|Name:||A March of Shadows|
|Previous Episode:||A Sound of Giants: Short Story|
|Next Episode:||A Walk in The Park: Short Story|
Part 1 Edit
"Well...?" asked Maxine. She was in a large room of white panels and ceiling lights. Inside the sparse room were several tables with equipment, a makeshift lab. She was there sitting down in her typical yellow business dress and jacket while her men, wearing blacks suits and shades, were around her. They faced a middle aged man with red hair tied in a ponytail, glasses and wearing plaid and black under a lab coat. "What is the verdict...?"
"Hard to say..." said the man wiping the sweat from his brow "I've deduced that what is killing the strawberries was indeed photonic particles, but finding a way to track them is...beyond me at this point..." Maxine, direct and menacing stare had him on edge.
"What about blocking them...?"
"An electromagnetic field..."
"That's not what I want to hear..."
"Perhaps, but I would prefer you be mad at me now, then my misinformation give you a reason to come back mad..." Maxine smiled a devilish smirk that was even more offsetting. " So far magnetic fields were able to extract them from the fruit...but I have no idea how it would affect their metal bodies, if I had..."
"The government has what is left, though I doubt it would do them much good. What little we got, we tested, they were devoid of particles."
"I would love to help, I would also like to go home, but I can't do anything without something to work with..."
"Very well, I will see to it that you get some...working materials..."
"Can I go home...?"
Alfred knocked on the door in the apartment, a large room with green carpeting and a smashed up piano on the other end, at the windows. In the middle was a rectangular table and on the sides were doors. Aflred with a humanoid robot, with a slab of metal for the of his head and another with holes for his optics and speaker, forming a makeshift face. He wore a butler's attire and knocked on the bedroom door of his mistress. This was all while the noise of construction could be heard outside.
Inside Sarah was cuddled up on her bed, with her pillow covered her ears. Her face bore an annoyed expression with reddened eyeballs. She had been woken up and not to her desired time.
"Mistress..." said Alfred "I do believe it is time to awaken..."
"And this..." said Sarah, to herself "why is you are clearly just a machine..."
"Mistress, I did not get that..." Sarah sat up.
"What is that ungodly noise...?"
"Construction work, repairing the building after those mechanical miscreants damaged the premises."
"Ma'am please remember that your trip to the university is tomorrow..."
The scientist and their assistants sat in the control room over looking the wide cylinder shaped metal device outside. It was massive, with a golden ring around the edge.
"Stand by..." shouted one of the professors. The others repeated him, showing that they were ready to being the experiment. "We are now proceeding to five percent!" The small gaps between the panels lit up with a bright white light, and the machine hummed a powerful hum. All seemed well until. "Ten percent...!" and like that the alarms went of, electricity began to arc between the machine and the surrounding metal walls.
"Shut it down, shut it down..." shouted one of the other scientists. The old man, the first scientist pulled down the lever, reducing the power and deactivating the machine.
"Damn it, not again...!"
Outside the campus building, the bolts of electricity could be seen flying out into the sky. However one of these bolts struck the ground, where in 'reality' seemed to collapse into itself creating a black spot in thing air that morphed to take on a humanoid form.
Part 2 Edit
The generals looked and watched the video in a dark room, it showed camera footage from the building, showing the Renegade attacking Fusion Industries and the Maxion appearing to fight it. The footage continued until the two took of for a different place to fight.
"Is this suppose to be funny...?" asked a general.
"No..." said Aisle "This took place by Ocean City in Europe, by the place where all those strawberries began to grow after that meteor hit a while back. According to an inside source to Fusion Industries, they've discovered that previous undetectable particles have irradiated said fruit..." There was a commotion in the room "Calm down! The radiation is harmless, in fact it is believed to the cause of the supposed health benefits of these fruits. The aliens which attacked apparently give of a polar signal..." He pressed a button putting up images of rotten and destroyed strawberries.
"So, is this over...?"
"No... the alien, at least one of them, came down as a meteor that broke into seven pieces. The white one, we believe came down as the first meteor and has been hiding ever since. Its radiation causing the growth of the strawberries."
"Something needs to be done about this...!" shouted another general. "We need to cleanup that place, take..."
"We do not have the authority to do that..." said Aisle "Beyond that, any such operation will tip of the enemy...an enemy we know nothing about. These machines, are they piloted, remote control, individual A.I? We don't know, and the first rule of war is to know your enemy."
"Then what do you suggest?"
"I suggest, we send in an agent, or agents, to investigate and gather as much intel as we possibly can before the next attack."
"How can you be certain there will be another attack...?"
"How can we be certain there wont...?"
"Well...?" asked one of the other students, all gathered around Sarah's desk. Sarah was resting with her head on her bag, and rather sleepy. They all wore the uniform of a white shirt, a cream jacket and khaki pants, or for girls, a grey skirt. "Where have you been...?"
"On the first couple of days of school that must suck...What do you have..."
"At the moment, drowsiness from construction work waking me up at an ungodly hour in the morning."
"Oh, right your...company building got attacked the other day..."
"I have an apartment on the premises..." The group around her started talking.
"Uhh..." said Marcel, sitting at Jack's desk some rows behind Sarah's, "Do they have to do this so early in the morning...?" She looked at Jack who was quite and lost in serious thought. "Jack...?"
"She knows something..." said Jack in a serious tone. Marcel simply rolled her eyes. "I'm serious, you sensed it to haven't you, there is something...off about that girl..."
"Ya don't say..." replied Marcel in an annoyed tone.
Part 3 Edit
The guard sat in front all of the monitors, barely looking at them. It was night, he was tired and the motion detectors were on, so even if he didn't look, the computer would tell him that someone was there. Yet, as he sat there, his legs on the table, headphones on and playing his handheld game, he was unaware of the humanoid shadows walking about the place, gathering in front of the device the university was testing, or even the one outside his little room staring through the window in the door. All of them were hunched over, dragging their feet and seemingly had no purpose...until one of them stuck their hands into the pipes holding the cables that powered the machine.
Electricity arced up the shadow's arms as it threw its head back. Instead of being thrown off, it held on, as if the power was what it wanted, what it was searching for. It was growling larger, with glowing red eyes being revealed. It was now that guard was made aware of the fact that he was not alone, as he ran to the place holding a flashlight. What he found was two black marks on the pipe and two more on the ground. The guard was left puzzled unaware of the large black shadow behind him, staring with red eyes.
Maxine closed the door behind her and her men, cutting off the noise from outside, from her office.
"Why are you here...?" she asked with an annoyed tone. Odessa turned around, sitting in her chair. She was a girl of about Sarah's age, but a year or two older, with tan skin, long brown hair with various hues covering one side of her face and blue eyes. She was pretty, wearing a yellow shirt with a black sleeveless jackets and a short skirt to her brand name shoes.
"Is that anyway to treat a guest...?" replied Odessa in an amused tone.
"Let me rephrase my question; why should I not have my men through you of the premises..."
"Or what's left of it. Calm down, I'm just here to say hello to my cute little bastard half-sister, but if you really want a reason...My father is most interested about your research..."
"What research; and when last I checked, we created hydroponics and medicines, you create weapons..."
"Yes, but you forget, you also create Synthetics, like your men there. They're just plastics, circuits and chrome. Thanks to your daughter, you've also took a step into the field of robotics. Then you have two giant robots, presumably from outer space, one attacking you, the other coming out of your basement, just fighting. That's rather suspicious..."
"So you came here to interrogate me...?"
"No, my father, he's interested in whatever weapons programs you have cooked up now..."
"So you think I'm responsible for these...robots which damaged my building and thus you want in on the action...interesting. I would almost believe you, except, well, your father sent you..."
"Actually, he doesn't know I'm here. He thinks I'm cruising across the side of Europe, taking shots and other things..."
"As did I..."
"Don't talk, I've heard the stories about you, seriously, is there anyone in my dad's circle you don't know...?"
"Really..." said Maxine slamming her hand down on the desk "well I've heard quite a few stories about you..."
"If you two are done...'measuring'..." said Sarah, who was by the now open door. "I suspect there is business to be done for both of you..."
"Sarah...!" shouted Odessa, who got up ran around the table and hugged her half-sister.
"Hello Odessa..." she replied in her normal monotone mood.
"Made any incredible inventions..." she whispered to her "met any cute boys?"
"I'm fine as well Odessa, how are you...?" Odessa began hugging her even tighter, until Maxine tugged on her hair.
"That's enough..." said Maxine.
"Okay...'mom'..." replied Odessa in a rude tone as she freed her hair. "See ya...!" With that she left.
"So..." said Sarah "What did she want...?"
"To be a pain in my a!@, what else does she want from me...?"
"Now what do you want...?" Sarah pulled out a paper.
"Your signature, I thought forging it, would be...unethical..." Maxine grabbed it and read it thoroughly.
"A field trip to a university? Since when have you been interested in field trips...?"
"Since when have I never been...'home schooled' for a lack of a better term."
"Fair enough..." Maxine pulled out a pen and signed, handing it back to her. "Just do not touch anything..."
"Why would you ask that...?"
"Personal history..." Odessa walked away from the door and proceeded to head towards the stairs.
Part 4 Edit
"Are you certain..." asked the professor, talking to the other guard. They stood over the body outline marking where the night shift guard had fallen. It was in the tunnel holding the pipes that fed fuel to the machine upstairs. The guard had with him an I-pad, which he used to show video footage.
It showed the other guard being attacked from behind, by the shadow on the wall. Its hands had sudden converted to the 3-D plain and grabbed him, wrapping its hands around his throat and mouth. The man struggle, but after arcs of electricity jumped from the man to the shadow, the specter released him as he fell down dead.
"Yes..." said the guard "I'm certain. A school field trip is heading here, we can't let those kids wonder around the premises with these things wondering about!"
"It will be fine, so long they are kept to safe areas."
"Enough! This project could change the whole world. Whoever these people are, they are clearly afraid of the great change this could have for our entire species!" With the look in the old man's eyes, the guard was silent.
Sarah and company were on a bus, heading towards the capital of the nation. Sarah sat by a window, looking out with her typical bored, stoic expression. Everyone else was talking about going to a university and what they would see. Sarah, sat there, not truly bored, but sure what to say to other people. Her calm expression, however, was broken as she the bus drove past a walking shadow. In her surprise she sat up and looked back to see nothing.
"What's wrong...?" asked the girl next to her.
"Nothing..." said Sarah sitting back down and returning to her calm state "thought I saw something..."
"Nice...hair..." said Sarah, trying to start a conversation.
"You really think so...!"
But, Sarah did see something, and it saw her, or at least it felt her. On the side of the road, the shadow was invisible now as it flickered to and from visible reality.
The group got out of the bus, all with their bags. Leading them was a teacher, a young woman who clearly had little clue about what was going. Sarah, rolled her eyes as she attempted to explain what they were there to see, the new experiment in in new viable sources of energy being conducted at the university. Sarah looked to the side, and looked away...and then looked back in shock as she saw her mother in the distance talking to someone.
"Do you know her...?" asked another girl.
"Wished I didn't..." said Sarah with genuine annoyance on her face. Things were made all the worse when she saw Odessa on the other side, waving at her.
"Plasma Energy...!" said the head scientist. He was in the control room with the class "It is the way of the future, a clean source of energy that can be used to clean up the taint we have left on this planet!' He spoke with such fevor, such passion, yet most of the kids were fairly unimpressed. "The Fusion Reactor will be able to produce enough energy to power this entire country!"
"Will...?" said Sarah.
"Ah, at the moment it is still in its experimental stage. The theory is solid but the control mechanism still need work."
"You have...a fundamentally...working fusion reactor?"
"It doesn't use the typical model of a fusion reactor but yes..."
"How does this differ...?"
"Oh, you're little head wouldm't..."
"Don't..." said Maxine, suddenly behind them by the door "don't finish that sentence, unless you want her to plot your doom..." she said with a smirk.
"Ah, miss Potter, what brings you here...?"
"Oh I just thought I would take a look at my investment..." she said rubbing Sarah on the head to her annoyance.
"Are you...?" asked a student "Maxine Potter, the head of Fusion Industries...!"
"Wait, Potter...?" said another student. Everyone looked at Sarah, who simply gave them a look, making them all turn away. Maxine giggled. A sweet harmless giggle. Maxine just radiated friendly
"Yes..." she said "my little terror can be a handful sometimes no...?" Sarah rolled her eyes at all the blushing coming from the group.
"Oh..." said the scientist "Your little 'terror', was rather interested in research..."
"Really, that's interesting..."
"Yes..." said the teacher, a little out of her element "I suppose it's time to go on to the next sight...!"
"Just when it was getting interesting..." said a student. The group left, except...
"Sara..." said Maxine "Could you stay a moment?" Sarah stopped as the rest of the class left the room. "Tell me, what do you think of the professor's work..."
"I think it's dangerous..." she replied. Like that the professor roared up in rage.
"Dangerous...!" he shouted "what does a little..." as he moved forward he was pulled back by the collar by Maxine, who gave him an evil eye. He calmed down and Maxine returned to her prior calm and motherly demeanor before walking out of the room with Sarah. The professor was left livid and slammed his hands on the control panel, before pressing a button, for audio from the hallway.
"So..." said Maxine "What did you mean by dangerous...?" Sarah looked at her. "Come now, what does that head full of inhuman knowledge say?"
"It says, it's not nuclear fusion..." she replied "not in the traditional sense..."
"Plasma, is just a byproduct of nuclear fusion, which is just a system of fission repeated over and over again as molecules fuse and break apart..."
"I know this..."
"Then know this, plasma is generated from the extreme heat and pressure and simple plasma is a safe form of energy, well as safe as any other. But he attempting to harness a plasma core..."
"Oh, and how dangerous is that...?"
"He trying to create a miniature sun and keep it under control, which given the nature of a plasma core, is frankly absurd. It would take an incredibly powerful control system which at the moment is beyond human ability to actual control such a thing..."
"And if it goes off...?"
"For a core of that size...I'd say it would destroy the school and the photo-thermal effect produce by the shock wave would scorch most of the state."
"Oh, that is dangerous... You would think the professor would know that..."
"Perhaps...or perhaps he thinks he can control such energy..." The two continued down the hallway, when Sarah turned to the side, she could have sworn she had seen a pair of red lights in the dark.
Part 5 Edit
"What are you lot looking at...?" asked Sarah, coming out to find the class gathered around their phones.
"We..." said Jack, uncertain of how to continue "...we saw a ghost..." Sarah just raised an eyebrow and gave a 'are you kidding' look.
"Here, look..." said another girl. She showed Sarah her phone showing a humanoid shadow walking across the campus grounds and looking back with red glowing eyes. For reasons unknown to her, her heart skipped a beat. It was within the length of time of that skip that she found herself in a white void.
Before her was a woman, milky white skin, silver hair, red eyes and a flowing white gown.
"Oh..." she said. "It's you..." before she could speak, there was a light, a violent blue light that flashed and sent her away.
"Begone..." said Maxion "creature of ill-omens. Speak not with that one child, she leads only to disaster for our like."
"Who is she...?" asked Sarah.
"That is not the question you wanted to ask..."
"...What is going on...?"
"You already know the answer to that."
"No, I don't."
"Yes, you do. You know it's no ghosts, you know they are here, around a dangerous power source. What phenomenon could render them as walking shadows?"
"Not cloaking fields, they draw more attention that deflect it, it's not a perception filter, as our phones are working on them." Then it hit her. "Well, crap..."
Only Maxine seemed to have noticed the blue flash in her daughter's eyes. Sarah turned away, suddenly lost in thought.
"Something wrong...?" Maxine whispered into her ear
"Tell me mother..." said Sarah "What looks like a shadow, behaves like a ghost, seems to be untouchable, but it isn't any of these things...?"
"I don't know..."
"A shame..." she said. At that moment they appeared in mass, a mass of walking shadows appeared all over and began to coralte around the young students. "because then we would have an answer for these lot..."
Maxine's men pull out their guns, only fore Sarah, to shout stop. but the didn't listen and they only real damage was to the side of a lab assistant in the distance. Their bullets just passed through them as the students got down and scampered away back into the building.
"Hold your fire." said Maxine, stopping her men. Sarah pulled her mother by the arm back into the building closing the door behind her. Her eyes glowed as she touched her lips and pressed her fingers on the door. Seconds later the Maxine's guards were thrown against the glass door, or just ripped apart, revealing intestine like wiring and white fluids as the 'shadows' reached for their internal batteries. The marched forward unopposed until they came up against the door. A blue barrier of energy appeared every time they tried to touch it, sending them flying back.
"Is that...?" asked Maxine.
"Not going to hold them forever..." Sarah pulled her mother along down the hallway to the large room where most, if not all of the class was hiding. Sarah took of her bag and began to look through for something, a brass and leather bracer, strange looking googles, a canister she wore around her waist and a silver cylinder shaped device.
"Okay, seriously, what are those things....!"
"No, idea..." Maxine turned her around, and held her by the shoulders giving her a look. Sarah just brushed her off "I don't know, I have an idea, but until I get close to one, I most likely won't know until then..."
"But you have a theory..."
"Most likely, they are in another dimension..."
"They seem a bit too close for that..." Sarah sighed.
"Think of space-time, not as a sheet of paper...but a sheet of paper with a frequency. Within our space-time zone, our universe, there are all possible frequencies of space times, all balled together and existing simultaneously. At each frequency the kinetic model changes..."
"The kinetic model...?"
"The structure of matter, physics is the relationship between matter and energy. You change the standard kinetic model you change physics. Ethereal biology, they were not made for our dimension, and are most likely trying to adapt." Maxine thought back.
"Why did they tear into my men...?"
"Energy, it's not a simple thing, crossing the expanse between one dimension and another. I suspect they came here for energy, energy to increase their time here, energy to finish the cross over even."
"So..." said Marcel, poking from under a table "we are being attacked by monster from another universe...?"
"Dimension, but the basic premise is the same. That said, I think you guys should run, doors aren't going to hold them forever..." Like that the children and the teacher crawled outside, well most of them. Jack and Marcel were still with her. "Pray tell why...?"
"What..." said Jack "we're friends..."
"No we're not, so again...no it doesn't matter, come along and don't get killed..."
"Please, you wouldn't let anything happen to us..."
"I don't make promises I don't know if I can keep."
Part 6 Edit
"Another bogey..." shouted the operator. On the main screen a dot representing the energy signature that they had been searching for, for sometime.
Where is it...?" asked his superior.
"North of Ocean City..!'
"Send an extermination unit."
Out in the fields, the grass began to wither and die as a disk of purple light appeared in the middle of the fields. Out of the light it crawled, a giant whose flesh was akin to metal. This robotic life form, its body was composed of a musculature of metal fiber on an alien but humanoid metal skeletal from with armor plating in organic shapes and designs. Its face was a V shaped red visor, with a face plate. It had large forearm armor, with a chevron (V) shaped design, the two point aiming at the hand with a cylinder shaped part in the middle. Its chest was barrel shaped, its legs long and powerful, but they came down on high heels, and a single spike for the front of the foot. Its chest, composed of plates stacked on each other in a roughly V shaped, gave it a triangular upper body and centered around a purple sphere which sank into its body, covered by plates.
As it climbed out of whatever containment the light represented, it scanned the area, looking about. Its systems were now coming online, it was booting up, waking up and being attacked by some tanks was not what it wanted first thing in the morning. The tanks rolled over the hills with enough grace to be considered a passing grade. They came accompanied by ground troops and planes which proceeded to carpet bomb the mechanoid.
These attacks did little but aggravate it, the cylinder on one of its arms, rose up and its hand disappeared into its arm and a large gun barrel come up and out and enlarged.
In the distance one could see the flashing of light, the rising of smoke and explosions.
"Something wrong...?" asked Maxine. She, Sarah, Jack and Marcel were in front of a door that Sarah was trying to unlock. She was hacking the electronic lock with her wrist mounted computer. However, she had paused to look to the distance.
"Nothing..." she replied "I thought I sensed something." She continued her work, until the door opened and the group ran through to the control station for the Plasma Core.
"You...!" said the professor "come to ruin my work..." Sarah looked at him confused. "These things, they are you work aren't they!?"
"Wow..." said Sarah "you're a dumb ass..." He moved towards Sarah violently, only to be kicked in the nads and left on the floor. "I don't have time for this..." Sarah began to work on the computer, using the terminal and her own wrist computer to do something. "Done, let's go..."
"Like that...?" asked Jack "They're gone...?"
"What, no, where did you get that idea?"
"These things are after energy, what is the biggest source of energy in the area, hell the country?"
"This plasma core..." said Maxine, who with a look of revelation looked back to see the shadows walking slowly down the hallway. Sarah pulled out her rectangular canister and transformed it into a blaster which fired a bolts of plasma into the window. Sarah kicked out some glass and jumped down followed by Jack, Marcel, Maxine (whose soles broke, high heels) and the other scientists. Even the head scientist who had to be dragged out and thrown down. The group escape through an emergency hatch to the side of the large orb.
The shadows didn't seem to care, they walked up to the control panel and touched it, their hands becoming suddenly more solid as the attempted to access the controls. They roared in rage, however, when they realized that the system had been blocked out from access to the core.
"You took over the controls...?" said Maxine genuinely surprised. She and the others walked quickly down the tunnel to the other side, passing the body outline on the floor. "How did you do that...?"
"I'm a genius..." said Sarah, with a tone that implied her response was obvious.
"Seriously...?" said the old man with contempt.
"Seriously..." replied Sarah with a solemn tone.
"So what now...?"
"Now...? Now you lot go home or whatever, and I find one of these things..." The group existed the tunnel into a room with another machine and climbed up the ladder to a different control room.
"Pray tell why do we have to leave...?" asked the professor.
"Do you have a plan to stop these things..."
"I do indeed..."
"One that does not involve a...'nuclear' solution..." The old man was silent. "I thought so..." They made their way down another hallway, this one was less pipes and more bricks, classrooms, offices and tiles.
"So what is your plan...?" asked Jack.
"Still working on it..."
"What...?" shouted the old man.
"I have a point A and a point C, the issue is figuring out point B, before..." Sarah opened the door to the outside. While there were a few 'shadows' walking about there was little concern about them. The real issue was the sky, which was now filling up with black clouds and purple lightning. The entire campus was covered by it, in a strange sort of dome.
"What...what is going on...?" asked Marcel.
"Their putting the campus under a force field, based on the same phase technology they're using..." said Sarah "or was that not obvious."
"You..." said Marcel angry.
"Though I think we should be more concerned with them." Sarah pointed to the shadows now walking towards them.
Part 7 Edit
The backhand of the giant sent the poor soldier flying through the air. Looking around it could find no more enemies to destroy, the tanks were craters, the planes had been down, the soldiers had been vaporized, crushed or some grizzly combination of the two. All that mattered was finding 'him', yet his sensors told him nothing. His target's energy signature covered a wide area and yet it was all inconclusive, the individual instances of his energy were to small or simply clusters, clearly just bunches of the strange native flora holding his specific charge.
What he did detect was interesting however. a large phase disturbance, clearly 'man-made'. With nothing else to go on it was his best bet. From the sides of his legs the emerged, barrel shaped objects that grew and morphed into jet engines, the same things came out his upper back. He took of at high speed for the campus.
"What do we do...?" asked Marcel.
"Uh, we run..." replied Sarah with an annoyed tone, the group took of, with the professor leaving and going of on his own. While they ran, Sarah looked back and slowed down, just long enough to get a look. The shadows didn't, they didn't seem capable of running, and then it became clear why, they weren't built that way. Out of the darkness, the true forms emerged, robots, humanoid, with large bulky dark purple armor, cubic in shape. The best these things could do was 'stomp' quickly and that's what they did.
Sarah kept on running following the others to a new hiding spot.
The professor made his way to the main building, to the receptionist's spot, he was gone, and tried to use the phone. He got nothing but static. He tried other phones, more and more until he tried the computer, no internet connection. He slammed his fists on the computer table and cursed, until one of the robots phase up and out of the computer. He jumped back and turned to see that others had phased through the walls.
"Please, don't kill me...!" he begged. One stepped forward, like the others, his face was a pair of red optics and a plate in place of other features. He had the two pairs of antennae on the side of his head, unlike them, he had a crest with a red stone, on his helmet.
"You..." said the machine, in a robotic and raspy voice "you are the creator of the power source..."
"Yes, the Plasma Core..."
"You will activate it..."
"I would love to but I can't, the girl she locked out everyone..."
"Then we have no more use for you..." He reached out towards the old man.
"Yes, you do!" he shouted. The machine stopped "She's never going to give you the code, and she would sooner destroy us all than give you access to it..."
"And what can you give us...?"
"A chance to get it..."
"We can take it from her..."
"No, you can try, if she is smart enough to lock you lot out of the controls, would she not also be smart enough to lock you out of her personal computer?" The robot held its hand up for a moment, before lowering it.
"Very well...prepare him..." The others grabbed him by the arms. He struggled, but it was for naught, as he was human and they were metal.
"Robots...?" said the lab assistant with disbelieve. Sarah and her group where in the gymnasium. For some reason the robots wouldn't enter, they would go up the steps, but they would not touch the wooden doors or floors.
"Yes..." said Sarah "I know a robot when I see one..."
"She built her own little robot butler at home..." said Maxine.
"Mother please, he's almost your height..."
"Can we get back to the point...?" said the lab assistant.
"These machines, they need power..."
"No, not like that. They are crossing the dimensional veil, it's one thing to go out of phase a little, but to move over to another dimension, with entirely different physics... that takes energy, like a warp drive..."
"Warp, drive...?" asked Jack.
"It's a theory of FTL..." said the Lab Assistant "it's inspired by an old Sci-Fi- show, wherein space is warped around a space ship to allow faster than light speed."
"Yeah, that warp drive..." said Sarah, but these things, trying to cross over to our dimension." She had a look of revelation. "The charge..."
"What is physics...?"
"The study of-"
"No, the relationship between energy and matter, but that's dictated by what? ...Our kinetic model, the structure of matter as determined by our phase frequency, our dimension. Different dimension, different physics, different structures of matter, but the fundamental forces are all still the same. That's the link, electromagnetism..." The lab assistant got it.
"It's why they've been siphoning energy, they're using it to build a connection an anchor to our world!"
"It takes a lot of energy to cross, over they're using the electrical charge to generate a link, between their world and ours. Anything electrically non-conductive is just going to waste that energy for more than they would risk."
"But they are walking about..." said Jack
"Grounding, got its name from the ground for a reason, and I imagine stone is not as bad as say, wood, dead wood, which is completely non conductive compared to all of that. The one question remaining is..." Sarah rushed to the door and opened it, to the shock and surprise of the others, who saw the legion of shadowroids outside.
Part 8 Edit
The shadowroids looked at Sarah, turning around as they were obviously not expecting her to open the door. One of them started to reach for her.
"I can shut this door faster than that, and I know you don't want to touch wood..." she said with a solemn tone. It stopped. "So, you do understand me.." The others gathered around behind Sarah. "Now, who are you...?"
"We are the Shadowroids..." said one of them.
"An uninspired name..."
"It was the name given to us, by those that first opposed our crossing. We have no name, only a purpose..."
"What do you want, why are you here...?"
"The energy, the photonic mass covering a part of this dimension's planet, we would examine this energy..." Maxine looked at Sarah.
"I doubt it's for scientific inquiry...You are crossing dimensions, and given your shadow like states, and the need for this dome, I imagine you don't have the power, or technology needed to cross over." They looked at each other and then back Sarah.
"This one is wise, she knows our weakness, she must be destroyed. You will give us control of the plasma core!"
"Well, when you put it like that..." No one was sure who, but someone pushed Sarah forward and like that the robot reached for her.
The mechanoid continued flying through the air, flying over hills and fields until it could get to the location it desired. Yet despite not making any sort of attempt on the natives, they seemed unwilling to leave it alone. More aircraft, this time jet fighters, that tried to blow him out of the sky with missiles and machine gun fire. They did little but annoy him, but that annoyance was enough to pull out his arm cannon and blast them out of the sky, their smoldering remains crashing down on the Earth below. The mechanoid continued onward to the campus, until it found its way blocked, by a dome. At first it was invisible, but the dome of black clouds and purple lightning showed itself so long as someone tried to touch it, throwing them back with a powerful electric shock.
The mechanoid hovered for a moment, before landing on the outskirts of the campus. It know, or at least had an idea of what it had encountered. It knew that for all its power, its brute strength could not break this, so instead it chose a different option, to wait. Whatever happened it would wait for the outcome, but it knew it current state would only arouse more attacks from the natives of this world. It's body began to glow a bright purple.
Sarah and company now stood over the defeated Shadowroid, its true form realized in their dimension thanks to Sarah's computer somehow. She wasn't patient enough to explain it. Instead she sat down on top of it and pulled out a cylinder shaped object that extended outward like a small telescope with a blue crystal at the end. Sarah didn't ask who pushed her, she just gave Marcel a look and continued on her work. The doors were closed and now she was busy working. Somehow she got the thing's chest to open and was now checking out the various parts and pieces within it. It didn't take long for her to figure out what piece was what for most of them.
Marcel rubbed her hand, not from pain but something else.
"You alright..." asked Jack, the two off to the side.
"I don't understand, why I pushed her..."
"Because you don't-"
"That's not it, Sarah is the only thing keeping us alive, and the only one who could possibly stop those thing. It literally felt like...something had taken over my arm. It felt weird, like I was a stranger in my own body."
"I guess..." said Jack not really sure what to say "we can deal with that later...for now let's concentrate on staying alive..."
"What's that...?" asked the other lab assistant.
"A hard drive..." he pointed to another part
"A battery..." he pointed to the three chamber piece in the middle of the chest. "That's an anti-matter engine..." Everyone paused and looked at her.
"They store normal matter and its opposite charge, into seperate chambers via magnetic fields and let the clash in the third chamber, the resulting force generating plasma and torque to be converted into power." She pulled out a small cone shaped, black with purple lights. She got up as the machine began to fade away, 'melting' back into shadow.
"What...?" asked Maxine.
"This is the Phase Controller..." said Sarah,"this is how they cross over. This should be...spectacular..."
The door opened to reveal the professor.
Part 9 Edit
"What happened to you...?" asked Sarah. The professor stumbled in and fell on all fours, gasping.
"They, they..." said the old man trying to catch his breath. He got up and a took a deep breath "They are refugees." He collapsed again.
Moments later he awoke on a table with his assistants looking over him, while the others sat and watched Sarah walk about in circles, clearly deep in thought.
"So..." Sarah, having noticed his awakening "what did you mean by 'refugees?"
"They interrogated me, wanted to know what our world is like, but they also told me about them. Their name, it's ones and zeros, but they also said they are running from something..."
"Curious...what could be so terrible, that would force people to run not just to another country, or even planet, but across entire dimensions...?" Sarah jumped. Before her eyes flashed an image, it was a box, a box with purple edges and a black center filled with prismatic circuit lines. She had never seen it before in her life, but the moment it appeared in her head, a jolt of fear ran through her. Only Maxine seemed to notice this.
"Does it matter..." said Jack "we need to stop them..."
"Not necessarily..." said the professor sitting up "They are running, once they get into our dimension, they will immediately begin work on leaving. They want to be as far... 'away' from whatever they are running from as possible. I say, we give them the core and let them get on their merry way!"
"They've killed people..."!" shouted Marcel
"So would anyone who is desperate..." Everyone paused and looked at Sarah, who was looking away into space.
"Sarah...?" said Maxine
"The issue is not simply allowing them to go on their 'merry way'. Regardless of how many they are, they would want to use the Plasma Core..."
"Oh and what's the problem with that?" said the professor defensively.
"The core is unstable..."
"Lies, what the hell do you know, I've done the math, it can work...!" Everyone was silent.
"What...!" said the old man, now livid
"Yes, a plasma core can work...in theory, but you seem to have forgotten, the technological limitations of mankind. It can work, but not now. For now it's just a very uncontrollable nuke."
"You don't know that...!" he ran over and grabbed her arm. She in turn gave him a look.
"Old man, remove yourself or it will be done for you..."
"What is a little-" Maxine sighed "girl going to..." Before the could finish his sentence Sara had grabbed him by the groin and picked him up and slammed him into the desk.
"That, she will do that..." said Sarah, to the old man, now curled in a fetal position and in pain.
"Sarah..." said Maxine, walking over to Sarah " do calm down..."
"Or, what...?" said Sarah, rather upset. Maxine pulled out a lighter. Sarah's expression went from one of anger, to extreme discomfort as she stared at the rectangular object.
"I thought so..." Sarah walked away.
"I don't get it..." said Marcel.
"Let me put it for you this way, I don't smoke..."
Part 10 Edit
"I suppose it's time..." said Sarah to the surprise of everyone.
"Time for what...?" asked Maxine. Sarah walked up to the doors
"Time for everyone to run..." Sarah pulled out her device and pressed a button "try the janitor's exit..." she said pointing to it. Suddenly all the doors flew open and the shadows began to march in forcing everyone but Sarah to run through the only possible door in the back. Sarah seemingly faded away as the shadows came in, beyond the scope of their observation and was just gone.
"Was that necessary...?" asked Maxion in the back of Sarah's mind
"Yes, yes it was..." she said walking and through the shadows unnoticed "I needed a distraction..."
"You have their device, reprogrammed, what distraction did you need. You were just being vindictive..." She got through the mass and began to walk towards the main lab.
"Maybe, but my chances of success are increased if they are busy looking for them, not me. Look if I fail, these things are going to kill millions of people just to 'escape' whatever they are running from, assuming they weren't lying."
"So you also noticed that the old man was compromised..."
"Dude, we, I scanned him, I noticed the chips in his head. As small as they were."
"Most likely splinters of Living Metal, nano-tech infused metals for their structure...."
"I thought as much."
"I still disagree with this course of action..."
"You've done worst...what, nothing to say to that...?"
"That is not an excuse, for what you are doing..."
"You will be alone, or worse..."
"I will be fine..."
Maxine and company took of through the back and ran as fast they could coming out behind the building. Maxine stopped them, to take a shovel and break open a lock, to the shack holding a back up generator. With the slow movements of the shadows, she had the time to put in some fuel and turn it on. They took of and as she suspected, the shadow went for the generator, like moths to a flame.
They needed the energy to help anchor themselves to their reality and any chance they got was fine by them.
"Now..." said Maxine "to find Sarah and give her a peace of my mind..." she said, clearly livid.
"Can she really do it..." asked Marcel "can she really destroy all of them...?"
"I wouldn't doubt..."
"What is she...?" asked Jack. Maxine looked at him.
"I honestly don't know..." she replied "I could give you a bunch of words, but they all either fail to encapsulate what she is, or simply contradict. I don't know what to exactly call her, but I do think of her as a pain in my rear..."
"Fascinating..." said a voice. Out of the wall walked another robot, clearly the leader "very fascinating..."
Sarah was in the core room, working away with the wires and the sphere which she had found. That was when she heard it.
"Sarah, Potter..." said the leader's voice over the PSA system, come to the core room now, or your progenitor's life is forfeit!"
It was several minutes when Sarah arrived in the room, the group was huddled into a corner and her mother was held by two of them. Their leader stood before her and looked at Sarah.
"Do you know why you are here...?" said the leader.
"Spare me the posturing, I am not a child..."
"But you are, if you thought you could stop us..."
"So tell me, what are you running from, or is that just a lie you told the old man..." There was silence.
"We make haste now...from the darkness..."
"You're going to have to be a little more precise than that, 'darkness', everyone always calls it darkness, like the solar cycles spells doom for the world."
"I do not have to explain anything to you, you will return the functions of the controls."
"And then, we will make way to the next coherent phase frequency!"
"While this world suffers. You aren't just running, your're too belligerent for that, too callous, you strip worlds of their resources to build more of yourselves."
"We, will survive, we always survive. Now..." he raised his hand to Maxine's face.
"As tempted as I am to have you go through it..." She pressed the buttons on her wrist computer and the electronics in the control room lit up again. The guards released Maxine throwing to Sarah.
"I can't believe you just threw away to whole world for me..." said Maxine.
"Give it a minute..." she whispered back.
"Now..." said the leader, "we take our first true steps into this world..." He pressed the button. The roar of plasma could be heard as the core built up, far and past its known safety limits...and then there was silence. "What...?" That's when it hit them, the robots from the shadows, waved about madly as they erupted in a bright white light, their frames melting and they suddenly disappeared.
"What...?" asked the Professor.
"Oh, you know..." said Sarah "I tied their phase controller into the system, The charged flowed into the system back to the plasma core, had they not turned it up so quickly, it probably wouldn't have been so powerful a blast, but you know.. robots..."
Chapter 12 Edit
They all walked outside, Sarah holding the ruined Phase controller. They were tired but glad to see the sun once again.
"Well that worked out alright...?" said Sarah in her usual monotone voice. Maxine turned her around and slapped her.
"We almost died...!" she shouted. No one noticed Odessa or the other survivors who had fled before the dome came down.
"But you didn't..." said Sarah coldly.
"Because we made good hostages, and even then I suspect you only came to make the final move, your checkmate!"
"I still won..."
"Is that all this was too you, the world nearly burned, you said it yourself, and all you could think of was...winning...? You, you're..."
"Just like you..." she said with a sneer. Maxine paused for a moment.
"Yes, just like me, a cold hearted b!tch, that just uses people to get ahead, to win..." she clapped "congratulations, you are your mother's daughter..." Sarah, was angry, very angry, with every word she just said.
"Shut up" she said. Before Maxine could retort Sarah grabbed her head "I don't care, I'm busy right now...!" She bowed her head in pain and then stood up, with irises glowing blue. "I must apologize for her behavior..." Only Maxine understood what had happened, only Maxine had a look of disgust, instead of confusion. 'Sarah' turned to the side. There was a boy, dark hair, dark eyes, dark clothes and a pale skin tone looking at her with a glare that could felt across the campus. Upon being made aware of his presence, the others could feel it. What concerned Maxine however, was the look on Sarah's face.
This was not anger, children get angry, immature people get angry, parents who don't understand get angry. This was not anger. This was not being upset, an unhappy, or spoiled child gets upset, an immature person gets upset, a person wronged or cheated out of some money gets upset. This was not being upset. This was hate, not hate born of ignorance, but true, pure hate, born from a history shared.
Maxine was the one most shock by this. As much as she had hated Maxion, he was never cruel to her, never mean, or angry, perhaps she hated him and the aura of zen that he radiated, but here he was, using her daughter's face but still. It was his hate, something she did not think was possible from him.
"You..." said 'Sarah' "should run..." And like that the two ran towards each other, glowing with blue and purple lights respectively. They quickly shed their human forms, and returned to the metal states natural to them.
No one but Maxine could really believe their eyes, as the two charged towards each other. The rammed into each other and began to wrestle with Maxine finally telling everyone to leave the campus. She took note of the sparks that surrounded them as the clashed.
"Maxion...!" said the mechanoid. It wasn't in any Earth language but the tongue they spoke, but a collection of beeps, growls, screeches that somehow made words. "It is long past time you died hypocrite...!" Maxion uppercut him and kicked him of.
"Rich, coming from you, traitor...!" The kishin punched at him. Maxion caught the punch and pulled his arm back, then punched him in the face with the same fist. He then repeatedly punched him. "I fought for our freedom, I fought against our oppressors! We had our freedom, then you shot me in the back!" Maxion double punched him from the side of his head, setting of his ears. The mechanoid stumbled back, holding his head and fell to his knees.
"You murdered those who fought for freedom, where do you get of, claiming to fight for it...?"
"Those before, the claimed to have wanted freedom, but their actions just spoke of a desire to rampage as the pleased. Freedom is everyone's right and they made it clear, they cared about no one's 'freedom' but their own..."
"Excuses..." Maxion extended his blade
"And how to you excuse your actions. The government you hated, was nearly toppled but you betrayed all of us, for what...?"
"You killed my brother...!"
"So you chose revenge, over the fate of your entire race?" He raised his blade "You disgust me..." Before he could deliver the blow, they landed. Five more Mechanoids, all black, grey and some other color. They landed on the grass, on buildings on someone's car, but they landed in a circle around the two. The first Kishin stood up.
"Amazing what you can do, when no one is looking..."
"I cannot argue with that..." said Maxion. As they all readied themselves, they were all taken back, by the bright light that descended upon them from the sky.
The army arrived not sure of what to do. In the middle of the campus was several giant robots, all unconscious on the ground. Everyone kept their distance, but as the soldiers soon learned, it was because of the energy field that surrounded them, sending any who would disturb their rest, back flying.
Maxine sat on some stairs, with some of her slabs around her, drinking coffee from a plastic cup. Odessa came around, alone.
"So..." she asked, Maxine was looking the other direction to the robots "exactly how long has my little sister been a giant robot?"