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Brutalist Stories #59

Gear by the Pound

Building inspiration: Ben Wheatley– High Rise

“I would suggest you relinquish your weapons immediately, I am tracking you with anti-phazic daisy-cutters.” She pauses and looks at me, furrowing her brow before starting again. “You know, I’d love you to test me, I really would, but it would properly fuck up my day if I had to clean your blood and guts off these walls, I only just got the place looking the way I wanted it to.”

I squint, she’s not bluffing but she doesn’t know that I know that, no pretty way out of these sorts of situations, but I have something up my sleeve. “I wouldn’t be so sure of yourself, Marthra,” I say as my cogno-switch hacks through the buildings deep-wall protocols and everything goes dark.

“Jesus, Jimmy!” she shouts, and I hear the tap of her steel toe-cap boots on the polished concrete floor. “What the fuck do you think making things go dark was going to do?”

Not much, that’s for sure, but one little hack like that distracts her and her GEAR for just enough of a nano-second to sneak a bigger one through.





Push the reaction through as it rides the waves of code. My cogno-switch creating a million little splinters that shift off into a billion more and a trillion after that and before she’s even had chance to tap her steel toe-capped boot again on the concrete floor, there it is, the crushing sound of defeat.

The silence is grizzly, she’s normally so jam-packed full of fucking words waiting to get out, but here, now, she knows she’s screwed up and violence is in the air.

“Marthra?!” I shout, the building rumbling away, concrete dust puffing out of cracks in the walls and ceilings. “Come on now, honey. We’ve been through worse. Let’s get out of here before the whole place comes down, you know, the two of us, like old times?”

The emergency red lighting pushes itself up and out of the polished floor and starts flashing with an insane rapidity. “Who the fuck sets their emergency lighting like a strobe!?” I scream at her, my head darting back and forth, looking for her, trying to sync my cogno-switch with the speed of the strobing red, light.

“Someone who knows how to deal with assholes like you,” she shouts as she slashes passed me, timed perfectly with the flickering lights, in some peculiar slow motion before I’ve synced with the speed of the flashing and all I hear is a sound like a zip being quickly pulled open.

“No. NO!” the last shout to come out of my mouth as my guts slip out of my severed stomach and flop onto the floor, dropping in a slow motion in the flickering light, splashing up and around my feet.

“Fuck me, Jimmy, what did I tell you?” She stops next to me to watch as I fall to my knees.

I’m looking up, trying to splutter some words but that’s all that’s able to reach the end of my tongue, some faint wisps.

“You don’t fuck with me, that’s what I told you,” she smiles. “But you never were one to listen. See you at the reclamation plant.”

Building inspiration: Ben Wheatley – High Rise

Musical inspiration: American Headcharge – "A Violent Reaction"