“Bring me Repo Man and you will get your cure.”
Well. Such an ultimatum for such a little thing. I switched off my holo-watch and entered the room before me. I sunk to the floor in despair. Who is this Repo Man? Why is he after me?
I wrapped my arms around my knees, and examined the room around me. It looked to be an old storage room, filled with junk. In the center sat a wooden chair and some type of person-looking object sitting in it. I didn’t know what to do. Bring Rotti this out-of-control Repo Man? Or leave and go home, and never receive my cure? The answer became clear; get my cure. I studied the little mannequin and suddenly had a snap decision. I pulled off my mom’s dress and picked the veiled hat up off the floor.
Standing in my slip, (I’d left my blouse in the limo) I hastily dressed the dummy in my things. I placed it back on the chair and arranged the veil to completely disguise the front of it. Just before I had the chance to admire my handiwork, I heard heavy footsteps in the hall. Without a lot of time to think, I spied a shovel in a corner. I ran as quietly as I could to the corner. Just as I grasped it, he entered.
He came in almost cautiously, like he suspected someone was in the room. He wore a large black trench coat with GeneCo’s logo on both sleeves by the shoulder. He wore a black helmet. He also carried what appeared to be a doctor’s medical bag. The Repo Man crossed the room to where my bait sat. Excellent! I thought. But how do I bring him to Rotti? I looked at the shovel in my hand. I decided I’d knock him out. I crept out of my corner, wielding my shovel over my shoulder. Just as he lifted the veil I swung.
I caught the assassin behind the head, the shovel slamming into his helmet. He stumbled twice and sunk to the floor. I held the shovel at the ready. He sat back and removed his helmet. I dropped the shovel. It clattered nosily to the floor as I stared at the man before me. I knew him. He was my….father. His harsh gaze met my fearful and shocked one. He stared me down; my breathing became labored.
“Didn’t I tell you not to go out, didn’t I?” His voice was cold, almost cruel.
“You did, you did,” I replied, not wanting to lie and upset him.
“Didn’t I say the world was cruel, didn’t I?” My dad began to pick himself up off the floor.
“You did, you did.” I started moving back. I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“Then tell me how this happened, what I did wrong, tell me why! Can’t we just go home, Shi, and forget this dreadful night?” he demanded. I scrambled over the floor, picking up his helmet. I held it in my hand and looked at it. I decided to ask him some of my own questions.
“Didn’t you say that you were different, didn’t you?” My voice shook with the accusation. But I had to know. I had a right to know.
“I am, I am.”
Angrily, I tried to get him to lie, to make it all go away. “Say you aren’t that person, say it!”
“I am, I am.”
That was it. I couldn’t take his lies anymore! “Then tell me how to act, Dad, what to say, Dad, tell me why! All you’ve ever told me, every word, is a LIE!”
I threw his helmet at his back while he collected his bag. I stormed away from him, planning on continuing to Rotti for my cure. Suddenly a hologram-projector kicked on. A scene flashed up of a person in a snowy area. As I studied the image, it became clear to me it was my godmother, Blind Mag, impaled on a fence, dead. I stared in horror at the scene then turned to my father. He stared horrorstruck, too, at the image.
“Didn’t you say that you’d protect me, didn’t you.”
He tore his gaze away from the gruesome scene. “I tried, I tried.”
“Is that how you’d help me, is it?” I nodded at the image.
Exasperated he cried, “I tried, I tried!”
Enraged, I bent over and picked up the medical bag. I dumped its contents to the floor. “Don’t help me anymore, Dad. You are dead, Dad, in my eyes! Someone has replaced you!” I pushed him and beat on his chest. I grasped my hair and cried, “Dad I hate you, go and die!” I turned away and strode toward the door. I heard him say to himself, “Didn’t I build a house, a home, didn’t I?” I didn’t care. The door opened by itself, Rotti’s promise echoing in the room. “Your cure is waiting!” I threw one last dark look over my shoulder and exited the room. I heard him one last time:
“Didn’t I raise her all alone, didn’t I?!”