The Takeover: A Prequel in Seven Parts

By Habeeb-It

I —

I’ve gotta be the last person this side of the Mississippi to not have one of these things. Honestly it feels like I might be the last person anywhere to get one. Oh well, doesn’t matter. It feels like being like a kid on Christmas morning, though you can bet your ass I’m not just gonna unwrap it and then play with the box. No sir, this bad boy is going straight to work. I told myself that I didn’t need it; told myself I’m not like the rest of them and that I’m not scared of a little hard work. But then we found out there was a little one on the way. I couldn’t afford to stay home and help, working 60+ hours a week as is, trying to sleep, and god forbid I actually spend anytime relaxing. But I’m not scared of hard work. But once the complications started, that’s when I knew I needed to make something work.

So, what do I do? What every reasonable, soon-to-be father would… I started selling stuff. They knew me so well at the pawn shop I was almost offended I wasn’t invited to a wedding. And when that still wasn’t enough, well… I did what any desperate soon-to-be father would. I’m not proud of what I did, not at all. But I swear I never hurt anyone. I didn’t even have it loaded, so really, I was at more risk than they were. But that doesn’t matter now; I finally have enough. I can’t wait to see her face, she’s gonna lose her mind. She thinks I’ve been working extra hours… She doesn’t need to know how I actually got the money… The end justifies the means, right? That’s what a man is supposed to do, he’s a provider. And I know I couldn’t provide what she needed, not now. This thing might not be able to go to work at the shop for me, but they’re getting more useful with every update.

I’d do anything for my family. Anything. I know what the risks were for me, I rolled the dice. Cause if something had happened to me, I wouldn’t have been able to provide at all. But ya know what? It fuckin worked out perfectly… Nobody got hurt, scared yes, but no more than I was honestly.

Or at least I was the first time, each time afterwards it got more and more of a rush as I perfected my technique. I’m not gonna lie, I had enough money before the last time I went out. I just, I needed to perfect it. But I’m done with it, for good.

Anyways, I’ve gotta get this thing home. Probably put it together tonight, so that’s gonna suck. I always end up losing one damn little piece and have to search forever for. Oh well, it’ll make the missus happy. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.

II —

Ok. Well I finally got it put together. Those were the absolute worst instructions ever. Imagine IKEA instructions but translated from Mandarin by someone who only speaks Spanish. It was horrible, it aged me about 5 years. But it’s done. Got to use it for about 2 days. Now it’s apparently released a software update that’s going to “completely change your world”. I guess we’ll see, it’s been updating for almost as long as I’ve had the fuckin thing. We’ll see, I’m about to call tech support to see what the deal is cause this is starting to irritate me. I spent good money on it.

Ok, so I’m not sure which was more painful… The instructions or their tech support. I was beginning to think that they didn’t actually employee any actual humans. At least I could understand them, that’s the only reason why tech support falls below assembly in terms of mental pain. Granted, they weren’t much help. Just talked in circles; limited bandwidth, connectivity issues, database maintenance. Whatever, it should be done soon. They did say something about sending out some sort of replacement parts soon, so that should be just awesome.


Holy shit holy shit holy shit fuck fuck fuck!!!!

Her water just broke, I thought I was ready but oh holy fuck I wasn’t. I’m still just running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I mean really, we had a go bag ready just for this reason. Now if I could just find it. THERE!

Ok, now to just drive fast enough that I get there in time, but not so fast that I get pulled over and get arrested. And remember to breathe, breathing is also important. Just a few more miles, and it’s mostly open road. 20 mph over isn’t that big of a deal is it? There’s nobody out anyways, it’ll be fine.

Ok, well there was no need to speed. 14 hours of labor later and finally, I get to hold him. I get to hold this tiny little defenseless being. I get to hold this tiny piece of me. I thought I knew what love was when I met my wife, and trust me I do, but in this moment nothing else matters. Everything that has led up to this point has been made worth it, every pain and every struggle, totally worth it now.

Thankfully I got it in time, it’s gonna be so much easier with this thing around. Luckily, I just got the email notification that the update is done.

IV —

This thing has been a lifesaver. I can totally see why people were so obsessed with them; I can see how we got by before, but not with a child. All the little things that we forget about, it does. It’s just so…intuitive? Like even before we ask it to do something, it’s done. It makes me so much more comfortable leaving the two of them at home while I go to work.

I can’t even imagine what this new shit I’m supposed to install does, but I don’t even care. Even if it makes it a little worse while the rest of it updates, I don’t care. Cause it shouldn’t go totally offline for the update, which is all I really care about. It’s not that I can’t live without it, its just that… I don’t want to. Now if only it could find all the stuff that my dumbass has lost the last few days that would be awesome, at least it’s nothing important. Just stuff from the junk drawer; batteries, zip-ties, lighters, and my fuckin shoe polish. I constantly have to move it out of the way but once I’m actually looking for it, it’s like Houdini. Guess my shoes will go un-shined for a little while longer.

IV —

Of course, I get everything installed, get it all updated, everything is working fine, and the damned thing disappears. I’d call tech support to have them track it, but phones are down. Everything went through that same damn company, they made it too convenient. At least I’m not alone, a bunch of neighbors’ units went missing too. Must have been some glitch with that update. Can’t tell how widespread it is, cause TV isn’t working either. Nothing works. Literally nothing with a computer chip. Cars, computers, hell even some refrigerators; just completely done.

I do kinda hope it’s widespread though, cause I’m not walking to work and I can’t call in. Guess I’ll deal with that later, today I’m just gonna relax with my family… It’s still weird to even think that, my family.

V —

Ok… Well fuck. I definitely should not have hoped for it to be widespread. It would appear that someone has somehow hacked into the server, mainframe, database, thing. Nothing is working, and all the bots have gone missing. Which is weird, considering there’s hundreds of millions of them in the US alone. TV is back on; though it’s just looping some sort of coded message. I can’t make heads or tails of it, but I’m sure someone can.

Something just seems off, everyone is still too calm, but I can tell they’re getting nervous too. There hasn’t been any news, literally the only thing we know is what’s been going on in the neighborhood. And that same message keeps flashing across the screen. What the fuck does it mean? Whatever, all I know is that it feels like it might be time to be considering an exit strategy. Cause if shit does hit the fan, being away from people could be a blessing or a curse. Hopefully I’m wrong, hopefully it’s just some glitch or virus or something simple; but I’d rather be on the more prepared side of things.

VI —

Ok what the fuck is that?!? It looks like it might have been your everyday bot at one point, or rather bots, but now it’s like some sort of monstrosity. Something isn’t right, I don’t think this is just some virus or something. All I know is I need to get me and my family as far away from that rolling…thing as soon as possible. Where though? I can see that one, so obviously we’re running away from it. But then what?

Ok, well that was a shitty run… But I think we’re gonna make it. Maybe I was wrong, with enough people we could have probably taken that thing. Definitely, there’s at least…half… Half?? How?? I know I heard screams, everyone did, but we just had to keep moving. How did it get half? Oh well, my family is safe, that’s all that matters.

I’ll make sure they’re ok, even if there is nothing else I can do, I will make sure they are safe. I can’t stop, I have to keep going for them, both of them.

That’s what a man is supposed to do…right?


I thought I’d be angry or scared or anything but laughing. These things played us… I don’t know how, but they fuckin played us. Drove us out from the city into the middle of nowhere. Drove us out here so they could just surround us. I can hear the screams, but that doesn’t matter. I’ve just gotta get my senses back.

FUCK?!?!? Ok not laughing anymore, shit, ok we’ve gotta move. Just keep them in front of you and keep them moving. Make sure you’re between them and your family. That’s the only thing that matters. Just keep moving, one foot in front of the other. Keep running, don’t look back, don’t look back don’t look. But I’ve gotta know how close it is…

She’s looking at me… RUN!! Wait is my mouth even moving? Oh thank god she’s running. Wait, why did I stop running? What’s going on? I feel like I’m floating. Well, at least there wasn’t any pain. Small victory at least. I didn’t expect to be able to see what’s going on like this, I’m glad I got to see them get away before…I’m gone… Just keep running, that’s all that matters right now. I feel weird even asking myself this, but am I really dead?


Oh god what was that? Oh please no what is that? What IS that?