Nothing wakes you up like realizing you’re behind the wheel of a speeding car. Especially when you’re a thirteen-year-old girl and don’t know how to drive. And you glance around and realize that your right arm is metal and there’s a sports bag beside you with a bunch of cash in it and you’re wearing a hospital gown that’s not done up right so it keeps sliding down. And you somehow know you’re not dreaming. That’s the kind of day I’m having.
No time for WTF; did I mention the speeding car? We sail out of the parking lot into traffic. Dodging cars at 60 is kind of like one of those racing video games, except there’s no reset if you hit something. I lean on what I hope is the brake and the car speeds up.
Adrenaline level spiking.
“Who said that?” I dodge past an SUV and some cars. Horns are honking.
A siren sounds and red-and-blue lights start flashing behind me. I barely avoid some guy on a motorcycle and then rip through a busy intersection. The car is still speeding up.
Probability of vehicular impact eighty-four percent and rising.
“Aaaugh! What do I do!?”
Remove foot from accelerator and turn left at the next intersection.
Only one foot is on a pedal so I move it. I turn left and the car goes up on two wheels for a moment, then comes back down. There’s honking and screeching and a car-crash bump behind me, but the traffic thins out.
And then there’s the steady stream people crossing the street in front of me. I hope the other pedal is the brake. It is.
The car spins to the right and flips over and a pillow explodes in my face.
Vehicle inoperable. Suggestion: continue on foot.
“Duh!” I push on the car door and it crumples like tinfoil. Okay, my metal arm is very strong. I manage to slide out as the siren gets louder.
Remember the bag.
“Yes, mother!” I grab it and stagger to my feet. My legs are metal too! I run. At like twenty miles an hour.
Jump this fence.
I jump the fence and plunge twenty feet into a metal container. I’m in some kind of freight car and the train is moving. Now it’s time for WTF.
“Okay, voice. Why am I half-metal? What’s going on?”
Personality of cadaver Rebecca Forsythe has awakened during reconstruction. Mission parameters are being recalibrated.
“Cadaver? I’m dead?”
Extensive heat-related tissue damage indicates combustion.
“I burned to death? So why am I still here?”
Doctor Vortex has reassembled you to acquire the STAG.
“You know that’s totally meaningless, right?”
Incorrect. Doctor Vortex desires the Space-Time Anomaly Generator, the STAG, for his own purposes.
“Isn’t he a super-villain?”
“What if I refuse to do this?”
Mission will be completed while biological unit is dormant.
“You’ll do it in my sleep?”
Sigh. And that’s how my new life begins.