14: New NewGen (part 6)

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14.6 Gone

Cambridge: 17 May 2128

The clean-up carts holding Matty, Phil and Jack opened up, inviting their prisoners to escape. They climbed out, blinking in surprise as the robots, previously intent upon fighting them, now ignored them. Released from AI's overriding control the robots slowly meandered off, returning to whatever tasks they had been performing before they had been interrupted.

Matty, followed by the others, returned to the building and gazed about the empty space. Where the machine had stood, only bare concrete remained.

Jack, rubbed an arm that now sported a large bruise. "It's gone. They did it."

"Must've done," said Matty. "There's no way it left by any other means. Did you hear that screeching noise?"

"Yeah, even while I was shut inside that cart," Phil said. "Sounded like robots tearing each other to pieces."

"Me too. I think that was the machine leaving," Matty concluded.

"Matty, over there," Jack shouted. They were not the only occupants of the building for, in one corner, partly hidden amongst some pieces of metal, a small robot stood motionless. Once it had been spotted it came to life and moved, spindly-legged, towards them. Matty grabbed a piece of wood lying near his feet, but the robot halted several yards away.

"They have gone to Alternate World One," it announced emotionlessly. "That is good."

"Good!" Matty exploded. "What do you mean 'Good'?"

"It is surmised that they can perhaps help to prevent the onset of doom," it announced by way of explanation.

It departed, leaving them completely perplexed.

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