Winter’s Reach

Even with the heat on, as I was sweating, winter stretched into my room and lapped at my arm. I glared at the window before I got up to check it, just to make sure the top window hadn’t crawled it’s way down a few millimetres. I pulled the curtain away and saw nothing but the pure whiteness that was the blizzard’s aftermath. The window was solidly closed, the latches were locked as well. I grabbed the curtain to pull it shut again but I froze in place. There was a figure standing in the street outside my new house. The tall dead trees of winter looked like they were quivering with anticipation behind them. I tried to pull the curtain but I wasn’t sure if moving was the best thing to do at that moment. My mind however, was free to race.

“I can’t tell if it’s a dude or a chick.

Aren’t they cold?

Why are they standing there?

Why are they looking at me?”

8920426131_160d913bd3_b

Photo by Adrian Smalley, https://www.flickr.com/photos/smalleyphotography/8920426131 used under Creative Commons 2.0 No changes were made to this image.

 

Then I noticed the snow around them was melting and as I looked away from their face to focus on the pool of water under their naked feet, a voice pierced my mind.

“Ektrazeh nuk, talemnasool. Ikst bjall talemnashadh.”

I stood there, the voice echoing in my head as they started walking toward my front door. I couldn’t move. Thinking back on it I don’t know if it was fear or something else that petrified me. All those years of learning to defend myself vanished from my mind. Street fighting, shooting, gone. They say your life flashes before your eyes before death, well I’d always been early and getting a head start on things. As I heard my front door torn off it’s hinges I took stock of my life. Rocky childhood, abuse, drugs but then when I was finally on my own I’d gotten good jobs, paid my way through college and I’d just bought this house…

And now I was going to die in it.

The front door sailed across the street and hit a tree, knocking down the snow. A bright flash appeared amoung the trees but then I heard steps on my staircase. I whipped around and each step seemed to fall with the weight of my life, shaking every fibre of my being. I was sure I’d stopped breathing but my heart was trying to get away by bursting through my chest… It’d never beaten so hard. The person reached the top of the landing and their steps paused as if they were trying to figure out where I was from where they saw me outside. Then it seemed like someone whispered in my ear.

“Take two steps to the right or I can’t help you.”

First I heard a random voice in my head and now, “no one” is whispering in my ear. I raised my right arm as if trying to distinguish between my right and left and fought with myself about whether or not moving was a good idea. Maybe the thing in the hall would think I bolted and they’d leave. As I had that thought the footsteps started again, as if my thinking tipped it off.

I realized I’d started breathing again. Fast, chaotic breaths were dispelling cold clouds from my mouth into the air. It’s fingers wrapped around my door frame followed by it’s head, peaking from behind it’s hand like the most terrifying game of peekaboo. Their eyes were empty yet full of hunger. Golden iris’s with pinpoint pupils were looking at me as if I was dinner. It’s mouth opened and it was breathing heavy and fast. They looked filled with as much anticipation as I was filled with fear.

It walked in the room disturbingly fast and as it was about 5 feet away from me I didn’t take two steps, I lunged to the right. My eyes were fixed on their golden ones and as they turned toward me my window imploded into the room. I saw blood splatter from the person in front of me onto my bed. They grabbed at their shoulder and roared while turning towards the window, sounding like some kind of lion mixed with a crocodile. There was a flash just like I saw earlier amoung the trees and then someone else just appeared in my room. In the blink of an eye there was a long sword sticking through Gold Eye’s head and it’s body went limp.

The new person in my room walked to the window and looked around for a few seconds before walking over to his sword, which was lodged in the dead persons head. He put his foot on it’s mouth and grabbed the handle of his sword.

“The problem is, there’s no fuller on this blade so it gets wedged inside em every time if I stab rather than slice. Thing is, with my blink, it’s easier to stab.”

He grunts loudly as the blade pulls free and he wipes it on the dead persons clothes before stowing it on his back.

“Well, it was only one tonight. But there’s no way to tell if that one was connected to the hive mind or if it was paying roaming charges. Either way you got two choices. You come with me now and I’ll get you somewhere safe or you can stay here and tell the police about these two crazy assholes who broke into your house. That the crazy asshole with a sword killed the other crazy asshole who was going to kill you; by the way, this guy tore your front door off. Then, when the police are gone, either another lone wolf will come by since you’re marked now or maybe this one’s hunting party finds out their sibling died in your house. Me explainin this to you only happens if we leave tonight, right now.”

I stood up and looked at the pool of blood pouring out of the dead things head into my green rug and shakily walked to my closet, threw my coat on the bed and pulled out a lock box before answering.

“My shoes are downstairs. Can I bring my shotgun?”

Writing Reflection

I’ve become accustomed to thinking in story. That is to say that I believe people want a story that is different enough from their own that they can feel something different that they normally do not experience in their own life.

On the other side of the coin people also want to be connected enough to the story that they are experiencing (through whichever medium) in order to escape their own life and join someone else in theirs, normally as an observer, sometimes as a vague participant.

A story cannot exist just to exist. It must fill a need [void] in order to properly exist. Otherwise it is as soulless as a 9-5 cubical and an empty fridge. In that sense the story is not.

Set within these confines a story can be anything, all stories have an audience whether it be 1 or 1 million and a story can change our views; for better or worse.

The World That Once Was.

The planet you call Earth used to be different. In fact the entire inner solar system never had so much as a speck of space debris in it, let alone floating around as there is now. We used to be able to control the paths of comets, meteors, and asteroids. The inner solar system was a safe place and so was our planet.

The confines of our atmosphere were not so close to the surface of Gaia, floating islands were encompassed and everyone could travel to them without the smallest problem. Things like pollution were horror stories, told by the wise to keep children in check. If they could see what the planet had become they’d probably keel over in an instant.

Magic and science as you call them were the same back then, there was no distinction. Almost anything we could think of was possible and our engineers made it happen. But we weren’t as perfect and infallible as we liked to believe.

Chaos came to our part of the galaxy, a test in a way that all civilizations must pass in order to continue to exist in this universe. We lost the War of Entropy, and with that loss, our planet fell from her glory. We lost the war, but somehow we managed to keep our lives. We haven’t been able to find anyone who was allowed to remember why either. As a result of our loss our minds were thrown into chaos, now you would call it a mental break, or some form of psychosis.

The words I speak are the words I was allowed to remember, my curse from living after the war, immortality. At the moment we lost, the last shot was fired, and our final defence was breached. The enemy disappeared and an ocean of chaos swept through the inner solar system.

It was not long after that the atmosphere started to recede. No one knew what was going on and billions suffocated and died violently from being exposed to the vacuum of space. Meteors came into the realm previously occupied only by Gaia and her floating islands, and we were unable to redirect them. All the islands were destroyed along with the people that lived on them. The only island left is what is now referred to as the moon. However it too is as cold and as dead as the rest of them are, it’s just that the others have been pummelled and destroyed, some even wandered into the asteroid belt and even to what used to be the gas farms, know known as the outer solar system.

Maybe that was our crime, maybe farming the Gas Giants was immoral.

It doesn’t matter now I suppose. We paid the price for whatever crime we committed, but we were allowed to make the climb back up to where we once stood in terms of knowledge and technology. We cannot however, reclaim the floating islands or the lives we lost.

Modern religions talk about a purgatory or hell being a place the soul goes to after a life of ill will. That must be where we are. This “Modern World” is a disgusting and terrifying place, far removed from the society of Gaia we once lived in.

The Transfer

     It’s been a while that the two companies have had their underground passage way closed off. There was some disagreement that took place long ago and for the safety of the city, they were told to close their passage way and were only allowed to make business transactions inside a highly fortified walkway 60 stories up that connected the two buildings. The last transaction that took place in the passage way leveled four city blocks in south side Eagle City. A school building in the middle of the day was one of the buildings destroyed. But as politics go, the companies were allowed to continue to operate after designing and rebuilding the sector they had destroyed. With their entire companies on the line they worked together… barely. Another reason they were allowed to remain open is that they are medical facilities and not only that but the best in the world, some would say the best in this sector of the galaxy.

Last night on the Evening Report the world found out that the Kellen-side of the factory wanted to send test samples and prototypes on biotech that could revolutionize the cyber prosthesis field. The government sent in two bounty hunters with knowledge in the field to aid in the transaction. These guys had some pretty in depth knowledge about biotech and nano machines since they were the only ones to make it out of the Nano-Wars with their original bodies intact. They had learned how to deal with all sorts of outbreaks and fast spreading viruses. Well they almost made it out out completely intact. The older one, Watler P. Tumblewright, had to kill himself in order to stop the virus from devouring his skin. Somehow he killed himself for 8 minutes an had set up some resuscitation machine to only go into action when the nano virus left his ship. He’s a bit of a legend really. The other Hunter I’m not so sure about. He and Tumblewright have been at odds almost as long as Kellen and Ellen Enterprises. It seemed the companies couldn’t hire anyone who didn’t feel the same type of animosity they did. The other Hunter was named Georgi Rantcleft. The man operated on multiple people during the Nano-Wars in order to keep the various viruses from spreading. Rumours still circulate that he did more than operate on the people he saved but none of the 200 cases have ever proven to hold any weight in court.

The buildings look like a mix between old gothic styled cathedrals and modern micro-structuring techniques. That is to say the buildings were “grown” from the sub-basements up. The process is similar to 3D printing but much more involved. Both were an off white colour with their logos displayed proudly at their tops. Ugly walls were built on the sides that the buildings facing each other so that neither side could see any form of activity on the other. However for legal reason the massive 3 story walkway between them was kept intact, but I think it was more financial reasons than legal. But both sides of the walkways have massive 3 story bulkheads that both sides had to agree to open in order for anyone from one side to travel over to the next. Another route of precaution an automated travel system was installed halfway underneath the walkway. It was city government controlled so that we all knew when exactly a transfer was going down. The walkways were big enough to fit construction mechs in since most transfers between companies meant, more often than not, that some really heavy cargo was being moved.

An hour ago an area 1 mile around Kellen and Ellen enterprises was evacuated, it seemed the time to do business was upon us.

 

“Now Walter we don’t want you or Michelle getting hurt, both you guys are great friends to Ellen-side and if something smells fishy we want you to abort.”

“No worries girlie, if we gotta abort you can bet yer ass we’re gonna fly back into that transport tunnel as fast as you can say hot tamales! Plus with this modified mech I should be able to shut that yungin up. If Georgi’s involved I can bet you, Kellen-side ain’t thinking nice thoughts.”

 

The mechs are about 15 feet high, bi-pedal, construction models. Two large three pronged hands that look like a trident, and a cage with open cockpits surrounded by an intricate rollcage. Walter’s model has two more load arms for heavier lifting. There was an invisi-screen in front of the pilots so that meant entry and exit was underneath the mech via a little elevator with the pilots seat on it.

 

“Walter since it’s Kellen-side that initiated the transfer we’re giving you a cargo scanner it’s right here, the ovular looking “gun-shaped” thing. It can also help in steadying the container if necessary. The boxy one won’t help you unless you want to support something heavy.”

“Alright then. Ya know, I think I should take that there support one too. They got Georgi on their side and his ego’s a bit…”

 

A government official overseeing the Ellen-side transfer didn’t find the incoming joke funny in the least.

 

“No, you take whats been authorized with exception to your “add-ons”. Given with what you’ve told us about Georgi’s and your past.”

“Lighten up pup, ya might live a lil longer! Haha! You ready spectacles?”

 

The lab-tech piloting the normal construction mech nodded as he turned on his heads-up-display. The government official walked over to the massive bulkhead and input the unlock code for the hour. Another safety precaution enforced for the sister companies, lock and unlock code, two separate ones, were changed every hour give or take a few minutes to add in a random element so neither side could intercept the others easily.

The massive doors hissed, then slid open without making a sound.

 

“That there’s a little creepy, reminds me of an abandoned Star-Class shipping boat I searched once.”

 

No one seemed interested in his story. When the doors opened up wide enough, they could see the Kellen-side doors opening too. Back in the day it was possible t just walk across the massive passage way but now kinetic barriers were put in place to prevent anything from people to Anti-Matter warheads from getting through. Walter and the lab-tech climbed into the service passage and locked their mechs into the rail system. When Walter was sure he was out of ear shot of the people above him he clicked on his AI bot.

 

“Sheila, tap into the system of this here builders mech and get full access, we might need it girlie.”

“It’s already done big daddy, jus gimme da signal and we’re blowing holes in everythang in site!”

“Easy girl we gotta be reaction-ree, we’re meetin up with an old friend.”

“You talkin bout that George a-hole?”

“The very same.”

“Shoot, I hope he startles the heard into a stampede, I been itchin to get him back for what he done to your leg big daddy.

It seemed he programmed his AI to talk in an accent much like his… The carts started to move forward silently. When the lab tech saw the faint green light of Walter’s AI on his face in the darkness of the passageway he sounded his concern.

 

“Walter! I don’t think that’s a good idea!”

“Boy don’t you sass him! Big daddy Tumblewright’s got it all under control!”

 

Walter’s AI answered the tech as Walter only nodded his head in assurance, his happy old man visage was now completely gone and replaced by something that made the lab tech uneasy yet safe at the same time. He had pulled his dreadlocks back into a pony-tail and pulled his goggles down to his eyes from his forehead, Walter P. Tumblewright was ready for anything to happen.

They came to a stop and climbed out of the rail system. When the lab tech saw who the other side sent over he jumped for joy inside and whispered to Walter.

 

“Walter, we don’t have to worry about their tech, that’s my wife.”

“That makes things easier fer me.”

Georgi pulled the other mech out of the rail way and sparks flew out from the mechs load arm.

“It’s been acting like that all week honey, don’t worry!”

“She’s a cute-un boy, how’d you trick her into marryin ya?”

 

The la tech laughed and waited slightly more assured as Georgi and his wife made their way to the midway point. The Kinetic barrier dropped and and the lab tech walked towards her husband.

 

“Sheeit look who it is! The old timer! Looks like you have some non-standard equipment there you wouldn’t be thinking of trying something would you?”

“I wouldn’t dream of putting these two in danger, I just know you can’t be trusted.”

 

Walter said motioning to Georgi’s actual battle ready personal Hunter Mech.

 

“What this? Think of it as my security blanket.”

“What’s takin so long kids? You’re not making a child back there are ye?”

“No Walter, her mechs load arm is jammed it won’t let go of the container.”

“Well how about you two tell Ellen-side about the faulty hardware.”

 

For the next 8 minutes Walter and Georgi stood there motionless, staring directly into each other eyes as the lab techs waited for confirmation from the government that the techs were actually married and could be trusted to not be bringing over some type of bomb. Had they not been married the process would’ve taken the next 3 hours.

 

“Ok Walter they said my wife and I could go over and work on dislodging the crate.”

“Why can’t yall jus swap mechs?”

“They have different protocols, hers won’t listen to my keycard.”

“Of course… All right get on it, seeing as them rail systems only carry two mechs I’ll wait here till yur sunshine returns.”

 

The lab techs climbed in the carts and they left silently as Walter and Georgi never broke eye contact.

 

“How’s the leg.”

“You just shut the hell up about Big Daddy Tumblewright’s leg!”

“Well if it isn’t Sheila the ancient piece of shit software.”

“Calm down Sheila, we didn com’er ta fight.”

The bright red light went back to being dim green.

“New leg’s fine boy, works just as good as the old one.”

“Guess that means not that well then, HAHAHAHAAHA”

 

Walter said nothing and the two of them just stood there still not moving a milimetre until the female lab tech came back.

 

“Alright, that’s that boys! Now we can… get back… to the rest of… the day.”

“Have a good day now young miss, wuz a pleasure.”

 

The female lab tech walked past the two men who still hadn’t moved since she climbed out of the rail system.

 

“See you later old man.”

“I hope for your sake you don’t boy.”

 

Walter said under his breath as the two of them broke eye contact.

 

“Now you sexy thing how about reconsidering taking that wedding ring off and getting on all fours for me.”

“You need to stop talkin like that boy!”

“My dick don’t concern you old man!”

 

A blast fired from the back of Georgi’s mech and Walter dashed out of the way just in time, letting the blast be absorbed by the kinetic barrier causing the runner lights to brighten all along the pathway.

 

“Get on the rail girl, get out of here!”

“Where’s that accent of yours old man!”

 

Georgi erected a barrier of his own as he fired off his machine gun directly at Walter’s cockpit. Walter aimed his oval cargo gun which was useless up until now and lifted Georgis barrier and spun it around, deflecting bullets all over. Georgi charged at Walter, shattering the mobile barrier and squeezing Walter’s mech against his and the Kinetic barrier. Smoke and sparks were shooting out from the back of Walters mech as the barrier was trying to bounce it away and Georgi’s was crushing it against the barrier. Walter moves a secondary load arm which was the only one free and grabbed a laser edged buzz-saw and went straight for Georgi’s cockpit, forcing him to move an arm away from restraining Walter to stop the saw. Walter noticed the shift in weight and took the opportunity to shove him away with the two arms that were no longer being held down. Georgi stumble backward and fell over not expecting the shove off.

 

“I guess I should tell you before you die old man that I was really hired by Kellen-side to destroy Ellen-side. They got everything in place to rule it as an industrial accident. But forget that, they’re paying me a bucket load of money to do it. Reason why I was hitting on the lab tech earlier is that shes not gonna have a husband for too much longer!”

 

Georgi’s thrusters kicked on and a barrier that was outlawed save for a few people flickered on around him. He was aiming straight for Walter’s mech.

 

“Big daddy if he hits us with that on he’ll cut us in half!”

“I know Sheila hang on. Did you bring “The Big Un” over?”

“He’s been hovering 10 floors below us this whole time.”

 

Georgi charged forward with the arms of his mech completely unfolded which was outlawed within city limits. They were cutting out sections of the walk way as he roared forward. The charging mech was like the last part of the laser wall from those Resident Evil movies, no way to dodge it within the hallway. Walter fired an impulse blast at the nearby wall and rammed through it. He quickly un-clicked Sheila from the console and kicked through the heads-up-display. He punched his cyber-leg and a rocket boost shot out from his foot just long enough to keep him air-born as his Hunter mech flew up beneath him. He dropped down into his seat and without letting the cockpit close completely he tapped the side of the Ellen-side building on his heads-up screen and yelled, “FIRE!”. Two tow cables rocketed up the side of the building and shot through the wall and locked in, scaring some workers as they exploded through. Georgi was a red silhouette on Walters screen and was almost at the end of the passage and the doors were not going to close in time. Walter’s tow cables pulled him up at blinding speed. Just as he got barely in front of Georgi he pulled out his mechs dagger and it became engulfed in the same field that was allowing Georgi to ram through the kinetic barriers. Walter crashed through the side of the walkway and sliced Georgi and his Hunter Mech in half. The top sliding to a stop in between the bulkhead doors.

 

“Petulant child.”

Stories

What is a story? A grouping of words on a page that express some meaning which the author holds in special regard. A story, if done right, has the ability to speak to something inside of you. Whether it be primal reasoning, or to your heart, there will always be some demographic for any kind of story a person can think up. I think this is because of metaphors. 100 people can read the same three words and have 100 different reactions. This is by no stretch new information, but it is important when you come across something you’re not too fond of. Everyday people sit and critique stories for having flimsy plot-lines and emotionless characters, heck I’ve done that a lot too no one is perfect in these aspects because we all have different eyes. We see and view things so differently it’s easy to overlook the basis of any story. We forget about the deep-seeded message that lies beneath all the words sometimes we point out misspellings and give no further thought to the actual story. For others, it seems, they simply can’t see past grammatical errors. Given all of their short comings, what I’m trying to say is, a story’s main purpose is to make you feel, or see something on the mental and emotional level, if it can do that, who cares if the author missed a period on the third sentence on the 89th page?