Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Chapter 6

The door spiraled shut behind Kilgor as he stepped into the hanger.
“Here’s your bouncer, Kilgor,” Gorrack said. “This one is designed with an onboard supercomputer called Nimbus. Dr. Livingston is Nimbus’ developer. Far advanced than what we’ve ever had. 
“Along with the installation of Nimbus, your bouncer,” Gorrack slapped a palm on the hood, “is very fast and is the best made on property. Our mechanics have made adjustments you’ll find intriguing. Go on. Get inside and give it a look-see.”
Kilgor climbed inside the open hatch.
HELLO.
Kilgor clamped both hands over his ears. “Whoa! That’s loud!”
I AM VERY SORRY ABOUT THAT, SIR. I TEND TO FORGET TO LOWER THE VOLUME WHEN I SPEAK. 
A pause.
THERE. BETTER?
“Yep. Much.”
ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF: I AM NIMBUS. SUPERCOMPUTER CLSIX SEVEN FOUR FIVE ONE DASH SEVEN FOUR FIVE THREE. WHO DO I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF SPEAKING TO?
“Nimbus, meet your partner, Kilgor Traft.” Gorrack had his blonde head stuck in the hatch. 
GOOD TO MEET YOU, SIR.
“Likewise, buddy.”  
Kilgor sat down behind the wheel.
CAN I INTEREST YOU IN A BEVERAGE?
Kilgor glanced at Gorrack.
“This craft has both a drink and food processor.”
Kilgor pondered. Then cracked a grin. “An iced Jolt macchiato with cinnamon would sound good right now.”
After a long whirr and the drink emerged from the dashboard.
Kilgor picked up the tumbler and tipped it. He raised his thick eyebrows. And cracked a second grin. “Tasty.” 
“Nimbus will give you a crash course on how to fly this manually. All you need to do is connect to Nimbus using your HeadKase wifi.”
Kilgor nodded and glanced at the controls with a frown.
“I know all of the buttons and lights and look intimidating, but you’ll be fine. Just remember the program when you trained to fly a craft in the virtual. Somewhat similar. Somewhat not. But you already familiar with flying, it’ll help you now. 
“In the event of this bouncer crashing there is an override if Nimbus goes offline. Think of this bouncer as a safety net, Kilgor. No way you’ll die.”

#

A protective shell had linked together around Kilgor before launching him into the sky, blinding him from the outside world, shoving out the screaming chimes. When the craft did explode, the blast did not effect him. The protective sphere’s outer shell shielded him from debris as he floated like a balloon filled with helium, drifting a whopping ten miles away and landed safely on the ground. The sphere unlinked, vanishing into hidden spots in the chair.
Kilgor sat in the middle of a street. A few pre-Shift vehicles, including a nineteen sixty-nine Ford Mustang, sat against the curb. Once a modified transport that hovered, now it returned to its vintage history, rotting away. Buildings stretched along both sides of the street. Small shops lay in their pockets, including a Matt’s Cafe’. A few establishments harbored wounds, busted windows, and not but a few blocks further, from where Kilgor sat, he could make out a cemetery.
The seat belts retracted and he stood, shouldering his rifle. He even checked the long blade sheathed on his hip. 
Behind him, black smoke curled into the sky. 
He knew his craft was toast. He also knew Nimbus was too. 
Damn. Gonna miss you, buddy.
In the distance he could hear the metal creature’s shrieks. And he didn’t need to have an upgraded positronic brain to know the beast was heading this way from the ground shaking. It was pure common sense. 
Who’d a thunk a building would come to life and move on its own? Bet Clawdious or Gorrack wouldn’t see that coming. That occurrence was almost unbelievable. Almost. Nearly almost as unbelievable as me, the only goblin badger on the planet, in this wide world called Westersphere. 
The ground shook again.
A couple minutes later he stood in the same spot and popped another Wintergreen Savor in his mouth before starting off. 
Next plan of action: locate another form of transportation and grab a target and bring him—or her—or it—to Clawdious. There was no way he could have brought those clones in. Na. Da. Clawdious wanted the real deal. He wanted the type of kid who messed him, Kimberly and Baldrick, up.
Kilgor had already captured five of those weird kids. Wasn’t easy either. He nearly lost his life with the two and the other three all he needed to do was stun them. This time, though, Slader had turned tables on him. It won’t happen again. He was determined to grab what he came for and get back.
The ground rumbled.
He moved the Savor around in his mouth with his tongue before crunching down. He checked his rifle. Made an adjustment with the flick of his first finger.
The entire street looked as dead as the fake humans wearing clothes in the window. Or what clothes were left on them. A baseball cap on one, and a bra on another. 
Who the hells leaves a bra? 
Kilgor sighed. He wondered what really happened in this colony. It’s been decades since its fall and everyone disappearing, except for the children.
According to Gorrack he had no idea what actually happened. It wasn’t like someone wrote a history book about Ozarium. No proof was left behind to explain why all the humans vanished. 
Kilgor crunched down on the last tiny bits of the candy before swallowing.
I’m sure Gorrack didn’t know about the clones. That was new. Just like the walking and shrieking building. And the worm guy. Yeah, another new thing. Weird, but new.
A small hatchback nearby did a jig with the shake of the ground. 
That was close. But he still couldn’t see the metal monstrosity. He moved further down the street, about a block, turned. 
The ground moved another small car.
He kept moving, achieved another length of a block, turned a corner, stopped. Something caught his eye. A second later he headed into an alley and was climbing. Soon he stood atop of a building. He wiped the rust from the fire escape ladder off his hands. 
He expected to see the moving building between other buildings. He tried to look further off. Nothing. Couldn’t see anything moving. Not. A. Thing.
He waited for a bit, hoping to see his pursuer. 
Nothing.
No sign of it.
And it suddenly grew quiet. 
Kilgor frowned. He returned to ground level and no sooner had taken a step when the closest building blew apart.
Huge chunks slammed the ground and ricocheted off the roof cars, each being a catch-all.
A huge metal foot stamped the ground. 
Kilgor cradled his rifle, used his thumb to spin a wheel, making adjustment, and pulled the trigger.
The blast was a huge yellow flame and burrowed a hole in the creature’s leg, searing away the limb. 
Kilgor swung the nose of the rifle and cut a path completely through the monster to its torso. 
The monster fell forward.
And Kilgor rocketed off.
When the monster crashed, it took with it a building, three small shops, two transports, and chopped the fake human wearing the bra into pieces, except for the head, launching it and the bra through the air, shattering a picture window.
The metal creature roared instead of shrieking. 
This nudged the bra which was beginning to settle on the ground to whip up, and land over the head of the other fake human which was sitting right beside the feet of Kilgor.
The building reformed itself, clanks and whirrs and wheels whined, finalizing into a ginormous mouth lined with revolving sharp teeth. 
“This place just gets better and better,” Kilgor said.
Tentacles grew out of the monster and helped raise the machine off the ground.
“Time to go.”
Kilgor rocketed off as the creature’s shriek ripped through the street and the figure sheathed with moving mutant worm flesh slid off its back.