Almost too simple. He suddenly realized that he had been lead right into a trap. The outside codes hadn't been changed, but the inside ones had. And now he was stuck here inside the ship, with no way to go but back out. Exactly what Christoph wanted. Why hadn't he figured it out sooner? Dave could just kick himself. Just like him to do something like this!
He wasn't going to let that stop him; he'd break down the control room door if he had to!
"You're the one making all that noise?"
Astro was so happy he thought he might cry. "Boss! Boy am I glad to see you!"
"How'd you get up there on the wall?"
"Dave put me here. He put me here and left! To go after that ship Rusty and I saw near the valley."
Boss crossed his arms over his chest. "So he's back…"
Don't play games with me! Dave had found the control room door and was standing outside it angrily. This was getting ridiculous!
"Who is it?" Christoph asked teasingly.
You know damn well who it is. But Dave couldn't say that out loud. As much as he wanted to bash Christoph's face in, he tried to keep his tone of voice even. He had said he was just going to talk to him, and that was what he had planned to do.
"Chris, it's Dave."
"Yeah, open the door."
"…Dave's not here!"
Dave sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. After all these years he still acted like a little kid.
"I guess he didn't go into detail about what happened last time Christoph was here."
"Not really, just that there used to be more to this place before he wrecked most of it."
"Well kid, this building isn't the only thing." Boss unzipped his jacket and took it off as Astro gasped in shock. Much of Boss's internal metal structure showed through the large holes on his chest. Rods, wires, all of it! Shining in the white artificial light. "Keep in mind, all this was after Dave had fixed me up. There used to be a lot more to me too."
"He…he did that to you?"
Is that why Dave had kept him here? So he wouldn't end up even more damaged like Boss?
"I really don't wanna go into all the details. But you can likely guess what happened."
"Open up the door it's Dave!" Tearing the door off of its sliding track was looking like a good option at this point. He felt like he was even angry enough to do it.
Oh stop it already! "Dave! D! A! V! E! Will you open up the goddamn door?!"
"Yeah…Dave…" This was exhausting. "Open the door."
The door finally slid open.
"Well," Christoph said finally. "It's been nearly a year and a half and this is how you say hello to your little brother?"
"Dave used to work on much bigger robots than you and me, which might be why he underestimates you. And Rusty? He's always so secretive who knows what he's up to or what's on his mind."
Boss took a few steps back and rested his hand on the lever. "But I can see it kid, you've got something different. They're already countin' you out."
He pulled the lever and Astro stumbled onto the floor.
"I don't care how you do it. But prove those two wrong."
Astro pushed himself up, and if there were more time he would have likely given Boss a hug. But that would have to wait for now. "I will!" With that Astro ran out the door and down the hall.
"Hey Astro!" Boss called after him.
"Uncanny Valley's the other way!"
Silly mistake, Astro turned around and ran past the door the other direction. "Right!"
He took to the sky once he was out of the air lock, his now blue jets driving him forward. At this rate he would be there in a minute or less, but he had to be careful. He saw the ship up ahead and realized that he could be a target for the Populuxe's guns if he didn't hide quickly. Astro looked down over the moon's barren landscape. Where would he hide?
He found a large crater and dove for it. Peering over the edge he saw that the ship was a few hundred feet to his right, while the valley was only a few yards to his left.
Suddenly, Astro's ears picked up a strange frequency; it started off like crackling static but as he enhanced his hearing, he heard that it was a voice, talking…talking to him!
"Astro! Can you hear me?"
"…Rusty? Is that you?" He looked around. "Where are you?"
"Behind the hull inside the ship. Dave's already inside and I don't think they know I'm here."
Nice! "I'm going to head over too!"
"No! Astro, I need you somewhere else."
"Get down to the valley. The robots stored down there are what Christoph is after. I need you to be their first line of defense!"
"OK!" Astro climbed out of the crater.
"Wait, one more thing."
"Keep your eye out for anything moving down there. All the robots are shut off so if you find something…shoot it."
"You can count on me!"
Astro headed down into the valley, and came to a soft landing outside the row of bunkers. Blaster out and ready to fire.
"Alright..." Astro said softly.
Astro's eye scanned over all the bunkers as his ears amplified any and every sound, which on the moon, wasn't very much. He could sense all the androids locked inside, in their artificial sleep. All was quiet.
Astro's ears then picked up a small noise, the sound of metal scraping across a hard floor. It was coming from the third bunker down the row!
There was no time to waste!