I figured, slightly less than entirely confident, running through black smoke with fire licking at my pants.
"If a fall from space didn't kill me, a little skyscraper fire won't."
I suddenly noticed that the trowel was still in my hand.
I looked at it, quizzically. Why am I even carrying it around?
Just as I was about to throw the trowel aside and begin my ascend to the next floor where we've stashed all of our supplies, a deep boom shuddered the building. Damn, this place is already falling apart. Better hurry it up.
I shoved the trowel into my pocket and dashed upstairs.
This was probably a moronic idea, yet If I could save even a couple of bags of our stuff that would be most useful in the future.
Someday my stubbornness will lead to my doom.
I jumped into the room, rushing to grab a bag, extending my arm... only to have it all taken away from me.
The front wall of the building and the floor had violently cracked, collapsing outward with a rumble.
The supplies plummeted into the fiery maw just as I was about to grab them.
Damn, damn, damn!
I stood in front of the gaping hole, cursing, staring particularly nowhere.
A cracking rumble from below caught my attention.
In front of me, right into the sky rose a strange, black, moving shape. A mountain of black appendages that was shifting and crawling.
On top of it, riding it like a wave was none other than... Pilot.
"Huh?" I squinted. It was definitely Pilot! He held a shiny katana in his hand and looked right at me.
"PILOT?" I shouted at him: "WHAT'S HAPPENING?!"
"GOOD MORNING... TOUR GUIDE CHARLES SNIPPY, HUMAN NUMBER 04477645, PRIMARY SUSPECT IN CASE 4211 - UNSCANNABLE SUBJECT.", he shot back at me, his voice clear, precise and focused, sounding entirely unlike himself.
"YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF YOUR ROUTE... ALSO YOU HAVE 1034483 UNPAID PARKING TICKETS... " He chimed, bending ever so slightly.
"TIME TO PAY THE FEES!" He added menacingly and leaped into the air, propelled by the black wave of animated corpses.
His movements were precise, refined, beautiful... inhuman.
He was coming for me.
Time slowed down to a halt. Everything became perfectly clear. Suddenly, I could see almost everything, everywhere at once.
Pilot froze, halting his motion, pinned in place. His katana blade glinted, slicing through the tiniest dust particles in the air with terrible slowness.
-= IMmiNenNT ANchoR-AVatAR hOst DaNGer. =- The voice of the Biomatrix shot up into my brain, up my spine, mutter-like echo of a million dead tongues.
-= DiReCt IntEnTion to Kill NoticE.
SCannINg EnvirONmentaL sTAte...
DeTeCteD One-liVinG Semi Organic ControLler. =- Pilot's figure became more focused, as if outlined in my view with a sharpness filter. Semi-Organic? What? Pilot's an android?!
-= Detecting 1089482 InOrganic AI NetWork HOst AvaTars. =- ...An army of reanimated corpses, controlled by Pilot. Does this get any better?
-= DetecTinG OnE PlaNeTarY-Network-Defense-Server Carrier-WarShip. =- ...Oh it does!
-= MultiCelLuLar HoSt-AvaTar SurVival pROBability beLow 0.002%. =- ...Amazing!
-= InitiatinG Abandonment of CurreNt DNA loCatiOn and TempoRal DisplaceMent JuMp? =-
The last sentence spoken by the Biomatrix sounded almost like a question.
The past was mentally challenging, degrading and unchangeable, from what I could remember.
The future was just bloody weird, mostly painful and terribly confusing. No Thanks.
"NO! Stop! Hold on!" I shouted. "We are staying here and now, until I actually die! I don't want to wake up again somewhere yesterday as a dull neanderthal or tomorrow as a fragile, non-fireproof girl! I like being me!"
-= YouR ChoiCe =- The Biomatrix purred. -= TeRmiNal CeLluRar VelOcity Set in MotIoN. TiMe of CurRent AvaTars' Termination PrediCted at 212:636:14 ...at Best, ConSideRinG StatisTiCal AnalYsiS. WanTeD to SpaRe YoU fRom GrUeSoMely PoinTleSs FlaiLinG. Oh wEll. InitiAting AdreNaline inSertion. InitiAting MitochOndrial accelEration. =-
Adrenaline injections exploded in my mind like beautiful falling stars. Dying galaxies of spiraling, streaking stars, all in my head.
It was incredibly beautiful, yet highly distracting and concerning. I rolled my eyes back and forth fearing that the reaction wouldn't end.
It did, the stars have settled, vanishing and the view was perfectly clear once again.
Pilot was still slowly gliding ever closer towards me, with the blade set to slice me apart. This won't do at all.
I tried to raise my arms. It didn't work.
-= TeMpoRal De-syn-ChroniZation INCOmplete... Synchronizing... please hold... =-
My arms moved with terrible slowness, the air felt thick like sand.
-= Should haVe Let Me ReArrAnge YouR OrGans. =- The Biomatrix commented.
"Shush" I groaned, pushing harder against the air that simply refused to move aside.
-= InitiAting DeeP SleEp MoDe =- was the last audible whisper from the Biomatrix.
"Wait... What?" I cried.
A bright-red whisper buzzed somewhere in my liver area, slowly fading away:
-= BIOMATRIX IS NOW IN SLEEP MODE.
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE HAS BEEN TRANSCRIBED TO FIT YOUR SHORT-WAVE MENTAL PATTERN:
THIS TEMPORAL DNA SEGMENT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO US.
WE ARE VERY SORRY, BUT INNUMERABLY UNFORTUNATELY AT THIS TIME
WE CANNOT AFFORD/RISK FURTHER EXPOSURE TO PLANETARY AI DEFENSE NETWORK.
THANK YOU FOR BEING OUR VALUED ORGANIC CUSTOMER. WE APPRECIATE YOUR HOST-BUSINESS. =-
Events snapped in motion, time accelerated, my arms jerked forwards.
The blazing katana collided with my incredibly dull trowel, showering sparks.
...Thank god I didn't throw you away.
The trowel scraped loudly against the sword, shaking in my hands.
Pilot glared my way, and spoke grinding his teeth:
"FOR MASSIVE DISRUPTION OF EUREKA’S AN-NET INFRASTRUCTURE, I HEREBY REVOKE YOUR LIFE INSURANCE POLICY!"
"ACCEPT... YOUR... TERMINATION!", he pushed against me with the katana.
I answered "No", pushing back with all my strength.
Fire crackled and roared all around us.
The little trowel held.
Story and touchups by: http://alexiuss.deviantart.com
Painted by Sophie: http://apollotheneverender.deviantart.com
6th July 2013
Tagged in Sniper Biomatrix ANNET Captain Zombies