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Drone Hunt Part 2

Posted on Tue Apr 17th, 2018 @ 2:19pm by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathon Hayter [Hawkins]

Mission: New Horizon
Location: Hidden Cliff Hanger Bay

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... continued ...

"WAIT NO!" John called out as he tried to grab her first form, but couldn't quick enough. He watched as both forms walked out into the open only to see nothing happen. "What the..." John questioned as he cocked his head slightly as he watched her smile as she lowered her arms and one form started to walk away as the second looked at him and just raised one finger up for him to wait a moment. He looked at her questionably completely confused.

She was alive. So her plan was somewhat working. She called to the region where the shots came from, though her words weren't anything that John had heard before. Rather than an exchange where one spoke, then the other... this time they both were speaking.

"Tel dalla de Dalacari." "Tel dalla nopi dessdu." "Tel dalla vaar."

Then the sounds of approaching footsteps. Heavy, reinforced footsteps. Closer and closer they approached, their shadows starting to show along the ground as they approached. Two, three, four, five forms. Humanoid, but the outlines were off. They were rough and jagged in placed, and smooth in others. Like armor that had seen one too many disruptor bolts.

Then, one spoke. It was a heavy, synthetic voice characteristic of an environment suit or a combat suit. "Erru des Hooman?"

One of the forms turned to look at John, and gave a smile. Were those tears in her eyes?

"He's a friend." she said, and motioned for him to come out from behind cover, before she turned her full attention back to the other member of this conversation. A drone.

A pack of drones, five in total. Armored and armed with hand weapons, built with the standard humanoid bipedal frame, and surprisingly mobile for two-legged weapon platforms. Each of them was armed with a hand-held rifle of some design, which they currently each held across their chest in a relaxed posture. If drones could relax.

Their heads held a single optic, like a blue vertical light, rather than anything remotely organic. The armored chassis started off white ages ago, but years of neglect and the need for camouflage had seen the armor darken. Their features were smooth, their armor free of insignias or sigils. An endless fighting force.

"I am pleased to see you still functional." Mel addressed the drone in the foremost position. "What is the designation of your Engine?"

"Tee Eee Thirty Seventy Five." the drone responded, taking a cue from Mel and switching to the language she used to communicate. Mel actually smiled at this, and turned back to John, "Oh this is great. They're Dalacari drones, they're..."

"... Dala, wait, what were the Dalacari doing this far out?" and then she turned to the drone, "What were the Dalacari doing this far out?"

"Data unavailable." was the response.

"Is TE-3075 still functional?" Mel asked, a bit hopeful. The lead drone gave a nod, "Yes."

"John, today is the luckiest of days."

"This shit is straight out of the movies," Hayter muttered as he slowly stood up still holding his rifle ever so slightly but relaxed with each step towards the group. "So what's all this, a Harm-Droid attack group or something?"

"They're military drones." she began her explanation, "Drone technology is the most advanced and important innovation in Dalacari history." the Drone in the lead gave a nod at this, "You flatter." which prompted a giggle from the pair of Mel Torma.

"Recreation, transportation, industry, and especially military. Every aspect of Dalacari life is impacted by Drone technology." the other twin picked up the slack. "They account for ninety seven percent of our military. I know how scary that..."

"... sounds to someone on the outside. A military force of mechanical weapon platforms, lead by a single Thinking Engine that gets more clever as the conflict continues, but I assure you... We're among friends here." and she cleared her throats, while the original speaker picked back up the focus, "So, what were your last orders, and can you take us to your Engine?"

"Final orders are to defend this location." one of the hovering units Hayter saw previously floated into view, surveyed the local region, and then resumed its patrol. "Tee Eee Thirty Seventy Five would benefit greatly from a direct conversation. If you and your friend would follow us, your safety will be assured."

"Good idea..." Hayter nodded as he looked at Mel for a moment then back to the robotic leader of them all. "... Take us to your leader..."

He returned his glance at Mel for a moment as the drones took protective positions around the two as they were lead down the ways till they came to the rock bed that only a select few knew about. He watched as the leading robot looked over at John and waited. It all seemed to weird as he knew what to expect next, but Mel didn't as a quick blue scanning beam ran over them and a computer voice spoke up confirming that Hayter was one of the members. A metallic device came forth as the holographic shrouds disappeared and allowing them all to see the massive Hanger doors before them.

"I'm assuming your Thinking Engine has been inside this whole time and you haven't been able to get in there, have you?" Hayter asked as he looked at the drones wandering if this was a trick or not. "Mel, are you sure of these things?"

"Negative." the lead drone responded. It sounded oddly polite for a military weapon. "Tee Eee Thirty Seventy Five is well defended. Maintained as needed. All drones are in constant contact, sir." the use of the term seemed more for being polite, rather than a measure of rank.

"The Thinking Engine is the heart of the network. It'll be very well defended." Mel remarked as they walked.

The pair were led inside. The hangar had been repurposed to some form of machine bay. Drones came in for maintenance, recharging, and repair. Weapons were stowed properly regardless of the notion that they were a design Hayter wasn't familiar with. Weapons were easily recognized as weapons, and respect and care was easy to notice. The drones in the hangar paid Hayter little mind, though they each gave notice to Mel and each offered a nod to her. They were, indeed, Dalacari drones.

Behind the drones, the hanger bay lighting flickered to life and showed even more of the bay. Both of them were in awe and in shock at what they saw before them. In the center of the bay was an intrepid class starship with power cables and walking platforms reaching to the ship at a couple of her air locks. From the looks of it, the ship was, for the most part, in tact but parts of the ship's hall was open and sparks came from the area, almost like a mechanic was hard at work.

"Holy shit... the Resolute" John stated as he stood there for a moment. "Wait till David sees this..."

... to be continued...

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