mall class of criminals who saw the Oracles missions as divine orders.
The great strength of the Oracle bracelets was that in order to promote the best possible evolution of their hosts, the missions and opportunities offered by the Coaching ability were always in accordance with the personal values and objectives, conscious or not, of its owner.
A madman like this serial killer had also received an AI as crazy as he was, behaving like a divine emissary and encouraging him to commit ever more daring and challenging crimes.
Regardless of why the Oracles helped their hosts fulfill their dreams, or become better versions of themselves, morality had nothing to do with it. The AIs were not chosen to straighten out deviants, or even cure them of their madness. Quite the contrary. The AIs of the Oracle were selected to best serve the ambitions of their bearer.
A rapist would get an AI sharing the same vices, while a pedophile could perfectly receive an AI with the voice of a child, backing him up in every atrocity he would commit.
Between the fear of dying and the excitement of the upcoming battle, Jake could barely feel the pain in his hip. However, he had no idea how to escape from this predicament. If it wasnt for the irrational behaviour of the madman in front of him, he could never have broken his nose so easily.
Still wheezing, he tried to calm himself with deep breaths, looking for a breach in his opponents guard. The murderer in front of him had pulled out a second knife identical to the one stuck in his hip, presumably overexcited at the idea of a fight to the death against his prey.
The murderer approached him cautiously, one step at a time, whispering obscenities meant to reassure him, as a farmer would do before beheading a hen.
Then came the fateful moment. Ready to get rid of the obstacle in front of him, all of Jakes muscles contracted, his veins doubling in size under the strain. One more step and he would charge like a rabid hippopotamus, ready to clear a path at any cost. After that, all he would have to do was run home, barricade himself in his building and call the police.
That chance never came. As his breathing became more and more jerky from the pressure of failing his dash, a shadow fell on his attackers skull.
The murderer was screaming his head off, struggling with all his might. The unidentified shadow of about fifty centimeters clung to his neck, lacerating and devouring the pieces of flesh within its reach.
Any fighting will on Jakes part deflated like a soufflé, replaced by a sense of despair out of proportion to his earlier fear. He watched, nailed in place, the so confident assassin being eaten alive by a mouse as big as a bulldog.
But when a geyser of blood splashed down on his face after the mouse had torn out the poor mans carotid artery, he came out of his stupor. Clear-headed again, he took a quick look around him, finally realizing what alley he was standing on.
One nap hadnt been enough to detoxify him from all his alcohol. The walk home had not prevented him from shivering nonstop. Even a criminal wanting his life didnt put an end to his headache. He just ignored it, as he ignored his hip injury.
But the scene from a horror movie unfolding in front of him eclipsed all other feelings. For the first time, he knew what he had to do. Run away? Absolutely not. That monster would immediately fall on him from behind. Stay home? With a carnivorous mutant mouse that had tripled in size in a single month just a few steps away from home? He would rather die now.
[Jake, kill that thing!] Ordered Xi, with a kind of urgency in her scream. [If we dont dispose of it now while it is still busy eating that man, were screwed!]
Jakes eyes hardened, determination replaced indecision. Weeks of nightmares over a fucking mouse. Did it get a little bigger? And then what? The target would just be easier to nail.
”Either I get out of this alley alive tonight, or I end up in a rodent turd right here. ” Jake kept repeating to himself, to eliminate the slightest trace of reluctance.
The mutant mouse was now feeding on its victim, paying no attention to Jake, who hadnt moved an eyelash since the slaughter began. The body of its attacker would occasionally twitch from time to time, but the body had already been dead for a long while.
Steady and clenching his teeth, Jake pulled the knife out of his wound, a stream of blood began to flow down his trousers, a small puddle gradually forming at his feet. Gradually, he regained control of his breath and an icy cold composure stifled all his emotions.
The time had come to gamble with his life. Man or mouse, there could only be one.
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