The Alternate Reality Job- A SVHU Yarn


Nothing left to do but wait until this world edited me out of it, turned me fully into Isaac forever. I wondered whether I would remember any of this when I was trapped in that fat slug. Or would Isaac just have a day-long blackout? Either way I wasn’t looking forward to the answer.

Might as well get up to no good in the meantime. I was gonna’ find a bar and drink it dry. Then I was going to find the tallest woman, hooker or whoever, and fuck her half to death. If anyone gave me even the slightest shit I would blow their brains out. Fuck it.

Going out in a hail of gunfire and taking Isaac with me was a preferable end.

Yeah, that’s how I’d do it. Enough of laying low and trying to get home. Without the option of return it was time to wreck some shit. I smiled as I considered the possibilities. In my world I so rarely had the opportunity to cut loose. I was going to shoot everyone until I ran out of bullets.

First I wanted a smoke.

Normally I was only a stress smoker. A tic Dana used against me since I constantly complained about her smoking. I’d be dead soon so I might as well light up.

I pulled into the parking lot of the first supermarket I saw. I would’ve preferred finding a smoke shop so I could find some higher-quality cigarettes, but time was a factor. Like the man said, “quantity is a quality of its own.”

Walking out of the store I already had the carton open and was trying to take the cellophane off a pack when I saw him. Well, it.

It was one of Doctor L’Orange’s skin-jobs. That stood out. A God damned robot walking around without a care in the world. Had this world not been so fucking normal I wouldn’t have noticed it. Whoever engineered this world should’ve had some flying cars or something, though they probably wouldn’t think that anyone would recognize them.

I mean, they weren’t bad as far as robots went. They were fairly lifelike though the uncanny valley hit them pretty hard. Their movements came off as jerky, their skin too leathery and they had an awful thousand yard stare. People that saw them thought they were people with some sort of autism. Robotics was a hard field. None of the ones I’d seen ever turned out perfect.

It probably would’ve escaped my notice completely if Doctor L’Orange didn’t use his robots so much as security. They were good, durable, well worth it most of the time. They could take a large amount of punishment before going down. Most attackers would be too confused by the man they shot twenty times still firing back. Were robot security guards not so expensive to maintain more people would use them to real human guards.

I had a love/hate relationship with Doctor L’Orange based solely on his skin-jobs. We weren’t colleagues. I worked with him once or twice and sometimes he came around the bar. I’d paid him for some work a few times. No, he hated me because I knew where to shoot his skin-jobs to immediately disable them.

The circuitry was so complicated that he couldn’t change them without completely overhauling the machines. He enjoyed the aspect that I had destroyed a large number of them so that he could sell new ones to the same customers. On the other hand it was proving that his security bots he was selling for such high prices were inferior. What most people seemed to forget was that with my power I could hit that particular spot to “kill” them with zero effort. Others would have to be lucky.

I saw it walking to a car. I walked up behind it and jammed the barrel of my gun in its back. It straightened up, not tense, ready to attack.

“Take me to Doctor L’Orange.”

“I don’t know who you are talking about, sir.”

“This is going to be a lot easier for both of us if you don’t play games with me.”

“I’m not afraid of you.”

“Can you even feel fear? How about now?” I moved my gun lower in its back and pointing it down, aiming towards Its pelvis. Now it tensed up for real. It realized where that bullet was going and what would happen when I pulled the trigger, “That’s what I thought. I am so very happy you things have a sense of self-preservation.”

It whipped around, reaching for my gun. I jumped out of its reach. I aimed and fired. The bullet caught it in the stomach, not to destroy it, I just wanted It to think I missed. The skin-job hopped forward and kicked me in the chest. I didn’t fly far. A car stopped me. I crumpled the car door and cracked my head on the glass. The alarm blared.

I fired again, this time catching it in the thigh. A normal man would drop to the ground. The skin-job didn’t even look. A clear liquid with the consistency of snot dribbled out of the hole. The skin-job smirked at me, got into its car and drove away.

I pulled myself off the ground. It didn’t feel like anything was broken. It was hard to breath, but all my ribs were where they were supposed to be. I made my way to Isaac’s car. The parking lot was empty. All the customers were driven away by the gun fire.

On the street I sped up until I caught sight of the skin-job’s car, then settled into the normal pace of traffic. I hoped that it still had that smirk on Its face. That would make it all the better when I put a bullet through Its face. These robots thought they were so much better than humans. I doubted that it twigged onto the fact that it was doing exactly what I wanted it to.

I’d dealt with these things enough times to know how they functioned. They couldn’t be tortured. They had a sense of self-preservation, but that only went so far. If they analyzed the situation and decided that there was no escape and someone might gain information from them they shut down completely, their internals melting into goo.

But if you damaged them enough they would retreat to Doctor L’Orange’s closest lab to be repaired. They couldn’t blend in very well if they were dripping snot on everyone. If the good doctor wasn’t at this lab there would probably be enough information to track down where he really was.

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