Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 8: Hovercar Shelter

This entry is part 8 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 8: Hovercar Shelter

No hum of a robotic power supply anywhere. No moving shadows along the ground. No white bursts or floating bubbles.

Kevin moved closer to the edge of the hovercar still hovering stationary over their heads. He paused, watching the area again. He could see more trees and sky now, and so far, nothing flying across them.

He froze. What was he doing? Going to go out into the open for the raiding Vordac robots to see him? So far, they’d been safe under the hovercar. They should stay there.

Christy sniffled. He felt her soft hand on his arm where he leveraged his upper body off the pavement.

Right. He needed to get her out of here before the robots came back through looking for the harder-to-find people. Like them, under their car.

Shaking with a terror threatening to take control of him, Kevin studied the area once more. Only then did he quickly move out from under the vehicle.

He didn’t stand up. He didn’t need to with the hovercar’s passenger side-door still open.

He crawled into the hovercar, staying as low as he could. The windows inside allowed more visibility, but not of the entire sky. Still, he could see the Vordac mothership still in the same position where it hovered over the other side of the park next to the high-rises of Central City. Around it flew the black flying dots he knew belonged to the Vordac raiding robots.

He jerked, nearly screaming as something grabbed his leg. He rolled to his side, jerking back, eyes wide…

Only to stare into the wide eyes of Christy.

Good grief. She’d scared him to death.

He beckoned her inside and then crawled towards the front of the hovercar. Christy climbed inside behind him and moved to hunker down behind the middle two seats.

She was in a better hiding place than him. The big front windshield allowed the sunlight to hit him straight on as he slipped in front of the front drivers seat.

He watched the sky, holding his breath. A black dot flew from one side of the park to the other, but made no sign of turning in their direction.

The sky clear, he poked his head up enough to see the console.

A console almost dark. The navigation computer he knew how to use. Even six-year-old Christy did, but it did not respond to his pokes.

He ducked down again, watching the sky. Okay, no navigation computer. The console still had power. There were lights on it. Just one part of the vehicle no longer worked.

Like Nanny-Bot. The Vordac pulse must have done something to it.

To the higher functions only?

Now, that would make sense. Kevin thought it over as he watched another robot fly by, this one closer than the one before.

Far too close. Looked like they were in a search pattern. Yeah, he needed to figure out how to get them out of here. The robots weren’t big enough to stop a hovercar as big as this one. If he could just get it moving, they might be okay.

Lower functions still working. Hovercar with the power to hover. Console still active. Not all hopeless. If he could figure out a way to use those assets.

Like the time his father had to drive it to a repair shop after the primary computer died?

Kevin caught his breath, remembering the controls that had come out of the console so the flight could be made manually. If he could get the controls to deploy, then they wouldn’t need the navigation computer to get away.

He watched the sky again through the windows, trying to remember how his father did it. Something on the console? Or along the side of the console?

He searched along the media console between the two front seats. Nothing there that he could see that might trigger the manual controls.

Nothing along the floor either. Or along the outside frame where it rose off the floor to form the side of the console and side of the window. The lever for popping open the hood definitely wouldn’t do it.

With the skies clear again, he rose enough to look at the console again. From right to left, he searched it for anything that might work. Something other than the text and graphic warnings of the systems no longer working.

A dark moving shape caught his eye. One closer than all the others. One flying through the air.

Flying straight at their hovercar.

TO BE CONTINUED…

***

Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 7: Raid In Progress

This entry is part 7 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 7: Raid In Progress

Kevin flung his weight against the door of the hovercar.

It flipped open suddenly, dumping both of them on the hard ground. The Vordac raiding robot’s arms extended out over their heads, barely missing them.

Christy reached for her doll Boo. Kevin grabbed her and rolled her over his own body towards the underside of the hovercar.

He couldn’t keep rolling. Not without hurting Christy. He made so much noise wriggling under the hovering vehicle. It wouldn’t do any good. He knew it, and yet he did it anyway.

He breathed hard, waiting for the robot to move the hovercar. To grab one or both of them out from under by the feet. He angled himself lengthwise under it, keeping Christy pulled close with his hand over her mouth.

The hum of the robot changed direction. Through the space towards the front of the vehicle he saw feet pounding along a sidewalk. A white burst, and the feet lifted from the ground, encased by the bottom of a bubble.

A siren started sounding again, but this time in the distance. Other screams, thuds, pounding steps. And the constant hum of the Vordac robots as they moved through the area, looking for biological cargo.

Kevin flinched at all of it, but kept his mouth clamped shut. No sign of the Morde yet, but that didn’t matter. Not with the other robots running around. No one here could fight them off. No way to defend themselves. Even if one of the police were here, there would be too many to fight off.

Could they stay underneath? Hide there until they left?

Christy put a hand up to his, tugging down on it. Only then did he realize he’d been pressing down so tight on her mouth.

She rolled to her stomach with Boo still grasped in one arm. With barely a whisper, she asked, “What do we do?”

He only shook his head, putting a finger up to her lips to shush her. He didn’t know what to do.

This sort of thing happened on other worlds, not Earth. And in the city closest to Galactic Patrol headquarters? How could they allow this to happen? Why weren’t they out here stopping it?

So few sounds outside anymore. His hyperactive imagination told him why. Either the people in the park had escaped by now, or were prisoners of the Vordac, on their way to the hovering mothership.

If they didn’t keep hiding, they would end up inside it, too.

The small rocks on the pavement bit into the palms of his hands and belly. Stay quiet. Stay still. Maybe they could still manage to get home tonight.

The ground shook. Just a little, but easy to feel with their bodies laid out over it.

Then a stronger thump.

An explosion? Something landing?

The shape-shifting Morde on the rampage?

He jerked at the sound of a sniff. He reached around Christy to cover her mouth again.

She took the movement as that of a hug, sliding closer to him. Her eyes filled with tears, spilling out to make tracks down both cheeks.

She leaned against him. He could tell by the way she covered her own mouth and the subdued sniffles that she was trying to stay quiet.

But, in the quiet of the park, it wasn’t quiet enough. Not with robots on the hunt.

“What do we do?” she whispered again, then clapped her hand over her mouth again. More tears.

Tears from brave little Christy. The little red-headed tornado in dresses, who could take on all three of her older brothers if she wanted. Who was game to do anything with them.

Crying, and asking him what to do. Looking to him to make the decision.

Kevin took a deep breath, pushing down on his own fears. Willing his own tearing eyes to remain clear. For Christy he would figure something out. There must be a way to get away. The Vordac weren’t invincible.

He glanced up at the bottom of the hovercar. His frozen brain slowly started to work again. Going over the possibilities.

What would he have a character in a video game do? What were the options? What had the best possibility of success? Other questions formed, and he automatically sorted them into priority. Just as he would when playing a game. Something so familiar to him.

Right. He could do this.

TO BE CONTINUED…

***

Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 6: Dead Nanny-Bot

This entry is part 6 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 6: Dead Nanny-Bot

In the midst of a downward scale of the siren, Nanny-Bot shouted, “Return to the hovercar!”

If it got them away from the sound, then he was happy to. Kevin turned and headed back.

A deep boom rippled through the air. So strange. Kevin could feel it travel through his chest and bones.

A split-second after a moving crackling line ran across the ground. It flowed around and over everything it touched. People, trees, even birds. The line reached up to flow over hovering cars and robots alike. His skin itched and pricked as it went over him. Christy shrieked, hugging Boo close to her stomach as if protecting it from the onslaught.

The siren stopped as suddenly as it started, leaving the park in a hushed silence.

One shattered by a loud nearby thud.

Kevin jumped, whirling around. Nanny-Bot lay against a trashcan, her articulated eyes shut. She slowly slid off the top to crash to the ground.

Their Nanny-Bot wasn’t the only one. Every robot he could see no longer moved. The taller ones tipped over. The smaller ones just sat down on the ground as if their hovering capabilities were suddenly gone.

Which didn’t make sense. The hovering mechanisms in the hovercars still worked. Not a one of them rested on the ground.

Christy pushed close to Kevin’s eyes, her doll clutched to her chest. She whispered, “What just happened?”

“I don’t know.” He gulped. It didn’t feel right to say anything into the silence.

It didn’t remain silent. The thump of a larger robot hitting the ground broke the spell.

People took to their flight once again. Most to the hovercars, but some into the trees. Towards whatever provided cover.

Wait, where did that thought come from?

“Uhoh,” Christy whispered, gazing up at the sky, her eyes big and unblinking.

Kevin had to force himself to look. Somehow, he knew he wouldn’t like what he saw.

The metallic-black hull of the circular ship moved slowly through the sky. It lowered itself down over the trees between them and the city. A big ship, from the looks of it. Only, it wasn’t the size that worried him.

It was the design. The needle-like points sticking out along the top. The portals opening along the bottom levels. Hatches lining the rounded edges. The plasma cannons pointing in all directions, parts of the hull bristling with the deadly weaponry.

The red and orange flame symbol on the side.

Vordac? Vordac here on Earth?

“I don’t believe it.” Saying it out loud didn’t make the ship disappear. It remained in the sky. Blocking out some of the sunshine and making the warm day suddenly cold. Lights blinked all over the hull, and then dark objects dropped away from it.

He knew what they were. Knew the larger thing that dropped out a hatch from the center of the underside of the big ship, too. Had seen it in news-vids from so many other worlds during other attacks.

A Morde. An armor-clad shape-shifting creature the Vordac used as one of their primary land invasion soldiers. Taller than any of the trees in the park, it inspired a level of terror inside Kevin he’d never experienced before. So big. So strong. So little could stop it.

“What is it, Kevin? What do we do?” Christy asked, hugging into his side even harder.

“Vordac, and we get out of here.” Kevin grabbed her free hand and pulled her in the opposite direction.

New shouts and screamed accompanied the whistling sound of dark robots flying overhead. White streaming bursts flew through the air. A bird fluttered and cawed from inside the bubble that wrapped around it as a white streamer hit it.

Containment bubbles. They wanted people alive. That meant only one thing. A slave raid. Something that happened out on the fringe worlds, but not on Earth! Not the same planet the Galactic Patrol Headquarters was stationed on!

The reasons why this could not be happening flew through Kevin’s mind as he and Christy ran back to the parking lot, but they could not counteract the reality.

The Vordac were here, and they were on the hunt.

Christy screamed and dropped to the ground as a shadow passed over them. Kevin nearly tripped from her dragging him down.

He felt something move past his head as he went down.

“Keep going,” he shouted to her. If they could make the hovercar, they could get out of the area. It was already working for others.

Christy scrambled to her feet, following him as fast as her short legs could manage. A moving shadow gave just enough warning to dodge to the side. A white streamer hit the pavement next to them, blossoming out into an empty bubble.

Too close.

He ducked at a squeal from Christy as they reached the front of the hovercar. A bubble formed on the top of the hovercar to float into the sky with nothing more than few bugs inside.

Christy scrambled inside the open door with Kevin close behind. Out of the corner of his eyes he saw a metal snake with a robotic hand at the end shoot out to where he’d once stood.

The dark shadow of it lowering to their level? Kevin’s heart thudded as he fumbled to get to the other side of the inside of the hovercar, their safety inside soon to become a prison if they didn’t move fast.

His backpack fell to the floor. He left it there as he grabbed the handle of the opposite door along with Christy’s small hands.

Behind them, he could hear the menacing hum of the robot’s power supply. Just behind them, reaching in with those long snake-like arms.

TO BE CONTINUED…

***

Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

New Release: Once Upon a Pet Show (A Redpoint One Romance)

(Oops. Just realized I’ve already announced this release. Oh well, you get to see it again! 😛 )

Once Upon a Pet ShowDoes love stand a chance among alien pets and intrigues?

Vallory Schist does not care about winning a prize at Redpoint One’s annual Exotic Pet show. She must quickly find her rare Etrucian Daubpups a new habitat, and an attraction to Damien cannot get in the way.

Failing life-support systems at both the show and station keep engineer Damien Lysander busier than ever. Then he encounters Vallory and her heat-sensitive daubpups… and the fireworks when they are together.

Add into the mix the nosy Naughty Knitter’s Club, interfering repair bots, a series of pet-nappings, and daubpups who will not stay in their cages…

How can love not bloom?

Other Redpoint One Titles:
Coffee Cup Dreams
A Turn of the Pipes
Once Upon a Pet Show

(Yes, this is as silly and fun as it sounds! 😀 )

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Drive Thru Fiction | Google Play | Kobo | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 5: No Gaming Here

This entry is part 5 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

You can read the story serially on this website for free, or purchase and read it now in ebook.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | DriveThruFiction | Google Play | Kobo | Omnilit | Smashwords | Xinxii

***

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 5: No Gaming Here

Kevin glared back at the Nanny-Bot. Sometimes she sounded way too much like a human. Right down to inflections that were sure to get a kid’s attention. But then, she was probably programmed that way.

“I’m not playing a game,” Kevin said with one last glare before going back to work. “Looking at the sport’s program information.”

Hoping to find something that he would like. Something he might have a hope of being good at. Or at least not make a total fool of himself.

Despite already having gone over it before. Despite knowing himself and his two-left-feet tendencies.

Christy leaned over the armrest of her seat. “Nope, he’s not. No gaming there.”

“Thanks,” Kevin mumbled as he went back to work while Nanny-Bot apologized for the misunderstanding.

After a few more minutes he wished he could escape into a game. Nothing looked promising. Nothing he wanted to spend several weeks this summer doing.

“There. Doesn’t Boo look pretty?” Christy held out the doll towards Kevin.

A smiling face framed by long dark combed hair stared back at him with glass eyes. She wore a pink and white dress with lace trimmings. The harder arms and legs stuck out, as if about to give Kevin a big hug.

“Pretty. Going to have tea with the fairies?” Kevin asked, glad his brothers were already at their programs. They didn’t understand Christy still needing someone to play tea-party with her. Ever since Greg’s last birthday, he’d decided he was too old for it, which left only him.

Christy sucked in her breath, eyes going wide. “What a great idea!” She pulled Boo back to give her a big hug. “Yes! We’re going to tea with the fairies today!”

Which should keep the Nanny-Bot busy following Christy all over the edge of the playing fields at the park. In a way, he wished he could join her. It would probably be more fun, especially with Christy’s vivid imagination.

The hovercar came around a high-rise, the windows reflecting the morning sun. On the other side lay an expanse of green and blue. One of the many parks surrounding Central City in the midst of a sea of desert turned green and useful by the pipelines bringing in water from the coast.

Heat. He hadn’t thought about it. How hot was it supposed to get today? The water and green of the park should help, but the temperatures could still make playing outside miserable.

The hovercar circled the park to the far side, and then started to drop to a parking area. Not as many vehicles there as he would have thought. Wasn’t this one of the biggest sports programs in the city for kids his age?

The hovercar came down neatly into one of the parking spots. Nanny-Bot turned her front chair towards them as the engines cycled down. “We have arrived.”

“Yay! Time to find the fairies.” Christy opened the side door next to her.

Moving more slowly, Kevin opened the door on his side and slipped out. He stood on the green-tinted pavement and looked around. Other kids, other parents, and even other Nanny-Bots of different configurations were in the process of moving towards the park grounds.

Right. Time to get as excited about this as so many of the others appeared. Smile. Head for the fields and the waiting tables. Sign in. Then out to try his skills on each of the offered sports. Maybe he would surprise himself. Maybe he could find something he was good enough at that he wasn’t always the last one picked for teams.

Maybe if he kept telling himself those things, he would one day believe it.

“To the fairy woods!” Christy shouted as she came to a stomping-stop in front of the hovercar. “Come on, Kevin. Time to have fun.”

He gripped the strap of his backpack harder. “Right. Is Boo ready for your tea?”

“We’re both ready.” She paused her happy shouts as Nanny-Bot came to a stop next to her.

“Remember, we stay together,” Nanny-Bot said. She took Christy’s hand and started walking into the park. Kevin trailed behind them.

“Then that means you have to have tea with us,” Christy said to her.

Kevin stared at the tables set among the trees a short distance away. Kids, parents, and nanny-bots crowded them. Other kids were already out on the field, playing around until the official start time.

Time to make it happen. Time to do it, and hope he didn’t totally humiliate himself.

“Time to-” Nanny-Bot’s words were drowned out by a piercing siren.

It wound up to a high pitch, and then down. Kevin and Christy clapped their hands over their ears. It didn’t help. The siren went right through his head, making him want to do anything to get away from it.

People started running from the park towards the parking lot. Kids and adults screamed as they went, but the siren continued to drown them all out.

Why the running? There was no smoke anywhere. Nothing to indicate an emergency.

Nanny-Bot turned and pushed them back towards the hovercar. Just like all the others.

What was wrong?

TO BE CONTINUED…

***

Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

Support the story by throwing a tip my way if it makes you happy. Buy my other books for more reading joy. Comments have been known to result in warm fuzzies. Spread the word, tell a friend, or add a link to the story for even more. So many ways to gather warm happy fuzzies!

Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.