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 Shock Code short stories!

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CuteCat
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PostSubject: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:13 pm

NOTE! Since this is a collection, any new stories will be posted up here when finished!

---Snac---

"-is that!? What were you thinking? It's like you DESIGNED it to be creepy!"

Snac idly looked up toward the speaker, sitting on the floor of the empty metal room. He was still a bit drowsy, only recently having awoken for his performance check, but calmly concluded that someone had hit a switch. After all the yelling had started mid-sentence... A second voice, deeper and calmer than the first, answered.

"I think he's cute."

"What part of that thing is cute? The claws? The fangs?"

Snac looked to his hands, clubs tipped with curved, yellow claws. His feet, outstretched in front of him, were the same way - the legs just ended with claws, no real transition between foot and leg. He put a hand in his mouth abscent-mindedly, trailing his claws along the sharp fangs that filled his maw. He chuckled softly, a large smile on his face.

"He has big cute ears." the calm voice said. "And he's fat and cuddly."

"It has a glass orb for a body!"

"Stop calling him an 'it'! His name is Snac."

Snac blinked, one hand raised and clutching a large white ear tipped with green. I have a name? he thought quietly, before letting go of the limb again. It was cold and stiff, not at all soft or fluffy. He looked to his body, a big transparent ball that was currently empty. As the two voices kept arguing, he found a mirror and wandered up to it, looking at himself. Aside from the belly and his eartips, he was totally white and grey with yellow eyes and a big smile. On his back lay two tanks, empty. A hose was attached to them, dragging along the ground, and Snac spun around as he picked it up.

"And what about the craziness? Is that cute too?!"

"What are you talking about? He's not crazy..."

"Look at him!"

"What? Why?"

"He has deranged psycho-eyes and the twitchiest grin I've ever seen! It's creeping me out!"

"What are you talking about? No he ..."

The deep voice trailed off. Snac didn't particularly think closer on it, fidgetting with the end of his hose until he figured out how it worked. He chuckled - he wanted to try it out on something... By the time he was done, everything had gone silent. He wandered in circles for a while, but nothing seemed to happen. As he sat down again, tired and annoyed by a constant hunger, a part of the wall slid open.

A man entered, wearing strange rubbery clothes, and dragging along a carriage. Snac quickly disregarded the human - he knew it was a human, he had seen them before, but they all looked the same in their rubber suits and robes and they never spoke or did anything interesting. Even if this was his first chance to see one up close or interact with one, he just wasn't interested in such a boring thing. On the carriage however were large barrels with warning symbols on, filled with a green liquid that seemed to glow just a little. Snac was instantly intrigued - he ran over and jumped onto the carriage, peering down into one of the containers. He stuck his hand down into it and scooped up a handful of the green liquid, looking at it for a few moments. It was somewhat dense, not at all like water (not that he'd know), but it felt nice and smelled tasty...

Before the man in the suit could stop him, he'd shoved the liquid into his mouth and swallowed. It tasted great! The man grumbled something into a device in his helmet. "He seems to handle the acid pretty well... No signs of damage."

"So this is acid?" Snac asked out loud. The man looked to him and nodded, and the bunny robot ate more as he thought about it. He knew a bit about acid. It would kill humans quite easily... There was plenty of it, acid waste, so dangerous! But not to him. He ate until his belly was about half-full, and then filled the containers on his back.

"He seems satisfied with just one barrel..." the man murmured again. Snac disregarded it, but snapped to attention as he spoke again. "I'll remove the rest of the barrels..."

"But it's mine!" the bunny robot yelled in a high-pitched anger. Why did a mere human think he could take his things? And he was curious, so curious...

Coming to what he felt was the perfect conclusion, he rammed one of the barrels and sent its contents spilling everywhere. The acid spread all over the floor, and Snac knocked over another barrel. The man was screaming at him and backing away, horrified, but Snac just laughed. "You're scared?"

It wasn't a malicious question, but the man treated it as such. "It's insane! The thing is insane! Stop it!!"

Snac's smile grew wider, and he put a claw to his mouth. What was a human worth? He didn't have any concept, nor values... So it was just a plaything, right? He bounced off from the carriage, approaching the man who was now positively panicking. It was fun to watch, his constant panicked flailing... Wonder if they get tired like robots do?

He tried to spray the man with acid, but nothing seemed to happen and he just ran aside like the moving target he was. Couldn't be human... Snac tried to target him, but he was too quick to hit from a distance... And he was heading for the door to boot! Not willing to lose it, the robot bounced at him, aiming to land in his path but instead hitting his back and bowling the man over. The man's strange helmet came off, and he begun to howl in an unearthly tone. Snac held his ears, cringing at the noise. How do you make him stop? Make him quiet?

He took his hose again and held it down at the man, and he went quiet in an instant. Snac tilted his head to the side, then grinned. "Do you really melt?" he asked.

"Y-Yes..."

The man's voice was different from before, no longer muffled by the mask. Snac smiled. "It must be fun to see."

It hardly took any time at all for more people to arrive, Snac curiously inspecting the results of acid on human flesh. He wasn't sure to say if it melted or burned, and before he could figure it out he was struck from behind. He tried to get up, but was struck again and only managed to roll over - more people in their weird rubber suits! They wouldn't let him up, and one shoved something into his mouth. He bit down, causing a cry from the man who tried to pull free. Then, something made him very tired, and he passed out.
___

Snac yawned as he opened his eyes. He was standing up, in a strange holding tube of some sort, one of its walls now slid open. He looked around - where was he? It didn't look at all like the metal room he was in before. It looked more like a... storage.

I was stored away? he wondered idly, putting a claw to his mouth. He stepped out of the holding tube, looking to a panel next to it. "SUBJECT: SNAC" it said. "TO BE DESTROYED. -LOCKS RELEASED-"

He frowned. Destroyed? Why? Did those rubber-clothed people want him dead just for killing one specimen? They all looked alike, he didn't understand why anyone would miss one.

It seemed that he had been in cold stasis for a long time. Maybe they forgot about him. Shrugging, Snac wandered out of the storage, and outside he was surprised to find himself in a waste treatment plant - acid was flowing near everywhere, with large platforms and walkways suspended above them. He was so hungry again... He filled up his empty stomach once more, pausing as he heard the sounds of people talking. He climbed up onto a walkway and approached them. They were more of the same - men in rubber suits, standing by a large bee robot of some sort. For a moment Snac thought back to the one he'd killed, then chuckled as he remembered his fun reactions.

If they're all the same they'll act the same... he thought. He decided to try out his theory, trying to hose the men, and grinning as they did indeed act the same and ran around panicking. Some were screaming louder than others, and as he looked closer he saw that not everyone were wearing suits. Nevertheless, they looked the same as the others. But he had trouble focusing on a single target, and as a result everyone got away without a single body to inspect. Snac sighed lightly, sitting by the broken bee robot the humans had been tending to, and waited for someone else to play with.
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PostSubject: Re: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:18 pm

--Emily--

"Do not panic. Everybody please evacuate the Teacups area. There is a malfunction spreading among the mechanical animals. Please evacuate the Teacups area and do not approach the animals."

The message rang out through the amusement park. Only a couple of seconds after its end it started again, repeating itself over and over. The guests were confused of course, but nobody wanted to risk getting their child wounded and went to other parts of the large amusement park, playing on the other rides or getting their child some toy or ice cream. The children were worried or confused, but easily distracted and happy with the new things they got.

Atleast most of them were. One girl in particular, six years old, had heard the broadcast. She dressed quite unlike the other children - she was an imitation of a knight, with metallic boots and gloves and a long skirt that resembled chainmail. Her shirt had shoulderguards instead of sleeves, not resembling any armor in particular but being colored a metallic grey. She wore a headband in the shape of a knight's visor, and her long black hair was tied up into a ponytail.

"Come on, Emily, let's go." her father said as he held her by the hand and moved away from the affected area. She glared up at him with dark green eyes, and he let out a sigh. "I'll buy you a toy, okay? Just come with me and stay calm, I know you love the robotics but the ones over there aren't working."

"Can I have a ballbat?" Emily asked innocently, even though inside she was brimming with curiousity about how the malfunctioning bots were acting - and why. Ballbats were her favorite robots - they were metallic balls with fangs and yellow eyes, and big ears and wings and a small tail wagging behind them. They were security robots her dad had said, they made sure everybody were doing well and not being mean. The amusement park had big plushies of them, so big she could only barely hold them, but her dad had said no to getting her one. And he did so again now.

"We'll buy you some icecream instead, okay honey?" her mother suggested, cooing at her.

"Good idea!" her father agreed. Emily huffed, but the silent protest went unnoticed as her parents went off to a nearby icecream stand. As they did he released her hand, a careless act. She smirked, realizing that she was now free to do as she pleased - as long as she was quick about it. She ran off into the crowds, heading to the teacups ride, and being long gone by the time her father turned to ask what flavor she would like.

The amount of people grew thinner and thinner until finally there was nobody around at all. Emily looked around at the deserted rides and stands, grimacing somewhat. It looked scary, like a ghost town. When she and her mother had been there only twenty minutes earlier, it had been filled to the brim with people, so many that she could hardly get to or touch the robotics in the area. Now everything lay silent and empty, only the humming of mechanical devices breaking the silence.

A soft click and whirr caught her attention, and she looked to the sound. A thud followed it - a mechanical bunny was hopping around by the stands. She smiled gleefully, resisting the urge to run over and hug it - the key on its back was turning of its own accord, and the bunny jumped around at a careful pace. It acted just like it normally would, aside from how the whirring sound was louder than she had ever heard it before.

"I wonder why they said to evacuate?" Emily murmured to herself curiously as she watched the robot hop about. They always hopped about calmly, stopping only to cuddle with children and being careful never to harm anything that got in their path. Looking around, she could see more of the bunnies, just hopping about calmly. She looked around for a ballbat momentarily, but she couldn't see any and sighed in disappointment. Shaking her head, she approached the first bunny she had seen. She stopped as it turned its head to her, its ears moving back and then back up.

It saw me... she thought, putting her hands behind her back. The bunny began to hop toward her, just like they usually did when going to cuddle with someone. A smile on her face, Emily held out one of her hands to pet the animal, but as it got close to her its stature changed somewhat. It was NOT meant to do so, and Emily let out a cry as the bunny suddenly tackled her. She was taken off her feet and fell to the ground, hitting it on her back a few steps away. Coughing she held her chest, rolling over onto her stomach and climbing onto her hands and knees. The bunny moved into the same position as before, then dashed at her once more, its body slamming into hers and sending her tumbling.

The metal felt horribly hard and painful, but she wasn't about to cry. She curled up, heaving as she tried to breathe deeply. The bunny leapt at her again, but didn't reach her. The ground had bruised and scraped her quite a bit, but she nevertheless got up. This was why they had to evacuate? The robotics had become hostile? She backed away from the bunny, and ran to the side as it tried to attack her again. I-I need to get out!

She ran back the way she had come, but a near siren-like screech filled her ears. It sounded like a ballbat! A shiny grey orb, roughly the size of her chest, suddenly dashed at her. She closed her eyes from reflex as she tried to shield herself with her arms, and felt something only barely scratch her arm, pushing against it and forcing her to back up. Opening her eyes slightly, she met the yellow eyes of a ballbat, its fangs dug straight through her metal glove. She gulped - it could tear through metal that easily... Even if it was thin metal, that meant the being could easily rip through her flesh. Its wings were waving quickly as it tried to pull back, ripping open the glove and screeching as it readied for another attack. Emily wanted to run, she wanted to run so badly, but her legs were shaking and she knew the ballbat could be much faster than a human.

All too fast the ballbat dashed at her, but a glowing bullet tore into it on the way there and it was knocked to the side, crashing noisily to the ground next to her. Before she had time to even look for the source she was snatched up in two hard arms and pressed against a cool, metallic blue body. She glanced up, finding that her rescuer was another robot - it had a humanoid body but no specific features, and its red eyes were all that showed through the green visor covering its face. It was holding a gun, but holding Emily in both arms it could no longer use it.

"Thank you..." the girl murmured, not expecting a response as she knew the robot was mute. It was a guard, a special guard unaffected by things like viruses and malfunctions... There was another screech from a ballbat and she cowered, burying her face into her savior. There was no time to run - she could feel the robot curling up around her, then nothing more. Nothing bumped into her or bit her, and she glanced up again in time to see the ballbat rip out a part of metal from the guard robot's shoulder. The grip on her loosened a bit, but her rescuer had sat down and curled up around her, preventing any further harm. It tried to fight back their attackers, having gathered the attention of all the malfunctioning robots, but it didn't take long before its gunwielding hand was torn up.

Emily whimpered, hugging herself. It hurt a lot... She wasn't going to cry, but she felt exhausted and terrified of the hostile animals constantly trying to get at her, breaking her protective shield piece by piece. Finally more people arrived, policemen, and they took out the malfunctioning robots. She was safe... A policeman pulled her away from the bot that was holding her, and she frowned as she saw it collapse. The policeman put a hand on her cheek to make her look at him. "Are you alright?"

"I'm okay..." she murmured. She looked to the broken guard robot again. "Will he be okay?"

"It's just a nonsentient guardbot, honey..." the policeman answered, cradling her. "He'll be fine. They'll repair him and he'll be just fine."

"Promise?" Emily insisted. "He saved my life, I really want him to be okay!"

"He'll be okay." the policeman promised. "What's your name?"

"Emily." Emily murmured, finding that her voice wasn't as loud or clear as she wanted it to be. She smiled softly and leaned against the policeman. "It hurts a lot..." she mumbled. "But I didn't cry."

She was about to doze off when the policeman nudged her awake again. "Where does it hurt?" he insisted, and she sighed.

"All over." she answered. Before the policeman could answer anything else, she had passed out.
___

Emily murmured, shifting slightly. She felt tired. Opening her eyes weakly, she found herself in a hospital room - she tried to sit up and prove she was okay, but as soon as she made a move her chest hurt terribly and she had to stop. A familiar female voice called out to her, filled to the brim with relief. "Emily!"

"Mom?" the girl asked quietly, turning to see that her mother was in fact there. Her father was, too, and both looked just as relieved. She smiled. "Hi..."

"You stupid, stupid girl..." her mom said again, starting to sob even though her voice was happy and relieved. "You might have died. Why did you go there?! I thought we were going to lose you!"

Before she could answer, Emily found herself in a tight embrace. She returned her mother's hug, and neither one let go until her father asked for his turn. Chuckling, she gave her father a well-deserved hug as well. "I'm fine." she said. "A guard robot protected me."

"A guard robot?" her mother asked, and she just nodded. Her father seemed a bit more knowledgeable, and thought about something for a few seconds. Then he nodded to himself.

"How would you like to own that guard bot?" he asked. Emily looked at him with wide eyes, too stunned to answer, and he decided to explain. "I believe I saw it. Unsentients that badly damaged are usually just thrown away, but..."

"But he said he'd be okay!" Emily complained. "He promised!"

"I promise you that he will too." her dad answered with a nod. "We could buy him cheap, get him fixed up and maybe even give him free will. He'd be your guardian."

Emily grinned widely and nodded, looking excited at the prospect. "Yeah! I'd love to! He saved my life, it's only fair that we save his right?!"

She started to hop off the bed, but her body filled with pain again and her father pushed her down onto the sheets. "Emily, please don't move yet, let us handle this. You're too wounded to be moving around."

Emily sighed and nuzzled down into the sheets. She felt tired, but the bed felt large and empty and she didn't want to rest. Her mother decided to make herself heard, her voice timid yet strong. "Emily, we got you something."

"An icecream would've melted by now." the girl mumbled. Her mother just chuckled in response and shook her head as she answered.

"We felt a bit guilty and worried that you'd run away... And being stuck here in the hospital for weeks, we won't be allowed to watch over you all the time... So we got you a companion." She reached down to a bag hidden by her chair and picked it up, pulling out a big round toy and holding it out to Emily. The girl grabbed it with both hands, looking up at the plush ballbat she was now holding. Any fears that she would have lost her passion for robotics and ballbats were washed away as she looked at it, and with a happy squee she hugged onto its round soft body. "Thank you!"

"Just don't do anything so dangerous again, okay?" her mother asked, looking a bit concerned. "Don't run off to a restricted area alone..."

"I won't!" Emily answered happily, looking between her parents with a smirk. "I'll have a guardian with me."

Her parents just sighed as she cuddled together in the bed with her new toy. "You're hopeless..." they said, but she didn't answer. Within moments she was happily asleep, hugging her new plushie, and her parents smiled to each other in an exasperated relief.
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PostSubject: Re: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:22 pm

--Artz--

"... Was something there?"

"Oh, for the love of... Hey! You! Get out of there!"

Artz stayed firmly hidden in the trashcan, refusing to move even an inch as it was poked. Only his yellow pupils, with their dark yellow irises and tiny black dots in the middle, showed as he peeked out of his hiding place. Go away. I'm not being suspicious, so go away.

All of a sudden, the trashcan shook and tipped over, and Artz found himself sprawled out on the ground along with all the trash. Quickly he scampered away into the alley, but couldn't climb and thus soon found himself cornered. His armor was red - bright red with dark hues, especially on his back where a shielding armor lay, much like that of an armadillo. A long tail swung behind him, and he tried his best not to get it stuck on something as he searched panickedly for a new hiding place. Two large, yet flexible yellow horns stuck up from his helmet, and a yellow arrow pointed down between his eyes.. Two large constructs hung down from the helmet, and an extra shield of some sort covered the back. Long, rather thin-looking blades lay wrapped around his shoulders and around his neck, while yellow bracelets lay around his wrists, ankles, and the end of his tail. White bands lay around his stomach and above his knees.

Long story short, he was a bit of an eyesore. He stuck out quite badly against the grey-white design of the buildings surrounding him, and the two civilians who had forced him out of his hiding place didn't seem to want to back off. Artz felt like he would have a heart attack, despite the impossibility of this, hyperventilating as his fingers slid off the wall he was trying to climb over. Oh God oh God oh God...

Armadillos can't climb. Armadillos can't flee. What can armadillos do!? the robot asked himself, his eyes darting between his pursuers and the safety lying out of reach. He was modelled (vaguely) after an armadillo, surely he'd have the same capabilities as the rodent! In his panic he hadn't noticed his pursuers simply watching him rather than making any threatening moves, and thus it shocked them both when the robot abruptly curled up into a red ball, his shielding shifting to accomodate the change and hiding his body. Only the yellow horns stuck out, twitching softly.

"... W-What's with this guy? What'd we do?" one of the two asked, trying to conceal a chuckle. "Weirdo..."

"It's Artz." the other one answered simply, trying to move the ball but being too weak to make it go anywhere. "Freak who just started appearing and rifling through everyone's garbage. And quite simply, I'm SICK of the guy."

"I'm not a freak." Artz whined in a worried voice. "I'm not suspicious."

"Yes you are!" the two civilians near shouted, in perfect unison. Artz cringed - they knew! They know I'm suspicious!

Abruptly he uncurled, catching the two off guard, and accidentally thwacking the closest person with his tail as he made a bee-line for the exit. He ran straight out into the street, causing yells and other noises as the cars were forced to stop or swerve to avoid hitting him. He found a car that didn't seem able to slow down, and caught onto its roof as he jumped onto the vehicle. Soon this one stopped too, and as he found himself on a car-island above a sea of angry people, he again curled up into a ball. Nobody responded or touched him, giving the illusion that he was safe.

... That was, until he was shoved off from the car. He yelped as he bounced a few times, uncurling and lying flat on his back once he stopped. Above him, civilians and police bots stood. As the police bots grabbed his arms, pulling him to his feet, he didn't resist and just went along with them. Soon enough he found himself on the police grounds, and put in front of a quite tired-looking police officer. He fidgetted quietly as he watched the man, who looked back in an agitated disbelief. "You again." was all he said, rubbing his left temple.

"They knocked it over." Artz murmured. "Am I in trouble? I-I don't want to go to jail." His horns drooped as he realized what would happen if he went to jail. "I-I don't want to! It'll be horrible! Oh my God please don't lock me up..."

"Artz." the policeman said as he saw the robot freaking out. "Artz! For Christ's sake Artz, calm down!" he finally shouted, and the armadillo-like robot went perfectly silent, huddled together in a panicked fear. He groaned, holding his face in his hands. "You're not going to jail. Stop freaking out about everything."

"Th-then what?" Artz raised his head, almost hopefully. "I'll be let go?"

The conversation always seemed to go the same way, and always with the same officer. Quite frankly, he'd had enough of it. "No. You're staying on the police grounds, and if you get brought in one more time you ARE going to jail."

Artz seemed stunned. "B-But there's no trashcan here..." he whimpered, eliciting an almost enraged groan from the policeman. "You'll GET one! But you freak everyone out and thus you can't roam free! Either you stay here on the police grounds, or you go to jail!"

Artz nodded quickly. "Okay." he said and left the room, despite not technically being allowed. He stood outside on the courtyard, and didn't have to wait long before a non-sentient robot put a big trashcan near one of the walls, complete with a lid. He quickly walked over and began to rummage through it, gleefully finding that it even had trash in it, but nevertheless kept his senses up. He heard someone cry out something in his general direction, and instantly leapt into the trashcan, hiding inside it with a loud clatter. Silence. Nobody tipped over his hiding place or forced him to leave. He heard how the person left, and climbed back out of his hiding place. He rummaged a bit more, idly listening to what people said around him, before deciding he was finished for the day. He looked around and found a nice little nook between two police buildings, dragging the trashcan over near the nook and climbing in between the two houses. It was a dead end, but it felt quite nice anyhow, with a chainlink fence hiding whatever lay on the backside of the two houses.

This place felt much better than the last one. Maybe he'd be safe here! Maybe, atleast, people wouldn't think he was weird or suspicious. But... nevertheless... if I bother anyone maybe I'll be arrested again and thrown in jail. If I talk to people I'll bother them... I can't feel safe, definately not! I'm suspicious, so if I act suspicious I'll be tossed in jail!

Although by trying not to act suspicious, he acted far more suspicious than he thought...
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PostSubject: Re: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:39 pm

Four in one post as they are all related in this one!

--Maze--

"Not that way, 34. The malfunction is on the other side. Be careful..." For a moment, Maze paused to glance at another screen as his name was called. Another of his allies had gotten lost in the vast expanse of the scrapyard. "Go to the right and continue forward, 11. You'll recognize yourself soon enough."

Maze was the only one in their group who had a "name". There were many people who looked like him, robots of the exact same model in blue and purple, workers at the scrapyard. But of course, many of them had died due to the bad environment and their own weak bodies, and only 14 remained out of the 50 that had originally been placed there. Maze had never left the control room, lazy and unwilling to risk his life and well-being with the dangerous machines, and had instead adopted the role of watching over everyone and controlling the machinery. Security cameras were scattered over almost all parts, allowing him to keep track of and warn everyone and lessening the chance of an accident. Whenever someone got lost, they called for his help, and due to the almost maze-like nature of the scrapyard they nowadays just seemed to shout "Maze".

The doors to the control room opened, and Maze looked away from his keyboard and the vast amount of computer monitors. It was another of his allies, number 5, a robot he knew had gotten trapped and wounded earlier. He had gotten free without any help, though, and didn't appear to have any problems moving around. However, he was holding something - a sharp blade of energy was held in each of his hands, seemingly torn from a line of defective guard bots they had earlier recieved. Maze gave him a slightly uncertain smile. "You came to rest up, huh? Just go ahead and -"

"I hate you."

Maze trailed off. He noticed sparks trailing along a huge gash in the other robot's head, and winced. Brain damage.

"Always so lazy... so damned lazy and stealing a cushy job... You never get hurt like we do! Why didn't you warn me!?" 5 screamed. Maze wanted to explain that it had been a non-camera area and that he had gotten no chance to see or warn the bot, but realized it would do no use as the damaged bot attacked him. He didn't know what to do and tried to dash to the side, narrowly dodging the slash. 5 tore into the control panel instead, the blade cutting through the metal and wires like a knife through hot butter, and destroyed a large part of it. He turned to Maze, the robot still stumbling to regain himself, and rushed at him again. The stunned bot could do nothing but try and back away, 5 being faster than him and digging one of the blades into his face. He cried out and fell, hitting the metal floor and curling up as he held his face.

"Pathetic..." 5 snarled above him. Maze didn't answer - his hands felt clammy and the synthetic skin had been torn apart, a vertical cut tearing through the left side of his face. My eye... I can't see out of my eye...

5 attacked again, and his victim just cried out as he covered his head with his arms and huddled together. "Hey! Stop!" someone shouted, and the damage to his limbs ceased. He could tell that 5 hadn't stopped, however, just attacked the one who spoke as well. Maze didn't move, lying quietly as there were cries and noises, until someone grabbed his arm and pulled him up.

"Hey, you alive?" another bot asked, and Maze nodded as he tried to stay on his feet. Soon enough he was standing again, leaned onto number 49. A few other bots had appeared too, and number 5's broken body lay splayed out onto the floor. Near everything was intact - but not the brain. One of his own weapons lay halfly buried in it, rendering his thoughts and emotions meaningless. Maze frowned as he saw it, crouching by the robot's corpse. No matter how he saw it, 5 was dead...

"Come on, Maze, you okay?" number 49 asked again and dragged him back up. He winced as the robot held his wounded arm, the notion of someone touching the exposed wiring quite unpleasant. "Don't sulk over that guy. He's not the first and probably not the last to die."

"I know, I just feel a bit responsible." Maze answered, pulling himself free. They couldn't repair or recover a brain, a personality or a memory, once it had been destroyed. Number 5's personality had already been damaged, overflowing with an unnatural hate, and he knew there was never a way to save him. Nevertheless, tasked with watching over everyone, Maze didn't like when one of the others got killed. He shook his head, deciding to focus on what was important. "My left eye is unresponsive, but that's all. The damage done to my arm is just the shielding... But I think we have a bigger problem."

"Bigger?" 49 asked. Maze didn't answer, just walking over to the control panel he had been standing by at the time of the assault. He checked the damage and tried to use the controls, but no use - there was too much damage, something important must have gotten destroyed. Although the monitors worked, none of the controls for the machinery or cameras did. All the machinery was online, and there was no way he could turn it off anymore! Maze grabbed onto the microphone for the loudspeaker system and set it to all areas, hoping it still worked as he called into it. "Everyone! Come to the control room now!"

The robots scavenging the hills of the scrapyard all seemed to stop and stir, some more enthusiastic and concerned than others. Maze released a sigh of relief, looking back to 49 to only now realized he hadn't escaped the struggle unscathed. His right arm was badly torn, and a long cut lay in the oversized cable that was wrapped around his neck. Nevertheless the robot seemed not to be that bothered as he began picking apart number 5's body. Maze sighed as he watched.

This was just the way they lived. Using each other for spare parts when someone could not be rescued... All he could take comfort in was that the humans often came by with more supplies and parts, and had promised to bring more workers once their numbers dwindled below 10. He'd have to tell the other workers to be careful until the humans could return again, and explain what happened.

With the machine broken I can't contact them... he pondered, thinking through what he would tell his allies. But they'll notice that. They'll come by soon, I'm sure. We just have to be patient!


--Azer--

"Can you hear me?"

The voice was filled with a painful static, and the words a bit difficult to make out. Soon, the static and noise faded, and the twitchy, panicked lines of text flashing in front of him begun to give way to a faded image.

"34? Can you hear me?"

Two black eyes, with shiny red pupils, were looking down at him. The creature leaned above him had pale gray skin, and a purple helmet of sorts. At once, his arm twitched and the small claws adorning it curled up to a fist. He slammed the limb into the side of the person's head, breaking one of the spikes adorning his helmet and sending him sprawling. There was a shocked yelp, although not from the one he had hit, as he climbed to his feet.

"What are you doing!?" the thing he had hit shouted. He focused his only remaining eye on it, and noticed that it was someone he knew. What was his name? No, no they had no names. They had numbers. However, the number of this person escaped him, and the painful static returned as he tried to access the memories. He stopped trying, and instead looked at himself. Was this correct?

His limbs didn't match their schematics. Claws adorned his hands rather than fingers, and his arms were a bit shorter than they were meant to be. His feet had no heels, and in fact his legs were the wrong shape entiredly. He didn't even have to touch his face to know about his missing right eye.

"So-rry." he whispered, opening his mouth. Good, his voice still seemed to work. Personality - what was his personality? The program was damaged and fragmented. More data as to his damage. The many rows of warnings and cries caused a high-pitched, painful whine, and he only managed to get rid of it by ignoring all of his data altogether.

"Why did you...? 34, is that you?" the person in front of him asked. "Are you feeling alright?"

34 nodded, halfly. He needed some way to address the person in front of him... Then he noticed that another person was sitting next to the one he had assaulted. They looked alike, save for the fact that the second one was missing a leg. He opened his mouth, slumping together a little as he spoke. "What happ - ened?"

That break was unnatural. He frowned, and tried again in a weaker tone. "Hap-pe-penned."

That was worse! He gave up on it, however, realizing that he could probably not speak longer words in a way that he found satisfying. The skin on half of his face had been destroyed, and it must have been what caused him difficulty. He settled for a simpler question, cutting off an explanation he hadn't been hearing. "Who are you?"

"What?" The person in front of him looked horrified. "You don't remember?"

34 made a motion to remember, but instantly the loud noise was back. Through the shrill static, he could hear the two speak to each other. Something about broken memory, damaged data and a broken brain...

Someone grabbed his arm and he resisted the sudden, strong urge to attack the person. He looked to them and saw yet another person like the previous two - this one lacked an arm, and an eye like he himself did. He also seemed to lack a foot and the skin on one of his legs. Without speaking, he followed as the one-armed person tugged at his arm. All of their names were numbers - something between 1 and 50, but he couldn't remember who was who. Had they not called him by it, he would not have remembered his own. As they walked, he looked around but saw nothing unusual. They were indoors, in that building where they lived. The basement, going upward.

Stepping on a half-melted arm, 34 recalled shards of what had happened to him. One of the machines... he had gone down to it, but he could no longer remember why. He had gotten too close. The last thing he had been able to remember was an immense heat and horror, a feeling he no longer felt.

"Hey? Hey, 34, wake up."

34 looked up. Yet another robot was in front of him now. This one was unharmed except for a scar crossing his eye - the damaged one had been replaced by another eye that was black and red. Other than 34, he seemed to have been the only one who still retained one of his original eyes.

"Are you listening now?"

34 nodded. Had they been talking to him? "Why?"

"We're picking new names. You want one too, don't you? Something that isn't just a number?"

"What are yours?" 34 asked, making no attempt to remember the numbers of this new one. After all, in a few moments it wouldn't matter. The robot in front of him crossed his arms, sighing.

"You really didn't hear at all..." he mumbled. "I'm Maze, remember?"

34 tilted his head to look at the scrappy robot, the one who had pulled him up here and was so wounded. A bit surprised, perhaps at how silent 34's request was, he begun to fidget with the wire around his neck. "I'm Scraz..."

"We're Mackenzie!" the robot who had lost a leg called out, and 34 turned to him. The other robot, the one he had punched, was helping Mackenzie stand. "I'm Mack, and he's Zie!"

Zie didn't seem very content with his new name, but 34 didn't see why. A number was a bad name. 34 looked around, waiting for his own name until Scraz spoke up. "What do you want yours to be?"

"Name?" he repeated. He tried to think of one, but the static returned. Aside from a wince, he tried not to acknowledge it. Maze seemed to be trying to talk to him, but he couldn't hear his voice. He tried to speak, but he couldn't hear his voice either - Maze grabbed him and begun to shake. As though from reflex, he curled one of his hands into a fist and punched the other robot in the stomach - Maze seemed to have no chance to recover from it. He fell and crashed onto his back a metre away with a cry, and the static vanished in an instant.

"Wh-What is wrong with you?" he coughed, remaining down. 34 scowled, but didn't speak. Out of all of them, Maze was the only one who couldn't handle being attacked or wounded. He'd only ever gotten hurt once - far unlike the others. As such, 34 didn't feel bad about what he had done.

"How about Bulldozer?" Scraz suggested cautiously, and 34 looked to him. Bulldozer? He tried to mimic the word, but it went badly and the others noticed. "You need... something shorter, don't you...?"

34 nodded. But something about his failed pronounciation seemed to work. "Zer... Azer." he said.

"Azer?" Scraz asked. There was a bit of confused speculation, but they all soon agreed. "Azer works fine."

34, now named Azer, nodded. As he once again lost time and space in his own thoughts, he wandered away. After all, there was still work to be done - as he could call from his fragmented memories.


--Mackenzie--

"Come on, Zie! Let's go!"

Zie growled softly to himself as he dragged Mack along. Why him? Why did he have to take care of Mack?

He glanced to his friend, and was met with a pair of black eyes with happily red-glowing pupils. Mack had no idea that he disliked this - constantly supporting the robot. Mack had lost a leg in one of the many accidents many nights ago, when Zie had been with him. Both had lost their eyes from the same incident as the machine broke apart, and while they waited for help they had chatted and become friends. But, while they had been able to get replacement eyes, there had been no possibility to get Zie a new leg. Thinking that a new shipment would arrive from the humans soon (they regularly came with new parts and such, so that the workers could repair and replace lost limbs or other things), he had agreed to help Mack get around. But now it had been near a month...

"Oh, hey Mackenzie."

Zie glanced up, snapping out of his thoughts. They had reached the rest of the worker group. Five other robots, each looking more or less like the other. Same design, but... some lacked limbs or were very visibly damaged. The one who had spoken was Maze, a robot with only a scar and a replaced eye to show damage. He normally sounded tired, a bit sleepy and lazy, but today his voice was different. Depressed.

"Why'd you call a meeting?" Mack asked, before Zie could ask the exact same question. Maze shuffled his feet with a slightly uncomfortable look, murmuring something that couldn't be heard. Met with confused or uncertain gazes, though, the robot repeated himself louder.

"I don't think that the humans will come back."

"Why?" Zie asked, flinching. "Why wouldn't they? They're supposed to..."

"The machinery's been broken." Maze clarified. "Normally, they come by quickly to see what's wrong! But, but it's been this long. Weeks, and nobody comes. We never see any humans anymore, and they've already missed three deliveries. Not just repair things, but trash... they don't bring any!"

Nobody seemed to know what to think, and Zie was no exception. What he had said was true, but noone had wanted to think of the possibility. To be abandoned... Left to die in the giant death-trap that was the scrapyard. Such a thing was a nightmare. Everyone whimpered to each other and seemed worried, or in denial...

"It's not true." Zie spoke up. "It can't be true. They wouldn't abandon us."

Mack glanced to him and frowned, hugging onto his arm in an effort to be comforting. "But Zie, then where are they...?"

"I- I don't know!" He tried to pull his arm free, but it didn't work and he just grew more upset. "They... wouldn't abandon us. They forgot or something..."

"Zie, please don't be in denial." Maze sighed. "It's hard on all of us, but denial won't help."

Zie didn't answer. It was difficult...moreso for the ones who'd already lost limbs. He knew firsthand how much they suffered, Scraz who could no longer work due to his lost arm, and Mack who could get nowhere without help. It can't be right. Can't be. I'll break out and find out why...

"I'll find out why they abandoned us..." he growled. Mack tried to protest, but he pushed the robot away - roughly to make him let go, and causing him to sprawl out onto the rough floor with a shocked cry. Zie looked down at him, but just for a moment before he turned and ran off. "Sorry Mack!"

"Z-Zie! Zie, wait! Come BACK!" his friend cried out as he left. But, soon Zie was out of sight, and after a hideously failed attempt to follow him, Mack gave the other robots a helpless look. Without speaking, one of them - Shard, a robot with a damaged leg and his cable-scarf torn apart, but other than that only suffering superficial damage - ran off after Zie. Mack whimpered, looking to the others again. "Someone help me... I have to get back to him..."

"Are you sure?" Scraz asked worriedly. "He's that upset, he could get violent..."

"That's why... What if he hurts himself? Or gets into a machine?"

With a light sigh, Scraz agreed. There were too many things that could happen if one got upset. Using his only arm, he helped Mack up.

Meanwhile, Zie quickly reached the gate that lead out of the scrapyard. They were locked up tight with chains and padlocks, all sorts of things to prevent anyone from entering - or leaving. Atleast not the normal way. Zie climbed up on top the gate with some difficulty, looking around far outside the reaches of the scrapyard. The humans were still alive, that was for sure. Their city stood bright and busy, rather far off into the distance. Closer, however, stood a sign. It was next to the road that lead up to the scrapyard, and he strained his eyes somewhat in order to read what it said (for once he felt lucky to have these new black eyes, as they were far better than his old ones had been).

"Warning... Dangerous area, scrapyard... Shut down?" He trailed off momentarily, feeling a vague sense of surprise he shouldn't have. "Shut down area, do not approach... It's... been shut down? Nobody's told us. Nobody told us!"

"Zie."

The robot glanced down to Shard, finding that he had walked up to the gate and was tugging at the chains in a useless way. With a damaged leg, he couldn't climb up. Zie slid back down from the gate, landing near the other robot. Shard was looking stressed out, but he was smiling. "I'm glad I caught up to you..."

"What do you want?" Zie asked. "Did Mack send you? He's too clingy..."

"Mack's a nice boy. He could get the leg I don't need..."

Shard's voice had taken on a broken tone. Flinching, Zie shoved the robot away but he managed not to fall. Then there was a sudden noise as Shard threw something to the ground, and then he couldn't see anymore. His eyes were burning. He let out a scream, but it was cut short as Shard tackled the blinded robot to the ground. He squirmed and tried to get his attacker off, but without a sense of sight he was quickly pinned down. "What are you doing!? Shard, stop it!"

"It's all survival of the fittest now, right?" Shard asked. He was sounding stressed, every word getting slightly more panicked. "They'll never come back. We won't get anything new, you know? And my cable - it broke. The cogwheel's missing! I can't get any energy like this and I'm slowly dying I need yours!" Suddenly, his voice calmed down to nearly a whisper, and Zie noticed his right leg being held down. "But first things come first. I want a leg. It's okay, they won't know. We all look alike, I can say I found a corpse."

"Shard, what are you talking about!?" Zie cried out. Something sharp dug into the joint that made up his right knee, and while he couldn't feel pain it was making him freak out. "Stop! Stop! I'm not a corpse, you can't do this!"

"It's okay, you died in an accident." Shard said bluntly. He seemed to have everything planned out already... "Just stay still and it'll be okay."

Toc, toc, toc. Zie cringed as there was the noise of the joint breaking, and then he couldn't feel the lower part of his leg anymore. He glared at where he supposed Shard was. "Maze will know, you know that..."

"Oh... I didn't think of it." Shard grimaced. "Well, maybe he won't. The controls are broken." The robot shifted position, but wouldn't get off Zie - well, what was the point now even if he did? Zie couldn't run anywhere with a broken leg. He fumbled for something as Shard grabbed and pulled at the cable lying around his neck, but there was no weapon in reach save for the sharp item his attacker held.

"Zie!?"

"Mack?" Zie looked toward the voice, even though he couldn't see. "How did you-"

A gunshot cut him off, and he froze up. What had that been!? Mack seemed to be similarly frightened, but some good came of it. Shard cried out and almost fell over onto Zie, before getting to his feet and dashing off. Scraz sighed, lowering the gun. Mack hadn't quite known what happened - they'd seen what Shard was doing, he'd shouted, and then - Scraz had pushed him away. In a panic, the one-armed robot had just grabbed a weapon from the ground and shot without aiming. Atleast, that was what Mack told him as Scraz looked over his eyes. Shard had been unable to act reasonably lately - they suspected that he was braindamaged but had hidden it. He had freaked out about the weapon, and just run off with the piece of leg he had taken off.

"But... without energy, he'll probably die soon." Mack finished, sighing. He glanced to Scraz, who looked up and nodded. "Is it okay? He'll get one of mine if it's not okay."

"They're okay. A bit damaged, but it's repairable." the one-armed robot confirmed. Zie said nothing, just hugging onto Mack lightly the same way Mack constantly hugged onto him. "Will you stay here and take care of him? I'll go get help."

Something cold was pushed into Zie's lap. He carefully put a hand on it, feeling its shape. A gun? "You two need a mean to protect yourselves more than anything else. If Shard comes back, use that. Just stay here..."

Zie nodded, not knowing what to do. Scraz left, and he glanced to Mack with blind eyes as his friend spoke. "Are you feeling alright?" No answer. "... Zie... Ca-can you speak? He didn't manage to cut your neck, did he?"

"It's fine. He just pulled the cable."

"You're in shock?"

"I don't feel well."

"Well..." Mack hesitated. "... It's okay. I'm here with you."

"Thanks..."

"We'll support each other, right?" Zie nodded, but didn't give a verbal response. "You're still in shock from all that. I've been hiding behind you a lot... But now I'll speak for you! Until you feel better, I'll make sure you don't have to say more than you want so don't worry!"

Zie couldn't help but chuckle. Well, he didn't know how well he could trust any stranger - or any robot, even his own type, who wasn't a close friend - but... Mack was someone he could definately trust.

Maybe Mackenzie wasn't such a bad name after all.


--Scraz--

And when the parents came to see how well their children had cleaned up, they were surprised to find that the box only contained an apple core and a broken pencil. "But children! Didn't we tell you to throw away all the old junk?"

"Oh, but these aren't junk!"


Scraz sighed lightly as he kept reading. It was an old story, a children's book containing the tale of children who were meant to clean up their room and throw out all their old toys so that they would be able to fit the new ones they were getting for christmas. And the children put all the old and ragged toys into the box to be thrown away. But nostalgia had given them a change of heart, and they removed all of the toys from the box again...

He'd found the book long ago while scavenging through the scrapyard, and although he knew every word and phrase by heart, he still loved reading through it just to look at the beautiful illustrations and read the words once more. The pages had begun to grow faded, and some words were getting difficult to read as a result. Scraz turned another page of his book, but a noise caught his attention and he looked up. Some distance away, Maze was standing at the main computer. It seemed like he was giving out directions as usual... Scraz returned to his book. After he had lost half of his right arm, he had stayed inside the main security room where Maze spent all his time. There were too many accidents, and one by one their numbers had dwindled to just a few, so that Scraz was no longer allowed outside.

His left eye was missing completely, while his right one had been replaced with one that was black and red. His left leg had lost its casing and a foot, rendering him unable to balance very well. All in all, with the loss of his arm, the others had finally decided that he was no longer allowed to work.

"Scraz?"

The one-eyed robot glanced up. Maze had walked over to him. As he never went outside, Maze was largely unharmed... Nevertheless, even he had gained a cut across the side of his face and a replaced eye. He was frowning, and Scraz begun to feel worried about what could have happened.

"What is it?" he asked, closing his book cautiously and climbing to his feet - well, foot. "The others...?"

"Shift, the one who left. We've lost contact."

Scraz felt his spirit sink. Shift, another of their little group, had left a few days ago in order to try and tell the humans about their existance. But he hadn't come back... and now they had lost contact. "Why?"

"I don't know." Maze shook his head. "We suspect that he was... killed. The guard bots shot him."

"Shot him?!" Scraz cried out, horrified. Why? Shift had been his friend - and now he was another of the dead ones... But this time it hadn't been an accident, or something that could be blamed on brain damage or other malfunctions. Only five people of the group were left. Scraz looked his friend over, trying to think of what could be the cause of their sudden assault...Then something clicked. "Zombies..."

"What?" Maze asked, confused. He looked vaguely disturbed, even, but Scraz paid it no heed.

"We look like zombies." he clarified. "We're all so damaged... We look like zombies or threats, probably..."

"So, we can't leave?" Maze frowned and crossed his arms. "Is that what you mean?"

"Even if we get to the city, and you're the only one who can climb over the gate..." Scraz nodded. "The guards would mistake us for threats, and kill us before we can explain."

"Then we're stuck here forever." his friend said with a sigh. "Since the console's broken, we can't get their attention any other way..."

"There has to be another way." Scraz responded quickly, almost cutting the other robot off. "Where are Mackenzie and Azer? We need them here too, we need to figure something out."

"They're out in the scrapyard. Collecting stuff, they can't sit still..."

"Then gather them up!" Scraz didn't sound demanding, but rather frightened and desperate. If they kept working like this... if they didn't do anything more about their position, but gave up... They'd all meet the same end as the rest of their group had. 45 bots had already died. He clenched his hand, and noticed the book he was holding. The children had changed their minds because of their own memories for the toys, hadn't they?

But these humans had no memories of the scrapyard bots. There had never been any interaction between them, other than the supply humans who never came anymore. We need to do something... We need to make them notice us.

As he thought about it, though, he got an idea. Once Maze had managed to gather up the rest of their little group (getting hit by Azer in the process, as always seemed to happen when they forced the robot to do something) and their situation had been explained, he decided to speak up. "Maze? About Shift, the guard robots saw him far before anyone else did, right?"

"Yeah." Maze nodded. Scraz felt himself smile as he continued. "Then they would see any large amount of movement, even if it's this far away, right?"

"I think so..." Maze looked puzzled, rubbing the side of his head. "We're too few to make that much movement, you know. And all the machinery..."

"What are you planning?" Mack asked, shifting a little to keep himself and Zie on their legs - Mackenzie was actually two bots, who each lacked a leg and always held each other in order to move somewhat normally. Scraz smiled widely.

"Let's make zombies."

"What are you talking about? Make zombies?"

Scraz held a hand out as if to explain, a gesture that would probably work better if he had two hands in the first place. "We can't get out, and you don't want to sit still and do nothing. And, we have a lot of robot corpses whose parts we can't use. But although they're braindead, their bodies should still work. We can control them, make them just move around mindlessly."

"What will that do?" Zie asked, an uncertain look on his face. Scraz just grinned as he replied.

"We'll get noticed."
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PostSubject: Re: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:44 pm

--Izzy--

"Remember, you're not to harm any humans or other living things."

"You've said that already, dad."

"I know, but it bears repeating! Robotics can be fixed right up, but humans can't. With your weapons, you'd probably kill them and we want to cause trouble, not murder..."

Izzy sighed lightly as he looked away from his father, who was explaining the plan to his two siblings. He'd gone through it with Izzy in advance earlier on (due to a bit of pestering), so their words were nothing more than repetition and quite boring. He felt anxious - the speech wasn't going to be over for another while, and he didn't want to wait! Gradually, the voices of his family faded out, and he kicked lightly at the ground with a yellow boot as he tested out his boosters. Just a little bit, as not to be sent off too far.

The plan was simple, and he didn't really understand why explaining it had to take so long. They were to run along the highway into the city, where his father had gathered up police officers with a threat of an attack. They would attack said police officers - well, the non-sentient robot ones anyway - and then run away again once said robots were beaten. The reasoning was weak and kind of hazy, something about wanting to be a villain and this being good training.

Izzy glanced again to his family, and noted that they still weren't finished. By now, he had become really tired of waiting - he kicked the air, and noted the strength of his boosted kick. Abruptly, he called to his siblings. "I'm going ahead! Catch up if you can!"

He dashed off down the highway outstretched in front of them, ignoring his father's voice calling him back. Soon before they vanished out of hearing range, he could hear them starting to follow him. Finally! he thought with a chuckle.

He knew that with his boosters, however, he was probably atleast twice as fast as his siblings. They wouldn't catch him anytime soon. He decided to slow down as he found a barricade - no, not only a barricade. There were guards too! Metal ones! Izzy clenched his hands as though holding something, and felt somewhat relieved as electricity began to course throughout them and spreading outward as though they were whips. He could call upon his weapons.

Actually, maybe it wasn't very smart to try that out for the first time when he was about to attack. Izzy shrugged and ran onward, narrowly dodging a few shots as he went past the barricade. He yelped as he landed on another robotic policeman - flailing, he jumped off him and was rewarded with a shot to the back.

"That was cheap!" he called out, swiping at the robot with one of his whips - it hit, and the metallic being cringed as it was electrocuted. But it still raised its gun again, trying to aim. Izzy hastily hit at it again and this time it collapsed harmlessly, seemingly overloaded by the electricity forced into it.

Easy to repair, I guess. Izzy thought as he ran onward. He didn't have many more problems with the robots, even though he hadn't actually attempted to fight this way before. Soon, he found not only robots but small teapot-like tanks as well - he was having the time of his life, caught up in the moment. He attacked those he passed by, but just ran onward without beating the rest in order to leave some for his family. At one point, he even managed to climb onto the nozzle of a tank and take a moment to regain himself, causing the human driver to yell at him. In order to avoid being assaulted by a human, however, he soon moved on and near danced in his gleeful attack.

As he dashed past another tank, playfully jumping on top of it, he heard an unusual noise. No, not just a noise... He nearly lost his balance as a loud crash shook the ground. In front of him, a huge tank was standing! How had he not seen it? Had he been too caught up in his own games? It looked big and scary... too big to destroy. He turned to run, only to find that the way back was blocked - those he hadn't defeated had followed him, and were now creating a big barrier preventing his escape. Rather than try attacking, though, they just stood and watched... He couldn't be sure that they wouldn't fight if he tried to go past them.

The tank was too big to move past, and its wheels were too dangerous to try and climb on. All he could do was to fight it, and try to overload it as he had the other robots.

It took a long time before the battle came to an end, and during its course Izzy got quite badly damaged from failed attempts to climb it, or reckless attacks causing him to get hit by its assaults. He felt like he was near collapsing when the huge thing stopped moving, smoke of some sort slipping through its armored hide. He hoped, on some level, that the smoke came from the engine rather than any human drivers.

"Izzy! Izzy! Where are you?!"

Although it was crackly, like a radio, he recognized the voice of his father. It seemed to originate from one of the devices adorning the sides of his head - he put a hand to it, as though expecting that to let him hear his father better. "Dad!? I'm..." He trailed off as he glanced around. "I don't know where I am."

"Are you in the city!?"

"Y-Yes."

"You have to get out." Izzy blinked, surprised as his father sounded quite stressed out. He begun to ask why, but was cut off before he could make a sound. "There are too many, too many bots... We can't get past! It's too dangerous - just withdraw! We're withdrawing, you have to do the same!"

For a moment, Izzy said nothing, frozen in horror as his position suddenly dawned on him. He started to yell at himself. "W-Wait! I can't get-"

He cut himself short as a sudden static shock tore through his head. He stumbled and shook his head, trying to find what had happened - he once more raised his hand to the device, or rather where it had been, only to find jagged shards and what felt like wires. It was no longer smooth - he looked to the barricade of people, the ones who had until now just been watching. As he had thought... the robots were advancing. And where could he go? He tried to cry out for his father, but the communication no longer worked - he looked around in terror, for anywhere to run to or hide, and noticed an alleyway hidden by the big tank's threads. Quickly, he climbed up the thread and jumped down into the alley, activating his boosters in order to outrun any robots that had decided to follow him.

Finally, he was certain that everyone had lost his trace. But, in the process, he had burned out all his energy. No longer able to stay on his feet, and barely having enough time to slow himself down enough to avoid further wounds, he fell onto his knees. He felt so tired... What am I going to do?

Trying to recharge his energy, he took maybe an hour just to be able to get back onto his feet. He would have rested more, but something interrupted him. He flinched as he suddenly found someone standing in front of him - looking up quickly, he almost brought out his electrical whips before he realized it was a human. As he did, he just settled for looking surprised and afraid.

"Hey, are you doing alright?"

She was a girl. A girl in - her teens, maybe. Or was she twenty? Twenty-one? Izzy wasn't good with ages. She had brown and spiky hair, not very long, and wore shorts and a jacket. But most of all... she looked worried. The exhausted robot didn't know how to react.

"How long have you been out here? You're all torn up." she asked, and Izzy stumbled on his words as he tried to answer.

"I-I don't know. I don't..."

"Can you stand?"

Izzy nodded, and the girl pulled him up to his feet. "Who are you...?" he asked quietly. The girl just smiled.

"The name's Claire." she answered. "Do you want me to help you out? I'm a mechanic, I'll repair your wounds..."

Surprised at his luck, Izzy nodded as eagerly as his condition allowed him to. "That'd be great... I'm Izzy."

Claire just nodded, again, as she brought Izzy with her out of the alleys. He didn't quite know why, but he already liked her quite a bit.

He quietly hoped they'd have a long-lived friendship.
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PostSubject: Re: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:48 pm

--Beat--

Beat stretched, sitting down against one of the white-clad walls of a building. A passerby gave him a curious, yet somewhat wary look, and he didn't particularly care.

He'd become used to people giving him strange looks. After all, half of him was blue and the other half red, and half of his decorations drooped down while the other half stood right up. The two opposites represented the good and evil of all beings - atleast, that's what he told people. Truth to be told, he knew the reason no more than anyone else. Maybe his creator was just really indecisive.

"So this is Shock Code!" he said out loud, just to break up the curious silence surrounding him. The city of Shock Code was prettier than he had expected - he had heard that it was a small, well-guarded city. To be honest, he had imagined something like a tar pit surrounded by big, bulky murder-robots. Beat put his arms behind his head and idly watched people walk past, counting the amount of humans versus robots and humanoid robots versus animal ones.

It had always been easy for him to tell robots from humans. He subconsciously hacked into robots who came near him, allowing him recent or strong memories and personality data. He could even change or move around data (thankfully, he had long since become mature enough to not do this without reason anymore. Well, it was either maturity or that time he accidentally pissed off an entire gang by doing it...) to create false images or senses.

As he looked to a robot, though, he was surprised to find that he couldn't read them. Curious, he got to his feet and begun to follow the person - he did look like a robot, with all the armor he was wearing, but was he really one? Beat couldn't tell. He had never quite liked humans, as their thoughts were hidden from him and it was rather uncomfortable. But this one? He didn't know whether to like them or not!

"Stop following me!"

Beat snapped out of his thoughts, blinking. The robot-like person was still standing in front of him, looking quite upset. As he looked around, he noticed that a few similar-looking people were moving around, giving him curious ... no, not curious, but suspicious looks. He gave them a slightly uncomfortable smile as he realized who they were. "Oh, hello police..."

He honestly thought he would get arrested for his weird looks and stalkerish behaviour (it wouldn't have been the first time), but somehow he was let off with just a warning. They realized that he really couldn't tell who they were, and even let him stay on the police grounds!

However, this turned out to be a bit less fun than he would have preferred. There seemed to be near no robots, and the only ones he could find were a pair of priests of some kind - those who hardly had anything interesting happen in their life. He frowned. A scrappy robot, looking almost like a zombie with one eye, a missing arm and crippled leg, passed by him once he sat down outside - he contemplated walking over and helping the zombie-bot, but once he had looked through his memories he decided not to. He seemed to have been involved in many terrible incidents, and was still afraid and distrustful of anyone he met. Maybe later...

He found a bat too, although he couldn't read him and the animal robot kindly shoved him back out. Beat crouched down against a wall, sitting next to the main door to the police headquarters. He pondered a bit - the same person had been in all memories he had read. The younger of the two priests had given that person energizing items and seen him wounded often, and the scrappy robot had had a very close encounter with the person as he - apparently - helped him and his friends out of the scrapyard they had been trapped in.

But it wasn't just the heroics Beat was interested in. From what the zombie robot had seen, that person had even fought a giant scrapyard monster! He felt terribly interested in the person, but after a while of unsuccessful searching and being denied access to random rooms, he gave up and sat down beside the door once more.

The soft plodding of human boots lulled him to sleep, and he sat halfly curled up until his sensors alerted him of an approaching robot. Shaking his head softly, Beat rose to his feet and brushed himself off somewhat tiredly. He looked around, and his tired expression became one of glee as he noticed who it was. A robot in yellow and blue, a small model who looked overall like a child - and the person he had seen in the memories. He seemed dirty and rather tired, but he nevertheless stopped to look at Beat. Curious, but not suspicious or even wary. He seemed fully confident that Beat was not and could not be evil. It felt... new.

"Who are you?" the yellow robot asked. Beat almost laughed - his voice was like that of a child, too! Young and eager, despite the obvious tiredness. It was hard to imagine that such a child could have beaten anything, but a quick check of the boy's memories revealed that he was indeed the one.

"I'm Beat!" he answered, quickly so that he wouldn't forget it altogether. "And you're Izzy, right?" The yellow robot gave him a surprised look, and Beat recalled that the boy hadn't yet told him his name. "I've heard about you a lot!"

"R-Really?" Izzy blinked, seemingly trying to wrap his head around the concept of popularity. Beat nodded, smiling. "Well, hi."

"You do a lot of interesting stuff, don't you?" Beat asked, and Izzy nodded. It was a somewhat pained move... "Are you okay?"

"Oh, yeah." Izzy glanced to the back of his neck, then smiled. "I got a bit hurt... I'm going to go to Claire."

"Come visit me later, alright?" Beat stretched. "I know a way for you to fight without actually getting hurt."

"What do you mean?" The child-like robot frowned, tilting his head to the side with another small wince.

"Well, it's kind of like..." Beat gestured in circles with a hand as he tried to find the best way to say it. Well, Izzy WAS a child... "Kind of like boss battles. I can use your memories to let you fight someone you've fought already - big and difficult opponents. It's a good way for you to hone your skills, but you won't endanger yourself."

"That sounds fun." Izzy nodded. "I'll come by once I want that... Goodbye, Beat!"

"Bye, kiddo!" Beat cheered as he waved his new little friend off. He leaned back against the wall, arms crossed as he sat down. Looks like I was right. There was someone interesting here.

If only he knew why he knew that.
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PostSubject: Re: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:52 pm

--Ban Boomer--

Ban sighed, leaning her chin on her hand and sitting back in her chair as the police again droned outside the window. How stupid did they think she was? It was always the same request - four floors below her, they called up and asked her to come to the window so that they could negotiate the terms. But they already had the terms, courtesy of her boss, and thus any attempt to get her to the window was just so they could snipe her; she wasn't about to be fooled.

It had almost been two days since she occupied the 7-story building. Idly looking to the clock hanging on the wall, she noted the exact time; 45 hours had passed. Only three more, and their time would be up. She longed for being allowed to just blow it all up, even though she knew this was never allowed.

Above her, civilian families were still trapped and frightened. Of course they were - as she had occupied the building, she had blown apart the stairs to the floors above her. Idly moving a small bomb, one that looked almost like a piece of firework, between her fingers Ban listened to the police droning on about how she should come over to the window. She didn't obey, but another sound caught her attention - something was moving up the stairs. She walked over to the staircase, and calmly tossed the small explosive down it. There was a satisfying explosion and the cry of someone who had been hit. But still, the sounds from the staircase wouldn't cease. She took another explosive from the bag hanging down behind her, crouching down to reach. Without getting up, she tossed the explosive. And then another.

The more she tossed, the more she noticed that only half of the explosives seemed to hit their mark. She rose to her feet, and again backed into the apartment where she had decided to hang around for the past 45 hours. Finally, they had sent someone to fight her!

She tried to keep a mean air around herself, uncaring or taunting, but she knew that she more than anything looked happy. Unlike humans and most other beings, she could be awake for weeks on end - but sitting without anything to do always made her real self show through after about 30 hours. The robot in front of her pointed vigorously, shouting in an exaggerated way and apparently trying to glare even though a visor covered his eyes. "Give up now, terrorist! You'll never win!"

Ban laughed. "Want to bet?" she asked. After a moment of thought, she added: "I'm not one for drama." Her opponent begun to flail in some way, and Ban used the time to pick a few bombs out of her bag. Three of them were sticks, like the fireworks she had previously played with and carelessly thrown - she didn't actually know how many were in her bag, probably 50 - and one round, black ball. An old-time bomb, stronger than the sticks. Her opponent was still doing his meaningless gestures - or were they useless?

Ban threw one of the sticks at her opponent's visored face, and was only slightly surprised to find that it bounced back. It hit her face, and the arrogant policeman in front of her laughed. She threw another stick, and the same thing happened - but this time, his laughter was cut short as she dashed up to him and pushed the third stick into his mouth. He choked for a moment or two before the thing exploded - nothing fatal, as the sticks could probably not kill anything but a human or a non-sentient robot. He was clutching his neck and coughing, however, and it provided the stalling effect she needed. She ran around him and threw the round bomb at his back - with a horrified and hurt cry, the policeman crashed into a wall near the window. Calmly, Ban walked up to him as she took a blue stick from her leg. It looked much like the weak and firework-like explosives, but longer and shinier. Watching him struggle and stare at her in what she could only assume to be horror, she crouched next to her opponent.

"Can you talk?" she asked. He begun to answer, most likely in the form of an insult, but she cut him off. "Remind them that their time is almost up, will you? But another opponent could be fun, so feel free to keep sending people in."

The visored robot nodded worriedly (either that or again trying to glare - Ban hated those who ran around with visors, it made it hard to tell what they were thinking), and she slid the blue stick back into its holster with a disappointed sigh. They were never dumb enough to warrant the use of a blue stick. Instead, she grabbed her opponent by the collar and rose. Then, quite simply, she pushed him out of the open window. There was the familiar yell of someone falling, until he hit the ground on what was definately not his feet. Ban smiled and sat back in her chair, waiting.

To her disappointment, no other policemen came to try their luck and she wondered if she had gone slightly overboard. Or perhaps they had just given up after finding out that she took no damage from her own weapons? After another hour of wasted time, during which she had admittedly been much more cheerful than during the last 23 hours, she finally recieved a message from her boss.

"They've given up, so you are free to leave. Are you tired?"

"Of course not. I rested up just before this." Ban pointed out with a light sigh. With a chuckle, almost as though he hadn't heard her, her boss continued.

"Ah, great. Your next target will be in the city of Shock Code."

"Shock Code?" Ban asked, surprised. "That's far away! Why?"

"They're usually well guarded, but something's been stirring up trouble recently. I don't know all the details, but the robotic forces have gone completely haywire - all that's left of the police force is the human section and one robot."

"One?" Ban repeated. That sounded... strange. "Why only one?"

"That, I don't know. He seems to be just a kid, of an unidentified model - probably a custom-made bot. Either way, Shock Code is a very easy target right now. Strike before they recover their forces!"

Ban nodded even though the move couldn't be seen, and smiled. Just one possible opponent. A quite easy mission... Custom models were rarely bright or quick, and thus easy to defeat.

Atleast, so she believed.
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PostSubject: Re: Shock Code short stories!   Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:57 pm

--Weicol--

Weicol opened his eyes.

It was the first time he had done it - the first time he had done anything, in fact. In the back of his mind, numbers and data whirled around as they checked up on his body, his orders, everything that was important in any way to him. The information was clear - his name was Weicol, model 135-B. His mission, his purpose was to handle all the data and security contained in the main data base and make sure nothing broke down. He was also to forward alarms of all kinds to their relevant stations - for example, if a fire alarm went off, he was to check why and then forward the alarm to the fire station if it was indeed a genuine threat. He was to watch over the humans and robotics who lived in this city he handled, and prevent unwelcome dangers.

As stated, all of this information just browsed through in the back of Weicol's mind. He wasn't the least interested in it, and just accepted it all as knowledge. Instead he looked around the room he was in, searching for this "main computer" he was meant to handle. The air was dry and hot, atleast his sensors said so - he didn't quite understand as it felt perfectly normal to him. After all, what did he have to compare to? The room he was in was large, but empty - nothing, not even dust, lay anywhere in the room. Dull grey walls of metal were raised high above him, and the only other thing he could see was a door, a small grey door, that stood on the opposite wall. For a moment, Weicol tried to approach it only to find that he didn't move. Looking behind him, he found that he was in the air - four large, almost tentacle-like limbs, with three claws of sorts on each, were attached to his back and holding onto the wall behind him. It looked far different from the other three - rather than a smooth grey surface, there were many black packets with lights on each. Weicol tried to move one of the tentacle-like limbs. It followed his every move - no, his every thought. The metallic extra features felt more like his limbs than his arms and legs.

He lowered himself to the floor, but hesitated and stopped before he touched the ground. Another piece of data had made itself known - you are not to leave the wall, or touch anything else.

A little regrettably, he climbed back up onto the wall. He looked at a piece of the database, his clawed tentacles seeming to attach itself to the cube he'd chosen as the information came up in his mind. There were images of strange beings - humans, rather - and sounds of their voices. They gesticulated and talked wildly about something unimportant; Weicol decided to leave them be, but rather than let go of the cube, he was surprised to find that the camera turned and begun to move away. He tried some more, and found that it moved however he wanted. He had spy cameras... No, they were robots. He had small spy robots to help him keep watch.

Releasing his hold on the robot and the cube, he moved away a bit from the used piece of data as though expecting it to retaliate against him. That other world had been colorful, far unlike the shades of grey that covered his room. He looked down to his own hands, to see if he could copy the human's gesticulation; But as he did, he felt a bit let down. He had no hands. Instead his arms ended with a small group of four claws - three fingers and one thumb.

Well, his arms were red and his claws yellow, so atleast colors existed in his own world as well. But he saw instantly that he could not use them the way that human had - they were short and stumpy, looking more like spikes than the fingers they were supposed to be. He lowered one of his upper tentacles, and compared. The tentacle was bigger, with longer "fingers" and more moveability. He glanced down to his legs, but no more - those, too, were useless. How would he use them when he wasn't to leave the wall? The limbs would just get in the way! He huddled up, but his arms still felt as though they got in the way.

His body felt just the same as the air around him - well, a little different, but it was only slightly colder. Weicol wrapped his arms around his chest, and finally felt that they didn't get in the way. He could clearly feel the limbs, but didn't think closer about them, and as time passed he forgot about them altogether.

He had no trouble handling the database, but there was still one thing bothering him. The more he thought about it, the more bothered he felt. Why doesn't anyone come here?

One of the days, nothing was happening. As he had nothing to take care of, Weicol quietly decided to find out what people thought of him. Why nobody ever came to visit him. He could not find any official information about himself, however - there was nothing but a footnote about a purchase of his model. He took control of a spy robot and used it to listen in on people, thinking that maybe they would say more. But they could not hear anything he asked and they didn't speak of him at all. No, they spoke of other things, and brought up something he hadn't heard of before...

Aaah! T-The water's co-cold!
He's so soft and warm...
Ow! It's too hot... I burned myself.
Ugh. It's gone stale... it's as hard as a rock.
His nose is all dry... Are you sure it's okay? Dog noses are meant to be wet.


"Hot? Cold?" Weicol spoke aloud. It was a bad habit he had picked up, although he didn't know when. Although he knew the meanings of the words... The way those humans reacted to it, they had seemed important. Weicol looked at himself. Am I hot? Cold? No...

His body felt like nothing. The air felt like nothing. The wall behind him felt like nothing as the tentacles felt around on it. Why can't I feel?

He tried to drop it in favor of finding more about himself. But as it turned out, nobody seemed to know anything about him. The only person he could find with any sort of connection was the mayor - a man with blonde, styled hair and a big scar over one of his eyes. But even this man seemed incapable of knowing who Weicol was. Either way, he wouldn't acknowledge or speak of him, and after hours of trailing the man, he turned on Weicol's spybot and smashed it. Weicol was thrown back to himself with a feeling of shock.

Nobody came to him, and he was forced to recover on his own. "Why?" he pondered as he begun to work with a damaged piece of data. "Is there such a thing as hot or cold? Is there such a thing as pain?"

... Yes, of course there was pain. He felt ill and lonely, and the after effects from the shock were still plaguing him. Mental pain. But physical pain? He didn't react like the humans did to being hurt. It was a different kind of pain, wasn't it?

"Maybe it's something only they have..." he whispered. Then something got to him, a thought he didn't know had slipped past before. There was a huge world. The place he took care of was huge, hundreds or thousands of times larger than his own room. And outside of that, there was nature and other cities, even other countries. A huge world... "A world I... can never access..."

He looked to the door that lay on the wall. Was that the only thing between them? Was there anything outside of it? He found that he was beginning to shiver - normally a sign of cold, but he didn't feel cold. No, it was... a sign of fear. A horrible dread taking over his senses.

I'm confined to this room forever? I'm trapped when there's a world outside? He couldn't speak his thoughts anymore, and just clenched his teeth. He felt like he would cry, but nothing came. Another thing just for the humans! Why would he be robbed of so many things that others found to be obvious? Although he didn't notice, his arms shifted position, and he subconsciously hugged himself tightly. The feeling of shock returned full-force, and coupled with the dread and horror, Weicol broke down mentally.

He didn't scream. He didn't cry. He just hung there, suspended from his tentacle-like limbs and did nothing. Things he would normally have tended to went undone, and because of this negligence a fire soon ravaged the city he cared for. Still, he didn't react, not until he heard the horrified cries. Screams of pain, and the cries that it burned. That it was hot.

Finally he kicked in and did his best to help. But it wasn't enough - for the first time, someone in his care died. Weicol watched it all; What else could he do? There was talk about sabotage, and about malfunctioning alarms. But that was wrong - Weicol found himself being torn apart with guilt and sorrow. Why do they do this?!

"Why, if they are real, do they do this?!"

"... Why, if they are real...?" Weicol repeated to himself. It had been a sudden outburst, something he hadn't been able to control. His body was shaking again, but it slowly ceased as he thought further about it. How did he know that these humans, his protegees, were real?

"They don't exist?" he asked aloud. If they didn't exist - if nothing he saw outside his room existed, then it didn't matter that someone had died. Then there was no world outside, so he wasn't trapped. The room he was in was the entire world. The world he took care of, the city, humans and robotics... Everything he had not personally seen. "It's a game, isn't it?"

Calming down and smiling once more, Weicol resumed taking care of the world he thought was imaginary.
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Shock Code short stories!

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