It had been eight years since Alexa had been in France. Eight years, since Dr. Foormer and Mr. King and their team took her out of that terrible orphanage. Eight years, since Alexa learned who or what she really was. She hadn’t meant to kill those boys. Still they had intended to do her harm. Two sixteen year old boys attacking a thirteen year old girl like that. They got what they had coming.
A lot had changed over those years. Dr. Foormer, Mr. King and the entire team at Cover Co had trained Alexa. They taught her how to refine her powers. They showed her that her abilities weren’t something to be scared of; they were something to be respected. Alexa went from a girl who was afraid, to a woman who was confident. If she was scared of anything now it was of what she could do to others.
Alexa crept down the long dark hallway, silently, confidently. So far their security had been laughable. Hard for her to fathom that this was the hide out of one of the world’s most wanted hackers. An old abandoned metro station? How cliché.
“I am picking up electrical readings up ahead,” SID told Alexa. SID was her computer assistant, her link to the world. “I detect no cameras, scanners or other forms of security.”
Alexa saw a big metal door a hundred meters away. That’s where the hacker had to be hiding. If he thought that door was going to keep her out he was sadly mistaken.
Reaching the door. Alexa looked up and down, scanning for traps. She didn’t find any. She looked down at the door’s lock so SID could scan it.
The message: DOOR UNLOCKED, appeared in front of her eyes.
This hacker was dumb or over confident. Alexa would use either to her advantage.
Opening up the door she glided into the room. It was a large open area. There were two men and one woman sitting in the middle surrounded by holographic pictures and information. One of the men, a younger man with a beard was typing away at a virtual keyboard. This was her target Raymond Mann.
Raymond was so engrossed in the information he didn’t notice Alexa. The other two did though.
“You made a big mistake coming here!” the girl screamed rushing at Alexa.
As the girl drew closer she pulled a knife. “This is going to be fun!’ she said.
Though Alexa had a firearm she didn’t even bother to draw it. When the girl was within striking distance Alexa simply touched her on the forehead. Alexa felt the surge of energy as the girl fell lifeless to the floor.
The man behind Raymond reached for a weapon. Alexa didn’t like guns, they were ugly and messy. Still there were times they came in handy. Alexa drew her gun and shot the man in one smooth motion.
“Thank the universe you are here!” Raymond said.
Alexa walked towards Raymond her gun aimed at his head. “Most of my victims don’t thank me….”
Raymond nodded. “Because most of your victims aren’t prisoners, Alexa…”
“How do you know my name?”
Raymond shrugged. “I knew they would send you for me. You can kill me if you want, but then you won’t learn what I know about you and more importantly what they think about you….”
Alexa walked up to Raymond slowly, trying to gauge his actions. “What do you mean you’re a prisoner?”
Raymond waved his hands moving holographic information screens to the sides. “I would never work for these people. They want to sell information. I believe all information should be free.” He paused for a second. “They kidnapped me and told me if I didn’t get them the info they needed they would kill my parents.”
Alexa concentrated on Raymond and what he was saying. Normally she could read people’s thoughts. With Raymond she was getting nothing.
A message from SID scrolled across Alexa’s eyes. “Doing a voice scan he appears to be telling the truth,” SID’s message read. “Of course he could just be an expert liar…” SID added.
Alexa was now within easy striking distance to Raymond. If she wanted him dead he would be dead.
“Why can’t I read you?” Alexa asked.
Raymond smiled. “I’m not an old fashion book or a web page…”
“Why can’t I pick up your thoughts?” Alexa clarified.
Raymond shrugged. “Probably cause my mind is wired different than most.” He pointed to his head with a spinning index finger. “Makes it easy for me to communicate with computers and electronics.”
“You said you had information about me,” Alexa told Raymond.
He nodded. “Yes, my captors wanted me to learn all I could about you. Then they used me to lure you here.” Raymond’s eyes popped open. He leaned forward, listening intently.
“What is it?” Alexa asked.
“They are coming….”
Raymond looked around nervously. He pointed behind Alexa.
Alexa turned to see three disk like aerial drones hovering behind them. Each drone had a little dome on top with a pulsating red light making them look like mini flying saucers. The three red lights started pulsating faster.
The drones opened up fire. Diving forward Raymond pulled Alexa to the ground, causing the drones energy blasts to pass harmlessly over them. Alexa spun over on top of Raymond. She popped her weapon into her hand. Alexa aimed and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened.
“The drones emit an EMP wave,” Raymond shouted. “They deactivate other electronics – like my computers and your weapon.”
The three drone bots started to buzz.
Reacting quickly Alexa pointed at the drones with her left hand. She waved her outstretched hand to the right. The leftmost drone collided into the middle drone sending it careening into the third drone. The three drones crashed to the floor shattering into pieces.
“Luckily, I am a weapon,” Alexa said her chest puffed out. Alexa turned back to Raymond. “What’s this all about?”
“They want you,” he said, coldly.
“What does that mean?” Alexa asked.
Raymond touched Alexa on the shoulder. “We have to get out of here,” he said quickly.
“We, there is no we,” Alexa stiffened her body. “If this was a trap for me why didn’t they just kill me on the way in?”
“They wanted to see you in action, record it,” Raymond said. He waved his hand. The holographic image of Alexa killing her first two attackers appeared. “They want to show their buyers what you can do.”
Alexa clenched her fists. “Let them come. I’ll show them what I can do.”
Raymond looked her directly in the eyes. “Listen, Alexa, I know you’re good. But these people have been preparing for you. Your best chance is to run and with me. I know this subway system and its defenses backwards and forewords, inside and out.”
Alexa looked at Raymond. He was fidgeting. His eyes were open wide and darting all over the room. His face was turning red and his respiration rate was rapid. You didn’t have to be a trained operative to tell he was scared of whatever was coming.
The thing was, running away from an attacker wasn’t in Alexa’s nature. It went against her very DNA. She was the one to be feared.
“Alexa please,” Raymond said, pleading with his eyes as much as his words. “These people are prepared for you. They’ve been training for this for years.” Raymond made a fast gesture with his hand. The holographic image of something that could only be described as a tank with tentacle claw like arms appeared. It was rolling down one of the hallways near where they were. “This is what they are sending after you.”
Alexa took a deep breath. She could feel the room vibrating. She could hear the mechanical grinding sound growing ever so louder.
“How do we get out of here?” she asked Raymond.
Raymond smiled. He reached out to take her hand. Alexa pulled away.
“Don’t touch me without warning. I’ll drain your life energy.”
Raymond’s hand continued forward. He gently wrapped his fingers around hers. “Come this way,” he said with a nod of his hand.
Alexa let Raymond lead her towards the far end of the room.
“How are you touching me?” Alexa asked.
Raymond turned and looked at her over his shoulder. “I’m using the computers in the room to generate a protective field over my body.”
Paying a bit more attention now, Alexa did notice that there was a faint glow around Raymond.
“Like I said, they have been preparing for you,” Raymond told her.
They reached the wall. It was a cold rusty metallic grey dead end.
“Why have we backed ourselves into a corner?” Alexa asked.
Raymond gave her a wink. “Trust me.”
Raymond stomped his foot on the ground. The floor beneath them began to shimmer… It reminded Alexa of a video recording rewinding. The floor disappeared to reveal a manhole cover.
“Holographic floor,” Raymond said. He bent down and pushed the covered away revealing a ladder. Pointing downward he said, “ladies first…”
“I’m the only one who can cover us back up with the holographic floor,” Raymond said.
Alexa took a deep a breath then headed down the ladder. Once Alexa was a few meters down Raymond followed. Reaching the bottom Alexa hopped off the ladder. They were in a long cold grey tunnel that had tubes running alongside of it. Her feet were in water.
“We’re in the sewers?” Alexa said to Raymond as he finished his way down the ladder.
“Yep,” Raymond said. “No cameras and thick walls. It will be hard for them to track us.”
Alexa touched her ear. “S.I.D. inform Cover Co that we will need an extraction team. I will have Raymond give you the location.”
Raymond shook his head. “No you won’t. I turned your computer assistant off.” Raymond motioned forward. “Now let’s move.”
Alexa stood her ground. In fact her hand moved to her weapon. “Why did you turn off S.I.D.? He’s my connection to the outside world. My people.”
Raymond shook his head again. “You can’t trust Cover Co any more than you can the people who kidnapped me. For all we know they are both working together. Hell, they may even be working under the same umbrella company.”
“No,” Alexa said. “Dr. Foormer has been good to me. He gave me a home. He gave me training. A shoulder to cry on.”
Raymond motioned forward with his hand. “Trust me, Alexa, you’re better off without them.”
Alexa stood there arms crossed just looking at Raymond, trying to size him up. This was a different experience for Alexa; usually she could just read a person’s mind to see what they were thinking. Even with people trained to protect their thoughts she’d still pick up traces of emotions, feelings. But with Raymond she got nothing, he was a cold blank mental slate. Alexa needed to use her observational skills to try to detect what was going on.
Raymond moved forward his feet splashing in the water beneath him. He motioned to Alexa. “Come this way, we don’t have a lot of time.”
Alexa heard the rumbling from the floor above them. Whatever was coming after them was big. The good thing was it wouldn’t be able to follow them down into the sewers they were escaping in.
“Those capture bots they sent after you come with smaller seek and stun drones,” Raymond said. “They are tiny floating globes that can cause a lot of pain. It won’t be long now until they figure out what we have done.”
Alexa didn’t trust Raymond. She knew, he wasn’t telling her the whole story. Still she understood for now he was her best option to get out of this alive. She didn’t like that one bit.
“Let’s go,” Alexa said.
Raymond gave her a smile. “Smart girl,” he said.
Raymond led Alexa through the long dark damp sewer. Alexa followed but at a slight distance. Raymond turned over his shoulder and looked at her. “You don’t trust me. Do you Alexa?”
“I do,” Alexa said slowly.
They came to an intersection in the sewer. The tunnel they were in turned to either the left or the right.
“No you don’t,” Raymond said with a slight smile. “Right now I’m your only way out of a bad situation. I’m the lesser of two evils.” He pushed a button on his belt. A glowing green, 3D holographic map of the sewer appeared. Raymond studied the map spinning and scrolling it with motions of his hands. “The closest exit to the outside world is right.” Raymond headed to the left.
“I thought you said the closest exit was to the right,” Alexa said.
Raymond nodded. “I did, but they’ll be expecting us to take that one.”
Alexa thought about what he said. It did make sense, at least as much sense as anything made right now. Alexa followed.
“You know what would help me trust you?” Alexa said.
“If you could read my mind,” Raymond said bluntly.
Raymond had hit the nail square on the head. Yet she couldn’t let him know that. “No, no that’s not it,” Alexa said. “It would help me trust you a lot if you would activate S.I.D. I know he’s been built by people you claim are trying to use me, but I still trust him.”
“Him?” Raymond questioned. “SID is a machine. A computer generated personality. There is no him.”
“That’s where you are wrong,” Alexa said. “SID may have started as a collection of algorithms and electrons, but we’ve been together for years. He’s grown. He’s become my friend … I trust him.”
Raymond stopped and turned to Alexa. “The drones are in the sewers now, we don’t have much time,” he said coolly.
“Then activate SID so I can trust you,” Alexa insisted. She drew her weapon, both as a threat to Raymond and as a way to deal with the drones if needed.
“I could,” Raymond said. “But then my surprise for you will be blown…”
Alexa was frustrated. On the run, in the sewers, being hunted by drones. She wasn’t used to being on the defensive. What was even more nerve racking was Raymond, the man she was sent to kill but ending up escaping through the sewers with. Her powers didn’t work on him which was all the more vexing. Of course his cryptic nature made the situation infuriating.
Alexa stopped moving forward. She pointed her weapon at Raymond. “Just because I can’t kill you with only a touch doesn’t mean I can’t kill you.”
Raymond put his hands up slowly. “Remember, Alexa, I’m your best chance for getting out of here alive.”
Alexa held the gun steady. “I’m thinking about taking my chances without you.”
Raymond shrugged. “In strange sewers, with no navigation or support. Chased by killer drones. Sorry, Alexa. You’re good, but you’re better with me.”
Alexa shook the gun at Raymond. “So what’s this surprise you have for me?”
Raymond smiled. “Alexa,” he said in a very deep voice. “I am your father.”
Alexa looked at him with a tilted head. Her finger inched closer to the trigger.
Raymond threw up his arms quickly. “No, no. Wait. Wait.” He said, “That was just a bad joke based on an old classic movie.” He shook his head. “These days nobody appreciates the classics…”
Alexa glared at him. “Talk fast!” she ordered.
Raymond smiled. He slowly moved his right hand to his midsection. He peeled his shirt upwards, revealing a much more solid set of abs than Alexa was expecting.
Alexa straighten her gun arm. “I don’t need a show,” she said.
Raymond raised his left hand slowly. “Don’t worry there’s a method to my madness.” He rolled his shirt up to his chest. Using his right hand he tapped himself on his stomach three times. The front of his midsection popped open like a little door, revealing a beating heart. Alexa had seen a fair amount of hearts and body parts in her days. Actually far more than a person her age should have. Point is, she knows what human organs look like. The beating heart inside of Raymond looked similar to what she would’ve expected, but this one is more rigid, more plastic than a normal human heart.
“You’re an android,” Alexa said.
“I prefer to think of myself as a man-made man,” Raymond said with a grin. “I was built as a tool for efficiently processing information. But, I’ve become so much more.”
Alexa heard a familiar whirling sound behind her. Three shining silver saucer drones had closed in on them. They were hovering steadily in the air, just meters away. Three tracking lasers dotted Alexa’s chest. Alexa froze. She was fast, faster than any normal human, but not faster than a laser. If the drones activated she was dead. She could only hope they really did want her alive.
Alexa slowly raised her arms. “You win,” she said to the drones. Alexa called back to Raymond. “Okay, Raymond, now I get to see whose side you are really on.”
Alexa’s frustration had now grown. Pinned down by drones, most likely dead if she moved, most likely dead if she didn’t move. Yet that wasn’t the most aggravating part of this situation. That award went to the fact that she wasn’t sure she could trust Raymond. To top this debacle off, the only way out of this situation was if Raymond could somehow help. Even then the question was what could one human looking android do against three deadly drones that had laser sights locked on Alexa’s chest?
Raymond lifted his hands over his head in the universal surrender position. Well, that answered that question.
“Okay, I surrender,” Raymond told the drones.
“My hero,” Alexa muttered as she glared at Raymond.
Raymond returned her glare with a wry smile. That irritated Alexa even more. This was not the time to smile. Raymond had to see the look of pure anger on Alexa’s face. He answered that look with a flirty wink. If she somehow survived this Alexa was going to kill him, well it.
Alexa switched her gaze to the three hovering drones. She knew she had some ability to use telekinesis. With nothing to lose she tried using her mind to grab on to the three drones and smash them into each other. Nothing happened.
The three drones dropped lifeless to the ground. The unexpected move startled Alexa.
“What the….” She said.
The next thing Alexa knew Raymond was beside her taking her hand. “Come on we’ve got to get out of here before their human counter parts come.”
“I can handle the humans,” Alexa insisted.
Raymond gave her a little tug. “I’m sure you can. But why take a chance fighting if you don’t have to?”
Alexa had to admit he had a point.
“What did you do to the drones?” Alexa asked as she let Raymond pull her forward.
“Local EMP pulse, I’m not only good at talking to machines I can knock them out too.”
Raymond quickly hurried Alexa through a couple hundred meters of grey lifeless sewer. They reached a metal ladder. Raymond grabbed the ladder.
“This is our ticket out of this place,” he said with a smile. “So you know it’s not a trap I’ll lead.”
Raymond headed up the ladder. Alexa had very little choice but to follow. Raymond reached the top of the ladder and pushed open the manhole cover. He climbed out of the sewer. He reached down and smiled and offered Alexa his hand.
“Here let me help you up,” Raymond said.
Alexa took Raymond’s hand. Her hand tingled as Raymond pulled her up to the surface. They were above ground on one of the back streets of Paris.
“What did you do to my hand?” Alexa asked.
“Ah, just injected you with a couple million nano bots,” Raymond said.
“Why did you do that?” Alexa said pushing Raymond.
Raymond pointed behind her. “Because we got company?”
Alexa turned to see a dozen men and women, all dressed in black body armor, all with weapons pointed at them. Raymond leaned into her. “Do your thing, honey.” He said without moving his mouth. “Generate that death aura.”
“I can’t kill people from this distance,” Alexa thought.
“Sure you can, the bots I injected you with not only allow me to communicate with you but they boost your power. A lot! If my calculations are correct, which I know they are. You are now the most deadly weapon on the planet.”
“Don’t move!” one the armed men shouted. “Our orders are to take you alive, but we won’t hesitate to kill you.”
Alexa raised her arms over her head slowly. She had no idea how to project her power.
“Just let your power go,” Raymond coaxed. “You’re always holding it back. I’ve freed you.”
Alexa didn’t know how Raymond knew this about her but he was right. She always felt like she had to control her power, use it sparingly or else it get out of control. If she really let her power go she feared what could happen. For all she knew, if she was in a bad mood she could cause the people around her to drop dead. She always thought nothing could be worse than a power she couldn’t control….
Alexa appraised the situation. Her training had taught her to relax, not to do anything rash. Examine all the options quickly and efficiently before reacting. When you can kill with a touch, it’s best to stay in control.
Alexa didn’t like what she saw. They were pinned in on dark, damp, black side alley. The enemy had been waiting for them. She started counting the number of antagonists. There were five on the roof of the building to the right. There were five on the roof of the building to the left. There were 15 behind barricades to the front of them. She couldn’t see but she could sense there were at least five more behind them. They all had heavy weapons drawn and aimed. Alexa’s torso and head were dotted with red spots from the laser sights, reinforcing that point.
“We would prefer to take you alive,” the commander of the troops shouted. “Now get down on the ground with your hands behind your backs.”
Alexa heard Raymond inside her head. “Alexa, you can’t let them capture you. You are who they wanted all along. They want to turn you into a weapon of mass destruction. You can’t let them control you.”
“But you’re the one who turned me into a weapon of mass destruction,” Alexa thought back.
“No, I just helped bring the real you out. My way, YOU are in control.”
“Drop now!” the commander ordered.
“You can’t trust them,” Raymond thought to Alexa.
“I don’t really trust you either,” Alexa thought back.
“Then trust yourself…”
Alexa took a deep breath. She felt strange, but it was an invigorating strange. Her power was coursing through her body. She could feel it growing with each breath, with each beat of her heart. These people were no match for her. But she would give them a chance.
“I warn you all now, leave me alone,” Alexa shouted.
Alexa was greeted with silence. She opened up her senses, letting the energy and the thoughts around her flow to her. The soldiers weren’t going to leave. She knew they wouldn’t back down, but she had to give them a chance.
Alexa stood there, motionless. She didn’t need to move to do what she had to do. She simply relaxed, letting out that which she normally tried so hard to contain. Looking out at her would-be assailants she watched partly in terror, partly in joy as those in the front all dropped to the ground – lifeless. Turning to the ones on top of the building, they too were lifeless. Alexa knew they were all dead.
Alexa saw lifeless birds now dotted the ground. There were a few dead rats by an old green garbage bin. The night air was filled with silence.
Raymond stepped forward. He put a gentle arm on Alexa’s shoulder. “I detect no signs of life for at least a hundred meter radius…”
Alexa turned to him. “I have become death…”
Raymond looked her in the eyes. “Alexa, more will be coming. Unless you want to kill them also I suggest we run.” A slight pause. “Contact your people and have them extract us.”
Alexa glared at Raymond. “I thought you said I couldn’t trust them…”
Raymond nodded. “That was before I saw how powerful you truly are. Only they have the resources to help you control this power…” He paused. “We could run on our own. I’m just worried you would hurt more innocents…”
Alexa weighed Raymond’s words….
“Come on Alexa,” Raymond coaxed. “We need to get out of here fast before they send reinforcements. Lots of them.” He touched her gently on the shoulder. “Quick, call your people. I know they have a hover craft on standby.”
Alexa locked eyes with Raymond. “No,” she said. “I just don’t trust you. I’m not bringing you back to my base.”
Raymond’s eyes started to blink rapidly. “No!” he shouted.
Raymond outstretched his body and dove in front of Alexa. Alexa heard the sound of a blaster. Raymond crumbled to the ground, his chest smoldering. It took Alexa a second to realize that Raymond had used his body as a shield for her. Glancing up quickly Alexa saw a hover craft with a pilot and two snipers silently floating above them.
Alexa dove to the side just as the snipers opened up fire again. The blasts from their lasers hit her, once in the shoulder, once in the back of her arm. Alexa hit the ground face first. She was hurt but alive. Though she knew if she didn’t do something fast, she wouldn’t be alive very long. Alexa rolled to the left. Two more laser blasts, hit the spot she had been just a split second ago. Alexa glared up at the hover craft. It was at least 300 meters above her. Alexa wasn’t sure if her power could extend that far. If it couldn’t she was dead. She was actually surprised she wasn’t dead yet.
S.I.D. came back online. “I’m back!” S.I.D. said. “I’ve temporarily jammed the shooters’ weapons, but you better do something before they find a work around.”
Alexa smiled. She pointed her index finger at the hovercraft, she extended her thumb. “Bang, you’re dead,” Alexa said, touching her thumb to her index finger.
The hovercraft exploded into a bright orange fire ball. Embers from all that remained of the hover craft sprinkled to the ground like sizzling hot red snowflakes.
“Wow,” S.I.D. said. “I didn’t know you could do that!”
“Neither did I,” Alexa said.
“I have called for an extraction team,” S.I.D. told her. “They will be here in three minutes…”
Alexa looked over at Raymond’s body. He was laying prone on the ground. She walked over, knelt down and turned over his body. There was a small hole in his chest that was still smoldering.
“He saved my life,” Alexa said. “I didn’t trust him and he saved my life.”
“Yes, he is an interesting creation,” S.I.D. said. “I am scanning him now. I do believe we should return him to headquarters for a more complete scan. I am sure Dr. Foormer and General Carter would be interested in him. After all, they thought he was a human hacker.”
“Our hover craft will be here in one minute,” S.I.D. told Alexa. “I detect no hostiles within a 500 meter radius. Apparently those you haven’t killed don’t want anything to do with you. Like they say, discretion is the better part of valor.”
“I prefer to think of it as living to fight another day,” Alexa said.
“Whatever,” S.I.D. said rather dismissively. “Have you decided what to do with Raymond’s body? General Carter and Dr. Foormer are both on the extraction hover. I know they would love to examine him.”
Alexa nodded. She bent down and lifted Raymond’s body onto her shoulder. She heard the light whisper of a hovercraft engine drawing nearer. Looking up she saw a red, white and blue, bullet shaped hover craft coming towards them.
“I assume that’s ours,” Alexa said.
“Confirmed,” S.I.D. answered.
The hover landed in the now abandoned street just a few meters from Alexa. The door popped open. Two armed soldiers in white protective armor popped out of the door. One scanned to the left. The other scanned to the right.
“All hostiles have been neutralized,” one of the men said.
The other man waved for Alexa to approach. Alexa walked towards the hover carrying Raymond on her shoulder. Suddenly the two escorts opened up fire.
One of the soldiers grabbed his shoulder and fell back into the hover. The other shouted at Alexa. “Move fast now. We have new hostiles.”
Alexa turned to see three disc drones had emerged from the same sewer hole she and Raymond used to escape. Alexa glared at the drones. The drones started to shake and then sizzle with heat before they burst into flames.
Alexa continued into the hover. The door closed behind her. A medic worked on the wounded guard.
“Let’s get out of here, STAT!” General Carter ordered. She was a tall, stocky, hard looking woman.
The hover lifted off the ground.
Alexa dropped Raymond’s lifeless body on the floor.
“Very impressive what you did back there Alexa,” Dr. Carter said. “We count at least 30 terrorists dead. Plus, you brought us their leader to study.”
Alexa focused her attention on General Carter and Dr. Foormer. “Tell me what this was really all about now!” she ordered.
Dr. Foormer walked up to Alexa and put a hand on her shoulder. He was an older man with kind eyes. Alexa had always trusted him. She hoped that trust had not been misplaced all those years.
Dr. Foormer looked at Raymond’s body. “S.I.D. informed us that he was an android. Incredible. His body will be a great asset for us to study.”
“So you didn’t know he was an android when you sent me after him?”
General Carter answered for the Doctor, “No, of course not. We would not send our best asset after a target without giving that asset all the information we had.”
Just then, Raymond’s eyes popped open. He sat up. He looked around. “Don’t believe them, Alexa. They set you up.”
Two of the security men on the hover pointed their weapons at Raymond.
“What the?” General Carter said.
“Amazing,” Dr. Foormer said.
“Put the android down now!” General Carter ordered.
The guards on the hover aimed their weapons at Raymond.
Raymond turned to Alexa, looking at her with pleading eyes. “See Alexa, they are so anxious to silence me. They used me to bring out the best in you and now they just want to discard me. Don’t let them do it!”
“Shoot him now!” General Carter ordered.
Alexa glanced at the armed guards. They collapsed to the ground.
“Don’t worry, they aren’t dead. At least not yet,” Alexa said. She made a fist. “Now I need you all to tell me the truth!”
“Alexa we had no idea Raymond was an android!” Dr. Foormer said.
Raymond snickered. “Alexa, I’ve saved your life. You have to believe me. They set you up.”
Alexa weighed their words. Dr. Foormer had always been kind to her. But Raymond, he had just saved her life, at least twice. She had to believe him.
Alexa noticed that General Carter was going for her side arm. Alexa glared at the general. The general held her chest and fell over. Alexa observed the looks on Raymond’s and Dr. Foormer’s faces. Dr. Foormer’s eyes were wide open and he was even paler than usual. Alexa could have sworn Raymond’s lips curled up giving just the hint of a smile. Could Alexa be wrong?
The message, “back on line,” scrolled across Alexa’s eyes. It was from S.I.D. “Sorry I was off line for so long,” the message continued.
“S.I.D. what do you mean you’re back online?” Alexa questioned, purposely out loud. Alexa steadied her attention on Raymond. “S.I.D. you were online back on the ground in Paris. You helped me save Raymond.”
“Ah, no, that was not me,” S.I.D. said loudly over the hovercraft’s speaker system. “I am a very advanced A.I. I would have remembered that. I conclude I was hacked and another advanced A.I. posed as me.”
Raymond moved to behind Dr. Foormer, locking him in a choke hold, pressing his head forward.
“Sorry, doll,” Raymond said to Alexa. “Looks like I’ve been caught in a white lie.”
Alexa clenched her fists.
Raymond shook his head. “No! No! Don’t try anything. I assure you I can snap your good doctor’s neck before you can kill me. Remember being an android I’m very hard to kill…”
Alexa’s hair rippled around her from the energy coursing through her body. “So, this entire thing was a ruse?”
Raymond smiled as he put more pressure on Dr. Foormer’s neck. “Yeah, guilty as charged. I wanted to lure you here. I really wanted to get my hands on you. I knew I could make you into more.” His smiled grew. “Together you and I could be an unstoppable force.”
Alexa looked at Raymond she unclenched her fists. “What if I don’t want to be an unstoppable force?”
Raymond shrugged. “Too late, you are. You just need to learn how to control your gift a little more. I can help you.”
Alexa shook her head. “I don’t know…”
“Alexa, these humans, they just wanted to use you. I want to HELP you,” Raymond said. “We are meant to be together. We are better than everybody else.” Raymond started to apply more pressure to Dr. Foormer’s neck. “First let me remove one last remnant from your past.”
Alexa smiled, wickedly. “Please, violence is so uncivil,” she snickered. Alexa walked up to Dr. Foormer. She lifted up his chin. She exhaled on him. He went limp.
Raymond dropped the doctor’s lifeless body to the ground. “Now, that’s my girl,” he said.
“I’ve already over powered the minds of the pilot and co-pilots,” Alexa told Raymond as she embraced him. “We can have them take us wherever we wish.”
“I would love to get my hands and my nano-bots on that technology you have in your base,” Raymond said. “The things we could do with that. We could take over everything. Make things the way they should be.”
Alexa looked Raymond directly in the eyes. She smiled. He returned her smile. She leaned in. Raymond met her halfway. They kissed, hard. Alexa tightened her embrace on Raymond, energy rippling from Raymond into Alexa. Raymond wanted to scream but he couldn’t he was too weak. Alexa was crackling with energy, her body glowing from the power. She released her lips from Raymond’s. His android face had been drained of all color.
“I did learn from you,” Alexa told him. “I learned how to kill you.”
Alexa let Raymond’s lifeless body fall to the ground.
“Where are we?” Dr. Foormer said groggily from the floor of the hover craft.
“Sir, we are back to base,” one of the pilots said. “Though we have no idea how we arrived here.”
The doctor looked over at General Carter still lying lifeless on the floor. “How’s the general?”
“The general had a mild heart attack but will survive,” S.I.D. said.
The doctor sat up and looked around. “Where’s Alexa?”
“Her current location is unknown,” S.I.D. said.
“So we’ve lost her?”
“I would say yes,” S.I.D. said, “but she left a message.”
The doctor noticed Raymond’s lifeless body on the ground. “Well at least she did stop Raymond.” The doctor stood up. His knees wobbled but they held.
“What was her message?”
“Don’t come looking for me,” S.I.D. said.
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