Waking Gods Page 71

—I’m—

—What?

—We’re out of juice. We discharged, and now we’ve drained whatever was left. She won’t fire.

—Themis won’t move with me anymore.

—I know. We can’t move. We can’t do anything.

—Then what?

—Then…I guess we wait.

—For how long?

—I don’t know. We’ve never drained her bef—

—He’s coming back! He’s coming back! Vincent, there’s a…it looks like a disc of light in his hand.

—Shit.

—What is it?

—I’m pretty sure that’s what erased half of London.

—Do something!

—I can’t!

—Are we gonna die?

—Eva, I—

—I don’t wanna die…I wanna get out!

—Eva!

—HOW DO I GET OUT?

—EVA!

—GET ME OUT OF THIS THING!

—EVA, STOP!

—…

—You’re a good kid, Eva. I’m glad I got to meet you.

—Can you hold me again?

—I wish I could, Eva. You can’t imagine how much I want to, but I can’t get to you. Look at me.

—…

—I’m right here, Eva. Look at me.

—Dad…

—…Yes?

—I’m sorry.

—There’s nothing to—

—LOOK! He’s turning away from us!

—I can’t see. I took my helmet off.

—He’s looking at…There’s a pickup truck coming!

—Does he still have his disc thing in his hand?

—I don’t think so. Someone’s getting out of the truck. I think it’s Dr. Franklin.

—WAY TO GO, ROSE!

—There’s white gas coming out of…somewhere, everywhere.

—What do you see?

—…

—Eva! What do you see?!

—I see nothing. Nothing but white.

 

 

FILE NO. 1633


MISSION LOG—DR. ROSE FRANKLIN, HEAD OF SCIENCE DIVISION, EARTH DEFENSE CORPS

Location: Central Park, New York, NY

—General, I’m entering Central Park.

[Roger that. We’re ready when you are.]

This is awful. There are people lying on the grass…everywhere. It looks like they’re taking a nap. Cyclists on the side of the road. Someone should take care of them. I’ll stop here. I think that’s close enough. I must be…a thousand feet from the robot.

General, I’m getting off here.

[Very well. Rescue team is standing by. Holler if you need anything.]

Thank you. Wish me luck.

[Luck is believing you’re lucky. Go get ’em.]

I believe. I believe. So…I’m out of the vehicle. The robot is standing right in front of me. It is facing me but I don’t know if they’ve seen me or not. I must look like an ant from where they’re sitting. I’m getting the bacteria out of the vehicle. One…The containers are…really…heavy. I’ll have to carry them one at the time with the…dolly. Two…The pump and the hose are in my backpack. I also…brought…a small Army shovel. And that’s three.

I’m making my way towards the robot. I’ll turn on my projector in a second. I don’t know how they’ll react but I have to make sure they see me. They have to know that I’m responsible for whatever is happening to them, if anything happens. Shit. The robot’s feet are on East Drive. Part of the right foot is on the grass, but only for five or six feet. The rest is on asphalt. So much for my shovel. I hope there’s enough of a gap in the shield above ground for me to…

What the…? Themis just appeared a hundred feet behind the alien robot.

{Rose! Are you there? It won’t work! You need to turn around!}

Vincent! What are you doing here?!

{Eva saw it. It won’t work! Get out of the way!}

Get out of here, Vincent! They’ll kill you!

{I said it first, Rose. Go! Run!}

The robot is turning away from me. I don’t know what to do…They’re firing! I’m heading back to the vehicle.

[Dr. Franklin. You need to get out of there!]

Yes, General! That’s what I’m trying to do! I can’t…run with this….I can’t hold the dolly. Shit…I lost the container. It fell off and it’s rolling away….Got it…I’m bringing…it…back—

{Rose! We’re gonna try to knock his shield off for you with an energy burst, like we did in Denver. Do you understand?}

Wh…I need more time!

{No can do. Get as far away from us as you can. }

Shit! Shit!…I’m leaving the container behind. I’m almost there. OK, I am back in the vehicle. Where did I…? In the ignition. I’m turning around…Heading back south the way I came. I’m driving by the baseball fields now. I need to put at least half a mile between me and Themis before she discharges…Jesus Christ! Someone fired at the road ahead of me. A good chunk of it just…disappeared. I almost drove straight into it. I just crossed 97th, still heading south on East Drive.

{Rose! Ready or not!}

No! Not yet! Arrrghh!

God, that hurts. Everything went…white. I…I hit a car. The air bag…I…I think it broke my nose. My Jeep’s dead. I’m trying to get out of here. If I can just reach the handle…Yesss! I’m out. Wow. The road behind me is…gone. The pulse missed me by about a hundred feet. I can’t see Themis. Just the other robot pounding at the ground on the edge of the crater. It must be them.

General, tell them to teleport out of here. You have to get them out! General? General, can you hear me? Anyone? I have to get back. I hit an abandoned pickup truck. Let’s see if the keys are in it. Yes! I’ll just grab one of the containers…Put it…in the back…

Vincent, can you hear me! I’m coming!

I need to get their attention. I’m heading inside the crater. High beam, low beam. Fog lights! Yes! I hope they can hear the horn. The robot is standing above Themis. She’s not moving. I see some light in the alien robot’s left hand. Some sort of disc. I think it’s about to do what it did in London the first time. Faster! Here! I’m here! Come on! Come on! Look at me! There you go! That’s it! Turn around!

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