At the beginning of every month we we issue a writing challenge to all our friends and fans.
This was the stimulus for this months challenge!
I tried some different things in this one. I used 3 different narrative voices…4 if you include the computer prompts. As well as 2 different narrative perspectives. ALSO; I set it within Eclipse Phase, though I didn’t need to.
Dim purple light was the only illumination in the expansive triangular room. one of the walls phased from soft ruby to full transparent, clearer than the most perfect glass. Beyond them, lit up in the night; are the domes, souks, and flyways Of Valles-New Shanghai. Only one piece of furniture resides in the room. An antique dining chair; probably a relic from earth. A man easily older than the chair resting in it, a small glass of water at his lips.
He waves a hand next to his head acknowledging the recent arrival of another presence. Slowly pulling the glass from his mouth, he holds in the air next to his chair. Out of the silvery white floor rises and solidifies a simple table, the same colour as the floor. As the guest approaches, a single legged stool extrudes from the floor next to the ancient collector of solitary chairs. A young woman in a blue suit ponders the stool before sitting down. Her short orange hair stands up like quills as her reptilian eyes stare into the old man.
The pause drags on…until golden, mechanical eyes, nested in wrinkled black skin turn to appraise her.
“you took too long getting here” his quite sandpaper voice poorly conveyed his true mood; apathy.
The orange haired woman spoke swiftly, with rapid precision. “I had to resleeve into this…meat.” her hand waves over her body. “A virtual meeting would have been more efficient.” She regarded her summoner with frustration, he simply stared at her; unblinking.
“Much like your target, you too required a lesson.” He spoke more clearly now, whatever pressed in his throat now loosening its grip. “which teacher did you send?”
She raked her hand through her hair as she readied her answer. “A new one. Project Revenant is ready for field trials; this seemed like an ideal occasion.” Her hands brushed her suit, normally a sign of nervousness; in this case just a symptom of a mind unfamiliar with physical form.
His golden eyes flickered with faint light. “you spend too much time riding as data, someone of your station shouldn’t be living in infomorph.” He turned slowly, brushing her away. “Your fortnightly updates will now be delivered in person to me or Toulemonde.”
A fowl snear stretched across her face before she abruptly exited the room. Her stool dissolving behind her as the windows hardened their colour back to red. Somewhere in the swelling sea of data that was the mesh, an encrypted signal triggers the lock release on a cargo container.
> BEGIN STREAMING.
> REVENANT PROTOTYPE 44 ONLINE.
> OBJECTIVE: EXTERMINATION.
Like flesh dripping acid I come to life again. My body rebuilt. New instincts written into my mind. I hear the prayers echoing in a part of my head I can’t quite access. Kill them, kill them all. snuff out all life in this place. they whisper it on repeat, like a song stuck in your head. what’s a song?
Eyes open now. too much input. Don’t need thermal, not yet anyway. Electrical sense can be dulled down too. Focus on the human spectrum; limit it. This place is bright, even with only 3 colours. large grey room, open; bar a few boxes like mine. powerful fluorescents. Is that a…what’s the word? BLACKCURRANT. No, wait…SECURITY GUARD! That’s the word; security guard.
Pain. mild. Right shoulder. Bruising. He shot me. He shot me with a gun. Shouldn’t I be bleeding? What’s Bleeding? They armoured the flesh more. Not just the torso and head, they armoured the arms as well. Right hand still works. Should probably claw his eyes out.
Wow. I move faster now. Closed that gap in under a second. Huh, no more claws on the rig…Oh i see. Smart Corrosives; Much better. Holy fuck. No more eyes for you Barny. Or brain. Or Telctra High Grade SterilCrete. Stuff is hungry. Wait…who’s Barny?
Noise, hallway. Two guards. I can see into the terahertz range now, that’s useful. Other Barny and Different Barny have non standard weapons. What is this, Bring your rail pistol to work day?
Oh, they replaced the left arm with steel; goodie.
> DIRECTIVE: USE MELEE WEAPON.
I can hear the prayers again. You don’t just want them dead, you want them to keep dying. Fear so strong you can stand living. Ok then. I guess I’ll take this Kama and cut their hands off. Then their legs. Gotta be quick. One of their bullets just punched my armour. Can’t get hit again. Damn it. Knee is killing me. Fuck you then friend, decapitation it is.
HaHaHAHHA…heuh. Different Barny dropped his gun. Mother fucka you technical? I’m an undead killer robot with acid for fingernails. You think I care if you surrender? Bye bye hands. What’s a mother fucker? “Hang on. I can bifurcate your legs. Sure it’ll take an extra 30 seconds, but i think it’ll traumatize you more.”
Did I say that outloud? That is a lot more blood than I thought there would be. OHHHH that’s what blood is. Okay. Let us just use this kama like a meat hook. “se ve un poco agradable en el hombro , verdad?” I think I should stop talking. What Language was that? Which way is…shit. DORMITORY! probably…left.
This corridor is long. If you wanted all these people dead why not just use a few kilos of plutonium or something. Better yet; Antimatter.
> YOUR PLACE IS NOT TO QUESTION.
>INTEL: ROOMS ARE LOCKED. SAFETY PROTOCOL. ON YOUR LEFT IS A WASH ROOM.
>DOOR WILL OPEN IN: 15.
These people have no clothes on. There is water everywhere. Water is a precious resource. It is essential for life. WRONG: Ionic gas lifeforms require no water to live. oxygen is non-essential to their survival. All attempts to transfer Ares into a Ionic Cloud form have failed. electronic mind forms not compatible with…<CORRUPTION DETECTED>
These people look scared. I was scared once. Keep the axe Different Barny. “you’re really pretty. you remind me of mommy.” Was her neck as soft? Don’t recall. It was however just as easily snapped. Now hang on little guy, you need to die just like she did. perhaps not just like her. “Holy shit DAWG! Did you see the hole her corpse made in the wall! All cracked like a spider web and shit.” If I insert my fingers into his skull like this…with the right application of force; ahhh. There we go! Bifurcated naked man head. Is Bifurcated the word of the day or something.
Good lord…Is that what I look like. I didn’t realise…Where’s my face? You can see my jaw bone. Are my eyes glowing? WHY CAN’T I CRY?
“WHERE IS MY FACE?!”
<INSTANCING PERSONALITY COMPOSITE 47>
<PALADIN MATRIX STABLE>
>EXECUTE SELF UPON TASK COMPLETION
>FIELD TEST SUCCESSFUL.
A world of swirling black clouds fades into view. In the centre a woman made of orange light hovers. A playful voice calls through the clouds. “Were you live sampling the subjects consciousness stream?” The question echoes like gentle thunder.
“I find the discordant brain impulses intoxicating.” As she whispered purple beams of radiance escaped her lips.
“though the puzzle is trying to comprehend them. They lack form. They are more like emotional impressions than true thoughts. Unreadable to anyone even close to human.”
The soft voice called back, tenderness hanging inside its tone. “You’re insane my love. But I drink your brilliance regardless.”
Well I hope you enjoyed that, I kind of LOVED writing it. Thanks to Grace Burns and Lilia Andrea for some of dialogue. Please check out our other content here on wordpress, or our podcast files over on soundcloud. You can also get the latest news about up coming podcasts and projects by following us on twitter, or liking us on facebook.
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Farewell from the past, I’m Raymond.