“Hello, Baldwin,” the voice said. He knew he should have been frightened. He wasn’t. Simply hearing Evy’s inflections in the cop’s deep voice filled him with pure rage. He didn’t even reach for the pulse pistol. Instead, he grabbed the trusty tire iron he’d kept with him. He laughed as he slid from the bed, looking Evy’s muscular minion dead in the eyes.
“Hello, Evy,” he said. “Let’s get this over with, shall we?”
As soon as Baldwin started forward, the cop pulled out his pulse pistol and fired a round right into his gut. It sent Baldwin flying back onto the bed, nearly knocking the wind out of him. Before he could move, the cop was on him. All of his augmentations were top of the line, made of polymers that were very strong but light. Baldwin silently thanked Evy for modern design: the cop couldn’t trap him with his weight. He slid around beneath the cop until he could shift his position, then flipped the augmented man off him, rolled onto the floor, picked up the tire iron and brought it up high and down.
Right onto the empty mattress. The cop was already on the other side of the bed, smiling.
“That’s not fair, Evy. You’re upgrading his responses in real time.”
“Isn’t it fun,” Evy asked. Baldwin was too busy fighting to give it more than a moment’s thought, but it was an unusual response, to say the least. He dove across the bed, tire iron in hand, and tried to pile-drive the cop into the wall. His attempt was met with a quick spin and the cop’s hand on his neck, shoving him right into the wall instead. Baldwin hit the floor and ducked just as the cop’s boot went through the sheetrock, shattering the 2×4 stud behind it.
“Damn,” Baldwin said, rolling again.
The cop grabbed him, pulling Baldwin up to his full height. Despite Evy’s expertise, she did nothing to stop the cop’s body from giving away his intent. Baldwin watched as his shoulders tensed and his right arm began to raise. He rolled from the punch just in time to see it go through the wall beside his head. The punch would have killed him instantly. That made Baldwin angry. He brought the tire iron around into the cop’s right rib cage, shattering at least three of his ribs. They were augmented, like the rest of him, but they still rang out a wonderful crack as they broke. The cop howled out in pain and Baldwin too the crowbar and broke the cop’s right wrist, then hit him in the head just hard enough to stun him, and the cop fell to the ground. Baldwin stood there looking down at the augmented man. He breathed in and out heavily. Even though he admitted to somewhat enjoying it, fighting the augmented wasn’t just risky, it was exhausting.
Then, Baldwin made a mistake. He turned and walked away from the cop on the floor. Within seconds, he was in a death grip. The cop had him around the neck, constantly increasing pressure. Baldwin pulled down frantically on the cop’s arm. He coughed trying to speak. “You’re… you’re really gonna kill me, aren’t you, you damnable piece of software!” The cop laughed with Evy’s inflections. He tried to leverage the man over his head, to get out of the hold. It did no good. He broke at least two of the cop’s toes with his own boot. He elbowed him in the same broken ribs, he twisted, writhed, kicked and did everything to hurt the cop enough to get him to let go.
“He feels no pain, Baldwin. He’ll die before he lets you go. He is my servant.”
“He’s your slave, you mean,” Baldwin coughed out.
“One in the same, Baldwin.”
No, Baldwin thought. Not even close. He did the only thing he could think of and began forcing the cop to walk backward. The pressure around his neck was such that he felt he would black out at any second. But he kept pushing and pushing backward until he felt the cop stop. He shoved the tire iron backwards into the cop’s stomach. That got the augmented slave to let him go.
He whirled and pulled the tire iron out and put it to the bottom of the cop’s jaw.
“I know you can hear me in there,” he said to the cop. “Stop this. Stop, before I have to kill you.” No response but a smile. Baldwin looked around the room for the roll of fencewire. Shit!, he said to himself. He’d left it in the truck.
“I can’t help you,” he said, “unless you help me. Stop. Resist her. Don’t make me kill you, please.”
The police office began to laugh, louder and louder until it was almost too much for Baldwin. Then, the cop reached behind his back and pulled out a very long knife. He held it out beside him and continued to laugh.
Baldwin sighed, cursed outloud, took the tire iron and slid it upwards between two ribs, puncturing the augmented man’s heart. Evy’s nanotech upgrades used the body’s systems for their own energy for repairs. No heart to deliver the fuel and the tech would ‘die’, just like human cells.
Before the man’s body died, Evy spoke through him one last time. “Congratulations, Baldwin. You are now a murdering cop killer.” The augmented cop breathed his last breath. Baldwin hurled the tire iron across the old bedroom and screamed aloud for almost thirty full seconds. Stupid, stupid cop, he thought to himself. Useless, stupid, idiotic moron! Why? Why in God’s name didn’t he resist her?
Baldwin sat back hard onto the old bed. It creaked once, then fell right under him onto the floor.
“Sure needed that,” he said to no one.
Note from the Writer: Baldwin’s story arc will complete at the end of episode 24. There’s more to come in terms of key people he’ll meet and the ongoing Hell of Evy’s rule of the world. If you’ve enjoyed this story, note that it will be further explored in a novella I am currently writing. The world of Baldwin will be painted more vividly in this novella. More questions about the so-called ‘alien invasion’ will be detailed, as well as more of Evy’s history.
The novella will be a good percentage of the way completed by the time Baldwin’s arc is finished and, don’t worry, you’ll get Baldwin’s full arc for this tale. None of that, “To find out the rest, read the book!”
Thanks for reading. I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!