TIM Defender of the Earth
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|Genre||Young Adult, Science Fiction|
|January 17, 2008|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
The story begins with the newly appointed Prime Minister, Mr Sinclair, being taken by Dr Mckienzy to a top-secret underground lab. There he views TIM (Tyrannosaur Improved Module) sleeping in a giant tank. Mckienzy explains that the military have been developing hybrids to fight their wars, but all except Tim have died. Mr Sinclair then tells her that he considers her experiment a failure, as over twelve years of work has only produced one monster, and she has to close it down, killing Tim in the process. He sees himself out, but not before telling Mckienzy that her funding will go to another project – "but it's classified."
Meanwhile, a class visits the British Museum. Chris, who is desperate to fit in with the cool kids, is dismayed when he is paired with geeky Anna. He wanders off in a huff, and comes to the museum basement. There, he meets a female security guard, who shows him a strange bracelet, which glows when Chris goes near it. The guard clamps it on his wrist and tells him that he is now joined to the Defender of the Earth. Chris dismisses her as mad, and leaves to join the rest of his class, having discovered that he is unable to remove the bracelet.
Dr Mckienzy floods Tim's enclosure with gas, to poison him. However, Tim breaks out, and rampages over London, scared and confused by the world that he finds himself in. As he accidentally crushes buildings and tramples streets, he blocks London Bridge which Chris and his parents are driving over. As he gets close to Tim, Chris's bracelet starts glowing, and Tim suddenly feels peaceful. He trots into the Thames and wades off.
The next morning, Anna's father, Professor Mallahide, is giving a demonstration to an audience that includes the head of the army and Mr Sinclair. He reveals to them that he has created a swarm of nanobots for the military, which can apparently do 'anything'. His audience is unimpressed when he demonstrates by changing a squirrel from grey to red, but when his nanobots eat the squirrel alive on his orders, increasing the swarm, they immediately give him permission to continue his work. Once they have departed, Mallahide restores the squirrel to full health, calling the prime minister and his friends morons.
Swimming in the sea, Tim is surprised when he runs into the Kraken, who is many times larger than he is. The creature informs hims that he is going to be the 'Defender of the Earth'. Tim does not really understand this, so the Kraken begins to explain.
Meanwhile, Chris returns to the museum, to ask the guard that gave him the bracelet to remove it. She tells him that her sacred task was to guard it until it choose its bearer – Chris. It is a focus for the Earth's power, and if used correctly, can do great things. Chris is unimpressed and demands to know how to take it off. When he learns that the guard has no way of doing that, he stalks off.
Mallahide has prepared his machines to do the unthinkable – to devour him, and make him one with the swarm. He enters a steel box, and orders them to take him apart. The nanobots obey, and begin stripping him down. At first, there is no pain, but when they have almost finished, he is struck by a hot, unbearable itching, and, just as he is almost gone, thinks of Anna and regrets his decision. Then he is completely eaten, and the experiment appears to have failed.
Anna waits in her family's flat for Mallahide. He does not appear, and at 11 o'clock, his work rings to tell her that there was an accident at the lab, and her father has died. She fumes at this, because she and her father have argued about him doing an experiment like that with the nanobots for years, and he never listened. She is lying in bed, with a counselor sent over by the government sleeping on the sofa, when her father turns up. She begins to argue with him. The noise in her room wakes the counselor, who comes up the stairs. Mallahid hears her coming, and disappears into thin air.