8-Bit Software Online Conversion

From E2K ~~~~~~~~ SciFi Story 2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Rest of Chapter One: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It stood there watching as the last of the day's sunlight cast it's final shadows over the landscape. The monster, as it kept up it's vigil, was like some kind of demonic edifice, the like of which was totally alien. It's metallic surface did not shine and the eyes glowed like the devil's own as the despicable whine of it's servomotors accompanied the turning of the head. It's unearthly form regarded the destruction that had been brought with it. Then the machinery became mobile. Lights started to gleam from deep within and the low droning hum of the monster's power core as it came online broke the air. The metallic beast turned it's huge body, stretching pipes and hoses that carried the coolants and pneumatic fluids round it's monstrous frame. The invader took step after step along the road making heavy clanking noises as each huge footstep contacted with the yielding asphalt underfoot. As I stood at the window of my living room I was hardly aware that it had grown steadily darker until I could barely see. In the distance I could hear sirens and explosions as I left the room and made my way to the kitchen and lit two of the candles from the table. There was a sound from outside that made my body go rigid, I could not move for what seemed like an eternity. When I regained control of myself I moved to the window where I could plainly hear the sounds coming from one of the back yards a couple of doors down. The sounds were growing in volume as they drew closer and closer, trembling with anxiety at what this noise could be I moved closer to the remains of the window. It was then that I saw it! It was huge, terrifyingly huge. I watched as it moved closer and closer and appeared to be inspecting the houses, shining a green coloured light though each window and door in turn. The lamp which was mounted on the robot's shoulder seemed to move in unison with its master's head. The light swept round to face my own garden and then the house, for a terrible moment I was caught in the beam. I threw myself back into the kitchen, my whole being engulfed with sheer terror as I scrambled in a blind panic along the passageway to the front door and out into the street. Without thinking about where I would go or what I would do when I got there, I ran. Just ran and ran through streets and gardens, across the green and along alleyways. My chest began to heave and my lungs were about ready to burst as I continued to run, blind instinct telling me to get away, away from that...whatever it was in the garden. Distances did not register as I leapt fences and crossed street after street. I felt like laughing and crying at the same time, my emotions were a mess of confusion as reality hit me with a jolt, along with the ground as I became aware that I was staring at the frozen soil, my leg caught in a fence or something similar. I lay letting the dizzy numbness wash over me as once more darkness overcame. "Sir..." The voice was distant at first! "Sir, are you ok? Are you injured sir?" I was dreaming, no there was definitely someone calling me. Again, that voice "Sir, wake up sir, you must come with me!" My mind was awash with delirium as I looked up to see a dark figure bent over me. I watched as he stood, turned, and shouted something that I was still too groggy to hear. "You ok sir?" the man said yet again. "I'm fine." I said, my head finally clearing. "You must come with me sir." He was a young soldier of about twenty, maybe twenty five years. He had a cut on his right cheek and his combat fatigues were tatty and dirty. He offered me his hand and I took it. As I got my bearings I saw that there were army trucks parked down both sides of the road for about a hundred yards. There was shouting and many soldiers were stood about in full combat gear brandishing machine gun rifles. The soldier led me down the path of the garden that we were stood in to the nearest of the trucks. I climbed up onto the tailgate of the truck and into the back. There were several others sat on benches along both sides of the truck, and I huddled onto the only gap there was at the edge of the nearest bench. "Number five's full Sarge!" the young soldier shouted towards another soldier. "Move it out then Corporal" he shouted back at the man. At this, two more armed soldiers climbed up into the truck and the tailgate was lifted and secured. The young soldier that had found me disappeared round the side of the truck. There was the sound of muffled voices and the engine bellowed into life as the driver pulled away. I could only hope it was to safety, but somehow I knew that it would not last. CHAPTER TWO The sun cast irridescent illumination over the metal surface of the robot as the first rays of the dawn sun crept over the hillsides. It was almost half past 8 in the morning and the frost that lay over most of the ground was beginning to melt in the patches of sunlight. The robot moved towards the huge featureless silver dome;, as it approached, the two other robots that stood within twelve feet of the dome turned to face their companion. No sound was made as the machines communicated, transferring information that had been collected on it's mission. The three of them stood there for just brief moments as data was sent and received and then sent back again. After a while a line appeared in the featurless surface, the line spread across the metal horizontally for six feet before it stopped. The line spread down to form a very large alcove in the metal which then seemed to mould and shape itself into what looked to be a control panel of sorts. The first robot raised one arm and a small panel opened up on the robot's forearm, a thin silver metal protrusion then slid out and the robot mated it into an indentation to one side of a small screen. A vast stream of symbols and digits flowed across the screen in an endless procession. After several minutes the screen went blank, a beeping was then followed by five digits in the centre of the screen. The robot seemed to answer this with it's own chorus of bleeps and buzzes as the five digits flashed and moved to various positions on the screen. When the last of these were in position the bleeping ceased and the robot then began to bleep constantly. I was woken by a sudden jolt. The sun was shining but I was freezing cold, the others looked pretty much the same as I felt at that moment; tired, cold, confused and hungry. The truck in which we were passengers was being followed by several others, all of military type and all identical to the one behind. We were thrown left and right as the truck weaved it's way along unfamiliar roads. I strained to see the buildings that lined the roads but all I coud make out was featureless brick, barred windows and blank steel doors. The truck came to a sudden stop that made us all lurch toward the front of the vehicle, after a short pause we resumed our journey. I could see that we had just passed a checkpoint of some sort, a small brick hut with a barrier guarded by several soldiers all holding machine guns. This was a disturbing sight and I wondered what awaited us at our journey's end. I did not have to wait long as the truck swung round to the left and then to the right before coming to halt. As I looked I counted seven other trucks pulling into some kind of yard surrounded by a high fence, I could see the heavy metal gate being shut and looked behind the last vehicle. I heard people get out of the cab up front and the sound of several pairs of army issue boots as soldiers came round to the back. The tailgate was unlatched and we were ordered to get out. Outside it became clear that we had been taken to some sort of military base, though I did not know which as there were several within twenty miles or so of where I lived. From what I could see of the place, there was a lot of activity; tanks and mobile artillery guns were being moved on the backs of huge lorries, garrisons of soldiers marched past complete with equipment and weaponry. We were ushered towards a door on one side of a large building with no windows. As we passed through the door we entered a small room with three doors on two walls, we were led through the single door on the adjacent wall which led into what was a huge sports hall. There were camp beds arranged in lines that filled two thirds of the hall. We were led to the left towards a bare metal trolley where there were pots of hot steaming food. Soldiers in non-combat uniforms were behind the units serving the food. We were given two mess tins at the front of the bar, these were filled with beans and three sausages each, the second was filled with a kind of apple pudding. There were canned drinks and hot coffee available at the end of the bar. I looked up at the soldier who stood there. "Are you ok sir?" he asked as I looked at him, I just nodded, took a mug of coffee and headed towards one of the tables. I did not look up at all during my meal, the food was not brilliant but it was hot and I was hungry. Several others had taken seats on various other tables. "Not that bad is it, the food I mean?" the voice was whiny and high pitched with a slight accent that I could not quite place and he had rather more enthusiasm than I could muster at that precice moment. I looked up with a start, annoyed at first, but I smiled as the tall thin man stood there looking, "This seat taken?". It was half question half hint. He looked round in a quick survey of the people that were rapidly filling the hall and then sat down. "I'm Johnson, Eric Johnson, Head of computer programing for Digitech Ltd." Digitech was a company that designed and built computer systems for almost anything that you cared to describe. The most recent was for a company involved in something to do with NASA, although they had been known to design military computers systems for jet fighters, tanks, and even those nuclear submarines. "Where you from Eric?" I asked the man. "I was from London until all this!" What could hardly be called a conversation was interrupted as an army officer came into the hall, alerting us to his presence with a throaty shout. "Good morning people!" He was a tall man, maybe six foot four by the look of him. He had eyes that could tell a hundred stories, almost completely hidden under his regimental officers hat. I turned to Eric and said "Well, here's the bad news" as we both gave the man our undivided attention. "Now," He began, with a tone that carried authority to all corners of the room "the situation is this!" *******************************************************************