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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2132373
A futuristic tale of betrayal and having loyalty tested.
1,981 words.

I flickered back into existence, each time I went out, it hurt like hell. After I was fully formed, I stayed on the ground for a second. To stand up right away, would give those hunting me the knowledge of my location, and my bones a chance to ache again. When I heard no sound, I stood up. I was at least 5 miles from where I had been shot and killed.

This must all be confusing for someone that is not part of my world. See in Old York, which used to be known as New York, certain people don't die. When I was created, there was a purpose for me. I was supposed to take rid the world of criminals. Many mistakenly call me a cop or say I am part of law enforcement. I was created solely to kill criminals who get in my creator's way. My current mission has not been going as well as they normally do, and the rumor is that my creator plans on replacing me with a newer model.

The target of my creator's scorn was Freddie, a mysterious crime overlord who was encroaching on his territory. Every time I got near Freddie's territory, some unknown sniper took me out, causing me to respawn. My goal was to find that sonofabitch and kill him the way he had done to me so many times, and then take out Freddie.

No longer was the city a vibrant, alive place. It was covered in a sickly yellow, the color of the sun. It was hell to make my way back to the spot that I had been in, right near the arches that welcomed visitors. An ethereal voice sang out, "You know he wants to replace you. Maybe you should cross him before he does away with you."

I had to ignore the urge to find out who the voice was talking to. There was a job to be done, and I needed to get to it before my creator had to deal with a turf war. Why anyone would want to fight for this land was beyond my comprehension skills. A shot rang out.

Instinct made me drop to my knees and cover my head. Brain and blood wouldn't come out of me, the way it did humans but it still hurt. Three more bullets landed right near me. This sniper was not as good as the others were. He made many mistakes and gave away his location without getting the kill shot. When the last batch of bullets hit the ground, I got up and ran towards the former location of the Empire State Building. Instead of the tower of capitalism, it was now barely a hill, but it was still tall enough to hide in.

The Sniper had his back to me, reloading his gun. My knife sank into his back and left him stunned for a second. Then as had happened with me, he flickered out. He would come back, probably vowing revenge against me. The Voice sang out again, "You know he wants to replace you. Cross him before he does away with you."

"My boss wants to meet you." It was a gruff man. It appeared one of the boulders that had once made Central Park so beautiful, had been used to mold this person. His shoulders were broad, his muscles thick. "Follow me."

"What if I say no? I have a boss too."

"That is not an option. Freddie would be disappointed, and I do not disappoint Freddie."

Freddie wanted to meet me, even though I was out to kill him. He was going to let me get the job done and just let my creator win. It was all too easy but who was I to argue?

"You know he wants to replace you. Cross him before he does away with you."

Thoughts scrambled in my head. Before I could settle on any of them, like who the voice was, a shot rang out. I was eating sand before the behemoth of a man realized that a bullet had penetrated his arm.

His yelp literally shook the Earth beneath my feet. He aimed his machine gun in the direction where the shot had come from and unloaded round after round without stopping. "That bullet was meant for me."

"I know." The Behemoth grabbed me and jumped. With one bound we were on top of a pillar. On the next one over, I saw one of my creator's snipers with his gun trained directly on me. "You need to see this for yourself."

"You know he wants to replace you. Cross him before he does away with you."

"I'm on your side, why are you trying to deter my mission?"

"The Creator wants you eliminated. You are old and useless." He raised his gun but was stopped from completing his shot by The Behemoth's gun letting off another round of bullets, taking him out.

"Thanks." The Creator wanted me killed, but why?

"You know he wants to replace you. Cross him before he does away with you."

A familiar tingling started from my feet and raced through my body. The realization that someone had shot me hit me just as I flickered out of existence. How had someone got the jump on me with Freddie's goon by my side?

As I flickered back into being, I noticed that this checkpoint was further away from where I had been. I was on the opposite side of Old York; I was near Freddie's headquarters. Carefully, I got up and moved to the nearest building.

"Wait here." A voice demanded.

A feeble old man came out of the door. "You have done good work for Chino. I think you joining this organization would be beneficial for everyone involved."

Nobody had ever used my creator's name in my presence before, it was quite striking and seemed almost disrespectful until you counted the fact that he had almost had me murdered. "How is it beneficial for my creator?"

"Chino wants you gone. We want you in this organization. And before you think about killing me, you should know that I am not Freddie."

Not Freddie? That made no sense. My creator had always described Freddie as a dried-up prune, who was no longer useful in the world. If this man in front of me did not represent that statement, no one else would. "You have to be Freddie; you are exactly what my creator described."

"Here are your marching orders, learn more about your creator and then come back and tell me if you want to join our organization or stay with him."

In the old days, a simple google search would have yielded the results that I needed. Because of the nuclear blast, the technology that made the internet possible, no longer existed.

A different sensation buzzed through me. I was being called back to The Creator's layer, and he was using the recall phaser to bring me back. It was only used in extreme circumstances. As my molecules, disintegrated I heard: "You know he wants to replace you. Cross him before he does away with you."

The Creator paced around his office. His black hair was messy as if he hadn't brushed it in a while. "Did you do Freddie in?"

"No, sir. But I was almost killed by one of your snipers."

"I don't want to hear your excuses. I think the time has come to delete your..." He was unable to finish his sentence because my knife slid across his throat. Blood spouted out of him like oil from a well. Once his body fell to the ground, I knew I had to figure out what to do.

My first thought was to get back to Freddie and then deal with the situation. What if I took over the territory? It was a crazy thought but it was not out of the question. Most nobody knew who my creator was, and if I kept up the charade of working for someone else, it would be easy for me to keep things going. And unlike my creator, I couldn't be killed permanently. Respawning hurt like Hell but at least it would ensure that I stayed in charge forever.

As I walked through the landscape, several thoughts floated into my mind and out again. One stuck with me though. If I took out Freddie, then I could control all Old York. It was a weird thought to have since it was such a disaster area. Still, the idea of having the power surged through me. Freddie had to die.

Battles were being waged on either side of me, but none of them stopped to shoot at me. The Behemoth was shooting at someone; I stopped to help him. It was the least I could do. As they continued their battle, I slid behind his enemy and flicked out my knife. Three thrusts into his back and the enemy fell to the ground. "I did not need your help."

He swung his machine gun at me and unloaded a round into my chest. That ungrateful...

I flickered out of the picture before I could finish the thought or yell at him. Taking The Creator's place was the only reasonable solution and I would send my army after that jackass.

Once again, I came back into existence near Freddie's headquarters. There was a pain in my chest, where I had been shot. I ignored it and went about executing my plan. It was the only way. The door to the building was wide open.

"I want to meet with Freddie before I agree to anything." The Old Man bowed and beckoned me to follow him. He opened the door to an office, that was decorated all in white. "Freddie will be with you in just a moment."

The chair behind the desk, swiveled around, revealing a beautiful woman with flaming red hair. "Well, you are not quite what I expected. Then again, Chino always was one step ahead of everyone else."

"Who are you?" I was stunned to hear that this person was the one who had been taunting me.

"I'm Freddie, Chino's ex-wife. He threw me over when he discovered that I was trying to undermine his authority and take over his territory. Men can be such babies."

I threw a dagger at her, which she dodged expertly. She grabbed her gun and fired off two shots, both of which slammed into the wall behind me. My knife was at the ready but there was no way that she would let me get close enough to her. Another round of bullets left the gun, I curled down and rolled over to her. The blade of my knife sliced through ankle, which earned a yelp of pain from her. She trained her gun on me, but before she could squeeze off another shot, I kicked upwards and knocked the gun out of her hand.

We both tumbled towards it. There was no doubt that whoever got to the gun first, would have control of the situation. For me, that meant getting rid of this disrespectful woman and consolidating the power back under one roof. For her, it meant getting rid of me. Temporarily. Both of our hands were reaching for it when she said: "We could have made a great team but you are just like him. Greedy. Once he gets rid of you, I'll get rid of him and finally get my dream."

Her fingers grazed mine. An electric shock passed between us, and for a second I wondered if she would be interested in a machine like me. My answer came when she got her hands on the gun. One shot was fired square in my chest. There would be a war for power. I thought as I flickered out.

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