“Jettison the logs,” Doctor Machina grumbled from between tensed teeth while his hands frantically moved across the shorting control panel ahead of him. “Status updates now!”
A mechanical voice pushed against the broken speakers within the collapsing shell of Machina’s greatest invention, “Cataclyzzzzz – life zzzzupport critical, electrical communication and traverzzzzal zzzzystemzzzz collapzzzzzed, ezzzzcape pod system compromizzzzz.”
“And the hedgehog? Find him!”
“Unable to procezzzzzzzzz.”
“Shut your mechanical maw,” the Doctor shouted angrily as he shattered the remnants of the speaker. His hands were quickly scouring his shorting keyboards and levers ahead, but his own appeal to blinding speed was far too slow against the explosive rattling around him.
The Oval Annihilator, his megaton world-conquering machine, was years of back-up planning culminated. His paranoia had never fully allowed him to bask in his sudden takeover of the planet Mobi, and so he’d constantly set about having an ace that could harness his ultimate ideas and mechanical aptitude.
His Annihilator was a floating battle tower with no need to ever land. The wind, sun, and even cosmic energy could keep him dominant of the skies for centuries against the largest targets. “That hedgehog…!” Remembering his original plans, he fumed all the louder in the smoking husk of his former masterpiece that he’d been undone by a blue hedgehog alone.
He snapped to his feet and waddled over quickly to the lone high-speed protection suit he had left. “Open, darn you,” he screamed into the jammed electronic lock. His mind redirected his hands to the electrical panel on the left of the door frame where wire after wire was redistributed to gather his entry. The door finally opened beneath the blaring alarm and the suit was Machina’s to snatch.
The blue metal alloy he designed to fight was now his last hope to survive the Oval Annihilator’s plummet into Mobi’s surface. He was inside quickly with his backup system springing to life, “Welcome, Doctor.”
“Silence! Reroute all command ability and controls to opening the cockpit door on the Oval Annihilator!”
“Processing,” was all he heard beyond the grind and moan of disintegrating metal all around him. Machina felt sweat take to his bald head but focused only on the door’s sealed seam while cursing the sloth of his only hope. The door suddenly popped open but screeched to a halt halfway through. “Partial door malfunction.”
“Blast you all!” He quickly tapped away at the wrist of his weaponized right hand. Machina’s punch went straight through the remaining metal and opened the entire portal to the blasting atmosphere he was hurtling through. His jump out was pithy to the power of the wind as his machine did everything it could to fight against a force it wasn’t meant to face.
Either boot blasted to life as he angled the body down at a softer angle. Doctor Machina felt no real relief in the minutes that followed, his nervous eye watching the fuel gauge quickly drop. Meanwhile, his genius mind went to work on calculating the highest distance he could survive in a dead drop from within this suit.
The time came before the correct distance. With the last sputters of fuel gone, Doctor Machina was in a freefall while still nearly 300 feet in the air.
“Steady, face-first, roll in time with the landing, left shoulder first, mass times gravity…should survive. Now!”
He rolled into a soft patch of grass that did little to save the suit. His pivot came at the perfect time and still he went skipping into a line of thick trees, the suit shattering along the torso. Yet, he had survived.
Machina now stood with no other machines to help his aching shoulder or his massive trek back home. His eyes could see the skyscrapers of his self-built metropolis at the horizon, and so he could do nothing but walk forward. Inside his restless mind, now fueled with anger and embarrassment, he was already working on a new invention that would finally take down the wretched hedgehog that did this to him.