Guest of Honor

The halls of the Cybercorp compound where they take me and Mandy shine like a movie star’s teeth on Oscar night – but they’re not nearly so appealing. It’s all so damn clean. So damn dead. I don’t like it.

We were loaded up into a CyberCorp ETV - enforcer transport vehicle - and then we were taken through the city to god knows where – hell, maybe we’re still in the city, the vehicle didn’t have any windows where they threw us. Regardless, they unloaded us at some CyberCorp building, and took us straight to an elevator. They took us down, then. Some sub-basement, maybe hundreds of feet below ground. We went down for quite a while, that’s all I know. Then we came out into this damn shiny white hallway, like it’s made out of enamel, and we’re marching somewhere at gunpoint. The only comfort I have is that if they wanted to kill us, they could have done it a hundred times over already, and no one would ever have known.

After what seems like countless minutes wandering down glassy white hallways, we come to a row of doors. The doors are the same color and material as the hallway as far as I can tell, except that they have small windows. I’m ushered in to one, and Mandy is placed in a different one down the hallway a bit. I hope she’s alright. Hate to see such a pretty girl get hurt. Pet peeve of mine.

I sit. I don’t how long it is. Feels like a goddamn eternity, but you know, when you’re staring at a white wall, seconds become minutes and minutes become hours. All things considered, it’s probably a few hours, maybe more, maybe less. My chip doesn’t even work down here, so the boredom begins to get to me after the first few minutes. My mind just keeps replaying the last scene over and over again, like a broken record player. CyberCorp. Why the hell would CyberCorp take us prisoner, when obviously some cyborg was going crazy, trying to kill people? I never trust a corporation, but with one as powerful as CyberCorp, you’d think they’d at least have some sense of judgement. I mean, everyone knows the government is nothing nowadays compared to the corporations, especially CyberCorp, but can they really just throw people in jail for as long as they deem necessary? How could they be so backward?

Unless. Unless they know exactly what they’re doing. Unless they’re behind the whole damn –

The cell door slides open. A man in a gray suit with pepper-gray hair and a neatly trimmed gray beard walks, no, saunters into the room. An armed enforcer follows close behind. This guy reeks of the corporate machine.

“Who the hell are you?” I bark. Like I’m in a position to be rude to anyone, no matter how much of a soulless automaton they may be.

“I can see you’re a polite one. Since you asked, Jack, my name is Bill, and I’m here to explain to you why exactly what you’re doing here.”

He knows my name. Not so surprising, on second thought. “Well, I’m all ears, Bill.”

“Lovely. Where should I begin? Sometimes it’s so difficult to know where to start.” He furrows his brow, almost in a mockery of actual thinking. “Ah. I’ve got it. Wonderful. You know of course, that CyberCorp is at this point in time, not only the biggest corporation in the world, but the biggest corporation that has ever existed throughout all of time?”

“Yeah. So what?”

“So you’ve probably been wondering, ‘what right does CyberCorp have to keep me locked up in this cell indefinitely without trial?’”

“Crossed my mind, yeah.”

“Naturally. Well, you see, it all really just goes back to Machiavelli...

      "Why don't you shut up and get to the point," I say.

      Hear him out--this could be interesting.

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