Someone was screaming “What did you do, what did you do, what did you do?!” over and over in a high-pitched shrill voice. It was really annoying. It didn’t sound human, it sounded like a sim that was malfunctioning badly. I realized that it was me.
We were walking through the Park. There was plants. Trees for sure. And grass. Other living things that I didn’t know what they were. So much green. The scent was overwhelming. I felt like I had never smelled anything before. Sims suck at plant smells is what I learned.
Plenty of sims have plants in them but you never pay any attention to them. Why would you? They’re boring. Real plants aren’t boring. A big leaf touched my arm as we were talking and I gasped like I just had a shot of serotonin for the first time. I could have never anticipated what it felt like. I can’t describe it now. I have no frame of reference.
The Human Resources woman watched with an amused smile while I touched the skin of a giant tree like it was a newborn rat. The tree skin looked hard and sharp but it was soft in a way and it was smooth and comforting. They should make chairs and furniture out of that instead of industrial carbon nanofibers. There’s probably not enough Parks for that.
We walked on and the woman from Human Resources was talking but I couldn’t listen to what she was saying. Even though I really should have been. She’s from Human Resources! I was like an alien dropped on a new planet. Or a fish that was given the power to walk on land. I couldn’t comprehend what I was experiencing, total sensory overload.
It wasn’t so much that I didn’t notice the other man in the park though. I’ve never seen anyone so filthy and I never want to again. He looked like he hadn’t used his BusyBee Health and Hygiene Station in months, years maybe. I’ve never seen anyone so dirty and disgusting. He had so much hair sticking up all over his body that he looked like some kind of a ugly plant himself.
The worst was the hair on his face. Facial hair is in violation of Company Policy and now I know why. It’s revolting. I thought I might throw up looking at his hairy baboon-buttocks of a chin. His clothes were certainly not Company issue. They looked a little like the clothes of the Lovable Rogue character from the sims, the one who flies in a saves the Space Princess from the Evil Overlord in the dramatic last scene when you thought he had left to seek his fortune. But these clothes were tattered and greasy like they should have been recycled months ago. Years maybe.
He couldn’t have been with Human Resources obviously but what Department could have someone like that assigned to it? Maintenance? Even Maintenance people have jumpsuits though. I thought maybe he could be in Security, undercover or something, like he needed to blend in with . . . someone . . . somewhere by being so grimy.
The Human Resources woman didn’t seem concerned by him and neither did her bodyguards so I didn’t worry too much about him either, even though I didn’t like him. Until he walked up to us and shot her in the head. He did it like it was no big deal, like he was playing a FPS, doing a tutorial or something that. Just pointed a gun at her and killed her right next to me.
Blood splattered on me like frosting in a comedy sim where someone gets a cake shoved in their face. I felt hard things hitting me too. Bones and implants that were inside a woman’s head a second ago were smashing into the side of my head so violently they were causing me pain. Why didn’t she react when he was walking up? Why didn’t her bodyguards massacre him when they saw him? It was like he was invisible or something.
I looked at one of the Security guys, expecting some kind of reaction since their boss just got murdered in front of them. I guess I got a reaction, he collapsed to the ground like a drone that had a sudden catastrophic power loss. Just fell down hard without a sound other than the clattering of his armor. I heard a crash on the other side and saw that the second Security guy had done the same. I was left standing there with the filthy man holding a gun who nodded at me like this was something we had arranged ahead of time.
To say that I was in shock is nowhere near doing what I felt justice. I was like a dead power cell. I was just there in space. I merely existed. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t think anything, I was just there like a powered down drone. What got me to move was when the murderer reached out for me. I couldn’t abide the thought of someone so defiled touching me. His fingernails were all black and his hand had some kind of strip on it like a bandage from an old war sim, something out of ancient times.
I flinched away from him, but I lurched right into the grasp of someone else. Another woman, but this one still had a head. Where the hell did she come from?! Where was she hiding? I jerked away from the disgustingly dirty murderer and she caught me by the arm and had her other hand on my back like she was holding me up. Maybe she was.
“We have to go Neil.”
She wasn’t nearly as dirty as the man but she still looked like her Apartment had some kind of malfunctioning BusyBee Hygiene and Health Unit. Her clothes were ripped and sour and anyway were not in compliance with the Dress Code. I could see part of her legs. And her bellybutton! There was a missing scrap of fabric in her shirt right over her bellybutton. It was awful. I felt like I was going to fall into it and disappear forever. Disgusting. I couldn’t help but gape at that hideous pit trap on her belly.
She tugged at me gently “Come on Neil we need to leave right now.”
The murderer looked at a shitty old implant on his wrist “Get him moving, we need to fucking go, drones are incoming.”
“Good, I hope you die murderer!” someone screamed at him petulantly like a child. I realized again that it was me. The dirty gunman just raised an eyebrow back at me and looked back at his crude wrist implant. The woman put her hand on the back of my neck, which made me flinch away from her. She smiled at me but her smile was nothing like how the Human Resources woman smiled. It seemed sickly and wan compared to her, like she had two writhing albino worms for lips.
“Come on Neil, we’re going to rescue Ela, isn’t that what you want?”
I heard hysterical laughter and someone asking her which Ela she meant since there are dozens of them. I suppose that was me yet again.