Dear reader, what you are about to experience is (as will soon be made evident) a work of fiction. Any resemblance to pre-existing people or technologies, real or imagined, can be chalked up to a failure of imagination on the author’s part. Sorry about that.

Rick Meyers had been walking down the street for half an hour at this point, going where his kidnapper demanded. Miles from his coworking space now. The man (or woman) with the gun stayed a few paces behind him at all times. Rick wondered what they wanted. Maybe they needed a programmer for something, something sinister and mysterious, and they knew he wouldn’t help them unless he had no choice. Maybe they knew about Dave’s crazy project and wanted to stop him—or to force Rick to help him out. Did Dave hire a hit? No, too quick for that, he’d only just called and didn’t know Rick would say “no” yet. Well, it couldn’t hurt to narrow the options down a little for who his attacker was.

Rick looked, casually, towards the shining, mirror-like window of a nearby hotel, similar to one at his coworking office. He saw, for a moment, his kidnapper. He—and it was a he—was wearing all black, with a pea-coat (presumably for warmth), a black panama hat (presumably for style), and a pair of leather gloves (presumably for not leaving fingerprints). A small gun, indeed comically small, protruded slightly from the man’s right sleeve. But what really freaked Rick out was his head. His hair, if he had any, was hidden by the hat, but his face seemed wrong somehow. Its gaunt features never really moved. He didn’t seem to blink during the time Rick watched him. And as he spoke to Rick, Rick realized his mouth didn’t move either.

“I see what you are doing. You will face ahead as directed. Do not disobey me.”

“I didn’t see nothing. Certainly didn’t notice that you’re apparently some kind of crazy robot. Or wearing a really nice mask I guess. I didn’t see either, man. Honest.” Rick was babbling a bit—or at least attempting to sound like he was. The robot man-in- black still hadn’t noticed the listening device in Rick’s parka. Or, he had, and was hoping Rick would get word out to his friends in order to lay a trap for them. That, Rick realized, would royally ruin his rescue. But he had already started, so there was no reason not to double down. Rick stumbled a bit as the potential robot grabbed him by the shoulder.

“Richard Meyers. You will cease talking. I have already warned you not to make a scene. You will not receive a third warning. Turn right.” Rick obliged, turning down an alleyway. He saw a door on one of the buildings—presumably he was meant to enter. He hadn’t seen what the building was—and he didn’t know this part of town. Even if he could say it out loud without being noticed, at best he’d be able to tell his friend on the other end of the listening device which street he had turned on to.

The door opened automatically as Rick approached. He hesitated. The room was dark. He couldn’t see in. Probably no way out. And then, just as he stood on the edge of the door, and his mind ran down a list of escape plans that would probably get him killed…

Richard “Rick” Meyers was pushed inside. The door closed behind him.

To be continued…

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"Story Blog 7: Turbulence in the Adventures in the Future of CoWorking" - By Sprout - - 1 Comments

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