Ch. 3: Rescue
The robot's sights narrowed, targeting and scanning those among the large crowd in the city square. The crowd parted at the sight of this robot's infrared eyes, frightened that getting in the way would cause them to be arrested themselves. The red glowing iris panned to the left, finally focusing in on its target, a particular meerkat clad in his undercover special operations jumpsuit, before activating his speakers.
"Citizen, you are wanted for crimes against the Almighty Tyrantess of Incredible Beauty and Power," the robot stated in its monotone 'voice'. "You are ordered to halt or be subject to apprehension by force."
The meerkat halted immediately, as commanded, and turned to face the cold, metallic voice that echoed through the streets. Its steely, glowing gaze continued to focus in on him, and specifically on the small item he had acquired on a not-so-legal field trip to Crystal's government Headquarters. Acting casual, as he usually did, the meerkat stepped forward towards the patrol robot, as if to surrender, his palms raised to the sky.
"Y'know, this Tyrantess shouldn't flatter herself so much," The meerkat said playfully as he walked forward. "Incredible Beauty and Power? That's just a bit over the top, don't you think?"
However, before the robot could even answer, it hit the ground hard after an ear splitting gunshot rang out. All that was left standing was the meerkat holding a smoking magnum revolver. The rest of the crowd backed up substantially from the scene, not wanting to be any part of this mess when the other security inevitably showed up. The meerkat's dirty blonde hair fluttered in the breeze as the he stood over the collapsed robot's corpse for a brief moment before leaning over and speaking.
"If your microphones are still functioning, make sure to tell that despicable 'Tyrantess'..." He said as seriously as possible, "...The name's Alex Marlow. Don't forget it, or you'll regret it."
The robot's iris flickered for a moment, recording this last moment of visual and audio feed before dulling out.
Alex was no fool. Well, not entirely anyways. At the very least, he knew that even though destroying that sentry was necessary to ensure his survival and his escape, it would also cause quite a commotion, and would probably draw out more of those robotic goons to investigate the situation. If he was to remain free from the Tyrantess' clutches, it was high time that he stopped travelling in broad daylight and started hiding among the shadows. Quickly, Alex turned and headed down one of the darkened alleyways behind him.
However, once he rounded the corner, he found himself face to face with two more patrol robots, seemingly waiting for his arrival. Clearly that first accursed robot had sent out a waypoint of its location to government headquarters faster than he anticipated. Alex went to turn around and high tail it the other way, but as he turned, two more patrol robots hovered in, their jets slowing down as their metallic feet softly clanked on the pavement beneath them.
"This is your last warning before excessive force will be taken," One of the robots said in that oh-so-familiar monotone voice. "Surrender yourself to the will of the Beauteous, Intelligent, Tantalizingly Charming Hotness that is the Tyrantess."
Somewhere inside the government headquarters, a certain ferret could be heard chuckling to herself.
"Sheesh, these descriptions just keep getting worse and worse!" Alex exclaimed, backing himself into a corner. "It's like some kinda cruel joke. But seriously, guys, can't you let me go, just this once?"
Noting the lack of subordination from the subject, one of the robots' arms suddenly extended, grabbing hold of Alex's left arm while its colleague did the same to his right. Those extendable arms must've been new upgrades, as they caught him completely off guard. As the robots violently pinned him up against the brick wall, Alex began to think he was a goner for sure.
"I guess that's a no. I suppose it was foolish of me to expect any sympathy from a robot," He said as he struggled to break free. Eventually, he gave up his futile task and started chuckling as he cast his eyes downard, knowing his time was near. "Well, you're not going to take me in alive. So go on, you dastards. Do your worst..."
Alex clenched his eyes tight as he heard the robots' guns click in preparation to wipe him from existence. But suddenly, after a loud clash of metal cutting through metal, Alex felt both of the robotic arms pinning him to the wall loosening their grip on his arm, allowing him to side down the wall and out of his current predicament. He pulled his revolver from its holster once he hit the ground to shoot the rest of the robots, but before he could even attempt to get a shot off, the robots around him began falling apart. With a few more clashes and a flurry of flying sparks, each of the four robots fell to the ground in a crumpled heap. Alex returned his pistol to its holster and stretched out the strained muscles in his arms before he looked around for the person or thing that had just helped him out of his bind.
After sheathing her sword, his savior, a female meerkat, stepped out of the shadows. Alex took the time to examine her up and down as she approached him. The first thing he took note of was the giant war hammer she held. It served not only as a weapon, but also as a holster for her sword, which was sheathed within the base. After taking a good, hard look at her face, Alex determined that he did not recognize her, which genuinely surprised him. He thought he knew the vast majority of other meerkats, especially within the city limits. They all came from one clan or another, and all of the current clans knew each other pretty well. Just who was she, and why did she help him?
A hard expression formed on the female meerkat's face as she took the same time to examine Alex. She closed her eyes and shook her head for a moment before speaking.
"Sorry," She said, "I thought you were someone else." And with this, she continued to walk down the alley.
"Thought I was someone else?" Alex repeated to buy some time to think, since he was a bit dumbfounded by her statement. He ran up next to her to get a conversation going, intent on getting trying to get to know her. "Well, in any case, I'm sure as hell grateful for your mistake. I would've been blown to bits without your help. But I have to admit that I'm just a bit surprised. I've never seen your pretty face around here, and I know most every meerkat in town."
He was tempted for a moment to ask for this woman's name, but he knew it was probably pointless to ask. This one already seemed like she was tough as nails, and fairly antisocial to boot. Her response of silence proved this point, as she kept walking, completely ignoring him.
"Hello? Hey!" Alex exclaimed, waving his hands. "Don't ya know it's rude to ignore someone? Especially if you're ignoring a fellow meerkat who's just trying to be friendly." Definitely one of those strong, silent types. Though he was somewhat used to the silent treatment from a few of the more unhappy rebels in their rag tag crew, the fact that this was a meerkat he didn't recognize from a clan he didn't know made the silence even more bothersome to him than usual.
"I don't talk to idiots," She stated simply, not even stopping her stride to respond.
It was an insult he'd heard way more than just once, and certainly not one that would deter him from pursuing her. Alex maintained his casual demeanor and responded.
"If you say so," Alex said with a sly grin, hoping this next bit of dialogue would move her. "But alright. If ya don't want anything to do with me, then I guess I'll consider my payment for you saving me will be my leaving you alone. I'll be off now, if you don't mind."
Alex waited for a response, but frowned after a few moments, dismayed to see that this had elicited absolutely no reaction. His savior had gone back to completely ignoring him. Clearly absolutely nothing could get through to this woman. It was too bad, too. Not only did he want to know who she was and what clan she was from, but he also wanted to try his hand at converting her to the rebel forces. Not to mention the fact that the more he looked at her, the more he felt she was his type. Physically, at least. Her personality was currently lacking. Still, if she wouldn't talk to him, there was really nothing he could do. He sighed, stopping in his tracks.
"Well, see ya around never, then. Thanks anyways," Alex said, waving as he finally decided to give up on this pointless ordeal. He made an about face to avoid following her any further and headed towards the rebel base. After all, he needed to get out of there as soon as possible, before any more trouble showed up.
However, unfortunately for Alex, at the end of the alleyway was the trouble he so desired to avoid. The remaining four members of the original patrol robot's squad had finally caught up with him. Apparently, walking and chatting with that insufferable woman allowed them to close in on his position. As he walked towards them, Alex was alerted to their presence once he heard the shifting of metal as they aimed their guns in his direction. He then heard the safety on each of the guns click off. Looks like there would be no warning this time.
"Aw crap...Ruuuuunnnnn!" Alex yelled, quickly making another about face as he started to sprint the other way, back towards where the female meerkat was walking. He managed to pull his pistol from his holster and fire off one shot from his hip behind him as he ran, briefly seeing his shot clip one of the robots as he looked behind him. It might not have disabled the robot, but it did slow it down, and at this point, self-preservation was the key.
The female meerkat looked back at the robots and Alex as they approached her. She grunted, and after a brief moment of contemplating tripping the idiot for her own preservation, took off into a run as well. The sound of machine gun fire filled the air, trailing just behind Alex as he ran. Fortunately for him, it seemed that technology still hadn't evolved past the point of aiming where the enemy was and not where they were going.
As the robots went to reload their guns, he fired off two more from his hip shots, nailing one of the robots and clearing its head right off. One down, three to go. Now, by this point, Alex had actually caught up to his previous savior. Clearly that hammer weighed her down quite a bit.
"Hey, why don't you do your little crazy sword thingy and slice these guys up like you did last time?" Alex said as he ran, jabbing fun even in a life or death situation. Perhaps her assessment of idiot was more correct than she thought.
The remaining three robots were in hot pursuit, flying at full speed through the alley as their shots ricocheted all over the place. The female of the duo spun around around, holding her hammer in position to deflect the bullets before swinging the hammer around. The torso of the robot nearest her was crumpled for a moment before it was sent spiraling through the air. In a flash, her blade was drawn, cutting straight through the next nearest robot. As the final robot locked its sights on his female companion, Alex turned and slid into a prone position as he rushed to stop himself. From his position on the ground, he quickly took aim and fired the last two rounds from his magnum, one shot hitting the torso and the other scoring a direct hit on the head, disabling the robot completely.
With the dangerous threat dealt with, the female meerkat contemplated the destruction as she picked up the head of the robot that she had sliced to bits, while Alex stood back up and dusted himself off. After a moment of thought, the female meerkat proceeded to throw it at Alex's head before walking off towards the end of the alley. Alex failed to dodge the hunk of metal, too focused on dusting himself off, and it hit his chest hard before loudly clanking to the concrete ground below.
"Hey! What's your deal, anyways?" Alex yelled after her, stamping his foot. "Don't act like I didn't help this time or anything!" Of course, she didn't hear anything, having gone back to ignoring him
"Sheesh, what a tough customer she is..." Alex murmured under his breath as he watched her continued to saunter away, a bit mesmerized by the movement of her hips as she strolled along, something that was not an uncommon occurrence to Alex, admittedly. He sighed heavily once she turned the corner and was out of sight, knowing that he probably was never going to see her again. The prospect of never finding out who she was or what clan she was from greatly depressed him, and while she might've been overly aggressive and callous towards him, he found himself a bit awe struck by her, though he couldn't really place why. Shrugging at the thought and sighing once more, he let the female meerkat get a little bit of a head start before made his way back towards the rebel encampment. He had to round that same corner, and he knew she didn't want to see him again. As he waited, he found himself lost in thought, wondering just what about her caused him to be so awe struck...
Meanwhile, Recon, as was the female meerkat's name, continued on her way until she got around the corner. At that point, she fell to one knee, clutching her shoulder and her leg. Sure, the hammer protected her vitals, but unfortunately, it wasn't large enough to protect her entire body. Breathing steadily but rather heavily, she braced herself with her hammer to stand again. She was going to need to find somewhere to stay the night and get fixed up.