Chapter 2 Robot Fight
'PED, I still have scales under my skin, right?'
Nodding to himself, he watched how they moved. If he could damage one, he might be able to learn what their programming was, to figure out what in the world was going on.
The first one arrived, swinging its arm blades wide, trying for a quick killing blow. He dodged under both arms, and kicked out its feet, causing it to fall. It didn't stay down for long, and the second arrived at that time.
Olivia swept their feet out from under them again, as Dustin kicked another one in the chest, suffering a glancing hit on the inside of his thigh. The pain was fleeting, as his quick healing kicked in, and the blade slid along the scales rather than piercing his thigh.
They all backed away for a moment, and two others arrived. It was clear that these things were in it to kill them, not just capture or scare them off. As their arms became whirling dancing blades, they ducked back into their ship and shut the door. One of the robots was able to get its arm into the opening, but the door didn't have a failsafe to open back up. Once it started to shut, it continued, crushing the arm, and eventually cutting it off. The blade returned to the form of a human-like arm.
As the robots banged on the side of the ship, Dustin jumped into the pilot seat and started the engines up.
A red light dinged on the dash, but he ignored it. They were soon in the air, heading away from there.
"What does that light mean?" asked Olivia, taking a seat.
"It means we can't stay in the air for long. This thing has used up most of its fuel getting us here."
"So, if I told you I didn't think this was Earth, we would be screwed?" she asked.
"What do you mean?"
"None of these trees are earth trees, and none of the animals we've seen so far live in the same places. This planet was colonized, I bet you!"
"But that doesn't make sense. This is an emergency pod. It was programmed to return to home base."
"And that means this has to be earth?"
With a sigh, he knew she was right. He hadn't been able to place any of the plants he had seen, and even if some war had wiped out the cities on earth, people wouldn't have resorted to wearing furs and carrying spears. They would have scavenged and jury-rigged things.
"When we get to the next stop, I'll check in the computer database and see what I can find," he grumbled.
A clearing opened up, just as the engine began to falter, so Dustin aimed for it, bringing the ship down to land.
Just because the engine died, didn't mean the ship lost power, so he started checking out what he could find on the database.
"This place is E.A.R.T.H. I swear I didn't notice all of those damn dots!"
Olivia patted him on the back, then went to start checking to see what weapons she could find. They hadn't managed to bring any with them when they made a mad dash to escape the station before it blew up.
"Okay, here we go," he said, finding some more information. "There's supposed to be several military bases near here, which is why we were brought to this place. Why the hell does it always have to be the military? Shit, it seems that the ships databases are corrupted."
"No, it could be from age, or it could be from the solar flare. I wonder if it hit us just as we were entering the debris field."
"We couldn't be that lucky," she said, standing up holding two handguns. They were military issue, but should still work. Judging from the way she held them, she knew how to use them.
"Are you sure, you weren't in the military? You're really good with weapons…"
"I told you, living with the Josagn, I had to go hunting every day for six years. I got really good with weapons."
"We still don't know if those memories are true or not."
"I know, because we're both clones."
They looked at each other for a moment, then, without another word, Dustin turned to download the map onto his PED. They weren't about to fly this thing any further.
"If we can figure out what's going on with the robots, we could live here, even though it isn't earth," said Olivia, as they stood outside the ship, gazing at the giant trees all around them.
"Do you really want to live somewhere without air conditioning and the internet?"
"Why, so you don't get too hot watching your porn?"
"Maybe, especially if you're there."
She laughed, and then handed him the arm.
"Here. I don't know if you can learn anything from this, but it would be nice if you could."
Dustin headed back into the ship to begin disassembling the arm. It was amazingly complex, and he lost himself in it.
"Find anything yet?" she asked after almost an hour.
He looked up and smiled.
"Each part is capable of changing into whatever is needed. Instead of being made out of large pieces, they are actually made up of thousands of tiny microbots. That's how they could change their arms so easily, and how the arm was cut off so quickly. I'm trying to see if the microbots have any kind of homing signals that might lead them to us, or if they contain any memory, for me to access, but so far, I'm not finding anything."
"Well, I would like to get moving before dark hits, or those robots find us again. While I don't think they can kill us, I don't want them to keep trying."
He nodded and threw the arm into a bag to take with him. If he got a chance, he wanted to study it some more. As they headed out, he started to think about this planet.
This place might not be so bad, but if he had the options, Dustin wanted to be surrounded by tech. His hands itched for it, now that he'd had a taste for it. Surviving was great, but he wanted to do more than just survive, he wanted to have fun while he did it.
The trees' bark wasn't brown. As they got closer, they could see that they were all different colors on the surface and in the cracks of the bark. Some of the trees didn't even have solid trunks. They almost looked woven.
"You know, with the alien tech that was being introduced two hundred years ago, it's possible these were designed…" Dustin tried to convince himself, but he knew it was hopeless. These trees were too beautiful and alien in nature to be merely thought up creations of men.
"I don't like the PED's being messed up. And I really don't like the robots trying to kill us."
A rustle behind them, had them both turning on their heels, ready and on edge, waiting to see what it was.