D-LINE

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The sound of the bell echoed in every single corner of the gigantic hangar, indicating the end of the night shift. Ralph took off his ear defenders and slowly went to the locker room; he was the only one working that night.

The company worked for the federal government of Taiwan, and it was the only one in the Yilan county that had the authorization to disassemble cyborgs. Until 2078, anybody could start a disassembling business and earn a lot of money from the cyborg recycling market.

Everything changed when a cyborg named P4-U7 escaped from the line and killed all the humans in the factory. The military police took three days to terminate it. The government realized that this kind of factory was very dangerous and the only solution was to nationalize the whole disassembling industry throughout Taiwan.

So, all the small factories were shut down and replaced by huge conglomerates owned by tech moguls close to the Prime Minister’s entourage. Wellcor was the biggest disassembling line in the northern counties and the most efficient so far. It had three eight-hour shifts covered by just ten employees. Ralph was one of the older workers there and he was in charge of the night shift, from 4.00pm to midnight.

“Another week of that damn night shift. Joilin is going to leave me when I tell her.” Ralph was a middle-aged man who had disassembled cyborgs his whole life. He had started when he was 18 with the idea of owning his own line, but after the P4-U7 incident, all his dreams vanished like frost in the morning. He didn’t know anything but disassembling, and he was too old to start from scratch; he was literally stuck in his own miserable life.

Finally out of the factory, Ralph was waiting for the night bus. The monsoon rain was unstoppable; the wind was so intense that the rain fell horizontally, making it impossible not to get wet. When the empty bus arrived, he was completely soaked. The 35-minute daily ride back home was his moment of calm and silence; the blurry light of the city through the windows, the small bumps on the road, and the peace of the night bus were the happiest parts of his day.

“Difang Road.” The robotic voice announced Ralph’s stop. He silently got up from the back seat, walked through the empty bus and stepped out, straight into a puddle of mud.

“I hate my life,” he mumbled and walked down the street; his lonely house was the only visible light in the distance.

When he entered the house, Joilin was sleeping on the couch with the TV still on; the low black table in front of her was covered with travel magazines showing wonderful pictures of sunny beaches and fancy resorts. He knew that it would never be possible for them to afford that kind of holiday. Ralph grabbed the blanket from the ground and covered her, then went upstairs to have a shower before going to bed.

The next day, he woke up and went downstairs, but Joilin had already gone. She worked as a housemaid for Mr. Taigor, a wealthy retired general who fought the last war against China. She had to wake up very early in the morning because the general lived about 15 miles away from their home. Basically, when Ralph had the night shift, it was impossible for them to even talk together. Sometimes they used to leave notes around the house for each other; but that day, he didn’t find any.

She’s mad at me, I know, he thought, while drinking a cup of tea. His life was nothing special. When he wasn’t working, he watched TV and complained about the government, taxes, air pollution, the weather, and the fact that he didn’t have his own factory. It was quite clear that his life was completely focused on his job.

At 3.00pm, he went out and began his journey to Wellcor. The same bus. The same trip. Once again, like eternal déjà-vu. At 3.58pm, he was in front of the disassembling line, waiting for the signal that in two minutes would fill the air with its deafening sound, indicating that the night shift started for Ralph.

He was in charge of the last part of the line, which started about half a mile before the end, in the loading point where the dismissed cyborgs started their final journey to the recycling.

The factory was an immense conveyor belt divided into different sections: the first was the quality control section where the cyborgs were irradiated by a powerful magnetic field to delete any residual information or energy source; the second section was the recovery area where useful materials (such as copper, iron, plastic or gold) were taken and recycled; then the last was the cleaning phase, where Ralph was in charge of separating the organic parts from the non-organic.

The cyborgs were created with an inner artificial skeleton and organs, but the skin, eyes, tongue, hair and blood were grown from human stem cells. As a matter of fact, Ralph’s role was to flay the cyborgs and compost the organic parts.

I can’t believe I’m still here after over 20 years. Everybody gets a promotion but me. I’m the hardest worker but nobody seems to notice it. My flaying skills are so good that they can’t find anybody better than me. Yes, I’m the master of flaying. He was a very silent man, but he spoke a lot with himself when he was working.

The never-ending conveyor belt moved like the pendulum of a hypnotist, and Ralph was just hypnotized by that black plastic river that had no beginning and no end, like a giant snake crawling through the hangar. The eight-hour shift was the most annoying and alienating job, but Ralph was comfortable with that as he felt like he was part of that huge system.

“I’m just a cog to them. But maybe that’s my destiny – being a cog that spins to keep the whole machine on. They can’t do their job without me. Yes, that’s my role in society: the human cog that’s vital for the Wellcor and its shareholders. They should give me some shares for my important job – oh yeah, they will!” Ralph’s voice grew louder and louder while he was ripping the skin off the disassembled cyborgs.

“Next month, I’ll ask for a few thousand shares or I’ll stop working for them, then the whole business will go bankrupt and they will lose millions. Ah ha ha!” Ralph’s excited laughter rang out all through the factory. For a moment, he felt like the owner of the Wellcor, until the echoes vanished and the background noise of the belt returned – the soundtrack to his alienation and loneliness.

I’m sick of this job. Tomorrow, I’m resigning. The iron bucket was full of skin, hair and eyeballs, and the floor was covered in blood.

The end shift alarm woke him up from his mental sleep. After years of working at the disassembly line, he learnt how to disconnect his brain and complete the eight hours without even noticing; that was his personal way of looking after his mental health.

He went out to wait for the same bus, which took him down the same route to his home, which had the same light on. When he got in, he saw that Joilin was on the same couch, sleeping in the same position, with those magazines opened at the same page.

When Ralph went upstairs, he felt as if time didn’t have any meaning for him. It was like living every single day just the same, without any significant change. I’m sick of this life. Tomorrow, I’m resigning.

The next day, he went to Wellcor and did his shift without any complaints or talk of resigning. After all, he had been thinking of leaving for the past nine years, but never had the courage to go through with it; he always found an excuse to stay.

Ralph’s plan was to pump his ego in the night, then in the morning deflate any residual will that pushed towards freedom – as if he were a human diaphragm and his desires were the lungs. That day passed like the last and the next, always the same; his life was flowing away like the cyborg scraps on the belt.

Ralph came back to life that Saturday on his day off. He woke up to find that Joilin was already gone, but he decided to stay home to wait for her, since she was supposed to come back around 5.00pm.

I can’t just sit and wait, I want to clean the mess and prepare her a nice dinner. After all, she deserves it. Ralph spent all day cleaning the house and preparing food, like a perfect manservant. But when he relaxed on the couch for a minute, he fell asleep immediately and woke up at 11.30pm. He had just missed the chance to talk with his wife, who was already sleeping upstairs. I’m only good at recycling cyborgs, I guess. He sat up on the couch, looking at those travel magazines, showing fancy places that they could never afford to visit.

After three weeks of the night shift, he was moved to the day shift; this meant going home earlier and maybe having some kind of relationship with Joilin. Ralph was excited to head home while the sun was still up; he had almost forgotten the sensation of having real sunlight on his skin.

He was still in charge of the last sector, but he wasn’t the only one working. In fact, Maika was on the first line and Pheng on the second; finally, he had coworkers to speak with.

“Good morning, people! Long time no see, huh?” Ralph asked, waiting for a reply through his speakers. The three workers were more than 300 yards apart, so they used an intercom to communicate.

“Good morning, Ralph. Are you ready to drain some synthetic blood today?”

“I’m always ready, Pheng. And you, Maika – aren’t you afraid that some cyborg will wake up from the belt?” The first section was the most secured part because it was the only place where a cyborg could wake up and rebel, like P4-U7 did. The workers were armed with a gun for protection and they were allowed to shoot at any sign of danger.

“Yeah, I’m ready to demagnetize some cyborg brains,” Maika replied.

At 8.00am, the alarm rang out and the belt started moving. Another day of disassembling had started at Wellcor.

“Hey guys, how long have you been working here?” Ralph asked.

“I’ve been here for five years. And you, Maika?”

“Well, next month, it will be two for me.”

“I wonder why you’ve never been assigned to the third section. I’ve been stuck here for the last three years! I only got the chance to work at the second section when Pheng was sick, do you remember?”

“According to the supervisor, you’re the best third section employees we’ve ever had, Ralph. That’s why you’re there,” Pheng replied, pulling an iron spring and some wires from a robot arm.

“If I’m the best, why don’t I get a wage increase?” Ralph asked. He popped out an eye from a cyborg skull.

“Neither of us had any increase either. They told us that there are other factories around the area that ate into our slice of the market – do you remember, Pheng? It’s all about business, my friends.”

“Yeah, I do remember. It’s all excuses, I think. They just want to take advantage of us and the fact that having a syndicate in a government factory is illegal. There are thousands of cyborgs out there that need to be replaced or recycled. There’s no way that a few new factories could make a dent in the market. It’s all bullshit.

“Why don’t we just organize the schedule ourselves?” suggested Ralph. “We can ask the supervisor if we can be self-sufficient and take care of our shifts between the three of us. I’ve never worked on the first section.”

Pheng and Maika fell silent for a minute.

“Ralph, don’t be silly!” Pheng laughed. “We can’t schedule our own shifts, it would be seen as insubordination. You don’t even have the permission to hold a gun. Come on, shut up and get back to work.”

Pheng pressed a button on his intercom to talk to Maika directly, blocking out Ralph. “That’s the third time he’s asked for your section. I think we should report it to the supervisor. I don’t want any trouble.”

“We were told that Ralph might be persistent. We just have to say no and keep working. After all, it’s not our duty to maintain the order here. We’re only paid to take care of the cyborgs on the belt.”

The shift ended quickly for Ralph, who was so happy to go home early just to say hi to Joilin. Even the same bus was different that day. He felt, for the first time in such a long time, a sense of joy. When he got home, Joilin was drinking a cup of tea on the couch. He rushed towards her and hugged his wife so hard that she was scared.

“What’s wrong, Ralph?”

“I haven’t seen you awake for weeks – I had almost forgotten your voice! I’m so happy to talk with you again.”

“You’re really sweet, Ralph, but please let me go! I can’t breathe if you squeeze me like that.”

They sat on the couch and Joilin poured him a cup of tea.

“Why didn’t you tell me that they put you on the night shift for so long?”

“I didn’t see any of your notes in the last few days and thought you were mad at me. I didn’t want to tell you that your loser husband was forced to work the night shift three weeks in a row.” Ralph took a sip of tea with his eyes full of tears.

“My love, you are not a loser! You just do your job and you’re good at it. It’s tough and stressful, but there is nobody like you. I’ve told you many times that you are one of the most important parts of Wellcor. Without you, our streets would be full of rotten cyborg corpses! Do you understand how important you are for the community?” Joilin caressed his face and kissed him.

“Tomorrow, I’ll ask for a change. I’ve realized that I’ve never been assigned to the first section and I think that I’m skilled enough for that work. I could even ask for a higher wage so we could finally afford to go somewhere nice.” He gestured at the open magazines on the table.

Joilin fell silent for a minute before she nervously replied. “Ralph, don’t be silly. You don’t even have permission to hold a gun.”

Ralph looked at her, frowning. “How is it possible that you’ve said the exact same thing Pheng did? Did he call you or something?”

“My dear, you are getting paranoid! Maybe the night shift has stressed your mind too much. We’re saying the same thing because it’s true – you don’t have the permission. And if we both said the same thing, maybe you should believe us, shouldn’t you?” She had a strange, friendly grin on her face.

“Maybe you’re right. I’m too stressed and tired, I need a shower.” He went upstairs and Joilin followed him out of the corner of her eye. When she heard the sound of the water, she grabbed the phone and quickly dialed a very long number.

“Sir, it’s Joilin. I’m afraid he’s becoming suspicious. Today, he expressed twice that he wanted to change sections… Yes, I know that can’t happen… No… Yes, sir, I’ll take care of him and I’ll update you if he has any other subversive thoughts. I suggest we decrease his interactions with other workers and send him back to the night shift… I do agree few drops will be sufficient…Yes, sir. Have a nice day.” She hung up the phone, rushed into the kitchen and opened the bottom cabinet next to the oven, searching for something. She grabbed a small phial filled with a brownish liquid, poured few drops in his mug and returned back to the sofa, waiting for Ralph.

“There’s nothing better than a shower to release stress and anxiety, my dear.”

“Yes, my love, but a cup of hot tea is even better! Here you are.” She handed him the cup.

“Thank you, Jo.” He brought the cup to his nose and took a deep breath. “Oolong tea, my favorite!” Ralph sipped his drink, then smiled widely. “I’m so lucky to be your husband.”

He woke up the next day energetic and willing to start his daily shift. The bed was still warm; he called out for Joilin, but the house remained silent. He must have just missed her. Ralph went downstairs to get a cup of tea and some butter biscuits.

On the table, his tea cup from the previous night was still sitting next to the travel magazines.

“Let’s clean this mess before she comes back.” He closed the magazines, then grabbed the cup – but before he put it in the sink, he saw a strange, glowing, brownish slime at the bottom. He took a sponge and tried to clean it, but the ooze was impossible to get out; it was like a dense and thick honey. Ralph gave up and just left the mug in the sink. “Joilin knows how to handle these things, she’ll take care of it.” He dipped a biscuit into his new cup of tea, staring at the dirty mug.

When he arrived at Wellcor, Pheng stopped him at the entrance. “Good morning, Ralph! What are you doing here? You’re on the night shift today. Didn’t you get the message I sent you?”

“What? It can’t be! I’ve just done three weeks in a row, I can’t work nights again! I need to talk to the supervisor.”

“Calm down, man. I know it sucks, but there’s no one better than you for that role, and nobody else can cover the shift tonight – you’re the only one!”

Pheng put his arm around Ralph’s shoulders. “Please, if you don’t cover the shift, we’re screwed! We can’t put a cyborg there, we need a real man. Somebody like you.” He tapped Ralph’s chest. “C’mon Ralphie, let’s have a cup of tea. It’s on me.”

Ralph followed his friend to the canteen.

“I’ll get the drinks – you sit there, Ralphie.” Pheng approached the bar. “Good morning, Bikhram. I need two cups of tea; one regular and one for him.” He made a slight movement with his head.

The barman leaned and saw Ralph. “Brown or green?”

“Brown. Three units should be fine.” The barman poured three drops of brown liquid into the red mug and filled it with hot water. Pheng took the mugs and walked to the table.

“Here you are, my friend – your hot water and your oolong.” Pheng handed him the red mug and the tea-bag.

“Oh thanks, that’s my favorite!” He soaked the bag into the mug. “Today, I’ll talk to the supervisor and ask for a change. I deserve to work on the first section. Maybe I could start tonight.”

“Ralphie, I don’t think it’s a good idea. Night shift issues are always in the third section, your section. If you let the autopilot do your work, it’ll be a mess. You don’t understand that your work is important and you are the most skilled worker here. Stop complaining and accept your role of responsibility.”

“I’m not complaining. I just deserve a better treatment – I can’t be the only one ripping off skin and pulling out eyeballs! I’m sick of this job. If I wanted to slaughter things, I’d work as a butcher.” Ralph took the teabag out and sipped his tea. “I’m really pissed about the way they treat me. I’m not a cog, I’m a human.” His voice grew louder and louder.

“Relax, man! We know your job is hard, but we’re all cogs here and we can’t do anything about that. Remember that we work for the government, so our wage is pretty decent compared to other jobs. Just drink your tea, it’ll help you calm down.”

“I don’t care about wages. I want to be free. I feel like a slave, doing the same stupid thing every day. Every day is the same for me and the night shift doesn’t help me at all. I can barely talk to my wife. Do you know that?” He stood up from his chair in a fit of rage.

“I understand that you’re angry – but please, calm down and drink your tea. You’re scaring me.” Pheng grabbed Ralph’s arm and pulled him gently back down to his chair.

“Stop telling me to calm down. And stop telling me to drink that stupid tea!” Ralph flung the cup off the table. It fell on the ground, breaking into pieces. The tea soaked the floor, along with a strange, glowing, brownish fluid. He leaned over to look at it more closely, but the barman rushed forward with a mop.

“Please, sir, leave it to me. I’ll take care of this mess.”

Pheng grabbed Ralph’s shoulder. “Man, you need to rest. I think it’s better if you just go home now and come back later for the night shift.”

“I’m not going back home. I’ll go for a walk; I need to think.”

The factory was in the middle of nowhere, but Ralph decided to walk to the closest town, which was five miles away from Wellcor. There was one single road that skirted the river up to the ocean. Ralph wandered for hours, thinking about his future, his job and how he was just throwing his life away. He felt like one of those cyborgs on the disassembling line; his desires and dreams were being systematically ripped away like the skin off those inorganic bodies. His miserable existence was just a collateral effect between two days of work; even that river resembled the conveyor belt at the Wellcor.

“Today is my last day at the third section. No more blood, skin and eyeballs.” Ralph turned on his heels and went back to the factory.

At 3.58pm, he was waiting next to the conveyer belt for the starting signal, like a prisoner in front of a firing squad. That was the last day of his average life of excuses and abuses; that day was Ralph’s day.

When the shift started, he ran toward the first section like a lioness after her prey. Ralph realized that it was the first time in his career that he was so close to that section; he felt a strange vibration in his body that grew stronger and stronger as he approached his goal. When he was five yards away, he felt an inner shock, as if his internal organs were shaken and turned inside out. Then he collapsed to the ground, hitting the floor with his head, while cyborg bodies were transported through the hangar on the conveyor belt.

Ralph woke up tied to a bed in the middle of a white room.

“Is anybody out there? Why the hell am I tied up?”

Behind him, a door opened and a man in a white coat walked toward the bed.

“Good morning, Ralph. How do you feel?”

“I would feel better if I was free.”

“That’s just a precaution. Now that you are awake, we can untie you.” The man pushed a button under the bed and Ralph was free to move.

“What happened? I don’t remember anything but that intense buzz before collapsing.”

“Ralph, you just had a breakdown. Too much stress can cause that kind of thing. Don’t worry, we care about you. The company gave you a week off – that should be enough to restore your health. Go home now, you deserve it.”

Ralph climbed off the bed and slowly walked out of the room. “Thank you.”

The door closed behind him.

His days off involved nothing but TV, eating, and waiting for Joilin come home from work – but she was always exhausted and having a real conversation was almost impossible. Ralph realized that Wellcor had drained his world; outside of the factory, he was nothing but a passive form of life.

Everything was flat and boring that day; he didn’t know that the next ten minutes would be the most important moments in his entire existence. Ralph was zapping through the hundreds of TV channels without any real interest in anything in particular; he just wanted some background noise.

“Oh good, daily news. A bunch of lies tied with a nice ribbon by journalists who work for the government.”

“Breaking news! The Movement for Life, known as MoLi, shut down three cyborgs working in a farm using a high distance electro-magnetic pulse. A message from their leader, Joe Nakamoto, has been sent to our channel, claiming responsibility for the attack.

Nakamoto and his movement are trying to block the spread of cyborgs that, according to MoLi principles, are lowering the wages of the human average worker, who cannot compete with a cyborg’s endurance, speed and strength. We have the exclusive images of the attack.”

When Ralph saw those images, he felt his brain unlock for the first time. The video showed three cyborgs sowing rice when, all of a sudden, they just collapsed to the ground as if hit by an invisible force. The same force that hit him last week – the force of the powerful magnetic field used in the first section.

“It can’t be… I’m a damn cyborg!”

He sat paralyzed on the couch until Joilin opened the door.

“Hey sweetie, I’m back.” When she saw him staring at the blank TV screen, a cold feeling ran through her spine. “Baby, are you okay? You look so strange.”

Ralph was catatonic. Her lips were moving but he couldn’t hear any sound.

“Ralphie, are you okay? Please say something.”

“You lied to me,” Ralph replied without even looking at her.

“What are you talking about?”

“Stop acting, you lousy spy! You work for Wellcor, don’t you?”

“My love, you need help. Let me make you a cup of–”

Ralph jumped off the couch and threw himself at her. “Stop making that bloody tea! I need you to tell me the truth!” he shouted right in her face.

“Ralph, please calm down. Let me call a doctor, you need help!” She tried to reach for the phone, but Ralph slapped her hand and grabbed her arm.

“Come with me, my dear, sit on the couch. We need to talk.” He threw her on the couch, kicked away the table and put a chair in front of her. “Who are you? Who am I?”

“You’re Ralph, my husban–” Ralph slapped her before she even finished her sentence.

“Every lie you tell me, I’ll slap you harder and harder. I’ll ask you once again: who are you and who am I?”

“I told you! You are my husb–” He slapped her so hard that her nose bled.

“Who are you? Who am I?”

Joilin took a deep breath. “I work for the Kubilai corporation, a military contractor hired by Wellcor. I’m a cyborg analyst living with you to control your progress. Pheng and Maika work with me too – they’re your supervisors. You’re a third type Gamma cyborg, code name R47-PH. You were assembled five months ago. All your memories are fakes, implanted to make your life experience more human. Your model is the third generation of a military cyb-human, an organism with the skills of a cyborg and the empathy of a human. You were designed to join the army in military campaigns.”

“It can’t be… I feel old, I’m 45 years old! I remember our honeymoon, our first kiss, my childhood. I can’t believe it’s all fake memories. Why the hell did you do this to me?”

“I didn’t do anything – I’m just an engineer taking care of a specimen. The corporation put you in that disassembling line to test your level of stress endurance, taking advantage of you on purpose, trying to check your limits. My duties were to update the corporation and to lower your stress.”

“You mean with sex?”

“No! Sex was just a part of the acting. I used a nanomachine liquid compound to lower your brain activity. You can find it in the bottom cabinet, next to the oven.”

Ralph was shocked. It was too much to take in so quickly. He got up to head to the kitchen and search for the liquid compound, when he heard Joilin right behind him. He turned around to see her brandishing a knife.

“I’m sorry, Ralph. You must be terminated, you know too much – but thanks to your main cortex, we will develop a fourth type Delta cyborg. Don’t be upset. Before you, there were two more cyborgs that went crazy like you. Do you remember P4-U7? He was my second husband, Paul.”

She ran at him, waving the knife, but Ralph grabbed the table and threw it at her; she was hit and dropped the knife. Ralph quickly took a magazine, rolled it up and used it like a club to hit her several times until she fell on the ground. Ralph jumped over her body, grabbed her jaw, and shoved the magazine deep into her throat until she choked to death.

“No more lies, Joilin.” After he left the house, flames were the only visible light in the distance.

The factory was empty. The disassembling line was fully automatized that night. Ralph decided to wait for his ‘friends’ in the locker room. He sat on the iron bench, staring at the clock.

When Pheng arrived, he didn’t have the time to say anything. Ralph rushed towards him and pushed his head against the wall with so much power that blood spilled from Pheng’s ears. The body fell to the ground without any resistance.

Ralph stood in front of the door, waiting for Maika. When she arrived, he grabbed her by the neck and his knuckles made their way into her cheekbones until her left eye literally popped out. Ralph had unleashed the cyborg and nobody could stop him now. He searched Maika’s dead body until he found her locker key. It was time to kill some humans with a real weapon. When he opened the door, the security guard was walking towards the locker room.

“Good morning, Ralph! How are–” He saw that Ralph’s hands were covered with blood. That was his last thought, because Ralph stuck a bullet right between his eyes. His murderous rage was growing corpse after corpse. He arrived at the canteen where the barman was cleaning some glasses; in less than ten seconds, the guy had three holes in his chest.

“Good morning, Kubilai corporation, your specimen is finally awake! Where are you hiding, you bastards?” The factory didn’t have any security system; the only guard was lying on the floor with three holes in his chest.

Ralph wandered around the factory searching for other humans to execute, but he didn’t find anybody. When he entered the hangar, the disassembling line was still off, so he decided to turn it into an assembling line. Instead of recycling the cyborgs, he started to fix them and produce his own army.

 

Within a couple of hours, he had reconfigured 21 cyborgs, ready to fight for him. It didn’t take long before the government realized what was going on. In fact, at 5.00pm, a voice thundered outside.

“R47-PH! I’m Lieutenant Khmer and we all know what you have done. The factory is surrounded. There are tanks, drones, helicopters and 200 soldiers here waiting for you. If you don’t surrender, we will come in and terminate you without hesitation. You have five minutes.”

When the echo vanished, the main door of the hangar opened and a silhouette came out.

“FIRE!” the Lieutenant shouted the order and 200 rifles exploded a storm of bullets. The cyborg fell instantly. Five soldiers slowly advanced towards the cyborg; when they were less than six feet away, a blinding light came out of the lying body, which exploded, blowing them up.

“That bastard has hacked the lithium power bank of the cyborgs – there are hundreds of those cores inside the hangar!” The Lieutenant was shocked by the military ability of that cyborg.

According to national security protocols, it was prohibited to negotiate with non-human beings; in simple words, the cyborg didn’t have any chance of surviving. But Ralph had his own army of loyal kamikazes and was literally unbeatable. All of Wellcor’s exits were guarded by cyborgs while Ralph was assembling new soldiers; they helped him hold the factory captive all through the night.

The next day, the Lieutenant received a phone call from the Prime Minister that ordered for Resolution 909.

“R47-PH, I do admire your skills and techniques, but the game is over.” The Lieutenant turned to his soldiers. “Tactical withdrawal! Resolution 909 has been adopted!” The drones and helicopters flew away as the soldiers retreated in their tanks; everybody vanished, and no one was in a couple miles of the building.

From the distance, the rumble of fighter bombers spread through the valley. It was the sound of the end for Ralph. Inside the hangar, he was still assembling dozens of cyborgs; for the first time, he was happy with his job. When the first missile hit the Wellcor, the roof exploded into a thousand pieces.

The last thing he saw were the shattered windows of the factory falling like crystal snowflakes. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen during his long-short life.

“Breaking news! Today, a terrorist attack carried out by MoLi has razed the Wellcor corporation to the ground. According to government sources, they had instructed an infiltrator, code named Ralph, to hide the explosives in the factory during the night shift. Stay tuned for more updates.”

Lieutenant Khmer was flying back to headquarters in a helicopter when he received a call.

“Good morning, sir… Yes, the operation was a complete success… No, we didn’t manage to save his database, but we have Agent Joilin’s logs with all the information we need to activate the Delta cyborg... Yes, sir, the code name 3V4 is confirmed... Yes, sir. The fourth type will work in the southern county of Taitun under the name Eva.”

 

THE END

Lamees Alhassar