It was a day like any other. For T-117, that meant good hunting. His latest capture now resided within his jaws, as he referred to the inbuilt containment unit within his craft; plucked from above as she attempted to flee in a fit of self-delusion.
Her companions, a male and female pair had eluded capture for the time-being but T-117 had not lost track of them. He had alerted a pair of hound-units to their location the moment they entered an underground transportation terminal. They would join their comrade soon enough.
For now his task was to deliver his cargo to the sector holding facility where she would be processed. He knew little about those operations outside his jurisdiction, and the facility was as much a mystery to him as any other. He had delivered dozens of specimens in the past day or more but their fate was entirely unknown to him.
This lack of closure was a constant source of frustration. T-117 had grown attached to these creatures in his own way, another of his many design flaws unintended by his breeders. He had learned to track them; hunt them; toy with them, and then somewhere along the way he had also come to love them.
‘Love’ was perhaps too strong a word in their language, but to T-117 it was love as best he could know. Such emotions were not of his kind; primitive notions more common to the less-developed species which inhabited the galaxy. To them, his obsession might have been regarded as dependence. It was these bipedal anthropoids who gave his existence purpose and meaning. Without them, what was he?
T-117 was fast-approaching his destination, flying high above the desolate city-scape. The holding facility itself was located near to the city centre, a massive block of obsidian-black material purpose-built for Phase Two of the invasion. Phase Two had been when T-117’s protocols had first been activated, and his life’s purpose began.
The fact that he was no more than two Earth-days old might have seemed strange to a casual observer, along with a great many other things concerning his kind. T-117 was unperturbed though. Units went through regular cycles of activation and then retirement when they became obsolete or redundant.
The thought of his inevitable demise was of no particular concern to T-117 as it might have been to a more primitive species. When the day came, his organic and inorganic parts would be broken down and recycled into a new unit to better serve the whole. Such was the design of the Breeders. They had their role to play, and he had his. There was no purpose in resisting the Great Plan in the name of misguided sentiments for the individual. Whether it should be a millennium or a single day, all must serve.
His sensors detected movement in his containment unit. The captive was awake and restless. Not to matter, he would administer another dose of sedative to quiet her. Although she had no hope of escape, his superiors preferred that specimens be delivered unharmed and he would not risk his damaging itself in a futile effort to resist.
Suddenly something triggered his alert protocols; an anomalous energy signature detected below. He descended rapidly through the cloud cover to better locate the source. His delivery could wait. This took precedent. His scanners quickly determined the location of the anomaly. In the middle of a street which ran between two still-standing towers, a small but powerful transmitter radiated like a beacon.
T-117 moved in closer to inspect the device which had piqued his curiosity. It was not of human origin, that much was clear, but how had it come to be here? There were no ongoing operations in this area, and his superiors would not tolerate such a device being misplaced, yet here it was.
Just then his sensors detected another energy source, this time from one of the structures adjacent to the street. His craft spun in place to better observe this new disturbance. There in one of the broken windows of the building stood a male of the local species.
Impossible! T-117’s computational mind could not at first comprehend the scene before him. His detective capabilities were top-of-line-line and the natives possessed no technology capable of cloaking themselves from his sensors, unless… T-117 realised too late the trap they had set for him – the transmitter had been the bait along with whatever other stolen technology they possessed and he had fallen straight into their ambush.
The man in the window raised a large weapon over his shoulder and T-117 immediately recognised it for what it was. The slug-based armaments which the invasion force had initially come into contact with posed no real threat, but this was entirely different. T-117 attempted to send out an alert to any nearby units but found that his communication systems were likewise blocked.
The weapon discharged in an explosive burst of energy which enveloped T-117’s outer hull. The effect was instantaneous. The craft listed to the left as it experienced a complete systems failure before free-falling the ground in a thunderous crash which shattered the pavement below.
The intent of the weapon was to disable, not to destroy, and now T-117 lay helpless to the whims of the hostile locals; easy pickings to be salvaged for whatever other weapons and technology they desired.
T-117 had been retired.
to be continued…