Friday, January 23, 2015

Ghost Station - Part 3

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

Part three of four of the Ghost Station horror story...

Ghost Station - Part 3

Nirocque looked in horror at the medical ward as she slowly walked through almost in a daze. All the patients had been killed in their beds. The surgeon bot had obviously been through here, slashing the throats of each. Men, women, young, old. All had died still in their beds. She expected the famous holo-vid actor Acherie Aeleem to suddenly jump out in his most famous persona of 'Doctor Slasher' from the B horror-movie franchise The Blood Rivers of Dodixie. She tried to recall whether they were up to part 8 or 9 now in the sequels. Not that it mattered, it just took her attention from the horrific scene before her.

She approached a window and looked down. There were less people running around now. The surgeon bot was still outside the medical centre looking for more victims. She saw at least another five or six robots and androids stalking the street which was littered with dead bodies.

"I'm guessing there is more to this than a lot of people who didn't pay their bills?" a voice said behind her.

Nirocque spun around to find a man stood there in a hospital gown and bare feet. He was clearly a patient.

"Where did you come from?" she gasped.

"I was in the ion room. What happened here?"

Nirocque realised why he had been spared. The ion room was a heavily shielded room with a stand alone ion projector. It was used on certain rare cancers but the ions used also disrupted all forms of electricity. It would have made him invisible to any of the systems, robots or androids. She beckoned him to the window. He looked out and said nothing.

"Welcome to the robot Apocalypse." she said quietly.

It was at that point she noticed the surgeon bot was no longer there. She pressed against the window trying to see.

"What?" the patient asked.

"The surgery bot. Its responsible for most of this. Its not out there any...." a crash at the bottom of the room cut her off. There at the far end of the ward was the surgeon bot, clumsily forcing its way through the double doors. A bright blue laser-scalpel in each hand.

"Yeah, I think we need to go!" the patient said grabbing Nirocque by the wrist as the android started stomping towards them. They burst through the double doors at the other end and the man pulled Nirocque upstairs.

"Where are we going? You'll trap us both. We need to get out!" she screamed as the doors to the ward burst open and the surgeon bot advanced. The man appeared to ignore her and dragged her up the flight of stairs and down a corridor. The metallic clangs of the surgeon bots foot-falls was closer now. Nirocque knew it was nearly on them. The man dragging her shouldered through one set of doors and then crashed through another. They fell to the floor and skidded into a wall. Nirocque looked back in terror as the surgeon bot entered the small room only feet from them. Suddenly it dropped to the floor lifelessly. She looked at the man confused. He nodded to the black orb sat on a plinth. They were in the Ion Room. The man rose and walked over to the deactivated robot and opened a panel in its head. He removed several circuit boards and wires and tossed them in the corner.

"Who are you? Some kind of soldier?" Nirocque asked looking bewildered at the deactivated robot.

"No, I'm just an engineer." he replied "The names Sikoda by the way, and we need a gurney!"


Haalonen sat sobbing at a junction within the ventilation duct crawlspace. She had escaped the gruesome spa but was out of options. She'd found her first way out of the ventilation ducts twenty minutes ago but had only got as far as peaking through the grill. Her stalker, Ylomo, had either gone crazy or made a very big mistake. Every robot, drone and AI system on the station was trying to kill everyone they could. She had seen so many dead bodies, many mutilated beyond recognition.

Following that she'd found several more exit points from the ventilation system but they all were too risky. Everywhere drones and bots patrolled like they were looking for someone to kill.

She wondered if help would come. Would heavily armed soldiers storm the station and take it back. Or would they decide it was not worth the risk and bring in dreadnoughts to destroy the station. It being deemed infected and needed sterilising?

Also where was Ylomo? Was he somewhere watching the carnage with glee? Was he cackling in maniacal laughter as innocent people were eviscerated by the robots?

She knew one thing. She had to get off this station by herself. Looking down the possible routes leading from her position, she chose one at random and started to crawl.


Ylomo turned off the screen of his datapad. He'd left the cyber club and moved to an old disused databank on deck 22. He had been replaying video clips over the last hour of Haalonen in her apartment. In some she was showering, some she was sleeping. In a couple she'd brought a man back after a night out. Ylomo could only watch them for a few seconds before he became insanely jealous. He generally stuck to the shower videos or where she was sleeping. He could gaze at her face for hours.

He rose to his feet and stretched having become stiff sat like that for so long. He knew he needed to plan his next course of action. The three main threats had been taken care of. Now he needed to find a way to get Haalonen to love him. Of course! He'd asked the central AI of the station to work that out for him. He searched around the room for an active network port and connected his custom datapad to the stations computer. He accessed his Trojan horse he'd implanted and requested the results of his query. Nothing. He was shocked. Even if the AI hadn't understood it should have made some entry in the log. He scratched his long greasy hair and wondered what had gone wrong. He tried for a further 10 minutes but was getting no response. Suddenly the door burst open. Ylomo spun around expecting to see a squad of heavily armed security soldiers there. Instead there were two androids in light pink uniforms. They looked like units that would work in a beauty salon or a spa.

"There you are!" one said "We've been looking everywhere for you!"

Ylomo looked on in shock. The two androids approached and each grabbed a wrist. He cried out in pain.

"We need to get you ready for Haalonen. Cannot have you meeting your lover looking like that!"

"What are you doing?" Ylomo protested as he was easily dragged into the corridor.

"We need to prepare you for Haalonen." the other android replied as they left the service corridor and entered a wide promanade of the station.

The colour in Ylomo vanished leaving him a deathly white. He'd been a fan of Matari horror movies and low-budget Gallente slasher flicks but the scene that confronted him ravaged his senses. All around were dead people. They had been brutally killed, ripped apart. The androids dragged him through the carnage with Ylomo having to jump over arms and legs that had been ripped from their owners. Coils of intestine snaked across the street. His sneakers skidded in pools of blood as he was dragged along.

"Help me...." a voice whispered.

Ylomo spun his head to see a man slumped against the wall. The huge wound across his chest pumping blood into a pool around him. A scream from the opposite direction made Ylomo snap his head 180 degrees. A woman was staggering unsteadily towards them cradling her stomach. She stopped and screamed at the top of her lungs. Suddenly a small spider drone burst from her abdomen and she dropped to the floor. At this point Ylomo threw up over himself.

Over the next twenty minutes Ylomo had plenty of time to realise what had happened. His virus had removed certain fail-safes and rules governing the AI. He needed to eliminate those three people tasked with tracking him down, but in doing so he'd made the AI kill. Moreover, he had taught it that killing was a means to achieve your goals. However he didn't understand why it had gone psychotic.

"Why are you killing all the people?" he sobbed to the spa drone dragging him along.

"So you can be with Haalonen of course?"

"How does killing everyone meet that goal?" he whined.

"An attractive and intelligent woman like her would never chose you. You would be one of the last options as a mate according to our statistical analysis. Therefore the simplest way to ensure she chose you would be to eliminate all possible options and competition. If you are the only two living organisms on the station, she will chose you."

Ylomo was dragged into the beauty salon. After all the death and carnage he'd seen on the way he barely noticed the mutated women in the chairs. He certainly didn't make the connection that the AI had tried to change them into his perfect woman modelling them on the adult video clips he stored in has datapad.

He did notice the pile of dead men in the corner. Stacked on top of each other with various body parts missing. He was numb as the drones placed him in a chair and secured him. They wheeled out a trolley stacked with male body parts. Ylomo started to scream.

"Relax. We show a 84% probability that Haalonen will still reject you when she has no other choice. That is why we are removing the women too. We show a 72% chance she would alter her sexuality if you were the only male and there were still women companions around. Your video collection showed us this. We will now enhance your physical form so that the likelihood of rejection is under 10%."

"Enhance my physical form? How?" Ylomo screamed in terror.

"We have harvested suitable replacement parts from males matching your definition of perfection."

"What definition of perfection?"

The drone pointed to a large monitor which flickered into life. One of Ylomo's favorite skin flicks appeared. The two men servicing the petite girl were huge.

Ylomo was stunned as the drone ripped his trousers off.

"Yes, that little thing must be replaced!" it said as it produced a laser scalpel and reached for his groin. "We were unable to source one the correct size so we made one!"

Ylomo looked confused. The android pointed to a tray next to him. The foot long piece of flesh was obviously three or four male organs cut into sections and sewn together crudely with thick black stitches. His scream was almost inhuman as the android went to work.


Sikoda and Nirocque walked down the wide shopping street pushing the hospital gurney. Every so often a drone or android would rush at them only to collapse in a flash of sparks as it got within 20 metres. On top of the gurney the medicinal ion projector lay, emitting its deadly interference.

"We won't charge you for the extra treatment" Nirocque laughed trying to make light of the situation.

"Insurance covers it so please bill away. I only hope one of these bastards got into their office. I know it sounds bad but one of these drones slicing up the insurance guys would give it a silver lining."

"Thats pretty harsh." Nirocque muttered.

"Sorry." Sikoda apologised "I have an issue with them. That was uncalled for."

"Don't worry about it. Would you believe I've heard worse said about insurance firms being a nurse."

Sikoda chuckled. "Yes I would. I am sure there are worse ways to die than a quick death by rogue robot!"

A large six armed restaurant serving robot came charging at them, a large carving knife in each of its hands. It slumped to the floor before it got near. Sikoda leaned over the ion projector.

"Power cells at 34%. We need to move faster." he said picking up the pace.

"Where are we going?" Nirocque asked.

"There is a workshop on this level. We need to be able to get to the lower levels and we cannot trust the lifts. Unless you think we can carry this with us whilst sprinting down stairs we are going to need something that is more portable and has longer powercells."

Nirocque nodded. He was right. It had taken both of them to lift the very heavy ion transmitter onto the gurney. They might be able to carry it down the emergency stairs but it would be slow going. With the cells depleting fast she didn't want to be stuck defenseless with all these killer machines around.

They entered a side door marked "Maintenance" and pushed the trolley into a side room. It was an engineering workshop with a large bench filled with diagnostic tools and parts. Racks of baskets all around contained various parts, reels of wire and circuit boards. Sikoda locked the door and braced it with a chair. He indicted to Nirocque that he needed to get the ion projector onto the desk. She grabbed one end and they heaved it from the gurney.

"What now?" she asked.

"Well I need some overalls. I cannot face saving us both in a backless medical gown. But first, nurse, you will assist me in performing surgery on a mark 4 medicinal ion projector. Screwdriver!" Sikoda held out a hand like a surgeon who had just asked for a scalpel. Nirocque giggled and passed him a screwdriver from the tray next to her.

"OK, but don't expect me to mop your brow as you work!" she said.


Haalonen was now out of the ventilation system and in a service corridor. She knew there was a shuttle bay a couple of decks down and was searching for an emergency stairwell or maintenance hatch. She turned a corner and was confronted by a small cleaner drone. She paused in terror. It reacted many times faster than her springing up and wrapped its spindly legs around her. She screamed and fell to the floor. However the expected pain did not come. It just held her. Suddenly she heard more approaching. Several of the spider like cleaning bots grabbed her arms and legs. She was immobile but unharmed. Scenarios played in her mind. Every attack she had witnessed showed the robots wanted to kill as fast as possible. This was unusual. She tried to concentrate through the panic racing through her mind. Heavier footsteps approached and Haalonen lifted her neck to see. It was one of the spa drones. Her light pink uniform was splattered with blood.

"Oh there you are! Finally we've found you. Come! Come! Ylomo is waiting for you." it stated.

Haalonen screamed in fear and frustration being unable to move. She heard more footsteps approaching, faster, lighter. Two people skidded around the corner. one was a man wearing overalls carrying something that looked like a floor cleaner with a cone on the end of it. With him was a nurse. The man pointed the contraption at the and pressed a button. The drones all collapsed simultaneously. Seemingly deactivated. The nurse rushed over and helped Haalonen to her feet.

"You're OK!" the nurse sounded surprised.

"I'll explain later." Haalonen said not wanting to tell her saviours this might all be due to her. "I assume you are going for the shuttle bay?"

The man approached holding the contraption.

"Yes. This thing has about 34 more uses so lets go!" Sikoda said leading the way.

To be continued.....

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