Kairos Trigger Prologue
By Dark Magus
Kairo instinctively jumped out of his top bunk as General Trann slammed open the door to his barracks with an echoing thud. His bare feet hit the cold cement floor hard as he landed from his jump. Kairo winced in pain at the abuse of his feet. He ignored it and stood in an attentive position with his left arm behind his back and his right arm hanging down on his thigh.
He was covered only by a pair of boxers; as General Trann had gotten the whole barracks out of bed. He had a normally built chest, accented by a set of six-pack abs. His arms were thinly muscled, and he had long, bony hands. His normally shoulder length; rust colored hair was sticking up in all directions from a hard night's sleep. He absently blew a strand of hair away from his eyes as Trann paced up and down the room with a steady rhythmic clacking on the floor. After a brief inspection of the bunks to make sure all Privates were out of bed, Trann began to talk.
"Today, my little peons, is the day every one of you in the Guardia 52nd regiment have been waiting for," Trann said with authority in his voice. "Today is the day you little piss-ants get your first shot at war. Today your regiments, along with more Guardia and Truce regiments are going to storm Porre at their recently discovered naval base in diamond harbor, which our spies found. The plan is to advance from the north with our army and attack from the south with Guardia's navy and air force." The General went on and on about the war plans.
Eventually Kairo's eyes began to wander. They came to rest on Xero. Xero's eyes were also wandering and they caught Kairo's. He gave Kairo a smug and nearly evil smile, as if he had something planned. The look sent shivers down Kairo's back.
Xero was the barracks's "bully." He was 25, still a Private, and loved making other soldier's lives miserable. He was always somehow caught though, which didn't help him at all in terms of promotion. Kairo was 19 and had already put up with Xeno's crap for a year. Xero had done everything from putting worms in his rations to knocking him out.
"PRIVATE KAIRO!!!!" Trann was shouting in his ear. Kairo cursed himself for his inattentiveness. "WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!" Kairo had no idea. He tried to say something, but he couldn't think of anything. "Just as I though. Drop down and give me fifty!"
There was a single snicker in the room.
"WHO WAS THAT?!" Trann demanded. Fingers identified the culprit as Xero. "XERO EH? JOIN YOUR FRIEND AND GIVE ME A HUNDRED!"
"As I was saying, we are being accompanied by a squadron of R-unit robots. There will be one of them for every ten of us. They are there to protect you! They're replaceable, your not. Everyone understand?"
There was a murmur of agreement.
"Good!" Trann went on until he was finished with the orders. "Now everyone suit up and get your laser guns. In exactly 10 minutes you had better be ready, or severe punishment will occur." General Trann left the building, probably to give the same orders to another barracks.
Kairo reached for his uniform. He slipped into the long, black outfit within the minute. He reached for his all-purpose boots and slipped them on his feet. He pressed a button and with a mechanical hiss, they conformed to fit his foot. Then he grabbed his laser rifle and slung it across his back. He put his belt on, which included a water canteen, two detonators, recharger packs for his rifle, and other supplies. He attached a holster to the belt, which included his favorite weapon. It was just a sword holster, but when you flipped a switch a concentrated beam came out. Then he fastened his night vision goggles, and put on his helmet. He was ready for war.
Kairo looked at the building through the brush he was hiding in. It was a large, many-floored dome that took up around four hundred square yards. It had individual buildings inside of it, and very few doors leading in to it. They were right in front of a supply truck entrance.
The sky was still dark. It was the middle of the night and raining, the perfect time to attack. The 52nd Guardia regiment was hiding in a row of trees that made a large band around the base.
"ATTACK!!!" came the sudden order from General Trann.
Kairo jumped out of the brush and started charging for the entrance. He and about twenty others made it there at the same time.
"Stand back," came a metallic voice from the center of the crowd. The people cleared and Kairo identified the owner of the voice. It was a tan R-unit.
'That's strange,' thought Kairo. 'aren't R-units supposed to be blue?' The droid stood in a battle ready stance, and its chest opened. A large area bomb emitted from the robot, obliterating the door. The army marched in. They were met by another regiment; armed, and with their guns pointed at Guardia's 52nd. A bunch of the R-units let out a couple of beeps, probably communicating with each other, and stepped forward. They raised their arms in a battle stance. Their chests opened all at the same time. Simultaneously they let out a burst of laser, sending the greeting army to the cold ground. Kairo's army went berserk. They started running around, groups storming buildings.
Kairo headed straight for a building in the center of the dome. It looked important, and it was untouched. He noticed that Xero and the strange colored R-unit also did the same. He got to the outside of the door. It had a strange symbol engraved on it. the symbol looked like a big porcupine surrounded by a gaping gate. What was that all about.
The strange colored droid beside him let out a sound that Kairo had learned to interpret as a sound of anger and disgust.
"DIE LAVOS!" the R-unit said. It reared its arm back and brought it down on the door, right on the engraved porcupine. The door submitted to the powerful blow and crashed down.
For the second time in the day, Kairo was staring down the barrel of a gun. The guards didn't shoot though, they just stood there, until a couple of them parted to let a short man through.
"Good work Xero," the man said right away, "Without you we would have been totally unprepared for this siege."
Kairo stared at Xero with a hatred he had never known before. Xero was a leak. He was a spy for the other army, and had informed this base that they were attacking. And because of Xero, Kairo was now going to die.
"Now Xero," the man continued, "Come over here so we can destroy these opponents." Xero obeyed and stood on the right side of the man. "I suppose you are all wondering what is going on," the short man continued. Kairo noticed that more soldiers had followed him. "We have top secret information in this dome that you are in. This is the reason it is hidden and protected so well. Xero here, was sent to enlist in your army. He was to inform us of any and all plans made against us. We received a transmission from him earlier telling us of your plans. So we prepared for you, and at this very moment all of your friends are being attacked and bombarded. And right now, it is time for you people to die."
The soldiers, Xero, and the man started filing out of the room. Xero was the last one out, and just before he left, he took a detonator out of his belt, removed the pin, and tossed it to the doorway. The tan colored R-unit spread out quickly, trying to shield the blast. The detonator blew. The R-unit blocked most of the blast for Kairo, but Kairo was still hit, hard. It was then that he blacked out.
Kairo awoke some time later in a hospital. His world was spinning and he had a throbbing headache. He sat up in bed and massaged his head, trying to get the pain to stop. He was surprised he was even alive. Kairo stopped suddenly, in horror. He felt metal on his head, where his hands were supposed to be. He quickly jerked his arms away in horror. What he saw scared him more than anything he had ever seen, including the sight of guns in his face.
His arms were flesh, down to the elbow, where they turned into machine. He had metallic fingers, and a metal hand. He inspected the rest of himself, and what he saw took his breath out of him. He had one full leg. The other leg turned into machine at the kneecap. Kairo then fainted.
Kairo woke again some time later, to nurses putting cold rags on his head, and trying to revive him.
"What happened?" he asked in a small, weak voice.
"You were hit by a detonator. Unit R-66Y shielded you best it could, but you got your arms and one leg blown off," a nurse explained with no emotion in her voice, "We reassembled it, and gave you metallic extensions. They are state of the art and include sensors, which send nerve-like signals to your brain. They are shaped in proportion to your body, so it can be easily hid."
"How long have I been out?"
"Two weeks," the same nurse explained, "but now that you're awake, there is someone who wants to see you."
The nurses left. The door opened again, and the same odd colored robot he had seen before entered.
"Good day," it said in a more human voice than he had heard before.
"Um, hi," was all Kairo could manage.
"I apologize profusely right away for not being able to shield you fully from the blast," it said.
"It's all right, there was nothing you could have done. Isn't it kind of strange that you would come to apologize though?"
"Yes, it is for most robots, but I have human emotions. I felt a deep sense of remorse when I heard that you were the only one to survive the blast, and even then lost some of your extremities."
"Did you say I was the only one to survive?"
"Sadly, yes. What are you called by?"
"My name is Kairo; what is your serial number?"
"My number is R-66Y. My friends once coined the name Robo for me though."
"Robo, I like it." there was a pause of silence as neither knew what to say next.
Finally, Robo broke the silence, "We have four months recovery time. I don't need it but the army insisted I take it. Goodbye."
Four months, well, at least they gave him some time to rest. That conversation in itself had made Kairo incredibly weary. His head hit the pillow and he went into a deep slumber.
TO BE CONTINUED
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