The Raven Haired Rogue

ZNJRavenHairedRogue3Vote at the end of this episode!

In the first episode, Zach, the freelance PI, is approached by reality network agents who tell him they just want to talk. Zach knows the apes respect a show of power and debates whether or not he should get rough with them hoping they’ll back off, but readers voted instead that he just talk with them.

Episode 3

I hold up my palms to the apes. It’s a friendly gesture meant to show them I mean no harm.

“Listen, guys I’m flattered,” I tell them. “But like I told all your competition, I am not doing reality HV.”

The three apes look at each other then burst out laughing. The two back apes are actually hitting their thighs they are laughing so hard.

“Ah, what’s so funny?” I ask.

The lead ape straightens up, composing himself just a little. He adjusts his pink tie as he tells me, “Dude, we don’t want you. We’re not just the muscle here we’re also the brains of this new HV network. We see things differently than humans. You’re old news and well old. What are you forty now? We are targeting a young sub-zero demographic.” He points to Carol and HARV. “We want them. The girl is beautiful so guys will dig her, yet she is powerful so women will get behind her. Plus she has that IT factor. The hologram well, he’s the perfect arrogant sidekick. People will love to hate him.”

“He’s far from perfect,” I note.

“I am not snooty, I am confident in my knowledge,” HARV remarks, head tossed back. “I am also definitely NOT a sidekick.”

“I like to keep my life as private as possible,” Carol says.

The ape nods his head. “I get it. I understand wanting to stand out.”

“This coming from a big ape in a pink suit,” I note.

The ape looks me in the eyes. “Our suits and ties have interactive nano colors that we can adjust for the circumstance. We thought the pink would be more friendly like.” He shakes his head. “But that’s neither here or there. My point is our terms are very reasonable and generous.” He touches the P-Pod on his ear and a holographic contract appears. “All you have to do is live your lives and let us record it.”

HARV crosses his arms. “I’ve scanned the terms. They are reasonable but Carol and I are not a sideshow. When you do what we do, it’s best to stay private. That’s why they call us Private eyes…”

The ape points to me. “Technically and legally he’s the only PI. We would call the show the Last Girl Friday.”

“Catchy title,” I admit.

“Sorry, guys no deal,” Carol says.

The lead ape nods. “I understand. If you change your mind you have our contact info.”

The apes turn and walk away.

“Smart choice,” I tell Carol and HARV.

“Please… they are a start up company run by apes,” HARV says. “Carol and I would be better off self-recording and broadcasting our adventures over the net.”

I look at him.

“Not that we would do that,” HARV adds.

“Between this and my other side job I really cherish my privacy,” Carol says.

I should note that much to my chagrin Carol also works as sort of an unofficial Earth spokesperson slash representative to the Gladians. They are a race of aliens that made contact with Earth way back in 2022. They shared with us all sorts of their technology and all they’ve asked from us so far is for our dirt and our chocolate chip cookies. They mostly leave us alone. In fact, today very few average Jane and John Does have even seen a Gladian. But that’s neither here or there now.

I get into my car and head towards the Kardasian Towers or the KT as they like to be called.

The KT is not all that much to look at, just two bland side by side towers stretching up fifty or so stories. The only truly distinguishing features they have are the domes that dot the top of each tower. These domes give the onlooker (well at least me) the impression that the towers have a giant butt on top of them. Which is kind of fitting since the KT is a ultra mega high priced hotel set in what passes for the butt end of Frisco. Their motto is, “for special folks who want to mingle with the little people.” Yeah it’s not very catchy. It’s meant to be a semi-ironic hotel. A place where people with too many credits can over spend these credits and not really get anything much back in return. To me, the most ironic thing is with Frisco being the crown city of Earth even the butt end is pretty shiny and fairly safe.

Entering the KT’s main lobby, the walls and ceiling are bright white and covered with glitter. The lobby itself though is perfectly barren, no front desk, no bell hops, no anything.

“The KT is an upscale no frills hotel,” HARV tells me. “Their clientele like to rough it…”

“So for 5000 credits a night they get no services?” I ask.

“Yep part of the appeal,” HARV tells me. He points to the left. “The elevator is this way.”

We come to a long white hallway that has to stretch 100 meters.

“The elevator is at the end.” HARV says stretching his arm down the hall.

We start walking down the hallway. “Why did they have to put the elevator so far away?”

“They do it so the guests don’t feel pampered,” HARV says. “It’s all part of the appeal.”

We start walking down the long hallway. I hear a little buzzing behind me. Looking over my shoulder, I see a little round cleaning robot has come out of its station in the wall. It is trailing us.

“Apparently the little cleaning bot thinks we’re going to make a mess,” I joke.

“I am a hologram I can’t make a mess,” HARV says. “Carol is quite neat but you Zach can be a bit of a slob. I am guessing the cleaning bots at your office and home have relayed this information to all the cleaning bots in the area.”

I shrug and keep walking. I can’t help but to notice the buzzing sound growing louder. Looking over my shoulder again I now see there are two more cleaning bots behind the first one. All three bots are following us.

“I’m not that bad!” I insist as we keep walking.

“Tió, you can cause a lot of damage,” Carol tells me. “The bots just probably want to be prepared.”

I see three more bots come out of their stations on the floor. These three bots take position behind the others. The buzzing sound increases.

“Okay, this is getting ridiculous!” I say.

“Zach, the last time you were in a upscale hotel you got into a gun fight with assassins and a couple of superwomen causing extensive damage. You can not blame these bots for being overly cautious,” HARV says.

Calling over my shoulder, I tell the bots, “I’m just here to talk to a client.”

I can’t help but to notice there are now ten cleaning bots in bowling pin formation trailing us.

“I gotta admit this is weird even for us,” Carol says glancing over her shoulder.

“Please, you humans are just over reacting,” HARV insists.

Then as if on cue the 10 cleaning bots murmur, “Kill, Crush, Clean!”

“Okay, maybe not such an overreaction,” HARV admits.

I stop walking and turn and face the round little bots. “Okay, this is ridiculous. What are you planning to do? Suck me to death?”

“Actually Zach, these bots are equipped with laser-clean-technology to burn off the really tough spots. I calculate with the slight adjustment they could cause harm,” HARV says.

The lead bot hovers up the ground exposing it’s underbelly to me. A laser beam from the middle of the bot hits me in the shoulder. My under-armor prevents the blast from reaching my skin, but it still burns through my suit.

“See!” HARV tells me. “It is good to be right.”

Okay now I’m mad. I don’t mind being attacked now and then, it comes with the job. But I take offense when a person, mutant, animal or bot rips my suit. That’s just so uncool.

I now notice that the other nine bots are also hovering in the air, positioning themselves to fire on me.

“Do you want me to help, tio?” Carol asks. “Or do you want to handle these bots yourself…” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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One response

  1. Too bad how the ape voting turned out; I wanted Zach to at least rough them up a little. Either way, I think they’ll be back. They might even be behind this present situation.

    Like

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