0.5 - Gang Gang

0.5 - Gang Gang

“Hey, we don’t really want any trouble,” Kai speaks to the guard as we approach the warehouse.

“Well you got it,” the guard responds.

“We’re just here to talk to Zhang,” Kai continues.

“No Zhang here,” the guard responds.

Kai keeps trying to talk it out but I take note of the guard. He’s a splicer. I’m not sure Kai has picked up on the fact that the guy doesn’t have any eyelids yet and his speech is hindered. Probably got a tongue to lick his eyes like those little lizards. What are they called?

The guard reaches behind his back, going for a gun, Kai is too trustful. I shove Kai to the side at the same time equipping a shotgun. The guard fires first, his handgun lands center of my chest, but I’ve built my character up enough and equipped enough body armor that it doesn’t matter. Two quick blast from my shotgun and the guard slumps against the wall, his gun sliding the side.

“Guess you should have got Geico,” I laugh to myself.

“What are you talking about,” Kai looks at me confused.

“Geckos, the guy had eyes like a gecko.”

“I hate you sometimes,” Kai laughs as he rolls a metallic ball with a flashing light in his hand.


“Yeah, it’s fun to bring out the classics every now and then,” Kai throws the ball high into the air towards a vent on the warehouse.

The ball sticks to the wall before sprouting eight legs. A small laser cuts a hole in the vent and scurries into the warehouse. Kai hums a song to himself as he pilots the bot through some kind of remote on his wrist. Bringing out classics seems like a fun idea. I switch an assault rifle. I’ve become a fan of shotguns so I don’t use automatic weapons too often these days. I like to get in close.

“What are you humming,” I ask Kai as he hands me an earpiece.

“Mariah Carey, We Belong Together.”

“The remix with Jay Z is crazy,” I affix the earpiece.

“Mariah Carey plus hood dude, it never misses.”

“Mariah Carey and The Lox, Mariah Carey and fat Gucci Mane.”

“Mariah Carey and ODB,” Kai adds.

“That’s a good one.”

“You going through the front?”

“Yeah, I want to wrap this up quickly. Hopefully we can see Daamin win the competition.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Do me the honors,” I point at the door.

“Spider bot is dispersing smoke through the ventilation right now. I’ll feed you directions,” Kai tosses a small coin at the door and it’s blown in.

I rush in fire at the first thing I see moving, it shouts and drops to the ground. I feel the spiderbot hop onto my shoulder. Kai comes in through the earpiece and becomes my eyes. I only need a general area to aim at with an assault rifle. I reload and do a 180 degree turn as Kai warns me of an enemy approaching me from behind. It’s not a hard fight, but something about it is bothering me. Some of the enemies aren’t moving like NPCs. They’re doing their own thing. Trying to flank me, switching weapons, using healing items liberally. It’s not sitting right with me, even as I fire the last round and the smoke clears out.

“Good job, our target should be behind the door right here,” Kai joins me in person.

“Hey, did that fight seem odd to you?”

“What do you mean?”

“As if some of them were players, not NPCs.”

Kai surveys the room, then he starts counting. “You took out 27 people. There’re 19 bodies, but 27 opportunities to loot. Meaning eight of the targets were human.”

“That doesn’t make any sense. Human and NPC gangs don’t work together. The game doesn’t allow for that. NPC gangs have everything scripted.”

“You think they hacked the game?”

“If they did would they have left items that we can loot?”

“Good point.”

The two of us ponder the possibility of the game being broken or changing for a while silently. For the two of us, it means nothing. We’ll just find a new game to play. For other folks, well this is their all. They’ve made this game more important than their actual lives.

“I guess we should finish the mission,” Kai breaks the silence.

Behind the door is nothing but an old janitor’s closet with a desk forced in. Behind the desk Zhang sits on the lap of a guy who looks to made up of equal parts Kid Rock, Joe Dirt and actual dirt. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lived in this closet. He moves to shout.

“Don’t move Wade,” I aim my gun at him. The fun of the game has suddenly vanished for me.

“Your gang is gone. Gone to hell specifically,” Kai leans on the doorway.

“Who are you,” Wade asks.

“We’re the guys come to take Zhang home,” Kai responds.

“I can’t live without my baby,” Wade screams again.

“Hey,” I shout. “If you don’t stop screaming I’ll just blow your head off.” Wade stops immediately.

“Zhang, you have to go home.”

“I can’t,” Zhang finally speaks. “Father is an evil man. His company gouges prices and exploits cheap labor. They pollute the planet and lie about it. They will drive the world into eternal darkness if nothing is done.” Kai and I share a glance before we burst into laughter. “This is not funny,” Zhang continues.

“Baby,” Kai holds up a hand. “That’s called late stage capitalism. We’re all victims. The best thing you can do is take your rich daddy’s money and spend it on good causes that can help improve the world.”

“Alright,” I put the gun down. “Let’s get out of here.”

Zhang and Wade both begin to shout about how they’re refusing to leave. Kai tries to reason with them, but I’m ready to wrap this up. Everyone thinks she’s been kidnapped anyway, why don’t we kidnap her. That’s not a bad idea. I scroll through my inventory until I stop on sleep grenades. Perfect. I drop two in the room but nobody seems to notice. I take Kai’s hand and close the door, leaving Wade and Zhang to fall asleep.

“Just let them sleep, we’ll kidnap them in a few minutes when the gas is gone,” Kai just stares at me blankly before squeezing my hand. “Oh, sorry,” I drop his hand. “Just wanted to get out of there before the gas got us too.”

“Yeah, I get it,” Kai just nods.

“You’re not going to call it brash and reckless,” I ask.

“Um, yes. Reckless, brash. Heart stopping. Pulse raising,” Kai trails off. He must have gotten a good dose of the smoke.


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