The Gorge Cover
Released in April 2012.

To understand this story, it may be a good idea to read exo-force online Comic 17

Next Book: Book 2: Golden City Origins

Chapter 1

The Fall

The Gorge Vulture Drones

“Nooooooooo!” Meca One screamed as his Bridge Walker, B.W.1 plummeted over the edge of the bridge. The leader of the robots felt the wind rush past his metallic body. He stared downwards as the massive walker fell down deeper and deeper into the giant pit known as The Gorge that lay between the two halves of the Sentai Mountain. He calculated that at this rate of decent, he would not survive the fall. Suddenly, the walker hit water with a loud metallic clap, and one of its massive arms broke off of the battle machine, and flew off to the right of the water. Meca One felt the water rushing into the cockpit, but felt no urgency to get out, his body was immune to water; but the bridge walker’s twin power cores were not, the vehicle began to short circuit, and Meca One slammed his metal claw on the eject button, but it didn’t respond. He swung his outstretched hand at the roof of the cockpit, slicing open the layer of glass and plastic alloy used for the windshield. He swam upwards as B.W.1 exploded beneath him. His gold head broke the surface, and he pushed his way over to the bank. He stared around; there were some forms of vegetation around him, a few mosquitoes buzzed around in the air. Suddenly Meca One noticed something, the arm of B.W.1 lay several yards away, and one of his gunners, a Devastator, was emerging from the remains of the cannon arm. The robot stepped onto the ground, and saw Meca One immediately and it kneeled and said, “Leader, what are your orders?” Meca One said, “Are you still fully functional? Do you have your back-up power cell and hand-held blaster?” The robot nodded and said, “Yes, leader.” Meca One said, “Good, give me your extra cell, I’m going to need it since mine was lost with the rest of the unit. Get your weapon, we must figure out a way to reach the base again.” The Devastator reached into the damaged B.W.1 arm, and pulled out a small red energy cell, which it handed to Meca One, then it grabbed a blaster. The two robots walked into a dense Jungle, silently looking around, and not saying anything, robots feel no need for conversation, they are both almost the same in programming, and anything they think of the other has already calculated, and there’s no point in wasting energy on pointing it out unless it poses a threat. Suddenly there was a rustle of leaves, and the Devastator turned towards the sound, aiming its blaster carefully. Suddenly the bushes parted and a squirrel darted out from the brush. The Devastator fired several shots at the creature, killing it. It walked up to it and said, “Some form of rodent, it appears to be no threat.” It walked away from the creature, which lay motionless, but after the two robots had moved on, a shadow flashed past the squirrel, snatching it up and darting back into the bushes. Meca One pulled one of his energy cells out from his head, and looked at how much power it had left, it calculated that as long as nothing abnormal happened, such as battle or something else that would require heavy calculation, then it should last for about three more hours, combined with the other one, six hours. He slid it back in and continued walking. The two robots suddenly came out into an open area, there was a spot where several tree stumps had once been, but they had been burned away, and all that remained was ash and scarred ground. Meca One spoke, “The remains of one of our camps during the rebellion, there might be equipment we can use nearby.” The Devastator nodded, and they split up. Meca One walked back into the forest, looking around for damaged mining vehicles or equipment, suddenly he heard a metallic yell, and he turned back and walked into the clearing. He cautiously walked into the brush that the Devastator had gone into, and he spotted something a ways off. He walked closer, and saw that it was a damaged mining vehicle, the Vulture Drone; the predecessor of the Fire Vulture, which meant it could fly. He looked inside the cockpit, nothing seemed badly damaged about it, the only real damage was that one of its arms, originally with a drill, was missing, but that was unimportant. He opened up the cockpit, not caring what had happened to the Devastator, after all, there was nothing down here that could cause damage to him, and the Vulture Drone was only capable of carrying one unit, and his survival was of far more importance than a simple minion. He pressed a button on his arm, and transferred all but a very small amount of energy into one of his energy cells. He pulled the remaining one with a little bit of power out and slid it into the Vulture Drone’s power slot. He powered the Mining Vehicle up, and moved the controls, causing it to stand up. He pressed a button to his right, and the vehicle lifted off the ground slowly, he piloted it around for a while, until it shut down from using up all the energy and landed back down on the ground. He slid the energy cell back into his head, and was about to put the full back up energy cell into the Vulture Drone, when suddenly there was a noise, he looked to his left, and suddenly the Devastator flew out of the forest right into the Vulture Drone, and toppled it. The golden robot got back onto his feet, and looked at the ground, the Devastator lay on the ground, its eyes were dark, and as Meca one looked closer both of its energy cells were empty. Meca One looked at the forest. Suddenly a creature darted out from the bushes. Meca One held his hands up in front of his face as the creature screeched and dove at him…

Chapter 2

The Mines

Meca One slashed his metal claw at the creature, knocking it backwards. It flew back off into the forest. Meca One pressed a button on his arm, allowing him to see a video recording of what had just happened. He slowed it down, and stared closely at the image. The creature was large, very large. It had two bat-like wings and a hideous face. Meca One looked back into the forest, the creature had not yet returned, so he decided it would be logical to escape before the creature returned. Meca one pressed the button to power up the Vulture Drone, but it didn’t move. He looked at the power cell slot, it was empty! Meca One stopped, and replayed the video again, the creature had moved one of its feet down and pulled the power cell out, that’s why it had retreated so quickly, it had what it wanted, but only for a while, soon it would want more energy to feed on. For the first time in Meca One’s robotic life, he felt a glimpse of emotion…fear.

The Mines

The Robots and humans working together in the mines

]] stared over the edge of the massive mountain at the sky in front of him, he had ventured around the edge of the northern part of the Sentai Mountain, he looked to his left. His battle machine, the White Lightning, stood on a small flat area of grass. A few seconds later, another battle machine, the Stealth Hunter, landed next to his, and the familiar face of Hikaru stepped out of the battle machine. He walked up and said, “Ha-Ya-To, so this is where you went, we’ve been trying to reach you on the comm, we thought you might have been captured by the robots!” Ha-Ya-To turned and said, “Nope, I’m fine.” Hikaru said, “Well, we should probably head back to the base, we may be needed, ever since you defeated the Bridge Walker, it seems like the robots have been making far more frequent attacks.” Ha-Ya-To nodded and he walked back to the White Lightning.

Meca One slid the empty power cell into his head, and slowly filled it up with about an hour’s worth of energy. He still had about three hours of energy left for himself. Because of his limited energy, he wouldn’t be able to have the luxury of using the Vulture Drone to get all the way back to his fortress, he would have to use it until it ran out of energy, hopefully it would be enough to atleast get him to one of the lower bridges, or even a mine entrance, then he might be able to signal one of his units that were on a higher bridge. He continued to make his way up the steep cliff of the human half of the mountain.

Meca One stared at the ledge in front of him, it was a large piece of flat ground, and a little bit farther back behind it was the entrance to a cave, one he recognized. It had been used by the robots back when they had first been forced into the gorge, the robots had split into two teams and each had gone up one side of the mountain, the team that had traveled up this way had had only a few survivors, one of which was him. They had tried to overtake the humans, but were surprised when the humans held their own against the robots using a new hover vehicle designed to cut rock, but had been very formidable against the robots. Suddenly the Vulture Drone shuddered, and Meca One saw that its energy had nearly run out, only about five minutes were left. The Mining Vehicle alighted on the ledge, and Meca one piloted it over to the cave, he activated the drill on the vulture drone, using it to break away the weak door that had been built by the humans to keep the robots from getting in, but it hadn’t been repaired in at least six months, so it was beginning to weaken, and the vehicle had no trouble in shattering it. Meca One powered down the vehicle, pulling the empty energy cell out of the slot and putting it back in his head, equalizing the two. He used his claw to rip off a large headlight from the vehicle, and within a few minutes had built a working light source. Once again he removed one of the power cells from his head, and wired it into the light. He walked into the dark tunnel, flashing his light around. The cave was unevenly cut, widening and thinning without any organization throughout the cavern, Meca One remembered how little resources they had, and would simply mine wherever the tunnel was weak, if a wall was made of thick rock, they would keep it as thin as possible, so as to conserve resources and energy. Suddenly Meca One heard something, and he stopped to listen more closely. There it was again, a whistling noise, it sounded like something that was moving in the air. Meca One turned, and out of the darkness came a giant, bat-like creature. Meca One froze, and again, he felt a glimpse of emotion, but this time far stronger…he remembered what the humans had called it so long ago when he was allied with them…terror. Meca One did something he had never done before, something no robot had ever done before. He screamed; a long metallic scream…

Chapter 3


Meca One waited, waited for the terrible pain. But it didn’t come, he opened his eyes. The creature was sitting there, clawing at the small flashlight he had dropped. Meca One didn’t hesitate, he ran down the tunnel, away from the creature. After he had been running for about ten minutes, he stopped, and glanced back. There was no sign of the creature. He paused, and turned back to the tunnel ahead of him. There was a small glint of light, as he got closer to it he realized it was a set of electrical ceiling lamps, he had reached the part of the mines that was powered by the humans, though the light was a welcome sight, it also might mean that there were humans patrolling the area, he would have to be stealthy in his movements from now on.

White Lightning Comic
Ha-Ya-To]] smiled as he whizzed around the Tenchi Bridge, even though most pilots considered guard duty to be one of the worst jobs you could get, Ha-Ya-To loved the feeling of flying around in a fast battle machine without robots shooting at him. Suddenly his comm crackled, and the familiar voice of Tech spoke, “Ha-Ya-To, you there?” Ha-Ya-To said, “I’m here Tech, what’s up?” Tech’s voice crackled, then said, “We just picked up a blip on the radar, way down by the lower mines of the mountain, it’s probably just a glitch or perhaps a piece of mining equipment gone haywire, but could you go check it out just to be sure?” Ha-Ya-To nodded and said, “Got it, be back in a flash!”

Meca One’s eyes glared around, as he searched for an open wire where he might be able to recharge his energy cells. He spotted a flickering light and walked over to it, there was a small open section in the wire behind the glass. He pulled off the glass panel with his claws and pulled out his energy cell, he had to recharge fast, robots can only last a few minutes without an energy cell inside their heads. He pulled one of the wires out of the cable, and plugged it into the energy cell, he watched as it began to fill up. After it had been filled with another three hours of energy, he slid it back into his head and continued on his way.

Ha-Ya-To glanced down at the bridge below him, “The Mechara Bridge.” He said to himself, “This is the last bridge between me and The Gorge, I’m sure glad I have a flying battle machine.” He landed glanced over at the robot side of the mountain, the entrance over there was only a small cavern, the rest of it had caved in long ago, making it so the humans didn’t have to worry about a secret attack from the robots from over there. He glanced at the mines on the human side of the mountain, they were dimly lit, but still in working order. This is where half of the robots emerged from the Gorge originally; they had crept up from this cave, but were beaten back by Keiken’s team of miners, using a new mining vehicle originally designed to cut rock, but it proved formidable for fighting robots as well. Ha-Ya-To stared at his radar, the blip was still there, and moving. His face curved into a look of confusion, “Perhaps a malfunctioning mining vehicle or even a robot that didn’t make it out during the robot rebellion?” he said to himself. He hopped out of his battle machine, it would be too large to pilot through the mines. He just hoped that whatever was in there, he would be able to handle it without needing heavy firepower. “Then again, the White Lightning isn’t really built for massive battle anyway.” He said to himself as he grabbed his hand-held blaster and Steel Katana.

Meca One stared down the tunnel, he was about a hundred yards away from the exit now, and soon he would be able to get back over to his side of the mountain. Suddenly he heard footsteps, he ducked into a dead-end side passage and peeked around the corner. A human came walking down the tunnel, and Meca One recognized him, the human that had put him in this position. Meca One clamped his metal hands into a ball, and swung them at Ha-Ya-To…

Chapter 4

Highway Lowway Robbery

Ha-Ya-To glanced over at the wall, out of the corner of his eye he saw something reflect on a piece of metal in the tunnel. He ducked just in time. He whirled around and stood face-to-face with a Golden Robot, his eyes widen and he said in a barely audible voice, “Meca One…?!” Meca One didn’t reply, and swung his metal fist at Ha-Ya-To again. Ha-Ya-To dodged and swung his katana at Meca One, it hit the robot’s arm dead on, but shattered, not even leaving a dent. Meca One let out a cold metallic laugh and dove at Ha-Ya-To. Ha-Ya-To dodged, and pulled out his hand-held blaster. He fired three shots at Meca One, the first two missed, but the third hit the robot leader in the arm. Unlike the katana, this had an effect. Meca One jumped back, using his free hand to hold his damaged arm. Meca One calculated that if this fight continued, he wouldn’t be able to beat the human due to his lack of resources; his best option would be to retreat. Ha-Ya-To said, “But, I killed you! Twice! How…?” But Meca One was not going to answer questions. He rushed down the hallway towards the exit, emerging from the cave into the darkness of night. He spotted the human’s battle machine and climbed up into the cockpit. He pressed an orange button to his left and the battle machine powered up. (SEE! It’s not always the big red button!). He grabbed the joystick and yanked it up, the battle machine flew straight up, and Meca One just barely missed hitting the bridge above.

Ha-Ya-To stared upwards and yelled, “HEY! Get your own ride!” Ha-Ya-To pulled out his communicator and said, “Hello? Tech?” the communicator crackled, but there was no answer, “Blast! Out of range!” He looked at the bridge above him, this was going to be a long climb.

Meca One felt another glimpse of emotion… evil success. Suddenly he stared at the energy level indicator; the machine was almost out of power! Suddenly the engines coughed and sputtered, and Meca One felt the air rushing past himself once more. He landed on a bridge that was about five up from the Mechara bridge. He glanced to the right, towards his side of the mountain, unfortunately, this bridge was incomplete, it had been destroyed by the humans during a battle with the Mobile Defense Tank, and was now being repaired, but the construction had not been completed yet. He stared to his left, at the human side of the mountain. There were no defensive gates ahead, but it was likely that the humans would be guarding this tunnel, it was not abandoned like the one he had just passed through. He grabbed a second hand-held blaster from inside a compartment in the White Lightning, and then jumped out of the battle machine.

Ha-Ya-To glanced down below, unlike many people, he didn’t have a fear of heights. He did, on the other hand, have a fear of falling. So he made very sure to test each hand and foothold before shifting his full weight to it. He clamped his arms around the edge of the bridge, and pulled himself up onto it, he stared to the left and right, both sides of this bridge had caved in during the robot rebellion. He nearly broke into tears as he realized he would have to keep climbing.

Meca One entered into the cave on the human side of the mountain, this one was well-lit, with several pickaxes and minecarts all around the room. There were no humans, but he could hear the sound of a battle machine’s footsteps in a room nearby, he wouldn’t be able to get through this way. Suddenly his eyes spotted something in a minecart, a power core. He walked over to it and looked at its energy level, it wasn’t full, but it had just enough juice to get him to the bridge above. He walked back outside and switched it with the one in the White Lightning. Then he flew it up the bridge above, this one, unlike the bridge below, was completed. The Tenchi Bridge, the largest bridge on the Sentai Mountain and a key point of battle on the mountain was only 8 bridges up from the one he was currently on. Also the tunnel to his right led to a research station, and he would be able to get back to his fortress once he reached it. He felt another glimpse of emotion…triumph. He had survived a five-hundred foot fall into a lake, he had survived against that strange creature twice, and he had survived a human attack. He had beaten the odds. He triumphantly entered the cave, and began walking down the tunnel to the research station.

Chapter 5

There’s no Place like Home

Ha-Ya-To pulled himself onto yet another bridge, and tried his communicator, suddenly he heard a reply on it, it was faint, but still there, “Ha-Ya-To, come in.” Ha-Ya-To sighed with relief and said, “Over, uh, Tech? I’m going to need a pick-up from Hikaru, sending my cords.”

Meca One stared down the tunnel, he was almost there, suddenly he stared at his arm, it read, “WARNING, energy levels low, automatic standby mode will activate in one minute.” Meca One said, “No! I can’t be out of power now, not after all the distance I’ve come!” He ran down the tunnel, but it wasn’t fast enough, his arms clamped to his sides, and his head rested upright, facing perfectly forward. His eyes dimmed, and he became motionless.

Ha-Ya-To looked up, a sleek medium blue battle machine landed in front of him. Hikaru stepped out of it and said, “Come on, your White Lightning is a few bridges up, powered down, you wanna explain how you got down here?” Ha-Ya-To said, “I’ll tell you once we got back to base, where’d you get the new battle machine?” Hikaru said, “Oh, this is the Silent Strike, Sensei just gave it to me, it’s based off the same design as the Supernova, except lighter and built for flight.” Ha-Ya-To grabbed onto the side of the battle machine, and Hikaru flew it upwards. Ha-Ya-To felt the jealousy course through him. He felt the wind rush past him as the Silent Strike reached speeds he didn’t even know where possible.

Meca One

A Devastator typed in a password and the door to the robot command center opened, he stepped in and kneeled saying, “Hail Meca One.” The leader of the robots turned to face the Devastator and said, “This had better be important.” The Devastator turned and motioned for two Iron Drones to bring a stretcher in. Another golden robot lay on it, the Devastator spoke, “We found this unit while we were doing research down several levels, it appears to be one of your clones, commander.” Meca One said, “Let’s see its recorded footage.” Meca one stared at the screen in front of him, and listened to the scream of terror as a creature flew at the unit. “This unit must be defective; they are not programmed to know fear, only humans have such, unhelpful traits like this. Take it away and have it reformatted.” The Devastator nodded and left the room, but after the doors closed Meca One replayed the footage. He felt a strange tingling sense down his circuits, and he realized that he too felt a sense of emotion. He shook off the feeling, and returned to overseeing the construction of Striking Venom.

Ha-Ya-To smiled as he felt the wind rush past him again, he flew across the sky, doing figure-eights and loop-de-loops. Ryo had upgraded the White Lightning with a new set of engines that would allow him to reach the same speeds as the Silent Strike, in exchange for less energy. But Ha-Ya-To’s mind was wandering, “How could he still be alive? We’ve killed him twice now, and the more important question is, where is he now? But if Ha-Ya-To had known where Meca One was, he might have wished he didn’t. Meca One powered up the Striking Venom on the robot side of the mountain, and prepared the robots for a full-scale attack on the humans…

End of Book 1: The Gorge, to continue hearing what happens, go to exo-force online Comic 18

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