His chest rose and fell in sharp bursts. Every step he took fell on a puddle of angst and rage, some of it splashed onto his cohorts who appeared to assume more and more of his feelings as the seconds wore on. Urias was channelling the kind of fury few thought he was ever capable of. Few others than his close loved ones, that is.
The group marched into an elevator and rode to the seventh floor. Urias knew where the doctor was, cooped up in his usual lab. It utterly blew his mind as to how a person who spent all day and night at work could somehow fail so miserably at it. His fists clenched, itching to land on that idiot’s bulldog-like face. The door opened.
They strode out and continued their advance on the soon-to-be unfortunate victim. Some of them had their handguns loaded, with one finger already on the stalk. Even time appeared to be in a hurry as they arrived at the lab in next to no time. Uruas hammered on the door.
“OPEN UP. OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!”
A beep sounded from the other side and the door slid open. Inside, the doctor was lazily perched on his leather chair, drink in hand. His mouth was covered in a mechanical mouthpiece just like always. The poor fool had lost his ability to speak a long time ago. The sight of him in a leisurely state only heightened Urias’s wrath. He stormed in without even sparing a glance at his cronies.
“You’ve got some answering him to do,” he came within an inch of the doctor, barely resisting the urge to grab his collar.
Urias waltzed around, looking everywhere for the source of the noise. It was muffled, but there was no way he wouldn’t recognise the voice.
“There,” the doctor pointed behind him.
Urias gasped. Right at the back, there was a screen. And it was on a video call, with his ex-girlfriend.
“I was speaking with Ms Jordan before you arrived.
“What, the hell, are you doing?” He hissed at the doctor, who for his part was still as calm as ever.
“Just my job. Tending to patient concerns is my duty after all.”
Isn’t that so Ms. Jordan?”
“Don’t you dare tell him to shut up!” Moravia shouted.
“Listen to me, Moravia. We’ll talk later, I promise I’ll work this out.”
“WORK OUT MURDERING YOUR OWN CHILD?!”
Urias did not answer. How could he? He was royalty, heir to the title of the Duke. If it was discovered that he fathered an illegitimate child, it would have robbed him of everything. Even if said child was mothered by the daughter of an oil billionaire.
“I will kill you if you don’t turn that thing off now,” he whispered furiously to the doctor.
“I believe your plans were always going to include that,” he casually walked over to a large computer, “but sure, why not.”
He swiped on his screen, immediately disconnecting the video call. The moment Moravia had disappeared from the screen, Urias charged the man. He wrapped his left hand around his throat and pressed him against the machine, activating various buttons in the process.
“I told you, I told you to kill the girl as soon as she was born. Why didn’t you?! Are—are you in on this blackmailing scam? What, you’re all gonna join hands and leech me dry? Pal, I’ll be putting a bullet straight into your head before you can take a bloody penny from me.”
“Funny, you talk about all this power but judging by your actions, I think you’re on the brink of losing all of it. Besides, I was rather unexpectedly relieved of my duties right before tending to your wishes.”
“SHUT UP, JUST THE SHUT HELL UP.
You know what, you’ve got a real big mouth now, huh? Let’s take care of that.”
He proceeded to yank on the mouthpiece until it came clean off. Urias tossed it to the floor.
“Why don’t you talk now huh?”
Urias almost fell off his feet. The doctor hadn’t moved his lips, but the voice, it was the same mechanised tone as his.
“Your instructions were deemed unethical, hence they were declined.”
“Wh—who is that, who the hell is that?!”
A storm of murmurs broke out among his men, as they stupidly aimed their weapons at thin air.
“I am Delta.”
Suddenly Urias’s memory clicked. He looked sideways at the machines and sure enough, the word Delta was inscribed all over them.
“I am an artificial intelligence system, designed to organise and automate all manner of medical operations. Your instructions were deemed non-compliant with the desired standards of morality, hence they were rejected.”
“Let’s grab him and get out of here,” one of his associates blurted.
“Ye—yeah, yeah, let’s.”
Before anyone could even move, the floor itself became a livewire and electrocuted them. With every muscle in his body jolting uncontrollably, Urias somehow staggered to a vertical base, panting.
“Your actions have once more been deemed unethical, hence preventive measures will be implemented.”
The door closed and the lights went black.
Whether it’s pop culture, fiction or politics, writing is Saam’s ultimate passion and reprieve.