Chapter 1 - Sam Marsh and the Lunar War - The Sam Marsh stories book 3.
Chapter 1 - Sam’s new biomechanical body. The Royal Villa, Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands, Norway.
“Zip me up can you, Jorunn?” Asked Sam Marsh as he waddled into the kitchen at the Royal Villa in Svolvaer wearing his latest invention.
“AGHHHH! Oh my word!" Screamed Jorunn, the housekeeper, “what on earth are you wearing Litten Prisent?" Jorunn always called Sam the Little Prince.
“Oh nothing much,” Sam winked at Zebedee his Robodiver companion. The suit he was wearing was a special plastic suit of armour which covered his entire body from head to toe. In fact only his face was not covered.
“And why, may I ask can’t he,” Jorunn nodded at Zebedee, Jorunn didn’t particularly like robots, “why can’t he do this? Can’t you see I’m busy baking, Spike and Jenny are coming over at the weekend, I have such a lot to do you know!”
“Oh Jorunn,” sighed Sam, “Zebedee’s fingers can’t pull zips very well! You know that.”
“Mmm...so he’s not so perfect after all!” Jorunn had a smug look on her face. She didn’t believe in gadgets of any kind except for her electric whisk.
“One doesn’t claim to be perfect, madam," replied Zebedee in the perfect English that Sam knew annoyed Jorunn so much.
“That’s good to know, Mt tinny man,” Jorunn waved her can opener, a mean glint in her eyes, “my father used to be a scrap metal merchant in Bergen I’ll have you know, and I’m quite good at dismantling things too!"
Zebedee gulped and slipped quietly out of the kitchen. He knew Jorunn meant every word.
”Jorunn!” Sighed Sam, “you know he doesn’t like that thing.”
“What did I do?” She replied in mock innocence, shrugging her shoulders, “it’s just a can opener!”
“Haha! I knew that would upset him!" Laughed Jorunn, “now what is this...this...err...funny dressing up costume! What are you? A turtle man or something?” her laughter was upsetting Sam, “I can't think of what you look like! It’s so silly.”
“It’s not silly and it’s not a costume and I AM NOT A TURTLE MAN! It’s the prototype of my new biomechanical suit, Jorunn,” Sam tried to explain, “it...”
A hand waved in front of Sam’s face, “too much information, Litten Prinsent,” She zipped Sam up, “...be off with you I have cake to make, lots of cake! Go and play!” Jorunn didn’t do technical and had already turned her back and returned to some serious baking.
Surpisingly not one of the Robodivers with their highly sensitive hearing heard the quiet buzz from the pebbly beach near the Royal Villa near Svolvaer in the Norwegian Lofoten Islands. This wasn’t surprising though as the metallic noise was muffled by sand and stones, and any noise was drowned out by the waves breaking on the shore.
Once outside Sam met up once again with Zebedee and his team of homemade Robodivers. The Robodivers had been made by Sam over a year earlier using almost any material, metal, plastic, carbon fibre, reinforced cardboard, anything the young inventor could lay his hands on.
“Take no notice of her, Zebedee,” muttered Sam as he walked along in an ungainly manner, getting used to walking in the suit before it’s electronics were engaged was proving difficult, “now,” he nodded to a 40 metre sheer rock face that loomed a kilometre inland of the Royal Villa, “is the safety equipment set up?”
“Affirmative, Sir, but, Sir...may I caution against you trying the suit out to begin with, perhaps one of my men?"
“It’s in my size, Zeb," Sam sighed shaking his head, “Derr! I’m small and they’re tall, there’s no way it’ll fit! Not in a month of Sundays!"
“Month of Sundays, Sir?” Zebedee was confused, “When is there a month of Sundays?"
“Oh it’s just a silly saying," replied Sam.
“Very silly indeed, Sir, and completely impossible without changing the entire calender of the modern world."
“Yeah, yeah,” Sam was impatient to get going, he had a new invention that needed trying out, “don’t worry about it, and don’t worry about me, we’ve taken all the precautions we can, if I fall I’ll be well roped up, stop worrying, now come on! RACE YOU!!"
Buzz, buzz! The noise was getting louder and more angry. But still no one heard it.
After engaging the power, Sam sprinted off in new his biomechanical suit, his arms and legs pumping like the pistons on a steam engine, the high tech mechanical joints taking him from nought to sixty miles per her hour in about ten seconds!
“Can’t catch meeeeeeeee!" Called Sam over his shoulder as he rocketed along the ground like a super human, jumping and hurdling obstacles, scrambling over small ledges in a blur, twisting and turning around objects, “W’hey!" The suit was working perfectly, in fact Sam was running faster than even he had calculated.
Quick, thought Sam, slow down a little, I need to slow down! It’s getting scary!
Sam slowed to a more reasonable pace and soon he was standing at the bottom of the rock face readying himself to start the climb. After a long five minute wait the Robodivers, who were so tall and skinny that they weren’t best suited to running, arrived. Sam got buckled up and some of the robots took the strain.
“Be careful, Sir!” Warned Zebedee.
“I will, I will!" Sam was impatient to continue the trial of the suit.
Sam readied himself, put his foot up on a rock, grabbed another with his hands and heaved himself up. The young inventor rocketed up the ragged wall of limestone, his brain working overtime to try and keep up with his awesome physical ability.
What? What’s wrong? Sam felt that there was something wrong, terribly wrong. He was losing momentum fast, his rate of climb slowed and slowed and he was only half way up. He quickly came to an abrupt halt.
“Problem, Sir?" Called Zebedee from metres below.
“Err...a biomechanical breakdown I think. Maybe? No...no it’s not biomechanical,” Sam called down, “it's a loss of power."
“A problem with the Thorium power cells, Sir?” boomed Zebedee’s mechanical voice up the cliff face.
“Err...yes, yes I think so. I have a backup, I’ll just switch...”
“May I suggest you abseil down, Sir!"
“Yes," shouted a disappointed Sam, although the auxiliary power was now working he was very disappointed, the back up power was in no way as powerful as the new Thorium cells, “yes, I think I will. Take the strain, Zebedee!" Sam Marsh was a perfectionist and he hated failure. But he would bounce back and he would improve the suit.
Buzz, buzzzzzzzzzzz! As Sam started to work his way down the cliff face four mechanical Roboflies bore down on him out of the cloudy sky. Each as big as a large family dog, the wings of the flying insects were a blur of rapid movement as they beat frantically to keep their chunky, solid bodies in the air. Six thin legs dangled below the fat shiny silver bodies, and on each side of their heads were large bulbous eyes, each the size of a head itself!
The sparkling, bulging eyes were moving round and round, surveying the scene all around them. They consisted of thousands of tiny moving mirrors of different colours dazzling anyone who looked too closely at them.
“Action stations! We’re under ATTACK!!" Yelled a Robodiver sentry as the flies landed on the vertical cliff face, one on either side of Sam, one below and one above. They stuck easily on to the rock.
Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz! The droning noise was horrendous and was making Sam’s head rattle, making him feel dizzy and sick. Louder and louder it became.
“Quick men! Take them out!" Ordered Sam thinking fast.
Moving swiftly a Robodiver raised a lazer rifle, aimed and blasted an insect to Sam’s left into a million pieces. But the others weren’t going to be destoyed so easily, the flies underneath and above Sam took off and rocketed down towards the troops opening fire with their own lazers as they swiftly descended. As shots ricocheted, two robodivers were hit and immediately lost limbs and their colleagues had to pull them behind rocks while others took cover and returned fire.
“Sir!" Yelled Zebedee, refusing to take cover. He was Sam’s loyal servant and he’d lay his life on the line for Sam.
Whoosh! A blinding orange beam plunged into his chest, sending him crashing to the ground!
“Zebedee!" Replied Sam, more worried about the safety of his friends than himself, “Z2 get him back quick!” He ordered Zebedee’s second in command.
“But, Sir!" Argued Z2 from relative safety, “What about you?”
“Don’t worry about me, take care of Zebedee! He needs you more than me!"
Sam knew what was coming next, he’d researched the way Roboflies were programmed to operate, he knew they would never act first, only react. If he moved then so would they. And he knew their weak spots, as did Z2 who was a capable soldier and commander. After Zebedee, Z2 was the robodiver who Sam had spent the most time working with, developing his skills and abilities.
Buzz, buzz! Buzz, buzz!
Sam quickly checked his bio suit’s power levels and capabilities and looked at the Robofly. In the shining eye he could see his distorted reflection.
“Well, Mr Fly,” he muttered, “I guess my suit is 90 per cent operational, so that will have to be good enough, what do you think?"
The fly craned it‘s head as if it was trying to understand what Sam meant. But it wasn’t programmed to communicate, just destroy.
“I really love those eyes,” muttered Sam calmly, “really excellent invention, compliments to you, Great Grandfather!” Sam knew that at some point the fly would be transmitting this back to Herr Krater.
“But they’ve not got 360 degrees of vision you know, Great Grandfather,” Sam knew there was a blind spot just at a point behind the eyes.
The Robofly inclined it’s head again as Sam used his super strength to wrench a rock from the cliff, “and that is where you’ve FAILED! CATCH!" As he lobbed the rock hard at the robot’s eyes, an arm instantly reacted and swatted it away.
It only gave him a fraction of a second but in the bio suit that was like a lifetime! Sam leapt right behind the moving arm and onto the back of the mechanical insect. He held on tight.
The fly struggled to see exactly where Sam was. It hit out frantically with its legs but each time Sam easily evaded it.
Eventually the creature took off, it’s flying disturbed by trying to get Sam off it’s back. The Robofly writhed and shuddered violently trying to fling its passenger off its back but Sam was going nowhere! He held on for dear life! Round and round, up and down, this way and that the furious robot flew but Sam knew it would never unseat him as long as the suit held it’s power charge.
“Keep going!" Sam yelled at his suit’s power console, “power levels at...85%...80%...75%...”
As the battle raged between the Robodivers and the flies, the robot sprung fifty feet above the Royal Villa. At the height of the action, Jorunn rushed out.
“Argh!!!” She screamed as she looked up, “Litten Prisent! What on earth are you doing up there? Get off that thing!"
“Sorry, Jorunn I can’t!” 70%...! “Get in the house will you!" Yelled Sam.
“Trust me!” 65%...! “I’m OK!”
“You’re not OK, Litten Prisent!” Screamed the hysterical housekeeper.
“I KNOW THAT!” 60%...! “But I’m OK, it’s not safe for you! Get inside!” 55%...! “NOW!” Sam meant it and, for once, Jorunn did as she was told.
Although he was relishing the excitement of the flight on the Robofly and the battle of strength, Sam knew he was pushing his luck and his power was draining by the second. He had to act fast, without the suit Sam would be thrown off in an instant, so he unzipped a pouch on his leg and took out a small electric screwdriver. As the machine thrashed wildly with Sam on its back the young inventor carefully unscrewed an auxiliary control panel just behind the eyes. Tossing the cover away he reached in and grabbed a small joy stick deep inside the body of the robot and flipped an override switch.
“Warning, Warning, Warning! Manual control, manual control, manual control!" repeated a mechanical voice from deep inside the robot’s body.
Sam took control and immediately the flying levelled out. The violent thrashing ceased. The Robofly was now his flying machine and Sam Marsh was a brilliant pilot.
Down Sam flew like a speeding bullet towards the battle between the Robodivers and the two flies intent on swiftly putting an end to the action!
He approached from the rear of the grounded flies, their defenses unaware that anything was wrong until it was too late, deciding against using the lazers, Sam opened fire with the 20mm cannons that were mounted just below the eyes of his Robofly. Bullets ricocheted from the rocks on the ground as a line burst along from twenty metres behind the attackers. It was too late, the Roboflies reacted too slowly and a hail of bullets ripped into their mechanical bodies blasting them to pieces.
Quickly, Sam landed and Jorunn rushed out of the villa.
“Litten Prinsent! Litten Prinsent!” She yelled tears in her eyes, “Are you OK?”
“Fine, fine!” 25% power...! Sam leapt off the fly and ran over to Zebedee, “Get him into my workshop, fast!" He yelled to the waiting robots.
Chapter 2- Escape from Eris, the edge of nowhere.