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


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Justin vs the Junkyard Dogs

Category: Fantasy - Rating: R - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008-10-13 - Updated: 2008-10-13 - 1101 words - Complete

After a moment of anxiously listening to footfalls shuffling all around his position, Justin finally gave up on trying to wrestle one of the guard’s weapon from its severed hand. These androids were apparently designed to clamp down on whatever they were holding, probably some security feature meant to prevent what he just tried to do. Deciding that he would just have to make do with his staff for the time being as he beat a hasty retreat for the next junction, all the while keeping an eye out for more of the robo-guards he could hear moving from every direction.

The only good thing he could think of about the alarms, even after they had died down, was that it masked the sound of his own movements. He had no idea what the guards’ auditory range was, but he took some consolation in the fact that they made a lot more noise than he did. But now he was afraid to call out to Max again, for fear that they would definitely hear that.

Totally cut off, even though he doubted they were more than a few “blocks” apart.

As he scrambled down another hall, he was now grateful to Max for suggesting that he wear his boots while swimming as a training exercise. With all of the running he believed he had ahead of him, he really wasn’t sure he could pull it off without them. He just wished they would hurry up and dry out; he would be able to move a lot more quietly without all the squishing noises.

Most of the guards appeared to be moving in a different direction than he was. Good for him, but he wondered if it was so good for Max. Then he thought that perhaps if he followed them, they might lead him to his friend.

Justin’s train of thought was completely derailed by the sight he came upon at the next intersection.

Or rather, the sight that came upon him. Several new machines were coming right at him. Almost canine-looking quadrupeds, about two feet tall at the shoulders, and seeming to make little sound as they closed in on him. Each of the hi-tech hellhounds glared at him with glowing red optics.

In that second of shock and surprise, before he made his own move, Justin had time to reflect that these creatures were totally different from the robo-guards in some fundamental way he just couldn’t quite put his finger on.

And then they were upon him, and when they showed no sign of slowing down, he knew things were about to get ugly. Whisper-quiet servos driving pistoning legs even Bandit might not be able to outrun. Bringing to bare razor-claws and gaping jaws of stainless-steel teeth.

Again Justin cut loose with more of the moves Max taught him. His twirling slash hacked the droid-dog’s head and front claws off in a blazing double-sweep. But its body still banged into him before he could get all the way out of its way, knocking him down.

Even as he rolled out from under the lifeless metal shell, one of his blades gouging the floor, the other two guard dogs, seeing what happened to their fellow, jumped aside and aborted their initial attack.

As Justin crouched on the floor, holding his staff before him to ward them off, the remaining machines paced like caged lions in front of him. In their infrared eyes he could see a cold, computerized intelligence burning that he did not like at all. No sooner had he thought this, than he saw each of them edge around him, aiming to strike from different angles.

“Shit, this is too much…”

And then, as if on cue: “Intruder on visual! Surrender! There is no escape!”

Several more guards at the next intersection.

His split-second of inattention was all these battery-powered predators were waiting for, and they sprang. Thinking fast, he spun his staff in front of him, mangling both mechanoids even as they fell upon him. Though he was bowled over by the debris, this was probably a good thing, as it dropped him to the floor just in time to avoid a volley of shots streaking down the hall at his general position.

Justin had only a moment to gawp at the steel claws stuck in the floor only inches from his nuts before he was up again, skidding around the corner to escape from the hailstorm of energy beams tracking just one step behind him.

The cuts and bruises of his last couple confrontations aside, he wasn’t so sure his luck would hold up a third time in a row. He was beginning to wonder if his automated adversaries weren’t right about the subject of resistance as he beat feet down the hall. All the time expecting to get blasted before he could make it around another corner.

Before he could get there, the guards came into his current hall section and opened fire.

“This is nuts!” he panted as he continued his retreat, managing to get two lengths before his pursuers made it around that corner. The one thing working to his advantage was that he could run almost twice as fast as these stiff machines. But he also knew he might run into another patrol at any moment, or that if he was caught by more of those robo-dogs, he would really be in trouble. That, and another chilling thought occurred to him: Even if he was faster, he would probably run out of steam before they did.

Then he got an idea.

Moving quickly— before he got another Intruder On Visual— Justin stopped in front of the first door he saw and tried to open it. When it refused to open, instead demanding another code, he moved on to the next. He could feel precious seconds slipping through his fingers; he could only afford one more try before he lost his window of opportunity and would have to start running again.

The next door did open.

He didn’t waste a second ducking inside. The door closed only seconds before the guards came charging down the hall. In the darkness of the closet, he heard one of the guards at the next junction shout, “Split up! The Intruders cannot have gotten too far!…” and the sound of marching feet stomped off in anther direction. He would never have guessed the products of such advanced technology could be so stupid.

Justin slumped against the door and collapsed to the floor, relieved to be safe. For now.
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