The six engineers of Bot City cross the wasteland in a desperate attempt to gain the trained pilots for the bots they are driving need. While the women can make the bots move, they don’t know how to use them as weapons. That is a skill that the original pilots had, and they need.
Xaia’s teeth were jarring with every step. “Is there any way we can reduce the impact?”
Ai chuckled. “Yes, but this involves running through the dark.”
“Do we have lights?”
“How long will they last?”
“Two years at full capacity.”
Xaia snorted. “Let’s shed some light on the situation.”
“I will warn the others. Striding along in the dark isn’t safe.”
Xaia could hear the static of him speaking with the other bots. She found the circuit for the lights, and she hit it.
The desert that had only been illuminated by night vision and moonlight was now bathed in light. Creatures that shunned light ran for the cover of shadows. Kab put his light on as well, and with the better view of the world around them, they began their run.
* * * *
Hima was supported by Len, and she could feel the repairs that were being made to her body. The steady impact of the feet of the two-hundred-foot bot jarred her with every stride, but it was surprisingly comfortable.
“Len, are you sedating me?”
“I am. I am trying to keep you functioning.”
She sighed. “Fine. I am not a fan of sedation.”
“Then if you can control your pain receptors, I will begin to remove the medication.”
“What was that incoming message?”
“They are turning on the lights. Switching vision.”
Her view went from night vision to normal vision, and the pools of light spread across the landscape and lit up the desert around them.
“Oh, my. That is amazing. Wait, are we running now?”
Len chuckled. “We are. Keep your feet moving.”
She watched her legs moving in the wrapped metal and wiring. She was taking increasingly long strides that were sending impact contractions through her body, and she could feel the pounding in her left arm with extreme detail.
There was nothing left but to follow her own advice with the labouring mothers and focus on her breathing while her body did what it had to do.
Moving her muscles under her own power and not Len’s shouldn’t have been too difficult, but it was. Her limbs were weak, and they weren’t moving correctly, but she managed to keep up with the pulses that were moving her limbs.
“I really should have kept up with my jogging.”
Len responded, “I can take over if you need me to.”
“No, this will be good for me.”
“Will it build character? One of my pilots always said it built character.”
Hima laughed. “It might.”