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embarrassedlopsidedAI and Robotics

Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Land Fall

Part
IV

of “Walkies some more”


By Dan Rush


Astro Boy /Tetsuwan Atom © 1954, 1963, 1980, 2003, 2009 Osamu Tezuka all rights deeply respe
cted. For non
-
profit
fandom enjoyment only.
















2

Notes from Part III….


1.

Astro is cleared from the school fight incident much to the cheers of his friends
and the jeers of the anti
-
robot groups.

2.

Doctor Tenma lays in a coma at the Shibuya Prison inf
irmary.

3.

Atlas is going to meet the industrial magnate Tokugawa after receiving a plea for
help.

4.

Reno investigates the probe recovered by Inspector Towashi.

5.

A nation wide incident of computer hacking now has the Japanese government on
high alert. The Prime
Minister passes Emergency Order 62
-
1909 to passively
monitor the activities of robots.


Evening

Shibuya Prison Hospital ICU



Doctor O’Shay finally arrived but stopped short of the door to look in through the
window. Astro sat next to the bed, a finger

rubbing over his lips while the other hand
gently patted Tenma’s hand. Astro didn’t look upset, no visible mood could be seen on
his face and yet it became obvious when O’Shay entered and Astro looked down at the
floor instead to his other “father”.



“Has the doctor said anything?” O’Shay asked. Astro sat up in the chair and shook his
head.



“I would say how proud I am of you right now but that little unpleasant experience
doesn’t need to be talked about. Are you alright?”



Astro nodded. “It’s

not a stroke or heart attack…some good news.”



O’Shay was happy in that case. “Have you heard from his brother Takiuma?”



“Uh uh…I thought you might be calling him?”



“He didn’t leave me his number. You must know where he is?”



Astro m
oaned. “I’ve called him five times now…no answer.”



Just then the medical Doctor walked in and motioned Astro and O’Shay to sit. “Well
we finished the lab work. Nothing out of the normal so right now the reason for Doctor
Tenma’s coma is unknown.”




Astro fidgeted. “Will he wake up?”



“Can’t give you a firm answer.

It’s just a waiting game now. The good thing is he’s
breathing on his own without a ventilator, that’s a positive plus on our side it means the
brain has suffered no serious damage.”


3



Astro brooded. “No stroke, no heart attack, everything’s normal…just doesn’t sound
right. I dunno…I’m muttering I guess.”



“Well you can stay till 9pm.” The doctor said as he stood up. “Don’t worry, we’ll keep
him well monitored and you’ll be the first

to know when things change.”



As he left, Astro stood up and walked around Tenma’s bed running a hand through the
sheets and over his body. He stopped for a moment rubbing his lips together.



“With all I have to do at the Ministry Astro, I should

be getting back. Don’t try staying
all night will you?”



Astro nodded back. “I’ll see you at home Doctor.”



He waited till O’Shay was gone then quickly checked to make sure he was the only
other occupant in the room. Astro walked around the bed an
d started pulling up the
blankets away from Tenma’s legs and arms. “I don’t like it…nothing? Humans don’t just
go into coma for no reason.”



Astro looked over the hanging health progress board, especially the notes for needles
and shots then walked to
Tenma’s feet and started looking. “100 times power.” He said to
himself and instantly his vision zoomed from normal 20/20 to high power micronamity.
“Forgive me….” He said then paused…”Daddy?”…..”Dad. I’m sorry Dad.” Astro stuck
half his body under the she
ets and over Tenma’s mid
-
section before popping back out
and working up the arm towards his head.



As he gently rolled up Tenma’s right shoulder, Astro stopped to carefully poke and
probe a spot just above the armpit along the back. He then walked out
of the ICU, found
the medical doctor and dragged him back into the room. “Do you guys give shots in the
back…here?” Astro said as he pointed out the spot.



The doctor frowned. “No…I don’t see anything.”



“Trust me. Whoever did this used a butterfly

needle. Can I see the toxicology report?”



The Doctor rubbed his head. “You’re not a….”



“I’m a robot? Hello? Computer brain? He said as he frowned.



The doctor took him to the lab. “Are you sure about this? We normally run seven
different t
ests for various scopes…”



Astro looked at the write up and then to the lab table. “Got any of his blood left?”



“Yes.”



4


Astro smirked. “Good…I always wanted to see what all the vampire fuss was about.”
Astro took a vile of Tenma’s blood and s
wished it about. He popped the top off and quick
gulped the contents…much to the doctor’s squeeming.



“Ugh….Tastes like spoiled milk, battery acid and pennies.” Astro said as he winced.
He found a place to sit and pulled himself onto a counter. “It’ll
be about five minutes.”



Though the Doctor couldn’t see the results, Astro’s quickly batting eyelids and moving
pupils told him something was in the works. Astro reached into a pocket, pulled out a zip
drive, opened his chest door and slipped the stick

into a USB port.



“Here.” He said as he handed it back. “Got a computer?”



The doctor brought what Astro had processed up on his laptop.

“Doesn’t look different
from the testing we’ve already done.”



Astro pulled the folded up report he took f
rom Tenma’s bed board and
pointed to one
of the pages. “Except….that. The Glucose numbers are different, there’s no Tricholore
mentioned in this one and the thylidene trace is lower in this one.”



The doctor nodded. “Ok…you’re telling me someone shot h
im with something?”



Astro plugged himself into the laptop and downloaded a file off the internet through
his own receiver. “Tricholorethylidene…Alpha
-
Chloralose. 50 Milligrams is enough to
induce coma.”

He

gave the Doctor an angry look. “Who’s been v
isiting all day? Who
wrote this other report?” He shook the papers in his hand with emphasis.



The working lab technician was in the lounge watching the television on a break when
he heard the door slam behind him. He turned about on the couch to come
face to face
with Astro’s pooched mouth. “Right now you might be thinking about running? I hope
not.” Astro snatched the man by his coat and pulled him over the back of the couch.



“Now maybe you made a mistake and mistyped Doctor Tenma’s toxicology re
port?
Though
,

since the program for it doesn’t allow you to change any numbers
,

I highly
doubt it.” Astro pushed the papers into the man’s nose. “Didn’t anyone tell you that white
out and copies can’t be hid?”



Astro bunched the man’s coat in his hand
s and jacked him off the floor over his head.
“Now unless you want to play Pachinko…that’s you being the little silver ball and me
being the spring plunger?
You might want to feel a little generous with the lips?”


Ten minutes later



Astro came out of

the lounge, ran past the Medical Doctor and a police officer before
they could stop him and took off out a side door and into the nearby courtyard where he
went airborne in a flame shooting hurry.


5

Evening

Stockholder’s Cotillion

Home of Mitsumo Tokugawa



Gerald moved from couple to couple with a serving plate full of drinks as the music
of Tokugawa’s invited entertainment “ORGY” all most dimmed the talk around him.
Most of the invited tonight were representatives from China and Southeast Asia, new
m
arkets his powerful human master was hoping to add to his ever growing economic
empire. He approached the short in stature yet imposing industry Magnate as he showed a
group of Chinese industrialists plans for his new factory in Shenzen.



“A drink Mas
ter? Gentlemen?” Gerald said as he passed his platter from person to
person.



Tokugawa tapped a finger on the table before him. “Within a month this factory at full
production will turn out the components for 300 cars a day. With robots you can expect

a
savings and profit head of 115 million a month. You won’t see this much profit if you
dared to staff this factory with workers at only 300 Wan a week.”



There looked to be a universal agreement until the festive atmosphere was suddenly
interrupted

by a loud crash at the front door.

Tokugawa pushed his way through the party
and tore open the front door of his mansion to find his expensive touring boat in a
destroyed heap and Atlas sitting on the bow railing with a look of sadness on his face.




“Awwww….I broke it.” Atlas said mournfully.



Tokugawa shook with rage as Gerald walked up behind him. “Master? Should I call
the Authorities?”



Tokugawa turned about and all but socked the poor serving bot off his feet with a
powerful back fis
t. “What do you think you idiot!”



Atlas suddenly frowned and jumped from the wreck. “That….was a stupid thing to
do.” He snarled as he walked up to a vintage car. It wasn’t any secret who it was since the
vanity plate had Toku
-
One splashed in gold l
etter on it. “Oh…a vintage Bentley? Is this
yours?”



Atlas proceeded to destroy the car, tossing it like a Olympic hammer across the front
lawn! “Come here Tokugawa.” Atlas warned as he walked up to the heavy front door.



Tokugawa threw Gerald
aside. “Do something! Call the police!” He snarled as he
tried to slam the door shut. He was thrown back against Gerald as the door became a
flying missile launched over people’s heads to slam into the balcony above the mansion
foyer.



6


The guests wer
e in full flight as Atlas stepped through the doorway and snatched
Gerald by the hand as he tried to dial a cell phone. “Don’t stand up for this fat bag!” Atlas
snorted. “After what he’s been doing to our kind?”



Atlas stomped hard enough to resonat
e the floor, knock priceless art pieces off their
stands as he chased down the sniveling Tokugawa. “Come here jerk! Seems you just
won’t learn.”



Atlas swatted a pistol from Tokugawa’s hand as he groveled and crawled into his
personal study and comm
enced to destroy the room while still dogging the man to his
desk. “You think it’s so easy don’t you? Make robots work in toxic chemicals? Melt their
circuits? Fry their insides then toss them in the damn garbage like trash?!”



Atlas broke the stud
y desk in two and threw it over his head. “Time to take your
medicine fat bag.”



Atlas jacked Tokugawa over his head. “Time for a flying lesson huh Tokugawa?”



The man screamed. “YOU CAN’T! YOU CAN’T KILL ME! THE LAWS!”



Atlas snarl
ed. “I can’t? Oh please don’t try me Tokugawa, I’m more than capable of
ripping you apart but that would be too easy for you huh?”



Atlas whistled. “Hey Gerald? Get in here!”



Gerald trotted in. “Yes sir?”



Tokugawa reacted with sh
ock. “Gerald help me!”



“I’m sorry Master Tokugawa but after what Brother Atlas has said, I’m afraid I
must question the ethical nature of my employment.”



Atlas smiled. “By the time you call the cops Tokugawa? Your robots from here to
Ch
ina will be turning all your factories into cold iron. Not even hiring humans will
restore what you’re about to lose.”



Tokugawa snarled. “You little piece of “beep”. The day is coming when you’ll
regret you ever crossed my path! I swear I’ll ha
ve you licking my boots! You piece of
“beep” cheep plastic!”



Atlas looked at Gerald. “Where’s your nastiest trash can?”



“Follow me brother.” Gerald said as he led Atlas through the house and to the trash
storage where he jumped in the a
ir, wound up and slam dunked Tokugawa into the
nastiest can he could pick.



7


Atlas wiped his hands. “Be thankful I at least left you a house.”



Gerald looked at Atlas and shook his head.



“Then again.” Atlas said with an evil s
mirk. “You better hope Christopher Lowell
does emergency house calls.”


Evening

National Kansen Highway

Near Kagatsume



Takiuma was switching channels on his radio and didn’t notice Astro flying
alongside his car till he tapped on the window…




“PULL OVER!” Astro said and he wasn’t looking happy at all.



Takiuma pulled his car over and got out while Astro stood tipping his foot furiously
on the ground. “What is it Astro? I was on my way home.”



Astro pointed to his face. “Look

me right in the eyes and tell me you didn’t do
anything to Doctor Tenma.”



“What?” Takiuma said surprised.



“Do it!” Astro commanded sternly.



Takiuma looked Astro in the face and said. “I didn’t do anything to my brother.”




Astro stood still for a moment then sighed comfortingly. “Thank goodness. I knew
you couldn’t”



“What happened?” Takiuma asked. After telling him, Astro sat on the hood. “That’s
all we know right now. We know the lab tech forged the blood test re
sults but we don’t
know who stuck the needle into Doctor Tenma or why.”



Takiuma wiped his head. “I….I have to go back…”



Astro reached out and rubbed his shoulders. “You should go home. Right now he’s
alright. I don’t want you worrying
so much that you end up in a wreck.”



Takiuma nodded then got into the car. “You will watch him? Call me when he
wakes up?”



Astro nodded then watched Takiuma drive off.



8


“Astro?” Doctor O’Shay’s voice suddenly cracked in Astro’s he
ad. “I need you back
here fast. Looks like Atlas went too far this time.”



“Great….” Astro said with a huff as he leaped into the air.


Home of Mitsumo Tokugawa

9PM



Astro just stood with his mouth gaped open as he saw the complete destruction

of
Tokugawa’s mansion. He blew from his mouth and walked quietly around the pile of
trash as he could hear Tokugawa ranting up a storm nearby. Suddenly the big man
stomped up screaming in Astro’s face…



“AND WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?!” Tokugawa snarle
d. “HE TRASHED MY
PROPERTY AND YOU’RE NO WHERE TO BE FOUND?!”



Astro calmly replied. “There were other things going on…why did he do this?”



Tokugawa stood waving his arms. “What reason would you think?! He hates me! He
hates all humans! He tried

to kill me!”



Astro stepped back as his sensitive nose got bombarded by trash stench. “Ewwww…
death by trashcan, I guess that’s serious enough.”



Tokugawa snapped. “You make jokes?! I know you’re protecting that renegade rebel.
If I had my way y
ou little….”



“Tokugawa!” Inspector Towashi snapped as he walked up. “One of my investigators
has been asking fro you deposition now for an hour, how about you stop screaming long
enough to talk?”



Tokugawa stormed off as Astro felt relieved. “
Thank you.” He said to Towashi but
the Inspector was less than happy.



“I heard about Tenma so I guess you have a good excuse but that’s it.” Towashi had
Astro follow him farther away from prying eyes. “I’ve had it with your little stalling
tactics A
stro, I’ve been way more than patient.”



Astro tried to reason but Towashi cut him off. “No…this is an order from law
enforcement do you understand? You WILL bring Atlas in…walking or less than
walking. If you refuse, if I feel you won’t even try? I’
ll bring you in for collusion.”



Astro frowned.



“Don’t even go to O’Shay, that’s not going to give you any wiggle room. Atlas is
becoming a serious problem Astro, when this hits the evening news it’s going to cause

9

plenty of headaches for all yo
u robots. Atlas’s reasons good or not, I’ve got enough
problems under my hat right now without have to watch the back of every robot in the
city, is that clear?”


Astro was silent.


“Astro?”


“Yes inspector.” Astro replied mournfully.


Towashi softened his

frown. “About Tenma? So far the lab tech we arrested isn’t opening
his trap but the guy who had the chemicals was thankfully careless. We recovered the
needle bottle in a trashcan near the front entrance to the prison and we’re looking at it for
prints an
d DNA.”


Astro nodded with some relief but it didn’t make things easier as Towashi walked off. He
gave the ground under him a kick.


Headquarters 13
th

Military Police Division

Kanagawa

9:30pm



The robot on night desk duty looked around the office and
out the windows before
opening the e
-
mail folder and reading the contents….


Landfall…..Midnight


Headquarters 4
th

Armored Infantry Division

Camp Zama

9:30pm



Major Hideo Ichicki passed the night security watch who stood guard at the gated
compound wh
ere the division’s armored vehicles were parked and patted the man’s
shoulder…


“Landfall 12” He uttered softly.


Headquarters Southern Division

National Constabulary

Myajima City

9:30pm



The entire night shift command core was gathered alone once they

had taken control
from the day shift. They represented 15 major metropolitan districts from Hiroshima to
Kanai to Kagashima in the South and Osaka proper in the North. Their overall
commander was Southern Region Chief Maskai.


10



“I have received the co
nfirmation. “Landfall 12” tonight. Prepare your officers
accordingly. We want the initial phase completed before sunrise.”


Dysabu Motor Production Plant

Kawasaki District Tokyo

Subsidiary of Tokugawa Industries

9:30pm



Subashi wandered from line to
line tapping his fellow industrial bots on their backs.
“Landfall 12”….tonight.”



One of them glanced under his work station at the cardboard box sitting at his feet
then looked to his fellows on both sides with a nod.


USS Earnest King

Yokosuka Nava
l Station

9:30pm



Lieutenant Eberly saluted the off going officer and took his station on the ship’s brow
as it’s officer of the deck.

His company for the next 4 hour shift was Petty Officer
Eberwine who stood jotting notations in the ship’s log while

Eberly poured himself a cup
of coffee.



“Another slow night watch huh P..O..1?”



“I’d rather be at the club.” Eberwine replied as he stopped to look at a newspaper
shoved under the podium. “You seen this stuff Sir? This EMP thing in Shinjuku? Sa
ys
here they think it might have been terrorists.”



Eberly looked off the brow at the pier and the shipyard beyond. “Do me a favor and
call down every so often to the front gate watch will you? Make sure they’re not yapping
the lips or slacking off.”



Eberwine nodded before grabbing the phone.


Old Nissan Plant

New Shinjuku

10pm



Shinsaku Ban had found a place surrounded by growth to enter the fenced in factory
without detection. Perhaps he’d missed Atlas being around or by good fortune would

find
the troublesome metal sprite fast asleep someplace. He was determined not to repeat the
silliness of their last meeting.




11


The Sotetsu Store


Across from the old Nissan Plant

10pm



Astro waited till Mitsuhito was away from any minders before he

started speaking. “I
regret I won’t be able to sneak you out tonight.” He said as he watched over the car plant
from atop the Sotetsu sign.



“I guess it must be important for you to “Dis” the Imperial sovereign who has called
you to help him personal
ly. Your imperial personage has been greatly harmed by this…”



“Yeah…yeah.” Astro joshed. “Spank me with a wet newspaper…blah, blah…” He
heard the Emperor laughing at the other end. “I promise once I do this for the police I
should be able to make it
tomorrow night.”



Mitsuhito waved a hand. “Think nothing…no rush. But I do insist you come for
dinner one of these days at least. I may get to try my skills in barbeque, you never know.”



Astro smiled. “Deal! You pick the day ok?” Suddenly Astro
flattened himself out atop
the sign and watched as Atlas landed on the main factory roof in the compound. He
waited for him to go inside before jumping off the sign and lighting his leg engines.


The Nissan Plant

Main Building

10:30pm



“GRRRRRR…..WHAT
WERE YOU THINKING?!!!”



Atlas cringed in his little hiding space above the floor of the main building from
Livian’s rage as it bounced all over his head. “You just had to do it….didn’t you? It’s all
over the news Atlas!”



“Livian I….” Atlas sat tr
ying to explain. “He was torturing robots…throwing them
away like trash…breaking the law….”



“You only made things worse!” Livian yelled. “You always think you’re doing good
but all you keep doing is hurting the rest of us!”



Atlas could hear the f
rustration in her voice then a deep sigh…”Turn yourself in.” She
said softly.



“Huh?” Atlas replied shocked. “What do you mean?! Livian…ugh….”



“Turn yourself in Atlas…before something worse happens please?”



12


Atlas frowned. “I never thought I h
ear that coming from you…”



“Well some one needed to say it!” Livian replied upset. “You can’t be trusted by
yourself…you act like…like a spoiled juvie brat!”



Atlas snapped. “The humans made me this way! I hate them! They’re all barbarian,
sub
-
lif
e form cave dwelling idiots! How can we trust….”



“ATLAS!” Came a scream from inside the factory. Atlas clicked of Livian’s
complaints and peaked out hole in the wall of hide a way to see Astro walking and
looking about the building’s lower floor. “GET

OUT HERE ATLAS! I KNOW YOU’RE
IN HERE!”



Astro watched as Atlas came out of his hide
-
a
-
way and stood on the balcony above. “I
guess I shouldn’t ask why you’re here huh?” He said as he casually leaned against a
railing.



“You really did it this ti
me.” Astro said as he seemed to slacken. “Now I HAVE to
bring you in…I don’t have a choice.”



Atlas jumped off the balcony and landed on the floor with a loud thump. “Tokugawa
is a vermin, no different than the rest of em.”



Astro backed away as
Atlas started walking towards him. “And that was your
solution? Well if it was to get people to focus on the plight of fellow robots? It went bust
the moment you decided to trash a man’s house!”



Atlas snarled. “Better to trash his stuff than see him
profit and have a nice lifestyle off
the bodies of our brothers. You’re such a guideless, naïve tool and I guess it’s time we
really had it out.”



Astro kept backing away. “I’m begging you Atlas…don’t make me have to fight you,
I don’t want it! I don’
t want to hurt you!”



Atlas snarled as he got closer. “I told you to bring your butt kicking sauce to this little
barbeque because when I’m finished, I’m gonna serve your stupid pansy hide on a
skewer for the rest of the world to know not to screw with

our kind ever again!”



Atlas pushed Astro backwards. “Come on….do it! Do it! Start throwing punches
puppy dog! Man’s little toy!....”



“Cut it out!” Astro yelped. “Atlas! Don’t!”



Atlas threw his hands to his chest for another hard shove but A
stro rolled with it,
caught Atlas in the side of his neck with a left hand chop, pulled him around off his feet
and smashed his right hand into Atlas’s kisser!


13



The red boy bot bounced over the floor and slid to a stop feeling his face as Astro
backed
into a combat pose….”Stop it Atlas! I can help you, it doesn’t have to be like
this!”



Atlas snarled as he got to his feet. “You got some bite! But have you got the fight?!”

Atlas took off, slammed into Astro and power drove him through a wall!



S
hinsaku Ban was almost through a window when he got knocked off and thrown to
the floor in a side room by the shock of the two bots crashing together through another
wall! He got up to catch them in a full blown fist fight as he scrambled to the doorway
an
d fumbled for the disrupter rifle slung across his back.



A block and kick, a kick and block, a side swipe to the head, Atlas snatched Astro
from a failed punch, tossed him in the air and punched him into a beam on the ceiling!
But Astro came back, sn
atched Atlas by his arms and whip lashed him into the concrete!



Atlas rolled around as Astro charged him and fired a finger laser at Astro’s head.
Though it glanced off, it was enough of a distraction for Atlas to flip himself up and drive
a fist int
o Astro’s chest! It dented the chest panel and sent Astro bouncing across the
floor! “I told you! You better bring the sauce or I’m gonna put you in the trash pile where
you belong!”



Astro stumbled to his feet as Atlas flew up and snatched him by hi
s neck! “No! no…it
doesn’t have to be like this….” Astro said as he flailed and struggled against the powerful
grip.



Atlas punched him in the gutt then in the face. “Don’t make me bust you up Goodie!
Stop thinking humans are such saints, you know y
ou’re wrong!”



“I won’t! I won’t be like you!” Astro snarled as he broke the hold and rabbit kicked
Atlas hard enough to imprint a foot into his chest armor! Both of them scrambled to their
feet determined to throw the next blow when a white flash s
uddenly bathed over the
whole building around them!



Shinsaku Ban covered his eyes and dove for the floor out of reflex just in time as
three missiles came through the roof, slammed into the floor around Astro and Atlas and
everything went black.


3a
m….


…Emergency power cell activated….fussion system off line….full restoration 60
minutes….diagnostic check complete….functions restored….



Astro awoke in a smoky, fire covered, debris strewn word of darkness covered in
debris. He could move his arms
, a good sign, but not his legs, a bad sign. He crained his

14

head to see a mess of concrete and steel over the lower half of his body…but at least his
toes wiggled so it wasn’t a total loss. That white flash? An EMP bomb. What happened
after that? Ugh….




Astro thought about his problem. He could sit and wait till his fusion reactor kicked in.
He had 4 emergency power cells but he’d drain those quickly trying to cut himself loose.
He felt and found his knee joints were clear so he thought about disconnect
ing the legs
and calling for Doctor O’Shay or Reno…then he found communications were dead.



“ATLAS!” He yelled out. Atlas had to be alright, they were the same robot class after
all so
Astro called him several times before laying back and sighing…”He’s

probably
still out of it. Sheesh! If you wanted him that bad at least you could have told me to move
before you fired those missiles.” Astro snorted to the unknown attackers. He lay trying to
catch anything beyond the rubble around him and so far nothing…
no radio, no television,
no Internet? What the hell?



Suddenly he heard something rustling, tripping and cursing through the debris.
“Atlas?!” He asked. “Atlas if you’re up, don’t leave me like this? It kinda sucks.”



Shinsaku Ban stumbled and fell n
ext to Astro with a gasp. “Mister Ban?!” Astro asked
as he watched the man clutch an arm. “Are you hurt? Did you see Atlas?”



“Answer to your first question, I think my arm is broke. Answer to the second? No.”
Ban looked over Astro and sighed. “How abo
ut you?”



“Uh….half normal and trapped. What happened? Who blew up the building?”



“I’d like to know too.” Ban replied wincing. “I was watching you two brawl and the
next minute I’m doing summersaults and cartwheels like Bugs Bunny.”



Astro sighe
d. “I can’t call anyone. No communications at all.”



“There’s no lights.” Ban replied. “Nothing…it’s totally black all over the place. I did
hear what sounded like explosions up to half an hour ago.”



Astro ran through his diagnostic program again a
nd huffed. “30 minutes…”



Ban looked about and saw that even his wrist watch was dead. “If you’ll be alright, I’ll
go around here and try to make sense of this.”



Astro calmly placed his hands on his chest. “Not like I have a choice. Not even a dec
k
of cards. See if you can find Atlas? He’s gotta be buried under this mess someplace.”






15


12 am



It happened all at once from Naha City in Okinawa to Sapporo on Hokaido. Tokyo,
Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Fushimi, Fukuoka were all hit at once by EMP b
ombs. What
robots were robust enough to keep running were soon paralyzed by a second wave of
high frequency radio pulses…



Anything electrical, digital, or battery powered was killed. Power grids, transistors,
pace makers, wrist watches, flashlights,
emergency generators, car computers...gone.



At the naval base in Yokosuka, the reactor of the USS King locked into SCRAM and
the sophisticated fighting ship wound to a cold stop with a sickening hum. The call to
battle stations had to be made the old

fashioned way, a ship’s musician running through
the hanger deck blowing on a bugle and screaming at the top of his lungs. Not five
minutes after the whole of Yokosuka city went dark, a series of explosions rocked the
King’s hull as her propellers were su
rgically blown off their shafts rendering the ship
worthless.



In the China Sea between Japan and North Korea, Admiral Kansai ran onto the bridge
of the destroyer Asagumo and watched in horror as her sister ship the Kurama exploded
in a hellish fireba
ll. The Asagumo was rocked by explosions in her rear and soon she and
the other destroyers of JMSDF Destroyer squadron 12 were dead in the water without
propellers.



At Atsugi Naval Air Station where confused air crews were trying to report to their
sq
uadrons, a row of fighter planes went up like a Greek fire bath. They ran and scattered
as white ball
-
like objects flew low over the base strafing gas tanks, equipment, the
runway and bomb storage bunkers. The blowtorching towers of flame lit up the whole
darkened city of Yamato near by.



Doctor O’Shay was home in his office when the power went out. He found Zoran still
in her bed but obviously not functioning. Unlike her brother she had no reserves to power
herself back up so like a loving parent looki
ng over a sick child, O’Shay pulled an extra
blanket up to her shoulders, tucked it gently around her then stomped about the house
mad as hell that he couldn’t call anyone.



His imperial majesty was awakened by his loyal night servant who told him what

he
knew and beckoned the young boy to follow him to the old Imperial bunker in the
courtyard. The last time it had been used was when his Great Great Grandfather Hirohito
surrendered Japan to end World War II. “The people always come before the Emperor.”
Mitsuhito said as he slipped out of his happy coat, dawned a pair of jeans and a black t
-
shirt and started demanding couriers go beyond the palace and find out what was going
on.



16


The Prime Minister was awakened by his wife at their residence and was t
rying to use
a telephone when a robot servant came through the door of their room brandishing a
pistol. “Sir…please refrain from foolish acts? The current national emergency will be
corrected soon.”



At his own home, Inspector Towashi was awakened by h
is adopted daughter Tai Min
who crawled into bed scared of the darkness and noises around her. Suddenly there was a
knock at the door and two police officers came into the living room with their weapons
drawn. “Inspector? Are you alright?” One of them aske
d.



“What’s going on?” Towashi asked. “What’s all the damned noise?”



Then Towashi saw where the guns were pointing. “Sir…please refrain from any stupid
acts. This national emergency will be corrected soon.”



At JSDF Headquarters in Tokyo machi
ne gun fire suddenly erupted somewhere in the
complex forcing several aides to carry General Red into a room where they barricaded
the door and tried to activate an emergency phone system. No avail, the system was dead.
One of them handed the General a coc
ked 45 pistol. “Our own men are shooting at us
General! Power’s out all over the city. There’s been explosions…”



Suddenly the whole room went up like a volcano. Outside some sort of pulse blast of
energy ripped through one side of the building and expe
nded itself out the other side.



In Ayase City, Kanada and his bike gang slid down an embankment to avoid the
shooting happening at the regional office of the national constabulary. An army tank
rolled up not far from them and sent a shell exploding in
to the barricaded front door.



Livian was flying down side streets trying to reach Atlas at the old Nissan plant after
he told her Astro had shown up. Like most robots she lost power and her bike crashed off
the road and into a drain ditch. By luck she

was pulled out and dragged into the auto shop
of Juzo Kansaki where he laid her on a blanket in the garage.



At the Ministry of Science, Reno didn’t pay attention to his scantly clad frame as he
ran in his underwear and socks after being caught in the

shower by all the noise. Still
dripping shampoo from his hair he tried to make sense of all the insanity outside while
trying to call Astro, the Doc or anyone from any phones he could find. Amazingly he
found one robot still working on the 15
th

floor of t
he complex. “Weebles!” he shouted as
he walked up. “Weebles what the hell is going on?!”



Weebles turned and shoved a rifle in Reno’s nose. He then gave the shivering youth a
quizzical look. “Would you mind restoring some decency in your appearance Mi
ster
Reno and while you’re at it? Refrain from any stupid acts? The current national
emergency will soon be over.”




17


It was the same everywhere. Moments of intense explosions, gun fire and chaos were
replaced by the sounds of tanks, police vehicles a
nd armed troops and robots wandering
around the cities and suburbs with the same repeated mantra.



“Citizens remain calm. This is a national emergency which will pass soon.
Government information will be provided in due time. Remain calm.”



At h
is home, Kenichi soon heard Tamao, Abercrombie and other class students
banging on his door with their parents in tow. Soon Kenichi’s house was full of people
who seemed to have some comfort in a stable 11 year old boy who was no better off than
they were.

He tried to call but like everywhere else this night, things were quiet.



Back on the USS King, Lieutenant Eberly and the enlisted men armed with rifles
suddenly came face to face with a white floating spherical object, obviously armed, that
floated
in front of the officer’s boarding ladder. “Are you in command of this ship?”



Eberly shook his head. “I am the officer of the Watch.”



Eberly heard a cocking sound from the sphere and it advanced forwards. “I wish to
relay a message to the Comma
nding Officer. You will surrender your ship at once.
Failure to comply will result in the slaughter of your crew.”



As if to prove its point, the sphere turned to one of the Sailors and disemboweled him
with a single shot. “You will surrender this shi
p at once! Comply!”



Eberly turned and shook visibly. “Get the Captain….now!”



On the bridge, Captain Caswell watched as the spheres surrounded the giant aircraft
carrier and herded members of the crew into a surrounded group. There was nothing h
e
could do, no power, no weapons…the choice of sacrifice while in keeping with tradition
was utterly worthless…



“Send a message to Mister Eberly?” He said to a crewman. “Strike the colors, we
surrender.”



At other military bases and police stati
ons across Japan came the same events with the
same results. Base after base was surrendering to a collection of armed humans and
armed robots.


4am

The old Nissan Plant



Astro stood dusting himself off and dancing a little jig to make sure his legs w
eren’t
ruined. He stood quizickly analyzing information streaming into his electronic brain as
Shinsaku Ban returned with a bottle of oil and a bag of tools. “Thought you might need
these? He said.


18



“Baby oil?” Astro said smirking as he look at the bot
tle.



“That’s all I could find.” Ban said as he found a place to sit. “No sign of Atlas…the
explosions were pretty devastating.”



“Trust me he’s too mean to die.” Astro snorted back. “I got something…scratchy stuff.
Says there’s a national emergency?




Ban rubbed his bad arm and Astro moved to x
-
ray it. “Yeah…you got a fracture. Let
me splint it up. You have a T
-
Shirt?”



As Astro bandaged Ban’s arm he continued to scan the airwaves. “It’s confusing. I’m
getting a lot of robot jibberish I can’t

make out. “Secured here.” “Arrests made”…Astro
looked about and pouted totally confused. “What the heck is going on?”



Just then some flashing blue and red lights showed up. “Police.” Ban said pointing.



“Took em long enough.” Astro said as he wav
ed to the car. “Can we get some help
over here? This man has a broken arm!”



The two police officers came walking up with blaster rifles in their hands as Astro
smiled at them. “What’s going on? I can’t call anybody, the city looks dark, I’m getting
cr
azy stuff through my receivers. I think Atlas is buried somewhere in this mess uh….”



Astro suddenly realized something was wrong when the blasters started pointing
towards him. He quickly jumped forwards, snatching one out of one officer’s hand while
the other missed hitting him in the head by inches!



“What!” Astro snapped as he batted the other rifle away. “What’s wrong with you
guys?! Has everybody gone nuts?!”



The officers scrambled to their cars screaming into their shoulder mics while

Ban
snatched Astro by a hand. “Something tells me this isn’t a good place to sit!” He started
running through the debris pulling Astro behind him as balls of laser energy slammed
into ground around them.



“HEY!” Astro yelled. “DID YOU FORGET SOMETHI
NG?!” He picked Ban up by
the seat of his pants and bolted into air!



“Keep me steady and I’ll hit em with my rifle!” Ban snarled as he tried to pull his
disrupter rifle from his back. Astro couldn’t see what was chasing him but the explosions
from t
he missing shots over his head told him these weren’t things to be playing with!



“How close are they?!” He screamed at ban.



19


“Close enough to kiss!” Ban snapped back.



“I’m not available!” Astro snarled. His hip guns telescoped from his be
hind and cut
lose a stream of armor piercing bullets that shattered one of the pursuing spheres like an
egg shell. They flew low over the streets around trucks and cars, under overhead
walkways and over the rooftops with three spheres blasting up debris al
l around them!



Suddenly the orbs turned a corner and found…..nothing? They floated about in a
gaggle trying to find their targets when Astro jumped one from behind, ripped the guns
off of it and whirled around like a top sinking his hands into its s
ides. “AIR BOWLING!”
He screamed as he unleashed the sphere and sent it crashing into the others with a fiery
explosion!



Ban felt himself lifted off the ground and carried through the city till Astro landed
inside the tree fort he and his school fri
ends had built as their club house. “What were
those things?” Ban asked as Astro peaked out the window.



“I didn’t have the time to ask but they’re not friendly. Did you see how dark
everything is? I didn’t detect radiation or anything so it’s not som
ething nuclear.” Astro
slipped down onto the floor. “I still can’t contact anyone…”


The White House

Washington D.C.



President Adam Jackson was about to finish reading a book and turn in for the night
when a secret service agent knocked on his bedro
om door. “Mister President, the
National Security Advisor is here to see you.”



Jackson met the man half way in the room and slowly read the piece of paper he’d
been handed. “Have we tried to contact the Prime Minister?”



“For an hour now Miste
r President. No word from our military bases or units. We got
a transmission from Camp Zama of some sort of assault but it can’t be confirmed. We
can’t raise the embassy in Tokyo or the counsel general in Osaka.”



The President took a moment to think
. “Start calling the cabinet, the Joint Chiefs
Chairman and put me in touch with the Commander of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl. Keep
trying to get some news and some word from the Prime Minister.


The Residence of the UN Secretary General

Falls Church, New Y
ork

Current SG: Yun Ho Jung…resident of China



“Not involved? Involved in what?” Yun said as he sat on his bed and fumbled for his
remote. “Japan? Yes I am watching the news now. Why am I supposed to be worried
about our involvement? Mister General Se
cretary I must respectfully ask you again, what

20

in devil’s name are you talking about? They mention only black
-
outs.in Tokyo.” Yun
paced the floor rubbing his hand through his hair. EMP weapons? You can’t contact our
Tokyo embassy? No….No….I will not call
an emergency session over something as
trivial as a blackout stop panicing!”


Yun stomped his foot. “You’ve been drinking that French wine again haven’t you? I
warned you against these over
-
indulgent tendencies of yours Han! Damn it! You haven’t
changed si
nce college, when will you grow up!”


The Secretary General slammed the phone down and went back to bed.


Sunrise

Doctor O’Shay’s house



“Finally.” O’Shay said with comfort as he closed Zoran’s chest panel and watched the
little robot girl stir back to

life from the jury rigged power cell he installed. She sat up
and yawned, looking at him somewhat funny.



“Doctor? You look tired.”



“I’ve been up all night in the dark Zoran. I’m afraid we have no power any place at the
moment, I can’t contact t
he Ministry or your brother.”



Zoran scratched her head. “Did you mess with me?”



“I had to install a power cell to bring you back up. There was a big loss of power and
your own reactor got shut off with it.”



Zoran swung her legs around and

walked down stairs to see Norra the nany bot still
lying on the living room floor. “What happened?”



“I don’t know but I need you to be my cell phone since you’re working again. Try to
call your brother.”



There was a knock at the door and when

O’Shay opened it an armed uniformed
soldier pushed him aside and aimed his rifle at Zoran’s head. “Don’t do anything stupid
robot. If we so much as detect a transmission from you we won’t hesitate to destroy you.”



Zoran screamed and latched onto Doc
tor O’Shay. “WHAT THE HELL IS THE
MEANING OF THIS OUTRAGE! HOW DARE YOU COME INTO MY HOME!”



Suddenly the Doctor got a face full of rifle from another soldier. “There is a national
emergency. You are to remain in your home. You shall deactivate this r
obot and await
further instructions from the government. We will not hesitate to punish anyone who will
not comply. Do it now!”



21


Doctor O’Shay looked at Zoran. “I’m sorry…I won’t let them hurt you Zoran.” He
quietly got her to lay down and deactivat
ed her.



“Thank you for your compliance during this emergency.” The soldier said. O’Shay
grabbed him by the shoulder as he was leaving and almost got rifle whipped for it.



“What’s going on?! Can you tell me of any news regarding Astro? I’ve
been trying to
call the Ministry of Science for hours, please!”



The soldier turned around. “Astro? He has been declared a danger to the state. If he
returns you will deactivate him at once. Failure to comply will mean death for anyone
who helps hi
m. You will comply.”



O’Shay was horrified, he stood in his doorway with his mouth agape. “Dangerous?
What’s happening?!”


The Tree House



Astro slept with his boots bundled as a pillow. He wasn’t long resting when he felt
Shinsaku Ban sitting
next to him with the disrupter rifle in hand.



“Ugh? Is everything ok?” Astro asked.



“If you define tanks as ok. I’ve seen two in the last hour and soldiers have been going
through the park. Wonder if they’re looking for you?”



Astro sat u
p and rubbed his head. “Some powers back and I think I can get a radio
signal now…no…television. I got a cable signal.” The image appeared in Astro’s eyes.
“Just a blank screen with the NHK logo for now.”



Ban seemed relieved. “Well so far they’re JSD
F so it’s not a war…or I don’t think it
is.”



Astro slipped his boots on. “I gotta get home.”



“Until we know what’s going on Astro, I think you should stay with me. Those cops?
Those crazy spheres? You should play it safe.”


Morning

Juzo Kansa
ki’s Auto Shop



Livian woke up still on the floor of the garage, her senses spinning wildly as she tried
to stand up. Juzo caught her by the arm and lowered her back down. “Obviously you’re
not a hundred percent yet. You’re lucky though, your bike’s t
rashed.”



“That’s lucky?” She replied. “What’s going on?”


22


“Huh, the question of the hour it seems.” Juzo replied as he shrugged his shoulders
and walked to a car engine on a stand. “If it doesn’t affect my business, I guess I
shouldn’t be too conc
erned should I? All I know is the police have been driving around
saying something about a National Emergency and that the government had it under
control.”



Livian frowned, thinking of Atlas. “It better not be you.” She thought.



Juzo turned arou
nd waving a finger. “They also said all robots need to stay put for now
which means you shouldn’t try going anywhere till otherwise. I don’t want to call the
police on you, you seem nice and I don’t get many visitors to talk to.”


Ministry of Science

Morni
ng



Reno walked down the hallways as if another normal day had arrived. He was entering
the front lobby of the building when “Weebles” came up behind him. “Mister Reno,
where are you going?”



Reno looked back. “Where I always go every morning? To vi
sit Gidion?”



“Weebles” floated around and blocked Reno’s walk. “Begging your pardon Sir but I
must imploy you to remain here for your own safety.”



Reno snorted back. “Look…I still don’t know what the hell is going on but every day I
go over to the

pool pen to spend quality time with Gidion, he expects me to be there and
when I don’t show he becomes a really pissy Porp
-
bot with a very irate attitude and then
he tends to throw a fit and trash the place out. Now if you’re going to take responsibility
for the mess that’s fine with me!”



“Weebles” shook his hands. “Oh no Sir! I was just concerned for your safety, I didn’t
mean…how about I accompany you?”



Reno agreed and they went over to the pool where Gidion was jumping and playing
about. “Mor
ning Gidion!” Reno said cheerfully with “Weebles” at his back. He knelt
down and lovingly hugged the robot dolphin. “You ok?” He asked softly.



“Weebles” failed to take notice of the small radio receiver clipped to Reno’s ear.
“What’s going on?” Gidion

asked.



“Wish I knew….who’s my cuddly Porpy bot!”



“I don’t like it.” Gidion said as his eyes turned frownish.



“I want out of here…” Reno replied. “Do you want a treat?!




23


Gidion looked at Weebles and poked Reno’s shoulder. “Grab my fin

and hang on.”



A split second and Reno was gone! “Weebles” paniced and fumbled the rifle in his
hands as Gidion tore through the water and flew over the partition fence beyond into the
sea!



“ALERT! ALERT! WE HAVE AN ESCAPE! THE DOLPHIN HOLDING TA
NK!”
“Weebles” shouted over and over till several of the white spheres came flying down, over
the pool and out into the bay!



Gidion surfaced with Reno hugging his tail. “Grab the mouth piece! I have to dive!”
He shouted as he and Reno power dove into

the bay.



It was a half an hour before they came up again under an old pier near the city, the
robot dolphin lovingly rubbing his
snoot against Reno’s chest. “I’m fine Gidion, thanks.”



Gidion urged Reno not to leave him. “I can take care of mys
elf. You just watch your
back and find a dolphin pod to hang with till you hear from me ok?”



Gidion snatched Reno’s pant leg with worry. “Oh come on Gidion, I’ll be alright.”



Reno hugged him dearly and tearfully sent Gidion on his way before cl
imbing from
the water.


The Tree House

Morning



The sphere floated in through the window and spun about before leaving. It didn’t see
anything worth stay
ing

for…



Of course it didn’t look up at the ceiling where Astro was spread out spider like with

Ban laying on top of him. “We can’t stay here all day.” Ban said.



“Well it’s not like I can go walking around.” Astro replied smirking. “The pointy head,
these thick boots and well…I’m not exactly
camouflaged huh?”



As they climbed down though, Ban

saw a soldier walking around the park by himself.
“Must be special forces, he’s wearing a beret.”



Astro pursed his lips. “I hope I don’t get spotted.” He jumped out of the window,
landed behind the soldier and slapped his hands on the man’s shoulders.

An electric
charge raced through his body and knocked the soldier out cold. Astro picked him up and
took him back to the tree fort.



Ban watched as Astro adjusted the Beret. “How do I look?”



24


“Silly.” Ban replied. “The clothes are so baggy you’ll
be spotted.”



Astro stood up and tucked as many of the drooping folds as he could. “Well it might
get me home at least. You have to get to a hospital for that arm, that’s the first thing.”



Astro flew Ban to the ground and threw the rifle over his s
houlder. “Just act like I
found you in a car accident if anyone asks.” Astro modified his voice to sound a little
older. “How do I sound now?”



“Like a midget who got lucky.” Ban replied. “This is foolish.”



Astro smirked. “Everything’s foolish today

so it really doesn’t matter.”


The Imperial Palace

Tokyo



Mitsuhito
stood brooding at the television as his family Maiden walked into his office.
“Your majesty. The court representatives have returned, seems they were met by police,
robots or soldiers

at some of the government offices. No reasons were given.”



“It’s inexcusable.” Mitsuhito snorted. “I don’t care if there’s a conception of my age
but no one refuses the questions of the Imperial house. My Father, my Grandfather and
our fathers before
wouldn’t tolerate it!”



Mitsuhito stormed to his closet and snatched a jacket. “Majesty where do you think
you’re going?”



“To get answers. Let’s see anyone throw excuses when I’m waving a fist in their face.”



The Maiden took him by the arms.
“You know it’s not your place. Your grandfathers
always respected the law and the trust of the people. The Emperor must not meddle in
affairs of state.”



Mitsuhito frowned. “The Emperor is entrusted with the safety of his people, especially
when it app
ears something dire has happened to them. I refuse to remain shelled up and
silent! That was allowed before with dire results.”



The Maiden slowly removed the jacket from Mitsuhito’s hand. “Majesty…As I was
entrusted to watch over you from the day of yo
ur birth, it is my sacred duty to your
mother that I
protect you and this I will do at any cost, your protest or not. Now let us
wait and act carefully not rashfully.”



The boy nodded. “At least the power’s back on. I’ll….I’ll be playing my XBOX for a
while. Call me if things change.”




25

Kenichi’s House

Morning



Tamao, Kenichi, Abercrombie and others from their class sat eating Cheerios and
looking every so often at the television screen.



“This sucks!” Tamao snorted. “We’ve played all the games,

how long do we have to
sit like this?”



“Till we’re told.” Kenichi replied.



“Did you see the tanks?” Crombie said scratching his head. “All night long they’ve
gone up and down our street. Do you think it’s a war?”



“If it is, it’s the most quie
t war I’ve ever heard.” A girl said as she sat next to Kenichi.
“Maybe it’s a monster?”



“What am imagination! Yeah…Godzilla and Mothra have invaded the Ginza looking
for the secret stash of girl’s panties to take over the world.” Tamao said mournfully.

“Duh! What a dumb idea?!”



“Oh yeah?!” The girl snorted back. She jumped on Tamao and attacked him causing a
pig pile of screaming kids trying to make sense out of the senseless…at least till the
television
started making chime noises…



“Hold it!”

kenichi shouted. “Something’s coming on!”


Bushin Street

Across from Number 7 community hospital

New Shinjuku



Astro stopped and sat with Ban next to a trash dumpster. “Hold it…NHK’s about to
say something.”


Doctor O’Shay’s House



Doctor O’Shay t
urned Zoran back on and sat her in front of the television. “Don’t try
calling your brother you understand? If he calls you, don’t answer it.”



“But?” Zoran looked upset.



“For his safety Zoran. Until we find out what’s going on.” O’Shay lovingly pe
tted her.






26

The office of the KEHL

Tokyo



As many people as could packed into the small office room as the NHK broadcast
began. Some gasped as they saw not the usual announcers for the morning news report
but a single emotionless robot sitting in th
eir place.



“What the hell is this?!”

Zenzo snorted out. “Since when do robots broadcast the
news?”


NHK Announcement


Citizens of Japan,



Last night an extraordinary emergency required a rapid response of the
government. Thankfully the nature

of this pending unrest was quickly resolved with little
violence. We regret the confusion and undue stress that has been brought upon you and
rest assured your government is working swiftly to restore a climate of normalcy. In
reasonable time, your govern
ment will fully disclose all details of the situation and the
steps it will take to bring a new and exciting future for both our nation and the world.
Please cooperate with public authorities, refrain from acts which could disrupt the peace
and go about yo
ur normal lives.
We will speak again with you soon. This concludes this
broadcast.


Bushin Street

Across from Number 7 community hospital

New Shinjuku



Astro pushed Ban towards the hospital. “Go…you need to see a doctor.”



“Unrest? Normalcy? Situatio
n? What kind of bull are they throwing?” Ban complained.



“Whatever it is…it stinks.” Astro snorted. “Go!”



Ban turned around. “Astro? What are you going to do?”



“I don’t know.” Astro replied frowning. “I tried to call home again and no one’s
answe
ring. Right now I guess I should just keep my eyes open and keep hidden.” He
rubbed Ban’s arm. “If you happen to go to my house? Will you tell Doctor O’Shay I’m
fine? And give my sister a kiss for me? She’s probably screaming.”



Ban nodded and rubbed As
tro’s head. “Take care of yourself ok?”






27

The office of the KEHL

Tokyo



Zenzo screamed up a storm. “I KNEW IT! I GOD DAMNED *&^%$$ KNEW IT!”
He cleaned his desk with a hand swipe and snarled at the crowded room. “I told you all
this was coming! You
don’t put a God damned robot on NHK unless there’s been a coup
de etat!”



“One problem though.” William Hunt replied. “We’ve seen the police and the military
running around and they’re enforcing things. This can’t be a robot coup.”



“Yeah!” Another

person said. “I’ve seen armed robots running around with the cops so
how can it be a robot rebellion?”



Zenzo snarled. “Well whatever it is? Telling us to sit on our butts and remain calm is a
flying sack of *&^% ! Sit down my foot, yeah we’ll sit alr
ight…sit on their front door
step with clubs and see how they like it!”


Storage Shed

Ayase



Kenada watched more of the gang show up since the world by mouth message traveled
over Ayase City fast. The only one he couldn’t contact was Livian and that ma
de him
nervous.



“Ok…I have something to say.” Shinji said as he walked in out of breath. “The
military has control of the constabulary office. I saw soldiers and…..and robots dragging
dead cops out….gasp…..gasp….some cops were still resisting…they….th
ey….”



“What?” Kenada asked.



“They dragged them out and those ball things….killed them!”



There was gasping among the assembled gang till kenada raised his hand. “Everyone
knows we don’t like the cops, we bikers and police have always been adve
rsaries but
never….never….have any of us wish ill on them. Anyone who kills a cop in cold blood is
our enemy and that enemy deserves a full on ass kicking from us…anyone opposed?”



No one reacted so Kenada grabbed a baseball bat. “Now I don’t know what
’s going on
and you all don’t know what’s going on but being told to sit down and suck from the
bottle of the government goes against everything we stand for.
Anyone who’s worried
about their own lives or the lives of their family can go home. As for me I
have no family
except this gang and our home is being threatened. Don’t know by who but anyone who
screws with this family will eat this bat in their face. Who’s with me?”



The place exploded in cheers.


28

A Sewer System maintenance room

West Shinjuku

Mor
ning



Sparks peaked through the crack he’d made from lifting the manhole and slipped back
down into the small room under the street which was nearly crowded with robots of
different sizes, shapes and occupations. One of them, a clerical bot dressed in

the uniform
of a police officer, was relaying tales to the others gathered around him.



“I was just the lucky one in the room who was EMP hardened. I had to play dead under
this turned over desk. I saw that one robot just blowing away policemen. Then
he turned
on Ida…poor Ida she was just our maid bot! She made coffee and pastry for the other
police and that ball thing just tore her to shreds.”



Sparks leaned against Robotsky, his bigger counterpart, and exclaimed. “It’s finally
happened. I told yo
u all the day would come when the humans would go too far! Though
I wasn’t exactly thinking we’d resort to breaking the Robot Laws. The revolution has
come at last my brothers!”



Kegley stood up. “Revol
ution? What revolution? You call murder a revoluti
on? Some
of us have seen humans murdering humans, robots murdering robots, robots and humans
killing each other, this isn’t a damned revolution!”



“The fridge”, Sparks and Robotsky’s side kick threw a finger in the air. “I bet Atlas
would have somethin
g else to say about this? If anyone could find him of course. This is
the result of years of human mistakes! The bulls have come back to roost.”



Sparks shook his head. “That’s chickens. Bulls do not roost.”



“Well…bulls are meaner. Chickens can’t
exactly peck you to death.”



Sparks slapped Fridge off the top. “Shut up? If anyone has the brains to explain this
situation it’s me? That’s why I
’m the leader of the Robot Revo
lutionary Liberation Front!
HAIL RALF!”



Robotsky shook his head. “I don
’t like the sound of RALF.
It’s like what humans do
when they drink too much you know?”



Sparks shook his head. “Please don’t let me beat you senseless again.”









29

Tree

Across from Old Nissan Plant

Morning



Atlas finally awoke and felt himself i
n a wild contorted shape as he slowly opened his
eyes. The right one didn’t work for an obvious reason as he felt the jagged metal sliver
that protruded from it. His first thought might have been Livian, instead he silently called
over and over again…”Astr
o? Come on Goodie speak up! I’m all screwed up here.”



He sighed but not mournfully. Astro was too tough to be so easily destroyed. But how
Atlas ended up snagged by a tree was beyond him. He pulled himself strait onto a branch
and stood looking out th
e foliage towards the remains of the factory building. The
thought of losing his

cherished fire fighter stuffie bear made him snarl but there was
nothing he could do with the cops, the military and those strange sphere’s hovering
around the site.



All

he could think about was that he got set up and that the humans were not
concerned if Astro was close or not when they blasted the building to bits. He and Goodie
may have been polar opposites but Astro could never have called in a strike like that!



Atlas snarled as he slowly climbed down the tree. If Astro ended up hurt in any way?
The fleshies were gonna pay in spades for it. He landed on the street and huddled against
the trunk looking for a way to dodge out. Suddenly a sphere dropped from the air
above
and blasted the tree clean in half, knocking Atlas over into a wild scramble to escape
getting shot!



“I can tell this is gonna be a messed up day!” He screamed as he took to the air with
several Spheres hot on his heels.


A street in downtown Sh
injuku

Mid
-
morning



Reno came out of a second hand store in torn jeans, a worn jacket, an empty bottle in a
bag and stopped to wipe dirt on his face. Just another wino on a drunk, good cover he
thought as he walked along taking in what he saw. Cops and

military police along with
some robots were throwing people in vehicles or pulling wires from other robots and
taking them out of commission. All the while he kept hearing the same stupid public
announcement from cars, radios and televisions.



He stopp
ed by a park and snatched up a piece of cardboard to lay on behind a bush
while he adjusted the earpiece and tried several radio frequencies. “Astro? Hey buddy bot
where are you? Call me back…” Reno tried several times with no answer and was about
to get u
p when Astro called back.



“Don’t call me again for a while.” He said quickly.



30


“You alright?” Reno asked but got no reply. “Damn!” he said as he threw the
cardboard away and started walking again.


The White House Situation Room

Washington D.C.




The President and his cabinet were in session trying to make sense of the news coming
from Japan so far…what little they got given the obvious extent of the information
control being exercised. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Chamberlain, stood

to
give a report…



“So far we are still unable to contact any of our commands in Japan. We have
contacted the JSDF Headquarters in Tokyo however General Red was not available and
no clarification was given. All we’ve received from them is that the Nat
ional Situation
was under control and that some explanation is forth coming.”



The President leaned forwards. “What have we activated for alert so far?”



“Two carrier Battle Groups, the USS Vinson out of Washington State and the USS
MacArthur out o
f Pearl. We have the 1
st

Marine division, the 3
rd

Marine Amphibious
Group and the 4
th

Marine expeditionary brigade on Guam on standby. Four attack
submarines and two fleet ballistic missile subs in the Western Pacific.”



The President turned to his Sec
retary of State? “Maddam Secretary?”



“I tried to contact Minister Shino at her residence in Tokyo but no answer. I contacted
the Japanese Ambassador here and the UN representative in New York and both of them
have had no contact with home. They state
the same reason of “National Emergency” as
we have heard.”



The President rubbed his palms together. “Is there any special forces near Japan?”



The Chairman replied. “Currently there’s SEAL Team 3 led by Commander
Marcinko. They left Iwo Jima abo
ard the USS Snark after a joint operation with the
JMSDF.”



The President rubbed his chin. “Cut an order. I want an “eyes on” in Japan. Find out
what’s going on and report back.”



The Chairman saluted and walked from the room.








31

Shinjuku

Mid
-
Mo
rning



Astro left what Yen he had found in the pockets of the soldier clipped to the clothes
line where he found a boy’s baseball uniform and walked down the street with the hat
flopped over as much of his face as he could get it.

His biggest worry was

his points and
with things looking as wild as they did he was suddenly debating doing a chop job on the
one near the crown of his head but then he’d lose the ability to silently send messages.



As for messages, that was a problem. Given what he saw so

far, the flying sphere’s, the
black trucks with small radar units running around all over the place, anything he’d try to
send could be picked up. He thought about Reno, dumping him like that was so uncool
and hopefully he’d understand the good reason.




Walking by a closed electronics store however, Astro did a double take with his mouth
gaped. The television had his picture on it with phone numbers to the police and the
military. Under the picture was the word….WANTED!



“Wanted?” Astro asked himsel
f. “For what?!” He stood only briefly to try and catch
what volume there was but the set must have been on mute so he kept walking. Home
was not far off but what then? They
probably had the house ringed.



Kenichi? His house was close. Astro decided to
go there hoping he could then contact
the Doctor and find out what was causing all the insanity.


USS SNARK

SSN
-
989

300 Miles off Tokyo Bay

Mid
-
Morning



The Executive Officer keyed his mic. “Skipper I have an EAM from National
Command Authority.”




Commander Volker took the Emergency Action Message in hand, read it and keyed a
mic set over his head at the navigator’s station. “Commander Marcinko to the control
room.”



Richard Marcinko was a legend in the Special Warfare community. One of the la
st
serving “plank
-
owners” of the original group of Navy Frogmen commissioned by
President John Kennedy as the Navy’s special warfare force. He was a short, stocky,
rough speaking troll of a man with hulking steel arms and a mean looking disposition that
ma
de a Doberman pincher look cute. He walked up to the navigation table and took the
EAM from the Commander…



“Japan?
This is all you got?” Marcinko asked.



32


“That’s all NCA sent us. We don’t know who the enemy is, or if there is one but since
we can’
t establish contact with our forces in country you’ve been chosen as the eyes and
ears of the President.”



Marcinko turned to his Chief, Juble Early. “Tell the guys we’re getting some beach
time in Tokyo Earl. They better have their steel BVD’s packed

because the Geisha may
be armed.”



Early saluted and left the table. “Now….where to land?” Marcinko said as he
pondered the map. “Can you park us off…..here?”



The Commander nodded. “Satsuma? The way in’s going to be a bit shallow Dick.”




No more than my wife.” Marcinko replied smirking. “Sorry….my ex
-
wife.” He
laughed as he walked away. “Another vacation for 21 bucks a day! I love my job!”


Kenichi’s House

Mid
-
Afternoon



The other students and their parents finally left the house and
Kenichi slowly made his
way up to his room completely “funned” out of existence from the excitement, though he
fealt he’d never get any sleep. Wandering into his room he closed the window, drew the
shade and slowly collapsed onto his bed. He cooed softly a
nd was zoning out when a wet
finger suddenly jabbed his ear!



“EEEAH! DORK!” He snarled as he drew a fist and looked over the side of the bed to
see Astro looking back at him.



“Missed you too.” Astro said smiling.



“Ugh! I’ve been trying to
find out where you’ve been all morning!” Kenichi snorted.
“The whole world’s gone bozo and where are you?”



Astro sat up and stretched. “Playing dodge ball with those crazy spheres. You got any
idea what’s going on?”



Kenichi shrugged. “Totally clu
eless. Except the WANTED posters on television, what
did you do?”



“I pee’d on the Diet building.” Astro said proudly.



“Cut it out!” Kenichi snorted.



“I didn’t do a thing!” Astro snorted out. “The last thing I remember was I was trying to
bri
ng Atlas in and we got into a big fight then I wake up and a whole stupid building’s on
top of me! Have you heard anything about Atlas on the news?”


33



“Uh uh…” Kenichi replied.



Astro sat rubbing his arms. “The Tsumitomo fire? The Daisu noise thin
g? Doctor
Tenma? This was something big in the works, it had to be.” Astro frowned. “I can’t go
home.”



Kenichi sighed. “You look beat up. I don’t think my mom would mind you staying
but…”



Astro shook his head. “I can’t. I won’t put you in dange
r.”



“I think we’re already in danger enough. At least you can get some rest?”



Astro sighed.



“Just shut up and
lay down. My bed’s big enough.”



Astro crawled onto the bed and fluffed up a pillow. “Ken?”



“Yeah?”



“ Did anyon
e ever tell you…you hit like a girl?”



Kenichi swatted Astro off the head. “Shut up and sleep?”


367
-
90 Sumitchima Street

Eigo
-
cho Shinjuku



Atlas finally found a place to rest, thanks to the robot who snagged him by the wrist
and pulled him throu
gh a thick hedge after he’d clobbered the last of the pursuing
Spheres that had dogged him about the city. Now he lay with his right eye tapped up after
the bot had removed the piece of shrapnel.



She was…well she looked his age appearance. Her yellow
hair flowing around her
shoulders, her soft smile made him content. Still she wasn’t Livian and Atlas was burning
to know where she was.



This one was a lone, her “parents” had not returned from their own jobs as hospital
attendants, probably busy as
heck at the moment.



“What’s your name?” He asked as she finished taping the patch on his eye.



“Nicky.”




34



“Thank you.” Atlas said as he sat up. “You didn’t have to do this. You might get
punished for helping me.”



She chuckled a
little. “I’m already in trouble enough. There’s been plenty of soldiers
and other robots coming by here.”



Atlas snorted. “Any idea what’s going on?”



Nicky put away the first aid kit and handed Atlas a small can of oil. “I think it’s a
civil

war. There was a big battle at Camp Hushino twenty miles from here. I heard
explosions all night long.”



Atlas pursed his lips. “Civil War? Robots and humans? I keep seeing robots with
rifles too.”



Nicky shook her head. “Uh uh…it’s robots wit
h humans on one side fighting robots
and humans on the other.”



Atlas contorted his face. “What the heck? That makes no sense.”



“Tell me about it.” Nicky said frowning. “I don’t know where my family is. I can’t
call anyone.”



Atlas slowly
touched her face. “If I were your parents? I’d be proud of my daughter.
You’re sunshine in a robot’s
heart
.”



Nicky melted. “Awwww….you’re cute…even if the television says you’re a
dangerous creep.”



Atlas frowned. “Yeah…and Astro? Don’t listen t
o the junk on television. Astro’s no
danger to anyone…well…then again.” Atlas smirked as he rubbed the dent in his chest.


Engine 17

The Fighting Dragoons

Mid
-
Afternoon



Only their prized 1985 show engine worked, a scarce collectors item but the situa
tion
couldn’t be helped. Bobo and Timber were “jumpered” again for the 3
rd

time in the day!
In a situation like this you couldn’t afford to go short handed no matter what the chaos.



After the truck had been parked and most of the equipment dropped a
nd checked in
place just in case the alarm decided to go off again, Captain Kira called the Company
together around the side of the fire house.



35


He stood with his shirt off dressed in fire pants with their dirty black suspenders
leaving stains on his

white t
-
shirt. Obviously when the Captain was going to say
something utterly serious, he would dress like this for utter effect.



“Obviously…” He started with his hands out by his sides. “The world has gone
totally belly up. If this isn’t obvious ab
out now then most of you have hit the bottle in an
effort to stave off a certain level of reality.”



The attempt at some levity sort of failed.



“Ok…I’ll be serious. Things are totally “Beeeeeeep” do we agree?”



The company reacted wit
h nods and sounds of agreement.



“Obviously the reining phrase of the day is….”Whisky Trot Fox” however…right
now I want you to look to your left…to your right….look around….and remember to
look down.”



A jab at Timber and Bobo.




We are all brothers and sisters here. Robots and non
-
robots. Despite what we have
seen our thoughts, our vices, our beliefs as individuals don’t take priority over who we
are! Right now all we know is that a bunch of idiots have decided to go into the
comm
unal stupid house and turn the whole country into a big messed up dung heap! Our
concern however…is life. We fight to save lives no matter who it is, that’s what firemen
do. Leave the other bull for the idiots on the soap boxes to fix. We fight fires!”




Captain

Kira walked up to Timber and Bobo. “These are our brothers. We are going
to protect them. You two have this family, you will protect them. Together we will go out
there and keep doing what we’ve been trained for, what we were made for and wha
t we
were born to do. Is that clear?”



The response was sort of mute.



“God damn it! Is that clear?!”



“YES SIR!”



Captain Kira nodded. “Get some rest…I doubt we’ll have enough time to sit for a
coffee social for some time to c
ome.”



As the meeting broke, Bobo walked off on his own before Timber snatched him by
the arm. “Woe! Where you going?”



Bobo shook his head. “The Captain can talk about us all being brothers but it’s a
little hard to….you saw all that?”


36




Timber pursed his lips. “Everybody saw it. Trust me if there’s not one person here
willing to admit things are bad? They’re not right.”



Bobo followed Timber into the hose tower where they started hoisting the used lines
to dry. “Look…You watch
my back, I’ll watch yours, as robots we stick together ok?
Now I’m not saying our own guys here would do anything but that doesn’t mean some
other nutcase might not be thinking of creasing our braincases with a sledgehammer.”



Timber tapped Bobo’s he
ad. “Play….it…..cool.”



Bobo nodded then closed his eyes. “I can’t get the image of that robot…”



“Hey?!” Timber snorted. “I said….play it cool.”


Mid
-
Afternoon

Shibuya Prison



The Warden stood with one of his officers outside the medic
al building as two large
and armed robots approached with a man between them. The warden ordered no
resistance, not because he was part of whatever was happening but because the party
offered convincing reasons against any heroics.



The man was young
, about 19 or 20, with dark sunglasses and dressed in a black
business suit. “Warden, I am Rock.” The man said coldly. “You have a prisoner named
Tenma here correct?”



The warden nodded.



“Good! You will turn him over to me. Please don’t make

things “difficult”, my
friends here are not exceptionally good at artistic blood.”



The warden turned to his aide. “Get Tenma ready for travel?”


Afternoon

Doctor O’Shay’s house



Zoran watched as the Doctor put his business coat on and adjuste
d his tie. “Please
don’t leave Doctor?” She asked him worryingly.



“Getting back to work at the ministry will keep my mind from being consumed with
fear Zoran. Don’t worry, as long as you do as you’re told, you’ll be fine.”



A knock on the door

stopped O’Shay’s progress and he watched as Shinsaku Ban
walked in looking like a cat that went tumbling through the spin cycle. “Albert?”



37


O’Shay met him and walked him to the couch. “What happened to your arm?”



“I learned how to fly las
t night.” Ban said sarcastically. “Actually I was in the
middle of a fight between Astro and Atlas when the building they were in got leveled by
missiles.”



Zoran gasped! “My brother! Where’s my brother?!”



Ban reached over and gave her a kis
s on the head. “That’s from him. He said he
loves you and you shouldn’t worry.”



“Where is he? I’ve tried to call Astro but he won’t answer…”



“And you should stop calling him.” Ban replied. “Or didn’t you watch the latest
news? He’s wanted b
y someone as a threat to the state.”



O’Shay got angry. “That’s crazy!”



“Crazy or not, it’s a reality. Astro knows he can’t come home because they’re
watching the house. I’ve probably opened my mouth
too much already! We better just

drop it
right now.”



Zoran threw a fit. “DROP IT! HE’S MY BIG BROTHER! THEY CAN DROP IT
TILL IT FALLS INTO A BLACK HOLE!...”



“Zoran!” O’Shay cautioned. “Screaming won’t help right now. Until we know more
about what’s happening we can’t just go flying

off the handle now be a good girl and
behave yourself.”



Zoran shook with tears streaming down her face and ran to her bedroom crying.
“Ugh….” O’Shay sighed. “This is so terrible.”


Afternoon

Shigosaki National Highway

Between Osaka and Tokyo



It was only hours since Takiuma by good fortune had found some parts he scavenged
from a junkyard to get his car going again and now he was being scrutinized by an armed
soldier at a checkpoint that had cut the highway. Two heavy tanks blocked the lanes an
d
the soldiers had already demonstrated their willingness to use force on those who tried to
run the blockade.



The young man looked about 19 and he seemed to be taking his time, perhaps
goading anyone to challenge his immediate authority. He probabl
y gazed at Takiuma’s
license now for the 2000 time.



38


“And where are you going citizen?” He asked.



“I was on my way to Yokohama.” Takiuma replied with a slight bow. “My kid
brother has suffered a stroke and I’m hoping to make it there before
nightfall.”



The soldier gave Takiuma back his license. “Proceed Sir and please continue to