Sleep now, Jacob.
The ball was in Jacob’s hands now, it was all his deal – score now or lose the damn game, he thought. The sounds of squeaks and stomps filled the court as the two young adults struggled to obtain the orange ball. Sweat covered the face and bare chest of Jacob and Mike, as they attempted to finally score that last shot. Mike stood in front of Jacob now, forcing him to have to either find a way around him or risk it all by shooting. He turned around, constantly dribbling the ball and, once Mike got around to his side, he turned around again and ran to the hoop. He jumped up and…he made it. No loud beep, no cheering crowd. Just a sigh from Mike and a few labored breaths from Jacob. “Ah, shit…” Mike spoke in his deep voice as he walked over to a bench and sat down, patting the seat next to him for Jacob to sit. Jacob picked up his bottle of water and took a few gulps, before pulling it out of his mouth and putting it above his head to cool himself off. The water splashed onto his black hair and went down his white, bare chest before he shook his head, his brown eyes finally opening. A sigh now. “Fuck me…swear, I got shin splints for the next week or so…” Jacob seemed to be holding his leg a little close. All that stomping hurt…he slowly stood up, a little tired. “Mike, I got some shit to do, mind putting this game on hold till later?” Jacob asked as he stretched a little more. Mike stood, his dark skin shining in the sunlight that peered through the windows above, showing his bald head but not his face. “Aiite man,” Mike spoke. “you take care. And be careful, them fuckin’ mountains are the last thing you wanna fuckin’ die from, okay?” Jacob nodded. “Okay.” Jacob walked out, passing the ball to Mike, it was his ball after all.
Jacob finally arrived home, feeling tired from all the basketball he’s been playing. Each day was another, more intense game. Sure, he and Mike were best friends, but when it came to Basketball, rivalries were present. As he stepped through the door of his house he sighed. “I still got rock climbin’ to do…” He reminded himself, knowing that he and his girlfriend, Gloria Robinson, had been wanting to do this for a long time and now he finally gets to do so with her. He walked into the bathroom and pulled out his phone, stretching out before stepping out of his shorts. A new message from Gloria. A smile appeared on Jacob Tyler’s face as he read the text.
Gloria: Hey honey.
Jacob: hey babe. whats up?
Gloria: Been waitin all year for this, im so anxious!!!
Jacob: yeah so am i, been really lookin forward to doin this with you. <3
Gloria: I’m too excited. Are you getting ready?
Jacob: yes, i am. im about to get in the shower now.
Gloria: Oooh, are you naked?
Gloria: Hot af. You gonna be here at 2 like we promised?
Jacob: yeah, ill be there soon. just gotta get ready.
Gloria: Okay Honey. Don’t be late, okay? I love you. <3<3<3
Jacob: love you too <3
The shower started as he put down the phone. The next two hours were taken up by Jacob getting ready, showering, brushing his hair, and mental preparation. He was about to go rock climbing at Franklin Gorge – why wouldn’t he prepare himself mentally? He’s seen the pictures online, that doesn’t look safe at all. But his girlfriend wanted this. Jacob knew she had been wanting this for years. And now he was about to give it to her. The twenty year old finally finished packing his bag and put it on his back. Finally ready. He stepped out of his bathroom and went into his living room, then out the door he went.
After a drive that was a little more than three hours long, Jacob finally arrived at the river and parked his car nearby. He stepped out and walked to the river to find Gloria standing there with their rock climbing gear. Jacob’s face lit up when he saw Gloria’s smile. They were finally prepared to climb this huge ass rock…oh, what fun.
A half hour passed. They are both halfway up the rock now, at approximately 800ft. A sweat was already present on Jacob’s body as he continued to climb, grabbing each and every rock he could see carelessly as he climbed slowly up the side of it. His arms were getting tired already and his legs were shaking. ‘Damn it,’ he thought. ‘likely shouldn’t have been playing very many sports today.’ His hand grabbed the stone above his head a little diagonal over to the right as he pants. Gloria is close by, climbing nearly flawlessly above Jacob’s level. “Come on, you’re gonna quit now?” She asks. “We’ve still got a ways to go.” Gloria laughed a little but then concern started to wash over her happy expression as she realizes he didn’t put his gear on. “I…need a little…breather is all…” Jacob panted quietly. He closed his eyes once…and let his body rest.
Soon, all that could be felt is the wind on his back and on his arms…as he plummeted downward.
The sound of Gloria’s screams was all he could hear before it was replaced with the wind.
Wake up, Atrix.
There was nothing. For a while, he thought he was dead and that he was probably in Purgatory. Soon, the smell of dust and metal came in contact with his nose. Then the sounds – the sounds of grunts and large metal pieces clashing together along with a loud crowd cheering. The pain finally came – oh, the pain. His shoulders ached and so did his head, unlike anything he’s ever felt before. Now his eyes. He opened his eyes and saw nothing at first, till he looked up. Now he could see a small rectangle above him. He attempted to stand but almost fell over, unable to walk correctly. As if he’s been asleep for some time now. He adjusted himself correctly as he walked over to the small rectangle.
A window, he thought. He looked out the small window and saw two men, both with incredibly large cybernetic limbs replacing old ones, were battling in a large octagon as men cheered them on behind large fences. “The hell…” he spoke, putting his hands on his head. But he didn’t feel his hands, he felt metal. A gasp, as he pulls his hands away from his head, looking at them with surprise. Two cybernetic arms – that meant he was a competitor. This wasn’t good…
He just sunk down in his small metal box, as he didn’t want to see the fight go down. He could already see the blood on the white floor.
A loud, male voice was audible by speaker. “And that’s it for Daryl the Barrel!” it spoke loudly in an excited voice. “Mark V is still out here, still waiting for his next victim. And that next one is going to be…three! Three competitors will join the ring with Mark V! The three competitors are…” He stood up, looking out the small rectangle once again.
“Zero the Ninja!” And a tall man stood up with white hair, white skin, and mechanical forearms, and stepped out of his cell. He wasn’t particularly happy, but neither was Mark V…
“Venus the beautiful warrior!” And out stepped an average height woman with tan skin. She appeared to be entirely topless, with her right leg replaced by a large, cybernetic one, and her left arm the same. She wasn’t in a particularly good mood either, more of just…miserable. She stepped out into the ring, clearly not in any mood to fight or to even be there at all. Mark V looked tired of it as well.
“And our THIRD competitor…Atrix of the Matrix!” Immediately, his door opened and the light shined upon him. Atrix of the Matrix…? The fuck kind of a stupid fighter name is that? He knew he couldn’t do anything else so he stepped out of his cell, knowing he was most likely going to die…if he hasn’t already. He just stood in his corner of the octagon and stared at the floor. The sound of a bell was heard now.
Atrix flinched a little at the sudden beginning of the battle. Not a little, actually. A lot. He was holding his cybernetic arms up in front of his face. He knew he was about to get torn up and dismembered…fucking hell. He didn’t want to die. But he didn’t know what he wanted either…wait…why isn’t he being torn to shreds? And why can’t he hear anyone else suffering the same fate? Soon he felt a cold hand on his shoulder. He put his arms down and saw Mark V – staring straight at him. “I’m done fighting,” he said in his deep voice. “We’re gittin’ outta here.” The hand that wasn’t on Atrix’s shoulder immediately transformed into a gun before pointing it at the announcer. “What the hell are you doing? Kill each other!” The announcer spoke into the microphone. The sound of a few bangs was heard as Mark V fired at the announcer, he could be seen taking cover behind his desk as the glass broke in front of him. “Guards!!” The man yelled into his microphone. And soon two guards were seen coming out of nowhere with assault rifles. “Get them down!” The announcer yelled as the guards started to fire. Venus and Zero both took cover behind two crates as Mark shoved Atrix into his own cover. The sound of assault rifles firing loudly echoed throughout the arena. The bullets weren’t the ricochet type, thankfully. Then Atrix heard the sound of Mark’s guns again, firing at the two guards as the assault rifles were silenced. “Let’s go! Move!” And soon the doors to the other competitors were opened, and a few of them tried to escape, but the guards shot most of them down. Mark stepped into the announcer’s hut and picked up a small bag before running out. “Let’s go! Venus! Zero! Atrix!”
As the three rose out of their cover, Atrix closed his eyes for a brief moment. Once he opened them, he felt his arms change…..change into machine guns. He looked around to see guards about to fire at Venus and Zero. Atrix aimed and fired at the four guards killing all four of them. Zero’s left arm changed into a long, blue plasma blade that he used to slice two guards in half with incredible agility. Venus’ left arm changed into a flamethrower which she would use to defend herself. All three of them met up and followed Mark, who was running out to escape.
Soon, they all made it out but the guards were still chasing them, firing at them with their large assault rifles. Mark found a large dune buggy with the keys in its seat. “Get in!” Mark yelled. Atrix got in the back of it as he kept his right arm as a machine gun and the left as a hand. Venus got in the driver’s seat of the buggy next to them and Zero armed an assault rifle to take out the guards behind them. The buggies started and they began to drive off quickly as guards fired at them from their own buggies. Atrix fired back, unloading rounds into them quickly with a high rate of fire. The guards quickly fell out of their dune buggies as they left them behind. Then came the bigger problem – the snipers. Atrix didn’t notice them until it was too late – he was shot. The bullet hit him like a truck and knocked him back. His vision began to blur as the darkness from just a while ago returned with dead silence.
His vision returned a while later, and a large light entered his eyes. His focus returned as well as he could make out the dim lamp that hung above his head. A groan left his lips as he sat up slowly. The aches in his shoulders were no longer present and neither was the headache. Now he just ached in his abdomen where he was shot…He looked around and saw some paint on a white wall. He made out a few words…”Awake? Cool. Meet us downstairs. -Mark.
Standing up, Atrix looked around for a stairwell. As he did, he noticed a white arrow. “Go here.” It said. Atrix stood and walked to the arrow, which was pointing at the stairwell. How convenient.
As he appeared down stairs, he saw the three sitting there on an old dusty couch. Must be in a warehouse. He walked over to see Venus reading, Zero resting on the couch, and Mark watching the television. He turned to see Atrix fully awake. “Ah, Atrix.” Mark spoke as he stood. “Finally awake.” Mark was dark skinned with a bald head, and two extremely large mechanical arms. Venus sat there wearing a white bra and some shorts. She had white skin and baby blue eyes, along with light blue hair. She had one mechanical arm and the other organic,same with her legs. Zero laid shirtless with black hair and tan skin, both of his arms skinny and cybernetic. Atrix then turned to Mark. “So, uh, what now? We escaped, right?” Atrix asked a little quietly, noticing how sore his voice was…
“Straight to the point – we’re getting the hell outta here. Out of this city. Yes, we did escape, but we still need to leave the planet. Cops will kill us because of our augments. I installed an AI core into your head along with Zero and Venus. That should keep you alive.” Mark turned to the other two. “Let’s go, I don’t wanna stay in one place for too long.” The two of them stood and stretched. Mark started for the back exit and the other three did as well.
Afterwards, Atrix, Mark, Venus, and Zero all became close friends to each other as they went on with their journey to leave earth. However, when they finally found the ships they’d be using, Atrix somehow got separated from the group and crashed on Hellifyno and lost his memory. He never remembered what happened before he came to Hellifyno and he never remembered his life as Jacob Tyler.
Atrix recently met a woman named Kirst who recently went into his garage of his Villa in Persistence and helped him search through them. That was when he found a paper…and the newspaper said it all. He remembered his past life. He remembered his life after that one…and now he’s trying to rebuild a new AI to make sure he doesn’t die.