Who leaves a six million dollar military grade prototype robot killsuit sitting unattended in a bar? Who? Can you tell me that? Can you?
“Ela you keep saying you’re the leader – doesn’t that make everything ultimately your responsibility?”
No! Don’t even try to pull that crap on me. I shouldn’t have to tell people every little thing. What about common sense? Everyone should know NOT to leave a six million dollar military grade prototype robot killsuit sitting unattended in a bar where the asshole we stole it from could waltz right in, steal it back, slip it on, and then come find us for the killing.
Do I have to do everything? Do I need to tell people how to take a shower? If I don’t tell them to turn on the water and how to use soap, will they just wander around the tub? Granted I don’t think Blue showers because he’s a giant lizard and Martialla is a fish. But you know what I’m saying. Right?
Martialla asked the doctor for their guns back so they could kill the Red Bishop. The JCPenney catalog model doctor was trying to kick us out for bringing trouble to his establishment. I was trying to keep everyone calm and under control so I could deal with the situation. And all the while, robot-voice was shrieking at us to “stand and deliver so that you may be judged.” I went outside to see the robo-suit hovering in midair. And by hovering I mean blasting giant fucking rocket boot flames at the ground. I’m surprised the entire neighborhood wasn’t on fire.
I shielded my eyes from flying debris and shouted up at the annoying robot-suit man “This is a hospital damn it, stop shouting!”
“What? I can’t hear you.”
“That’s because you have rockets strapped to your feet!”
“LAND GOD DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!”
I don’t know if he heard me, but he did land, and then immediately he pointed one of the red gewgaws on his arm at me. Just being targeted, but whatever it is made me feel like my stomach acid was bubbling. I could feel my ovaries shriveling up inside me. I’m pretty sure this guy is giving the entire city cancer just by flying around in that thing.
“Hey, don’t point that thing at me, I want to have kids some day!”
It’s amazing how well the suit’s voice whatever thingy conveys confusion “What?”
“Just point a missile at me or something while I still have a few eggs left! What the hell do you want?”
“You and your friends are under arrest.”
“What are you talking about? We didn’t do anything.”
“You were robbing the casino!”
“That was Lady Marmalade and her sex slaves, we were innocent bystanders!”
“I saw your friend picking up the money! Plus you attacked me.”
“First of all, it wasn’t even that much money. One night of drinking and it was gone. I still can’t figure out how much the money here is worth. The other day I saw someone give over a bill with a neon green shrimp on it and they got a whole bushel basket of some kind of fruit, but when I give someone the one with the winged goat on it . . .”
Something on his suit lights up with a dangerous red glow “Shut up!”
I held up my hands “Okay, okay I was getting off track. We attacked you because you were the one killing everybody! You popped one of those kids like a pimple. For what? A simple robbery? What kind of justice is that? Robbery is probably barely even illegal here.”
“They had guns, they were endangering lives.”
“YOU were the only one who was killing people, you’re the dangerous one.”
“I was protecting people!”
“Who were you protecting? You probably gave everyone who looked eyeball cancer with that damn radiation machine you’re wearing. And where did you get it anyway? Somehow I have the feeling that you’re not a Burlington Industries test pilot.”
“I am the Crimson Cardinal!”
“Okay look, even if you arrest us, what does that mean? I don’t think you’re part of the Madripoor police department. What are you going to do with us? I don’t think they’re going to put us in jail on your say so. If they even understand you. So what are you going to do with us? Do you have a floating Cardinal Fortress somewhere nearby where you strap people to walls and punish them with your Cardinal Rod of Justice? By which I mean your . . .”
“I know what you mean!”
“So what’s the plan here chief? I’m giving myself up. What are you going to do with me?”
“I must stop you!”
I threw up my hands “From doing what exactly? I’m trying to get medical care for my friend who was stabbed. Where were you when we were being attacked by the Stab Gang? That’s some crime you could have stopped!”
His robo-head darted back and forth for a moment before locking back on me “This is an illegal clinic! Drugs are sold here, it must be destroyed!”
He fired his rocket-boots, which I’m pretty sure melted some of the street, but before he could get off the ground, I threw a ’62 Impala at him. It didn’t look like it was in very good shape, even for an 11 year old car. Which is confusing. There aren’t a lot of cars here. The people that have them tend to be wealthy. So who owns a beater like that? If you’re rich, you’d keep it in good shape right? But no one else can afford cars. What’s the story of that Impala?
How does a robot suit work anyway? Even if the metal is strong enough to not get broken up by a flying car, isn’t the bulk of that impact transferred to the guy inside it anyway? I’ve been told that if you wear a bulletproof vest and you get shot, it’s still like getting kicked in the chest by an elephant – the vest just defuses some of the force and keeps the bullet from ripping through your heart. How much can an armor suit of space-age metal protect you rather than just being indestructible itself while you get pulverized inside like the ice for a daiquiri? If any engineers our there can explain it, let me know.
The car slammed the Red Rocket to the ground and pinned him there like a butterfly on display. I was ninety percent expecting the car to go flying as he tossed it away with robo-strength and then he’d stand up like Dracula coming out of his coffin and fire an omega beam of death at me — but nothing happened. The suit just laid there like a broken toy under the car. Some kind of liquid may have been leaking out of it. I waited for a moment and then shrugged and went back into the clinic.
Which was empty. Elvis’s bed was empty. Blue was gone. Martialla was gone. LBK was gone. The doctor and his staff, everyone was gone.