Marissa coughed as she pushed the pile of rubble off of her. She checked herself for injuries and then checked the duffle bag, the pup was safe and still asleep. She then noticed the large metallic creature standing over her.
Its body was roughly human-shaped but it looked like it was made up of a series of tubes. Long spindly legs ending in a cluster of tubes at what would be the feet. The arms were similar to the legs with a cluster of tentacle-like tubes where the hands would be. There was no head but a cluster of green and white ‘eyes’ where a neck would have attached to the body. Marissa knew she should be terrified but she was more fascinated with the design of the creature- whether it was biological, mechanical or a mesh of the two like the pup.
“Where did you come from?” She didn’t expect an answer, she was merely talking to herself trying to work it out. “I know the Chinese have a similar project but they’re very far behind us-“
The creature reached out with a flailing tentacle-tubed hand. Before she could scream there was a burst of weapons fire from behind it, most of the shots missing their target because of it’s thin body and limbs. The creature turned to respond to this threat and let loose a volley of some kind of projectiles from one of the hands.
Marissa suddenly realized the situation called for her to move before the creature could return its full attention to her. She groaned as she hauled herself to her feet. The creature had stepped away from her towards the source of incoming fire. Marissa could either go back into the complex or try to slip through one of the gaping holes that used to be part of the security checkpoint.
Back into the complex she decided would be the best way to become trapped if the creature managed to survive the security team’s attack. So out through the wall she went, rolling on the ground as she landed in the grass. She could now see that the security team was shooting at the advancing creature from their two armored vehicles. Their bullets didn’t seem to be affecting the creature much, if at all.
She shook her head and made a break for the parking lot to get to her car. Despite a large explosion she was sure was one of the armored vehicles, Marissa kept going. There was nothing she could do to help the security team, she was a scientist not a fighter.
Marissa fumbled for her keys for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, she found them in one of her coat pockets. The door was quickly unlocked and she gently put the duffle bag on the passenger seat before throwing herself into the driver’s seat. There was another explosion as she started the engine. She couldn’t bring herself to look where the explosion came from. She knew that the security team was probably lost. Her priority was to save herself and figure out what came next later.
She backed the car out of its space with a squeal of tires and gunned the engine, flying towards the front gate. The creature came from above and landed in front of the speeding car. There was no time to react to its sudden appearance. The impact threw her from the car through the windshield.
It was only a few seconds later that Marissa regained consciousness. The creature was standing over her once more, extending a tentacle-tubed hand towards her. It had suffered some damage from the security team, but it was still intact and intent on finishing what it had come for. There was little left to do but scream, for all the good that would do her. Marissa felt stupid as the scream left her lips.
The creature shuddered and fell back a few steps, as if the scream had hit it with the force of an explosion. Marissa stopped and gave it a puzzled look, not quite believing that her voice had more effect than lots of bullets.
She prepared to scream at the creature again but stopped herself when she heard a low hiss from behind her, her scream must have covered the sound the first time. The creature was struck by an invisible beam of some kind, or perhaps a sonic weapon. Marissa had only half-listened to talk of some of the other projects for advanced weaponry at the complex. She remembered that one was a kind of sonic cannon, but it was nowhere near advanced enough to do damage like this. The creature shuddered again and tiny cracks started appearing on the upper body and left arm.
A female voice broke the silence when the hiss stopped, “ Come on and die already, you misbegotten wretch!” The hiss broke the silence again and this time the cracks in the creature got bigger. It took a staggering step forward and then broke in half, only the legs and right arm left standing upright. A cloud of sparks erupted from the break.
Marissa was fascinated by the spectacle but quickly snapped out of it when she felt a hand under her arm pulling her to her feet. “That’s a nasty cut on the head, ma’am. Wouldn’t want it to get any worse when this troublemaker goes up.” She didn’t know what to say so she just nodded and ran with the woman. There was a huge explosion as the woman pulled Marissa behind a vehicle.
“That’ll teach him!” The woman seemed very pleased with herself. She was dressed in some kind of tight-fitting archaic-looking dull bronze armor. On second look it wasn’t archaic at all, it was highly advanced but seemingly very old. There were small access panels and a few blinking lights scattered across the armor. The woman had a large weapon of some kind slung over her shoulder, that must have been what caused the hissing destruction of the tube monster.
Marissa didn’t recognize the woman, she was probably not from the research facility. She seemed to be younger than Marissa but there was something in her eyes that made her seem much older than she looked.
The woman smiled and put out her hand. “Sorry, I’ve been away awhile so my manners have atrophied- not that they were ever all that proper. My name is Polly, and you are?”