It's November, 1984. About 4:40 PM or so, you were finishing up your day at the receiving department for a local research laboratory. The location is "classified", so you don't discuss it much with anyone, nor even think about it really; it pays the bills, and that's what counts for now. Your job is to unload the shipments to the lab, log them in, and make sure they get to the correct departments. Today, you got a shipment in of a specific "metal" needed for a current government project; you're not exactly sure what the purpose is or the full nature of the project, but that's not your concern. You have a job, and they expect you to stick to it, so that's what you do. Maybe one day, you can get into college and become a researcher, but that dream is looking--
An alarm goes off.
The security klaxon begins blaring, as a voice on the loudspeaker sparks to life: "ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL- LOCK DOWN YOUR WORKSTATIONS AND EVACUATE THE PREMISES TO THE EMERGENCY BUNKERS IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!! REPEAT-"
The announcement is cut short. You and the others in receiving begin to lock down everything, getting pallets and containers to the "safe storage" vault, trying to get the most sensitive materials secured before leaving. As you wrestle with a particularly stubborn container, you yell for someone to help you with it. One of your friends comes running over to grab the other end, as some are making their way out of receiving and others are grabbing more containers. Together, you manage to get it onto the flatbed cart and begin to push it over to the vault.
You're knocked to the ground by an ear-splitting sound and a flash of white-hot light.
As you reel on the ground, holding your head in pain, you feel like throwing up. Your ears ring loudly for what seems an eternity, as you try your best to get your bearings. You can't see a thing, as your eyes register only the white flash from a moment ago. Your ears feel wet; touching them, you're not sure if it's blood or not. Your chest burns in agony, with each breath coming in ragged gasps and each one sends a new crescendo of pain coursing through your body. Your left leg is hurting, and as you try to stand, it hurts too much to put weight on your foot.
The ground shakes as you hear a "thudding" getting louder and louder.
As best you can, you hobble your way to the safe storage vault to try to close the hydraulic-powered door. You fall to the floor a couple of times, as your leg buckles under your weight. Each step is like fire shooting up your leg, and your breath comes at a premium of effort and discomfort.
Your eyes clear enough to register what comes next...
Collapsing near the storage bay opening, you see the wall on the far side of the receiving area crumble. Already cracked and damaged from the blast, steel support beams give way as what looks to be a pair of ebony metal hands push through the hole in it, and shove apart the wall. Through the gaping maw widened by them, you can make out a pair of glowing red lights. They come closer, emerging from the shadows behind the wall out into the open bay.
They are eyes, belonging to the cruelest of faces that you have ever witnessed in your life.
To your utter disbelief and horror, the face and hands are attached to a gigantic figure that strides purposefully through the opening that was just torn through the wall. For the brief moment between it's entrance and the department lights beginning to flicker and dim, you make out a roughly 30-foot tall robot. You begin to wonder if maybe you're hallucinating due to a concussion from the explosion, but as it begins to move into the bay, its' footsteps reverberate through the thick concrete floor and shake you to the core of your soul.
In desperation, you drag yourself behind a nearby pair of 55 gallon steel drums, as what little illumination coming from the now-sparking overhead lights only serves to heighten the terrifying visage of this metal monster. It's red eyes set deep into their metal face, they dart about, scanning intently the layout of the receiving area. To your horror, they lock onto the stirring form of your friend, who had been unconscious until now. The metal behemoth moves toward him, and with a burst of unexpected speed, grabs him in one of his fists.
"WHERE IS THE ALLOY, FLESH CREATURE?"
You watch in disbelief as the giant tightens his grip on your friend; he lets out a scream as you hear him struggle to breathe. "I-- don't know which alloy you want-- we have SEVERAL--"
The metal monster brings him closer to his face, standing to full height as he does. "THE EVIDIUM ALLOY YOU JUST RECEIVED TODAY, HUMAN!" he bellows, the sound reverberating off the walls of the receiving dock.
"We--didn't get a chance to log it in yet..." your friend gasps, "if we have it--it's somewhere--on the floor...". His face begins to turn a deep red, then purple as every breath is a fight for survival.
"THEN I SHALL LET YOU GO..." the giant says, releasing his grip on your friend.
From 30 feet in the air.
Your friend plummets to the cold concrete floor, the sickening snap of bone and sinew amongst the wet "thud" of impact as he collides with the pavement. The image of his twisted body lying there, his chest rising and lowering shallowly, burns itself into your mind.
But the worst is yet to come.
The towering robot begins to stride towards the secure vault; as he does, your friend's body lies in his path. You think for a moment to try to go over to him to pull him to safety, but your own injuries now remind you with renewed flaring of pain and agony that such a thing is highly unlikely. And you look up just in time to see the giant as he is almost over your friend.
With one step, its' foot lands atop your friend's body. A final scream of agony ...
You cry out in sheer horror and revulsion, turning away from the scene.
Unable to take any more, you lurch towards the vault door, driven by the unbearable sight you just witnessed. You shove the pallet of metal with the strength you have left, a lightning bolt of pain shooting throughout your left leg. You hit the button to close the vault door, and then seeing the giant striding right towards you, you dive into the vault before the door clangs shut and the vanadium-steel locking bars snap into place. You hear the hum of electromagnets come online as the magnetic seal system activates.
It may be days before anyone finds you in here, but you think...you pray.. that the giant cannot breach that door. You drag yourself to the far end of the vault, hiding behind one of the larger containers. You feel safer there than right near the door.
Then you hear it...the creaking of metal. You look at the vault door, only to see it begin to warp and bend. You struggle to comprehend the sheer amount of strength needed to do such a thing, even with all the reinforcement. The door groans violently, as you see the same metal hands begin to come past the safety seal and bend the locking flange.
Your mind races... if you hid in one of the containers, it may not care as long as it got the metal.
Remembering that there is a specific tool used to open them, you being look around the vault and happen to see it just a few feet from you. As you move to get it, the vault door violently lurches, then vanishes as the robot successfully tears it from its' hinge and casually tosses it aside. As it makes its' way inside, it looks around the vault, taking several long moments to discern between differing containers.
You take the opportunity to try to reach the tool. But as you drag yourself to where it was, you cannot find it. You search frantically, praying that you can grab it before the giant turns its' gaze back towards you. Then, as you are about to give up and try to dart back behind your former hiding spot, it falls right in front of you.
You pick it up, just in time to look up and see the giant standing above you, with a strange oblong "gun" mounted on its' arm, pointed directly at you.
It's glowing crimson eyes piercing your very soul, it says in an almost condescending tone:
"IS THIS WHAT YOU SEEK?"
As the end of the cannon glows brighter and brighter, you close your eyes and bow your head.
You know what's coming next...