Rain. It has to be. It sounded like it. What else could it be? The pitter patter on the fresh concrete walls could be heard in her room. Granted it was muffled but you can tell it was raining outside. Rain as they say makes people sad. For already sad people, it only adds more to their melancholy.
Jane Datsun lay on the bed in the room that was her assigned quarters. She had skipped dinner and turned in early. Of late, she had been avoiding her teammates in Securiteam. She so desperately want to be left alone and hopes that nobody would bother to check up on her. The company of people is upsetting her so. It is taking her willpower to just keep herself from screaming out and act out her psychosis. She had hoped to sleep out this infinite sadness but no such luck.
This state of self-absorption is put to a stop, however. The intercom rang. What could it be this time? Another drill? Somebody forgot to log in properly? What choice does she have? She answers the phone, "Datsun speaking."
The team stands by the exit of the new LightLabs installation on King's Hill. Bogart, Elmer, Jane and Junior await the arrival of Billy Cobretti, Jill Bright and Mr. Turner. Each of them take a look at the rain falling outside. It's 7:35p.m. and it is raining pretty heavy and hard. Bogart is the first to complain, "Man, did it have to rain tonight? I just took a shower."
"You won't have to worry about the rain, Mr. Johnson," that was Jill! "Each of those suits is hermetically designed against outside elements. Air can't get in. Except for the most powerful corrosives, nothing liquid can get in your precious crevices. Just your first small step against hazardous materials. Water can't get in, there's nothing to slow down your movement."
"Yeah, but…" Junior said, "Our heads still going to get wet."
Jill looks flustered. "Duh! Guh! Get your headgear! You have headgears!"
"I knew that'd get her. Hihihihihi," giggled Junior. Bogart joins in and starts snickering too. Elmer just smiles.
Jane didn't join the fun. She thinks her teammates are too immature pulling pranks like that. Then, across the hall, she saw them. Mr. Turner and Mr. Cobretti. Something about Billy Cobretti made her feel uneasy. This was the first time since she got out of the hospital that they saw each other again. Why this feeling? He may be a cold fish but he seemed to be making an attempt not to look directly at her. A girl knows when something is wrong.
"Alright, team," Mr. Turner started. "As of 5:56p.m., our retrieval team unearthed one of the corporation's older projects. It managed to kill two of the crewmen and left six more injured. One man managed to regain consciousness and make a call at 7:02. The thing has had a little more than an hour to gain some distance." He took out a mapping/tracing device and showed the thing's current position. "The thing is, by all indications, appear to be walking away. Lucky us it's still a few of miles away from the suburbs. We can catch this before it hurts any more people."
"Mr. Turner," Elmer raised his hand. "What is the thing?"
"At this time, information is still coming in. Our survivor is still not making any sense so I'm afraid you're going in blind," Billy tells them.
Us? "You're not coming with us?" Jane asks him.
"Mr. Cobretti will be going to back to the recovery site to get more clues about this thing. The four of you will have to go and intercept this thing before it hurts any civilians," Mr. Turner tells her.
Not satisfied with his answer, Jane asks again, "Yeah, but couldn't somebody else do it?"
"Miss Datsun, just do as you're told," Turner abruptly cuts her off. He walks away and Jill follows him.
"Yeah, Jane, just do as you're told," Junior taunted her.
Miffed, Jane gives Junior an angry look and calls him, "Ae!" He didn't care and got ready to roll out. She would have wanted to say more but decided against it. The others were boarding the Hummer when she noticed Billy still standing just before her. A nervous beat struck across her heart. She tried to put up a brave face and asked him in as tough a voice as she could, "What? What're you looking at?"
"I have to go back to the origin site because I'm the only one who knows what clues to look for," Billy reasoned to her. "That was the answer to your question. Why I'm not with you."
Why I'm not with you. That was almost too funny. Why not add "guys" at the end of that sentence? Did he have to sound like some lovesick puppy? Oh, wait, he's a cold fish so he can't be a lovesick puppy. She can't bear to stand with him a second longer and ran off to her teammates without a word said back.
As she boarded the Hummer, she took one more look at Billy. He was boarding the Lightcycle, the state-of-the-art motorcycle that is his preferred mode of transportation. He was still staring in her direction. What is it with him? She asks herself.
Two Hummers ran down the wet, muddy road. Jane and Junior were in the lead hummer while Bogart and Elmer followed in the second. If she had known who she was riding with, she would have boarded the other Hummer. As of now, she will have to do the driving and put up with Junior as company.
"Hey, Jane," Junior started. "Does Cobretti have a thing for you or what?"
Oh, please, not now. "Nothing. Nothing's going on between us," she lied. She prays that Junior would not ask any more questions.
"Oh, alright, whatever you say."
Thank God! Jane decides that she should shift Junior's attention elsewhere. There is no way she is going to drive all the way while listening to him making fun of her. "Could you check the GPS system and get a lock on that… thing."
"Man, we need to find a name for this… thing," Junior remarked. He pressed some buttons and the GPS screen came to life. "Okay, it looks like the thing is still about two and half miles away from the suburbs. Hey, how far is two and a half miles?"
The rain is making traversing the road difficult. Visibility is reduced. It's all trees and mud outside, everything looks the same. Jane decides to check the GPS to find out where they are and how far still from the target. She wishes she had paid more attention on how to make these things work.
"Hey, Junior!" Bogart's voice crackled over the communicator. "Why'd you go with Datsun? Now I'm here stuck with your bitch."
"I'm not his bitch," Elmer protested.
"He's not my bitch! He's my pal!" Junior snapped back. "And you don't get to call me Junior. Only my REAL friends can call me that."
"Oh, I'm not calling you 'Junior' 'cuz that's your name," Bogart said, trying to get more rise out of Junior.
"Huh?! What's that supposed to mean?!" Junior shouted. "Why I oughtta…"
"Yeah, yeah. Go ahead. You're brave being in the other Hummer and a girl to hold you back…"
"Yeah? Yeah? You wanna try and beat me?"
Elmer tried to say something but is drowned out by Junior and Bogart's infighting. "Umm, guys… Guys… Guys! Look!"
"Holy s! It's right in front of us!" Bogart exclaimed. Jane and Junior can both hear them stopping their Hummer. The sound of gears switching and shifting is very clear over the radio.
"If it's right in front of us, shouldn't we have seen it already? I mean, we're just ahead of them and they see it?" Jane asked.
"Hmm, yeah… Lemme see…" Junior pressed some buttons on the GPS device. "Huh! What the…? We passed it. We passed the damn thing. Dammit, girl! You never pay attention to anything."
"I don't know! I don't know! I must have be able to turn invisible or something," a frustrated Jane cried back. She wanted to say something about his attitude towards women but now doesn't seem to be the time. She parks the Hummer in the middle of the road. The fog lights are turned on to their brightest and they are steered back to the direction they had driven from. If they passed by the thing, it has to be there.
They both put on their helmets and got out of the Hummer. The helmets look almost like what jet fighter pilots use only smaller and they did have those large visors although their nose and mouth are still uncovered. The visors allowed enhanced vision. But, somehow, the rain is still interfering with their vision. It is a bit surreal looking at everything in green. They tried to make adjustments and there are some improvements. And they finally see it.
It is big. It is wide. It is tall. And it is headed their way. Fortunately, it seems to be walking at a rather leisurely pace. That, however, does not stop the tension from rising. Bogart's voice crackled in the radio transmission. "Hey! You guys see it? It's really big!" The Hummer he and Elmer are in is following the thing from the back.
The former LightLabs compound. A solitary figure is rummaging through the rubble that used to warehouse old discarded projects. His mission is to find any clue to what the team is facing tonight. Logic dictates that they would know soon enough upon contact anyway but it is not his place to question their security director, Mr. Turner.
It didn't take long for Billy Cobretti to find what he is looking for. Tracing the heavy set footprints, it led him to a large, torn open crate with half of it still buried in the rubble. He saw what must be the crate's top panel. Project #GM20461B. He patches in this information to Jill.
The thing takes slow heavy steps. Each step can be heard despite the drizzle of the rain. The team looked on as it kept walking. The tension fed adrenaline to their hearts. The thing looks very much like a heavily muscled man. Other than that, the body lacks any other details. Very smooth and grey colored. Junior and Jane are positioned to the front of it. If this thing is going to be doing anything, they will be the first to take the brunt of it. What will it do once it gets near them?
Junior decided that enough is enough. "That's it! I'm not taking this anymore. C'mon you! I'm ready!" He brandishes out a Colt .45 and stands in a pose. The thing stops in its tracks and looks down at its would-be shooter. "Heh! I always wanted to do that."
"You mean die in the hands of this monster? You're nuts!" Jane tells him. "We need help."
"We don't need help, we can do this!" Bogart shouts from the back. He has taken out his lightweight rapid-fire gatling gun. The ammo belt dangles from the gun to a small pack on his back. He activates it and a hum of promised power reverberates in the air. That was the moment when it shifted its attention to Bogart and Elmer. Its eyes glowed red.
Elmer gulped, "Wh-what would Mr. Cobretti do in a situation like this?"
"He'd call homebase and tell them that we found it!" an exasperated Jane said. "Go tell them now!" Elmer quickly patched on to the comm channel and tells Jill Bright about their predicament.
Jill's voice crackled into the earsets in their helmets, "We have determined from what that project that thing is. It's from Project: Golem. Do not approach it. I repeat, do not approach it."
"Too late for that," muttered Jane.
"If you have approached it, please refrain from displaying your weapons," Jill continued. There was long silence that followed. "Umm… I'm guessing it's already too late for me to say that…"
"Damn right you are, woman!" Junior said. "Why didn't you tell us this earlier?"
"I'm sorry. The information only arrived now. I'm still in the process of gathering more information on Project: Golem."
"Dammit! Must you talk like a computer, woman?!" Junior shouted. In the process of doing so, he was jumping in anger and frustration. He is still holding the pistol as he waved his arms in the air. This attracted the attention of the Golem. Its eyes grew a brighter red. Its fists are clenched. One more wave and it made the Golem move in Junior's direction. This surprised Junior and a shot was fired and, amazingly, it landed on the Golem's forehead. "Oh, s!" Junior exclaimed.
An angry Jane asks him, "What the hell are you doing? Trying to get us all killed?"
"Of course not!" Junior shouted back as he shoots at the Golem several more times but to no avail. "Damn it! Don't we have better guns than this? Why can't we have laser guns?!"
Bogart stepped in, "Don't worry, I'll save the day!" The gatling gun is activated and he fires it at the Golem's back. Every bullet hit the Golem but to no effect. It turns around to go after Bogart. Now he starts to panic. Even a full frontal blast at the torso isn't slowing it down. He aims for the knees in the hope that they are its weak spot. No such luck, either. "Oh, s."
The Golem quickly grabbed the gatling gun with one hand and the other to swat Bogart away. It swung the gatling gun to the air and smashed it down to the ground. Then, it proceeded walking over to where Elmer is standing. Elmer is too afraid to move.
"Crap! Maybe I can't shoot straight because of this stupid helmet!" Junior unstrapped his headgear off and threw it away. He shot at the Golem three times. That certainly got its attention. He empties the entire clip. No more bullets. He throws away the pistol and decides that hand-to-hand combat is the best way to beat this thing.
The first few attempts are aimed at vital points in the anatomy of a man. Every punch made its hit. Unfortunately, this is not a man. The Golem clenches one fist and hits Junior straight in the solar plexus. It was so fast, he didn't have time to avoid it. Junior fell down to his knees and puked his guts out.
Junior got up still ready for a fight. "Awright. It's my turn!" He put up a pose as if ready to make another attempt to land a fist. It was just pretense. He was actually attempting a leg sweep. Whack! He only managed to hurt himself. "Ooh! Aaah!" he cried.
That was only the beginning. The Golem beat him all over. Junior tried his best to roll with the punches but many of them managed to hurt him bad. Junior bent over in pain. The Golem clasped its hands together and brought it down like a hammer on his back. It then stretched it leg and a side sweep kick hit Junior. The force was strong enough to throw Junior past the side of the road and hit a tree straight on its trunk. He was suspended a bit before slowly sliding down the trunk and sunk onto the ground. Surprisingly, he put his hand up and said, "H-had… enough?"
The Golem walks over to where Junior is lying. Its fists are tightly clenched. With just a few feet left to reach Junior, a pair of headlights shone on its direction. It turns around and sees a Hummer running towards it. Impact is made. The Hummer carries the Golem over and rams it through a tree. Its legs are pinned but it is not rendered inert. Its arms and upper body are still free. The Hummer is now on the receiving end of the beating. The engine, the hood, the windshield. Nothing is stopping it.
Inside that Hummer, Jane Datsun manages to get the seatbelt off but the damage the Hummer is receiving has made it difficult to open the doors. The jerking and the shaking are making her sick and scream in panic. She set herself in a lying down position. The Hummer's roof is caving in. There is not much room left. Is she going to die like this? She closed her eyes.
Then, it stopped.
Has the Golem left? She wished she could take a peek and see but she is pinned in. There is simply no room to move. "Hello? Anyone there?" she cried out. No answer. At least the Golem is gone. She wonders how she is going to get out of this predicament. Her heart beats faster at each second of anticipation.
The Hummer's door opened above her head. Somebody pulled her out. Finally! she thought. It took a moment to gain her bearings. "Thanks, Bogart," she said. She thought it was him until she turned around.
"Johnson and Jones are checking up on Falcone," Billy Cobretti corrected her.
A feeling of unease came in to her. She tried hard not to show it.
Billy notices it anyway. "Are you alright? Your bio-sensors are not reporting any serious injuries."
"Uh… I'm alright," she tells him. "What happened to the Golem?"
"After asserting that you were no longer a threat, it continued on to its journey"
"What was it? Some kind of robot?"
"Yes. It was designed as a military unit to replace soldiers in peacekeeping missions. However, it was considered too costly and the political ramifications of a unit called Golem would never sit well with some people."
"The Golem's appearance doesn't exactly inspire confidence and sympathy from a country's locals. Our Armed Forces would have had a PR nightmare. As such, it was mothballed."
"So why make them in the first place?"
"Just because something is deemed not usable in one area does not mean it could not be used for other applications."
"Huh!" was her final word. It was a little hard for her to believe that she is actually talking with Billy. He still unnerved her. She just tries not to show it. Maybe he would not make any remarks about their… relationship. Is there a better word?
The team regroups.
"Okay, Team Leader, we got our butts kicked 'cuz you weren't here. What do we do now?" Bogart asked.
"Bright?" Billy asks her opinion.
"Well," Jill began, "The Golem is programmed not to kill. That's why it didn't kill Falcone."
"Wanna bet?" Junior challenged her opinion. "I was down. That thing was coming back for me. I've been in lots of fights. I know when someone wants to come back for more."
"That can't be right. When the Golem was made, it was programmed with the Three Laws of Robotics," Jill said.
"Yeah? Well, your programming sucks!" Junior countered.
Bogart joined in, "Your robotics laws don't work. What kind of laws are they? You're just making stuff up."
Jill is miffed, "Dammit, you two! I did not design the Golem. I did not do the programming. Why are you pinning this on me?!" She sounded just about to scream. One can only imagine what she must look like now. Her face must be so red.
It was time to break it off before it gets to a ridiculous level. Billy asks Jill, "Alright, the Golem has strength and invulnerability to firearms. Jill, what is the recommended course of action?"
She sounded like she was almost going to cry. Jill choked a bit as she replied, "More information to sift through." She sobbed.
"What? Does it have a weakness or not? Why can't you tell us? Huh? Huh?" Junior asked.
"I'm still researching! It's not like I can read a hundred pages a second!"
"Enough, you two!" Billy said.
"Can't find any weaknesses yet. Basically, its entire body is encased in Kevlar composite. The skeletal structure is titanium alloy. You've got your work cut for you," Jill continued. She sniffed, trying to hold back tears.
With a weary voice, Jill replied, "Use armor-piercing bullets. It'll take time but at least you'll be able to expose its innards and hope you hit a sensitive spot."
"That's it? Hit it till it's dead? What kind of plan is that?" Junior asked.
"Whatever. We have to get moving before it reaches any residential areas and attract more attention," Billy motions them to get moving.
"You okay?" Elmer asked Junior.
"Yeah, I can't wait for the next round," replied Junior, trying to look strong.
"Macho crap show-off," Jane muttered. As she made her way to the other Hummer, she finds out she is without a ride. The boys made the last Hummer theirs and here she is standing in the rain. What is she to ride on? The answer became obvious when she saw the Lightcycle and its sidecar. The last person she wants to be with right now. "You couldn't have at least gotten a car?"
"The cycle is faster," was Billy's reply.
And off they went into the cold, dark rainy night.
The spatter of the rain hitting the visors made it difficult to see. Although the suit protects her from getting wet and cold, the sensation of the drops impacting all over her body made her conscious. Jane looks at the driver of the Lightcycle.
"Is there something you want to tell me?" Billy asked her as he revs the cycle for more speed.
"Isn't a golem some kind of mud creature?" She asks.
"Yes, it is based on Jewish mythology of a man made from clay and designed to be a protector."
"Don't they write something on its forehead to make it alive and then erase some kind of letter to make it stop?" Jane asked further.
"I'm not too familiar with the specifics of golem legend," Billy admitted.
"If that's true, then that erasing a letter is some kind of fail-safe. Shouldn't this Golem have some kind of fail-safe we can exploit?"
Once again, the boys find the Golem. Thankfully, it is still ways far off from the suburbs. It was not able to go that far but any noise may still give them away to nearby residents. Subduing the Golem had to be done quickly, somehow. Anticipation is running high.
"Here we go again," said Elmer. He is behind the wheel.
"You heard what Bright Light said, like a piñata, hit it till its dead," Junior cracked his knuckles.
Bogart readies his spare gatling gun. "Armor-piercing bullets, huh? If that's what it wants, that's what it gets." The hum grows louder.
"Alright, Elmer. Floor it!" Junior tells his long-time friend.
Elmer pushed the pedal. The Hummer revs its engine to a degree to make it go faster. A lot of mud and water get kicked into the air. Satisfied that there is enough momentum, Elmer lets go and the Hummer runs forward. Before the Golem could turn back to face them, they were able to hit it behind the knees.
Bogart quickly stepped out of the Hummer and starts blasting the gatling gun at the Golem. It is hard to tell if the armor-piercing rounds are making any effects. There were sparks flying. It took a while but the Golem fell down to the ground. Bogart stopped shooting and jumped for joy. "Whoohoo! I did it! I did it! I brought you down, f! I brought you down!"
It happened so fast. There was no time to even react. The Golem sat up and extended its right arm and grabbed Bogart. With one hand, it held him partly by the shoulder and neck. It was only by fortune that its hands are too big to hold him by the neck, else it would have broken his neck by then. Still, the grip is really pushing it through the armor and it hurts. Bogart winced.
He winced but he got a good look at the amount of damage he made. Metallic endoskeleton is finally exposed. The Kevlar composite coating over its mostly featureless body seems to be a half an inch thick. The endoskeleton has a silvery color to it. The skull is also exposed. The skull was not what any of them had expected to look like. It was not like from the movie The Terminator. There was no mouth, the cheeks are smooth and little else. The eyes, they are red, they still have that menacing look.
A tree branch hit its face. And another hit and then another. Junior tried to hit it as hard as he could and as fast as he could until that piece of wood went splintering into smaller pieces. The Golem tried to land a fist on him but he was able to avoid it. Junior, once again, resorted to fists, hitting the Golem anywhere he could.
"Dammit! Just shoot it in the head or something," Bogart pleaded him.
"Awright, awright!" Junior tried to take his pistols out.
Too slow. The Golem managed to get a hold of him by the torso. Junior cried in pain as he felt his ribs hurting from the grip. With his pinky, he quickly punched in the commands to his body armor via a wrist-worn monitor. The body armor exploded off him, releasing him from the Golem's grip. The ribs still hurt. His whole body still hurts from the earlier beating but he pushed on, managing to get the pistol's muzzle under the Golem's chin. He pulls the trigger.
He made the shot. There was a small burst of spark. But that did not stop the Golem. It found the strength to stand up although it appears it was a wobbly effort. The thighs seem to flex what must be its muscles a lot. And now, it could stand and walk straight again.
Junior cursed himself, "S! I forgot to change my bullets! Stupid, stupid, stupid!"
"Man, I don't believe this! You so stupid!" Bogart moaned.
The Golem swatted Junior and he got thrown a good distance. He was followed by Bogart who was thrown like a discus and in the same direction. Junior was about to get up when he got slammed by Bogart. They both groaned in pain. "Oooh! Aah! Ow!"
The only thing that the Golem did not throw away was Bogart's gatling gun. Their situation took a turn from bad to worse.
"Oh, my god! We've got to save them," Jane exclaimed.
"No, they took shelter behind some trees. They'll buy us time," was Billy's cold statement. He was looking through a pair of binoculars. The two of them are standing a good distance away from any danger.
Jill's transmission came through. "We're still unable to contact Dr. Adam Loew. He was the chief designer of Project: Golem. He's not answering any of my calls. I've had someone go over to his home and find out what's the magic word. He still hasn't reported in though. I don't know what's taking so long."
"Keep us updated," Billy tells her.
"How could so many things go wrong?" Jane said. She wishes this was over already. She feels so helpless and so useless. Her eyes wander off. The same thought keeps going through her head. Something like the Golem must have a safety feature if it goes berserk. If a car has a hand brake, why should not the Golem have something like it? Inspiration struck.
"If the Golem is based on the Jewish legend, is that chief designer Jewish?" Jane asks.
Billy is dubious. "Loew is Jewish but I don't see the connection to him being one and the Golem being from his culture."
"You don't get it, do you? Writers, painters put something from their life, their culture into their works. Designers and architects do the same thing. They put a little something into their works," Jane tried to explain. She took off her headgear so he can see her face and hope he takes her seriously about this. The spattering of heavy raindrops over her face is making her eyes blink a lot though.
Billy just gave her a blank stare before calling on Jill again. "Jill, what do you think? Did Dr. Loew give any clues how to shut the thing down?"
"I'm ahead of you. He follows a namesake alright. Specifically, the Rabbi Loew of the golem legend from Prague. In that legend, he brings a golem to life by writing the word Emet on the creature's forehead. Emet is Hebrew for 'truth'. Erasing the first letter turns the word into Meit, Hebrew for 'death'." Jill sounded especially proud. She must be so happy to have something to contribute. "If he did follow the legend, then, that thing's Achilles' heel is in its head."
"Then that's what we aim for. We crack it open and punch in the deactivation command."
"Uh, I wish it were as simple as that. Unfortunately, that access port in the head is encased in double titanium shells. It's built to withstand headshots. Nothing short of a high intensity laser beam will get it open," Jill tells the bad news.
"Is there not any other way?"
"There are latches around the neck. It would take specialized tools, you could pry them off but you risk getting yourself killed trying. Furthermore, we don't really know the deactivation code."
"But I thought you said it was…"
"Look," Jill sighed, "I'm just telling you the legend as it was. We're not even sure Dr. Loew used the same words as it was in the story."
"Then, we've no choice. We need to bring it down fast. I'm going ahead and try to pry the casing off. Jill, you bring in the heavy artillery in case we fail," Billy said. He hops on the Lightcycle and starts it.
"Hey, I've been thinking, Mr. Cobretti," Jane tells him. "Something just doesn't make sense."
He didn't give the Lightcycle a chance to fully rev up. He just gone and went, leaving Jane behind.
"Hey, wait!" she called to him. "I think there's something wrong." She tried to run after him but clearly the effort was simply for naught.
Too late, he has gone too far away. Jane wonders if he is having the same animosity as she does towards him. But if he is supposed to be this emotionless cold fish who does as he is told, he would have brought her with him. Or maybe he thinks she is useless and maybe he is a chauvinist. She feels frustration. He just does not make any sense and his being stoic does not help either.
One thing is for sure, he is just going there and take on that monstrosity the same way the others did. By brute force he said. And where has that led them? They are just going to get themselves killed.
She sighs. She had really wanted someone else to save the day. Does she really have a choice? She runs towards the fight.
Bogart and Junior are both pinned to their hiding spot. No matter how fast they can run, they cannot outrun bullets released at a couple hundred rounds per minute. The Golem is shooting at anything that moves.
In the Hummer, Elmer is trying to look for anything useful against the Golem. He rummages through the back. He did not want to try ramming the Hummer into the Golem again now that it has acquired a weapon. If he is going to face it, he needs something more powerful. Something like a rocket launcher which he picks up. He could hardly contain his joy, "Yes!"
A mechanical hand ripped open the roof of the Hummer. The windshield shatters and metal rend. Elmer panics and runs out. Rainwater splashes all over. He just ran straight only to hit into something hard, the gatling gun's muzzle. He slips down on the cold mud wet ground. When he came to, he sees the gatling gun aimed right at his face. "Gulp!"
Stones hit the Golem all over. Junior and Bogart came out of hiding and picking up anything they could find and throw it at the Golem. That certainly got its attention.
"Hey!" Junior shouted. "Come and fight me! And fair and square this time!"
The Golem would oblige but somebody is able to get the jump on it. Billy is able to hop on to its back and hold on. He throws an army knife right on the computer controls of the gatling gun. The gun is rendered unusable. That does not stop the Golem from trying to use it. Sparks fly out instead.
Billy cries out to one of the boys, "Quick! Somebody throw me another knife!"
Junior attempts to keep the Golem distracted by throwing mud right at its eyes. It is a perfect pitch. The Golem's eyes are totally covered. While he did that, Bogart throws up his army knife to Billy.
Billy catches the knife but not at the hilt. He managed to catch the knife by the blade which resulted in his hand getting a deep cut. He ignores the pain and the blood. He starts cutting away the Kevlar coating around the throat and under the chin. Slicing it away proves to be a difficult task. The coating proves to be very hardy material. At this rate, it will take too long to get to the latches.
The Golem is about to raise its arms to get its latest attacker off of it. Both Junior and Bogart saw what was about to transpire. They ran up to make their own interception. Each of them grabbed hold on to an arm and held on to despite against much shaking off attempts by the Golem.
The bad news, their efforts were for naught. The Golem slammed the two of them together. When one slam was not enough, it did another and then another and another. Eventually, the two let go. The Golem extended an arm and grabs Billy from its back and slams him down on his team members. Then, it raised its foot up, clearly with the intention to squash its attackers.
"Hey!" Elmer called out to it. The Golem turns around to him. He tells it, "Stop or I'm gonna shoot." He shows it the rocket launcher he found. A laser dot is aimed squarely right on its chest. "Stop, please."
The Golem runs towards him. The juggernaut refuses to be stopped at any costs. Elmer becomes nervous. He pulls the trigger and a rocket is released. The rocket hits the Golem. A direct shot on the chest and an explosive result follows. However, the force of the blast knocks Elmer a few meters back and lying on the cold, wet ground.
Elmer took of his headgear. A little blood drips from his nose. He tries to sit up to see what happened.
What happened is that the Golem still stands. Most of the Kevlar coating around its body has been burned off. The rain quickly douses off any fire still burning. It stands for a moment and its eyes glowed a deep red. Elmer gulped.
The Golem dropped the gatling gun which was rendered unusable. It walked in a brisk manner towards where Elmer is. Its right hand forms a fist and that same arm extends up and all with the intent to smash his head. Elmer cries and holds up his arms in a defensive posture. He closes his eyes and whimpers. "Goodbye cruel world," he says the old cliché.
The fist moves. Its direction towards Elmer's head. But before it could get near Elmer, suddenly out of the blue, Jane steps in front of it in time. She is now the one in the line of fire. She holds up her right hand to the monster in a gesture that declares the command to stop. There is a look of desperation in her eyes as she shouts the word, "Meit!"
The air whips with the cracking sound of a fist hitting something. Everything turns black for Jane.
When Jane opened her eyes, there was a bright fluorescent light above her. She is lying down not on the muddy ground but a stretcher. She tried to get up and flinched from the pain of a headache and another one that was particular on her left cheek. She took off her left glove and touched that achy cheek. She could tell there was some swelling. How she wished there was a mirror somewhere just to see how bad it was.
Only then did she realize where she is. The back of a LightLabs van. The doors at the back were open and she can see what is going on outside.
The rain has stopped for one thing. And there were more people this time and machines for carrying heavy equipment. And the Golem.
The Golem was still there. It is stuck in that posture where it was going to punch something down. It is an eerie sight. That sight sent Jane a cold shudder down her spine.
"I'm glad to see you're alright." It was Billy. Again.
"Uh, yeah," she managed to say.
"How did you know how to stop the Golem?" He certainly did not bother with any more chit chat.
"Actually, you know, I really didn't."
"Come again?" Billy asked but he did so in a straight face. If there is any sign of confusion in his mind, he did not show it.
"I, ah, just took a chance," she managed to say. She would like to smack his face though. It was frustrating to look at him. "I mean, it didn't make a lot of sense to me, you know."
"What did not make sense?"
"These mad scientist types. What's the point of making a fail-safe if there's no way for us to get to it, y'know? Why would you make it hard for yourself to turn off an out-of-control machine? It just didn't make any sense."
"And the secret word?"
"Are you that dense?" She gave him a quizzical look. "Didn't we talk about how Dr. Loew might have taken inspiration from the legend?"
"Noted," he says. Before he turned around, he says, "Good job." The way he said it was a bit comical though. It sounded forced like it is not in his nature to complement people.
And so he left to do whatever he was supposed to do. She wanted to ask how long she was unconscious and how the others were but she did not want to talk to him. She will get the answers herself. Would anyone mind if she just lay down for a while? She thought. It was something she thinks she deserved for getting everyone's ass out of the fire.
Mr. Turner's office. Or rather the new office. It has been designed and arranged exactly like his old office. Mr. Turner just sat by his desk. He watches the proceedings from his 21" LCD monitor. The Golem is now safely tucked away.
The intercom phone rings.
He answers. "Turner."
"Mr. Turner, it's Bright. The Golem is now secured and back in our possession. Also, I've been able to finally patch through to Dr. Loew, the chief designer of the project. He claims that he hasn't received any calls from us. Says there were no messages from us, nothing on his answering machine or Caller ID. We will, of course, investigate if it is true. I just thought I'd let you know, sir."
"Interesting," he said. "Let me know if there are any updates."
He reclined his ergonomic chair and holds up to look what was in his hand for the past couple or so hours… a communications scrambling unit.