Aug 14, 2011

Chapter 14 -- The Engineer

 Zed walked to the back of the car and saw that the metal had corroded and it was slowly spreading on the rest of the car. He checked Marilyn's body and saw that it was damaged in the same way as the car. A blue-green rust, like algae was spreading all over Marilyn's body. He picked up her head from the back seat of the car. He took a bag from the back seat and put Marilyn's head in it. Then he took some bottles from his dashboard and put them in the bag too. He slung the bag over his shoulder and started walking. He patted the bonnet of his car.

"Goodbye baby, been a good ride."

As he walked away, the corrosion ate away the car.

The darkness intensified around Zed and the starless sky made the road even gloomier than it was. Zed drank a bottle of some other foul liquid and it made him feel giddy for a while, but then the feeling passed. It was then that he started to see things. The apparitions appeared out of thin air and surrounded him. They moved all around him and spoke to him. Told him to stop walking and give up the bottles in his bag.

He ignored them and kept walking. The guilt for Marilyn's sudden death egged him on and the fact that ghosts wanted him to give up his liquor made him walk faster.

Zed saw a pulsing orange light in midst of the gang of ghosts and walked towards it.

It was the parking blinker of a new car. It was of a model unknown to Zed, but it was black, and that was all that mattered. Someone had drawn a garish representation of flames on the side of the car. He was inspecting the flames when a hand fell on shoulder. A gruff voice spoke in his ear, "Flames make it go faster."

Zed turned around so fast he almost dropped the bottle in his hand. The owner of the voice and the hand on his shoulder stood close to him and everything about the person spoke that he was The Engineer Marilyn was talking about. From his long hair tied and held in place with a screwdriver to the tattoos of circuits on both his arms and the one camera eye that zoomed in on Zed.

"I believe Marilyn's head is in your bag. I've been following her emergency transmissions for a few hours."

Zed rummaged through the bottles and picked out Marilyn's head and gave it to the man. He looked at the head and shook his head in dismay.

"'This head is fubar'd."

"I need her navigation skills. I have a race in less than a day's time."

The Engineer perked up at the mention of the word race. "You are racing The Race? Where is your car?"

"I lost the car. Some dude hit it with a hammer and it corroded away. The same corrosion ate away Marilyn's body."

The engineer took out the screwdriver from his hair and jammed it into Marilyn's ear and unscrewed a nut. The head fell open like a split orange and he took out a chip from a socket in the head.

"Give me your hand, Zed."

Zed extended his left hand palm up and fast as a snake strike, The Engineer jammed his screwdriver in Zed's hand. The shock of getting stabbed in the hand had not even registered in Zed's brain when he took out the screwdriver and inserted the Marilyn chip in the stab wound.

"THE FUCK!" Zed winced at the pain when Marilyn's voice rang clear in his head.

"Shut up Zed."

The Engineer grinned at Zed and tied a dirty rag on his bleeding hand.

"She is with you now, take care of her."

"Could've warned me, you crazy man."

"No need of that now. Here, take another gift from me."

The slapped a pair of keys in Zed's right hand.

"Have a good race."


We got Marilyn back, though she is just a chip now. Embedded in Zed's hand. And his mind. Great. Now he has to race to the starting line!

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