Monday, September 6, 2010

Ten-For is no good buddy


“Ten-For is a Mean Ma---shut yo mouth!---hey, I’m just talkin’ bout Ten-For...”

Fingers pressed to a raving man’s head, the thinking robot named Machine Man transmits visual vistas based on the visions transmitted to the patient’s head, here in the sanitarium wherein our hero has taken refuge. A spaceship falls into some unspecified sun, and its pilot cries out for help, boisterously demanding they not waste precious moments!

He speaks directly to Machine Man, expecting him to understand: they must create an interdimensional bridge, and he will now tell how.
Meanwhile, Col. Kragg and company home in once more on Machine Man, using the device sequestered in his head. For the platoon’s honor, they prepare revenge upon the last of the x-model robots, their sonic mortar-style cannon prepared amidst rushing, yelling soldiers.

Locked away momentarily, Machine Man produces a device from his own parts. He shows this to Dr. Spalding, his friend in charge here, who insists they must hurry on with their rescue, if it is indeed possible. Machine Man points out Spalding only assumes what they are dealing with: he’s personally found something cold and arrogant in the alien that the doctor would excuse as desperation. Nonetheless, the die is cast, and the dimensional effect proves capable of sucking in everything in the room, and quite nearly, Machine Man and Spalding.

He pushes the doctor to safety, while the effect attempts to exchange the items of this space with the stranded pilot. Courageously,
Machine Man pulls himself across the floor until he can disable the device he’s made with a few judicious deletions. He insists the pilot wished to trade places with them and leave them to die aboard his gravity-mangled ship. The pilot confirms this, but Machine Man insists “we’re all equals here!” and prepares the rescue device without planning to sacrifice anyone.

This time, his activation renders the molecularly-restructured form of Ten-For, who congratulates Machine Man for a task “only a high-level Autocron could master!” Machine Man, however, is not “a high-level anything!” and does not like the blue-hued android goliath, who paralyzes Doctor Spalding when he interferes with the disposal of the patient Ten-For used.

Machine Man insists he un-do the ray, but Ten-For advices him that he is a “Holocaust officer first class,” and a galactic rover calling the Autocron empire to worlds for conquering. Ten-For atomizes the transfer device, but Machine Man announces he has the circuitry now to generate the effect and send the Autocron packing.

As they engage, Kragg’s men blast the walls with sonic cannons, which do not annihilate Ten-For through his onboard defenses. (I like how he need not even turn around to dismiss this attack---suggesting he is more powerful, perhaps, than the hero, incapacitated by these cannons in #1.)

He does not believe Machine Man has not lured him into an ambush. Before he can vent on the Army, he fires a cylinder onto Machine Man’s forehead that causes him to fish out. Machine Man internally wrestles with a non-space vertigo that threatens to reduce his self-control to spasmodic helplessness forever.

Pitching about, he calls for Spalding as soon as Ten-For leaves to hammer the military. Spalding attempts to pry the cylinder loose, but remains confident the authorities looking for Machine Man will be a match for Ten-For. Machine Man figures there’s zero time to lose, fearing the worst in his foe from the stars.

Breaker-breaker, Ten-For's going pedal-to-the-metal to kick some dogface butt!

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