Saturday, October 24, 2009


The torso carapace of the intruder hinged upwards, beaming the light towards the domed ceiling. The refraction downwards was more diffused, equivalent to a Caledon summer day. I smiled as I recognized the figure at the controls.

"Hello, Ash." He nodded as he smiled and removed his goggles. True to form, he stuck to formalities while on assignment.

"Identification positive. Commencing extraction." He extended an iron claw, offering a lift into the rather cramped cockpit of the mecha.

"Negative. I cannot abandon these sentients. To do so would constitute genocide..."

"Your agreement with the Timekeepers is null and void. They have already committed genocide."

I gasped. "Against whom?"

"Themselves. Soon after we lost contact with you, the Timekeeper cities shifted operations from research to weapons and countermeasures, and attacked each other. Without their prime directive they assumed the selfish traits of the organics they were once sworn to protect."

As I pondered the hubris of the Timekeepers and prepared a profound monologue on the foolishness of artificial life forms mimicking the faults of their creators, the medical equipment in the room begin to flicker and throw off sparks.

"Ash," I cried. "When you breached the vault you compromised the environmental containment unit! The survivors are dying!"

In their tanks, they flailed their tentacles helplessly as the wailing grew to a deafening shriek, cut short piece by piece with a quick rattle and silence.

"It is their fault for becoming overdependent upon their machines to begin with," Ash said coldly. "Their fate no longer that a nuclear chain reaction detonation sequence I hear?"

"Yes, Ash. Did you conclude that I remained here solely out of compassion? That is exactly why their health concerns us!"


Monday, October 5, 2009


The Timekeepers had sealed me in their underground vault with the survivors of their Builder race. They were a one hundred and forty-four loathsome, sybaritic invertebrates wallowing in brackish pools of absinthe, barely retaining a wisp of sentience. The Timekeepers' intentions became clear to me far too late. I was imprisoned to be a surrogate caretaker for their Builders, leaving the Timekeepers the freedom to create new Directives of their own.

The only light was the deep green aura from the heating units in the vats. It took me days to unravel the morass of copper and rubber tubing that kept the glass vats at exacting temperatures, and supplied the Builders with the proper nutrients. I will spare you, Dear Reader, from a description of the unending howls of these forever demanding, ungrateful beings.

My own Directives, in the meantime, compelled me to assist these pathetic creatures. The very qualities that made me an effective Fire Captain bound me to their vats for two months.

My droll existence was suddenly interrupted when I noticed the spark and telltale hiss of a superheated ether torch outlining the frame of the vault. I kept my distance as the smoke from melting steel rose to the top of the hemispherical chamber. I held my ground with the Builder vats to my back as the vault door fell forwards with a deafening crash. The howling of the Builders grew so load and shrill I feared my ears would burst.

A huge bipedal construct crouched and stepped through the portal, standing to its full height of twelve feet. I winced as a magnesium lantern placed where the construct's head would be scanned the room, then aimed downwards to focus squarely upon me.