Parker Murphy sat at the terminal in his bedroom, staring at the screen, tapping his desk. The earth shook slightly, as the only light in the windowless room came from his two monitors. On one screen an application was plotting the movements of each android warrior, tank, and air-droid currently waging war on the surface, three thousand feet above. On another, he watched the battle in real time from a camera mounted on an air-droid.
The battles weren’t normally this close to his silo-base. The last one within thirty miles had to have been over a year ago. Not that it mattered much. Parker couldn’t think of anyone who’d been on the surface in over ten years, and it had been equally as long since a silo had been breached. But it certainly had the guys working the unused entrance tunnels on edge.
“Wow look at that X19 Warrior blast those Scavenger bots!” His brother surprised him from behind.
“What are you doing up? You’re supposed to be asleep.”
“I just wanted to watch.”
Parker’s twelve-year-old brother Rider was ten years younger; technically a half-brother. His father had a late-life fling with a waitress from the cafeteria on Level 33 and the kid was born. The waitress died in childbirth and their father passed away eight years later from a massive heart attack. Rider had lived with him in their small one-room silo-base apartment ever since.
“I’ll give you five minutes. But I need to work and you need to go to bed.” Parker stood up. “You can have my seat for a moment. I’ve got to hit the john.”
When Parker returned to his desk Rider was already passed out. He carried him to the nearby bed and sat back down. He desperately needed to work. A droid factory on the surface in Sector 109 had sustained minor damage in a recent attack and Parker had been developing a new protocol for a team of repair droids currently making their way to the factory. His Supervisor Marty would have his hide if those droids were to land at that location without a proper repair protocol.
But the battle on his screen had all of his attention. For the past fifteen years, Earth had been at war with the moon. The moon colony had recently developed a new droid and in the past two months had managed to produce over three hundred of them at one of their automated factories. And they were massive, each one fitted with multiple artillery cannons larger than any Parker had ever seen. And the long steel legs that moved the iron beasts had an unbelievably organic stride.
One of Parker’s primary assignments the past month had been new battle protocols for some the subterranean colony’s existing droids. It had been considered by several of his superiors to be a lost cause. But as he watched on the screen a team of his tiny exobots, looking like small spiders with long arms, were meticulously dismantling one those fancy new moon colony droids.
A notification message popped up on his screen. He tapped an icon and a video feed of his friend Charles opened.
“Are you watching this?” Charles said, grinning ear to ear.
“You’re going to be a hero in the morning man.”
“It’s nothing. It’s a pretty simple protocol.”
“Don’t be so modest. It’s David versus Goliath. The bosses are going to freak over this.”
“It won’t last. The defense against this protocol is easy. They just shouldn’t have deployed these huge beasts without a way to defend against smaller bots. A simple gunner droid can take out twenty of my exobots in less than a minute. It just so happens that they sent all of their gunners to the northwestern mega battle.”
“That’s not the point. You got a step ahead of them. That’s all that matters. We just need to keep being creative like that.”
“Yeah well, I gotta get back to this repair protocol.”
“See you in the morning champ.”
Parker closed the video feed and opened a code window.
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