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Pscybotics Volume One: Episode 6A - Somewhere Else

Ripley tries to guide Sarah in accepting that she's in the future

10 YEARS AGO 

July 22nd , 2030  22:37

A young Ripley was playing in her room. She knew that she should have been asleep, but this wasn’t the first time she’d disobeyed her parents. She heard footsteps on the staircase and immediately ducked under her covers. When she realized that the footsteps were going the wrong direction, she peeked and looked at the door. Nothing. Suddenly, thunder rumbled outside her window. She jumped up and looked outside her barred window. She loved storms. When the lightning struck it lit the sky up like daylight.

In the light, she saw a figure by the door, then the light disappeared. She didn’t understand what she’d seen until she heard the door break down and her mother scream. It was a pscybotic!

*

PRESENT TIME 

Ripley led Sarah to a small room the size of an office. It had slightly rusted steel for walls; two beds at opposite walls and medical cabinets against the two remaining walls. Ripley let the medic check Sarah after her scream had shocked her out of her paralysis. It was Sarah’s scream that reminded her of that night!

Ripley was still in deep thought when the medic gave Sarah the all clear. Sarah was looking at her when she finally spoke.

“Are you okay?” Sarah’s voice was hoarse and tired.

Ripley snapped back into the moment. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that question? You know, you scared us back there.”

“Yeah I know. Sorry.”

“Don’t be. You’ve been through a lot. That was bound to happen.”

“Funny,” she said not laughing, “I didn’t see anybody else go into shock. In fact everybody else seems to be handling it well.”

Ripley shrugged. “Boys will be boys.”

“And Selena? Because last I checked, she’s not a boy.”

“How do you know she’s not throwing up as we speak?”

“Because she’s tougher than me. I mean, she wears black on a daily basis. I don’t think I could summon the guts to do that.”

Ripley managed a rare warm smile. “You’re tougher than you think, Sarah.”

Sarah gave her an amused look. “I’m not nearly as tough as you, Ripley. Then again, who is? You’re like the toughest girl I’ve ever met.”

Ripley nodded sympathetically. “You know, Sarah, I wasn’t always this tough. In fact, the first time I saw a pscybotic with my own eyes, I actually screamed.”

Sarah’s tired eyes bulged. “You screamed? Really?”

“Yes I did. Granted, I was only a child at the time, but believe me... pscybotic’s don’t get any less scary when you’re older.”

“Of course you were a child the first time you screamed at the sight of a pscybot… or whatever they’re called. So what happened? I mean, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Ripley smiled. “I don’t mind you asking.” She thought back to that fateful night when the pscybotic broke into her home. She thought back to what she’d seen when she walked down stairs that night. She thought back to the horror of what had happened.

10 YEARS AGO 

July 22nd , 2030 – 22:45

Young Ripley had never known another home other than the barracks on the secure base in what used to be called the Cape Flats. A friend had recently told young Ripley that their ‘Safe haven’ didn’t always used to be the paradise that they knew. When she had asked her friend what it used to be, her friend had told her that it didn’t matter because the people that used to live there were all dead.

Young Ripley had just taken the last step off the stairs when she noticed it. The first thing she saw was the blood. Then she knew. She knew what had happened. She felt the dread; the horror of what had happened. She turned around the corner and saw her mother. She was dead. There was glass scattered around her. She had been killed by being pushed with such impossible velocity that she had been thrown through the air, across the hallway into the end table made of glass.

“MOMMY! MOMMY, NO!” Young Ripley ran to her mother and knelt over her. Tears were spilling over her cheeks. Young Ripley noticed a shadow of a man approaching her. She turned around to see the dead-serious face of a man that she knew wasn’t a man at all. Her parents had told her scary stories of men who were more like machines than men; stories of men who felt no feelings. Young Ripley immediately started screaming at the top of her lungs.

The pscybotic started for her when a gun shot rang out. The pscybotic stopped in his tracks and then fell to the ground. Young Ripley turned around and saw her father standing with a shot gun in his hands. Smoke was billowing out from the end of the weapon.

“Ripley!” shouted her father. “Are you okay, honey! You hurt!?”

Ripley shook her head slowly. “No! But Mommy!”

“I know, honey, I know. It’s going to be okay, do you hear me honey?” Her father took her into his arms. “Everything is going is going to be just fine.” There was a sense of confidence in her father's voice that she didn't understand... like he knew something she didn't. But her mind was too busy racing to figure that out.

Her father’s confident words didn’t make the tears stop. If anything, the tears were now flowing even more than before.


PRESENT TIME

Sarah had been listening to attentively to Ripley walk through the memory of the first time she’d encountered a pscybotic.

“I can’t believe it. Ripley, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be. It wasn’t your fault.” Her eyes turned scornful. “It was that pscybotic’s fault. That’s who I blame.”

“I didn’t know that you lost your mother so young. That’s awful.”

Ripley was silent for a moment. The darkness in her eyes disappeared. “Now you know why I am, the way I am. Nobody’s ever born tough. From that day, I vowed that I kill every last one of them.”

Sarah hesitated before speaking. “Why did it break into your home?”

“It was after my father.” It was Ripley who hesitated this time. “Lets just say, for arguments sake, that my father was important to the grand mission of ending the war – victory for us.”

“What happened after that?”

“Suffice to say, we relocated albeit to a safer location that was on base. That’s where I met Brent. That’s where I decided that when I grew up, I’d fight for the human race. It’s not a choice anybody is supposed to take lightly.”

“Yet you made that choice. How many years ago, exactly?”

“It was ten years ago, Sarah. But that was different. I lost my mother to these monsters. For me, there was no going back.”

“See, I don’t get that.”

“What don’t you get?”

“You call those things monsters, yet... you tolerate that thing that attacked me. I mean, you even call it her. How do you do that? That thing killed your mother and you can call it her?

“Sommer’s different.”

Sommer’s different? Oh, great. So there’re levels of being an android?”

“Oh there are no levels of being an android. I say Sommer is different because she died... twice.”

“Twice?” The confusion was hard to detect from Sarah’s tired face.

“Yes. First, when she was human. Then, again when she was a pscybotic. The only reason I tolerate her is because we were the ones who awakened her. She was dead. That was enough for me. Anything that we did to her no longer applied to the vengeance I will enact on all of them when we win the war.”

“I cannot say that I see the logic in that but—”

“It’s not about logic, Sarah. It’s about making sure the person you love doesn’t die for no reason. So as long as there are more of them to kill, I can still put purpose to the death of my mother.”

“Ripley, not to offend you, but I don’t think that’s a healthy way of living... not exactly.”

“I’m a soldier, Sarah. Every soldier needs something that motivates them.”

“And shouldn’t that motivation be their duty?”

Ripley smiled. “Fascinating. Even jumped from the past, you haven’t changed a bit.” She then gave an expression she meant to hide from Sarah.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright © 2016 by Sphu "Beesting" Kubheka
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