The big guy who was back there somewhere.
So, he kept running, Dash clutched close to his chest. He was scared and tired and hungry, and, not for the first time, he thought of his father. Along with those thoughts came a whole lot of emotion that he didn’t want to let out. He was scared that if he started to cry, he’d never stop.
“Oh, Dad,” he whispered, jumping over a large boulder. “Please come back for me.”
Archer glanced over his back, but other than the shadows that crept up along the wall, the smell of water—and something he couldn’t quite put his finger on—there was nothing. Breathing heavily, he took a few moments. What to do?
Pushing up, he glanced down at his bot and then set him carefully onto the boulder. Reaching into his bag, Archer rummaged for a couple lumen batteries and it took another minute or two to replace Dash’s.
After a few seconds, his bot’s eyes glowed yellow and then red and then blue, followed by a series of chirps and beeps.
“Dash,” Archer said. “You have no idea how happy I am to hear those noises.”
Dash slowly rose into the air. “Archibald, my memory function is still not fully recovered. What happened?”
“I don’t know exactly. You went ahead to scan and didn’t come back so when we followed you, well, we found you stuck in the biggest spider web ever.”
“Thank you for the retrieval.”
Archer sighed and took a few steps, eyes ahead. “I don’t know where Del and Bruce are though. We had to run and hide because once we ripped you out of that web the humming started and we knew the spider was on his way back.”
He glanced over his shoulder once more. “I don’t think he’s following me.”
“Okay,” Archer replied. “We need to keep going. We have to find Del and Bruce and we need to snag at least a few prisms or we’re never going to get Del’s father back.”
He thought of his own dad, and that awful feeling in his belly returned. “I can’t let that happen,” he whispered.
His bot was right.
“Negative,” Dash replied. Archer hiked his bag up and started forward. “Okay. Seems like we only have one choice anyway.”
The vibrations were still there, just underneath his feet and he shivered a bit. “Just let me know if you sense that awful spider-thing coming at us.”
Archer touched the wall again, hoping against all hope that there was a map or something hidden inside the rock, but there was nothing. He grabbed an apple from his bag.
And then drank a bottle of water.
And just when he was ready to scream because he was so tired and scared and, you know, LOST, Dash came to a halt. His bot rose into the air, eyes glowing red and then yellow. “Archibald I’m reading signs of life down the tunnel on your right.”
“Is it Del?”
He and his bot made their way down the tunnel to his right. In here, the light was brighter and as they neared the end, he could hear voices. They were the high pitched, excited sounds he’d heard before. And, was that some kind of music he heard playing?
He followed Dash up a steep incline and once he crawled over it, the entire area beneath him opened up.
And well, in front of him at least twenty of the Pointy-ears created a barrier. They looked different from the gentle souls he’d encountered so far. They wore uniforms and their expressions were fierce. Each of them held one of the cylinders he’d seen when he’d first started to explore this planet. Archer knew what was inside the cylinders. With a massive spider at his back, and creepy-crawlies threatening him in front...what the heck was he going to do?
“These guys don’t look so friendly,” he whispered to Dash.
“Your observation seems correct,” Dash replied.
Man. Sometimes being right sucked.