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Space Crimes-Death at the Door (Scene 6 of 15)

Pushing through the pain in my chest along with the weight of it on me, I grabbed its head and tried with all of the might I had left to break it. It’s blue glowing eyes just stayed fixed on mine and barely moved an inch no matter how hard I tried to twist it off.

With heightened speed it grabbed my left arm with its right. Searing pain began to overtake me as it applied a crushing grip in an attempt to get me to let go.

Space Crimes-Death at the Door (Scene 5 of 15) by Slofkosky
Space Crimes-Death at the DoorBack on Earth, it was early-winter somewhere in the Northern state of Minnesota when I told Madeline what we were doing there. A female that had “died” in my arms was the victim of Louise and his dog. I held my fingers up in the air as I said the word “died” because she didn’t really. Oh don’t get me wrong, it was a very close call but in the end the hospital that she was rushed to saved her life even though I thought she had passed. Knowing that she was trying to con me, I personally inquired around eventually finding her employer and what they were after. “It’s you Madeline. You!” I said to her while we drove down the freeway. “Some assets that you own peaked the interest of yet another robotics company.” After being abducted by Symbiotic Industries it does make sense that other rival companies would show interest in something they believe she has within her possession. “I just wish you would talk to me and just come out and say it, whatever it is, we’ll get through it together.” pretty much repeating the argument we always have. Any digging I did on the side would just betray the trust we have between each other. Things haven’t been peachy between us lately and I’m at least smart enough to know when to butt out. I just wish I could protect her from whatever it is. “Lana! Why would I trust this Lana character!” demanded Madeline wagging her finger in the air back at me and crinkling her nose. I didn’t respond immediately as this certainly caught me off guard. It may have been the first time that I witnessed any sign of jealousy from her. I’ve got to admit that it was so cute I began to crack a smile. “My dear Madeline” hoping to calm her nerves “yes, she is a spy, or ex-spy I should say, but we’re doing a good thing here checking in on her like we are. We have to warn her that Louise knows she was alive and somewhere in hiding. There’s no technology where she’s laying low and in turn no way to get a message to her. I set her up in this place to protect her and I always keep my promises. We just need to get in, deliver the message, hand her a few credits and then get out. That’s why we’re here.” The road ahead sprawled on for miles and with all the back and forth it seemed endless. It was approximately 0700 hours, early morning, when we finally reached the cabin. The mist had already set in with rain, or possibly even snow, right behind it. Right off the bat something felt wrong as another vehicle was parked just a little further back with no one inside. A classic all black 4-door sedan, still warm, with no vehicle identification or other markings on it. I parked a distance away in a dense portion of the woods to avoid any detection by our guests and we needed to move quickly. Lana’s life could depend upon us. I handed Madeline a firearm knowing she was competent and confident handling a weapon these days. The cabin lies pretty much isolated from the road, cut off by trees and low laying hills. It’s an “A” frame design with two floors where the kitchen, dining room, living room and some cabinets for storage occupy the bottom space. The top floor is simply a platform that you access via a wooden ladder and contains a bed and some miscellaneous furniture. Knowing the layout of the cabin our plan was to stay together and move in as quietly as possible from the front side. We would have full on visibility of the insides knowing that there is a lot of glass on the cabins in these areas. Hiding Lana in plain site was the idea as no one would question it. Plus I personally scoped this property out knowing the glass windows were tinted with Xeflon which robots could not see through. The property also had some advantage points and places to stash weapons along the outskirts should something have gone sideways. As quickly and quietly as possible we approached from the left side of the cabin remaining hidden in the thicker trees and bushes. I immediately spotted two people approaching the front entrance with one of them starting to reach for the handle. I checked my gun one more time and was just about to rush out when Madeline grabbed my arm pointing at two more of them standing approximately twenty yards from the entry to the cabin somewhat obscured by the fog and trees. With four of them and two of us I was just beginning to panic for Madeline’s safety when we heard a loud gun shot cracking through the quiet of nature. And, yeah, just like in the movies, birds started flapping instinctively for safety. The one reaching for the handle had been blown back onto the ground face towards the sky with a big hole in his hat. The glass that was still crashing down, the guy on the ground and the sudden movement of the three remaining guys isn’t what took me by surprise. No.. it was the arcs of blue electrical sparks dancing around the face of the guy on the ground that had Madeline and me looking at one another wide eyed. “Robots!” she whisper shouted. They aren’t here to retrieve or ask Lana questions, this is a hit crew here to remove her from the equation. With the element of surprise on our side we followed our unrehearsed plan and sprang out of hiding. Madeline and I both began unloading our guns on the two robots furthest away from the cabin. Thank God one of them folded over and crumpled to the ground with the same blue sparks dancing around its torso. That leaves two left shouted Madeline! The other quickly continued to the cabin determining that we were inconsequential in this scenario. Doing some quick math I shouted “if there’s the one out here with us, then the second one is already inside with Lana; we gotta move!”. Taking action I sprang over the hedges in pursuit of our outside attacker. With all of the chaos it wasn’t until I was ten feet away and pressing the trigger of my firearm that I realized I hadn’t reloaded. The robot, hearing the click, froze in place for a second as if retrieving new programming. It quickly turned around while raising its gun forcing me to lunge at it. A solid five seconds of wrestling for the gun took place before it knocked me to the ground with a forceful left arm punch to the chest. It was obvious that these robots had their strength dampener removed as I think it may have broken one of my ribs. Before I knew it, it was on top of me about to strike again. It did a right fist punch straight to where my head was a split second ago entering into the ground by about two inches. Pushing through the pain in my chest along with the weight of it on me, I grabbed its head and tried with all of the might I had left to break it. It’s blue glowing eyes just stayed fixed on mine and barely moved an inch no matter how hard I tried to twist it off. With heightened speed it grabbed my right arm with its left. Searing pain began to overtake me as it applied a crushing grip in an attempt to get me to let go. Soon its right hand grabbed onto the other arm and applied the same pressure. It was too much pain and before I knew it I was groaning in such intense agony. It was just moments before I had passed out when I heard something that sounded like a metal pipe striking a rock. The blue intense eyes affixed on mine suddenly went dark as the robots limbs fell limp. I fell back to the ground with the weight of the robot crashing on top of me. With such exhaustion and reprieve from the pain I just needed a moment to rest. Closing my eyes, the cold damp ground felt like a soft pillow and soon it all started to fade to black. And just as if someone had placed a defibrillator directly to my face and pressed the button without first yelling “clear!” a thunderous SLAP forced my head toward my right shoulder. The words “GET UP!” followed the stinging on my left cheek and the ringing in my ears as my eyes sprung open and affixed upon Madeline bending over with the most intense look in her eyes. We’re not dying here today and not in the middle of this God forsaken forest trying to save someone I’ve never met. So “GET UP!” As she raised her hand again to deliver a second wake up message another shot rang out from somewhere within the cabin. We both stopped in our tracks me with my arm in the air and her with a crazed look in her eyes. We both said it at the same time... “Lana!” In seconds Madeline was reloading her firearm and I was taking the Tommy gun that the robot had left on the ground. “Shake the pain off” I said to myself as if to take control over it. I jumped up to the front glass door, flung it open and we rushed in as quietly as possible. There was no sign of Lana or the robot and that’s when Madeline following close behind tapped my shoulder and pointed to the ladder to the right that led upward towards the bedroom. I immediately started up the stairs and slowed down right before I had an eye on what lay ahead. It was worse than I feared. While Lana was thankfully alive she was being held by one arm of the robot with the other pointing a gun directly at the back of her head. The robot spoke with a chilling voice almost like one you would hear from those “please hold” messages when you call a busy line. “Don’t come any closer John. We don’t want her dead... we don’t want to harm you... we just want to leave with her alive”. Slowing my pace I cautiously continued to the top of the second floor. “John, pleeeaaseee...” said Lana with a quivering frightened voice. The robot jerked at Lana’s arm to stop her from continuing what she was saying. Sizing up the situation I couldn’t see any move that wouldn’t end up with Lana dead or taken away. We were powerless as the robot had the upper hand and it knew it. It was then that I realized that Madeline didn’t follow me up the stairs. Where could she have gone I thought briefly just before the robot interrupted my thoughts. “slowly.. place your gun on the ground and then kick it towards me.” commanded the robot. “Who do you work for and what do you want with Lana? How do you know who I am?” I demanded, trying to buy time while I think up a plan. “John, you are of no use to us, we only want Lana” responded the robot as I slowly placed the gun on the ground. “Now... Kick it over to me, We promise you will not be harmed”. I took my time but eventually kicked my weapon half way between myself and them. Lana and the robot looked down at the Tommy gun and it was then when I noticed that Madeline had somehow climbed up another ladder behind the robot and was slowly approaching it one gentle step at a time. Things just turned from bad to worse as now there are two people in my care that are in immediate danger. I always knew that I would be done in by a dame one way or another just didn’t realize when I was putting my pants on this morning that today would be that day. I now needed to distract the robot as if it hears Madeline Lana would certainly be harmed or maybe something worse. I just went with the first thing that came to mind.... “DAMES!!” I blurted out. “You stick your neck out for them, try to do the right thing, and where does it get you?” continuing on with the spirit that had overtaken me I also shouted out “it’s like my father use to say, do right by your conscience and you’ll always do right by everyone else.”. By this time Madeline was about five feet away from the robot and I had no idea what her plan was. I just knew that whatever happens next I need to be ready for it and with that I started taking small steps forward trying to close the gap. The thing with old wooden cabins is that... well.. they’re old and their floorboards creek like no ones business. With that said, just as Lana’s fear was making her squirm and my yammering was echoing all over the upper deck a big, loud, * CRREEAAK * emanated from behind the robot. We all froze. Me with the horror of what would happen next, Madeline in knowing that she just gave away her secret advance and the robot reanalyzing it’s calculations for a successful outcome. I was just about to take off running towards the robot but one fact had not changed, the gun was still aimed squarely on the back of Lana’s head. “Hello Madeline” spoke the robot eerily while never turning its head to look behind him. “You are close enough to..”, never finishing the sentence the robot pushed Lana tripping forward towards the ground while quickly turning around grabbing Madeline’s gun and then her by the shoulders. My instincts allowed me to catch Lana before falling to the ground with no time for any other action. “How easily it was to play you John” the robot said with such a demeaning tone while situating itself behind Madeline and now pointing a gun at the back of her head. “Lana was never the intended target, it was the one you call Madeline”. A wave of blood rushed to my head as I realized what a fool I was and to lead them straight to her. I basically handed her over to them without a thought of my gal’s safety. Madeline looked paralyzed, almost on the verge of fainting and any color that lay in her already pale complexion was nearly washed away. The look in her eyes reflected the horror that was consuming her from within as they darted from me to the robot, to Lana and back to me. My heart was bursting knowing what she had gone through just months ago and the damage it had done to her, to both of us. It was shocking then when out of nowhere I saw Madeline’s face change from tears of panic to that of a blank face devoid of feelings. Not only that, for four or five seconds her entire demeanor changed when she turned her eyes away from me and toward her captive. Then, as if the “pause” button was un-pressed she resumed tearing up, her squirming about and spoke with fear in her voice again as she said... “yes. yes I will”. To make things even more bizarre the next action caught all of us off guard as she, like a trained assassin, quickly darted to her left, grabbed the gun in the robots hand reversing it into it’s face as she backed away towards me. I should have been proud but, honestly, my jaw dropped downward as I stared in amazement of what just happened. Clearing my throat I said “Madeline.. dear.. hand me the gun please” just not as confidently as it may sound. “Shoot it!” shouted Lana over my shoulder. “It wont stop until it has you and we’re all dead”. It was then that the robot, seemingly receiving new programming, started to sprint towards Madeline. * BLAM! * The gun went off as the robot recoiled back slightly. The smell of gun powder in the air and the ringing in our ears. Blue light emanated from the robots coat pocket just over the heart area. But it wasn’t done, after a second pause the robot started to rush it’s way towards Madeline again just not as quickly this time. * BLAM! * Another shot was fired off this one landing in the same area just on the opposite side of the torso. This time the robot fell to its knees still facing us. “We wont stop. We wont ppszzzhhh” it said as the light in it’s eyes slowly died out and the rest of the torso fell to the ground with a loud thump noise. Madeline then fainted dropping the gun hard on the floor. Acting quickly I was able to grab her mid-air and gently bring her down to rest as I cradled her head. Giving her a moment to rest I stood up to look over the robot one more time. “I just knew you would save me John” said Lana who had made her way to my side. “A girl gets to thinking of the type of man who would risk their life for them.” “It’s something I have felt since we met and it’s getting stronger John. Do you feel it too?” But before I could answer her, she had pulled me in by the both sides of the face and started to kiss me. I could feel the warmth of her skin the slight trembling of her hands and the heat from her deep rapid breathing all at the same time. I didn’t push her away... Why didn’t I push her away? Was it the rush of the emotions running around from facing death? Was it the fear of almost losing both of them? All the buzzing noises in my head started to overtake my thoughts except for one. The indisputable truth was that I love Madeline. “I love her” I unknowingly said out loud. It felt stronger now more than ever as I pulled in enough restraint to step back from Lana. The first step, she moved forward with me still exploring with her hands. The second, we separated as she searched into my eyes wondering what just happened. “Lana, I can’t... I just can’t” I said. It was perfect timing as Madeline’s voice, weak and quiet, broke the awkward moment “John * cough *, John are you okay? Is Lana okay too? * cough, cough *”. I turned back to her, knelt down and held her hand. “Yes my love, it’s all over now. You did good my girl, Let me take you home where we’ll be safe”. Thank God she hadn’t seen the kiss and outpouring of Lana’s feelings as things are already rocky between us. It was just before 1100 hours when we left each other. Lana leaving on her motorcycle she kept hidden in the brush with Madeline and I left in the vehicle we came here in. Before parting I gave Lana a few thousand credits, enough to get away to any part of the world she wanted and start a new life. We all knew that her proximity to us was dangerous to her life. I only regret that Lana and I couldn’t have had more time to make sure whatever she was feeling was dead and buried, like the robots that tried to kill us today. Space Crimes-Death at the DoorThomas Slofkosky (aka “junk”),

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Magnus-Strindboem's avatar

Good job on the struggle. Don't underestimate the power of Genesis 2... stiff in the joints, but heavy on ressources, lol.

Keriwan's avatar

Excellent posing and, man, this robot such looks creepy :D !

I love your way of making black and white renders, the contrast in them is incredibly well made :clap: !

Slofkosky's avatar

Keriwan! Thank you so much! Yeah I like how the robots turned out with, I believe, a G2 with just adding silver skin to them. Cheap, easy and effective. :)

Keriwan's avatar

Ho, I wouldn't have thought about that ! Very clever !

AmandaJeansDrawings's avatar

Oh dang! This is an intense scene

Slofkosky's avatar

Amanda! Oh thank you so very much my friend! Merry Christmas to you too and your family, friends, feline/dog, etc! Are we to see a book release in 2022? If so, I'll be first in line in the virtual line that spans the corner of the block. :)

AmandaJeansDrawings's avatar

Merry Christmas to you too! I hope your family and friends and pets have a great Christmas too :DYes I believe it should be done next year! I've almost completed about half so far woohoo!

IronClawRoo's avatar

The design of these robots are so well done and creepy. Really great scene. John's expression is top notch!

Slofkosky's avatar

IronClawRoo! Thank you so much! I did like how the G2 I believe with a silver skin turned out so creepy. I always appreciate you and your time. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you and family my friend!

zhdasha's avatar
Slofkosky's avatar

:) Thank you so very much! I apologize for not visiting lately. I hope you are doing well and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you!

AshTheZombie's avatar

Very cool, very retro!

Slofkosky's avatar

Thank you sooooo very much for saying! Just that makes my day that it worked in the retro feel, comic vibe of things.

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