Five To One


My eyes were open but I couldn’t focus on anything around me. A sharp pain shot through my left side and screamed out helplessly. I heard Ava’s voice.

“Caleb, it’s me. That idiot stun gunned you with 20, 000 volts. If he had shot you, we could have taken the bullet without a problem. Now you have electrical current bouncing off the metal and magnet inside your  body. I’m trying to reduce the effects, but it’s a slow process. I’m so sorry. You should have stayed in the car.”

I closed my eyes because the blurred vision was making my head hurt. My arms, legs, and torso were twitching intermittently. Pain increased with each seizure. I reached my right hand outward, hoping Ava was nearby. A male’s hand gripped mine, firmly.

“Hello, number 5. I’m , Connor Bulas. What a fine physical specimen you became.”

I opened my eyes and saw a blurry figure. He was tall, looked younger than I expected, then the headaches and eye twitches started and I shut to black.

“Doctor Bulas? Why have you been so hard to find? Five of us are pretty messed up. ”

I heard no answer. Ava walked back beside me and stroked my face to massage the ticks.

“Was that really Bulas, Ava? Is he going to work on me and Bruce?”

I heard Ava close the curtain around the bed I was in, then sit down in a wooden chair and pulled it close. I opened my eyes and saw her worried face inches from mine.

“we’re screwed. I don’t know what I can say about Bulas. He’s weird, maybe deranged, and I’m not sure he’s equipped to do the necessary robotic upgrades you need. This stun gun charge could kill you if we can’t neutralize the current away from your heart. You nervous system is trashed. I don’t even think Bulas is a doctor of anything but artificial food. Those security guards thought we were here to steal their genetic engineering secrets for corn.”

I felt trapped. I closed my eyes.

“Can you get a hold of Anson Cluber and move up my surgery?”

Ava had both of my hands in hers. My body was in revolt. Wherever the charge landed, I would seizure abruptly.

“Let’s go watch Bulas work on Bruce Nolans. If he knows what he’s doing, I’ll advise Dr. Cluber that you need immediate repair. Lucas Bonner wants to talk to you alone. I told him he wasn’t getting anywhere near you without me in the room.”

I smiled. Ava’s possessiveness found a way to become an asset.

“Tell him we’re ready to talk.”

Ava left the room.

I looked for my phone. The blue jeans I had been wearing were hanging on the chair Ava sat when she moved close to me. I reached for them. My arm hurt so bad but I winced through the pain and snagged the jeans pocket with my pinky and forefinger. I took the phone out. Their was one bar of charge left. I called Breann. She answered immediately.

“Hey, I’m here. I’m behind the high school. I heard two securty guard guys talking about a dude they stun gunned. They are worried they’re getting fired. Please tell me they got the gender wrong and it’s Ava writhing in pain.”

I knew i had little time before Ava and possibly Lucas would be back.

“Nope, I’m that dude. I’m inside one of the buildings. There’s some grey or silver lights. The walls are red. It’s like gymnasium turned into a MASH unit. I would suggest being more ninja than commando, but, it’s your call. I have to hang up.”

Ava and Lucas opened the curtain. The blurriness masked their facial expression. Ava spoke first.

“That was the wife and kids, right?”

I smiled and winced and shook my head in agreement. Ava walked over and took my phone and put it in her jacket pocket. I closed my eyes and listened to Lucas drone.

“Bruce Nolans should be dead. His heart attack was massive. Dr. Bulas is keeping his heart and brain alive through artificial means, but can not do so much longer. Bruce never told his family his medical predicament . Dr. Bulas is getting power of attorney to do the surgery. ”

Ava took over the conversation.

“Lucas, look around. This is a high school gym turned into mad scientist laboratory. Dr. Bulas doesn’t have the necessary components, applications, or robotic sensibilities to pull this off. You have to agree, this is not the ideal situation for a total hybrid transformation.”

Lucas  showed no emotion. I couldn’t focus on his eyes. Ava leaned over and whispered in my ear.

“He’s taking his shirt off and getting a scalpel from that supply closet?”

Lucas sterilized the knife and stuck it into his ribs, He was cutting toward his heart. He stopped after butchering several inches of flesh. Suprisingly, I didn’t see very much blood. Ava whispered in my ear again.

“Oh my God.”

Lucas put the scalpel down and asked a nurse from outside the curtain for stitching. Then he walked over to me.

“Run your fingers over the metal carriage and compare it to what you have now.”

My fingertips were shocked. The detail of the metal, the lack of a red battery light, the strength of the muscle over the metal; it was impressive and much betetr than what I had inside of my body.

“Connor Bulas built this and the heart. Anson Cluber implanted it. Cluber is on a plane to Langdon, North Dakota. Bruce will not live make it through the night. But you, Caleb, will. Bruce Nolans will have the upgrade because Connor Bulas and I will get power of attorney. You will have the upgrade  because of that security guard. If you think walking out of this “mad scientist laboratory” is an option, you are mistaken. You and Ava Pennington made a mistake coming hwere. Connor and I will correct that mistake. One, two and five will be done.”

Lucas strode unaffected to the nurse and she began stitching his wound. Ava looked at me, concerned.

“Caleb, I just got a text from Dr. Cluber’s assistant. They’ll be in North Dakota in six hours. Looks like we are out of time and options. I’ll be scrubbed in the entire time, I promise. We can do it here in room 5.”

Ava put my cell phone in my hand and walked over to Lucas, who was still being stitched. They were blocked from seeing me text Breann.

_”Room 5, held against will, come now, Ava’s in with us”_

*****blogger’s note***** This is anotehr story episode of Crazy Robot Stories. The rest can be found here:

Today’s song is what I was listening to while writing this. I love The Doors. Five to One is about soldiers being sent to Vietnam but the line Five to One, one in five, No One Gets Out Of Here Alive is perfect for this setting. Here’s The Lizard King Jim Morrison and Five to One:


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