The Almighty Z and Jake were both on their feet in a matter of seconds, which left them plenty of time to observe the barred metal wall slowly retracting on its own and wonder if this was good news or bad news. Z started walking over to try and escape as soon as there was enough space, but Jake caught her arm and pulled her back behind him.
“It might not be safe,” he said. The Queen complied, but grudgingly so.
When there was a gap large enough for them to walk through, the bars stopped moving and a drone materialized inside the exit. Z peered around Jake’s shoulder to look at it.
It was not an ordinary looking drone. Instead of silvery metal, it was made of something a darker shade of grey and less shiny. It also had a large gun slung across it’s back.
“Almighty Z,” the drone said, bowing. She stepped out from behind Jake.
“Who sent you?” She asked cautiously.
“My programming dictated that I locate you after my download was complete. My download is complete,” the robot said. So it was a new drone that had just had his software implemented.
“Who ordered you to be trained?” Z asked, making sure this wasn’t some sort of trap Creep had created.
“The order originated from drone designation one of three zero two, squad nine.”
“ZOK,” Z breathed, turning to Jake, who looked confused. “Oh this is fantastic!” She turned back to the drone. “State your name, designation, and duty,” she ordered.
“My name is ZIP. My designation is one two point zero of three zero two, squad nine. My duty is to protect and serve the Queen of the ZORG, Almighty Z.”
Z was practically bouncing up and down with joy. “Alright, ZIP. Tell me how you came to be in existence.”
“I was programmed upon deactivation of drone designation one of three zero two squad nine,” the drone answered.
“Before that,” she prompted.
“My program was edited and recompiled by drone designation one of three zero two squad nine directly before his deactivation,” ZIP said. Z grinned.
“Edited? You have special improvements?”
“Affirmative,” ZIP bleeped. Z ran her fingers through her tangled and unruly, blonde curls and began to pace, muttering rapidly to herself “That explains the fancy new look. Oh, ZOK was a genius, what would I do without him, okay, so now I’m free to go up to the castle, except hijacked drones could be everywhere, most secret passageways are probably off limits, he’s got some drones, so he’s got the database, I just need to get to a computer access point undetected, most logical is Zed, closest is command central, same place, okay...wait, no, that won’t...I have to think-”
“-Um, Z?” Jake interrupted her.
She stopped pacing and looked at him, a slightly wild look in her eyes. “Mm?”
“Who is this drone, what is going on, and why are we not leaving?”
Almighty Z smiled. “This drone is the new ZOK, we’re about to engage in a civil war, and if we leave we very well may die.”
“And this is good news because...?”
The Queen drew herself up to her full height and declared, “Because I have a plan.”