Dark Star Survivor
235 Alternative Function
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Dark Star Survivor
Author :Enraged_Bear
© Webnovel

235 Alternative Function

Before long, Taigen's chase led him into a massive factory, clearly one of the biggest on the flying city, and one of the few still operational after the shutdown was initiated. It was still in the process of shutting down, and the outer sections of the factory were already dormant, but the inner section where Taigen was following the woman was still very much active.

It was here, in the depths of the factory, where Taigen finally caught up to the woman. They ended up standing on a balcony above what seemed like a missive conveyor belt of android parts that were on their way to being assembled. Various machines and mechanical arms moved about along the belt, inspecting the assorted parts for defects and recycling the ones that were not up to standard. At the end of the belt was a massive mechanical beast of a machine that smoothly took in the parts and spat out fully assembled androids on the other end, lining them up and sending them off to the next stop on the belt.

Taigen was confused. His mind was already unfocused and out of sorts, so he did not know why this strange woman would come here of all places. Even now, all she did was stand near the edge of the balcony and stare down at the scene below, her dead eyes not even reflecting the dim glow from below. She didn't even seem to notice that Taigen was there, only meters behind her. Now that he had caught up to her, Taigen felt a strange itch in his heart when he looked at this strange woman. Those dead, emotionless eyes seemed to carry something deep in their depths, something profound and mysterious that called out to him, and in his current state, he was no better than a moth to a flame.

Taigen was suddenly snapped out of his muddled thoughts when the woman suddenly moved. His eyes widened in disbelief and confusion as he watched her step forward off the balcony ledge. He did not know this woman, and had no reason to save her, but he was strangely drawn to her, and due to that confusing feeling, Taigen tried to react and jumped to catch her, but he was too late… She had already fallen. The drop was not that far, several meters at most, so the woman easily survived it. But what Taigen saw her do next made him even more distressed and confused. After she landed on the conveyor belt below, she lay down among the android parts and closed her eyes, lying motionless as she was pulled towards the machines still working down the line.

{What is she doing?! Those machines will tear her apart!!} Taigen thought anxiously as his mind tried to rationalize the situation and the woman's odd actions. He considered jumping down after her, and after a moment of indecision, he ended up doing just that! His thoughts were somewhat returning to normal now, and he figured if he had come this far, the least he could do was try and help her after she had helped his clan!

He landed heavily on the conveyor belt and started unsteadily making his way towards her through the mess of android parts, but she had already reached the part of the line where the mechanical arms were sorting through the mess. Anxious to get to her before the machines did, Taigen tried to increase his pace, but in the next moment one of the inspecting machine arms detected the woman lying on the belt, and all hell broke loose.

The conveyor suddenly jerked to a stop, throwing Taigen off his feet. Alarms began blaring around the factory and strange symbols and lights began to light up on every machine, then the factory started moving again, but this time something was different.

The machines along the conveyor entered a mode of high-speed operation, moving as fast as their mechanical parts allowed them as they followed new orders. As Taigen struggled to his feet from under a mountain of android parts, he saw the machine arms grab the woman and adjust her body on the belt, stripping her clothing from her body in the process with machine precision. The conveyor sped up suddenly, throwing Taigen off his feet yet again as the factory's bedlam reached a feverish pitch.

Realizing that things were going out of control, Taigen struggled harder to get his footing, but the momentum of the belt moving below him had him floundering like a fish on land, unable to get to his feet as he was swept towards the machine arms.

Suddenly, a dark shape swooped down from above and yanked him into the air! Taigen felt a moment of weightlessness, then sudden clarity as he looked up to see Viridi's familiar form as the winged feline hauled him up and away from the conveyor belt and machines below. Taigen still wanted to help the woman, but now as he looked down at the scene from above, he realized with a sinking feeling that it was too late.

He had been confused and startled by the sudden noise and lights, and by the strange symbols on all the machines when the woman had been found on the conveyor belt. Taigen had thought that she would be killed instantly as that was all the machines seemed to be good for anyway, but what he was seeing now was far more terrifying to him.

The machines had completely changed what they had been doing. They went from checking android parts for defects to changing their behavior completely, and were now feverishly disassembling android parts seemingly at random and assorting the pieces around the body of the woman who they had laid down on the belt as she rolled past them.
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Taigen understood very little about these machines and how they operated, but seeing the assortment of wiring, mechanical parts, and a myriad of other mechanical pieces that were being arranged around the woman, he felt a cold feeling of dread creep up his spine.

"Get out of there!!!" He shouted at the top of his lungs, hoping that the woman that seemed to have a death wish would hear him and free herself before it was too late.

Suddenly, down below, her eyes opened and instantly locked with Taigen's high above. For a moment, Taigen felt like he was being sucked into a deep pool, one with no bottom, and filled to the brim with suffering.

{Ahh… So that's why her eyes are dead…} He thought faintly to himself. Looking into her eyes, he had seen a brief flash of her memories, and that glimpse into her mind had completely shocked him to the core.

In the next moments, Taigen watched numbly as the machines placed the last components on the conveyor belt next to the woman, completing the odd looking mechanical mosaic of parts centered around her. Then, moments later the belt swept her into the waiting maw of the final machine that had been assembling androids inside its belly until this strange series of events took place.

Whatever happened next, Taigen could only wait for the result of whatever the machine was doing.


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