MAU: Robot in Disguise - Chapter 8

MAU: Robot in Disguise

by Sleethr

~o~O~o~

Sadie meets a few Star Trek fans.

~o~O~o~

 


 

Author's Note: Sorry for the HUGE delay. :( In an attempt to put a positive spin on my delay, this is actually the 3rd totally new chapter in this very delayed story. Go back to Chapter 6 if you're confident in your ability to recall the story prior to now. I've completely revised it starting with Chapter 1 by removing Jenna/Hector's POVs and breaking her stuff off into a second story. I've tentatively titled it "MAU: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing". I probably should've had someone edit this but, I've re-read it more times than I can count. I hope you all like it.

~o~O~o~

 

Chapter Eight

 

Sadie opened her optics, grabbed the man’s right hand and sat up. “~If you don’t want me to rip your arm off and feed it to you, I’d tell me where the real Mr. Rogers is being held!~” She spoke in Mandarin, matching his language.

The man’s eyes flared with shock as he tried to pull himself from her grasp. Failing to free himself, he responded by performing a lightning fast round house punch to her left temple.  The punch had enough force to rock her head to the side, but it caused no physical damage to her armored head.  While his punch didn’t physically damage her, it did cause a temporary  fist sized disruption of her camouflage, exposing her outer armor and blood red left optical sensor in a spiderweb pattern radiating from the point of impact.  

The man had hit her with enough force to seriously injure and possibly kill a normal human woman. He paused with shock as she shrugged off his punch. “~What in the hell?!?!~”

“Now you’ve really pissed me off!” Sadie stood and pressed down using her full strength to his right forearm.

“Ahhhh!” The man screamed as his bones snapped with a loud crack, driving him to his knees.

Letting go of his now useless arm, Sadie stepped back to give herself some room to maneuver.  She had to give the creep some credit, he pushed through the pain and rose, attempting to drive an uppercut into her stomach.  She caught his fist and stopped it in mid-flight.  “Okay asshole, where is Mr. Rogers!?!” She growled, her voice shifted into pure digital mode as the rest of her camouflage dropped to enable maximum combat effectiveness.

He tried to pull away, but Sadie held his fist firmly within her grasp, not allowing his hand to move an inch.  The man attempted to kick her, but she blocked it using her tail tentacle.  Realizing that he would probably try to kick her again, she wrapped her tentacle around both his legs, hogtying him with her firm grasp on his fist the only thing keeping him from falling on his butt. “~Maybe you didn’t understand my question. Where is the real Kurtis Rogers?!?!~”

She stressed her question by squeezing his hand, causing him to grimace with pain, but she didn’t break it.  “~Bitch! I don’t know what you are, but you don’t know who you’re messing with! Zhào-géxià will find you!~”

“~That wasn’t what I asked you...~” Sadie’s eyes flashed red as her voice digitized even further, creating a menacing reverb effect. She began to slowly apply force to his hand.

“AHhhhhh!” The imposter cried as the bones in his hand began to fracture.

Sadie stopped. “~Where is Kurtis Rogers?~”  

“~In the factory! In the factor, bitch!~” The imposter chuckled as took a breath around the pain. “~but he won’t be pleasing you anytime soon! Last time I saw her, she was a sexy little fox girl!”

She ignored his implication. The imposter simply couldn’t understand the working relationship she had with Mr. Rogers. “~What did that asshole Zhào do to him?~” Sadie applied pressure, causing a few more of the imposter’s fingers to fracture.

“Ahhhhh!” He slumped with defeat. “~I’ll tell you! I’ll tell you! Just stop, please!~”

Sadie released his hand, letting him topple backwards and onto the carpeted floor.  She kept his legs bound.

It took a few seconds before the imposter’s breathing got under control and he was able to speak again. “~ Zhào-géxià turned him and his capitalist dogs into sexy animal girls.” He chuckled in spite of the pain. “~Your master is a sexy little fox and I’m sure she’ll be very popular with the man she’s sold to once she goes into heat!~”

“You asshole!” Sadie pulled the man toward her with her tail tentacle, reached down grabbing the front of his shirt and bodily lifted him up. “~Where. Is. The. MAU?~”

“~The what?~” The imposter seemed genuinely confused.

“~The alien device you used to become Kurtis Rogers!~”

“~The device-~” The imposter’s eyes flared with pain as he gasped with pain, halting his words.  His entire body began to spasm and his eyes rolled back in his head.

Unsure about what was happening, Sadie dropped the man and took a step back.  He began to violently convulse and a few seconds later, the imposter’s back arched with enough force to fracture his spine in multiple places.  He slumped back and exhaled his last breath.

“Damn, that’s not good…” Sadie surprised herself by how little alarm she felt over watching a man die a painful death at her feet.  Somehow Zhào had managed to include an automatic suicide switch in the imposter’s body; Zhào was one sick bastard.

“I need to get to the factory!”  She headed out to the main living room area of the suite. Mindful of the bugs, she sent another powerful burst causing the remaining bugs to give off a faint, yet satisfying pop and hiss sound as they burnt out.

She was about to initiate her shift into Jet mode when there was a polite, yet firm knock on her door.  “Ahh crap, it’s probably Jenna…”

It could be more of the imposter’s friends. He did call for someone to come get her, but they said it would take twenty minutes and that was only eight minutes ago. Just in case it wasn’t Jenna, she reactivated her camouflage.

“I’ll be right there!” She yelled to stall whoever was on the other side of the door. She berated herself for using her own voice. If it was the imposter’s friends, she should’ve used Mr. Roger’s voice to throw them off since they weren’t expecting her to be conscious.

A few seconds later, her camouflage was repaired and she looked like her normal self.  Peering through the door’s peephole, she was able to make out the distorted shapes of a woman standing in front of a large man and statuesque woman with a third man standing off to the side wearing a black business suit.  

Sadie had no idea who they might be, but she guessed that they probably weren’t in Mr. Zhào’s employ. If they were, she didn’t have time to waste interrogating them either. She had to rescue Mr. Rogers, but she couldn’t exactly pretend to not be there either.  Prepared to give them a quick brush off, Sadie opened the door a crack, keeping the door security chain in place with her foot wedged tightly at the bottom of the door to prevent anyone from forcing it open.

She figured that with all of her weight holding the door back, the men outside would be very surprised if they tried to force the door.  “Hi, I’m kinda busy now. Can you come back later?” Sadie smiled desperately at the woman as she turned to face Sadie’s partially obscured face.

The woman surprised her because her facial features strongly resembled a Star Trek Vulcan or Romulan.  Her skin had a slight greenish tint, barely noticeable, but it was the woman’s hair style and sharply angled eyebrows that really brought out the resemblance. She even wore a simple dress cut in the plain, vaguely oriental style favored by Star Trek’s costume designers. Sadie couldn’t see the woman’s ears through her hair style, but she almost expected her to be wearing prosthetic ears.

Standing behind her and clearly acting as guards for the woman was a very large six and half foot man and almost as tall female bodyguard. Off to the side and out of the line of fire to the guards, stood a rather plain looking man in the black suit.

She automatically ran all of their faces through her data banks, looking for a match.  A fraction of a second later, a match came back. The Vulcan woman was Darla, the Star Trek fan who was wearing life-like Vulcan makeup and costume at the Comic Con, but the odds of her being at her door right now were astronomically high.  She found it strange that the woman would also choose to wear her Vulcan makeup.

“Darla?” She gasped with shock, momentary stepping away from the door.

The two bodyguards glanced nervously to each other before their gaze settled back to Sadie with a greater sense of readiness. Ignoring the tension behind her, Darla smiled politely, inquisitively canting her head to the side. “Yes, pleased to meet your acquaintance Sadie Williamson. Have we meet?”

Extreme Star Trek fan or not, this Darla woman knew her name and she also didn’t seem surprised to see her answer the door like she would’ve been if she was working for Mr. Zhào.  Why a Vulcan impersonator would need bodyguards was beyond her.  However; it was the man wearing the non-descript, plain black suit stuck out the most.  “Umm, once, very briefly at a comic convention last year, but I don’t really have time to talk right now. Could you all come back later?”

“I’m sorry, but we have reason to believe that Kurtis Rogers and you are in imminent danger.” Darla glanced behind her, towards the elevators. “But, the hallway is not the logical place to speak of such matters. May we come in?”

Sadie couldn’t keep the astonishment off her face. Where were these people six or so hours ago, before the tour?  Whoever they were, they clearly knew something and even though precious minutes were ticking away, she decided that finding out what they knew about the MAU and Mr. Zhào might help her rescue Mr. Rogers.

“Umm, okay. Lemme open the door…” Sadie closed the door, released the chain and reopened the door, gesturing for her unexpected guests to enter the suite.

Before closing the door behind her guests, she poked her head out the door to check the hallway. All clear, no surprise ninjas or other hotel guests hanging out.  The two bodyguards confirmed their function and immediately began scanning the suite for potential threats and visually making note of the entrances and exits.  Darla patiently stood next to the large sectional sofa while the black suited mystery man stood off to the side in a loose parade rest position.  

“Can I get you all anything to drink?” Sadie asked as an excuse to walk past and close the door to Mr. Rogers’ room before her guests had a chance to peek inside and spot the body of the imposter.  She didn’t actually want them to accept her offer.

“No thanks.” Darla said as her bodyguards simply shook their heads, no.

“I’ll take a Whisky or Scotch if you have any.” The mystery man spoke for the first time.

Sadie clamped down on her anxiety.  She didn’t have time to deal with drinks, but she got the door closed without raising suspicions. So, she decided play along and hopefully the man would just down the drink without delay.  “You’re in luck! Mr. Rogers loves his scotch. Some eighteen year old stuff called Glenmorangie. Will that be acceptable?” Sadie asked as she grabbed a glass and pulled out the bottle.

The mystery man’s face broke into a happy grin. “Very much so, thanks.”

“Ice?” Sadie glanced over her shoulder as she set the glass on the counter and prepared to pour.

“No thanks. A scotch of that caliber would be ruined with ice.” The mystery man smirked.

Sadie found herself warming to the man. Any man would could appreciate a good scotch couldn’t be all bad. It was probably expensive, but she didn’t have to pay for it. So, she poured him a good three fingers worth and handed it to him.  Task complete, she turned back to Darla. “So, who are you and what’s this ‘threat’ you mentioned?”

“I am Darla and,” she gestured to the large male bodyguard, “this is Mike and his wife, Sandy.  We represent the company known as The Collective.” Darla turned to the mystery man, inviting him to introduce himself.

“Hi, you can call me Callahan.” The man ambiguously gave a name.

Sadie glanced over to him, studying him with all of her electronic senses. Thermographic indicated that the man carried a firearm in a shoulder holster as well as a holdout pistol around his left ankle. Everything about the man screamed Secret Agent, but she had bigger fish to fry.

“We…” Darla glanced over to Callahan for approval or permission, and receiving a slight nod, she continued, “have reason to believe that someone intends to try impersonating the leaders of the largest and most powerful multinational companies and your superior ranks fairly high on the list of potential targets.”

Sadie optics may have dilated with surprise for a nano-second, but her face remained passive. How did these people know and why didn’t they get here sooner? “I find that a little hard to believe and while your Vulcan makeup is pretty darn good, there’s no way some actor with a little makeup would be able to fool me into thinking they were Mr. Rogers.”

“There is an advanced technology that could allow for a very accurate costume,” Darla stumbled a little over the costume word, “to be created. This costume would allow the wearer to perfectly mimic the target’s body and voice.”

They were pretty close, but Sadie knew the man pretending to be Mr. Rogers wasn’t wearing some high tech costume. “Sorry, but even with a high tech costume, I can guarantee you that some imposter would not fool me.  Thank you for the warning, but,” Sadie impatiently glanced to the door, “I really need to be leaving. Mr. Rogers is expecting me at a meeting and I’m running late.”

Darla’s eyebrow raised a fraction of an inch, somehow conveying a mixture of curiosity and concern. “I see. If you are confident in your ability, it would be illogical for us to intrude upon you any longer.”  She reached into the cuff of her top and extracted a business card. “If you happen across-”

Wham!!! The door jam splintered and slammed open with Jenna rushing in, ready for a fight.

“Sadie!” Jenna yelled as Mr. Power’s followed her into the now crowded suite.

Darla’s two body guards instantly reacted to the threat. The female bodyguard grabbed Darla, protectively placing her behind her while the big male bodyguard spun, facing the two highly trained action stars on his own.

“Finally, a worthy foe!” The male bodyguard roared, ignoring the fact that he was currently out numbered.  He further surprised Sadie when he turned to his partner and spoke in Klingon. “~Stay out of this woman. These two are mine!~”

“~Bah! I refuse to let you steal all the glory!  I’ll take the female!~” Sandy adjusted her stance to move toward Jenna.

“rIgh bIH!” Darla barked, ordering Mike and Sandy to stop.  Amazingly, the pair paused long enough to listen to her words. “~They are not our enemies! If that is proven otherwise, you may challenge them later. Agreed?~”

“Grrrr!” Mike growled with barely contained aggression. He was clearly looking forward to a fight and his wife didn’t appear any less eager to contain her violence. “~Agreed~” He turned back to Darla and slammed his right fist into his chest, perfectly mimicking a Klingon salute.

“~Stand down woman!~” Mike growled to his wife.

The atmosphere in the room was pretty tense. “Sadie, what in the hell is going on and who are these Star Trek wannabees?” Jenna picked the perfect way to re-escalate the tension.

“You dare?!?!” Mike reached up to his neck and after a brief second, a black skin tight mask with silvery wires materialized over his entire head. Sadie recognized the wires as miniature holo emitters. He pulled the mask off, revealing a Klingon face with its distinctive brow ridges and hair.  “I am General K’tach of the Collective and I hereby challenge you to personal combat!”

Jenna ignored his challenge and turned to Sadie. “What tha fuck?”

Sadie was almost as confused and lost as her friend, but the MAU making someone look like Mr. Rogers plus Darla showing up as a Vulcan and now what appeared to be a real Klingon warrior in her room made a lot of things suddenly make sense.  “Holy shit!” Sadie muttered and turned to Darla. “You’re really a Vulcan, that’s not a costume and he’s,” she pointed to Mike of the Collective as he glared menacingly at Jenna, “is really a freaking Klingon warrior and so is his wife...”

“Son of a bitch!” Sadie spun back around to face Mr. Calahan. “You’re from the Agency and you all are here because there’s a damn MAU being used!”

All eyes turned to Sadie, even Mike, the Klingon stole a surprised glance back to her before warily turning his attention back to Jenna and Mr. Powers.

Jenna took half a step back and glanced over to Sadie while Mr. Powers looked lost, but ready to back up and defend Jenna.  Sadie gave a slight, barely perceptible nod to Jenna, signaling for her to relax.

“Interesting…” Darla gathered her thoughts and calmly turned to face Sadie. “How is it that you are aware of the device?”

The cat was officially out of the bag now and Mr. Powers was now the only person in the room who didn’t know what a MAU was. Now, more than ever all she wanted to do was rocket off and rescue her boss. “We,” Sadie gestured to Jenna, “found one of those things last year, but that’s not important right now. Excuse me,” she made her way past everyone and opened the door to Mr. Rogers’ room.  On the floor was the very rapidly decomposing body of the imposter.

“Fuck me…” Sadie muttered and motioned for everyone to look while they could.  There was very little left of the body, just the clothes, skeleton and even the skeleton was starting to break apart.  Other than the visual evidence, there was no other indication that there was a dead body in the room, no smell at all.  How the body was decaying so cleanly was a MAU sized mystery.

“What the f-” Jenna gasped, cutting herself off as she glanced to Sadie for an explanation.

“That was the imposter of Mr. Rogers. He died less than ten minutes ago. I was questioning him about the MAU and my guess is Mr. Zhào put a suicide fail safe inside his agents, but that’s not important right now.  What’s important is that Zhào has an active MAU sitting at his factory and that MAU could deactivate any minute now.  I’ve got to find the real Mr. Rogers and get him changed back before the timer expires.”

Sadie turned to the Star Trek group. “Now, are you all here to help or get in the way?”

~o~O~o~



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