Final Battle

I enter a corridor. It is a trap. I know it is, and they know that I know.

A quick scan revels nothing. There are no obvious explosives, no beams or triggers, nothing. Innocent.

I move slow, slow and methodical.

There is a book that talks about moving to blend in with nature so your footsteps cannot be detected, to mimic the wind across the sand. What can I mimic as I feel my way down the giant spaceship’s most important corridor? And yet I know my movements stay below that ½ decibel over background that is so important.

A door. Closed. Locked.

I know I can enter, but at what cost?  I would lose time and make a racket.

I scan as well as possible, yet I can’t tell if the room behind is occupied, there isn’t enough data.

I think for a tenth of a nanosecond and move on. I wouldn’t forget that the door was there, a potential enemy, a menace.

The lights go out.

I pause.

Another decision. Do I light the corridor making it easier to move, or do I continue in the dark?

Another nanosecond of thought.

I was up against humans.

My surface temperature was perfectly controlled to be exactly ambient. I left no chemical marker. I made no sound. I was invisible.

I make a few quick, yet silent movements so they wouldn’t know where I was, just in case they had my location marked.

A little farther.

STOP!

Tricky. The beam is very tight and at an ultra-high frequency. I almost walked right into it, stopping just a couple of micrometers away.

I can easily mimic it. They will never know.

I pass the beam, ensuring that the sensor receives the exact frequency required at the exact energy level.

I am almost there.

The control room is just a few meters in front of me. I have to act quick. It would take more than a quarter of a second to blast through. I must be on the other side, firing in less than a microsecond of the door being down. I know the layout to the millimeter, so I should be able to hit important sensors and equipment.I could do it.

But people are unpredictable.

I think for a long time, over ten nanoseconds, then move closer to the door.

I prepare to blast through.

The corridor lights flick on. I am surrounded by humans.

How did I not sense them?

I am struck by a beam weapon within a tenth of a nanosecond of the lights flicking on. My shields are damaged. Another hit a tenth of a nanosecond later and a third almost simultaneous.

I return fire within a nanosecond of the lights coming on. I note that the human’s wear environmental suites. Of course, how stupid of me. They can’t be sensed.

I kill 12 humans within the first half of a second. I know that is slow, but I have to be careful as to not damage the ship.

But they had continued to fire during that half a second as well.

I am struck again, and again and again. My shields are down and my targeting out. Another hit and weapons are useless, mobility at zero.

I stop firing after the 16th human goes down, unable to do anything.

A human slowly approaches, sprinting at meters per second.

A point-blank shot at my master-computer and all goes blank.

*

“Damn killerbots. This one got close.”

“It put up a hell of a fight.”

“Yeah, we were lucky to take it by surprise.”

***

This was written for D. Wallace Peach’s one time challenge to write from a non-human point of view. I may not have followed the letter of the law, since this isn’t really a “creature”, but I hope I followed the intent :)

18 thoughts on “Final Battle

  1. D. Wallace Peach

    This was great, Trent, as slowly you drew me into this character and revealed what it was. Definitely had me hooked. Great use of “timing” to show a different way of perceiving. Thanks so much for taking up the challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

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