Welcome back to another week of Choose Your Own Adventure! You guys! An adventure! WE’RE CHOOSING IT!

Someone – perhaps Danny Boyle – should direct a movie about us. We’re adventurers! Next thing you know, we’ll probably chew an appendage off or something!

But not this week, I don’t think. Probably. Well, hell, I’ve just taken several tablespoons of NyQuil, so God only knows what I’ll end up writing.

Last week you guys chose to A. Stay calm. Maybe he’s just returning it to you. And if not, you DO still have Cain’s knife up your sleeve… literally.

So let’s see where that leads . . .

Chapter 17: Never Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight

“Um,” you stammer, glancing down at the 9mm Smith and Wesson in Dr Artemus’s hand. How the hell do you know what type of gun that is? And why does your brain already know how it feels in your hand?

“Don’t worry,” Dr Artemus says with a smile. He thumbs the magazine release and shows you the empty clip, then pulls back the slide to show you the empty chamber. “It’s not loaded. You were always the crack shot with this thing; no way am I carrying around a loaded gun.”

“What’s the point of carrying around an unloaded gun?” you ask. You don’t know if you’re expecting an answer, but what you’re not expecting is the quick grin that Dr Artemus gives you. “What?”

“Nothing. You just . . . you sound like you. The old you.”

You’re not really sure if that’s a compliment. What the hell was going on in your life that you regularly packed a gun? And where did you even get such a thing?

“Where did I even get this?” you ask.

Dr Artemus shrugs and hands you the gun, turning his back on you to root around in his bag. “No clue, my dear girl. You were armed for the revolution long before you let me into your circle, or your . . . ” He breaks off, and even though his back is to you, you are willing to bet that his face has turned as bright red as your know that yours is.

Dr Artemus straightens and turns back to you, two loaded clips in his hands. “I loaded these like you showed me. I’ve been keeping them on me, you know. For when you got back.”

“I never went anywhere,” you reply. “I’ve been here the whole time.”

Dr Artemus looks at you with sad eyes. “No. No, darling, it feels like you’ve been gone forever.”

A tingle starts in your belly and races towards your lips and you find yourself leaning in to kiss the professor, even though you aren’t quite sure why, exactly. It feels like a habit, a memory just out of reach, and you think maybe that you should just listen to your body for a while, since your brain is clearly confused.

“Incoming transmission!” Sev chirps from the back of the room, and you groan at the idea of your robotic roommate interrupting sexytimes fun.She probably used to do that a lot, you think, since I clearly was getting it on with everyone and his brother last year.

“Set countdown to decimation in 20 seconds! Begin sequences! Target, sectors 1, 3 and 5!”

Sev’s bright, slightly unnatural voice distracts you from what she’s actually saying, but you feel Dr Artemus – and you really need to stop calling him that – stiffen against you. But not in the way that you had been expecting.

“Oh, shit,” he breathes, clutching your arm. “We have to get out of here!”

“What? I . . what’s going on?” You look around wildly, first at Sev, who is still smiling cheerfully, demonically, while beginning a countdown from 20, and then at Dr Artemus, who is busily stuffing things into a duffle bag.

“Decimate!” Dr Artemus chokes out. “Your roommate is set to blow!”

“I . . . she . . . you mean she’s going to take out the whole school?”

“Actually, ‘to decimate’ means to remove by a tenth,” Dr Artemus replies, his voice slipping slightly into lecture mode. “You really should have paid more attention in Basic Math. But either way, there’s no way we can get out of her range in time.”

Panicked, you look down at your gun, and the loaded clips on the table.

Do you:

A.  Shove the clip in the gun and shoot Sev? Maybe you can short-circuit her and stop the explosion.

B.  Tell Dr Artemus to reprogram Sev not to blow? He programmed her to lead you to him; surely he can override her bomb.

C.  Kill Dr Artemus, then yourself? Dying by bullet is better than dying by fire.

D.  Run like hell?

Good luck, adventurers! I hope we don’t die!

Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink.