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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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!"