Roen Carlisle



“Dancin’ ‘Til the World Ends” (Final)

“Let’s go DJ, we’re taking M.E.R.I.D.I.T.H. and you’re going to shut her the hell up,” Ray flashed the DJ behind him an annoyed glance, “your ‘wifebot’ is annoying, and when things like her get annoying, I get this urge to kill them. You don’t want that…do you?”
Roen stepped in. “Knock it off Ray, just head to the ladies room so we can get this over with. I don’t want to hear anymore of your threats.” His glare met Ray’s nonchalant expression. Beads of sweat dropped from the DJ’s brow and Audra tightened her grip on his arm. The
Ray broke the tension. “Chill out you dolt, I’m just havin’ some fun. I want to get this over with as much as you do. It’s Bees, and Audra giving us a hard time. All they want to do is party an-.”
Rabies cut him off. “Shut the fuck up Ray, if your mouth wasn’t full of that girl’s face you were sucking on I’d have shoved a damn bullet in it by now.” She was reaching the end of her rope. Roen had hoped that coming to this moshpit of rejects would have cheered her up enough to continue the mission. Things weren’t going as well as they could have been. Either way, Ray being his general dickish self was cutting into everyones’ last nerve.
The group waded through the crowds who were now following them, or rather, the music coming from M.E.R.I.D.I.T.H. on Ray’s back. It took a few minutes before they managed to reach the women’s restroom. Rabies opened the door to see the girl that Ray had walked off with earlier was still on floor, twisting to the music.
She looked at her and then back to Ray. “What the hell did you do to her? Does every girl you get in with end up like that after you’re done with them?”
“Jealous much,” Ray said smugly as he placed the android in one of the stalls while Audra brought the DJ into the bathroom. Roen was blocking the door off from anyone who would compromise their job, a regular bouncer he was.
Rabies spat on the filthy tiled floor. “Yeah, right, I want you so bad I can hardly contain myself, idiot.”
While she approached the DJ, Audra came to the open door, tapping Roen on the arm. “I’m going to shut the door, are you comin’ in, or are you staying out here?” Her question was met by a simple head nod that got his message across. Roen stayed outside. Minutes passed and while Roen had expected that shutting M.E.R.I.D.I.T.H. would take some time, he still wondered what was transpiring behind the closed door. All four of them were pretty persuasive people. Audra and Bees were seductresses, Ray was more of a “pull out your gun and make them soil themselves” type of interrogator. Roen had concluded since their prior mission in Seattle that he was the most reasonable person on their little team. He thought before he acted, he deconstructed hostile situations piece by piece. No one should ever have to die, unless they’re offering any other alternative. That was his code he followed, the same code his father passed down to him when he had lived in Edinburgh and even after his family had moved to Pennsylvania. It was how he survived, and how he planned to continue surviving. That was his wife’s, Denise’s, last request before she died. His daughter, Lily, had already been buried after several weeks in quarantine along with her mother. Denise had told him to continue living life, to not wallow in self-pity, and to find a purpose to live. Roen sighed heavily; he still had yet to find one.
“Hey, let’s go take this party to the streets,” someone yelled in a moment of silence before the music picked up again. Soon the building was empty. The sound of yelling, cheering, and everything else could be heard outside as the rave continued to hold true to its 24/7 promise. It was then the music died.
Roen heard the yelling behind the bathroom door. He put his ear to cool, wooden surface. All he heard was a muffled “Back the-something, something- up”. Something was about to go down. He backed away from the door as he heard movement.
“ROEN,” Audra yelled as the restroom entrance flung open. Rabies was the first one to bolt out and head towards the stage the DJ had been dancing on earlier. The DJ himself was right behind her. Roen gave chase when realized what was happening. As he got close enough he leap at the fleeing man only to fall onto the dusty carpet floor. As he got up on his knees he saw the DJ was now pulling at something. Dusting off his clothes, the ex-soldier returned to his feet to briefly noticed Rabies with a deactivated M.E.R.I.D.I.T.H. disappear into the stage floor; the DJ was pointing some kind of rocket launcher at him.
He was screaming as he began to follow after the girl, down into what appeared to be a trap door. “You and your friends need to get the fuck out of here! Go, never come around again or I’ll blow you all to hell and back.” One wrong move was all that was needed for Roen to get dusted. So he stood there, quietly, watching the man go beneath the stage. The image of his wife appeared again in his mind.
“Live,” she said, but he wouldn’t budge. This wasn’t the right time. Audra came out of the bathroom dragging Ray behind her, he looked like complete shit. Not much of surprise there.
She wasn’t in much of a good mood either. “Where the hell did they go?!” Her inquiry was met by Roen pointing to the stage.
He kept it short. “The DJ and Bees went through a trap door on the stage. Why the hell was she with him?”
Audra let Ray go with a slight shove, making her way to the stage floor. “Shit if I know.” Roen began pinching the bridge of his nose, a slight migraine beginning to develop in his head. If only he had been able to stop the DJ, they wouldn't be in this mess.
He followed Audra up to the trap door and the two of them together tried getting it to budge. No dice. “The whole plan has gone agley…hasn’t it?”
“Agley?”
He clarified. “You know, ‘to hell, awry, to the shitter’?” His cultural interpretation hadn’t been well received. By now Ray had lumbered up to the stage as well, joining them in looking at the trap door.
He dropped a question only he would think of. “Did you try shooting it open?”
Roen smacked his own forehead. “Are you an idiot?” He chuckled dryly soon after, realizing how redundant that question sounded. He should have been used to Ray's antics by now, but then again, he was a man full of surprises. Neither Audra nor Roen were prepared for what he did next. Ray pulled out his pistol and pointed it at the trap door.
He was grinning like a fool. “You already know the answer to that.”