Hyperion Bay. Malostet’s most picturesque tourist spot. Fireworks erupted in bursts every color of the rainbow overhead as I popped open the hatch. I climbed up onto the roof of the rickety old ship, watching my footing carefully.
Sourcemind soared across the city skyline. His hostage remained passed out over Ninety-Five’s shoulder, secured only by a metal hand. My pilot kept pace, staying a safe distance behind.
“What the hell is this thing?” I asked Jones through my Sen Pen relay as I stared at a metal bolt with a flat, round disc at the end. It was attached to a long length of cable that ran down the hatch and into the ship.
“An amantonov magnet,” Jones answered. “Strongest in the Known Universe.”
I loaded it into my harpoon gun. I always travel with one. You never know when you might spot a wild kamaratox dragon. Their hides fetch a decent price and their heads make excellent trophies. I keep one on the wall in my living room and its served me well as a magnificent conversation starter.
“What am I supposed to do? Hang a stick figure drawing on his ass?!”
“That cable’s attached to our main battery,” Jones explained. “Get it on him and I’ll fry his circuits.”
“And that’ll wipe Sourcemind out?”
“What?” Alien Jones asked, as if somehow that was a dumb question. “No. Ninety-five will be rendered a useless pile of scrap. Sourcemind will still remain in his mainframe back on Omcoros.”
“Whatever poindexter,” I scoffed. “Just keep your distance, I don’t want him to…”
Too late. He noticed us, stopped, turned, and delivered a barrage of missiles out of his chest.
“GRAB SOMETHING NOW!” Jones screamed as he took evasive maneuvers. Unfortunately for me, my sidekick’s warning was too little, too late. The ship went up and I fell back…back…back until I grabbed the corner fin with both hands..
“WORST…FLIER…EVER!!!” I shouted.
“YOU ‘AINT SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!” Jones said as he brought the ship down in a nose dive followed by a spiral, each missile exploding just inches from the hull.
The harpoon gun, precariously attached only by a cable plugged into the ship’s many battery, flapped in the breeze. I reached my right hand and after several tries, finally grabbed it.
The head clank himself hailed me on my Sen Pen.
“What the f%$k are you doing, Voss? We had a deal.”
“I didn’t know the ‘thing’ you wanted from Izok was a woman,” I replied. “What do you want her for anyway? You don’t even have a…”
Bullets from Ninety-five’s twin machine guns sprayed the ship.
“I’ve lost all respect for you, Voss!” Sourcemind said as he flew Ninety-five right up to me. “You’d give up your life for a pretty face? I’ll never understand organics.”
Jones leveled out and took us straight. Sourcemind retracted the gun that had replaced his hand and switched it back to the circular saw. He immediately went to work on the fin I was clinging to. Sparks flew as he cut it away.
“You’ll make a lovely splatter on Gnozzi Street,” Sourcemind taunted. “Here’s hoping its painful!”
With my free hand, I raised the harpoon gun and took aim.
“Jonesy,” I whispered. “Get ready…on one.”
“Loud and clear, good buddy,” Jones said.
“You have no idea what you’re messing with here,” Sourcemind said. “No idea at all! When will you pathetic organics realize understand that your day has past and its the machines’ time now? When will you comprehend that we are just as real and cognizant as you?”
His tone got louder. Angrier.
“WHEN WILL YOU REALIZE THE I AM THE TRUE RULER OF ALL THAT IS AND ALL THAT WILL EVER BE?!
I fired. The harpoon launched the magnet right into Ninety-five’s chest. Sourcemind chuckled.
“What are you going to do? Hang a stick figure drawing on me?”
The engines backfired and rocked the ship, making it harder for me to hold on. Thousands of volts surged through the cable, knocking Sourcemind’s vessel off its feet. Ninety-five shook uncontrollably but maintained a grip on the woman.
The ship dove downward.
“There’s no power going to the ship!” my pilot said. “We’re diving until the assimilator resets!”
“You could of told me!”
Jones righted the ship again, gliding straightforward. I took advantage of a distracted Sourcemind to pull myself up to my feet.
“What?” I asked as I stomped my foot down on Nintey-Five’s face. “What are you going to do?”
“I’M GOING TO FIND YOU!!! I’M….I’M…I’M GOING TO….GOING TO…”
He kept repeating himself. The surge was working. The ship moved faster.
“Engines are back,” Jones said.
“I’M GOING TO FIND YOU AND KILL YOU VOSS, FIND YOU AND KILL YOU VOSS…FIND FUH FUH FIND AND KILL KA KA KILL YOU VA VA VA VA VOSS!!!!”
Slowly, the robot lifted itself back on its feet. That sharp circular saw spinned round and round as he swung it over my head.
“HIT HIM AGAIN!” I shouted.
“Hitting him again,” Jones confirmed.
I grabbed an antenna, the closest thing I could get my hands on, and braced myself. The engines backfired again and the ship went down once more. My body flew through the air as I held on.
Ninety-five convulsed wildly as sparks flew out of his chassis. His head caught fire, blew up, and both robot and hostage tumbled into the night.
“We didn’t have a plan if he took the girl with him, did we?” I asked.
“No,” Jones said. “I’ve been pretty much pulling this out of my non-existent ass as we go along.”
“Shit,” I said.