Survival

Chapter 3

The sun was setting by the time John left the Cyberdyne campus, the clouds reflecting pinkish reds and oranges over the bay. Danny lingered with him for a while, the two chatting as they watched the construction crew head home as well. Checking his phone, he gave Danny a small wave and headed to his car, getting in and driving out of the lot.

Driving for nearly an hour, John reached a large park, sectioned off by a tall fence. Several white and gray buildings were placed tightly together, surrounded by long, flat fields that kept them well away from the perimeter fencing. The Cyberdyne logo was displayed on the entrance gate, which had a guard station and two men sitting inside.

John didn't approach close enough for them to see, rather turning his lights off and turning to park behind a series of storage units that were nearly a quarter mile away from the fencing. Getting out, he looked up at the yellow lights that were suspended overhead, casting himself and his car in an ugly, dull chartreuse. He knelt down, ripples of gray washing over him several times, changing his form and build until he had completely taken the form of Detective Cheung. He stood, and walked to the edge of the storage units, narrowing his eyes at the guard house.

Turning, he began to circumvent the entire storage facility, jogging around the other side and reaching the far end of the perimeter fence that was devoid of any guards, roads, or lights. He climbed up carefully, swinging his body over the top of the fence and landed silently. A few minutes of sprinting brought him to the edge of the facility, the only way in being a single locked door with a security camera installed above the left edge of the door frame.

He leaned against the wall that the security camera was installed along, plastering himself against it and raised his left arm, the limb stretching and growing narrow and sharp. Reaching up, just tapping the edge of the camera box was all he needed to do – several nanomachines departing on their mission, invisible to the naked eye. Within a few seconds the camera switched off, the nanomachines returning back to their home.

He gave the camera one last wary look before approaching the door, his index finger remaining metallic as he shoved it into the keyhole. It took a few seconds of jostling it about before the lock turned with a quiet click.

John entered the facility, walking silently through the dark, featureless halls. Several doors were marked as different offices and administrative sections of the factory, but they were ignored. He reached a pair of double doors that had yellow and black caution stripes across the center, and caution triangles stamped on the top and bottom. Through the small door windows he was able to see the tall factory equipment that was lifting machinery up along a conveyor belt. Several large crates held damaged lab equipment that hadn't been brought up to the conveyor yet. John walked through the double doors, onto the vast factory floor, checking for any other security cameras before moving ahead towards the crates.

Sorting through them took him nearly a half hour until a pile of equipment was assembled on the floor, the largest of the pieces being a laser array from the polyalloy baths. Gathering it in his arms, he gave one more careful glance around the floor before rushing off, hefting the heavy equipment up with ease.


John muttered to himself, attempting to fit the laser array into the back seat of his car. He had discarded Detective Cheung's visage for his own, dressed back in khakis and a sweater.

“Yeah the compact was a great choice.” he grumbled in frustration, angling the damaged laser array sideways, half of it in the back seat, half of it sticking up over the stick in the front. He attempted to shift it around two more times but gave up after nearly cracking the passenger seat window. He hung his head in defeat, and climbed into his car, sinking down in the driver's seat to avoid the arm of the laser. Quietly shifting into gear he drove out of the storage lot, keeping the car lights off until he was well away from the perimeter fence of the plant.

Halfway back into the city, his phone rang. John glanced down, taking it from his pocket and answering, not bothering to look at the number.

“Hello?”

“I was expecting a status report twelve minutes ago.”

John glanced to the side, turning the wheel with one hand as he guided his car on to the highway.

“I'm sorry, I got held up. Everything's fine, I got a damaged laser unit, I can start setting up a bath for the pollyalloy tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow you have to come down and perform a systems check on me.”

An eyebrow went up, but he tilted his head in the smallest of nods.

“Alright, I'll come by tomorrow. Did something happen?”

“They're moving me to a different location within the building. You need to be there to ensure nothing goes wrong.”

“I'll be there, trust me. Nothing's going to happen to you.”

“You said that before.”

“I'll see you tomorrow.”

John hung up, dropping his phone in the passenger seat, leaning back in the seat and sighing.


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