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A curious boy befriends a robot inside an alien pyramid on a distant planet! Together they must solve a puzzling mystery before dark forces overwhelm them!
Sci-Fi/Humor/Horror. Robots! Cyborgs! Aliens! Panic!

CROWBAR: A Sci-Fi Adventure has been updating since 2009. Earlier 3D models look even more primitive and bizarre than later models mainly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. Arguably, I know just a little bit more now. If I could go back and re-do the entire comic with better models, I would, but time is the enemy. Maybe if the novel ever gets finished or the screenplay (!) gets optioned, who knows? Hope you enjoy the comic anyway.

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Quickie version:

Disgraced scientist Doctor Achmed Singh and

Mikey, a curious boy, arrive at on alien planet 500 light years from Earth, whose major feature is

a pyramid, or technically a ziggurat, built by ??? possibly millions of years ago.

Inside the pyramid, they encounter

deactivated robots left behind by a previous archeological expedition, and in particular,

Crowbar, who mysteriously activates, and whom Mikey befriends.

But sinister things are happening, there are flashbacks to the Chen Expedition that took place 50 years previously, led by

Doctor Shandra Chen. The expedition failed under somewhat murky circumstances, with loss of life and many expedition members gone missing within the darkest depths of the pyramid.

Singh returned to Earth alone and no one believed his story, resulting in his being outcast from the scientific community. But worsening nightmares have demanded he return to the planet.

Doctor Singh has an unfortunate experience with an alien sarcophagus that sends him back in time 50 years to meet his younger self

who was second-in-command of the Chen Expedition. The meeting has some unfortunate and far-ranging results.

Flashback/intermissions detail the adventures of the Expedition's scientists

who have rather unpleasant experiences involving some of them turning into

zombies who seem to be under the control of

an evil alien intelligence who has sinister plans that revolve around freeing itself from its ancient prison.

And meanwhile,

Doctor Chen meets

a robot of an unseen-before type sent by Central Security Agency to keep an eye on things, probably because every member of the doomed first expedition, 23 years prior to the Chen Expedition, went STARK RAVING MAD.

Adding to present-time complications,

the robots from the Chen Expedition are all activated and their memories restored by

Bolt, a human-hating robot who has murder on his mind, and also some outstanding personal issues with Crowbar that need to be resolved.
Not to mention,

space pirates who stop by looking for valuables to swipe and also living victims who can donate blood and organs that will keep the space pirates' cyborg bodies functioning.

Man, this hasn't been updated in 2 years! Quickie addition, Aug 2013:

So then there's this guy, Maxwell Durant

head of Durant Hyperdyne Systemes, a giant engineering development corporation with a big finger in every pie. Durant arrives aboard his giant superbattlecruiser, Shiva

and demands Bork (space pirate cyborg scientist)

accompanies him down onto the planet. Durant tells Bork he's searching for a boy, which surprises Bork who remembers Mikey, whom he met. Durant lands a battle group of mercenaries and military robots,

which enter the pyramid. Durant's mercs find Captain Gorgo

and Durant demands that Bork and Gorgo both assist him. The mercs then discover Doctor Honey Elderberry

wandering around the pyramid and Durant's techs tell him she's from 50 years in the past, and must have traveled through a temporal nexus. Durant is fascinated by Honey who tells him about the Chen Expedition.


Dammit, not enough time... must come back to this!

More detailed version:

Note, still a work in progress...
And not updated since... oh my, forever. The update above is newer than this!
1. Arrival ARRIVAL. A spaceship emerges from hyperspace and approaches a planet 500 light years from Earth. Before jumping back into hyperspace, the spaceship ejects a shuttle that falls down through the planet's atmosphere. The shuttle is piloted by Professor Achmed Singh, a reclusive scientist in his later years, who is accompanied by Mikey, a curious boy.

The shuttle skims across the planet's jungle-covered surface until it finally reaches, incredibly, a pyramid (technically a ziggurat, a step pyramid). The shuttle lands on one of the upper steps, beside an elevator that was constructed by a scientific expedition that visited the planet 50 years ago.

2. Entrance ENTRANCE. Singh and Mikey enter the pyramid. They explore the pyramid's innards and discover alien architecture and constructs. Singh dimly remembers some of this. He explains that sections of the pyramid move, creating or closing off access corridors. Singh is particularly interested in a certain sealed Door, which both previous scientific expeditions to the planet failed to open -- and behind which, he speculates, incredible scientific knowledge waits to be discovered. When Mikey casually remarks that Singh can't really know this for sure since no one has opened the door, Singh strikes him, enraged.  
3. Intermission 1 INTERMISSION 1. The first of several "intermissions" or flashbacks from 50 years previously. A younger Singh, second in command of the Chen Expedition, receives a transmission from scientists working in another section of the vast pyramid, who report strange happenings and "voices." Expedition leader Doctor Shandra Chen returns from a trip into the pyramid's southwest quarter in time to hear the transmission, and notes that the scientists have turned off their transponders so they can't be tracked. A disturbing inhuman voice speaks to them, Singh dismisses this as a childish trick.  
4. Pyramid PYRAMID. Mikey knows something strange just happened but he doesn't understand what. Singh and Mikey continue to penetrate the pyramid and discover a chamber where several worker robots, larger than humans and much more powerful, stand motionless. Singh tells Mikey that the robots suffered from the same inexplicable power drain problems that the first expedition -- that came here 23 years before second Chen expedition, 50 years ago -- encountered. Mikey asks how come the elevator is working, Singh tells him there's direct power feed from the shuttle. Singh exits leaving Mikey alone, ordering him not to touch anything, that everything he sees has greater value than him. Mikey casually talks to one of the inert robots. To his surprise, the robot activates.  
5. Crowbar CROWBAR. The robot identifies (itself?) himself as construction robot M-47 aka "Crowbar" and states he cannot harm Mikey or even move when he's in close proximity as this would conflict with his Asimovs. Mikey asks if Crowbar is running on residual battery power or what, but Crowbar wants to know who Mikey is, since he isn't a member of the Chen expedition. Mikey intros himself as Mikey Durant and tells Crowbar that Professor Singh is his guardian. Crowbar recognizes the name and says "the voices" speak of him.  
6. Intermission 2 INTERMISSION 2. Doctor Chen wants to investigate the transmission. Singh says she'll never find the scientists, they've turned off their transponders. She says she'll track them via their infra-red heat signatures, but her com-pad/scanner beeps an alarm.  
7. Secrets SECRETS. Mikey encourages Crowbar to come with him, Crowbar refuses since Mikey isn't authorized, but Mikey says it wasn't a command, come on, it'll be fun. Crowbar thinks about this, and follows Mikey, pausing to look significantly at another inert robot identified as "Bolt". The elevator is too small for robots, Crowbar leaps out of the chamber with unexpected agility, startling Mikey.  
8. Explore EXPLORE. Crowbar has a problem with climbing down steps -- he doesn't know how. Mikey encourages him to just put one foot in front of the other. Crowbar tries, but topples headlong and damages his head, crushing a front corner and losing an eye.  
9. Intermission 3 INTERMISSION 3. Singh pursues a determined Chen into the darker reaches of the vast pyramid. They discuss the strange goings-on that have been happening... and how these have been dismissed as joke pranks, until now. Chen remains skeptical. They proceed together down a long stairway -- and suddenly Singh isn't with Chen any more, she can't see him. Chen is unamused at Singh's apparent joke. At the bottom of the stairs Chen unexpectedly meets an unusual robot, tall, thin and white metal instead of the usual dull gunmetal.  
10. The Door THE DOOR. Crowbar is still operational although some of his functions were damaged by his fall. Mikey observes how Crowbar is now walking alongside him, and wonders what else might have been damaged. They reach the Door and Mikey invites Crowbar to try to open it, if he could it would be a nice surprise for Singh. Crowbar says this is difficult since he has no hands, they were taken away from him. While speaking with Mikey, Crowbar experiences several jarring flash-images that resolve into Bolt. Mikey exclaims in surprise as Crowbar is affected.

Meanwhile, Singh descends a stairway and reflects how how memories, which he had paid to have erased with psychological programming, are slowly returning. He recalls dreams, nightmares, the faces of the team members he left behind, their voices crying out to him in the dark.

11. Possession POSSESSION. Crowbar has been brought to his knees, Mikey thinks his power cell must be drained, but Crowbar says no it's not that, and tells Mikey he must find Doctor Singh at once and tell him "it has returned." Mikey demands more info but Crowbar's eyes glow red and he asks Mikey, "Do you believe in evil?"

Meanwhile, Singh descends deeper into the pyramid and finds "The Chamber of the Sarcophagus" that holds a huge stone box thirty feet long, which Singh believes is the source of the voices he's been hearing.

Meanwhile, in the chamber where Mikey found Crowbar, Bolt activates and addresses the other robots, who also activate. Bolt tells them to prepare to receieve new instructions but a worker robot questions Bolt's authority. Bolt agrees, he is exceeding his authority, but as a maintenance robot he DOES have authority to check the worker robot's core matrix. Bolt removes a vital component from the worker robot who topples over, inert.

12. Intermission 4 INTERMISSION 4. Doctor Chen demands the unfamiliar robot identifies itself. "Screwdriver" identities (itself?) herself as a systems technician robot, Chen says she's never seen the type before. Screwdriver slaps Chen's com-pad out of her hand, and apologizes, telling Chen that they can "get to her" through the com-pad, and scientists "Maylor, Jurgens and the rest" were rendered insane. Screwdriver reads Chen's doubt. The cynical Chen suggests that the scientists got lonely and built Screwdriver as a "companion" -- but their conversation is interrupted by a sinister echoing noise.  
13. Repair REPAIR. Crowbar exhibits bizarre behavior, ranting like a lunatic, telling Mikey (whom he calls a microbe, a pestilence) that the Door must be opened and he must have hands, and Mikey will assist in this. Uncertain, Mikey says sure, glad to help.

Meanwhile, Bolt gives a cynical "funeral service" that "mourns" the loss of the worker robot, warning the other robots to watch out for faulty components. Bolt informs them that humans have returned to the planet. He claims that 50 years ago, humans "switched us off and attempted to wipe our central cortexes." The robots argue that this was the humans' right, but Bolt suggests perhaps humans, like robots, are just part of a higher being's master plan? The robots call B.S. on this idea. Bolt then argues that if the humans who have returns discover the robots have activated again, they will shut them down and wipe them again. Bolt calls for a show of hands, who wants to be wiped? No one responds. Bolt offers another idea: "All those in favor of killing the humans?"

Meanwhile, Mikey asks Crowbar where they're going, and figures that Crowbar is looking for a repair center where humans maintained robots and equipment. They reach a long stairway and Mikey runs on downstairs, inviting Crowbar to follow. Crowbar does -- and takes a headlong dive, banging his head again and damaging an arm. Stunned back to his former self by the impact, Crowbar begs Mikey to run away. Mikey hesitates and Crowbar feels "it" coming back, re-possessing him. Mikey urges Crowbar to use his emergency purge routine to dump "it" into his damaged arm's servo memory. Crowbar does so, and ejects the arm. His glowing red eyes return to normal.

14. Ridicule RIDICULE. Doctor Singh approaches the alien sarcophagus and thinks how for the past 50 years, since returning from the Chen Expedition, he has been subject to ridicule from his peers. He feels frustration that whatever's in the sarcophagus won't even talk to him. He reaches out and touches the stone--

Elsewhere and elsewhen, Doctor Chen and Screwdriver wait to see what made the unnerving sound. Screwdriver tells Chen that she (Screwdriver) is actually in command of the expedition. Chen is about to refute this when Screwdriver suffers a psi attack and spouts creepy stuff about "Sealed in the tomb for all eternity. The time of awakening is here." Screwdriver is able to throw out whatever's trying to possess her. Doctor Maylor appears at the end of the corridor, but when Chen moves to greet him Screwdriver tells her it isn't Maylor. When Chen objects Screwdriver reveals how 23 years ago the first expedition failed and every member is either dead or locked away in an asylum. When corporate powers approved the Chen expedition in the hope of obtaining alien technology, Central Security Agency sent Screwdriver along as a safeguard. Maylor comes closer, and Chen realizes all may not be well.

15. Spares SPARES. Crowbar senses that "it" is still in the arm, active. Mikey and Crowbar set out to find the repair center leaving the arm behind.

Meanwhile, Bolt and the other robots are stumped by a stairway, they don't know how to climb it. They theorize that the pyramid's builders installed the stairway as a defense to prevent enemies from gaining access, and may have had a vehicle with cogged wheels. Bolt doesn't want to waste time, they can't go upstairs but they can go downstairs. When a puzzled robot asks how, Bolt "accidentally" nudges him and the robot, who had argued with Bolt earlier, takes a long dive downstairs.

Meanwhile, Mikey and Crowbar find the "repair center," a large chamber containing equipment and robot parts. A small stairway causes Crowbar problems, Mikey invites him to sit down and shuffle down the stairs one by one on his ass. Crowbar does so and is pleased to have discovered the secret of navigating stairs. They inspect the repair center and Crowbar observes the robots here were being taken apart, not assembled. They find parts compatible with Crowbar's model. Lights on a nearby communications console come on.

16. Echoes ECHOES. The communications console plays a recording made by Doctor Maylor (identified by Crowbar) who says Singh is a fool for not listening to warnings and not calling for a transport ship to evacuate expedition members. Mikey doesn't like this. Maylor mentions numerous strange goings-on, hearing voices, being "touched" by things no one can see, equipment power levels being constantly drained. Crowbar's memories of Maylor are corrupt but he recalls Maylor disappeared on the "final day." Mikey finds an arm and head for Crowbar.

Meanwhile, Singh rants in frustration at the stone "Sarcophagus" because it won't talk to him. He pleads for a word, a thought, anything. One of the sides abruptly turns pitch black. Singh's startled eyes fill up with blackness.

Meanwhile, Bolt sends a worker robot to join the maintenance robot he pushed downstairs. A robot remarks that it scares him to think what Bolt will do to the humans when he finds them. Bolt agrees, they should be scared too.

17. Updates UPDATES. Mikey replaces Bolt's arm with a new one, though Bolt still doesn't have hands. Mikey is adept with using the equipment. Another communications console activates, Crowbar isn't sure where they're drawing power from, Mikey says it's coming from the shuttle but Crowbar isn't so sure, since there aren't any receptors. To Mikey's surprise the recording that plays was made by a younger Singh, who warns expedition members that they must exacuate immediately, they have 5 minutes to reach the entrance. Crowbar believes the recording is authentic. He also believes they aren't suddenly playing by accident, the timing is too convenient.

Meanwhile, as Chen and Screwdriver await the arrival of whatever's making the echoing footsteps, Screwdriver blinds Chen with a flash of light. Chen sees stars. (missing jpgs???) Screwdriver tells Chen she found many human bodies, killed in the worst ways imaginable. Chen thinks it's a big joke and shouts to whoever's listening, threatening to castrate them. The footsteps come closer, Screwdriver says get ready to run but Chen has a better idea, she commands the robot to stop. It's Crowbar, complete with "hands" (this is happening 50 years ago, before he lost them). Chen asks where Crowbar's group leader is, Crowbar describes how different parts of him are in different locations. Chen and Screwdriver run for their lives. They reach the stairway, where Screwdriver explains Crowbar won't be able to follow them, because she deleted the robots' stair-climbing subroutine!

18. Intermission 5 INTERMISSION 5. Introduces a group of scientists from the Chen Expedition. Maylor questions Kenzie over her failure to obey his orders, Kenzie protests she's the only one actually doing any analysis work. She asks Maylor what's wrong with his eyes, which appear hugely dilated, or totally black, behind his spectacles. Maylor acts defensive then suddenly runs away, shouting a warning that they're all going to die. The other four scientists (Reams, Big Eddie, Jonesy and Charlie) stay with Kenzie, they just tagged along to see what had ruffled Maylor's feathers. Reams reports that Chen isn't back yet from investigating the mysterious disappearence of a science team, rumors say "ghosts" got 'em. Reams suggests they stick together and Big Eddie gives Kenzie a one-shot laser he built, small enough to slip into a pocket.  
19. Truths TRUTHS. Mikey is upset by the things Maylor said about Singh. Crowbar in turn gets angry and kicks equipment across the chamber. Mikey says Singh will be wondering there he is, before they go back why don't they give Crowbar a new head? Mikey looks around and finds various robot hands/claws/tools. Mikey offers Crowbar a crowbar hand attachment which prompts a memory dump and re-initialization that restores lost memory chains. Crowbar recalls Singh using a worker robot as a test target for a plasma cannon, because he's already fired a beam at the Door with no perceptible results. Crowbar protests that the worker robot is valuable but Singh laughs this off, robots are so cheap to produce that they are disposable items of zero value. Crowbar witnesses the destruction of the worker robot. The Door behind the robot isn't even lukewarm. Singh tells Crowbar to get rid of the robot carcass. A disembodied voice speaks inside Crowbar's head, enjoying Crowbar's apparent resentment at the worker robot's destruction, and his wish to use his crowbar hand attachment on Singh. Flash-forward to Mikey offering Crowbar the new crowbar attachment, Crowbar shouts "NO!" and kicks this across the chamber. Mikey suggests Crowbar chooses his own hand from the selection.  
20. Intermission 6 INTERMISSION 6. Kenzie and Ream lead the scientists through darkened corridors and chambers. Jonesy complains about the failing lights and is told there never were any lights, that the pyramid walls have some kind of coating that runs right through the structure, it's like a giant light-emitting diode. They find Vindor and MacFintree in another chamber overlooking a hugely long stairway that leads down into infinity. MacFintree has been scanning the pyramid interior for days and confirms the walls are moving, he's told Singh but Singh doesn't believe him. Worse, the top entrance, the way they came in, is now closed, they're trapped in the pyramid. Reams asks if MacFintree knows another way out, but MacFintree laughs like a maniac and throws himself to his death. The scientists realize Big Eddie is missing. Vindor says MacFintree had told him about voices he had been hearing... like whispers in your dreams when you want to wake up, but can't... they told MacFintree everyone's going to die.  
21. Found FOUND. Crowbar regrets his actions, Mikey surprises that "some kind of virus" got into Crowbar's head and made drove him batty, only it was something a lot spookier, something that's in the pyramid. Crowbar tells Mikey he thinks he knows its name.

Cue flashback, Crowbar takes the destroyed worker robot to the repair center, where Maylor tells Crowbar they have enough junk, and to dump it in the waste pods instead. Maylor adds, while you're at it, dump yourself, stupid menial. The voice speaks to Crowbar again, goading him to violence against Maylor.

Meanwhile, 50 years in the future, Bolt and the robots discover a vehicle. Bolt thinks it must be alien in origin, constructed by the pyramid's builders, but one of the robots points to writing on the vehicle. Bolt expects incomprehensible alien hieroglyphs. Instead it's a company logo, "Durant Hyperdesign Systemes". The robots puzzle over what this means. Bolt figures out that their memories were deliberately tampered with, and blames humans, whom he resolves to kill.

22. Intermission 7 INTERMISSION 7. The scientists look around for Big Eddie but there's no sign on him. Reams says they should stick together but Jonesy argues he's staying to look for Big Eddie, Charlie says he'll stay with him. Kenzie has a pants-wetting moment when she meets Screwdriver face to face. Chen arrives and tells them something strange is going on that's affecting the robots, and explains Screwdriver is a Central Security Agency robot (???) who can be trusted. Reams wants to stay and look for missing people but Screwdriver warns that she's been tracking movements within the pyramid and the upper entrance will-open in 17mins 57secs for exactly 32 seconds.  
23. Names NAMES. Mikey guesses some random names, without success. When Crowbar speaks the name (of the hypothetical something in the pyramid that possessed him) several robot heads on nearby racks activate. Crowbar experiences an odd sensation, as if something touched him. A headless robot standing nearby activates and looms over Mikey. Crowbar tells Mikey to stand back and attacks the headless robot. Mikey and Crowbar are both surprised when the headless robot gets up again. Crowbar back-kicks the headless robot across the chamber, it makes a dent in the wall and slides down, inert. The robot heads talk to Crowbar, telling him to capture Mikey and not to harm him.  
24. Cooee COOEE. Crowbar boots the rack containing the robot heads across the chamber. Crowbar explains to Mikey that the heads spoke to him, Mikey thinks it's time they told Singh. But MR#2 and WR#5 arrive through an opening in the wall. Crowbar argues with them, telling them Mikey is immensely powerful and can turn invisible -- this sends WR#5 over the edge into a self-preservation routine, which consists of running around in circles flapping his arms. MR#2 realizes this is a human programmer's idea of a joke, but says he isn't so easy to fool. A shadow falls over MR#2 and he looks up. It's Crowbar, falling like a stone, big boots coming down hard.

Elsewhen, Maylor confronts Smithwood about a robot who's performing ballet out in the corridor. Smithy explains the robot was clumsy so he programmed a ballet routine, thinking this would give the robot more "physical grace." It was either that or Kung Fu. Maylor says give it both, they may balance each other out. He also warns Smithy to stop putting names on the robots, since Singh does not approve of this personalization. Smithy denies this, although he has a stash of nameplates ready, including CROWBAR (which will soon end up on the robot performing ballet outside).

25. Bridges BRIDGES. The younger Singh meets the older Singh. The younger Singh calls to Chen, at the bottom of the stairway, but she doesn't hear him. The older Singh explains he has crossed oceans of time and space to effect this meeting, that the existence of the same person in two concurrent timespace nodes has provided a unique bridge. The older Singh warns against trying to open the Door, that the pyramid isn't a tomb, it's a prison specially created to hold "an entity of unspeakable evil." The younger Singh refuses to accept this and chokes his older counterpart. Dying, the older Singh tries to draw his younger self's attention to the things that have been happening, that explain his anger... but it's too late, the older Singh dies after pondering the irony of an immortal guardian becoming vulnerable when inhabiting a human form. The younger Singh regrets his action but the voice in his head tempts him to contemplate the Door and what lies behind it.

Meanwhile, Mikey resolves to find Singh and warn him that the other robots might want to kill him, too. Crowbar follows Mikey into the passageway the robots used and urges Mikey to walk faster -- the walls are closing in! Crowbar picks Mikey up and sprints through the narrowing gaps, making it out just in time before the walls close together with a loud boom. Crowbar surprises Mikey by being able to climb stairs, and tells Mikey some of his missing memories have returned. But this has a bad side, as Crowbar now guiltily recalls some things he did. Mikey dismisses this since Crowbar was probably possessed at the time so it wasn't his fault. Crowbar hesitates before agreeing.

26. Search SEARCH. Mikey and Crowbar retrace their path to the chamber where they met, and discover the elevator has been wrecked. Crowbar guesses the other robots must have gone the same route as Singh, deeper into the pyramid. Mikey hurries after them. He and Crowbar explore other corridors, looking for Singh. Crowbar tells Mikey that Singh might find them once he has finished doing whatever he's doing -- Crowbar suspects this may have to do with the ghosts. Mikey is skeptical but Crowbar insists they exists, he's seen them and heard their voices, they warn of terrible things. Mikey reckons it all has to do with the evil presence in the pyramid, and is wondering how to avoid this, when they find Singh.  
27. Intermission 8 INTERMISSION 8. The scientists, now led by Chen and with Screwdriver as their guide, make their way through darkened corridors. Everyone's nervous and looking out for spooky stuff. Charlie looks up when blood droplets spatter him from above, and calls to the others. The scientists look up and discover Big Eddie hanging upside-down, suspended by invisible forces, and missing his eyes. Screwdriver theorizes that the purpose of this spectacle is to delay them. The scientists turn to leave but Charlie and Jonesy announce they're staying to figure how to get Big Eddie down. Reams tries to convince them otherwise but Kenzie points out that Charlie and Jonesy's eyes have turned creepy black, like Maylor's. The scientists leave their pals behind. Chen tells Kenzie, Reams and Vindor horrifying stories of what happened to the science team that went missing. Screwdriver leads them to an opening that overlooks a shaft that plunges down for miles, through hundreds of levels. A huge stone block rises up the shaft. Screwdriver tells them to get ready to jump as the block draws level. They do -- Vindor almost falls but Screwdriver pulls him up. When they wonder what's moving the stone block, Screwdriver explains it's a combination of gravity nullification and tractor and pressor beams. They jump off the block some levels above and enter the "Robots' Graveyard" where deactivated robots stand, their power cells have been removed to keep other equipment running. Kenzie notices a robot move but Kenzie explains it's just residual voltage left in the servo motors. Chen asks Screwdriver to explain what's going on with the stone blocks, the robot tells them she has been analyzing movements within the pyramids and concluded everything seems geared to restoring the pyramid to its original form, and that she believes they may have interrupted an escape attempt that's been in progress for millions of years -- and whoever's been trying to get out may not be happy! They find Singh in his "office" and Chen insists he transmits a hyperwave signal requesting immediate pick-up. When Singh refuses to listen to Chen or believe Screwdriver, Chen orders Reams to beat Singh up, and Reams obliges.  
28. Plans PLANS. Mikey hurries to greet Singh, but Crowbar advises him to be cautious, he can see Singh but his proximity sensors can't get a fix on him. Mikey says he'll be careful. Crowbar hangs back and watches suspiciously. Mikey wants Singh to meet Crowbar but Singh tells Mikey they're already old friends. Singh wants Mikey to do him a favor and tells Mikey to tell Crowbar to wait here. Singh leads Mikey rather quickly (for an old man) through the maze of corridors, unaware that a maintenance robot is watching them from hiding.

They reach the Door chamber where extra equipment has been brought in and hooked up -- Mikey identifies huge industrial strength power cells, regulators and a military cannon whose energy output could equal that of a small star. And there's also a coffee machine. Mikey guesses robots brought the equipment in from outside -- but a mysterious gunman wearing armor appears and points his blaster at Mikey.

29. Visitors VISITORS. Three cyborg space pirates keep Mikey and Singh covered. Singh doesn't speak or move. Mikey says they don't scare him, the cyborg leader pushes Mikey down. Singh vanishes! The puzzled cyborgs review recordings and confirm Singh just disappeared like a hologram that was switched off. The cyborg leader says scan the area, shoot to kill, but a new-arrival says NO. She wears a mask that hides her face and tells the cyborgs they will encounter inexplicable events, and possibly ghosts. Captain Gorgo is ready for the challenge. The cyborgs debate taking Mikey's organs but the masked pirate nixes that idea. She speaks to Mikey privately and opens her mask to reassure him (only Mikey sees her face). Mikey expresses concern for Singh, who isn't getting any younger, and just wants to find him. The masked pirate tells the cyborgs to proceed with the installation, she wants the cannon operational ASAP. Gorgo expresses doubt, the cannon is designed to peel open battleships, firing it inside the pyramid could turn the place into a volcano.

Flashback to Chen sending a hyperwave message from younger Singh's terminal, Singh scoffs at this but Chen receives an almost instant reply that confirms a freighter, La Bolero, will reroute to pick the scientists up -- but won't arrive for 7 days. Screwdriver warns that the pyramid entrance will open in 3 minutes and will close again 32 seconds later, the robot's Asimovs compel her to get the scientists to the entrance ASAP. Kenzie calls their attention to something happening in the corridor outside. Robots are shuffling towards them from all directions. Singh tells Chen to go, he'll warn the other expedition members that they have to evacuate the pyramid immediately. Singh records a message that will broadcast and loop (the message that Mikey heard 50 years later in the repair center). Outside in the corridor, Screwdriver tells everyone to stand back as she takes on one of the robots so they can escape. Screwdriver attacks a maintenance robot, which looks angry (and possessed, with glowing red eyes). The MR pounds Screwdriver to pieces and crushes her skull. The scientists get away and reflect on how useful Screwdriver was. Vindor can only agree (Screwdriver saved his life in INTERMISSION 8). They remark on the maintenance robot's eyes, how crazy it looked. They meet Smithy, hurt and bleeding, who tells them Maylor is dead, "Damn thing ripped his guts out!"

Cue flashback to Crowbar, Bolt and Maylor -- Bolt orders Crowbar to kill Maylor but Crowbar refuses, his Asimovs won't let him. Bolt says Crowbar is a disgrace to his own kind. Dozens of robots are gathered to watch. Maylor, held tight by a worker robot, tells them to remember their Asimovs, they can't harm humans. Bolt tells Crowbar to kill Maylor, or face mindwipe, the terror of every robot. The worker robot releases Maylor, who pleads for his life and stares in horror at the advancing crowbar attachment that casts a grim shadow over his body.

30. Contact CONTACT. Crowbar searches in vain for Mikey. Instead he encounters a cyborg team searching for Singh. The cyborgs communicate with Bork, a cyborg scientist who's experimenting with a 3D map projector that details everyone's position in the upper layers of the pyramid. Mikey and the masked pirate arrive in Bork's control room and ask him what his new toy does. Bork takes pains to explain but is distracted by Mikey, and demands that Mikey tell him why Singh brought him along. Mikey somehow takes control of the 3D map and adds details that astonish Bork. Mikey explains that "back in the lab" he used virtual keypads, and tried the same thing here, and the map projector responded. Bork asks Mikey to demonstrate further and is impressed. The cyborg team contacts Bork who tells them a robot may be nearby. Mikey realizes this could be Crowbar. The cyborgs demand that the robot advances and identifies itself, Crowbar obeys, causing the cyborgs amusement. The cyborgs open fire, shooting Crowbar full of holes.  
31. Echoes II ECHOES II. Crowbar crawls away from the cyborgs who keep shooting. They contact Bork, telling him he has to see this (linking through their eyes). Bork and Gorgo find the spectacle amusing. While they're distracted, Mikey uses the 3D map to issue commands to a "gunborg" -- a mobile unit left to guard an upper corridor. The gunborg zooms through the corridors, happy to have some action at last. Crowbar struggles to his knees, the cyborgs gather around him and prepare to blast him to atoms. Mikey urges the gunborg to deploy weapon. The gunborg opens fire! Bork asks Mikey what he thinks an odd part of the 3D pyramid map might be, it's a long corridor that juts out from the rest of the structure, and leads to a single chamber. Gorgo leaves to investigate a strange com link failure that happened "real sudden-like" and warns Bork not to "fillet the boy" until he comes back. Mikey realizes that the corridor and chamber are what's on the other side of the mysterious sealed Door, isolated from the rest of the pyramid. Gorgo consults with a tech-cyborg who reports one of the search teams has dropped off the network, and a gunborg is missing. Gorgo suspects this is Bork's doing, that he's up to no good and covets the fee that "the lady" (the masked pirate) paid them. The more cyborgs are killed, the more money is left over for Bork to increase his share. Gorgo proposes they kill Bork. While this is going on, the mysterious voice talks to one of the cyborgs, urging him to blast Gorgo for his insults -- but changes its mind when Gorgo announces his intention to kill Bork, which sounds like fun.

More to come...

32. Intermission 9    
33. Hardware    
34. Schadenfreude aka All Hail Bolt    
35. Voices    
36. Mutiny    
37. Intermission 10 38. Diplomacy    
39. Fear    
40. The Core    
41. Surprise    
42. Intermission 11    
42. The Core II    
44. The Core II cont'd    
45. The Core II cont'd    
46. The Core II cont'd    
47. The Core II cont'd    
48. Blockhead    
49. History 101    
50. Guests    
51. Intermission 12    
52. Lost    
53. Truce    
54. Logic    
55. Return    
56. Voyage    
57. Shipwreck    
58. Portals    
59. Connections    
60. Openings    

The obligatory © 2009-2014 by Derek Paterson notice
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