Helmut’s Choice (5-22-18)


[WP] It’s time to make a choice: You can save your family, or you can conceal your illegal cybernetic enhancements. Tonight, you can’t do both. [Link to post.]


“If you fail to cooperate, your lovely,” a masked man caressed Helmut Stein’s wife along her cheek. “… lovely family will regret it.” The video ended with Helmut’s two children being dragged out of the camera’s view while struggling and kicking their legs, then the scene went black. Helmut punched his solid marble desk in anger; his metal arm caused the desk to fall apart in pieces.  He knew he did not have a choice.

Helmut opened the storage closet in his lab and began gathering parts. He grabbed enough parts to shut the thugs up, they only wanted his tech. If he played his cards right he could catch them by surprise, and get them off his back for good. He filled three large plastic totes and loaded them in his van. He pressed the redial button on the prepaid cellphone that came with the video. The gruff voice that answered did not waste time on pleasantries.

“30 minutes. Under Bowing bridge,” the man said then hung up. Helmut reminisced about his family while he drove to the exchange point. He wanted as family as long as he could remember, and now that he fulfilled his life’s dream, these thugs come by and threaten him. Robotics and A.I. advanced so far that the government imposes heavy restrictions on experimentation. They threatened to hurt his family and report him if he did not cooperate, he guessed they’d report him even if he did cooperate. 

He pulled into the bridge’s shadow five minutes early, he decided he had enough time to unload. He set out the three totes full of electronic equipment, then opened the lids on all of them. He heard a sound and looked up to see a black SUV approaching. He moved by the totes one last time and flipped a switch in each. Then he stepped away from the totes. 

The black SUV parked. The driver remained in the vehicle but the passenger door and rear door opened. A tall, thin, bearded man stepped out of the passenger side. Behind him a shorter bulkier man escorted Helmut’s wife out of the SUV with a gun trained on her. The two thugs and his wife reached the area in front of the totes, Helmut stepped closer.

“My kids?” Helmut asked. The tall bearded man smiled and cocked his head backward at the SUV.

“Change of plans. We’ll take these,” he gestured to the open totes. “as a down payment and you can keep your cold fish of a wife. We’ll be in touch with you about your kids.” he said with a large smile. He nodded at the shorter man.  He put his gun away then grabbed a tote and hauled it to the black SUV.

“I held up my part of the bargain,” Helmut said. He stepped closer to the tall man. The bearded thug reached behind him and grabbed Helmut’s wife. He pulled her in front of him, wrapped an arm around her neck, then pointed a gun to her head. 

“And you’ll keep holding up your part of the bargain,” the thug said. Helmut shook his head while he reached into his pocket. 

“No more,” he said. He pulled a small black device from his pocket. It looked like a keyfob for a fancy car, with three small red buttons on it. The enforcer noticed the buttons. He laughed, then looked behind him.

“You probably should have pulled that out earlier. Before your bomb was in the same car as your kids, you know?” he continued to laugh. “Go ahead. Blow them up!” Helmut pressed a red button. The black SUV exploded behind the man, the force of the explosion shoved him forward into the dirt. He stood up and dusted himself off. 

“Holy shit, you’re crazy!” Helmut’s wife still stood next to him, he grabbed her and shoved her toward her husband. “Take your wife! Leave me alone!” Helmut’s wife turned back to the thug and reached out for him.

“Get away!” he yelled and tried to swat her hands away. She trapped him in a hug. He tried to squirm away, but her grip remained tight. Helmut appeared next to them and smiled at the wriggling man.

“I did my part, you demanded more. You’ve cost me my life and my family. This is your own fault.” Helmut said.

“YOU BLEW UP YOUR OWN KIDS!!” the bearded man yelled. His only defense. Helmut shrugged.

“It’s an inconvenience, but that’s all. I can rebuild them.”

“Re-.. build?” the thug asked. Helmut nodded.

“I just wanted a family.” Helmut waved at the man and walked away to a safe distance. Once he got far enough away he turned around and waved at his wife.

“Bye dear!” Helmut said. Helmut pressed one of the red buttons.

“Bye honey,” his wife replied. She squeezed the thug harder, then exploded.

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