Monday, April 16, 2012


by Jeff C. Carter -

Lancet lay there stunned and surrounded by dead men. There was the bloody security guard, the man with the broken neck, and the old man standing over him laughing.

He had seen the old man take a shot to the back of the head. He didn’t know how the man got back up, or even who he was. He only knew that this man wanted to kill him.

“Isn’t this what you wanted? A brainless body to follow you around?” the lunatic said.

“Who are you?”

The old man smeared some of the blood from his face and wiped it onto his hospital gown.
“You don’t recognize me? It’s your faithful servant, Valljon.”

“I never had a…”

Valljon leaped onto Lancet and straddled his legs. “That’s right! You never had a Valljon! When you had them put the chip in my head…” He pointed a finger to his temple like a drill. “Bzzzzz! They made an awful mess. So sorry, puppet broken. Every word the old man spoke carried an overpowering stench of rot.

“What do you want?” Lancet said.

Lancet tried to keep his assailant focused while he thought of a way to turn the tables. He could hear the rattle of his smart sword straining against its charge unit in the other room. He knew it wouldn’t get free in time. He slowly searched the wreckage beneath him with his hands.

“You tried to turn me into one of them remote controlled butlers. When it didn’t work I was tossed out like garbage.”

A string of drool slid onto Lancet’s cheek but he tried not to turn his head. His fingers found a jagged shard of beetle shell.

Valljon rubbed his hand across his scalp and held it up, palm slick with blood. “It’s okay. Once I put the mark of Rahab upon you all will be forgiven.” He pressed his hand against Lancet’s shirt. His fingers began to slide towards Lancet’s throat.

“Valljon, look at me. I want you to see that I am truly sorry.”

“All are equal in death,” Valljon cooed.

Lancet thrust the shard into Valljon’s ribs as the bloody hand clamped around his throat. Lancet struggled to drive the blade in again and again but blackness was swarming across his senses.

Suddenly the pressure was gone.

“Error! Forbidden! Safety protocol…,” Valljon sputtered. The old man clutched his head and pulled at his gray hair.

Lancet gasped for air.

A savage look of hatred blazed in Valljon’s eyes as he fought the machinery in his head. “Rahab is death!” he bellowed. 

He curled his bloody fingers into talons and reached again for Lancet’s neck. “Neural Kill Switch engage,” Valljon droned. He flopped to the ground, face slack. Puppet broken.

Lancet rubbed his throat and called up to the ceiling. “Open a line to Moab.” 

There was a soft chime. “Moab, pick up. It’s Lancet. Some lunatic just tried to kill me.”

A cacophony of screams and grunts echoed through the speakers, followed by a gravely voice. “You’re not the only one! There’s a bloody riot going on!”


  1. Oh, I liked this one. Cool idea to show a cyborg that didn't work. Great ending line, delivering the news of riots.

  2. Thanks - we'll learn more about that cyborg soon!