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A Worse Idea 9

Anne ran her fingers through her short red hair. Paced across her dorm room’s floor, heart racing.

The mech construction was going along fine, great. The weapons were done, and a significant portion of the body was done. Soon as she could figure out the head, she should be set.

But what then?

She shook her head, forgetting how to breathe. Forgetting what she was doing this all for. That was fine when Shade was around. Then Anne could take comfort in another human being. But now that Shade was busy, Anne didn’t have anything else to lean on, to live for.

Why was she building the damn thing, anyway?

“For the government,” she told herself. “C’mon, Anne. You’re fine. You’re… you’ll figure your shit out. You’re building this for the government, you’ll give it to them, and then you’ll build a bigger one. A crazier one. That’s all you need. You and mechs and machines. You’re living.”

She wrapped her hands around her neck, trying to slow her breath down.

This is where I killed him, she thought. She walked towards the wall, then banged her head against it several times.

What was the point?

Her cell phone rang. She walked into her bedroom, where she’d left her phone. The call was from Prometheus.

Surprised, she didn’t pick it up for several rings. She didn’t really want to deal with him. Then again, she didn’t really want to deal with herself, either.

She picked up the phone.

“Hey, Anne,” Prometheus said.

“Hi?”

“I’ve been thinking,” he said.

“That’s surprising,” Anne said. Prometheus didn’t respond right away, so Anne said, “Sorry.”

“I could use a good scientist at my shop. Would you be interested?”

Anne’s nerves felt like they were going to pop. Her stomach gurgled with the anxiety.

“Let me think about it,” she said.

“Alright,” Prometheus said. “Let me know when you come to a decision.”

“Okay,” Anne said. “Yeah.” She hung up the phone.

She held the phone against her chest, leaning against a wall and closing her eyes.

“You’ve gotta take it, Anne. You’re going crazy here.”

Clutching her unnerved stomach, Anne felt her scar. It was still a little sore.

She lifted her shirt and took a look at where she’d hurt herself with the laser saw.

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