The Subterfuge



Original poster
He awoke when the flames reached his face. He sat up in a flurry, limbs whirring and mechanical eye buzzing on, and his breath came in fast, ragged gulps. The stolen trike was where he'd left it, and his bag of supplies was laying next to it. The ragged fabrics and cushions he'd managed to find and use for a make-shift bed were soaked with sweat, and his mechanical hand was clenched into a tight fist.

"A dream..." he sighed, closing his good eye and deactivating his mechanical one. It was the closest he could get to a blink. The light kind of just flicked off. He let out a long, slow breath and winced, clutching at the side of his body, where the mount for his right arm was secured to his rib-cage and shoulder-blade, and massaged the area with his biological hand. It always got sore there when he slept, and it was most assuredly very inconvenient.

However, he heard something in the distance now that he was awake. It was a faint electrical sound, similar to static, and he recognized it immediately. It was them! He scrambled to his mismatched feet, and the lean figure stooped towards his trike. He scooped up his supplies and strapped them into the containers he'd secured on its rear, then hopped onto the vehicle. He didn't bother with the cushions, since there wasn't time!

The sound was getting louder all the time. It was a good thing he'd woken when he did, since any later and he never would have responded in time. He managed to kick the trike on, its nuclear engine turning over noisily and sending the rear tires spinning in the mud. He'd been forced to sleep out in the open, so he'd chosen to park near a water supply. A narrow river had seemed a good place considering he was heading into a desert now, and he was momentarily regretting that decision.

His metallic hand clamped down on the accelerator anyway, his robotic foot pushed down on the clutch, and he caught, launching himself forward on all three tires, just in time for a blast of energy to slam into his campsite. The burst of flame was short-lived and followed by a figure landing hard in a crouch, but it quickly rushed after the rapidly traveling figure.

The man on the trike glanced back, flicking shaggy, dark brown hair out of his face, and drew a small laser pistol from the holster on the side of the trike. He synced with its controls and suddenly his entire mind seemed to shift gears, similarly to how he was guiding the trike through its gears as he accelerated away from his nameless, silent foe. Although, away wasn't an excellent word choice, since the robot was gaining.

It was similar to a human in shape and size, but slightly bulkier. However, it was dissimilar from the other robots he'd encountered in his life in that it seemed to be made from clean, geometric shapes instead of smooth curves. The robots here had the same shape and size and anatomical appearance as humans despite not really needing to be. The robots fashioned artificial shells to resemble humans.

This was...something else entirely, and when it suddenly shifted, parts twitching and moving and folding and what was coming after him was some space-age looking motor-cycle, he let out a confused shout and raised his weapon. He fired wildly once and twice, maneuvering the vehicle using its own forward facing camera instead of his own eyes. He could register what it was doing while he drove, allowing him to focus on trying to shoot while the vehicle swerved around small plants, holes, andold debris from the fall a generation or so ago.

Then the motorcycle opened fire, twin blasts of blue energy lancing out at him, and he swerved to avoid it. He dodged a few such blasts and returned fire, managing to wing it at the same time that the vehicle hit him! The arm holding the gun was his left, his biological one, so the blast caught him in the side of his vulnerable, organic body, and he gave a shout, dropping his pistol and snapping his arm down to clutch himself and wrap around the nasty burn. It was definitely second degree, at least, but he forced himself to focus through the pain and keep driving, and noted with some satisfaction that the other vehicle had completely stopped. His "winged" shot must have struck something more vital than he'd thought.

Now...he had to find somewhere to go. Barely conscious but his computer-augmented mind working to make up for it, he kept driving, half his body limp while the other kept the trike driving through the night. He turned off his normal route and steered towards the nearest small settlement, hoping they had a doctor.


It was about five, six in the morning when he came sputtering in. The trike was overheating and the figure on it was leaning heavily to the side. He was clearly a traveler, but when he drove into town and swerved slightly, tipping the trike and tossing himself off of it, it became clear he was injured. The trike continued and slammed into a building, punching a small hole in its wooden siding, but there it stopped, engine sputtering its last.

The figure on the ground on the edges of the town was quite tall, a few inches above six feet and dressed in ragged, faded clothes that had once been some indeterminate color but were now a dull gray. He wore only a single boot on his left foot and a glove on his left hand, with both his right foot and hand clearly visible as bionic as well. He had thick, shoulder-length brown hair that was in desperate need of a wash and his haggard, Korean features had clearly seen better days. On his left side there was a painful burn that spanned from his belly-button to about his nipple and had burned clear through his clothes, searing of the fibers into his skin in a way that anyone with medical experience would know was going to be very painful to patch up.

The right side of his face was the only place that his augmentations were clearly visible, and it wouldn't take much to determine he wasn't some guy who tried to upgrade. Judging from the scars jutting out from under the metal plate attached to his skull, he had been seriously injured at some point in his life.

He was completely unconscious now, the mechanical processors of his mind having been overworked by running all his functions. He went into shut-down both physically and mechanically and lay in the sand-filled street of the edge-of-the-desert town...

Gerra the Cyborg