DEUS EX MACHINA (THE GOD AND THE MACHINE) by d_Galloway
CHAPTER 1: THE ATTACK
The night wind blew across the water as the boat left the dock. Sara and Ted watched as New York City began to fade away into the early dawn. The new year was beginning to look like a good one.
Sara sipped some more of the champagne as the boat reached the loading dock on Liberty Island. Her eyes traveled the entire length of the statue, it's green figure dwarfing her with feelings of pride, wonder, and astonishment. Ted, however, was a native New Yorker, and he didn't mind the statue at all. To him, it was just another object for the scenery. She practically had to beat him over the head with a rock in order to get him to take her.
Once the boat had docked, the two departed, along with the rest of the tour group that was already in place. Ted grumbled under his breath about how much the "romantic package" was costing him. Sara realized that a mule has more patience than Ted, but she still stood by him, not willing to let him go.
Finally, the tour began. Strangely, the entire thing was incrediably dull; Sara could even feel sleep trying to grab her, even though she had slept well before coming here. Ted just continued to pull her along, eager to finish the entire ordeal.
Finally, they reached the head, the final spot of the tour. Sara breathed in the air as she watched the ocean below. The tour wasn't that bad, even with Ted's constant nagging. She would hopefully enjoy other visits like this sometime.
Suddenly, the entire structure began to shake violently. Smoke rose from the stairway. At first, it seemed like a fire, until the visitors noticed some blood on the stairs, accompanied by gunfire.
In a state of panic, everyone ran in every possible direction. Sara felt Ted release her from his grip and run straight down the staircase. Not certain what to do, Sara followed. Suddenly, a thunderous sound filled the area, followed by another violent tremor. Sara tumbled down the stairs, her left cheek cut by several pieces of sharp rubble. Ted was nowhere to be seen.
However, she didn't have time to think of such things at the moment. She could hear heavy gunfire coming closer to her. Realizing that exposing herself would probably be suicide, she ducked behind a metal crate. A few men rushed along the opposite hall, firing at several security guards. They were clearly winning the battle. Taking advantage of the situation, she darted for the emergency staircase.
Another tremor filled the area, throwing Sara to the floor below her. She might have fallen farther, but by luck she had grabbed onto a rail before any more serious injuried could be sustained. In panic, she smashed down the door and darted for the exit to the statue.
She had almost reached it when she slipped. Her head knocked against a pillar, and she fell unconcious.
Sara felt herself being dragged along the ground as her senses returned. The entire interior of the statue was blackened from smoke and filled with holes and rubble. Blood was flowing from beneath some pieces of rock, indicating that a few members of the tour group had been flattened when part of the interior collapsed. Police were carrying away other bodies as well, all charred and burnt beyond recognition.
When her rescuer finally pulled her out of the mess, she felt lucky to have survived such a disaster. Then she caught a glimpse of the uniforms her police had on. Most of them were the standard emergency SWAT suits, but there were some that definately were wearing different uniforms. Suddenly, her rescuer dragger her through a small passage between the rubble.
When he finally stopped, she felt something cold and hard make its way to the back of her head. "No witnesses," said her "rescuer". This could mean only one thing: he was going to kill her!
However, he never got the chance. A gunshot rang out, and the man slumped forward, a bullet hole right between the eyes. When Sara was able to push his body off her, she saw several other "police officers" carrying survivors and dead bodies alike to the docks while police opened fire, apparantly ignoring the fact that there were some innocent lives at stake. They got one, but the others all made their way to a small boat and escaped.
Some of the police helped Sara to her feet. While they were carrying her to a boat leading to the hospital, she realized that she knew one of those that were kidnapped.
CHAPTER 2: THE DISCOVERY
Ted regained conciousness in a small, metal room. It didn't take long for him to notice that his arms and legs were bound to a chair and that duct tape had been placed over his mouth. A few scientist types were in the room with him, but they were too occupied in their own work to pay a lot of attention to a hostage.
Suddenly, a large door opened on the side. Two official-looking men entered the room, wearing black suits and carrying assault rifles. Strangely enough, they looked exactly like each other; same height, same body type, same skin color (pale), even their hair was the same!
Behind them walked another scientist. This one was short and bald, with a definate kind of stockiness in his movements. He pulled out a clipboard and made some marks on it, then moved towards Ted.
"Well, it looks like our little subject is ready," he said. "Tell Mr. Page that we will soon be ready for the experiment."
Although Ted wanted to say something, he didn't have the will to argue.
The doctor left the area, along with one of the bizzare men in black. The other one simply stood still, as if at attention for something.
Ted looked into space, unable to believe what was going on or where he was. One minute he's with his shitty girlfriend taking a tour on a fucking statue, and the next minute he's tied to a chair and in some bizzare lab. And there still was something wrong with those guys in black...
Eventually, the doctor returned. He was followed by a mechanic-dressed man pushing a cart full of strange containers. Out of a window on one side, Ted could see that they were all filled with a strange green liquid that seemed to seethe inside.
The doctor turned his attention back to Ted. "Mr. Page wants your experiment to begin immediately," he said. "And when Mr. Page wants something done, you'd better do it, or suffer his wrath." With that, a mask was pushed onto Ted's face. Just as he realized that it was filled with sleeping gas, he feel unconcious.
Ted awoke on an operating table. He was bound here as well, although now with metal instead of rope. The same doctor and men as before were watching him return to conciousness.
"How do you feel now, Mr. Simons?" asked the doctor.
"Simons..." thought Ted. He hadn't heard that name before...
CHAPTER 3: THE ESCAPE
Sara drank some coffee with her breakfast when she was home. Many people were wired-up after drinking some, but she always felt more at peace with herself when she had some. Unfortunately, that was the fancy stuff back at her house; she was stuck in the Emergency Ward, and the stuff they had here tasted like it had been made with contaminated sewer water.
Her eggs weren't any better; they had a taste similar to cardboard. The bacon had small traces of mold on it as well, showing that the hospital was on it's last legs. After all, nearly all of the wards were filled with the survivors of the attack. No wonder they were running out of unspoiled food.
She layed back on her rock-hard bed, thinking about what had happened recently. Her boyfriend had been taken prisoner by a bunch of guys in black, along with several other innocent people. The Statue of Liberty was now only a memory; only the lower third of it remained intact. And she was stuck in a bed, despite the lack of serious injuries and the horrible food.
Suddenly, the sound of gun fire came from outside the door. At first, Sara thought she was simply having a nightmare of the incident. However, when the door to her ward was filled with bullet holes, she realized that this was quite the opposite.
Her damaged door came down with an enormous crash. Men wearing the same black armor she had seen before poured in, carrying assault rifles and assault shotguns. However, they were now joined by two other groups. One consisted of black-armored guys that looked like cyborgs from a bad 20th-century sci-fi movie. The other was a bunch of tall, pale-skinned men with dark glasses. They carried guns that looked like advanced lasers.
All eyes were cast upon her. The soldier-like men raised their weapons. They were obviously planning something that bore a resemblance to overkill.
Suddenly, a small rattling was heard. Everyone turned to see a small device, no bigger than a PDA, bounce on the floor towards the middle of the room. At first, everyone paid no attention to it.
Then it exploded.
Gas filled the room as both Sara and her enemies struggled to breath. It didn't seem poisonous, and yet it was incrediably difficult to see. Sara rolled out of her bed, grabbed a bathrobe from the nearby hat tree, and jumped out the nearby window onto the narrow ledge underneath.
Her timing couldn't have been any better. The sound of gunfire and explosions was almost immediate. After what seemed like hours, but was really only a few minutes, it subsided, and she poked her head back through.
The police where inside. Her attackers were either dead or unconcious. Gathering her courage, she started to make her way in. Unfortunately, her foot slipped, and she fell from the ledge. She barely grabbed onto it. A glance down revealed a dumpster full of broken glass, old medical equipment, and various other sharp, pointy things.
Her hand began to slip. A fall from here was sure death. This looked like the end for her...
However, just as she lost her grip, a strong hand grabbed her arm and pulled her inside. It was a riot cop, dressed in full mask and armor. The others were already carting off the bodies and the captured as she was being rescued; it was a miracle he had even been there at all to save her.
"Thank you," she said, fighting back tears of relief.
"It was no problem, maam," said the officer, who then promptly left.
Sara was left to wonder. Who was her rescuer?
CHAPTER 4: THE AUGMENTATION
Ted was kept strapped to that table for days. Doctors surrounded him at all times, rotating shifts every couple hours. It seemed like they were afraid to leave him alone for more than a few seconds. But why?
His whole body had been itching like crazy ever since he ended up on the table. It felt like he had been through some kind of surgery, but he didn't have any incisions. Then where was this pain coming from?
After three days, the doctors left, and didn't come back. Realizing that he had a chance to escape, Ted looked for a way to remove his straps. However, while he was struggling, his arm collided with a piece of metal. The instant it did, a voice in his head said, "Microfibreal Muscles Activated."
The straps literally snapped off of Ted, as if a fifty-ton crane had torn them apart. Ted sat up, confused at what had happened. He touched his arm again, and the same voice said, "Microfibreal Muscles Deactivated."
What the hell had those doctors done to him?
Unfortunately, security suddenly rushed inside. Somehow, they must have been expecting that he would break out. Then again, they DID do this to him, so that wasn't too big a surprise. The short scientist from before came from behind with a clipboard. "So, Mr. Simons," he said, "how do you feel?"
Ted sneered. "I feel like shoving your balls down your throat, you little turd! What the fuck did you do to me?!"
"Now, now, Mr. Simons-" said the doctor.
"And another thing!" shouted Ted. "Why the hell do you keep calling me 'Mr. Simons'?!"
A guard began to approach Ted, his gun drawn. "Well," said the doctor, "I'm afraid we have no choice but to eliminate you. Mr. Page doesn't like to waste money, and unless we have results, we get no funding. And, thanks to your ignorance, we have no results. I'm afraid these boys will have to finish you." With that, he left Ted to deal with his enemies.
Suddenly, the same voice from before began. "Speed Enhancements Activated." Ted grabbed one guard's neck, snapped it, and took the gun in the blink of an eye. At the same speed, he quickly filled the others full of lead. Jumping over their bleeding corpses, he dashed into the hallway.
However, he had only moved for a bit when something struck him in the back of the neck. Dazed, Ted fell to the ground, unconcious.
The doctor put his tranquilizer gun away and picked up the nearby radio. "Tell Mr. Page that we have the results we need."
CHAPTER 5: THE DEPRESSION
Sara resigned herself to sitting on the couch and eating Soy Food for a week after she left the hospital. The news was full of stuff on how Silhouette was being blamed for the attack, about how they had blown up the statue because they said that France should never have given it to the United States, and so on. Just the same stuff since the day she was born.
Finally, she snapped out of her depressed state and went to pick up some REAL food: namely, TV dinners. It wasn't much of a change from Soy Food, but it was enough for her friends to stop worrying about her health so much. Besides, those brownies were much tastier than curds.
The next week, she finally got herself a turkey. She burnt it to hell in the oven, but the charred remains were enough to keep her alive all the way through to next week.
At last, a knock was heard on her door. The first she had in weeks. Outside was a strange-looking guy, but she didn't care. She needed to have some company to keep from going completely crazy.
The instant the door opened, the man dashed inside. "Shut the fucking door!" he ordered. "Your safety is at risk here!" Sara complied, thoroughly confused by what was happening.
"Listen," he said, "I know what's going on here. Those guys you saw...they weren't Silhouette. They belong to another group, called Majestic 12! The government's been planning this big attack for years. They want to spread a virus that will kill thousands within days of it's exposure! They probably went after you, too!"
Suddenly, the door was smashed down. Two police officers entered, their guns drawn. "Oh, no you don't!" said the man. "I ain't goin' nowhere, you motherfucks!" He drew a pistol, but since the police were already armed, he was filled with enough lead to fill the Grand Canyon within minutes. His bloodied, mutilated corpse filled Sara with horrible memories, and she passed out right on the floor.
CHAPTER 6: THE MESSAGE
Ted was placed inside a large, circular room. The door was completely sealed behind him, thus hopefully preventing any chance of him escaping. That didn't stop him completely, but it did the trick for the most part.
Finally, after several weeks, the door opened. The same short scientist from before came in with his infamous clipboard.
"Mr. Page said he would release you," he said, "if you promise to give a simple message for him." Ted didn't like being anybody's carrier pigeon, but he agreed in hopes of finally getting the hell out of here.
"An associate of Mr. Page will be comming by the lab in an hour," said the scientist. "He will drop off a small vial containing some red liquid. Pick it up for us, then read this message, word for word." He put an incredibly strong emphasis on the last part, thus making Ted slightly suspicious, but not enough to stop what he was going to have to do to escape.
The scientist handed him a picture and a paper. The picture showed a hulking figure with mechanical parts and wires sticking out all over. This was an early mech design used by the military. The paper read rather strangely, but made a bit of sense.
"Now, go," said the scientist.
After a hour had passed, the mech that was shown in the picture walked in. He was carrying a vial of red liquid, just like the scientist said he would. He handed Ted the vial, then reached out his hand as if asking for payment.
Ted turned to the paper and read aloud:
"Page Industries thanks you for your co-operation. As a reward for the recovery of the virus code, Flatline Hulk."
Suddenly, the mech began to twist and scream violently. After a few seconds of twisting, it finally exploded completely from the inside-out. Ted took a step back in shock, then felt a pair of heavy hands grab him.
"Thank you," said the scientist, coming from behind. "Mr. Page is impressed by your performance. I hope your co-operation in the future is just as pleasant." The scientist took the vial from Ted and tossed it to one of his bodyguards.
"Take that to the Virsalife building in Hong Kong immediately," ordered the scientist. "The Universal Constructor is almost operational, and Mr. Page does not want any delays in his plan!" The bodyguard left just as Ted was knocked unconcious.
CHAPTER 7: THE OFFICER
Sara had survived more attempts on her life than people could imagine in only a month. Ted was still missing; she was back in the hospital; those guys in black were still out there somewhere. Now she had to add psychiatric payments into the equation.
Her bank account was dropping faster than a rock.
She spent her time in the hospital reading about how the silly people in the 20th century had ruined the world forever. She was amazed at how they had inadvertanly caused every problem to ever occur on earth and in parallel universes.
Suddenly, there was a loud knock on her door. Wary about what had happened previously, she moved her hand slowly towards the loaded pistol under her pillow. This time, she wasn't going to be caught off-guard.
The door opened. A handsome young man entered, wearing a police uniform. She didn't feel so endangered anymore, so her hand moved slowly away from the gun.
"I just wanted to see how you were doing," said the officer. "I hope I didn't frighten you."
"Frighten me?" replied Sara, a bit moody. "You scared the living shit out of me! Do you have any idea how many times somebody's tried to kill me this past month? And then there's Ted's dissapearance..."
"Don't worry," said the officer. "We'll find him. Don't worry about that." Sara relaxed slightly, but that didn't make the mood any better.
"So why are you here?" asked Sara.
"Well," said the officer. "The guys down at the station wanted to say hi, and..."
Sara could sense what he was feeling, but didn't speak up.
"...I think I may love you."
CHAPTER 8: THE RELEASE
Ted sat in his cell, fuming over what that damn doctor had done to him. The bastard had simply tricked him into doing his dirty work, and stuck him straight back into the prison cell. If it wasn't for the fact that he had some sense of patience, Ted would have driven a spoon into his neck long ago.
Finally, a week later, the door to his cell opened. The doctor stepped inside, his clipboard still in hand. However, behind him was an old, weathered man. Ted recognized him from the cover of Time magazine a few months ago. This was Bob Page.
"Hello, Mr. Simons," said Page. "I trust you have found your stay here...comfortable?"
Ted smirked. "The only thing keeping me sane here is the thought of busting out."
Page laughed slightly. "There is a reason behind my visiting here. As you may know, I myself am a dying man. My son, Robert Page IV, will soon take over the project, but I wanted to see how our first test unit did in the field. Succeed, and I will certainly release you."
Ted was a bit untrusting, but decided to listen anyway. If Page could be trusted, then he may have found a way out.
"All I want to see," said Page, "is a showing of your strength. I want you to kill this poor doctor right here."
The doctor was shocked. "I won't let a motherfucking piece of mechanical crap beat me!" Without hesitation, he whipped out a small Stealth Pistol. Unfortunately for him, Ted's augmentations had made him incredibly fast. He twirled around, grabbed the doctor by the neck, then ripped his head clean off and tossed it against the wall.
The body fell forward, the hands still clutching the clipboard and pistol. The head bounced to the ground with a sickening thud.
"Congratulations, Mr. Simons!" said Page. "You are free to leave. But if you ever decide to seek employment here-"
But Ted was already on his way out.
CHAPTER 9: THE SUSPICION
Sara stayed in the hospital for a few more days after the cop showed up. Finally, she was let back to her house, which the police had kindly cleaned up for her.
Praying that she wouldn't have another random nutball come after her, she prepared to settle back to her routine of eating Soy Food and watching ESPN. However, her planned peace was soon interrupted by a loud, abrupt knock at her door.
She answered it to find the same cop from before. He walked slowly into the room. "So," he said, "I'm glad to see you're still in one piece."
"Oh, can it," said Sara. "I know why you're here, and the answer is still no. I'm in love with Ted, and that's all there is to it."
The cop then pulled out something he had in his jacket. It was a large, manilla folder. The label read "Theodore Simons."
Sara looked in shock. "But...Ted's last name isn't Simons!"
"I know," said the cop, "but we caught a fellow officer trying to insert this into our records. When we interrogated him, he said that Ted was now called 'Simons' and that he would soon help lead Majestic-12 to victory, or some crap like that. Anyway, he also said that they've taken care of him; he won't be coming back."
Sara was shocked. "But...but...WHERE THE FUCK IS THIS BASTARD?!" What sanity she had maintained through her issues was rapidly leaving her.
The cop, however, was unfazed. "He's dead. Some moron down at the station gave him a spoon. He drove it into his neck. He's history."
Sara was still shaken, but was slowly calming down. "What can we do now?"
The cop walked back out the door. "If you want to talk to anybody about this, call me at the station. Remember, the number is 9-1-1." With that small joke, he went away.
Sara just looked at the file. Was Ted dead...
Or was that guy lying?
CHAPTER 10: THE DISCOVERY
Ted walked along the streets. Once, they were probably familiar to him, but now they seemed alien and distant. The few people still outside were rushing towards their homes, desperate to get off the streets before sunset.
Ted continued his march, flowers in hand, to Sara's apartment. He had been gone for so long, and knowing that bitch, she was probably scared and lonely. What a perfect chance for him to have a nice dinner, talk a bit, and fuck her like no tomorrow.
A few of the rather commonplace street gangs were foolish enough to challenge him, but they soon learned that whatever had been done to Ted was no match for them. Nobody cared as their bodies, broken and bloodied, were dumped into the streets. Nobody wanted the gangs around to begin with.
Finally, Ted reached the apartment building. Flowers in hand, a tale in his head, he made his way up the long flights of stairs to Sara's apartment. For once, he was actually thankful for his augmentations in a way that didn't involve ripping someone's head off.
When he reached Sara's floor, though, he heard voices coming from inside. Pressing his ear close to the door, he heard what sounded like Sara...and another man! When he heard the footsteps coming closer, he ducked away into a small niche.
Out walked a male cop. He said his good-byes, then headed down the stairs. Ted couldn't even imagine Sara would do such a thing. She was having an affair with another man!
Ted took one look at the flowers, then threw them away. With a heavy heart, he walked back down the stairs. He had loved Sara...
And that was how she repayed him.
CHAPTER 11: THE TRUTH (part 1 of 2)
Sara continued to cook her small meals and watch television, but the file she had recieved on Ted continued to worry her. Was there something that the police were refusing to tell her, or was this a clean-cut case of Ted being held prisoner or killed?
Finally, she reached the very end of her patience. Grabbing her coat, she headed down to the police station one cold evening, determined to find out what was going on.
When she arrived, the entire place was in a state of panic. Explicitives and various other types of foul language was being thrown around the area, with each cop rushing back and forth in a state of emergency. Fighting her way through the crowds, she finally reached the front desk.
Strangely, no receptionist was there. With nobody to tell her to stop, she simply walked straight through the waves of panic and into the records area.
No cops were standing guard; the entire place was wide-open. The moment her hand touched a drawer, though, she felt a cold hand grab her from behind.
"Don't move," said an all-too-familiar voice. It was the cop from before! "Civilians aren't allowed to touch these files. They're for our eyes only."
Sara turned her head slightly. "And what's it to you? All I know right now is that you haven't been telling me everything. I want to know everything you know about Ted."
The cop's emotional state didn't change. "Your boyfriend was apparantly released, but was last seen talking to some people from Page Enterprises. I don't know anymore about this than you do, but from what we've heard, he seemed completely distraught."
Sara was unfazed. "And what happened here?"
The cop sighed heavily. "The UN just set up some new kind of anti-terrorist force; UNATCO, they call it. They told the media that it's only used for terrorist operations, but we just got word from UN HQ; most of the police departments in major cities are being stripped of their power. They've turned the entire planet into a military state, and all because of Bob Page."
Sara said nothing, but the cop sensed her anxiety. "I'm afraid I have no choice but to do this. You now know too much." With that, he brought a blackjack down on Sara's head. Hard.
She passed out instantly.
CHAPTER 12: THE TRUTH (part 2 of 2)
Ted continued down the streets. The anger he held inside filled him to the point that he just barely resisted killing everyone he met. That bitch had dumped him; now she was seeing someone else!
For a long time, he thought about what he should do. Then he remembered what Page had said: "If you ever feel the need to seek employment..", or something like that.
Ted made his way to Page Industries. It wasn't terribly hard to spot; after all, it was the only building in the entire area that had a wide array of security guards and cameras. Also, it said "Page Industries" on the sign in the front.
He walked into the magnificent lobby and up to the reception desk. "Excuse me," said Ted, "but I need to see Mr. Page."
"Are you Mr. Simons?" she asked. Ted was actually beginning to get used to that name.
"Yes, I am."
"Mr. Page will see you. He's on the eightieth floor."
Ted made his way to the elevator. Nobody was paying much attention. When he got off the elevator, he found a small hall leading to a single room: the office of Robert Page IV.
Ted opened the door and walked inside. Mr. Page was still in there, but he now looked even more sickly than before.
"Good to see you, Simons," he said. "I assume you seek employment here?"
Ted thought about it for a minute, then shook his head "yes".
CHAPTER 13: THE PROPOSAL
Sara found herself, once again, inside a hospital. Her head still felt like a ton of bricks, but she was more concerned in what was currently happening. The whole world was going to hell in a handbasket, Ted was joining up with Page Industries, and now the cop, the one person she had relied on during this whole nightmare, had turned on her.
Suddenly, the door to her room opened. The cop himself walked in, carrying a boquete of flowers. Sara was completely shocked; he had tried to kill her no more than a few hours ago, and now he was acting like nothing had happened?!
He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out two plane tickets. "We're getting out of the city," he said. "This place is turning into a damn warzone. We can't do anything else here."
Sara just looked at him coldly. He easily sensed her anxiety and outrage at what was happening. "The orders from UNATCO were to eliminate anyone who had too much knowledge of what was going on. However, I made it LOOK like I killed you, while in reality you are quite alive."
"That kind of crap doesn't work with me!" screamed Sara. "I can't stand this crap anymore! Everywhere I go, something's falling apart! And now Ted's gone, and all you fucking care about is your goddamn love life!"
"Sara, listen," said the cop, "you have to forget about Ted. He's gone; that Simons guy is all that's left. You have to get on with your life." He handed her the plane ticket. "Take it, even if you don't want to go with me. This city is history; get out while you still can." With that, he began to leave.
Sara, however, was finally seeing things clearly. Ted was indeed gone; he would never be with her again. And this cop was the only person now that truly cared for her. She couldn't live by herself anymore; she had to find someone.
"I'll go," she said, her voice almost a whisper. "I have nothing else to lose."
The cop turned towards her. "I'm glad you reconsidered."
"By the way," said Sara, "what's your name?"
The cop smiled. "Alex Denton."
CHAPTER 14: THE CONSPIRACY
Ted adjusted his coat as he walked into Page's office. The paniced crowds from outside were being gunned down by the riot squad. In a strange way, it was actually quite relaxing.
The plague was working its magic, killing everyone it came into contact with; everyone, that is, except for those who could afford the Ambrosia. And even then, it only worked for a month...this was working according to plan.
Finally, he entered Page's office. His boss was busy watching the countless moniters on the other side of the room; they depicted morgues full of plague victims, the murder of the homeless, and various other calamities; all caused by them. Ted joined him with no regrets.
"Your appointment has been confirmed," said Page. "You will be director within the month."
"I trust the senator was complient," said Ted, with a smirk briefly on his face.
"Of course. He was infected, after all."
"The rioting is growing. Soon it will be out of our control."
"So why control it? Let the bodies pile up in the streets. Soon, they will beg us to save them."
Ted suddenly remembered something. "How is the first prototype going?"
"There have been some problems. The second prototype is awaiting activation."
"Just think. We will make this the city on the hill, for all to see. And we will be its kings- no, gods."