As soon as we arrive, Mandy, being Mandy, starts running towards the headquarters building without so much as a second glance back at me. What exactly she hopes to accomplish, I have no idea. I rub my face with my hands. Broads.

As I take my hands away from my face and look up, I see something moving very quickly across the highway. It’s a person, a man. Moving impossibly fast. Oh. Oh shit. The blond hair, the muscular frame. A flash of cybernetic metal? Drake.

“Mandy!” I scream. “Get back here now!”

Mandy stops running and whirls around. I point at Drake. She looks. “Drake!” she cries.

“Mandy, get back here!” I yell again. She stands motionless, waving at Drake for a second, and then seeing that he is obviously not responding to her, her expression turns grave, and she begins to away from him towards me. Good girl.

But it doesn’t matter. He’ll make it to us before she ever gets back to me and her car. Seeing this I begin sprinting towards her. Who knows what Drake is, what he’s capable of right now. He’s definitely not the brother that Mandy remembered, though.

I make it to about twenty feet from her when Drake takes a mighty leap up to the parking lot and crashes to the pavement like a meteor. He stands between us, looking straight at me.

“Stop following me,” he says in a lifeless voice, and takes a single step in my direction. His muscular frame moves with unnatural steadiness, his blond hair reflecting the sunlight. “I don’t like people following me.”

“Drake!” Mandy screams behind him. “What’s wrong with you?”

“These matters do not concern you,” he says. “Stand down, little girl.” There’s no recognition in his voice.

“Do like he says, Mandy.”

She doesn’t. Instead, she says, “What happened to you? Who made you into this . . . monster?”

“I said quiet. I cannot abide your petty whining.” he says, his full attention focused on her. My hand drops to the gun in my belt.

“Drake!” She’s almost yelling now. This is not good. “What happened to you? Where did my brother go?”

“I am better in all ways now. Now stand down and let me deal with this one.”

“Come on, Drake, fight it!” She steps towards him. “I know you’re still in there, please! Please Drake!” Another few steps. “You don’t have to be a mindless killing machine!” She begins to run at him. “Fight it!” The cybernetically enhanced muscles in his arms tense. I whip my gun out and fire. A small hole appears in the center of his back. He slumps to his knees.

“No, Jack, what did you –” but Mandy doesn’t finish because a volley of bullets flies from the small squadron of security enforcers standing at the entrance to the building. The gun flies out of my hand. Mandy falls to the ground. I do too.

Am I hit? Am I hit? I clutch at my body, looking for blood. There’s a small cut across my shoulder. Grazed. But that’s all. Not so bad. But Mandy? She’s lying on the ground. For a minute, I think I can almost see a pool of blood forming below her. Then she moves her leg and I exhale. Guess she got lucky too.

Drake, however, is motionless, but I have little time to study him because CyberCorp enforcers swarm around me, pointing guns in my face, telling me to surrender or die. I don’t really have much of a choice. Then again . . . why should I? I notice my gun is lying on the ground next to me. I could do it. I could make it. Fight or flight time, Jack.


      Grab the gun and start shooting

      Dive for cover, try to escape

      Blame it all on Mandy, shoot her

I couldn't take it anymore. I called it off.