Previously on Perils of S.P.A.C.E.: The gang barely escape the spaceship, but getting out was only the beginning.
Episode 27: Return to Mechatropolis, Part IV: What Lies Beneath
Panic set in as the entire crater began to quake violently. People ran for their lives in all directions. Astralyn, Kjartan, Sundance, and Timmy stood and watched as the ground cracked open.
“Everyone out of the crater!” Sundance commanded. They did not need to be told twice. People ran to the nearest declared exits.
“What is going on?” Kjartan asked.
“I think they’re leaving,” Sundance replied.
The shaking became more intense. Pieces of the ground gave way as the cracks grew wider. A low humming noise joined the chaos. The sound caused the ground to vibrate more than it already had been. Before it had been sinking, now the ground was starting to rise.
“Oh my god,” Astralyn gasped.
“To the car, to the car!” Sundance shouted.
Everyone that had a vehicle hopped in it and quickly sped away. Kjartan and Astralyn jumped into the back seats of Sundance’s car.
“Everyone buckle up!” Sundance started the car as he hopped in it. Timmy climbed in and buckled his seat belt. Astralyn and Kjartan did the same.
The hovercar lifted off the unsteady ground and flew off into the distance. The ground continued to rise beneath them. At one point, the ground threatened to come crashing down on them as it crested into a large wave. The humming grew even louder. The hovercar drove as fast as it could but it didn’t seem to be fast enough.
Astralyn covered her ears as the wind whipped past them. She looked back and saw that the spaceship was rising out of the crater. It spun around, sending the dirt that had once rested on it flying everywhere.
“Oh my god,” she whispered again.
When the spinning saucer was finally free of the ground, it hovered over the fleeing humans for
a moment and then flew off into space.
Sundance and Timmy could see that S.P.A.C.E. Headquarters had already begun firing at the ship, but its shields protected it from getting damaged. Sundance didn’t care if the robots were destroyed; he was just glad they were leaving. He stopped the car and let it hover in neutral.
“Is everyone okay?” Sundance looked back at Astralyn and Kjartan. Both of them looked shocked beyond reason. “I’ll take that as a yes. Let’s go home, people.”
“Just what the hell was that?” Admiral Graves sat down at his desk. Sundance and Timmy thought it best to check in with him as soon as they got back to base. “One minute it’s peaceful and then the next, there’s an earthquake!”
“Astralyn and one of her assistants stumbled upon a book…” Sundance tried to explain.
“Well, it looked like a book, but it opened a door in the hut that led to a giant space saucer that
was trapped underground,” Sundance spoke as quickly as he could to prevent the admiral from interrupting again. “I pushed the button to the book and that’s what started everything. The ship came back to life and the carnivorous robots woke up and tried to eat us… sir.”
“They had huge teeth, sir.”
Sundance and Timmy saw that the admiral was having a hard time with the scenario. There wasn’t anything they could say that would make it any more believable.
“You mean to tell me that there was a ship full of sleeping carnivorous robots underneath Citadel City for years and no one knew about it?”
“Well, the previous civilization might have known about it, sir,” Timmy said. “But they didn’t leave any notes behind.”
“Well, they’re gone now, right?” Admiral Graves asked.
“I believe so,” Sundance replied.
“Good riddance. Now I have to calm the citizens down and assure them that the worst is over.” The admiral stood up and dismissed Sundance and Timmy.
As they left the admiral’s office, Timmy felt a knot developing in the pit of his stomach. He tried to attribute it to all the excitement that happened earlier, but he knew better.
Later that night at the New Earth Museum of Artifacts, Kjartan sat alone in Astralyn’s office staring at a black backpack. He had been sitting there for twenty minutes just staring at it, willing himself to open it.
“Man up, Kjartan!” He took a deep breath and reached for the bag. He punched in a four-digit code on the lock and the backpack opened. He reached inside and pulled out a metallic book and set it on the table. He let the air out through his teeth and created a whistling sound. He pressed the button on the spine and the book opened. With great care, he flipped open the first page. He examined the writing inside and felt he recognized it.
He stood up from his desk and scanned the bookcase. He found the book he was looking for, sat down, and scoured both books for a translation. The first word he translated was ‘Mechanomitron’. He took out a notepad and started taking notes.
An hour later, Kjartan had finished going through the books. He got on the phone and called
“Ms. Winner, you have to come to the museum and see this!” He hung up the phone and waited. Twenty minutes later, Astralyn strolled into the office. She gasped when she saw the Mechanomitron sitting on her desk.
“Kjartan, you didn’t…”
“I did! You were right, there were people on this planet before us.” Kjartan stood up from his seat and pushed Astralyn towards the book. “The robots brought them here. They used this planet like a farm. They would bring humans here, let them flourish, then come back and harvest them. They’d leave a few behind so that they would repopulate, then go to another planet to harvest humans there!”
“The robots must have crashed here on their way back to harvest and couldn’t get free,” Astralyn whispered. “Until today.”
Astralyn noticed that a little red light on the book had been flashing on and off on its spine. “How long has it been doing that?” she asked.
Kjartan picked up the book and looked at the spine. “I don’t know.”
Astralyn knew that this was not good news. “They’re coming back.”
To be continued…
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