Chapter 7: Escape
The Guard Scorpion stampeded across the platform and attempted to run down the Ex-SOLDIER and the TORNADO leader. Narrowly diving out of the way and tucking into a roll, Bark righted himself and unloaded a volley of bullets as he bellowed loudly at the mechaniloid. His shots pinged harmlessly off of the substantial armour covering the Scorpion’s vital components. The Roboguardian skidded to a halt and turned around before spreading its arms outwards to activate its head-mounted scope. The Search Scope – a wide, yellow beam projecting from the small device – swept the area in front of it.
Bark ceased fire and started to hastily back away from the mech. The beam moved faster than he could and it soon tagged his foot. “Oh shit!” he cursed loudly as he stumbled backwards and landed on his rear.
“Target acquired,” a neutral, mechanical voice announced in monotone. The scope shut off and the Scorpion resumed its operation. Using the data captured from the various antennae on its head, the Guard Scorpion processed the information and executed its first subroutine. Raising its arms up and forward, it aimed its Vulcan cannons at the bear. Bark froze in place, his eyes glued on the high powered machine guns pointing right at him. He squeezed his eyes shut and waited for the bullets to fly, fully expecting his life to be over in that instant.
Tails moved on instinct the moment the Scorpion raised its arms. He ran up to the bear, grabbed the back of his vest by the collar and leaped away from the mech just as it opened fire, the shots ricocheting off of the steel platform.
Landing on the floor ungraciously, Bark opened his eyes and turned his head to see the fox standing in front of him and preparing to cast a spell at the guardian. “Thanks,” the bear said, breathing heavily as he picked himself up off the floor.
“Don’t mention it,” the fox replied tersely as he shot his palms out and called “BOLT!”
The Lightning spell struck the Guard Scorpion dead-on, the electrical energy causing the machine to stumble as its directional systems were disrupted. Running up to it after launching the magic attack, Tails unsheathed his sword, leaped up and cut open the polymer shielding on its arm to expose its internal wiring inside. Landing next to the mech, he started to move away from the guardian as it righted itself, but was caught by the Search Scope.
“Target acquired,” the machine repeated. The Scorpion then bent forward and extended its prehensile tail, thrusting it several times at the Ex-SOLDIER. Tails weaved around each strike, but still ended up getting one of his namesakes nicked as the large, spike-ended extremity whizzed past. The barrage continued until the Guard Scorpion pulled back and moved away from the Mobian. It then opened its exhaust and intake ports, to which Tails surmised that it had issues with overheating.
The fox used that opportunity to charge up another Lightning spell and aimed for the section he cut open. Firing it off, he witnessed the electrical attack enter the arm and travel throughout its body, causing substantial damage to the Roboguardian and disabling it once more.
Just as he was about to charge another spell, Tails dropped to a knee as he suddenly felt exhausted. ‘Damnit, I must still not be at 100% yet,’ he thought angrily as he took several deep breaths. ‘Six spells in and I’m already feeling burnt out.’ Taking stock of his current situation, Tails guessed that he had three or four more casts before he would run out of magic. ‘That Lightning spell was effective, but not enough to take it down… I need access to something more vital…’ He skimmed his eyes over the robot as it finished discharging the electrical energy and rebooted its systems. His eyes finally landed on the cameras mounted beneath the bulletproof glass on its torso. “Bingo,” he muttered to himself, an idea beginning to form in his mind.
Bark rushed up to the downed Mobian, his arm raised and ready to provide covering fire against the Scorpion, which now stood erect as it finally discharged the electricity through a grounding circuit. “You alright?!” he hollered at the two-tailed fox behind him.
The fox groaned as he rose up from the ground and settled back into a fighting stance. “Yeah,” he responded. “But we need to finish this fast. I’m nearly at my limit with magic.” He paused as the bot stomped forwards and extended its tail. Tails and Bark jumped away to avoid being impaled by the spike-tipped end.
“Limit?! Ain’t you some sorta big time SOLDIER?!” the bear hollered as he fired retaliatory shots at the Scorpion’s joint casings. “I ain’t paying for you to tell me this shit?!”
“No, you’re paying me to ensure that we win and get out of here alive,” Tails retorted, attacking from the Scorpion’s left side. Sensing that the swordsman was more of a threat, the Scorpion rotated its body to face the fox and shot point-blank at his direction before following up with a sweep from its tail. Tails dodged the shots and then flipped over the tail, but he wasn’t prepared for the mech to swipe at him with the back of its arm. The fox only just got his blade up in time to protect himself as the guardian’s appendage slammed into him, sending him flying in Bark’s direction. He bounced off the floor once, rolled and then landed into a crouch, his brows narrowed into a scowl and eyes flared with rage. “That was a lucky shot, you bastard,” he snarled, wiping blood from the corner of his mouth. “Definitely won’t happen again.”
Bark halted his assault and flanked Tails as he staggered upwards once more. “Listen up Bark!” the fox yelled out over the sounds of raining bullets. “Remember how we dealt with those Robians earlier? We’re gonna do the same thing!” Tails began preparing an Ice spell and palmed the magic orb in his left hand. “I’ll go in and bait it into raising its arms. Once it does, concentrate your fire on those camera lenses on its chest after I launch my Ice spell. Then, I’ll short-circuit the son of a bitch. That should finish it off.”
Bark ceased fire and looked at him skeptically. “Uh, you sure this is gonna work?” he asked, an eyebrow raised at the fox.
“Trust me, I did the math,” Tails countered hotly as he poured more Mana into the spell in his hand. “It’s gonna work.”
“Alright, if you say so…” the bear trailed off before glancing back to the Scorpion. “Oh shit! Heads up, it’s using that targeting scope-thingy again”
No sooner did he say so, the mech loomed in front of them and activated the scope on its head. Before the beam could even land on the two however, a grenade suddenly landed on the back of its head and bounced once before exploding. The shockwave took out the array of sensors mounted on its head, while damaging the targeting scope.
Half-blinded by the loss of its environmental instruments, the Scorpion diverted all of the remaining power in its head unit to the Search Scope in order to continue its assault. The destroyed sensors retained just enough information to allow the Scorpion to deduce the origin of the grenade; the walkway just above it. Hopping backward, its six legs crashing thunderously on the platform, it pointed its cameras upward and saw Jessie. The woman was crouched on the walkway above, her hand digging into her pack frantically to produce another grenade. Reacting, the Scorpion rushed towards and crashed into the wall, which caused the walkway above to shake violently.
The Human stumbled backwards and got her foot caught in a grate. “Ungh, dammit! I’m stuck!” she called out as she attempted to wrench her leg free. She watched as the Scorpion stepped backwards and pointed the Vulcan cannons towards her.
Tails reabsorbed the Ice spell as the mech aimed to kill the brunette and then hastily charged and fired off a Lightning spell. The Scorpion staggered, its legs stumbling about once more as the magic struck at it from behind. Recovering quickly, it turned around and barreled its way towards the two Mobians while swinging its tail wildly.
Bark and Tails leapt out of the way once more, but the erratic movements of the tail spike managed to slice the fox’s shoulder open as he rolled past the Scorpion. He swore, hissing in pain as his blood intermingled with the fur on his arm. “Listen Bark, we gotta do this hard and fast,” he called out to the bear across from him as he prepared another Ice spell, his teeth gritted from the creeping exhaustion he felt through his taxed body. “Wait for the signal and then go!”
The mechaniloid skidded to a halt, turned back around and activated the Search Scope once more. The polar bear circled around and kept his distance while Tails stayed put as the yellow beam landed on him. He held the orb of bluish-white magic once again in his left palm and waited for the right moment to strike.
“Target acquired,” the mechanical voice spoke. It raised its arms and pointed its Vulcan cannons once more at the fox, whose eyes flashed at the sight of its exposed cameras.
“Bark! Do it now!” Tails shouted, just before the Scorpion could attack. He pushed his arm out and called “ICE!” as he barely scraped through the resulting machine gun fire. The spell shot out and hit the glass casing around its eyes, causing it to cool rapidly.
The bear halted in place, aimed at the iced spot and then fired upon it, his eyes blazing with anger. The shots easily shattered the weakened glass, damaging the lenses and tearing a hole large enough to expose the delicate components beneath it.
Finally, Tails pushed himself to draw out Lightning energy once again. The strain of magical overuse present on his muzzle, he cast the spell. The Lightning beam travelled a direct path into the exposed area and straight through to its core systems. The magic damaged the unprotected electrical components inside them and caused a systems crash within the Scorpion. The large mechaniloid shuddered and then collapsed onto the platform, an undamaged lens on its chest dimming from bright green to black.
Breathlessly, the two fighters looked at each other for a brief moment before smiling and then bursting out in laughter; Bark throwing his head back both in elation and relief, while Tails let out a low and satisfied chuckle. Even Jessie weakly laughed as she continued to pry her foot out from the grate.
Soon enough, the laughter subsided. Bark looked back at the fox and jerked his head towards the bomb. “Alright merc, turn this thing on and let’s get the hell out of here,” he said, grinning at the fox.
Tails sheathed his sword and made a beeline for the bomb. He suddenly paused in mid step though as his hearing picked up a peculiar sound coming from the Roboguardian they defeated. The servomotors within it were whirring into motion. The fox’s jaw tightened as he realized what was happening. “Shit,” he muttered to himself, before turning back to Bark. “Watch out! It’s not over yet!”
The polar bear opened his snout to speak but was interrupted by the reactivation of the Guard Scorpion. Running on an auxiliary RINGTEK-powered engine, it stood up shakily and its remaining eye was gleaming in the dimly lit space. It then tucked and locked its arms into its sides before raising its tail up above its head. The tip opened up in three sections and exposed a stout nozzle. The machine then started to shudder violently as it stood in place.
Bark raised a puzzled eyebrow at the odd behaviour of the Scorpion. “What the hell is it doing?” he asked the warrior, before shaking his head to clear his confusion and glared at the mech. “Ah screw what it’s doing! We got no time for this!” he yelled, lining his Gun-Arm up at the hole in the Scorpion’s chest. “Happy trails, you piece of shit!”
Tails watched the machine’s erratic movements with equal curiosity for a brief moment before suddenly making another realization. ‘That thing’s not acting strangely, it’s baiting us into thinking that it’s weakened!’ “Bark! No!” he called out, drawing his sword and running to the bear as fast as his legs could take him. “Don’t shoot! Attack while its tail’s up and it’s gonna counterattack with its laser!”
Tails’ words fell on deaf ears as Bark had already fired a volley at the components in its chest. As the bullets tore through the hole in its torso, the Guard Scorpion stilled itself momentarily before firing a focused, white-blue energy beam from the nozzle at the end of its tail. Sweeping the tail around the platform, the Scorpion’s energy ray made its way towards Bark, who stared helplessly at the approach of his demise for the second time.
The two-tailed fox roared loudly as he pushed his weary body and mind beyond its limits. A golden aura started to radiate from his body, with tiny bolts of silver electricity crackling and arcing all around him. In his frantic dash towards the bear, he dimly noticed that his tails had started to rotate. As they spun faster, his feet touched ground less and less until he was fully airborne, his two tails spinning rapidly like a pair of helicopter blades.
Now moving faster than he would have on two feet, Tails flew towards Bark, grabbed him by the collar once again and threw him away from the Scorpion’s energy beam. The fox then twisted his body so that his spinning tails faced the ground. The movement caused him to launch upwards vertically until he was high above the mech.
At the apex of his flight, the fox stopped spinning his tails and briefly hovered in zero-G. He held his sword in a two-handed grip behind him and then plummeted towards the machine, his weapon blazing with ethereal gold and silver energy. Tails let out another mighty roar and brought the Buster Sword down on the machine vertically. The blade sliced through the Scorpion from its head to its six, clawed legs and the fox landed in a crouch just in front of it.
Rubbing his head as he got up after being tossed for the second time, Bark gaped as he watched Tails rise up and walk calmly towards him, his unnatural blue eyes burning brightly in the dim light. The Guard Scorpion stood frozen in place for a moment until both halves toppled away from each other and crashed into the platform loudly, the mechaniloid being cleanly cut through by the fox’s enormous weapon. The glow from the remaining camera eye on its chest fizzled out permanently and signaled its complete and total deactivation.
Tails faced the robotic remains, pumped his left fist up, spun his sword twice and sheathed it, placing it on the magnetic disc on his back. He struck a pose as he did so. “Game over,” he said, a small, tired smile crossing his lips.
The polar bear looked at him with awe. “Holy shit, that was amazing! How’d you-“ he started before Tails lifted a hand to interrupt.
“Look, there’s no time,” the fox cut in, running over to the bomb placed on the reactor core. He pressed the green button near the LCD display and initiated the detonation sequence. The screen flashed once and then returned a timer. Ten minutes to detonation.
Tails rounded back to the bear. “We have to get out of here, now!” he said.
Bark snapped out of his revelry and then met Tails’ insistent look with a grim expression of his own. “Yeah, but we got a problem,” he said, looking at the wall where the Roboguardian crashed into after Jessie blew up its head sensors. The dent it made in the wall had also completely destroyed their only way back up. “Didn’t notice this till now, but the ladder’s totaled. How the hell are we gonna get up now?”
Tails eyed the display. Nine minutes and 45 seconds remained. Drawing his sword, he jogged up to Bark and stuck out his other arm. “Grab on and hold tight,” he commanded.
Raising an eyebrow, Bark clamped his hand tightly around the fox’s wrist. Tails then bent his knees and jumped, his Energen enhancements allowing him and the bear to launch high into the air. Spinning his namesakes at the top of his jump, the fox propelled himself and Bark over the catwalk where Jessie lay. Tails dropped the bear, landed and then helped Jessie free her foot from the grate.
“Thanks,” she mumbled, rubbing her ankle. She pulled out four Potion vials and handed them to the Mobians. “We have no time to wrap the wounds, but the Potions should help until we get out of here.”
Bark guzzled down both his restoratives while Tails poured one onto his shoulder and injured tail before downing the other. Once finished, they broke into a run with Jessie following closely behind.
The Human checked her wristwatch as they moved. “I’ve set my watch to synchronize with the bomb, looks like we have about eight minutes and thirty seconds left!”
“And with the time we wasted fighting that ‘bot, I’ll bet that security forces had time to call in reinforcements. We’ll have to break through them.” Tails responded, reaching the next ladder going up. He motioned Bark to go first before stopping Jessie. “Do you have an Ether in that pack of yours? I’m gonna need one of them.”
Jessie nodded and then pulled out another thin phial full of red liquid. Handing it to Tails, he broke the cap and swallowed the contents before following Jessie and Bark up the ladder. As he ascended, the fox felt a sudden rush of energy welling up inside him, signaling that the Mana reserves in his body were partially replenished. ‘Perfect,’ he thought, as his ears started picking up sounds from beyond the door leading out of the conversion chamber. ‘And not a moment too soon.’ “Security’s caught up to us! Prepare for an ambush!” He yelled out, drawing his sword as he stepped off the ladder.
As if on cue, three more Squirrel Robians dropped from above and landed on the catwalk leading out of the chamber. They were flanked by three MP’s, their rifles drawn and cocked. Tails leaped up and spun his tails as fast as he could, rocketing over the Robians before landing in front of the startled grunts. He threw three quick, consecutive slashes to the three MP’s, slaying them as he then turned his attention to the Squirrel Robians.
Bark rushed up to the closest bot like a berserker. Ducking and weaving around its swipes, he used his Gun-Arm as a melee weapon to bash in its skull several times to disorient it, before picking it up and flinging it over the walkway. Jessie, meanwhile pulled out her pistol and lined up a shot as the second Robian made its way to her, screeching savagely. Those cries ended however, when the woman placed a well-aimed bullet right through its glass-silicate eyes and into its positronic brain.
“Woo! Nice shot Jess!” Bark commented as Tails finished off the last Robian by cutting it in half horizontally and then impaling the sword into its head as its body landed on the ground. “That was a one in a million-”
“Keep your guard up!” Tails ordered, cutting the bear short. His heightened senses picked out the sounds of more claws skittering along the walls. He started to charge a Lightning spell. “We’re not out of this yet!”
As soon as he finished speaking, three more Robians suddenly appeared, each scaling the walls below the catwalk the two Mobians and Human stood on. The robots jumped off to face them. Without wasting any time, Tails launched the spell at the closest Robian, frying it and leaving a dead husk in its wake. He then stabbed the second one just as it touched the ground. Flinging its remains over the walkway, Tails then charged a quick Ice spell and fired it at the final Robian. The spell cooled the third Squirrel’s exterior enough for Bark and Jessie’s bullets to finish it off. Without pausing to rest, the three exited the chamber and into the refinery.
“Time!” Bark yelled to Jessie as they bolted to the staircases leading up to the elevator.
“Five minutes, fifteen seconds!” She answered.
‘We’re not gonna make it…’ The fox thought. ‘Unless…’ “Hold on, stop here,” he said to the two while drawing out his weapon. Both of them looked at the fox with puzzled curiosity. “Jessie, grab hold of the hilt, Bark take my hand,” he instructed “We’ll cut about two minutes if I fly us to the elevator. Now, quit gawking and grab on!”
Bark and Jessie hastily took their positions. Tails crouched, jumped up with his two charges in tow and then spun his namesakes. The fox gritted his teeth as he strained to fly them past the six flights of stairs leading to the lift.
As they traveled upwards, Jessie noticed that the refinery path was covered with grunts running towards the main pump chamber. Fearing that they would try to disarm the bomb, she dug into her pack and extracted her last grenade. Pulling the pin with her teeth, she dropped it towards the entrance leading into the reactor’s heart.
Tails landed on the platform by the lift just as an explosion, followed by the sounds of agonized screaming echoed through the refinery. The three clambered into the elevator car and Jessie frantically pushed the ‘Up’ button in an attempt to get the car moving before the remaining soldiers caught wise to their whereabouts. The doors closed soon enough and the car ascended upwards, granting its occupants a much needed opportunity to catch their breath.
Crouched behind a crate full of RINGTEK rings and armed with a rifle procured from an MP he incapacitated during his escape, Biggs trained the iron sights on the elevator leading down into the reactor, waiting and watching for his teammates to return. When he saw the lights indicating that the elevator was in motion, he put his finger on the trigger and took a long, deep breath to steady himself.
The lift stopped and the doors opened, revealing Bark, Tails and Jessie. Grinning, the man hopped out of his hiding spot, flashing a salute. “Yo, what took you guys so long?” he joked, wiggling his eyebrows up and down. Noticing the withering looks they were giving him, he relented. “Alright then, let’s go!”
The lift doors closed once more and descended back down to the refinement plant. “We better hurry,” Bark said, his brows furrowing as he cocked his weapon. “We’re about to have company. Jesse, how much time’s left?”
Jessie ran up to the control panel, opened the sheet of paper with the codes on it and plastered it against the wall so she could read it. She then checked her watch. “We got less than three minutes,” she said, hammering away at the controls to reopen the doors that shut when the alarms went off. It only took her a moment before she cracked the code and the first door opened. “I got this one! Biggs, help Tails and Bark while I get the second one,” she yelled as the elevator doors opened up, revealing a contingent of Kintobor MP’s who piled out and opened fire at the TORNADO operatives.
Taking cover, Biggs and Bark traded shots with the soldiers while Tails covered Jessie while she worked, using the massive sword as a shield. He placed a hand on the Lightning Emerald and prepared another charge while he defended the brunette. Working furiously, Jessie entered the last few keystrokes and listened as the code registered and the door opened. “Guys! It’s open! Hurry! There’s only sixty seconds left!” she yelled.
Tails held the Lightning charge in his hand while Biggs and Bark backed away towards the entrance. As soon as they cleared the second door with Jessie, the mercenary launched the spell at the door panel leading to the elevator, shorting it out and closing the door on the soldiers before running out himself.
Wedge spotted his teammates emerge from the reactor. Waving to them, he opened the emergency exit to Sector 8 and stood by the door. Biggs led the pack, followed by Bark and Jessie running side by side and Tails bringing up the rear. As they reached the T-junction on the walkway and swerved to the right, Jessie lost her footing, stumbled and fell flat onto her face. Tails stopped by her side, helped her up and together they escaped just as the bomb detonated.
The CPU on the main bomb located in the conversion chamber executed a command at the 30 second mark, sending a signal up from the high powered transmitter, through the cleverly hidden signal boosters and up to the router that was already connected to the secondary explosive Biggs mounted in the RINGTEK Manufacturing Plant. Now synchronized, the bombs detonated in unison as the countdown hit zero. The resulting blasts ignited the Energen and the RINGTEK, setting off a chain reaction which travelled upwards through the reactor and out of the top of the enormous exhaust stack, spewing out a ring of fire that illuminated the city and the night sky.
“Sir, we have a situation!”
An administrative secretary shouted out loud as she breathlessly scrambled up the stairs to the 70th floor of Kintobor’s main headquarters, located in the centre of the city. At the top of her ascent, the woman adjusted her knee-length pencil skirt and glasses, both askew in her haste, before striding forward to the man standing next to the opulent desk at the far side of the circular room. He was looking out of the reinforced, floor to ceiling panoramic windows that arched upwards and met at the centre above, forming a dome. The design allowed anyone on the floor an unrestricted, 360 degree view of the entire city.
From behind a pair of tinted, thick-lensed pince-nez, President Kintobor observed the damage wrought from the reactor explosion. He wore a snow-white coat over wizened shoulders and black slacks over polished, black shoes. His lips underneath a thick, bushy grey moustache tightened into a thin line, his long, hooked nose wrinkled and the hands behind his back balled into fists as he watched a secondary explosion erupt from the top of the reactor’s stack. “Yes, I can see it right now, Monica,” he said, his reedy voice laced with anger. “Have you any information about the perpetrators?”
Snapping to attention, Monica opened the leather-bound organizer she carried with her, cleared her throat and spoke. “At approximately 2300 hours at Sector 1 station, two soldiers were incapacitated after investigating the late train entering the station. According to their statements, the usual crowds they see on a daily basis at that time did not exit the cars; they were empty, save for two Humans, a woman and a man. One of the soldiers was able to radio for backup before being knocked out. Three MP’s responded to the call but were killed in action; two with severe laceration along their waistlines and the third charred black from a magic attack. We originally suspected that one of the assailants was armed with a sword and Emeralds to cause that kind of damage.”
“Hmm… and how come we were not aware of their movements?” the elderly man asked as he stroked his moustache in thought.
“It seems that after that initial assault, all of Reactor #1’s security systems had been hacked,” Monica reported, flipping through her handwritten notes. “Whoever broke into the security systems was very good at what they were doing,” she continued. “Disabled communications, the motion and thermal sensors, set the security cameras on a feedback loop and then further disrupted things to mask their presence.”
“Well, that is regrettable,” Kintobor commented acidly. “So, we have no way to identify who is responsible then?
The attendant cast her gaze towards the floor and tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear. “Um… Not exactly, Mr. President,” she said hesitantly. “The Chaotix have recovered – ”
“Oh, they’ve recovered something hm?” Kintobor interrupted derisively, his lip curled up into a sneer. “As good little lap dogs should. Now, if they put as much focus into bringing us our missing crown jewel as they do with all their assignments, then they’d be more deserving of a proper reward.” He scoffed and turned away from the carnage towards the secretary. “Well then, let’s see what have they ‘recovered’?”
She then produced a data stick from her organizer and handed it to the President. He took the stick, walked over to his desk and inserted it into his computer. Once loaded, he opened the single file that resided in the device. He then hunched over the desk and watched the recording, the light from the screen reflecting on his squat, bald and wrinkled head. Once the video finished playing, he looked back at the woman, his eyebrows scrunched together, his annoyance visible. “Is this all they got?” he asked.
“Yes, Mr. President,” the woman replied.
President Kintobor straightened up, his back creaking from the movement. He stroked his moustache in thought for a moment and then picked up the phone beside him. He pressed the button marked ‘Security’ on the speed dial and only had to wait a moment before he received an answer. “Send additional troops to Sectors 1 and 8,” he said. “They are to look for anyone wearing a SOLDIER uniform and a large weapon on their back. Find him and bring him in alive, if possible.”
He ended the call and then pressed a second button labeled ‘IT.’ “Is the new ID Security Scan software update ready for deployment?” he asked as soon as the call connected. “Good. Have it installed immediately on the upper plate checkpoints on the Magenta Line. I want them all operational before the first trains leave their stations in the morning.”
Hanging up the phone, he then turned his attention to Monica. “Go to PR and tell them I want a press conference set up in the next 30 minutes,” he said. “Then, I want you to contact Kodos and have him brought here. I want an explanation as to why this happened on his watch.” He paused, turning back towards the firestorm that was Reactor #1. “Mention to him if he’s not here in the next 10 minutes, I’ll have him Roboticized and taken apart for the Weapons Development department to use.”
The secretary acknowledged her superior’s request and hurried off down the stairs to her task.
As his aide left, Kintobor picked up the receiver and pressed the button marked ‘Operations.’ “This is Kintobor,” he said on receiving an answer. “Go to each of the seven remaining reactors and install a secondary, silent alarm in the tamper-proof circuit. If the tamper-proof is disabled for any reason, get that circuit to relay a signal directly to me.” He paused, listening to the response before furrowing his brows and clenching his teeth in rage. “I don’t care how you do it, just do it!” he yelled at the unfortunate soul on the other line, spittle escaping from his mouth. “I want a solution by first light, or I’ll have you Roboticized! I don’t care if you’re Human! Now get it done!”
Slamming the receiver back on its cradle, the president stood up and ambled back to the window facing No.1, his body illuminated in the orange glow coming from the flames sprouting out of its remains. As he surveyed the carnage, his mind reeled back to a figure that stood out in the security footage he just reviewed.
A two-tailed fox with unnaturally glowing blue eyes.