The starship Younger Brother Pear limps across the Solar System towards an alternate World War 2 era Earth. Thunderhorse the Viking and Cpt. Daniels the 1800's American militiaman dangle from umbilical cords outside the hull, spraying thermal-reflective paint on the ship as it draws slowly nearer to the sun.
Meanwhile "Doc" Shaw stands in the cargo hold face to face with a half-dozen grave robbers from ancient Imperial China.
"[We've been tricked!]" yells one of them.
"[It was a trap!]" yells another.
"[What is this place?]" asks a third.
"[I don't know!]" replies the fourth.
"[Are we dead?]" the fifth asks.
"[I don't know!]" replies the fourth again.
"[I think we're inside the vase!]" observes the sixth.
"[I think we are in hell!]" answers the first.
They turn to Doc, his face obscured by his HUD glasses and the bandanna. His hair is mussed from sweat and dust. He's holding a crowbar in his left hand.
"[Demon!]" yells the fourth thief.
The slight delay in the glasses' translation leaves Doc off guard when the thieves turn on him, despite the combat danger alarms going off. Three of them with old, rusty iron short swords charge straight for him. They all swing at him, only one catching him in the shoulder while the others trip over each other to get to him. From behind them, the other three thieves poke at him with bamboo spears, one of which has a sword tied to it like an early version of a Japanese naginata. One of the spears catches him in the side while the naginata falls on his collarbone.
"HELP!" Doc yells as he swings his crowbar at the first thief who struck him. Unfortunately, the bamboo pole poking his ribcage caused his first swing to miss, but barely. He catches him on the backhand, though, knocking the swordsman unconscious. His body limps over and disturbs his partner's swing and the jab of a spear. Without this second swordsman crowding him for space, the third gets in a good jab at Doc's arm, and the other spear gets him in the opposite side of his ribcage. The naginata takes a glancing blow off Doc's already bruised right shoulder.
One of the security drones arrives from a small panel in the central elevator shaft. "Over here!" shouts Doc as he misses a swing at the sword-wielding thief that just hit him. After a brief analysis of the situation, it fires a tranquilizing dart at the closest target, one of the spear wielders. The dart finds its target with precision, sending a sleeping agent coursing through the thief's veins. It takes effect immediately, sending the spear and its owner clamouring onto the floor.
The arrival of the strange humming machine distracts all but one of Doc's assailants; the middle swordsman who strikes him another glancing blow. The other swordsman doesn't follow through with his blow, leaving his sword to only make contact with Doc's marine jacket. The remaining spearman doesn't even jab in the right direction as he watches his partner mysteriously fall to the ground.
The leader thief with the naginata reacts, however, and slams his blade against the hovering sentry, sending it careening frictionlessly through the air to only be stopped by the wall.
Doc takes advantage of the distraction to catch one of the swordsman in the jaw with the crowbar. The thief retaliates directly and cuts him badly across the chest. The other swordsman is too busy watching the hover sentry to even swing his sword the right direction. The spearman manages only to catch the edge of Doc's jacket.
The leader thief approaches the hover sentry to finish it off. He lands another solid blow down on it's translucent domed camera-shield. But it does not go down. Instead it blasts the thief in the eyes with mace. The thief drops his weapon and covers his eyes, screaming with pain.
The second sentry bot emerges from the elevator shaft. It has already been monitoring the situation via the other bot's shared camera feeds. It fires a dart into the other spear-wielding thief as soon as it arrives. The dart hits true. His eyes roll and he sinks slowly sideways onto the hard deck plating. The first sentry attempts to fire it's dart guns, but finds the system damaged from its impact with the wall. The hypodermic dart fractures in the barrel and the liquid within spits weakly onto the floor.
The two swordsman recognize the bots as the serious threat and disengage from attacking Doc. Doc takes a parting swing at one of them, but weakened from the last blow the crowbar slips from his hand and clatters across the floor. The two swordsman jump and swing their blades at the flying robot, but the thing is too nimble for them. It slides easily through the air and out of the way.
Doc quickly fishes the switchblade from his pocket. He stands where he is, taking the opportunity to catch his shallowing breath. He instead finds himself surging with adrenaline. His brain is drowining in pain, but his army instincts take over. He steps up behind the thief that cut his chest and slips the knife between his ribs and into his kidney. The thief drops his sword and stands frozen, looking death in the face.
Meanwhile the sentries power up their cattle prods. The damaged sentry swings down on the lead thief and catches him in the back of the neck. The man screams in pain but does not fall to his knees. The second sentry, having just dodged a sword swing, extends the prod right into the face of its attacker and gives him a full dose of electricity. There is hardly a yelp as the man clenches up tight and then drops to the floor.
Meanwhile Doc's brain recovers from blackout-killer mode and finds himself holding a dying man. He quickly rips the mans ragged shirt off and starts to plug up the bleeding with it.
The final thief, tears carrying the last ounce of fear out of his body and streaming down his face, draws an elegant jade dagger from within his baggy sleeves. In a swift motion he jams the sharp blade into a seam in the hover sentry's hull. Sparks fly and smoke pours as a capacitor that controls the bot's cattle prod explodes inside the composite body. It still floats on, however, determined to stop it's target. The second sentry fires a dart at the thief, but it misses as the man moves to destroy the flying plastic demon. He stabs at it again, this time shattering the domed camera-shield.
"Stop now or you die!" Doc yells at the man, pointing his bloody switchblade at him. Unfortunately, in his excitement Doc forgot to try and translate it into Chinese. The thief ignores him completely.
The embattled sentries press the attack. All other systems damaged, the first sentry sprays mace again. This time the thief is ready for it and escapes the stream. The second sentry closes and engages with its zap prod while it primes another tranquilizer dart. The thief is too fast, though, and the attack misses.
Doc flips his switchblade up between his thumb and forefinger. Drawing his arm back, he flings the blade with practiced skill. The knife spins through the air. The thief brings his dagger back down into the sentry bot's exposed vitals, breaking open the casing and allowing the contained smoke to pour out in a burst, choking the room. Almost simultaneously the flying blade sinks into the thief's gut, missing vital organs. Caught by surprise, the thief looks towards Doc and is caught in the back of the head by the other sentry's cattle prod. He cries in pain just before he passes out onto the deck.
Steve and Jazelle emerge from the elevator just in time to witness the coup de grace. Steve looks around, observing the unconscious bodies on the floor.
"What the fuck happened here?" Steve asks, stunned.
Doc lifts his HUD glasses up and pulls the bandanna from his face, panting. "Just another day for us archeologists."