Silent, empty suburban house during the night... “Hey, you two! Stop! Where do you think you‟re going?” Two shadows, one small and one bigger, which were moving through the hallway just stopped like frozen next to the kitchen door. There was a girl sitting at the kitchen table. She made that noise. Her wavy brown hair was reflecting the weak light coming from the hallway and from the street lights. “Who is it? We thought the house was empty. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons went out half an hour ago... who are you? How did you get here? We thought... Are you their maid? We thought that there is no one here”, said one of the intruders. “Maid? Yes, at your service! Oh guys, you are so hilarious. I am not, but you will wish that I was a maid. As you can see, the house is empty. I broke into it just before you did... which means you'll have to back off and leave everything to me”, she said, pointing the gun at them. “Oooh! Slow down, babe! We‟re sorry. We`ve had our eye on this house for weeks, but we haven`t noticed you around. Who are you? Are you a family member, or have you broken in just as we did? We can join forces and divide everything we find into three equal parts. The Simmons appear to be...”, said the other intruder, who was slightly bigger and far calmer than his companion. “Are you deaf? I said, I broke into the house just before you did. And now...silence! Stop screwing with me! This 'babe' isn‟t sharing anything with you. Is that clear? Let me see what you have in your hands. Quick, throw it all on the floor! What? You have nothing more than crowbars? Are you kidding me?! You went to a burglary armed with nothing more than crowbars, you pathetic scumbags! Where‟s your weapon?”, she asked them with the voice of ridicule, with the gun still pointed at them.
“Lloyd, I told you we should skip this house. I can‟t... I can‟t do this...”, said the smaller intruder. “Silence, you skinny ass motherfucker! Yes, you! Quit that „skip crap‟! Come on, tell me your name! What is it? What!? Are you choking?”, the girl yelled. “Ed...Edward”, he answered with his voice trembling, trying to catch his breath. “OK. I'll call you Eddie. And you biggy! Tell me your name”, she said it a lot quieter. “Lloyd. Please call me Lloyd. Now babe, how about telling us your name?”, asked Lloyd, feeling more confident now. “Andrea. There, now you can quit calling me „babe‟. So what‟s up with you guys? Why are you so scared? I won‟t hurt you. We‟ll just play a little game”, added Andrea jokingly. “Has anyone ever told you you look like Hilary Swank?”, Lloyd asked. “Yes, so I was told. So... Lloyd, was it? Do you see that dresser by the entrance to the dining room? Go to it and open the first drawer”, she pointed to it with a gun in her hand, moving it quickly so as not to let him relax. As he approached it, she pulled out another gun, tucked into the belt of her jeans. She also wore a white T-shirt and a short denim jacket. Now she had them both in her sights. “You mean this one?”, Lloyd asked, surprised to see the two guns. “Yes! That one. Open it! You will find a rope inside of it. Bring it over here!”, Andrea said nervously. Lloyd pulled the rope out, looked first at Eddie and then at Andrea, pushed the drawer back, returned to his previous spot and tossed the rope over to Andrea. “Sit down, Lloyd! Eddie, come here!”, she said, pushing a chair to Lloyd with her leg. “You wouldn‟t happen to be working for the police?”, Lloyd asked as he was sat on the chair. “Don‟t be ridiculous! Why would I be wasting my time with you? The police would
The Mimicry have been here already. Eddie, tie him up! Take the rope and tie the bastard!” “Wait! Why are you doing it then? Why don‟t you just let us go?”, said Lloyd, a bit flustered, while Eddie was tying his hands on his back. “Let you go? That‟s a strange question. You wanted to rob a house that I‟ve had my eyes on for months. I studied the habits of the Simmons for weeks, I thoroughly investigated every single corner of this house, I found a draft of the house on the Internet, I found a way to turn off the alarms. And now what? You two sneak in and destroy everything. No, things like this don‟t happen to me... Tie it harder, Eddie! If he unties it, I will shoot you without thinking. You see Lloyd, Eddie is now my right hand. If you want Eddie to survive, you will stay here. Tighten it more, Eddie! Here, take this cloth, gag him, and put the duct tape around it. Here! This scumbag can attract neighbors‟ attention. I don‟t want that. Eddie, you and I will now go upstairs. I'll show you where the safe deposits are. What! Do you feel nausea? Stop whining, Eddie. If you join me, maybe I‟ll let you escape with me.” “Andrea, please... put the guns down. You‟re freaking‟ me out. I can‟t stand the weapons so well. Please, let Lloyd and me out. We won‟t tell anyone what happened here. Just let us out.” “Good. I‟ll put one gun down. We‟ve tied Lloyd. Here, I‟m putting it back in my belt. Come on Eddie, do not be such a whine! Do you hear me? Don‟t be a whiner! I can‟t stand whiners. And even if I‟d want to let you go, I can‟t. This house is has a state-of-the-art security system. I‟ve managed to turn off the alarms, but there is another problem. We‟re now trapped. You, Lloyd, and me with both of you. You will help me get out. The entrances, the doors, the windows... nothing can be opened without triggering secondary alarms, which I couldn‟t reach.” Andrea spoke calmly, doing her puppy eyes and pouting her lips. Eddie regretted he ever listening to Lloyd and joining in the burglary. He regretted waking up that morning, he regretted showing the Simmons‟ house to Lloyd. He regretted not having gone with Mary. She would always know how to get him out of these situations and the fact that she wasn‟t there said a lot about the situation. Mary sometimes helped them in burglaries and thefts, but she mostly preferred doing her job solo. Mary was Eddie‟s older sister, and Eddie noted that Andrea also liked doing things solo, just like Mary. “Eddie, let's go upstairs. They hold their safes there. Let's open them, rob them and get
out of here”, said Andrea, touching Eddie‟s shoulder with her free hand. Eddie gave her a reproachful look, but he quickly remembered his position and tried to appear cooperative. He glanced at Lloyd, who sat quietly, facing the kitchen window with drawn blinds. He started climbing upstairs, and Andrea followed him. “You know Eddie, according to the rumors I‟ve heard, the Simmons are very rich people. I don‟t expect that we will find a lot of cash here. I expect some jewelry instead.” “I don‟t care! Even if there is nothing but golden bars, I don‟t want to know anything about that, about them, about this house or about you! Did you hear me? When we get out of here, we‟ll never meet again”, Eddie yelled at her. “Yes, of course, that‟s the way it‟ll be. Everyone will go their own way, but Eddie, you forget that I am the one holding the gun now, and it all will be as I say as long as you‟re with me. It means that you will be obedient. I don‟t like disobedient kids”, Andrea replied. “OK, fine! Now tell me where the safe deposit boxes are?”, Eddie was becoming impatient. “Safe deposit boxes? In the bedroom, where else would they be?”, Andrea replied. She approached the bedroom door and opened it. It was a seemingly usual bedroom with a huge bed and a huge closet. Andrea approached the closet door and opened it. She walked in among Mrs. Simmons‟ skirts and dresses and threw a pile of clothes, which were stacked by colors on the shelf. She pulled off some hangers holding dresses and coats. Andrea wondered what it was with those older women. They like to keep something that they will never be able to wear again. They would never fit into those clothes. At that moment, she noticed a cute, short topcoat and decided to take it with her. She has no time for shopping anyway. “Eddie, I need your help! Don‟t you see that I‟m drowning in this old hag‟s clothes? Get over here! Do something. Here is the safe and there is another one”, she said while she was trying to move all the clothes blocking her way to the safe. She still had Eddie at gunpoint with her free hand. “Eddie, do you know what we‟ve forgotten? The crowbars. We‟ve left them downstairs. We‟ll need them to remove the wooden closet frame, which is blocking our way to the locks. Don‟t you worry, I know the combinations. Opening them will be the easiest part”, she called Eddie. She was holding that hanger with her favorite topcoat in front of her, trying to see how it suits her in the closet-door mirror.
The Mimicry “I can go down and bring the crowbar”, said Eddie confusedly, but in the hope that he will make it somehow to rescue himself from the clutches of this young woman. “Yes, of course! Untie Lloyd and bring him here to help us! Oh, Eddie, Eddie. I am not that stupid. You thought I‟d let you go down alone and release that dumb piece of shit. Let's go down together. We will be quick”, she said sarcastically. They hurried down. Eddie‟s eyes were already fully accustomed to the half-dark. A chest of drawers in the hall attracted his attention. There was a shelf with family photos beside it. Andrea has stormed into the kitchen and bent over to take the crowbar. “Edward, come here immediately! Hurry! Something‟s wrong with Lloyd. Something‟s happened to him!”, she cried when she had saw Lloyd, still sitting tied, but completely motionless. Eddie went into the kitchen and went up to Lloyd. Now he was pretty scared. Lloyd wasn‟t showing any signs of consciousness. Eddie started taking off the duct tape wrapped around the Lloyd‟s mouth. He pulled the gag out of Lloyd‟s mouth, but there was no reaction from Lloyd. “You sick, perverted bitch! You‟ve forced me to kill my friend! Don‟t you see that he‟s suffocated?”, Eddie cried. “Don‟t yell at me, you retarded little freak! Can‟t you see he‟s still alive? Here, check his pulse!”, she replied, feeling the pulse on Lloyd‟s neck with her hand. “This shouldn‟t have happened, this shouldn‟t have happened, this shouldn‟t have happened...”, Eddie fell into shock. “Eddie! Eddie, listen to me, Eddie! Listen to me, you fucking scum! As you can see, Lloyd is alive, just a bit catatonic. Understand? While you and I finish it up upstairs, he will fully recover and you two will be able to go. I will let you go! Is that OK?”, shouted Andrea, now evidently agitated. “No, it won‟t be OK! You‟ve been playing the double game from the very beginning. You haven‟t broken into this house. You live in it, right? You are Andrea Simmons. You... you're...their daughter! I should‟ve known that. I saw your family photos on that shelf. How didn‟t I notice it earlier. If you had wanted to play this way, you could‟ve removed the photos”, Eddie bared his teeth for the first time that evening. “Yeah, I admit. I am their daughter. While you were lurking this house, I was lurking you two. I admit, it was fun. You couldn‟t see me. I haven‟t gone out of the house for several years. I suffer from agoraphobia. Life in this box can
be so boring… that‟s why I decided to make a little show for fun. And my parents are so filthy rich. Whatever you took from this house, they wouldn‟t miss it. And now, Eddie... well, we will have a small change of plan. You know, where the rope is. Go take it and sit here. I'll have to tie you too. Come on, do it! What are you waiting for?”, she said, this time with far greater coldness in her voice. Eddie was already benumbed. Everything seemed unbelievable and unexpected. He went up to the dresser, pulled the first drawer and took the rope. As he approached her, he mechanically sat on a chair which she brought for him. He sat to the right of Lloyd. Andrea tied his hands behind his back. She didn‟t say a single word. When she finished tying him up, she said that she would call the police to arrest them both. Lloyd was coming back from his blackout, but everything was still to blurry for him. Andrea went to the hallway and took a framed picture from the shelves. She returned to the kitchen and placed it on the kitchen‟s table for four. She turned on the light on her way out of the kitchen. Eddie could see the large framed format of her portrait photo with black ribbon in the right upper corner of the photo. It had the inscription: “To our beloved daughter, Andrea Simmons 2025–2054.” “Pathetic, isn‟t it? They couldn‟t think of something more original”, added Andrea, who was standing behind them both, leaning on the kitchen‟s door. At that moment, Eddie felt strong dizziness. His head had fainted, and then he heard some voices and a noise. He thought police should probably be there to arrest him and Lloyd. The next day, the local newspaper published an article with the short interview whose title was: “The house passed the test”. “Yesterday at the training ground for testing home security systems yet another house proved the safest and the most secure when it comes to burglaries and burglars. Burglars Edward Hayes (23) and Lloyd Taylor (29) were arrested late last night in one of these houses. Training ground test looks like any other suburban area and is filled with warm family atmosphere, so that the burglars did not suspect that someone was playing with them from the very beginning. This tandem, which has already been known to the police, was arrested after they were initially disabled in the house. Houses with improved security system will be of great help to the police in the future. Mr. Simmons, the creator of Androhome security systems, who is
The Mimicry living with his wife in experimental Androhome house targetted by intruders yesterday, addressed reporters after the arrest of the two intruders. In a brief interview, he said the following:
“Is it true that the spirit of your deceased daughter dwells in your house? It is a statement from one of the intruders...” “No, there are no ghosts in our house. There is no presence of the supernatural, like one of the intruders said after the arrest. What they could see, feel, touch... wasn‟t the spirit. It was a holographic projection combined with the new generation of nanobots. Holographic display of a person is not quite enough when we talk about Androhome security systems. Nanobots give it a realistic appearance, independence and full adaptation to the situation. Thus, a holographic projection can move things, and hold various objects in its hands without losing any of its credibility. Therefore, the holographic projection is the core of Androhome security systems. This means that the house itself takes the fight against the invaders. It decides in which direction to go, it decides how to disable the opponent, it decides when to call the police. Will it be tying of the burglars, as in this case, or simply closing the intruders in some room in the house, with the combination of discharging harmless opiatic gas, which will knock out the opponent and soothe him until the police come, it‟s up to the house to decide. The house, or her humanoid presence, is completely autonomous. It‟s able to learn from the opponents, remember their flaws and use it against them. With this perfect mimicry, it‟s capable of gaining their trust and forcing them to do everything it wants. It can turn them against each other. What is certain is that it is not programmed to kill. It is unnecessary, because we know that the police would come after them. The others can not hurt the house, i.e. its humanoid presence." “What will happen have heard that one of to a mental institution his predecessors have way.”
their predecessors who had encountered such systems. Each house with this system has the function of choosing a character or avatar which presents it. This is up to the owner of the house to decide. Specifically, we, my wife and I, have selected the character of our daughter Andrea who was tragically killed two years ago in her apartment, in Toronto, when the burglars crept in while she was sleeping, and then robbed her and killed her.” “Are you trying to say that, for example, should I have Androhome security system in my house, I would be able to choose a character of an actor, actress, or any other celebrity, and also a character that is a part of my environment or my family?” “Naturally. As for the celebrities, you would have to get their permission and copyright on the use of their character for private purposes. Many of them have already induced their characters to Androhome security systems, achieving amazing incomes this way. Many of our clients are looking for fresh faces, and there are those who prefer the classics and therefore choose from actors and actresses who were popular at the beginning of the 21st century, or even 20th century. We experienced a problem with it though. While she was alive, our daughter had a remarkable physical resemblance to the actress Hilary Swank, from her younger days, from the beginning of her acting career. When we have chosen our daughter‟s character to represent the house, this information has somehow reached Hilary Swank and her agents and attorneys. We have managed to prove that the figure we use for our Androhome security system belongs to our daughter. Anyway, these disagreements are far behind, now we cooperate with Hilary Swank herself. Translation: David Darko Editing: Jelena Dimitrijevic
to the burglars? We them was dispatched in Toronto. Many of ended in the same
“It is the burglar‟s problem. That is the way he experienced the house, or should I say the person who was selected as the humanoid presence in the house. Perhaps there was a subconscious attachment, or the Stockholm syndrome. It has happened before to many of