Collisions
Author: Othello Gooden Jr.

Chapter 5
The Girl Inside

“I don’t like the looks of this.” One guy in a black hoodie said as he and several others looked down on Zyra’s casino from a tall rooftop through optical binoculars. He sat his duffle bag down to the ground with a heavy drop.

 

“Ey watch it!” Aaron swung him around, holding the guy in a vice grip while he looked him in the eyes with an angry gaze.

 

“What?” the guy looked confused.

 

There was silence between them. Aaron let go and sighed as he turned his eyes to the group of hooded young adults with Alda.

 

“Those upgrades are a lot more sensitive to motion. One mistake and you’re dead.” Alda’s voice rang in the still of the celestial night underneath Zyra’s dome in downtown Sector C.

 

All that was heard after her blunt and condescending tone was the sounds of the casino. Outside, Zyran Police surrounded the place. She stepped forward from the shadows behind everyone, nearing the guy. The woman’s left hand rested on her hip. Alda’s other hand was lazed behind her.

 

“Okay. I get it!” the guy said, apprehensive as he watched the movements of Alda’s right arm behind her back. He straightened up after picking up his bag. This time more cautiously than before.

 

Several minutes later, the group disappeared from the rooftop.

 

“Okay. This abandoned building was once the Electro’s base of operations.” Aaron explained as he rolled a schematic of the building on a large round table. His fellow associates gathered around.

 

Alda stayed in the distance. Arms folded as she heard the name. It brought back bad memories. For an instance, she felt a burning sensation over the backside of her left elbow up to the middle of her forearm. She gripped it while shutting her eyes and shuttering. She heard a man yell in her head, “How dare you disobey me!”

 

The man’s words rang in her head as he repeatedly called her name.

Alda opened her eyes and gasped at hearing the voice change to Aaron’s.

 

“You okay, Alda?” Aaron looked at her with a concerned looked. The others looked at her with similar looks on their faces.

 

She felt a little more secure at hearing his voice as she dropped her hands. “I’m fine. Just one of those flashbacks you know?”

 

Aaron walked over to Alda and laced his hands around her hip and whispered consolingly in her ear, “Look, Alda, I know this place brings back bad memories but it’s the only place the Zyran Police haven’t checked yet!”

 

“Yeah, I know. Last resorts—I hate em.” Alda grumbled as she pulled away from him, slightly blushing from Aaron holding her in his arms.

 

“Are you gonna be okay? If not we—”

 

“Proceed as planned. Don’t let me stop you. Flashbacks don’t hold me back anyway!” Alda turned away from him, folding her arms, and mumbled something under her breath.

 

“You say something?” Aaron leaned toward Alda, wrapping his arms around her as she had his back to him.

 

She turned her head toward him and answered with a grin, “Pecco Eventus Mortis.”

 

“You heard Alda!” Aaron turned to the group with Alda in his arms.

 

“So the underground passages in this building lead into the casino, eh? But where?” Vince stepped forward with a nod after taking a quick look at the schematics on the table. His question was no doubt rhetorical.

 

Aaron just looked at him with a grin on his face and shook his head. “Perhaps into some unused part of it.”

 

“He built his casinos like fortresses.” Vince mused.

 

“That explains why our explosives didn’t do much damage to it on our first mission.” Another guy presumed.

 

Alda raised her left index finger at him. “No, the reason why they didn’t do much damage was because dem Z.I. newbies didn’t place the explosives in the right place!”

 

“Nuff said.” The guy defeatedly said as he shortly threw his hands up in surrender.

 

“This time we have better explosives thanks to our friends.” Alda explained as she picked up her duffle bag next to the door by others like it.

 

The other Z.I. followed suit and headed out through and rusted grey metallic door a few feet away. Their destination was several miles south of the abandoned hideout.

 

 

“Jones, is the robot ready?” Hanz’s voice spoke through a small transceiver gadget clipped to the police officer’s belt buckle. Jones was standing around his men numbering a little over a dozen.

 

Jones swiped the gadget from its holder and spoke into it. “It’s about all that we need. No human can stand up to the likes of it!”

 

“Good! I’m counting on Madam Zyra’s prototype to protect us against Z.I.!” Hanz’s tone was highly optimistic before the connection was cut.

 

“You hear that?” Jones turned to a dark corner in the streets in front of the casino after speaking. “Boss has high hopes for you!”

 

The robot responded by shining its green eyes from its place. The eeriness of the robot’s glow sent mixed messages to the others around it but Jones wasn’t fazed. He lowered the transceiver gadget from his mouth and walked slowly toward the tall giant who stayed in the dark. Jones stared into the pitched black alleyway, staring into those green eyes.

 

“I know you’ll do your job.” Jones finally said.

 

The robot nodded its head. The robotic joints in its neck moved, making short machine sounds before returning to its stationary place. For a brief second, robot seemed to be looking down on Jones before turning its eyes to the streets. Then it abruptly shifted its head towards the casino.

 

“They’re here?” Jones followed the robot's gaze.

 

The robots eyes flashed then glowed white. Through its optic lenses, the robot could see everyone in X-Ray vision. Turning its eyes downward into the casino, it could see several individuals enter a secluded area near a generator.

 

“Intruders in the southeast generator room!” The robot warned.

 

“WHAT?” Jones was shocked at hearing the location of Z.I. He immediately picked up his transceiver and shouted into it. “Men, be on your guard! Z.I. is near the generator room!”

 

“Alright, do your stuff, Thunder Bot! We’re counting on you!” Jones ordered as he looked back to Thunder Bot with a grin.

 

The ground rumbled beneath the feet of Jones and his men. The white glowing eyes of Thunder Bot faded to black. The rumbling stopped.

 

Meanwhile, some of the Z.I. heard Jones’ message from downed officers’ transceivers. The firefight started the moment they entered the room.

 

“How the heck did they know already?” one of the Z.I. associates said in shock.

 

“Just get to work!” Alda yelled from across the room on her way out of it. The guy nodded as they started planting the explosives.

 

Just as Alda took a step out of the room, the Zyran Police opened fire. Some of those with her were shot upon opening the door.

 

Aaron, Vince, and Alda ducked back into the generator room.

 

“Surrounded…” Aaron sighed.

 

“I can’t believe it!” One of the other Z.I. members started panicking. He then strapped the duffle bag to his back and took out his detonator.

 

“NO!” Aaron yelled. It was too late. Alda’s eyes lit up. She knew what was coming. She grabbed Aaron and ducked back into the pathway. She shut the door tight before the bomb went off.

 

“VINCE!” Aaron wailed just as the area exploded into a fireball just as the suicide bomber hit the detonation button.

 

The blast connected with the other explosives left out in the open, making the explosion bigger. The strength of the blast began ripping through the walls, taking out the current room’s generator and quickly spread to the others. The casino was now in total darkness. People started panicking. Most of them came running out of the casino, running away from the chaos that was happening below.

 

Aaron and Alda rushed further underground as the passage caved in from the wave of destruction behind them. They kept on running. The fire kept spreading. A stream of fire came rushing at them from behind. Aaron and Alda made it to a large steel door leading down an abandoned elevator shaft. They jumped down it as the stream crept closer. The two fell a few feet to the bottom of the shaft. As they fell, Aaron turned towards the ground in efforts to break Alda’s fall. When they hit the ground, Aaron hit his head.

 

“AARON!” Alda called out to him, bereaved thinking the fall could’ve killed him.

 

 She sat there shaking him violently, trying to wake him up. “AARON, PLEASE BE OKAY! I DON’T WANT TO LOOSE YOU TOO!”

 

She leaned forward, burying her head into his neck. Tears dropping from her face as she laid there on top of him, crying profusely.

 

That’s when she felt his hand reach over her back, hugging her with one arm. He whispered softly in her ear, “Like we said to each other almost a year ago… To death do us part… And I ain’t dead yet!”

 

“But everyone else is!” Alda started crying more.

 

“Alda, listen to me!” Aaron pulled the sobbing woman off him.  The two looked each other deep into each other’s eyes for a few moments.

 

The room was in silence. All that was heard was the fire alarms above in the casino. The fire department arrived to put out the flames. Their trucks could be heard above the alarms going off.

 

“No, you listen!” Alda countered, this time more angry at Aaron’s optimism. “How many times must we go through this? Every time we try, we fall back so many steps!”

 

Aaron put his finger over her mouth, hushing her. “Baby, look, you can’t think like this. Alene didn’t!”

 

Alda said nothing as she rolled off him. She stayed there on the ground and then started to draw something in the dirt ground.

 

Aaron got up to dust himself off. He peeped over to what Alda was drawing. The Greek words Alpha, Meso, and Omega.

 

“Sorry I failed you, Alene.” Alda’s tears dropped on parts of the Meso part of her drawing.

 

Aaron sighed hopelessly as he knelt down to her. His voice was soft as he said in a begging tone, “Kira, please.”

 

She just turned to him with her eyes red from crying.

 

“We still have the others.” Aaron explained.

 

“No we don’t!” Kira growled as she quickly rose from the ground away from him. “Just go away!”

 

“But!” Aaron ran after her but she was gone down the pathway into a dark area leading into a different part of the complex.

 

“KIRA! THAT’S NOT THE WAY BACK!” Aaron yelled in the distance.

 

“LEAVE ME ALONE!” Kira yelled as she kept on running. His voice becoming more distant the faster she ran. She turned the corner into another part of the building.

 

Kira looked around her. She looked around and found herself in pitched darkness.

 

“W-Where am I?” She said in a quiet voice. “I-I Can’t see! I CAN’T SEE!”

 

She kept walking and tripped over something in her way. Kira got up with a scrape on her leg. Her leg now stinging from cutting herself from glass scattered on the floor. Then she got a strange feeling—it was something she hadn’t felt in a long time.

 

“I know they’re out there.” Kira recalled the situation in her mind.

 

“They won’t find us. Your mother has made sure of it!” A dark skinned young man said to her.

 

The two were in a hotel room. Kira was peeping out the window from a secluded area in the corner of the room.

 

“Stop being so paranoid, Laura! Nothing’s gonna happen to us! We’re safe here!” The man said.

 

“David, you don’t even know half of it. I know my uncle Keith.” Laura looked at him apathetically.

 

“How much you wanna bet he doesn’t know me?” David grinned at her.

 

Laura didn’t answer.

 

“If it wasn’t for your mom, we would’ve never made it to England!” David exclaimed. He walked over to the young lady and hugged her. “Stop worrying so much!”

 

“How can I?” Laura grumbled, almost sobbing. “He abused me as a child!”

 

“There’s one thing you’ve learned from him that you can teach the next generation.” David whispered to her as the two rocked from side to side while embracing.

 

“And what’s that, love?” Laura was now at ease.

 

“To always be there for your family and treat them with respect.” David answered after a small giggle.

 

“Then let’s make the most of our marriage, then?” Laura looked up to him with a big smile on her face. She dug her head into the side of his neck and closed her eyes.

 

“We shall.” David raised his beloved’s head and looked her deep in the eyes. He slowly drew Laura into a passionate kiss.

 

Kira came out of her reminisce with a calm sigh. Remembering David helped her to concentrate. It always did. Through the fire alarms and firefighters yelling above, Kira could sense something was watching her in the dark. She presumed it was Aaron.

 

“I thought I told you to leave me alone?” Kira yelled at him. There was no response from him.

 

“C’mon, don’t play me like that.” Her thick Italian accent bled through her upset tone in disbelief to his silence.

 

“KIRA!” Aaron’s voice was heard in the distance, a lot farther away then what she had expected. She grabbed her laser pistol tucked away in the front pouch of her hoodie.

 

“Whoever your shadowy tail is, you shall die here.” Alda threatened.

 

“So shall you.” Thunder Bot’s robotic voice rumbled from the darkness. Its eyes glowed green. Alda stared at the robot fearlessly.

 

“KIRA!” Aaron yelled as he turned the corner. Then he saw green eyes glow. The eyes turned to him just before Aaron ducked around the corner away from it.

 

At that moment Thunder Bot took its eyes off Alda. She unhestantly took out her gun and fired it from the position of its holster. The blast lit up the area sending the robot clear across the room.

 

The green eyes dimmed for a few moments.

 

“YOUR GOGGLES!” Aaron yelled.

 

“Right!” Alda nodded. She dug into her side pocked and pulled out a pair and quickly put them on.

 

The young woman pressed a button on the side of it and the area was shown to her in night vision. She could clearly see the tall robot now on the ground. It had a small hole in its chest. Alda walked passed it and to Aaron.

 

“What the heck is dat thing?” Aaron yelled.

 

“That must be that new model Vince said they were working on. Blah. So much for that!” Alda grinned.

 

“Let’s get outta here.” Aaron was a little apprehensive this time. He didn’t think that robot was down and out. He kept looking over his shoulder as they walked back down the path and into the route home.

 

As the two came into a lit up part of the building, they began to hear loud thumping behind them.

 

Aaron grabbed a small cannon from the round table he had sat the building’s schematics on earlier. Alda grabbed a watch on a bookshelf near her.

 

“I knew that thing wasn’t dead!” Aaron sighed as he charged his cannon.

“Meh, I we got our guns now. We can take it!” Alda shrugged.

 

Suddenly the thumping multiplied, as if there were two robots approaching. Aaron lowered his cannon and looked confused at Alda. She pointed toward the steel bolted door where the sounds were coming from. Then a rumbling sound was heard, like thunder. Alda and Aaron dashed out of the room right before the Thunder Bot blasted it open. As the dust cleared, the Thunder Bot stepped forth. Then another one came out of the passageway. Alda briefly caught a glimpse of the one she damaged. There was the hole in its chest. Yet the other one didn’t have one in its.

 

“Great! We got two droids on our tails!” Alda grumbled to herself. Just as she said that, the new bot ripped through the wall with an energy blast. Its green eyes were seen through the dust cloud.

 

“Bring it!” Alda taunted as she pressed a button on her watch. Her image multiplied into several copies of herself.

 

The second Thunder Bot stood there for a moment and then rolled its optic lenses in sarcasm. Then it centered its eyes on the real Alda after doing so.

 

Alda ducked as the bot took a swipe at her with its energy charged claws. She shot it a few times with her laser pistol from below. The bot kicked her into a door. The force of the kick knocked her through it. Alda got up with a groan. Her copies faded out of existence. As the bot came toward her, she prepared to run again but was slow about doing so from her injuries.

 

That’s when Aaron shot the bot from behind with his cannon. The bot faded to black and disentigrated.

 

“The BanCannon never—” Aaron was interrupted as the first Thunder Bot shot him in the leg. Aaron yelled in pain. He fell to the ground and held his injured limb.

 

“AARON!” Alda ran to catch Aaron falling forward. The Thunder Bot took another shot, this time trying to aim for Aaron’s head but grazed the entryway Alda pushed her husband into.

 

Aaron dropped his mini cannon as Alda pulled him into an adjacent room. She pulled the cannon in the room with them and hid behind the wall. They listened as the Thunder Bot came walking towards them. Its footsteps multiplied as it cloned itself.

 

“We can’t keep fighting this thing if it keeps making copies of itself!” Aaron yelled. His leg was bleeding.

 

“How many explosives do we have stored up in this place?” Alda rushed.

 

“Enough to blow this place sky high!” Aaron grinned. He grimaced as the pain got worse. He started crying in agony.

 

“Where’s the detonator at?” Alda looked around the room.

 

“Over there in the bookcase.” Aaron pointed to a small gizmo on the shelf.

 

“Okay, I’ll draw them away with my holograms. You get to the car.” Alda ordered.

“But—”

 

“I’ll be okay! Besides, I have your cannon!” Alda waved his cannon in the air lightly.

 

“Be careful!” Aaron said as he slowly got up. He quickly started limping into the hallway and toward a cracked opened door leading outside.

 

Back in the room, Alda had charged the cannon after creating a dozen holograms of herself. The real Alda stood by the doorway Aaron had exited. Thunder Bot and its clones stomped closer. The sound of their feet was that of a soldier’s march. Alda raised  the BanCannon. Her clones did the same. Then all was quiet. Alda quickly looked left and right at the corners of the room. There was a stash of duffle bags full of explosives. The detonator was in her front pouch.

 

The silence became longer. Alda felt weary. She dismissed the thought. At the very hint of her fear, she knew the robot would take advantage of it and strike. At the moment, Kira composed herself. Then the wall before her exploded. Most of her clones dissipated in the debris. Alda ran toward the exit but was cut off by one of the Thunder Bot clones with an energy charged claw ready to strike.  Alda was prepared as she pressed the trigger and blasted the clone backward into three of them coming at her. The blast piereced the first one and the disentigrating power of the cannon cascaded into the others. Alda made a run for it out the exit.

 

“KIRA!” Aaron yelled as he drove in front of Kira, stopping here. She jumped into the passenger side and they drove off.

 

Kira shut the door and took out the detonation key module.

 

“PECCO EVENTUS MORTIS!” Kira exclaimed as she forcefully pressed the detonation button.

 

Inside, the original Thunder Bot stepped into the room full of explosives. A red light caught its attention. It looked away from it just as the bomb went off. The building started collapsing in on itself. Thunder Bot and all its clones were caught in the blast. The Zyran Police flinched at hearing a large explosion several miles away.

 

“What was that?” Jones looked toward a large fireball erupting from a building several miles away. He saw it collapse and then ordered his men, “Get those fire trucks over there!”

 

The fire trucks not attending the flames still going on at the casino rushed to the new burning building.

 

The 20-story building came crumbling down in more pieces. Some of the fire trucks backed up trying to avoid the flying and burning debris headed toward them. On the other side the wave of destruction had spread to other buildings. Alda and Aaron nearly escaped the chain reaction resulting from the explosion.

 

Alda and Aaron reached a small condo in a populated area of Sector C about a few miles away from all the chaos. Alda rolled out of the car as soon as it stopped. She hit ground and sat there. Aaron rushed out the car after parking it in the driveway and staggered toward her.

 

“ALDA!” Aaron went to put his arms around her.

 

“JUST STAY AWAY FROM ME!” Kira yelled, breaking away from him. She stood up and stumbled back toward the house.

 

“You’re in shock. Just calm—”

 

“AM I? EVERYTHING’S ALL MESSED UP! WE’RE THROUGH!” Kira bolted into the house after opening the door quickly. Aaron was close behind her.

 

She went into the bedroom and shut the door behind her, right in Aaron’s face.

 

“Kira, would you listen to me, please?” Aaron’s calm voice was shaky over trying to compose himself from his leg injury. He sat on the ground next to the door after grabbing a bandage roll. Kira didn’t say anything.

 

In the room, Kira was looking at herself in the mirror. Her dirt covered face showing many scrapes and bruises but it most of it was concealed within the lady’s hood. Kira lowered it to get a closer look at her injuries. She ran her hand over the scrape on her leg and flinched from the pain. She started crying again.

 

“Ki, come on, please listen to me?” Aaron pleaded again.

 

“Why? Everything’s a failure!” Kira’s sad voice was heard through the door.

 

Aaron hopelessly sighed after hearing her. “You can’t just down yourself because of what happened back there!”

 

“That thing is what’s going to stop us from reviving Z.I. from the ashes!” Kira yelled, cocking her head at the locked door of their bedroom.

 

“Don’t think like that! How many times must I say this?” Aaron got up from the ground staggering. He tried opening the door and found it to be locked. “Kira, open up, please?”

 

Kira didn’t respond. She looked at the door sideways and looked down. The girl centered her attention on a small compartment in her dresser in front of their bed. She slipped her hand into the drawer and pulled out a knife.

 

“Kira! Open up!” Aaron tried pulling the door open with all his might but couldn’t. Then he turned around to the hall closet behind him and limped over to it.

 

He swung the door open. On each shelf were towels, rags, covers, and sheets. Yet on the third shelf above him larger towels were hiding something. He pulled the stack of towels from the shelf, revealing a tool kit. Aaron quickly opened up the kit and pulled out a screwdriver. He turned back to the door and began unscrewing the bolts off the handle. Soon the door handles fell off and Aaron was able to get into the room.

 

“KIRA! DON’T!” Aaron yelled in alarm as he saw Kira slowly edging the knife toward her neck.

 

That’s when Kira shed a tear from her left eye. “I’m sorry… I just can’t live like this anymore.”

 

Aaron didn’t bother saying anything else. He knew she wasn’t going to listen to him now and he was too far away to stop her. That was when he remembered.

 

“Forgive me.” Aaron closed his eyes as he turned around, subconsciously digging his hands into his front pouch. His words stalled her only for a few seconds. Kira cried some more as she dug the knife more into her neck. She tried to hold in her screams of pain but failed.

 

That’s when Aaron quickly pulled his laser pistol, turned around and shot the hand Kira had held her knife. Kira fell backward, hitting her head on the wall while screaming in agony while holding her injured hand. The knife was dislodged from it and clattered to the ground. She tried to dive on the ground for the knife but Aaron was much faster. He kicked the blood tipped weapon away from her. The knife slid under the bed and out of her reach.

 

“NO! PLEASE! DON’T LET ME SUFFER LIKE THIS! JUST LET ME DIE!” Kira screamed. Aaron wrapped his arms around her tightly. Kira started resisting him but not for long. She returned the embrace after seeing her attempts were in vain.

 

“Aaron… Why?” Kira asked in a weak voice as she looked up at him.

 

“You don’t deserve it.” Aaron answered warmly. He kissed her on the forehead.

 

“You love me that much?”

 

“Uh huh.” Aaron smiled at her. The two started rocking with each other on the ground.

 

Kira cried herself to sleep in his arms.

 

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