Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 04 - "Tranz-D"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

alrams and robo-guards

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008-10-11 - Updated: 2008-10-11 - 1338 words - Complete

Justin paused in front of one of the many doors he had passed on his wayward way. He had seen no one about, and wondered if there was anyone else to be found. The place was just so damn quiet.

The more he saw of the place, the less he liked it. And the more he questioned the wisdom of his plan. Now he began to wonder if he should have waited a little bit to see if Max woke up before he took off. He certainly wished he had thought to grab some stuff from Max’s pack, and felt like a sitting duck wandering in a strange place without any firepower. The more he thought about it, he couldn’t make up his mind which was worse: being alone, or being practically unarmed here.

At least his laser staff was still secure in its makeshift boot sheath, but it did little to alleviate his own growing insecurity.

And so the conflict played out in his head. Trying to find his way back go see if Max was alright, now that he was certain there was no help to be found around here. Then wondering if perhaps those here were merely asleep or something. Wondering if they might decide he was some kind of threat. After all, the only thing he was certain of was that somehow that hole in the wall didn’t really belong being there. His unease increased another notch at the image of the gap in the wall winking out of existence— and not reappearing— and he began to wonder if he hadn’t made some grave error…

Torn between going back or investigating further, Justin finally decided to take one last stab at seeing if there was anyone here who could tell him what was going on.

The doors themselves were made of somewhat lighter grey metal than the walls, and had small keypads set in the alcove next to them. The keys were marked with semi-familiar symbols that Justin hoped he was interpreting correctly, it seemed too close to be coincidence. Above each keypad was a slot that looked as if it was made to accept something small and flat.

Cautiously, he pressed the button marked ÖPEN, and after a second, the UNLOK key lit up. He paused for a moment, then pushed it. Then the whole number pad lit up.

Justin had seen locks like this slapped on critical (secure) places and things back in the Triangle State, and he knew this was going to be tricky. Especially since he had no idea how many digits the code might be. Experimentally, he just started hitting numbers at random, figuring that the worst that could happen was that the door wouldn’t unlock.

“Justin! Where are you!?”

Max’s voice seemed to come from all around, echoing up and down the corridor with a metallic atonality to it that Justin barely recognized.

“Max!” he called back, “I can’t tell where you are!”

“Justin! Can you come back to where you came in?”

Justin paused for a moment, realizing how quickly this had become too complicated. He turned to go back the way he came, but as he did so it dawned on him that he had been so busy gawking at this place, he hadn’t paid any attention to which way he had turned before. Between that and this place’s seemingly bottomless echo, he had no idea where either Max or the entrance was.

“Dammit!” Justin screamed, slamming his palm into the number pad in frustration.

“What!?” Max’s voice demanded.

“Max!” Justin shouted, “We’ve got a—”

He was cut off in mid yell as alarms started blaring all around him.

That was when he remembered something else about the electronic locks back in the Triangle State. A lot of them had alarms built in. He had never dabbled much in them himself, but he belatedly recalled overhearing that doodling around too much or making too many failed attempts— typically three— would set off an alarm, and he wondered how he could have been so stupid.

“Oh shit…” he muttered, bracing for the worst.

Later, he was certain that Max had tried to say something else, but whatever it was had been drowned out by the deafening warble.

“Halt!” a loud, digitized voice commanded, making itself heard above the din.

Even as Justin snapped his head in the direction he thought that voice was coming from, an energy bolt sizzled past his head, splashing off one of the support beams in a shower of sparks. For a moment, he was caught like a deer in headlights as his eyes froze on the group of grey body-armored figures that had materialized a couple junctions down. His cry of alarm never quite made it from his brain to his mouth.

Justin’s paralysis broke when he saw the other black-and-grey-clad guards leveling their weapons. His startled yelp finally found its way to his lips as he bolted around the nearest corner.

“Halt, Intruder!” he heard that computerized voice order, as several shots glanced off the corner wall. Then loud, clanging footsteps moving in closer.

The alarms had diminished, fading to an obnoxious background noise that would drive anyone nuts after a while, and now he could hear more armored boots clanking around from all directions.

“Where the fuck did they come from!?” he demanded, more to himself than anyone. This whole place had seemed so deserted only moments ago.

“There is no escape!” the approaching voice declared.

Hoping for the best and fearing the worst, he ducked into an alcove just around the next corner, flattening himself against the cold metal wall. Just for good measure, he drew his staff.

A moment later, the guard jogged stiffly around the same corner, clanking right past him.

But Justin moved just a hair too soon in spite of himself, and the last guard spotted him, turning around and proclaiming: “Intruder on visual!” The others turned around and moved to surround him. “Surrender! Resistance is—”

Justin wasn’t having any of it. He fired up both electric-blue blades and swung at the nearest guard’s weapon. The guard had no time to react to its quarry’s bold surprise attack. Not only did he get part of the gun, he also took most of the guard’s hand off.

Now it was his turn to be caught off-guard as he gazed at the jumble of wires hanging out of the guard’s arm. A robot. He had never seen such a thing, but he had heard traveler’s tales of them. Still, he wasn’t sure yet if they were worse than the TSA crew; they didn’t seem very bright, but they were more than adequately armed.

Meanwhile, the guard seemed to not to notice, and swung its remaining hand, slamming Justin against the wall.


Seeing their target was down, the other two guards that had followed Justin around that corner moved to hem him in on both sides. The disarmed one simply stood in front of him, looking almost comically helpless with its gun hand lying on the floor. Ignoring the rising lumps on both his cheekbone and the back of his head, Justin sprang to his feet. Having somehow managed to not lose his grip on his staff, he unleashed both energy blades in a swiveling swirl of light and busted out some badass moves on these stiff, clunky androids.

“Damn!” Justin remarked as the last piece of robo-guard hit the floor. All that training really paid off! Max had taught him some vicious techniques, and if he ever caught up with him again, his new friend was going to have to teach him more.

Having cleft the guards and sliced them at several points, he could see they were entirely mechanical. As he suspected. As he glanced nervously up and down the halls, he found himself wondering how his friend would fare against these strange foes.
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