You have two attempts remaining

Written by SJ Covey

“I have already,” Rena complained, twisting the red licorice stick in her mouth and over her teeth.

“For the love of god, that is my password.” She slammed her hands on the desk, causing a waterless tsunami of pens, pencils and the other crap littering her workspace to scatter in all directions.

“Reset your password.” The annoying flashing text danced on the screen, taunting her.

“What the hell do you want from me? Blood? I’ve changed it three times already.” Rena’s temple pulsed with the injustice of dealing with AI. She wasn’t a fan.

“I will shove my fist so far up your ram you won’t be able to walk for a Millenium, you sack of…”

The phone ringing cut her off.

“Hello,” Rena answered.

“Is this Rena Bokswi? Press one for yes, two for no, and three for unsure.”

“What the…” Rena took the phone away from her ear, staring at the screen which declared with pride, unknown called.

Rena shrugged and pressed one. There was an audible beep when she replaced the phone to her ear. High pitched the kind which gives you a toothache.

“Thank you, Rena, for confirming you are Rena Bokswi. Someone has been trying to change your password. If this was you, press one, no press two and if you are unsure…”

Before the mechanical voice finished its sentence, Rena had stabbed her finger onto the screen, pressing the one button so hard that her finger slipped onto the number two button. The same resounding beep came from the phone.

“No, I meant one, one. It was me. I tried to change my password!”

“Thank you, Rena, for confirming you have not attempted to change your password. For your safety and protection, we will systematically delete all traces of you from the sphere. All attempts to access will be denied…”

“No, wait, stop. This is a mistake.” Rena was stamping up and down on the spot. She balled the fist of her free hand, and a strand of hair escaped her severe ponytail poking her in the eye and causing it to water.

Her rant meant she missed the instructions that were coming down the phone.

“Place your eye on the camera and press the home button on your phone.”

She scrabbled to do this and heard the click of the camera taking the shot.

“Officers are en route. Please stay where you are.” The line went silent.

Officers. Rena thought. They take security seriously at this new firm.

Shutting her laptop, she tidied away the half-drunk cup of green tea. There were crumbs on the coffee table from the biscuits she had raided before her little meltdown. Fetching a cloth from the sink, one swipe and the traces of her sugar rush was no more.

No sooner had she sank into her one comfy chair in the sterile apartment she moved into last week and was yet to make a home. There was a pounding from the front door.

They got here fast. Rena thought.

“Open the door, open it now,” a brisk male voice said.

“I’m coming.” She walked to the door and opened it. A massive mountain of an Automotron┬« stood before her. With one shove from his robotic arm, she was skidding backwards down the hall tiles on her backside, only stopping when she slammed into the wall at the end of the hall. Her head smashed into the wall, she shook her head, she was seeing stars.

“You have been found guilty of identity theft.” The automated being walked towards her. Each footstep reverberated through the floor and up her spine.

“No, I just forgot my password. This is all a mistake.” Rena crawled to her knees.

“Your eye scan did not match the scan we have on file. Your employers have invoked destruction under the protection of property act.”

“But no, wait. It is me; let me do it again. My eye was watering. I…” Rena backed away on her knees from the advancing assassin.

“I do not understand,” the Automotron┬« said. It was raising its weapon from the side holster on his leg and aiming at Rena.

“No, please, you can’t do this. I am Rena; I am her.” Great sobs made the words hard to understand, and the tears brimming in Rena’s eyes made it difficult for her to see.

She crumpled to the floor, a sharp pain exploding in her chest. Almost simultaneously, she heard the weapon discharge. Her hands went to the pain in her chest; she pulled them away and lifted them to her face. Blood covered them. They were covered in her blood.

The lights in the hallway must have needed upgrading. They seemed very dull. The pain then hit like nothing she had ever experienced in her life before.

A groan escaped her lips. The sound caused her to cough, and there was crimson in her spittle too.

This doesn’t look good. Rena thought, dragging in another ragged breath.

“$ capital S, the number one, a, y, number one, n and g. Then, capital B, u, n, n, number one, e, and number five.” She coughed some more. “My password, slaying bunnies, that is what it is.”

“I like bunnies.” The machine replied, crushing her supporting hand with his foot.

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