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Thread: Trash

  1. #1
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    Trash

    It'd been a long day at work. The stress and stupidity of the day-to-day mundane pulled taught at my last nerve. Five O'clock rolled over in the corner of my peripheral and shot a trio of tingles down my spine. Work was over.

    "I'm out of here," I stated (nearly shouted) at the street contractor across my desk.

    "Excuse me?" he replied with a delicious expression of confusion and shock on his face.

    "Day's over." I grabbed my keys and pushed away from my desk. "You'll have to come back in the morning." My expression was flat. Lifeless.

    "We were in the middle of--!"

    I cut him off.

    "We were in the middle of a business discussion. Business closes at five. Get out." I bent over to pick up my backpack, military grade (the kind you see in the holo vids of the war), when I heard what was most likely his fists on my desk. My body calmly froze in place, fingers pinched around one of the zipper tabs and eyes locked on the dull object within the darkness of the bag.

    "How dare you treat a customer like like this!" He shouted. I had forgot his name, they were all the same to me. Pompous, arrogant, and self-centered ass hats that would sooner slit your throat than extend common courtesy. Quite literally in this part of town.

    Click-Clack!

    I turned around with gun in hand and fingered the safety off. That little red dot that meant business was clear to see from the view opposing the barrel. It certainly shut him up.

    "I believe I asked you to leave." My piercing green gaze drilled holes through his sockets and out the back of his head - much like my bullets would do if he was dense enough to ignore the warning. Luckily (... or unfortunately), he shot his hands up with empty palms and focused all his attention at the steady barrel lined up on his forehead.

    "Go. Now." I barked with a wave of the gun toward the door. His deer in headlight expression failed to register the situation. Either he couldn't process the idea of a threat of violence in this day and age, or he was just as stupid as the general populous and their precious social media.

    CRACK! SHATTER!

    The sound of gunfire was familiar to me, but every time one went off this close without ear plugs, I couldn't help but wince. A soft ringing ensued, followed by the sound of footsteps scrambling to gain traction on the stained and dusty carpet of my office. Glass chimed as fragments continued to break off and splash into the pile in the main lobby. I half expected to hear screams or wide eyes of my co-workers looking through the door. Not today. Perks of being the last one in the building, I suppose.

    [Notification of Law Broken. Police Deployed. Broadcasting Location.]

    The iCom device interlaced with my neural system flashed a warning. Lucky for me, I still wore an older firmware version. Newer models paralyzed offenders on site and dramatically lowered crime since the early 2050's. Updates to the firmware and hardware were free of charge but had... interesting side effects. I opted out of it, just as over 300,000 signed petitioners had done and won the court case to prevent it from being mandatory.

    "Fuck..." I sighed while I lowered the warm muzzle of my firearm. Yep, today was that day.

    I finally snapped.
    Last edited by Lye; 05-05-16 at 08:58 AM.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  2. #2
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    I rubbed my face with my free hand. Oddly calm considering what just happened. The back of my skull throbbed with the adrenaline and overwhelming regret that flooded in from the rational side of my brain (left side, or was it right?). I was screwed. As I took another deep, relaxed breath, I heard the exit door slam and the sound of hard braking in the gravel of our parking lot. I smirked.

    "We have a break in and it takes six hours... One bullet and..." I shook my head.

    Well, my life was over. No need for my bag, the gun, my keys... Even though crime was nearly non-existent, the US government decided to adopt a low-tolerance policy - a bandaid solution to overpopulation and budget shortages. Why pay thousands to keep criminals alive when you can just execute them for the price it takes to lop off their heads? Gruesome, right? But cost effective and quote-unquote "humane". With nearly 90% of the US populous outfitted with iComs, there was rarely a need for forensics or a trial. I know they saw what I did, and from my own two eyes too.

    A channel opened in my peripheral. Encrypted and labeled as High Priority.

    "Come outside, slowly, with your hands up! Any unusual behavior will be seen as an act of aggression and will be met with lethal force."

    Lovely. Now the police just FaceTime their warnings to you.

    "I'm coming out," I replied plainly. Then, deliberately and like so many times before, I locked the slide back on my pistol and ejected the unspent round in the chamber. I released the magazine and pushed out all the rounds into a messy pile among the papers on my desk. I set both down, then took a moment for myself.

    Stupid... Yeah, definitely stupid. I let them win. The idiots. I couldn't keep it together and push it to the back. Too much pride, I guess. No regrets, right?

    With a shake of my head, I made for the door. Each footstep carried immense weight, but also felt freeing. I finally did what I wanted. I finally just let it go and did it. It felt good. The walking to face my punishment? That part sucked.

    As I rounded the corner of the entrance, blue and red light leaked in through the glass door. Three squad cars with doors open and armed officers behind each of them waited for me. Six barrels of pistols, shotguns, and tazers aimed at me through the security bars on the outside.

    "Come out slowly! With your hands up!" They commanded both verbally and through their encrypted channel.

    I took a deep breath, opened the door, and walked out onto the steps. Various clicks and shuffles sounded as officers rooted their stances, thumbed off safeties, or loaded rounds into the chamber. Points for enthusiasm and dramatic flare. I raised my arms above my head, expression flat and blank. I wish I could have said my heart beat wildly or I felt a weight on my chest, but I didn't. Considering my likely fate, I was steady as a rock. Well... until two of the officers rushed me, kicked out my legs, and wrenched my arms behind my back. I felt some pain and a little weight on my ribcage then. You know, with a knee on my spine and all...

    "You have a right to remain silent. You have the right to plead guilty. Everything you have seen or done will be used against you in a court of law," they dribbled on as handcuffs clicked around my wrists and they jerked me upright. By now, they severed their broadcast and stuffed me into the back of their squad car.

    "Piece of shit last gen," I heard one mumble before the door slammed shut.

    Last gen. There was that pride again. Not intended as a compliment, but it was certainly better than having a government killswitch in your skull. I mean, if they can turn you into a paraplegic at the push of a button, what's not to say they can pull tight puppet strings, insert new memories, or...

    [Can you read this?]

    "Huh?" My response only mirrored the contorted cocktail of raised eyebrow, tilted head, and half agape mouth. Who would be texting me at this point? I tried to type out a response only to receive a notification in over-dramatic red letters stating: <<Communications Disabled>>. Made sense being in the back of a squad car with handcuffs digging into my skin.

    [Good. Get over to the right side and hug your knees. Hurry.]

    "The fuck?"

    [Now!]
    Last edited by Lye; 05-05-16 at 08:46 AM.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  3. #3
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    Lichensith Ulroké
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    Do I trust the creepy text messages? I mean, why not? I'm screwed anyway. Might as well entertain some creepy stalker or bored government employee. So, I shifted over to the right of the bench seat and hugged (more like just bent over - handcuffs and all) my knees.

    Then, nothing?

    I sat there, head as close to between my legs as possible and all I could here was muffled chatter from the outside.

    "He just pulled a gun on me!" It was that prick of a customer. Man, if only I could list a case against this guy. Screaming over cheap parts, threatening to take his business elsewhere when we cater to his every need, and trying to get credits for material he claimed he bought from us but we never purchased in the history of the company. A real scum bag of a person.

    "Subject is detained. Yes. One semi-automatic pistol registered to a Christian Allbrook. One shot fired. No casualties." One of the officers mumbled to an unseen force, likely headquarters. With the iComs, they didn't need laptops or paper. Just a link away from direct upload of video, sound, text, or whatever. The wonders of a brain-machine interface at work.

    "What's that?" Another officer.

    "I have no..."

    A bright light washed over the interior of the squad car. Curiosity lifted my head to look outside, but I was stopped by another unknown message across my field of vision.

    [Stay down.]

    "Turn your vehicle around!" I heard an officer shout. Sounds of guns at the ready shortly followed as one threw his body against the car with a thud. Then, the roar of a diesel engine came to life. Was it one of those freighters that parked out front of our pipe yard? Who would be making a delivery this late in the afternoon?

    The engine throttled with a roar.

    "Failure to comply will result in the use of deadly force!" Again with the threats...

    [Hold on.]

    Hold on? What in the--

    The engine roared to life and began to grow closer, then shifted into second.

    "Fire a warning shot!"

    Are you kidding me?!

    A blast from the door beside me shook the window. Definitely the low roar of a shotgun. However, I still heard the engine as it shifted into third. Wait...

    "Open fire!" Gunshots rattled off like forth of July fireworks. Casings and shells bounced off the window and clattered across the hood. Flashes of gunfire forced shadows to dance and the roar of the diesel engine only seemed to continue. Again, a shift into forth gear.

    "Shit! Get out of the--"

    I jolted, glass rained down, noises blurred into a massive cacophony of metallic carnage. My ears rang, vision blurred, and body (now sprawled out) ached. Especially, my left shoulder. I heard shouting, but couldn't make out the words. Muffled pops of gunfire continued, then fell silent. I tried gain my bearings, but between aches, ringing, and confusion all I could do was moan my discomfort.

    "Come on," I heard then a sharp tug on my arm - the one that already felt like it was broken in three places. I let out an involuntary yell of pain, but it kept pulling until I tumbled to the glass, metal, and wreckage riddled ground.

    "Get up, come on! We have to get you out of here!" I didn't recognize the voice. My eyes couldn't quite make out the face but I did notice the outlines of several mangled uniformed bodies and twisted automobile frames. There was another sharp jerk on my arm then another on the opposite side. Whoever they were, hoisted me up and from one vehicle, they threw me into another. There was no finesse, I felt like a bag of groceries haphazardly dashed into a busy mother's car. Doors shut, light faded, and the car surged forward.

    "Drive."

    Last thing I heard before my body opted for a mandatory power nap.
    Last edited by Lye; 05-09-16 at 09:33 AM.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  4. #4
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    I've always been a vivid dreamer. From post apocalyptic hero stories, to re-living some of the most pure or tortured memories of my past. This time was no different.

    That feeling of freedom carried over as my body tumbled calmly in what seemed an endless sky. It was like falling (or flying), but without fear of hitting the ground. Around me, fire rained down like the old books - an end time. Yet in the blissful blue and white of a serene sky, I held no fear or reserve to the flames that sped past me. I felt warmth, light, and calm.

    Then, as though from nothing, I was joined by what looked like two women. One was fair of skin, golden hair, and blue eyes that one could hide an eternity within. The other, sunkissed with silk strands of black flowing behind her and hazel eyes that could pierce the soul. They both reached out to me, but I could not move. My body felt torn and the sky turned to red. Flames began to rise up from below as towers higher than anything built by man began to speed us by. Entire floors were demolished, vacant, and mangled. What was once endless sky now became a scorched earth of wreckage.

    I struggled, a tightness in my chest as both women reached out to me. I finally felt my arms give, but only one. I had to choose. As though each represented some form of salvation, I began to envision ethereal wings sprout from their backs. I reached out, either would do; the ground was growing closer. I closed my eyes and felt slender fingers entwine with my own.

    Before I could open my eyes, I met the ground.

    "Fuck!" I shouted, jolting awake in a panic, heart racing. My arms and legs would not move, and I was not lying down. The seering pain in my shoulder reassured me this was no longer a dream.

    My eyes quickly adjusted to the dimly lit and damp concrete room I now found myself in. Skeleton framework of what looked like computers and servers outlined the far wall. A tattered leather chair faced me from across an oddly pristine glass desk. Entrances and dark doorways led to places unknown and street tags decorated every barren wall. I flared my nostrils at the unpleasant stench of mildew and stagnant water.

    "What the fu..." I muttered in confusion. I was at work, I pulled a gun, they threw me in the squad car, and then... then...

    I looked down as I tried to recall, my skull splitting and a sharp pain radiating from the back of my neck. That was when I realized I was crudely bound to an aluminum chair. Belts fixed my ankles to the legs, wrists to the arms and two around my torso. The whole array was bolted to the ground, recently too as they still held their metallic hue despite the thick moisture in the air.

    "You're awake." The voice was familiar, but also foreign. Captor? Savior?

    "Where am I? Who're you?" Came the stereotypical response from my own two bloodied lips. I heard the footsteps behind me, but I couldn't turn my head far enough to see. The effort of turning sent a wave of pain from that spot at the back of my neck.

    "A friend, or a foe. That depends on you, really."

    What the fuck was he talking about? Was he with the police? Was this an interrogation? My brain struggled to formulate a response.

    "Christian Allbrook. Born in Chicago, Illinois on December 21st, 2029. Current age, 28 years. Height, 6'2". Weight, 195lbs. Blood type, AB-..."

    What the fuck?

    "Who are you?!" I blurted, violently jerking my body to get a view but shut down from the teeth clenching pain radiating from my injured shoulder.

    "Graduated Skylight High School year 2047 with a 3.8 GPA," the raspy masculine voice trailed on. I heard more footsteps echo from behind. More people. "Graduated Chicago Community College with Associates of Arts in 2049. Fitted with an iCom device on your 21st birthday as a gift from your father..."

    "What do you want from me?"

    Two people walked past me on each side dressed in tattered and dark clothing. One, a tall and well built man with a military crew cut on his dark brown hair. His face scarred from god knows what. The other a curvy, but stern looking woman in slightly cleaner attire. She looked to be dressed in a formal suit with certain elements either neglected by laziness or as a statement. Her long, silky black hair was pulled and draped over one shoulder as she sat at the leather chair behind the desk. She steepled her fingers, nails tipped red, and locked her gaze on me with piercing hazel eyes.

    I raised a brow in confusion. I knew her. My mind lapsed on where. The dream?

    "We've been watching you for a while Christian, but not just you." The voice continued, still out of sight. As he spoke, the guy who looked like he made out with an industrial blender tended to the framework servers along the wall. He fixed ribbon cables to places, and plugged in CAT32 lines that ran along the ground past the chair legs.

    "In 2025, the first brain-machine interface, or B.M.I. was created and successfully integrated into the first human subject. In 2027, the government licensed rights to the technology to implement into their soldiers and advanced interfaces into drones, pilots, and targeting systems. Ten years later, the military patent expired and a commercialized contract was drafted with several of the leading wireless communication companies. In 2040, the first cell phones were released with a device that could connect your phone directly to the user's brain stem at the back of the head. It was crude, riddled with problems, and eventually hospitalized several users from lack of testing."

    "Why are you telling me this?"

    "Shut up and listen," barked the woman from her desk. Her eyes remained locked on me.

    "Class action lawsuits bankrupted most of these companies until a new one emerged in 2045 with the device we now know as iComs. Origin Technologies' iCom device required insertion into the brain stem in a quick outpatient service and was affordable to the masses. In just two years, nearly 90% of the modernized population adopted the iComs in favor of traditional devices. Industries began to evolve, communication, the way we drive our cars, the way we do business, and even medical diagnostic all advanced exponentially. A radical faction emerged during this time, the Purists, who saw iComs and BMIs as a sin. They were also the first to effectively 'hack' into the minds of others via iCom devices and implant thoughts, creating a new terrorism unseen by the United States. In response, Origin Technologies signed a contract with the US government to cease production of their 1.0 models. The 2.0 models were released shortly after. As you know, these were government mandated upgrades until you and 300,000 others signed a petition backed by over 100 million disgruntled citizens. As a result, service was returned to the first generation users, but to much scrutiny."

    There was a pause and the footsteps from behind echoed against the barren walls until the man stood in front of me. Easily in his fifties with peppered hair, but a stature that suggested discipline and leadership. His shaven, but scruffy chin held one scar that carried down his neck and out of sight behind the collar of a black shirt under a black jacket. He looked down on my with a cold, emotionless gaze.

    "You know that the 2.0 models dropped crime drastically. You also know that they can shut you down in a moment's notice by the push of a button. What you don't know, is the United States Government approved a privatized agenda to utilize the 2.0 iCom units to favor federal economy, subtly pacify the masses, and sway public voting through subliminal broadcasting. I was part of the early programming team sanctioned by the US Army to write the coding needed for these devices."

    "You're with the feds? What the fuck is this?! What do I need to know all this for?" I shouted, confused, and frankly feeling more in a fucked up dream than the cold hard reality.

    "You have a certain set of ideals we're looking for. You're tired of the direction the world is taking. Self-interest, vanity, corruption. You despise it." He spoke as he stepped just inches from the base of my bound feet. With hands folded behind his back, he leaned forward and looked me over with a judgmental eye. It felt wrong and I pulled my head from his gaze.

    "Who are you?" I asked again through a snarl. He pulled away and stood straight.

    "In a past life, I was a young adult like yourself. I served several tours abroad, outfitted with the first military grade BMIs. This scar..." He pointed to the one running down his neck. It was then I noticed his arms weren't flesh and bone. While gloved, I could see the mechanical lines and soft whir of servos. "In service of the United States Army. After returning to service, I was reassigned to development where I was outfitted with these."

    He pulled off his glove to reveal the polished gunmetal grey of a synthetic arm. With a flex open and close, I could hear the metal scratch against metal in a tight grip.

    "Back then, I was lucky to be able to wipe my own ass. I majored in programming prior to service and with the help of a few fellow soldiers, I was able to reprogram these prosthetics. They saw my potential and drafted me into their BMI division. What I learned there, I took with me upon honorable discharge. After I heard the mandated release of the 2.0 iCom units and began to see the new reports on the sudden changes to economy, I had my suspicions. I went dark and found this group. The government calls us, The Nameless."
    Last edited by Lye; 05-10-16 at 04:09 PM.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  5. #5
    Administrator
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    Name
    Lichensith Ulroké
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    I couldn't help but chuckle.

    "The Nameless?" I repeated with a smile, exposing bloodied teeth. "What a ridiculous name... Or lack there of..."

    "Shut your fucking--!" The woman shouted, hands slammed on her desk and risen from her seat. The gentleman in front of me silenced her with a gesture of his hand. Clearly he held rank.

    "We didn't choose it. We refused to identify with any one name or group."

    "So what do you want with me? Why was I worth bailing out? You terrorists?"

    He grinned.

    "You could say that. You could also say we're the last hope for true freedom. We're an army. We're at war."

    "War? Army? You sound batshit insane."

    "I'm giving you a chance, Christian. To the law, you're already a dead man. The Munitions Recall of 2055 outlawed civilian use and posession of firearms, yet you still carried one." He disappeared from view only to return with my bag. From it, he pulled my 5.7 pistol and loaded the magazine.

    "FN Herstal 5.7. Invented in 1993 by Belgium and proposed to NATO as the new standard of firearms in 1989. Adopted by over 40 nations as the standard issue weaponry. Uncommon in the US, none-the less after the recall." He pointed the muzzle at my face and I felt my stomach flop. Yet, with defiance on my face, I stared straight back at him past the sights.

    "No fear. Defiance. Acceptance. I like that, but you're lucky they didn't shoot you on site." He added before lowering the gun, ejecting the mag, and racking the slide to catch the ejected round mid air.

    "I have a proposal for you," he continued, putting my gun on the glass desk and slumping my bag against its leg. He then propped his weight onto the glass as both he and the woman pierced me with their eyes.

    "All set, sir," the scarred guy commented before standing with the trio. The assumed leader nodded to him, but kept his attention on me.

    "You help us, join our cause, stop the corruption and misuse of BMIs, or..." He tapped to the back of his own head with a gestured nod toward me. "we scramble your memories and dump you on the steps of the nearest precinct."

    "Seems more like an ultimatum to me..." I spat.

    "You're the one who pulled a gun on a civilian. You made the choice to end it all at that moment. So what'll it be?"
    Last edited by Lye; 05-10-16 at 02:25 PM.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  6. #6
    Administrator
    EXP: 62,918, Level: 10
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    Lye's Avatar

    Name
    Lichensith Ulroké
    Age
    32
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Platinum
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    175lbs -- 6'
    Job
    Grandmaster Assassin

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    He had a point. The moment I felt that tension in the trigger release and the air roar with ignited powder, I signed off on my freedom. Even if I ran, even if I fought, everything I had and knew was gone. So the question remained, do I become a terrorist, or blithering vegetable? Well, I wasn't much a fan of drooling corpse. So...

    "You make a compelling argument," I replied half-heartedly. "Sign me up, Sarge."

    I heard the woman scoff behind me. "This kid pisses me off," she muttered just barely over the hum of the servers.

    "If only it were that easy," replied the leader with a grin. He pushed off the glass table and pointed at his male colleague with a nod.

    I couldn't quite see what was going on behind me, but I heard a keyboard. Older tech, for sure, but it's hard to forget that sound. With it, the fans in the servers speed up. They were starting something.

    "This isn't going to be pleasant," he warned. "But hang in there. It'll be worth it."

    "Sir, we have a proximity alert." The woman's irritated expression calmed despite the gravity of her tone.

    "Already?" His voiced sounded genuinely panicked. "Shit. Hollow, skip the handshake protocols and force entry." The leader gave me a firm look after plucking my gun from the table and reloading the magazine. "Correction, you're going to hate me for this."

    That last phrase became the last thing I could hear. Like a dial tone from the antique days, my skull pounded and rang. Screw trying to see straight, and were it not for the shit they tied me down with, I'd be on the ground squirming like a maggot. But I will admit, I tried my damnest to break free if just to earn a second from the pain. As my vision dimmed and blackened, something spoke to me. Even when I couldn't hear my own thoughts, I heard this.

    "Aegroto dum anima est, spes est."

    And back into the darkness I slipped.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  7. #7
    Administrator
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    Lichensith Ulroké
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    Human
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    You know that feeling, when your dreaming? That feeling that the world is real, but everything has that see-through blanket of lace or sheer over everything. You feel heavy but weightless at the same time, but even with all the abnormality, it feels real?

    I knew I was dreaming, but a part of me didn't want to deny the reality I felt either. I stood in the living room of my shitty apartment. The fan overhead squeaked and clicked as the lopsided blades swayed it side to side. The neighbors were cooking something Hispanic, both smoky and spicy. Caroline, my dog, came around the corner of my bedroom with that same excited look as if I just came home from work. I looked at my hands, turning them over, memorizing the familiar creases in my palms and the scars I earned in junior high shop class.

    "What the...?" I meant to finish with my favorite four letter word, but movement in my narrow ass kitchen forced me to look up. I'm not sure who or what I was looking at. It -- her -- She had a light around her but...

    "Allison?" I heard myself utter. She looked just like her. The long brown hair, the lithe frame, even the freckles across her sun kissed cheeks.

    She came around the corner, her clothes ruffled like perpetually stuck in a breeze. Tight jean shorts hugged her hips and the oversized white shirt fluttered off her chest. That black bra visible just faintly underneath. It was an outfit I hated when she wore it in public, but at home, it was my favorite. She walked up to me and set down an empty plate on the coffee table in front of me. Her rosy lips remained sealed, but she smiled.

    "What're you? I thought you... You're dead." About six years dead, actually. We had a sort of fling in college. She was one of those over seas program students, studying in America. It wasn't uncommon with our economy and tech programs, but she came for music. We met through a friend and dated on and off until she needed to return back home to Czechoslovakia. That flight never made it. They never found the plane.

    Her hands cupped my cheeks and I felt warmth. Oh god did I feel warmth. Six years, I fooled around, sure, but it never compared. This, it felt like that pit of "don't-give-a-fuck" finally mended. I missed her.

    "Chris." Her voice felt like daggers, but I wanted to hear it. I needed to hear it. "Chris, please listen to what I have to tell you."

    Before I could really register my actions, I wrapped myself around her. Her warmth, I didn't want to let it go. Her breath on my neck as her silky hair spilled over my shoulder, the nostalgia was intoxicating.

    "I'm not dead, Chris." Like that, my moment of comfort -- my need for something familiar in this fucked up world, turned sour.

    "What, what are you talking about?" I asked. My arms fell slack, but Allison kept he head pressed into me.

    "I'm not alive either." She spoke.

    "I don't -- this is a dream. You're not --"

    "I am." She pulled back just enough to look up to me with those hazel eyes of hers. I struggled against her, this reality. It all felt so real.

    "Chris, you can't trust them."

    "Who?"

    "Any of them. They're all related. You need to look for the truth on your own."

    "What are you talking about? What is, this is a dream none of this is..."

    "Please Chris. Listen to me."

    Allison held out her hand to me and in it was light. Just a little ball of light, like an LED.

    "Take this. I don't have the answers, but you need to find them. Find me." She urged the light forward, tone urgent. "Please."

    My hand reached out and the moment it touched the light, the world around me fell apart. My body jolted awake, new senses punching me square in the back of the skull with the force of a sledgehammer. Oh god did my body ache. Even more so when it slid and slumped against a speeding car's door.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  8. #8
    Administrator
    EXP: 62,918, Level: 10
    Level completed: 82%, EXP required for next level: 2,082
    Level completed: 82%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,082

    AP
    26
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    Lye's Avatar

    Name
    Lichensith Ulroké
    Age
    32
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Platinum
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    175lbs -- 6'
    Job
    Grandmaster Assassin

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    "Hang on!"

    That voice belonged to the leader of the rag tag group. That much I could make out. It was difficult over the screech of tires fighting for traction and the blasts of gunfire both leaving and pelting our vehicle. Each round rang like gong in my skull, bouncing all the rocks and bricks inside my cranial maraca.

    The car made another sharp turn and I slid along the seat into the bent leg of that sassy bitch. I doubt she cared or noticed, but I couldn't blame her. With one arm bleeding from a bullet hole and the other religiously returning fire, she had more pressing matters than me. I grunted while trying to right myself. All my muscles ached; they felt like I was just learning to use them again.

    "He's awake," stated the man they called Hollow. His dull eyes fixed on me. I couldn't tell if he was blind or what, but something about his eyes didn't seem right.

    "Kid," began the leader. "Here, take this."

    With his eyes on the road, he reached his hand between the seat and center console. Butt first, he held my five-seven toward me. I may as well have been made of limp noodles trying to reach out for it. It was in my hand, sort of, but when he let go, it fell to the floormats. I thought I gripped it. If it weren't for this headache, or whatever it was.

    "Damn it, I'm out." The woman pulled herself back into the car and sat on my stomach. One of her empty magazines bounced off my chest as she reached out to Hollow who graciously slapped another on into her hand. She shot me a dry look as I gasped for air and tried to work my arms like a broken ragdoll.

    "You were too rough with him, Hollow." She spat as her slide clicked a fresh round into the chamber.

    "I didn't have much of a choice, Kimka."

    "Well, now we have scrambled eggs for cargo and a fucking fleet to lose. I told you he was a waste of time." She lifted off of me for a brief moment.

    "Hard left!" The leader's warning followed with another gut punch from Kimka's less than plump ass. The car shifted into a squeal and we clearly failed to get clearance. Glass rained over my face and everything jerked. Sparks spilled from the outside inwardly from what I could assume was a brick wall.

    As I tried to regain my senses, my iCom burned to life. By burned, it felt like mom left the iron on and dropped it conveniently inside my brain meats. The HUD scrambled across my vision, code and windows opening and closing faster than my "scrambled eggs" could keep track of. After a couple seconds of being blended on puree, I felt a cooling calm.

    [OS Origin On-Line]

    "Origin?" I muttered as the overlay took up most of my vision.

    "The fuck is he rambling about now?" Another few rounds belted across the trunk and ricocheted inside. The round smacked into the windshield. Cracks spidered outward, turning the view into an impromptu kaleidoscope.

    Through it, however, I could see these... lights? It looked like Christmas, but not. Most clusters were white, some different in color or brighter and dimmer than others. My attentions, however, were drawn to the mass of red on it's way toward the end of the alley from the left.

    "Turn right," I muttered, still struggling with being skull fucked by whatever the hell they did to me.

    "What?" Someone asked.

    "Just turn right!" I shouted. I don't know why, but I had a bad feeling about those lights. Red doesn't usually mean good.

    "He's out of his mind." That fem dom bitch added. I was able to grip her leg and force her to make eye contact. For some reason, that shut her up.

    "Fuck it, he says right, let's go right." The rattling and sparks ended ceremoniously as what sounded like a hailstorm began. Kimka let out a howl and something warm splattered over my face. Her weight fell over me as the car jerked into a turn and she slumped to the floorboards.

    "Shit, Kimka's hit!" Hollow roared over the barrage of bullets.

    Yeah she was. Her good arm clutched just over her chest, eyes shut, as bubbled red frothed from her mouth. Now, I've watched a lot of action movies, I've played a lot of video games, but someone's blood on your face, watching them gasp for air with a hole in their lung? It takes that sarcasm and sobers the fuck out of you. Scared? Well, these past few hours have already gone past that. More like shock.

    "Fuck." I spat. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"

    "You're up Hollow." The front seat shifted and out the window the blind guy hung. Like something from one of those action flicks, his pointed his arm toward red lights behind us. It... opened and changed. In seconds, his arm was belching lead in our wake. That's when I noticed some of the lights go out. I heard the scream of rubber, metal carnage, and an explosion light up the night.

    "I get it," I muttered, and I started counting the clusters of red light. One, two three... eight total, not counting the three that just faded and the other six fading in the distance.

    "Shit!" Hollow swore. A well placed bullet landed inside his odd arm contraption and blew it all to pieces like fucking Lego bits. He slumped inside, clutching his arm as the car jostled to avoid another car.

    It looked and sounded like we were fucked. Like, really fucked. I was already screwed, but now I couldn't help but my own fiery grave in a swiss cheese mound of molten metal and rubber. All the meanwhile, Kimka stared at me with panic and pain in her eyes as each gargled breath drew shorter.

    "Do we have any more guns?" Hollow groaned.

    "No, I gave the kid the last one."

    That's right. The gun. I looked down in the pooling red where my pistol sat among spent brass. Shakily, I reached out for it. God damn it, if my fucking hands would just work like they were supposed to...

    "Got it," I muttered as my fingers hugged the stippled grip.

    "Give it here!" Hollow demanded, but I didn't pay attention to him. My iCom spilled in data as if downloading an attachment from the web. It finished and opened an executable. Man, that shit hurt, but as I bared through it, something else added to my interface. The gun displayed a round count, nine bullets. One short of a full magazine; the one that started this fucking nightmare. On top of that, something urged me into action.

    I shifted from the seat, ignored Hollow grabbing onto my shirt, and drowned out whatever it was he tried to tell me. I faced through the opening our rear window used to be and looked into the sea of red lights. Each cluster made up a framework of a person both behind the wheel and firing weapons at our banged up sedan. The bullets whizzed past my head and my heart pounded. The red and blue of the squad cars painted the busy streets. Shocked and terrified people ducked and fell to the floor as cars got out of our way.

    My heart pumped. I felt the tension of Hollow trying to pull me back in and their demands I do the same. My gun leveled on the police and my iCom painted lines from my hand to any one of eight heads. My mouth was dry, head pounded, body ached, but my hand was now steady as a nail. My finger squeezed, my stomach sank, and I winced.

    One of eight red clusters faded. The squad car lurched and wrenched. Another red cluster launched from the window it hung from as the car jackknifed and tumbled into the distance. My finger pulled the trigger again, but I don't remember lining it up to fire. Another cluster faded to black followed by a second shot from my gun. Two more bullets left the barrel before the airborne guy became a smear of the asphalt. The trajectory of my iCom lit up moments before the driver of the last squad car went dark and slammed into oncoming traffic.

    All the red lights were gone.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  9. #9
    Administrator
    EXP: 62,918, Level: 10
    Level completed: 82%, EXP required for next level: 2,082
    Level completed: 82%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,082

    AP
    26
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    2,630
    Lye's Avatar

    Name
    Lichensith Ulroké
    Age
    32
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Platinum
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    175lbs -- 6'
    Job
    Grandmaster Assassin

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    Aside from the horns of people rightfully pissed with our illegal driving and rattle of our beat to shit car, there was silence. For a moment at least.

    "What the fuck was that?" Hollow yanked me back into the car. In the midst of shattered glass, casings, and Kimka's blood, I settled into the seat. The whole thing felt surreal, and the aches were gone.

    "You are just a civvie, right?" asked their leader with eyes pinned on me through the rear view mirror.

    I was. I mean, I am but... I looked at the gun in my hands. This wasn't a movie or game. But how did I do that? What did they do to me? Now, it shook nervously unlike moments before. The rattle of what I had done settled into me. The lives I just took. The blood on my hands and face. The blood...

    "Oh shit!" I exclaimed. I threw my pistol aside and shifted to the dominatrix woman stuck between seats. Her eyes were closed, arms limp. I couldn't see her breathing, but the hole in her chest bubbled ever so slightly.

    "Uh, guys! I think-- I think she's dying!" Sounded stupid coming out of my mouth, but what else would I say? Some doctor's jargon about a flesh wound beneath the right clavicle? As the absolute fuckery of everything then and now frothed in my mind, Hollow held a syringe in front of my face. It caught me off guard.

    "Stick this in the hole." That's what she said. Well, not really, she was dying.

    I took the syringe from him and looked at it quizzically. Where was the needle? How the fuck am I--

    "Just stick it in there and hit the plunger!" I didn't question the man. I jammed the needless contraption into the bullet wound and pushed down on the plunger. Whatever the contents, something fizzed and frothed the blood into a pink fucking bath bomb. Did I make it worse? Did he just make me kill her?

    Hollow shoved me back into my seat just as I saw Kimka's chest rise sharply. She coughed and globs of blood splattered onto my slacks.

    "What the fuck was that?" Hollow repeated.

    "Fuck if I know?!" I really didn't. "You guys must've done something to me!"

    "Us? The hack only took you off the grid. That's it!"

    Off the grid? Then how... I'm almost sure I saw a download on my iCom. Was that something else? Old zip file maybe?

    "Hey! I'm talking to you, kid!" Hollow spat.

    "Leave him be," commanded their leader. "We'll have time for questions once we get off the street. We're sitting ducks out here."

    Hollow narrowed his milky eyes and slumped into his seat where he cradled the exploded mess of his arm. I looked up and made unintentional eye contact with the guy whose driving equally saved our asses.

    "Harbinger," he said to me. "That's what they call me now at least."

    I scoffed. Harbinger, Kimka, Hollow? What is this, some kind of World of Warcraft game?

    "Don't know where you pulled that kind of shooting out of, but thanks." His eyes returned to the road through the cracked windshield. "We'll be at our safehouse soon. Lay low and keep an eye on my colleague back there."

    What other choice did I have? It's not like I could jump out of the car with this kind of driving. Plus, now I've killed police. Safe to say, I'm along for the ride whether I like it or not. Guess they call this a point of no return, huh?
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


  10. #10
    Administrator
    EXP: 62,918, Level: 10
    Level completed: 82%, EXP required for next level: 2,082
    Level completed: 82%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,082

    AP
    26
    GP
    2,630
    Lye's Avatar

    Name
    Lichensith Ulroké
    Age
    32
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Platinum
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    175lbs -- 6'
    Job
    Grandmaster Assassin

    View Profile
    It took a while, but we finally arrived wherever here was. I'll tell you what though, it's a total life changer when you pull up at a stoplight in a war battered car and look over to the people in the next car over. You can see the look of awe on their face and the hesitation before that thought pops in their head. Hey, maybe I should call the police? Well, thankfully we didn't end up in another chase or shootout. We took backstreets and underpasses and some of the ride wasn't even on paved road.

    In fact, this place was outside the glow of city lights. Some run down gas station that sported what I was pretty certain were hand pumps. Moss and grass took over most of the building and frankly, it looked like we were the first people here in at least a decade.

    "Everyone out. Kid, help me with Kimka," barked Harbinger as he cut off the ignition. I looked to the other guy who despite having one arm, is far better suited for moving a dying woman.

    "Hollow, you know what to do with the car. Meet up with us within the hour." Hollow already seemed to be on the move. He sat himself on the hood of the vehicle and pulled out a cigarette from his breast pocket. Even one handed, he managed to light it and draw a puff. Meanwhile, Harbinger opened the passenger door to the sound of brass and glass chiming to the ground.

    "Get her under the arms," he told me. He hefted her legs out of the car and I tried to wedge myself so I could get under her arms. God, there was so much blood. I managed to get a grip but getting her our of the car took some effort. It's not like I had experience with this sort of thing. A drunk friend in college maybe, but that was a two asprin and a cup of coffee to fix.

    "Watch her head," he warned but it already thudded against the open door. Whoops. I could blame it on Harbinger's driving or something.

    It wasn't until now that I noticed Kimka's lack of light. Well, I mean, the people trying to kill us were a bright red and in the sea of other colors, Hollow and Harbinger were white. Static and dim, more like a grey, but they still had a light about them. I know she wasn't dead, she was breathing afterall, but I could only see her for what she was in my hands. Why?

    We moved her into the abandoned gas station which fortunately lacked a door. With a bit of effort, we managed to get her atop the dusty and neglected counter top. I took a moment to glance back at Hollow, but the car was already gone.

    "So," Harbinger's voice snapped me back to him. "You want to tell me what happened?" As he spoke, he went around the counter and fiddled with something underneath.

    "What do you mean?" I asked. I knew what he meant.

    "Kimka put three magazines downrange and only managed to off a squad car or two." He grunted as he yanked something free and exposed several wires. They looked newer than anything that should be in this building. With a pocket knife, he severed one of the blue lines and began stripping it.

    "Those shots were impossible. You were either lucky, or you're hiding something."

    "Lucky I guess?" What else what I going to say? I just... did it?

    "Bullshit." He rose from whatever he was doing with a revolver in my face.

    "Woah!" I threw my hands back. Yep, I could definitely see the bullet down the barrel. "I'm serious! I just came to! My iCom restarted and--"
    The gun lowered.

    "You mentioned something about Origin?" His intrigued voice matched the puzzled look he gave me.

    "It booted up. Said OS Origin or something like that. But that's normal right? You said Origin made all these things?"

    "No, it's not normal. Civilian models use Operating Systems named after things like fruit or desserts. The current OS on first gens should be custard. Military models use an Origin designated OS. They were some of the first put into effect. That's what mine is." Harbinger holstered his weapon and looked at me like some ancient transcript written in Latin.

    "I wonder," he muttered. Then, he dipped under the counter, plucked his stripped wire and stuck it into his synthetic arm. It looked strange, but at the same time, it looked like the arm was made for it. Not seconds later, a loud crack and hiss echoed from the darkened hallway behind him. From the shadows came a faint glow of bluish light.

    "Alright, help me with her." Harbinger commanded as he stood and yanked the wire free. I didn't question him. Instead, I took her by the arms like before and helped maneuver her to the hall.

    There, it looked like the wall had opened. Like a door, but it was some six or so inches thick of concrete and... metal? It lead downward and if you've never hoisted a body down stairs, it's a bitch. I definitely was reminded my lack of physical strength. As we descended, the door behind us shifted and shut. Before long (which felt like an eternity by the way), we finally made it to a level floor of a small room. The walls were white, clean, and washed in fluorescent light.

    I had to put Kimka down or risk dropping her. Not that I owed her any favors anyway. Harbinger caught onto me and lowered her to the floor. Just as my hands slipped free from her, another pop and hiss caught my attention.

    "Stay right fucking there!" Men with riot gear I've never seen spilled from the new door in the wall. Each filed out with assault rifles pointed at the three of us. Oddly, none of them had those clusters of light the police or Harbinger had.

    "Up! Now! Stand away from the girl!" one nameless soldier barked. I obliged. Though this gun in my face thing was really starting to get old. I took a step back and from the door, what I could only assume was a doctor emerged. He b-lined right for Kimka and set a case beside her. It split open, and he immediately began tending to her wounds.

    "You! State your ID!" The guy probed my chest with the muzzle of the rifle.

    "Easy! Easy! He's with me!" Harbinger barked. "One seven six nine four two zero, Harbinger. The kid's with me."

    The gun stayed pinned on me but the others lowered their aim on Harbinger. He walked a few steps toward me and pushed the soldier's gun to the side.

    "New guy," Harbinger stated. "I wasn't going to bring him this early, but we ran into a snag."

    "The hell you did!" This time another voice beckoned from the doorway. From it waltzed a tall woman clad head to toe in a white power suit. Her narrowed eyes looked the type who spent the majority of her life cutting, punching, and clawing her way through all manners of shit. She strode up to Harbinger, looked down to Kimka, and right back up.

    "Shoot out in the streets?! And you bring my daughter back like this?! For what?" She eyed me and were it not for the fact I may have already pissed myself prior, I would have moistened my jeans yet again. I opened myself to speak, but she cut that off right quick.

    "Shut up," she spat. "What do you have to say for yourself, Harbinger?"

    "Ma'am!" He saluted at attention. "I accept full responsibility!"

    "Damn right you will. Doctor?"

    "She's stable, but we need to get her to a table immediately. It's a clean pass through, but she's lost a lot of blood." Replied the man kneeling over Kimka.

    The business woman snapped her fingers and several armed men gathered up Kimka's body. They looked far more suited to the task as they quickly hoisted her off. Blood remained as an imprint and trail to their destination.

    "As for you." She pointed at me with a glower. "You had better not be a disappointment for all this trouble or so help me death will be the one thing you'll want when I'm done with you."

    Cliche threat, but I believed every word of it. This lady meant business and it was now clear to me why Kimka was such a raging bi--

    "Get them cleaned up. I want a full report from you in my office, Harbinger." He turned around and made for the door before adding, "and get the unwelcome guest into something clean."

    Great, a shower and clean clothes. Not exactly what I wanted, but it was better than a bullet in my chest. I wanted answers, maybe someone to tell me what the fuck was going on, but a shower. Guess we'll start with that.
    "All mortal men possess the capacity to do evil. Some are simply more capable than others."
    - Anonymous


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