A frotteur at a shooting range once told me that you need to put a hundred rounds through a weapon before you can claim that you’re proficient with it. One hundred is probably a made up figure because people like “round” numbers but the idea is correct. Practice makes perfect but before it does that what it does is it keeps you from shooting the tip of your finger off.
The thing that sucks about the apocalypse, well thing number one hundred eighty-eight that sucks about the apocalypse anyway (with lighting holding down the 10 spot) is that when you find a new gun you rarely even HAVE a hundred rounds of ammo and if you did you wouldn’t waste them with practice because you’re going to need those bullets for killin’. Is it possible that bullets are harder to make than guns? Seems to be the case.
All this is to say Lucien and I found a friggin’ “laser” and I only got one practice shot with it. I was supposed to be in the Spy Who Shagged Me you know, although the working title at the time when I was attached to the project was Octoshaggy, but Mindy Sterling put the kibosh on me with the director. I don’t even remember why anymore, probably because of something Martialla did.
We don’t even know how many times the “laser” will fire. If its battery powered why does it still shoot at all? Did they figure out a way to make batteries that last forever at some point? If they did figure that out why haven’t we found immortal super-batteries all over the place? Point being that if you have a laser that only shoots ten times before you have to plug it into the power station that no longer exists even firing it once to see if it works is a colossal waste of resources. And if it’s not battery powered what is powering it? We don’t fucking know.
Based on 100% of the times I have fired a “laser” I don’t like it. It felt weird in my hand, the weight was all wrong, I couldn’t figure out how to aim the damn thing. It should be easier than a slug thrower, it’s literally a beam of light, it just goes straight (unless there’s a black hole nearby which there isn’t) all you have to do is point at the thing you want to kill and that should be it but I couldn’t get the hang of it. You know, based on the one time I fired it.
Not to mention that when I did fire the “laser” I was heard to remark “Did anything happen?” which is not what any man wants to hear insert sexual innuendo here.
Lucien went over the wall I fired the “laser” beam at and touched it, reporting that it felt “a little warm” and then he examined it closely he thought that “maybe” there was a scorch mark.
I held up the “laser” pistol, which looked like and felt a toy in my hand, an expression of in disgust marring my beautiful face “Why would you bother making something like this if that’s all the effect it has?”
Lucien shrugged “A laser is just heat essentially, maybe it works better on living tissues than it does on objects. Or maybe it’s just supposed to blind your target rather than injure them. Or maybe it’s not a weapon at all, maybe it’s a toy or a kid’s science project. Just because it looks like a gun doesn’t mean it does anything.”
“Like Nintendo Duck Hunt?”
He frowned in confusion “What’s a nintendoo? Did you hunt ducks with toys somehow in the future? Or were the ducks toys and you shot them with real guns?”
“It was a video game” I said absently.
“You had Pong? When did you get electricity in Canada?”
Aside from the “laser” we found a curling iron thing that might be a weapon, a maybe grenade, two short barrel future shotguns that say “AZTECH” on them, and three pistols with giant circular things in the middle that Lucien thinks might be gyroscopic stabilizers. Which is a pretty sad pick-up given the task ahead of us, but a hell of an arsenal for one Ela-clone. I wonder what she was up to.
Where did the weapons come from? Oh right, sorry to skip ahead. Lucien and I managed to find our way to “my” apartment in the complex, which was about the size of a prison cell and was jam packed with wires and weird screens like the fronts of TV. Also there was a dental chair for some reason. Which was the only furniture. No bed, no bathroom, no kitchen, just a bunch of wires. Did people in the future get fed through tubes?
How did we get there? That part is skippable, it was a horrible slog but we made it by climbing and crawling and groping each other through the darkness. Lucien had to carry me at times, other times I carried him. Just kidding, I couldn’t lift him if his life depended on it. Which it probably will at some point at which time he’ll die. I bet Martialla can’t carry him either, I bet when he got shot on her watch she just dragged him.
“What makes you think there will be any weapons here?” Lucien asked as we poked around the apartment by the pathetic light of his tiny flashlight-cube.
“I can sense it, this apartment belonged to one of my clones and I have developed a psychic link with them, their memories are now my memories.”
“Really?” he said, incredulous.
“No, not really. But if I know clone Ela the way I’m pretending I do, I have a hunch she has something stashed away.”
Sure enough, we pried up, well not a floorboard but a floor-like thing that seemed to be made out of grey plastic laffy taffy, and found a hidden cache of weapons along with a bunch of different colored things like credit cards, what was probably some kind of future money, a water filtration thing, and what was maybe some kind of future passport.
I held one of them up next to my face and said “Leeloo Dallas, multipass” hilariously.
“What?” Lucien said annoyingly.
I sighed “Why do I even bother joking with you when you don’t get any of my references?”
He looked genuinely concerned “I don’t know.”