Sharon opened her locker while slipping one of her arms from her medical shirt’s sleeve. It opened with a clank. The locker contained her black shirt with a dark blue faux leather coat over it on one hanger. The other hanger held her brown jeans with the leggings opened halfway. She removed her pale blue shirt, pants, and shoes. She hung them on the third hanger before grabbing her clothes and slipping them on the. She set the shoes next to her dark red heels. She grabbed the heels and slipped them on. She grabbed the locker door and was about to close it when she paused.
Pictures lay on the locker’s inner door. One picture was from a picnic with her family, her mum, dad, and her little sister, ten years ago. Sharon rubbed her finger against it. Below it was one with her and her sister. They had dressed up for a party and placed their backs against each other. Sharon’s and Skyla’s yellow eyes shone brightly in them. She grinned before picking up her purse and closing the locker, her spirits rising.
“Another workday is done,” Sharon said, walking away with her heels clicking. “Time to head home.”
Sharon passed through a few hallways and waved at a few of her coworkers. Each one waved back with a grin. She stepped out of the wildlife care facility. The glass door closed behind her. The sun crawled down on the horizon, reddening the sky. She strolled down the concrete sidewalk. Her black hair flowed with the breeze as she rubbed her nose.
Just as planned, Skyla parked their little blue car in the parking place. She kept nodding her head up and down, her eyes half-closed. Sharon tapped on the car window. Skyla jumped, twisting around until she spotted Sharon and unlocked the doors. Sharon tilted her head and leaned forward at the right side of the car. Skyla sighed and lowered down the window.
“Are you alright?” Sharon asked.
“Oh, yes. I’m just tired,” Skyla replied, pressing her hand against her mouth and yawning. “I think I should skip supper and instead sleep early.”
“Perhaps I should drive instead,” Sharon said and Skyla shook her head. “Hey, if you’re feeling tired, you shouldn’t drive. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Skyla said. She unbuckled herself before opening the door and stepping out. “Be careful, sis.”
“I will,” Sharon said, helping Skyla to the passenger side. “Work that exhausting? Or just stayed up too late?”
“I don’t know,” Skyla answered as she opened the door and sat in, buckling up. “While on lunch break, I went to a Fish & Chips place and had some nice tea. Then, a few hours later, after stocking up, I felt so tired.”
Sharon nodded. She closed Skyla door before walking around the car. She slipped into the driver’s seat and buckled up. She smiled as she closed the door. She casted a glance at Skyla. When she yawned again, she reached over and rubbed her black hair. Skyla flinched before she giggled.
“You’re the best little sister I have.”
“And you’re the best big sis, too,” Skyla said, striking a wide grin.
Sharon pulled her long black hair back before turning the keys, the car roaring to life. She twisted around as she drove backward out of the parking space. Once out, she grabbed the gearshift and adjusted it, going from the parking lot and onto the empty road. She maintained a steady speed, with loads of trees passing by.
“So, how was your work today?” Skyla asked as she leaned back.
“Work as OK as usual,” Sharon replied, turning the wheel. “I helped feed a couple of foxes and badgers, observed medical care on a hedgehog, and was quizzed with a few others on common reasons for animals to be injured. It was quite fun.”
“That’s good,” Skyla replied. She closed her eyes and slept.
Sharon smiled slightly as she drove into a village. She passed by the streets. The sky became darker with the lampposts turning on. She stopped at a turn. A homeless man leaned against a lamppost while holding a sign begging for money. He reached for a flip phone and spoke into it.
Sharon glanced at her sleeping sister and smiled. She reached the village’s center, driving through an intersection. At that moment, light filled up on the left side. She turned to it, blinking. She widened her eyes in shock and horror.
A large truck blaring out as it charged forward, too fast to stop. Sharon slammed both feet at the brakes and the sisters flung forward with enough force that Skyla jolted awake. She twisted around in shock. Sharon reversed gears and drove backward.
The truck changed course and charged right at them still. Sharon steeled herself. She reached down, unbuckling hers and Skyla’s buckles before grabbing her arm. She opened her car door and yanked Skyla by her arm. Before she stepped a single foot out of the car, the truck crashed against it. Crunching sounds echoed in her ears with glass flying around. Sharon slammed her head against the door and everything turned black.
When Sharon woke up, she was strapped onto a gurney with thick steel clamps holding her in place. She twisted around, though the clamps held no matter how hard she pushed. She opened her mouth and no voice left it. Instead, text appeared before her: Voice Disabled.
She blinked and furrowed her nose. She widened them when she realized it stretched far longer than her nose and mouth used to be. She pushed harder, the steel clamps straining against her, before turning her head. Bits of her hair rubbed against her forehead and realized her black hair became roots for her gray hair. She grit her teeth before pushing some more, despite text appearing about damages done to her body.
A door swung open, and Sharon twisted around. She glared at the three people who stepped in. The lady in front of the two guards grinned wide with her green-blue eyes gleaming. Sharon twisted some more in a futile attempt to break free. The lady chuckled before patting her black and gray hair. Sharon shook the hand off.
“Oh, is this how you treat someone who saved your life?” The ginger-haired lady chuckled. Sharon paused, confused. “Of course, you must be so confused.”
The guards went to both sides of Sharon and adjusted her bed. She found herself facing a mirror. There, her eyes widened in horror. A shark lady stared back with her yellow eyes, with a black-furred mane around her neck and behind her head. She tried to push herself away despite the restrains holding her in place. She sucked her lips in denial, only to see the reflection do the same thing. It finally settled in that she was staring at herself. The ginger-hair lady chuckled.
“Oh, don’t you think you look beautiful?” The ginger-haired lady rubbed under Sharon’s neck, but she shook her hand off. “But what makes you extra special is inside.” She pressed behind Sharon’s head. It opened in half and exposed a robotic brain. “Isn’t it wonderful? You’re a living gynoid, with your human brain turned into data.”
Sharon opened her mouth in horror while an interface appeared before her. The lady closed her head with a click. She twisted and tugged while stealing a glance at the lady’s nametag, River Hill. Text appeared before her about River being the head of MFS. River laughed and rubbed Sharon’s ear. Sharon barred her teeth and shook her hand off again.
“Oh, dear.” River shook her head before going to her pocket. “I’m glad that I asked for your voice to be disabled. After all, you’re under my control.” She pulled out a smartphone, turned the screen on, and made a call after pressing some buttons. She then flipped the phone to the side before showing it to Sharon. “Don’t you want to see your sister?”
Sharon blinked, the screen displaying Skyla behind bars. Skyla gripped the bars, turning left to right before lunging forward. The bars held her back. Sharon opened her mouth, trying to scream her sister’s name even as the text reminded her about her voice being disabled. Instead, she watched as Skyla widened her eyes and lunged. At that point, the video call ended.
“Your dear sister was our front-seat witness to watching your great rebirth,” River said, having a broad grin even as she pocketed the smartphone. “And you’re both ours.” Sharon pushed against the clamps and popped one out. River wagged her finger at her. “Ah, ah. Don’t you want to see your sister again?”
Sharon paused, her ears flattened forward even as she turned away. She lowered her head in defeat. River laughed before rubbing Sharon’s neck. This time, she did not shake her hand off. After a few minutes, she turned to River and nodded. She grinned wide. She gestured to the two guards. They nodded and pushed Sharon out of the gray room.
“So, that’s why you’re working for them,” Vixen said, two of her fingers rubbing her chin.
“More like for her,” Sharon said. Her chin pressed against her chest in shame. “They strapped into that suit and gave me some tests, such as their AI integration.” Blondie wore a blank expression behind her. She added, “Within my spine, there is a non-sentient AI programmed as an assistant to me. Using my sensors, it can detect possible dangers from the surroundings, offer suggestions for the best course of action with its algorithm, and alert me for possible damages. It can even take over for combat situations since, by my admittance, I’m terrible at it.”
“You weren’t that terrible when we fought both times,” Blondie said, tilting his head. “You were on par with me.”
Sharon sighed. “The most I did was choose what moves to use, and I was picking moves meant to incapacitate. That wasn’t me. Besides, you managed to shrug them off.”
“Not without some cost,” Coyote said, shaking his head. “And Blake? Did you hold off on him?”
Sharon turned away. “I never meant to kill him. Unfortunately, I underestimated my strength, and I regret his death.”
“What about those you assassinated?” Coyote asked, his voice cold. “Where you regretful of their deaths.”
“Yes!” Sharon shut her eyes tight, with Coyote leaning back. “I never want to kill people! I want to return to my life where I save foxes from football nets and help carry baby birds back to their nests!” Sharon drooped her ears forward. “But I’ve been converted to a weapon against my will! And as long as she has my sister hostage, that’s all I’ll ever be.”
Vixen blushed light red as Coyote turned to Blondie, saying, “Can we step out for a moment?”
Blondie nodded and patted Sharon’s shoulder before stepping away. Coyote and Vixen got up from their chairs with sour expressions. Coyote opened the door and stepped out with Vixen. Blondie paused and glanced back at Sharon. She remained still. Blondie tipped his hat back before joining the others. Coyote closed the door behind him.
“Do you believe her?” Coyote asked while tugging an earlobe. “I mean, it’s consistent with what River said, but it could just be a prepared lie.”
“It’s not.” Blondie rubbed the back of his head. “I was listening to Sharon’s morse code communication during that call. She was trying to tell River to hang up, that her calling us confirms everything we suspected about her and MFS.”
“Though we were certain already,” Coyote said, nodding. “But that leaves a question: What should we do with Sharon?”
Vixen rubbed below her chin. “She seemed sincere that she didn’t want to do this. However, as long as her sister remains hostage, she’ll do whatever they want her to do.”
“Our paths here seem to be limited,” Coyote said, shaking his head. “We could return her to MFS, but that’ll make her into an assassin and spy once more, likely trying to hunt us down. On the other hand, we could let the time run overtime, even if it meant killing this Skyla, though she’ll never forgive us. We could even kill her, ending this threat.”
Blondie shook his head. “We won’t kill her, nor will we let Skyla die.” Coyote raised an eyebrow. “They’ll be easy paths, but not right.”
“But, Blondie,” Coyote said, rubbing the back of his head. “What else can we do other than return Sharon? She’ll want to return with that incentive. In fact, she might be plotting a way already.”
Blondie opened the door an inch, Sharon remaining still. “If she was, she would’ve done so now.” He closed the door, with Vixen tilting her head. “While you two were chatting with River, I glanced at the clamps holding Sharon in place. She already slipped out of one.”
Vixen blinked, with Coyote taking a step back. “She WHAT?!”
The two rushed into the room in a frenzy. Blondie sighed and adjusted his hat again. A gasp came from inside. Blondie followed, having a blank expression. Vixen gripped Sharon’s freed hand-paw tight enough that it could crush plastic. Meanwhile, Coyote picked up the tablet and tapping into it. Coyote lifted his head, his eyes meeting with Blondie. He shrugged back.
“How did you slip free without breaking your wrist?” Vixen asked, shaking Sharon’s arm.
“I didn’t,” Sharon answered, leaning back on her restrained chair. Coyote reached into his pocket, pulling out a thin rod before pressing it against Sharon’s wrist. He pressed a button on it, buzzing even as Sharon blinked. She flexed the wrist even as Coyote pocketed the rod. “It’s fixed? How?”
“It’s a secret. At least, to you.” Coyote placed the tablet on the table and crossed his arms. Vixen unlocked the clamp and set Sharon’s arm back around it, shutting it tight. “Were you hoping that we’ll lower our guard?”
“That’s what my AI suggested when I got here alone,” Sharon answered, lowering her head. “But after that ultimatum from River and you lot discussing it behind closed doors, I listened in.” She wiggled her ears. “I can adjust the hearing sensitivity so I can even hear an ant walk across the room.”
“And your thoughts?” Vixen asked, shaking her head. “Do you want to be free? Let them kill Skyla? Or let us kill you?”
“I was hoping that you’ll kill me,” Sharon answered, and the room suddenly felt cold. “I keep thinking about that accident that resulted in me becoming a robot shark and my sister a hostage, about what I should’ve done to avoid it, whether it’s to stop or speed up. In fact, ever since that day, my life is in shambles. At the whim of that witch—” Her voice box glitched and she shut her eyes. “And I soiled my hands in blood. Oh God, so much blood. All done so I can see my sister once more. But ever since I got spotted on that ship, everything went wrong.”
Sharon lowered her head in shame. “I was so close too. I hated myself for all the of the kills I’ve committed. But I was so close to seeing her again since that was my one chance. I thought up a plan that will break her free and allow her to escape. Though none of my imagination had me living with her again. Instead, I’ll turn myself in, knowing what they’ll do to me.
“In the end, I was gutted. And every attempt of making up for that got blocked by that Blondie. At first, I wanted to escape, but to hear that witch using my sister as leverage again gutted me deeper. It made me realized that I’ll never rescue her. At least with my death, my sister will be free since she’ll have no further need for her.”
Vixen’s face paled and turned away. Coyote leaned against the table, breathing with sweat forming in the freezing room. Blondie lowered his head with his eyes closed, deep in thought. Memories surfaced within him of Dr. Cygne under his arms, powerless to save her. Coyote pulled out the thin metal rod with a green gem at its end with an unusual dour expression. He pressed it against the back of Sharon’s head, where the USB input lay, and his hands shook. He soon steadied himself, gripping the rod tight.
Blondie lurched over and swatted the rod away from Sharon’s head. “No.”
Coyote pushed Blondie away with one hand. With the other, he reapplied the rod against Sharon’s head. “What choice do we have?”
“He has a point,” Vixen added. Coyote turning to her. “We only have three choices, and all of them are bad. There’s little hope in getting another option there.”
“I refuse to give up,” Blondie said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the gear necklace. “And this is my fourth option: Sneak into their research facility, find Skyla, and get her out of there.”
“That’s absurd!” Coyote lowered the rod as he reached for the gear necklace. “There are eight MFS facilities in Great Britain alone, with fifty others in the rest of Europe. So, it’s impossible to find her within twenty-four hours.”
“Skyla is in the facility you visited,” Sharon said, lifting her head as Coyote and Vixen blinked. “River chose it as her chief base, with it building all of the chief prototypes that she values most, such as myself. River told me that Skyla is kept close there too while telling me that if I completed all of their missions, I’d be able to meet with her, and we’ll be free.”
“That does narrow it down.” Coyote spun the metal rod between his fingers.
“Still, even if River did tell you the truth—” Vixen said. Sharon flinched but said nothing. “—it’s a four-story facility, which we saw a part of.” Blondie opened his mouth to speak, but Vixen cut him off. “Yes, you mentioned the secure area on the third floor. But are you certain that Skyla is there? Even if you are, are you certain where that area is?”
Blondie shook his head and gritted his teeth. “I’ll check every room there myself if I have to.”
Sharon turned up, flexing her fingers. “I may be able to assist.” She twisted her wrist as a compartment opened, a cord falling out. “Just open an art program on that tablet and hook me up.”
Vixen shook her head. “We still don’t trust you that much. Besides, you could communicate with MFS that way.”
“I-I can’t,” Sharon shook her head. “Just disable the internet connection. You can kill me if it looks like I’m turning it back on. That’s fair?”
Coyote twisted his lips, rubbing the back of his head. He glanced at Vixen. She sighed and picked up the tablet, turning it to airplane mode before turning on an art app. She grabbed Sharon’s cord and placed it near the port before stopping. Her bright blue eyes met Sharon’s yellow in a glare.
“How about this?” Vixen asked as she pulled out a thin metal rod from her coat. It looked much like Coyote’s but with a light at the end instead of circles and points and no gem at the other end. “If you even hint at communicating with MFS, I’ll make you wish you’re dead. Deal?”
Sharon swallowed and she nodded. “Deal.”
Vixen remained grim before plugging Sharon into the tablet. The art program drew by itself while Sharon groaned and clenched her fists. Rectangles formed, with squares filling up the rectangles. She shut her eyes tight and lowered her head as though in pain. Her large tail wiggled against the clamps with them groaning. Coyote took a step back, blinking. More details formed in each square, from desks and bookshelves to cameras and alarms.
“What’s wrong with her?” Blondie asked while holding onto Sharon’s shoulder. Vixen pointed the thin rod at her, with the rod glowing blue and buzzing. “What are you doing?”
“Scanning her,” Vixen answered, tilting her head. “Looks like her robotic brain is going on overdrive.”
“What do you mean?” Blondie demanded. Sharon flopped forward, panting. “Are you alright?”
“Give me a moment.” Sharon remained still as she breathed fast. Her breathing became steady and she lifted herself up. Her left eye flickered 38 times in three seconds. “The labs that made this machine brain didn’t account for the host being a former human.”
Coyote nodded, rubbing his chin. “That was one roadblock when coming up with a positronic brain as a replacement human brain. Namely, while hooking oneself into a computer or to the internet may sound amazing, it’ll feel so alien to the human mind, feeling so alien despite being data.”
“It always felt like my mind was being cut into pieces or getting a massive chunk forced into me.” Sharon shook her head, her hair flailing around. “Here you go.”
Blondie, Coyote, and Vixen leaned over to the tablet, with all four floors plus a basement of the facility drawn. Coyote rubbed his chin while the lights behind his eyes burned. Blondie pointed at a few of the rooms on the third-floor west side, with a red line drawn all around it. While most of the rooms held details and names for them, only one within the red lines held details about it. The label on it said, ‘Sharon’s room.’
“I was never shown a blueprint of the facility,” Sharon explained. Vixen unplugged her from the tablet. The cord retracted back into her wrist, compartment closing behind it. “But I was given a tour over much of the facility not too long after I was reborn. Everyone there knows of my existence, though only a few know what I’m there for.” She tapped at the one within the red lines. “Those rooms are River’s private areas, with one where she ordered me on my missions. I don’t know the other three, though if Skyla is in the facility, it’ll be in those rooms.”
“Fascinating,” Coyote said, picking up the tablet. “You know, seeing your demonstration gave me a few ideas to integrate someone like you into a machine.” Vixen half-closed her eyes at Coyote, and he rubbed the back of his head. “Not that I’m planning on doing it to a prisoner like you.”
“Good. Because I don’t want such an upgrade.” Sharon shuddered, with Blondie folding his ear to the side. “Despite my issues, River insisted on trying to download data into my brain directly and extract the data from it. It took me nearly shutting down while downloading three GB of data from a target’s computer before she was convinced otherwise.” Her left eye twitched some more. “Though I don’t know what was worse; downloading it only to have it removed like cutting a piece of brain out from me or being forced to look at that disgusting creep’s data.”
Vixen raised an eyebrow before shaking her head. “Not going to ask.”
“Same here.” Coyote turned to Blondie. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
“I have to,” Blondie answered, taking off his hat before putting on the gear necklace.
Coyote sighed while tapping the bridge of his nose. Blondie placed the hat back on his head. “Then I won’t stop you,” Coyote said. “Do you want us to take you there as close as possible?”
“No. I’ll take that motorcycle that I’m borrowing from that lawyer,” Blondie answered. Sharon blinked in surprise. He pulled back on his poncho, his revolver holstered against his hip. “I’ll also be bringing my katana.”
Vixen pulled her hair back, doubt in her eyes as she tapped onto the tablet. She sent the drawings to be printed. “Would that be enough? Even with your skills with those weapons, I’m afraid since that revolver only has six shots with no way of reloading them quickly.”
“You sure?” Blondie turned to the wall before pulling out his Colt Peacemaker .45 LC and reaching into his belt pouch from behind. He pulled from it a spare cylinder, already holding six rounds, and swapped the cylinders on the revolver before snapping it back into place within half a second. “Something I do as a practice, and I have three spares.”
Vixen tilted her head, her doubt not leaving. Blondie replaced the cylinder back into his pouch and holstered the revolver. “Still, that doesn’t make it a guarantee. Especially since even the best swordsman will fall against a gun. I’m afraid that it’ll be suicide.”
“I’ll manage,” Blondie said. He glanced at Sharon before stepping out of the room.
The moon shone above as Blondie drove the motorcycle down a dirt road, the path swaying up and down. A cliff’s edge lay to his left, his hat remaining on despite the speed. A katana hung on his left hip, the revolver right, and the world around him a mix of black, white, and gray.
A light appeared ahead, and he pulled his motorcycle over, hopping off it while letting it fall down onto the grass. He reached for the gear necklace and set it to the highest setting before twisting around. The only things heard there were crickets chirping throughout the night. He bent low before sprinting forward, the poncho flailing around him and his tail swaying behind. No person or group patrolled around the facility’s vicinity.
Five minutes of sprinting later, he touched the wall surrounding it, plenty of light shining from above. Blondie jumped up with the light shining against his face. Everything turned white and he winced before all other colors returned to him. He recovered and jumped over the wall, landing within. A couple of guards walked down, having a couple of pistols open against their hips. They walked on without noticing Blondie despite being a few yards away from him.
Blondie crouched down before walking forward, his tail steady, approaching the building. To his left, the glass door lay, but he came to the window fifteen feet away from it, wiggling his claw underneath it. It refused to budge. Above him, a couple of guards patrolled the roof. He glanced up at them. He gave a sly smile, gripping the windowsill.
He inhaled before and, with a pull and a leap, he jumped up, reaching the second-floor window. Instead of trying to wiggle it open again, he pulled up with enough force to zoom to the third and then fourth floors. Sweat formed on his brow which he could not wipe away despite getting to his eyes. He kicked against the wall with a mighty heave and soared to the roof. He landed on its edge and he crouched.
The four guards on the roof held rifles with their lanyards, facing outward and turned away from Blondie. He sighed, getting down without a sound before stepping toward the roof door. He turned from side to side before gripping its handle and turning it. It slid open without a sound, and he slipped in.
The lights within were low with the ones ahead bright. Blondie stepped down the stairs, entering the fourth floor. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the map drawings. He skimmed through them before pocketing them and stepping into the hallway. A camera buzzed above, moving from side to side. He inhaled before he pressed his back against the wall. He scooted onward, making sure that it caught as little of him as possible, and he did the same with the following cameras.
Blondie strode through the hallway, sneaking past before pausing, voices echoing from one of the rooms. He twitched his ears before slowing his pace, with him breathing with ease. Finally, he got close to the room with the voices, hearing them loud and clear.
“The exoskeleton project is progressing well, Ms. Hill. The overheating issue is becoming a nonissue, the link between the AI in the back and the test subjects remained stable, and their tests surpassed our estimates. Therefore, we can proceed with the project’s next stage.”
“Why, that’s such wonderful news, especially since our prototype for it all disappeared, which is disappointing. Still, I like to hear from the subjects themselves.”
“They might be sleeping, but I’ll wake them up.”
Blondie paused, the door opening and a lady wearing thick glassing rushed out of the room. He fingered against his revolver, with gears moving within his head. He inched closer to the room, a snarl coming from his face. Behind that door stood the one behind it all. With one bullet, he could end her. He reached for the door handle before pausing, remembering Sharon’s fear about her sister. His guts tightened with full desire to come in. Instead, he snuck away with a sense of regret flowing through him.
He snuck down the hallway, with every sense on overdrive. He approached the elevator, with it closing as he reached it. He went past that, heading to the door where the stairs sign hung above, and gripped the door handle. With a quick turn, he opened it and jumped back, probing from side to side. No one hid or patrolled there. He searched for a few seconds more before he slipped in. The sign next to the door within the stairway held a label with F3. He approached the handrails, gripping them as the door closed behind him. He jumped down and landed to the next floor before it.
Blondie pulled out the map briefly and saw red lined area. From his position, it lay down the hallway. He pocketed the map. He gripped onto the door handle and opened it with a quick pull. While it held open, he strode from one side to the other and saw no one. He nodded and entered the hallway. He closed the door behind him and snuck down the hallway. More cameras buzzed above him. The sterile light shone above him as he strode down. He turned from side to side for any surprises as he headed to the west wing.
As he snuck down, avoiding cameras buzzing overhead, Blondie felt his stomach tighten. His instincts screamed at him, with a dark sense hovering over his head. It felt too easy for him, much like his attempt to escape FOXWOOD on a ship. He turned upward and glared at the ceiling. The one chance he had on River passed by and he found himself doubting his current path. His claws pressed against a wall, but he swallowed that unease and continued despite feeling torn in half.
Blondie stood before the rooms Sharon labeled with a red line. He pulled out his revolver and stepped over to the first one, grabbing its doorknob. But it would not budge, locked. He shook his head in disappointment. He passed by the second one where Sharon was kept for briefing, instead reaching the third door. He grabbed its doorknob. and it turned. He gripped his revolver tight. He swung the door opened and stepped back, holding the gun with both hand-paws while keeping it low. He strode from side to side, spotting no one within the room, before he stepped in, spinning around with his back against a wall.
After a few seconds of searching the medium-sized room, he closed the door behind him. The room darkened into blackness once more. Blueprints hung on the walls, showcasing various types of robots with detailed explanations. A chair lay upon the room’s center, solid in place and able to lean back. Drawers covered half the walls, each containing machinery such as hydraulics or a skeletal-steel hand.
He pressed his back against the wall and scooted over to the other end of the room. There, another door lay. Curiosity bugged against his head, with him inching closer with each step. He grabbed the doorknob and turned it bit by bit. With the other hand-paw, he kept his Colt Peacemaker .45 LC ready. He pushed the door open and took a step back, only to blink.
A cell lay within that room, dominating half of it. Blondie stepped forward and lowered his revolver. A lady with black-colored hair lay on the lone bed within the cell and he felt his stomach tighten again. He spun around, a solo camera above and silent before buzzing to life, with him blinking at it. A half-second later, he spotted three motion detectors lying behind the door, one head height, the second about waist height, and the third a foot above the floor He growled at himself for falling for that trick. It became now or never.
He holstered his revolver before drawing out his katana. He sliced off the cell’s lock with it. He stepped inside and grabbed the lady’s shoulder. “Skyla?”
The lady remained still as though in deep sleep.
“I’m here to rescue you,” Blondie said before he rubbed her cheek, cold to the touch, and flinched. Next, he stroked her neck, feeling no pulse, and his instincts went overdrive. Then, with gentle ease, he sliced down from her neck to her belly button before pulling it open.
Rather than blood, bones, and organs, there were wires, metal, and motors within.
The lights turned on as bright as they could, with little shadow cast down. An alarm rang out with River’s voice. “Intruder at the second-floor west wing! Capture him!”
Blondie sprinted out from the room. He gritted his teeth as he passed his katana to his left hand-paw. He pulled out his revolver with his right, gripping it tight. He zoomed past the machinery room and kicked down the door. Already a few guards ran down the hallway toward him, each gazing at him. They raised their rifles and aim. Blondie dove away. A split second later, they fired. Tranquilizer shots zoomed past him.
He grunted and holstered his revolver. He gripped the katana with both hand-paws and pressed his back against the wall. Footsteps came closer and he inhaled, counting down in his head. A guard stepped in, and he pounced, grabbing his neck before spinning him around, the katana’s mune against his neck. The other guards fired, with much of the tranquilizers hitting his hostage instead. Blondie shoved him forward. The other guards caught him, but Blondie charged, jumping over them and sprinting away.
Two guards spun around, firing at him, and he felt one dart hit his arm, and another hit his hat. He still ran, yanking the dart out from his arm even as more darts came over. He approached the elevator doors and stairs and felt a sense of relief. At least, until the elevator doors opened.
Five men wearing exoskeleton suits stepped out from it. One spotted Blondie and sprinted toward him.
Blondie grunted, stepping back as the guard swung his foot. His hat wiggled from the force of that swing. He raised his katana, but another guard grabbed the blade from above, forcing it down. So, he dropped it and, jumping back, pulled out his revolver and fired. Blood splattered from the second guard’s chest and back, with a hole below his neck, though the guard still charged, punching Blondie in the stomach.
Blondie grunted, slamming against the wall with cracks forming from behind, and he aimed once more. The rest of the group fanned out, with two of them grabbing his arms and forcing him back. The one he shot fell, only for two more stepping over him. They punched against his stomach and face. More cracks formed behind Blondie from the force of the attacks, his blood splattering all around. He struggled and they tightened their grip. They punched him more, knocking his hat off.
Blondie lowered his head with darkness overwhelming him. The others released him and let him fall. He landed against the one he shot and knew no more.
Here is part five of Once Upon a Time in England. Enjoy!