Heart Throb

Image by Camila Rodrigues from Pixabay

“In other news; torture cultists have infiltrated the acid swamps on the city outskirts. We recommend you always travel in armed packs when commuting or venturing out for goods and services. I’m Pent Ragington, signing off.”

“Well that’s pretty bleak.” Greiger said as the newscast ended and the screen on the elevator wall flickered off.

“Eh, shit happens,” Jakin shuffled from foot to foot, ignoring the shuddering elevator as the power from the screen was repurposed throughout the building. “Gods this place is a shit hole.”

“You seem awfully chipper though?” Greiger raised an eyebrow, “Does the prospect of being sacrificed on an alter of pain to Baphmordial excite you?”

“Nah I’m just numb to that threat now, got one of those new self destruct implants.”

“Shit man, those things are glitch as fuck,” the lights flickered as the power failed, then the elevator roared to life as the backups kicked in. “I mean, they explode your brain if your heart is under extreme duress yeah? Quicker death and all that?”

“Yeah?”

“So what if you like, I dunno, stub your toe or something? Or have a nightmare?”

Jakin laughed, “You don’t think they thought of that? You experience a different pain response to those things. The sensor in my heart will react to prolonged emotional duress that comes with the prospect of being tortured to death and only activates then. I’m going to tell Jennae that I saved up enough for her to get one too.”

“She might not like that.” The elevator groaned to a halt and the doors whined open, Greiger stepped off into a dark hallway. “Anyway, see you tomorrow . . . if you don’t explode when the shower goes cold or something.”

“You’re an arse, Greiger.”

The doors whined shut as Greiger flipped Jakin off.

Jakin hummed to himself as the elevator reached his floor, defying all mechanical logic, and allowed him to walk the dank, dark corridor to his apartment. He scanned his pulse certified finger print and entered the dingy living space.

“Honey, I’m home . . .”

Jennae looked up from the kitchen table, eyes red from tears, a packed suitcase by her side.

“What’s . . . what’s wrong?”

“There’s another man.”

“What?” Jakin’s chest sank through his gut.

“I’m leaving you.” She grabbed her bag and barged past the bewildered Jakin.

“Jennae, wait—argh!” Jakin gripped his chest as the apartment door slammed shut, his head throbbed as his internal implants communicated a sub-audible message.

 “Warning, heart is suffering from extreme duress . . . imminent pain detected, deploying self destruct implant.” The unheard mechanical thought echoed throughout Jakin’s mind as the implication dawned on him, sending his heart rate off the charts.

“Warning, duress intensified, deployment initiated.”

The blast was swift and small, splattering Jakin’s cortex across the dingy, apartment walls.

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