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Pscybotics Volume One: Episode 2 - Pilot Part Two
By
Beesting

Pscybotics Volume One: Episode 2 - Pilot Part Two

Five teenagers'lives are changed forever when an accident causes the impossible

Sam stepped forward. 'Hey, who are you?'

The stranger didn't answer. He just stared back at them.

'Can you talk?' asked Doug.

The stranger still just stood there.

'I don't think he talks, Doug,' said Sam.

'Is anyone else getting that "Terminator" feeling,' said Selena in her ever sarcastic tone.

Sarah, having had enough of just staring at the stranger stepped forward. 'Hey, where are we?'

'Sarah, don't!' Sam grabbed her arm keeping her from getting any closer.

Sarah ignored Sam's grip. 'Hey! If you can hear me, we need help. A man's drowned; you need to call the cops or something!'

The stranger didn't respond.

Sarah stepped closer despite Sam's grip. 'Hey, can you hear me?' She was now two feet away from him. 'I said we need help.'

The stranger was as still as a statue. In fact, he was beginning to look like he was dead. Sarah reached out to touch him when suddenly his eyes flickered in her direction. Sarah caught her breath and tried to back away, but the stranger grabbed her wrist and squeezed. Sarah started to scream as the stranger began to break her wrist. Just as Sam moved forward to try and stop the stranger, a powerful gunshot ran off.

Doug, Selena, and the Latino loner ducked not knowing whether they'd been hit or not. Sarah had closed her eyes, Sam pulling her back. When she opened them again, she saw that her clothes were splattered with blood and the stranger was on the ground. His head had been shot clean off!

'You're lucky to be alive!' The person who spoke was standing a couple of yards away holding what seemed to be a one-handed version of a sawed-off shot-gun. She wore a black worn trench coat over an even more worn light green sweater with black cargo pants. She didn't look any older than they were. Her hair was greasy and not longer than her shoulders and blowing in her face- which despite looking like it had never been washed before was pretty.

'Now who the hell are you!?' said Sam to the strange heroine.

She walked towards them. 'I am Trautman. Ripley Trautman.'

'Where did you come from?' continued Sam.

'South Africa,' she said simply, 'technically speaking. However her accent so so neutral and non-distinctive that Sam didn't know if he was lying or not.

'Ripley,' said Selena skeptically. 'What a name. It kinda suits you.'

Sarah was shaking. 'Why did you kill him!? Huh!? You crazy bi-.'

Ripley cut her off. 'Did you miss the part where I said you were lucky to be alive?'

'You just took the life of a human being. How can you even think that's justi-'

Ripley cut her off again. 'He wasn't human. So yeah, I believe I am justified. Unless you think otherwise.'

'Hold on,' said Doug. 'He ain't human?'

'No,' said Ripley, now standing in front of them.

'Well if he's not human,' said Sam, 'then what the hell is he?'

'He's a pscybotic.'

'A what?' said Selena.

'A pscybotic,' said Ripley continuing. 'That's what we call them. They're androids. The reason this place is what it is.'

'And what is this place exactly?' asked Sarah.

'Well right now, we're in the Droidan Hemisphere, what used to be the Capital city of Canada. At least according to the older maps.'

'Wait,' said Sarah. 'Did you say, "use to be"? What happened?'

Ripley gave them all a cold look. 'ARTIS happened.'

'What's ARTIS?' asked Doug.

'Artificial Intelligence System. It took over, made the androids, and we've been at war ever since.'

'War!?' said Selena.

Ripley didn't respond except with a nod. They could tell that she'd seen a lot of battle. Her demeanor reflected the kind of person who had been hardened by war.

'I think we have to ask the most important question if we really want to know anything.' said Sam.

'And what's that?' said Sarah. Everyone was looking at him in anticipation.

'What year is it?'

Ripley looked at Sam like she finally understood something she'd been trying to figure out about them. 'It's 2040. October 10th, 2040. Welcome to the future.'

Everybody stood frozen as they realized the truth about where they were. None of them registered fright or fear, Just shock. Pure unsaturated shock. All five of them had just jumped into the future. There were no explanations that would justify what they had just been through. Not even Einstein could have dreamt of what had just happened- and he had come up with the theory. No matter what the theory of what happened was, it was unbelievable!'

'Guys.' said Doug. 'We just traveled twenty-four years into the future.'

'Actually, the term is "jumped,"' corrected Ripley. They all looked at her. She looked at Sam. 'And you'll find that that isn't the most important question.'

'Then what is?' said Sam looking at the ground still in shock.

'The most important question, in the world, is "what is the frequency?'

Sam and Doug looked at her like she'd just come down from the Heavens and told them that she was an angel.

Sam found his voice. 'How do you know about the frequency?'

Ripley leaned in close. 'How do you think I found you in the middle of Droidan Hemisphere. Behind enemy lines.'

Doug flinched 'We're behind enemy lines?'

Ripley nodded. 'That's why we have to leave. Now! I have a transport waiting at Pearson airstrip.'

Sam grabbed Sarah's arm again and started moving behind the already moving Ripley. The rest of them followed suit across a small neighborhood to a torn apart street. There, Ripley lead them to a shiny black Hummer. The Hummer looked out of place in this post-apocalypse future. It looked almost brand new and modern to the present that they new.

'Where did you guys dig this thing from?' said Doug. 'It's tight, yo.'

'Yeah,' added Selena. 'What did you guys find an underground parking lot that had been sealed for the past twenty years or something?'

'We didn't find it,' said Ripley opening the vehicle. 'We built it. Get in!'

All surprised, they jumped in the back, with Sam sitting up front with Ripley. When Sam shut the door, he was taken aback by the dashboard. It looked like something out of a futuristic Knight Rider with buttons and knobs everywhere and a laptop screen dominating the center of the dash.

Doug poked his head over the central armrest. 'Wow!? What's up with the dashboard?'

Ripley scowled. 'It's called a cockpit.' She then fired up then engine and took off with speed.

'Jeez,' said Selena squashed next to the ever-silent Latino loner. 'Do you always drive this fast?'

Ripley smirked. 'Best way to outrun the pscybotics. Put on your seatbelts!' She turned to Sam still fastening his seatbelt. 'Look sharp! You're good with computers, right?'

Sam was taken aback. How did she know his skill with a computer? 'Ah, yeah I am. Why? How did you...'

Ripley cut him off. 'I may need you to be my operator.'

'Your what?'

'It's basically an armorer. A weapons master.'

'What?'

'Listen carefully. The buttons you see basically control the inside of the vehicle. To control the weapons outside, we have the computer. That's what I need you for.'

'The computer controls the weapons?' Sam said as more of an affirmative statement than a question.

'Yeah, it controls exterior weapons and communications. But I'm not asking you to hack anything. I just need you to work the weapons. It's pretty simple. The weapons work on a touch screen system. You'll only need the keyboard to fire.'

'Why didn't you design this thing so that the driver controlled those things?'

'Because it's unrealistic. It's not like what you see in the movies. The driver's usually driving too fast to worry about using the weapons! Besides, only The Lullaby has got weapon controls for the driver. Now can you help me or not?'

'Okay, I'll do it.' Sam shifted in his seat as the Hummer took a turn way too quickly for his comfort.

Doug poked his head over the central armrest again. 'Just one quick question . . . What's the Lullaby?'

Ripley smiled then ignored his question and focused on getting to the airport. Sam turned the screen which was mantled to the dashboard on a pivot system towards him and started tapping through the menu of weapons.

'Can I ask you something,' he said tapping. 'How did you get to us, behind enemy lines as you called it, without an operator?'

Ripley wore a straight face. 'Who says I didn't have an operator?'

Sam thought that through. 'He's dead!?' said Sam suddenly feeling uncomfortable being the new operator- replacement for a dead man.

'I was the operator,' Ripley corrected him. 'He was the driver.'

That didn't make Sam feel any better.

'How far are we from the airport?' asked Selena in an attempt to change the subject.

They all looked at Ripley, who in turn, looked at Sam. 'You're the operator. Press control F5 to get to the GPS. You should find the airstrip already programmed in as your destination.'

Sam did as he was told, pulling out the keyboard from a semi-hidden. panel 'Okay, found it.'

'Good, top right-hand corner,' said Ripley navigating another turn.

'Ah, we're about five miles from Pearson,' said Sam to Selena.

'Hey, guys. What's that ahead of us!?' said Sarah. A person was standing in the middle of the road. Sarah realized in horror that it was a pscybotic.

'Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! We're going straight for it!' Doug said shouting at Ripley.

'I know! Operator! You're up!'

'Right. What do you need?'

'Hood machine rifle!'

Sam clicked. 'Got it!' A huge double barrel machine gun rose from the hood. 'Cool,' he whispered under his breath. 'How do I fire?'

'You never played a computer game,' crowed Doug. 'Spacebar!' said Doug and Ripley in unison.

Sam pressed the space bar and held it in position as the vehicle vibrated to the sound of the machine gun letting off round after round. The pscybotic took all the hits but wouldn't fall down. When the Hummer reached it, the bionic went flying over vehicle getting left behind.

'Four and a half miles,' said Sam.

'Hey, can I ask you a question,' said Doug to Ripley. 'When did this all happen? I mean when did it all start? What year?'

Ripley completed another tight corner. 'It started in the year 2019. ARTIS came online and started taking over all the machines in the world.'

Selena flinched. '2019. That's just three years from now.'

'Well technically, it was twenty-one years ago,' corrected Doug. 'But hold up. If this ARTIS thing took over in 2019, shouldn't there be flying machines and stuff by now? You know, like in  Terminator Salvation  or  The Matrix ?'

'This isn't like those movies,' said Ripley. 'ARTIS is a computer program. Period. A very smart one, but it can't control machines. I assume that the man that made it made damn sure there was no way the scenarios in those movies could come true.'

'So then what happened.' said Sarah. 'How did everything end up like this?'

'Like I said: ARTIS is very smart. At the time ARTIS was being built, chryo-technology was being developed. The government was trying to see if humans could be brought back to life using a computer. The project was code-named "The Austin Project".'

'After the six million dollar man,' confirmed Doug.

Ripley continued. 'ARTIS was brought online a short time before they plugged the dead man into the computer. When they did, ARTIS took advantage, and the first Android was born. After he had escaped, the Android, nicknamed the pscybotic, made it's way to Russia, to force an attack on the United States. Needless to say, it succeeded, and countless nuclear warheads were launched towards the U.S.'

'Why the U.S.?' asked Sarah.

'The most powerful country in the world. Most of the country was destroyed in the explosion. Anyone else was killed by radiation poisoning. The U.S. has become uninhabitable for the next couple of centuries. The only Americans left alive were those who were not in the country at the time. Over the next year or so, ARTIS started making more pscybotics out of freshly deceased humans and took over the northern hemisphere.'

'Why the northern?' asked Sam.

'Because it's the most powerful. The heart of the Droidan Hemisphere lies in Britain.'

'Why Britain?'

'It's essentially an island. Easier to protect. They're like pirates those things, only instead of hunting for treasure...'

'They're hunting us...' said Sam finishing off Ripley's sentence. 'Their hunting humans.'

'You've got it,' said Ripley just before the computer started beeping. 'Dammit! It called it in!'

'What are you talking about?' asked Sarah.

'The pscybotic! The one that we ran over! We didn't kill it in time. It called in our location. They know we're here. We're not gonna be able to stop at the airstrip!'

'What does that mean!?' said Selena beginning to panic. 'What . . . What are you gonna do?'

Ripley didn't respond except to pick up a two-way radio that was hidden under the dashboard. 'Come in, Air One, come one! This is Trautman!'

The radio came alive. 'This is Air One! Operator, what is your position!?'

Ripley turned to Sam. 'How far are we!?'

'Ah, one point eight miles.'

'One point eight miles, Air One. Requesting immediate take off upon arrival.'

'Request accepted. We are bearing South West with take-off speed of sixty-five miles per hour.'

'Roger that!' Ripley put the receiver down.

'Why did he have to tell us all that!?' shouted Doug.

Ripley turned her head slightly. 'Because we're gonna have to drive on to the plane while it's preparing to take off.'

'You've got to be kidding me.'

Ripley turned to Sam. 'Listen, look I'm gonna need you to load every gun we have. We're expecting company in about thirty seconds.'

Sam obeyed and pressed every available weapon. When he was done, the hummer looked more like a tank than an SUV. As soon as Sam was done, something that sounded like thunder erupted from somewhere in front of them. As the hummer pushed forward, they soon realized that the thunder they were hearing was coming from the pscybotics running towards them. Their speed was incredible.

Ripley accelerated. 'Okay operator, fire everything we've got!'

Sam obey, using the control key to highlight all the guns then hit the space bar. All the guns fired at the same time sending a vibration through the vehicle that made it hard for Ripley to control. As the bullets hit the pscybotics, they fell like dominoes in the wind. In a second, the hummer made contact, crushing whatever was in its way.

'Oh no,' cried Selena. 'We're dragging them. Make it stop! Make it stop.'

'It will stop when we get to the airstrip!'

As if on cue, a minute later they were at the airstrip. Shock overtook the emotions of Ripley's companions. They couldn't believe what they were seeing. What had been Pearson airport, was nothing but rubble. A giant bunch of rubble. What was once one of the busiest airports in Canada, was now nothing but ashes.

'What happened here?' Sarah said asking the same question.

'Haven't you figured it out yet!? The war!'

The hummer charged through what used to be the airport and to the airstrip. It sped across many runways towards a waiting military plane. It was already moving as promised. They charged towards the open back which looked big enough to fit a tank.

Doug looked through the back window. 'Damn! They're fast.' They were charging at the hummer with incredible speed. They would catch up to them in moments. 'Ah, Ripley. We've got to go! Now!'

'You know I'm working on it!' The speed at which Ripley was traveling was incredible. She balanced the throttle so that when she entered the back of the plane, she was able to brake before going through the plane. 'Air- One! Air-One!' shouted Ripley into the receiver. 'We're in! We're In!'

''Roger that!' The response was immediate. 'Prepare for take off!'

As soon as the hummer was in the plane, the wheels looked into place, and the plane lifted off the ground, leaving the pscybotics behind. Everyone in the vehicle cheered. Everyone except Sarah who was as silent as the grave.

Ripley exhaled. It had been a long day. She thought about what it had taken to get a plane to take her to Toronto, not to mention finding a pilot willing to take her there. The only person who had been willing to go with her into the Droidan Hemisphere; into the land of the enemy.

*

36 HRS EARLIER

October 9th, 2040 04:45

'What do you think, Rip? You think they'll go for it?'

'I don't know?'

'But let's be serious Rip. This is the military we're talking about. They're not going to commission a military plane to fly across the border. Not for the reason you're telling them.'

'The frequency is important. You know that better than anyone.'

'Yeah, I know that, Rip. What I mean is . . . The real reason, you want to go!?'

Ripley rolled her eyes with a sigh. 'You know that I can't tell them that.'

'What are you worried about credibility? If that's the issue, I think it went out the window a long time ago with all that frequency talk. I'm tellin' you; they already think that you're nuts.'

Brent was right. He was the only one who had faith in Ripley's talk about the frequency. So much so that he was willing to go behind enemy lines for her. Ripley and Brent had been best friends since meeting at age twelve. Over the years they'd been through a lot. All of which led to Ripley becoming Brent's operator. Although Brent never said anything, Ripley knew that, deep down, Brent was just a little bit in love with her.

Just then, the door to the command centre opened, the Captain; the General and the President stepped out. Ripley and Brent stood up, awaiting the order. The tension was so high, it was a miracle neither of them fainted.

'I'm sorry,' said the General in an Afrikaans accent, 'but the answer is no.'

'May I ask a reason, sir?'

The President stepped forward. 'I'll tell you why. We cannot risk losing a team of soldiers, not to mention a military aircraft in the Droidan Hemisphere.'

Ripley clenched her jaw. 'Permission to speak sir.'

'Granted.'

'If you can't afford to send a team, then don't send a team. We'll do it ourselves.'

The General was the one who answered. 'And who will fly the plane? Neither of you is a pilot.'

It was the Captain who spoke this time. 'I'll do it. I'll fly them in and fly them out myself. Therefore eliminating any need for unnecessary casualties, sir.'

The President and the General shared a look of concern. They both looked at the Captain, then back at each other and nodded.

'Alright then,' said the President. 'You're a go. Just bring that plane back in one peace!'

'Yes, Sir!'

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright © 2016 by Sphu "Beesting" Kubheka
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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