Control (Part XI of Ski-Fi)

He pinned me by the neck against a wall, and held the gun in the air a few feet from my face.

“Why are you doing this?

“Because I can. Mostly because I’m bored, partly because it beats the hell out of watching RealiTele. But seriously because you dared to touch me.”

“But I didn’t know it was you!”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“And you have no proof I did!”

“Don’t need proof. I was there.”

“But my face-stain’s on her skirtI”

“He’s riiiight,” chimed S’va, who stood watching us patiently. She was smiling. God she looked so beautiful when she smiled. Picturing a fiction full of passion and fruition, I flushed.

“See? See? She agrees with me!” I was getting desperate now.

“Look. You’re a fly. And I’m a windshield approaching you at the speed of light.” He had a firm grasp of the situation and my neck.

“S’va, honey, ask Remus to let me go, please?” I sputtered, choking.

“No… I don’t think I will,” Her smile didn’t flicker for a moment.

“Remus… please… you’ve gotta let me go… you don’t know what death is like for a pariah’n….”

“REMUS. BEETLEGUESE. CHRISTINE. PIDDLEBERRY. Put that poor man down right now,” boomed a rather authoritative, matronly voice. I couldn’t turn my head to see where it came from, but…

“Aw, come. ON!” Remus wasn’t happy about this. “I was almost finished!”

Opia’s hologram, which had gained a few hues of colour and seemed completely like a tangible person now, came into view from behind Remus.

“All right,” she said. “Finish your little magic trick.”, she said.

What, wait? Does that mean he still gets to shoot me in the face?

“It’s your magic trick, mother. And daddy does it so well!” You could almost hear the :) in S’va’s trill. Ugh.

“Fine fine fine. But stop playing with him, and shoot him already.”

“Okay,” said Remus, and fired at me for the second time that night.

This time I saw it happen. I saw a laser beam hit me in the head. My world paused for a moment. And I took a deep breath.

Remus released me, and I slumped to the floor. I could feel my heart racing, which was a good indicator that I was still alive.

“Whatthehelljusthappened?” I needed to know.

Remus smiled. “Allow me to demonstrate further.”

He shot at me again and again and again. Nothing.

“So… I am indestructible?” I was confused as hell. “And so are you?”

“No, Pariah’n”, said Opia. “Remus is just playing with you. This is his idea of trying to make friends.”

He was sporting an annoying grin. The kind that makes you just want to punch it. So I did.

Or at least I tried. My fist got within a few inches of his face, but then my hand just stopped there, as if frozen in place. The rest of my body jerked to compensate for this aberration.

“Aren’t you feisty! Too bad you wouldn’t have lasted a moment in a true battlefield. My Pariah’n pet, welcome, to my ship, the SpacePlayer. Welcome. To the only completely controllable environment in the whole universe.”

“What to you mean?”

“It means,” S’va was speaking, “that I can manipulate every molecule, every atom, every Planck of energy within this ship. For example, right now I’ve locked the molecules of your arm at those relative spacial coordinates, which is why you are experiencing an inability to move it. It is also why your weapons proved to be ineffective, although subroutines relating to lethality are controlled by mother.”

Things were starting to get a little clearer from this point.

“That’s… awesome! Er… could you give me a hand? Mine would be fine, thank you.”

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