The Neurophages XI

“By the beard of Archimedes, where did that come from?” exclaimed Lou.
“Oh, it was just this monkey-wrench that was destined for bigger things.” explained Alba non-committally and dropped the sword, which changed back to a wrench in mid air and thudded to the floor where it came to rest between the pieces of broken chronotracer.

Some automatons attempted to follow, launching themselves at the pod when the rear of the Lincoln exploded in a shower of glinting metal slivers and billowing steam, ripping about a quarter of the clock-work machines to shreds. The remaining arachnids froze while new programming asserted itself. From the round window the three observed how the cloud divided and half pushed towards the disabled vessel and the other towards them.

“Where is the damn propulsion on this thing?” Lou swore while running her hands over the smooth curved wall in the vain attempt to find the control desk.
“We’re screwed.” wailed Miles repeatedly.
“Don’t panic.” and she kissed him just to shut him up.

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