I slept restlessly for a few hours and woke up again and again because a lot was going through my mind. Early in the morning I set off and walked along the road to Ibboholmen. There was a spooky silence over the village, I thought even the birds were only chirping modestly. A raven crowed in the distance. I walked past the police car and switched off the blue light because it was getting on my nerves. Then I walked on.
After walking for a while I heard a strange noise.
It sounded a lot like a dog barking, but just similar. Then I heard a high whirring sound and a metallic clink, like a metal plate hitting the ground.
I pulled the Klaucke and loaded it through quietly. Then I took a full magazine in my left hand to reload quickly, because I didn’t know what I would encounter. Then I walked off the road sideways into the underbrush and crouched down. I took the binoculars and looked in the direction the sound came from. My breath stopped as an orange, dog-like device came down the road. He was walking on four legs like a dog.
At the front, where a dog would have had its head, was a collection of sensors attached. Next to it you could see the barrel of a pistol. From the front a broad yellowish light beam came out, I thought directly of a kind of laser beam. The device stopped temporarily and scanned the surroundings by waving its head. A balloon-like object was attached to his back. It looked a little like the compressed air tank of a truck. Several pipes went out from him, leading into the robot dog. I looked at this "dog" closer through the binoculars and thought about the weakest points of the robot in case I had to fight with him. I decided on the head with the sensors, the holder of the gun and the tank on his back. I could imagine that this was the power supply of the robot.
Suddenly several things happened simultaneously. The robot looked in my direction, the yellowish light suddenly turned red, the robot emitted a barking noise and immediately shot at me. I ducked and dropped the binoculars. Then I took the Klaucke, rolled to the side and shot back. I heard my bullets hitting the robot with a ringing noise, but it had no effect. I saw the robot change position in a flash by running towards me.
I picked myself up and ran away to the side to get out of its line of fire and aimed at the container on my back. I fired two shots, both hit and the robot started sparking. It continued to run around me and tried to shoot at me again. I circled him as well, not to give him the opportunity. And I ran sideways towards him and then I fired back at the tank as I had learned in military service, always a double hit, i.e. two shots in a row. The dog suddenly exploded in a bright cloud of embers. Debris was flying around. So I had hit it just right. I collected my binoculars and reloaded the pistol.
Then I examined my opponent. It was exactly the same device as the one in my parents’ living room and exactly the same as the one above the police car.
The tank on my back turned out to be a fuel cell filled with hydrogen gas, hence the brilliant explosion. I had also hit the sensors on his head, but had not switched them off completely, because he had still been shooting at me. On one of the sensors I could decode X-Ray Sight Sensor, of the rest, only the red glass fragments indicated that this was probably an infrared vision sensor. One of the sensors looked like a night vision goggles. This had completely shattered my hit. Behind the head there was another case which was made of steel and obviously armored. This was where the control system had to be.
Who the hell built these things, who activated them and let them loose on people? What the hell was going on here? Have we been invaded by another country? It couldn’t have been anything alien, because most of the components had English or Swedish markings. I noticed a number on the side of the device, probably the serial or registration number. Whether a military experiment went wrong here and they didn’t pull the plug in time. Or was it some criminal act by a terrorist group.
I remembered the assassination of Olof Palme. The Swedish politician was killed. The perpetrators belonged to a terrorist group. Maybe they were behind it.
In any case, those machines were dangerous.
I walked along the road, but through the grass to the side so I couldn’t be seen from afar. About a hundred meters in front of me there was an intersection with cars and I could hear the sound of the robot again. I walked a little further away from the road into the undergrowth of the nearby forest. I tried to move silently, so that possible robots would not pay attention to me. I looked through the binoculars again. In front of me at the crossroads there was a car on the side and two others stood there abandoned. In between, five of those machines were patrolling. I would have to pass them if I wanted to go to church. I could try to bypass them, but what would expect me afterwards. And then I had these robots breathing down my neck. No, I would have to face the fight. I remembered the gas cartridge in my backpack. I could booby-trap it and lure you there. I went back a little and crept out into the street. Keeping an eye on the robots. They were about 80 to 100m away from me. Then I finished my guns and jumped into the street. I blew a whistle and shouted out loud "HERE I AM, COME AND GET ME.”
The lights on the robots immediately turned red and three of them came running towards me. I took a few steps back. My heart was beating up to my neck. The distance between the robots and the gas cartridge was decreasing, a robot opened fire but the bullets whistled past me. I swerved a little to the side. The robot in front went slowly and stopped over the booby trap. I had observed that they only shot standing up. I briefly aimed at the gas cartridge and fired several shots. One hit and there was a proper explosion. The robot in front was thrown through the air and exploded. The other two were also damaged and exploded. Three at once, I rejoiced. Then I ran into the forest on the other side. The remaining two robots came running towards me. One stopped and fired at me. His bullets crashed into the tree behind which I was hiding. The other tried to get into my back.
As he passed me on the side, he could not shoot at me. I immediately shot him several times and hit the tank which exploded. So I only had to deal with one robot, but he shot at me wildly.
I jumped out from behind my cover and ran to the next tree. I realized the robot couldn’t aim that fast. So it couldn’t shoot at me while I was running. I quickly changed the magazine of the claw and shot at the robot again. I worked my way to one of the vehicles, because they offered better cover. Then I took the robot under fire again and it exploded as well. After that it became strangely quiet. I went to the destroyed robots to examine them and to see if they had suitable ammunition. I took the shells out of them. Most of them fitted the Moeller, though.
In the distance I saw the church of Ibboholmen. In all the vehicles I found ammunition and other things that could be used. My backpack was getting fuller and fuller and my pockets were bulging too. However, my stock of 9mm cartridges had also decreased. I would probably have to fight with the Moeller soon. I knew one of the vehicles. It belonged to the hunter from Björgsnäs, a small house on the northern coast of Ibboholmen. From a letter I found on the driver’s seat, it was clear that he had his hunting equipment at Björgsnäs. I rejoiced. In the hope of getting a better weapon there, I set off for it. It was only a few kilometers I had to walk through the forest.
In the forest I met two of those dog robots again, the ones I called Runner, because they kept running before the attack. I fought them down with the Möller pistol. But you had to reload it more often than the Klaucke, because it only had 8 cartridges in the magazine. The Klaucke had 17.
After that I got to Björgsnäs, and nothing attacked me. The door to the house was locked. I picked the lock with a hairpin I found in my backpack. They were probably from Ronja, my former girlfriend.
In the house I found a Meusser hunting rifle in a good condition, caliber .243 ammunition steel jacket bullets, a silencer and a telescopic sight, but it was already worn out. I put everything together and aimed with the rifle. Then I heard the hated sound of a runner in the garden again. Siieeep, Siieeep, Siieeep Siieeep and the metallic clinking of his foot plates. I looked around the corner of the house. He had not noticed me yet. I operated the loading lever of the Meusser and lifted her up. I looked through the scope and focused it. I aimed carefully at the tank on the back of the robot. When it stopped, that was its undoing. I pulled the trigger and hit the tank. The runner exploded instantly. I had managed a kill shot from a hundred yards. With this weapon I felt better right away. Since the day was already farther advanced, I decided to spend the night on Björgsnäs.
I searched the house for something edible and found some canned food. Admittedly, cold ravioli doesn’t taste very good, but it still fills you up. I couldn’t warm them up because the gas was turned off at the stove. I found three gas cartridges, but no camping gas cooker or blowtorch, so I could have at least heated the can. The rest of the stuff I put in my pocket. Under the stairs I found some beer bottles. I had one of them because I was quite thirsty. The beer didn’t taste very good because it was hardly cooled down. But what about the misery and the devil? Oh, yes, the devil eats flies in trouble. Fortunately they were not on my menu yet. As I lay on the bed upstairs, I thought about my situation. I would go back home and search the kitchen for provisions, then I would head back towards the church. I thought about whether I should go across the mountain through the forest, or rather take the road that went around the island and ended in Yttervik. I remembered that there was another house on the way. It was a fishing hut called Björgsnäskogen. Maybe I can find some useful things there. I also remembered the small storage bunker that stood near Björksnäskogen. There might be some ammunition and even better weapons in there. These standby camps were spread all over the country and could be as big as a garage, or the size of a warehouse. I decided to take the road to Yttervik. The steady whoosh of the surf and the beer lulled me into a deep and dreamless sleep.