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Razi

Project Goliad

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The first group entered the Robotics Testing Facility. The visible area was larger than a foot ball field. The lighting was dim at first, but with each passing moment the machines grew aware of the body heat, the heart beats the release of Carbon Dioxide with every breath. The silence of the room started to fill with gentle hums, faint clicks, the rustling scrabble of hard shelled bodies contorting on the smooth floors. The lighting was the sort of coloring leeching florescent that washes the world out making anyone in them look like the walking dead. The source of this illumination came from panels set into the walls that would only light up where the party stood, leaving over half of the facility in darkness speckled by slowly moving LEDS. The LEDs resembled distant constellations, forming and reforming...moving closer to the party in a variety of movements. Some came closer in the sinuous movements, strangely fluid in the dark. The others came forth in starts and stops, sparks and the smell of melting electronic components wafting on the cycled air.

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Alan was fascinated by these machines, he took time to take note of anything that made them unique and also what their intended purpose might be. Not forgetting the nature of this place and why he was here however, he proceeded with caution. He decided it was best to watch his back as much as possible, the last thing he wanted was to be surprised from behind. The dim light made the mechanical movements slightly eerie. He didn't want to move too far from Donut though, as he figured at the very least, if he were attacked, he may be able to use him as a shield. Since he was not to be harmed, that might save him.

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I hugged onto myself tightly, just the sight of all of this... Metal.. machinery made me very uncomfortable. I'm used to the outdoors, around nature and wildlife and this.. just reminded me how quickly that habitat is being demolished. I stayed behind whoever this wolf said he was. He seemed at home in this metal monster, never the less, I took in my surroundings. walking over to run my finger across and tap at some computers that didn't seem to respond, or be powered on for that matter. "Hmm.. I wonder what the other got. Since we've obviously wandered into a Tie Fighter." My arms starting to relax and fall back to my sides while I thump a lifeless machine and scrounge around for what I was hoping would be supplies laying around here.

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The heap of machinery whipped into deadly life. A spattering of sparks flew from it's torn sides when it brought a bladed limb within millimeters of slicing the kinkajou's toes off. The device stopped as suddenly as it had come into action. It hummed quietly, the blade held steady. Around the room the pale blues and greens of the other machines turned into glaring reds, yellows. and orange. The faint clicks, clacks, and other movements sounds increased in not only speed, but sound. The clattering sound of multiple limbs like some hellish centipede was accented with the screech and squeal of long disused servos. The group found themselves hemmed in by a ring of robots. A mechanical three fingered hand clamped around Alan's wrist, lifting him upward, the space under him filling in from the press of bodies.

 

"RrRepair"

The automaton shook Allen slightly.

"rRepairR" "PuRrpose, designation!"

 

The voice crackled and the tone was erratic, stuttering. The massed robots swarmed under Allan like supplicants. The clamor of their demands for repair and purpose designation echoing in the cavernous room in a maddening clamor of sound.

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Alan yelped in surprise as he found himself grabbed and raised into the air. His hand scrambled to his pocket. He fumbled through it, the gun fell from his poket when the machine suddenly shook it. He couldn't tell what the machine was meaning to do with him, it could have been asking him to repair it, or worse it could be viewing him as a piece of machinery which needed repair. He knew it wouldn't be wise to wait for an answer either way. His hand finally grasped the thing he was trying to get. He flipped open his multi-tool and found the screw driver. He feverishly worked at the screws while the machine continued to shake and yell at him. Finally he loosened the screws enough that when the machine went to  shake him again, the hand detached and Alan fell to the ground. He recovered quickly, gathering the things that fell our of his pocket and got to his feet. "I suggest we don't stay here too long. Lets get out of here!"

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Akai continued striding forwards, onward through the middle corridor, pausing to look behind him as Piri jeered at him. "Are you all going to come along and find what surprises await or are you going to stall and discover whatever security measures this place has to keep us moving? Adventure lies ahead, yes?" He spun around and continued forwards, crossing his arms behind his back and looking on ahead to whatever was ahead of him in what he would find is the biotech testing grounds. The mystery of what this place is and why he agreed to be part of this contest was thrilling to him. A desire to discover was something that came to him easily.....and there was much to discover here.

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"Alan!" I shouted watching him be yanked into the air. My skin was really crawling now. Not only were these machines scary to just look at, now they showed life and hostility. Thank God I was granted temporary safety since they seemed to ignore me all together. I could help I thought.. But what if that voids my immunity. I didn't feel like being chased around by an army of Terminators. Soon enough some objects hit the floor that Alan must have dropped, along with Alan himself before he scrambled to his feet with his gathered belongings and told me to escape with him. "You don't have to tell me twice!" We both dashed off with the machines hot on our trail, I looked up during our mad dash and squinted my eyes a bit getting a small idea,we may be safer if we move to high ground. I leapt in the air disappearing from behind him, engaging in a series of acrobatic leaps and spins from one surface to the next, I twist my tail around a pipe and lowered myself down, holding my paws out for him to grab "Grab on!!"

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The machines shuffled and clattered, turning to follow the motion of the runners. The armless robot raised it's missing limb up and down and a bead of fluid rolled down it's frame to hit the floor. The spatters had an instant effect on the machinery nearest to it. The stopped tracking the fleeing males and turned on the leaking robot. They latched on with a shark like feeding frenzy, their nimble digits and specialized attachments going to work to strip parts and drain fluids from the original robot. The oscillation of it's servos speed up as it attempted to escape the act of cannibalism, but it was for naught. It's chassis was cracked open and the LEDs blinked out when the guts of the machine were torn out. The skeletal frame work with clinging pieces of external shell was dropped on the floor. The group turned as one towards the now slightly distant figures and a broken chant issued from those who could produce sound.

 

"Rrepairrr. Rrepair..Purpose..RepairrR"

 

This time the movement was not jerky, not shuttering. It was as though an ocean had opened up and released a tide of waving mechanical limbs and lidless blinking eyes.

They all sought the same thing, more parts to continue their shadowy half life and now they knew who could provide it.

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"Ah-venture liez uh-head, yeth?" Piri mocked, sticking her tongue out at the back of the jackal's head, though she did realize that he had a point. She waved for the others in the hall to continue on alongside her, then held her baton aloft like a general guiding their troops. "Onward!" she crooned, her skin and fur rippling with color like an excitable cuttlefish as she jogged ahead, the hair of her tail flicking from side to side as she quickly closed the gap between the remainder of the subjects and the jackal. Piri stopped a few feet short of him, slowing her pace down to just slightly more relaxed than his, that way any initial traps could be triggered by this much more serious individual, as opposed to herself. The monstrosity smiled, her split tongue rubbing along her gum line with anticipation at whatever lay ahead. If she was lucky, it would be something that she could easily avoid with her climbing skills. If she was unlucky, well... she figured she had to at least be faster than one other subject in their group, right? 

 

A sudden wall of damp scent rolled down the passageway, one that made Piri wince and almost sneeze. It reeked of stale air, mildew, and something alive. There was an ambient aroma of biological waste and offal, enough to make anyone turn their nose up. She pressed the back of her hand into her nose, squinting her eyes against the less than desirable odors. "Color me disgusted... what the hell is that unholy stench?!" she whispered.  

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Alan was frightened by what he saw, yet, he couldn't help but feel a little impressed. These machines (cannibalistic as they were) had a really advanced self preservation programming. He would say it was even bordering on instinct. Surely some genius had engineered them. The one even seemed to be afraid, and even possibly feel pain as the others tore into it. 

 

As the machines began to leave their victim, Alan shook himself from his scientific interest and remember to move. He had to use the last few minutes of their distraction to get out. He left Donut behind (as obviously having him around had made no difference) and sprinted toward the other end of the room.

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The middle corridor quickly changed from the gleaming and clean lines to over grown and mossy landscape.  Stunted trees and bushes cluttered the floor, the layer of decaying humus too thin over the plated floors to offer much root purchase. The floor subtly sloped downwards, the ceiling reflected this and started to ascend. The flora began to increase not only in size, but in density. The rich, and dark loam of the soil able to support the thicket around the group. A distinct animal reek rolled out from the thicker clumps of vegetation. The dark and dense clumps of slightly off putting looking flora gave a strong impression of a hidden observer, tracking the intruders. The ceiling stretched up and away to a distant point, a thick haze of artificially created clouds obscured the lightning systems, but the ventilation could do little for the powerful animal scents generated by the strange inhabitants.

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The dragon sniffs the horrid scent, his nose not nearly as delicate as many of the mammals probably were. "Well, this is offputting" he mutters to himself, swinging his ax at some of the foliage to clear it from his path. He keeps glancing around, sure there is something wrong here, though he can't see it with his eyes he is sure that some of the heat signatures he is seeing are off, things that dont match up with the plants around him. Still, it could be just warm vents in the fog tricking his senses, but he wasn't in a good position to trust in maybe's, so he kept his heat-pits pointed at the odd sources, and his eyes kept looking.

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(Please Check Your PMs.)

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