The music that filled the arena reminded me of the music I would hear from my son’s room whenever I gave him my brainpod to hack for new software I couldn’t afford. Keygen music he called it.
I dipped both my hands in the wide can of engine oil that was before me and scooped out a full palm bowl – enough to make my wire braids shimmer – and greased the coppery shrubbery that poured from the back of my head.
I lifted my hands and walked onto the gangplank. Strobe Lights led the way from the helicopters that hovered above and on the steel floor, pairs of little fluorescent bulbs did same. The volume of the electro-music was turned up to match the fever of the moment.
“Colder than steel, faster than light, hydraulic strength, laser precision. The mind-blowing explosion. You don’t wanna mess wiiiiiiiiiitthhh….”
An explosion followed and a hellish fire filled the arena – wild flames dancing in the crowd in synchronisation with the deafening music.
I walked and then jogged and then ran towards the elevated stage, forward flipping over seven feet of electric caging and landing perfectly with the last note of my summons music.
The crowd cheered as I walked the space confidently with my machine enhanced body reflecting the many lights shone on me. Strategically placed Red Light Emitting Diodes began to simulate a racing whirlwind from my legs to my neck and then the fiery hologram was put out. Everything suddenly went black and quiet. Everything except the red whirlwind on my naked hybrid form.
The crowd roared again and another version of keygen music began, more violent.
I saw him skate onto the gangplank at the other end of the arena, arms out at his side, body leaning to the left now and to the right later. A hologram of rain and evil blue lightning enveloped the arena as he approached the stage. The lights would dim and explode with a wicked clap of thunder now and then.
“Nightmare. He cuts through steel and bone with his teeth. He’s never known defeat. From the west to the east, all hail the king”
Another clap of thunder.
Violent music burst forth again as my opponent flipped onto the stage.
I looked at my son and I didn’t know he was my son. He didn’t know that I was his father too. The only consciousness we had is that which was provided us by the martial software running in our brains.
Blue diodes simulated a race around his body in shock patterns and he lifted his hands up. He was only five feet tall – even with lifted hands – and lithe as screwdriver. That was the boy wonder, the killing machine – his brain could run the latest martial software with ninety eight percent efficiency. The best of us could only manage previous versions of the same artificial intelligence to the sixtieth percentile.
The cheering exploded.
If I had still been human, I wouldn’t have begun to appraise his form for weaknesses that I could not find; I’d have knelt before him and asked him to execute me.
If he had still been human, he would have ran to me and cried in my arms like he had done they day they came to take him away from me because of my gambling debts.
They had come for me the following week when I had gambled away my last possession to get him back.
I had been the last thing I owned.
Deep in the cortex of the nascent consciousness of the warrior robot boy, there appeared suddenly a throbbing glow so profound that it could not be seen by the human eye. It died immediately the embedded software in his brain was made aware of it by very alert listeners; neutralization agents were dispersed immediately by the artificial intelligence that was seated in his psyche and the tears that would have been were not.
But the glow glowed again.