Metal Man - Excerpt Ch 1

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By chanthar
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Chapter 1 : Crash

The pinging echoes of drones were the only sounds in the silence. Not even the sound of breathing escaped the lips of the figure crouching hidden in the dark. Glowing red eyes, dull even in the darkness, scanned the area for those he knew would follow. He had escaped from stasis in the bowels of the ship. Somehow his consciousness had been split from the One. He had come to be his own being with his own thoughts. In that he was dangerous. The One did not like free speakers or free thinkers. The One wanted control over everything.

So he, the young fugitive, crept over the metallic floors. He tried to keep his own metallic footsteps silent. For this young creature was an android, a robot, a machine like the rest. His whole body was constituted of metallic alloys, most unlike any seen on the planet that the spacecraft was orbiting around. He was heading towards the escape pod, to leave this metallic hell.

Finally, after long torturous moments of watching and waiting, he sprinted across the deck to the doors of the docking bay. He had to time it just right to slip in before the sensors swept the area. Just barely he made it, the closing doors almost clipping the metallic appendage of his tail.

Now that he was in came another challenge. He had to get past the sentries that were posted by the shuttles themselves. He knew that there were many series of passwords and signals that needed to be coded in to avoid setting off the alarms. Then also came the fact that he was no longer part of the One's consciousness. The variations of his new thought patterns would be a dead giveaway.

Putting aside all thoughts the fugitive blanked his mind, a common state with those connected to the One. With that he walked into the open space between the door and the shuttles, acting like he was on a mission so as not to draw attention to himself. He traversed the distance to the first checkpoint, rambling off the passwords to the voice system in the typical monotone. No alarms went off – so far so good. Then he walked to the second set of alarms, the sentries themselves. They would be harder to fool, but still no system was perfect. He gave the passwords then proceeded to the escape pods. He opened the hatch to the escape pod, and then slipped inside. Adjusting the controls he set off an auto sequence to avoid the tractor beam and any weapons that could be fired at it. Then quickly he closed the latch and launched.

This set off an alarm inside the mind of the One. The anomaly known as Poullen was detected then. He was not in stasis where he should be and one of the escape pods had been activated. It was too late to do anything inside the ship, so the outside was mobilized. Due to the modifications made to the escape pod it could not be tracked with the beam, so instead other robots were dispatched to retrieve the vessel.

Poullen, or Paul as he called himself, knew this would happen. How he knew was not known to him, but the files were stored deep in his memory. He guided the craft down to the surface of the planet, intent on finding a place to hide down there.

The landing was difficult. Where could a craft fall to be hidden, yet be in an area where the inhabitant of the craft could find suitable living? He decided to crash in an area the sensors reported was covered in swampland. The one-manned escape pod descended through the atmosphere to land in quicksand.

The inhabitant opened the escape hatch then disentangled himself from the controls. A cable shot from his arm to rise into a nearby tree and wrap around it. Once the line was secure the retraction mechanism began to pull the metal creature from the pod. He landed in the tree branches then leapt down onto solid ground. His head turned in a circle while his sensors took in the surroundings.

Immediately behind him was the quicksand with no sign of the escape pod in it. Already the terrain had pulled it down into the depths. To his left was the tree he had descended from. To his right were more trees. The same forest was directly in front of him. The trees were covered in a creeping clinging plant that even now seemed to be trying to cover the newcomer. Under his feet smaller plants were growing from the ground up to waist level. There were many different kinds which he didn't currently care to name. There seemed to be a settlement of human creatures several miles away, according to his radar.

After a few minutes of processing, the newcomer decided to head towards civilization. He traveled in a fashion similar to what humans call walking. His pace would take him to the edge in an hour. As he traveled he attempted to avoid stepping on anything that could make a trail and lead one of the humans back to where his craft had landed. Secrecy was one of the best survival tools.
I wrote the first chapter of Metal Man back in 2002
I didn't come back to it until this last year. There were a variety of reasons for that, but the book is finally done now


Individuality. That word conjures up many meanings. What if you didn't have any knowledge of the word? Meet Paul, an escapee. Now he’s out in the world making his own way. There’s just one thing different about this man. He's a robot. Wait, make it two things. Not only is he a robot, he’s an alien robot. Things are about to get interesting...
© 2011 - 2020 chanthar
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