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i'Lahm: Siege

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(Continued in from this comment as well as this one.)

The new arrival on the bike seemed to pulse with light, and something told i'Lahm he was a man of power. i'Lahm watched in awe as the wreck molded itself beneath him, raising him up at an alarming rate towards the descending monster. Through it all, i'Lahm worried over how to reach the floating city.

When the new voice joined the fray, i'Lahm was taken aback. It came from near the top of the now rapidly crumbling rocket. Many others (too many-- so confusing the flood of data) so many others had fled down the tower towards the safety of the ground below. Attempting to direct them had failed utterly; there was simply too much raw input. i'Lahm paused to listen to the one that had somehow heard him through the clutter.

As he did so, several dozen frightened screams ripped through the aether. i'Lahm winced in visceral pain as the tower collapsed. Several seemed to have escaped the falling scrap and milled about aimlessly in confusion. Refocusing, i'Lahm commanded the solitary spider to ascend to the floating city.

While it climbed, i'Lahm informed the spider that it had a new designation. Henceforth, it would answer to "Jek". Ignoring all else, i'Lahm let his thoughts follow Jek. The ground was still a ways off, and the other spiders could warn him when he was about to land.

--

The top of the cable wound around a reel held by a large machine. Jek paused a moment, then manipulated the crank. The reel spun, lengthening the wire. When it neared the end of the wire, Jek leapt to the bolts binding the contraption. Working quickly, it loosened them and sent the whole assembly tumbling through the open hatch.

Jek jumped from the machine and scurried toward an open door at the far end of the chamber. A resounding thud of metal on metal stopped him in his tracks. Another thud followed, and Jek could just make out a three-legged automaton rounding the threshold. A myriad of blue lights flickered over every surface of the room, several settling on the empty space where the cable previously rested, though many more found Jek. A faint buzz worked through the automaton, and it began to amble forwards.

With nothing but speed and maneuverability on his side, Jek raced up the wall and across the ceiling. The automaton clicked as a hatch opened, revealing the barrel of an automatic. Jek zig-zagged wildly as bullets burrowed their way furiously into the metal ceiling.

A second automaton appeared in the doorway and clicked twice. A small rocket burst out and lanced up toward the small spider. Jek simply released his hold on the metal, landing squarely on the first automaton. The rocket swerved to match his path and the spider jumped off to the floor. Excited by the larger target, the rocket thumped into its hard outer shell and exploded happily.

Bits of metal flew past the spider as it raced up the doorframe. The second automaton was flipped backwards by a flailing leg of the first. As it righted itself, Jek raced by and down the corridor and skid to a halt. Several more of the machines were appearing out of various hatches. Clicks and chirps echoed down the metal hallway.

Taking in the scene, Jek rapidly raced for a slotted opening at floor level. A single bullet clipped off one of its legs just as it squeezed through the slats. Improvising, Jek pulled loose a screw from the vent cover and soddered it on. It was clumsy, but it was better than nothing.

Suddenly, the other screws were being loosened. Jek raced down the ventilation shaft, at first taking turns at random. As he went on, however, he because aware of a faint voice further on. Jek paused as i'Lahm conferred with the other voice in his head, the traveler above the world. Where have they hidden you? he asked. Then, a map flashed in Jek's mind, and he set out with renewed purpose.
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"Somewhere out there" -Our Lady Peace
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On April 20th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC), greywords commented:
I'm claiming the word "futility".
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