Chapter 11 Uz'En
With a sigh, Dustin sat back against a rock. The sunlight was trickling through the leaves, giving the little grotto before him a magical look. His back hurt from bending over the robots. Of the nine robots he had originally had, only two remained. It was tedious work finding the alpha bot, and then having to find a second if destroying the first didn't get him control of the nanobots.
Two days had passed since they came here, and Olivia was anxious to keep moving. She didn't like being in the caves because it was so damp. There was so much moisture in the air, their clothes were never dry. Though, to be honest, Dustin didn't have much more than rags to wear as a loincloth. He was actually thinking of using the nanobots to make him a type of metal armor, but he hadn't gotten that far yet.
Leaning forward, he started digging through the brain of the second to last robot, in search of the alpha.
(HOST, I HAVE MANAGED TO DECRYPT HOW TO ACCESS THE INFORMATION STORED IN THE STORAGE BOTS.)
'Really? Great, what kind of information do they have?'
(THERE IS A LOT OF INFORMATION STORED AMONG ALL OF THE STORAGE BOTS AQUIRED SO FAR. I AM ATTEMPTING TO UNDERSTAND THE METHOD OF ORDER USED FOR THE STORAGE. THERE APPEARS TO BE INFORMATION ON LOCATIONS, OBJECTIVES, SUCCESSFUL KILLS, AND LOSSES OF ALPHA'S.)
'Hmm, I suppose since they can communicate with each other, they would be aware of the destruction of each other. I'm glad I disabled all of the signal bots on these guys so they couldn't tell their buddies where we were.
'Why don't you focus on the objectives, and let me know what you come up with?'
'Oh, and call me Dustin. Host just sounds like I'm infected or something.'
(THANK GOODNESS! I WASN'T SURE HOW YOU WANTED ME TO ADDRESS YOU, SO I AM VERY RELIEVED TO HAVE YOU CLEAR THAT UP.)
Dustin paused for a moment, wondering what was up with his PED, but decided it wasn't worth the effort to look into, and turned back to the robot in front of him. From everything that he had seen, these things should be much harder to destroy then experience showed.
He glanced up, as he heard a sound from above him. Another robot gazed down at him and the various scattered pieces of other robots, that he wasn't currently controlling. It wasn't so much that he wasn't controlling all of them, but rather that they had been damaged when he was digging around for the alphas and he hadn't recycled them yet.
Before he could react, it jumped at him, hitting him in the chest and sending the two of them rolling across the cave into the pool with the fish. The end of one of the robot's arms turned into a blade, and flashed towards his head. Barely able to flinch out of the way, he caught the second arm, but it quickly reformed into another blade, cutting through his outer layer of skin, and attempting to cut through his crystal scales.
Leaning up just enough to grab a breath of air, he shifted his weight and tried to throw the robot off of him. It merely shifted its legs to prevent the move, and tried to stab him in the chest with a third arm. The spike glanced off his scales, tearing a wide gash in his skin.
He couldn't get purchase with his legs; the bottom of the pool was too slimy. He could feel another blade trying to work its way through the scales on his side. Rolling in the water, he managed to get free of the robot's grasp, but he couldn't get out from under it.
Suddenly, a nanobot rope wrapped around his neck.
'PED. Initiate an evolution!' he screamed in his mind.
The grasp on his neck suddenly lessened, as his form began to change. Thick ridges appeared on either side of his neck, with sharp spines protecting his neck. A thick shell appeared on his back, and on his front, much like a turtle's. As his arms and legs lengthened, his eyes changed and he could suddenly see the robot in finer detail. The nanobots were swarming all over it, shifting its form into something else as well.
It slammed one of its arms into his side, and the nanobots began to swarm over him, the collector bots attempting to cut him up like he was a broken nano that needed to be scrapped.
(DUSTIN, THE COLLECTOR BOTS WILL BREACH YOUR SHELL IN THIRTEEN SECONDS. MAY I UTILIZE THE OTHER NANOBOTS IN DEFENSE?)
The pain in his side as the shell was ripped apart was too much for him to focus on ordering the bots around, so the PED stepped in and there was soon a swarm around them. He couldn't see what was going on, as he felt them coating his body to defend him.
As it was pushed away from him, he was able to get out of the pool. The swarm completely coated the robot, and as he watched, it began to disassemble it. Glancing around, he saw that the last robot he hadn't finished with, reaching out to try and help its comrade, and part of the swarm quickly went to it, tearing it down as well. This was way more efficient than the way he had been doing it. In a matter of minutes both had been dealt with.
(EVOLUTION HALTED. INITIATING EVOLUTION BACK TO LIZARD IN HUMAN.)
Dustin picked himself up off the edge of the pool, noting that all of the fish that had been in the water were dead. Olivia would be pissed. She had liked the fish.
Flexing his sore muscles, he knew that they were completely healed, that the pain was just residual.
(I HAVE COMPLETED ANALYSIS OF THE ORIGINAL OBJECTIVES, ALONG WITH BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THESE ENTITIES.)
(THESE ROBOTS WERE BUILT BY THE A'DFUKL. THEY ARE A RACE OF FOUR ARMED INSECTOIDS. IT APPEARS THAT THESE ROBOTS WERE CONSTRUCTED WITH THE DIRECTIVE TO DESTROY ALL THE INDIVIDUALS OF THE RACE UZ'EN.)
'Then why are they trying to kill us?' asked Dustin, confused.
(ACCORDING TO THE DESCRIPTION GIVEN FOR THE UZ'EN, YOU, OLIVIA AND JAKE ALL QUALIFY AS UZ'EN.)
'What the hell? Wait, does that mean we're not human?' Dustin sat down on a rock, his mind racing furiously. 'What is the description given for Uz'En?'
(UZ'EN POSSESS THE CAPABILITIES TO UTILIZE THE DEVICES YOU WOULD CALL A PED. THEY ARE ABLE TO INITIATE EVOLUTIONS USING GENETIC MATERIAL NOT THEIR OWN.)
'But that would make those stick people back on the last planet Uz'En as well,' argued Dustin.
(IT IS A STRONG POSSIBILITY THAT THEY WOULD BE TARGETED BY THE ROBOTS FOR DESTRUCTION. THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER DESCRIPTOR, THE ABILITY TO UTILIZE THE ABILITY CHRONOSKIMMING. IT ALSO STATES THAT THE UZ'EN WERE GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SOLDIERS WHOSE ENTIRE EXISTENCES WERE DEVOTED TO FIGHTING AND SURVIVING A WAR OF SOME KIND. I'M NOT ABLE TO FIND ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT WAR. IT MIGHT BE THAT THE INFORMATION FOR THE WAR WAS NOT DEEMED NECESSARY FOR THE ROBOTS TO BE ABLE TO OVERCOME THEIR OBJECTIVES.)
Olivia chose to show up about that time, dropping down into the cave, with Jake not far behind her.
"We found the entrance to the military base, but I think you're going to have to use your nanobots to get the door open. It seems to be too old for any of the mechanical parts to move." She stepped forward, out of the light, then paused. "What's wrong?"