I leaped aside before the thing could touch me. It grabbed for me again. I managed to evade it.
Great, this is all I need, I thought, threw my bag aside, and settled into a defensive crouch. Perhaps all those martial arts lessons would come in handy now.
It put me in mind of the bare-metal Terminator, and looked too much like such a destructive thing for my comfort. The same red eye/photo receptors didn't help either. The robot hovered for a second, lowered itself to the ground, and matched my stance, right foot forward, knees bent, ready to fight.
I didn't wait for it to make the first move. I lunged. I expect that any live human opponent would have been at least partially taken aback by such a screaming thing rushing them. The robot didn't even move.
With both hands, I grabbed its shoulders, trying to shove it back, to no avail. It locked its metal fingers on my own shoulders, crushing my sockets. I screamed again, this time in pain. I brought my knee up into the stomach area, putting as much force into it as I could muster. It doubled over slightly and slackened the grip on my arms. Pain bloomed in my knee from the hard contact.
Before the thing recovered, I took hold of its wrist, braced myself and yanked it forward and over my back. It slammed into the ground, just as I'd planned. Just like in the movies. It's a hard trick to learn and master, but it sure does prove its use when you're fighting hand to hand. I've never had a chance to use it on an actual person before (and still haven't unless you count the machine.).
It's on its feet before I can turn fully. It grabs me around the waist and slams me down. I land on my hip, and more pain spikes up that socket. But I don't have time to wonder if it's broken. I roll out from under the steel foot that almost crushed me. I come up in another fighting stance. The machine forgoes hand to hand, and unholsters some sort of firearm from its forearm. I dodge a blast of blue, fizzing energy.
Rushing the thing, I catch the next shot on my left arm, a numb yet painful sensation. It's creeping up my shoulder and down to my wrist. Spreading. I don't slow, but collide with the robot. We wrestle with the connected weapon. It grunts mechanically as I force it away from me and point it back on him. I take that to be a good thing.
I reach for what I guess to be a secondary trigger, and manage to squeeze off two shots. They burst through the thing's chest. A flicker, and then finally the red eyes cease to glow any longer. The life goes out of the limbs, and it falls, inanimate, on top of me.
With a great heave, I push the mechanical menace off, and coincidentally, down the shaft.
I pant, the adrenaline still coursing through me. I pop my neck loudly. Massage my arm. The numb sensation is now spreading into my neck and down my back. My arm is swollen and aching. I check my hip and knee. Other than two huge purple bruises, everything in those joints seems to be intact and fine.
I lean against and slide down the wall, closing my eyes for a moment of rest. I don't rest for long. I move to continue my quest to get out.
By now the numb has spread into the back of my head, my cheek, and on down across my abdomen and back. I can't move my left arm, and I have a headache.
No matter, I must get out. I walk down the hallway from the shaft, which is now bathed in a bluish sort of light that enables my to see far in front of me. I see up ahead there is a right-angle turn to the left.
But, before I can reach it, the numbness has now settled into my left leg, and is creeping across my face. I take a few more steps. I stumble.
My muscles constrict and I fall.
I struggle to get up but now both of my legs are numbing. My pulse pounds in my ears. My vision is blurring.
I crumple to the ground once more, and this time it's where I stay.
Faintly I hear a whirring sound, and a pair of red eyes swims across my field of view. Another robot.
But I cannot fight. I call out, but I can't even hear my own voice. I feel arms enclose me. A deep, male voice calls my name. Marc is here, he's holding me. I don't struggle but bury my head in his chest. Slowly and smoothly, I slip into the dark void that is unconsciousness.