There were more messages written on the wall, but Esau paid them no mind. In some corner of his mind he knew that the messages were intended to anger him, to goad him into making a careless mistake. He didn’t care. If he were facing a human enemy, he might expect a bullet in the back, a shot fired from an unexpected angle, a trap of some sort. But the machine had never given any indication that it planned traps, that it used guns. All of its victims had been pulled apart, mutilated. Oh, there was no doubt in Esau’s mind that if the thing got its hands or claws or appendages or whatever it had on him, it would tear him to pieces. But that idea carried with it the weight of that single word: if.
Ideas of what the machine was capable of were just that, mere thoughts. The gun in Esau’s hands was solid, metal and plastic, steel and lead.
The hallway opened up into a wide room, broken bits of wood and concrete scattered across the floor. Esau nearly tripped as he entered the room and looked around in confusion. The walls and the floor were different somehow, showing signs of decoration and care that the room he’d woken up in had not. He glanced over his shoulder at the path he had come from, the debris on the ground, the ragged doorway he had entered from.
“I’m in a different home,” he realized. “It tore through the wall, through reinforced concrete.”