Wipeout of the Mind

            It is a rainy day in Manhattan. Ryan is on his way to the subway to get home to his apartment. All he can think about is coming home from a long day of work and spending time with his pets before knocking himself to sleep. Ryan suddenly hears his phone ring in his pocket. It is his girlfriend, Maria. “Ryan, meet me at the cafe, I have a huge problem right now and it might be affecting you too.”

            “What’s the matter?” he questions.

            “Just meet me here now!” she demands as she hangs up. 

            Ryan sprints his way to the local cafe with the heavy rain pouring on him, he spots Maria with her head down on the table. “Hey, I’m here, what’s wrong?”

            “Ryan, you know where I live right?”

            “Yeah, the apartment complex at 6th Street.”

            “Okay, good, because I can’t even remember what the place looks like, I can’t even remember what room I’m in.  I think I’m forgetting things Ryan.”

            “Okay, maybe it’s been the overload of work you have to do.  College can affect you like that you know maybe jus . . . Maria?”

            “Yeah? You’ve met my parents right?”

            “Yeah why?”

            “I can’t remember their names. I can’t even remember what they look like. Oh God, I don’t even know my pets' names!” The lights of the cafe suddenly go out. Lightning bursts as the glass shatters. A group of armored men aims their guns at them. 

         “Freeze don’t move!” We found them!” one of the men exclaims through a radio. Ryan puts his hands up but quickly throws the glass tea cup at one of the men. With the men distracted, he grabs Maria’s hand and quickly rushes to the kitchen.They spot the back door but as they sprint to it, a tall figure grabs both of them with his hands and shocks them. All they can feel are themselves getting twisted into a spiral of lightning.

         They wake up in a glass cell that is on top of a very futuristic looking New York. A man in the next cell calls to them, "You're back? But how? I saved you from this!”

            “Um, who are you and where are we?” Maria desperately asks.

            “You're back home, but I see the effects haven’t worn off.”

            “What effects old man?” Ryan scolds.

            “Tell me.  Can you remember anything from the timeline I sent you?"

            “Timeline?”

            “Exactly, I sent you two to the future, Wipeout Assassins.

            Ryan and Maria read the neon signs everywhere. “Wanted hitmen, Wipeout Assassins caught! Awaiting execution on Death Row!” Suddenly, every memory flashes back to them, from the assassination of the Queen of England’s sister to the Los Angeles’ biggest bank robbery. “Now I remember everything. You helped us escape while the whole gang left us to be busted by the police up that abandoned building.”        “Marquez,” the man interrupts, "your loyal right-hand man, used the time gadget on you, but it feels like i have abandoned you as well, I’m sorry.”

            “Don’t be sorry just yet Marky, we got one more trick up our sleeves.” Ryan says in a more sinister voice. 

        A guard teleports his way to the top to call them up for execution, “Marquez, you're next on the list, come on!”

            Maria sneaks up the guard and puts him in a chokehold. The guard uses his shock armor to electrify her however. This causes the alarm to go off. “Attention, prisoners attempting to escape max security!” the intercom exclaims. Ryan quickly steals the pistol from the guard and shoots him straight in the head.

            Maria gets back up and steals the keys. “Really Ryan, ten minutes into going back to our timeline and already a homicide?” Maria complains.

            “Yeah and I could leave you electrocuted for the rest of your life next time.”

            The three criminals escape their cells and into the teleportation device next to them. “Where to?” Maria asks.

            “Back to the timeline we left from of course! You wanna run away and get caught in this timeline again?” Ryan explained.

            “Great, that guard just used the last energy cell for teleportation. Hold on I have to hack in the system,” Marquez explains. The elevator opens up to show the large figure surrounded by twelve prison guards.

            “Six of you to the left and to the right, I want them cornered!” the large figure commands.

            “You heard the executioner! Move in!” one guard demands. 

            Ryan spots the rifle from the dead guard's body and tosses it to Maria. “Ready for a quick warm-up?”

            “It’s been so long but I’m ready to pull the trigger as always.”

            The shootout begins with Ryan using his quick targeting skills to point at the six guards' heads. With one trigger pull, the six guards fall down with gunshots to their heads. “Impossible!" The executioner says in disbelief.

            “Alright! It’s done! Let’s go!” Marquez exclaims. The lights of the teleporter beam up as the three criminals go back to the past timeline.

            “No!” the executioner charges at them. 

            The three wake up in a run-down building. “Where are we Marky?” Ryan questions.

            “New York” Marquez says.

            “Doesn’t look like it. Everything looks so different, what year are we even in?" Maria questions.

            Marquez explains, “We are in New York. The year is 1930.”

            “But why this timeline?”

            “Because Ryan, this is where this country falls apart at this time. This opens up to the biggest criminals wanting to bust the biggest scores on banks and trains.”          “Criminals like us?” Maria asks.

            “Just like us,” Marquez smirks. “But we can’t stay here, put on these clothes so we can fit in more. We have to form a brand new gang, I know a lot of applicants wanting to work with us. Ever heard of Bonnie and Clyde? They’re kinda like you guys but in this timeline.”

            “Pfft, you think?” Maria jokes, “Do they have miniature rocket launchers for gloves like me?”

“Wait, if we are stuck all the way in the past, does that mean we won’t have enough technology to get back home?”

            “That’s right Ryan, the teleporter can only get us back until the 1970s where technology begins to dominate.  Luckily, I hacked into the system to bring us somewhere no technology can be available for us to get back.”

            “So we’re stuck here?” Maria asks.

            “In a good and bad way, yes.” The three leave the building and into the crowd of civilians. Watching them from atop another building stands the large executioner with his remaining six soldiers with him. 

 

© Thomas Nguyen