Sunshine, At Last
She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen the stars. She missed the feel of sunshine. Mindlessly, she reached out to the food dispenser and withdrew a handful of kibble. She ate without tasting. She’d eaten nothing else in the, perhaps, eight months of her incarceration in Brent’s basement. She didn’t know for certain.
It wasn’t long ago, she’d won a scholarship at age 15 to MIT University. At a young age, she’d demonstrated supernatural abilities with electronic devices. A misbehaving DVR would suddenly work properly if she stared at it. A broken cellphone would suddenly function after she touched it. MIT professor, Wayne Edmunds, read an article about her in online Byte magazine. He devised a test for her abilities. He removed a line in the firmware on a computer’s motherboard. The computer could not start. Edmunds flew to Iowa City, bringing the computer to young Jenny Park. With a mere touch from her, the computer started up normally. Edmunds checked the firmware, and to his amazement, the line of code was back where it belonged. He had a full scholarship to MIT ready for her the next day.
As she flowered into womanhood, her ethnically ambiguous beauty caught the attention of modeling agencies and suitors alike, but it was Brent, who finally got to her. She’d held off his continuous stream of flattery, saying, “Whatever you say, Brent.” It was the third time she visited his house, toothbrush packed into her purse, when it happened.
She awoke and found she was chained to the wall in Brent’s dank, windowless basement. Twice, sometimes three times a day, Brent would use her like a rag to quench his hungers. She fought at first, but the beatings would inevitably make her capitulate, saying, “Whatever you say, Brent.”
Through the horrors, the worst part was months of no light…no light. Dreams of sunshine kept her sane.
Chains rattled across her bruised thighs as she reached for more kibble. The links were more symbol than necessity. Escape was impossible. Brent owned three Blackwater Systems SE-147 drones. The quadrupeds could run on their long rear legs, freeing up the sickle-like claws on their forelegs. Brent showed her videos of his other perversion: inviting homeless men to his estate without providing a security chip. Jenny watched an old man gutted and dismembered in seconds. The most terrifying system was the WASPs. The honeybee-sized nanobots swarmed in thousands above his estate 24/7. Each could remove a tiny gobbet of flesh. Their numbers could reduce a living human to a pristine skeleton in 20 minutes.
The overly complex, linked chip embedded in Jenny’s shoulder insured the machines would attack her, but the chip in Brent’s shoulder rendered him safe. No chip at all was a guarantee of death, and that’s what killed Brent’s homeless victims.
Eating kibble like a dog, and sucking water from a tube like a Gerbil, would have destroyed a lesser mind, but not Jenny’s. She dreamed of sunshine, and revenge.
Brent’s vacation was his mistake.
Though Jenny’s kibble was nutritious enough, the daily rapes and abuse kept her traumatized. Her health suffered. While he was gone for a month, though, her body settled down. Deep inside her flesh, her unique nerve cells, awoke again. They found the electronic chip in her shoulder, and her body began to interface with it. Soon, computer code written on the chip scrolled across her mind’s eye…and she began to rewrite it.
Less than a day after she gained complete control of the security systems, while she munched on kibble and imagined havoc, Brent’s Ferrari pulled up past the estate gates. Jenny guided Drone 4BW593-03, as though its limbs were her own, to the car’s door. “What are you doing?” muttered Brent as he got out and shoved the killer machine aside.
Blood splattered the white car as Jenny’s claw slashed through his belly. Footclaws cut past the ribs above his heart while she pushed him down. Brent screamed for a time, then regained his composure. “Okay, I see you’ve got control of the drone. Whoever you are, I got money. LOTS of it. It’s yours. Just don’t kill me!”
“Whatever you say, Brent,” said Jenny over the drone’s speakers.
Recognition, a revelation, dawned in his eyes before she ripped the security chip out of his shoulder. She pointed at the approaching swarm of WASPs. “I won’t kill you, but they will.”
Twenty minutes later, Jenny walked past Brent’s skeleton, and squinted in the sunshine, at last.
Written for the Speakeasy at Yeah Write. In this week’s writing challenge, the FIRST line must be, “She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen the stars.” The media prompt is the song, “No light, no light” by Florence and the Machine. I think I’ve got both covered. Look here for many more exciting stories based upon these prompts: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-178-open/