Cora hopped over a rusted steel pipe, envy grime growing at its' moist surface. She looked up to the vast valley of abandoned scraps and dead mans' treasure. Shielding one eye with her hand, Cora continued to tread along the Surface, keeping a keen look out for anything that drew enough attention to pick up.
"Start heading back?" called a teenage boy named Zane, climbing up a metal hill. Cora stopped and looked around. The sun was slowly sinking into the horizon.
"Nah, we still got about two or three hours till we can think about turning back." Zane nodded.
"Find anything useful yet?" Cora scanned the ground. Just hairdryers, bowling pins, microwaves, broken phones and smashed TVs. Robot parts was what they were after. Finding a whole robot intact would be a dream come true, but there was always those lucky days…
"Nope, nothing." She sighed. Zane took a glace around, and started to jump down the hill in the opposite direction to Cora. She eyed him.
"Where are you going?" she asked sternly.
"I think I found something!" The boy ran across the slippery ground, almost tripping. Cora shook her head and started to walk around a large junk pile, as big as a building. She scratched the back of her head, her black spiky hair burying her fingers. As Zane disappeared far out of view, Cora picked up speed. She kicked a bottle out of her path and leaned against the giant mound, releasing an unsatisfied sigh from her lips. Looked like nothing was to be found today.
Hamegg wouldn't approve.
Not one bit. Especially since Cora and Zane had begged him to go on scavenging duty instead of setting up the circus like the rest of the kids. "ZA-!" Cora was about to call out to Zane to head off since there was nothing valuable here today, when she heard something:
"HEY! GET OFF! ITS MINE!"
"BATERIES! NEW BATTERIES!"
Cora tilted her head as the strange voices came from just around another metal hill. They sounded like the Scavengers, a band of power seeking rusted robots that lured the Surface, picking off other robot's batteries. Some kids from the circus had tried to capture the Scavengers before, but they were too rough and probably too wild to put in the circus anyway. It sounded like they had found an extremely good catch, they wouldn't usually fight. Cora needed whatever robot they had found, even half one, to make up for a dud day they couldn't afford. She snuck around another mound, back to the rusted metal.
She inched her head around ever so slightly to see how far away the cannibal machines were. She saw a washed out blue iron back right near her and quickly darted back down. "Shit!" she crouched to her knees and took another look. The five robots stood, pushing each other and debating. One was a waiter bot, with threatening up grades, a viscous claw on its right hand, whirling and clicking with adrenalin. This one the kids call Grasp, as it loved to lunge and take hold of its pray with no thoughts of ever letting go…
The second bot was a washed out blue one, with an impressive top hat with no one really to impress it with. Its figure was practically a box, with flexible arms and huge kicking feet. He was called Blue, hence his appearance, and was the leader of the Scavengers.
The third was a rejected house bot, legs down in wheels, one eye, a huge torso and one arm replaced with a tennis ball shooter. Because of this adjustment, he was called Aim.
The forth was a cow boy robot, with a brown hat and a latching lasso in his scarred pocket. His eyes were freakishly not looking anywhere, just in a dead stare reflecting what was inside him. They called this one Loopy, as he loops his lasso and his face looks like he's gone round
And finally, the last one, was an everyday Metro City bot, with a pink body in an arrange of boxes and cylinders. On its head was a pair of pony tails, no particular color from being washed out of rain. This one was called Tails, hence the hair.
Cora looked around the ground at her feet, searching for a weapon. "Common, common common…" her eyes sprung at a spanner, half buried in the grunge. Breath unwillingly heavy, she sneaked her arm over and griped hold of the end of it.
"MINE! MINE! MINE!"
"SHUT UP! I FOUND IT!"
"YOU WANNA PLAY IT THAT WAY, NOW DO YA?!"
Cora tugged aggressively at the spanner, trying to break its bond with the earth. Wiggling it side to side, it popped out with such magnitude Cora got knocked back against the mound, metal clanking against her back. She heard the Scavengers stop arguing and fall dead silent. She held the spanner close to her chest, gulping with regret.
"Diz you juzst hear somthingz?" she heard Grasp ask with his French accent.
"Probably just some junk falling. Come on, how we gonna do this? I get half and you lot get the rest." Blue declared.
"BULL! I'M THE ONE WHO FOUNDTHE THING!" Aim screamed.
"Then you get the other half."
"MORE BULL! WE HELPED TOO!"
"You can go and find some other high powered machine!"
"WHAT?! WELL YOU CAN KISS MY FIST! TAKE THIS!"
Cora heard metal on metal clanging and scraping. She looked around the corner again. Just out of the corner of her eye, past Blues' thrown body, she saw an inch of the robot they had found. Just a bit of a black spike.
Huh, she thought to herself. You would think it would be as big as a truck, the way they're going on about it. But this robot seems small, almost…no IT IS, smaller then ME!
She couldn't get to it without being spotted. As Blue stepped back near her, she jumped up and slammed her spanner on his head.
he sprung around to come face to face with Cora's smirking face. He clenched his fists. "Alright, girly. What THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?!"
all the bots stopped and looked evilly at her, poised to strike at any moment. Cora innocently put her hands behind her back.
"Well, I was just going to join your debate. Just stating the obvious, Grasp is the one who should have it ALL." Grasp's eyes lit up (literately), and he beamed at all the stunned robots.
"Hear zat, boys! (and girl). I GET ZIM!"
"Excuse me, but I am the leader. I GET AT LEAST SOME!" Blue snapped back at Cora.
"Oh, I know that silly. That's why you've taken it already." She chimed.
"WHAT!? YOU'VE TAKEN MY CATCH?!" Grasp yelled in anger. Blue looked confused, then took the opportunity.
"That's right you French piece of plastic!"
"What about me?" Tails demanded.
"Why, you pair up with Blue. You have to shaaaaare…" Blue and Tails glared at each other.
"I'M NOT SHARING WITH YOU!"
"(Sigh) and then Aim and Loopy steal it and take it for themselves…"
"ZAT IZ ZIT!" a massive brawl started.
"And then Hamegg came over with his robot circus to capture you all." Their eyes grew wide.
"ZAT BE GOOD IDEA!"
They all disappear, scampering into the distance, behind more huge mounds. Cora laughed and put her hands on her hips.
"Stupid robots…" she mumbled to herself. They sure did have brawl, but brains? They didn't know day from night. Speaking of which, the sun was just a few minutes away from full dusk, as the sky was turning gray with a tinge of orange. Cora looked down to where the mystery robot lay.
He looked about thirteen, with black jeans and a white and red t-shirt, pandered with dust and oil smudges, with a rip on the side. He wore red boots, and his hair was black and in two spikes. His eyes were closed and he just laid there, almost no sign of life. Cora punched herself on the forehead.
"A KID? RISK MY LIFE FOR A KID?!" She slumbered over and kneeled beside the boy. "Is it dead?"
she whimpered to herself, her anger suddenly turning to concern. She reached her hand out to his head. "Why would the Scavengers be interested in a child…?"
She softly tapped the boy on the skull. No movement. She held his wrist for a pulse. Nothing. She sighed. "Poor little fella…"
It wasn't the first time she had seen a dead body among the musk of the Surface junk. Humans died everyday on the Surface, from heart attack, starvation… But never before so young, and in such neat condition.
Maybe he only just died, she thought to herself. Then wouldn't the skin have that touch of warmness still in it?
She decided not to have any further bother with the situation, stood up and stared to walk back to Zane, twirling spanner in-between fingers.
Until she heard a groan.
Her eyes widened. No, it can't be. He IS DEAD. No pulse, no life. But the groaning continued. Cora's face clenched with fear. She wasn't a fan of zombies. She slowly, ever so slowly, turned around. There, the boy's eyes were opening like anvils, difficultly and heavy.
"Hmmmm…" He mumbled, looking up to Cora. She shook her head in disbelief and frowned. She approached the boy carefully. He looked around and his eyes widened. With a yelp he sprung up, looking desperately around. "W-where am I? Who are you? Whe-OW!" As he tried to get up on his arms, one fell back in fail to do so. Cora walked up to him, confusion on her face.
"Umm…are you okay?"
The boy gasped and jolted his head up to her, fear in his eyes. He rubbed his shoulder of the hurt arm.
"W-w-where am I?" he quivered.
"Um, where do you think? A five star resort? This is the Surface," Cora answered, perhaps a little too rudely for the moment. The boy still grasped at his shoulder. Cora kneeled down beside him to investigate the broken limb. The boy hesitated for a second, inching away, but gradually let her take a look. She seemed harmless, even quite nice. Cora turned the boys head out of the way and gently pulled the neck of the shirt down.
"You come from Metro City, right?" The boy's eyes looked over to her.
"H-how did you guess?"
"Well, for starters you dress a little to well to be taking a nap in the sun. And I just saved your butt from the Scavenge…" she never finished as her fingers came to a heavy slice in his arm. No blood. No flesh. Nothing human. Electro blue chips and colored wires took its place, with a blue wave of brilliant glow passing through every few seconds. Cora gasped and jolted back. The boy turned his head to her startled face of the girl.
"Err, is there a problem? You look pretty freaked-"
"YOU'RE A ROBOT?" she asked, her voice filled with confusion, surprise and interest all at the same time. The boy's eyes widened and he looked to his shoulder. The deep scar met his gaze. He gasped and quickly covered it with his working hand.
"Hey, no point hiding! I saw the wires, robot boy!"
The boy looked at Cora with a confused face. The girl didn't say this with anger, or frustration. She accentually sounded pretty excited. She took a round of gray duct tape from a tattered leather waist bag and leaned over to him. He leaned away, scared of what she was going to do. She grabbed his hand and roughly moved it off its shoulder. She seemed much less careful with him now, he wondered if she was a robot hater or liker.
"Um, what are you doing?"
Pulling on the end of the thick sticky tape, she started to wind it around the robot boy's scar.
"Can't have you more damaged, now can we?" she said, on her third loop.
"Well, that's very kind of-"
"Hamegg would kill me." His face dropped.
So much for concern.
Cora took out a pocket knife and sliced the end of the duct tape off. She stepped back, shoving the objects back in the bag. The boy looked at his now binded shoulder.
"Well, stand up! let me take a look at you." Cora demanded. He looked up to the girl and tilted his head, but shakily got to his feet. He wobbled back and forth.
Cora frowned at it and reached out, steadying its shoulders. As soon as the robot was planted to the ground, she circled around it.
Amazing, she thought. "You look like a human, I thought you were a kid at first!" The robot boy looked down at himself. "You gotta name?" he lifted his head in thought. Cora stood still in front of the robot boy with hands on hips. "Well? Answer me." she ordered. Robots back at the circus wouldn't dare disobey a human.
"Um…I can't remember."
"An owner?" He tilted his head.
"Don't you mean family?" Cora frowned.
"Uh, you're a robot. You don't have family, you have creators and owners. You know that, right?" The robot looked down to the ground, as if offended. Cora sighed and continued her list. "A home?"
"No..." The strain on trying to remember seemed to be getting difficult.
"Ummm, do you have a manufacturing barcode?"
"Look, I would tell you everything if I knew, okay?" Cora looked startled at the back chat. She shook the expression from her face and cleared her throat.
"Uh, you can come with me. I'll take you to a robot cir-"
Zane's voice came from behind the huge metal mountain. They both looked towards the voice. Zane came panting over, holding a round white robot head, green and red wires sticking out the bottom. "Hey Cora! I got this…" He skidded to a stop in front of them, a confused look on his face. "Who's the kid?"
"Zane! You'll never believe what I've found!" Cora ran up to the boy in excitement. Zane raised an eyebrow at her.
"Cora, we need robots. NOT more children."
"Zane, this is a robot."
With widened eyes Zane looked over the robot boy, standing awkwardly in front of them. His expression softened.
"Yeah, nice try Cora. I'm not that easy to fool." He said stubbornly, crossing his arms around his chest. Cora sighed. Now she wished she hadn't taped the scar, it would have given her proof. She turned sharply to the robot.
"I can prove it. Can you do anything? X-ray vision, maybe?"
He darted his eyes around, trying to remember how to use the ability. Funnily enough, he couldn't really remember what robots can, or are supposed, to do. Zane, becoming impatient, dumped his bag on the clunky metal and started tapping his foot on the ground.
"Any time now. Actually, no time now, we have to go."
Cora looked up to the sun. it was sinking lower and lower, brilliant colors of rich reds, pastel pinks and brandy oranges filling the daily blue sky. She growled a little at the robots incapability and at her own friend for not believing her. She pouted and trudged over to the boy robot. He eyed her every move. She stepped over to the taped shoulder and scraped a little, sucking an ripping sounds echoing over to Zane's ears. He couldn't help but lean forward to take a glance of what Cora was doing to the kid. She groaned a little as the tape was strong, but finally peeled enough away for a clear view of the scar.
"There," she said, wiping her forehead. "See for yourself."
The boy robot moved his head away as much as possible. These teens obviously worked around robots, and didn't have much concern for them. Zane stumbled over to Cora and peeked at the scar. His eyes widened and a confused look came over him as well as a smile. He dropped the old robot head he was carrying and looked at the boy's face.
"Well I'll be. It's a robot! Ha, and so human looking! This guy must be worth a fortune up in Metro City!"
Cora carefully stuck the duct tape back into its original position and smiled at the robot. Zane ran up to his bag excitedly, zipping up loose straps.
"Hamegg will be thrilled! Good thing you found him today, Cora, or else we'd be scrap metal! What do you think he was used for?"
"Who's Hamegg?" the boy robot suddenly asked. Zane looked up from his bag and stood, swinging the arm around his back. Cora started thinking.
Hamegg was the one who ran the circus. Any kid who'd had enough of their family would run off and be picked up by Hamegg, who would take them in. They had to earn their keep, with working for the circus cleaning, washing, cooking and setting up for poor money. Among them were robots, also working hard, only they didn't get paid of course. They were created by Hamegg himself most of the time, sometimes purchased when the crowds were low. Hamegg was cruel to the robots, befriending them when they first came there and getting them to stay by wrapping their necks with control collars, then whipping them with an electrocuting lash at any rebellion. Cora and the others kids had thought this was unacceptable when young, but now, growing up around it, they sometimes even laughed when a robot got a good beating. She played the drill like to all new robots.
"Oh, he runs the greatest Robot Circus around! That's where we are taking you."
The robot shuffled on his feet. "Circus? Uhhh, I'm not sure I want to go…"
Zane frowned at Cora. It was the first time a robot had disagreed to him, too. Cora gave him a calm expression to show it was alright and that he wasn't broken. She took the robots hand. "It's fine! We insist, it's a great place! But we have to go now, or it will be dark and we'll get lost, okay?" she tugged on his arm.
"OWW!" he yelped. Cora immediately dropped his arm. It fell against his side, dangling like a dead animal. The robot boy stared at his dead limb, trying to lift it. Cora reached forward and gently lifted it. The boy's face turned to fear. "Don't…tug it…"
"You can't move it at all?" she asked.
"I don't…think so…" Cora glanced at Zane.
"Reno will fix him. You'll be okay." He comforted.
The robot shakily nodded, though obviously not knowing who this 'Reno' fellow was. Cora smiled and started walking in the opposite direction, headed for the circus grounds. Zane jumped after, following her. He turned his head and waved his arm to the robot boy.
"Come on! Follow us!"
Holding his arm, the robot steadily ran up to the two teens, following close behind.
Zane looked back to the boy robot, traveling with head down in thought. He leaned over to Cora's ear. "So, what do you think he was used for?"
"Don't you mean what 'it' was used for?" she corrected.
"Oh, come on! He can pass as a human any day." She looked back to the boy.
He was very freakishly human. Such a trick to the illusion of the eye, it could fool the magician.
She shrugged, pretending not to feel in any way interested or even that touch of fear.
"I don't know. Maybe a house bot?"
"A house bot that answers back?" he shook his head. He turned to the robot boy. "Hey! Your falling behind, buddy!"
The boy robot still stepped with a heavy foot, head still down. Zane looked to Cora. "And doesn't respond all together?"
"Well, go see what's wrong," she suggested.
She looked to the sun as they reached the top of an extremely steep junk mound. It traveled upwards, then went along in an act as a wall. This was called the Surface Ridge. The sun was getting disturbingly low, a third of it already on its way to bring light somewhere else unknown. "We don't have time, he's slowing us down." Zane sighed, annoyed, and fell back to the boy robot. He walked alongside him.
"Hey…" he called.
Still no answer.
The robot still had his head low, a troubled expression on his face. Zane arched over and waved his arm in front of him. "Hellooooo? Anybody in there?" The robot boy finally lifted his head to Zane.
Zane felt startled. The expression on the robots face showed fear, confusion, trouble ness, clueless ness and grief. Zane had never seen such an expression on a machine's face. It freaked him out a little, actually. He started feeling…sorry for the robot?
Stop it Zane. Don't get sucked in, it's just a machine. He cleared his throat. "Um, you got a name?" The robot opened his mouth to answer, but Cora took care of it.
"He can't remember." She called back. He looked up at Cora, then back down to the ground.
"What's wrong?" Zane said. He never thought he'd ever say that to a robot. The boy sighed.
"Robots…" Zane eyed him to continued. But the boys mouth closed.
"Yeeeahhhh, robots. You." The boy robot frowned he said this. He shook his head. Zane scoffed.
"No, that's what you are," he said, laughing at the robots uncertain nature. Cora couldn't help but join the conversation, slowing down to stride next to them. She looked up at Zane and nudged her head to signal that Zane could run ahead. He smiled and sprinted off. Cora shoved her hands in her pockets; it was getting cold. She exhaled a long sigh, her breath coming out as a white-gray misty cloud. She looked at the boy and smiled. She nudged his shoulder, very lightly noticing it was his dead one.
"We can find you a name. What about…something human, like-"
"I'm human," the robot suddenly said plainly.
Cora frowned. Was it possible this robot was made to believe it was human? She knew up in Metro City robots were getting advanced, but…would they be making sibling robots? Child robots? She stared to notice if this fact was true, then they had probably confused him dreadfully, treating him like any other old robot instead of a kid.
She tried to look at him face but he firmly faced the ground. "Look… I don't know what may have happened to you in Metro City, but you have to accept what you are. You are a robot." He took a difficult breath and shook his head.
"So, a name… something that suits you." She looked at him. He raised his head a little to her and she rubbed her chin in thought. "Hmmm…Tom?" Zane heard this up ahead and let out a laugh.
"Are you serious?" Cora scowled and put her hands on her hips.
"Well, you come up with something then!" she yelled in response.
"Why are you trying to find a name for it anyway?"
"Do you have any suggestions or not?" she snapped. Zane started walking backwards and thought for a while. The robot looked over to him with an arch of an apprehensive brow.
"Umm…Kennich?" Cora looked to the robot, who only found the bravery in him to shake his head timidly.
"Finn?" He shook his head once again.
"Fussy much…" Cora smiled as Zane scratched his shaggy hair. "Mika? Kent?"
The boy rejected each suggestion. Zane sighed and tapped his head a little as he said his last answer.
The boy robots' head suddenly jolted up. His eyes were wide, and a black expression was swiped across his face. Cora and Zane both stopped. Cora walked in front of him.
The robots face still didn't flinch. His eyes then started to turn blue. Cora leaned closer. His eyes glowed, blue shining out of the usually hazel brown. It glowed on and off, on and off, flashing for some unknown reason. Cora waved her hand in his face.
"Um, Zane…we have a problem…"
Zane ran up to her and stared at the robot with dismay. "Is he broken?" he asked. Cora shrugged and looked at him with concern.
"Was it something I said?" he joked. But Cora didn't take it that way.
"What if it was?"
Zane frowned. "What?"
"Tobi…" Cora said to herself.
Just to make matters worse, they suddenly heard a dreadfully familiar voice from behind them.
"THOUGHT YOU COULD ESCAPE US THAT EASILY, NOW DID YOU?"
Cora and Zane's eyes widened and they slowly turned to each other.
"Is that…?" Zane whimpered.
"I think it is…"
They both slowly turned to where the angry robotic voice was coming from, to look up to the Scavengers, fuming.
"GIVE US BACK THE ROBOT!" Tails yelled in her annoying Texas accent. Cora looked back to the seemingly unconscious robot boy and frowned in determination.
"Over my dead body!"
Zane jolted his head to her in confusion and concern. "ARE YOU CRAZY?" he screeched. Cora looked to Zane and then back to the Scavengers, sliding the trusty spanner from her belt with a smile.
the Scavengers walked forward. Aim could be seen loading his arm cannon, the metal clanks clicking and sliding. Who knows what he has jammed in their today. Aim thought it would be silly to fill a tennis shooter with tennis balls when he could fill it with knifes, magnets, bombs, cutlery and even other small guns just for fun. Blue stepped forward, a scowl across his face, but still with that tinge of glee.
"Well…your body will be dead soon, I can tell you that now!" Blue yelled to them.
Tails charged forward in a screaming rage. Cora held her spanner up like a bat. As Tails reached forward to grab her, Cora swung her spanner with all her might and slammed it across her head with a groan of determination.
Tails stepped back in anger, one clunky arm held up to her right eye, which was probably now shattered.
"Woo! Go Cora!" Zane stupidly yelled out. All the Scavengers looked to him. His smile slid from his face and he took a step back. "Ohhh, shit…"
Blue got comfortable as his dogs did the work for him, Grip going for Zane and Aim running up to Cora for a fight. Grasp reached out for a try to grab hold of Zane's shirt, Zane arching his body down low.
Grasp pulled his arm back and scowled, swiping across the ground. His metal arm swept under Zane's feet, knocking him out of balance. But before he could fall, Grasp took hold of his jeans and flipped him upside down. Zane looked to Grasp's face, the French mustache almost shining from the last bit of sun reflecting on the black metal. He chuckled evilly.
"You zittle rat…" he insulted, lifting his other hand to Zane's face. With a 'shing' from the sound of steel against steel, a small knife shot out from the top of his index finger. "Zet's make your faze more likeable, hmm?"
With another evil snicker he moved the knife closer and closer to Zane's cheek. Zane's eyes widened and he thrashed his arms around.
"Let go of me you bloody-!" Grasp shoved the knife forward as a threat, and Zane fell silent, gulping in fear.
Aim punched for Cora's head, but she swiftly ducked and jabbed the spanner in the wheel he used to move. She stepped back as Aim came crashing down to the ground with an echoing clash of rotten rust. Loopy then leapt forward, swinging his old lasso. Cora looked around the ground, now noticing she had no weapon. Blue grinned at this.
"Kill her," he said simply, and Loopy obeyed. Or, at least, attempted to. He swung the lasso at great speed, and Cora even heard the air getting thrown aside as it went charging for her head. The thing about Loopy, is that his aim was, well… loopy. The lasso went to the left much too far, and Cora easily dodged it, stepping light-footed to the right. The robot didn't make any noise of frustration, not like it could, a part of the artificial intelligence had malfunctioned a while back. Cora looked up at its blank face, one eye slowly moving to the right. The glassy white reflected Cora as she arched her back and leapt over another punch Loopy shot at her stomach. She landed with a slight stumble.
Grasp dropped Zane painfully on the hard metal, then yanked him up by his shaggy blue hair and dragging him over to Blue. The lazy robot looked to Zane, his eyes stinging from holding back tears and staggering as the hold on his scalp tightened. Blue simply gave Grasp a nod, and looked to the fight with Loopy and Cora.
"Wait till they retrieve the girl. They shall die together."
Loopy kicked for Cora's shin and she jumped to avoid it, thrusting her fist forward and punching him square in the chin.
"FIGHT, CORA!" Zane encouraged, only to be welcomed by Grasp clicking out his small hand knife and slicing his cheek. Zane hissed in pain as he felt his own warm blood trickle down his neck and along the edge of his bottom lip. Grasp loosened his grip a little, chuckling to himself. As Loopy and Cora continued to equally give each other punches and kicks, Blue suddenly remembered the reason they were fighting in the first place. He stood up and looked behind Cora's leaping body to see it.
He was still frozen on the spot with a startled expression, his eyes flashing on and off with the same shining blue glow. Blue looked to Aim, sprawled on the junk, and then to Tails, still cursing the girl and holding her broken eye. Blue held his arm out and slammed her on the back of the head. Tails looked angrily to him.
"HEY! WHAT GIVES?" Blue growled.
"Go get the target!" he yelled in her face.
Zane yelled out as Grasp slowly buried the knife into the teen's wrist, purely for the fun of it. More blood dribbled, soaking his brown leather jacket to a deep red stain. Tails tilted her head.
Blue scowled and a tad bit of steam sizzled from his ears. "THE ROBOT YOU DUMBASS!"
Tails nodded quickly and removed her hand from her eye, exposing the now broken glass. She stepped forward towards the fight.
"LOOPY!" Blue addressed. Loopy, in the middle of giving Cora a painful punch to the chest, stupidly looked up to him. Cora jumped up with a battle scream and sliced her hand down on Loopy's shoulder, the robot stumbling back. Blue sighed and shook his head. "Just hold the girl STILL! God, really…"
He walked up to Aim and hauled him up by the arm, jerking the spanner from his wheel at the same time. Finally being able to move and glad of it, Aim started to angrily charge over to Cora, but Blue held him back.
"Get her over with the male. No killing-"
"What?" Aim raged. He badly wanted revenge on this girl. But Blue only smiled slyly.
Aim smiled with him and rolled up to help Loopy capture the difficult human.
Tails approached the un-reacting robot boy. She leaned close to his dumb-founded face, the blue light reflecting from his eyes onto her own plain white ones.
"Whaa?" she asked casually. "You not here? You off in your own world?" The boy robot remained un-responsive. Tails grinned and shoved his shoulder. But the robot didn't even flinch in the slightest. With a frown Tails then tried to push it back. He still firmly held its ground. Leaning with all her body weight on him, Tails scraped her feet on the Surface junk and pushed to somehow move the robot, but he still remained planted and still. "Why…won't you…move?" she growled angrily.
"TAKE THIS YOU ROTTEN PIECE OF RUST!" Cora yelled, grabbing the robot's wrist and twisting it, stepping behind him and tugging it down. With a wrenched screech from Loopy the rusted metal groaned against the pressure and snapped. Cora let go, the hand falling to the ground. She smiled and stepped back, only to bump into a furious Aim. Cora tried to sprint off, but she was too slow. Aim grabbed her shoulders and kept a firm grip, despite the furious kicking from Cora.
"Let me go! LET GO!" she screamed.
"That would be quite enough, young lady," Blue ordered.
He looked at Aim and nudged his head over to Zane and Grasp. The house bot nodded and rolled over to stand next to Grasp, Cora dragging her legs on the scrap metal as much as possible. Soon, Aim and Grasp were side by side with the two captives in their filthy, rusting hands, with Loopy behind and Blue treading back and forth in front of them with hands behind back.
"So, you thought you could escape me that easily, did you?"
"Pretty much." Cora answered casually. Blue snickered.
"You are defeated, girl! Held against your will and still got your annoying attitude!"
"Annoying? Wow, that's a big word for you," she sarcastically praised. Blue stopped dead in his tracks and sharply turned to her, a scowl on his face.
"I so happen to be quite smart, unlike you!"
Cora diverted her eyes to behind Blue. Her eyes quickly widened and her mouth opened in a gasp.
"OH MY GOD THE ROBOT BOY'S MOVING!"
"WHAT?" Blue turned to Tails and the robot boy. Tails was still trying to move it, though now it seemed she was just using it as a leaning post. Blue glared and looked back to Cora who was smiling and shaking her head.
Zane worried his bottom lip between his teeth.
The steam once again shot out of Blue's ears and he forcefully treaded over to the cheeky girl. He leaned down close to her smirking face.
Cora's face dropped into determination.
"What? Say it," she dared.
Zane twisted and turned with agony and impatience. At times like this he wished he could be a little more heroic, like Cora, and look fear in the eye and hold his pride.
Blue's head shot up to Loopy.
"Loopy! Come hold this little sweet heart while Aim does something that will help all of us," he ordered. Loopy slumbered over to Cora. Aim let go of her shoulders, and Cora went to run before Loopy swung his handless arm under her chin into a strangling head lock. Scraping at the gray metal, Cora gasped out,
"And what would that something be?" Blue grinned.
Zane gasped and looked to Cora. Her eyes stung with tears at the word and the thought of death, but she kept her calm mask. She stopped struggling and looked up at the grinning Blue.
"Anything to get away from your stench…" she muttered.
With a growl Blue looked to Aim, who was supposed to be loading his cannon but was instead scanning the ground. Blue sighed.
"What are you looking for?" he growled.
"Ammo. I need ammo…" Aim explained.
Blue looked around for his eyes to lay upon the spanner Cora had used to defend herself. With a grin he reached out and snatched it up, chucking it to Aim.
"Death by the hero's weapon. Oh, it's just too dramatic!"
"Kill me!" Zane yelled out. Cora looked to him and shook her head, the wateriness of her eyes much more clearer. "Don't kill Cora! Kill me instead!"
Blue paid barley any attention to his cries.
"Wait your turn, boy."
The other robots snickered. Aim went in front of Cora, holding up his arm cannon to her face.
Cora's heart raced.
Her heart slowed.
Until she felt like it had stopped altogether.
Aim loaded his arm, much more slowly for fear effect, the bolts sliding and scraping against each other until Cora heard a sharp CLICK.
"Bon buoyage, little girl…"
The last thing Cora heard was the explosion of the cannon, the surprised yelling of Tails behind them and a large CLANK.
But not the dead nothing. Her eyes were squeezed closed, she was holding her breath and her ears were popped from the magnitude of the cannon firing.
Isn't their supposed to be pain? Why can I feel my heart, climbing up my throat? Truth be told, Cora felt more alive than dead. Is this death? Am I dead? What are those voices?
Slowly, Cora opened her eyes, and started to breathe again. No-one was holding her shoulders anymore and she slowly rolled them back in glee. Her ears faded back to normal but no-one was talking anymore, silence strangling the air. She looked ahead of her. All she saw was black.
"W…what…?" She lifted her hand to the blackness and reached forward. But instead of the black being the atmosphere in front of her, her finger tips hit something solid. "Huh…?" She quickly got her senses together and stepped to the side, to come next to Zane, who had also been released. She looked around her, finally understanding the situation. Blue was standing in front of everyone as usual, but with a shocked expression on his face.
The robot boy, without a scratch, was where Cora should have been cold and dead.
Aim was standing right in front of him, his arm cannon still held high to his face.
Zane grasped Cora's wrist and she moved her hand to hang onto his, her eyes never leaving the scene. The robot glanced down to the bent spanner on the ground, then looked back up to Aim. Almost at the same time, all the Scavengers shook the shocked expression off their faces and looked at the robot with a scowl.
"KILL HIM!" Blue yelled.
Aim nodded, swiping down to the ground to pick up few nuts and bolts, shoving them into his tennis shooter arm. While he was reloading, Loopy and Grasp came up behind the boy and grabbed for his shoulders. The boy robot simply grabbed both their hands with his one good arm and looked to them.
"Eh?" they both exchanged a worried look as the boy threw them over him, slamming them onto the hard ground with a small groan. Zane and Cora didn't know whether to gasp, laugh or smile uncontrollably. So they did them all. The robot then approached Blue. Before he could attack, Aim shot three rounds of fire blazing bolts at him. The boy swiftly lifted his arm up and let the bolts smash into his strong skin, making not as much as a scratch.
"Go Tobi!" Zane yelled.
Cora punched him on the shoulder.
"Don't say that! What if he freezes again?"
They watched back to the robot boy as he ran up and grabbed hold of Aim's arm cannon, pulling it to the ground and stepping on the joint that connects it to the arm. With a mighty tug the arm cannon tore like paper. Aim screamed, grasping his torn wrist.
Zane glanced at Cora with a smirk.
"Or just make him stronger."
They went silent for a second, looking over to the fight. They smiled at each other.
"GO, TOBI, GO!"
The robot elbowed Aim in the chest, leaving a deep dent and then blew a massive punch to his face. His fist went straight through the rusted metal, making Cora's breath hitch in her throat. As the robot boy slowly removed his hand, Aim fell limp, his face nothing but broken in metal.
Blue stepped back, and anyone could see the fear in his eyes. He looked over his shoulder to Tails who was wide-eyed.
"Well? GET HIM!"
He surprisingly kept his voice stern and filled with power. Tails took action, racing towards the boy robot at full mechanic speed. As she dashed past Blue, the boy spun as she reached him, taking hold of her left shoulder. As his fingers locked the metal gave way under his strength. With an impressive throw with only a small groan as a sign of difficulty, the robot boy threw Tails up in the air and off the face of the Surface Ridge. Tails screamed as she went flying down to her death, the boy robot giving nothing as less than a small glance down. Blue looked around him to see if any more of his dogs could help him in any way.
This time his voice was trembling and broke. But loopy and Grasp had done the smart thing-
They had fled.
Looking frighteningly up as the boy took a step towards him, Blue turned and ran as well. He kept on running until his frightened, raspy breath had faded into the cool breezes of the night air. Zane and Cora looked to the robot, just standing there with its eyes glowing, looking a tad bit disappointed, like someone had taken away his toys.
This tiny robot boy just saved us. And a second ago he was, as it seemed, broken. AND ALL WITH ONE ARM, and killing TWO. Heck, he could have killed them all if he wanted to, and- scary to think- it looked like it did.
Cora couldn't help herself think out loud,
"What have I found?"