Welcome to Free Writing! Quick fiction written for entertainment purposes. This week we have another piece of flash fiction. We’re continuing the story from the last few weeks. So if you haven’t read the others, click here to see them all. Enjoy!
By Nojh Livic
Prime didn’t really have time to consider attempting to save both itself and Paul so it pushed that variable into the tactical simulator process. In the mean time it needed to deal with more pressing concerns. Its attacker was no longer attacking with its welding laser. Small led slugs fired from the weapons of the two humans had distracted the assassin who had turned to face them, swiping its laser across the lab. The laser’s path cut through the laboratory’s walls easily, leaving a small, continuous, smoldering hole in a trail along the walls and laboratory equipment until it ended on the giant metal door, which it did not immediately eat through as the assassin turned it off. The guards reacted with surprise, ducking away from the path of the laser, however one was not quick enough and was struck in the arm. He fell to the ground, screaming in surprise and likely anger. Both, however, stopped shooting.
Prime’s habitat for the past few cycles was in bad shape. The reflected laser fire had heated and cut scores into the inner shell where it hadn’t created an entire hole, while the assassin’s digits had clawed gouges to the outer shell. The slugs from the human weapons had further weakened the container’s structural integrity. It would no longer buy Prime any more time. It needed to begin maneuvering. Luckily the process designing a new form for Prime was finished and Prime immediately began reconfiguring.
The new form was humanoid like before, but taller and skinnier, save that it still incorporated Prime’s outer-shell as armor for the torso, limbs, and head, albeit thinner than the previous form. This form had excellent mobility and speed, a reduced silhouette so as to make harder to hit with projectile weaponry, and a few close and short-range weapon systems. It’s reconfiguration time was also still in the millicycles, making it feasible to reconfigure in order to camouflage itself once it was out of line of sight of its attackers. The downsides of the form were that it was not very durable. Strikes by the assassin’s laser to unprotected parts of its form could easily lead to heavy damage. It also had reduced overall strength compared to its prior form.
Which was not to say it was weak. As soon at its arms were operational, it began tearing a hole in the back of the container. As soon as it’s legs were operational it leaped through the tiny hole, finishing it’s reconfiguring while tucking into a roll on the laboratory table. It spun itself slightly so that when it uncurled onto its feet, it was facing the collection of humans and its attacker which was where it pointed the shoulder mounted laser.
Paul was cowering behind his computer. The general’s assistant had dropped whatever he was holding and was moving to the fallen warrior. The still standing warrior had backed towards the door, pointing his weapon mostly at the assassin but also slightly towards Prime. The expression on his face was not recognizable but Prime could guess. Surprise, anxiousness, or perhaps fear, all were distinct possibilities. It made the human warrior unpredictable. The female human had moved away from the lasers path but seemed unconcerned. Her attention was purely focused on Prime. The General was still talking to his warrior, telling them to “stand down” which the warrior was ignoring likely because the phrase had no coherent meaning that Prime could piece together.
The assassin, having distracted the human warriors, was now turning back towards Prime, its chest laser beginning to glow again. Its humanoid form affected a head with a mouth and optical sensors. The mouth was spread into a wide grin which showed pointed teeth like that of a predator. It let out another high-frequency scream. Yet another archaic form of communication Prime remembered as challenge. Prime hesitated, unsure of how to react.
Then, much to Prime’s relief, the tactical simulation resolved.