Chapter 12 Military Base
"What happened to my fish?!" cried Olivia.
"Seriously? It's not like we were going to take them with us."
" I know, but they were pretty!"
"You're welcome to eat them," Dustin said, turning back to the pile of nanobots waiting for orders.
There was silence for a moment, then she chuckled.
'PED, that last robot was more of a challenge than the previous ones, any idea why?'
(THE ENERGY CONTAINED WITHIN THE INDIVIDUAL NANOBOTS WAS FULLY CHARGED. IT SEEMS THAT THIS ROBOT WAS RECENTLY RELEASED BY ITS OWNER.)
'How did it find me? I have all of the communications boots deactivated.'
(I'M NOT SURE. IT SEEMS TO HAVE A SERIES OF LOCATIONS TO LOOK FOR US. THAT COULD MEAN THERE ARE MORE ROBOTS CHECKING THE OTHER LOCATIONS. UNFORTUNATELY, IT HAS HAD A CHANCE TO NOTIFY ANY OTHER ROBOTS IN THE AREA OF THIS ENCOUNTER.)
"Well, shit. You said you found the military base?" he said turning back to Olivia.
"Yes," she said, looking around the cave at the splashed blood and broken plants.
"Let's head that way. If I can get the door open, we'll be safer from these robots and any new aliens that may be looking for us."
"Who's looking for us?" asked Jake as he stepped in to the cave and noticed the carnage with wide eyes.
"While you were sleeping, at the last camp, the locals dropped by, and told us someone came asking about us," explained Olivia.
"They did?" asked Jake with thick disgust in his voice. "Did they try to buy me, too?"
" They're the ones trying to catch you?" asked Olivia in surprise.
"Yeah, but they're too slow and stupid to catch me," Jake answered with equal amounts of annoyance and pride.
Dustin nodded, he could see that. The kid was pretty fast on his feet. Turning his attention to the nanobots, he instructed them to cover him in armor. Shivering at the sensation of them sliding across his skin, he watched as they settled as a tightly woven mesh.
There were still too many extra.
"Want some armor? I have plenty of bots left, and they might come in handy if we come across any more of those robots."
"Does it add much weight?" asked Olivia curiously.
"Not really. They kind of feel like a smooth fabric."
"Alright," she said with a nod.
Jake nodded too, but he seemed far more reluctant.
Dustin ordered the bots to cover them as well, to keep them as safe as possible, and if they got too far away to receive a signal from him, to continue protecting as long as they could until they received new orders.
"Stay close to me, so I can keep control of them."
They both nodded, examining their new cover.
The trip to the military base wasn't as long as he had expected. They all stayed on high alert for any new robots on the way, but thankfully encountered none.
When they arrived at the door, however, the tightly sealed entrance had been breached. one door lay on the ground with a corner blown out, and the other, while still attached to the wall, looked like it could fall at any moment.
"Wonderful. It looks like we aren't the only ones who are looking for information."
"I guess we'll see who our admirers look like," said Olivia, stepping cautiously inside.
The entrance was rather drab, with nothing but the concrete hall to look at. Dustin stepped past Olivia, noting the darkness within. If there were any lights before, those who entered before them, put them out.
"I don't like the dark..." said Jake, peeking past Olivia.
Dustin commanded the tesla bots on each of them to organize themselves on a hand, probably the left hand of each of them, and had them light up. The result had a flickering torch on each of their left hands to light the way.
(THERE IS ONLY ENOUGH ENERGY FOR THE TESLA BOTS TO KEEP FUNCTIONING IN THIS MANNER FOR ROUGHLY AN HOUR. AFTER THAT, YOU WILL NEED TO RECHARGE THEM.)
Jake looked both relieved and interested in the flickering on the end of his hand.
"Don't touch that, it'll hurt a lot." Olivia watched her own hand flicker, then held it out to light the way.
They proceeded down the hall, until it opened up to a large chamber. Based on tracks on the ground and scuff marks on the wall, it was obvious this used to house large vehicles. It was now empty, leaving the huge space feeling mysterious and strange. Turning down a left passage, Dustin noted some marks on the ground. They seemed to be footprints, but they were not like any footprints he had seen before.
Two claws were in front, and the foot was very short, only half the length of a man's foot. Maybe the heel was lifted off the ground?
Not wanting to waste too much time, he picked up his speed. The others didn't lag too much. Turning a corner, he spied a figure stepping into a room and a door shut. The figure was bug-like with four arms and large horns on its head.
'PED, initiate blade hands!'
Jogging ahead, he wasted no time in barging through the door and swinging at the giant bug-man with his modified hands. It only had enough time to half turn, and lift one of its four arms to block. Dustin's blade skittered along the spiked carapace that covered the alien.
With a chittering noise, it jumped back, crouched a moment, then jumped at him. He dodged to the side, missing the clawed rake by inches.
Dustin kicked out, catching it in the side, sending it flying against the wall. Olivia jumped at it, before it could jump up, and kicked down on its head, stunning it for a moment.
Dustin sent out the nanobots and wrapped it up, as it struggled to get up. Olivia backed away, and Jake watched from the doorway.
"Filthy scum! You shall die!" Its raspy voice scratched against their ears, bringing instant pain and tears to their eyes.
"Shut it! You're the one trying to kill us!" shouted Dustin, sending nanobots to protect everyone's ears.
"Your race is almost gone! It won't be long before you are nothing but a nasty memory!"
"Why are you not killing it?" asked Olivia, rubbing her head from the sound of its voice.
"I want to know why they are trying to kill us, and what the hell the Uz'En are."