Pex: Those nanites are persistent little buggers.
Eddie: No kidding. Even headshots weren’t bringing those people down.
Eddie: My guess is as long as any part of their nervous system is intact, we’re not going to bring them down.
Pex: Well, that settles it. We’re finding a gun shop and stealing some explosive rounds.
Eddie: You have any idea how to reboot a kid?
Pex: I’m pretty sure this one is just broken.
Boss: Eddie, how long with the hull of the Eclipse stand up against a cloud of nanites?
Eddie: I’ll radio back and tell Jackman to turn on the energy shielding. As long as it has power, it’ll be fine.
Boss: Good, do that. As for us, we should head back and get off this planet. We’ll report our findings to the Council, and they can hit the planet with an EMP. This whole thing just got way too expensive.
Voice from behind the Boss: Actually...
Huge crowd of people speaking in unison: We’d rather you didn’t do that.
Keith smashing open a door: Hey! When someone knocks, you answer!
Boss: Okay, thanks Keith. Let’s see if we can find anyone.
Boss: Does it look misty in here to anyone else?
Tiny voices being electrocuted on Boss’s armor: aaaaieeee! augh! wauuuuch!
Boss: I don’t think we’re going to find anyone useful in here.
Tiny voice: Oh, the mechanity!
Pex: So Boss, what’s our plan?
Boss: Simple, we find what’s left of the government of Terracore, and offer our services to them.
Keith: For money!
Pex: Okay, but what if they take the Eclipse while we’re gone?
Boss: We left the Bender and Jackman on the ship. It’ll be fine.
Guy standing next to a pair of smoldering boots: If that was the warning shot, I say we wait for backup.
Boss: Okay, Kid, you put us down. Where’s the city center?
Kid: The capitor is about two miles that way.
Shot of abandoned city street.
Pex: I’ve seen this movie. Half of us are going to die.
Eddie: You thermal optimist. Probably two-thirds.
Narration: The technology behind body armor has advanced considerably over the years. The suits used by the crew of the Eclipse are the latest military issue.
Narration: They not only stop most bullets, but include Humanoid Diagnostic and Repair (HDR) medical systems, a localized electrical field on the skin that doubles as a defense against microscopic threats (both mechanical and biological) and as a taser. It also uses a cadre of musculature fibers to enhance the strength of the wearer.
Narration: It’s essentially like granting a person super-powers, which could have some unforeseen psychological side effects.
Kid: It’s go time.
Jackman: Like all nanites, these function as part of a hive mind. That’s how we managed to even kill them. I dissected one, and it turns out that their internal circuits weren’t affected by the EMP’s, but their external radios were fried. They shut down when they lost the hive connection.
Eddie: Thing is, we can’t see any reason for them existing. They don’t have any medical equipment, all they can do is multiply and bind to pathways in the brain. The only possible use for that tech is to conquer a planet by using the inhabitants as your army, since they won’t attack each other.
Kid: Actually, maybe it’s a good thing those three weren’t here when you told us that. All they would have heard was “shoot everything.”
Eddie: As soon as Pex, Keith, and the Boss get here, we’ve got some news.
Jackman: We’ve been studying the nanites, and we’ve learned a little about their behavior.
Keith, the Boss, and Pex run past shouting and cheering.
Kid: I think we can go on without them.
Jackman shouting: Ignorance is not bliss in every case!
The Eclipse falling in a ball of flames into the atmosphere of a planet.
Narration: Large cargo ships often use some sort of space station to dock and unload at. Most smaller ships, like the Eclipse, are designed to land.
Narration: A typical ship the size of the Eclipse uses gravity manipulation to descend gently to rest on pneumatic struts.
The Eclipse sitting in a crater, smoking.
Narration: The Eclipse, to save on valuable cargo space, just uses massively over-engineered pneumatic struts.
PA Announcement: Okay, everybody, we’re approaching Terracore. I want full armor before we embark.
Jackman: Bender, didn’t you hear the Boss? Full armor for everyone.
The Bender shrugs.
Jackman: Don’t tell me you’re immune. I swear, I will find something that makes you sick.
Boss: Pex is still recovering from the nano-bot infection. Do you feel up to landing the ship?
Kid: Oh, I’ll taker her down as gently as a feather.
Boss: That I would genuinely like to see.
Kid: Assuming, of course, that Eddie installed a proper gravitic lander while I wasn’t looking.
Eddie: I’ve searched the hold. There’s no sign they came from something down there.
Boss: Then how did they get aboard?
Jackman: They probably came on with one of us. Pex bought ammo back on Terracore. It could have been on the ammo he was given, or in one of the places he went.
Boss: Somebody find me the Bender. We’re turning around and going back.
Eddie: Boss, those bots almost got us killed and we just finished sterilizing the ship. Why are we going back?
Boss: If there’s an infestation going on, odds are somebody will be willing to pay to get rid of it.
Jackman: Oh, so we’re exterminators now.