“This isn’t right,” you say.
“Damn skippy,” Milo says. “This bird should be stocked with, like, peanuts or something.”
You cut your eyes to him just long enough for him to know you aren’t in the mood for his jokes. “Sorry,” he mutters.
“We need a plan,” you say.
“We have a plan: go to Mexico.”
“We can’t do that.”
“Why, did they close the borders? How would you know that? I’m wearing the cans too and I haven’t heard anything,” Milo says, tapping the headphones he’s wearing over his ears.
“No, they haven’t closed the borders, at least not as far as I know. But we can’t leave.”
“Why can’t we?”
“ Milo , look out your window. Whatever’s happening down there, we caused that. That’s our fault.”
“You don’t know that,” Milo says. “Not for sure.”
You glare at Mio again but choose not to respond. Instead you say, “I’m going to set her down outside of the city and we’ll figure something out.”
“Where outside of the city?”
“I don’t know, outside of it.”
“ Mexico is outside of the city.” You shake your head, hoping Milo doesn’t notice the grin pulling at the corners of your mouth. “It is, I can show you on a map.”
You pull a little on the stick to adjust but the helicopter doesn’t respond. You pull a little harder but still nothing happens. “What the hell,” you mutter under your breath.
“That’s not the sort of expression one dreams of hearing from one’s pilot,” Milo says.
“It’s just… I don’t…” you mutter. You look under the instrument panel to find a nest of wires, frayed and intertwined. You look closer and notice the teeth marks on the brightly colored wax that once covered the wires.
There’s a shuffling in the back and you and Milo turn to see a woman with the same pale complexion and dead eyes as the others.
“Sara?” Mio says. “Hey, it’s Sara Tobin from HR. Fancy seeing you up here, Sara. What brings you?”
Sara digs under her flower skirt and comes out with a handful of feces. “Oh shit,” Milo says.
She raises her hand to fling it at him but the copter pitches, bolting from horizontal to vertical.
You and Milo, secured in your restraints, remain in your seats; Sara, however, is thrown to the back of the copter where the handle of a fire extinguisher impales the back of her skull.
“Oh my God!” Milo screams. “I think we just killed Sara!”
“Yeah,” you say, swallowing back the bile threatening to fill your mouth. “Well, we’ll have to put that on the list of things to worry about if we land.”
“You mean when we land.”
“Well, we’ll definitely land, just how we do it is anybody’s guess. I don’t have any control.”
Milo shrugs. “Just hit the B button.”
You pulled desperately at the stick trying to reengage it by force.
“Seriously, hit the B button,” Milo says.
“Dude, no matter how much you want your life to be like Xbox it just isn’t going to happen. There is no B button,” you yell.
“The hell there isn’t,” Milo says, flipping a cover you never knew existed to reveal a large red button marked with a B.
“Where did that come from?” you ask.
“I installed it,” Milo says, slamming his fist onto the button.
An artificial female voice flows from the headsets. “Hello, Milo, how can I be of assistance to you?”
“Is that…” you mutter, “is that Siri?”
“I’d thank you not to mention that bitch's name in my presence,” the voice says.
“Huh?” you mutter.
“I’d like to introduce you to Biri,” Milo says.
“Oh, come on, it’s funny,” Milo says.
“Well, what can Si… excuse me, Biri do?” you ask.
Milo turns to look at the control panel in general and says, “Biri?”
“We’d very much like to not die.”
“I can understand the impulse,” Biri agrees.
“Could you please straighten us out and land just outside of the city?”
“Yes, where would you like to land outside of the city?”
“Do not say Mexico.”
“Very well,” Biri says, “I will not say Mexico.”
“Just set us down at the first possible place to the east of the city,” Milo says.
The copter levels out and flies east as if there had never been a problem with the controls at all. You relax into your seat. “Biri, huh?” you ask Milo.
“Yup, pretty handy, huh?”
“I have to admit, I’m glad she’s here. That bitch comment was a bit surprising.”
Milo shrugs. “I like my ladies saucy.” He turns and looks back at Sara who is lying a heap, her life’s blood dark but streaked with yellow, pooling beneath her. “But not that kind of sauce. Blech.”
The copter touches down softly on a meadow just to the east of the city and the doors automatically swing open “You have arrived at your destination,” Biri says.
“Thank you, Siri,” you say out of habit.
The doors slam shut and Biri says, “I asked you not to use that name in my presence.” Buzz saws on retractable arms slid out of hidden panels in the walls. “I’m afraid I’ll have to punish you now.”
You look at Milo. “Buzz saws? Really?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” he says.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” he says.
“How could it possibly…?” You start to ask, but stop when a saw slices through Milo’s neck, causing his head to tumble to the floor.
As the blade begins to slice through the skin directly below your hairline you have time to think, “Damn you and your saucy wom—”