Ghost in the Machine

Part 1

by Mere (mbmincey at

Disclaimer: Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot are the property of Dark Horse Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics, Tri-Star, Paramount (Sony), and their creator's Frank Miller and Geof Darrow. I claim no rights and make no profit.

Author's Note: This takes place a month after the second season.

After being relieved of duty, Harry made his way back down from the main deck, looking forward to a good hot meal. He was an old salt, really -- four years on a destroyer under his belt before transferring here, but being stationed on a carrier was still enough to get his eyes to bulge. And not just any carrier, mind you, but the USS Dark Horse.

Yeah, that one. It was a small carrier, if you could ever call a carrier small, and its main function was to house the BGY-11 and Legends One through Three, along with a few other goodies, should even the robots need a little help. Legend One was such a big mother that it took up more than bleedin' half of Hangar Bay Two! And seeing it launched? Seeing it launched from the catapult was still awe-inspiring, not that he'd ever let on to the chilluns. Heck no.

He passed by Bay Two, affectionately called the Big Guy Cave, and nodded hello as he always did to their most famous, reclusive crewmember. He hadn't exactly chatted with the robot, it only being powered up when coming and going between the Dark Horse to wherever, but it seemed almost... human. Something that either delighted people or disturbed them.

Robots had the unique combination of inspiring wonder and trepidation, especially military prototypes. and especially these days, what with evil robots running around. But kids loved him. If they had the chance to get close to him, they'd run right up to Big Guy without the slightest apprehension, completely trusting of the huge, walking, talking arsenal. Maybe because he had been around so long. Or the way he had been designed. Or maybe because he was on posters, lunch boxes, and had his own toy line. He was a real life superhero to them, complete with a cute-as-a-button sidekick, not a weapon of mass destruction they should be afraid of. Of course, if Quark kept it up, Big Guy and Rusty would be the only robots people would trust. There were those Home Version Rustys, of course, and then the Nanny Alice line that had quickly fizzled after what happened to that little girl.... Harry liked robots, he really did, but why anyone would trust a machine to raise their kids was beyond him.

"No offense."

Harry was so lost in thought that he was completely surprised when he walked smack into something and bounced right off it to the floor. He let out an "oomph!", landing square on his backside, and stared up at his suddenly visible roadblock. It stood erect with long, spindly legs and arms. It's shiny superstructure reflecting his own image back at him. It titled its head at him, as if just as curious as Harry, clutching what looked like a space age lunchbox to its chest.

"I've never seen a human so close up before...."

Harry blinked, his throat having dried up as he tried to speak. "What... are you?"

Its body stiffened then, and it pointed its right hand at him. "I'm sorry, but you can't tell anyone I was here." And with that, a fine laserbeam shot forth from its palm and shot through Harry's head point blank. He collapsed with a thud to the floor, the smell of something burning unnoticed by his killer as it crouched down by his still form to examine him. And when its auditory sensors detected someone coming, it dragged Harry to the side, holding him close to its body as it cloaked them once again before the passersby could see them.

On to Part 2!

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