A Tale of Survivors Vol. 2

Bailee could hear the rain pittering on her tin roof while she was tinkering again. “Ralph, you’re less talkative than usual…” She noted as she was screwing in a couple more bolts. Ralph made no response though there was a bit of a squeak from his general direction.

“Annnnnnd Done!” Bailee swiveled in her chair and leapt from her seat, being careful to avoid the scrap peices of metal, bolts, screws, wires, and such all strewn about the floor of her little home. A whirring sound mixed with clicks and clacks emitted from the corner.

“Ah!” Bailee exclaimed, “So, now you decide to talk, Ralph!” Ralph rolled out from his corner, metal treads rolling along his sides. A small dome sat upon the treads making up Ralph’s “head” so to speak and a couple LED lights of red and green made it look like he had eyes. Truthfully, Ralph saw via a camera through well precisioned welds allowing him to pivot and turn his camera 360* as well as move overhead in virtical lines.

These details Bailee would often remind him saying, “And who do you think you have to thank for that?” At least this happens whenever Ralph does his usual upset noises, which sounds more like a vacuumn cleaner than anything. Currently that wasn’t the case, actually Ralph was rather quiet and Bailee felt a concern for this because it was odd for her little bot to be so silent.

“Well!” She said, pushing aside her concern and walking to the large fabric that covered the entrance to their little home, being careful not to upset the shelves stocked full of random odds and ends that could easily appear like junk to anyone else. Bailee stood with her elbows akimbo and an object in had that she carefully hid behind her back. “Let’s go out and try it out! Shall we?” Ralph let out a loud clunk that thudded flatly.

“What?” She asked, raising an eyebrow. “You mean to tell me you’re not the least bit curious about what I’ve made?”

The LED lights rose up a tad then began to slowly spin around in their sockets.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me young man!” She crossed her arms, again carefully concealing her creation. They stared each other down for a minute, “Fine!” She said, “I’ll just go out by myself!”

She turned and pulled the goggles connected to her leather helmet over her eyes. Ralph squeaked. “What?” Hailee responded to the noises Ralph made. “It’s raining, don’t judge me and my goggles!” She stepped out into the thick rain that pelted everything around. She stood in what many may consider a junk yard with scraps of metal, torn cloth, cushions, and various other…well, junk. Yet, to Bailee’s eyes she didn’t just see junk but materials: rubber, plastic, metal, glass, tools, parts, possibilities, and opportunities. She also saw something that turned her usual happy expression into a somber frown, but she quickly tossed her thoughts aside and looked at the sky.

“Well now, Ralph, that is definitely a lot of rain!” She said, then she lowered her head and whispered, “Two days straight…I’ll never be able to get all this rust off…” Ralph rolled up to the entrance peeking out every time the wind blew the cloth out.

A repeated whirr came from Ralph that sounded rather urgent. Bailee ignored him, 

“I know, I know it looks like too much for any machine but you can stand to survive a few drops ya know! I can always replace those eyes of yours.” She felt her creation, the smooth metal still having that fresh smell from being sanded down. The tiny intricate parts all safely encased within it. “Please work” She whispered, fingering the tiny switch she’d made to turn it on.

“Let’s do it!” She shouted, lifting her arm in the air, holding her creation in her hands. “Now we’ll-” Bailee  gasped, her finger stopping just above the device’s power switch. Ralph continued to make his concerned sounds but much quieter this time. This was because…they weren’t alone. 

Bailee’s eyes shivered as her body froze, before her was a figure clad in a hood staring at her with hidden eyes. She tried to speak but her breath escaped her lungs without a word. Who? She thought, No one else… The figure stepped forward, breaking her thoughts. She pulled her arm back and slowly backed up. The figure stopped for a moment before bursting into a run, sending scrap peices of metal, cloth, glass, plastic, and rubble flying into the air.

Bailee turned into the house, “Ralph, we’re going!” Ralph let out a high pitched whirr of obvious approval. Bailee pulled a lever and a large sheet of metal fell down covering the entrance, “Quickly now, Ralph, out the back! You remember the drill right? We practiced for this like once…” Bailee didn’t wait for answers, she grabbed her documents from a little cot she’d made on the other side of their little house and headed for the backdoor. She didn’t even hesitate as she left several blueprints and her favorite photo behind. Metal bent and tore as an arm ripped through the scrap door, Bailee saw it tear it off in a single pull, causing the whole house to shake just as she dashed out the tiny backdoor, Ralph in tow.

Bailee rushed through the rain her jacket getting damp now as she jumped into another creation of hers. She let down a small ramp for Ralph to go up. “Ralph, I know you’re not fast but hurry!” Suddenly a burst of red light erupted from their little house and bits of scrap metal flung everywhere. The figure stood where their house had been, Bailee’s heart almost stopped in sheer fright but a stab came into the back of her leg. She whipped her head to see Ralph below her, “Bailee” She heard her name and her eyes widened till there was almost no iris left. The figure dashed upon them, “No!” She screamed as she slammed her hand down on the controls, the machine whirred and shot  forward in a frenzy as she set the fuel levels to their max. Fire blazed from an engine behind them, but the figure had grabbed the side of her makeshift vehicle. A black and red arm reached for her, blazing with energy that melted the side of her leather helmet and caused her to swurve. The figure fell, ripping off the metal siding. Bailee was gasping, breathes coming in and out so fast her lungs burned. “Ralph!” She shouted, “I know it’s not ready but we have to!” Ralph screetched as she pulled down on the steering wheel. The makeshift vehicle hurdled into the air, Ralph slid to the back screetching loudly as he shot down two metal spikes from his center that peirced the floor of the machine, stabilizing his movement. “This’ll lose him, Ralph! I know I can land it this ti-” The vehicle dipped suddenly with a clash of metal. What? Bailee looked back, expecting to see Ralph gone but no…the figure. It had grabbed the ramp she forgot to lift back up. The blood rushed to her core and her face grew pale, she felt faint.

“Get off my plane!” She screamed, turning back to the wheel and then dropping altitude.  This slammed the figure into the ground. This time the ramp ripped off and she turned back just in time to see the ramp and darkened cloak tumble on the dirt and rock below. She lifted the aircraft into the air again but the rain was doing a number on her creation’s ability to go very high in the air.

“Ralph…” Bailee spoke, her voice being drowned out by the intense rain pounding against the metal with ceaseless tinking. “What are we going to do…?”

Another sudden jolt hit the machine and they tilted to the side, Bailee looked and saw the other siding of metal had been torn off. What? I built that far better than- but her thoughts were again interrupted by a scream of horror. Ralph was gone. She turned the vehicle around, the metal growned to turn and Bailee heard something snap. She hoped it wasn’t anything important though she knew all too well that every instrument and part she used had its purpose. 

“Ralph!” She called out pitifully into the rain, desperately trying to ignore her fear that he could not have survived a fall such a distance. “Come on, Ralph!” She called out muffled by rain and tears. “I can’t lose anyone else! I’ve lost too many!”

A muffled noise came from the engine, Bailee blinked, That doesn’t sound like an engine problem I’ve heard…sounds more like… “Oh no!” She exhaled as a black and red arm ripped through the engine and spikey claws scraped against her windshield. The plane plummetted as a too perfectly round head with bright red eyes rose up to meet hers.

“No!” She screamed. “This isn’t your planet! Go away!” The cries were in vane as the plane descended into some ruins below her. She pulled an object from her hip, a long sharp object, pointed and metal like a large sowing needle. 

She stood up on her seat and smashed the needle through her windshield, stabbing the creature in the hand. A snarl came from its lips just as the plane crashed into a stone structure that collapsed upon impact. Bailee’s body flung forward, she pivoted, flipping her body in the air so that her feet landed on the wall. 

She was not quick enough though and a sheet of metal, originaly acting as a rudder, cut accross her cheek and ear. Then, motion caught up with her and she slammed into the stone wall with her legs and back as the plane crumbled the base of the wall. Bailee fell with a single prayer before she hit, Adonai, save Ralph and this planet…

Then, she felt the ground for a brief moment before everything went dark. 


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