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


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Justin's harrowing escape

Category: Fantasy - Rating: R - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008-10-19 - Updated: 2008-10-19 - 691 words - Complete

While his friend was busy browsing books, Justin was running for his life.

So far, he had picked up no more robo-guards or Junkyard Dogs, but what hunted him was more than enough. Though he had no more than half-seen glimpses of this new enemy to go on, the persistent, clicking and clacking of its treads, interspersed with the occasional There Is No Escape and Resistance Is Futile, told him on some primal, survival level that he was better off battling the other ones any day. Having met NK-525 for himself, he no longer needed any warnings from its past victims to realize that it was not so much a machine as it was a monster masquerading as one.

His hard-won lead over the Enforcer was slowly diminishing. He knew he couldn’t keep this up much longer even though he also knew there was no “second place” in this kind of contest. The only plan he could think of was fifty-fifty, and his desperation increased as his window of opportunity continued to shrink.

After a couple more turns, and the sound and sense of malevolent machine closing in, he finally decided to make a move while he still could.

This time the first door he tried actually opened, and he scrambled inside, slapping the close button. The door snapped shut before NK-525 came around the corner. Despite being out of breath, Justin held it anyway as he listened to the sound of approaching tracks.

Approaching… Approaching… Almost past…

His heart froze as the whir of servos stopped. Afraid to even exhale, he sweated more than a wax statue as that silence dragged on, and he began to feel faint. It was the image of a cold metal claw reaching out for the controls that most likely saved his life as he aimed one of his new pistols at the control panel and blasted it, jumping back from the shower of sparks.

Justin started breathing again, figuring that he had bought himself some time.


Trapped. Never had a closet seemed so small. Even as NK-525’s weapons started hammering at the door, all he could come up with was an image of his own huddled, charred skeleton waiting for some other unfortunate soul to someday puzzle over his fate. With an increasingly detached curiosity, he wondered if that hypothetical explorer might stand a chance of avoiding his doom…

It was while his eyes were roving around frantically and his mind’s eye was imagining his imminent demise that he spotted the ventilation grill in the wall.

Feeling the growing heat in the tiny room, he fired up his laser staff and sliced the grill away. Much to his relief, the shaft was large enough for him to fit. He looked over his shoulder to see a glowing red blotch in the door growing, starting to melt.

Justin crammed himself into the vent, ignoring the eye-watering pain in his knees and elbows as he wiggled in and started squirming as fast as he could. The doors in this mysterious realm were thick and solid, but he doubted they would withstand NK-525’s firepower for long.

Even as he shimmied around a bend in the shaft, he heard the closet door crumple inward in an explosion of laser fire that would have annihilated him if he was still in there. As the debris clattered to the floor, he heard that ominous voice.


Not caring how much noise he made, Justin bent and rolled and wriggled as fast as he could, fearing it wouldn’t take the Enforcer long to figure out—



Justin felt a blaze of heat under his feet as NK-525 fired its super-laser down the vent, blowing away the corner he had just worked his way around only seconds before. Several more shots strobed in the darkness, intensifying the heat as he crawled away from it.


Justin crawled for some distance before he finally collapsed from relief and exhaustion.
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