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Running Scared

This Page written by: Netrunner

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He stood silently at the window of his office in Tyrell Tower 2. His solid, upright, 6-foot frame spoke of a strong, fit man, but the freckled dome of his head with its small, neat patches of remaining grey hair betrayed his advancing years. His black microfibre suit absorbed what little light filtered through the haze outside. Even blacker, his obsidian eyes framed with deep wrinkles gazed impassively at the familiar landscape.

He had chosen not to take up residence on the top floor, but from his window he could still see Tyrell's office over at the top of Tower 1. Spinners bisected the space between the buildings. A short distance to fly, but a world between them.

Barely audible words escaped his lips, "Soon, Eldon. Very soon now."

The steel nameplate on the door of his office stated that he was Dr. Hermann Schlecht, Senior Vice President. A title they'd agreed on right at the beginning. He turned away from the window and settled into the soft leather cushioning of his aluminium-framed chair. Picked out of an office catalogue decades before, it was a relic of a time when animals were farmed for food and skins. He picked up the glass of Schnapps from his sleek Bauhaus desk. He didn't drink; just observed the thick liquid slide around the inside of the smooth, curved surface as he rolled the glass between his dry fingers.

His office was large by most people's standards, but nothing like the ostentatious temple where Tyrell met visiting dignitaries and questionable business partners. Schlecht glanced across at the array of plasma screens fitted subtly amongst the old bookcases. That was how it was always meant to be - the technology merging quietly into the best of the old world.

His eyes glazed as they defocused, seeing instead back in time to the early days. The fun and glory days. When he and Eldon were in it simply for the excitement of doing what nobody else had. Their first success prompted them to drop out of college and form their own little company. There had been no question that the smooth-talking, slick American Tyrell should be the figurehead. Schlecht's heavy German accent and lack of any interest in the money and business side wouldn't have got them very far in this New World.

They were young then, but only Hermann had been innocent. Once he had jokingly said, "With the way technology is going, one day we could create a whole robot labour force that looks and acts human!" At the time he hadn't given any thought to Eldon's quiet smiling, "Yes. Why don't we do that?" After all, it was just a joke, wasn't it? It was many years before Hermann realised his friend had been deadly serious.

He couldn't remember when L.A. hadn't been polluted, but back then it was easy to find somewhere to breathe. Not that he had really spent much time outside, always working away in his laboratory trying to make their creations better, smarter, more human. Never looking up from his work to take much notice of the changing world. Global disaster - it didn't matter to him in the depths of the old Tyrell Corp building. The huge funding that came with the push to move Off-World just meant more resources for him, new buildings, new laboratories, better replicants.

Had he really not noticed? Or had he chosen not to look? Not to see what Eldon had created - this huge dominating corporation. His one-time friend becoming more distant, their irregular talks limited to technical discussions. The ever-thickening glasses obscuring Tyrell's thoughts. Could he have stopped it? Reality had woken him up a couple of years ago when a renegade replicant had returned to see his Maker, demanding more life. Schlecht had watched the discs. Recordings from Tyrell's own separate network of security cameras.

He might have admired the Batty's physique, power and grace - results of Schlecht's genius, if he had not been so disgusted at how Tyrell had programmed the replicants. Better. More human. Too human. And sentenced to early death.

Schlecht had woken up on that day.

It had been a simple matter for him to patch in to both the main security and also Tyrell's own security system. Nobody noticed. Nobody would have even suspected him. Cameras everywhere. But all blind to loyal Hermann.

His eyes snapped back into focus at the single screen perched on the clinically ordered top of his desk - his access to the corporate eyes. Silent alerts had been triggered. A distant external lens focused in on a familiar face. The face of Michael Lee.



Option 1 - The body of Michael Lee

Option 2 - Glenn Mironova

Option 3 - Rep-Detect

Pages in white continue the story. Pages in yellow are yet to be written. Note that the unwritten options are just suggestions for how the story might continue - you can add something completely different if you like.

Each page in the story ends in a five letter code. If you want to return to this page in the future, make a note of the page code and you will then be able to change your URL to take you straight back to that page.

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Date: 2002-06-11 23:50