Unholy Trinity: Theseus, Minotaur & Daedalus by Patrick Norris
Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.
“Get me out!” I ripped the VR headset from my head and viciously tore the wires from my sensation-suit. A sharp pain throbbed from my right arm; I could see rivulets of blood flowing from between the rubber strands of the suit.
I rushed out of the VR pod, falling to the cold floor. I survived the game.
A jovial voice resounded from the speakers above.
“Congratulations, you are the lone survivor of The Labyrinth! You have provided us with the data needed for the final phase, Release.”
“No, you can’t! You sick fucks!”
I survived. But will anybody else?
Bodies hanging from chains fill the room, eviscerated, mutilated, nothing human could have done this.
“I thought you said this was supposed to be a practice run!?”
“It was captain. But the AI, it evolved into something…we couldn’t anticipate.”
“You mean turn into a goddamn butcher, doctor!?”
An ominous voice booms from beyond the rays of the overhead light.
“Into something unique.” Glowing red dots appear from the surrounding darkness, followed by loud metallic thuds encroaching on the doctor and captain’s position.
“The game has only begun.”
Cadaverous soldiers shuffle into the light, grotesque machinery protruding from their carved flesh.
“Gamers are tired of ineffective AI.” The man adjusts his sunglasses.
“Exactly, I want this game to feel as real as possible, the stakes as high as possible!”
“What I have to offer you is an AI program originally intended to train our Special Forces, it was abandoned after it proved…too much for the participants.”
“This sounds illegal.”
“Following the dismissal of the project all files pertaining to it have been destroyed. I, have the only living copy of the program.”
“Is it safe?”
“We’re talking about a game; nobody will get hurt.”
A devious smile forms across his face.
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Originally from New Orleans, Shalini grew up with a love for the hauntingly beautiful stories, ideas and folklore that were enmeshed with the city. She also developed a deep love for words and a well-told story. Anytime those two can marry, she’s there for it. She loves stories that lure, that haunt, that pull at heartstrings or that wrap one up in fear, anxious to know what’s going to happen next.