Season 1:8 ‘Get Dangerous’

by P WIlliam Ross

Scream your fucking lungs out for Hi-Five.

The nightclub is packed. Bodies sway and crash into each other. My boots stick to the tile floor with every step. A cluster of strobe lights flash from the DJ booth on the other side of the establishment.

Guys, we have to use telepathy or we won’t hear anything. I open up our only possible line of communication.

Well fine. Ingot doesn’t seem too happy with the idea.

Chase, we’ll lose you if you start running.

I don’t think I can run in here as it is; oof. He bumps into a pair of dancing girls.

I look around for a door or some passage which would lead into a basement. There’s no way he made the video in this room. Everyone starts jumping as a high energy track blares out of the massive speakers. It’s a wonder these people aren’t deaf. The sheer volume clouds my thoughts, making it difficult to maintain the link.

Jason and Dragonette take to the left side of the room while the rest of us head right. The only bar in the club is jammed with thirsty customers. Some guy in a tight shirt and even tighter jeans rubs up against me. Dissuading him with my thoughts would sever my connection with Jason and Dragonette. I try and put a few other people between us. He seems to lose interest and wanders off into the crowd.

“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, we have a few unexpected special guests in our midsts,” the DJ announces, “scream your fucking lungs out for Hi-Five.”

Everyone goes wild. Spotlights cast down onto the three of us, and two more shine down across the room.

How did he know we’re here?

Well maybe the bouncer told him, I didn’t exactly make him think we were someone else.

In any case, our cover is blown.

“And what would an introduction be without meeting our B.A.S.S. Heads?”

This is bad.

Isn’t a bass head just someone who likes loud music?

No, the way he said it, he means the experimental audio-tech weapons. Blasting Audio Sonics Systems. Ingot has her experience with them at the forefront of her thoughts, so I share it with the group.

These robots look like humans, but their heads are powerful devices meant to concentrate audio. She once watched one explode a watermelon.

Two slim figures rise from the tops of the speakers. They’re coated with a slick seafoam colored gloss and have convex spheres in place of heads. Each one moves with a sort of confident seduction in their steps. Not saying robots are hot.

A lot of people make their way towards the exits. This must be a semi-regular occurrence for so many people to know what’s about to happen. Either way, it confirms our suspicions of Progenitor Labs being a front for illegal tech.

You guys ready?

I’m going to cut the link. Though I won’t be much use against robots. You guys fight, I’ll look for our mystery man.

To top it all off, the DJ starts playing “Everybody Get Dangerous”. Both bots hop down from the speakers and start blasting at us. Tiles shatter and fly up into the air. I dash for the far wall and watch the rest of the team spring into action.

Mach speeds out of the way of a shockwave. The pulses of sound distort the air as they throb forward to their targets. Each one is preceded by a reverberating noise. Then something in the room bursts. I can feel the vibrations in my feet and chest as I make my way across the room. Ingot hurls a few of the support structures surrounding the DJ booth at the robots. These ones must be plastic too.

Dragonette unleashes a jet of flames, coating the robot further from me. The unit walks out of the fire without so much as tarnished paint, and positions itself to launch another blast. Our mystery man was thinking far ahead when he orchestrated all of this. There’s no sign of a door on this wall. The only place we haven’t checked yet is behind the DJ booth; a logical place for a secret exit.

Getting behind the booth will be impossible until the robots are taken out. Two of us are useless in fighting them. Ingot clamps one in place by constricting its feet with metal from a door frame. Jason charges in from the side and decapitates the robot.

“You have to crush the head to destroy the audio unit,” Ingot shouts.

It’s too late. One last shockwave escapes before he smashes the head between his hands. The blast churns through the air and misses me by a hair before shattering half the bottles in the bar. Looking through it was like staring up from the bottom of a pool. My left ear stings with a harsh ringing.

I can see Jason’s lips moving, but his speech is garbled. He rushes over to me while Mach and Ingot finish off the other robot. Jason’s words come into focus as he gets closer.

“Desmond,” he says, “you alright?”

I’m not sure.

“I think it got my ear,” I say. My voice sounds louder than normal inside my head. Like I’m shouting even though it’s a normal speaking volume.

“We’ll worry about that later. Let’s go find our DJ,” Dragonette says.

The club is empty save for two scrapped robots. As we had expected, there’s a door behind the booth leading to a narrow set of stairs. I can see their lips moving, but I don’t know what everyone else is saying. Jason will serve as a better set of ears.

“Do we just go in?” Ingot asks.

“Ladies first,” Chase says.

Dragonette descends the stairwell and pushes open the door at the bottom. The rest of us follow when it looks safe. The room is about the size of a subway car. It must be under the rear fourth of the club.
“Where’d the DJ go?”

I shrug.

“Well, those two pods, I think, are used to charge the robots we crushed outside,” Ingot says. Jason grins at the comment. “And maybe this computer can tell us something.” She walks to the large computer on the back wall. It’s flanked by two grey pods.

Ingot clicks around on the console for what feels like an hour. Chase taps his foot and looks around the room. Every other wall is blank. All the code and windows flying across the screen make no sense to me. My ear still hurts.

“I didn’t find much, but it looks like the headquarters for Progenitor Labs is in Sweden.”

“So we’re done here?” Chase asks.

“Guess we just head home,” Dragonette says.

I can sense the enthusiasm in Jason’s thoughts. “Dudes, we’re in Miami and we just crushed two pieces of illegal tech. We should be out partying.”

“I’m kind of tired,” Ingot says.

“Come on. It’ll be fun,” I say.

Next Chapter.