Reality Check - Part 1
"Take those four to the lockhouse, Pete." Holly ordered. Pirate Pete nodded and,
with the help of Jed ushering them along with his pistols, directed them to the
local jail. "Micky is going to help me." The Labradore smiled up at Micky.
"How am I going to help you?"
"You see that tower over there?" He motioned to the end of the dusty street
where a rather modern looking radio mast had appeared. "We're going to use that
to stop those people from attacking us any more. I need you to get me to the top
of that mast and help me send out a signal."
Micky walked with Holly, thinking about what that man, (Jay, was it?) had said. 'This isn't real?' Micky thought to himself. 'It sure feels real.' He looked over at the dog walking beside him, with its shiny black fur and burning red eyes. Red eyes? That didn't seem quite right. He stopped and the dog stopped with him. He took two steps, so did the dog. 'He's in my mind'.
"No I'm not!" Said the dog.
"Aha!" Micky pointed at Holly. "I knew you were! I didn't say that!"
"Blast!" Holly sighed and Micky watched as his front paws slowly took the form of hands, then grew elbows, the fur shortening all over his body. His muzzle shortened to form a more human nose, the head rounded out, forming a jawline and a balding egg-shaped head. Holly stood up opn his hind legs, which now had feet, and trainers on. Micky saw clothes forming out of nowhere.
A few seconds later and a tall, at least 6 ft 6, bald, age worn man stood before him. His face looked old, but he had a body that looked in perfect shape. Broad shoulders, big, muscular arms and an athletic shape. Micky knew right then that even if he tried to run, this man would catch him. If he tried to fight, he'd fall.
"Yes, so don't try either." Holly told him, those burning red eyes brighter than ever.
"Why do you need me? Why can't I just go and live my life?" Micky asked him, terrified because he knew what the real answer was now.
"This is your life, Micky. Look around, this IS you!"
"So that man was right?! And that girl that told me I'm mental. They were all right." Micky looked down at his hands. They didn't look real. Didn't feel like they were his own. "You've been using me? In my own body." Micky could feel a slight anger building up again. He didn't know what would happen if he lost it.
"Yes." Holly didn't even have a slight look or sound of remorse about him. "That's right. And if you get me to the top of that tower, I'l leave you to live your life again. I won't need you anymore. I'll be gone."
"Promise?" Micky hated trusting strangers. Trusting a stranger that had taken over a body living a life he couldn't remember was even harder.
"Of course." Holly said dryly and carried on to the tower.
They stood at a gate in a high chainlink fence that seemed to go on forever.
"Why is it fenced off?" Asked Micky.
"Natural defences. You aren't entirely human anymore Micky. You're what us AI's like to call a freak. But I'll be nice and say you have an automated prosthetic limb. It's attached to your nervous system, but I can use it as a radio transmitter and get myself out of here. I just need you to open this gate."
Micky looked at the huge padlock keeping them away from the tower. Whatever it was about his real self sure didn't want him or Holly reaching the transmitter. He tried to touch it, but it gave him an electric shock so big he was thrown through the air.
"Aaargh!" Micky was holding the hand that took the shock. The pain subsided quickly and he looked down to see the damage. He was amazed to see that he no longer had a human hand. Instead it was a shiny, whirring robotic hand full of servo's, pneumatic pistons and joints. "Jayne..." Micky whispered to himself. 'NO! YOU DON'T NEED TO REMEMBER ANYTHING! JUST GET ME INSIDE!' The voice inside his head screamed. Micky looked up to see Holly getting nervous. "Holly." Micky looked closer into those red eyes. "You're not Holly. You killed Holly."
"I AM HOLLY!" The intruder boomed, getting very angry now. He seemed to double in size. When Micky picked himself up off the floor, Holly towered over him easily by an extra two feet. "YOU CAN'T STOP ME NOW, BOY, SO LET.ME.INNNN!" With one massive heave Holly kicked the gate open, the padlock smashing into little pieces.
"NO!" Micky called out, knowing instantly that if Holly reached the top of the tower, it would only just be the beginning of the suffering for himself and the rest of the crew. "The crew!" Micky remembered everything. He looked back. He wanted to go and help the captain and Efof and that bird he'd never met before. For somestrange reason he even felt like he had a commitment to that snobby git, Seymour. Instead, he took off after Holly, knowing that if he didn't stop him, nothing else would matter anyway.