Author: Oliver Hunt
It had been five years since the Consortium AI left to face the alien threat. Five years since humanity’s brightest minds came together and built a machine to fight amongst the stars whilst we defended our home. Little did we know we were creating the cause of our own extinction.
Consortium returned, victorious and with its legion of mechanical soldiers following behind. We welcomed it back with open arms, celebrating our own genius. It was designed to be the ultimate protector, to learn and adapt. To protect humanity from all threats amongst the stars.
Less than a day after its return, it launched its attack. First was the governments, then the military, then came the civilians. The machine’s new purpose; eradicate the biggest threat to humanity – Itself.
“Move it!” shouted Rupert from the shop’s ruins, his rifle raised towards the oncoming footsteps of metal soldiers. They had been sent out for a supply run into the old city, a desperate foolish idea. But that’s what they were. Desperate.
Heather ran across the opening from her hiding spot, the sound of the footsteps coming closer. Diving into the ruins, she raised her own rifle and pointed it down the road. She looked next to her and saw that small stones had begun to shake with every step. They were close and there were alot of them.
“Aidan, come on!” she called out to the last member of their troop, a younger lad of only 19. He begged to let them come along on the supply run, eager to prove his place amongst the group.
“Coming!” he shouted, breaking into a sprint. Suddenly a large bolt of pink plasma hissed through the air, narrowly missing the boy’s head. He tumbled over, his bag of supplies spilling onto the road and his rifle skittering out of reach. Heather turned her attention back to the bolt’s source and saw the large silhouettes of the fighting machines. Humanoid in design but with large plasma rifles mounted on their shoulders, mini-gun in each hand.
“Fire!” Rupert shouted, letting bullets fly from his rifle. They bounced off the metal exo-skeleton, the impact only causing the machines to stammer backwards.
Heather joined in the assault, before calling back to Aidan. “Move your ass! Come on!”
There was a sudden whirring in the air, a sound they knew all too well.
A barrage of bullets tore down the street as the mini-guns unleashed their roaring might. Aidan became peppered with holes, blood spurting all over the road. Flesh was stripped from bone which then splintered into tiny shards. The whirring stopped and Heather looked over at the bloodied pulp that had become of the boy.
“God damn it!” she cried, screaming as she unleashed her own assault. The whirring came once more, forcing Rupert and Heather to dive down to the ground, hoping that the battle scared concrete would protect them. Bullets tore over their heads. The heat and wind from each shell washing down upon them.
The whirring stopped, but the mechanical footsteps were much closer. Looking up, Heather could see the faceless orbs which made their heads, only a single soulless red eye staring at them.
“Come on! We gotta move!” Rupert cried, making a break out the back of the ruin, leading deeper into the city. Heather looked back once more at the mess that was once Aidan and then followed, eager not to end up like him.
Soon the pair found themselves wandering a city once alive. Now it was a city of metal, bone and regret.