Ravagers [03.00] Deviate by Alex Albrinck

Ravagers [03.00] Deviate by Alex Albrinck

Author:Alex Albrinck [Albrinck, Alex]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Fabinarium Publications, LLC
Published: 2015-10-04T22:00:00+00:00

—16—

DEIRDRE SILVER-LIGHT

THE WATER FROTHED and splashed as Deirdre lumbered toward the shore, toward where Jeffrey lay. He had to be alive. To the best of her knowledge, he was the only living human being left in this part of the world.

Unless he’d already succumbed to the death she feared she’d face long before reaching New Venice.

She slowed her armor down as she reached him and stabilized herself before examining his armor. The slick sheen of Ravagers covered the suit. It meant nothing; he could be alive or dead inside the armor, or long gone. She doubted he’d left the suit behind, though; he hadn’t struck her as being suicidal. He’d rather kill her than himself.

She swallowed.

She reached out to the area of the helmet and used her metal-clad fingers to slick the Ravagers off the transparent glass, wondering what she’d see. An empty suit? His face dissolving from a Ravager infiltration through a crack in his suit?

She saw his face there, eyes closed, skin pale. There was no evidence of Ravagers inside the helmet; though it didn’t preclude a rupture and initial pulverization starting elsewhere, it seemed a positive omen. She glanced down at the suit, noting with curiosity that the legs of the armored suit floated in the river, bobbing up and down as the gentle current meandered along, generating sounds that ought to soothe. Why would he be half out of the water?

The only way to answer that question was to ask. And the only way to ask was to confirm that he lived.

She first needed to get all of the Ravagers off his armor and then check for respiration levels and his pulse rate, something she couldn’t detect through the thick metal suit; his chest wouldn’t rise and fall even if he breathed comfortably.

Deirdre wrapped her arms around the waist and pulled him into the shallow water, moving him twenty feet from the shore where the water reached her knees. She noted no change in his facial expression, no indication of awareness on his part of the movement. She pushed him under the water, fully submerging him, and watched, fascinated, as the Ravagers recognized the futility of their predicament. Surrounded by water, unable to move without solid terrain for traction, their programming forced a full deactivation. The oily mass slid in a lifeless manner and diffused through the water, each of the individual Ravagers settling on the riverbed. They’d reanimate only if once again on dry land, and only if they detected a perceived attack.

She remembered a tale her father once told, a common myth among the earliest human civilizations. In that story, a great flood covered the land, burying every bit of the Earth’s terrain under water. She wouldn’t mind such a flood now. It would solve their most pressing issue. They’d have new challenges to face, to be sure, but she doubted those could be worse than the scourge of the destructive machines.

She held Jeffrey under the water for several minutes, pushing down to counter the natural buoyancy of the armor.



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