The Shadows Chapter 3

Future Imperfect

By Keith Adams

Robo, a XIV class Robotic Life Form, waved good-bye to all his friends at the Milenium Fair, as did Doan, descendant of Marle and Director of the Arris Dome in 2300 ad, an elderly gentleman with graying hair and who had to use a cane to stay upright. They walked into the the Telepod's Timegate, a circular 2D hole in the Space-Time Continuim, made of a bluish energy.

Robo and Doan walked into the gate. Robo pondered what this Brave new world would be like. A humanity free from the threat his kind posed to them; a humanity that can survive, grow, prosper. As Robo was deposited on the other end of the gate, he was feeling ... what was the word? Optimistic.

Robo arrived in Proto Dome, in the same room in which he made his first journey through time. The room was exactly the same; the metal was corroded, the floor weak and with man-sized holes in it. Robo did not understand; this was not supposed to happen. Robo predicted that Lavos's death would have ended his reality as he understood it. He was mistaken.

"What has happened? Something as bad as Lavos?" Doan mused.

"I do not understand. The destruction of Lavos should have ended ...," Robo was interrupted bby his internal alarm. "Registering 8 Proto XI class Robot hunters. Doan, you must hide." Extending his arms, Robo grabbed Doan and lowered him into one of the holes. Robo then quickly shut the door.Suddenly there was the sound of lasers cutting along the wall, slowly dissolving it. Robo used his chronometer to make a 10 metasec countdown before the door opened.

Robo readied his internal Gatling Lasers as the Proto's streamed into the room. Looking much like standard Proto's, they were much more dangerous. Robo aimed his 4 lasersat one of the Proto class bots, and fired. The Bot erupted into a ball of flame.

"R66-Y; renegade Robo Class: XXVII. Highly advanced. Treat with caution," said one of the bots in a dead mechanical voice.

3 of the P6ers (as was their abbreviated name) shot their rocket fists at Robo. While the Robo class was heavily armored, the Fists sent him flying back into the wall. They kept pounding and pounding; Robo estimated he could only take this for 90 metasecs before shutting down. Aiming his gatling laser at one of the Proto's, he fires. The Proto's head is knocked off, exposing the neural wires to air, where with a sharp hiss they explode. Still, Robo could not move.

Doan looked at the pummeling of Robo. How could he help? Doan felt along the stone. There was nothing, no sort of weaopn he could use.

Robo shot a missle at one of the bots that were pummeling him. The missle wasn't powerful enough to destroy the Bot, but it was powerful enough to knock it down. Robo grabbed the extended arm of the P6 still attacking him, and with a mighty pull, tore it out of it's socket. The P6 lost it's balance, falling over before exploding in a small blast. The P6 that was shot with the missle got back up. The 3 remaining P6's fired their cutting beams, triangualar lasers. One of these beams hit Robo's arm, causing several system errors. Another was aimed at his torso, and was quickly depleting his ablative armor. The final was aimed at his head, and already he was expieriencing sensor failure.

Doan found what he was looking for; a piece of one of the P6's, containing it's backup Laser system. Taking aim at the P6 Robo hit with a missle, he fired.

Robo anticipated total systems failure in 34 metasecs. It was a good life, thought Robo, as a brilliant laser beam shot up fom the ground, eliminating the P6 with the beam aimed at his head. Doan must have done it - but that would mean .... already the beams had stopped hitting him. Now the Proto's were aiming their beams at holes in the ground, cutting up the domes foundations. Robo extended his arms and began to pummel them. The P6's turned around, but it was too late - Robo was charging straight at them. As Robo tackled the two P6's, he barely felt one self-destructing.

Robo landed at the floor. It was hard, cement like, but had many cracks from the impact. Looking at the remaining P6, he found it's systems had overloaded and shorted out upon impact. The P6 was a hunk of smashed metal. Turning on the searchlights im his Gatling Gun, Robo's Neural Proccesor nearly shorted out when he saw the fried corpse of Doan.


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