Full Name: Modular Operations Droid
Faction: Heavy Metal
M.O.D. quietly wheeled through the otherwise deserted workshop, dust-pan in hand, sweeping up the remnants of a small explosion from Captain Hadron’s latest energy regulating device. The only sounds from the small bot were the almost inaudible electric whirr of his mono-wheel, and the tinny noises escaping his headphones. On his little personal cassette player World in Flames blasted out ‘It’s What It Is’. M.O.D. really enjoyed the fast, energetic music, but was too shy to let Lady Cyburn know he regularly listened to her former band.
Designated as Modular Operations Droid, chronologically M.O.D. was just a few months old, created by Androida and Dr. Mercury primarily for research support and lab cleaning. They modeled his personality and artificial intelligence on idealized features of a bright young adult human, and his learning capacity surpassed even his creators’ expectations as M.O.D. constantly devoured new experiences. The genial little robot felt that he had been designed for real purpose, and if that was to support the Heavy Metal team, then he would happily play his part.
With the workshop tidied up, M.O.D. did his rounds to make sure everything was put away in its place. He may have been just a small cog in the mighty Heavy Metal machine, but he saw his role as being the one to make sure that the Supremes could focus on the really important matters they wrestled with every day: battling Villains, halting invasions, closing dangerous Quantum Holes and most importantly – serving the public. Right now, most of the team was scattered across Pulp City, trying to contain the crises resulting from the rampage of Monsters which had befallen the metropolis in recent days. M.O.D. inwardly hoped they would all come back safely. He had become part of their team, and as he grew emotionally, he accepted they were inextricably part of him.
As M.O.D. serenely moved down a clean, bright, high-tech corridor, the lights suddenly flickered – once, twice, then darkness. Emergency lighting bathed the interior of Wilson Tower red as an alarm klaxon rang out, signaling an intruder alert. M.O.D. raced to the nearest access panel which slid aside at his approach. From a forearm he extended a smooth metal tube plugging him directly into the building’s main-frame, which still worked under emergency power. He rapidly examined schematics to gather intelligence on the interlopers. Cameras were inoperative in their location, but heat and pressure sensors placed them on the floor below, having exited the elevator shaft. They were approaching the Monitor Room, and the only Supreme in the building– he had to help Chronin!
Sending an alarm signal to Heavy Metal, M.O.D. rushed to the stairwell. Crashing through the door he engaged his shock absorbers to maximum compensation and bounced down the steps with precision. He approached the next door cautiously. Carefully nudging the door open, he peered around it, counting five dark-clad figures moving like shadows creeping stealthily into the Monitor Room.
From within the chamber he could hear Chronin, her voice loud and firm, “I see you, killers, and I will not yield!”
Recognizing there was no time to waste and that he was the only support that Chronin had, M.O.D. raised his energy shields and raced forward. Androida and Hadron had engineered countermeasures to allow him to approach volatile energy experiments, but he suddenly realized they could serve him now to protect against enemy attacks.
M.O.D. rushed into the room, positioning himself alongside Chronin. One attacker lay nearby, felled already. A database search immediately indicated he was a Ninja affiliated with the Jade Cult. Scanning the room, M.O.D. detected two other Ninjas, one masked and in standard garb, the second wearing more ornate accoutrements, its uncovered face an inhuman visage. The final two figures were near-identical visually, but markedly different under spectrographic analysis, one a shadowy double of the other, formed of an energy whose properties were unrecognizable to his systems. The pair looked feral, part-human, and wore clawed gauntlets.
One of the clawed trespassers exclaimed gutturally, “The sword will be reclaimed!”
The masked Ninja approached Chronin and was struck down in a swift flurry of blows. Chronin looked down at her smaller companion with a grim smile, raising her sword and adopting a defensive stance. A multitude of options ran through M.O.D.’S computer-brain in that moment. He analyzed programs and sub-routines, and then had his answer. He re-coded a workshop assistant program in a matter of seconds, pulling scripts from several different sources simultaneously. Ready, he reached out, energizing his ally. Chronin felt a tingle of electricity wash over her, not painful, but invigorating. Her smile widened.
Folding time, Chronin unleashed an impossible fusillade of lightning-fast sword strikes as the three remaining Jade Cult approached. First the final Ninja was struck down, then the shadowy double. Suddenly, another figure crashed onto the scene, smashing through a window amid the roar of jet engines. Having heeded M.O.D.’s alarm call, the war-suit wearing Tomcat levelled his weapon systems at the remaining invader. The feral half-man glanced around the room before seeming to melt into the shadows.
“It is not over,” said Chronin thoughtfully as she turned to M.O.D., “But thanks to you my little team-mate, it is a battle we can face another day, together.”
“T-team-mate,” stammered M.O.D., a vocal sub-routine glitch as he processed the recognition of her words.
Tomcat slapped M.O.D. on the shoulder, “Welcome to Heavy Metal, buddy!”