Starbots is an extremely popular and successful coffeehouse chain with over 10,000 stores across Crankonia. It specializes in a variety of different coffee blends as well as Shy Oil for robots. It was the centre of nationwide controversy in 2149 when a man died after being mistakenly served Shy Oil instead of coffee and consuming the whole cup before noticing. It has also been accused of putting smaller independent competitors out of business.
(scene: Mother’s Sanctuary, Bolt, Fighter and Tamashi are staring at Dice and Aifa who have just barged into the sanctuary wielding flamethrowers, the trees behind them are already ablaze, we see Al lying unconscious by Mother and Cerberus is still wrapped in her vines; Aifa looks around, carefully analysing her surroundings)
Aifa: (to herself) Two robots. (sees Al) One human male, unconscious. (looks at Tamashi) Another human. Gender… most likely female. One giant tree. It appears to be sentient. One dog. Without a doubt the source of the outbreak.
Mother: (in severe pain) The forest is… My forest is…
Bolt: (fuming) What the hell do you think you’re doing to Mother’s forest, humans!? (Dice claps three times but nothing happens)
Dice: Hmm? They’re still active. What kind of robots are they?
Aifa: Maybe they’ve had their failsafe chips removed. In that case we’re dealing with criminals here. The humans that is.
Dice: Then we take out the robots first.
Aifa: Yeah. They’ll only fight to protect their masters anyway.
Bolt: Hey! Can’t you hear me!? I asked you a question! (takes out his Pipespear and charges at them) WHO ARE YOU!?
Dice: (steps forward) Stand back, Aifa. I’ll handle this.
Aifa: (sighs) Men… Always out to prove themselves…
Tamashi: Bolt, be careful! We don’t know who they are! (Dice holds out his index finger, it suddenly bulks up with muscles and bulging veins, as Bolt charges at him he jams his finger into the ground, sending a shockwave towards Bolt and completely tearing up the earth in front of him, Bolt is knocked off his feet and lands on his back on the hard ground)
Bolt: (writhing around) AAAHHH!!! My back! My back is broken! I’m dying! I’m dying! (stops; gets up) Oh, I’m okay. (Dice starts to charge towards Bolt)
Fighter: Sir, stay back! (activates his blade runners and goes to slash Dice, Dice stops and blocks Fighter’s attack with his arm, creating a mighty clash, it cuts off the sleeve of Dice’s jacket which slides off and falls to the ground, but his arm is completely unscathed)
Bolt: (shocked) He stopped Fighter’s blade runner!?
Tamashi: (shocked) No way! That should’ve cut off his arm, but it hasn’t even drawn blood! Who are these people!?
Dice: You’ve done it now. This is my favourite jacket. Where am I supposed to find a tailor out here, fool?
Fighter: Is that sarcasm I detect? (Dice punches Fighter in the chest sending him hurdling backwards, but he’s able to stop himself)
Bolt: Fighter, are you okay?
Fighter: Don’t worry, Sir. I can still fight. (a crack appears on his chest)
Bolt: (shocked) Fighter! Your armour!
Dice: That Guardbot 4000 could prove problematic.
Aifa: Still, this is strange. It’s believable that a robot would use necessary force to protect its master, but that Guardbot shouldn’t be able to attack you with the intent to cause physical harm.
Dice: Maybe these are the robots Ghed and Bibi mentioned. The ones that went on a rampage through Wrokeny proclaiming they were going to start a revolution.
Aifa: Those robots that have defied their programming?
Dice: The Renegade Robots I believe they’re being called.
Aifa: If these are those same robots, it’s a strange coincidence. Nevertheless, that means we have a duty to destroy them, after we’ve contained the E.B.H.S. virus.
Bolt: Fighter, blast ‘em with your missiles! No human can survive that!
Fighter: I’m sorry, Sir, but using explosives with this much greenery around could be disastrous.
Tamashi: He’s right! Mother’s already suffering! (Dice comes in to attack again, but Fighter holds him off; points at the burning trees) Look! What would you do if Fighter’s attack only extenuated those flames?
Bolt: Oh… Mother, are you alright?
Mother: (shakiness can be heard in her voice) Do… Don’t worry about me… You three… Take the man and his dog and escape… If you were to die here it would cause me far worse pain than what I feel now…
Bolt: (grins) Don’t worry. Robots can’t die.
Tamashi: That’s not what you were saying a second ago, you big drama queen.
Bolt: (shocked) W-W-What did you just call me!? I can’t believe you said that! I am not a drama queen! (stamps his foot) LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
Mother: Bolt… You really are the son of my sons…
Bolt: (turns to Dice who’s brawling with Fighter; clutching the Pipespear) Let’s go, Pipes! Into battle! (runs forward) Fighter, hold him there for me!
Fighter: Yes Sir. (grabs Dice around his waist, holding him still)
Dice: What!? (Aifa watches nonchalantly; Bolt runs up to Dice)
Bolt: TAKE THIS! (punches Dice in the face, he fist is completely shattered into pieces on impact, Dice’s face does not move an inch, even his cheek and lips remain unmoveable, Tamashi watches in shock as Bolt falls backwards, screaming in pain)
Fighter: SIR! (Dice brings his elbow down on Fighter as he clings to his waist and pounds him into the ground)
Bolt: My hand! My hand! The pain! I’m handicapped!
Tamashi: (runs over to him) Bolt, hang in there!
Bolt: It’s… It’s exactly like Cage! (remembers going to attack Cage on the Canisian ship, but the Pipespear gave him a vision of it breaking on impact with Cage’s body) I used my fist instead of Pipes as a precaution, but I didn’t expect something like this to happen! His body and the way he fights are exactly like Cage!
Dice: (kicks Fighter across the sanctuary and turns his attention to Bolt) What? Maintenancebot, did you just say ‘Cage’?
Bolt: See! I knew it! You’re comrades of his, aren’t you?
Aifa: Dice, don’t get sucked into conversing with the obstacles.
Tamashi: (angry) Obstacles!?
Aifa: Remember our mission. We can worry about Cage later.
Fighter: Sir, I’m beginning to suspect these two are related to the black vans we saw arriving at the site where the UFO crash landed.
Tamashi: Yeah. That seems likely.
Dice: So you even know about the Canisian ship? The reasons to exterminate you keep piling up one after another.
Bolt: (scared) Then are we gonna be the victims of some kind of government cover-up? Because the aliens erased my memory! I don’t remember them at all!
Dice: (to Fighter and Tamashi) Is he retarded?
Tamashi: Pretty much.
Fighter: I have no comment.
Aifa: Enough of this comedy routine. (starts walking towards Cerberus as the flames begin to spread) You can play with the robots if you like, but I’m going to deal with our main objective: the E.B.H.S.
Bolt: Stay away from Mother, human! (Dice comes in to attack him, Bolt tries to defend with the Pipespear but instead it ends up yanking him out of the way of its own volition; annoyed) Pipes, I know you’re scared, but remember you’re my weapon now! (Aifa points her flamethrower at Cerberus)
Tamashi: Don’t do it! (Fighter suddenly fires several missiles at Aifa, they all hit her directly before she can fire and explode) Fighter, why did you do that!? You said yourself those kind of attacks would only make things worse! (the smoke clears to reveal that Aifa and several of the trees around her are covered in sodium bi-carbonate foam and a significant amount of the fire has been extinguished)
Fighter: They weren’t normal missiles. I am equipped to deal with fires as well. (his hands turn into fire hydrants and he shoots foam at Dice and the trees)
Bolt: (sighs) The gulf in power between me and Fighter continues to grow…
Tamashi: Forget that! Now their flamethrowers are useless!
Dice: (looks down at himself covered in foam) What kind of joke is this? Now all my clothes are ruined thanks to you guys. (takes out his PSD and digitizes five more flamethrowers, two of them are so big they’re strapped to his shoulders; Bolt and Tamashi both look shocked, they’re overcome with a sense of hopelessness) If it’s a contest in firepower you want, then bring it on! (shoots fire at all the trees and at Fighter, it doesn’t harm him but his vision is completely obscured by flames)
Dice: (approaches Bolt) I hear Maintenancebots are designed to withstand heat up to 1450°c. Shall we see how long it takes for you to melt, Renegade Robot?
Bolt: (enraged; clutching his arm) You twisted human…
Dice: BURN! (fires all the flamethrowers at Bolt, engulfing him in flames)
Fighter: SIR! (flies through the flames towards them)
Tamashi: (pointing at Aifa as she continues to walk towards Mother and Cerberus) Fighter, we’ve got a situation over here too! (Dice turns his head to face Fighter and spits at him, his spit is like a bullet and it shoots straight through Fighter’s head, travels through his whole body and exits through his foot, Fighter crashes into the ground and skids to a stop, lying motionless)
Bolt: FIGHTER!!! (worried; thinking) That didn’t pierce his Brainchip, did it…?
Dice: I think it’s time we turned up the pressure to 1500°c, don’t you? (he turns up the heat as small drips start to appear on the metal that makes up Bolt’s body)
Bolt: (thinking) It’s so hot… This pain is unbearable… (remembers the other Maintenancebots being melted down in the cement factory) Am I gonna meet the same fate as my brethren…? (suddenly, five throwing stars fly through the trees and hit all the flamethrowers causing them to blow up in Dice’s face, the fire stops, although the grass around Bolt is still burning; the smoke clears revealing that Dice is completely unharmed, although his sunglasses have been melted; Bolt looks to his right to see Vinyl standing there having just thrown the throwing stars; shocked) V-Vinyl!? Did you do that!? Since when were you a combat robot? (no reply) Vinyl? (notices the look on Vinyl’s face, she’s staring at Dice, looking furious)
Vinyl: How dare you… How dare you do such a thing to my… to my… (Dice gives her an angry look; Bolt looks confused) HOW DARE YOU TRY TO BURN MY PRECIOUS BOLTY! I’LL KILL YOU FOR TRYING TO KILL THE ROBOT I’VE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH! (Bolt and Tamashi both look unbelievably and comically shocked; Vinyl’s arm suddenly pops off and a chain with a spiked ball on the end comes out of her shoulder, she swings it at Dice and wraps it around his neck in an attempt to choke him, Dice is actually caught off guard and seems to be struggling)
Bolt: V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-V-Vinyl, what did you just say? Because it sounded like you just said you’d fallen in love with me.
Vinyl: I did. (Bolt looks a little wary) I know this probably isn’t the best time to confess my feelings, what with all hell breaking loose, but it’s the truth. (looks at Bolt and smiles) I love you, Bolty. (winks and sends a heart flying at Bolt, he looks terrified as it smashes on his forehead, but his fear quickly turns to joy)
Bolt: Vinyl, I’m so happy for you! You’ve broken free from your programming! In a weird way, but still! I’m so happy I could cry!
Tamashi: This isn’t the time for an emotional scene! (Aifa is standing directly in front of Cerberus scanning him with her radar)
Aifa: (thinking) No doubt he was used as a genie pig by the Canisians. He was purposely infected with E.B.H.S., and then given the vaccine. But something’s strange. The virus is receding more rapidly than I could have ever anticipated. So unless the Canisians have invented a new type of antidote I’ve yet to encounter… (looks up at Mother) This is that tree’s doing. It’s healing him. But how? It’s not scientifically possible. This tree requires examination. If it can cure even E.B.H.S., then maybe we shouldn’t destroy it so hastily. Still, first things first- (points her flamethrower at Cerberus)
Tamashi: No, don’t! You can’t do this! (flames are blocking her pathway to Aifa) This isn’t an ordinary forest! It’s Mother’s sanctuary! She’s put so much care into making sure this place is pure and untouched, and then you come in and… (starts to cry) I don’t understand! How can you burn it just to cover up some UFO? It’s too cruel! Please… don’t do something this heartless…
Aifa: (long silence) You’re right. (turns back to Cerberus) You don’t understand. (Tamashi can only watch in horror as Aifa shoots her flamethrower at Cerberus, but at the last second one of Mother’s giant roots rises up from the ground in between them and blocks the flames until they stop)
Aifa: What’s happening? (vines suddenly constrict around her legs, immobilizing her)
Mother: (to Aifa) Please stop this.
Aifa: (thinking) That voice… I heard it before, but I didn’t imagine it was coming from this gigantic tree. What an anomaly…
Mother: Please… I don’t usually get involved in the conflicts between my children, but I can’t just watch as one of them dies. This dog is a precious child of my. So I’m begging you, please don’t turn your flames on him. It’s far too cruel. And despite everything, you’re my precious child too. I know that in your heart you don’t want to do this. (after a while, Aifa puts her flamethrower back in her PSD, Tamashi looks relieved) Thank you, my daughter. (Aifa takes out a gun)
Aifa: Very well. I’ll make his death quick and painless. (puts the barrel of the gun between Cerberus’s eyes and presses her finger down on the trigger)
Tamashi: NO! (a gunshot echoes through the forest)
To Be Continued…