70. The Unnatural City, Part V   4 comments

Meanwhile in Space…

Episode 70: The Unnatural City, Part V- Robots in Disguise

Timmy was released from the hospital in the early evening. To prepare for dinner with the others, he immediately went to his apartment to take a shower. He was tempted to go over to Sundance’s apartment to tell him about what he saw in the doctor’s office, but he thought the better of it. He was going to see him at dinner anyway.

As soon as he entered his apartment, he immediately started to disrobe on his way to the bathroom. He couldn’t wait to take a shower. He was sure he had sand in places he didn’t know about. He turned on the water and the shower automatically set it to the desired temperature. He stepped inside and imagined that he was washing everything down the drain. The worries about his blood work, the wire snake, the robot doctor, everything.

As hard as he tried, he couldn’t shake the image of the robot doing his blood work. He kept seeing its bright red eyes staring into him. Timmy rested his head on the wall and let the water rain down on him. He wanted to convince himself that the hallucination wasn’t real, but he couldn’t shake the idea that maybe it was. Something wasn’t right. He slammed his fist against the wall as he told himself he just needed to get over this feeling and move on.

He finished up in the shower and got dressed to go to dinner. He didn’t think he was going to be need to be in his uniform, so he dressed casually. A blue polo shirt, a pair of khaki shorts, and his best sandals. He walked into his living room and his cat, Argyle, welcomed him.

“Hey, kitty!” He made sure that there was sufficient amounts of water and food in Argyle’s bowls before he left. “Don’t wait up!” The cat meowed him and watched as his master left the apartment.

—————

“Lieutenant! So glad you could make it!” Colonel Graves said, holding up a glass of red wine. “I was beginning to think that the doctor had you tied up.”

“Or something like that,” Sundance added. He stood up and pulled a chair out for Timmy. When Timmy sat down, he reclaimed his place at the table. “What did the doctor say?”

“She needs to run some more tests.” Timmy informed, looking at the menu. “The results keep coming up inconclusive. I wonder what the hold up is.” He looked up and saw the concern in Astralyn’s eyes. “But I’m sure it’s nothing. Anyway, I don’t want to think about it. So, what are we having?”

“I am being adventurous and am ordering the Gamberi al Vino Blanco,” Astralyn said, placing her menu down in front of her. “Prawns are just shrimp, right?”

“I guess I’ll have my usual.” Sundance stood up and shouted, “Waiter! Bring me the ravioli!”

“Sundance! Sit down!” Astralyn hissed. “You’re not going to make a drunken display tonight!”

“What? I’ve only had one glass of wine!”

“Speaking of adventure, do you guys remember how we got out of our last one?” Timmy asked. He couldn’t help himself. “Because I don’t remember anything.”

Colonel Graves coughed and took a sip of his wine. “I found a place to hide from the beast and I called for back up. I ran from that thing for as long as could before it got me. Fortunately, back up arrived just in time to rescue me from being pulled underground.”

Timmy nodded his head in mock understanding. There was something oddly vague about the colonel’s explanation. Timmy hadn’t lasted ten minutes, but the colonel was able to hold out for almost two hours for back up to arrive? Sure, the colonel had more experience in the field, but the wire beast was pretty major and no amount of combat experience would have trained him for that.

The waiter eventually arrived and took their orders. Astralyn ordered first, which gave Timmy time to look through the menu before the waited got to him last. He was hungry enough to order everything. After Colonel Graves and Sundance ordered, Timmy decided on the Osso Buco; it had been a while since he had veal.

“And for you, sir?” the waiter said.

Timmy looked up at the tall waiter as he said his order and saw that he was a robot. He shouted and fell out of his chair. He crawled backwards until he hit someone sitting at the table behind him. “No! No!” he screamed. The robot turned and looked at him; its wide circular red eyes glaring at him.

“Timmy?” Sundance got down from his seat and knelt down next to Timmy. “Timmy, are you alright?”

“Don’t you see it?” Timmy pointed at the waiter only to see that he was a very frightened human. “Didn’t you see it? Oh, god.” He placed his hand on his forehead and sighed. “I’m okay. I’m sorry.” Sundance helped Timmy up and they sat back down in their chairs.

“I’ll have the Osso Buco, please,” Timmy said, feeling very embarrassed.

The waited closed his order ledger and quickly went to the kitchen to place the order.

Timmy stared down at the table because he knew that everyone was staring at him. He could even feel the people at the other tables staring at him. He was just glad he didn’t have his laser pistol with him. He could have pointed it at the waiter and shot him.

“Timmy, are you okay?” Astralyn asked. She placed a hand on his leg.

“No, no I’m not.” Timmy stood up from the table and left for the bathroom. This left everyone at the table in confusion.

Timmy pushed open the door to the bathroom and allowed a man to exit. He entered the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror. He looked at his reflection while he wondered what the hell was wrong with him. He ran his fingers down his face and let out a sad moan.

The bathroom door opened and Sundance came in. “Timmy, what’s going on with you?”

“I don’t know, Captain,” Timmy replied. “I honestly don’t know! I’ve been seeing things since I woke up this afternoon.” He gripped the sink and started to cry.

“What did you see?”

“Remember those man-eating robots we fought last year?” He looked to Sundance and saw that he nodded his head. “I’ve been seeing them lately. First the doctor and now the waiter. Captain, am I going crazy?”

“I don’t think you’re going crazy,” Sundance replied. He turned Timmy around so that he was facing him. He placed his hands on Timmy’s shoulders. “I think you’re just freaked out by what’s going with your blood work. The whole incident with being strapped to that big engine on Deimos has got you all messed up.” He shook Timmy a little. “You’re my buddy! You’re going to be just fine! We’ll find out what’s happening to you.”

Timmy closed his eyes and gave a sigh of relief. He was glad to hear Sundance say that. He was beginning to feel a little better. Then he felt Sundance’s hands go from his shoulders up to his neck. Then he opened his eyes. Instead of Sundance standing before him, there was another robot. It had its hands on Timmy’s throat and began to squeeze.

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Posted June 23, 2014 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction, Sci-fi

Tagged with , , , , ,

4 responses to “70. The Unnatural City, Part V

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  1. That has to be one of the worst scenarios ever for a hero: monsters everywhere, and only you can see them! Here’s hoping Sundance rides to the rescue next week…

  2. Oh nooooo!

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