Re: The Show Must Go Off

Home Forums The Writers’ Room Science-Fiction Fiction The Show Must Go Off Re: The Show Must Go Off


Herr D

LC4 was enough of a rookie that she didn’t automatically think I was lying. And that she wasn’t as scared by what I had just told her. “The coordinates you gave were no good.” Ah, but she did her homework.
“Well,” I said, “I didn’t think they’d wait around for you to find them. They may have lied to me anyway. Did you at least find where they were?” I had jettisoned debris suitable to have been a rogue beltminer’s transmitter and plotted it’s probable landing site on a stripped, abandoned rock. Her face told me they had. Hmm. They hadn’t put that online yet–why not?
“I’m asking the questions.”
“So you have more, then?”
“Those being?” KF2 was actually smiling at how badly she was doing. He wasn’t quite so prideful about his job.
“How do you contact them?” Ah, about time.
“I think they are always watching for me to be online. They choose when.”
LC4 couldn’t help but look up at the hallcams. “You will submit to memchip scan.”
I looked at her with genuine indignance. “I will submit to memchip scan in this public hallway. And I will NOT accompany you to the Enforcer Station.” It was time to start scaring them.
She gave me a sarcastic, scrunched-up face and said what no Enforcer was supposed to officially admit. “We were monitoring your chat, ‘Q,’ and we have you on conspiracy to commit extortion.” Gotcha!
I gave her my sweetest, most triumphant smile and didn’t need GameFace at all, even with her shoulder cannon still pointed at my face. “I would be FASCINATED, Elsie, for you to arrest me on charges of blackmailing you about Enforcers assassinating beltminers.” And I pushed through the subroutine I’d prepped. Every hallcam pointed straight at me. Three cleaning bots, one maintenance utiility cart rolled into view, pointed their optics at us. Every vent, panel, duct, and service door opened to reveal another droid’s optics beginning to point at me. It took about thirty seconds for the movements to complete while I simply added, “I wonder how long they would let you live.” LC4 and KF2 both went pale and still. Their backup pointed their weaponry at each droid, bot, autocart, cam and screen, not knowing what to do. “They’ve been waiting for a confession or a slip-up. Why not go ahead? In the meantime, I don’t dare go anywhere with any Enforcer. I’d be killed. You too, most likely. Of course, as long as I AM alive, the chances of you catching The Shade and his ‘merry men’ are higher.” I GameFaced back to psychotic calm. “But as long as they know I’ve been loyal, they’ll only kill me if they can do it quickly, hurting as many of you as possible in the process.”
Every Enforcer took at least two steps back from me. I’d be a hero by next shift-end. “There is nothing more I can tell you. There is nothing in my memchips worth scanning. Do you want to waste the time?” She shook her head. I walked away.