Chapter 6:

Project: Survive

Project: Overthrow


Masumi throttled the car, merging onto the sky-grazing freeway. Night had struck, but the highways were as lively as the sleepless city.

“Didn't think you’d actually leave me there,” Daiki said and broke their silence.

“What can I say… I’m a lady of my words.”


There was unexplained tension between the pair, but their exhaustion was enough to mask it. Daiki stared out of the passenger window, admiring the dazzling lights and bustle of Tokyo city in the distance. For the first time in thirty-five years, he felt as though he could appreciate the small things in the world.

“Say…I appreciate you saving me back there. I put you at risk by clearly underestimating their security, but you still pushed me away from the attack. I probably would have been killed.” Masumi avoided eye contact.

“That was unexpected.”

“Don’t test me.”

“Thanks for helping me, too. With the amount of enforcement there, I would have been powerless until the end, but your strength was like nothing I’ve ever seen…”

Masumi felt her blood rush to her head, and she scurried to cover her cheeks with her scarf. “A-Anyway, I think we’re in the safe now. I can drop you off wherever you’d like—after you send me those files.”

“I’m a man of my words, too.” Daiki pulled out Igniter from his pocket.

“That’s refreshing.” Masumi dabbled with the car's wireless audio to communicate with her counterpart, twisting the volume knob. “Hey, Bingus, you there?”

[Why’d you cut off like that, huh?! You said you were gonna stay on the line, Masumi! Got me shitting my pants, peh!]

“I know, I know! We got in a real mess, but I think they’re off our tail.”


“Shit-” Masumi covered her mouth, cursing her own choice of words. “Uhm, yeah! You know that hacker we encountered? He ended up saving me from a borg shot after I accidentally triggered the security alarms. Then, we ma-”

[Borgs?! Security alarms?! How much did you fuck up for that to happen?]

Masumi tightened her face, then took a deep breath to calm her next words. “I don’t need the reminder. As I was saying, we made a deal that he would transfer the files we needed to me and I would get him out alive.”

[Well, it doesn't matter if we got those files from him and you’re not burnt toast.] Through the car’s speakers, there was faint snickering. [You sure you ain’t gonna bring this guy home, too?]
Masumi almost choked on her own spit, widening her eyes and gesturing to Daiki with her flailing hands that screamed: don’t say a word. Though annoyed, he ceased and zipped his fingers over his mouth.

[Masumi?] Bingus asked.

“What? Nothing! I’ll be back to base in an hour. Gotta go.”

Before she could tap the end-call button, a deep but steady rumble overshadowed the tires gliding over the highway. Familiar with it, Daiki lowered his passenger window and stuck his head out to tie two and two together. To his dismay, the yellow striped security androids soared above the highways, now equipped with a jetpack module and an autonomous squad commander to regulate them. They flew a far distance away, but must have been traveling over one-hundred-fifty miles-per-hour to close the steadily decreasing distance—a lethal speed in a lethal situation.

Daiki—now aware of the problem—tugged at Masumi’s arm. “We have a problem. Those bio-borgs are back for more.”

“The borgs are back already?!” In disbelief, she peered into her rear-view mirrors, where the nightmare from earlier revisited for round two. “No way…”

“And they’re equipped with jetpacks.”


[Hold it, hold it… Did I just hear a voice… OF A MAN? Shitty tidy whities! He’s really with you, isn't he?!] Bingus, oblivious to the dangerous situation unfolding, hysterically laughed. [Aye, Kurai! Masumi’s bringin’ another guy she just met back home!]

[She belongs back to the streets,] another voice joined in his inappropriate remarks

Face as red as a ripened tomato, Masumi felt her blood boil—so much so that Daiki thought there was steam rising from her head.


[...What’s gotten into you, Masumi? I was just playin’ ya know.]

“That’s not the problem! Right now—like in this moment—there are about one-dozen fully armed borgs getting dangerously close to the car while we’re on a busy highway going eighty miles-per-hour and I’m freaking out!”

[Aw frack!- Again, what the hell did you do for this to happen?! Tell you what, I’ll watch out through the car’s surveillance while you and your lil’ hook-up go to hell on them.]

The vibrations of the active jetpacks only got louder by the millisecond, and Masumi, still internalizing the commotion while driving the vehicle, jerked her head up to an android hovering over the sunroof. It let off the thrusters, heavily landing on top of the car and inverting the roof.


Daiki and Masumi batted their heads to each other with a petrified expression, silently waiting for anything.

[It’s on the roof! The roof!] Bingus yelled through his microphone.

“Watch the road for me.” Masumi lowered her window, letting go of the steering wheel with her right hand and dividing her full attention to the borg on top of the car.

“Huh?!” Daiki nearly dropped Igniter out of the window as he jolted his left arm to grab a hold of the wheel. The car jerked far well out of comfort, and the fading echoes of cars honking passed through their ears.

The nano-bits clasped on Masumi’s arms, and she manifested a sharp blade under her grip.

The borg shifted from all-fours to a firm standing position, unfolding its wrist to reveal an automatic beam gun.

Masumi cranked her metal arm to gather momentum and swung her blade across the droid's leg, grazing it by barely a nick from the unreachable distance. In return, the shaft of the exposed barrel on its gun spun, followed by open bursts of red beams.

“Tch!” Masumi barely shifted her head out of range, as a beam shot fluttered past her hair with a few strands to carry along with it. She retracted the blade and drew her arm back into the car, taking a quick breather while the shots penetrated the doors of the car.

[It’s shootin’ through inside!] Bingus warned.

“It’s all hands on deck for you.” Masumi let go of the steering wheel and lunged her upper body out of the window, leaving the car to swerve into multiple lanes.


Daiki struggled to gain control, using all his might to avoid a lethal collision with both hands on the wheel, even when reaching from the opposite seat. He jerked the wheel, barely missing parallel vehicles while avoiding shots from androids far behind.

Meanwhile, Masumi encompassed both of her arms with the viscous metal, materializing a lengthy rope-like shape with an anchor at the rear. She fired the wire from her forearm, penetrating the leg of the borg. In retaliation, it grabbed the wire, nearly flinging Masumi out of the car.


Her eyes went straight straight to the road, accelerating so fast that her head would be like wood to a sander. Before she made deadly contact, she stopped slipping, and her fingernails shaved against the road.

Daiki let a hand off the wheel, and had briskly grabbed a hold of Masumi’s leg. He yanked her back to safety, all while keeping a sight on the road.

“That was too close for comfort.”

“I got you.”

In advantage of the opportunity, Masumi fired a twin wire from her other arm, penetrating the second leg of the android. With the leverage at her grip, Masumi whinded the entirety of her upper body and reeled the wires past the car, whipping the borg off the vehicle to land onto the highway.

Its body smashed against the road, with panels and limbs shredding from the high friction. Scraps of metal and loose bolts dispersed into the fast air, causing backed-up traffic to swerve around the fragments.

Masumi pulled herself back into the car, taking control of the vehicle and stabilizing it back to normal. “One down, like seven to go.”

A pair of androids jetted parallel to the car, appearing as though someone positioned them to sandwich it.

[Ho-yeah! You know I love this typa’ shit! BAD BITCH ENERGY!] Bingus cheered them on. [Ya know, now that I think bout’ it, your ass didn't even know the name of the last guy you brought home.]

Masumi gestured toward a beam sniper-rifle behind Daiki’s seat, and he grabbed the high-tech weapon, charging it with a pull of the bolt.

“Because I was drunk!” she responded, firing another nano-bit wire out the window from her forearm. The anchor penetrated right through the side of the android, and she yanked the wire back to keep the borg tethered in the air.

Despite the tension, Bingus chucked. [Imagine you didn't know this guy’s name either - HAH. I think I’d shit actual bricks.]

Struggling to keep the borg in place while operating the car with one hand, Masumi gritted her teeth. Daiki placed his eye over the scope of the sniper-rifle, now fully charged, attempting to center the laser sight over the borg's head from out of the window.

“Tch!- Duh, obviously I know his name!” Noticing that Daiki could not land a solid aim, Masumi reeled the android in closer to the car.

“His name is… uh…” She glanced at Daiki, who was opening the sunroof, in hopes that some recollection might hit her. “Damn, I actually don’t know his name.”

[BWA-HA-HA-HA-HAA! Aye, aye, Kurai! She doesn't know this guy’s name either!]

[I'm being real, yeah? She needs a one-way ticket back to the streets,] the other monotone voice chimed back in.

“NOW IS NOT THE TIME, DUMBASSES!” Masumi bursted from a flurry of overwhelming emotions, barely missing vehicles in her sight while her arm started to numb from the inward force. “You said you were gonna assist me, not mentally torment me! Either help me or I hang-up.”

[All right! Chill, lady. You need to pop a pill.]

To get a clearer aim with less obstacles in the way, Daiki stepped over the center console and exposed his upper body out of the sunroof, unfolding the sniper-rifle’s stand and placing it over the car’s top. The android, still pinned in the air by Masumi’s wires, exposed its barrel gun, but in the nick of time, Daiki managed to get a clear scope of the borg's head.


With incredible force, the beam shot impaled the android's face, and Daiki’s shoulder recoiled from the brute impact. He took refuge back in the car, while Masumi and him witnessed the decapitated borg crumble under the high-speed road.

“Nice thinking on your feet, but your form was totally off. You could have dislocated your shoulder” Masumi commented.

“I’ve actually never fired one before.”

“Really? I cou-”

[YES! - I mean, no! Missile incoming! Ka-boom incoming!] Bingus yelled.

Masumi clenched her teeth after a rocket approaching the vehicle came into view from her rear-view mirrors. In quick response, she took the sole option of survival and skewed the steering wheel forty-five degrees, causing the car to skid and screech against the road. “HANG ON!”

Clumps of smoke scurried into the air as a result of the friction between the tires and highway, and the missile crashed just meters away from them toward a road barricade.


The surrounding vehicles went into havoc from the sudden fury of flames, while Masumi’s car did a multitude of twists from losing control, jarring Daiki and herself against the interior.

[All my dizzy head sees is the road spinnin’ like I’m on a psychedelic—and I know for fact I’m sober today!] Bingus gagged through the audio, even though he was still at base.

Masumi gained partial control of the car, though it briefly skidded backward across the highway, facing the opposite end of the lane directly toward the persisting androids. Time appeared to halt as Daiki observed the sight they were dealing with. Like a switch of a light, a thought surfaced to him.

“I’ve got an idea!” Daiki yelled, grabbing Igniter, which had fallen from the ruckus, back into his hands.

“Now would be the time for that!” Masumi cranked the wheel, and the car reverted back into a forward and steady position, slightly shaking before gaining back all traction. Somehow, they had maintained a speed enough to keep the borgs in pursuit.

“I need you to buy me some time,” Daiki requested.

“That’s a hefty ask for our situation!” She slammed the acceleration pedal, causing the car to speed from eighty to over one-hundred miles-per-hour. “But I’ll do what I can!”

Wasting no time, Daiki booted Igniter and finnicked with an application.

In the meantime, Masumi sped at such velocity that the city past the midnight horizon was nothing but a blur through the windows. She weaved through traffic in hopes of maintaining speed, but the borgs still closed distances faster due to their equipped jetpacks.


One of them mounted to the driver's door, grabbing onto the left rear-view mirror for a firm grip, snapping it off from brute strength. It busted its leg through the back window, causing a large shatter of glass to vacuum past them, and held on from the inside of the car.

“Uhmmm… no rush or anything!”

The android released a rotating blade from its forearm, sawing through the hinge of the door. The extra weight caused the vehicle’s speed to lessen, opening opportunities for some remaining borgs to mount to the rear, top, and right parts of the car. By this point, the android hijacked the car, exactly the way it wanted.

[I can’t see through the cameras! Shit, I think those metal bastards have them surrounded!] Bingus struggled as well.

“That’s all the time I can buy!...dude…HEY! -AHHHH!” Masumi shrieked as her whole door ripped off from the body of the car, flying off the road. A large gust of wind entered the vehicle from the massive exposed hole, a horrid android, with its large metal arm only inches from Masumi.

When all hope seemed lost, however, the borg strangely halted in its movements, as if its joints had frozen up. Instead, it flung its head in notice of something.


Another android clattered the side of its body against the one inches from her neck, sending it rolling off the hood of the car and right under the tires. The car jumped from the large obstacle, but landed after sustaining snapped bumpers.

[WHAT! Is that a borg I see… fightin’ another borgie?! Oo-la-la, this is getting spicy!] Bingus commented.

The borg that seemingly betrayed its comrade lunged toward the other androids that leeched onto the car, like a parasite on a helpless host. It evaded attacks and sent its own, despite the high-speeding winds, and seemed to have one primary goal: to detach the borgs from the vehicle.

In utter disbelief, a realization hit Masumi and she let out a faint gasp. “Could it be…?!”

She shifted her head to Daiki, who once again stuck his upper body through the sunroof. The sniper-rifle he equipped just earlier, however, was below, and he instead held his device horizontally, twirling his thumbs on the screen like a joypad.

“He’s controlling them?!”

[He’s… WHAAAAAAT? Damn, Masumi! This switch-of-a-guy actually has talent! Didn't know you were capable of finding someone useful and competent!]

As Masumi shifted as much of her full attention with a missing door to driving on the highway, Daiki proceeded to take the androids into his own hands. With Igniter interrupting its connection signals, he gained full domination over the borg's controls.

Daiki rotated the digital joysticks, causing the android to dodge attacks and boost through the perimeter of the car. With a calculated mash of buttons, he managed to get the borg to tear an arm of its counterpart, detaching it from the car, flailing from the wind and exploding on contact with the road. It was as if he were playing an action RPG, but with reality and the stake of their lives in the palm of his hands.

With all borgs no longer attached to the vehicle and slowing its momentum, Masumi slammed the petals and the car raced past their grips.

Daiki controlled the android to boost towards the others, blocking their path toward them. [Looks as if they’re not designed to fight amongst each other,” he thought. “I’ve discovered a fatal oversight in their program… an advantage… I can take them on!]

Adrenaline rushed through his veins, gaining a burst of confidence from his achievement. He swiped his finger on a meter across his screen, causing the borg's jetpack to trickle with a stronger flame, then burst with a fury of combustion. It flew at an unbelievable advancement toward a pair of androids, hooking them between its arms and thrusting them meters away against the flow of wind.

Their bodies, limp and helpless from the forces, flailed until they dragged across the solid road and barricades of the highway. Their bodies practically disintegrated from the friction, splashes of parts and components crumbling into the roads, until there was nothing left.

Daiki commanded the borg to jet back, where it flew in front of the last remaining one, the Autonomous squad commander. Due to the previous attack, the android Daiki controlled had amassed a decent amount of damage, with its forearm ripped off and various components hanging by a single wire. Contemplating a strategy, Daiki had the borg fly parallel to the ASC.

“The left jetpack thruster is failing, and I’ve sustained serious compensations. There’s no time to change the control course, so I’ll have to deal with this fast.”

“Tsk!-” Daiki barely managed to command the android to dodge an aerial attack from the ASC borg, and he spun the digital joystick on Igniter to keep up with a barrage of attacks that followed. Two panels retracted on the ASC’s upper back, revealing hilts to twin lightning probes. With a crossed arm grip, the ASC pulled the massive probes from the opening, and a violent spaz of lightning surrounded the weapons.

[“Foreign complication detected. Writing transcription to database. Authorization to eradicate granted.”] The ASC android, built with a higher AI, made the intuitive decision to fight back against the unique enemy, overwriting its program and adding to its arsenal.

With the rampant lightning probes, the ASC jetted behind the borgDaiki attempted to control, impaling its shoulders with the probes. Sparks surged through its whole body, causing a paralysis of the connection Daiki relied on. Taking this to advantage, the ASC grabbed the android's legs with a firm grip, and revealed four thrusters on the torso of its body. It ignited them, giving it the full speed and devastating momentum needed to tear both legs of the borg from its body.

“Argh! I need to end this now!” Daiki realized that if another attack struck the borg, it would be considered dysfunctional. He precisely finicked with his digital control pad, commanding the android to wrap its only two remaining limbs, the arms, around the ASC’s body. Daiki tapped his index finger onto the thruster meter, scrolling it to its top limit. A red error message flashed across his screen, but he gave little recognition to it.

At that point, the borg may as well have teleported into the clouds from the staggering acceleration it soared towards the stars. With it, it carried the ACS, immobilized from the forces that made it impossible to crank its gears. Both of the android’s metal parts melted from the sheer friction of tearing air, then the borg changed its course downward. As fast as they flew into the atmosphere, they rocketed toward the ground, until they collided into a spot of no survival: a gas station.


Massive clouds of alblazed objects shot into the sky, gasoline exemplifying the explosion. The ACS and borg had both perished.

Daiki, exhausted, stumbled back into his seat, leaning his head against the headrest and taking a few needed deep breaths.

“WHOO! That sounded so hot! Oh shit, I’m gonna need a new pair of pants…heh.” Bingus reacted only to the explosion, disregarding the main action.

Unable to ignore such an absurd comment, Daiki furrowed his eyebrows and glanced at Masumi, who to his surprise, reacted little to it. Instead, he noticed that she seemed almost flustered at something else.

“That was… my record for the most times I almost died,” she said.


“But… it was also the single most badass thing I’ve ever seen! Taking control of a android and using it against the rest?! How did you think of that, let alone pull it off, dude?! You’re AMAZING!” She struggled to hold back her excitement, taking glances between the road and distancing her face closer to Daiki’s.Lifting her scarf over her lower face, she calmed down and turned her attention back to the road.

“Uhm…” She attempted to say something, but seemed to only fluster the harder she tried. “W-what’s your name… by the way?”

Daiki gave off a confused expression for a second, then realized they had never exchanged the most common of formalities, despite facing the massive adversities together. Unlike his usual character, he let out a small chuckle. “It’s Daiki.”

“Daiki…I’m Masumi. T-thanks for saving me literally a dozen times by this point, Daiki. I’m not sure I would have made it alive if it weren't for you.”

“I could say the same. You and your nano-bits came into use, Masumi.”

[And you may kiss the bride,” Bingus suddenly pitched in. “HAH! Remember to hang up next time, will ya?]

Drained from the tornado of emotions, Masumi snapped from overwhelming embarrassment. “Hide your scrawny ass, Bingus, or you know what’s coming for you,” she passive-aggressively threatened him.

[Well, fuck. I’m sleepin’ in the shed tonight.] Bingus hung up the call, fully aware of what awaited him. 

- - 

Author's Note: Wild, choppy goose chase in many ways than one, yeah? Hopefully I at least made you smile here, lol. The main cast most certainly is that of a wild one!