The bullets plunged deep into my flesh with a merciless intensity. I felt each gunshot, each scream of pain from those nearby. I remained silent, happy with death... after what I had done I was happy to die.
I didn't. Even though I laid there for hours bleeding I did not die. I accepted it, I pleaded for it, yet it never came. I found out later that those who had families and honest lives died, all of the people around me.
The doctors said my body was unable to be saved. Despite my natural resistance to the RE8 weaponry my body could never heal itself. The cold of the operating table was of no solace to me, and I pushed the surgeons away. They overpowered by weakened state and I passed out with the drugs they pumped through me.
"Zero! Alright, engage base function!"
A shock went through me, my whole body jolted with an electrical bolt. I opened my eyes to see a red filter over my vision, in my peripheral vision I could make out white numbers and letters I couldn't for the life of me see properly. Over the next minute I struggled to overcome the sensation, focusing on them.
"Release locking mechanisms two through nine!"
They were diagnostics, like a computer. The numbers ticked seemingly randomly up and down, and the words came up with odd phrases and seemingly irrelevant information about the room... "Light levels optimal".
"Betty, your cue!"
A woman stepped in front of me and waved her hand in front of my face, I wanted to blink but couldn't. "Hello there, can you hear me?" she tilted her head as she waited. "Are motor functions active, Steve?!" I tried to move desperately...
"Activating motor functions!"
My arms suddenly sprung into action and I swung violently at the woman...
Not my arms...
Metal arms that hovered in front of a woman with wide eyes and a heart that beat heavily, I knew that because it rung in my ears... not my ears.
"Betty! You alright?!"
She exhaled, pulling herself together and offering a weak smile to the control room out of my sight. "Hello Mark. You don't know who I am..." I tried to speak, and found I could... only it wasn't my voice. I told her my name was Russel, she shook her head. "We named you Mark, as you are Mark One of the Centaur Citizen Protection Machination. A CCPM if you want." I growled in my blurry robotic voice, angered at how she told me what I was, and what my name was supposed to be. I told her that she wasn't able to tell me who or what I am. "Actually, I am. My name is Betty Wright, the head designer of the CCPM system and I have purchased your cadaver from the United States Military, the Special Forces Divison."
"Mark! Take a walk around, see how it feels!"
I turned the mechanical head to the control room and flipped a steel bird at the man. "Please, show some restraint," I turned the gesture to her. "Mark," I insisted I knew my own name "Your name is Mark now, there can be no connection to your old life," I told her that it was MY life, not hers "On the contrary. You were medically dead when we acquired you, your body and therefore your brain is ours whether you agree or disagree. If you continue to be this disruptive we may have to find another candidate, however you are far too perfect to let go because of this."
"Activation of sensors complete, full control afforded. Weapons active!"
She silently yelled at the man. Weapons, I thought, weapons could get me out of here and get me revenge for this. Oh how wrong I was. I spent a moment thinking of how I could access weapons, and then my right forearm clicked and whirred. Betty watched in silence as the rotary cannon took place of my right hand. I turned it on Betty, it spun wildly... But it did not shoot. A red warning blinked in the upper right of my vision, "Friendly Fire". I swore, the man in the control room got a laugh out of that. Turning my weapon I fired into the doorway, the wood splintered and flew apart as my weapon fired. Dismally, the metal behind it buckled and bent but did not part. "Mark, please." I was not Mark...
"Betty, shut him down! We've got to get to the demonstration!"
She smiled politely and then held out a remote towards me. As I focused on it, I literally focused on it with my vision zooming in and a description appearing. "CCPM Deactivation\Reactivation Device", damn.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce the one and the only Centaur Citizen Protection Machination!" my vision flicked back on with it's filter. "The Centaur is the latest from StecknalCo, a defensive soldier that never needs sleep, that thinks for itself on the go, and that is armed with everything from shoulder mounted nine millimetre cannon to a rocket launching platform capable of firing all six of it's rockets simultaneously and at different targets after only a quarter second of targeting." Rockets... "The Centaur uses my partner Betty Wright's Quadraped chassis with the upper half of my Olympian God chassis. Defaulting to ten feet, reaching to thirteen safely, and able to compact to less than six feet for movement through most mechanical workshop doors, the Centaur is a versatile machine." I used to be five feet, this is a plus, I guess. "The Centaur is able to distinguish targets even without IFF chips, allowing for ensured protection of any side in a battle thanks to it's revolutionary Friendly Fire On system." That explain why I couldn't hit or shoot Betty. "The Centaur has a dictionary system built into it, capable of identifying over one million objects and species. It's so powerful it could tell you what brand my tie is and accurately describe someone with a multicultural heritage down to a three percent error margin." "The Centaur will be used actively by any number of law enforcement and peace keeping organisations for the next hundred years thanks to the Centaur's unique learning AI and upgradeable parts. Need a riot bot, equip it with a tank and high pressure hoses with a riot guard to protect anyone in the crossfire. Need a serious military weapon? Ditch the flimsy nine millimetre cannon and equip two more vulcans on the shoulders and a self loading rocket launcher on the quadraped chassis. The Centaur can use any weapon you equip it with, and even use unmounted weapons such as handguns, shotguns, and even assault rifles in a pinch. The Centaur can use any weapon a human can, with deadly accuracy. It even has a minute grabber with loaded camera to do things even surgeons with a half century of experience couldn't hope to achieve! Now don't you all agree the Centaur is the perfect defensive as well as offensive Automata ever made!" My vision flicked off again.
"Steven thought it would be inhumane to leave you disabled for such a long time... Until you are needed you can stay in this room, I've provided your various stimuli. Goodbye, Mark."
As she walked out I heard a loud clunk and my body was free to move. I looked around the room, trying out my vision on everything. "Wooden Stacking Rings", "Paper Target" "Rocking Horse" "Barbel, 2x 50 kilograms" "Soula Vending Machine" "Lighting Fixture, Data Missing". Wooden stacking rings, great. I moved around the room and picked up the Barbel. A hundred kilograms and I wasn't phased even slightly. I decided it was time to get out of here.
Bullets were one thing, a two hundred kilogram vending machine was another. The door bent wildly outwards with each strike, and when I was happy with the gap I tossed the machine aside and pried the door aside with my strong metal hands. The hallways were made for large things, and I could move without any problems. I scanned each label on the doors until I found something interesting. "Computer Labratory."
Falling, weightless, from a midnight sky...
Turning, twisting, wishing I could fly...
My life has no truth, and I can't land on a lie...
So I fell through the ground as it passed me by...