"This pathetic crap isn't going to do shat!" Mark
moaned like a lost soul as he looked at the makeshift weapon is his hands.
"Do you honestly think this is going to stop it?!?"
Jill looked at him with contempt in her eyes. "Grow a
pair, you sniveling coward!"
Mark looked hurt. "Are you kidding me? It'as going to
come through that door and nothing will stop it! Not you, not me, not that
smartass over there who thought this idiocy up, not even the bastard who got us
Jill laughed. "I almost thought I'd toss you one if we
weren't going to make it, but I'm glad I didn't as you are obviously too lame
to get it up under pressure."
"As the smartass in the room it is my duty to point out
that funny people are amazing in bed. Every watch Ace Ventura?" Joshua
joked. "Not to mention I am the one with the fitness and human biosciences
"I'd almost do it just to piss dickless off" Jill
"How can you morons laugh when that unspeakable thing
is trying to get in here and kill us!" Mark hissed. "I'm almost
tempted to try this piece of crap thing on you." The sweat-, grease-, and
blood-stained man raised the crude crossbow in his hands. The small improvised
explosive charge on the tip wove a complex infinity pattern as the scared man's
"Please do something that stupid so I can finally shove
this blade into your neck. I never liked you, and I would love a reason to give
you a bloody pearl necklace." Louis purred as he came
up behind Mark and touched the back of his neck with the tip of his combat
"Woah, Cochise! I was just joking!" Mark almost
jumped out of his skin as he tried to simultaneously jump away while also
spinning in the air to face Louis. "Besides, it was your fracking
experiment that caused this mess in the first place! Your reckless disregard
for safety and proper procedure in a crazy attempt to get rich has killed us
Louis yelled back, "and you rushed here to take my
money, and you wired up the subject, and you made the electronics work, so
screw you! You sit here holier than thou while I remember you discarding
subject after subject because you couldn't find the right places to embed the
electrodes. That's really professional, using subject availability to avoid
having to do extra work! Such a freaking bleeding heart, give me a damn break,
you hypocritical asshole!"
The door gave a heavy shudder.
Mark looked like someone shoved a hot poker up his ass.
"Holy shit! it's coming in!" He dove behind the makeshift bunker they
built in the center of the office space out of cubicle walls and desks, kluged
weapon gripped tightly in his hands. "Get over here!"
Jill laughed. "It may not hold, but it won't go yet,
the damn thing is only shaking. You'll use up all you chickenpiss if you get
all pussywillow now, wait until it's falling into pieces and jumping off of the
Louis took the moment to throw another barb. "Besides,
Mark, if you had wired the subject properly the AI would not have been able to
develop a rapport with it."
Mark exploded, "you dumbass, they don't make a diode
for brains! How can I make the signals only go in one direction!"
Louis laughed, "hah, if you really thought that you
wouldn't be pissed. you should have created some kind of fail-safe."
Joshua interjected. "yeah, an
anti-Frankenstein's Monster switch, you know, all the best labs
have them." The thin man laughed. "4 out of 5 mad scientists creating
abominations of nature agree."
"Shut your foul mouth!" Louis shouted. "It
was supposed to be a weight-loss system!!!"
Now it was Joshua's turn to laugh. "A computer harness
you put on your head to positively reinforce dieting and exercise with pleasurable
electrical impulses, sure, what could go wrong?"
Louis snapped, "What's wrong with the premise? Why not
use brain stimulation to encourage behavior, it's the ultimate Pavlovian
Mark chucked, "in hindsight it's 20/20, didn't you ever
read The Terminal Man?"
"I can't read every book ever written, what the hell
was it about anyway?"
Jill jumped in. "It's about a guy who was hooked up to
a computer to develop a seizure cure using brain stimulation, and it kinda
wound up like this."
As if to punctuate the freckled woman's statement, the door
gave a more massive shudder than before.
"Okay, everyone aim for the lower torso, a kind of
punch to the gut as you will." Joshua explained. "The big leg servos
and acid pumps are there, and if we cripple it we can circle around it and blow
it away with the explosives. These crossbows aren't very accurate at long
range, so everyone wait until it crosses the line I painted on the floor."
Jill said, "I still don't understand how it
Louis sighed, "I see it now, go ahead and mock
hindsight. The subject was an especially compatible mentality to the AI, who of
course had no previous mental pattern to emulate. I see now it was always
capable of independent thought, it just didn't have a useful template, as it
were. The subject gave it that. Once they established a rapport, the subject
was able to move about at night while we were unaware, doing the AI's bidding
and bringing together the parts and equipment needed to build the suit."
"Really?" Said Jill incredulously. I didn't think
Juliette was capable of that."
"Exactly!" Louis interjected. Juliette wasn't
smart enough to build an armored battle suit on her own, but with the AI not
only telling her where things were, but also clearing the door logs and
juggling the inventory manifests, it was a piece of cake for her. She doesn't
even feel like she's been taken over, I bet, because the dominating personality
is a copy of her own."
Mark sneered, "yeah, you're a damn genius, they can
give your Nobel Prize to the pile of turds that it will leave you as."
"How fricken poetic" snickered Jill, "you
don't have a dick but you have a mouth, maybe you can use it giving Joshua a
"Oh, yuck, there are children present" Joshua
joked, "I wouldn't take anything from that asshat but a ticket out of this
It was almost as if it heard them and was fed up with the
BS, because just at that moment the office door blew in and a three-foot jagged
outline appeared in the dust and smoke in the mouth of the corridor leading to
"There it is, shoot!" Mark pulled his lever and
the flimsy bolt with a concoction Joshua made up missed the form and blew what
was left of the door off its hinges.
"Smooth move, Ex-Lax, gonna piss yourself now."
Jill's disdain was palpable. "You other jerkoffs better keep your dicks in
your pants until it's time, or this will end pretty ugly."
The trio who still had ammo waited until the cyborg crossed
the line before loosing their bolts. Two of the three hit, nobody knew which,
but the resulting explosions blew the waist-high cyborg in half. Rocket launchers
in the shoulders tore large chunks out of the makeshift cover the scientists
had created, but everyone managed to evade injury. Everyone then went around
the wall of the cubicle space to flank the immobile creature, and then used the
flasks of explosive Joshua made to dispatch the beast.
"Hey, there's still a little of Juliette left."
Joshua dug through some of the debris and pulled out the rear leg of a hamster.
"Wanna make a keychain?"