“I don’t think so.” I say that, but I’m not thinking at all. Thoughts race through my head like magnetic cars glued to the sideways of The Sphere as I’m hurling a shirtless weirdo at three people who will not appreciate me doing this. I realise I should have put more thought into who I should throw at them, or who I should throw them at. Caesar? He’s unstable, untrustworthy, and quick to anger. His pompadour just poofed into a terrible mohawk of road rage and a steaming sewer grate
Man, they’ve got a pretty cute butt in that pants. Not much else going on, though. How about the girl? She has got a shotgun. A very funny shotgun. God, this all could have been avoided if he just hadn’t brought up the plant. It’s why the drop happened in the first place! Okay. Focus. Maybe the big guy? He seems respectable and calm enough. I should definitely get on his good side, which I’ll do by not throwing the person he unequivocally hates at him. Let’s hope that’s not what’s going to happen here–
“HAHA, EAT IT!” Excited and accomplished yells break me out of my digital reverie. As if I’m playing BOWLZONE PINMASTER at the old ‘Death of the Gamer’ arcade hall, I managed to knock over one of three unorthodox bowling pins. My loud, incorrigible projectile spun themselves around in mid-air and, with a crotch-thrust dead ahead, landed in the face of the tallest one. The one I did not want to hit. He slams onto the floor, cracks audibly forming in the carpeted concrete, eating the groin of his hated enemy through reinforced leather pants. In the span of seconds, my visor flicks from ’>:(’ to ‘O__O’ to ‘O///O’. I am SO featuring this in my next slagfic.
“All right, that’s it. You’re dead you son and offspring of glitches.” So screams the autotuned voice of a cute musclegirl. My fantasies are rudely interrupted and I begin to panng that this might end very badly for any of us. My visor springs to a red ‘X’ and all goes black. Last thing I remember is hearing an error sound.
I was in a gameshow once – the first-ever gameshow with cyborgs. Of course, the host was human, and most of the audience was. It was supposed to be a simple quiz, but it was a neon circus. They didn’t tell us for each wrong answer they’d sever the connection between brain and a piece of hardware. I was nervous. Biting on the hand that still had nails. The halfbot before me got it wrong, they cut her lungs from her system. She was gasping for air, hanging over the brightly-lit booth next to me. The audience roared with laughter and excitement. The host turned to me and smiled, a terrible smile on the other end of the humanity spectrum. Demonic, not robotic. “Why are cyborgs inferior to humans?” I tried to laugh it off, asked if it was a trick question. I heard something snap. I started panicking. I came to, not in the studio. There was blood on my hands, both hands. I remember hearing an error sound.
I come to, still in my apartment. “You did good, doll.” I feel a warm hand on my shoulder. It feels nice. They’re still not wearing a shirt, though. I’m holding the crumpled remains of a gaudy, bronze arm in my left hand, and a robotic dog in my right. It makes a happy bark. The arm makes a creeking noise as the wrist gives out. “What happened…?” They look at me, suspicion in their hazel eyes. “You want me to tell you because it happened so fast, or because you’re veeery quick to enter a bloodrage and can’t remember what happens during?” “I’m, uh… very forgetful?” I know this face. Eyebrows raised, mouth opened slightly. The equivalent of saying ‘c’mon, really?’ At least, that’s what McCrank’s Guide to Understanding Facial Expressions of the Unmodified says. “Yes…?” I give out a diffident chirp.
“Well, lessee. First you tossed me all powerlike at Skyscraper and I made him eat some of this.” They make a vulgar gesture at a vulgar area. “Then you jet-punched that Caesar bloke so hard his arm popped off and he crashed into Casino – the musclegirl – and they flew out, into the hallway. Her shotgun went a-flying so I snatched it, still faceseated, arched over backwards to shoot the guy in the microphone. That.” They look kind of flustered saying this. “That’s slang for ‘robot penis’. At least, I think that’s what Trish Rigs calls it in ‘My Robotic Lover (Let Me Use Your Microphone)’.”
“Anyway, he then headbutted me in the regular penis and I went somersaulting backwards. Then you, welllll…” They pause, point at the cyborg-shaped hole in the floor. “Busted a guy through cheap carpet and cheaper concrete.” They pause again, giving a light applause.
“The other two probably heard and-or saw that and got the jack out of here, because I ain’t seeing them anymore. Then for some reason you picked up my dog, dialed Falstaff’s Pizza Place on him, and ordered two tuna pizzas, takeout. And back to earth you are! By the way, we have to be there in like 20 minutes.”
“Pizza…?” I look up, three blue question marks on my visor. “Yeah. Yeah, okay, let’s do that.” Trying to process all that and figuring out what to do next isn’t going to do me any good right now. Besides, I’m starving. I look at my food-date and extend an organic hand. “I’m Exeter.” They throw on a genuine smile. Yeck. Haven’t brushed their teeth in a while. “Call me Orlando.”