Me, Miles, and Future Quin arrive at Deston’s Sanctum. In a vast hall, all of the squads have gathered with their respective Omega Drives. This place is a lot bigger on the inside.
We picked the Sanctum to bring the Drives to, because this place has wards out the ass, and is currently being guarded by a legion of angels. The metal bastard won’t get in here.
There is also an angel at my place babysitting present Quin, and watching the rest of my fluffies.
Of course, the squads sent to Germany and Australia returned empty-handed.
All of the other ChaotiX who didn’t go on the mission have gathered here as well.
On a large computer screen on one wall, a map of the world is displayed, with the former locations of the six Omega Drives marked.
I turn to Pierre.
“You can cross off the Germany and Australia Drives, Doc. The Caldroid got those two.”
Everyone is apparently already aware of this, but Pierre does so anyway. He presses a few buttons on a device on his left wrist, and two red Xs appear over those two countries.
I sit down in a chair, because I am this close to collapsing, and I notice that, on the table next to it, someone has already placed a box of Victor’s protein bars.
I turn to Pierre again, and he nods.
After wolfing down ten of them, I manage to stand back up, and turn to everyone else.
“Alright, everyone! Listen up! We lost two Drives. But, but! We came back with four. So we’re still in the lead. If we destroy these Drives, we can stay in the le–”
beep-beep beep-beep beep-beep
I turn to the source of the sound, which is the screen I was just looking at.
The words “INCOMING CALL” are flashing on the screen.
Pierre looks at the screen as well.
The map of the world is replaced with the face of the Caldroid.
Everyone gasps, but Pierre and I just glare at the screen.
“Let me get right to the point. You have something that belongs to me. Four somethings. I want what is rightfully mine. So, here are my terms.”
Whatever camera it’s using zooms out, revealing where the Caldroid is.
It’s floating up in the sky. Down on the ground, behind the Caldroid, a city is visible.
Victor recognizes the city.
“That’s Quezon City. The bastard’s in the Philippines.”
“Absolutely right, Victor. I can move a lot faster now that I have two Drives. Speaking of which!”
The Caldroid turns around, and points its hand down at Quezon City, palm out.
And then the Caldroid wipes Quezon City off the map.
Everyone gapes at the screen in sheer horror.
The Caldroid turns back to the camera.
“You get the point, yes? I’m going to do that to a different city for every hour that goes by, until you relinquish my property unto me. I don’t care about anyone living in those cities, but I know you all do. So, if you don’t want any more innocent blood to be spilled, you know what to do. My next target is Seoul. I’ll be waiting there for your courier. If I don’t have the other four Drives in an hour, I’ll glass the whole city.”
I stare daggers at the Caldroid.
“You’re a monster.”
The Caldroid chuckles.
“Monster? I’m not a monster. I’m a god! You’ve got an hour. Make your choice. Ta-ta!”
The Caldroid’s face is replaced with the map once more.
I turn to everyone. Everyone has been stricken silent by the atrocity we have all just witnessed.
I open my mouth to speak, but then I close it again.
Then I start screaming.
“GODDAMNIT MOTHERFUCKING ROBOT CUNT!!! I’M GONNA KILL IT SLOWLY FOR THIS!!!”
I turn around and punch the screen, destroying it.
WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM
Then I keep punching it, until several people pull me back.
I shake myself free, and Pierre walks up in front of me, and looks me in the eye.
I can feel the tears streaming down my face. I can feel myself shaking. And I can feel a vein in my forehead throbbing like it’s about to burst.
Pierre speaks to me.
“Cal. Calm. Down. I feel your pain. I feel your fury. Everyone in this room feels the same way as you. What the Caldroid has done is irredeemable.”
“But… but it’s not gonna stop… this is all–”
“Stop. This is not your fault. You didn’t build that monster.”
“But I wasn’t strong enough to stop it!”
“That is not your fault either, Cal.”
“No. But it’s my responsibility.”
I turn to the crowd.
“We’re not giving the bastard the Drives. And we’re not letting anyone else die.”
While my conscious mind has been raging at my robotic doppelganger’s unforgivable deed, my subconscious mind has been working frantically, and I’ve only just realized the plan my subconscious put together.
It’s what we should have done in the first place.
I turn back to Pierre.
“Pierre. Bring me everyone.”
“Everyone? What do you mean, everyone?”