Sunday, February 17, 2013

SPACE BLASTERS



The skies over Earth flared purple and red in the light of the setting sun. L-Bot was a mechanically enhanced human cyborg. His modified faculties of perception sensed a whiff of ocean air in the breeze of twilight. It was a weekly ritual for L-Bot to climb the observation tower at the Griffith Observatory and study the stars and constellations as they emerged through the fading marine layer of clouds over Los Angeles.

The sights and sounds of the city below were customary to L-Bot. It was the year 2126. The streets were filled with evening traffic. People drove a variety of eco-friendly vehicles ranging from electricity-powered sedans to natural-gas-burning trucks and scooters.

The traffic was heavy as families made the commute home. The parking lots of the local grocery stores were jam-packed as customers rushed to purchase staples for the evening meal.

L-Bot was quick to spot Orion’s Belt, Venus and Mars. The high-pressure, robotic mines on Venus gave the greenish planet a fluctuating, metallic sheen, visible to L-Bot’s magnesium-fortified retinas.

Mars, on the other hand, was populated by both humans and cyborgs, like L-Bot. The red spheroid was covered with web-like cities that were connected by vacuum transit tubes. This architecture made Mars sparkle and pulsate in the night sky over Earth.

Much of L-Bot’s skeleton was reinforced with magnesium. This metal had been chosen by the scientists at the L.A. lab for its strength and light weight. L-Bot exited the Griffith Observatory and reclined on a grassy hilltop nearby. He enjoyed the time he had to listen to birds sing and crickets chirp. A steady stream of large aircraft and spacecraft made the descent over the LAX airport to land on the variegated tarmac.

As a cyborg L-Bot needed to be constantly on the lookout for Smashers. The Smashers were conglomerations of hostile humans known to attack and dismantle cyborgs in order to sell their electronic and metallic components on the black market.

L-Bot made his way down from the observatory. He enjoyed passing through the lights of the night time city. Many cars and trucks passed him by despite the late hour.

L-Bot’s proximity system activated his optical Heads-Up-Display. Someone bearing heavy, metallic weapons was approaching from a side street.

Before he could react L-Bot was riddled by a hail of bullets.

None of his vital components were damaged and L-Bot turned to face the source of the attack.

A gathering of Smashers straddled jet bikes as they continued to fire their weapons.

L-Bot was jarred and shaken by the ballistic assault but his electric armor held strong. The cyborg’s HUD indicated his armor was functioning at 97%. L-Bot activated his shoulder cannon and fired a controlled barrage of heavy rounds at the jet bikes of his adversaries.

The Smashers swerved in a flurry of random directions in an attempt to avoid L-Bot’s counterattack. They were not quick enough to evade the heavy rounds issued from the cyborg’s digital weapons lock.

A number of the jet bikes were disabled by the returning fire. Their riders turned tail and fled from the battle scene before their vehicles were rendered completely defunct.

The conflict was terminated and L-Bot contacted his mechanical engineer via an encrypted band width.

“Doc, are you there? This is L-Bot. I’ve got a code red situation here.”

“Yes, L-Bot, I’m here,” a tinny voice spoke through the cyborg’s audio communication system. “I can see you on my global positioning screen. Do you want me to pick you up with the rescue copter?”

“Affirmative, Doc. I’m doing fine but should run a diagnostic program on my armor technology. I don’t know if The Smashers plan to return tonight but it’s a good idea to leave this area as soon as possible.”

L-Bot scanned the scene for a suitable hiding place. He opted to rest on the top of the Griffith Observatory dome. L-Bot activated a pair of booster rockets in his legs. They provided the cyborg with enough thrust to leap to the top of the housing of the Griffith telescopes.

The jet bikes of The Smashers did not reappear. during the few moments that it took for doc to arrive. The rescue copter was a sleek device. It sported a pair of turbo-jets from angular delta wings that formed a “V” below the spinning blades that kept the aircraft aloft...

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