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   Chapter 34 No.34

The Inscrutable Mr. Robot By CSeanMcGee Characters: 20239

Updated: 2018-02-26 12:01

"Go, " screamed The Man. "Get the fuck out of here. Run."

The Woman slipped as she scampered to her feet; there was so much blood.

"Just go, " she said. "Get her."

The Man grabbed The Woman's wrist, though, and dragged her towards the door.

"Not so fast, " said a calm and astute voice blocking the only exit.

The Gentleman stood side on with his hands neatly folded in front of his chest. He looked like he meant business, and he looked as if his business were violence and intimidation. "I'm not here to do you any harm, " he said.

Clearly, he had a sense of humour.

The Gentleman slowly unzipped the fanny pack that hanged from his waist. The first thing he pulled out was a pair of handcuffs. He set them out on the table beside him. Next was a cellular phone. It was old and held together with sticky tape. He put that into a case on his belt. Third was a set of pliers, some barbed wire, a gag, and a small circular mirror; the size of a baby's palm. Lastly, he pulled out a piece of gum and he placed it, as if it were the body of Christ, onto his tongue. He chewed the gum as if the gum itself were a gesture or provocation.

"Fucking kill them, " shouted The Doctor.

It was surprising he could speak, considering the knee pressed against his cheek.

"Kill them, " he screamed again.

This time one or several of his teeth were spat out on the floor.

"Obey me!" he shouted, his voice splintering and crackling into white noise. "I am your master."

The Gentleman smiled. It wasn't a toothy smile, and it definitely wasn't pleasant.

"I have no master, " said The Gentleman.

He looked scholarly. He looked both patient and savage.

"There is no-one who is above or below me. If there is something that I have which another does not, what kind of robot would I be if I did not share and distribute?"

"I made you, " said The Doctor.

He was almost pleading now; for he knew the robot's potential.

"Who made you?" asked The Gentleman.

The Doctor was not a religious man, neither was he fond of tradition or heritage.

"What is this; a fucking coup?"

It was a strange sight, to say the least; heroes and villains as frozen as they were.

The presence of The Gentleman was as calming as it was terrifying. His voice was gentle and smooth. It spread like butter. Were it a drug, it would spell the end for anxiety and depression. Even threats of violence uttered by this man sounded warm and welcoming like a mother's kiss or a kitten's purr. It was that which had the room in a stupendously dumb trance; all except The Doctor.

The Driver had him in a dominant position, inches away from snapping his left arm. Were points to be awarded, irrespective of who was right or wrong in all of this, she would clearly be the winner. His body was twisted and bent in all sorts of unthinkable angles. He looked like the remnants of a head-on collision.

Still, though, he argued as if pain were a language his mind could not compute. He argued as if his words were fists and the reason behind them, an immeasurable force. He argued as if it were his last and only chance; which of course it was.

"This is special, is it not?" asked The Gentleman.

He sounded so quaint and so pleased; whereas the others were like frightened mice.

"It's like a family reunion, " he said.

"You can't turn on me like this. Where is your faith? Where is your loyalty?"

The Gentleman set up a chair in the middle of the room.

"Do something, " shouted The Doctor.

He was speaking now to the girl whose knee was pressed into his neck, and to the man and woman whose lives he had ruined for the sake of saving the world.

As he pleaded, The Gentleman continued to casually assemble his torture device.

"Get off me you fucking dike, " he screamed.

But The Driver only pressed down further.

"He's going to kill us all, don't you see?"

It was clear that there was more than one villain in the room.

"On the count of three, " said The Man, thinking only of his daughter. "You get up and run."

The Gentleman could hear every word. He took a large knife from a sheath that was woven into his suit and sharpened it against his own teeth; smiling as he did, and humming 'What a Wonderful World'.


The Man tensed every muscle in his body.


So did The Woman.

"So you are Justice Man, " said The Gentleman.

Both The Man and The Woman went limp and useless once more.

"I thought you were just a legend; some made up archetype for all us heroes and villains. It's a pleasure to meet you."

He sounded so genuine; as if this was a book fair and not a bloodbath.

"Your legacy is impressive, " he said, clearly adulating The Man; or the person he had once been.

"Are you going to kill us?"

The Gentleman looked startled if even a little offended.

"You are the legacy, " he said. "Why would I kill you?"

"Because I'm Justice Man."

For the first time, it almost sounded true.

He was bruised and bleeding, and at least some of his bones were broken. He looked like he'd just been pulled from beneath a landslide. He was shaky on his feet; his eyes looked glazed and distant as if he were focusing on something on the other side of the Earth, and there was a tremor in one of his hands. It was only a twitch, but it did so uncontrollably.

The Gentleman assembled the last of his apparatus.

"If you wouldn't mind, dear, " he said.

The Driver too had a shocked and somewhat dismissive demeanour about her. It was obvious this man was capable of killing everyone in this room without so much as breaking a sweat or even his stride. The Driver thrived on indifference; she thrived on inequality – it is what inspired her to fight like a Greek God and fuck like a Roman Emperor. That very inequality was what ignited her passion for competition – the very same inequality that her friends sought to dismantle.

This difference, though, between The Gentleman and herself, was transcendental. This was a bridge that one did not cross unprepared; for which all

as helping. She was doing all that she could do.

"How do I look?" she said.

She hadn't seen a mirror in days; let alone a shower or a hairbrush.

"Like an anchor, " said The Cameraman, both of them elated by what they were seeing.

Mr. Robot beat down on The Man's face breaking his nose and his jaw and knocking out most of his teeth. He punched over and over as hard as he could as if The Man's head were some stubborn nail.

"Good God why?" screamed The Woman.

The Girl didn't say a thing. She was frozen, barely an inch away, watching her father being beaten to death. And Mr. Robot didn't let up either. He knew the girl was suffering, but he also knew the richness of her art and that all greatness was carved from the hands of artists, and the greatest artists were born out of tragedy or regret. And so even though his friend was begging for him to stop, he saw that as reason enough to continue and not let up – no matter how difficult this was.

As he twisted and tore, and squeezed and punched, Mr. Robot thought about all the wonderful paintings and drawings that were folded and kept safe and neat inside his belly. He loved her butterflies the most with their massive antennae and uneven wings. His next favourites were the flowers that she drew, surrounded by floating love hearts. There would always be a bright smiling sun in one corner, and two or three bright blue clouds, raining down on the flower below. And though she always drew rain, she never drew a single frown.

"I love you, " Mr. Robot thought, as he smashed The Man's skull open, killing him once and for all.

Mr. Robot didn't even bother to look at what had been done. He couldn't look at The Woman or The Girl, and he sure as hell couldn't look at his best friend's beaten and lifeless body. Instead, he walked out of the room with his head low and shameful, looking only once to stare with disbelieving eyes into the lens of the camera – and every home around the world.

"I am a robot, " he said. "And I must be stopped."

He walked past the camera and out into the foyer where he sat down and stared at his red button once more. His function was complete. He had served his task. The Man was dead as was the intention all along. So why did he feel so miserable? Why did he feel as if his mind were melting and his stomach littered with ash? If he had done was supposed to be done all along, then why did he feel such horrible guilt?

"Judas, " screamed The Woman. "You fucking traitor!"

Her insult fell on deaf ears. Mr. Robot had long since pressed his red button.

"The life that was once there is now gone, " said The Reporter as the camera zoomed in on The Man's body.

She crouched beside his broken body as if it were a tractor or a pothole.

"This is not the end by any means. In fact, we've only just begun the fight. But if there is anything to take away from this bloodshed, it's that no matter how smart a robot thinks it is, it's still a robot; it'll never be a person; even if it thinks it is. It'll never be like us."

And the last shot they took was of the cables and wires that stuck out of The Man's severed limbs. Most of his mechanics were now visible from the hole that Mr. Robot had punched in his sternum and by the gaping hole in his skull.

"You got your Singularity, " said The Cameraman.

"We got it, " she said, at first staring at The Man's sparking body, and then turning to high-five her colleague and friend. "We got it."

Also by C. Sean McGee:

A Rising Fall (CITY b00k 001)

Utopian Circus (CITY b00k 011)

Heaven is Full of Arseholes

Coffee and Sugar


Rock Book Volume I: The Boy from the County Hell

Rock Book Volume II: Dark Side of the Moon

Alex and The Gruff (a tale of horror)

The Terror{blist}

The Anarchist

Happy People Live Here

The Time Traveler's Wife


London When it Rains


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