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Tetsuwan Penguin
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago

Poindexter Drake looked at the rectangular module that Rocco DeCavalcante had just handed him. “Has Mr. Verostic tested this?” he asked.

“I watched him playing with it for over an hour,” Rocco said, taking a huge drag on his Guinea Stinker and blowing the smoke in Drake's direction.

“Must you?” Drake coughed, swatting the air around him with his hands in an attempt to dissipate the cloud of cigar smog.

“Hey, this is a ten dollar cigar!” DeCavalcante exclaimed.

“Maybe, but it smells like New Jersey!” Drake replied. “Keep it to yourself if you don't mind!”

“You want me to get rid of the geek now?” the short, heavy set curmudgeon asked.

“No, I still need to be able to make more of these things, and we still don't know if it's going to work yet.” Drake replied. “Why don't you go somewhere else with that burning turd you think is a cigar, and let me work here. I'll contact you when I need you. Meanwhile, I suggest you keep Mr. Verostic happy. I still have need of him.”

“Very well, Drake,” Rocco muttered. “I think I'll go get myself a steak dinner. I'll be back later with the receipt, this one is going to be on you.”

“Fine, fine,” Drake said, looking the other way and waving at his partner as if asking him to leave.

Poindexter busied himself with the task of connecting the quantum processor module up to the electronics inside of the robot. His creation currently resembled the skeleton of a T-800 model 101 terminator, as it still lacked the external skin that would give it a human appearance. It would still be just as functional however. Drake had already tested all of the robot's systems using the primitive computer hardware that he had available and had verified that it was fully functional. The blueprints he'd stolen from the Cheyenne mountain research lab just before he'd been thrown out of there by General Hayes, plus the prototype hardware from the latest DARPA research lab had given his effort a real bootstrap. Now he hoped to pay them back, in spades.

Andy Verostic breathed a sigh of relief as Rocco slammed the door and left with the computer cube in his pudgy hand. It hadn't taken him very long to figure out that he wasn't being recruited by some secret government think tank, but rather by some mob run organization. That had been obvious as soon as he'd met Rocco, the plug ugly who had been assigned to babysit him. Whoever had set this thing up though, had plenty of money to throw around, he'd give them that. The facility he'd been locked up in for the past few months was top notch, wherever it was located.

Andy had been given comfortable sleeping quarters with everything he'd needed for his work, and to keep his sanity. It was a prison of sorts, that was for sure, but a very comfortable one. He'd been brought here blindfolded in the middle of the night after a long ride in the backseat of a windowless, soundproofed van, not able to see where he was going. The vehicle had made plenty of turns to conceal their true direction of travel.

Eventually Andy was able to figure out that he was hidden somewhere in NYC, probably in upper Manhattan or the Bronx. He'd been able to determine that much by pinging the internet from his computer and doing some route tracing on the network, not that that did him any good, however. Andy was convinced that he'd be silently disposed of eventually, and he knew that he'd need to figure out a way of getting some help. Unfortunately, his computer network connection was monitored. Any attempt on his part to contact the outside world had been blocked by the firewall that Drake had installed.

There was one hope, however. During his attempt to figure out his location, Andy had noticed an outsider attempting to hack his way into his computer. Probably just some rouge kid hacker thinking he'd found some government agency. Maybe, with any luck he might be able to send a message if he could only open up a weak spot in the firewall so that this hacker could break into from the outside.

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)

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Little Brown Fox
On a Flight into Space
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Postby Little Brown Fox » 5 years ago

Ah. I feel slightly better now.

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Tetsuwan Penguin
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago

The robot's eyes glowed red as it came to life. Drake stood in front of his creation, keeping an eye on the computer monitors as he watched the progress of the A.I. download. The creature slowly assumed a sitting position on the workbench an stared at its creator.

“Hello Atlas!” Drake said, “Welcome to the world!”

The robot didn't say anything, it just blinked and looked around. There was a mirror hanging on the wall and Atlas caught a glance of himself and stared at his reflection for a few minutes.

“At the moment you're not much to look at,” Drake laughed, “But don't worry, I'll take care of that very soon. Why don't you get off the workbench and try out your legs?” he suggested.

Atlas nodded and slowly swung his legs over the side of the table and planted his feet on the ground, one foot at a time. He was a bit wobbly at first, and took his first step with great care. It took him a good five minutes to make it across the room, where he stopped in front of the mirror and took a good look at himself. Without a covering of skin over his metal frame Atlas had no facial expressions so there was no way to tell what he was thinking, and he still hadn't discovered his voice yet.

“Well for crying out loud, say something will ya?” Drake said.

Atlas seemed to mouth something, but he didn't produce any vocal sound.

“Guess your speech center is still off line,” Drake sighed. “Sit down and I'll check it out.”
Atlas plopped down in a nearby chair and allowed Poindexter access to his internal circuits. Drake started to probe around, and he hooked up a network cable to debug the robot's nervous system processors. “Guess I didn't get everything quite right the first time.” he muttered.

Robert Levinson sat down in front of his main computer console and started downloading the data from the days first test flight of the X-35. The 3D holographic monitor came to life, and Isaac's image appeared, with Cobalt's standing behind him.

“Hello guys,” Bob said.

“Good evening Robert,” Isaac answered. “We've powered down the aircraft's systems and transferred our consciousness back to the mainframe for the evening,” Isaac replied.
“Cobalt, there's enough memory and Teraflops in this system for you to wander off on your own if you'd like, you're not attached to me at the hip anymore.”

“Thank's Isaac.” Cobalt replied as he walked away to explore the mainframe on his own.

“I have some news for you Bob,” Isaac said.

“Good news I hope” Robert replied.

“Yes, I would say so,” Isaac returned. “First of all I've narrowed down the location of our missing IBM scientist to a one square mile area upper Manhattan. I've also nailed down the location of that hacker that has been pinging our network for the past few weeks.”

“Two birds with one stone, er?” Bob laughed.

“Quite true, actually.” Isaac replied. “It seems my theory about Mr. Verostic being held prisoner is probably correct. He's been trying to get out an S.O.S., but they've got him behind a rather iron clad firewall that is keeping his distress messages from reaching the open network. However, the same firewall may not be as iron clad on the way in, because our hacker has breached it.”

“I'm not sure I get that,” Bob replied.

“Mr. Verostic has been quite resourceful. He couldn't send any cries for help outbound, but he did manage to set up a spoof curtain on his side that temporarily disguised his IP so that it looked like ours. Our hacker couldn't tell the difference, so he's been trying to crack us both. Our firewall was too good for him, but the one Andy is behind has a small chink in its armor. I made use of that to trace the network traffic, and I now know that Andy's computer is somewhere in the Spanish Harlem area, as is our hacker.”

Reno Guzmán hit the return key on his keyboard and the computer sent out an encrypted 'ping' to the IP address that his attack program had captured. The program did a rapid port scan and located the tiny hole in the firewall, and it inserted a packet into the opening that it had created. On the other side a daemon awoke from its slumber just long enough to copy the packet and send back a small ping to which it attached a few encoded bytes of data. The daemon then deleted itself from memory before the firewall could notice what had happened.

Less than a mile away, Reno's computer picked up the ping and triggered a data dump. The screen suddenly filled with data that scrolled up and down in many columns resembling Japanese Kanji characters, like something out of the 'Matrix'.

“Whow!” the hacker gasped, "what is this!"

Reno piped the output of the core dump into his all purpose decryption program. It didn't take long for the software to figure out that most of the ping had contained links to other web pages containing bits and pieces of a message, something like writing a message with individual words cut out of several newspapers and magazines. The program pieced the bits of the puzzle together, and printed the short message on the screen, “HELP! They're going to kill me!”

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)


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Tetsuwan Penguin
Robot Revolutionary
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago



“Juan, wait up!” Reno yelled as he ran trying to catch up with his friend.

“Que pasa?” Juan laughed, “Since when are you ever early for class?”

“I need your help, man” Reno replied, “I got this weird encrypted message from that computer I've been trying to hack into these past weeks.”

“Really?” Juan said, suddenly interested.

“It was a cry for help,” Reno replied, “Some dude there said someone was trying to kill him!”

“You mean like you got someone being held captive on an island trying to stuff a note in a bottle kind of thing?” Juan said.

“It's more like that than you realize,” Reno said. “That message was buried inside of a short ping that came back to me when I was trying to break in. It was almost like I had opened up a window in a one way firewall to let a cry for help out.”

“So where is this guy?” Juan replied.

“Nearby, that's all I know.” Reno said. I'm at wits end trying to figure out what to do, I've saved everything I got, all of my net traces, program dumps, and my hand scribbled notes. I need someone with more hacker experience than I have to find this guy.”

“Maybe you should go to the FBI?” Juan suggested.

“I don't know about that,” Reno replied, “If I did that I'd have to admit to trying to break in to systems on the internet. Besides, what if this guy is actually being held BY the FBI, or the CIA?”

“Now you're sounding really paranoid, dude!” Juan laughed.

“Maybe, but I just can't take that chance.” Reno sighed.

“Hmmm,” Juan thought, “I think I know someone you might be able to trust.”

“Who?” Reno demanded.

“There's this professor at the polytechnic institute in Brooklyn where my older half brother is studying engineering,” Juan told him. “A Japanese guy by the name of Yamamoto who teaches robotics.”

“How can he help?” Reno queried.

“My brother says he knows some really bright guys in the computer field,” Juan replied, “Including a hacker that used to work at area 51.”

“That sounds like someone I'd need to talk to,” Reno agreed. “I think I'm going to duck class after lunch and take the subway into Brooklyn!”

Professor Ken'ichi Yamamoto watched the last of his Robotics 101 class exit the class room and he slowly began to pack his notes and laptop computer into his backpack and head back to his office to grade papers. He had a break until his 2:30 lab class, and he wanted to get ahead of his paperwork in the 45 minutes before then. When he arrived at his office he noticed the Hispanic teenager camped out in front of his office door. As Ken'ichi fished the key to the door out of his pocket the boy got up from the floor where he'd been sitting Indian style.

“Looking for me?” Professor Yamamoto asked.

“Hai, Sensei!” Reno replied.

“You don't need to impress me by pretending that you speak Japanese,” Ken'ichi laughed, “Besides, my English is perfect anyway.”

“Sorry,” Reno said. “I was just trying to be polite.”

“I know.” the professor smiled as he opened the door to his office. “Come in.”

“A friend of mine told me about you,” Reno began, “his brother attends engineering classes here. He said you might be able to help me, or that you might know someone who could.”

“What's your problem, son?” the professor asked.

“Well I was sorta hacking around on the net and I intercepted a cry for help,” the boy explained, “It sounds like spy stuff actually,” Reno fished in the back pocket of his jeans and came up with a USB flash drive. “I've copied everything onto this. I need to find this guy, he's in danger!”

Ken'ichi accepted the memory stick from the boy and plugged it into the USB hub on his computer monitor. The machine ran a quick virus scan on the drive and then mounted it. Reno reached over and grabbed the mouse and quickly opened a few files which the professor read.

“If this is real, we need to do something quickly!” Yamamoto replied. “Well, I guess my student assistant can run my 2:30 lab class, I've been prepping him to take over in case I was indisposed.”

Ken'ichi opened his email and quickly sent two emails, one to his secretary to let her know he'd be out for a few hours, and one to his student assistant to tell him he'd be running the afternoon lab session.

“What's your name son?” the professor asked.

“Reno Guzmán,” the boy replied.

“OK Reno, would you like to come uptown with me and have your mind blown?” the professor asked.

“What do you mean?” Reno asked.

“You're about to discover some stuff that you've only dreamed about in science fiction movies.” Ken'ichi laughed.

Part of the IND 8th avenue subway had cellphone repeater antennas in the tunnels allowing Ken'ichi to get network access on the C train north of the West 4th street station. He dialed Simon Green's direct access number, and waited several rings before the phone was answered.

“Hello Simon,” Ken'ichi said.

“Hello, professor,” Simon answered. “It's been a while since we've spoken. Any problems with the 'children'?”

“No, Uran is fine, and I'm sure you know how Atom and Cobalt are.”

“True.” Simon laughed. “So what can I do for you?”

“I'm on my way to the complex for a visit,” the professor said, “and I have a young guest with me who needs Bob's assistance.”

“Robert is occupied with a government test at the moment, but I can reach him if necessary,” Simon replied. “Meet me in my office when you arrive, your pass code is still active in the system so you'll have no problem getting in.”

“Thank's Simon, we should be there in about twenty minutes.”

“I'll be expecting you.”

Reno followed Ken'ichi though the back corridors of the basement. He'd never been inside of the American Museum of Natural History, and he certainly never dreamed of what lay underneath the famous landmark. The elevator seemed to descend forever before finally opening its doors to reveal the brightly lit hallway leading off into the distance. They walked past the glass walled reception area and approached a double door that resembled the entrance to a hospital OR. The professor punched a numbered pass code onto a keypad next to the door and peered into a camera that examined the pattern on his retina. The doors then slid open, making a sound like the doorways on the starship Enterprise.

Simon Green's office didn't look like anything special, Reno thought, certainly not what you'd expect for the head of a top secret research facility located deep under one of the most famous museums in the world.

“This is Reno,” Ken'ichi said. “He has a bit of a unique problem that requires Mr. Levinson's help.”

Simon offered his hand to Reno, which the boy accepted and shook in greeting. Reno quickly explained what had transpired, pausing only slightly when he had to explain just how he'd intercepted the cry for help.

“Don't worry about the hacking bit,” Simon replied. “We're only concerned with the end results here, not the means. I think we should go over to the computer lab. Robert isn't here at the moment, but he can be contacted live via the computer system.”

They took another elevator down even deeper into the subterranean depths of the city, though this time the descent was only a few stories further down. The elevator opened into a large area filled with rack after rack of electronic equipment. At the rear of the area was an open space with a large semicircular control area with many computer terminals. Hanging from the ceiling in the middle of this was a glowing sphere of ionized gas. As they approached the glow began to solidify into an image and Robert Levinson's face appeared in the glow.

“Holy Wizard of Oz!” Reno muttered.

“Yes it does sorta resemble the wiz when it does that,” Simon laughed. “Hello Bob, do you have time to look at something?”

“I was just adjusting Isaac's A.I. a bit and tweaking the interface parameters to the X-35 before our next test flight.” Bob explained. “The General isn't due over for another hour though, so I can take a break. What's up.”

“I'd like you to meet a young hacker who needs your help.” Simon explained.

“That would probably be the one that I've been keeping an eye on for the past few weeks,” Isaac's voice came over the link.

Reno walked closer to the 3D monitor. “Can he see me?” the boy asked.

“Yes this is a two way video link,” Bob replied.

“I have some files I want you to look at.” Reno said. “It's a message I intercepted while trying to hack into what looked like a government research shop, though I now don't know what it was. I have all of the program dumps I made trying to break in, network traces, and my own notes. We need to find whoever sent me this message, it looks like a cry for help from someone who knows their life is in danger!”

“Plug your drive into any monitor USB socket,” Bob told him.

Reno did as he was asked. Suddenly Bob's image blurred out and was replaced by that of a white haired older man dressed in a white lab coat. It spoke with a slight 17th century London accent.

“Bob, it seems that Reno has located Andy Verostic!” Isaac replied.

“I don't know where this guy is!” Reno yelled, “I think he's not far from my house in Spanish Harlem, but I don't know for sure!”

“You did very well in tracing the location of the IP entrance point.” Isaac said. “You also captured enough trace data for me to fine tune in on your work.”

Isaac's image faded out and a map of upper Manhattan appeared. A large red “X” marked the spot where Isaac had calculated the location of Andy's computer connection to the web.

“I'm going to send Atom over there,” Bob said. “We may be too late even now to rescue Mr. Verostic, and waiting for the police or the Feds would be stupid.”

“I agree Bob.” Simon replied.

“Who's Atom?” Reno asked.

“That will require a long bit of explanation,” Ken'ichi laughed. “He's my robotic step son.”

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)


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Tetsuwan Penguin
Robot Revolutionary
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago

Poindexter Drake knew he'd made a deal with the devil, and he didn't care what the mob used Atlas for, so long as he controlled the robot. The other part of the deal was the computer module. It was key to building the robot, but an end in its self as well. The Chinese and the Koreans would pay plenty for the quantum processor, with it they'd be able to control cyberspace.

Rocco DeCavalcante had been given Carte Blanche by the mob, and the money to back it, but they expected payback. Setting up the laboratory space for Mr. Verostic to recreate the invention he'd developed at IBM's skunkworks had taken a lot of cash. Hiding the laboratory had been the easy part thanks to the politics of the city. The construction crew he'd made use had no idea what they were excavating, and once the space they had hollowed out had been cleaned up another crew went to work bringing in two by fours and sheet rock. The laboratory had been a masterpiece of subterfuge, hidden in a section of the the abandoned tunnel of the long planned, but never built, uptown section of the second avenue subway.

Rocco's limo driver dropped him off at the corner of Second Avenue and 96th street. The short heavyset man carried a long crowbar like tool with a padded “T” handle. He looked around to see if he was being watched, though his limo shielded him from being viewed from the street. He then slipped the business of the tool into a steel grating in the sidewalk. Rocco twisted the tool and lifted, the grating slowly rose upward to reveal a staircase leading downward.

He removed a cigar lighter from his pocket and flicked it. In the flickering light of the gas flame he found a switch which turned on a bank of bright halogen lamps, and started an electric motor which lowered the grating above him back into place. Rocco followed the steel steps downward until he reached a heavy door which he opened using a key card.

Andy Verostic quickly got back to work on the second prototype when he heard the outer door open. Rocco opened the door to the laboratory and put on his usual false pleasant voice. “Good news, Drake says that your prototype is working just fine.”

“I was fairly certain that it would,” Andy said without looking taking his eyes away from the microscope he was peering into. “Of course that was only the proof of concept model, now that I know I've succeeded in replicating my original work I should be able to complete the design as it was intended before the fire set me back two years.”

“That's what Drake was hoping for,” Rocco said.

“Say, don't I ever get to get out of here and breath some fresh air?” Andy asked.

“No time for that,” Rocco said in a rougher tone. “Your work is too important to be delayed by any vacation time.”

“Right.” Andy sighed. He turned to face his jailer to gauge the look on his face. “I'm going to have to do some work in the clean room. Be a good sport and keep the hell out of there will you? If any of your stench flakes off in there it will ruin the silicon and I'll loose a month's worth of work.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Rocco replied. “Just remember I can watch what you're doing in there on the closed circuit TV monitors.”

“I'll be sure to put on a good show for my audience,” Andy replied.

Rocco walked out and headed for his lounge where he could monitor the lab from several TV monitors.

Andy sighed, well at least it looked like he'd be needed for a bit longer. He wondered if his message had gotten though. He hoped that this hacker was as smart as he'd hoped.

Bob closed his laptop and walked over to the other side of the hangar where the X-35 was parked. The aircraft was connected to the computer network by a thick umbilical cable that ran across the length of the hanger from the plane's under side electronics bay to the rack of computer equipment that Levinson had brought over. Atom was sitting in the Cockpit conversing with Cobalt and Isaac when Bob climbed up the ladder to stand next to the open canopy.

“I've got a job for you Atom,” Bob replied.

“What's up?” the boy robot asked.

“Your step father paid a visit to the Museum complex, and he brought a boy about your 'age' over.” Bob said, “the kid's a computer hacker who's been trying to break into my systems for the past few weeks. Isaac has been keeping him at bay, but it seems that the boy has managed to find the whereabouts of an IBM engineer we've been searching for for over a year now.”

“The guy's in trouble, right?” Atom asked.

“Isaac thinks he's been kidnapped by the mob and has been forced to work on recreating the quantum computer modules that power both Cobalt's and your electronic brains,” Bob replied. “Mr. Verostic managed to send out a call for help which the hacker intercepted. From the data that this kid captured, Isaac managed to figure out to within a block or two where our missing engineer is being held.”

“I'll fly there and rescue him,” Atom said, “just give me the coordinates.”

“According to Isaac, he's hidden in the city somewhere near 96th street and Second Avenue.” Bob replied.

“That's the East Harlem section of Manhattan,” Cobalt replied. There is a block of apartments to the north of that corner, and a bunch of neighborhood retail establishments to the south. I can't imagine where the mob would hid a research facility, but that's obviously what they've done with the intent of having Mr. Verostic recreate the computer hardware for their own purposes, whatever they might be.”

“Since when have you become an expert on NYC geography?” Atom asked his brother's A.I.

“Well there IS an advantage to being joined by the hip to the most powerful search engine ever created, and having instant Internet access.” Cobalt laughed.

“I'm jealous.” Atom replied.

“Cobalt does have a point though Atom,” Bob said scratching his chin. “How are you going to find a needle in a hay stack? We don't know what building the mob has Andy in. I'm not sure that your infrared vision will be enough to find a hidden laboratory from the air, especially if they've built it in some sub-basement.”

“I think I have the answer,” Isaac replied.

“What is it?” Robert asked.

“This aircraft is equipped with a powerful ground penetrating radar system, plus a FLIR camera that is more powerful than Atom's infrared vision.” Isaac explained. “We could locate it in short order.”

“Are you suggesting a little detour in today's test flight plan?” Bob asked.

“After yesterday, I don't think General Hayes would be surprised at another little glitch in the program,” Isaac suggested.

“Well in that case, I'm going along for the ride,” Atom replied.

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)


I can also be found on Deviant Art http://tetsuwanpenguin.deviantart.com/

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Tetsuwan Penguin
Robot Revolutionary
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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago



Atlas got up off of the operating table and turned towards the full length mirror hanging on the wall.

“Go ahead, look at yourself,” Drake told him, “What do you think?”

The robot looked into the mirror and ran his hands though the yellow locks of his wavy hair. His orange tinted skin contrasted nicely with the hair. He flexed his muscles and admired the bulges in his arms and abdomen. He then stared at the Fundoshi like briefs he was wearing. “You've got to be kidding!,” he said pulling on the garment.

“Yeah, we we can do something about that, I suppose.” Drake told him. He handed the robot a dark metallic looking pair of briefs which Atlas quickly changed into.

“This will do,” he said as he admired himself in the mirror for a little longer.

“It's time we tested your abilities.” Drake told the teenage sized robot. He tossed him a heavy crowbar, “see what you can do with this.”

Atlas held the three foot long metal bar in both hands and carefully examined it. He looked at both ends of the tool, trying to contemplate its purpose.

“Just try bending it in half, lunkhead!” Drake yelled.

Atlas shrugged his shoulders and gripped one end of the tool in each hand. He quickly bent the hardened steel bar in half and then tied it into a knot for good measure. Atlas then tossed the metal pretzel back to his creator. Drake stepped aside and let the deformed tool fall to the floor in front of him with a loud clang. He then picked it up with both hands, and examined it.

“Nice work,” Drake laughed, as he turned to the window and looked out. The view from the window commanded a good view of Central Park, and the buildings on the other side of it. Flying on a tall flagpole just in front of the Museum of Natural History was a large American flag. Drake pointed to it as he spoke, “Go fetch me that flag, will you?”

Atlas focused his eyes on the the flag that was over a mile away. “How am I to do that?”

“Fly over there and just detach it from the flagpole, how else?” Drake said in a voice that a parent would use on a five year old. “You can hover in the air and do it easily.”

Drake opened the window and stepped aside. Atlas thought about the task for a few moments before placing one foot on the window sill. He bent over so his head would clear the bottom of the open sash, and then he stepped out. He fell for about a story and a half before the jet engines in his legs throttled up to power, and he then darted across the open area above the park on his quest. Within a few minutes he was back with the flag tightly rolled into a ball held in his left hand.

Drake grabbed the flag from the robot and carefully refolded it into a proper triangle. “I guess no one has showed you the correct way of handling the flag,” he sighed, “My fault, I suppose.”

“Now what should I do?” Atlas asked.

“You need some more practice with your flying if you are to be of any use to me.” Drake replied. “Why don't you go buzz the East River and log some air time?”

“OK,” Atlas replied. He jumped out of the still open window for a second time and quickly became airborne. A smile crossed his face as he followed a hawk across the sky. This was fun, he thought.

General Hayes looked up from the ground at the cockpit of the X-35 aircraft sitting on the tarmac apron in front of the hangar.

“Who's in the pilot's seat?” Hayes asked.

“Someone who's perfectly qualified to record every data point on your test specifications,” Robert replied.

Hayes squinted to block the glare of the sun off off the aircraft's bubble top canopy. “Hey that looks like a kid sitting up there!” he exclaimed, “that wouldn't be..”

“Hello General Hayes, Sir!” Atom's voice crackled from out of the hangar intercom radio, just as Isaac pushed the throttle forward and the fighter jet lunged onto the taxiway.

“It's that robot kid, isn't it?” the general blurted out.

“Like I told you sir, we're in good hands here.” Bob told him.

“I don't know what you're up to here Mr. Levinson, but I suppose I'll go along with this.” Hayes coincided. “I trust you are intending on testing the aircraft's sensor systems under autonomous control today?”

“Actually, that is going to be our top priority,” Bob answered.

A target range had been set up in an open field adjacent to the air field, and a 'friend or foe' identification scenario was set up. Isaac instructed Cobalt how to operate the FLIR camera and ground penetrating radar equipment to find the target bunkers where their mock enemy targets had been hidden.

“Good work!” Cobalt, Isaac replied, “Now lets show the general how close to the target we can drop our bombs.”

Isaac make a 90 degree banked turn with his wings almost knife edge to the ground and quickly leveled out in time to drop two of the clay and paper mache bombs that had been loaded under their wings. From a distance the general watched though a pair of binoculars as both dummy ordnance made bullseye hits on the correct targets.

“Perfect!” he said, “But lets see it from a greater altitude.”

“I think that's the next item in the planned sequence,” Bob muttered as Isaac advanced the throttle and the X-35 climbed higher.

The aircraft disappeared into a cloud as Cobalt rolled into a sharp turn towards the northeast.

“OK, now for our little detour,” Atom laughed.

As the aircraft left the N.J. shoreline behind, Isaac dropped down to fifty feet above the choppy surface of the Atlantic ocean and headed north. He flew under the center span of the Verrazano Narrows bridge and turned eastward hugging the surface of the East river. The aircraft zoomed underneath the three bridges connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan zoomed past the United Nations building before rising upwards to clear the top of the roadway structure of the 59th street bridge.

“Show off!” Atom laughed.

“Just keeping below the radar,” Isaac replied.

They took the left fork of the river and turned left over Mil Rock just south of Ward's Island and the Tri-Boro bridges. Isaac dirtied up the aircraft for slow flight and they orbited at 500 feet above second avenue and 97th street.

“OK Cobalt, let's see if you can find it.” Isaac said.

The heads up display came on line showing the output of the downward scanning radar and the FLIR camera looked though the dark red filters at the ground below. Isaac slowly pirouetted the aircraft about the tip of its left wing which was now aimed at a fixed point on the ground below them.

“What's that?” Atom asked, pointing to a dark line on the image displayed on the radar view.

“I believe that's the excavation for the second avenue subway tunnel,” Cobalt replied. “I've heard rumors that the city has once again started construction on that long delayed final addition to the transit system. The original plans were first drawn up sometime around 1929. About time they finally finished it, don't you think?”

“What a minute,” Isaac said, “concentrate your radar scan a little deeper on the east side of second avenue around 96th street.”

Cobalt adjusted the radar as Isaac swung the aircraft into a clockwise rotation about the right wing tip. “There!” Cobalt said, see it?”

Sure enough, the ground penetrating radar was pinging back a hollow in the bedrock deep under the street just off to the side of the half completed 96th street subway station. Atom could even see the connection between a construction access opening in the sidewalk that bypassed the the access to the southern end of the station and led to the area beneath it.

Cobalt fine tuned the radar's image and superimposed a heat signature being picked up by the FLIR cameras. “There's some sort of complex down there. Could be the secret hiding place the mob has built to house our missing IBM engineer,” he said.

“Looks good enough for me!” Atom said. “Guess this is where I get out!”

“I'll fly out over the river where you can pop the canopy,” Isaac replied. “I'll have to stay below the radar to keep out of Laguardia's flight pattern though!”

“No problem,” Atom agreed.

Once over the river Isaac slowed the X-35 to just a hair above stall speed to allow Atom to slide the bubble canopy back. Once out of the aircraft, the boy robot flew along side of it and pushed the cockpit cover back into position.

“I'll meet you guys back at the Air Force base later.” he radioed back as he turned west to head back towards East Harlem.

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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago

Atlas flew over the East River. He was enjoying himself as he discovered what his body was capable of. Besides his great strength and speed, he quickly discovered the laser guns in his arms as he took pot shots at some pigeons and herring gulls flying below him. He quickly bored of the sport and looked around to see what else he could play with.

Atlas then spotted the X-35 aircraft flying low over the river, and he noticed the figure climbing out of its cockpit to fly away toward Manhattan island. He zoomed his eyes in on the flying figure, and searched though his memory banks. “That must be that Atom robot that Drake wanted to see destroyed,” the orange skinned robot chuckled to himself. “Well, no time like the present.”

Atlas flew behind Atom, keeping his distance. He wanted to play with this one before he did anything, but he wasn't quite sure yet how to proceed.

Atom considered his options. He could just dive down and bore his way through the street to reach the laboratory, but he didn't know the actual layout of the place, only its dimensions and area. He'd still have to find exactly where Andy Verostic was hidden. He could make use of the work entrance into the station, but it was very likely that was the very entrance that the mob used for their own access. Atom used his wideband microwave receiver to locate an open wifi channel and he quickly accessed the MTA's computers to find the plans for the subway under construction. There was two other nearly completed stations on this section of the line, with the 86th street one being slightly closer. He flew south over second avenue and in the distance just north of 88th street he spotted a section of the roadway where steel plates covered the pavement and a section in the middle was ringed with barricades surrounding an opening. Atom zoomed down and entered the hole in the street, he snapped on his eyes search lamps and found himself in the middle of a two track tunnel heading north.

Atlas smiled as he saw Atom disappear beneath second avenue. “Two can play this game of hid and seek,” he thought as he dived through the opening and entered the subway tunnel.

The X-35 climbed back to 1000 ft. AGL and took up station over second avenue. Cobalt scanned the area with the radar and he picked up two blips heading north under second avenue. One was his brother Atom, the other, which was about the same size and mass, matched his speed and direction.

“Atom!” Cobalt radioed, hoping his signal would penetrate through the subway tunnel, “you got something following you.”

Atom heard his brother's voice in his head and he responded, “What's that, Bro?”

“We've been tracking a boggy behind you, if I didn't know better I'd swear it was another flying robot about your size, at least that's what the radar is painting.”

Atom shut down his leg jets and his eye search lamps, and he dropped to the tunnel floor. He backed up against the wall in a depression intended to allow subway workers a place to shelter as a train passed by them in the tunnel. Cranking up his low light vision to full max he peered down the dim expanse of the tunnel towards the south, looking for the stranger.

The flash of a laser beam striking the tunnel wall just inches from where Atom was standing tore though the darkness. Atom flashed his eye flood lamps at full brightness in the direction from where the laser beam had come from, but before he could make out his attacker he was struck by a fist as Atlas flew through the tunnel powered by his jet engines. The orange skinned robot's rabbit punch caught him just below the jaw and knocked Atom about forty feet down the length of the tunnel. He landed in a heap in the middle of the tunnel between the two tracks.

“Who the hell are you?” Atom yelled, “and what do you want from me?”

Atlas slowly advanced towards Atom as he retracted his left hand back into his arm to reveal some sort of weapon which he aimed at his opponent.

“You can call me Atlas, and I'm your worst enemy!” Atlas laughed. “Destroying you will be my master's revenge against yours!”

Atom slowly got to his feet and backed away. “Who are you talking about?” he asked.

“As if you didn't know,” Atlas replied. “Dr. Albert Tenamann and Robert Levinson were responsible for Mr. Drake's major professional embarrassments. He is a much brighter scientist than either of your two 'fathers' ever were.”

Atom's heads up display popped up in front of his field of view. His IR vision could see the charge of energy building up inside of Atlas's left arm and the HUD showed a countdown clock till the moment that Atlas would be able to release a discharge of plasma energy from the cannon.

Atom's own defense systems came on line and his built in laser quickly cycled up for firing. He estimated that he'd be able to shoot several milliseconds before Atlas would. He continued to back peddle, with Atlas matching his steps, keeping the distance between them about constant. Atom shifted his gaze upwards toward the roof of the tunnel and noticed a large steel girder running across the roof, supported at one end. Part of the yet uncompleted superstructure of the tunnel, the steel plates of the temporary roadway up on second avenue rested on this beam.

Atom's targeting computer calculated the weak spot in the structure and a 'bullseye' appeared on his HUD showing the exact target. The countdown clock reached zero. Atom quickly aimed the palm of his left hand and fired microseconds before Atlas could react.

The steel beam melted in two from the blast of Atom's high powered military grade laser. Several tons of steel roadway plating crashed down into the tunnel, along with a Checker cab that was in the wrong place at the wrong time, as a huge hole in the street above opened up. It all came falling down on top of Atlas who wasn't quick enough to get out of the way.

“Sorry Atlas. I'd stick around an help you, but I've got someone more important than you to rescue at the moment,” Atom yelled as he ran quickly down the tunnel in the direction of the 96th street station.

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)


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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago



“Atom, are you all right?” Cobalt radioed, “what's going on down there, it looks like the street just caved in!”

“That was my bad,” Atom replied, “Another robot who claimed to have been built by Poindexter Drake wanted to fight me. I didn't have time to play with him now, so I dropped part of second avenue on him!”

“Where are you now?” Isaac asked.

“Just coming up on the 96th street station now,” Atom answered. “Now I have to find the entrance to the chamber where the mob has hidden Mr. Verostic.”

Cobalt adjusted the X-35's FLIR camera and sharpened the image. “I see you now Bro,” he said. “There should be a panel in the station wall somewhere.”

Atom tuned his vision into the IR spectrum and scanned the walls. “I've got it!” he replied. He pressed his fingers against a ventilation grating in the wall behind the north bound track tunnel and pulled on it, revealing a passageway. To his left he could see a staircase leading upwards towards the street, going the other way was a door way. Atom aimed his left palm downward and blasted through the tunnel floor. He bend down and began to dig, his steel like fingers easily clawed their way through the bedrock beneath the tunnel, while his leg jet engines pushed him along. Like a tunnel boring machine he dug his way parallel to the passageway, his sensitive hearing acting like sonar revealing the opening of the chamber up ahead of him.

Rocco got bored keeping an eye on Andy. The scientist was still at work in the clean room inspecting the silicon wafers that needed to be fused together to make the multi-layer cubes of circuitry which would become quantum processor chips. The mobster decided he was hungry and would go get himself something to eat. He activated the intercom and spoke into the microphone.

“Hey Andy, I'm going out to get myself some dinner. Youse want me to bring you back anything?”

Andy didn't remove his eyes from the microscope as he reached across to hit the button on the intercom, “Thank's for thinking of me Rocco,” he replied. “You can get me a pepperoni pizza, with lots of cheese and garlic.”

“Sure, my pleasure,” Rocco replied, “Anyone ever tell you that you're a cheap date?”

“Yeah, my ex-wife.” Andy barked back.

“I can believe that.” The rotund man laughed, pulling a huge cigar from his vest pocket and bitting off the end of it. “Keep up the good work down there, I'd hate to have to give you some extra encouragement!”

Rocco slapped his worn fedora onto the top of his head and headed for the exit tunnel. He made sure the doors behind him were locked tightly and headed up to the street level.

Andy waited a few minutes to make certain that his jailer had actually left the compound before walking over towards the computer. He thought about trying to send yet another message for help when the floor beneath him started to vibrate as if some heavy machinery was operating beneath him. Andy instinctively stepped back from the spot where the vibration was the strongest just as Atom's fist came up though the floor.
The boy robot pushed his head though the hole he'd just opened in the middle of the clean room floor and he found himself looking up at the former IBM scientist.

“Andy Verostic?” Atom asked.

“Yes,” the geeky looking individual replied. “Who, or what are you?”

“My name is Atom, and I'm here to rescue you,” he said. “Oh, by the way, I'm a robot.”

“I suppose we're going to have to crawl out though that tunnel you dug?” Andy said,
“Rocco must have locked all of the heavy door leading out of here.”

“Rocco?” Atom asked.

“The mobster that kidnapped me and has been keeping me here,” Andy replied.

“We'll see about that.” Atom replied.

Andy opened the door to the clean room and motioned for Atom to follow him into the main hallway. “This is the only way out of here,” he said as they reached a large door.

“Maybe,” Atom replied, examining the door. “Seems to be built like the entrance to a bomb shelter,” he replied, testing the locking mechanism, “And it's locked from the other side. However, that's not a problem.”

Atom held out his left arm, pointing the palm of his hand at the door. He'd already discovered exactly where the unlocking mechanics were hidden inside the foot thick panel. “Avert your view from the door and stand back,” Atom said.

Andy took a few steps back and faced away from the door. Atom fired his laser and burned a six inch diameter hole through the foot thick tungsten steel door. He stuck his right hand into the hole and yanked the doomsday grade bolt clear. The well balanced heavy door slowly swung open open on its precession made hinges.

“Shall we leave?” Atom asked.

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)


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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago

Atlas's systems slowly came back on line. He tried to move, but found he was pinned down under several tons of steel, and debris. He gathered his strength and with a mighty effort blasted himself free. Atlas exploded out of the underground tunnel barely missing a downtown bus. The orange skinned robot scanned the area around him looking for the robot that had caused the street to fall down on top of him.

Atom and Andy Verostic made their way out of the secret laboratory complex though the passageway that led into the 96th subway station. Atom scanned the blueprints for the construction project that Cobalt had already downloaded from the MTA computer servers and he saw that the street entrance at the north end of the station was already completed. He grabbed Andy by the hand and led him towards that direction. The two of them bounded up the stairs toward the street to find a locked door grating baring their way out.

“Now what?” Andy asked.

Without saying anything, Atom grabbed the heavy padlock holding the door shut in his right hand and squeezed it. The lock shattered in to pieces, and the door swing open.

“You were saying?” Atom asked.

Andy squinted as they emerged from the underground and into the open air. His eyes hadn't seen the sun in quite some time.

“I'm going to take you to a safe place for now,” Atom told the scientist, getting a good grip on him around his waist. “Hold on tight, this will only be a short flight.”

“Flight?” Andy said, somewhat confused. He wrapped his arms around Atom's torso just under the robot's arm pits as Atom took to the sky. They arched over central park heading south west and landed on the steps of the Museum of Natural History, right next to the statue of “T.R.”. Atom led Mr. Verostic down the back passageways, and into the elevator leading downward.

“Not another subterranean hid out!” Andy face palmed as the lift reached the bottom of its shaft and the door opened.

“I think you'll find this one a bit more comfortable,” Simon Green said, holding out his hand in greeting. “Welcome to the think tank.”

“I think we'd better get back to the base and complete our demo,” Isaac said. “By now the General must be having a cow!”

“Sure,” Cobalt agreed. “Atom just delivered Mr. Verostic to the think tank where he'll be safe.”

Cobalt plotted a direct course back to McGuire-Dix-Lakehusrst and locked it in. Isaac rolled the X-35 into a steep turn to the west to follow the Hudson back to N.J.

Atlas spotted the fighter aircraft flying overhead. His electronic brain felt a resonance coming from the aircraft, as its quantum processor was tuned to nearly the same frequencies as Cobalt's. Atlas zoomed his eyes upward and saw that the cockpit of the plane was empty, it was flying autonomously.

“What's going on here?” he wondered leaping skyward to follow the fighter. Suddenly his heads up display popped up and he saw Poindexter Drake's image on the screen in front of him.

“Hey duffus!”, Drake said, “Where are you?”

“I ran into that Atom robot you wanted me to take out,” Atlas replied.

“Really?” Poindexter smiled. “Did you manage to clobber him?”

“No, he got the drop on me and got away.” Atlas replied. “But I just felt another A.I. similar to his and I'm following it now. It's inside of some military jet.”

“Let me see it.” Drake replied.

Atlas had the X-35 in view, he transmitted the images from his vision back to his master, along with recordings of the computer emissions he'd picked up.

“I recognize that computer!” Drake said, “That's #27! Its quantum computer was the second prototype made before the IBM laboratory was destroyed, Atom's electronic brain was the first. Your electronic brain has the first of the next generation of that design. That's probably why you picked it up.”

“There was no robot in that plane, Mr. Drake.” Atlas replied, “The cockpit is empty.”

“Interesting,” Poindexter replied. “Think you can knock that plane out of the sky?”

“I'm on it!” Atlas replied, increasing his speed to catch up with the X-35.

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)


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Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 5 years ago

“What is this place?” Andy Verostic asked as he looked around himself.

“You're in a deep underground complex beneath the American Museum of Natural History,” Simon explained. “This complex was built in the 1920's when it served as a storage vault for data gathered by a vast network of scientists and spies. America was deep in an isolationist period following the first world war. A group of industrialist engineers were worried that the country was falling behind in the development of new technologies that they feared the rest of the world was paying attention to. They feared that we would be out gunned in the next war, which they also felt was inevitable. This location was a bit of serendipity, The new 8th Avenue subway line was being constructed at the same instant that the museum was undergoing a major renovation. It was easy to hid the construction of this facility from the public, and foreign spies.”

Andy followed Simon and Atom as they led the way towards the lift that would take them down to the lower laboratory levels. “The list of people that contributed their input to the original purpose and construction of this facility during the 20's and 30's is quite diverse,” Simon continued, “Edison, Tesla, and Einstein are at the top of the list, along with many others you may be familiar with, plus plenty that you haven't. During the second world war the purpose of this place changed, it became the technological equivalent of the Pentagon and my predecessors worked here coordinating such efforts as the Manhattan Project. After the war, the facility slowly accumulated other responsibilities as research for various projects were spearheaded here. With the coming of the computer age, research here has been more theoretical than physical, with a few notable exceptions. Today we house the most powerful collection of computers on the planet, and that's where this lift is taking us right now.”

The doors to the elevator opened to reveal a large expansive space filled with racks of electronics. The constant low level hum of the air conditioning system cooling the equipment was subtle, but noticeable.

“We have a guest today that I'd like you to meet,” Simon said. He directed their way towards the middle of the computer laboratory where the large central spherical screen of a 3D monitor hung from the ceiling. Visible inside of an ionized ball of gas contained within an electrostatic field and illuminated by multiple laser beams, an armada of galactic star destroyers were battling it out in orbit about a gas giant planet in some far off solar system.

Simon cleared his throat loudly to get the attention of the teenager who was at the controls of the gaming console. “Reno, can I have your attention for a brief moment?” he asked.

The Hispanic youth turned about, quickly stuffing the hand held controller into his left rear jeans pocket.

“Mr. Verostic, this is Reno Guzmán, he's the one that intercepted your message and helped us locate you,” Simon explained.

“So you're the hacker that cracked my firewall open,” Andy said, extending his hand. “I'm deeply in your debt!”

“Reno, I don't believe you've meet Atom yet,” Simon added.

Atom offered his hand to the boy who took it. Reno then slowly examined the boy robot, running his fingers over his head and bringing his hand close to his face to examine it. Suddenly his face grew red with embarrassment when he realized what he was doing. “I'm sorry Atom,” he said, “I just couldn't help myself. I've never seen a robot such as yourself. You look perfectly human, it's only up close with careful examination that I can tell the difference!”

“That's OK,” Atom laughed. “I don't mind, so long as we can be friends!”

“I'd like that very much!” Reno smiled.

Isaac radioed Robert back at the Air Force Base, “Mission accomplished, Mr. Verostic is now safely at the museum complex, and we are heading back.”

“Good work guys,” Simon replied.

“I hope the General isn't too pissed at us,” Cobalt added.

“Actually, he's fine with everything,” Bob laughed. “I had him watching on my computer feed, and he was actually impressed at how you were able to locate Andy.”

“Well, that's good to know,” Cobalt replied.

Drake's phone started to ring loudly with the the obnoxious ring tone that Rocco used to announce himself with whenever he called. Poindexter let it buzz away for a few moments before he finally fished the iPhone out of his pocket. Before he could get a word in edgewise, Rocco was yelling down his throat.

“Hey Drake!”, the mobster roared, “I hope it was you who released our guest from his laboratory, though it looks like someone used a ray gun on the door!”

“WTF you talking about?” Poindexter muttered. Before he could get out another word he remembered where Atlas was when they last spoke via the computer comm link and Drake put two and two together.

“G-D you Tenamann!” he yelled.

Now it was Rocco's turn to show his confusion, “Who's Tenamann, boss?” he asked.

“I bet that robot Atom broke into our hidden lair where we had Mr. Verostic working for us,” Drake replied. “Atlas just reported to me that he got clobbered by him not far from there. I don't believe in coincidences, somehow they knew.”

“So now what are we going to do?” Rocco said, “The syndicate ain't going to like this.”

“Don't worry about it,” Drake answered, “We've got one ace in the hole.”

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)


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