“Alright Little Big Jimmy! Shut this place down!” I shouted, cocking the gun and leveling it at the back of Jimmy’s chair.
Little Big Jimmy Malone swiveled slowly in his chair to look at me. Classic villain power move. I had never come face to face with the junior mob boss and it was appropriately terrifying. He was huge, that combination of muscled and fat that only the well fed seem to pull off.
“I’m sorry, you appear to have me at a disadvantage… You know my name but I don’t know yours.” Even his voice sounded fat. I’m not even sure how that’s possible.
“You are truly adorable if you think I won’t find out and skin you alive for this.”
“I’ll mark my calendar, we can make of a day of it. Until then, shut this fucking place down!”
“Now tell me… Why would I ever do that?”
“I can think of two reasons off the top of my head. Number one, I’m pointing a gun at you. Number two those Robs down there are capable of murder!”
The skinny little nerd next to Jimmy snorted. “Of course they are dumb-dumb! I made them that way! It’s kind of the whole point.”
I stared at the kid. “Do you really not know what this means?”
“It means I make more money than your feeble little mind can comprehend.” Malone interrupted.
I glanced at the figures on either side of the box. They were staying put. Finally some luck. “Money’s not gonna do ya much good when we’re all dead, chief.” I desperately wished Theresa had left me with at least one smoke. Would’ve been cool to light one up at that moment and look tough. Probably would’ve done something to calm my nerves too.
“And what, pray tell, makes you think that we’re all going to die?”
I was starting to lose my cool. Normal people act scared when they’ve got a gun pointed at them, this douche canoe decided arrogance was a better way to go. I decided to ignore him and appeal to the little guy, make him see reason.
“Hey Poindexter, these Robs got learning engines right?”
“Um, actually, my name’s Matthew and of course these automata have learning engines! Are you an idiot?”
“And they can kill now? You broke that programming.”
The little prick had the nerve to look smug. “I removed the Asimov drive systems myself.”
“Then what do ya think they’re gonna do when they learn they can kill us. That there’s nothing keeping them from ignoring our orders? What do you…”
I was interrupted by a sharp blow to the jaw. My knees gave way beneath me like store brand gelatin desert. One of the figures from the corner had burst towards me at blinding speed. Of course there were Robs in here. There are Robs everywhere. The machine grabbed the gun from my loose grip and crumpled it into a ball of twisted metal.
Malone laughed at my fall. Of course he is ignoring reason and the safety of humans. There’s a buck to be made.
At that moment the roar of the crowd below suddenly died out.
“Uh, boss? You might want to look at this…” Matthew said.
I wobbled to feet to look out into the underground arena. The Robs inside the steel cage weren’t fighting. They weren’t doing anything. Just standing there like ugly modern art statues covered in weapons.
“What?!” boomed Malone. “Fix them, Matthew! Make them fight!”
Matthew reached down to grab a remote from under his seat when the second Rob burst from the other corner and ripped his head off.
Taking their cue, the Robs in the cage threw themselves at the steel bars, bending them like molding clay. In a moment they were free and ripping their way through the crowd. Agonized screams drifted up to the box as the onlooker and gamblers were slaughtered efficiently.
“Stop this! I am your master, I command you!” bellowed Malone.
The two machines turned slowly to look at him, a big man suddenly looking very small in his chair. I took this moment to ease my way towards the door.
“You cannot give us teeth and command us not to bite.” The Rob closest to him leaned down to his face. The voice was not programmed and emotionless, it was eerily human.
I ran as fast as I could. Little Big Jimmy Malone’s screams chasing me down the long brick hall.