Friday, January 16, 2015

Ghost Station - Part 2

Fiction Friday. I'm away this weekend so no escape pod. Pick something from here if you're not into your Eve-O fiction.

Ghost Station - Part 2

"I want to know why that happened and I want to know yesterday!" Commander Yokikairos growled.

The command centre had been chaos since the forcefield for Hanger 32 had failed just after an InterBus shuttle had docked. Sensor logs showed nine people had been blown out into space. A search and rescue ship was outside the station now trying to recover the bodies. Down in the hanger engineers in EVA suits were studying the shield emitters and power conduits to see if there were any faults. In the command centre his officers were going through the logs and security protocols. So far everything appeared to be as expected.

"Sir. Second diagnostics is clean. There is nothing wrong with the shield's code and we show no intrusion into the system."

The Commander shook his head. "Hanger shields do not turn themselves off for no reason. Run a third diagnostic, then a forth and then a fifth. Keep running them until you can tell me why nine people just died on my station!"

The officer nodded and went back to his console. The Commander took his seat. There were two possibilities. A fault or a deliberate act of sabotage. Given the systems for the shields were so well protected and the potential for huge numbers of deaths should more shields fail, either option was terrifying.

Shortly after the engineering team reported that they could find no faults and no explanation why the shield went down for 20 seconds. To them, the emitters and power systems were operating perfectly. They assured the Commander it must have been a software issue.

Whilst the diagnostics ran, the AI in the core finished its own calculations. It had the answer to the question it had been asked. How could Ylomo make Haalonen be with him. The AI had found a way for them to be together and with the new code Ylomo had inserted to allow certain safety overrides to be ignored, he had made the plan possible. More over, Ylomo had taught the AI things.

In the Command Centre the Commander was staring out of the large viewscreen waiting for the fourth diagnostic to finish. A flash of light made him step back. A large explosion lit up the outside of the station. He stood there stunned for a second.


There was a delay as his officers tried to figure out what had happened. Another flash signaled another explosion.

"Sir, the sentry guns. They have activated and are firing."

"Firing at who?" the Commander barked. There was silence.

"Firing at who Lieutenant?" he asked again.

"Sir, they are firing at everybody sir!"


Haalonen laid out on the hotel bed. She felt numb. All this time she'd thought her ex-partner was a sicko and all along he'd been set up. She was the one that told the police about what she'd found. She had turned him in. She'd had an innocent man sent to a penal colony.

The door buzzer sounded and she walked over hitting the button on the console. The door opened and an android in a pink hotel uniform stood there. Androids were used extensively in the hotel industry. Cheap, reliable and able to do menial tasks that humans would soon get board of.

"Good morning Miss. I am Beautician Unit 457. I am here to escort you to the spa for your treatments."

Haalonen looked at the robot.

"Sorry. There must be some mistake. I have not booked at the spa."

As she turned away the android grabbed her wrist. Haalonen screamed in shock and pain as the robot gripped tightly.

"Now we must get you ready for Ylomo. Come along!" it said cheerfully as it pulled Haalonen into the corridor.

Terror gripped Haalonen. She now knew Ylomo was still on the station and that he was coming for her. The robot whistled cheerfully, or at least played a sound that was whistling as it dragged the kicking and screaming Haalonen down the corridor. Ahead a door opened and a middle-aged man poked his head out to see what the commotion was.

"Help me!" Haalonen screamed "Its gone haywire!"

The slightly overweight man obviously looking to play the hero for the young attractive woman in distress strode up in front of the android and held his hand out.

"Halt!" he commanded in a strong tone. "Deactivate!"

The Android simply grabbed him by the throat with its free hand. There was a sickening crunch as it crushed the mans neck, dropping him to the ground like a rag doll. Haalonen looked back at the man's convulsing body, his neck now no thicker than a clenched fist. She continued to fight the android but it was no use. It was far too strong. It dragged her into the lift and the lift automatically descended. The lift doors opened and the robot dragged Haalonen into the reception of the spa. Nobody was there but Haalonen could hear screaming from the treatment rooms. The android dragged her forward and into the rear rooms. Haalonen froze when she saw the sight before her. In the rows of treatment chairs were several customers and what looked like the human spa employees tied to the chairs. She threw up. The robots obviously had been working on them. The results were horrific. One woman appeared to have had most of her flesh stripped from her and her skin crudely stitched back onto her body. Her arms and legs were stick thin as she twitched in the chair. Nothing more than skin wrapped onto bone. A pile of bloody flesh was heaped next to the chair. Another appeared to have had her legs stretched to surprising lengths. With the way they bent it was clear to Haalonen that the bones in her legs had been shattered allowing them to be stretched a good 30 centimetres. The next woman's breasts had been stuffed to bursting point. They looked like two uneven, lumpy balloons stuck to her chest. Crude stitching with thick black cord showed where she'd been cut open and stitched back up. The remaining victims all had similar 'treatments' and were either unconscious or screaming loudly. They all looked like something out of a horror movie.

"We have been practicing. Analysis of the short video clips the Master enjoys watching has shown us you will need longer legs, increase mammary glands, a reduction in body mass and green eyes to be his perfect mate. We almost have everything prepared for the transmogrification. The eyes are the final piece. However we do need more understanding of how the legs can be extended without distortion to the shape."

Haalonen watched in horror as the woman in the last chair had her eyeballs carefully extracted from her head as she screamed in agony. The two androids holding her down carefully cut the stretched optic nerve and placed the severed eyeballs in a silver dish. Haalonen fainted.


Nirocque watched from the buildings roof. The surgeon bot was now roaming in front of the medical centre. It grabbed a man who was running past and lifted him into the air by his throat. The blue laser scalpel flashed and the droid dropped its victim to the floor already looking for the next. The man lay on the deck screaming, trying to hold his intestines in where the robot had opened his stomach up hip to hip.

A little way down a woman was screaming as she crawled along the pavement, pulling herself along with her fingernails. A small spider droid was attached to her lower leg and was flaying the flesh from her calf. Nirocque had seen these cleaner robots before, but they were meant to scurry around cleaning the streets, not rip the flesh from humans.

It was chaos down there and the 1st year student nurse didn't know what to do. She and her friend had slipped up to the roof to have a smoke when the building went into lock-down mode. At first she thought it was some sort of fire alarm. Then she had seen the machines start to attack people so had stayed where she was. Montilen, her friend and colleague and was also trapped. They were discussing what they should do when a loud hum came from behind. A hovering window cleaning bot was slowly approaching them. Nirocque took a step back.

"Its a window washer!" Montilen laughed. "What is it going to do? Squeegee us to death?"

"I don't know Montilen. Everything appears to be dangerous down there. I think we need to run!"

"Noncense. This thing has no arms or anything to attack us with. We're safest staying up here!"

The drone approached her slowly. Montilen stepped forward and stood defiantly in its path with her hands on her hips. The drone stopped and hovered for a second before spraying her in the face with a liquid. Nirocque couldn't suppress the laugh.

"So you were right, it is going to clean us to death!"

Her expression changed as Montilen turned around. The flesh on her face and neck appeared to be melting. Her mouth was wide open in a silent scream. No sound came out as gore bubbled and foamed from holes already eaten through her throat. She tried to walk but her eyeballs had already dissolved, yellow fluid running from her empty sockers down her melted cheeks and exposed bone. Whatever that window cleaning drone had spayed at her, it certainly was not soapy water. Nirocque was already running away when the drone turned to her. She quickly looked for an escape route. What she saw was disheartening. She was running out of roof and there was no exit. She could hear the drone behind giving chase. Thankfully it was designed for moving up and down quickly, not along. She could outrun it if she had room, but that was something that was running out quickly. Ahead she saw some old metal poles stacked in a pile. They looked like spare building materials. She ran to the pile and grabbed one. Like a javelin she threw it high. The pole arced down over the drone and clattered to the roof behind it. She grabbed another and threw that as the drone closed. This time the pole dropped onto the top of its starboard rotor. There was a smash and a grinding of metal as it span down, crashing into the roof. Its washer tanks splitting open and leaking into a bubbling pool. A few seconds later it fell through the roof as the acid ate through the metal structure. Nirocque walked to the edge and peered down into the medical centre. She now had a way back down.


The main view screen in the command centre flicked between shots of the various levels of the station. On all decks it was carnage. Every automated system, drone or robot was attacking anyone they could find. The camera showed a man crawling away from a lift, his legs missing with a trail of blood back up to the doors that had severed them. Another shot showed a deck almost fully underwater. Bloated corpses floated along the shop lined street before the screen flickered and showed static. The water obviously entering the cameras electronics and shorting them out. Another deck appeared to be completely vented into space.

"Engineering. Can you shut down main power?" the Commander asked.

"Negative sir. All primary and secondary control functions are being routed via the central core. Its in complete control."

"Thats impossible. The safeguards on that AI mean it cannot do this. We must be under attack! The AI has laws to stop it from hurting anyone!"

"Negative sir. There are no external active connections to the core. Its the AI sir, its operating on its own and its safety protocols are offline."

The Commander sat in his chair feeling impotent. His officers at the stations below were working hard to regain control of the station. However, for every minute that passed, dozens were dying.

"Why is it so damn hot in here?" he growled, running his hand through his damp hair. As he brought his hand down he saw that his palm was covered in damp hair. His face drained of colour.

"Engineering. Run a diagnostic on the ventilation system to the Command Centre." he said with urgency.

The room went silent. He stood and went over to the engineering console as the officer furiously typed in commands. A schematic appeared on the screen of the ventilation system. The Commander watched in horror as it highlighted the route back from the command centre down the stations core all the way to the main reactor.

"What is the status of the reactor shielding?" he asked in a resigned voice already knowing the answer.

"Oh my god. Shielding is down sir. Engineering has been flooded with hard radiation and....." the officer stopped as he realised.

Several staff ran for the door and tried to get out. The Commander didn't, he simply watched them. As expected the door was sealed tight.

"So that is that then." he said quietly.


Haalonen started to come around. She carefully opened one eye a slit. She had been placed in one of the salons treatment chairs but she wasn't tied like the others had been. The various androids were milling around, still obviously practicing their 'beauty' surgery on the helpless victims. She noticed a conduit access panel in the corner which led to the ventilation system. An ear-piecing scream erupted from the woman with the shattered legs as one of the droids pulled on her ankle trying to elongate the leg further and also straighten it out. Obviously these were trying to create what they thought was Ylomo's perfect woman. However a computer could not understand attraction or beauty. It simply reviewed the videos on Ylomo's computer and made mathematical assumptions from those.

The androids appeared to be engrossed in stretching the legs of the woman who had now passed out. Quietly Haalonen slipped off the chair and over to the conduit. As she slowly opened the panel door one of the hinges squeaked. The androids all turned and looked at her. Quickly she flung the access open and dived into the crawlspace. Crawling as fast as she could on her hands and knees she sped down the shaft. She looked behind and saw the androids trying to get in all at once. They were not designed to crawl and she was clear, for now.

To be continued.....


  1. Last para, "Quietly Ylomo" I believe it was meant to be "Quietly Haalonen".


    1. Many thanks. Given this bloody man-flu overheating my brain I'd be amazed if thats the only one I flamingo'd up on ;)