After the abrupt takeoff, Chu Shen adapted to Lucas’ flight. It wasn’t his first rodeo after all. As they flew towards the city, Lucas expressed some concerns. “Those mechs back there aren’t natural. It’s obvious they were made by somebody, along with the weapon that destroyed my satellite. I’m afraid whoever lives in this city may have more powerful weapons. That could be why the mechs retreated; since we’re going right to them, why should they continue after us?”
Chu Shen shrugged, a gesture Lucas could feel from his grip on Chu Shen. “I’m not sure, but I can say this. I would rather try to negotiate with the person controlling the weapon then to fight the weapon. Maybe we can strike a deal with them.”
Lucas rolled his eyes. “Like that’ll ever happen. It never works out like that in the movies.”
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Chu Shen hit Lucas in the leg. “Good thing this isn’t a movie.”
Lucas waved his arm around a bit, causing Chu Shen to shake back and forth. “You wanna fall from here, huh? Cause from where I’m flying, it looks like you really want to.”
“STOP IT LUCAS!” Chu Shen smacked Lucas’ hand away, falling below him. Immediately Lucas panicked and dived after him.
“Crap crap CRAP! Chu Shen you crazy sonovagun!” Lucas was just about to catch up to Chu Shen when a round circle of energy appeared below Chu Shen’s feet. Chu Shen pushed off that circle of white light and shot upwards, passing Lucas.
Using his tremendous strength, Chu Shen traveled quite fast. Another circle of white energy appeared beneath his feet which he used to propel himself upwards and forwards. His speed actually matched Lucas’ cruising speed on the jetpack!
Lucas, stunned as he was from this surprise, immediately turned around. “CHU SHEN!!!” He yelled as he opened the throttle on his jetpack. Immediately he shot after Chu Shen. Right as he caught up, Chu Shen jumped upwards while doing a flip, causing his head to become oriented towards Lucas. Kicking off another circle of light, Chu Shen shot towards Lucas and grabbed his neck.
Lucas wobbled from the impact and additional weight before stabilizing his flight. “Chu Shen! Are you crazy?! You could’ve died!” He yelled at Chu Shen.
Chu Shen shrugged. “I just got tired of you always shaking me. Come on, doesn’t it get old? Normally I could put up with it, but this isn’t the time to goof off. We’re in a situation where we don’t know who we are facing or their strength. Get it together, we need to be serious.”
Lucas was stunned at this. “Why didn’t you just say that instead of making me drop you? Also, how did you stop falling?”
Chu Shen sighed. “With your joking temperament, you wouldn’t have taken me seriously unless I did something shocking. As for me stopping my falling, it was naturally due to <Stars Dance: Light Step>. Remember that with it I can make my Qi solid and create a stepping stone in mid-air.”
“I don’t ever remember you having that ability.”
“Really? I thought I told you. I learned it while training back at the second magic beast hunting zone.”
“Nope. You never told me about what you did while training.”
“Huh. I guess I’ll have to show you everything eventually.”
Lucas suddenly saw the city they had been flying towards. “Hey Chu Shen, I can see the city.”
Chu Shen immediately became excited. “Quick, tell me what kind of people are in the city, what kind of activity is there?”
“What do you mean tell you about the city? I can just see a black smudge over the horizon! It’ll take at least another ten minutes before I can see details.”
Chu Shen sighed. “All right then. Tell me when you can then.” After some impatient humming and tapping on Lucas’ head, Lucas could finally see the city. What he saw though confused him.
Chu Shen hit him on head. “What’s odd?”
Lucas rubbed the back of his head. “Ouch. Not so hard next time. Anyways, remember those buildings we saw when we first came here?”
Chu Shen nodded. “Yeah. They were white and had scorch marks all over them.”
“Well these skyscrapers are the same. White with scorch marks. There are some holes in the buildings as well, and some look like they’ve started melting.”
“Hmm. That is odd. We’ll need to look at them more closely when we get there.”
Soon, Lucas and Chu Shen arrived at the bustling, unknown city. Well, it wasn’t a bustling city. It was a ghost town. Not a single animal or person could be seen. Melted vehicles of some sort littered the streets. The shells of the vehicles were twisted and warped, looking like boxes out of a Picasso painting.
Lucas and Chu Shen picked their way through the area, studying the wreckage that was strewn about the ghost town. “The Qi concentration is very intense here. It might be one of those realms that is very dense in Qi, like the ones Master Ti Wu told me about.” Chu Shen remarked.
Lucas shrugged. “I have no idea about that, but my Geiger Counter is going nuts. This much radiation is like being ten miles from a thermonuclear bomb. No regular human could survive this and my positronic brain is only safe because of the radiation shielding I put inside my body.”
Chu Shen saw a large, dome-shaped building with a large sign in front of him. The sign was made of unrecognized characters. The characters were harsh, angular lines and he only recognized it as a sign because of the placement. He pointed towards the sign. “Hey Lucas, can you read that sign?”Lucas turned back towards Chu Shen. Glancing back at where Chu Shen was pointing at, he cocked his head sideways. “Maybe, let me run my translation program real quick… Yep. It’s weird though. The characters are actually Nugitraaiilian.” Chu Shen looked at him blankly. “Remember those lizard aliens you faced in the RoboGames back on my planet?”
“Oh yeah. They were kind of annoying, going on about having to learn from the person that beat them because of their ‘honor’. Still, it’s really weird that their language popped up here of all places.”
Lucas became excited as a possibility. “Wait, could this mean I’m back in my universe?”
Chu Shen shrugged. “No idea. I doubt it, but I don’t control where we go, so who knows? Anyways, what did the sign say?”
“The sign said ‘Planetary Defense Command Center.’ Let me activate the Tachyon comm relay so that we can try and contact Sparta.”
Hostiles have activated Tachyonic transmission. Transmission interception in progress… Interception complete. Transmission reads, ‘Are you there Father? It’s me, Lucas.’ Cannot translate message. Running decryption program. Decryption program failed. Probability of message containing encrypted message is 97%. Error. Cannot decrypt but message must be encrypted. Error. Error. Error. Error. Erro-.
Error avoidance program activated. Bypassing logic circuits. Encrypted message is confirmed as reality. Encrypted message has encryption surpassing decryption program. Action determined as hostile. Match probability raises to 59.922%. Until match probability raises to 60%, observation to classify threat level is permitted.