The Alternate Reality Job- A SVHU Yarn


I started to cheer up when I felt the tremor coming back. If I had a seizure now I’d lose the skin-job and my one chance of escape. On a whim I pulled out the single pack of cigarettes I’d managed to jam in my pockets before I pulled my gun on the robot. I quickly stuck one in my mouth and lit it. At the first inhale immediately the shakes calmed down. I breathed deep, choking back a cough and focused on the road. After a block I felt better. I’d successfully driven off the seizure.

This time.

The skin-job drove to the center of the city into the business district. All around us were gleaming sky scrapers. After a few turns and a decent amount of time in traffic it pulled into an underground parking lot.

Instead of a ticket machine the garage had a guard booth. The security guard eyed my unfamiliar car. I pulled up to him and pressed the button to roll the windows down. He barely got to start whatever spiel he had memorized when I shot him through the eye. His body fell backwards into the booth, his outstretched arm slapped a button which raised the bar in front of the car so I could get into the garage.

My luck was definitely changing.

I found the skin-job’s car. The door was wide open. It’d abandoned it quickly. Probably when it heard the shot. I looked around and saw it running towards an elevator. I thought about ramming the skin-job with my car, but didn’t have enough space to maneuver.

I abandoned the car and took after it on foot. The skin-job made it to the elevator before me. It slapped at the buttons then looked at me with that same stupid smirk on its face.

I shot it once in each knee, those were vulnerable enough. It tumbled forward as the doors were closing. They slid back open so as not to crush its head. I slowed my pace so by the time I reached the elevator I was at a quick walk.

I grabbed it by its shirt collar and dragged it into the elevator. The button was already pressed for the top floor. I should’ve figured that. A smarter man would’ve at least tried some level of discretion. Living in the penthouse was like painting a bulls eye on your house.

The skin-job reached for its gun, but I snatched the weapon out of its hands before it could point the barrel at me. The gun was huge, a .50 chambered Desert Eagle.

“You fucking robots. This is overkill.”

“It gets the job done.”

The skin-job sat slumped against the wall of the elevator. Any programmed confidence it had was out the window. Were it not speaking it would look like a mannequin. The sticky grey goo continued to ooze out its bullet holes onto the floor.

“That’s not the point, is it? You could get the job done with a .22 if you wanted to,” I knew that because I could,” you carry these because of intimidation.”

The skin-job rolled its eyes, “You got me. It’s so we can look scarier. Look how well it’s working.”

“Wow, sarcasm. Just what I want right now. Seeing as Doctor L’Orange is responsible for both the nightmare day I’ve been having and you that’s not going to endear me to him.”

The skin-job didn’t respond. I didn’t like it. I know it didn’t shut down randomly which meant that it was probably alerting all the other skin-jobs in the building. I shot it in the stomach, hitting it right in the cluster which would disable it. It gave one spasm before it returned to motionless. Probably too late to help, but it did make me feel better.

I didn’t like the gun I pulled off the skin-job. It was too big and clunky. The force of it would numb my hand. I jammed it into one of the suit pockets. I didn’t plan on using it unless absolutely necessary. My Glock had more than enough ammo.

The elevator neared the top of the building. As a precaution I pressed myself to the side of the elevator. The bell chimed as the doors open. Before they were all the way open guns started firing. The back wall of the elevator nearly disintegrated from the number of shots. Splinters of wood and glass slivers peppered my skin.

The gunfire ceased. I was nearly deaf, but I pushed through the ringing of my ears to really focus. I was waiting for my moment and there was a good chance I’d miss it.

I heard the clattering of empty magazines hitting the ground. There is was. I stepped out, gambling that I wouldn’t be turned into Swiss cheese. It was only two skin-jobs. They almost had their guns reloaded. I saw shock in their eyes as they realized I wasn’t aiming at their heads, but somewhat lower.

It was disconcerting to watch them “die.” Not like a man. Men bleed out, they shout, they cry. Killing a skin-job was like pulling the plug on a computer. Instant shut off. They crumpled in a heap on the floor like a pair of puppets with their strings cut.

I exited the elevator with my gun ready. The room was an odd amalgamation of luxury suite and laboratory. Plush leather chairs sat next to tables covered in beakers and wiring. Along one wall was a floor-to-ceiling library while the opposite wall held tubes with skin-jobs in various states of construction.

I expected a lot more security. Only two skin-jobs? That didn’t seem right. I slowly walked through the room, sure that any moment more would appear from nowhere and riddle me with bullets. Except…nothing in the room moved.

I walked into the next room. This one didn’t even pretend to be anything but a lab. At the center of the room was a pillar which looked like a lava lamp with bolts of electricity shooting through it.

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