An uneven trail of skeletal footprints snaked its way across the orange soot of the baseball field, trailing a massive metal man as it limped toward its destination. The creature’s servos whirred rhythmically as it lurched along, clutching its limp left arm. It was still heavily damaged from its encounter with the English department, and it desperately needed repair parts. As it inched closer to the visitor’s dugout, a grimy mechanical panel emerged from a nearby water cooler. On this panel was a ten-key dial pad, which required an ultra secret code to operate.
The RoboSears lifted a skeletal metal finger and brought it to the panel, ready to punch in the ancient code that has been kept among a discrete few since the foundation of Dixon Academy in 1899. Careful to keep a steady hand, it reached further and inputted the code:
There was a deafening hiss as the RoboSears was swallowed by a secret panel in the floor. Its metal derriere slammed onto the plastic Fun Slide located directly beneath the panel, and he was rocketed down the slide into the black abyss below. The fearsome mangled metal skeleton threw up its tattered arms in childish joy and giggled like a schoolgirl as it twisted through the tube.
Suddenly, it popped out of the other end of the slide and slammed directly into a pile of crates on the opposite wall, reducing it to splinters. He emerged from the debris gingerly rubbing his chrome dome, and wondering why someone had thought it was a good idea to stack crates in front of the Fun Slide.
“Sorry about that, Kenny. Greg was just keeping those computer towers there until he figured out where they were supposed to go.”
A chaotic swarm of microbots trickled through the walls and gathered in front of Sears to form the massive floating face of the tech department’s own Mike Holmes.
“All right, Chief,” the RoboSears responded to its master flatly, as it did to everyone.
“So we’re cool? I don’t want to to think that I put them there on purpose because you’re a swell guy and I wouldn’t do that to you.”
“Is that a yes? Because I can’t tell if you’re angry at me right now, and I want to make sure that we’re still friends.”
“Okay, I really can’t tell if you’re mad… But then again you are a robot, so you don’t really have emotions… Never mind. I’m an idiot.”
“Shut up. Follow me.”
Mike Holmes’s floating face turned inside out to face the opposite direction and started drifting down the hall. Sears limped closely behind, still nursing his wounded arm. They continued in silence for a while.
“Do… you play World of Warcraft?” Mr. Holmes asked sheepishly, “I just reached level 70 on my Warlock, which means I unlocked the fabled orc sword ‘Malevolence,’ as well as a special cape that subtracts 10 damage during archery battles–”
His microbots flashed slightly red as his face flushed in embarrassment.
“Oh, I forgot, you’re still a robot. You don’t play video games.”
“Good deal, Chief.”
Holmes released a deep sigh.
“Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?”
As if punctuating this, a heavy metal door to their left slid open with a mechanical hiss.
Inside was a colossal air hanger stocked with every type of weapon imaginable; everything from nuclear missiles to Super Soakers. This was the St. Paul’s armory, built over the former location of the ROTC shooting range.
The floating swarm-head and half-obliterated robotic skeleton continued into the hanger, the latter ducking to maneuver under the outstretched barrel of a gatling gun.
“I take it you came here to get an upgrade, hmm?” Mike Holmes sneered. “I doubt you came here to chat. No one comes here to chat. Except Greg.”
He stopped abruptly as he noticed something on his right.
“Ah, here we are.”
Holmes was referring to a 15-foot tall tube-like chamber that was resting against the nose cone of a fighter jet. It rippled with an eerie green aurora.
“Hop on in there, Kenster.”
RoboSears cast Mr. Holmes a smoldering glare.
“What, we’re not cool like that? Wow, I thought we were at least on a nickname basis, but whatever, its all good, I’m fine.”
The tube swung open, ejecting a blanket of steam as the RoboSears climbed inside and it sealed shut, leaving Mike Holmes totally alone… again.
“Well, time to go browse some MineCraft forums–”
The reinforced door to the armory collapsed like tin foil and launched itself across the hangar, lodging itself directly in Holmes’ face.
The microbots composing the technician’s bulbous head spit out the dense door, restructuring his face almost immediately into an annoyed grimace.
“What is the meaning of this?!” Holmes shrieked. “Is that you, Greg? It not funny, you scared the jeepers out of–”
The smoke in the doorway began to clear, uncovering a red metal figure with a glowing outstretched hand.
“What the–? You’re not Greg!” Holmes gawked.
Mr. Carambat emerged from the smoke cloud in his Iron Man suit, switching on the ion blaster in his hand.
“You are correct, sir!” he replied with a sly smile, unleashing a brilliant blast of ionic energy at the floating head.
The blast tore through the crackling air, hurtling across the hangar directly at Holmes’ massive face. It connected, blossoming in a white-hot explosion that left nothing behind. Holmes was gone.
“That was easy,” Mr. Carambat shrugged. “I didn’t even get to explain why I’m here. Oh well. Time to get to work.”
Unfolding a compartment in his thigh plate, he pulled out a small blue box and switched it on. It began to glow blue and whirr wildly.
“Trans-Dimensional Storage Unit™. Never leave home without it.” The Biology teacher quipped to himself.
Wasting no time, he began to stuff the cube with every weapon he could get his hands on, shoving ballistic missiles, machine guns, slingshots, and samurai swords into the cube’s radiant blue opening.
Meanwhile, across the hangar, RoboSears’s transformation tube slid open, spilling smoke onto the floor. What stepped out of the tube was no longer RoboSears… but something more.
“HEY, CHIEF!!” the creature’s computerized voice bellowed at Carambat.
Carambat froze, turning slowly to see who had produced the noise. His face flushed and his jaw dropped in horror.
Roughly fifty yards away was the most fearsome entity that the Biology teacher had ever beheld. It was a 40-foot tall mass of twisted metal, with huge arms ending in fearsome razor-tipped claws. Needle-like teeth protruded from its goateed half-smile, and its head was encased in an ornate pointed helmet piece.
RoboSears was no more. Now there was only…
THE KENNYTRON let out a mighty roar as it broke into a full sprint at Mr. Carambat, its every stride quaking the foundations of the hangar.
Mr. Carambat shrugged apathetically.
“Oh well, guess I’ll have to test this stuff now,” he said, striking the large red button that read “DO NOT PUSH” on the side of the Trans-Dimensional Storage Unit™.
Suddenly, a torrential stream of technology and weapons spewed from the box, attaching and molding itself to Carambat’s armor, swelling it to colossal size and adorning it with a plethora of guns, rockets, and machetes.
“Oh yeah…” He smirked, “Now that’s a big idea.”
He lunged forward, ready to do battle with the approaching KENNYTRON…
TO BE CONTINUED…
• • •