Sub-Illusions

Presents:

A Hackerella Short Story


A young woman is lying unconscious in a see through chamber. She's in what appears to be some sort of high tech stasis pod. In the distance typing can be heard at a nearby computer. Until the stroke of one final key is heard. Lights begin to turn on, as some of the surrounding machines begin to come alive once again. "All systems online." Can be read on one of the computer screens. The young woman's eyes slowly begin to open. As she notices her cramped surroundings of her glass enclosure she begins to freak out. "Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!"

She breaks through the glass, and disoriented slowly climbs out of the now broken stasis pod. All the while unaware of something moving in the shadows. She looks down at her hands, and body and begins to realize her body parts are not her own. Not fully at least. Where there was once only flesh and bone, there is now also a mix of metal, wire and fiber optics.

As the young woman struggles to come to terms with her new reality. A tall dark figure emerges from behind her out of the shadows. The figure is in a lab coat, but not quite a man, or even human for that matter. At least not anymore. Its flesh is barely there, revealing muscle tendons and bones. its eyes soulless and void of life. As she begins to go into shock all she can do is scream out in fear. " NOOOO

DON'T TOUCH ME!!!!"In a moment that seemed like an eternity she began to piece together how she

arrived at this juncture.

At a time before this moment there was a world already in ruin. A world where what was once humanity was now replaced by decay and death. A desolate cityscape wasteland.

In the distance stands one building that is less run down that the rest of the world. It appears to be some type of medical facility. As the creatures wander around in the clothing they once wore when they were still human. The atmosphere begins to fill with electricity as time and space begin to tear open a portal into this

world. It is from this portal the young woman emerges. In this moment in time she's different. There's no metal, no wires. There's just this woman, and she's just human. As the portal closes behind her she

screams in panic. "NOOOOOOO!!" She quickly takes in her surroundings and silences herself as she ducks behind a nearby car. Utter and total fear come across her face as she peeks out from around the car and sees nothing resembling human life as she knows it. From the medical facility she sees a door open. A man in a Hazmat suit exits and heads in her direction with a big gun firmly in his hands. She

quickly ducks back behind the car and takes a moment to collect her thoughts. "OH shit! Did they see

me? Ok Melanie calm down! Get your shit together! My only chance is to get to whoever that is, and hope they don't try to shoot me." She takes one final look around the car as she prepares to make a run for it. She takes a deep breath and darts from behind the car. She runs toward the man. As she does he raises his gun, and points it in her direction. She stops in her tracks as she begins to think maybe she chose the wrong course of action. "BLAM!" She takes cover in terror as the man shoots one of the decaying creatures right between its eyes.

In an instant she snaps out of it, and is back in the here and now. " Don't touch me!!" She screams. As she lashes out she clenches her now metal hand into a fist, and penetrates the undead creatures scull. As she watches the now truly lifeless body fall to the floor. She's left covered only in the splattered blood ,and brain matter of the creature. She reluctantly removes the lab coat from the creature to cover her still nude and blood stained body. " Ok Melanie. You have to focus, and figure out what the hell is happening? She walks over to the nearby computer, and begins typing away searching for any piece of useful information she can find. " Come on!! There has to be something useful here!" As she continues to search through the files, one in particular jumps out at her. It's a file labeled HACKERELLA. She opens the file and is in aww of what she sees on the screen. " What the hell!?!"

As she watches the screen. Memories start flooding in from the past. Memories of when she first arrived. Memories of when she was still human, and not much else was.

She remembers the shock, horror, and utter relief she felt as she ducked for cover as the person in the Hazmat suit fires on the undead creatures right behind her. " Come on! Hurry up! Get inside! NOW!!" He continues to fire away. BLAM!... BLAM! She sprints toward him as he holds the door open, and continues to fire away. BLAM!

Once inside he closes the door, and feverishly checks her body for bites, and scratches as she sits curled on the floor in shock. Once satisfied at finding nothing he begins to remove his Hazmat suit.

Finally seeing an actual person she just blurts out. " What the hell is going on?!? Were those Fucking

Zombies?!?" He looks at her in confusion. " Of course they were! Where the hell did you come from

lady, and how the hell are you still alive!?!" She responds with equal confusion. " What are you talking

about? How long have things been like this here?" She follows him as he begins to walk down a long

dark corridor. " Wow you really have no clue huh? It's been two years since the first outbreak." She

looks at him unable to explain where she came from, even though it's not much stranger than ever thing

else going on. " It's been two years? Shit!"" What have you been in a coma in some hospital or

something?" " Or something." She murmurs as she continues to follow him down the corridor. " Well

follow me, and I'll fill you in.

Melanie follows the man down the dark long corridor. At the end of the tunnel a bright light

could be seen, and as they grew closer the light became brighter, and various sounds of machines and

people could be heard. They existed the hallway, and entered into a massive high tech lab. Far from

what she expected to find. The man replaces his gun for a lab coat, and formally introduces himself. "By

the way I'm Dr. Hunt. Robert Hun, but please call me Rob. Still surprised at the change in her surroundings she barely utters a sound as she barely ekes out her name. "Mel...Melanie...My name is Melanie." "It's nice to meet you Melanie, and I can honestly say I wish it were under better

circumstances."

Back in the present Melanie sits in front of a computer with her head in her hands. "What the Hell did they do to me? Why can't I remember?" Melanie quickly looks up as she notices something again moving in the shadows. She looks around the room and spots a fire fighters ax hanging on a wall behind a glass case. She breaks the glass and cautiously with ax in hand walks toward the darkness. "Ok if you're looking to eat my brain I think you're out of luck! Unless you have a craving for Silicone, and metal!" From the corner of her eye Melanie registers the movement of her unknown assailant, and hurls the ax from her hand. It lodges in the wall at break neck speed. Directly in the path of twenty something year old non-zombie human man. Still not accustomed to her new abilities Melanie finds herself pleasantly surprised at what she just did. " Ok that was kinda kick ass."

After praising herself Melanie grabs the young man by his shirt. He flinches in fear of being hit, and screams out. "Please don't kill me! Please don't kill me!" Melanie hold onto the young man more firmly to further add intimidation as she begins to question him. " What the Hell are you doing here?!? What happened?!? Where are all of the super nerds?!?" The young man looks at her with confusion."Lady this place has been abandoned for as long as I remember. Before I was even born. I've heard some of the old timers say it's been like this for at least thirty years or so. She lets go of the man, and falls to her knees as she attempts to process this new information. "Thirty years?"

Thirty years prior....or so. Melanie stood in awe at the technological fetes achieved in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. Rob can see she's overwhelmed and extends his hand. "Come with me. I'll show you around. Maybe get you some food." They walk up to a door with a sign that says (Ultra Lab). Melanie reads the sign, and smirks " Ultra Lab? Ha that's a lame name." Rob enters a pin number on the keypad next to the door. "It may be lame, but it fits." Rob and Melanie stand on an upper level balcony looking down at a huge factory warehouse sized laboratory with numerous scientist working on

experiments. She sees one group working on propulsion systems like hover crafts. Another group was

developing weapons, and another group were working on tank like vehicles. Some scientist were even

experimenting on zombies with cybernetic technology. Rob has a cocky smile on his face as Melanie has a look of amazement on hers. " Holy shit!"

Rob brings Melanie over to the cybernetics area. "This is where I do my research, and this is my lab partner. The good Doctor Newton Gold. Dr Gold this is Melanie." The good Doctor kisses Melanie's hand to her displeasure. He's a skinny miniscule man with a certain creepiness about him. " It's nice to

see a new face around here. Especially such a lovely one." Melanie takes back her, and politely, but

nervously smiles. The good doctor returns to work on his computer, and begins to get noticeably frustrated. "Dammit! I can't seem to get this programs algorithm to accept the new hardware!" Melanie looks over the doctors shoulder with a smirk on her face. " Hmm . Maybe I can help." Doctor Gold looks at her dismissively. " My dear woman this is highly advanced technology." Before the good doctor can finish his sentence she begins typing on the computer, and before he can voice another objection she's already finished. "Try it now." Dr. Gold and Rob stare at the screen in amazement as Melanie stands back with a confident smile on her face. Rob smiles as he hugs Melanie with a heartfelt embrace that surprises her. Dr. Gold looks on in annoyance at being outdone. " Oh my God! You did it. We've been working on that for weeks now. How did you do that?" Melanie blushes at the sudden praise. All the while Dr. Gold looks over the changes she made in disbelief. " Well where I come from this computer code is actually damn near ancient. Plus I was kind of a Hacker where I came from. I mostly hacked systems just to prove I could. On the message boards they called me Hackerella.

Thirty years later...... " Thirty years?!?" With Melanie still on her knees reeling at her current

reality, the intruder is still shaken up and is in fear for his wellbeing. "Look lady I snuck in to see if I could

find anything worth salvaging. I somehow managed to turn the power on, and the next thing I know you're throwing an ax at my head!" Melanie composes herself and rises onto her feet. "I'm sorry.....I....I just woke up in some glass box, put my fist through a ZOMBIES head with my Metal arm. A metal arm that I don't remember having by the way. So needless to say I'm a bit on edge. What's your name kid?"The young man puffs out his chest to seem more manly. "Kid You're the same age as me!" Melanie

scratches her head, and shrugs her shoulders. "Apparently I haven't been your age in thirty plus years kid." He raises an eyebrow. " Oh.....well you look really good for your age. My names Lawson. People call me Law." "Names Melanie . They use to call me Hackerella,"

While Melanie continues to think to herself Lawson continues to look for Items he can salvage. While keeping one eye trained on Melanie. " So Hackerella what are you gonna do now?" Melanie looks at him with a bit of hopelessness in her eyes. "I honestly don't know. Thirty years ago I was already a fish out of water....now....I just don't know." Law has a look of complete confusion on his face. "What's a fish?" Melanie rolls her eyes and just shakes her head. "Never mind." "Well if you help me carry this stuff , you can come back with me." Melanie looks around at the empty barely functioning facility. "Sure. I mean it's not like I have any options other than staying here. At least none that I can think of. Law puts the last of the items he managed to salvage in his sacks, and hands them to Melanie. "Good cause its really Hell out there." Law opens the door to the outside world, revealing an even more desolate wasteland that Melanie remembers from thirty years prior. The atmosphere is thick, and dark and zombies are randomly scattered around in the distance. Some looking more feral than they did before. " Hey you didn't happen to bring that ax with you did you?

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