It was two days, since the scientists fled through the rivers, hunted by machines that never rest. Of the forty stationed at the New Cork Research Station, only two were left. Medo checked her equipment while returning from the vantage point she used to gauge how long they could rest before the machines found her. A laserpistol, a rifle and a sword. One suit of powered armour protecting her, with the batteries having barely enough charge for another day. It would be two if the sun would show, but it hadn't stopped raining since the attacks began. The coyote wondered, if the machines controlled the weather too.
When she returned to the camp - a dry crevice in the rocks - she surveyed the other survivor. Rubbing her chin, she nodded to Andrey, the lab assistant of the the now dead Dr. Kelya. The labrador returned the nod, while holding the rifle he found close to his chest. Medo sat down beside him and switched the suit to low power. Maybe she could get another hour out of it.
"We can stay here for another hour. Get some rest, kid," she said to the black dog.
The young lab assistant smiled and shook his head. It always surprised her, how he could keep smiling in a situation like this. "I'm alright, ma'am. I took a nap when you left earlier. Besides, we might need to run at any moment and i want to be ready."
Medo leaned back against the rock and responded, "You're about as stubborn as my wife, Audri." She tried continuing but her mind started to wander.
After a few seconds of silence, Andrey asked, "You never mentioned that you are married?"
That made the coyote smile widely, her vision lost in memory, "I've met her back at the academy. We were in the same unit during the Amazonas rebellion and well... love can bloom on the battlefield."
She leaned her head back onto the rock, giving in to the melancholy that gripped her heart, "She died when we tried to exfiltrate. There were too many enemies for us to fight off so she sacrificed herself to give the rest of us enough time to get to safety."
Andrey rubbed his shoulder awkwardly. "Sorry, ma'am. I didn't want to conjure up bad memories."
"You're fine. I dealt with it for years now." The coyote got up, grabbing the sword and lifting it up on her shoulders. "It actually reminded me of something. Back then, we got out by using one man airplanes we stole from one of the rich people privatized airports. Isn't Elegant Brook just a day to the north-east? I bet they have one of these with the same planes. Those could get us to the spaceport and we'd be off this ro..." A loud mechanical bellow sounded close by, accompanied by the trashing of water, startling Andrey.
Medo activated the armor again, growling. "They are close." She pointed towards north-east. "Go this direction. Do not stop until you reach Brook."
"But what are you going to do?" Andrey was close to freaking out, cradling the rifle closer to his chest like a baby.
Charging up the laserpistol, she looked back at Andrey with a grim look, "My job. Protecting you. Now go!"
The labrador nodded, taking a few seconds to make up his mind and then took off towards north-east.
After he went out of sight, Medo made her way down to the river.
She got out of the trees and went into the shallow water. There she saw them. Dozens of quadrupedal drones with a big blue eye-like camera on the front of the torso. They were following the river downstream until they noticed her, the group lifting their short heads. Now she could hear the clicking sounds they made. The drones charged through the shallow water and Medo lifted her sword to rest the laserpistol on it, firing into the group. She was able to take two out, before they reached her. Instructing the pistols AI to overload the magazine, she threw it into the charge. The explosion took out a few more of the drones while the first one reached her and got impaled on her sword. She felt the drone impacting, but the power armor compensated and the thing fell into the water, spraying her in oily water. Medo swung the sword in front of her again, watching her attackers carefully who started to encircle her. She used this moment to start the overload of the battery.
She looked around and she thought of Andrey, hoping the kid would make it. Focusing again, she whispered: "Audri, i'm coming..."
With a loud roar, she charged into the drones.