A Place on the Team by TransmuteJun
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I spend the next few hours going about my usual routine and playing with 1-Rover-1. I am also trying to come up with my next move.

Then I get word that Keyop has followed Princess, against orders, on her mission. Apparently there is a Spectran base at Changu, and Mark, Jason and Tiny have now gone to deal with the threat too. While I hope that this will be the occasion that Spectra is indeed successful, I know inside that this time will be like the others.

My suspicions are confirmed a couple of hours later when I am contacted by Princess, telling me that her mission has been a success, and that the Spectran base has been destroyed.

I can’t keep going on like this… living in two worlds. I need to make a stand, and end this now.

One way, or the other.

It is this thought that weighs on my mind as I take the glass tube up to my oil-changing station. No sooner have I reclined the platform, than I receive an incoming communication.

“Hello, Zark!” comes a husky voice.

Susan. Not again! I just spoke with her this morning.

“Hello, Susan.” I reply, trying desperately to keep my frustration from my voice. “It’s so nice to hear from you again… so soon…”

“Yes…” Susan says, “but there’s a reason why I’m contacting you, Zark.”

My antennae stand straight up. Could it be? Again?

“I have had command 7-X2-1321 activated in my system.” Susan says, in that emotionless tone I remember. “You have a message from your father.”

“I am listening.” I answer, my diodes quivering with excitement.

“The blueprints you helped Dr. Gregg deliver were very useful.” Susan says. “We have created a number of self-guided missiles to attack Center Neptune. These missiles latch onto a specific homing frequency, which we will place inside your facility.”

“I understand.” I reply, comprehending that there is something more to be asked of me. What can it be?

“We are sending three agents to place a targeting transmitter in the very heart of Center Neptune. By examining the blueprints, we have determined the best location for this device. You will help these agents complete their task, ensuring the destruction of Center Neptune, G-Force, and Galaxy Security.” Susan states emotionlessly.

It occurs to me that if Center Neptune is destroyed, I will be too. But somehow, that doesn’t matter anymore. Lord Zoltar understands the important role I had to play in order to bring this attack about, and if I am destroyed, it will be knowing that I have helped my foster father attain his goals.

And he will know what I have done. I will die… loved.

“I will complete this final task for you, Sir.” I promise.

“Memory block, de-activating…” Susan intones.

“I really should get back to my monitoring duties.” Susan says, in her usual breathy voice. “But it was so nice talking with you, Zark.”

“It was very… enlightening.” I reply. “Goodbye, Susan.”

“Goodbye Zark.” Susan whispers flirtatiously, before the communicator goes silent.

I relax on my platform, and enjoy the sensation of the oil coursing through my circuits. I am eager for this final task to begin, to finally prove my usefulness to my foster father.

But as usual, all I can do is wait.

88888

Two days later, I am performing my standard review of security monitors and checkpoints, when I notice three men in white lab coats creeping through Level 3 of the Research Facility wing of Center Neptune. Checking more carefully, I notice their green pants peeking out from underneath their coats.

Sigh… no wonder Lord Zoltar has such a hard time. These idiots couldn’t even bother to change out of their uniforms as part of their disguise! Still, I’ve been given orders. Carefully, I re-program the security cameras to play looped stock footage of empty hallways and chambers. It’s obvious these guys need all of the help they can get.

To give them a little more of a fighting chance, I contact various security guards and inform them that I’ve seen ‘something suspicious’ up here in the Space Center wing. I am purposely vague as to what it was I spotted.

I don’t worry too much, about covering my tracks this time. It is secondary to my efforts to assist the Spectran agents. Everything and everyone on this base will be destroyed within the next few hours, so it hardly matters. I won’t have time to be discovered, before it is too late.

Since I have effectively disabled the cameras, I cannot monitor the progress of the three agents, but I anxiously await word of anything… from anyone.

After only a few minutes, I receive an emergency broadcast from Mark, telling everyone that Spectran soldiers have been discovered in the Research Facility. He and Princess are apparently hot on their tails. Fortunately for the agents, Jason, Tiny and Keyop are out on a mission in the Phoenix, so they only have two G-Force members to deal with.

I re-set the security cameras and watch the pursuit. The agents are captured, but it appears that they have already set the transmitter! I laugh silently as they taunt the Commander with this tidbit of information. They are willing to die for the cause of Lord Zoltar. I can respect them for that. Their mission has been accomplished, and their lives are no longer of any significant value.

I feel a strange connection with these men.

Chief Anderson orders Mark and Princess to search the base for the transmitter. I know that it is unlikely that they will find it in time, but I do my best to hinder their efforts by giving them misleading information about the whereabouts of the Spectran agents before they were discovered.

I feel a surge of victory when the missiles hit. The impact knocks me to the ground, but I am safe for the moment, thanks to the Space Center’s shields. Lord Zoltar’s plan has been perfectly executed! And according to my readings, Spectran ships are on the way, right now, to finish the destruction of Center Neptune.

The base is fast filling with water. On my monitors, I can see Chief Anderson, Mark and Princess trying to evacuate the few remaining personnel. The water is pouring in, and while less important humans are rescued, the Chief and the two members of G-Force are trapped.

Of course, I am trapped too. But I continue in my duty. I carefully remove any security functions from all sensitive data. If Lord Zoltar comes back later and attempts to extract information about G-Force technology, he will find our databanks to be an open book.

In fact, I am so absorbed in this task, that it takes me a few minutes to realize that Jason, Keyop and Tiny have returned to Center Neptune, and are in the process of rescuing Chief Anderson, Mark and Princess!

No! This can’t be happening! Not when Lord Zoltar was so close!

Wait… it’s possible that they might rescue me too! I need to be able to function as part of the team, in order to maintain my usefulness to my foster father. They can’t discover that I helped those agents!

As quickly as possible, I erase all of the security logs for the last twenty-four hours, including backups. It’s better that they find missing data, rather than data that has been tampered with. I am just finishing this task when rescue teams arrive to check on me, and 1-Rover-1.

Fortunately, our area seems to be secure, but the Galaxy Security personnel warn me that we will be detaching from the Research Facility, which is to be destroyed on Chief Anderson’s orders, to prevent top-secret information from finding its way into Spectra’s hands.

Sigh… so much for removing all of those security protocols.

Still, it’s obvious that Center Neptune is finished. There is no way that this base can be restored. A new headquarters will have to be built.

And I know just the robot to design it.

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