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Chapter Fourteen

ProFIRE sat, as he usually did, in his command seat on board the Exodus Run. The power system had finally been switched over to internal power. Now Demi could not detect him leaching energy from the power grid of the Algo Solar System.

The machine that had been made by humans and now wanted to destroy all humans stared into a view screen. He watched a video feed of the recent battle with Chaz and his allies that had been beamed to his console. The robot that had sent the images had been destroyed somehow. This annoyed ProFIRE only slightly. What interested him was how effective his modified repair mites had been. The small devices had completely incapacitated his foes. Unfortunately, not all of his foes had been in the same area. ProFIRE watched his enemies writhe in agony as the pain mites stimulated the nerves in their bodies to feel intense agony. He did not, however, watch this with any joy. Despite the need to eliminate his enemies, ProFIRE did not enjoy killing living, sentient beings.

ProFIRE would gladly let every human in the solar system live till their life functions ceased due to old age or other such debilitations. He knew that if humans were allowed to live they would only endanger the environment with their pollutants and trash. As a creature designed to maintain the environment of two worlds, he could not let such harmful creatures continue to spoil that wich he treasured.

* * * * *

Kyra stood there in the battle suit. Wren had ordered her not to approach her fallen comrades. She stared at the unconscious forms of her friends. Kyra conceded that at least they were no longer in pain. Or, if they were, they were no longer aware of it.

Kyra no crawled out of the battle suit that she had used to attack her own friends. She looked at the machine wich was even bigger than Wren. Wren had said that the device had been built for Demi. Kyra could not understand why a being as strong and resourceful as Demi needed a suit to make her even stronger. The device now stood motionless without anyone to pilot it.

Kyra sat on the ground a good distance from her comrades. She could see the little devices attached to their skin. A shiver ran over her body as she thought about the origins of the tiny machines. They had been made by a robot that had no feelings about other life forms. It had built these things for the sole purpose of causing pain in its enemies. Though Wren and Demi were machines themselves, Kyra felt they had more of a human heart than this other thing could ever imagine.

Kyra heard heavy footsteps behind her. She instinctively spun around and drew her slashers. She knew long before she brought her weapons to bear that the footsteps she heard belonged to Wren. Unfortunately for Wren, Kyra was in just the right mood to attack.

Kyra held her temper in check. She glared at Wren. His cool, emotionless eyes met hers with an eerie steadiness.

"Why did you have me shoot them?"

"By rendering them unconscious, you have prevented them from being aware of what is happening. If they were still conscious they would be driven to any means to stop the pain they were suffering."

Kyra looked at her friends again. She could see that even in their current state they were in pain. She could see Chaz's face twist in pain and anger. Rika looked as if she were screaming, but only small whimpers escaped her mouth.

"Now, Kyra. We have a new problem."

"As if we didn't have enough as it is. What's the new one?"

"A scan revealed that there are two types of device present. One for humans that have already attached themselves to their victims. There other are probably designed for beings like me. They are waiting till I walk into their scanner range. Neither you nor I can approach at the moment."

"So, how do we move them?"

"I am currently calculating that data. Until I formulate a resolution, I suggest we keep them unconscious."

* * * * *

Demi sat in a chair that was seldom used. Mainly because the chair allowed cyborgs and other AIs to directly link into Zelan's computers. Demi was currently scanning the planet Dezolis. She had assumed that since their first encounter with the FIRE unit was in the weapons plant that the aggressor's base of operations might well be on Dezolis. Time would tell that tail.

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