Part 1- The Galactic Conservation Group- Chapters 1-6

For those of you who have been following this blog, thank you very much for your continued support. However, I must apologize because I’m going to restart the story. I feel as if the first 2 attempts weren’t staying true to the title- Qbit and the Keepers of the Blue Planet. This final attempt, I hope, will tie everything and everyone together in a clearer and less wordy way. Future posts will be either new or re-written versions of older posts. I hope you enjoy it and thanks again for reading.

Chapter 1

Qbit silently made his way into the massive, dimly lit warehouse. He crouched down on one knee behind a stack of crates and waited for Tau. He stuck his head out to look across the aisleway and was able to see the waste pipes they needed to get to. He rested his hand on one of the crates and noticed the whole stack wobbled. He thought to himself that maybe this wasn’t the best hiding place. Being extra careful not to brush up against anything else, he peered out around the bottom crate and looked for signs of Tau.

You would think it would be easy to spot a ten-foot-tall robot that weighed over five hundred pounds but, because his best friend is made entirely of black magmanite (according to Tau, the hardest and darkest material in the galaxy) and had the strongest and quietest (again, in the whole galaxy) servos and motors, she was extremely difficult to see or hear in the dark. He moved to the other end of the crates and checked the time. Right on schedule, two security bots drifted by totally unaware of his presence.

Suddenly, from behind him, someone whispered, “Hey.”

Without turning around, Qbit said, “Do you really think that my quantum computer based artificial intelligence and the self-aware neutrinos that surround my dark matter core would allow you to sneak up behind me?”  

“Tau sighed and replied, “How come you can’t just say you knew it was me?”

“Because that wouldn’t be as annoying.” He checked the map on his heads-up display (HUD) again. “The waste pipes are over there,” he motioned with his head to a spot directly across the aisle. “Make sure you remember to put a different marker-bot in each one, so we’ll know where each pipe leads to. And don’t forget to get samples so the professor can make the necessary adjustments to the cleaner-bots.”

“No problem.”

And don’t forget to seal the holes really well so they won’t leak. Do you think you can remember all that?”

“All what?”

Qbit looked around one last time to make sure there was nothing out of place then turned to Tau and said sarcastically, “Very funny. It’s nice to see that you’re taking this mission so seriously.”

“Relax, I’m only kidding, sheesh.” Tau checked her HUD. “We have two minutes until the guards come back again.”

“Check. I’m heading to the security office to see if I can I find a computer I can access to get more information on who’s behind this whole operation.”

Tau pointed to a security camera hanging in the corner of the warehouse. It was slowly spinning back their way. “How about you don’t forget to get that camera taken care of.”

Totally ignoring Tau’s comment, Qbit said, “Give me thirty seconds before you head for the pipes.” He set a timer on his HUD. “Ready?”

“Yep, ready.”

Qbit stood up. “Three, two, one, go!” Without hesitation, he ran to a large forklift parked under the camera then swiftly made his way up to the top of the vehicle’s cab. The camera was mounted above a suspended maintenance catwalk that ran around the perimeter of the building. He stepped back to the edge of the roof then ran forward and leapt into the air, easily crossing the ten-foot gap. Landing quietly on the catwalk, Qbit paused and listened for any indication that the security bots had seen him. Everything remained quiet. He reached up and laid his hand, palm up, on the cables leading into the camera then whispered, “Okay little ones, time to go to work.”

Microscopic bots made their way out of Qbit’s open hand and onto the cable. They burrowed through the insulated cable, found the black wire and followed it into the body of the camera. Once inside, several of the bots jumped across to the red wire then reached over to the bots on the black wire. As soon as they touched electricity flowed through them shorting out the camera’s electronics.

Qbit waited for the red power light to go off then checked the thirty second timer. “Five, four, three, two…”

Chapter 2- Tau

One, zero.” Tau moved quickly and quietly across the open space between the crates and the waste pipes. A new counter started letting her know how much time she had before the guards were due back around again.

When she reached the first pipe, she used a tiny drill bit located in her pointer finger to drill a hole. A small amount of fluid dripped out but not enough to cause a problem. The bit retracted into her finger and was replaced by a small syringe. She inserted the needle into the hole then injected the tracker bots. The fluid in the pipe activated the bots, immediately they started to emit a signal that her and Qbit could track on their displays. Before pulling out the syringe, she drew in a small sample of the liquid flowing through the pipe. She carefully removed the syringe and plugged the hole with a tiny amount of expanding foam stored in another finger. She repeated the process with each pipe, releasing bots with different signals so they could tell where each pipe led outside of the building.

Just as she was done, she heard a beep and saw a red light flashing on her display which meant the security bots were close by. She ran, dove across the aisle, did a perfectly timed shoulder roll to a crouching position behind the crates. It looked as if they hadn’t seen her because they continued to come towards her without shouting any kind of warning. As they passed by, Tau could hear beeps and chirps as the two bots talked to each other. She was relieved to see them pass by but, instead of continuing, the bot furthest from her stopped, then turned toward the pipes she had just been working on. The other bot stopped when it realized the other one was no longer next to it. It turned around then made a sound that must have meant what’s the matter? because the first bot pointed to the pipes and glided over to them.

Tau didn’t dare stick her head out, so she watched their red blips on her display instead. She could see that they had stopped right at the very spot she had inserted the tracker bot. She zoomed in then noticed what had caught the bot’s attention.  A small amount of liquid was spraying out of the pipe. How in the world did it see that all the way from the aisle?

The bots were beeping and chirping to each other at a frantic rate. Tau ran a translation program that quickly converted the beeps and chirps into a machine language he could understand.

“How in the world did you see that?”

“I don’t know, just lucky, I guess. It doesn’t look to bad, but we better get maintenance over here anyway.”

“They take forever to do anything. Maybe I can fix it!”

“Don’t even think about it! You remember when you tried to fix that lift bot that broke down? It ended up running out of control, smashing into the storage racks knocking them all over! Just leave it alone and get maintenance!”

“Yeah, I’m still hearing about that fiasco!”

 The bot moved into the aisle. “Security bot J5 to maintenance…”

Chapter 3- Qbit

Qbit waited for the tiny bots to make their way back to him after disabling the camera. Once they were safely back in his hand, he moved down the suspended catwalk toward the security office. On his way, he checked the time and saw he had about five minutes until he had to meet Tau at the rendezvous point. If he could get into the office without any interruptions, he should make it back, no problem.

Luckily for him the overhead catwalk had a ladder that led down to the roof of the small office. Once on top, he gently lowered himself onto a small balcony that looked out over the entire warehouse. He moved next to a window and peered in. Luckily for him, a computer was sitting on a desk right by the window. But, wouldn’t you know it, right next to it, rested the feet of a guard leaning back comfortably in her chair. He really needed to get into that computer to find the files that showed the amount of waste material the company knowingly pumped into the surrounding wetlands, The toxic waste was wreaking havoc with the numerous animal and aquatic species which lived in the area.

He checked the time again and saw he needed to get moving, but there was no way he was going to be able to get in there without waking the guard.

On to plan B.

He crouched down on one knee then opened his hand and laid it on the floor just like he had done with the camera. This time a line of macro bots made their way over his fingers and onto the floor. About the size of sugar ants, they silently made their way under the door, up the leg of the desk and to the computer. They entered a USB port where they would be able to access the computer memory then download the information into themselves. The only tricky part would be when they connected to the computer’s system. Much like when you move a mouse, the screen would come out of sleep mode and turn on. Would it wake up the guard? Qbit could only wait and see.

Just as expected, the screen came to life. He looked to see if the guard had noticed. She shifted in the chair then… started snoring. Perfect!

Chapter 4- Tau

Tau decided she needed to get out of there, but, as she stood, her elbow hit the second crate in the stack. It started to wobble back and forth. No, no, no! She tried to grab the crate but only succeeded in pushing it completely over. The resulting noise was tremendous!

The security bots both spun around catching her standing completely in the open. “Hey! You! Don’t move!” Both bots sped toward her with their weapons drawn.

With nowhere to run, Tau did the next best thing, she made himself extremely large. Within seconds she grew from ten feet to thirty. The security bots stopped, looked up at her then at each other.

“You go first!”

“No, you go!”

Neither of them moved as Tau took a step back then turned and moved off.

Both bots stayed where they were. “J5 to security office, uhhh, we’re going to need assistance.” They watched Tau as he moved down the aisle, his massive frame towered above the crates. “A lot of it!”

Chapter 5- Qbit

The micro-bots had exited the computer and were making their way down the table leg when the security guard leapt out of her chair at the sound of J5’s urgent message. They all froze then watched as she stood right next to them and stared out the window as the upper half of Tau turned towards her. With surprising composure, considering a giant robot was heading her way, she smacked the alarm button and got on her radio. “All security to the main warehouse! I repeat, all security to the main warehouse!” She ran out the office.

Qbit threw himself to the floor as the guard ran out the door. He kept low as he moved around to the side of the office. He slid his body up the wall and peered around the corner and saw that she was on the balcony barking orders into her radio. Qbit felt a tapping on his foot and looked down to see the tiny group of micro-bots waving at him. In all the excitement, they had managed to make their way off of the table and out the door He placed his hand on the metal grating so they could safely climb back onboard. Q whispered, “Good work!”

As the last bot disappeared into his hand, he heard a soft chime sound notifying him that the data they had retrieved had been downloaded into his quantum computer core. He opened the file and looked at it briefly to make sure it was what Granny needed. Satisfied it contained the information she needed, He saved the file then looked back around the corner to see that the guard had left, probably to supervise the capture of Tau.  Qbit quickly climbed down the ladder to the floor below then pulled up the building map. He and Tau had the ability to “cloak” themselves so they couldn’t be followed. Unfortunately, with this ability active, neither one of them could see where the other one was but, if he turned the function off, then everyone would be able to see them. Qbit decided it would be worth the risk if he were to turn it off quickly so he could find Tau then turn it back on. He swiped the button and watched as five red blips slowly converged on a single green one.

Chapter 6- Tau

Tau decided it was going to be much easier to get away if she was three inches tall instead of thirty feet. The only downside to being smaller was that it was going to take longer to get to the meeting spot, but she didn’t have much of a choice, so she ran as fast as her little legs would go.

Her HUD was showing that the guards were still following even though she was so small. How were they doing that? She stopped and hid behind a stack of crates and looked up. Sure, enough a small drone was stopped right above her. “Hm, I think it’s time for some batting practice.”

She looked around and noticed a broken pallet laying against the wall. She ran over, made herself bigger, then grabbed one of the larger pieces. When she was taller than the surrounding crates, she waited for the drone to follow then when it got close enough, she swung the piece of wood like it was a bat. She connected solidly with the small drone and sent it flying across the warehouse and into a piece of large equipment.

She threw her arms in the air in triumph. The crowd goes wild!  She shrank back down to her regular size then thought, If they send backups, they’ll follow me right to the rendezvous spot. I need to figure out some sort of distraction.

Suddenly a bright orange glow flared at the other end of the building. She moved into the aisleway and could see flames climbing up the side of the building in the corner opposite her.

Q, you read my mind!  Tau checked her HUD and saw the pursuing red dots had changed course and were now heading toward the fire. Perfect!

The sprinklers kicked on just as Tau reached their pre arranged meet up spot. On her HUD, Qbit’s green dot briefly flashed as it moved from near the fire towards her. To save some time while she waited, Tau went over to a round, steel plate which covered an opening to a waste pipe that went under the floor and headed out of the building. She easily lifted the cover and placed it next to the opening in the floor. Just then, Qbit slid up next to her.

Tau said, “Took you long enough, I thought I was going to have to leave you behind.”

Qbit crouched next to the hole. “Aww, you’d never do that to me, you like me too much.”

“Nuh, uh, wrong. The only reason I stayed is because it’s your birthday.”

“Aww, you’re such a softie underneath all that metal.” He gently hit Tau’s shoulder with his fist.

“We’ll see if you still feel that way after I give you your fifteen birthday punches.” She stepped aside then motioned toward the hole, “After you.”

Qbit crouched down rubbing his shoulder in anticipation of Tau’s yearly gift and whispered, “I can’t wait” as he climbed down into the drainage tunnel.

Tau climbed down and yelled to him, “Oh, I almost forgot about the sixteenth one for good luck!” Once inside, he reached up and pulled the cover back over the hole then climbed down after him.

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