WARNING: there is some adult language used in this post.

Artwork is: “Snowcrash” by Pene Menn

I rush up the stairs of the apartment building, the red dot marking my target blinking weakly on my field gps screen.  Shoving my phone back in my pocket I risk a glance back down at the lobby. Thick slime covered tentacles smash through the door, sending shards of glass and wood to clink against the wall of metal mail boxes.

I have to get to him first!

I pull the last grenade from my utility belt and chuck it.

Pin and all down the stair.

Shit! Really?! You finally have a target you have to kill and you softball an inactive grenade at it?!

I scamble up the stairs hearing the beast smash open the next set of door. Obviously unhindered by the ball of metal I tossed.

My vision blurs as the sickly sweet smell of honey and rotting flesh wafts up the stairwell.  I miss a step and scape a chunk of shin and already tattered camo pants off on the concrete step. The pain flashes through enough to part the drugged haze caused from the beasts fumes.

I scramble up the stair hearing the heavy thud of limbs as they grasp for purchase on the railings. That damn thing is so fast!

 I round the next bend in the stairs, gasping for air, as the fumes cause me to start seeing spots of light in my vision. And then I see the blessed sign of floor 5 on the door. Yes! I burst through the door, holding on to my chest, wheezing for air. But I see it, door 507. I know he can stop it. I shamble to 507 with blood dripping down by shin to fill my boot and bang on the door. It creaks open beneath my fist and I quickly enter, closing the door behind me and latching it shut. I glance around me and spot a shelf laden with books in the hallway, so I push it over in front of the door. My hand instinctively draws my pistol from my hip. And I finger the trigger nervously, knowing that there are no bullets left to aid me, “Erin O’Brien! Don’t be alarmed I’ve been to help you.” I make my way down the hallway filled with a stinking collection of pizza boxes and beer bottles. “You have to turn it off, you have to revert the code!” I see a faint glow of light coming from the door at the end of the hallway. “Mr. O’Brien? Please, you’re the only one that can revert the androids”

I hear a loud thud of the beast as it slams against the latched door and meager barricade of books. It isn’t going to hold against it for very long.

I push the door open and see the master hacker’s lair. My heart sinks. His monitor screens fill the horribly empty room with their sickly blue glow. His window over looks the city, where millions of people are fleeing and fighting the tentacled amazon delivery androids that he turned against us.

His front door breaks open, and I can smell the beast’s scent flowing into the room to subdue me.

I walk up to the computer and gaze at the screen, a simple message blinking arcoss it. “The code has learned to adapt.”

My world goes black.

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