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EP8: Cyberthug 7720 II | Humans and Zombies

< intercomm dialogue >

|| system ||

|| 'AI speaking' ||

' thoughts '

[ Location ]

_______________________


[Human Region – Zone 8, Arena 15 Dormitories]


Reese knocks on the door before opening it.


The room is a small space, just enough for a contestant to rest in bed, retouch and makeup needed and short sliding hangers on the side.


There's also a small table where refreshments are replenished from time to time.


Reese and his commanding officer enter the cramped room where one of the contestants of earlier is resting.


The Arctic Fox costume is neatly laid on the table. Spots of blood from the earlier brawl had stained its white fabric.


When they entered, the Arctic Fox looked up at them and smiled.


"More fans? I'm not really dressed properly for a photoshoot." The male contestant tells them politely.


He is fresh from the bathroom, wearing only a robe to cover himself. He felt no shame being seen that way.


"No, we're not fans. But you were a great fighter, I'll give you that." Reese compliments.


"Thank you for that acknowledgement. Does the lady with you think the same?" he tries to flirt.


"Yes, you were good, but you can do better." Ana humors him.


"Ah, anything for the lady." he accepts. "But what brings you two here if you're not fans?"


Reese took that as his cue and he reaches for his pocket to reveal his badge.

The contestant eyed his badge warily.


"What do the police want from me? This is a legal job. Isn't it?"


"He's a Guisarme." Ana corrects.


"Police. Guisarme. Whatever. They are all the same, all under the Militia. All under the same government." The contestant blurts.


Reese noticed the shift in attitude. Earlier he is polite but now he was uncovering a hostile attitude towards the Militia.


He assumed it could be something that the Militia had done to him in the past.


He kept his badge, keeping his distance from the bed to not agitate the contestant.


"We want to talk about some of your fellow contestants in this dorm..." he trails off, not knowing his real name. 'Arctic Fox' surely isn't his real name,


"Felix. You can call me Felix." the contestant caught up.


"Okay Felix, can you tell us more of your fellow contestants? The... Watch Foxes, as you call yourselves?"


"Why won't you ask them?"


"They've been out of town for the past 12 days. The manager said it was odd but he has too many contestants that need managing."


"You've been living under the same roof. Care to give us an insight into what kind of people they are? Habits. Routines. Enemies." Ana expounded.


The contestant refused eye contact. He busied himself with his face towel to dry his hair.


"What's there to say? We all needed a house. A job. Money. The arena has easy requirements compared to the white-collar jobs out there."


Reese gestured at Ana to take over, to keep asking the questions while he surveys the area.


It was a messy room, clothes sprawled on the floor like a minefield. Empty canned goods and soda bottles.


"Can you say you are good friends with them?" Ana pressed.


"No. We're all here for mutual reasons, that's it."


"So, you don't talk to each other? Hangout after fighting? Going bowling in the weekends?"


The contestant froze for a moment. Ana caught him tense.


"Sometimes when we get more than our daily quota. We treat ourselves." He replied.

Still refusing eye contact, proceeding to dry his hair.


Reese spotted a small bottle of eye lubricant, a case of contact lenses near the refreshments.


He does not move to check, so he does not alert the contestant about what he saw.


If what he thinks is true, then the scattered canned goods could be a cover up to the fact that he doesn't sweat.


Otherwise, the room could be as foul-smelling as the previous rooms they've visited.

He uses old food to cover that up.


When Reese turns to Ana to deliver the message, the contestant already caught in his gaze.


They meet eye to eye now. His gray eyes. Zombies have no eye color, just plain gray.


No words were said as the contestant threw his towel at Reese and rolled over onto the bed to make a run for the door.


Because the room was small, Ana had to push Reese aside to chase the contestant. Both of them now out of the room.


'I know they all have the same eyes, but it feels like we've met before. His eyes are so familiar.' Reese thought as he threw the towel on the bed, walking over the eye contact case to confirm it.


He closes the door and catches up with the two.


"Felix!" Ana called out to the contestant.


Felix, however, does not pay heed to his name being called.


He kept running, pushing fellow contestants aside to cross the hallway, heading for the fire exit.


"Excuse me, excuse me," Ana tries to push past the crowded hallway but some of them are purposely slowing her down to aid their fellow contestant.


When she saw that Felix already made it out the fire exit, she grit her teeth at their escaping suspect.


"Make way!" she growled.


Reese saw the crowd is pressing on Ana so she does not get through.


He instead opens the window and crosses from the windowsill. He saw the pipe leading down near the window from the fire exit.


He crosses the last windowsill and reaches for the pipes, sliding down and watching Felix run down the stairs in haste.


Reese decides to advance in the first floor, pulling out his gun and meets up with Felix around back. "Freeze!" he shouted.


But Felix did not freeze even at gunpoint. He instead continued to run. Adrenaline had filled his thoughts that they wouldn't shoot him.


He ran towards the main gate of the dormitories, the very exit from the arena.


"Felix, stop! We just want to talk!" Reese tries again, but even if he had the shot, he couldn't bring himself to fire.


He groaned in frustration, proceeding with the chase.


But as soon as he exited the gates, there was no sign of Felix.


Just the number of returning fans who left the arena to buy some lunch.


Reese turned around, turning left and right, but still could not find any sign of Felix in sight.


"Seriously?" he muttered to himself. How hard was it to chase a guy in a silky purple robe?





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