Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 12: Uncontrolled Flight

This entry is part 12 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 12: Uncontrolled Flight

Kevin’s eyes grew rounder and wider the closer the building came. Christy gasped, pushing back into her seat as if to move away from it.

“Turn, turn, turn…” Christy’s chant grew louder with each word, her hands gripping the bottom of her seat as the building grew bigger in the front windshield.

Kevin moved the left control, tilting it to the right. The hovercar swerved in the same direction.

A too tight and abrupt a turn, but they were no longer heading for the building. Instead, the nose of the hovercar aimed at a different one.

“Sorry!” Kevin tilted the control again and letting up on the right throttle lever. Christy started shouting again.

They turned to the left, the glass, metal, and composite outer surface of buildings passing by on Christy’s side. A good turn, and one not as harsh as the previous one. But, it seemed that no matter what he did, they ended up heading in a direction he didn’t want to go. With something else laying in their path.

Which was right now into the heart of Central City. A maze of buildings and the walkways extending between them filled his vision. The infrastructure of the city had never looked so menacing before.

A million places to crash into. A million obstacles. He didn’t even have a map of the place. Riding through it and driving were two different things. How did he get out of this maze?

The next movement of the controls sent them down to where walkways created a web stretching between buildings. Turning side-to-side didn’t only matter here. So did altitude up and down.

Christy went silent as he desperately moved the controls to avoid each new threat. Tried to keep them from splattering against a walkway or into the side of a building. He didn’t dare take his attention off of what was in front of them to see if she was okay. A fraction of a second could send them to their deaths.

A dark shape zoomed by them as he made another turn. The shape and color told him one more thing. The Vordac raiding robots had now moving into the city. He hoped the citizens were under cover by now.

Another swerve. Two of the robots flew by where he’d once been. Chasing them?

A new fear gripped him. Maybe the things could catch a hovercar and stop it when in flight. Maybe they were chasing them down. He’d only guessed a hovercar would be too big.

A Vordac robot exploded in a fireball of shrapnel. Other robots swerved out of the way. Kevin caught a glimpse of the source. A defensive weapon turret on top of one of the taller buildings in the area fired in several directions at once.

He just focused on not hitting anything. Hoping the city defenses didn’t accidentally fire on them. If only he could turn and see a path out of the city. Out into areas he wouldn’t hit anything and he could set the hovercar to go as fast as it could away from anything Vordac.

The shriek of solid objects scraping against each other filled the inside of the hovercar. Christy clapped her hands over her ears as they passed under the bottom of a walking bridge between two buildings. Kevin couldn’t protect his ears, not with needing both hands firmly on the controls. All he could do was try to angle the hovercar away from the bridge and hope the encounter hadn’t damaged the hovercar more than it already was.

“We’re in trouble,” Christy howled.

So long as they were alive to get in trouble. Kevin would take punishment. Ground him for a few weeks. Heck, make it a few months so he could stay at home. A year, even.

Turn! A thump along the side told him how close he’d come to one of the robots. Another dent in the hovercar to explain.

Christy was clutching her seatbelt now, turning her head fast side-to-side to watch out the windows at the fast-moving scenery. “One on the right!”

Kevin didn’t look. He just turned the opposite way when an opening in a building allowed him to. Or at least, he tried.

He turned too hard, forcing him to jerk the other way to keep from hitting the corner of a building.

“Behind us!” Christy shouted.

A burst of red exploded against the side of a building. Kevin’s hands twitched in response, sending them down towards the maze of walkways again.

Another explosion. Too big to come from the small raiding robots intent on finding biological targets. It must be from the Morde. Moving into the city now? Not good.

Another explosion, and the defensive fire from the top of one of the buildings ceased in a billowing fireball and plume of mushrooming smoke. No more city protection would come from that location this raid.

“Still behind us!”

Kevin managed to fly them under a walkway and back up to clearer air. Only, they were flying too straight up. It pressed them into their seats, upsetting his stomach. Not unlike a carnival ride, but this one was far too real.

A twitch, and they started to roll over backwards. Kevin shoved the left joystick forward, bringing the nose down so suddenly that he lifted from the seat, held in only by the seatbelt.

Christy keened as he struggled with the flight controls.

The hovercar shuddered. A pop and bang came from behind. His ears rang. Pieces of transparent tinted material flew forward to land on the dash and floor. Air whistled, filling the inside of the hovercar with its shrill whine.

In the mirror at the top of the windshield between the seats he caught sight of the damage. The entire back window busted out, with a raiding robot right on their tail.

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 11: Manual Control

This entry is part 11 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 11: Manual Control

“It’s coming!” Christy screamed.

He didn’t need her to tell him. Kevin tripped on his way to the driver’s seat behind the main console. Even before settling himself he jerked the throttle lever backwards.

The hovercar shot backwards. The momentum caused him to hit the front dash and then bounce off the front passenger seat. Christy squealed as the sudden move knocked her off her seat to bounce off the floor and the interior of the hovercar.

A hard metallic thud sounded on the roof. A dark shadow flew over the front of the hovercar. The vehicle slid to a stop, once again in the parking lot. Kevin cringed, waiting for one of the windows to be blown out.

Kevin pushed up from the floor, his arm slipping off the top of the console. His forearm caught the left joystick, pulling it backwards, even as his hip bumped the right throttle lever. The hovercar angled into the air with the nose high, rising above the trees.

“We’re flying!” Christy shouted as she clutched the back of a seat to keep from falling into the back of the hovercar.

“Get into a seat,” Kevin shouted back even as he struggled to get into his.

The hovercar flattened, allowing him to finally get into the seat and put the seatbelt on to prevent himself from falling out again. Or to keep him in place in case a robot managed to bust out a window or open a door to get inside. Give him time to fight off the arms trying to pull him out.

He shivered at the thought. No time for waking nightmares. He had a big problem in the here-and-now. High in the air, and still no idea what to do. Enough other robots in the air give him a fresh round of panic. He fumbled to get the seatbelt to come together properly, stopping when something bulky rose out of the trees filling the park.

Black and dark-blue, with weapons pointing out from its heavy shoulder armor and a cannon held in one hand, it swiped in the air with the other. The dark shape of a raiding robot flew back into the air, tumbling end over end towards the Vordac mothership.

Such a big thing. Horrible to watch move and change shape, and yet he couldn’t look away. So many muscles. Armored, with weapons sticking out everywhere. The shape rippled as it collapsed down into the trees. The arm folded against the body with the cannon aimed straight ahead.

The Morde did not disappear into the trees this time. It ducked down, and then rose above them, the basic shape changed. Stumpy legs and arms folded against the body, creating the shape of a rounded hovering tank. One with weapons all over it.

Kevin grasped the controls of the hovercar as the Morde slowly turned in a circle, as if surveying the area. He didn’t want to be there when it circled towards them.

He pushed the throttle lever forward only a small bit. The hovercar moved forward, as he hoped, but in the wrong direction.

“Why are you flying towards it?” Christy demanded. She appeared next to him, hugging at the back of the front passenger seat with both arms.

“I told you to get in a seat!”

“I’m trying!”

Kevin let go of the throttle lever. It moved back to a neutral position and the hovercar started to slow. A twitch of the left joystick sent the hovercar veering to the right.

Towards the city. Also not where he wanted to go, but at least it wasn’t in the direction of the Morde. Small comfort. Way too many things to hit in that sea of buildings and structures.

Christy climbed into the seat and grabbed for the seatbelt. “We need to get to Mom.”

“No, we need to get out of here. Mom will find us after this is all over.” Kevin ignored Christy’s sudden protests. It was up to him to get them to safety, and he had bad news about the possibility. Something he didn’t want to admit to Christy.

He had no idea how to fly this thing, and they were now heading straight for a high-rise building.

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.

Mother Hen Update

An update on Mother Hen is way overdue. Let’s just say that between insurance issues, doctors appointments, and helping to take care of her, there hasn’t been much time for the writing side of life. That includes the blog (thank goodness I have the entire serial scheduled to post automatically until done).

So, we get really good health insurance. What happens? Everyone BUT THE SURGEON takes it. And the surgeon wants all the money up front. No way could that happen. So, we went into yet another holding pattern until Mother Hen turned 65 and got on Medicare. I thought that would fix it.

Um, yeah right.

I won’t go into details, but lets just say that both Medicare and Medicaid did a few strange things that took a bunch of time on phone calls to straighten out. One day I was on the phone for so long that it depleted the battery of my cell phone completely. I think at least 4 hours? That’s way too much time on the phone!

Right now, the surgery is scheduled for this Tuesday. It’s been scheduled and rescheduled so many times that I refuse to believe it will happen until it actually happens.

Mother Hen is nervous, of course. Anyone would be with the prospect of brain surgery. So, we’ve been giving lots of hugs and I-love-you’s. If all goes well, she will have surgery Tuesday morning and be home by Friday.

As for the writing, I’m not going to stress about it right now. Mother Hen needs the attention. I’ll get what I can done and be happy with it. The writing will be there waiting afterwards. 🙂

Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 10: Hunting Humans

This entry is part 10 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 10: Hunting Humans

“Christy!” Kevin rushed for the door, reaching out to his little sister.

She reached out for him, as well. Already out of reach, clutched and screaming to the side of the angular Vordac robot hovering over the nearby sidewalk. A sidewalk Kevin had dreaded crossing only a short time before. How he wished his biggest worry for the day was how badly he would do in sports. He would give anything to only have that worry again.

Another arm snaked out. Aimed right inside the hovercar. Aimed right at him.

Kevin ducked and jumped out. The arm brushed his back, pushing him to the side, causing him to trip as he hit the ground. His hand slammed down on the side of the hovercar as he fell.

“Kevin! Get away!” Christy screamed, as if calling him and warning him at the same time.

Somehow he kept from completely falling on his face. The metal robot arm thunked against the interior of the hovercar while he twisted and ran away from it. Into a park where no organic willingly went into right now.

His surroundings blurred into greens, the tan of the sidewalks, the gray of the parking lot, to the dark of the robots hunting in the park. So many obstacles, and not enough places to hide.

Out in the open now. He would get captured for sure. Both him and Christy, never to see their family again.

His feet tangled, stopping his headlong flight. He crashed to the ground on something with smooth but unforgiving curves. His back came to rest against something else, something that made noise and echoed as it bounced against him.

Even as he struggled to right himself, he realized what he’d tumbled into. Nanny-Bot and the garbage can she fell against when the raid first started.

Trapped between them, with the front of the hovercar another barrier in a third direction, Kevin twisted and shoved with hands and feet. The trash can rolled away just as he managed to get Nanny-Bot on her side. She rolled back down on him, her weight surprising.

The snake-arm shot forward again. Kevin ducked down, flattening himself as much as possible, rolling Nanny-Bot away to give himself more room. Maybe he could wiggle under the front of the hovercar again.

The arm caught the arm of Nanny-Bot where it was still held out from her attempt to lead Kevin and Christy back to the hovercar. Nanny-Bot flew off of Kevin and into the air. As Christy beat on the side of the robot with her tiny fists, the robot tilted in the direction of Nanny-Bot.

Too heavy for it, too?

Maybe not, it was still in the air. And it still had his sister.

Kevin’s elbow hit a sharp edge. The top of the garbage can, having come off when it fell to the side. He picked it up and flung it towards the robot, shouting, “Let her go!”

The lid didn’t go anywhere he intended. It flew into the air, and then veered off to the right. The swiveling head of the robot tracked its flight as it continued to pull up Nanny-Bot. The weapons on the side of the body tilted, moving to follow the path.

Christy wriggled, putting both hands up at once. Straight up. As she would when Mom was dressing her.

Kevin ran forward as her wriggle grew more violent. With a sudden drop, she slid out of the metal arms without her dress.

He got under her just in time, floundering as her weight hit him. He didn’t know how he kept his feet, but he did. Caught her, and turned.

As if in slow-motion, he ran for the hovercar, a shivering Christy in his arms. Her arms came around his neck, threatening to strangle him in their fierce grip.

He threw her into the closest seat as soon as he reached the open door. He scrambled in, slamming the door down behind him.

A metal arm hit the window, bouncing off. Kevin didn’t pause. He dared not. A robot like that? It could open a hovercar door easily. Bust out a window if they stayed still. It still wanted them.

Too bad. It wouldn’t get another chance at them. Not if he could help it.

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 9: Dark Doom

This entry is part 9 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 9: Dark Doom

Kevin’s eyes widened. His throat closed and mouth went dry.

The black shape with glowing red optical sensors staring straight at him. Flying so fast. Weapons on each side of its angular body, with multiple arms, each with a different function. Dangerous functions, and ones he wanted nothing to do with.

A Vordac robot, getting far too close and personal.

“It’s coming,” came Christy’s strangled whisper at the dark menacing shape holding their doom.

He returned his full attention to the console, their time now up. The manual controls! Where were they? He rose on his knees, no longer needing to hide under the console while waiting for a safe time to poke his head up. No need to hide now.

It must be here! Somewhere!

An alternating yellow and green light on the console flashed at him. A warning not to use except in case of emergency. Kevin jammed a thumb down on it, sending a jarring pain through his finger and hand.

Two round indents on the bottom edge of the console flipped open. White shapes moved out. One turned into a simple joystick, while the other became a rolling throttle lever atop a ball-joint. The one of the right hit his head before he could get out of the way.

“Manual controls deployed,” a female computer voice said from the console. For the first time, he felt a bit of hope. He now has the controls. All he had to do now was figure out how they worked.

“Kevin?”

“Stay down and hold on.” He put an arm on the seat to get enough room to use them, when his shoulder hit the throttle lever on the right. It moved forward in a smooth arc.

The hovercar shot forward in response.

Kevin fell backwards, his middle going over the bottom of the driver’s seat. Christy cried out her protest at the sudden movement. Something hard impacted on the roof, and then was gone. Another thump came from against the front of the vehicle.

The throttle lever moved on its own back to a neutral position. The hovercar slid to a rest, now inside the park instead of in the parking lot. Kevin struggled to pull himself out of the footwell and into the space between the two front seats.

Christy poked her head forward. “It worked?”

“Sorta. Stay there.” Sorta. The controls worked. They must have hit the robot as they flew forward. It knew beyond a doubt that they were there now. It would recover and come back. They needed to not be there when it did.

Now he just had to find a way to get the controls to do what he wanted. If only the Nanny-Bot was awake. She would know how to fly it manually. Only, they didn’t have her. Which meant it was up to him.

Kevin reached for one of the passenger doors and slammed it shut. Blocking out the danger outside.

“I’ll get the other one. Fly!” Christy whispered, crawling forward.

Right. Fly. Get them out of there. Get them to safety.

Wait, a hum?

Kevin turned on a knee, ignoring how the end of a safety belt dug into it. A metal arm snaked forward, wrapping twice around Christy’s middle where she was on her knees reaching up to shut the remaining open hovercar door.

She screamed as the arm jerked out of the vehicle. Boo dropped to the floor and rolled under one of the seats.

Where once his sister was, now there was nothing. Only her screams fading as the Vordac robot pulled her away.

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.