May 6, 2007

Iapetus Saves Miami

Chapter Four

By Douglas E. Gogerty

The construction of the enormous Cyber-Iapetus had taken five years, but it was finally complete. All of its vital components were in place and protected. They filled its tank with water and its batteries were fully charged. Once started, the mechanical beast would be able to operate for several days before it needed more water.

AOENC Engineering isolated Dr. John Maland in a securely locked room when they initiated the start sequence. The batteries initiated the electrolysis to separate the oxygen and hydrogen of the water supply. The hydrogen was fed into the fusion chamber and the giant cybernetic monster came to life.

Slowly, it raised itself from its prone position and made its way to its feet. The computer took the information from the many inputs to stabilize itself. Shortly afterwards, it took its first step -- and then its second.

Slowly and cautiously, the individuals controlling the mechanical monster worked its way out the doors and into the warm Florida summer. Once out of the enormous building, they put the beast through its paces. The monster ran, walked, swung its arms and its tail, kicked its legs, and tested its various defensive maneuvers.

Once the defensive measures were performed to Ms. Higher's satisfaction, they continued with the newly implemented offensive weapons. The laser in Cyber-Iapetus's head would select a target and the missiles would fire from its hands and impact the selected target. That operation performed as implemented.

The testers put the mini-guns in its shoulders through their paces. These were somewhat difficult to control, as the beast's torso would have to move to aim the guns. However, they were quite lethal on the areas around the targets. The bullets sprayed with devastating results.

Finally, the Cybernetic beast opened its mouth and fire erupted out of its open maw. The head could move up and down and side to side to spray fire in a variety of directions.

Ms. Higher was satisfied with the results of the tests and ordered the beast reloaded. The guns and missile launchers were quickly reloaded, and the fuel reservoir for fire breathing was filled to the top. The mechanical nightmare was completely operational.

Next, Ms. Higher ordered the technicians to direct the beast into nearby Choctawhatchee Bay to test its seaworthiness. The mechanical monster swam on the surface as designed. It used its tail to propel itself and with its hands tucked under its torso could change its direction.

The beast dove into the depths with equal agility. It swam around the bay and erupted to the surface. It opened its weapon doors and was immediately ready to fight upon emerging out of the water. Apart from a few minor leaks, which they quickly caulked on the spot, the mechanical Iapetus pasted all of its tests.

Ms. Higher dismissed the technicians and entered the beast's interior control compartment. Using the controls within the machine, she took over the control of the beast and steered it into the Gulf of Mexico. Once in the Gulf she dove deep under the water and vanished.

* * * * *

Dr. Maland, still locked in the secure room, heard a slightly mechanical voice emanating from somewhere, "Dr. Maland you have interfered with our plans."

"Dr. Roy you'll never get away with this!"

"Silly man! I am not Dr. Roy and you do not even know our plans."

"Well..." stumbled Dr. Maland. "Whatever you are planning will certainly fail."

"We shall see," replied the voice. "In any event, you would have remained unaltered if you had not interfered."

"Unaltered?"

"We still have need for you, but you are unlikely to cooperate knowing what you know."

"No! I'll do whatever you say."

"That is not likely and we cannot take any chances with the important task that only you can perform."

"What task?"

"We need you to tell the Iapetians that Cyber-Iapetus is complete."

"Why is that important?"

"We do not wish to cause unwanted destruction."

"Huh?" asked Dr. Maland as he began feeling dizzy.

"Pleasant dreams," replied the voice as Dr. Maland fell unconscious from the gas they piped into his room.

* * * * *

From Goose Creek Bay, south of Tallahassee, Cyber-Iapetus emerged from the water. It headed due north until it encountered the Coastal Highway and headed east.

Chaos erupted as cars on the highway scattered away from the enormous mechanical beast. The monster did not kick or swing at anything. Drivers scattered just to avoid confrontation and created their own mess.

With the snarled traffic on the Coastal Highway, authorities investigated and quickly discovered the giant mechanical device heading east on the highway. The Florida State Patrol sent several squad cars to intercept.

However, before the troopers could reach the troublemaker, it had left the highway and had gone into the nearby groves. A similar event occurred when Cyber-Iapetus reappeared on the northbound Woodville Highway.

With snarled traffic, the State Patrol asked the governor for assistance dealing with the enormous menace. Before the governor could reply, he received a mysterious message. The note read:


Dear Governor:

A large mechanical device is headed towards the Capital. This device is capable of much destruction. Anything you do to prevent the device from reaching its goal could result in total annihilation but will not stop the device. This mechanism will stop by the capital building for your inspection, and a demonstration of the power can be arranged. You will be notified of other demands at a later time.

Signed: A Friend

The governor immediately informed the Department of Homeland Security. They recommended sending three attack helicopters to meet the beast. The governor complied. The three helicopters from the national guard headed south along Woodville Highway; however, the mechanical beast had left that highway before they could reach it.

Cyber-Iapetus had turned. The helicopters altered their course to cut off the beast on Bloxham Cutoff Road. They intercepted the monster in an unpopulated and tree laden stretch of that road. On the first pass, the helicopters fired guns only, which had no effect upon the mechanical device.

The laser on the head of the cybernetic animal pointed at the far left helicopter as it passed, and a single missile launched from its left hand. The missile impacted with its target and exploded. The helicopter smashed into a stand of trees and burst into flames as the remaining made their turns for a second pass.

The helicopters launched their hellfire missiles at their foe, but they had no effect upon the monster. The doors for the mini-guns opened, the guns emerged, and the bullets began to fly. A second helicopter received a great amount damage and crashed onto the road leaving the final attack helicopter to make a third pass.

The final helicopter made its pass using both missiles and bullets. As it passed, the mechanical monster raised its hand and swatted at the helicopter. The force sent the helicopter spinning, but the pilot managed to regain control and prevented a crash.

However, before it could make another pass, a missile came from the right hand and the helicopter exploded in a huge fireball. The first attempt at stopping the cybernetic monster had failed, and it continued on its way.

As if it were using an online map service, the enormous mechanical beast turned right on Wakulla Springs Road and continued north past the Leon County Fairgrounds. Eventually, it reached the State Capitol building and stopped out front. There it stood for everyone to see.

Posted by deg at May 6, 2007 6:44 PM

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